Monday, April 29, 2013

little ones heart beat

Today was my first Dr.'s appointment where we would get to listen to baby's heartbeat. I had told Shaun about it so that he could come if he was able to, but he had landscaping jobs lined up and mulch being delivered and was sad but didn't think he could make it.

Then yesterday we saw the forecast for today almost guaranteed rain. So he was off. And he could come!!

I woke up early this morning, so excited, and the whole morning felt like a wonderful date. The two of us haven't been out alone in a long time and Shaun's mom watched the boys for  us so we could go on this impromptu date. As we were pulling out of our neighborhood I started singing to Shaun, lines from the song that's been ours since we first started dating, and that we walked back out of the church to on our wedding day. "Rainy Mondays feel like Fridays when you're smiling at me, I can feel the space between us collapsing our love is everlasting..." :)

It was seriously wonderful laying on the exam table and listening to little ones heart beating steadily inside me. I am so excited to know who this new person is, I am just so in love with him/her already. I looked over at Shaun and we smiled really big at each other while we listening to the "whoosh whoosh" of our new baby's heart.

After my appointment was over I used my birthday money and told Shaun we were going to Olive Garden for lunch as a treat. Literally endless soup, salad and breadsticks later I felt so happy and full and content as we drove home through the rain together.

We were in survival mode for awhile there while I was so sick. We both just did what we had to and it was hard taking care of two kids and Shaun working and our house a mess and spending all my energy being sick and feeling like I couldn't take care of anything. But I felt God carrying us through, just pouring out his grace on us and giving me a peace to function through the sickness. And now we're out on the other side and listening to baby's heart that was beating all the time inside me but we never heard until today and eating soup and salad that don't make me sick and I am just so thankful for God's faithfulness and for this itty bitty life.

And that's all my Monday thoughts for now. :)

Monday, April 22, 2013

Just write

Sometimes when I haven't written for a while I start thinking "Now I can never catch up...." and it becomes this overwhelming task in my mind to even try, so I just don't write at all for a while. I have to remind myself that I can never write it all. I just write what I can. And someday I'm sure I'll be glad for those couple of sentences I had the time to jot down, and the way they help me to remember.

I have been tired, so, so tired. I'm feeling better, and this is the earliest the sickness has been gone in my pregnancies so far. So normally I'm still spending lots of time at home and on the sofa at this point. I'm so very grateful to be feeling more myself, but I think I tried to jump back into "normal" life too quickly. I just don't have the energy.

I also didn't have two spunky little boys to chase around all day before either. Maybe that makes a difference?

I am so thankful for them. Those two personalities and little souls that spend every minute of the day with me.

As we get ready for bed at night lately Drew says to me "Mommy I can't wait to snuggle with you!!" with this big smile on his face. The other night when we were all in bed he got in this really sweet mood all of the sudden and started telling each of us how much he loved us, going around and giving hugs and kisses to Shaun and Isaiah and me. I have been looking at this little boy lately, thinking how he's going to be four this fall... and I just can't believe it! There seems to be so much that goes on in his mind. He is always taking things in and processing, deciding how to react to different situations. He easily gets quiet, shy, or embarrassed if he misreads something and thinks he is too much the center of attention or that he did something wrong. At the same time, when he is completely comfortable with his surroundings he is full of laughter, says the funniest things, loves to dance and be chased and tickled and wrestled.

And my Isaiah boy... ever so quirky that he is, two things come to mind that are recent obsessions of his... The boy LOVES to pray. He pronounces it "pay", but at the dinner table every other minute he is reaching for my hand with his sticky little fingers and wanting to "pay" again. When we say amen he throws his hands up in the air in celebration. The other thing my little saint is obsessed with? Saying "no". He has a rather extensive vocabulary, but it seems almost all other words have taken a leave of absence while he explores the power contained in that one little word. He has a multitude of voice inflections he uses, everything from his dainty, soft spoken, with his head cocked to one side and a little half smile on his face no, to his medium no with the head shake and determined expression, to his screaming no, to his yelling no over and over again while he runs from the room acting like he's being chased by something that's threatening his very existence, and everything in between.

While I was typing the above two paragraphs, the dog threw up on the living room floor while the boys were simultaneously dumping his bag of dog food all over the kitchen floor.  It is now several hours later, the messes have been cleaned up, the boys are down for their naps, and I'm wrapped in blankets (because it seems I am perpetually cold this pregnancy) with my feet up recovering.

(Do any other mamas out there feel like they rarely accomplish much that shows in a day because they mostly spend it cleaning up messes that weren't there when they woke up??)

Picnics. We've been having a lot of them recently. We took the boys to the park for our yearly spring picnic and spread out our eagles blanket and had roast beef sandwiches and potato salad and doritoes and then we played on the playground and fed the fish and flew kites one Saturday. This past saturday I had told Drew we'd have a picnic in our backyard but it was too chilly out. So instead, when we got home from picking up our chicken bbq lunches, we spread a blanket out on the living room floor and picnicked there. Besides those, Drew has been creating imaginary picnics for us too, where he spreads out a blanket and calls for me to come sit with him and tells me what he made for lunch. One time it was chicken and green beans and potatoes, and I could choose lemonade or milk to drink. What a balanced menu! I was impressed! :)

Thoughts on losing a grandparent... Some people say it's easier when you know it's coming and they lived a long full life. I wouldn't say that. Last spring I lost my cousin through tragic, horrific, completely unexpected circumstances. I had many thoughts along the lines of how much was still left of his life, all he was still supposed to do and be, the children he would never have... and then there is the horrible grief of a widow in her twenties, and the grief of parents losing a child that should never be. I don't know what the hardest part of losing Ian was, but a big part of it for me is that I feel like I will never fully have closure. There was no goodbye, there wasn't a long, full life to take comfort in. Thankfully I will see him again, but his death was so hard for so many reasons. Then this spring my Poppop passed away. There are a lot of things I can take comfort in. I can take comfort in the fact that we all were together as a family at their house just a few days before he passed away. I can take comfort in the fact that he was at peace, and ready to go. He truly was. I can smile over the fact that him and my mommom lived out their love story, fully and completely. I got the chance to say goodbye. I got the chance to hug him one last time. But I can't understand death being ever being "easier." How do you watch your grandmother holding the hand of her husband of 63 years and kissing his face for the last time, and not feel your emotions crumple your face completely at the thought of all she is saying goodbye to? How do you watch your father say goodbye to his daddy and strain to keep his voice under control while he speaks at the funeral and then looks to the sky to say "I love you dad." How are you supposed to look at generations of grandkids and great grandkids with tears streaming down their faces while they stand by the grave side for the 21 gun salute and the presentation of the flag to my grandmother by the navy and tell me that this is supposed to be easier? 85 years. 85 years of making a difference, being the patriarch, and creating this legacy. I stood in the doorway and watched as they closed his casket, and only the men were left in the room to carry him out. A room full of sons and grandsons and sons in law and grandsons in law. A room absolutely full of strong men. Yes, there is closure, but it doesn't make it easy. To think one man can leave such a legacy.

Friday, April 19, 2013

Tyler & Elaine: Expecting Baby Leo

Last Saturday I had the opportunity to take Tyler & Elaine's maternity photos for them. I used to work with Elaine, and from the first I ever met her I was always struck by what a genuinely sweet girl she is. She always has a smile on her face, and she's so laid back and easy to get along with. I had never met Tyler before, only heard the adoring way Elaine talked about him. Well now that I've seen them interact in real life I am completely blown away. They just light up around each other! Like, they seriously LOVE being together. They were probably one of the easiest shoots I have ever done because  they were just so happy to be there together and willing to do whatever I asked. And every bit of smile and sweet glance you see between them in the photos to follow is so REAL!! 

We spent the evening walking around the city, laughing and talking and exchanging restaurant recommendations and the weather was just gorgeous. Such a perfect way to spend a spring evening. We even got to take some photos in the park where they got married, which was an unexpected surprise. They are expecting their little man just before their third wedding anniversary. 
Ok, so I'll stop talking and just get to the pictures already. :)

That early evening golden sunlight... love it :)  

 I just absolutely love the one below. So quirky and fun! 

This series of two are some of my favorites from the whole shoot. 

Tyler is in school right now and Elaine is so proud of him! 

 This last one was an after thought as we were heading back to the parking lot, and I'm so glad we stopped to take it, it's one of my favorites from the night! 

Thank you guys SO MUCH for asking me to do your photos, you are such a wonderful couple and will make a great team raising this little one! Baby Leo is blessed to be coming into the world with such loving parents!!! 

Thursday, April 11, 2013

the last one

You never knew one little house to cram in so much family all at once, just to be together and see the contented smiles on Mommom and Poppop's faces.

Ever since I was born we did Easter at my dad's parent's house. My dad was one of seven kids, and there were lots of grandkids too. Every year there was the huge Easter egg hunt for whoever was little enough to still participate. When the grandkids got too old the great grandkids hunted. It was one of the most looked forward to events of my childhood. Somewhere in that great big fenced in backyard there was a silver egg, and a gold egg too. And you knew that at the end of the hunt you'd get to trade in your eggs for all kinds of prizes.... kites and bubbles and sidewalk chalk and beanie babies and sometimes money... and that loaded prize table was just as good as Christmas morning. The uncles would all go hide the eggs, and then we'd all line up by the back porch with our bags, listen to the rules, get our picture taken, and then hear "On your mark, get set, GO!" Because no one can resist the childishness fun of a colored egg poking out of a clump of grass, the aunts and uncles would all wander out into the back yard to "help" us look. When you were done you'd all count your eggs and then whoever got the most would get to choose from the prize table first, and down through the line over and over until everything was chosen. It was all overseen by my Poppop with his list, and he'd call out our names when it was our turn to choose. I can still hear him saying my name.

Well this Easter it rained. I was sick and we weren't there anyway. The hunt got post-poned to this past Monday, just three days ago. I'm so glad we were able to go. It was the last one we'll ever have there.

My Poppop's been fighting cancer since this past fall. He passed away this morning. He couldn't hide eggs this year, he couldn't even come outside to watch, or oversee the prize choosing, but before the hunt started he called all the little great grandkids into the living room and handed them each a special egg with a gold coin in it. He didn't complain, he was just happy to have his family around him. I hugged him goodbye before we left. He asked me if the boys had fun, I told him they did, he smiled at me and said "did they? that's good." And like that I'll never hear his voice or see him smile or give him a hug again.

I know where he is. I know I'll see him again. I know he is with my Jesus, no longer in pain. I know I'll get to hear him tell his stories and opinions and hear his slight southern accent as he talks and see those facial expressions that were so uniquely him. But what we're losing that we won't get back except to keep in our memories is this legacy. That little yellow cape cod is the only place that's still the same from my childhood. Every year, no matter what, you knew that Christmas Eve and Christmas Day there'd be family stopping by their house, the nativity on top of the tv, a big buffet dinner, tons of people squeezed around all the different shaped tables lined up in the family room and covered with Mommom's white lace table clothes, and down at the end of the table would be Mommom and Poppop, side by side, taking it all in. You knew that in the evenings Mommom and Poppop would be side by side in the living room in their recliners, watching tv. You knew that in the spring Poppop would be out working in his garden, growing the best tomatoes you ever had. You knew every evening Mommom would call and talk for a bit and then she'd tell my dad that his dad would wanna talk to him too, and Poppop's voice would come on the phone saying "Hi, son." You knew if you ever stopped in they'd be thrilled to see you, and there'd be cookies and crackers poured on paper plates on the kitchen table and passed around and Mommom would tell stories from when they were younger and Poppop would just chuckle as he remembered.

It's always been Mommom and Poppop. They'd been through hardships, losses, disappointments and trials you wouldn't believe, but together they forged this love and this big family and put down their roots and made this solid, stable, dependable life full of fun memories for us all. Even if Mommom keeps the house, nothing will be the same without Poppop there.

I'll miss his presence. So much.

My dad's tribute to his father:

"Gene Price was not an easy man to get to know yet everyone knew him. He was principled, hard working, determined, steady and rock solid. It was not until later in life he became comfortable with the softer side of life. He was married to my mom for 65 years. Dad loved it when we all got together for crab feasts, Christmas, Thanksgiving, Easter or for any other reason. Dad was a private man regarding his faith. That’s the generations he came from. He served his country in the Navy but rarely talked about it. Dad did not share his feelings easily but when it came to his opinions there was never any doubt about what he believed in or where he stood. He never sought popular opinion or fame regarding those things and He never retreated just because popular opinion thought something different.
While there were many who believed him to be tough and even belligerent; they never doubted his principles or convictions. He was the original McGyver except before duct tape he used electrical tape and he could fix almost anything. 
He expected us to keep our commitments and to see it through to completion regardless of what others might think or say or even how tough it got. He wasn’t perfect but he loved us with a fathers love. He had a big laugh, he wore a “Big” belt and he always had big dreams for us. I am proud to say, I am my Father’s son. Gene Allen Price went to be with the Lord this morning at 8:20am. I love you Dad."

Monday, April 8, 2013

Braxton Turns One!!

This little blue eyed boy was a joy to photograph for his first birthday. From his little snuffley smile to his wide, innocent baby blues he is absolutely precious. 

One of my favorite portraits ever. 

loved this sign that Trisha made.

Lookin' like a little man :) 

We had to re-schedule the shoot several times due to me being sick, and Trisha (Braxton's mommy) was so gracious and understanding... It was a true pleasure to work with her. 
Trish- I hope these photos help you remember your sweet boy at age one for a long time to come, and that his little, fuzzy blonde curls, the way he wrinkles his nose, his content blue eyes and sweet joy over the simple things comes back to life for you whenever you look at these. :) 

Happy first birthday Braxton!! 

Saturday, April 6, 2013

Refrigerator Organization

As part of this organizational series I called in reinforcements. :) My friend Brittany has always been an inspiration to me in the art of having an organized home/life. I asked her to pick one thing she feels like she has a good organizational system for and to share her secrets. She also happens to be pregnant with her second baby and any of you who have been pregnant know how your nesting mode can kick in full force near the end! So, guest posting for me today is Brittany. Here's what she has to say about refrigerator organization: 

I was asked by Jessi to write a little piece on organization and it actually worked out perfectly because I have been going on an organization frenzy and I am going to blame it on my nesting!  I have a feeling as soon as April 5th comes around I am going to be very thankful that I did!  One thing in my house that I did not need to organize was my refrigerator, for some reason I have always been very particular on the way my fridge is, and I think it is because I hate wasting food!  If my fridge is in order it’s less likely I am going to forget leftovers or let something spoil.  

The way I organize my fridge is quite simple but it works and makes it a lot easier to find things. 

  • On my top shelf I keep leftovers, this makes packing lunches so easy.  I usually keep the leftovers that need used closer to the front.  (I know some people will label when each leftover is from so it does not spoil, but we do a good job at finishing up leftovers.)
  • On the second shelf I keep our drinks and our lunch bags.
  • The third shelf is actually a drawer which is where I keep our cheese, yogurt, wraps and prepackaged meat.  I am not a big lunch meat fan but I do keep turkey bacon and Perdue chicken cutlets in this drawer.

  • On the fourth shelf I keep the things I am making for dinner that week, ie packaged meat that needs to defrost, as well as our egg container.  In this picture I had premade our meal just so I can throw it in the oven when we are ready to eat!
  • The fifth shelf is the vegetable drawer; of course this is where I keep the vegetables.  I usually clean my vegetables before I put them away in their own containers.  This makes it easy for snacking on healthy treats as well preparing salads for my lunches.  
  • The sixth shelf is the fruit drawer; and of course this is where I keep my fruit!  Just like my vegetables I will clean my fruit and put them in their own containers ( besides oranges, grapefruit and apples, I will keep them in their whole form)

On the inside of the door is where I keep my condiments and salad dressings.  I have a shelf for each item as well so it’s a little easier to find things. 
  • On the top shelf I keep the small packaged condiments for lunches, cream cheese, butter and “sour cream”, which we use plain greek yogurt.
  • The second shelf is where I keep the salad dressings/ toppings (olives, pickles, mandarin oranges etc.)
  • The third shelf is for condiments 
  • The fourth is for more condiments and apple sauce
  • The fifth is for water bottles

The last thing is keeping my fridge clean… I will usually clean the shelves and drawers every two weeks when it’s time to go to the grocery store and things are pretty empty.  I just use some antibacterial Clorox wipes. 
Like I said this is a fairly easy task to keep things organized and I think that’s why it’s one of the only things in my home that stays that way!  Hopefully this might help you to organize your refrigerator which could in turn help you from wasting food and save you some time in preparing dinners or packing lunches!  

(Update!!!! Brittany had her baby boy yesterday!!)