3.22.2011

EIGHT YEARS

That's how long Nate and I have been together as of today.

A mutual friend introduced us not once but twice. It didn't take when I was 15, but it sure did when I was 20! I was attending Ecola Bible School at the time, over in Cannon Beach, Oregon. It was March 2003 and I was facing the tail-end of my year at the beach.

This man came to meet me in Pioneer Square (downtown Portland). Our eyes connected and I had this deep, deep feeling that something remarkable was about to happen. Did I throw my hands up in exasperation at the "terrible" timing? Why, yes I did. Did I try to discourage him with every means known to woman? Yes. Yes I did. He laughed at my distasteful clothing and obvious side-stepping when he'd go in for a hug. He persisted. He pursued. All the way to Canada and back.

We were married in July 2005, on the twenty-second (his favorite number and exactly six months after his birthday, so he'd never ever have an excuse for forgetting our anniversary).

This is the first place we lived, located in Tigard. Our apartment was on the second level. It was a wonderful first home (although I'm still convinced that the guy who lived above us had an uncanny sense of my movements - when I'd move from the living room to our bedroom, he would too, and I knew this because I could hear him walking around).

 We moved from the apartment to this huge house. It was so so big for the two of us, so we added a cat.


In July 2007 we found out that we were pregnant. And then we celebrated our two year anniversary with a trip to California!

In September this happened.



And then we began to heal. Nathaniel's loss brought a huge change in our relationship. We connected in a deep way, like never before.



The following St. Patrick's Day...pregnant again! On November 22nd (we have a date-theme) we added this little person to our family.

Shortly after having Hazel Elaine, we moved here.

Hazel blossomed and grew. At five months she was a chunky monkey.


Just after she turned one, we found out we were pregnant with another little girl. 


Nate worked and worked and worked on the house while I nested. It ended up looking like this after he painted the outside. And boy was he committed to making that old house glow! It was beautiful by the time he pronounced it done.


Piper Sue joined our family in August 2010. Hazel was 20.5 months old at the time.


Each time we've had a baby, Nate has blown me away with his tenderness and ingrained, instinctual fatherhood. He's amazing with our girls. Hazel talks about him all throughout every day: Where is Daddy? He's at work? When's he coming home? Will he read a book with me?

As my husband...I don't even know where to begin. He walked into Starbucks today to exchange keys with me and, when I saw him coming, my heart skipped a beat. He takes my breath away. He is kind, thoughtful, selfless, dedicated, consistent, encouraging, steady, and so good looking. You can't have him. He's mine.

After Piper's birth, we moved here. (What is it with having a brand new baby and then deciding to move? I'm over it!) The two hidden windows on the bottom left of the house belong to our great room.


I still love this picture of Piper. She's seven and a half months old now, but she looks pretty much the same. The stinker is refusing to grow even a smidge, although she does have two teeth now!


I turned 28 this last December, and Nate turned 31 in January. I love him. I love him. I love him. I am the most blessed woman in the entire world. God blessed me with this incredible man, allowing me to share a life together with him.


Eight years together already. Where has the time gone? Nate, I love you. You are the right man for me, and I am so lucky to have you in my life!

3.17.2011

Piper's Dedication

We had Piper dedicated at church this past Sunday, March 13th. It was a special, special day for us. Nathaniel was due on March 13, 2008. Since his passing, March has held a special place in my heart. We found out we were pregnant with Hazel on St. Patrick's Day 2008. She was dedicated the following March (she was just shy of 4 months at the time). Piper was dedicated on Nathaniel's missed due date. It was such a wonderful blessing!

Dad took the video posted way down below for us, so a huge thanks goes to him, otherwise we wouldn't have any picture documentation of the event. (Where the crap is my camera? Seriously. I've cleaned this great room through and through, several times over, and I have yet to find it. Or my Danskos. And that just makes me even more mad. I can't talk about it anymore.)


Following the service, friends and family joined us at Macaroni Grill at Bridgeport. We had such a fun time chatting with loved ones! Piper melted down (she'd missed two naps by this point), and Karen was so kind - she walked her around and around the restaurant until Piper Sue fell asleep on her shoulder. Grandmas are the best. Seriously.

We raced home after lunch to drop the girls off with Rick and Karen. (Again, grandparents rock.) Nate and I grabbed coats, boots, and umbrellas and fairly flew to the renovation show going on in Portland. Well, we didn't really fly. Nate has much more respect for the law than I do (when it comes to speed limits, that is), so he drove. We got there with half an hour left of the show. We were given tickets to get in, so it was extra fun, being free and all.


We got through it in 30 minutes. Not because we had to but because there wasn't anything there that actually interested us. It should be retitled "The Portland Hot Tub/Jacuzzi/Roofing/Welded Art/Mary Kay/Wine/Window Treatment Show." I think that suits what we saw very well.


After the show, Nate and I took a quick jaunt into downtown and saw my Starbucks manager's new store (11th and Couch). We swung over to Pioneer Square and tried the Clover version of Kona coffee at the Starbucks there. I wish I'd tried something like Pike's Place, so that I could have really tasted the difference in flavor. Ah well. It'll only take me two years to get Nate over there again.


After we had our coffee, Nate had the brilliant idea that we go to Academy Theater for a cheap movie. He called his mom and she said that was just fine. We saw "The Fighter," which I'd been avoiding watching. I'm not a huge fan of movies that deal with drug addiction and I can barely stomach boxing. Such a good combination for two actors I love. (Sarcasm galore right then.) Nate thought that when he suggested the movie he was a super cool husband: He wanted to see the movie but he was also willing to sacrifice my attention since I'm usually insanely distracted when Christian Bale is within sight.


I hurt Nate's hand watching the movie. I really enjoyed it when all is said and done, and only because it had a good ending. I love that they had a clip of the actual brothers interacting during the closing credits. Christian Bail nailed it. He played his role in perfect imitation of the real life guy. Amazing.


Back to my kid.


Piper's bum is finally healing. Wait, have I even mentioned this? (I'll answer that: No, because I'm a terrible blogger when it comes to consistency.)

She began teething, eating solids, and trying out a new diaper all on the same day. By the next afternoon, she had this ripping diaper rash. I broke out the big guns right away, my Bag Balm and Triple Paste. After using that for a week solid, I called the pediatrician's office because the rash was getting worse. It was developing into open sores that were oozing, and a rough patch that began within the bounds of her diaper started spreading outward, toward her thighs.

It was suggested that I try using Lotrimin AF for another few days to see if that would clear it up (and it would have if it had been a yeast infection). It slowed down the rash a little bit, but didn't put a stop to it. Things continued to slide steadily downhill.

I took her in to see Dr. Mooney a couple days later. The good doc took a swab of icky from one of the sores and then prescribed a topical antibiotic and extra strong hydrocortisone. I've been switching between the two with every diaper change since last Thursday and things are looking up! Her bum is greatly improved and she's no longer uncomfortable. We still have a little ways to go yet, but I'm hopeful. The lab returned a positive on a topical bacterial staff infection. And that's all I know. I have no idea where she got it, how she got it, what I did wrong, etcetera. I need to get ahold of Dr. Mooney to hear back on those finer details. For now, the topical creams are cleaning up the infection, so we're on the right path. We're not going to use an oral antibiotic unless things hit a stand-still.

Okay, Nate is drumming his fingers. Waiting for me to be finished with this blog so that we can relax before bedtime.

So enjoy the video!

I am so in love with my sweet little girl!



video

3.08.2011

I mark the passage of time by my shampoo bottle.

I've known this about myself for quite some time, but it's a little, uh, risky to tell everyone the truth.

I remember looking at the shampoo bottle when I was pregnant with Piper and thinking to myself, "Huh. She'll be here before I finish this bottle of shampoo." My next thought was wondering what would happen during the "life" of the next bottle of shampoo.

Little did I know that we'd be moving. Into a basement.

I caught myself thinking along the same lines today. I just started another bottle about a week ago and I found myself wondering this afternoon if we'd been in the new house by the time I have to switch out bottles.

I won't risk our friendship by telling you more of my secrets.

3.06.2011

I feel like I'm going backward.

With these last three posts, I feel totally out of order in everything. I should have thought harder and put them up with some sort of timeline awareness.

Rae Ann moved into her little house this last Fall (after visiting Nathaniel's gravesite but before out-of-town family came for a visit). These are pictures from when Mom, the girls, and I visited her LittleTinyComfortableEmbracing home!

Her little house is on the corner of two little residential streets, and across the road from a sizable park.


Mom drove the girls and I in her truck to pick up a bunch of boxes that Rae Ann had just emptied. My packing adventure was just beginning so I put her, what, already very used, cross-country traveling boxes back to use.


I know I haven't posted any pictures of our house after the big paint job, but this is as good as you'll get. For some reason, all the pictures I took of the finished paint job have vanished into the recesses of Nate's computer. I can't find them to save my life. It sure looks good, though, huh? Just go here if you need a reminder of what it looked like once not too long ago.


I love this shot of Hazel. She stood in the front door and watched Tutu drive away after we unloaded all the boxes I had picked up at Rae Ann's house.


And here are the boxes. I thought, "Well, that's enough." Not so. I started back at Starbucks within a month of picking up these boxes from Rae Ann. Every time we had a large order delivered, I would snag as many boxes as could fit in my car broken down. Oh, and Leslie's mom brought a bunch from her work. I get laughed at still for my adult diaper boxes from Laura...Pretty much everyone who sees them want to sneak a peek inside to see what's in the box.


And this was the start to my pile. Pretty soon filled boxes covered the blue couch and took over the dining room.


Hazel found a blue bunny in box of toys I had packed up. She was thrilled. She never looked at it twice when it was in her play room, but suddenly it became "off limits" and so, by default, it was the best toy in the house.


Hazel wanted in the kitchen. For what specifically, I'm not sure, but probably just to wreck some havoc. I miss my kitchen. I miss my house. And I'm sure you're tired of hearing that.


Piper in her swing! I have fond memories of sticking her in the swing while I watched Dr. Quinn episodes back-to-back-to-back. I loved relaxing in the playroom, picking up all the toys and sitting down with my lunch while Hazel napped. As cold as that room could get with the huge windows, I always loved the view, and I could hold the cold at bay with a fire in the fireplace. It was such a cozy room.


Okay, so that gives you a view of another day in our lives, something that happened back in early October. What a beautiful month that was! I miss the Fall and now I'm definitely looking forward to Spring (skip Summer) and then Fall again! Where will we be in just a few months? Still here probably, in Nate's parents' basement, but I'm praying for another move. Can you believe it? I'm pretty crazy to wish for a move.

3.04.2011

September 28, 2010

It's interesting me that we passed by the 28th of September again. Three years. We made our family visit to Nathaniel's gravesite, but Hazel fell asleep in her carseat. It was a tough few days, with unexpected bouts of emotion that had a tendency to spring without much intro.

I didn't take our usual picture of the gravestone. How many times does it change once it's laid in the ground? The grass might be different but that's it.

I did take pictures of the family, though. Is it weird to say we celebrated our life as a family as we visited Nathaniel at his gravesite? Piper was pretty new to our little unit and we felt so blessed by her health and very presence in our lives.


Whenever we visit the cemetery, we think back on our birth experiences and what each has meant to us/how it has impacted our lives and our marriage. Nathaniel's sucked but it has an incredible, God-given glow around it when I think about it; Hazel's just sucked and following it I had two bad birth experiences I had to grieve through before Piper was born. Piper's delivery was very planned, but that didn't cut the anxiety I experienced over the unknown.

When we returned from the hospital following Nathaniel's birth, we were covered in love. I'll never, ever forget that. We were enveloped in love from so many friends and family who rallied around us. Meals were delivered, flowers were sent, out-of-town family flew in or drove to be with us for the funeral. Nate and I were cocooned in our home, swimming in cards of sympathy, humor, and love. I've just used the word "love" an incredible number of times in a very short paragraph, but that's definitely the defining emotion attached to our hilltop experience with Nathaniel's death and birth.

And then I became pregnant with Hazel a few months later. I was put on bedrest at 27 weeks. Again family and friends rallied. We were covered in prayer and Hazel was delivered a day after her due date via c-section after a ridiculous labor. I felt like a failure twice over.

But here she is! My healthy, happy kiddo! As Piper's delivery crept closer and closer I realized I had to seriously deal with some of my wayward thinking regarding my previous two deliveries.


By the time Piper made her appearance (planned as it was), I had recovered my focus and right-thinking. And I knew it. All along I knew it: When we found out we were pregnant with her, we were just entering the most difficult period of our lives. I had this sneaking suspicion that by the time I finally had her, God would be doing something very different in our lives.

That's part of the reason why I picked her name. Piper refers to piping, and that made me think of music and celebration and worshiping and thanking God for...well, everything. And I feel so right about that. I feel like so much has changed since Piper's birth. I feel like some sort of corner has been turned. Not that we're clear of the woods quite yet, but I feel like God is so clear in front of me. He has this incredible plan and I have the privilege of seeing it unfolding right before my very eyes. Maybe His gift (couple with a health Piper being born) was to bring some clarity to my eyes. I feel as though I can see so much more when I examine my surroundings.

My kids are all gifts. They blow my mind. It's mind-blowing how much the girls have changed since these pictures were taken. I felt as though it took for.ev.er for Hazel to hit six months, but time is flying with Piper Sue.

So this last year, as we revisited our experience with Nathaniel, Nate and I couldn't help but feel lucky. And so very blessed.

3.03.2011

October 2010

This video is from early October, making Piper about two months old. I have a little song I sing to her and she started responding to it very, very early on. Hazel passes through the video on her way toward bed. She's saying good-night to everyone in the house.

video

Karen's brother Keith was visiting Oregon with his wife, Georgia, and son, Nick. They're from Kentucky and it's been several years since we last saw them. We were over pretty much every night they were in town - it was so good to see them again! To top it off, Grandma and Grandpa Moser came up from California. Rick and Karen had a very full house for awhile. (I should point out that we hadn't moved in yet. We hadn't even talked about it at this point.)

I have a few pictures from one of our family dinners.








We have no idea when we'll have the opportunity to see those guys again. It's a long trip from Kentucky! Hazel still remembers their names, though. She often brings up Uncle Keef, Aunt Georgia, and Nick, along with Gweat-Gwahma and Gweat-Gwahmpa Mosher.

I'm playing a little blogging catch-up! Hope you don't mind.