Wednesday, June 28, 2017

Thankful List ~ January through June 2017

January through June Thankful List

Wow, how has it been six months since I wrote out a thankful list?  Time goes much too quickly these days.

Addilyn, Josiah, Elias, and Aubri growing, learning, and developing.  Addilyn’s reading has taken off and she not only is reading chapter books but also reading aloud to Josiah and Eli.  She is so helpful with Aubri, loves crafting, and helping in the kitchen. She is exceptionally nurturing and self-sufficient.  Josiah grew up overnight.  Although still a sweet rambunctious little boy, he has matured so much over the past six months.  He is much more focused during lessons, has become a big helper, and is more willing to try new things.  Elias’ vocabulary has grown tremendously and he rarely stops talking.  He is fearless, stubborn, and makes sure to get his own way.  Aubri is still the “perfect baby.”  She eats and sleeps well.  She is rolling over and sitting up but has yet to crawl (thank goodness).  Recently she started babbling “mama” but I’m not completely convinced it actually means mama.

Here is a bullet point list of just a few other things we are incredibly thankful for over the past 6 months.

·      Friendships at Calvary:   Our community group!  Trip and Lisa Rodgers and how they absolutely love our children and serve sacrificially.  The CBC prayer ministry and friendships with Anita, Lisa, and Brenda.  The passion and zeal of the youth.
·      North Carolina Wesleyan College International Student Ministry:  I was so thankful for Katherine inviting me to be a part of the ministry, for Dawn and Donna welcoming me.  I enjoyed planning and hosting the Calvary Board Game Night, the community group cookout, an Easter party, going to the events on campus like the International Festival and Taste the Nations lunches.
·      Homeschool:  Josiah started understanding reading and math concepts, which was a huge highlight for the semester.  We took lot of fun field trips as a family and with Shepherd’s Co-Op.  Addi and Josiah were also able to participate in their very first craft fair. I thoroughly enjoyed spending more time with other homeschool moms this semester.  Addi and Josiah both did basketball.  We found an affordable dance class for Addi and in the spring she played soccer again while Josiah tried out baseball for the first time.
·      My dental work:  We were finally in a place where we could take care of all my dental work that needed to be done.  Dr. Gaskins was so generous with his time and care for me.  I also had oral surgery and then I began Invisalign.

·     Transitions:  A series of events led to Josh and I evaluating God’s call for our future.  We decided to relocate to Charlotte to help with the planning of a future church plant.  The Lord allowed all the details to fall into place with the selling of our house very quickly.  God provided a place for us to live in Charlotte and our new community group welcomed us with eagerness.  We are still waiting for the Lord to provide a new job for Josh but we are trusting in faith, as He has provided everything else in a remarkable way.

Wednesday, January 11, 2017

Thankful List ~ December 2016

December 2016 Thankful List

Well we are at the end of another year and able to express yet again so many things we are thankful for.  I’m thankful that my mom got to visit again at the beginning of the month.  The kids had fun going fishing with her and spending an afternoon at Chuckie Cheese playing games with her. 

I am thankful for my husband and how much he serves and loves our family.  Even with having a newborn he has continued to find a way to help me have an hour to myself occasionally so that I can have an uninterrupted quiet time or work on a project that makes me feel accomplished.

We were able to go visit family in GA the week before Christmas.  It was wonderful to see everyone. It was the first time in several years that we were able to get together with all of Josh’s immediate family at one time.  It was a very sweet time and we are so glad that Josh’s mom is doing a bit better.  Susu took Addilyn to the American Doll store to eat and to get her hair done. My dad took Josh and I to see the new Star Wars (Rogue One) movie.   And, my mom’s side of the family had their huge get together.  Unfortunately, Addi and Josiah got the stomach bug and were throwing up for part of it, but fortunately it didn’t last long.

I am thankful for my kids who keep me busy and bring me so much joy.  Addi has become such a big girl.  She helps with everything including cooking, cleaning, and caring for her siblings.  Addi was also in the Calvary Christmas production.  This year she was a sand princess.”   I thought she was adorable.  She knew every line of every person for the entire play. Josiah is becoming more helpful as he is getting older too.  Josiah has been doing great with learning how to read and he is catching on to some math concepts we’ve been working on for awhile.  Eli is so funny.  He is always saying something or doing something to make us laugh. I turned around one day and he was in Aubri’s baby swing just having a good old time.  He has recently become completely obsessed with all things “Tar Warrrrs” (Star Wars).  In fact, he will sing both the basic Star Wars song and the Darth Vader song. And of course, sweet baby Aubri is an absolute joy.  She is such a good baby.  She sleeps well and nurses great.  She started giving us really big smiles this month, which just melt my heart. We are all so thankful for her and how she has already depended our family’s love for one another.

Monday, December 5, 2016

Thankful List ~ November 2016

I have been so very thankful this month for how God has blessed out family.  My husband is more amazing than I can ever describe.  We have four healthy, smart, and beautiful children.  Addi, Josiah, and Eli all have welcomed Aubri and showered her with affection.  They actually have been very helpful!  Eli was not too aware of her the first week or two but by the end of the month he started saying “baby” or “Ahhh-beee” while gently patting her head.  It’s been very sweet to see how much they love her already!  She is doing great.  She sleeps a ton and eats really well.  I couldn’t ask for anything more.

Despite having a newborn we’ve still had a lot going on.  Between school, church, visitors, and other random events, life has been quite busy.  We’ve been so incredibly blessed by many different people bringing us meals or offering to help entertain the “big kids.”    So, yet again, another month that we have a TON to be thankful for.

Friday, November 18, 2016

Aubrielle Elyse Kelly

Four or five days before Aubri was born I began having Braxton Hicks each evening.  The contractions would last 5-6 hours but never get closer than 7-8 minutes apart. Sunday our whole family, including my mom, went to Calvary’s fall festival.  I began having contractions while we were there but they were inconsistent.

Around 9:00 pm I started timing the contractions because they got a bit stronger.  However, I was very skeptical that true labor was beginning because of the Braxton Hicks I’d had every other night.  Around 10:30 Josh went and got our toiletry bag and told me to “get in the van.”  He was very adamant that he had one job, to get me to the hospital without having the baby in the van and he wanted to do his part well.

We arrived at Rex at 11:45 p.m. and checked into triage.  Upon the initial check the doctor said I was only 3.5cm dilated and that I could not be admitted yet.  The same thing happened with Eli so I asked permission to start walking.  The doctor said that after one hour he would check me again.

At 12:30 a.m. I started speed walking the halls of the hospital.  I’m so thankful for my husband because although I was in pain from the contractions and uncomfortability, he was being his normal self and making me smile and laugh.  At one point he started making fun of me because my 2nd hospital gown (the one that covered my bottom) was flying like a cape behind me because we were walking so fast.  He pulled out his phone and started trying to video me.  I was laughing so hard that I could not tell if I had peed on myself or if my water had broken.  At another point, one of the women on the cleaning crew stopped to tell us she’d seen a lot of pregnant women walking the halls trying to induce labor but we were by far the fastest walkers she’d ever seen.  We just laughed and kept going.

At 1:30 a.m. the nurse ran a test and confirmed that my water was slowly leaking (and that I hadn’t just peed on myself). The doctor came in, checked me and was surprised that I had progressed to 5cm.

At 1:50 a.m. we were admitted to room 240.  I took a quick shower because I literally had been sweating we were walking so quickly.  The nurse went ahead and prepped me for an IV.

By 3:00 a.m. my contractions were 3 minutes apart.  At 3:30 a.m. the doctor confirmed I was 7cm dilated.  We were excited things were progressing pretty quickly.  In comparison to other labors this one was going really well.  The contractions we not as horribly strong as they had been in the past but I certainly had to concentrate a lot more.  The nurse recommended that if I wanted to get an epidural, now was the time.

At 3:45 a.m. I requested Staidol.  It always amazes me how quickly that stuff takes effect.  All I remember is Josh and the nurse making fun of me.   Soon after I got good and loopy, the anesthesiologist came in to give me the epidural.  He was an extremely young looking guy but he did an amazing job.   It was as painless as it can be and it took effect quickly in the exact right spots.   Funny enough I always have more anxiety over the epidural than any other part of labor and delivery so I was glad that everything went well.  By this point I was very relaxed.  We turned out the lights and I tried to rest as much as I could.  I was thankful Josh was able to get a couple hours of sleep.

Around 5:45 I told the nurse that I thought labor would progress quicker if the doctor would go ahead and break my water.  So, around 6:00 a.m. the doctor came in, told me I was still only at 7 cm, and then broke my water.  She left but the nurse stayed with me.  She sat down and we chitchatted for about 25 minutes until she said she had to go complete her paper work before getting off at 7:00 a.m. 

Not two minutes after she left I started to feel the urge to push.  So, around 6:30 I woke up Josh, paged the nurse, and asked her to get the doctor.  The nurse came in and began prepping the room for delivery; however, the doctor had just gone in with another woman who was delivering at the same time.  She tried to tell Josh to keep my legs closed and to not allow me to push.  I told her “That’s not how it works.”  LOL Fortunately, our nurse was able to find another doctor who had happened to show up early for his 7:00 shift.  The second he walked in the room and put on his scrubs I announced to everyone I was pushing on the next contraction.

At 6:46 a.m. on October 31st 2016 sweet baby Aubrielle Elyse Kelly was born!  I was thrilled to finally have her in my arms.  There is nothing like holding your newborn in your arms.  I can’t believe the Lord has given me that blessing and joy four times now!  How amazing.  Soon after Josh cut the umbilical cord and she was wiped off, I was able to try nursing her.  She didn’t latch immediately but I just enjoyed taking in her beautiful chubby cheeks.  She looked so tiny and yet so big for a newborn.  We were amazed at all of her long black hair!

At 7:45 a.m. she was given a bath and her initial shots.  We were told that she weighed 8 pounds and 7 ounces and was 21 inches long.  We began sending out text messages to friends and family announcing our great news!

Around 9:30 am we were moved to room 211.  Once we got settled I tried nursing again and she took quickly.  I was so encouraged.   We ordered breakfast and made arrangements for my mom to bring Addilyn, Josiah, and Eli to come visit. 

Others that came to visit during out hospital stay included, Becca, Rion and Kristen, Joy and her kids, Sarah, Mara, and Susu.

We got to take Aubri home the morning of Wednesday, November 2nd!!!

Wednesday, November 16, 2016

Thankful List ~ October 2016

October Thankful List

Addilyn and Josiah are growing up too fast.  They are doing really well in school.  Addilyn is great with math, her phonics rules, and spelling.  She has started reading really well and I’m delighted that she is gaining confidence.  Josiah is also doing great with reading.  He is starting to sound out all sorts of stuff!  They have really gotten into a routine with schoolwork and many times can work independently.  Both of them did amazing in soccer this season too.  We were blessed to have two really great coaches.

Eli is growing and changing so much.  He has started saying all sorts of new words and phrases.  He’s become quite the parrot and will repeat just about anything.  My favorite things he’s said this month is, “yee haw” when he was rocking on his horse.  I also see him using his imagination much more; making sounds when he is playing with cars and trucks as well as making action figures interact with one another.  More than anything, he has made it apparent how rough and tough he is.  He loves wrestling, jumping or doing flips on the trampoline, swinging on the big boy swing, and jumping off of stuff (namely the couch).  He climbs on everything especially the shoe shelf, kitchen counters, and I even found him on top of the stove at one point.

I was very excited to start a new medicine to increase my iron.  It helped my energy level so much.  This allowed me to get a few big projects finished that I had hoped to get done before baby girl arrived.  These included switching the kid’s bedrooms around, finish making the t-shirt quilt for a family friend, and making our family Halloween costumes (Mario Kart).  In addition, my mom came up for a little over a week and helped out around the house and with the kids.  She was such a blessing.

Hurricane Matthew hit the east coast this month and flooded much of Rocky Mount.  We were so thankful that our home/property did not receive any damage.  In fact, we never even lost power.  In a weird sort of way it was a blessing to have several of our normal commitments get cancelled so that we had more time to rest and prepare for the arrival of baby girl.

We saw a lot of grace this month in establishing deeper friendships with people in Rocky Mount.  I was able to have lunch/dinner/coffee with a couple different women.  We had a family from our small group come cheer on the kids at a soccer game.  My Sunday school class through us a baby shower.  And we were able to celebrate several different friend’s birthdays by going to different parties.  It has been a blessing to feel more connected!

Calvary hosted its annual fall festival but this year they decided to do a trunk or treat.  It went really well and the gospel was shared with several hundred parents and children! Our kids had a great time!

And, the most exciting news and greatest blessing of the month is the birth of our sweet Aubrielle Elyse Kelly!  Born on October 31st at 6:46 a.m.  It was a quick labor.  She was perfectly healthy and we were overjoyed to finally hold her in our arms!