Our Family

Our Family

Thursday, March 26, 2015

New website!

I moved to a new site. http://www.jessicaseay.wordpress.com

Wednesday, February 18, 2015

February: 22 Months & 3 Months

So, I'm going to just say it how it is. Of course of piece of blogging for me is part of a bigger dream. Not so secretly I hope to one day have a post thats bold enough, hipster enough, sarcastic enough to make it big enough to be featured on the huffington post or be featured in a number one spot in a search on Pintrest.

It's safe to say that a tension exists between that piece & just wanting to share me and my family. So my confession to you all is just that and it's likely that that tension will always be present, but I'm batteling it because somewhere I feel like just getting to offer myself and my heart is enough.

I'm struck this month by the courage Jesus is giving me. Fear and insecurity have lived so long underneath a mask of performance.  Exposing and facing those things have forced me to confront the question of am I enough, Jesus? Its bringing me down a path that feels like such death. Feeling vulnerable. Feeling awkward. Feeling ehhh. HUMAN.

Man, I hate it. But I have hope that the walls of self-reliance and pride that I have built up, can be not only torn down, but redeemed by Jesus.

I'm finding he is producing a softness within. Even though the end goal isn't perfection, I'm finding that where there was once anger, there is sometimes a gentleness.

Example, Today's Victory. Please note that evidence of change isn't because I neccesarily didn't freak out.

Both the kids were up on and off every hour between midnight and 6.
Ellie is sick with a nasty cold, poor honey.
Rand left for work earlier then normal and we didn't get time to connect in the morning like we normally do.
Ellie's nose was a fountain and she needed a lot of extra loving.
Lunch came... and went.
Reid did happen to sleep for a 3 hour chunk (by the literal grace of God)
Rand came home just long enough for me to get to the bank before leaving for his bball game.
I was left to finish up supper, feed myself, and the kiddos, and get them to bed.

Would've shut down internally. Gone through the motions of putting the kiddos down while replaying the zillion reasons why I was a victim and Rand was the cause of this.

I entered it all.
I felt sad. Sad that his game was earlier and we didn't get to enjoy supper together or have a team mate in the night time routine.
I allowed myself to stay present with my feelings and found myself sturdier then I expected. While I would've liked a team mate, I felt like okay in the process of flying solo and even enjoyed the sweet snuggles before bed.
I got to speak. I told Rand why I felt sad instead of silently punishing him for his offenses.
I had self care.
Kombucha. Popcorn. Chocolate.  Law and Order SVU. Blogging.

I would call that process a victory. But I want my heart to know that even if it would've looked like even messier that that would have been okay too. I guess, it just felt good to be in a place where I got to enjoy that process. I think that was the invitation I was praying to get to see and accept today.

Another thing that struck me is how serious I can get.
I find that I go into "Mom" mode pretty quickly. Now there is nothing wrong with guiding and teaching a child, but I find that I can get caught into an unequal power "bossy" or "queen bee" mode with Ellie pretty quickly.
I long to be in a place where I can more fluidly fluctuate between "mom" mode and just being me. I mean it is chaos, a lot, so it would make sense that I would put on Mom mode to create a self-protective allusion of sanity. But I don't want to wear that mask either.
And the truth is, the control I feel is an allusion that keeps me safe, but robs me of the ability to get to be present with the things I dismiss; the diapers, naps, potty training, meal times, coloring, and naps.
The truth is somewhere admist those things is an invitation too. An invitation to enjoy my precious babies. An invitation to be me and have that be enough too.
And I want to offer that to my kids.
It makes me sad that often, they spend their days with someone who sometimes feels like she is just trying to keep her head above water. I long to enjoy them in the way they were intended to be enjoyed. It makes me tear up writing this. My heart breaks that often they aren't rejoiced in and celebrated for their preciousness in all aspects of who they are.

So thats that.

After her doctors trip. 
Earlier this week my team mate to this life thing, Rand, spoke something that really struck me. I dubbed it our families vision. In my own words, he spoke about hoping to create a place (our family unit) that is sturdy enough to handle one another. Where we all can go out and freely "be" who we are.

AMEN TO THAT. Can I just say how much I love that man and his strength?

Other big things this month:

Ellie had her first big trip to the doctor. She was "helping" Rand unload the dishwasher before work and slipped while holding a plate and cut her hand. She had a two inch gash near her left thumb and we would've had an ER trip, but our doctor had an opening right away. She was such a brave girl! The actual fall freaked her out, but the gash didn't seem to bother her. I was grateful for her reaction and the peace that I felt to be able to do just the next right thing.

Wrapped up in a blanket like "Auntie Alys"
Our hair stylist, toolman, boxer. 

Ellie pooped in the Tub. AND THE TUB WAS HAVING DRAIN TROUBLE BECAUSE A RAG HAD GOTTEN SUCKED DOWN IT. it was not fun, as you can imagine.

Whenever Ellie gets excited she sort or struts around and says dah dah and points to thing, eager to invite you into her world.

Ellie really likes to salt and pepper things. And really likes soup.

Reid. Well I still feel like I am just starting to get to know the kiddo.

He can hold his head up pretty well now when you hold him and is starting to grab at things.

He still seems to have a lot of gas, still. I am trying to take more dairy out and probiotics to help out a bit, which seems to be helping some. But typically it just makes for a babe that likes to be held in very specific positions and almost never the snuggly, nestled into the crook of your elbow type of way.

The kid can be as stiff as a board some times, but I guess it makes for excellent posture. During the superbowl, his soon-to-be Auntie Cor was lifting him up and he was straight planking.

He has dimples that are just the cutest.

Ellie was helping him clap the other day. She seems to have more of an interest in him.

Love this guy. 

This cardigan & V Neck. Oh man. 

What a typical day looks like...
We hosted a few little shin digs. Lately, I have had a taste back for being in the kitchen.  It's led me to get excited about trying out new meals and healthy twists to things. Eating together with others feels biblical. And my heart "runeth over" when there is good food and good people, so thats what we have been doing.

Rand turned 25. We ate strawberry cake and had spegettie carbonara per his request.

I started working a saterday shift back at Amazing Grains. I really enjoy the culture there and have enjoyed getting some time away.

I had surgery to repair a tear that hadn't healed properly after our home birth. Lets just say a second episiotomy isn't ideal, but neither was the alternative.  Recovery has gone surprisingly well and I'm confident I will be pain free soon. Not being able to exercise this last week hasn't been very fun, though, but I'm excited to be able to get back to it and do all the jumping and stretching I want again.

Something about training for something has been on my mind lately. Anyone need a training partner for something? The fargo marathon? A triatholon? Starting a summer adult soccer league? But seriously on all of those. Especially the adult summer league. The summer before Ellie was born I started one through the Grand Forks Park district with the help of a few folks and it was really fun!

So thats that.

Wednesday, January 28, 2015

21 Months // 10 Weeks

Its hard for me to believe or remember life before our family of 4 right now. It is all starting to feel so normal to me.

My favorite memory from this month took place at Oh For Heaven's Cakes, in town. I wanted to get out with the kiddos and so showed up to this event. Once I got there I realized it was an event hosted by a specific group that I am not a part of.


Ellie wasn't all too interested in watching them decorate so we toddled about the store. I went to tend to Reid, who had started screaming and Ellie darted out the store and into the mall hallway.
The dreaded scenario was happening.


So, like any good mother would do, I left my infant child alone with a group of mother's I had never met to chase down my daughter who was delighted at the game we were playing.
After wrangling her, I stumbled back in to start to take very hungry Reid out of his car seat, only to glance up and see Ellie dart out again.
Love his face!
In the end, Reid enjoyed his meal, I got to enjoy and experience the help of a few other understanding mothers, and Ellie, well she enjoyed her game, as well as a delicious cupcake and handful of free cookie samples.
I was struck by my growth here. I did it! I was okay. Ellie and Reid were okay. And I was able to not only accept help, but enjoy it and not feel judged.
AND I had only sweated on my nose a little. (My not so secretive typical anxious reaction I can have)

Our little guy is so precious. Were figuring out life together. His schedule seems to be naturally unfolding and aligning to Ellies. I feel really happy about this one.

He is around 13 lbs now and 25in.

He sleeps in his room and typical is starting to look like sleeping for 6 hour chunks at night. PRAISE THE LORD!

He has two of the most precious dimples on his cheeks.

Often, people will ask who he looks more like or what Ellie thinks of him.

First smile!
I really don't know! And peoples responses have been everything from he looks exactly like Rand to he looks exactly like you. So thats no help. What I do know is he has very dainty and small features. His cheeks are loads smaller then Ellies were at her age. His hair is lighter and he doesn't have much. He seems to have Rand's ears and my eyes.

He likes to smile and coo.

His favorite spot in the house is his diaper changing station. If he's having a hard time, 99% of the time that will cheer him up.
Scheels one morning. 

Ellie is such a little girl now. I still call her bug, short for love bug.

She really gets into coloring at her little table Rand built her. She likes to invite you into it, but typically tells you what colors you can use and when you can use them. She recognizes the color blue, I think it may be her favorite.

She loves her Elsa dress and is incredibly proud of it. She loves to show it to people when she is in it and gets sad when she has to take it off.

Her hair is getting so long!
She really likes to invite you into things.

She is down to one nap a day.

She peed on the big potty for the first time this month! We haven't started potty training yet, but I think this one is right around the corner.

She is starting to "read" books by herself.

We have started going to more play dates and I notice that, in large groups, it takes a bit for her to feel comfortable. She sort of scopes things out before she starts to engage.

She is becoming more and more independent and can fairly easily entertain herself.

Rand taught her to touch Reid's nose and go "boop". She really enjoys doing it to Rand.

Her word of choice when she is excited it "hi". She loves to come into our room in the morning and shout Hi! Hi! Hi!

Were on day 3 of cold turkey for the pacifier!

Packed and loaded van! 
We haven't left Grand Forks in the past 6 months and took our first trip as a family of 4 to the Twin Cities for a long weekend. Our van is freaking heavenly for traveling. We savored sweet time. The kids got to spend a lot of time with my parents and Rand and I got to enjoy sweet and precious time together. My hands down favorite memory of the weekend was going on a run around the town I grew up in with him and sharing my memories of growing up there. Our very first run together. It was heavenly. I also enjoyed sweet time with a few precious friends and time with some extended family. Outside of that trip, things are starting to feel pretty normal. Rand has been working around 50 hours per week, balancing his day job and work for his business. I started back on Saturdays at Amazing Grains and really enjoy the treat it is to get some time with limited distraction. Also, ITS JANUARY and we have enjoyed a handful of walks OUTSIDE. What a treat the nice weather has been. I've also continued to try lots of different classes at Choice and the YMCA. My current favorites are a spinning class, kickboxing, Yoga, and Nubody. Self care is ever so important!

I think this second go at being a mom has allowed me to feel so much more hopeful. We are doing it! We are alive, the kids are alive, and I'm not sure I have ever felt more in love with the man who is by my side. If this paints any sort of picture of us having our lives pretty, orderly, and wrapped in a pink frilly bow, well, that is far from true.
But, admist the chaos I feel this taste of hope.
I know my God has us. Not in a silencing my soul and feelings kind of way, but The Guy really has us. I trust him and from that place I'm learning to trust and rely on my husband, and other people too. It's really this neat thing. I feel like I am going into battle each day. Against myself, mainly, but I'm starting to feel like I have warriors fighting before me and alongside me instead of more obstacles. He is transforming me. My heart. My desires. My love. My relationships.

Oh, PS, I wrote some about my homebirth story, but if anyone is every interested, intrigued or would like to hear more, feel free to ask!

Monday, December 29, 2014

20 Months & 6 Weeks

Exhibit A.
I'm sipping on starbucks. Snuggled into my new eddie bauer funnel neck hoodie. Loving the jangle of my new bracelet from my mom clanking against my shiny watch.

OH. And my kids are peacefully resting

I'm still gawking over our new used Mini Van and proud of officially becoming new members of the mini van family status.

I feel blown away that my brother in law (randomly) bought us a new washer and that myself, and my family, now have clean socks and undies.

Surprisingly, I feel grateful that this season of life means that finances are typically pretty tight. I'm tasting the sweetness and getting to experience new depths of trusting. I'm getting to see, slash being forced to see, God provide in ways that aren't tainted by my own manipulation and control.

I'm not BSing you when I say that reflecting on God's provision leaves me sort of in awe, gawking, really.

His goodness truly doesn't make sense to me, most often, but parts of my heart are really starting to believe his word is true and he is who he says he is.

I'm starting to not feel as freaked by the lack of sleep, big medical bill(s), new unknown realm of parenting, imperfect marriage, and mess of toys.
Yes, marriage and toys are categorically next to each other there.
A lot of my life feels out of place and a lot of times I frantically spin to get it all back together. Really, I feel like the spinning is more of the norm than not.
Normal is sort of emmerging, yes.  Also rising up is something small, that believes that admists it I will be okay and am okay, but not because everything is okay.

And then, whoosh, something else swoops in that forces me to face an even deeper meaning of all that.

Eh. Maybe this idea of "whats for supper" really is starting to make sense.

Okay. My babe is already 6 weeks old. I feel like I am just gettting to start enjoying him. He has not been the happiest of babies this past month and a half. That coupled with trying to give to both him and a full fledged toddler, and it's been surprisingly difficult to bond and feel close to him. That and working through the PTSD of having him emerge, unmedicated, from my body. But holy, the longest six weeks of our lives have really flown by.

He loves physical touch. Being held. Kissed. Having his fingers held.

He snorts. So much. Like he sounds like a pig on the farm, snorts.

He will randomly stick up a hand when he is laying down and hold it there.

He wiggles, a lot.

My favorite picture of him. This is totally "his look" 
He gets worn in the Moby frequently by dad and sometimes mom.

He is a healthy little guy- gaining weight, doing an awesome job nursing and is quite good at expressing his voice.

Infants have a startle reflex. One day Kia was barking at the ghosts outside. Every bark, Reid would throw up his hands, startled. By the time he would put them down, Kia would bark and again and he would throw them up. It was quite funny.

Ellie seriously looks like a little girl. I feel like I am going to be dropping her off at Kindergarten by my next blink.

She loves to say:
 Nuh-nigh (Good Night)
Mimi and Bapa (Grandma and Grandpa Seay)
Da (every object on planet earth)
The noises for cow and horse
Ap-pull (apple)
MO (more)
beas (please)
potco (popcorn)
And is learning to put two words together.
Love's elsa and this dress. 

She understands so much and it is crazy to think we will be having conversations soon.

She is still off the charts in her hight.
She insisted on this hat at breakfast. 

Her favorite foods are apples and popcorn.

She loves Daniel Tiger, Frozen and Tangled.

She loves to invite you to do things and will tap the spot next to her if she wants you to join.

Before Rand puts her to bed she will give me a kiss and tap heads with Reid.

She has gotten so good at playing by herself and with Kia while I am with Reid. It is such a treat to watch her become independent and to get some time with my babe and know she won't fall down the stairs if I am not there. 

Two stories this month.
I let her hold my face lotion and I came out to her having opened the jar and her having put all of the lotion in her hair. She was litterally brushing it in. We went straight to the bath. After her hair dried it was still pretty oily. I twisted her pony upward and it stayed put.

She also peed on the potty!

Lotion in her hair. EEK!
This month has felt crazy in some ways. We are starting to adjust to normal as a family of 4. We moved our TV downstairs and did some rearranging in our house and are now able to use both the up and down. It leaves me feeling a lot less confined and I have also enjoyed having the upstairs be more of a relational reprieve and the downstairs a place to be both messy and creative.

Photo at our Christmas Party. Oh the Chaos. 
The holidays were fun. Rand and I both finished up the classes we were taking at UND. I just have my internship left! Kia ate about 1/12 of our ornaments and chewed on a few presents. Ellie took delight in her kitchen set and Rand and I are proud new owners of coats. We enjoyed Christmas Eve as a family and spent Christmas day with Rand's parents, sister, and my parents. It was really a sweet time. I re-learned to sew and enjoyed fixing our curtains and finishing a few pillowcases. I also have enjoyed re-exploring classes at the gym like spinning, yoga, pilates, and PiYo (I literally felt like a little ballerina this one!).

more pictures to come next nap time. Cheers.

Wednesday, December 3, 2014

Family of Four.

So we had another child on November 13th at 4:45. Reid Stephen.
Reid Stephen. 
He weighed in at 7lbs 5oz and was 21.5 inches long. I don't really have the energy to write all I would like about our birth. I'll stick to a sarcastic summary.

It hurt like hell. 
It was intense and fast. Contractions were consistent from 6pm Wednesday night but things didn't get unbearable until 1pm that day. 
Unbearable means on the floor feeling the most intense pressure in your bottom half that you have ever felt. 
It was in our living room, in a tub, so yes at home. 
The moments my eyes were open I was staring at Ellie's farm set. 
At 3:19 I looked at my watch and was desperate to be rescued. I had no idea how I was going to make it because there was no other option at this point. My voice had brought me to this unmedicated place  and I was forced to fully face the painful reality of child trying to emerge from my body. 
I had a sevenish minute break before I transitioned to the pushing stage. 
The moment of bliss moms describe in pushing didn't really happen for me. Love my kid but meeting him was not what was getting me through.
 It was my only option to stop the pain. However when I pushed his head out and felt the rest of him inside me still wiggling it was sort of cool. 
He was born at 4:45. 
It's been a crazy whirlwind since.

The best look at our life. 
I asked rand shortly after. How many kids do you think we will add. "Two" he says. Ha. Lets just say I get the idea of not talking about having children right after birth now. 

What has life been like since?

I wrote (most) of this blog from my phone while breastfeeding.

I am now almost on season 3 of Grey's Anatomy. 

Ellie has watched way too much frozen, tangled, and Daniel tiger.

At our first doctor appointment Reid was peeing all over me and the scale.  The nurse asks, "where is Ellie?"
Good question....

This morning it looked like two poopy diapers, no sleep, and applesauce up in everything.

This one doesn't fit with the sarcastic underwriting, but the women in our family started a new tradition of high tea during the holidays. YUM!
The Inn at Maple Lake. 7 sandwhiches and 7 deserts!
So... You could say we're adjusting. My new bedtime is 7pm.

Ellie holding Reid for the first time.

So many poopy diapers. 
A classic look. 

Yes, I know that I should treasure this moment, but I'm just going to be real about what the moment is. 
So honestly, 
This whole two kid thing has reall sent me spinning. I didn't realize how much control i felt like I was in and fought for when it was just Ellie. I also didn't realize how irrational I am and haven't wanted to fully face the fact that my messyness will affect my children, is affecting my children, and will continue to affect my children.  

So I'm having to face first face the reality of the paradigm of being a parent (and supposedly in control) with the reality that I'm not in control and that most often control is what separates me from others relationally. My husband my kids my friends. 

So I spiral into wanting the solution for this chaos. Trying to better understand my perfectionism and codependency is where I swing to. More control. A wanting to hash things out with myself. 

All I can run to is something that says grace. Something that is gentle and soft and loving.
That's all I have.
 OtherwiseI'm helpless to my own rigidity, impatience, harshness, and control.
 I'm bashful of my deep emotions and powerful tongue and desperate to hide beneath my mask of control and strength.
I need the compassionate strength of others and most desperately Jesus to face this monster. A tender embrace amidst the chaos.
I still believe that embrace will only come after I've tamed this prickly porcupine.
But my head knows that that isn't true. Amidst the mess of it all is where grace is supposed to meet me.

Amidst the impatience.
Amidst the pout.
Amidst the 3rd episode of Greys.
Amidst the anger and frustration of Ellie not listening and me being too short with her.

I think I can meekly say the best part of having two kids so far is getting to come closer to tasting his bountiful grace. It defies me, but it is what my soul craves.

Jesus help me to see your love here for me. Almost the control and chaos and harshness with my children and self. I'm desperate for your gentle words and grace. 

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

November: 19 Months & Full Term

The end of pregnancy is a wild thing. I feel a fusion of many things that both confuse, excite, and make me feel crazy.
No, you don't have to tell me to enjoy these last moments with just one, I am aware it will be harder with two. Trust me, I have already used this line on myself in an attempt to manipulate my emotions.
The truth is, I feel eager to meet this new little face and discover what loving a little man's soul is like.
I feel eager to not have someone else invading my body and bladder.
To be able to turn over in the middle of the night without fighting with the thousands of pillows that invade my bed.
Be able to use my abdominal muscles again to move, pick things up, tie my shoes, snuggle my little girl, and bear hug my husband.
Be able to wear AND zip up my fuzzy winter snuggly zip ups.

39 weeks. 
Ellie was born a few days early, so I had predicted that he would be here at some point over the weekend. Its been odd to sit in and wrestle through the levels of disappointment there.  Typically, contractions would be some sort of precursor to the real deal, but this trimester has been full of them. There have been countless nights I have gone to sleep thinking and certain that:

"Tonight, its going to be tonight"

Only to wake up, still pregnant, and cranky.

Today has been one of the first days this wave has seemed to not feel as big. We had an appointment with our midwife last night and baby and I are still very healthy, so that has eased my concern and helped soothe my soul.

So, now we just continue to wait for our little man. Crazy, but I have even found myself to be enjoying parts of the past 24 hours.

So cheers to continuing enjoying our newly put up christmas decor, wicker candles, one on one time with my gal, lots of walking, figure eights on my yoga ball, squats, and eating pineapple.

Here are a few things that come to mind when I think of Ellie this past month:
She likes to point to her ear when she hears an airplane, police siren, or ambulence.
She points to just about everything and says "da"
She has discovered her yelling voice.
She has a variety of new dance moves and loves to spin.
Classic her this month is wearing 5-6 purses on her arms and neck, her thanksgiving necklace, a hat, her boots, and bracelets pushed up past her elbow. The girl loves accessories.
Picking out a purse to bring to target
She seems to think that any sort of flying bug is a bee.
Rand taught her how to tell if she has her shoes on the wrong feet.
She is really interested in rings and likes to point to both mine and Rands.
She refers to her belly button as "bebe".
She is finally letting me do her hair! This one is a treat for me :)
On mondays we enjoy Target trips with Laureen (she calls her mom-I right now) and Aunt Alys. Often Laureen will treat us to Starbucks and Ellie will get a pink cake pop to chew on.
She really enjoys wrestling with Rand, spending time in the garage working on projects, and the  extra snuggles when he tucks her in at night.
She is starting to pick up on routine. When we pray at supper we will each touch her arms or hands and she seems quite intrigued by it.
Classic. Loves putting on socks. 

Melts my heart. Loves to help her dad. 

Working in the shop. 

She was a scuba diver for halloween. 

We walked around at Rands work and the mall for our trick or treating. 

Teaching me about tools. 

Shoes, boots. She loves em.

Helped me put up christmas decor a few weeks early ;)

Rand thought she looked like nacho Libre.

Accesorizing at it's finest. 

Loving my vest. 
Parenting is a constant learning curve. I'm grateful for my teamate in this. I started to see this month how my lack of sturdiness was starting to create a pretty demanding and controlling little gal. I don't like sitting in that tension, but I started to feel a movement in my heart towards what I desire that to look like. I feel more valuable as a human when I know and can meet Ellie's needs but I am starting to see a pattern of rescuing her and robbing both her and I of opportunity to "suffer" and taking away her soul's dignity. She gets to know that mommy loves her but if she chooses to not eat supper, that she will get hungry. Or that it is okay if she wants to throw a tantrum after her nap and I love her, but I am going to keep doing life. I want her sweet face to know my love, but also know that she gets to choose and make decisions and learn she can "sit in the mess" and "make it".

So this idea of suffering and hope come to mind. I knew it was a verse somewhere in the bible and found it in. It's been on my heart these past weeks.

Romans 5:3-5

Not only so, but we also rejoice in our sufferings,because we know that suffering produces perseverance; 4 perseverance, character; and character, hope. 5 And hope does not disappoint us, because God has poured out his love into our hearts by the Holy Spirit, whom he has given us. 

I feel like I have just begun learning how to suffer. Suffer through my agenda not being met. Suffer through unmet longings of my heart. And wanting to choose that, not because I claim Jesus as my savior and he tells me to, but having a real desire awakened. And I'm noticing that trusting in Jesus over myself, doesn't take away the pain, but it does allow me to turn to him and sit in my mess---persevere. And I'm noticing a sturdyness beginning to emerge. In my marriage, in parenting, in working through the muck and pain of my heart, in loving my daughter, and other relationships. And I'm starting to hope. What a sweet taste that hope is.  It's the taste of a more sturdy hope then I have known and I'm certain it's the eternal hope Jesus speaks of.

So cheers to more suffering right? ha. Remind me of that after this kiddo's born.

Tuesday, October 7, 2014

October Update: 1.5 Years//35 Weeks//Maternity Pictures

Well, its pretty real feeling. We are going to be having this child in about a month! That is probably the thing that is talked about most in our house this month, as we prepare for Him. Another big highlight this month were family photos. My friend Hailey has runs a photography business with her husband. This is the second time she has gifted us with her talent and precious pictures of our family.What a serious treat.  Here are a few favorites. If you live in the Minneapolis/ St. Paul area check them out here: Oak & Ivy Photography!

I love that we captured her smile here!

The bench where Rand and I officially started dating. 

Eloise is a full fledged toddler these days.
Honestly, some moments feel incredibly difficult.
Typically, those days are a reflection of my internal world and I am starting to savor getting the opportunity to enter that. She is helping to produce things in me that I didn't think I was capable of, well, really Jesus is, but Ellie seems to be a huge catalyst in the process.
Other moments feel like pure bliss. I look at her and am completely blown away by her.

Here are a few memories from the month:

She loves to say dadddd--ddy. It's a delight to hear.
Her independence is ever growing. She really likes to try and put her clothes on and absolutely adores shoes. Her shoes, my shoes, boots, heels, helping me put on my shoes, helping Rand put on his. Getting dressed tends to be a drawn out process in the morning.
She will randomly walk on her tip toes at different points.
She loves to run through the house, especially during playtime with daddy and Kia. 
She really loves her little tike car. It was going to be a christmas present but....
She likes to say "one, two, three, go" it comes out a little different but is adorable. She does it especially when she is about to go down the slide at the park. 
She prefers to not eat the skin of apples. 
She has been crawling on her hands and knees to play with Kia.
She understands a lot of different things, but has started being a little helper. She likes to help with dishes and throwing things in the garbage. 
Sometimes she will walk around with her hand clasped behind her back.
Her favorite body part is the eye. She likes to point at her eye and other peoples when she hears someone say eye.
She loves to eat Kia's dog food.
She loves popcorn.
She loves to find cutips and put them in her ears "like mommy". Oh boy.
The biggest transition this month has probably been her sleep patterns. She started having a really hard time sleeping in her big bed, so we had to put her back in her crib. The past few weeks her wake up time has been between 5:30 and 6. We are both hoping this is just a phase because were starting to get pretty tired! She is still doing two naps a day, but they are slowly getting shorter, as well. 
Poor girl's eye swelled shut from a bug bite.

Shes into eating apples. 

her and daddy. 

UND football game. 

Her new reading stance.

We shoot for biweekly baths...


Playing with our change. 

Therapy for mom and Ellie

Rand thought she looked like Nacho Libre ;)

Sassy at the park. 

As a family it seems we are adapting to our fall schedule. I feel like as soon as we have fully adapted well be transitioning again.
The words that come to mind for it are "It's the eb and flow babbbee".

Other big things this month have included trying to determine if we would like to make some big transitions to our birth plan.
We had a more traumatic birth experience with our emergency C-section with Ellie that have caused us both to spend a lot more time researching and determining what would be best for our family for this birth.  Just when we thought we were all set in our plans we have had new things come up that could change what we have planned now. It's getting down to the wire, but knowing I have a Plan A helps me to feel at peace. Plan B gets to be the fun part!

These things that I am talking about are huge things for me. As a recovering perfectionist and codependant the idea of sitting in the unknown and making decisions with Rand are like huge. I clutch control like gum to a shoe. Its incredibly exciting for me to enjoy the process of decision making and the unknown. Oofta. It still feels like ... I have my shoes on the wrong feet, most days, but things that were big no longer seem quite as big. Praise Jesus.

Other fun things this month for me has been exploring organic produce more, enjoying having more fun through managing our budget, making meals and cooking, buying Ellie a pair of Bogg Boots, purchasing a Boba Baby Carrier, going on fall walks with Ellie and Rand, enjoying the next season of Park and Rec on Netflix, and spending time making decisions with Rand. Rand seems to be enjoying some tinkering. He recently redid a full size ping pong table and purchased a few tools he had been searching for from some garage sales. As a family we have gotten to enjoy a few UND games and had a blast last weekend going to a local Pumkin Patch.