Apr 30, 2011

Lots of updates...

A lot has been going on - hence the lack of my blog posts. Some sad news and some happy. I'll start with the sad.

Jeremy's dad has been in and out of the hospital for the past month. It started when he suddenly had to have surgery on his foot due to a severe infection. From there other problems developed and he's been in and out of the hospital. He came back home yesterday and we believe has turned a corner and starting to do better. We've been praying for the nausea he's had to reside and for him to start having an appetite again and God is helping! He is now off the antibiotics due to them harming his kidneys (too strong) and that was also the main cause of the nausea. Along with dehydration. I just wanted to say thank you to all of you who have been following my facebook updates and praying for him. We really appreciate it and I know Ray does as well. Thank you!

Also, Jeremy's 94 year old Papa passed away a couple days ago. He lived a long life - which we are thankful for but of course that never eases the pain of losing someone you love. I have yet to experience loss (other than my miscarriage) of someone close to me and I know it's not going to be easy. My mom's parents are both in their 80's now - and their health is failing in different ways and it's very hard to think about losing them. I'm very close to them and my Grandpa has been like a dad to me in many ways.

We are thankful to have had many memories with Papa when we would take trips to Florida. The last time we saw him was when Ethan was 10 weeks old - it was Papa's first and last time meeting his first great grand baby. It's special that we have these photos to look back at and remember the good times with him. I would always laugh because every time we came for a visit and he saw me he would try to greet me with a smooch on the lips. Totally normal in many cultures - but very foreign to me! Ha. I would politely (and quickly) turn my cheek :) Jer and I always joked about this. He would always take us grocery shopping as soon as we got there and pay for whatever we wanted. He took us out to dinner throughout the week and always paid for us. Our favorite spot with Him was Don Pablos and we would laugh when he would get the 2 for 1 Margaritas. They were huge.

This past year as his health was failing he moved from Florida to Connecticut to be close to Jeremy's uncle who could help him more and get him into a home. That is where he passed away. Papa was a great Doctor and also a veteran so he will actually be cremated and buried here in Holly, MI at the Veteran's Cemetery. I think it's neat that he will be buried just minutes away from where Jeremy's parents live - and close to us also. He was a great man and he'll be missed. We love you Papa!

On a happy note, I had my baby check up on Thursday morning and Lincoln is doing great. Strong heart beat of 146, is moving all the time and I'm feeling great! I'm so thankful. I'm almost 22 weeks and am getting excited to meet this little boy of ours. Time is starting to go by quickly!

We ordered Lincoln's crib last week and I anxiously check my email to get the notice that it's in and ready for pick up. I can't wait to get it set up :) Jeremy likes to tease me about getting the nursery ready so early each time but I'm a planner and organizer and like to have things in place and ready to go. It's just who I am :) Hence why I don't think I could ever wait to let the gender be a surprise! I looked at cribs for days and finally decided on one and to get it in black. Ethan has a rich brown cherry colored crib, Gracelyn has white and so Lincoln will have black. I thought it would be nice for them to all have their own color furniture. Special thanks to Jeremy's parents for giving us money towards the crib - we really appreciate it! I'll be sure and post a picture of his crib once it's up :)

Today is going to be a good day! My girlfriend Bonnie is coming over to have a scrappin' day and see our new house. Right now I have Lincoln's room set up as my scrappin' room also so we will have our own space to hopefully get some pages done. My goal is to get caught up on the kids albums before the baby comes. I'm at about 2.5 in Ethan's (8 months behind) and at just 7 months in Gracelyn's. I have a lot to do if I want to be caught up before Lincoln's arrival but I'm determined to do it!

Today is also one of my very best friends (and long time friends) Baby Shower. My girlfriend Joanna is pregnant and expecting her first baby this June. They decided not to find out the gender so it was fun picking out some gender neutral gifts. I decided to get her some of my favorite things. Some handmade super cool burp cloths a friend of mine makes, my favorite baby lotion, travel wipes, the fun soaps I like to bathe the kids with and an outfit from my favorite store, Baby Gap. Joanna lives in Florida and is home for her baby shower so I can't wait to see her! Last time I saw her she was just 3 months pregnant and had no bump so I can't wait to see this girl and her baby bump! I've been told she doesn't have much of a bump - even at 32 weeks pregnant. We'll see :) Bonnie, Joanna and I grew up together at Bair Lake Bible Camp so Bonnie and I will take a break from our scrapbooking today to head to the shower and then back afterwards to keep scrappin' away. I can't wait for today!

Now, I saved my most happy news for last.

I am switching back to my awesome midwife, Jeanne! I won't be delivering Lincoln at Genesys (where I had Ethan) but McLaren Regional Medical Center where I had Gracelyn. When I was pregnant with the baby we lost - I found out that Jeanne no longer took my health plan. I was so sad about it. She made my experience SO MUCH better than my experience with Ethan. So when we got pregnant again in December I knew I would have to find a new doctor through Genesys. While the doctor I have been seeing is nice - she's just not Jeanne. I received a letter in the mail this week stating that May is open enrollment month and that I am able to switch health plans if I would like. I completely forgot about this even being an option.

So I talked to Jer about it that night and he thought it was a no brainer. He said how I loved Jeanne and how she made the experience so much better for me. Totally true. I didn't have a good experience with Ethan. There are a lot of plus' with my midwife:

- I don't have to get hooked up to an IV the minute I walk in. I don't need one until I decide to get my epidural.

- Up until I get my epidural I can walk the halls of the hospital, use the birthing ball, get in the shower, tub to help labor progress.

- I won't get an episiotomy. Jeanne uses a natural method to help when it comes to pushing that doesn't involve an episiotomy.

- All the nurses at McLaren are fantastic.

So, I called yesterday and switched my health plan. It won't be in effect until June 1st but my next appt. wasn't until May 24th anyways so it shouldn't be an issue. I left a message at Jeanne's office yesterday and am waiting to hear back. I can't wait to be back with her! The downside is her office is farther away so I will have more of a drive for my appts but it's worth it.

That's about all folks :) The kids are healthy and doing great. They are both getting so old, especially Gracelyn. It's hard to believe she is just 5-6 weeks away from being 2! It's really flown by. I so love being their momma :)

I hope you all have a great weekend!
Momma Keri ♥

Apr 21, 2011


Do you ever have moments in your life when you hear a story and it completely changes your perspective? A story that reminds you how blessed you are, how much you have to be thankful for and how short this life on earth really is? I sure do.

God has taught me a lot about thankfulness in the past few years. Through hard times I have learned to be thankful. I love who God is. I love that when life brings hard times, as it will, God always brings something good from them. If we let Him. He's a GOOD God. I strongly believe that. I strongly believe God doesn't bring the hard times. Whether it be sickness, loss, tragedy, poverty, abuse, etc. It's not from Him.

I have a hard time understanding people and Christians who believe this. Who believe that God brings those things in our lives to "teach" us something. That it's His will. I do believe God can and does teach us things through hard times, I just don't believe He's the one who gives those things. It's simply not who He is. He is good, He is faithful, He is merciful, He is gracious, He is forgiving, He is peace, He is love.

Would I give cancer to Ethan or Gracelyn to teach them something? Would I abuse them to teach them something? Would I want them to live on the streets with no food, water or clothing to teach them something? NO WAY!!! Why?? Because I love them more anything. My heart is so full of love for them that sometimes it feels like it's going to explode. We know that God's love for us is greater than any love - so we know that He feels the same way about us.

I think of sweet little Kate often. A little girl who is fighting brain cancer. I think of her parents and can't even imagine the emotions and feelings they face each day. I pray for Kate often and pray for a miracle. Kate's story has made me so grateful. Grateful for healthy children.

I think of a woman named Charity. A wife/mom who was out of town with her 2 young daughters and received a call that her husband and 5 month old son died in a fire that started in their home. He was a youth pastor in Grand Rapids. A friend of mine attends the church he pastored at and was close to him and his family. When I read the story on her facebook this past week, my heart sank. I cannot imagine it. My heart has been breaking for her. I can't imagine facing such deep loss. My friend shared with me that through this awful tragedy, God is bringing beautiful things from it. Beautiful things from a very ugly tragedy.

This story made me so grateful. Grateful to have my husband and children. Grateful that I have a personal relationship with a God who is good and will carry me through hard times. Grateful for the body of Christ and that we can come together and pray for one another during the hard times.

He's carried me through financial hardships. He's carried me through heartbreak. He's carried me through verbal abuse. He's carried me through miscarriage. And so much more. I'm so thankful. Thankful for His love. Thankful for His peace. Thankful for what He's done for me. He's so good and I am grateful.

I challenge you to think about some of the things you have to be thankful for today. I've been challenging myself also. Sometimes I complain about the smallest things and then I think of Kate. I think of Charity. I think of how hard life can be, how short it really is and how I want my heart, my words, my life to always be a reflection of thankfulness and not one of a complaining spirit.

I'm thankful for so much. I thank God for this new little life in me - a little boy we call Lincoln Jude. He's healthy! Thank you Jesus. And he's growing by the day :) Here's my 20 week belly bump to prove it :)

I didn't plan on writing about thankfulness but it's just what came out when I started to write and so I wanted to take some time to express my gratitude to God.

Our family of four is doing well. We had a mini vacation to Kalahari last week (America's Largest Indoor Waterpark) and had a really nice time. The kids both loved it and it was so great to watch them having so much fun. Here's a few pics.

Ethan going down his favorite yellow slide.

Gracelyn being a fish :)

Gracelyn and daddy

Mommy & Gracelyn

We hope to go back next year and make it our 3rd annual Kalahari trip!

I got back on Tuesday night from a mini getaway to the Amish with Gracelyn. It was the first time I had a few days alone with just my girl and it was really nice. I love bonding with my kids one on one and it was super nice to give her all my attention for a few days. We had a nice time. Daddy and Ethan had some boy time at home too which was nice. We skyped everyday and it really helped being away from my boys! Ethan was really missing Gracelyn and asking about her all the time Jeremy said. So sweet. They really are the best of friends - I just love my little angels :)

I'm off to spend some time with my hubby. Tomorrow is Good Friday and he has the day off so I'm looking forward to a long weekend together as a family.

"Devote yourselves to prayer with an alert mind and a thankful heart." Colossians 4:2

"Be thankful in all circumstances." 1 Thessalonians 5:18

"Give thanks to the LORD, for he is good! His faithful love endures forever." Psalm 107:1

Momma Keri ♥

Apr 9, 2011

New Hair :)

My good friend Layne cut and colored my hair this past week and I just love it! I wanted to go short and she did such a great job. I think the length suits me well - I'm enjoying my new look and feeling great!
I adore this photo of my belly bump of myself and Lincoln. I just love knowing we have another little boy coming and that we get to name him Lincoln Jude - the name I've had my heart set on for the past couple years. I can't wait to meet this little one and bring him home.
And here's a cute one of Gracelyn and I that I took the other day. Oh how I adore this little girl of mine - she is just so sweet and beyond beautiful!

Enjoying life,
Momma Keri ♥

Apr 7, 2011

Baby Bump :)

Well, it's that time! My bi-weekly photos of my baby bump. I always start them at 18 weeks and take them every 2 weeks until the little one arrives.

I love being pregnant :) I am feeling great and so enjoying the little kicks and thumps from Lincoln. I love him so much already and just cannot wait to see his little face! I know it's going to be so cute - just like his big brother and sister's!

I'm feeling great and enjoying this pregnancy to the fullest. I thank God all the time for this healthy little one and the healthy kids he's blessed our lives with - we are very blessed.

Also, I ordered these adorable sibling shirts for the kids for our first family of five photo in the hospital. I am in love with them! They will be great also for a little photo session of the kids together once Lincoln arrives and for getting photos of the kids alone. I can't wait!

I should have ordered matching ones for mom and dad ;)

Much Love,
Momma Keri

Ps. Our install of padding/carpet for the basement stairs and landing was done today and it looks fabulous! Can't wait until one day when we finish the basement too :)

Apr 3, 2011

Boy or Girl?

I had my ultrasound this past Thursday and we were able to find out that another little boy is on the way :) We are so excited. We both felt boy from the beginning - and I've been desiring another little boy for some time now so I was excited. Most importantly, all we prayed for is a healthy baby and the ultrasound tech told us that everything looks great and as it should. Thank you Jesus!

I told the tech this was our third baby and that we have one of each and that I would like to see if I can guess what the baby's gender was. She got to the spot and said ok, here we are. I looked at the screen and it was quite obvious it was a little boy and when she confirmed my guess I quietly screamed and clapped with excitement. A little boy. How wonderful!

It made me really grateful also that Gracelyn is a girl because I've always wanted a daughter and knowing this will be our last baby (unless God decides to change our minds or surprise us with another) it just made me so happy all over again that I have my girl too. I look forward to the days where the boys go off to a Michigan game and Gracelyn and I have a girl day together. Will be so much fun! I'm sure she'll want to go to some games too (as will I) but it will just be special to have those times alone with my girl too.

We've had this little one's name picked out for quite some time. His name will be Lincoln Jude. I fell in love with the name Lincoln awhile back and it's been my top boy name ever since. At first we thought we would use Drew for the middle name as we've both always loved that name but then I came up with Jude and it just felt right. I love the meaning which is "Praise;Thanks" and of course it's a biblical name so we love that. Also, Jeremy's mom name is Judith and we always call her Jude so we thought that would be neat too.

I can't wait for Ethan and Gracelyn to meet him. Ethan is so sweet with babies and so sensitive. He adjusted extremely well when Gracelyn was born. The first time we brought him up to the hospital to see her we could tell he was a little confused - but seeing as he was only 15 months of course he didn't understand what was going on or what a baby was. But, once we came home he did so great with her, never acted jealous and always looked out for her and wanted to see her every morning when he woke up. It always made my heart so happy to see him looking out for his little sister when she was so little. And he still looks out for her now - just like brothers should! It's so sweet to watch. I know he will love having a little brother just as much.

Gracelyn really loves her baby dolls and babies so I think she is going to love having a real baby at home. It will be so cute to see them with Lincoln and I can't wait for cute photos of my 3 babies together! I just love being a mom! I'm so blessed.

I can't wait to see what he looks like and snuggle him and hold him close. Here's a few photos of our little guy. The first one is of his profile and the second is proof he's a boy :)

The tech said he weighed 7 ounces - which is normal for his age and as of tomorrow (my 18th week mark) he will be the size of a sweet potato :) At 18 weeks it says that: baby has become amazingly mobile (at least compared to you), passing the hours yawning, hiccuping, rolling, twisting, kicking, punching, sucking and swallowing. And, baby's finally big enough that you'll be able to feel those movements soon. I've already felt some movements this past week and it's so wonderful! Oh how I love being pregnant!

Just wanted to share our big news and give thanks to God for blessing us with another healthy baby.

Love, Momma Keri