2017 ~ an (almost) 12 photo recap

My year in a nutshell… well… I don’t know if I can put it in a nutshell. It was equally forgettable (and maybe a lot just flat out not remembered – thanks pregnancy!) and awesome. So, without further ado…


Karl turned 5. We found out about baby #6. And according to the pictures on my phone we had many days of snow and playing outside in it.


Dragged down by morning sickness, more snow, and a random warm spell in the middle of winter break hence the park meet up with the cousins.


Nicholas turned one and Jared had a birthday as well. Spring started to appear a tiny bit. And I have no recollection of anything else major that happened, although I must have started feeling a bit better from pregnancy sickness.


More outside time, spring popping out in earnest. Kids planted trees with their Papa and also did a work day at the library in honor of earth day. That day was cold and rainy. I do remember that much.


We planted our garden, Katherine had her annual cardiologist appointment (all was good!).. the highlight was (for me) Katherine making her first communion (the post is a few back if you’d like to see more photos). We also found out baby #6 was also boy #5, and my brother joined the Church! A busy month!


The kids discovered driveway soccer, we began work on our porch (it’s still not done), we had a heat wave, our strawberries got ripe (about the only thing that grew in our garden this year) and Katherine had her first ballet recital.


My parents took the kids for am overnight, Jared and I went out for breakfast, and Nicki really started showing us what kind of mischief he was capable of.


Started school 3rd grade for Katherine, combo 1st/2nd for Johny and “anything to keep them happy” with the little kids. Lasted about a week before Jared and I took a road trip to move his mom up here.


School officially on hold for this month. Jared and I celebrated 8 years being married (we managed all of a dinner out, we didn’t even remember to get each other a gift, such was the craziness of this particular month), Baby “Saber” was born (so glad he didn’t wait till October), John turned 7, Katherine turned 8 and Jared’s mom moved back down south.


We managed to get school rolling again (somehow) and actually had a decent month. Also spent copious amounts of time holding Xavier, who was baptized mid-month. Zachary turned 3, and mom, dad, aunts and uncle bailed us out of trick or treating with the big kids.


I posted somewhere, that I think if you have a baby in the fall you should be exempt from having (m)any holiday responsibilities. But, I must have posted that *after* Thanksgiving because we hosted this year. The kids also figured out that they have baptism anniversaries and therefore need an additional afternoon snack event to celebrate. Oh, and hey, my little sister got engaged!!


We. Were. Sick. (ALL MONTH!) (And I’m not even exaggerating). But I turned 32, we did basically no school, celebrated as many feast days as we could, cooked out at the beginning of the month and haven’t gotten above 20 degrees this last week (because the weather is certifiably crazy) and hosted Christmas with my family.

Other random tidbits

* The big boys decided they weren’t cutting their hair, which is why the shaggy manes.

* We spent all fall watching Georgia football and it was really neat to see the kids, but especially Johny get really into it and form a bond with Jared over it (Anxiously waiting the playoff game tomorrow!)

* I finished my book reading year by finishing 58 books. I know I blogged about exactly 0 of them, but maybe that’ll come more frequently next year? One can hope 😉


Posting this now while waiting for the ball to drop. (One and a half hours left, but not sure I’ll make it…)

Linking with Bobbi @revolution of love

Outdoors in the mud

{Just a little post to share some pictures}CK- In the Mud (1 of 11)

… But first! look at the airplane…

We had some lovely snow a few weeks back. It’s all but gone now, which has led to…


CK- In the Mud (2 of 11)

They don’t mind though.

I’m honestly glad they enjoy being outside so often.

A few weeks ago after watching some college football with daddy, Johny was literally running circles inside the house. I told him he needed to go out and run circles outside. (I peeked out a few minutes later and he was doing it – actual circles around the garden boxes.)

Since then they’ve been jumping at the chance to get out whenever they can. Often times as soon as breakfast is done.

CK- In the Mud (3 of 11)

Even this little guy (although not so much on the coldest mornings). And this morning it was actually quite cold. So after bundling up and heading out, Z came back in a few minutes later stating it was too cold.

But, this particular day (the day with the mud) I don’t know how many different times they headed out. They were absolutely thrilled to be able to squish their boots in the mud and play Frisbee. And the puddles of water here there and everywhere, just perfect for them.

CK- In the Mud (7 of 11)

{and Z… on the left in the picture above… won’t wear his boot now because they’re dirty. Oh, and all the coats still need to be run through the washer before all the Christmas Masses this weekend ;), but I love the mud – or, well, at least their enjoyment and the pictures… so I don’t mind}


My Sunday Photo

I was trying to find THE photo to share from this week. And realized that I’ve shared most on good ol’ Instagram already… but… not this one from this evening’s bath shenanigans.

In truth: it’s been a really long week. Jared was sick at the beginning of the week and I was sick the later half of the week. And all the kids were/are sick to some degree. So just blah all around.

But, one thing I did think about…

There are no “sick days” in mothering. I mean, there are definitely days where you’re sick while mothering, but no days where you get the “lay in bed and sleep all day” option. At least not in my stage of motherhood. Maybe oneday…

As a Catholic, I hear a lot about carrying my cross, and right now, my cross is motherhood. Motherhood is also my vocation, and don’t get me wrong, I love it, but it’s also a cross. I really felt like I fell down this week under that weight. And then I remembered Jesus on His walk up the hill, He fell down too. But, He got back up and kept on going. And in that moment, I felt this life line being tossed. Like, it’s ok, we all fall down sometimes under the weight of… everything… the important thing, I think is to get up again. And keep going. {Even if you can’t talk to your kids, because your voice decided to give out…}

Sorry, guys, wasn’t trying to get all deep and depressing here tonight, it’s just what came out when I started writing.

But ending on a positive note we welcomed some new people into our extended families this week.. one by birth and one by marriage so life is overall Good. {Especially if you’re not quite two and mom lets you intentionally dump the water out of the tub}


What we’ve been up to lately

I’ll keep this super quick, as it’s Sunday morning pre-7:00 AM and the before Mass rush tends to get crazy in just a little while…

So…. lately…

Just life really.


First things first, happy Advent. The season of waiting and preparing for Christmas. We’re officially in the 2nd week now and all we’ve managed to do is set up a Christmas tree… so umm… on top of over things here!

In the past, I’ve liked the tradition of setting up the tree a little later (my birthday on the 17th, generally seems to be a good marker, and often times falls on or around Gaudete Sunday), but this year, I dunno, it seemed right.

Other than that we don’t even have the advent wreath up, although, I am really honest and truly going to get it out of the attic today. New candles or no. 😉 {hold me to it blog world}

We’ve read exactly one Jesse Tree story and done no ornaments. I guess all those could feel like Advent fails, but I’ll be completely honest this year it’s not even bothering me. Like, 100% it’s not even a little rubbing me the wrong way.

Going forward, I literally just read a post where she mentions doing Advent School (as opposed to normal homeschool subjects), and I’m going to be doing that for the rest of the season. We need a break anyway. We’ve got crafting to do and books to read. 😊

Baby life

I’m convinced that if you have a baby anytime after, say September 1st, all your holiday obligations for the rest of the year are given a pass (see our non-Adventing skills mentioned above).

Anyway, Baby Saber is doing well. Growing huge. A weigh in at his 2-month check up nearly two weeks ago had him at 14lbs 11oz. Kid eats All. The. Time. But then he’ll sleep for hours. Like last night, from 10:30 to 6:30! Yay!!!

Kids all absolutely love him. And he’s recently started smiling and even “talking” to us. Which makes all those first crazy weeks ever so much sweeter and more worth it.

Johny yesterday said “mom, Baby Saber has such cute smiles”

Other stuff

We had our first snow yesterday. Tried to build a snowman… no judging ok. I’ve never built one. They were happy (and just a tiny bit sick, again, hence the red noses)

Me? Well, I’m trying to do too much. And by too much, I mean specifically trying to read too many books at once and do too many personal crafting projects at once (probably due to Christmas approaching)….

I had a lovely but of encouragement in the department last month when my sister was doing a “30 thankful days” thing. She mentioned me and said how inspired she was that I take time for myself in the midst of all the other (mostly good) chaos around here. So I try to remember that when I feel like I have no time for myself. Which honestly, I don’t have huge chunks of time, but I’m *trying* to be ok with the bits and pieces that come up through the day. (I’ve tried taking “me time” in the evenings but 9 times out of 10 I fall asleep in my chair, so that’s basically out 😂).


So there you have it. My 15 minutes are up and passed. If the formatting is a little wonky, I’m sorry. I decided to download the WP app and try to blog on my phone, just because I almost never get time to go on my computer. And let’s be honest (some more), most of my pictures are on the phone anyway.

I’ve been hanging out on Instagram it’s no-login required to look at. Not sure if you can comment and like, but I believe you can look (speaking to all my grandmas who don’t have it, I love you all and think about you specifically when I don’t post pictures to the blog 😊).

Here’s to checking in more often ❤

Baby “Saber”

I noticed that there have been many views on the blog’s FB page in recent days. My guess is folks are looking for any news regarding Baby “Saber”….

I’ll try to keep the gory details out, but, it’s a birth story so…. read at your own will.

tl;dr version:
Name: Xavier Alexander, nicknamed Saber
Born on September 22, 10:38 PM
Stats: 7lbs 15oz, 21”

1 week +1 day

So, first things first. Lets start with a little background leading up to the birth.

It felt like we had a lot of “LIFE” happen this summer, in the second half especially. It wasn’t all bad, but there were definitely some crazy/stressful things. In a nutshell, my MIL moved in with us (Jared and I went to down to Georgia to get her, road trip style when I was about 34 weeks along). Stressful family stuff came up back there a few weeks later, so MIL decided to return.

After that, I had some shortness of breath combined with dizziness. Dr. Google suggested I contact my provider and see what was up. So I did. The same day I called them, I had some sort of episode where I couldn’t really see out of half of either eye. I freaked out a little (because I’ve had eye issues in the past), ended up at ER on Monday (the 18th) and just finally got really overwhelmed with…. everything…

I had a follow-up MRI on Friday…. but…. apparently I’m severely claustrophobic, and after approximately 45 seconds in the machine, I wanted out and pretty much we all came to the conclusion that I wouldn’t be able to complete the scan. {Total side note: we’re going to let the scan go for now, and just see if any more episodes happen, and if not, then we won’t worry about it.}

So by the time I got to my midwife appointment that afternoon (at 1:00 PM), I told her I’d had enough, due to all of the above, and normal end of pregnancy discomfort, and I was done being pregnant. She couldn’t offer me an induction because I wasn’t 39 weeks, but I asked if she could strip my membranes to see if that could start things moving. I was measuring about 4cm at this point, although my cervix was still a bit long.

Went home and was basically just waiting for contractions to start getting more regular. They were getting a little stronger, but nowhere near regular. I made it through the afternoon and managed to get some food on the table, all while having inconsistent but just slightly stronger contractions. In my mind, for some reason, I kept thinking “I just have to make it till 7:00 PM, when I can get the little ones to bed, then till 8:00 PM when mom and dad should be done having dinner with their company” (they were going to watch the kids).

I got Nicki to bed by 7:00 or so, and contractions were picking up in frequency, but were still not regular, so I was having a hard time timing them. I folded some laundry, and tried to tidy up our room a little. Katherine was kinda hanging around chattering on about whatever crossed her mind. I did finally ask her if she could go to bed because I was needing some space. (I kinda like to labor alone.) So she went. Z went to bed. It was getting closer to 8:00; I was messaging one of my sisters-in-law; and I decided somewhere in there, I was going to try to lay down and rest. This was 8:06. (Don’t know why I remembered the time…).

Between 8:06 and 8:28 I had three contractions, roughly 10 minutes apart, but kinda painful. So I got up to try to walk them off. Folded and put away some more laundry all while contracting. They were getting painful and more frequent, but I could still manage them. A few I had to actually stop and breath through. After a few of those, I decided I needed to call. It was 9:01.

Now, where was Jared through all this? Like I said, I like to labor alone for the most part. And he had planned something on his game (like days before), and he was doing that, this is online gaming with headsets and groups of people. He did come and check in on me at least once in the 8:00 hour, and I told him things were looking like they were picking up, but thought it would be fine for a while, especially since my last two labors were about 12 hours (and even the two previous to those were 5 hours).

Anyway. Midwife called me back pretty quickly. She thought because I had further apart contractions (at 8:00) while laying down that it wasn’t real actual labor, so I was advised to drink a big glass of water and lay down for an hour (the end of the hour was supposed to be about 10:30) and see if they remained closer together. I hung up the phone, laid down and had a super, intense, painful contraction. When that was done I said “wow! that one hurt.” A few minutes later I had another one. Then another. Then I started shaking uncontrollably. {Found out later, that’s actually a sign of being in transition…}. Then the contractions started feeling like there was pushing involved and not voluntarily by me.

I had been texting mom starting about 9:00, letting her know what was going on. Then telling her I was supposed to wait for an hour, but felt like I needed to go in sooner. She showed up about 9:40 or 9:45? I started to lose track of time. Jared was getting off the game event (words like “I feel like I’m going to push this baby out right now” get things moving). Mom helped me through a few more contractions by putting counter pressure on my lower back/ Jared was getting dressed and getting ready to go. I was starting to get really impatient, anxious to be going.

Jared said later that the car clock said 10:02 when we left. I imagine we were at the hospital by 10:08? (We live close). That was an excruciating ride. My bladder was full and baby felt like he was pushing and it was everything I could do to hold everything in.

I remember blowing past security. And basically demanding that the check in nurse get me to a room ASAP because I was going to have the baby. That flustered her a bit. She couldn’t seem to figure out how to order up a room on demand.

We got a triage room. Nurse tried to get me to undress and get on the monitor (why  at that point, I don’t know). That took a few contractions. She was also flustered. {Jared said later it felt like she wanted to stop everything so she could figure out what to do – I guess they don’t deal specifically with delivery down there…} I kept wanting water, but she wouldn’t give it to me. They managed to get a doctor in relatively quickly to check me. I was at 10cm with a bulging (water) sac. I was still demanding water, still contracting, and still trying to hold everything in. They were discussing whether to move me or not, because they didn’t want me to deliver in the elevator. Honestly by that point I didn’t care if they moved me or not. I was at the hospital and on a bed so that’s what I cared about. I mean, I did want an epidural, but once the doctor said 10cm I knew there was no way that would happen. They moved me. A short, excruciating ride later, I got to the delivery room, dragged/pulled myself from the triage bed to the room bed, looked at the clock, it said 10:32.

I guess midwife showed up a minute or two later. She offered to break the water bag, I don’t even remember what I said – I wasn’t thinking really at all by then. I do know the water broke at 10:35 because I heard the nurses talking over it later. I was given the go ahead to push whenever I wanted. They weren’t going to direct anything. No one held my legs or anything, I just held/squeezed Jared’s hand. I still wanted water so they went to get me some and I almost panicked when they said they had to leave the room to get it (I felt I was almost choking, my throat was so dry). But I got a tiny sip of water and started pushing. I don’t know how many pushes, maybe four? (I do remember coherently thinking that I didn’t actually want to push him out, I did still want the epidural…) but at 10:38 PM Xavier Alexander was born.

I’d like to refer to it as my “Hollywood birth” – minus the dramatic gushing of water to start things off.

A few other things I learned about myself… Apparently the reason the midwife didn’t say to come in when I first called was because I sounded “so calm on the phone”. And Jared was basically thinking the same thing. So…. I guess I need to work on my verbalizing skills ;).

As with all the other boys’ births, I didn’t have any tearing. I did have a little hemorrhaging, but a shot of pitocin and a quick “clean up” of the uterus by the midwife took care of that.

It happened so fast, that at 11:00 I was still not even sure how it had happened like it did. I also remember thinking something along the lines of “well, now that that’s done, what are we gonna do for the rest of the night?” Up until we were leaving for the hospital, I really had expected it to take a few more hours after we arrived.

I had tested positive for GBS during pregnancy. But, I didn’t receive any antibiotics during delivery (go figure, huh?) so we had to stay most of 48 hours to make sure Xavier didn’t contract some form of meningitis. But, he was good, and we had an otherwise dull and uneventful hospital stay, and were able to come home on Sunday night.

Some pictures of the big kids visit