Saturday, December 1, 2012

A post for Corrine...a real life orphan

A post for Corrine...a real life orphan.

Isn't she just the sweetest 
with that smile!

So, if you haven't read my last post go the last post from 10/29/12 and then come back :) IF you have, thank you to those of you who have pledged money toward Corrine's grant fund, prayed for her safety and that she may find a family, and several of you shared the info which connected me to others I didn't know that pledged to help!

So here is the break down of what we raised together! I ran 70 total miles in the month of November(National Adoption Month). So that mean 25 cents for each mile X 70 equals $17.50 per person that pledged! With 11 people pledging the miles amount, 1 person committing to $50, and another person(that I don't even know!)that sent me $100 check~~~~that equals a grand total 


Can you believe that?!!? Together we can barley do anything but with about 15 people giving a little

I keep praying that someone will see the tremendous thought, care, and love that God put into creating her! Please join me in this prayer for her tonight...

Blessing report! The following children have been connected with REAL-FOREVER families in one month!!

TABATHA-you may remember I posted her picture as a waiting child on my blog! I am so in love with her smile and beyond overjoyed she will have a home by 2013!! PTL!
Tabitha  15H

SunnyFionaEllison 8W              AutumnSabrinaArchie 3F

Isn't that amazing! All these children found homes in one month!
But I want to post some pictures of children still waiting,
children who will just keep...


Harley, just turned 1 and had no one to celebrate the most special birthday 

Canton, turned one all by himself

Cassian, just 7 months old 

Marina, 4 yrs old. Her picture is posted on my bathroom mirror and in my office, so that I remember to pray for her everyday. She has a $4,000 grant to assist with her adoption fees...
Isn't she the sweetest!
I just love her!

Valery, transferred to an adult mental institution... because she turned FIVE years old...
 Someone please choose her....

All these children and faces can be overwhelming but its like what Mother Teresa said,
"If you cant feed 100, just feed ONE"

You know the story of the starfish....

So here is how you can donate your pledge and please if you are new to the challenge and want to donate JOIN IN! 

1.)The easiest way is on-line and is tax-deductible! Click HERE scroll down and find CORRINE 15H. Now, You can donate what you have committed to, the $17.50 directly do her or you can buy an ornament with her picture on it for $35. $30 of which goes to her and $5 for the cost of the ornament. Really, any small or large amount makes the difference to a waiting child!

2.) If you are not tech savey or dont feel you want to donate on-line. You can message me and I will give you my address that you can send a check made of to REESE'S RAINBOW and in the subject line write CORRINE and I will mail it for you! Or you could mail it directly to Reese's Rainbow with the address on their site just be sure to put CORRINE's name on it! 

PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE--remember to donate if you pledged! Comment below or text me when you have done this!! THANK YOU SO MUCH!!!!

I cant wait to see her fund grow to over $1,000!



Monday, October 29, 2012

Adoption 2012

November is National Adoption Month

In honor of Orphans near and far....

Adoption is all around me. I encounter it at work daily. My family has been touched personally by adoption. I have dear friends in various stages of fostering and adopting. And....I {pray} everyday that our house would one day be blessed by little adopted jewels...
But that day is not TOday. 

A few months ago, I was introduced to Reese's Rainbow. RR is an adoption ministry that advocates to link special needs(primarily Down Syndrom, CP, HIV+) orphans overseas with forever families here in the States and Canada. It seeks to raise funds for families who want to step out in faith and committ to adopting these children. Adopting overseas can be expensive, RR seeks to lessen the financial burden.
Naturally, this intrigued me. I began to fall in love with so many of their faces. Its different when you look into the eyes of an actual orphan living with no mom, no dad, and little hope. Life is particularly difficult for an orphan with obvious special needs in developing nations around the world and in Eastern Europe. Most orphans with Down Syndrome in these countries don't make it due to lack of medical care, quality of care due to social stigmas, and worst yet....many are killed shortly after birth. If they are lucky enough to make it to age 4 in Eastern Europe, they are then transferred to an ADULT mental institution. 

MY heart breaks for these kids.
Babies with Down Syndrome 
It is not their fault society sees fit to discard them as if they don't have value or exist.

...after several break-down-sob-fest-feeling-sorry/mad-we-cant-adopt-yet parties i have...
    i reading a post from one of my fav-o bloggers who recently brought her daughter Hazel home from Eastern Europe i was inspired! you can check out her blog at .

I asked her if i could copy her idea to raise $$ for 

So with that, here we go!

I cant do a lot to make financial impact on my own, but with your help we CAN help one orphan! One little girl i pray daily for is....

{C O R R I N E}

With a smile like that I just don't understand why no one has chosen her as their own...yet

Corrine, is 2.5 years old...which is getting to the age where lots of families will no longer consider her because she is "old". Corrine is living in an orphanage in Eastern Europe and time is quickly running out. If she is not adopted in the next year and a half, she will be transferred to an adult mental institution because she has Down Syndrome.
This makes me sick.

So in honor of CORRINE and Adoption Month
I am asking for **20** people to 
25 cents
(an itty bitty quarter)
for every mile i run in November

Now, before you get scared thinking that will be ooooodels of $$$. Its not! Lets do the math...
I am going to TRY my hardest to run an average of 
4 miles,
 5 days a week
that is 20 miles a week
approximately $20!
If we can get 20 people to pledge what will be approximately $20 
Its basically like signing up for a 5k without having to actually run! (my friend Rachel will love this!)

That will be $400 to her grant when a family picks her!

What is $20 to you? Coffee and a muffin 3x/week for a month. A fun new dress from Target. A large specialty pizza and pop delivered to your home! A trip with your kids to McDonald's. A fraction of the cost to get your hair did every other month....and on and on...

But to sweet little 

And isn't that what we are called to do as Christians?! To look and care out for the "least of these"? The Lord is very clear throughout the ENTIRE Bible-old and new. Through and through we are instructed to care for orphans and widows in their does not mean that we all must adopt. But it DOES mean we need to do what is within our means tho. 

Whose in??
Comment on my blog below and I will start logging miles on Thursday :)

Please visit 
to find all sorts of sweeties waiting for a 
gpa and gma....
and on and on.

Just a peek of those waiting....



Sean... abandoned by the riverside at age 4mo.

Ralph...facing imminent transfer to adult age 5

Megan....I have almost a FULL grant to fund my adoption, if only someone would

Much love,

Saturday, April 7, 2012


So during my pregnancy I thought i was being really healthy. I ran until about 6 months along when it got to hard for me to breathe. I think that was when the intense weight gain started. I still was working out 4-5 days per week, but lets be honest ladies....the occasionaly cookie dough blizzard with extra cookie dough was becoming a several nights a week treat.
I remember my midwife getting real REAL with me when i gained 10lbs in ONE month! It was the month of December. December was not only my birthday and Christmas, but it was Christmas and my birthday as a pregnant lady. Ofta....that month took a toll on my body! My midwife said, "Amanda you are greatly increasing your risk for a C-section byt gaining this much wieght and you MUST calm down on the weight gain." She then explained to me why your risks are increased which. ITs graphic and not really "blog appropritate" so i will just leave it at that....
So by the time Leo was born I had packed on 
45 pounds
that makes me sick...
About the week after i had Leo i had set my plan into motion. I was going to loose all 45 lbs by the time i went back to work in 11 weeks.
{insert loud, obnoxious laughing}

That did not happen. It didnt even come close to happening. I did start running about 5 weeks after Leo was born. IT felt good. But i didnt have a routine down. And with my hubby's work schedual there were only specific blocks of time i could run. So without something being routine in my life i typically fail. Now i should back up and explain why i thought loosing 45lbs would be easy as cake(cake, who said cake, can i have a piece....)
About 3 years ago i started running as a new years resolution with my friend Erika(who i got even closer to through running!) You see, running gets you real intune with your body. And all the things your body does when you run. You would think most of running pains surround how your legs, or that side ache feels. In reality, running got me REAL intune with a little part of the body that involves waste going out....yep I went there. My digestion track. Your body digests and sends waste out different when you are a runner. All that gravity I guess makes it pass through and out faster(really scientific i know) Erika and I spent hours discussing our digestive system. Through this time we trained for a few half marathons and 2 marathons. We finished and earned hardware together. 
So, 1 month before I became pregnant with Leo i had run and completed the funnest marathon ever! The Duluth Grandma's Marathon! 26.2 miles of beauty. We started with gloomy storm clouds ready to chase us from Two Harbours into the center of Duluth, MN. It was amazing. I had pulled my hamstring doing the splits to show off at church league softball 4 days before(stupid) and didnt think i would actually finish. But when your whole family drive 6 hours north and a cousin flys in from California to watch better finish!
So anyway, I went from running 26.2 miles straight in June to 10 months later being 45 lbs larger....

So when i went back to work, i had only lost like 15 of that. 7lbs 10 ounces was LEO, and probly the rest was placenta and blood. Needless to say I had aways to go....
In August I barrowed P90X from my friend Meghan who lost all 40 of her pregnancy wieght gain doing it. So i had high hopes of loosing it all in 90 days. 
I H*A*T*E*D P90X. 
I stopped like 30 days in for lots of reasons. Mostly i was not seeing results. I was back to trying to get back into the love I had lost during pregnancy-Running. But it was hit or miss on my lunch breaks. 1 week I'd run 4 days and the next week maybe 1 day. So again defeat hits.
The New Year was approaching and so some co-workers set up a 12 week weight loss challenge, I had high hopes to win! Well, I didnt. I did however loose 13 lbs in 12 weeks.
It was mostly thanks to a new approach since i was in physically therapy for tendonitis in my achillies. All that means is it killed me to walk, run, or stay still. My ankle would catch or lock. It was awful.
So 2 weeks before the challnge was to be over(i had already given up on winning) i asked my friend/coworker to start Weight Watchers with me. I knew i would NEVER go alone so was praying she would go with me. My daycare lady had started it about 3 weeks before and was having amazing results. And then of course there is Jennifer Hudson plastering the advertisements Jennifer had made WW cool to me. Im not gonna lie, i had always imagined the meetings consisting of these elderly ladies sitting around complaining about their weight. Jennifer made it cool and my daycare lady made it real. 

So the next day I went to Erika and before i could spit out the entire sentence, "would you even consider starting Weight Wat....." she cut me off and said YES! She had lost something like 35-40lbs about 10 years ago. After about 5 years of not going she had slowly packed on about 10 of those and was ready to get back on track. My friend runs about 40+ miles a week so her issues is clearly not exercise. It was strictly eating.
So on 3/28 we went to our first meeting. The lady kept saying to me, "You look like a deer in headlights". Um, yeah thanks thats how i feel to! I walked out so overwhelmed I wasnt sure I would continue.
I went home and tried to read as much as i could. I made a deal with myself. If i loose at the 1st wiegh in next week, I will keep doing it. 
The first week was kinda ugly. I realized just how much food i eat. And how often i was eating. I was hungry, but not awful. 
Then truth day came. The wiegh in day. I was scared/nervous. I got on the scale expecting to maybe have lost 1 lbs...maybe.
The leader said I was down 5.6lbs. IN 1 WEEK! I felt like going crazy like they do on the 1st week of Biggest Looser when they loose like 20 lbs! My friend had great results to! I relized what worked for me.

It was tracking.
I wrote down everything I put into my mouth whether it was food or drink. I had a set amount of points

Monday, March 19, 2012

Top 11 reason why I am not ready for BABY #2

So now that Leo is rounding the corner of 3rd base headed for his first HOME RUN-a.k.a the 1st Birthday....people only have 1 question, "So ya ready for baby #2?"

My response as i tweeted some days back, and I quote, 
"People ask if I'm ready for Baby #2 and i straight up laugh in their face!"

Before you read, i would preface this with the understanding I LOVEEEEEE my little jewel more than my own life and not a single one of these are complaints about my Lion Cub, they are simply reason why he will be an only child for a while:) I LOVED being pregnant. I LOVED giving birth and get excited at the thought of giving birth again. I LOVED my fresh little newborn boy. But I worry that if I have another baby time will move faster than the lighting speed rate it has jetted through in this last year:'(

So here they are....

11. Last week i realized I put my underwear on inside out 3 times...think im joking and that no one is that stupid-THIS GIRL!!!

10. I cant mentally bare again the debilitating guilt of returning to work again. It was and still is literally crushing, like someways i still physically feel actual pain that I am not raising my own son full time.....(sigh)

9. Paying for full time daycare-enough said.

8. My sister ASHLEY BARCLAY is giving me a niece!! So we will have a baby to love on!!!! A GIRL BABY:) My BFF JAMIE LEA BURKS is having a baby to love on this fall!!!! My friend MEGHAN MALLORY is having BABY GIRL! see! with all these new babies we are good to go for a while!

7. I need a break from pumping. Not a break from nursing. From PUMPING. Its so worth it and im glad i have made it this far....but lets give the GIRLS a break!!

6. Time! Where do momma's of more than 1 baby find time????? What if i am nursing the new baby but my big boy Leo needs a hug, some love, a pickle, a crayon on the top shelf, a diaper change?? this scares me to my insides and then makes my brain hurt!

5. Refering to this previous post The Enemy Strikes , Yep....i still look in amazement that i cant ever find time to do my hair! When would i ever have the time with 2 kids??

4. How would the Nash family make it through church? Right now I have to leave most services and am only there for the worship and end singing. Yo-church leaders: you get us momma's a CRY ROOM and i might consider baby #2~~~~~~~hahahahahaa

3. Having 2 kids in diapers is exclusively for crazy people....yes i am friends with LOTS of crazies ya'll!!!!

2. I like that Leo sleeps 12 hours at night! I cant go back to the waking every 2 hours!



But really...with this lil face....My cup runneth OVA!!!!! 

Only Uncle Gary gets smiles like these!

Here comes the Birthday BOY!

Tippin the hat just right....
who am I kidding, he was ripping it OFF his head!!
Nash boys make this life sweeter 


**PTL for HIS many Blessings!**

Happy Monday-
Love Manda

Friday, March 16, 2012

LEO's Birth Day 4/13/2011

So if you read some of my previous posts or know me...i am about natural living. Like, the way God intended it to be(but i want running water, cell phone, and a indoor toilet ok...just saying). but when it came to the birth of our first child i knew it was going to be all natural! ....well, i had hoped I was strong enough. Several reasons for this choice but the main thing was that i under NOOOOOOOOO circumstances wanted a ginormous needle coming near my spine! The stories of the side effects of epidurals sent my fearing mind into a tizzy, so YEP I planned on natural. Secondly, I knew the effects medicines can have on the very tender newborn.
So, I explained to Ryan about 2 days after we found out the news were were pg, that i wanted to do it this way. He didnt believe i could do it without meds from the start. The problem was, i was explaining this to him while i was flossing my teeth-got the floss stuck between 2 teeth that actually brought me to tears. He gave me that look that said, "REALLY AMANDA?" So 3rdly, I had to prove him and everyone else who thought I was incapable-----WRONG!
So fast-forward to everyone finding out. You know then, everyone wants to tell you the horror story of pushing out a 10lb baby that almost got stuck after 48 hours of labor, that needed to be cut(shivers), and the like. So everytime i heard this i put on my strong face and said to myself, "thats not gonna be me!"
So i spent the next 8 months preparing for the glorious all natural birth i was to have! MY friend Meghan had recently had a baby and had delivered with a midwife. So i thought natural caregiver=natural childbirth, step 1! Next, I wanted to take the Bradley Method classes. They however were 10 weeks long on Sunday during football season-Ryan said NO WAY the Vikings are going all the way this year and Im not going to miss it! (poor hub, such a let down every year). So instead I read EVERY book and workbook Meghan gave me. I listened exclusivly to stories of woman who gave birth sans meds and blocked out completely the rest of the stories. I was determined to be successful at this.
Around 7 months along i started to encounter some issues with high blood pressure. Ugh, twice I had to collect my urine for 24 hours to have it tested for protein to ensure i was not developing pre-eclampsia which can be harmful to both mom and baby. The bp stayed elevated so at about 36 weeks they started discussing the dirty, filthy, nansty, rotten word INDUCTION at 39 weeks. I wanted to vomit. I think I actually started crying. NO this was not in my perfect plan. After much research i knew that every one medical intervention increases greatly your risk of a C-section which made horrified me. I am a planner and a c-section was not in this lady's plan OK!! Period.
At 37 weeks they picked the day of the induction and gave me the instructions of what time to be there.
F-E-A-R consumed my thoughts and gave me nightmares. I went on each day wondering if 4-14-11, a Thursday, would be my son's birth-day.
So on Sunday 4/10/11 I was sick of being consumed with fear and anxiety. I did the only thing I could do-Let go and let GOD! I just prayed knowing my God would hear me and give me grace and the perfect birth meant for our 2-soon-to-be-3 family. It was unexplainable. On that day all and i mean ALL my anxiety and fear left me, period.
So Tuesday 4/12/11 came and I had an appointment with my midwife to check my bp, discuss last minute inducition items, and then had my membranes stripped. Um, yes this is uncomfortable but i found it a natural way to help my body prepare for birth. So membranes were stripped at 2pm, I then headed to my massage lady and told her to rub all the preasure points that stimulate the uterus, and then relaxed-headed to my freind Beka's baby shower. I was calmer than I had ever been in my life. I was taking in the beautiful spring day and happiness that Beka and I had as we were to soon welcome our babies Leo and Livia. I went home that night and slept the best I had the whole pregnancy, just thanking God that He had given me a peace about this birth that was before my husband and me.
4/13/11-4am I woke with a wierd feeling in my stomach. It felt like a Braxton Hicks contraction...but different. I went to pee and noticed the light on in the living room and said hi to Ryan who was up becouse he was used to working nights.(i think he wishes he had gotten some sleep that night!) I went back to bed and then at 5am woke up again, this time irritated becasue i knew i had to go to work and how was i going to work if i was tired(hahaha who knew!) But then they kept coming...about 10 minutes later i woke back up. I thought to myself, really? i cant be this lucky to have it happen the DAY before they were threatening to induce me!
I went downstairs and asked Ryan to start timing them(note to new mom's--keep this paper for your scrapbook, i cherish our record of these hours just before our son was born) Around 6:30 am we called Sandy our midwife and she thought i was in "early labor", acted like it was no big deal and to just come in for a labor check at 10:30. So at this point I am annoyed that she is acting like its no big deal but whatever! I got in the tub around 7am and the hot water seemed to help my contractions which at this point i might describe as a pain level of say 4-5. I was trying not to get too excited bc I thought what if they go away and then i have to actually go to work today? Silly me!
At 9am I told Ryan I wanted to go for a quick walk down by the river to help labor along. I put my shoes on, walked out the door, down the 4 front steps, 2 sidewalk squares out and GUSH!!!! The grossest feeling EVER ok! I thought honestly I had lost complete bladder control and was slightly embarresed that i had to tell Ryan I peed myself! Then it hit me "AHHHHHHHHHHH Your water broke Amanda" Then it hit me-Leo was being born today whether we were ready or not. I was half exilerated and half shaking with anxiety.
I went back inside and took a bath while Ryan called our midwife back and she said to come in immediatly. I was excited she had "immediacy" about it finaly.So after my water broke the contractions were stronger. I knew I would be unable to eat food once i got there, so the foodie i am I was sure to make 2 waffles and an apple for the drive down. We hopped in our newly purchased mini-van and made the 50 minute drive to Waterloo. I hesitated to call anyone because even at this point I thought, "what if they send me home because i really just peed myself and it wasnt my water breaking?"
We got there and they plop you in a wheelchair which i find to be stupid because... HELLO! Birthing is a sport ya'll not a side line venue ok! Get me walking and get this labor moving!
We get upstairs in the "triage room" where they check to make sure it was really my water that broke. The nurse smiled and said, "yep guys you are having a baby today" Reality and doubt sets in. I started doubting myself, maybe i cant do this natural and i should just bit the spinal needle and get it over with. Then Streangth  overtakes my mind-"YOU ARE DOING THIS! GOD, RYAN, and SANDY are getting YOU THOUGH THIS"
So we get to our REAL room where we would be having our baby and spending the next 2 days. I was giddy with excitiment. Sandy came in and said "I can tell without even checking you that you are dialated to about a 2-3" I laughed at her thinking she was crazy, my body had been working for the last few hours and was CERTAIN with ya know all the medical training i had(zilch) that i was about an 8-9 right>?
She checked me and said, "yep your dialted to 2 i could tell because you were smiling at me" At this point as much as i really like Sandy I considered telling her off....but knew in the hours to come i would need her!
She thought we should try me getting in the shower and having the water beat on my chest. I thought she again was crazy....and then i did it....and then bammmmm. Real labor set in. No more smiling. No more laughing. No more jokes. It was GO-TIME. 11am.
So here is where i explain that my previous marathon training and completions came in handy. So we start relating labor to the Leo marathon. I think at this point I'd say i was at mile marker 10 of 26.2 miles. Now any marathoner will tell you with confidence that if you can successfully run 10 miles the remaining 16.2 miles is stricktly a mind game. Meaning your body can get thru 10, your body can get to 26.2 miles.
I spent the next 2 hours in the warm jetted tub. Sandy at my head talking to me through each contraction. Ryan near, well my other end spraying the hose on my back like a good hubby trying to aleviate the back labor i was experiencing. Sandy would remind me with each contraction that we are going to finish this marathon like i did the last running marathons.
I remember thinking of  my last marathon where i had injured my hamstring 4 days before Grandma's Marathon. So as each mile marker went by i thought ok, you have an out to take the medical transport back because your injured. But each time I thought ok, you can make it 1 more mile then you can stop. Before i knew it i was to mile 22 and thought well shoot, i can crawl the last 4 miles if i need. And so, in the words of George Lopez I'd say "I GOT THIS"!!!
So in the marathon and George Lopez spirit i kept saying "I got this!" and my mantra "GET IT GIRL!"
Around 3 pm I got out of the tub becasue I was hot and started laboring in lots of different positions. On the ball, backwards on the bed, leaning over the bed, with 1 leg up on the bed-you name it.
At this point Ryan had not eaten at all today. In my concentration Im not sure i noticed. Next time I will pack something for him-bless his heart!
At 4:15pm Sandy went to eat a sandwhich and said she'd be right back. Well, she never got to eat that sandwhich becuase 5 minutes later I started feeling pressure to push. I was disgusted with this feeling. To be real about feels like you have to poo. Which i certianly did not want to do! I pressed the call button and Sandy checked me. The news i wanted! Dialated to 10, 100% effaced=ready to go!
Then fear again sets in. Can i really do this. The entire day i had noticed Ryan being really strong but could tell we were both equally as fearful at what was about to happen. Could it be? the man i had loved and been with for 11 years and we were actually having a baby?
While our faces silently told the other how we were feeling the nurse scurried around to get the room ready.

Mile 25. Sandy says, "You tell me when you are ready to push, just do what your body is telling you" ok....well i think im ready? So I pushed at the next contraction. The 1st push scared the strong right out of me! I was unprepared for the burning. Yes-this is what they call the "Ring of Fire" get why. So i didnt even push very hard the first 3 times because in my mind I needed to pace myself thinking it would be hours of pushing. So of course i need to conserve energy and pace myself to reach the finish line right?
At push 4 his head crowned. Through the pain. I could not beleive how ALIVE i felt. This is the raw feelings in life you cant ever get back. This doesnt come around but a few times in your life where you feel so REAL.  I felt like i was skydiving, or bungyjumping! A rush mixed with true feelings in life.
So he stayed crowned and i took a break and some deep breathing still thinking it would be like another hour. Then, Sandy said, "1 more push and he will be out Amanda you can do it" WHAT??!?!! you mean this is almost over?" I thought. So i somewhat hesitantly pushed and I felt his whole body come out and was so shocked i actually jumped back in complete unbelief. Good thing Sandy was ready.....
I heard the most amazing crackly but strong cry, and within a nano second put him on my bare chest and got to feel my firstborn. His eyes were so alert, his cry so strong and pronounced, his fingers tightly grasping to grip tight my skin. I cupped his tiny baby bottom with the palm of my hand. I remember repeating over and over "He's so tiny" (the untrasound tech had scared the life out of me stating the week before how scared she was for me because he was going to be such a big baby 10 lbs likely) I was shaking which Sandy said is common. They checked his APGAR score and heartbeat while he was on my chest. All that exsisted in the world at those first special moments of Leo's life was Leo, Ryan, and me. I barely remember the nurse or my midwife talking to me.

Im not exactly sure how long he was on my chest before i birthed the placenta, maybe like 20 minutes. It was a wierd feeling is the only way i can seem to explain it. Secondly it can be explained by-Relief.

So you wanna know what i would change for my next birth?
I want it EXACTLY the same. No medical intervention. No room full of nurses or doctors. No monitors hooked up to me. Just me, Ryan, and my midwife to finish the Baby Marathon.

My Reality Check came in March 2012. My friend Meghan, the natural childbirth guru got some devastating news. Since her first baby had been born with shoulder distocia she would need to have a c-section to avoid potential tragedy of the baby getting stuck in the birth canal. I cried when her hubby told me the news because she couldn't talk because she was sobbing. I was grieving for her the loss of the most amazing experience of her birthing her baby by herself.
God always has the best plans though. She emerged from this stronger. I learned from her situation. I was so stuck in my way of thinking as the only way of thinking. Yep...i judged people for not doing it "my way" which of course was the "right way". It kinda makes me sick that I am that awful in my thought life
All I want people to get out of this blog(if u actually read the whole thing) is that this was MY perfect way to birth my baby. I am sharing to encourage others only to know that it can be done. Woman are strong enough even when you might doubt yourself. But if that is not what you choose or plans are de-funked, Lord-willing, we all still get precious babies!!!

Thats Leo in the middle with his friends at church Wed night
Violet, Livia, Leo, Lincoln, and Jackson. Some babies are even missing! Lighthouse Academy is going to have a huge graduating class come their senior year!

Back to Birth-Day!

"'Im finally a Grandma!"

Our AMAZING midwife Sandy Lewis at Allen Hospital

A Gpa, a Gma, and an Aunt for the 1st time!

About 3 hours after Leo was born!

Garret becomes an Uncle for the 4th time!
He is so proud!

Precious baby yawns!

This was our first morning home!

Fast forward....11 months

Lion and the Lamb....
Be still my heart....

Love, Manda

Tuesday, January 31, 2012

The "R" word....

It always hits me right in my gut, then fumes northward to my heart and a fire is ignited. You know, when someone says, "that's so retarded". 
Sick, it makes me sick to my inner core that in today's society people still manage to think this is an acceptable term.

Let me explain to you that I would hope I would find this word just as offensive had I not had a family member who has Down Syndrome. Garrett, is my husband's little brother. Their mother was a stay-at-home mom all there life. She was diagnosed with cancer in November of 2001 and died the 4 weeks later, the week before Christmas. She had done all of the care for Garrett as her husband, Garrett's dad was the sole earner for the family. I don't think my father in law had ever given Garrett a bath, changed his diaper, or cooked a meal. At this point my then boyfriend-now husband moved back home to assist in caring for Garrett who was then 5 years old.
Garrett has been the person who taught my husband patience. Garrett has shown his family what love is and how to show love through genuine affection. Garrett brings laughter every-single-day. Garrett learns something new every single day. Garrett is a home-run-champ most summer days in our backyard. Garrett praises our Savior uninhibited, like we should all do, without fear of what people think. Garrett, is my son Leo's FAVORITE person(and as a mom that's kinda my spot) but he stole it right from me. Its ok I'll let him have it:) Some days he can outrun me. He is a Vikings fan just ask him. He is IN LOVE with Big Time Rush the band and wants all the Fox boys to be in his band, Garrett of course is Kendall the lead singer. When he grows up he wants to be a weatherman like Adam Frederic on KIMT. Garrett, or Gary as we like to call him loves to play the guitar. He LOVES to sing and is the biggest Elvis fan ever. He wanted us to name Leo Elvis...thats how big of a fan he is.

Garrett has brought more joy to our lives than he will ever know. God made him perfect in His eyes. He is a gift to my dear family.


 [ri-tahrd, for 1–3, 5; ree-tahrd for 4]  Show IPA
verb (used with object)
to make slow; delay the development or progress of (anaction, process, etc.); hinder or impede.

I can assure you he has never "hindered" us.
He has never "impeded" us.
See, when people say this, they say it like its a negative thing. Like people with disabilities are less than the rest. THEY ARE NOT

So the next time this word flows freely out ya mouth...think about what you are saying and what it really means.


He was making jokes with me!!

The face he gives me when I've taken too many pics for 1 day

ummmm yeah, like one of his fav people MR. Zack Fox

My sonny boy's smile!

Ohmygosh! memories! this is at a canival when we lived in Iowa City

He calls me his "baby girl" He always says "dont cry babygirl"

His "Bradey" My dad!

He "conqured" Wild thing...lets just say it wasnt pretty!

He calls Ryan "His best best brother"

Do you think this almost 18 year old slows us down??

Think about it....

Sunday, January 29, 2012

This season in life....

No one said motherhood was easy. ITs actually really challenging. Amazing. But filled with challenges. The latest is that I am starting the grieving process of loosing nursing. Its not over and I'm not sure how long I will nurse. 12 months, 14 months, 20 months? I don't know. But what I know is that it is nearing an end. It is more over than is left. That breaks my heart into a million little pieces, ya know that kind of broken that you will never get back. The process of him becoming independent. One less thing my baby needs me for. (yes, Im crying right now)
 Even though I'm like a hippy wanna-be, tree hugging, green thinking, recycle and don't use chemical, make-the-world-a-better type thinker.....I wasnt always so sure I could  successfully nurse.
Looking back, it makes me chuckle a little at how much I am morning this impending loss. It seems like a minute ago, my friend Ruth Ann came to visit me while i was on maternity leave. I think Leo was maybe 5-6 weeks old. Nursing still seemed to kinda hurt. Nursing seemed to take me away from going here or there so easily. I would wonder, if Im there how will I feed him?( I feel silly for thinking that now) As we were going to go for a walk, I think i got off the stairs of my front porch and was a sobbing mess(thank you hormones and slight dab of selfishness). You see my friend Ruth Ann is the pro at mothering. 4 happy babies all successfully breastfed and litterally the healthiest kids I have ever met in my whole life! (reason #403 why you should b-feed!)
So anyway, I start explaining to her how I hating b-feeding and it was such a hassle and I think at this point it was still somewhat painful. I just wanted to be done. In her mothering way, she hugged me and encouraged me to just try to make it to 8 weeks. Then when you get there try to make it to 12 weeks, the end of my treasured maternity leave, and see how i felt then.
 I really feel silly looking back on this moment now that I treasure it so. But, such is life. I was weak at that point and she was strong and had lived it already. I had tons of friends who were successful with nursing and I am certain without them I would have never made it this far. To the point of having a heart that is physically aching when relizing its nearing the end!!!!!!!!!!!
Without support, nursing it likely not going to be successful. I had about 10-12 really close friends who nursed. About 7-8 of them were currently nursing. I had my mom who was encouraging. My corky(and i use that in the nicest way) lactaion consultant from the hospital. I struggled and some days still do with low supply. All these people encouraged me to keep going strong.
This actually is not the blog where i wanted to tout breast feeding(to come later....) but instead explain what is getting me through. Ok-this is where i cry. Here's the picture: Usually the bedtime feeding is the saddest for me. I run my hands over his hair and rub his  exposed ear. I pat his bottom with my other hand. I can hear him gulping. I can smell the fresh lotion I just slathered on him. He is holding on to my hair strand that fell out of my messy ponytail.  He stares at me with his sleepy gaze....its usually when our eyes meet. This is when it happens. TEAR FACTORY 2012 YA'LL.

MY friend Meghan always says, "this is a season in our life". In Ecclesiastes chpter 3 Solomon says "There is a time for everything and a SEASON for every activity under heaven" He goes on to say "...a time to weep and a time to laugh, a time to mourn and a time to dance...."

This is the season I am in----nursing and raising up a child of God's. God gave him to me, he is my promised jewel. I will humbely mourn this loss. But our time to dance is near. I may weep in my loss but laughter is near. God even gives these seasons simultaneously. I see my firstborn growing. When I cry my husband says, "Arent you happy to see him growing?" YES I AM! But I'm sad to, my days are numbered with him so little as he is.
But then again, the Word says in Psalm 90:12  
So teach us to number our days, That we may present to You a heart of wisdom.

The anticipation....January 2011
Life's first breath...4.13.11
First days at home, I watched him sleep ALOT!
ahhhhh true love
Growing too fast, be still my heart....

My Lion Cub.

That's what I want. To present to God a heart of wisdom. 
Let HIM see that I made every day count of every season in my life. 
From life's first cry to final breath, let it be to honor the life my God gave me.