Friday, October 28, 2011

Just Making It...

Have you ever had one of those days, weeks, months, maybe even years where you feel like you're JUST barely making it?  Well, that's what this month has been for us.  I'll let Jas tell you how he feels in another post if he so desires, but let me put it out there how I've felt.

October has been full.  Busy, good, tough, and full.  This post may sound like all I'm doing is complaining, and maybe that's just what it is, but it's high time to get it off my chest.  So here goes.

Adjusting to life with a baby is no joke.  Don't get me wrong, I couldn't be more thankful for the lil thing.  She's a blessing, undoubtedly.  But there's no how-to manual for babies.  It's a HUGE learning curve.  And sleepless nights just make for tiredness during the day, too...whew.

Post-birth healing is no piece of cake either.  Episiotomies, nursing, then developing an abscess.  Wow, overwhelming.  Painful. Trying to heal.  And with all that comes the in general feeling of not being able to get it all done (in ministry, with family, around the house and so on). On a side note, how do families of multiples do it!?! Maybe we'll know one day...

Speaking of learning curves and learning, I feel like my Slovak skills have plummeted.  I've still been plowing at it in between feedings and diaper changes, but I haven't been able to speak like I want to and just feel like my vocab and grammar have begun to slide. Ugh. One day I will get this language (genuine determination right there, folks).

All that adds up to cranky husband and wife.  My husband has a fine sense of humor (and it's one of the things I love most about him), but he also has a particular way of applying humor when he's stressed that just plain irritates me.  Yep, I said it.  And trust me, it's not just him.  That's not what I'm saying.  I come back at him with snide remarks and ugliness too.  Makes for unpleasant conversations.  But this too shall pass and we are learning more and more how to work through stress together (slowly but surely).

So how's that for bearing it all today?  Just putting it all out there.  We're real and really sinful over here in ya couldn't have guessed that, huh? ;)  However, I did receive an encouraging note from a friend today reminding me of this verse:

Count it all joy, my brothers, when you meet trials of various kinds, for you know that the testing of your faith produces steadfastness. And let steadfastness have its full effect, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing.

James 1:2-4 ESV

God knows our trials.  And my trials compared to many other's trials are nothing. I have SO very much to be thankful for.  SO much.  Now just to remember this in times of trial.

And speaking of things to be thankful for...we were able to spend some time with family (altogether close to a whole month, actually) who came all the way over here to see us.

Because no blog post is complete without pictures...

If you read through all that...consider yourself a champ! Thanks for letting me get it all out on this here little blog :)

Monday, October 24, 2011

One Month!

We have a one-monther!  What in the world!?  Where did the time go?

I think I'm starting to understand already just how quickly the time goes...

And speaking of the lil one, here she is now.

And some deets (that's details for anyone out there who is thinking I'm talking about bug spray ;)...
Height: 57 cm (22 inches)
Weight: 4,170 grams (approx. 9 lbs., 2 oz.)
Major milestones: eating, pooping, getting stronger neck muscles during tummy time, noticing objects slowly but surely, and just being plain cute!

That's our one month old (sigh). We're loving being her parents!

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

A Lil Newborn Photography

So having a newborn and all, I thought I'd try my hand at a little newborn photography (little newborn photography...pun seriously intended :)

Let me just say I now have way more respect for newborn photographers.  It's no joke, friends, no joke.  Trying to get a little one to cooperate for picture-taking is like trying to drive a stick shift while talking on the phone, brushing your hair, and maneuvering through four lanes of traffic.  All. at. once.  Ok, I exaggerate. Slightly.

But seriously, it wasn't the easiest, even after reading up on newborn photography and studying tips on how to take good baby pics. However, I did get a few that I was pleased with.

Without further adieu, my attempt at capturing baby Elise...

And probably my favorite shot of all (before and after editing)...

No easy task.  But I'll take the cute ones I got any day :)

Monday, October 17, 2011

Speaking, Language, and a Blooper

This weekend Jas was asked to speak at a youth group meeting of sorts called "KECY club."  He spoke on the theme "collision."  He did an awesome job, but most importantly he was able to share about Christ and counting the cost of choosing to follow Him.

We then broke into small groups and discussed what it looks like to follow Christ in general and what it looks like to follow Christ in Slovakia.  This was helpful for Jas and I as we learned more about how Slovaks perceive and are perceived as Christians. Eye-opening.

And of course, it was great for our language.  We've been focusing on our language a lot lately (what am I talking about!? we've been working on language since we've been here!).  But what I really want to tell you about is a hilarious (or maybe not so hilarious) language blooper Jason made :)

We finished talking in small groups and everyone broke out the tables and the games.  Jas and I thought it was time to head home to Elise (who was kindly being watched by her grandparents) thinking she might be ready to eat some more.  Well, Jas decides to tell the people we were standing with (in Slovak) that "we had to go eat the baby." WHAT?!?!?!  We all cracked up because as soon as he said it he realized. Too funny.

But no worries, we did not eat our child.  Rather, we wanted her to eat.  And eat she did.

And because in my opinion no post is complete without a's a picture of our Slovak tutor, Terezia, with Elise.

They're both adorable, huh?!

Friday, October 14, 2011

Easy Breezy Heart Pictures

I've been meaning to post this for a while now, so here it is finally.

I wanted some fun and colorful art for Elise's room back when I was decorating.  So I decided to make some.

Here's the final product:

I simply took a brown paper bag and cut it to the size of my frame.  Taking white paper I used sharpies and colored pencils to fill an entire sheet with bright, random designs.  Then I cut out hearts of all shapes and sizes.

Before cutting the hearts...

Once all the hearts were cut out, I simply glued the hearts onto my brown paper and drew a heart outline around some of them (for a lil something extra, ya know.)

Into the frame it went.  And, of course, you can never have too much color so I saw these pinterest flowers (a tutorial) and got to rolling some paper.  Took some glue and put those bad boy flowers on the frames.

And voila! Happy art for the baby's room :)

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Scrub A Dub Dub

Someone had the privilege of receiving her first bath this past week!

She did surprisingly well, despite a few screams and some bodily function action (Jas received the liquid form on him and I was the happy recipient of the more solid form..ha! Good times.)

Photographers Marianne and Nate were here to help us document this momentous event.  Thanks guys!

Prepped and ready to go.  That belly...oh goodness, I melt.

Duckie tub time. She's a little skeptical at this point.

"Better watch out, dad, I got a fist ready to go for putting me in this tub!"

Great time for team work...

Ah, post-bath calmness.  So fresh and so clean, clean.

What. A. Cutie.  Yes, we're first time parents, we can gush, right? :)

And I'm aware there's been lots of baby on the blog lately...I guess that's what happens when you bring a new little human home and into your lives.  But hey, craft post and some ministry updates coming soon!

Monday, October 10, 2011

Auntie M & Uncle N

This past week we had some special visitors.  Aunt Marianne and Uncle Nate were in town for some family time and for some sight-seeing around Europe.

They got to spend some sweet time with Elise (translation: she was asleep nearly all day every day while they were here), but it made for some priceless pictures...

Look at that little smile :)

(Random photo tip:  In the photo above Marianne's hand is cut off...the photo would have been a lot better as far as composition goes with the hand included!  Yes, it's the small things :)

See, told blue eyes to be seen (until night time!).  Still working on the whole newborn-switching-over-to-big-people-schedule thing.

Miss you already, Aunt M and Uncle N...

Friday, October 7, 2011

Elise's Birth Story

So, I've been debating whether or not to post Elise's birth story, but I decided that since this is our little online journal of sorts, and we'd like to look back on it in the future, it's a great place to document it!  So here goes.  (If this isn't your type of post, feel free to tune out, but if you're up for it, grab a pumpkin spice latte in my honor and get comfy ;)

It all started Friday morning when we went into the hospital for a heart rate test.  Elise's heart rate was down and they were concerned, so they asked us to come back Friday night.

We went in Friday night hopeful that her heart rate would be fine.  Well, it was for a while.  Then it decided to go high.  And stay high for some time.  This concerned the doctors that night, so an ultrasound followed.  Everything was fine with the cord blood and placenta, but they weren't super comfortable with the results in finding the main artery that flows to the brain.  This meant they asked us to stay the night and monitor everything (aka multiple heart rate tests and another ultrasound).  We were a little nervous (ok, maybe more than a little) at this point because we were communicating in English and actually some broken Slovak, as well as German and a clear picture of what was going on wasn't coming together for us...

We stayed the night.  Elise's heart rate evened out for the most part, but in the morning the doctor told us that since she was six days late we may want to go ahead and induce (so as to avoid any type of risk further).  It was a go! We were told that induction could take anywhere from a few hours to a couple days and that we might just want to get comfortable.  WELL, needless to say, thirty minutes later I was having full fledged contractions.  We're talking very little break and intense!

Jas walked with me through them as best he could (though there really is not much you can do but just endure those stinkin' birth pains :) and things progressed quickly.  At five centimeters I wasn't sure I was going to be able to make it...but thirty minutes passed and I was then at nine centimeters.  Just like that! Sooo fast.

Then it was time for her to make her grand entrance (eight hours from start to finish).  I'll spare all the nitty gritty details, but thankfully God has orchestrated the human body to be able to make it through the pain and the unpleasant-ness and it is SO worth it when that little one comes out crying into the world.

Elise Noelle was born at 4:39 pm on Saturday, September 24th.  She weighed a hefty 8 pounds, 8 ounces and was 52 centimeters long.  They placed her in my arms and I'm fairly certain it's a moment I'll never forget.  Completely testifies to the greatness of our Creator.

I did end up with an episiotomy due to the cord being wrapped around her neck, but we are thankful she came and was/is a healthy baby.  She's a blessing.  A true blessing.

And, well, her daddy and I are just a little bit smitten with these tiny details...

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Kaiser Krainer Goodness

I'd been wanting to indulge in a sausage for sometime now since having refrained from them throughout pregnancy.  So the other day we had to head to Vienna for another afternoon of paperwork for Elise...and it was high time for a Kaiser Krainer (also known as a cheese stuffed sausage).

Jas thought it was appropriate to document this momentous occasion...

And another angle.  No Kaiser Krainer for Elise.

Ah the joy of fatty foods :)  I was one happy girl!

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Nursery Tour, Anyone?

Well, this is long overdue, but finally here is a peak into Elise's nursery.

Since we couldn't paint the walls, I wanted it to be bright, cheerful, and of course that means colorful.

So here it is...the big reveal:

Shot to the left from the door.

Ikea frames, paper bag background, hand drawn hearts, and pinterest roses.

Free printoff colored in (and yes I know the letters are cut off...)

I'll always love a good map.

My crafty friend Steph made this for it.

And there you have it, our quite Ikea-fied nursery for Elise :) Lots of crafts, lots of color, and lots of time spent there now.  Welcome home, E.

Monday, October 3, 2011

Some Great Friends

This morning I was feeding Elise and doing some reading and then thought, "I'll check my email."  When I did, I found a surprise waiting...

You see, you may remember this photo shoot that my college roommates/best friends and I did back in January before we all headed different directions.  It looked a little something like this:

Good, good times.
Soooo...when they were all going to be together this weekend, they decided to have another photo shoot seeing as how it's only appropriate and should be made a tradition anytime any of us are together.

Well, I didn't know about it (we did get to all skype and I was thankful for that), but they decided to include me in the photo shoot...

This is a sampling of what I found when I checked my email.

And they even recreated the jumping photo from above!

Love, love, LOVE it. Brought a huge smile to my face in the early morning hours.

And there's nothing like a paper head cut-out of yourself to make you feel like you're there ;)

Friends, THANK you so much for including me.  You guys are great.  Simply great.
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