Friday, January 22, 2010

welcome to the world little man!

ashton michael cherry was born at 2:11pm on 1/20.
8 lbs 12 oz.
21 inches long.
bright, alert, absolutely, heart-meltingly adorable.
i am so in love!
and so is the rest of the family.

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

emotional purging to my dear blog...

to say that i have been in a conflict of emotions today would be an understatement. i would say the biggest feeling i have had today is fear, mixed with a good dose of loneliness. i am a worrier and a control freak. for the past six years my life has been somewhat predictable. i know how to do three kids. i am at a comfortable place. sure a few curve balls have been thrown my way, and whenever you have kids there are always moments that make you hold your breath (for good and bad). but despite that, we have been a family of five.
tomorrow that will change to six. i am so thankful for this gift from heaven. i am so thankful to have been able to get pregnant and have a healthy pregnancy. i am thankful that we have a wonderful, warm home to bring him home to. believe me, with all that's going on in the world right now, gratitude for all of my blessings is on the forefront of my mind. but i am a woman with hormones, and lots of worries.
i blog all of this to help purge it from my heart a bit, to document my feelings at this time in my life, and for therapy's sake. cheap therapy. funny how this blog has become my closest friend in a lot of ways. hmm. but i digress....
deep breath.
ok. i am ready for this, i think.
no, i am. i've done it before.
it's just that unknown thing again.
life is a grand adventure, a roller coaster ride. right now i am cresting a hill. you know the feeling of fear, apprehension, excitement, and butterflies in your stomach? yeah, i'm there. totally.
so take another deep breath.
remember not to close your eyes too tight (or you might miss something).
and throw your hands in the air! this is the best part!

Sunday, January 17, 2010


i have been fulfilling some cravings lately...
while browsing through one of my favorite magazines, victoria, i came across a recipe for lemon butter cookies. mmm...
had to try 'em out!

the combination of lemon zest, toasted ground almonds and, well, lots of butter and sugar was heavenly. but what i didn't count on was how painful it would be to stand there and roll out the dough. sheesh. my back, legs and pregnant belly were really hating me.

and for my next sweet craving, it comes in the form of eye candy. as i've mentioned, i'm over the moon for art journaling, scrapbooking, or any form of paper play. so i've been pouring over this book and magazine getting totally inspired!

so many lovely sweet treats and it's not even february yet! fabulous.

Saturday, January 16, 2010


isn't it wonderful when the simple things can bring a smile to your face?

like this beloved little japanese doll my sister gave me...

and this card, which i bought and framed...
having said that, my heart, thoughts and prayers have been with the victims in haiti. at the dinner table last night we asked the boys if they knew what was going on in that part of the world. to our surprise, our older boys did not. i can't believe there has been no mention of it in school! we filled them in on what happened and the prior circumstances (the poverty of that country). they quietly listened and absorbed most of it.
i believe in being honest with my children, and not shielding them too much from the current events. they need to know what's going on around them. they need to know that there is a different way of life than the rich, blessed life we lead. hopefully it will cultivate a greater compassion within them. hopefully they will come to appreciate what they have on a deeper level, and take less for granted. it is my goal to raise responsible, compassionate, selfless, hard-working, loving, appreciative boys.
this family's prayers are with those suffering souls in haiti. may they be blessed with some measure of comfort and peace despite the horrendous conditions that surround them.

Friday, January 15, 2010

the other boleyn girl

every now and then i read a book that captivates me so that i have to blog about it. you know when you finish that last page and are sad to be done? a story that consumes you, and begs you to research it's origins?... that is the other boleyn girl.
if any of you have seen the movie, or even the showtime series, the tudors, you really are doing yourself a disservice to NOT read the book. READ IT. you won't be sorry.

the book is narrated by mary boleyn, the sister to anne boleyn. you immediately fall in love with this girl. so simple, sweet, and unassuming. so unlike her sister or the rest of her family.

anne boleyn is the girl you love to hate. really hate. and she existed, and probably did most of the horrible things the book touches on. she was king henry viii's second wife.
the scandal and treachery she left in her wake rival the juiciest plot in history.

henry viii. i admit, i don't know much about the tudors or life in the 1500's. but this story, this king, has piqued my interest and furthered my study in this time period.

queen katherine was his first, and very holy wife. she was a saint. she plays a fairly large role in the story, as anne robs her of her throne and has her banished from court. you feel for her and want to pledge your loyalty to her.
that is the beauty of this book. the author, philippa gregory, brings these people to life again. your heart becomes involved as if you were a commoner, or a courtier in england, circa 1524.

sigh. it's just beautiful in every way.

a word of warning, it's not for the faint of heart. this story does delve into the nitty gritty of what probably happened. there is some sexual content (it would be hard to leave that out, seeing as it's such a introval part of the story). treachery, adultry, and other sins.
having said that, i think the author does a good job of not getting too graphic. it is tastfully done, in my opinion. i feel it's worth reading because it is part of history.

Thursday, January 14, 2010

recap of births past

i have been pretty much consumed with the birthing process these days. as far as i'm concerned, it doesn't matter how many children you birth, that impending fear of pushing a baby out is still there. so many things are happening, and so many variables. each one different. no guarantees. i have been pretty lucky in the past with smooth deliveries, in a hospital, with perfect babies to show for it.

with ben, i had to be induced because of slight complications at the end of the pregnancy. it was by far my longest labor, like 12 hours i think. but i was comfortable with an epidural and a cozy hospital bed.

with kyle the process started naturally and quickly. about an hour from start to finish. no time for an epidural. however, because of the speed of it i didn't mind so much having him naturally. afterwards i felt great, and it was over before i knew it!

with noah the process also started naturally and even quicker. about 40 minutes from start to finish. barely made it to the hospital before he came out. they laid me down on the bed, me crying out for medication of SOME KIND, they assured me i could have a shot of something after they checked me. the nurse checked and said, um, well, you can push on your next contraction...the baby's head is crowning. no meds for me. so two or three pushes later, noah was born.
he was later taken to the NICU due to a few complication during the birth. he stayed there for about a week. scary. really scary. but all was well.

i don't know that i will go naturally with ashton. i really thought i would have had him by now, and i am scared about how big he may already be. i have an induction date set for wednesday, early am. i'm glad, and not glad at the same time. the last time i was induced i was in labor for 12 hours. yuck. but, i don't want him to get much bigger than he is, so whatever it takes. i am incredibly uncomfortable these days. all my energy is completely zapped. i don't do well being still, but am forced to be. i am ready for the next stage of this baby. i'm pretty sure the kids are too. when mom is out of commission everyone suffers a bit.

thanks to all of you who have been so kind with your prayers and well wishes. i feel very loved and supported!

Monday, January 11, 2010

a few lovely and delicious distractions...

i really don't mean to complain, but any woman who has been pregnant will back me up when i say that the last few weeks can be a bit unbearable. i know i should be relishing this last bit of time before a tiny human consumes it all...but my body is under such strain.
i am finding that distracting myself from thinking about it too much helps...a little.

so, here are a few of the things that are seeing me through the long days:

a really good book:

sinfully delicious fruit:

and a new craving, that is now my FAVORITE cake ever...
multi-layer coconut cake (baked for me by my loving husband):

how lucky am i? yes, it is just as good as it looks.

Friday, January 08, 2010

documenting through photos - january

i am not usually one who does "series" on my blog. but while talking with my friend natalie, who does, we started talking about the need for monthly photos of our kids. i loved this idea! i mean, for shame....a photographer that doesn't document their own kids on a monthly basis?! so i immediately knew i wanted to copy/steal/borrow her idea.

and so i introduce my new series, "documenting through photos". monthly pictures of each of my kids.





Thursday, January 07, 2010

N is for nursery and A is for.....

i have finally gotten to the point where i can post some pictures of the nursery. (of course i'm still adding to it, rearranging, etc...but for the most part, it's complete.)
admittedly it is the nicest room in the house. a fact that hasn't escaped any of the boys, who have in turn said why can't my room be this nice. to which i reply, well when you were tiny, helpless, with no opinion, it DID!

some of the adornments were gifted to me/and the baby from dear friends. but the "A's" were made by me...more on that in a moment.
the paint job, and trim detail (which is hard to see in these pictures, but impeccably done) was done by stephan.

cuteness abounds in every corner!

his first picture...ultrasound at 20 weeks.

and now for all of the "A's"... most of you know the name, but i haven't actually 'revealed' it on my blog yet.
drum roll please.............
okay little ashton, we're realllly ready to meet you, hold you, cuddle you, snuggle you, spoil you, just BE with you! please join us SOON.

Tuesday, January 05, 2010

the bunny who got a second chance

as most of you know, we have two very large dogs. and three very active boys. and a husband who is a chef, and looks upon most wild animals as culinary delights. so rabbits who come in our yard are throwing the dice with their lives. a sort of russian roullet.

while nichole was in town she went down into the basement to fetch something from our food pantry. it just so happens that it looks out into the window well. she came up and reported that there was a rabbit in there. a live rabbit.
what the? how the? why in the world would it...? hmm.
i told her that the chances of him getting out alive were slim to none. unless she wanted to climb in there and free him. (she is a lover of all things furry and cute, so i thought it appropriate to mentally prepare her for a bit of heartache) she didn't want to climb in the well and wrestle with a wild rabbit, but she did feel immense pity for the creature and threw a carrot his way.

when stephan came home from work the boys excitedly told him about the visitor. i fully expected he would shrug his shoulders and say, well, he shouldn't have hopped down there. his grave is dug. or something along those lines. i really didn't think he would go down and rescue it.
i was wrong. and many photo ops ensued!

by the disgruntled look on his face, i imagine this is what went through steph's mind:

run away little dude. run away and never return. oh, and don't let on to your little bunny posse the kindness this home owner showed might have been a fluke!

Monday, January 04, 2010

oh the fun we have...

whenever my mom and sister come to town we have such a wonderful time. there are usually a few things that we consistently do:


this trip was no exception. i took them to my new FAVORITE fabric and yarn store, fancy tiger.
i adore this store. seriously! it's got a cool indie vibe, and of course it doesn't hurt that the fabric is insanely cute. all the yarn is hand dyed, etc. the owners are serious crafters and are usually head to toe outfitted in clothing they have sewn/knit/crocheted themselves. inspiration station, people!

oh, and the logo...holy cuteness! i want to adopt/steal their catch phrase "be. do. make." plus any store with the name of fancy tiger has serious promise, no?

after purchasing some fabric joy we frequented a few of the uber-hip vintage shops that neighbor fancy tiger.
my one and only complaint was that i couldn't last longer. my pregnant belly was slowing me down something fierce.

prior to fancy tiger we needed to take care of some business in the form of a flat tire. fortunately we recently purchased said tire, so the flat was fixed free-o-charge.
while waiting, we snacked on some not so great soft serve, made better with vending machine junior mints. mmm...

and waited on the plush floor sample furnishings.

this picture was taken later that evening. nichole was trying out some of noahs newly obtained spy gear.
can't wait to see you guys again SOON! it's too hard to be separated from my peeps!

snapshots of christmas 2009

all was calm....all was bright....

mom and nichole in town...what could be better?

santa brought noah a super cool tony hawk bike and harley davidson helmet.

and my mom brought stephan his FAVORITE pepper sauce from palo alto, ca. 10 bottles of it. no gift has made him happier!

sadly, santa forgot to put something in the dogs stocking. a fact which wasn't overlooked by noah - it was the first thing he noticed when he came downstairs. oops...uh...dang!

ben and kyle spent christmas day with their dad this year, so they opened their presents the next day.

what a blessed christmas we had. i am so thankful for being able to enjoy it with family. along with my mom and sister, stephans parents and sister came from the springs to spend the day with us. stephan made a lovely crepe buffet for dinner...mmmm.
it was a delightful day full of happiness!

Sunday, January 03, 2010

my beautiful baby shower

i have the best girlfriends! they threw me a fabulous baby shower that i will not soon forget. the theme, decorations, food, company, all of it was just beautiful! here is a snapshot of all of the splendor.....

(all photos credit natalie)

thank you girls for giving me such a gorgeous gift! i am so blessed to have you three ladies as my girlfriends. you are too good to me.