My handsome husband is celebrating his golden birthday today as he is turning the big two-nine. I won't write all about my love for him on this post as he will get that in his real birthday card. This just serves as another place to proclaim my sincere obsession with my wonderful husband. Babe, you make life worth living- you and that awesome kid of ours. I love you more than I could say. May God bless you richly on your special birthday.
Yes. THIS was found in OUR back yard. OK, please feel free to do the he-bee ji-bee dance now. Eric came running in the house to get his camera and snapped this photo of the beast.
Alabama does not mess around when it comes to growing some big-O nasty spiders! Have you ever seen something so huge and disgusting??? I mean have you? There is fuzzy yellow HAIR on it's head! It has a big beetley back! There are pricky things coming off of it's scary legs! SICK! Does anyone know what kind of spider this is? And... will it kill me? I think the answer is yes.
It has been so much fun to hang out with Luke. I am one blessed mom. I decided to take some pics of Luke today because the cuteness factor was off the charts and if I didn't do something quick I would have probably squeezed his head of from a cuteness attack! Good thing I found an outlet
As you can see Child Protective Services, my baby still has his head.... I was just using a figure of speech to get my point across that my son is incredibly cUUUte.
Juggling- Going to and from anywhere requires great focus as I am learning how to juggle- A diaper bag, my purse, baby Luke, his car seat, his paci, his burp cloth, the blanket, my sunglasses, the keys, the car door, his stroller, the grocery cart (or buggy for you southerners) hand sanitizer, ect. Its a work out for the mind as well as the body.
Starting- I WILL be starting my work out routine tomorrow. I WILL!
So it is written so let it be done.
Reading- Radical. Our entire church is going through the book it's just taking me longer than most to get through it. This book definitely makes me feel uncomfortable and forces me think about how I live out my faith. Oh, and I've also managed to find time to pick up Brown Bear and Goodnight Moon :).
Very Messy- Please do not drop by unannounced because my house is NOT clean and it's even grossing me out.
Guilty- I have baked 2 packages of break n' bake cookies in the last week in a half and the only person I have shared them with is Eric. That is a lot of cookies for 2 people.
Loving- Luke falling asleep on my chest this Sunday afternoon..... heaven.
Shopping- I am attempting to rebuild a very sad wardrobe that has not had any attention paid to it in over a year. So far I've bought an orange T-shirt and a pretty pink silk tank that I have nothing to wear with. Off to a grrreat start. *sigh*
Realizing- Eric's birthday is in 1 week.... I have got to get the creative juices flowing for the soon to be 29 year old love my life.
Addicted to- Luke's video monitor. As much as I protested that we would not use it- we did. And... -I-love-it. Luke T.V. is where it's at! So entertaining and seriously reassuring.
Dear Lukey, For the past 2 nights you have almost slept straight through. Does anyone else hear the Hallelujah chorus in their heads? No? Just me? Your dad and I were amazed when we both woke up at 3:30am and you were still sleeping! Are we making a transition here or did we just get a stroke of good luck? Either way it will be OK because to be honest Luke, as hard as it is to get up in the middle of the night to feed you, change your diaper, or rock you back to sleep, your dad and I really don't mind. Don't get me wrong- we are much better people with at least 6 hours of sleep, but something about those quiet moments at night with you are so special.
One of our favorite times of day with you is in the morning. You are such a happy baby in the morning. Right after you get done eating you usually like to flash us a smile that just melts our hearts. Your dad and I love it when you smile because you have one- great- smile Luke. We love your smile so much that we do almost anything to try and get just one grin from you. We've tried dancing, singing, making crazy faces, making stupid noises, and truly making fools of ourselves all for the possibility of a smile. Even if we don't get you to smile, I seriously enjoy hearing your Dad talk in his baby voice- classic.
Your dad and I also like to sing to you. Your dad gets his guitar out and we make up all kinds of songs to sing to you about your toes, or your hair, or your name "Luke Lawrence". It's good times had by all and you love to stand and dance while we sing to you. You also really seem to enjoy Bob Marley, Ingrid Michaelson, and originals by the husband and wife duo "The Hoffmans".
It's fun finding out the things you love. We found out you L.O.V.E. getting a bath. No matter how upset you were before we put you in the bath tub you immediately forget about it as soon as your feet hit the water. It is seriously CUTE! You also love to be outside. I usually take you out on the front porch a couple times a day and sit and rock you in the rocking chair. You sit quietly on my lap looking all around and I wonder what you must be experiencing with all the new colors, sounds, and smells. You also love to stand. It is so funny how you kick your legs straight when you want us to lift you up to stand. You get so excited your little arms flail about as if you were dancing to your own beat. Which, I'm sure you are since you probably have one of "The Hoffman" originals stuck in your head. What a blessing it is to see you grow and develop.
We love you more than words could ever express Luke. I hope you never doubt our love for you and I hope you never doubt the Lords incredible love for you.
Keep jammin' (Jamaican accent implied)
**Letter's inspired by sweet Sara view her blog here **
I made my very first Groupon purchase today so I thought I would share the good deal with my fellow bloggers. Groupon has a great deal going on for GAP today. I mean who doesn't like the GAP? You can always use one of their worn-in T's or comfy cardigans. You get 50 dollars worth of merchandize for half off. Don't mind if I do :). Hurry before time is up!!!
Some of you devoted blog followers may recall this post. I explained my excitement for Luke and Emily to meet and described what I knew would be a lasting and deep friendship between the two of them. Well.... upon their first meeting this is what happened.
I know Emily just wanted a lock of Luke's hair as a souvenir to remember him by, but Luke was not as willing to oblige. Well, I'm sure next time they hang out they will be BEST buds.
I have really been aching for my sisters. Especially now that I have this precious bundle of joy, I really want him to be loved and spoiled by my sissies. Well God has heard my sobs from my oh-so-far-away-home in Alabama and brought them to the ears of my sister-in-laws in Michigan! YAY!
Sara and Lora came to our little home in Alabama to give Luker some lovin' and me some serious sister-hood bonding. I cannot tell you how nice it was to have them here. When we picked Lora and Sara up from the B'ham airport Friday morning Luke was sleeping in his car seat in the back. Lora and Sara immediately scrunched in the back seat for an up close and personal look at their new nephew. Lora's eyes filled with tears and it just melted my heart! It was so fun to see them with Luke- he LOVES his Aunts!
Look at these amazing toys they MADE for Luke! I have got to learn how to sew!
The weekend was full of games, laughter, food, DESSERT :), AND I even got a chance to get out of the house with the girls to see THIS movie. Kinda weird, but- worth it to see Zac Efron. I KNOW.... he is kinda young, but seriously CUUUTE :). Not as cute as you though babe! ;)
Thank you Sara and Lora for making the financial sacrifice to come down for the weekend and see Luke. We had a BLAST with you guys and cannot wait to see you again.
It's time for another shout out to one of my favorite websites... ETSY! There is an abundant amount of beautiful finds on this website, as many of you know. Most recently I purchased THIS for Luke's baby dedication and my sister's rehearsal dinner. And can I just say- He ROCKED this little outfit. I cannot wait to buy more. He looks like such a little man! Stitches by Rachel is fantastic! She has all kinds of adorable outfits and she is super fast getting them to you! Thanks again Rachel- can't wait to do business with you again!
My second shout out goes to a little gift shop called Kitschy Klutches. My sweet sister Joy got MARRIED last week and gave all of her bridesmaids an adorable clutch from this shop. They come in a variety of sizes and patterns. Mine is a perfect size with beautiful earthy tone paisley pattern. LOVE IT!
** not the one I got but just as CUTE!**
And finally I am again featuring byannieM. Annie gave me an adorable green and white poke-a-dot tote bag for a baby gift and I have received so many compliments on it. I used it a ton this past week to tote all wedding essentials. This tote is not only adorable but also very functional. She cleverly designed the bag to hold large and small items. I just love it... and so does everyone else!
**not the same tote as mine but just as adorable!!**
As most of you know my maiden name is Kayser and I am proudly one of the 4 Kayser girls. 3 of which have traded their beloved Kayser name in for new ones. And now the 4th daughter has also lost the Kayser name, but has also gained a wonderful new one.
Mrs. Joy Marie Claybrook!
Sadly (especially for my dad) none of us are able to carry the Kayser name on. Our family name means so much to all of us and we want to make sure we honor it by loving our husbands well.
We had a GREAT week in a half in Franklin TN celebrating my baby sister's wedding week. Joy Marie Kayser is now Joy Marie Claybrook. Mrs. Scott Claybrook!!! I can't believe it. I am so happy for her and her new hubby Scott. They will be beginning their new lives together in the happening city of Atlanta Georgia. We are thrilled for them and cannot wait to hear about their honeymoon! We pray God's abundant blessing over their covenant as we know God will grow them closer together as they draw near to each other and to Him. Congrats you two!
The week you were born was indeed a very busy week. Obviously, we had not planned on you coming early as everyone in my life was telling me-
"you have not dropped- you've got a long way to go" "you are too small- he needs more time in there"
"you should emotionally prepare yourself to go over your due date"
Well these words stuck and your dad and I thought we would have to prepare ourselves for yet another couple weeks of waiting. I had planned on taking Friday the 25th off to start my maternity leave, 4 whole days before your due date. It had been very busy at work all of June and I had considered working that Friday just to help out but your dad convinced me otherwise. My last day at work (Thursday) I spent rushing around trying to finish up all the loose ends before leaving for good. That afternoon I had a weekly appointment with Dr. Meyers to check and see if any progress had been made. On the way to the appointment I called your Nana and aunt Joy and talked to them about how strange I was feeling. I told them that I seemed to be having a lot more "yucky symptoms" today (sorry to include that but it's true). Nana squealed with excitement and said, "Melissa, it's going to be soon!" I assured her it was not going to be soon and restated all the reasons why. I told her that your dad and I planned on going to Birmingham Friday night to stay at a Bed and Breakfast. We wanted to celebrate possibly our last weekend of "just us"( Little did we know that our last weekend of "just us" was in fact, last weekend). Nana was not happy about the Birmingham trip and said that she did not think this was a good idea. I told her that I would talk to Dr. Meyers and get her approval before going. Each time I had gone to see Dr. Meyers that month she would look at me and say,"Well nothing yet", much to my dismay. But today she had better news. She said that I was probably 1cm dilated and 70% effaced! I was pumped! Finally some progression. Dr. Meyers was happy for me too, but said that it didn't mean you were coming soon. I asked her if she thought it would still be ok for your dad and I to go to Birmingham Friday night. She gave me two thumbs up. So I happily went back to work to finish things up. I ended up working until 7:30 that night making sure I had not left anything undone. On the way home I called your Nana. I told her the good news I got from Dr. Meyers and told her we were still planning on going to Birmingham Friday night. Nana continued to try and persuade me not to go. I was still talking with her on the phone when I got home and all of the sudden a burst of liquid rushed out and then stopped. I thought- great just another one of the wonderful pregnancy pluses... loosing control of your bladder. I ended the conversation with Nana and thought- that was weird? When your dad got home I laughed and told him that I thought I peed my pants! We laughed and didn't think much more about it. About an hour later I became "uncomfortable". I didn't know what was going on, I was just restless. Soon after that I started to experience some contractions. Well, I know now they were contractions, but at the time I was convinced I was just having some braxton hicks. Your dad kept telling me they were contractions and I kept assuring him that they were not! He began to time them asking me every couple minutes if I thought I was having another one. And I just kept saying, "I don't know?!" About another 30 minutes later the contractions became a little more intense. Your dad went and took a shower and started gathering things up around the house to take to the hospital. I told him to "STOP!" ... I was determined not to go to the hospital because I was sure they would just send us home. He just kept telling me- "Ok we won't go, I'm just getting things ready just in case". Your dad was so sweet that night. I was so argumentative and stubborn, but he handled me so well :). Finally your dad said, "OK Melissa I think we need to go to the hospital. You are having contractions about 5 -7 minutes apart." At this point, I was on the floor on my hands and knees still arguing with your dad. I finally caved in and got in the shower to get myself ready to go. This made your dad very uncomfortable thinking we were going to have you at home. We got to the hospital at 12:00 am almost exactly. Dad wanted to drop me off at the emergency room doors, but I could not stop my argumentative ways and insisted on walking. I don't know why I was acting so stubborn, but I was convinced you were not coming this soon. They wheeled us to the maternity ward where they hooked me up to the monitors and found that my contractions were 2-3 minutes apart. I kept saying, Eric they are going to send us home". Soon after being hooked up to the monitors they admitted us and brought us into our room. I know your dad was thinking "I TOLD YOU SO!" But, being the good husband that he is, he didn't say it :). The contractions were very strong and continued to come 2-3 minutes apart lasting about 1-2 minutes. I was exhausted and your dad was also exhausted. We had been up since yesterday morning! We decided to get an epidural at about 4am Friday morning. This is when we met our awesome nurse Ashleigh. She was a God-send. Your dad and I had been praying for a great nurse as we learned from the classes- nurses are the ones that get you through labor. I learned a lot about Ashleigh's life that night and I truly think God brought us together for a reason. (more on that later). Friday at about 7:30 am I started to get visitors much to my surprise. People from work came to wish us luck. At about 8:00am I was only dilated to 2. Each hour I dilated more and more. By 11:00 I was fully dilated and it was time to push!
Your daddy and the nurse were so encouraging. In between contractions your dad got out the ipod dock and decided to play AC/DC Thunderstruck- in an effort to "pump me up". We laughed so hard and I think nurse Ashleigh thought we were CRAZY! :) I was in labor with you for about an hour and then Doctor Emig came in to deliver you. You were born at 12:09 pm 7lbs even and 19 3/4 inches long. When you came out you had the cord wrapped around your neck so the Dr. quickly cut it and took you away to make sure your lungs were not full. You had also swallowed some meconium so they were making sure that it did not get in your lungs. About an hour later they finally gave you to me. Daddy then played "How Great is our God" on the ipod dock and even Dr. Emig sang along.
Luke, I cannot describe the overwhelming feeling I experienced when they put you in my arms. You were instantly and intensely loved by your dad and I. You are our perfect gift from God.
Luke 3:22 "You are my son, whom I love; with you I am well pleased." Thank you God for our precious son Luke Lawrence.