Psalm 127:3-5

Behold children are a gift of the LORD,
The fruit of the womb is a reward.
Like arrows in the hand of a mighty warrior, so are the children of one's youth.
How blessed are those whose quiver is full of them

Saturday, June 30, 2012

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Summer nights


Yummy dessert

Summer buzz cuts

Brothers and sisters

The best times ever!!

Tuesday, June 26, 2012


I hope despite the awful weather (104 degrees already... Supposed to be 108 today) that our kiddos fondly remember summer at our house!

Wednesday, June 20, 2012


I am so loving Instagram!!!

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Birthday boys

Three years ago today our first son surprised us and was born on his Daddy's 33rd birthday! It was one of the happiest days of our life together so far!

Ben is such a daddy's boy and wants to do everything just like Jimmy. I am so grateful that Ben has a man like Jimmy in his life to look up to and be like... There could not be a better man to pattern your life after.

This will always be one of the most special days of the year for our family! So happy to celebrate these two guys! Happy Birthday JZ and BZ! I love you both with every little bit of my heart!!

Monday, June 18, 2012

Birth signs

These are the signs the girls and I made and put up in the bathroom in anticipation of Patience arrival! This was the girls idea. They wanted something special for her to "see" when she got here... And of course they had to be pink for their little sister! Did I mention that this is one seriously loved little girls!!

Summer afternoon fun

They made themselves a yummy picnic and sat in the burning hot sun at the hottest time of day BUT they loved it!!!

Rolling over

I went to pick little Miss P up out of her bed this morning and she was on her back.... Apparently she is now rolling over! Go Pay Pay!!! Can't believe we are already at this phase.... It goes WAY too fast. I'm trying to cherish every minute of babyhood this time around in case this is our last.

Thursday, June 14, 2012

Summertime and friends

We had the best time Sunday night hanging out with some of our very best friends! Our kids all love each other and have so much fun together!

Thursday, June 7, 2012

On the move

She started out in the middle of this blanket and going the other direction and within just a couple of minutes was like this. Not too bad for an 8 1/2 week old (this was last week). Of course I promptly moved her back to the middle and off the dirty floor!! :)

Blogs paragraphs

For some unknown reason blogger is not separating my paragraphs... Weird!

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Patience birth story

This is the story of the most amazing birth we have had yet... the most incredibly deep and moving experience I have had as a mom so far. I doubt I will ever go through another moment in my life like this one. Contractions started strongly on Saturday night April 1. Strong enough that with my history of going quickly we called the midwife and she arrived with her team only to find my contractions slowed and finally stopped. It was discouraging at best so when all the excitement died down on Sunday we went to the mall to walk around and get our minds off things. That night as soon as I laid my head on the pillow contractions started up again.. STRONG ones. They would come consistently for an hour then go away for several hours. Repeating that cycle off and on throughout the entire day on Monday April 2. It wasn't horrible but it was just keeping us on edge wondering when it would finally kick in to the real thing. Keeping us on edge simply because we knew once it did kick in, it would go fast. Finally at about 10:30 pm or so I laid down in bed EXHAUSTED and again the second my head hit the pillow VERY STRONG contractions hit. I was so tired and knew I couldn't make it through another night of little to no sleep with off and on contractions all night. I was emotionally and physically worn out. I had all could take... I leaned over the birthing tub (which was aired up in our bathroom) and sobbed my eyes out. Jimmy just patted my back and let me cry. I cried and cried... more then I ever remember crying. Then it was like as quickly as it started it stopped. I felt remarkably better from that emotional release. Then it happened. Within 30 minutes of that cry fest :) I started having the strongest contractions yet and they got more and more consistent. By around midnight I told Jimmy I was pretty sure he needed to get the midwife there. Just minutes later while he had her on the phone he looked at me and asked "so you are pretty sure she needs to come? You want her to go ahead and come?" As this point I am VERY SURE she needs to come. I said "yes, get her here NOW"... She arrived at some point... I don't really know when. All the exact times are written down in the birth log the assistant midwife kept but I am not going to account every minute in this retelling. Anyway, she arrived with her team and they went to work. Jimmy had already filled the birthing tub and I was in it and can I just say... WOW, I could never have done it without the tub. Well I could have. I birthed Ben pain med free but not by choice. (we were too late to the hospital). Anyway, let's just say I would never by choice not have a water birth again. Ok, back on track... My midwife and Jimmy were talking me through contractions and my midwife was using amazing counter pressure on my back to help with pain and it worked wonders. Jimmy was incredible, supporting me through each contraction reminding me I had done this before and I would have no problem doing it again. He kept telling me I would be holding my baby soon and that was a huge reason to keep going. I had waited so long and couldn't wait to finally meet her and get a glimpse of her face! This being our 5th time, Jimmy and I make quite a good birthing team. He knows just what to say... and not to say! =) He is such a rock for me during labor. I could never get through it without his voice in my ear and his hand holding mine. At this point labor was getting harder and things are sort of blurry and my memory is just off and on. I remember the beautiful CD that I had made just for the birth playing in the background and asking Jimmy to replay it several times when it would run through the songs. It was so soothing and had me in a sort of out of body state when it was playing. Every time it ended and got quiet I came back to reality and needed Jimmy to quickly restart the CD. I also remember my midwife praying for me all throughout the birth. I could hear her quiet murmur of prayer under her breath asking for peace and calmness. It was brought such serenity to my mind and heart. I remember talking with the precious assistant midwife and my midwife between contractions but I don't really remember what was said. I do remember my midwife telling me my toenails looked pretty and asked if I did them myself to which I laughed and said "of course not, it was a pedicure". I am pretty sure she was trying to distract me and get me to relax a bit. It worked. I looked down at my toes and thought "I do look kind of pretty with those cute pink toenails of mine"!! Then my midwife told me I needed to get out of the tub and go potty. Which I was not thrilled about... but you must continually empty your bladder during labor or you can damage your body. So while I was going potty my body pushed without my doing anything.. it just did it. It was the most surreal feeling. Exciting though cause I knew the end was near. When I got back in the tub she told me to push whenever I felt like it. On the next contraction I felt a HUGE urge to push. I think I pushed one more time and I looked up at my midwife and said in a VERY mean voice "HOW MANY MORE PUSHES" to which she replied "a few", to which I replied in another VERY VERY mean voice "HOW MANY IS A FEW???", to which she replied "2 to 5", to which I mentally replied to myself... "TWO, two more pushes is IT, that's all I got left"... and in two more pushes I was holding the most adorable little girl who looked right into my eyes and cried on big cry then I said "mommys here sweet girl". When I said those words, she got silent and just starred at me. It was a moment I will never forget. We bonded that very second. She knew her mommy and just rested peacefully in my arms. It was a moment that will never leave my heart and I will play that memory over and over in mind as the years go by. Our dear girl we waited for for 40 weeks and 3 days had finally joined our family. 7 pounds 4 ounces and 20 1/4 inches long. Tiny and gorgeous. Wide eyed and perfect. She arrived at 2:22 am just a few hours after I finally realized I was really in labor. A fast and hard labor. I would so much prefer fast and hard over long and drawn out. After her birth she and I were moved to an herbal bath in the regular tub and she loved the water... just relaxing and lying so still in the water. Finally after we were all cleaned up we went into the living room where Jimmy's mom and my parents were all waiting. My midwife and her team did the newborn exam right there in our living room with all the family watching. Well except for Anna, Serene and Ben who slept through the whole thing. At this point it was only about 4:00 am. Rivers did wake up amongst all the commotion and snuggled with me on the couch. They had made me a special place on the couch to rest during the baby newborn exam. It was so sweet snuggling on the couch with Rivies while watching Patience get the once over. =) Her daddy got to weigh her with the cool scales and we watched as they checked her over and told us she was perfect... I knew it!! =)Our sweet babysitters who are sisters were here staying the night since we were pretty sure labor was eminent. They both got up out of bed to be in all the excitement and the oldest one made me an amazing omelet. It was so good and I was so hungry after all that. Jimmy also made me fresh juice of beets, carrots and spinach which was so refreshing and helped restore my strength after the huge task I had just completed. I love this part of natural birth... eating as soon as it is over. I have had two c-sections and you can't eat for 24 hours after... UGH. Not cool. Anyway, enough about food. After the newborn exam and the one million pictures were taken the midwife gave her final instructions and just as the day was breaking we snuggled up in our bed and went to sleep. We slept for a few hours and then little people started trickling down from upstairs and boy were they shocked at what they found... a new sister!! She had come in the night, sort of like Santa leaving a package on Christmas Eve!!! They were all thrilled (except Rivers). They couldn't get enough holding her and loving on her. It was the best part about the home birth, being able to be at home and have all our children around us in the personal privacy of our own home. Such an amazing experience. I know the home birth thing is not for everyone but for us it was incredible and gave birth a new and deeper meaning. I know some may not even agree with home birth and I understand that too. But like many things in life it is such a personal and private choice and one not to be taken lightly. A choice you hope that others can support your right to choose whether they agree with your choice or not. Another part of home birth that I have heard a lot about over the last few months, those leading up to and these months just after her birth is, the question of why in the world anyone would choose to birth a baby without the modern help of pain meds... why would anyone do that, I mean really why?? =) Here is my simple answer... Just because, ..No really. Of course there are the obvious physical benefits for mom and especially baby. But also, I see so many women these days bragging on Facebook about the 5K they are training for or the one they just finished. Or maybe the half-marathon or triathlon they are working towards. They brag on the super hard workout they did today or the amount of miles they ran. This is my own personal marathon, a challenge to allow myself to do what my body was built to do. Birth in and of itself is not a medical emergency, it is just an everyday thing that women have been doing for thousands of years, but these days we are scared of it. It's funny to me how in our modern world of empowered women... the age in which women can do it all, we are strong, powerful, no longer to be seen as weaker than men.... yet when it comes to births, where are those standards? This birth allowed me to tap into that strong woman, that empowered woman who can endure a pain that seems unbearable and still come out the victor. I will not be cheated out of experiencing the deep inner strength that comes from true natural birth. In some ways I feel I would be missing out on so much if I didn't experience birth in its most natural and primitive state. Now please before I get any naysayers.... I have had hospital births and even two c-sections so I know all about the necessity of medical intervention. In fact I have experienced birth from just about every angle so don't come beating me down.... This is about my deepest thoughts and feelings on the birth of our 5th child. Birth is so much more than just getting the baby out so you can move on to the holding and loving phase. It really is a deeply spiritual experience in which you as a woman finds strength of which you never knew you had to accomplish a seemingly impossible task... now that is empowering. Not to mention the most amazing prize at the end! =) So there you have it.... the birth story of our Patience Joy! Motherhood.... the journey out of selfishness!

Monday, June 4, 2012

Mommyhood at this point...

It has been a really long time since I took the time to actually sit down and write a "real" post on here. Life has been VERY VERY busy for the last... well four years. We had four children in those four years and wow has that been an adventure. I have loved being a mom since the very moment I laid eyes on Anna 7 1/2 years ago. My struggles have been few and my joys have been many. I would never trade this job for anything in the entire world including all the money. However, these last two months since Patience's birth (8 weeks today to be exact) I have experienced a new side of pregnancy and birth I never expected. A darker side that has really thrown me for a loop. I can honestly say that I have experienced true post partum depression. Not that kind where I want to hurt my children but the kind where I feel like I am in a deep dark black hole of sadness that I can't get out of.... UGH... NOT FUN!! Wanting so badly to just play and laugh and have fun with my kiddos yet finding myself sitting on the couch starring at the wall just sort of getting by day after day. This has been an entirely new experience for me and one I hope to NEVER deal with again. I think I always assumed this might be some sort of made up thing but now that I have been down this road, I see how all too real it is. It started about five days after her birth and carried on until about a week ago. I believe that the first step in my getting better was just being honest. I am a very private person and don't like to air my dirty laundry outside of this home. But, thanks to an incredible husband who loved me too much to let me keep going like I was and took it upon himself to contact my midwife, I had to be honest. At my six week appointment I came clean and told my midwife what I was feeling and thinking. It was a real release to be honest and just pour out the thoughts and emotions that were flooding my mind. I am a perfectionist through and through and when I was honest with myself I realized I was depressed because I felt like I didn't do the very best I could have at the birth. Now, side note.... hormones make women feel and think insane things and what I am about to write is going to sound insane but was REALLY what I was feeling. Now that my hormones have been regulated I can see how absolutely ridiculous my thoughts were BUT at the time they truly were devastating to me. I felt as if I was a failure at the birth because I said things like, "I can't do this" and "I'm scared".... now let's think about this. I am giving birth completely pain med free and once or twice I utter the words "I can't do this" and "I'm scared". During those weeks of depression I was devastated that I was not the person I pictured in my head... a strong, stoic, quiet and peaceful women. So, I told these things to my midwife who promptly burst out laughing and said.."Tarrah, I have never seen a women birth who doesn't say those things". To which I replied "are you lying to make me feel better". To which she responded with more laughter and a giant hug and a "OF COURSE I AM NOT LYING TO YOU." I just starred at her in disbelief. I was sure I was the only one to say those things. I love my midwife. She was so sweet and so gracious and told me that saying things like "I'm scared" is just a rite of passage during the birth process. Letting it all out, the fears, the worry, the tears, the inhibitions... "giving in" to the process really becomes a turning point in the birth and gets you over that hump, the last few miles of the marathon. It pushes you to the finish line. Anyone has ever taken a natural birth class knows that they always tell you when you think "I'm done, I can't do this, I'm quitting" that means you are likely minutes from the end. I knew that and in my head I was encouraged that I was feeling those things knowing it was almost over BUT I felt this devastation knowing I had uttered those words out loud.... so strange what imbalanced hormones and perfection do to you. I am so grateful to say that thanks to my midwives "prescription" of Evening Primrose Oil, fish oils, and going on a no sugar diet (not like diet coke.... like no refined in I only eat berries for sweets now), I feel amazing. Probably better than I have felt in years really. My diet consists MOSTLY of meats, eggs, vegetables, fruits, nuts and seeds... some cheese here and there. Never again will I look at Post Partum Depression the same again. It is so real and so hard to deal with. I hope anyone who deals with these issues will seek help from a trusted practitioner and take care of it ASAP. Motherhood is a WONDERFUL thing.... a job unparalleled by any other. It brings with it such incredible joy and fulfillment. However, I have seen this ugly, darker side now that is such a awful rut to be stuck in. Missing the joy and vibrancy of this precious part of life simply because my body was working against me and not for me. I am so thankful to be out of that black hole I felt I was sinking in and so glad to be on the mend and recovering! I am slowing down and breathing a little deeper. Reminding myself that my perfectionism only seems to cause undue stress and probably a future stomach ulcer. :) Certainly don't have time for that. Just today the kids and I took a Monday Funday break from life. We took about an hour to straighten the house then we just did nothing else productive all day... just fun stuff. This is a huge stretch for me as I feel like every second should be productive and useful. :) It was great though.... we made cookies, we played outside (it was freakin hot), we watched tons of TV shows, etc. In other words, I am stopping to smell the roses a bit more and not letting myself get so worked up over everything. Resting more, relaxing more and freaking out less. Yes my hormones are in better balance but so are my lifestyle choices... which helps keep things in perspective and keeps me sane! Ok, I have to end there... this is really long. Post Partum Depression SUCKS.... don't get it! :)

Dinner out...

Our fave Mexican place and our 5 fave kiddos!! (even the crazy one under the table)