Sunday, December 25, 2011

Merry Christmas! Happy Birthday Jesus!

5x7 Folded Card
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Thursday, December 22, 2011

the spirit of giving

Today Grayson, Lilah and I visited a local firestation and dropped off some cookies (and returned a t-shirt one of them had left at our house during a photoshoot--it was his 3yo son's shirt).  Especially after hearing many 6- and under-year-olds request iPads from Santa for Christmas when I was doing the photos for Edgewood Primary School's Santa Breakfast, I decided right then and there that my children will not be getting iPads, or anything of the sort before they are in highschool and have the need for it (if ever!).  The thing that bothered me the most was that many of these children looked like they were in need of more basic items like clothing.

When I was a child, we had to save up or use layaway just to get a doll for Christmas.  Yes, we were poor, but we were blessed and I never really felt poor.  I would never have even dreamed of asking for something of the caliber of an iPad, even before I knew "the truth".  Our family's financial situation is "better than I deserve" in the words of Dave Ramsey, but I don't want our children to ever feel like they are entitled to something like an iPad.  To further that idea, I've decided that our family will continue in a spirit of giving each year and we will be taking cookies to firemen, packing shoe boxes for children and doing other activities to inspire giving in our children, rather than entitlement.

I was reminded recently of how many people have certain expectations of how Christmas should go.  They have a plan in their head of a big, beautiful tree with lots of presents underneath.  Christmas morning to them is a time to make their children happy by giving them everything they want.  They (we) neglect to remember what we're celebrating in the first place--Jesus' birth.  OUR SAVIOR.  It's his birthday!!!  THAT'S the reason for the season.  So when we celebrate Christmas, we will still give our children gifts, but we will also give... because He calls us to.  That's His birthday gift.

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

this one's for you, Shel Rockhill! ;-)

Yes, I know, I haven't blogged since July.  Well, it's been pretty busy here with an infant, a toddler, and about 100 photoshoots between then and now.

But, I read a post on my friend's blog this morning, and she inspired me to take a picture of this.  We don't have a lot of decorations up this year, because G can't seem to resist terrorizing them.  We don't even have ornaments on the tree because he broke one of the plastic balls on the tree in the studio.  He knows he's not supposed to touch them, but poor guy just can't resist his desire to explore.  And I'm not going to punish him for being the boy that God created him to be.  We just won't tempt him either ;-)

Our stockings are hung over the window on a curtain rack (high enough that he can't get to them!) and each one is specific to its owner...  Brandon's is the Blue one on the end, with a "B" ornament on it, mine is Lavender with an "L", Grayson's is Green with a "G" and Lilah's is Lava, with an "L".  Yes, we had to get creative on the colors, but it all worked out.  Lord help us if we have another kid... I don't know if we'll be able to continue this trend!!  haha  Anyway, the stockings are stuffed to the brim and we can't wait for the fellowship that will come when we open them.

Hope you all have a Merry Christmas.  Enjoy those babies.


Sunday, July 31, 2011

Way overdue.

Yes, I know, I have not posted in over 2 months.  You have every right to be mad!  haha  Life has been really busy preparing for our little Jelly Bean, keeping up with Grayson's activities and mostly, taking LOTS of photos!  It seems that once I announced I'd be going on 'maternity leave' July 1, clients came out of the woodwork asking for sessions!  Not that I'm complaining, because I LOVE my clients and I LOVE the job that allows me to stay home with my bab(ies) and still earn a little money to help out.  I had over 20 sessions between the end of June and July--about 2-3 times my normal amount!  THAT was a lot of editing!  My computer time was pretty limited to checking my email and editing.  I went on 'maternity leave' July 1, and then still had 3 sessions after that date!  Thankfully, Jelly Bean waited until I was finished to make an appearance.

Speaking of Jelly Bean...

On Friday, July 29, Jelly Bean arrived after 20 hours of labor at 2:59 p.m.  She (yes, SHE!) has a head full of inch-long, THICK brunette hair, just like her Daddy!  Her eyes have already turned brown too!  It's so funny to have one VERY blonde-haired, blue-eyed baby and one brunette, dark-eyed baby!  People are going to doubt they're from the same parents (Trust me, they are!).  She is absolutely beautiful and we got to come home Saturday, when she was barely a day old. 

Lilah Adelaide Gupton became the first female "Gupton" to arrive in over 60 years!  She was born at 7 lbs, 3 oz and 19.5 inches long (exactly her Mama's measurements).  Amazingly enough, she looks exactly like her brother did, only with dark hair and eyes!  It's uncanny the resemblance.  I wonder what she'll look like as she grows.  So far, she's making up for all the havoc she created in my belly and she's been even more laid back than her brother was.  She rarely cries and has a very gentle spirit.  She's had a bit of trouble latching to nurse, but we're getting the job done because she only lost a single ounce in the hospital!  She's also having a bit of trouble with reflux, but hopefully we'll figure out a remedy for that tomorrow at her first Ped check-up with Dr. Laughlin.  She's a very healthy baby though, and we are extremely blessed.

Grayson is doing pretty well with the situation so far.  At first, he wanted nothing to do with her... wouldn't even go over to Brandon when he was holding her.  Within a couple of hours though, he was blowing her kisses and waving hello and loves touching her hair (so do I!).  He has his moments now, but mostly he has been the same boy as before she arrived.  Every now and then he'll just come over and look at her for a while and just smile at you.  He can already say her name too, and it's SOOOOO cute to hear him say it! 

My best friend, Alyssa, was able to be at the hospital with us throughout the delivery and everything because our dear friend, Molly came up from KY to watch Grayson for us.  As excited as we were/are to have a baby girl in our lives, we will always be reminded of Alyssa's sweet baby girl Morgan that we lost in the spring.  Our girls were destined to be best friends, and instead Lilah's bestie Morgan is in Heaven waiting for us.  What a bittersweet birth it was for all of us.  Brandon and I both agreed that that was the hardest thing about the whole delivery (even worse than the horrendous back labor I endured).  I am so thankful for Alyssa's friendship and for God giving her enough peace to endure labor with me and be happy for us.  I know it wasn't easy, but I am eternally grateful to her for being there with me. 

Well, both of our babies are already in bed, so I'm going to enjoy my freedom for a little bit and then head to bed.  Sorry for the delay in posting..  Hopefully I'll get time to post some pics of our sweet girl soon.  Until then, check my facebook page for a couple!

Monday, May 23, 2011

tornadoes and sentences

So on our way home from Kentucky last night, my Sister left me a message about the tornadoes in Joplin...  Since I lived in Joplin for almost 6 years, my heart immediately broke and I was full of terror that my loved ones were hurt or worse.  I couldn't get a hold of anyone, so Brandon and I started watching CNN and The Weather Channel.  I could hardly breathe as I looked at the devastation.  How could I not even recognize the place I lived?!?!  Utter devastation.  And fear.  Finally I got in contact with another great friend from college and she confirmed that most everyone we knew/were friends with was okay, but most of their homes are not.  Her Grandparents (whom we all affectionately referred to as "Nan & Pop") and her Mom all live about a mile from the Walmart that was destroyed and was in the direct path of the tornado, so I was immediately fearful for them.  She said that Nan had called her Mom shortly before the tornado hit and convinced her to come over to their house, about 2 blocks down the road.  Thank you Lord for that--Cassie's Mom's home is totally destroyed, but Nan & Pop's was spared.  They have some damage, but are able to stay in the house for now.  Other friends have extensive damage and some have almost none, but so far, we believe that no one we know is on 'the list'.  We will continue to pray for that conclusion, and for the families that weren't so lucky. 

All day, I've just felt kind of depressed and anxious watching the news, so I stopped watching it for fear I'd make my contractions worse.  I've been having Braxton Hicks contractions for a couple of weeks now (I'm 30 weeks along today) and I'm having a lot of them.  I don't remember having this many with Grayson, so please pray that I don't go into preterm labor with Jelly Bean.  I want him or her to bake until at least 38-40 weeks if at all possible.  Grayson came at 38 weeks on the dot, and he was a little guy at 6 lbs 2 oz, so I'd LOVE for this baby to at least hit the 7 lb mark. 

Speaking of Grayson--he said his second sentence today!  His first sentence was "I don't know" and he holds his little hands out just like an adult!  It's the cutest thing when you ask him something and he responds "I no no?!"  His sentence today was "I poo-pood!"  lol  And he was right.  FOUR times today.  I guess he's just getting caught up from the weekend.  He also slept 13 hours straight last night and had a 3.5 hour nap today... not that I'm complaining!  I guess meeting Cheryl's baby Grace, me having 2 photo shoots, going to a wedding and reception, going to church, out to lunch and seeing Brandon's family (all between Friday and last night) really wore him out!  Us too, by the way!

So, we're off to bed.  Good night everyone.  May God bless and protect you all.

Saturday, May 14, 2011

feeling better

Grayson's fever broke Monday morning during his nap thankfully, and he recovered pretty quickly after that.  He was cranky for the rest of the week, but we did manage to get a few things done.  Grayson also had another "first" this week:

Wednesday, May 11 he got his first scraped knee!  We went for a walk that evening and he wanted to 'yalk' (walk) and he got going a little quick and fell on the sidewalk.  

He's enjoying all of his Easter gifts, especially his new bubble mower from Grandma:

Here he is helping Dad mow last night!  It was about the most adorable thing I'd ever seen.  I got a new phone this week since my old phone was dropping a lot of calls and messing up a lot.  And, I was eligible for a cheap upgrade, so Brandon got me a new one for Mother's Day.  It takes great pics, which I am really excited about!  The above pics are from the new phone and it's super easy to upload them, so you all can look forward to more pics in the future!  
Last night while Daddy was finishing mowing, Grayson and I went to the mall for some Mommy & Me time.  On our way home, I snapped these pics of Grayson.  He was totally fascinated by the beautiful moon last night:

Cutest. Boy. Ever.  Love him.  :o)

Sunday, May 8, 2011

not such a good end...

Well, the weekend started off pretty great.  Yesterday we went to Indy and ordered Grayson's new dresser (his is being carted to the baby's room soon) and went out to eat at Famous Dave's.  Grayson was an angel the whole time and even tolerated us going to Babies' R Us and sort of registering for Jelly Bean.  (We don't plan to have a shower or anything, but we get a big discount on anything 'left' on the registry before the baby comes, so we're taking advantage of that and 'registering' for some things we'll need for Grayson and the Jelly Bean).  He napped the whole way home, so we went to The WonderLab Museum when we got home since it was still early.  Grayson had a blast playing for a couple of hours--I figured he deserved some fun after the morning of shopping. 

This morning we got up and Brandon made me breakfast.  He had also got me a very sweet card and a big flower helium balloon.  He opted for the balloon because he knows how much Grayson loves them and wanted me to be able to enjoy watching him play with it.  It worked.  Grayson LOVES balloons!  He was so cute running around with it.

We then went to church and all seemed fine.  Unfortunately, when Grayson woke up from his nap, he had a 103.5 temperature and was burning up.  He refused to eat or drink and just wanted to be held all afternoon.  I gave him some Tylenol, which brought the fever down all of 1 degree, and just let him lay on me.  We called the pediatrician, but they said unless his fever reaches 104.5 or he has it for 3 days, they don't need to see him.  :-/  Ya, that sounds crazy to me too.  We decided we'd re-evaluate in the morning because I'm a little afraid he has an ear infection since he's super sensitive on the left side and won't even let me take his temp on that side.  Hopefully I'm wrong.

On a lighter note, Jelly Bean got the hiccups last night around 3 a.m.  It's the first time I've felt them this time around!  :o)