Lorelei Grace’s Birth Story

Birth Photography by Megan of Break the Mold Photography

Birth Center: Lisa Ross Birth & Women’s Center


When my husband and I found out we were expecting, we were so excited about the prospect of going to a free-standing birth center that is local to us. My other two births had been in a hospital (with a FABULOUS midwife), but because of the hospital policies/procedures, there were interventions that were always pushed on me that made for less than optimum natural births. So, an out-of-hospital birth was something for us to get excited about! However, after a couple of weeks in the care of the midwives there, I knew something had to change. They weren’t returning calls, they didn’t give me results of abnormal blood-work, etc. So, I began looking for another option and found a hospital-based midwife group. Yes, so our birth would be in the hospital. Maybe it was for the best. We used this group until I was approximately 32 weeks and I began having fears about birthing in the hospital with this group of midwives that would only spend 8-10 minutes with me at each appointment…. So, another decision to change care… This time to the Lisa Ross Birth & Women’s Center. I’m so thankful I made that decision, because I’m almost certain my birth story would not have turned out the way it did if I had been anywhere else. 


After several weeks of prodromal labor contractions, it finally happened. Labor was upon me. We were at Polishing the Pulpit (a Christian conference where 4,000 brothers and sisters gather for lectures, encouragement, and friendship — the highlight of my year), and I had decided to take a nap with my sweet little boy in my in-law’s hotel room. After laying down for about 30 minutes, I felt a trickle and then a gush. I knew beyond a shadow of a doubt that my waters had broken. After texting my mother-in-law and husband, I called the midwife. Since I wasn’t contracting at the moment, we made the game plan to wait until that evening to go in to the birth center. We would arrive at the birth center at 8pm to get some rest there, before trying to stimulate labor early in the morning. The “rule” for that birth center is that I would need to be in active labor (regular contractions and at 4 cms) by 24 hours post-water breaking, so we would start around 4 in the morning and that would give us a safety net of 12 hours. I was a little concerned that it wouldn’t happen (which would then require a transfer to UT hospital), but decided to trust my body, and my midwife said that she was confident it would happen easily for me.

After leaving our sweet children with my in-laws (yes, and tears on my part!), we stopped by Arby’s for dinner. The cashier asked how I was doing (referring) to my large belly, and I just had to let her know that my water had just broken. After hemming and hawing about the fact that we were there after my water breaking, she gave us a discount and wished us luck. 

At the birth center, my midwife tested my leaking to make sure it was amniotic fluid (I knew it was), and after confirming that yes, my water had broken, we settled in for the evening (after Daniel made a Walmart run, because we had forgotten our baby bag!). First on our “relaxing” agenda was to play a game of Battle of the Sexes that he had packed. This totally relaxed me. Up until then, I was a ball of nerves. A mixture of excited, scared, nervous, happy, and sad (about not having my other kids with us – and the transition – etc). The game was over. Daniel won (surprise!) and we started an episode of “Chuck”, one of our nightly routines before bed. As soon as it started, I began contracting and with those contractions I began shivering and shaking — which is very much unlike me. I moved to the recliner and let 15-20 minutes pass, before Daniel asked me if I wanted him to get Chris, the midwife (who was out in the nurses’ station area — it was just Daniel, myself, and Chris at the birth center at the time… so peaceful!!). She came in and checked me. I was 5-6 centimeters! It’s GO time! 

I was so surprised and honestly, relieved. I asked if I could go ahead and labor in the birth pool, so she started setting it up. I sat on the birth ball waiting, and the contractions were coming about every 5 minutes. They weren’t super intense, just a steady coming and going. 


Once I entered the water, there was immediate relaxation and relief. When contractions came, I used a combination of hypnobabies relaxation techniques and visualizations to help get me through them. My sweet Daniel was there by my side, stroking my hair, holding my head, and just generally being awesome. Our birth photographer arrived around midnight and I remember that in between contractions I was still able to hold a decent conversation.



All that changed, probably 1/2 an hour later. Contractions started getting more intense. But, I was dealing. I asked to be checked. I felt pushy. I needed (or at least thought I needed) to know how close I was. Chris, who was sitting quietly by me most of the time, silently checking baby’s heart tones every 20 minutes or so, reached in the water to check me and I was 7-8cm, but stretchy. She thought it would be okay if I needed to push down if I felt like it. I knew that I wasn’t feeling like I was pushing the baby out, but that I was pushing her down. (Probably due to her position, that we found out later was OP!). 

Then it happened. The contractions started coming on top of each other. For five minutes straight I would deal with these massive waves. It was the most unrelenting intense pain ever. I tried to visualize. Daniel coached me and reminded me to take deeper breathes in with the contractions. Chris reminded me to breathe them away when they were finally over. I remember telling them that I needed a break. It wasn’t fair!

Daniel and Chris both were started to encourage me to change positions to try to get baby moved down. I turned over on all fours, but it was so intense, I couldn’t take it. So, I decided to make the super difficult decision to get out of the labor pool. I moved to the bed to try to relax, but I started loosing it – my cool, that is. I was trying to push the baby down, but the contractions were so intense, I just couldn’t focus. After some wild screaming, I was still panicking, but decided that I needed to go to the toilet to urinate. Once there, I definitely could not pee, but I could feel a little more movement happening and freedom to push while I was on the toilet. But, I started to panic again. I remember pleading that I needed something – medication – help – something. I looked into both Chris’s and Daniel’s eyes and they calmly told me that I was doing it. Baby would be here soon. I could do this. 

After getting frustrated with them both (but, in a good way), we moved back to the bed. I asked for help holding my legs back. I knew that I could do it. That I had to do it. I started giving some major pushes and I could hear them saying that I was doing it. They could see her head. It was so difficult. With my other two children, pushing was always a relief. This one… no way… it was torture. But, I knew I was going to have to suck it up and do it. After a few more crazy pushes (and some super unlike me screams), I felt her head come out, and I kept pushing in the same contractions for her body to come out around 3:22 am.

Someone said, “Open your eyes! Your baby is here!”



I was so exhausted I had almost fallen right to sleep after she came out. I looked and grabbed her to my belly and remember saying “You’re here. That was so hard. You’re here. I can’t believe you’re here.”

After a few minutes, I heard the birth photographer ask if she was OP (occiput posterior). And the midwife said yes. So, that’s why it was so hard. She was “Sunny-side up”, her back was against my back, facing up into the world. Most babies who are OP end up turning before delivered, but not this little one. Well, not-so-little one. After nursing her and deciding that she looked like a Lorelei (we had been waffling back and forth about a name), Daniel and I were both curious, so we had the nurse go ahead weigh her. 9 pounds. Yes, a 9 pound OP natural birth out-of-hospital. 



I was able to hold her for as long as I wanted. The nurse asked me permission before doing anything from taking vitals to weighing her. I was in control. Just the way women should be in a normal physiological birth.

While the birth may not have been as peaceful as I wanted it due to some panicking on my part at the end, I’m so empowered by what happened and I feel closer to my husband than ever due to his amazing support through it all. I know in my heart that if I had been in a hospital setting, there would have been many many many interventions. I know I would not have been relaxed enough to birth her on my own, and it would have ended with either medication, suctioning, or c-section. I’m so grateful for the model of care provided at Lisa Ross that allowed me to work with my body, my baby, and have my wonderful husband at my side.




Welcome to the world, baby Lorelei. We love you with all our heart already. You are what our little family was missing.


Mark Hayden’s Birth Story

My sweet boy is 20 months old. Wow. Yes, all those cliches apply about time flying by. But, with this little boy they are all really true. Absolutely. I’ve been ashamed by the lack of blogging. Add another item to my “Mommy Guilt List”. Check.

The least I could do is write his birth story. So, here goes nothing… almost two years later. Details are sure to be fuzzy, but the outcome should be the same, at least.


I went in for my 39 week prenatal appointment with Candi. I had been doing all my NSTs (2 times a week) for my blood clotting disorder up until then and everything seemed normal and dandy. However, when Candi did her routine listen to the heartbeat with the doppler, she was a little concerned that baby’s heartbeat was high. 180-190s. So, since I was going to the Birth Center for an NST that day anyway, that would give enough monitoring time to see what was going on.

I remember laying there, with the monitors strapped to me, willing this baby’s heart rate to slow down. Just do it. I breathed calmly. I thought calm thoughts. It was still a race horse. Oh man.

Candi came in after about an hour, and said after consulting with Dr. W, and because of my blood clotting disorder, that they thought it would be safer to induce. Yuck. Really? I had never been on Pitocin, but had heard enough horror stories.

But, okay, we can do this. Candi assured me I could still have the med-free birth I wanted and that this was best for babe.

After choking back tears throughout my calls to Daniel and Stephanie and my parents, I embraced it. After all, Candi had told me that perhaps once a pattern of labor had started, that we could cut off the Pitocin.

After Daniel got there (or was he there with me already? see… details….) they started the IV and the contractions started. The Pitocin contractions were strange – not like the regular my-body-is-doing-what-my-body-is-made-to-do contractions. They were forced. And the pain was great. For much of the labor I sat in a chair (at least I could do that, instead of being strapped to a bed); but, keep in mind they still *had* to monitor me at all times, because of the Pit. Great.

Sometime that evening, Stephanie asked me what my pain level was like. I responded… “A 7”. She said, “Wow, you’re doing really great for a 7.” Little did I know, that I wasn’t really a 7. The pain on Pit would far surpass any pain I had with Jenaleigh’s birth, thus giving me a whole new pain scale by which to go.

Labor was progressing, but slowly. When the contractions became regular, we asked to be taken off Pit to see if I could labor on my own for awhile. The contractions did continue for a little while — although weaker — then they stopped.

I was at about 5 cm and it was probably 10 or 11 at night (a good 8-9 hours into labor). Candi asked if I wanted her to break my water. I put her off for a little while, but in the hopes that it would get things going again and start progressing things, I agreed.

Here comes the lovely crochet needle… and a POP… and a gush… and a trickle… and more trickle.

My contractions still stayed pretty puny, and I was told that I really really really needed to get back on Pit, to speed things along. Oh man.

Back on Pit, this time a higher level, and with my water broken. BRING ON THE TRUE PAIN. Honestly. I labored a lot on all fours, but I was getting exhausted and it’s difficult to hold yourself up with trembling arms, when all you want to do is collapse. After another check, which revealed slow progress, Candi said that baby’s head was turned slightly, which was probably what was preventing him from fully engaging. So, now, Stephanie was pretty adamant about me staying on all fours to get this baby in position. Did I mention the trembling arms thing? Yeah… I’ve always had about the muscle mass of jelly in my arms, and it definitely showed this time. I tried as much as I could, and the pain mounted. I continued to make my low “OOHHHHH” sounds that vibrated throughout my body to give me relief, but nothing was working well.

After a couple of changes in my own laboring positions, I ended up around 2 am, starting to reach my threshold. I started uttering those words of surrender. I was stuck at an 8 for hours. Nothing was changing. I knew I could power through, if I saw results, but with no change, I felt defeated. Candi came in and talked to me for awhile, and while she was in there, I told her what I was feeling. She said she could give me Stadol to help. After going back and forth, with Daniel and Stephanie I said, “okay”. But, then the longer she stayed in the room with me, I realized, I had been making it through contractions — for probably an hour. I asked her to check me again, knowing that surely I had done something. Nope. Nada. After the next painful series, I relented. HURRY with the Stadol. I didn’t even know what it was. Seriously. I found out that the dose they gave me lasts for about an hour and WOW. I have no regrets about taking it. During that time, I was able to sleep between contractions (and when I was awake, I was so loopy, I didn’t care about the pain). After about an hour, Candi said, “Martha! You’re ready to push!”

I think I tried to delay them, because I was so sleepy and enjoying the rest. I remember saying, “Just a few more minutes.” I honestly think that “few more minutes” was great, because it allowed baby to get further down into position!

Stephanie went to get my Mom and Daniel’s mom, who I wanted to be in the room for this birth (unlike Jenaleigh’s birth, when I didn’t really know what to expect).

I remember them coming in, but I was still just coming out of the Stadol and a little loopy. But, as the pushing started, I pretty well snapped out of it and became laser focused. I knew this time, I wanted to give strong pushes, but directed in the right place… and slow at times to prevent the horrid tears I had with J. After about 40 minutes of pushing (seemed like less though), his head was born. Yes, I felt the ring of fire. But, with the next push, his body slithered out, and it was completely euphoric! There was a tad delay in him crying, but after he did, they laid him on my chest – Daniel cut the cord (I think?!?) and I even got to nurse him super soon after he was born.

While I was nursing him and delivering the placenta and being stitched (I had a *tiny* tear in the same place as my previous BIG tear), Daniel delivered the news of the name to our parents. I know Mark and Marlene were super touched by the name, and Mom loved it too. (Dad wasn’t there — he was at a conference or something, but at least Richard came in his place!)

The birth was difficult for me. I honestly swore off “natural” birth after that (okay, for maybe a day), because the pain was so intense with the Pitocin. But, bottom line – we got our sweet baby boy, and the birth experience — while not my ideal — was still full of tender moments (and honestly, could have been worse, right?!)


He was such a sweet little baby. I wish I could go back and savor those moments and the moments of his first few months even more — running around chasing a toddler has a way of helping time go by quickly, which can be a blessing, but also a curse.

34 Month Old Jenaleigh Kate

My sweet, crazy, fun loving, dramatic Jenaleigh… You are almost THREE years old. And what a grown-up girl you are!

Size: We haven’t been to the doctor recently, so I’m not sure. But, I do know that her pants are all getting too short and the arms of her shirts are also short. She now wears a 3T or even a 4T in some clothes!

Foods She <3’s

  • Apples, RASPBERRIES (a new fav), any berries, bananas, grapes
  • “Bunny Grahams”
  • Ice Cream Sandwiches (which I give her a TINY bit of as a reward on special days)
  • Noodles of any sorts, chicken, the standard kids food.
  • Raisins
  • Jambalaya

Songs She Likes to Sing

  • Any song from “Sofia the First” — we have a CD in our van that she requests to listen to almost every time we go anywhere!
  • Jesus Loves the Little Children
  • I’ve Got the Joy, Joy, Joy, Joy Down in My Heart
  • No, Not One
  • And… she’s recently started singing along during church (when she puts her mind to it). I’m amazed at the songs she knows!

She Loves to Play

  • “David and Goliath” — Mommy, you be the giant, and I’ll be Goliath and KNOCK you down!
  • “Puppets” — she’ll take 3 beanie babies and divide them up between us 3 and we’ll speak in high squeaky voices — one of the puppets usually ends up “ating” us (yes, not eating, but ATING)
  • Puzzles. She can do a 34 piece puzzle almost all by herself.
  • Her imagination and ability to act and play pretend has really blossomed in the past few months, and I LOVE IT!
  • Outside. The weather has been crazy here, but we’ve been able to go outside some, and she can’t get enough.
  • Hide ‘N Seek. She even tries to get adults to play it with her at church before services (we’ve tried to discourage that, for now, but it’s still sweet).
  • Acting. She mimics everything she sees on TV (good thing we don’t have cable or satellite and mainly use Netflix or Amazon Prime!)

Prayers: We’ve been more diligent about praying with her each night before bedtime and it’s amazing the things she’ll pray for.

  • “Baby Sister Enoch” — (Enoch happens to be her cousin. Who is a boy.)
  • She prays for family members by name.
  • One night she prayed, “Dear God, help me to grow up to be a Christian. And help me to walk and quack like a duck”. Aye, aye, aye!
  • Another night… “Dear God, please help me to express myself.”
  • She’s pretty good about saying the prayer before we eat, although sometimes she’ll say, “You do it, Daddy.”

She’s been going through a really really sweet period in her life, and I count her (and Hayden) as some of my biggest blessings in life. Our upcoming move may cause a few tantrums, but she’s been saying “When we move to Sweetwater, we can…” a lot lately, so maybe she’s ready. I know she’ll miss her Bible class teacher and friends, her music class, library time, and being close to Gigi, Papa, and Richard. But, she’ll make new friends easily, and she’ll have her Mommy, Daddy, and Hayden! 🙂 I love you sweet little girl!





22 Week Old Hayden

I’ll spare you all the cliches about how “they grow up too fast” and all that jazz… But, let’s just say it IS going by fast, which is how I’ve allowed Hayden to DOUBLE in age since my last update on him. Wow.

Size: He weighs 16.5 pounds — is  a shorty at only 25/26 inches. He fits comfortably into size 6-9 clothes.

Sleep: He’s sleeping in his pack ‘n play at night in his room (we plan on setting up the crib in his room when we move in just a few days) — such a big boy! His night sleep is pretty much the same, going to sleep around 8 and waking up anywhere from 7-8. He usually takes two MONSTER naps during the day, from around 9:30-11:30 and then from 2-5:30. Naps are still in the swing, as he only gives us 45 minutes naps in his pack ‘n play. We’ll work on the swing transition soon (when I get the courage). Also, we dropped the swaddle at about 4 months without any problems!

Wonder Week 19 + Earache = AHHHHH! If you haven’t heard about Wonder Weeks, go Google them. Really. Go now, then come back…. Okay, now that you know the premise of WW’s, let me tell you that this one has been BY. FAR. the most difficult. It seems like he is trying to master so many new skills, becoming aware of so many new things, and wanting so much more attention. Combine that with his first ever ear infection, and you have a pretty fussy baby in the making. However, he’s still a walk in the park compared to most babies, just a lot of “grunting/whining/unhappy” sounds and time spent giving him LOTS of attention (which, is just fine, right? he is a BABY afterall!) 🙂 His WW19 started at about 17 weeks, he seemed to come out of it at 18 weeks, then at 19.5 weeks it started up again (or it could have just been the ears), and we’re still going on and off and 22 weeks (which is 21 weeks age adjusted — time for it to wind down).  So… what has he learned to do during this “Wonder Week” period?

Mad Skills: He is sitting unassisted for a few seconds! If he’s really concentrated he can do it for about a minutes. He also likes to stand, which he does quite well with us just holding his hands, and will do so for several minutes. When he gets fussy, it’s usually fixed easily by letting him try to sit by himself or stand by himself! At about 3.5 months he started rolling from his tummy to his back. He still has rolled from back to tummy, although it is evident that he could if he wanted to (he’ll get almost there, and loose interest). He can pass toys from hand to hand and successfully bring a toy to his mouth and chew on it. He’s a little less vocal than he was a couple of months ago (another sign of wonder weeks), but he still has his moments of babbles.

Pacifier: He plays with his Wubbanub like it’s a toy, but  there is no sucking on the pacifier for him. Sometimes I wish he would take it, but it’s one less thing to worry about.

Play Time — Some of His Favorite Things to Do…
– Sit in the Bumbo seat and watch Mommy do her chores
– “Hang” in the Johnny Jumper (although ours is a “Jenny Jumper” from when Jenaleigh was little). Although he hasn’t figured out how to jump in it yet, he sure does love to chew on it while dangling!
– People watch. At church we sit him in the foyer and he will be content for 1/2 an hour, just watching people walk about.
– His biggest belly laughs come when Daddy takes his stubble face and tickles him on his belly! Weird, no?
– He loves playing with an orange ring toy and butterflies!
– Bible Class is a hit! He digs the songs, bright objects, and his Bible! (No joke — last Wednesday, when we tried to put the Bibles away, he had a fit and then calmed down once he had his Bible back!)

Food: I really didn’t want to give him food until he was 6 months old. But this boy showed signs of readiness. So, I gave him a little bit of Banana and he gobbled it up! So, we’ve been doing solids about 2x a day. We probably won’t buy any pureed baby foods (SO much easier to just feed him “real food”!) So far he’s liked oatmeal, avocado, and banana. We also gave him a Mum Mum and he was VERY proficient and getting it into his mouth and chewing it up. (He’s also reached that age where he will not tolerate us eating in front of him without him eating something. Can you blame him?)


Mommy loves cuddling this sweet boy and I try to savor every minute of this time period of his life. I know that I spent too much time when Jenaleigh was little wishing away the time, so I’m trying to learn from my past mistakes. I love you little Hayden!




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Thankful that soon we will be well.

This past month or so has been full of sickness in our household. Thankfully, none of the illnesses have been too terrible. J got the flu right before Christmas, but she acted like she was fine after a day (woot!); she continued to battle drainage and coughing for the next week. Then I got a stomach bug for a few days. Now Jenaleigh is vomitting. So… I found myself lamenting this morning, “UGH! When will this sickness end? Can’t we catch a break? I’m so tired of this!”

And then, I got jolted by the thought of my friend from my college days, Jessica.

Jessica, who is a wife to a man who is head-over-heels in love with her. Jessica, who has two precious little boys. Jessica, a sweet, funny, stylish young woman (my age in fact). Jessica, who is living her last days out under hospice care back at her childhood home because Cancer is trying to claim her sweet life. Jessica will probably never have another day in this life where she is not ill. 

I probably will. Jenaleigh probably will. Jenaleigh and I have hope of sick-free days to come soon. But Jessica will have to wait until she enters eternal rest to be rid of illness. So, I need to suck it up. I need to be thankful. I need to always remember Jessica.

31 Month Old Down Low (on Jenaleigh)

I wrote a blog post a few days ago giving an update on Jenaleigh, but it wasn’t an intentional post, rather just some thoughts that came to mind about her. So, I really need to be more thorough in her update, because I realize that I forget SO much. I can hardly remember how she was 6 months ago. So, bear with me!

Size: She weighs about 30 pounds and is 37 inches tall. (Which is actually on the tall side for her age! Surprising!). She wears a size 2T or 3T (depends).

Foods: She still loves fruits: apples (she has started grabbing them out of the fruit bowl and eating them without the peel being peeled! yay!), berries, and grapes. She’s picky when it comes to “main meals”, preferring chicken and noodles and very very little veggies (ie. only green beans). She loves “l bars” (also known to the real world as granola bars) and raisens.

Scared of: Santa Clause (we didn’t even TRY to get a picture with him this year); getting her hair washed (I use a washcloth to gently ring the water over her head, because she has a MELT down when it is poured over her head; some extremely loud sudden noises (for example, she loves “hel-a-cop-a-tors”, but not when they are taking off and making tons of noises).

Songs She Likes to Sing: “No, Not One”; “Heaven is Going to Shine”; “VeggieTales theme song”; “Daniel in the Lion’s Den”; any song from “Sofia the First”; “Mansions over the Hilltops”

Sleep: She still takes an afternoon nap (WOOOT!) of about 2 hours. She goes to sleep in the evening around 8:30 and sleeps until about 7AM.

Favorite Phrases: “Don’t Tickle Me! I’m dangerous”; “Shhh… We have to be quieter. Baby brother is sleeping!”; “I got you NOW” “; “Eeeeek! Double eeeeeek!” (from Angelina Ballerina); “Later” or “Four more miDutes” (in response to anythings she doesn’t want to do right away.

Favorite TV Shows/Movies: Angelina Ballerina (especially the “Flight of the Bumblebee scene where she can run around like a bumblebee); Sofia the First; Bo on the Go; any PBS Kids show especially Angelina Ballerina; Jingle (Hallmark Movie that MiMi bought for her). Jenaleigh doesn’t just watch the shows/movies, she acts them out — says the dialogue and does the actions.

Favorite Books: This changes frequently, but as of today: “Juan Bobo” (an awesome book GiGi bought in Puerto Rico, with wonderful illustrations and Spanish mixed into the English Text); “Chicka Chicka Boom Boom”; “Cat in the Hat”; Bearnstein Bear Books, “David and Goliath”, “How Did Noah Know?”, and her Highlights kids magazines! We read every day before nap and before bedtime. During that time (I’m sure in order to put off going to sleep), she will bring book after book after book for me to read, and we usually spend about 1/2 an hour reading each time!

Smart Girl:  She knows….

  • Can recite “ABC’s”, and can identify most letters
  • Can count to 20, and can identify most numbers
  • Knows all shapes (even crazy ones like octagon and crescent)
  • Red Traffic Light means “stop” and Green means “go!”
  • Has started tracing letters
  • Bible stories: Jonah, Joseph, Noah, David & Goliath, Hannah & Samuel
  • Who the first Man & Woman were
  • Who made the world
  • Who built the ark
  • The two parts of the Bible
  • The books of the Bible (by singing them)

Giggles When We Play… “Ring Around the Rosies”; “Hide and Seek”; anything at the play place at the mall; our obstacle course that we created; and when Daddy tickles her, of course

Outside She Likes to…. Peddle her little bike; Swing; Play “Red Light; Green Light”; Chase other kids (she thrives off of being around other children — it’s such a treat to her)

Little Helper: Jenaleigh LOVES to help Mommy clean the house. Seriously! When I vacuum, she grabs her little vacuum and gets to work! Same thing with sweeping. What really surprised me was when last week she grabbed a wipe out of the baby wipe box and started “dusting” all on her own (I wasn’t even dusting at the time!). She also will ask to do laundry just out of the blue!

This year has been WONDERFUL with both kiddos, and I hope I can continue to hold on to all the fun memories…. Happy New Year!