Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Waking up Kate

More and more I am having to wake Kate up from her naps instead of waiting for her to cry. She is a good napper so far. The following is a typical scene when I go into wake her up. It's one of the funnier and sweeter parts of my day.

"Kate Elizabeth, it's time to get up sweet girl!"

"Who in the world is that? Maybe if I cover my face she'll get the hint and go away!"

"Oh, it's you again! You're that nice Mommy lady that gives me the bottles."

"Let me think about I really want to get up?"

"You know what? Call me again in five minutes...I'm going to snooze for a little bit longer."

Monday, April 28, 2008


As I was getting Kate ready for bed tonight she was especially animated. She has been doing this for the past few days now. As I put her on her changing table after her bath she will start moving her arms and kicking her legs like she is very excited about something. She has even added sounds to this moving and kicking.She is a lot more vocal at night than she is during the day. It is known around our house as The Kate Show. Price of admission is one good bath and a diaper change. As Jared and I were watching this show with our hands resting under our chins it dawned on me that I will be going back to work a week from today. This tremendous wave of guilt hit me. Not that I haven't already experienced this guilt. I experienced the guilt that comes from being a new mother. I was especially hard on myself in the early days (as my sweet patient husband can attest to.) I think any working Mom who is really telling the truth would tell you that they really do not want to work. Some may be thinking, "If you don't want to work, then don't." But it's not that easy is it? I will admit that the reasons I am going to work stretch beyond financial concerns. I miss the feeling of productivity in a work place, interacting and making decisions with people.I used to think it made me less of a Mom to admit that fact even if it was only to myself. That's the kind of guilt I've been dealing with. But I have come to realize that this kind of guilt can cripple you if you let it. I almost let it steal the joy and wonderment of those first few weeks with Kate. Who am I kidding? On some days it actually did. But I can't let it do that this time. As a working Mom I will be working with quality time not quantity time. I have to make every millisecond count. I think I should have called this post "Doing the Best I Can." That's what I feel like I'm doing everyday. I wish I could wrap up this post in a neat little package but I can't. I think both working and stay at home Moms just need to pray for each other. And by the way I am a great Mom. I write this not to brag (believe me I am humbled everyday) but I write it to actually see it on the screen. Funny I know, please let me explain. When Kate was born and up until a few weeks ago I had zero confidence in the motherhood department. I prayed for God to give me confidence as a Mom and as always he answered my prayer. I do have confidence now. That's MY girl. This is how you comfort her. No she's not hungry, just fussy. It's ok for her to cry a little. Talk about on the job training! But I am slowly getting it friends. Thank you to everyone who said a prayer on my behalf. In hindsight I know those prayers lifted me up. As I said in a previous post I am constantly relying on God to guide me as a Mom. He reminds me every single day that I can't do this on my own. I find myself wanting to say more and more to Him , "I trust you." What a gift.

Sunday, April 27, 2008

We Are HGTV Junkies



Jared and I love watching the Home and Garden TV network. We love to see how they will redo a room. Well, we decided to do a little redecorating of our own. Our loft space has always bothered us. It is a big area at the top of our stairs that really didn't have a purpose. It was more of a space to put our "stuff" and it was starting to get cluttered. We wanted to give it real definition and now it has become a lounge area/office area. We love the transformation. We have never experimented with bright colors before especially green. We were inspired.

Friday, April 25, 2008

More Pics of a Super Sweet Girl

Thanks for my first shorts outfit Nana! I love it!

11 Weeks! Tummy Time

Gonna Do it!

Almost There!

Now She's got it!

Thursday, April 24, 2008

This Made My Whole Week!

Monday, April 21, 2008


I wanted to share this picture. She is such a cute sleeper don't you think?

Sunday, April 20, 2008

Prayers for a Little One

On Friday our friends Jason and Erin had an emergency C section to deliver their first son. His name is Brendan Jacob. He is 30 weeks old and weighs 2 lbs 5 oz. Jared, Kate and I went to see them in the hospital this afternoon. I even got to visit him in the NICU. He is amazing! He is breathing on his own! At 30 weeks! The doctors say that other than the fact he is really small he is doing wonderful. He is so incredibly tiny and precious. Every once in a while he would open up his eyes and look our way. He is a strong one. I got to hold his little hand and touch his little head. I had never been in a NICU before. When I walked in I could tell it was a special place. It seemed like there was a nurse sitting beside each baby. My friend Jason said that he scrubbed in (you have to scrub your hands and arms up to your elbows for 3 minutes before you go in) with a Mom of a baby that was born at 23 weeks. She said that they would be taking their baby home next week. What a miracle! All of the books say that the age of viability is 24 weeks. God is working miracles with these little ones that have to be born too soon. When I walked out of the NICU I hugged Kate tight and thanked God that she was born a healthy full term girl. I always think of that phrase "But for the grace of God go I." It could have easily been Jared and I standing by that isolette praying for our tiny little baby. Would you please pray for this family? Please pray that Brendan continues to gain weight and get stronger. Please pray that he will continue to breathe on his own. Please pray that he will keep his feedings down. He is currently having a hard time keeping his milk down. Please pray for Jason and Erin as they leave the hospital on Tuesday with out Brendan. Please pray for the nurses and doctors that work with these miracle babies. Thank you friends!

Friday, April 18, 2008

Happy 10 Weeks Sweet Kate

The 2 big highlights for Kate this week (and us!) are her smiling and that starting Monday night she slept in her own crib all night long. She is smiling a lot more. Especially when we talk to her. This morning I told her the story of her birth and she just smiled and smiled. She also makes cooing sounds and a sound that sounds like "a-goo!" It just melts my heart. I could live for a whole week on that one "a-goo!" She is continuing her 8-9 hours sleeping during the night and we are so thankful. We have started a little routine at bed where I give her a bath, lotion her up, and then give her a bottle. We bought this little sound machine that plays all sorts of sounds such as the ocean, rain and a heart beat (which I think sounds like a horror movie scene!) The best sound is one of the brahms lullaby. This one really gets her. The second she hears it her little eyes start to droop. It really helps at nap time. It works so well that I can't play it while she is having her bottle or she'll fall asleep right in the middle of the bottle. The last thing I do before I put her in her crib is pray over her. I do not do this enough during the day, but our night time routine provides me with enough quiet time to do this. I pray for her health, her peaceful sleep, and then I thank God so much for blessing me with this wonderful little Kate. I put together this little show for her 10 weeks. The song is called "Miracle" and the chorus says "Hands on a miracle, I've got my hands on a miracle." We feel that way every day! Blessed be the name of the Lord!

Monday, April 14, 2008

Kate at 9 Weeks

Sunday, April 13, 2008

Revelation 21:4

"He will wipe every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away."

This morning I went to pick Kate up at the end of her nap. She had been awake for a few minutes and had been crying. I kissed her little eye and there it was, her first tear, to my knowledge.

It got me thinking about all of the tears I have cried over my lifetime. Tears I have cried when my Mom left me on the first day of kindergarten, tears when my brothers would tease me, tears from embarrassment,tears over that stupid boy who decided he would break my heart, tears over leaving for college, and recently, tears over a father in law that passed away too soon. Jared received a sympathy card from every one at his work this week. In the card one lady had written the verse Revelation 21:4. We looked it up in the Bible and it gave us great comfort. It should give us all great comfort. Isn't that what this life's journey is about? The end goal, finally getting to heaven where there are no more tears or worries. Our final place of rest. It feels great to know that my grandparents are up there and they don't have to feel the pain of heart attacks, cancer, or Alzheimers. Jared's Dad feels no pain and is completely at peace. God makes everything perfect there. Our preacher Rick Atchley did a series on heaven a couple of years ago. I just remember him saying that heaven is not what most people envision, us as angels floating on a cloud playing a harp. We will have jobs in heaven, we will know people that we loved here on earth. This past week Jared has done a lot of things with friends that he used to do with his Dad, Rangers games, golf games, hitting golf balls at the driving range. I know he misses the time he used to spend with him. Jared likes to think (and is probably right) that Mike is up there playing endless rounds of golf. Jared likes to think that his Dad doesn't have any slices or hooks or hits into the water. That's Jared's idea of heaven. What's yours?

I personally think this world makes us cry too much. Too many tears are shed by wonderful people. I can't wait for heaven where tears aren't possible. Where hurts and worries are not allowed. Until then I'll keep verses like these close to my heart as a reminder that there is a heaven and that God longs for us, his children, to be there someday.

Friday, April 11, 2008

Long Overdue

The week before Kate was born I had started working on an anniversary gift for Jared and I (Yes, that's right for both of us.) But as every one knows Kate was born 1 week before our anniversary so I didn't have time to finish it. So here it is.... 2 months later, 5 years of marriage in pictures. Happy Anniversary to Us!

Thursday, April 10, 2008

Look What I Did!

Kate was taking a good nap this afternoon so I got creative on the computer. Just click on this link to see her first 2 months set to music. Thanks and enjoy everyone.Just click on the picture to view the show.

Wednesday, April 9, 2008

The First 8 Weeks in Pictures


1 Week

2 Weeks

3 Weeks

4 Weeks

5 Weeks

6 Weeks

7 Weeks

8 Weeks

Kate the Great at 8..................Weeks

Still trying for the "perfect" mom/daughter shot
Hmmmm...I wonder where Kate gets her big beautiful eyes from?

One of the few times in life where sticking her tongue out at me is actually cute.

Was it a yawn or a smile? You be the judge

What's up Mom? More pictures?

She is showing more and more of her personality every day

Happy Girl

I love this picture it looks like she is about to get up and dance....maybe ready to do the cabbage patch?

And here is the "running man"

"Kate the Great" (as her Uncle Burke calls her) had an eventful week. Much to her parents surprise and delight she slept for 8 straight hours during the night. She has continued this (I hope didn't just jinx myself) for the past 5 nights. Awesome job Kate. Keep the streak alive... Please! This past week was full of sadness for all of us but Kate also got to meet a lot of relatives that she has not seen before. They all got some good Kate holding time. Jared's grandmother (AKA Maw) got to spend some really good time with her. Her Uncles Brig and Burke took care of her while Jared and I were at Mike's funeral and Mimi took care of her over night (Brave Mimi!) while we were in Crosbyton. Kate was a very good girl for everyone who took care of her. Hopefully some consistent smiles are just around the corner. Smiles that actually be caught on camera. Stay tuned.......

Sunday, April 6, 2008

A Tribute

On Wednesday morning my father in law, Mike Gowens, passed away. It was a huge shock to all of us in the family. Jared and his Dad went to the driving range to hit golf balls just the night before. And then, we were saying good bye to him in a hospital room the next morning. It all went too fast. He was 54 years old. Too young to die. So many more moments to experience.

When I think of Mike I will always think of his generosity and his unconditional love that he had for his whole family. Just this past Easter after the grandchildren received their goodies he sent the older kids on a hunt where we found gift cards to Chilis. He was always thinking like that and that was one of the many endearing things about him. He loved his kids yes, but he loved his grand kids with a passion. Kate, of course, took to him right away. She rocked with her Pops in his rocking chair every time we went over to their house. I was always so impressed with how peaceful she was in his arms. My most fond memory of Mike was of the night that Kate was born. He had been working all day and was very tired and did not feel well. However, he came to the hospital at 11 pm that night. He had to make sure we were ok. I remember him walking into my hospital room kissing me on the forehead and saying, "She's beautiful Bets. I love you." These are the memories I will always have of Mike. Jared got to spend a lot time with his Dad in the past few months which was such a precious gift for him. He knew that his Dad was truly happy the night before he died. Playing golf was their favorite thing to do together. Mike was always happiest when he could spend more time with his kids and grand kids. He just loved his family. And the best gift that he gave us was that we KNEW it.

God has said, "Never will I leave you, never will I forsake you." So we say with confidence, "The Lord is my helper. I will not be afraid. What can man do to me?" Hebrews 13:5-6