30 January 2015

| 20 and 21 Weeks |

We had our 20 week ultrasound for baby boy last week and it literally couldn't have gone any better.
How wonderful to be able to type that phrase... it couldn't have gone any better.
I realized after the ultrasound that I had been preparing myself for bad news. I didn't even really realize it. I hadn't really felt anxious or nervous before but afterwards, I felt such a tremendous sense of relief and for the following day or two afterward, I had a sense of not really knowing what to do with myself. Everything looked good. Wow.
Barring anything randomly happening, I get to finish my pregnancy. What a weird feeling. I get to keep wearing my maternity clothes. I get to decorate the baby's room. I get to think about him and feel excited for him. I get to feel him move and enjoy it. His movements don't break my heart.
 So bittersweet.
The word that defines my life now I think.
He was a mover and a shaker during the ultrasound so Dr. Case had a hard time getting really great images of him but these are pretty cool anyways
 Though even through my mommy-goggles, I can admit they are a little alien-esque!
He's a beautiful alien though don't you think??? ;) 

This is my favorite image. It's one that others might overlook but not me. Not this time.

His heart.
You can clearly see four distinct chambers.
It was very emotional for me to see this image.
When I look at it, my mind flashes back to the images of Lexie's heart... her images showed only two chambers.
The entire left side was not there.
Last May, during the process of finding out about her condition and further diagnosing it, we met with the head of cardiology at Seattle Children's Hospital. We had a 45 minute in-depth ultrasound and two fetal echos done of her heart in the span of one week. The entire ultrasound at Seattle Children's was spent just on her heart.
My mom, Sean and I sat in the room for those entire 45 minutes and did not say a word.
We just watched that tiny, partial heart pump and bump on the big screen in front of us.
That teeny little heart...
In all my life, I won't forget it on that big screen. I won't forget how I felt watching it.
How I knew that our baby girl was not meant to be.
 Not meant to live the life I so desperately wanted for her.
How heartbroken I was to have to let her go. I wanted her so badly.
I was prepared to spend a lifetime with her.
Little did I know I was being prepared for something else.
That little heart that was so imperfectly perfect.
Not meant to carry her through her life but I will be forever grateful it carried her as far as it did.
That she got to be ours for even the short while that she was.
She made us stronger. She made us love a little harder and a little deeper.
She made us see how precious life is. How blessed we are.
She did a lot in her short time. She was perfect in my eyes.

Today I am 21 weeks along. The exact spot I was when we let her go.
I feel emotional today. I can feel my little man bump along as I write this.
I feel bad that all of my posts about him always involve Lexie too but really, it's so fitting because they are so wrapped up together for me. I imagine that will change over time. As he is born, as he joins our family. He will pave his own way, his own identity. But for now, he is strongly linked to his sister. Even his room isn't quite his yet. His baby bedding is out and there are some little boy clothes and little boy blankets in the drawers. But the wall of the bedroom is still pink and there are pink baby blankets right next to the blue ones. I have some paint samples and we are preparing to paint over that pink wall. I am moving forward and still looking back a lot.
 Backwards and forwards, happy and sad.
It is the reality of grief and loss even eight months later.

I bought this cute little rainbow hat off of my favorite website, Etsy.
Can't wait to put it on his little rainbow head.
I also can't wait to start calling him by name.
Sean... would you pick a name please?!?! :) 


27 January 2015

| St. Vincents Crab Feed 2015 |

We always enjoy going to the St. Vincents Crab Feed and this year Heidi and Brian joined us which was so fun!
Just a few fun pics from our evening!
  A little blurry but you get the gist :)

| Oops... they did it AGAIN! Go Hawks! |

The 'Hawks are headed to the Superbowl.... AGAIN!!!
It was an incredible game that sent them there and the girls and I had so much fun watching it with the Peterson family and Margaret and baby Jack.
Sean was lucky enough to be AT the game ... the game that the 'Hawks turned around in the last FIVE minutes.
It was crazy!
Sean is also lucky enough to be going to the Superbowl in just a few days so I will share some of his fun photos from that trip next week.
Go Hawks!
The Williams and McKenna girls sure have a lot of fun together... :)

17 January 2015

| Hangin' with Mr. Cooper |

We decided to kick off 2015 with a BANG.
Otherwise known as a PUPPY.
Somehow (I am still not sure how), Sean decided he was on board with our family getting a dog.
I grew up with dogs and I have always wanted our kids to have the experience of being raised with a nice, family dog.
So here we goooo...
Meet Cooper.
He is a black, 5-month old golden doodle.
He is super sweet. Super shy. And super stubborn.
So stubborn that I am working with a dog trainer to get him leash trained.
And potty-trained.
And chew-trained.
And jump-trained.
He is expected to be about 70 lbs full grown so getting him well-trained is of high importance to us.
He has a major fetish for socks.
He has eaten and properly digested one.
He has also choked on one.
He owes me his life.

Coop is a lot of work just as I knew he would be.
He's also a lot of fun.
He's shaken up our lives a bit but all good things do.

Welcome to the family, Coop.


14 January 2015

| Alex + Mali |

The day after Christmas, Sean and I took a quick trip to San Diego to celebrate the wedding of his cousin Alex. It was a fun 48 hours in the sunshine (the chilly sunshine but I will take it!).
Alex and Mali could not have looked more beautiful together or more in love.... it was great being able to celebrate their special day with them. And, as always, I love little getaways with this guy.  

Pregnancy earned me the role of rental car DD which was actually pretty fun (and hangover free!).
 I drove this crew through Jack in the Box post-wedding ... hadn't done that in years! :)
Sean, like myself, has a lot of cousins...many of them are younger but there are several who are right around our age. I enjoy them all and after all these years kind of just think of them as my cousins too!! :)


13 January 2015

| Christmas 2014 |

I slid into Christmas this year by the hair of my chinny-chin-chin.
I was disorganized, unprepared and totally scatterbrained but much to my dismay, Christmas happened. Between teaching part-time, keeping up with my photography clients and getting through my first trimester of pregnancy, Christmas snuck up on me and caught me totally off guard.
And truth be told, my heart really wasn't in it this year. I was ready to bid 2014 farewell and Christmas kind of just felt like a cruel joke to top off our already tough year. 
I decided it was okay to have an "off" Christmas and not feel bad about it.
My girls had a great Christmas and that's what really matters anyways.
All of my Christmas photos were taken with my little point and shoot camera or phone camera.. I didn't take my nice camera out one time. I am in a "live in the moment" phase which means I am just not photographing as much as I usually do. I decided that's okay too. ;)
We stuck to our usual Christmas routine which is Christmas Eve Mass followed by dinner and presents at my moms which is always so nice and relaxing. Christmas morning was fun with the four of us and a relaxed brunch later that morning. We spent a nice Christmas Day evening at Sean's dad and stepmom's surrounded by lots and lots of family and great food!
Christmas Eve... Annual photos in front of the tree before Mass
Speaking of our Christmas tree...
our angel baby girl was well represented on our tree this year.
We received five special ornaments in her honor.
Both of Lexie's grandma's got her ornaments as well as her Auntie Amy, Great-Grandma LeeAnn and Great Aunt Jeanie. It was so thoughtful and sweet of all of them and it meant a lot to me. I wasn't able to put a stocking up for her so it was nice to be able to remember her on our tree. I didn't photograph each of the ornaments but I did take a quick photo of this one ... love the saying on the back of it.
More Christmas Eve photos... 

Christmas Morning...

 Christmas Day