Our photographer also did some photos of Kenley for her 3rd birthday! She is a ham right now! Always pretending.. even when Dustin was driving her to school the other day they had to pretend to play hide and seek in the car! She is a great “pretend” mommy. When I ask her to do a task that is too difficult, she says “but I’m not a real mommy!” So thankful to be her real mommy!
Sorry for the delay in posting this.. it’s been a whirlwind! Can’t believe he is 5.5 weeks old now. A little bit about his birth story… About 1.5 weeks before he was born, we had little bit of a scare with our “birth plan.” I learned on a Friday afternoon that he was transverse which meant his head was on my right side, and feet on my left. So of course I left the office in tears, barely could make it to Trader Joes with our princess. I did some research and learned about chiropractic care being able to help turn him as well as a website called Spinning Babies. Of course we were praying fervently with all of our prayer warriors, and had chiropractic adjustments on Saturday, Sunday, and Monday mornings. When we went to our high risk OB appointment on Monday afternoon he was head down and ready to go! Hallelujah! God is good!
He wouldn’t make his arrival for another week and a half but thankfully he did come on his own, with me trying all the tricks. I tried things like spicy foods (lots of curry!), walking, and a prenatal massage not avoiding the no-no points! (the massage guy said “oh I’m pretty good at inducing labor”). I went into labor on a Tuesday evening having contractions steadily about 11 pm, so I haven’t sleep a full night since March 20th, ha! We called our close friend who came to stay with Kenley about 5 am, and got to the hospital about 5:30 am.
We had switched OB-GYNs so we could go to a different hospital that had a birthing tub to labor in, oh man, that the best decision ever! With that and some essential oils to keep me calm, was fully dilated by around 11 am. They called my doctor and she barely had her gloves on as he was ready to come out. A couple pushes and he was here. Drastically a different story that previously with princess’ induction. So thankful to be able to do it without meds this time. 🙂 We had lots of skin to skin time and soaking in our newest little blessing. He was 9 lbs 1 oz! Big boy!
Here are our amazing photos from Krystal Covington Photography.
He looks so sleepy here but the longest sleep stretch we’ve had is about 3 hours.
Big Sis was super excited and is doing a great job as a helper AKA Princess K Mommy!
Here we are our new family of 4…
Thanks for reading and soaking in our newest blessing! Hopefully we get some longer sleep stretches soon.
Today we got the chance to celebrate with most of our family K’s 3rd Birthday! Can’t believe this girl is already 3, and I also can’t believe she’s going to be a big sister in a matter of days or a week! She is such a blessing to our family, each day she teaches us something new, makes us laugh (multiple times), and is so sweet to everyone she meets!
So thankful for this Princess! Excited to meet our prince soon. K will be excited about more presents from Baby Brother! 🙂 Please keep us in your prayers this week. Baby Boy is not in the right position (he is side ways), not sure when or how he will arrive, but praying God gives us peace about that and whatever is best for Mom and Baby. 🙂
2016 has been a year full of many blessings and quite a few passport stamps (for Dustin at least!). January and February were pretty much status quo, then March was busy with celebrating K’s birthday and Dustin’s birthday in addition to my heaviest teaching load time.
It was also a time of lots of prayer and trying to discern God’s will for our family with my job. He opened a door for me to be able to work part time and continue to teach part time as well. I decided to decrease to a 0.25 FTE (full time equivalent) with Cedarville and in July began working as a clinical pharmacist at Western Medicine Family Physicians 2.5 days per week. I love being a primary care/family medicine clinical pharmacist and it is such a blessing to be able to do that part time (in the same office as one of my best friend’s is the nurse practitioner!). There was much peace in our hearts after making that decision. And we still feel it has been a huge blessing to our family. I certainly miss my colleagues I spent the last 6 years working with at Cassano Health Center, but thankfully we stay in touch, and one of them ended up coming to my new practice as well!
Dustin still works for Automattic, which is the parent company of WordPress.com. He is still on the WooCommerce team which is an extension they acquired that allows customers to turn their website into an online store. In April his team had a meet up in Austin, TX for a week. He enjoyed lots of BBQ and bonding time with the team.
Before we left for Spain, we are excited to find out we were going to be an Aunt and Uncle! My sister Jaclyn found out she was pregnant. We are excited to meet little SJ soon! She is due on December 16th with her baby boy.
The biggest trip of the year was our time in Spain. When I arrived at Cedarville in 2010 my office was in the Study Abroad and Political Science area since we didn’t have a Health Sciences Building yet. Ever since I have dreamed about developing a study abroad program for graduate pharmacy students. Most pharmacy students aren’t able to do Study Abroad during undergraduate courses unless they go during the summer because they have so many sequenced science courses that are not offered in the summer.
There are so many benefits to cultural immersion and cross cultural experiences that I don’t have time to share in this letter, but thankfully our administration did see those and allowed me to create this program. We took pharmacy students from Cedarville and a student from North Eastern Ohio College of Medicine’s pharmacy school to Valencia, Spain. Ashley, my youngest sister, came to be K’s Nanny for our trip so Dustin and I could both continue to work. Our experience was such a blessing to our family. K loved it and talks about going back almost on a daily basis.
Shortly after we came home from Spain and got her potty trained, she started a pre-k program at a local Spanish Immersion school. We love seeing her learn another language and hope that these language skills she is acquiring now will be a huge asset to her in the future. You can read all about our trip to Spain here. We are hopeful to be able to do this again sometime in the next few years. The students had a blast living with host families and learning the language 24-7 while they also studied pharmacy courses in english. You can read some of their stories here.
At the tail end of our trip, Dustin headed to Vienna, Austria for WordCamp Europe. He served as a volunteer there. It is the largest WordPress Conference in Europe. Ashley headed to London with some of my students, so K and I enjoyed our last weekend in Valencia and headed to the beach a few times. She still sings a song every night about one of our days at the beach in Gandia, Spain. We need to record it!
Back on US soil in July, Dustin headed to Chicago for the day for the Podcast Movement Conference. He really enjoys this conference since he has made a good network of other podcasters across North America. If you are interested in learning WordPress check out his podcast in the iTunes store, it is called Your Website Engineer. A few days later he actually headed to Berlin, for another team meetup. His mission while he was there was to find cheese spätzle. He convinced one of his teammates to find it with him, they enjoyed it at the end of their trip. They got to do a bike tour of the city and saw where the Berlin wall was and many other landmarks.
Also in July I made the job transition, then in September Dustin headed to Whistler, Canada which is on the West Coast near Vancouver for Automattic’s yearly meet-up with the whole company. They have many education sessions as well as time for the employees to get to know each other face to face. Dustin always enjoys this week but usually comes home exhausted! This year I held down the fort with K for both of Dustin’s trips in July and Sept without Grandma so I was exhausted too!
At the end of September Dustin and I took a quick trip to Niagara Falls while K spent the weekend with Grandma. You can read all about it here. As I write this, we are headed to Las Vegas for the Midyear Meeting of the American Society of Health-System Pharmacist’s association. I’m speaking at the end of the week on Diabetes and Dustin is tagging along since he can work from anywhere in the world with Wifi including the Bellagio Buffett. 🙂
We are excited to welcome another little one into our family in March 2017. I’m starting to feel a little left out all of our household will be March babies except for me ha! A boy will be new territory for me especially growing up with 2 sisters! But I’m assured that boys are lots of fun and we are very excited! His name is also going to start with a K, so I’m going to have to start referring to them as K1 and K2 or girl K and boy K ha in our blog! Maybe even Prince and Princess K!
We hope you and your family also had a year full of blessings, we are very excited to meet our little man next year and transition to a family of 4! We are thankful for a Savior that meets us where we are and provides for our needs. Praying a special holiday season for all of you!
“For to us a child is born, to us a son is given; and the government shall be upon his shoulder, and his name shall be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.” Isaiah 9:6
Special thanks to Tara Lewis Photography for capturing our family with these great pictures.
After a busy summer, Dustin and I needed a short get-a-way to connect, and catch up on some things we’ve been wanting to work on. We decided to head to Niagara Falls. Thankfully Grandma and Grandpa Hartzler were up for babysitting!
We headed out on a Thursday morning leaving from Orrville. Our first stop was for a late lunch in Buffalo before we headed to the falls area. We ate at a burger place called Allen Burger Venture, which was pretty amazing! The atmosphere was very much like the Oregon District in Dayton or Yellow Springs, Ohio. Neither of those places have a really good burger place like this though. Maybe we should start one 🙂 Dustin’s burger even had peanut butter in the sauce! The tater tots were homemade and came with a sour cream and bacon dipping sauce, and an apple cider dipping sauce (are you drooling yet?).
Then we headed to our hotel. This was sort of funny because we thought we got a hotel on the Canada side, turns out we didn’t! We put the address in the GPS and realized we were on the New York side. It turned out to be fine, hotel was a very new Fairfield Inn and Suites within walking distance to the falls on the US side. Since we had a big lunch sort of late on Thursday, we just went to the outlets and got frozen yogurt and did a little bit of shopping in the evening.
Friday we headed to the falls. First we didn’t realize how close we were, and got in the car, once we got there we realized we forgot our DSLR camera, so we headed back to get that (luckily we were able to get out of the $10 parking area for free because we just arrived!) and then we actually walked back to the falls.
We did the Maid of the Mist because why not?! We got a little bit wet, but not too bad, it was really cool to be up that close! Afterwards we walked back to the hotel, dried off a bit and researched a good place to go for lunch. We had heard about Niagara on the Lake a town a bit north and found a really good restaurant there called Zees. This was just as good as our meal the day before! The parmesan truffle fries were amazing, Dustin says he’ll never eat a fry another way ha! (I doubt it!). He had a BBQ pork wrap and I had a salmon burger on gluten free toast. We walked around the Niagara on the Lake downtown area for a bit before our parking meter was up. The town had lots of fun shops and restaurants. The flowers in the streets were still very pretty despite the fact it got colder this week.
As we headed back to the good ole USA, we drove by the viewing points for the falls on the Canada side, I jumped out to take some pictures, then Dustin did a U-turn and came back for me. The parking price there was $18 CAD! We hung out the rest of the evening at our hotel and had some sausages we purchased at a local Canadian grocery store. Getting across the border and back was pretty easy. The US border patrol did enjoy that Dustin said his citizenship was Ohio, instead of the USA ha!
Saturday was pretty laid back, as I had a headache most of the day. We checked out Sunshine Cafe nearby for breakfast and later had great Indian Food for lunch at Zaika which was within walking distance of our hotel. It was really good but spicy! Wish we could have ordered off the menu but they only had the buffet. It was good but I accidentally ate goat, whoops! The chicken curry was right next to it ha! Later we headed out to explore the town of Lewiston and checked out a juice bistro and cafe for a new atmosphere to work a little while. I finally didn’t have a headache and wanted some protein so we ended up finishing off the trip at Center Cut Village Steakhouse. This was really good! Dustin loved the Seafood Chowder and we both enjoyed a filet and some more truffle fries. 🙂 Sunday we headed back to Ohio and picked K up and made the trek home! Back to reality, excited fall is finally here!
Because these pictures are just amazing.. they deserve a post all their own! Thank you Nikki James Photography!
Just few excerpts from my letter to Kenley I wrote for her birthday. I plan to write one every year so when she is 18 she will have them all. I’ll have to apologize I didn’t write one for year 1, but I wrote a lot of stuff down!
…”You love to play house and with your dolls. You put them to bed, rub their backs, rock them, feed them, and take them on walks with your stroller. Sometimes we have quite the crew eating dinner with us. Tonight it was a giant Monkey and a cuddly bear at the table. For your birthday we got you a kitchen set with lots of play food, your favorite part are the ice cubes that come out of the fridge!”….
…”You absolutely adore your grandparents, aunts, cousins, friends, and your babysitter. We all love your contagious laugh, smile, and cute grin. You look a lot like your mommy and daddy! You have daddy’s eyes but you have a lot of mom’s features too despite what everyone thinks! Actually with your blonde hair you look at lot like Aunt Jaci at this age.”
“Some of my favorite memories of this time right now are when I rock you before bed, we cuddle and I sing songs. Ever since you were born I have sung Amazing Grace every time I’ve rubbed your back or rocked you. Daddy thinks someday you will fall asleep in church as soon as it starts playing! Now you often try to sing along, and sometimes interrupt requesting I sing you the “Muffin Man song”…I pray each night the scripture we have on your wall… that the Lord will bless you and Keep you, make his face shine upon you and give you… and you finish it by saying, “Peace.” I pray that is true and as the years go by you will memorize that verse and many more. My prayer is that the Lord will protect you as you grow up in this crazy mixed up world and that people will see Christ through you.”
And here are a few excerpts from Dad’s letter:
“You love pretending to go ‘night night’ complete with a hilarious snoring impression. You make sure everyone has a pillow, a blanket and you rub your baby’s back. Within a few minutes, you shout ‘Up!’ and it’s time to get up”
“I’m pretty sure your could eat bananas (mananas) and yogurt with blueberries and raspberries (yo-yo blue-blue razz-razz) for every meal.”
“I love that you will give me a hug when I ask and you are so concerned about my hands when they have booboos from CrossFit. You frown and show me your booboos too.”
“You love singing songs before bed and your favorite’s are Row, Row, Row Your Boat, The Wheels on the Bus, and Do You Know the Muffin Man. And during the muffin man song, you make us sing verses for each of your stuffed animals.”