Wednesday, September 22, 2010

There Is A Season

This morning was the ending of an era for me and my extended family.


A country church in rural Minnesota was lifted from it's foundation and is currently in the process of being moved half an hour away from it's previous home...traveling at five miles an hour, electric poles, signs, and mailboxes being removed out of their place to allow the church to pass by...

This wasn't just any old church to us.


This was the church that my Mother, along with her five brothers and sisters, attended with my Grandpa and Grandma growing up.

The church where my Grandma played the organ.

The church where I recall so many Good Friday services when I was younger. Holding my candle in the dark sanctuary, hearing the pastor slamming the Bible at the conclusion of the service.

The church where my cousins, brothers, and myself were banished from the yearly ice cream social after tormenting our baby sitter...chasing her around with baseball bats and threatening to run away from home while we were under her care. ( I even stuck out my tongue at her when she threatened to spank me and told her, "You can't! You're not my Mom!"...and then she whopped me good!)

The church where the yearly Lutefisk dinner drew people from all across the countryside...and the church stunk for weeks afterward.

The church where my Grandpa and most recently my Grandma are now buried.


This morning I talked to my Dad while he was sitting in my Grandma's driveway - snapping pictures and recording videos as the church slowly crept by her home. Oh, how she would have loved to have been out there watching the entire thing with her other country neighbors. She would have had a coffee mug in hand, reminiscing about the years, the memories, the times that were had in that church.

Good Shepherd Lutheran Church was first built in 1888. In the 1960's the church membership topped out at around 150 different family units. The children's ministry, men's ministry, women's ministry, choir...all of them were booming and at full capacity. It was a thriving, lively church, attended by many families who lived dotted across the countryside.

As is true of much of rural America...people have moved, many groves of trees now stand abandoned, quiet...and so over the years the church membership had declined to almost none.

The church closed it's doors about a year ago, unable to afford to keep it open, and now it is being moved by another congregation to be used by them.

Seeing the pictures of it moving slowly down the highway is just a reminder to me of time.

A reminder of change.

It is very sad in a way...

Sad now to visit my Grandparent's grave and only see a graveyard in the middle of the vast prairie.

Sad to see my aunts, uncles, and Mother having to say goodbye to that large chapter of their lives, to see them reliving the memories, the stories, the tales...

Sad to be reminded that not only is a church being moved...but just another reminder that my Grandmother is no longer with us...

As my Dad said today in the video that he shot, "Goodbye Good Shepherd."


If my parents, aunts, uncles, or cousins read this - I would love for you to leave a comment on this post if you are able. Leave a memory or a story about an experience you had in this church. It would be nice to document it in some way.

Tuesday, September 21, 2010


I'm alive and still breathing.

Just so ya know. :)

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Dancing Fools!

Ethan and Grayson looooove to dance. Put on some music and those little bodies just start moving and grooving all over the place. I sure do have two little white boys on my hands (just like their Daddy!). :)

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Her Name "Adelyn Verree"

When I was pregnant the first time with the boys, Adelyn was one of the girls names that I had picked out if we would have happened to have a girl. I have no idea where I originally came across it, but I loved it instantly. I just thought it sounded so sweet for a little girl, but yet sounded distinguished for a grown woman too. I love the name "Adelyn," but we will also call her "Adie" as her brothers like to call her.

Her middle name, Verree, is after my Grandma Cleone Verree who passed away 5 months to the day before Adelyn was born. My Grandma was such an incredible woman, and I feel it is my responsibility, privilege, and honor to teach my children all about their Great-Grandma and the type of life and legacy she lived and left behind. We felt that by giving Adelyn the same middle name we were honoring my Grandma, but also honoring Adelyn by naming her after such an important and respected person in our lives. I so wish Adelyn, Ethan, and Grayson could grow to know her personally, not only through stories and pictures. She is so missed.

First Bath

This morning as I was changing Adelyn's diaper I saw that her umbilical cord stump had fallen off! Her cute little dried-up-raisin-free-belly was staring back at me and I was so excited! Time for her first real bath!

She loved sitting in the warm water and was quiet and content while she was bathed. She didn't love the naked, laying on a towel on the kitchen table part, but she did love the finished product when she was snuggled up in Daddy's arms. (Chris wants to apologize for this picture of him. He had been working outside on the deck all morning, and after seeing that picture of himself, is now in the shower and getting a fresh shave!).


Saturday, September 11, 2010


We took Adelyn in for her 2 week check up yesterday. By the words of the Dr - "She is perfect!" I said, "I'm so glad she's doing good!" He said, " I didn't say good...I said PERFECT!" So there you have it! I'm good with that!

She is now weighing 8 lbs. 4 oz. She was 7 lbs. 15 oz. at birth, and dropped to 7 lbs. 4 oz. when she left the hospital, - so she has caught up and gone over. That gave me such reassurance that things are going well in the area of breastfeeding. This is a whole new ride for me, as with the boys I exclusively pumped and fed them with bottles from the time they were in the NICU. I knew exactly how much I was pumping, exactly how much they were eating, and it was completely calculated and figured out.

With her it's been more of a guessing game. Is she getting enough? Is she getting a full feeding? Is her tummy really full? Am I making enough milk for her? Blah, blah, blah.... So, it was really good to see that she is filling out, having many wet and poopy diapers a day, and all in all just growing up! I'm just trying to let my body do it's thing and not worry about it!

She has been a pretty good sleeper since she's come home for the most part. We're still trying to get to know each other, so I won't say I have her completely figured out yet! As my friend Kristy said, she is still just trying to get to know herself! For the most part though she has been going down around 10:30. I have been waking her up again around 2 to eat, and then I put her back down and wake her up again about 6:30. There has only been one night so far where she has woken up on her own and cried out...the rest have been peaceful. I am completely going to knock on wood on that one because I know we have a LONG way to go yet....but so far so good!

My little boys are doing just fine as well. They are talking up a storm and changing every day. They make us laugh constantly and are the best of little buddies. They have started developing their own language and can communicate together. They have a certain word they use when they want to exchange toys. It sounds kind of like "Mama", but it works for them. One little boy will approach the other with a book or another toy, they will exchange a few words, and then they will switch without a fuss or a whine! They love to do it at the dinner table too and switch their milk cups back and forth throughout the entire meal.

Whenever Grayson sees me breastfeeding Adie I tell him that she's eating. He looks at me and says "No." He thinks I am confused, because we all know we eat at the kitchen table, not hooked on to Mommy!

Another cute story about the boys. The other day they were at MawMaw's again and were going down for their nap. As you can imagine they climbed right on out of those pack and plays within minutes. Chris's mom entered the room and Ethan must have heard her coming. When she opened the door he was desperately trying to climb back in to the crib before he got in trouble! He did not get out again, but his brother on the other hand got out three more times before MawMaw finally told him that she would have to call his Daddy! He didn't get out again after that! I tell you, these boys understand a lot more than we give them credit for sometimes! Little monkeys!

This morning Chris, his parents, and the boys are off to the local tv station kids carnival. There are going to be over 100 vendors with activities, games, free food, etc. It should be a great time for all of them. Adie and I are staying home and having some quiet time together on this cool Saturday morning. I am sitting here in a sweatshirt and jeans! Love this weather!

Thursday, September 9, 2010

These Moments

Life is just rolling right along here in our little home. Chris is off all of this week, so we have just tucked ourselves away and we are getting to know each other as a family of five.
It's a busy home...constantly full of diapers that need changed, mouths that need fed, bodies that need cuddled, boo-boo's that need kissed...
There are moments where I feel overwhelmed. Especially when I think of taking over full time care during the day of all three kids here in a few weeks after Mom leaves. It scares me when I think about meeting all three of their needs and giving each one of them the attention and care they deserve.
I know these feelings are normal as I am hormonal and sleep deprived, as well as just trying to find a groove with our sweet little Adie. I know that it will all fall in to place as it did with the boys and we will find our pattern.
I really am in love with just being home right now. It is okay with me if we just don't go anywhere for awhile. I wish I could just freeze life just like this for a long time to come. It is cozy. It is peaceful. It is where I am the most content.
The boys are still taking amazingly well to Adelyn. I am so thankful for that. Whenever they see her they yell her name "Adie! Adie!" and they come running to see her. They love to touch her, watch her, kiss her. They are sweet brothers to her.
With such a sleepy little newborn I feel like I am still able to have some great one-on-one time with the boys too. Probably more time than I was able to have them during all of bed rest. It has been nice. It's been especially nice to get my body back in some regard! To be able to get on the floor with them, help change them, read to them, help with meals, etc. I'm not pushing it fully yet and can't lift them for another 4 weeks or so - but I am feeling pretty good considering she is only 11 days old.
Well, my time has run out. "Me" time is few and far between these days, and that's alright with me!

Friday, September 3, 2010

Soaking It All In

Sorry for being so quiet on here the past few days, but we've truly just shut ourselves away and are enjoying this time of getting to know each other as a family of five.

As I write this I am sitting on the couch with my swollen feet up on a chair, Mom and Dad are each drinking a glass of wine, and Chris is snuggling with little Adelyn against his chest before her next feeding.

I am tired, sore, and bloated and yet I have never been this happy or felt this content in all of my life.

I feel such an incredible sense of completeness and wholeness as I look at this family around me.

I feel blessed beyond words as I hold this little girl against me and study the intricate little parts of her body. Her tiny little fingernails, her curved little knees and sweet little tongue. The smell of her as I hold her up and kiss her cheeks and nuzzle my face against her skin.

What a different experience this is having one baby. It has been incredible. I feel like I can focus my attention solely on her when we have our time together. I don't have to worry about sharing the time equally with another baby, but yet know that at that moment I just need to care for her needs alone.

She is a gift that has brought such healing to me. Healing I didn't even know that I needed. Healing to have a healthy child. To not have to fear birth or prematurity. It has been so healing to look at this daughter of mine, healthy, whole and full term - and just to feel so thankful for that.

Ethan and Grayson are adjusting incredibly well. They have not shown any signs of jealousy, and truthfully I have been able to spend more time with them now than I was able to on bed rest, so I think they're enjoying that. They got to hold their sister for the first time today. It was so great to watch them giggle and smile as they studied her little wiggling body laying there in front of them.

They have been in awe of this new little baby in our house. They love to watch us feed her, change her, and even today they helped me burp her. When they hear her cry they say "baby?baby?" They love going back to her nursery and saying "Adee?Adee?"

I love watching them interact and knowing that I am the mother of these three incredible children.

Thank you all so much for your comments, calls, emails, gifts, meals, etc. We appreciate it SO much more than you'll ever know. I am sorry if I owe you a phone call or an email....I will catch up eventually! Right now it feels like all I'm doing is feeding, changing, resting, and caring as much as I can for two 21 month olds... :)

Ethan (l) and Grayson (r) holding their sister for the first time


Adelyn Verree

BaBa and Adelyn

Daddy and his Little Girl

Thursday, September 2, 2010

Meeting Their Sister

Here is a link to the video of Ethan and Grayson meeting Adelyn for the very first time.

We are home now and an update will soon be coming. It is 4:45 a.m. now and I need to get back to bed while I have a chance!


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