About Me

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I have the most wonderful Husband who has been my best friend since I was a sophomore in high school. So incredibly blessed to be his wife. God has given us three beautiful children. Nella Grace, Knox Michael, and Crew Matthew. God is good and I am thankful for all He has provided for us!

Sunday, December 23, 2012

Amazed by God's Grace and Love

I find myself emotional lately.  I feel overwhelmed by God's love for our family.  I feel like he has truly filled my heart that was once aching so much to now full with love, that I am bursting at moment.  When I look at these two, I feel so incredibly blessed and amazed that I was chosen to be their mother.  I am the one God chose for these two angels and that thought humbles me to the core.  

It seems so long ago that I was once sitting on our office (now Knox's nursery) flooring sobbing, crying out to God!  Begging him to let me be a mom.  Promising I would give my all.  I would love with them with every ounce of me.  That I would be devoted and show them His love.  I can still feel that pain even after years, it is so raw and still so real.  It was not an easy road to get here.  But one I wouldn't change for a moment.  One that I know taught me to trust and love God.  

This Christmas at our home, I wanted it to be magical and it truly was.  We had snowman pancakes in the morning, put our reindeer food and cookies for Santa out, received a special book from Santa in the mail, watched my babies face dance with amazement over all the new fun things Santa and Mommy and daddy gave them, ate a yummy italian dinner, watched my sweet girl sing her heart out as she sang Happy Birthday to Jesus, did a snowman bath, and then watched Rudolph in Christmas jammies!  Wow, it seemed what I hoped and begged for had come true!  But the whole time, I just felt amazed!  Amazed that these two beautiful sweet children are here!  God truly is amazing and such an amazing Father!  I am not sure why he chose me, but I thank him every day!  I thank him even for the pain to get me here, because the pain and the confusion of this journey helped me realize the vastness of God's love and grace.  I see it everyday when I look into their sweet faces.  

My Knox
9 months old
Oh he is truly a joy!  He has a contagious smile and that makes everyone around him face burst into the biggest smile their mouths could honestly make. He is a smiley, happy, sweet boy!  He enjoys building with blocks, hearing stories, and discovering his world around him.  He has a sweet heart and truly admires and adores his sister. His face lights up when she is around.  He crawls and smiles the whole time he is going.  Knox loves his baba and loves his baby food!  He truly loves Mickey Mouse and his face lights up with smile and his feet kick like crazy when he sees him!  He is my little miracle and he melts my momma heart every single day!  

My dearest little Nella (Roo)
2 1/2 years old
This girl has taught me so much about myself even at only two years old.  She has taught me graciousness, compassion, and what love truly looks like.  Nella has such a sweet heart and truly wants to help and love on anyone and any animal.  It amazes me to see love pour out of her.  She adores her little brother and truly wants to help him in anyway.  Today, she even asked me to turn off her Doc McStuffins (her fave show) because we should turn on Mickey because Knoxie really likes it mommy.  Seriously what a giver already at such a young age.  Nella has the most expressive eyes!  Her eyes can melt you in a moment.  She is dancer, singer, and girly miss!  She loves to dress up and truly is a princess through and through!  She is kind and loving!  We are so in love with this little angel.

My sweet little angel bugs!  I love this two with all my heart.  

Our Christmas card this year, had one word...blessed!  I feel so blessed everyday to have these two call me mommy!  Sometimes I get so down on myself because I want more time with them and I just want to soak it all in and being a working momma makes it hard because my time is limited, but I have quality time with them and I truly treasure the moments and smiles they bring to my face.  I couldn't ask for sweeter loves and I love my cute husband that I get to share this life with!  I find myself tonight just thanking God for His love and thanking him for bringing these two into our life!

Thursday, November 29, 2012

My Niece arrives

This is a post I have a taken a long time to write.  I wanted it to be just perfect like our sweet little Lilah Rose.  I really hope I am able to express meeting her for the first time.  

I will never forget the day that Leslie told me she was expecting my sweet niece.  We were sitting at our house and they had come down for a visit and she just blurted out I'm pregnant. I was shocked, excited, and felt an immediate love to the sweet little one she was carrying.  I love being an Aunt to sweet Clay and I couldn't wait to have another little one to love!  It was so fun to check in with Les through out her pregnancy and hear how active our sweet one was.  I remember when she told us that she was having a girl.  Matt got a call for Corey and I couldn't be more thrilled.  I was so excited to have a niece to have fun with,  be a loving aunt that would spoil her and do all the girly stuff with!  I was really excited for Nella to have a little girl to play dress up, tea parties, slumber parties, and hear giggles during sleepovers.  But then also to have a girl to share boy troubles with, friendship issues, and all that fun stuff girls go through.  I was so close to my cousin, Megan, growing up and I was thankful that God was going to bring this sweet girl into our lives!  I couldn't wait to meet her and snuggle her and watch her grow.  

Sometimes God brings something into your life, that you weren't expecting.  I know our God doesn't ever give us anything we cannot handle.  I think that is the beauty about God because he gives us unexpected surprises and teaches us that we are stronger than we ever thought we were.  God brings this into our life because he chose us because he knew we can handle it, actually not handle, but find joy, strength, and love when we weren't sure why he chose this path for us.  He is always holding us and I think that is what is remarkable about him because you never know what God has planned for you and it teaches you to trust his love and judgment. 
 I will never forget the day when Leslie called me about Lilah and her condition.  I was at school and all I heard was I need you and her sobbing.  My heart broke and I drove like a maniac to their house praying, crying out God to somehow let me be a tool to help her, calm her, and be there in a huge way.  When she told me, my heart ached for her.  Not because this is not what was expected or not wanted, but because as moms we have this huge ability to protect our children and we never ever want them to experience pain or heart ache.  I knew Leslie was worried about her life.  How it changed for her, what she would have to overcome, and how she might be perceived.  She wanted to protect her.  She wanted to make it all better before she even had to experience anything.  I cried with her. Held her. Loved her. and prayed!  In my heart, while was holding my sobbing sister and brother, I felt God calm me.  I felt him say it will be okay.  It will be okay!  She will be beautiful, loved, and joyous!  She will have strength!  Honestly, I have only felt like I have heard God talk to me three times in my life.  And that was one of them.  I felt him!  I felt his calmness!  I took Clay that night and loved him, fed him, and gave him a bath and brought him home to parents that needed love!  They needed to know it would be okay from their community.  Oh WOW did God ever give that.  I know Leslie and Corey have had a huge out pouring of support and boy did they ever need that!  I am so thankful that they have so many loving hearts in their lives.  What a huge reassurance and support you all are!  Lilah is one loved little girl!  


The day Leslie was due to deliver Lilah, I had a pit in my stomach all day.  I was so nervous! I could feel it in everything I did.  I felt this lump in my throat the kind you cannot swallow and grows bigger in your stomach when you try.  I kept telling my assistants at school that i felt like I was going to get sick.  I just prayed and prayed.  I prayed while i taught social skills as I patiently waited for kids to answer the question I just asked.  I prayed and prayed for her.  I prayed for Leslie, Corey, Clay, Doctors, and Lilah!  I prayed!  I wanted it to be okay. I didn't want my brother or sister to hurt anymore.  

I left school half day and picked up little Clay.  I was so excited to hold him and snuggle him. I wanted to see the excitement on his face.  He didn't disappoint.  He was excited as always to see Nella, Knox, and Liberty!  He had his Big Brother shirt on and was grinning from ear to ear.  I remember the concern in Leslie's face.  I held her for a long time and kissed her check.  I remember the moment I left Nella knowing it would never just be me and her again by ourselves and saw that look in Leslie's eyes as she said goodbye to Clay.  I felt Corey's nervousness as I hugged him in the driveway. As Clay and I sang Mickey Mouse Clubhouse on the way home, i prayed and prayed!  Little Clay fell asleep in the car and I carried him inside to finish his nap.  

After naps, Matt and I got all three of the littles around to head to the hospital.  Nella was pumped to be with Clay.  Clay was excited to see his baby sister.  Knox was just smiling at watching Clay and Nella.  We were excited.  We couldn't wait to see her and hold her.  

On our way there...Corey called....seeing his number made my heart stop...I prayed before i answered..God this is it..please I beg you please let her be healthy.  

And she was!  Sweet Lilah Rose had arrived with much strength and brought joy just as God had said!  She was healthy and doing well and she got to stay with Corey and Leslie so they could get to know her and snuggle her and tell her it was all going to be okay.  God IS SO GOOD!!!!!!!  

The Waiting ROOM
Here we are waiting to meet our sweet Lilah!  We were all excited and would turn towards the door whenever we saw someone come out.  We couldn't wait to see her and ooh and aww over her!

 The big Brother
 Yah!  Lilah is here!
 Even Knoxie is excited!!!
 I don't think Grammie stopped smiling!
 Two thumbs up from Grampie
 We are excited!

I want to see her!

Walking into meeting our girl!

I will never forget walking into that room!  I felt joy, peace, comfort, and total excitement to hold her!  But when I got in there..I was watching everyone else.  I watched their expressions of joy just pour out of their heart.  Smiles!  Lots of smile!  Tear filled eyes and lots of she is beautiful were heard around the room. My heart was overfilled with joy.  I felt a peace to see everyone just falling in love and fighting to hold her.  I will never forget the amount of love that poured out of that room.  If our room would have shone, it would have shone a bright pink shooting out of the door and windows with all the love and joy that was being felt.  God was smiling!  He was so pleased with his plan!  I felt it!  

 This is my favorite picture of the day.  He is so proud of his princess.  He fell in love!

 Happy Birthday to my sweet Lilah Rose.  You are an unexpected gift.  A gift that God chose for all of us and I am thankful that God brought you into our life.  I know sweet love that you will teach us so much about you, ourselves, and the world. You are an angel sent to us.  I love you Lilah!  I cannot wait to watch you grow, learn, teach, and embrace this world.  You are strong, beautiful, and bring so much joy to some many!  XOXOXO

To my dearest sister
You are strong and beautiful!

 I know God chose you to be her momma. He handpicked you to love her and guide her. He chose you because He LOVES you.

 Because he knew of your strength and your ability to accept and love her with all your heart.  And you do it so beautifully.  

I love you so much! 


Monday, November 19, 2012

Sunday, June 24, 2012

Knox is 3 months

 Our little guy is already 3 months....seriously how did this happen?  He is such a joy and seriously melts me everyday!!!
 This boy's smile....is a heart melter.  His whole body lights up and he smiles just when we look at him.  Oh how I love that smile.  He is going to be a charmer.  
 He is such a strong little guy and is able to sit up now for about 5 seconds, but he is determined to do it.  Not sure where he gets that determination from..lol!  He is such a good baby and really is just a very content little man! 
 He loves his bumbo.  He loves that he can look around and see what is going on!  He likes to be up and seeing.  He wants to be such a big boy already!  He doesn't like to lay down like a baby...no time for that!
 Knox LOVES tummy time!  He would stay on his tummy all day if he could.  He already moves his legs and tries to push forward...oh no he cannot be mobile anytime soon...yikes mommy is not ready for that!
He is a noisy little guy.  He is constantly cooing and trying to imitate sounds we make.  He continues to sing in his sleep!  He takes 4 naps a day.  2 that are 2 to 2 1/2 hours and 2 naps that are 1 hour!  He sleeps all night too!  Such a good little guy! He loves to be read to.  He flaps his arms and kicks his legs with excitement when being read to.  He loves to sing "Take me Out to the Ballgame" and he loves to do patty cake.  He also LOVES the bath.  He splashes and kicks like crazy.  He is such a little frog! He can already reach out and grab items in front of him. He can bat things too!
And sister...she continues to adore him!  She is always kissing and hugging him. I love it!  

Going to two children has been challenging at times.  We have had some rough starts in the beginning.  Knox in NICU. Knox struggling with nursing and then having to pump for all his bottles.  He had gas issues and has struggled with gas pains and going to the bathroom, but we made it.  We finally have figured out his issues and how to help him with feeding.  He just has to burp really frequently and we have to go slow when feeding him.  He also needs to be upright for quite awhile after he eats.  
I really struggled with the mommy guilt at first.  I had this huge guilt for Nella and trying to make sure she felt okay about this big sister stuff. But as usual I worry and she just rolls with it, always!  She really has done amazing.  It is hard to balance it both and be sure that everyone is getting all that they need, but I feel like with lots of prayer, patience, and trying new things, we have made it to 3 months and we are in a really good spot.  And there are not words that could describe how my heart melts watching my sweet loves together.  Oh how amazing it is to see the love between them.  He lights up when she is around and she smiles constantly when talking about her knoxy.  She is his biggest cheerleader and always trying to include him in what she is doing. It is magical.  I am so humbled and amazed that I was chosen to be their mother.  Wow God WOW!  Oh how you love us!  We are so in love!!!

Sunday, May 27, 2012

Nella is 2 and Knox is 2 months

 How did this happen?  How have we had this sweet girl in our lives for two years already?  WOW!!!  It is crazy to think on this very weekend two years, Matt and I were in Utah snuggling our sweet girl.  Nella continues to be the sweetest little love.  She has a huge smile and the sweetest belly laugh you have ever heard.  
 She is a ham!  Loves to have her picture taken!  She loves to be outside!  She is really into finding sticks?  Not sure why, but she loves them!  She loves bubbles, sidewalk chalk, her new bubble mowner (mower), being in the pool, the sandbox, and spraying daddy with the hose!  
 She is a sweet little love with a lot of energy.  She is on the go!  She loves to run, jump, hop, and march!  She is a huge singer!  I mean this girl is constantly singing.  Doesn't matter where she is, a song is a going!  She loves to sing all kinds of songs, but she even makes up her on songs!  
 She loves Mickey and Minnie mouse!  They are her buds!  She sings all the songs and builds clubhouses out of pillows and blankets for the characters to go into!  She is a true joy!  She absolutely loves books and I often still find her in her room just looking at books!  Oh how we love her!  Oh how blessed we are!  Happy 2nd birthday beautiful girl!!!!

Knox is two months!
 OH our sweet little guy is two months!  He is seriously the sweetest most snuggliest little guy!  He loves to snuggle up in a ball on your chest and he wiggles his little head until he is nuzzled into your neck.  It melts me every time!
 He is getting into a pretty good routine now!  We have had a cold for the past two weeks, so he has been a little not himself when it comes to sleeping for naps.  He is such a good nighttime sleeper.  Starting sleeping through the night at 6 weeks and became constant at 7 weeks!  Thank you Knox.  He sings in his sleep which is the sweetest little tune I have ever heard.  
He is a smiler!  He smiles all he way to his toes!  His whole faces lights up!!!  Just precious!!!!  Absolutely turns me into mush!   Complete mush!  Love his smiles and how excited he gets just hearing our voices.  He loves his sister.  He studies her so carefully when she talks and sings to him!  

He is big talker already!  He coos and oohs and yahs all the time!  He kicks his feet with excitement while he does it.  He can already bat at things and move them around!  He always raises his left arm in the air and stares at it.  I call it his strong arm and he smiles!!  Oh we are so in love with this little one!  Pretty amazing!!

Friday, May 25, 2012

Nella's 2nd year book


Tuesday, April 24, 2012

knox is 1 month

Our sweet little guy is one month old!  Where did our month go!!!  WOW so fast!  He is the sweetest little baby.   He loves to snuggle and will snuggle right into your neck while laying on your chest.  He is a very easy going little guy.

He loves to eat and is a big eater boy!  The only time he fusses is if he isn't getting his milk fast enough.  He weights 11 pounds and 11 ounces.  He is also very long little guy.  He is in the 99th percentile for height.  I think we are going to have a tall boy on our hands.  
He adores his sister and gets really excited when she is around singing and talking to him.  He is very alert after he eats, but then wants to sleep.  He loves to nap and sleeps well at night.  He only wakes up once and then drifts back off to sleep.  He is starting to coo and make little noises.  He has had his first smile and I am still trying to capture a smile on camera.  His whole face lights up!!!  It is the sweetest smile.  My mama heart melts when he smiles.  He is noisy little sleeper.  He kinda sings in his sleep.  It is the sweetest!!!
Big Sister still is so in love with him.  She showers him with kisses and hugs!  She loves to love on him! 

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Nella 22 months and Knox 2 weeks old

Our little Knox has been in our lives for 2 weeks! What a sweet little guy he is! We are learning all about him and what he likes and doesn't. He is an eater and is gaining weight really well. In 8 days, he gained 9 ounces!!! He is great sleeper! He only wakes up once during the night. We feed him around 10:30 or 11 and then he sleeps until 2:30 or 3:30 and then doesn't wake up until 7 or 7:30! He also is a great napper! He has the sweetest face and loves to snuggle up with us! He absolutely hates being naked and gets upset when he gets his clothes changed! Lol! He loves his sissy so much and gets so calm when she is around.

Our little Nella is 22 months old! Wow, she is almost 2 now! It is crazy to think this little love girl has almost been in our lives for 2 years! People always told me that time goes fast with little one and it truly does! She is the sweetest little girl!! She is turning into quite the little mother hen! She mothers her friends, her stuffed animals, our dog (libby), and loves to love on Knox. She is a singer and has the most beautiful voice ever! She can sing ABC song, Daisy Daisy, Jesus Loves me, Winnie the Pooh, Hot Dog, Row Row Row your boat, and 5 little Monkeys jumping on the bed! She can count to 10, spell her name, and can identify some colors and letters! She is smart little love and picks up on concepts really easily! She loves to "cook" in her kitchen. She continues to love to be read too and loves to look at books. She loves music, especially Mickey Mouse songs! She loves to color and paint! She loves being outside picking flowers, coloring with chalk, and riding her bike! Her new thing is telling us she needs everything. I need apple...I need juice..I need Knox...it is very sweet! She is becoming more and more independent. She wants to do things on her own and gets really frustrated when I tell her that she needs help to do that! She is a very determined little girl, but also very sensitive and needs lots of reassurance when she is upset or frustrated! She continues to melt our hearts and we adore our girl!

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Baby Knox Arrives!!

Little Knox has arrived! We are loving having him home and being a family of four, well 6 if you count Liberty and Gypsy!

On Tuesday evening, we were getting ready to go get some dinner, when my water broke...at least I thought it was. I wasn't sure, but I called the doctor anyway! She wanted me to wait 2 hours and come in. It continued so I was pretty sure it was my water. We had our nanny come and stay with Nella and headed to the hospital at 9. When I got there, they put us in a labor and delivery room, I was pretty sure this was really happening. By 5:30 AM, I was at 5 centimeters! I had contractions all night long and a lot of back labor pains actually through out the whole labor. By 11, I was ready to have him and in a half an hour, he was here! Oh my it was the most crazy, painful, wonderful, heart melting experience. He was so perfect. They put the little guy on my chest, but he wasn't pinking up and he continued to stay a white blue color. They took him over to the warmer. It was so scary because I could totally tell that something was wrong as they kept telling me they were just wanting to get a better look at him. Before I knew it, NICU had arrived and was going to take him because his oxygen rate was too fast and he was having difficulty breathing. I sent Matt to be with Knox and began to pray and pray that our little guy would be fine!!! I felt God, I knew he would be okay. God sent this great peace over me! After I had something to eat, I headed straight to NICU. I was thankful I had a natural labor or I wouldn't have been able to go see him right away. It was scary to see this little guy all under the warmers with leads, IV, and heart monitor on him! They said they found fluid in his lungs and both lungs were partially collapsed. They wanted to keep him in NICU and redo the chest Xray and blood work tomorrow. They were concerned he had pneumonia. We weren't allowed to hold him for a while. That was the hardest. I wanted to be able to hold him and tell him mommy and daddy were here! Knox ending up having fluid in his lungs from delivery and he continued to have to be monitored in NICU the whole time were in the hospital. He had a feeding tube at one point because he wasn't able to drink and breath correctly, then had to drink formula because I didn't have anything yet for him, but we made it! And he is doing great! I am thankful God protected us! I am thankful GOD sent us such an angel!

He is such a sweet baby! Very easy going and very sweet!!!! He has the sweetest little face! And oh boy is he an eater!!! He has gained 6 ounces in 6 days!! Oh my! The nurses were shocked when they weighted him yesterday! He is great sleeper! He has been sleeping midnight to 5 and then waking up around 7:30. He is doing such a great job! He is a week old today!!! Crazy that he has been with us with a week already! I have loved every minute of this little angel!

Oh and my Nella!!! SHE ADORES HIM! She loves him and is constantly kissing and hugging him! She sings to him all the time! And if he is crying or upset, Nella really calms him. Just hearing her voice makes him quiet quickly!!! We are so blessed!

Matt and I were laying in bed together talking last night and we just feel so amazed by our family! Amazed by God's blessing and how he brought our children to us!!! He is so good! We are all so in love!

Thursday, March 15, 2012

Today is my due date!

I cannot believe we are here already! Today is my due date for little Knox. It is crazy to think I have been pregnant now for 40 weeks! Crazy to think this little peanut has grown and grown! It has been a very fun journey and one I am thankful God allowed me to have. It is a different journey from Nellas, but not better just different! I love how God has helped matt and I reach both of our children. I feel like each of them has a special story to share someday! And what a testament to God our children are!

There are some things I know about little Knox already. He isn't a huge mover and grover, so I am hopeful that means he will have an easy going calm little guy! I cannot wait to meet him and see what he looks like! I often wonder whose eyes, nose, what his hair color will be, what his little personality will be like, etc. I cannot wait to officially meet this little guy! When I start to worry that he is not moving, he starts to move. I think it is sweet, like he knows I was worrying.

It is weird to think that he will arrive whenever and we just wait. THat in a way is like Nella's journey. We had no idea when God would bless us with her, but then all of the sudden she was here and I know it will be the same with Knox.

There are some things I will not miss about pregnancy. I have slept on the couch for the last 2 months because it is the only way I can sleep. I would like to have the option to be able to sleep on my back again. Other than that, I really have enjoyed every moment. I love watching my tummy grow, listening to his heartbeat at the doctor ( I love that sound), watching my tummy shift when he moves around, having people ask about my pregnancy, and watching Nella kiss and hug my belly. I am not sure if she really gets that there is a baby in there...but she is really excited and really loves babies! I am so hopeful that we are able to shift to 2 kiddos with ease and that our little Nella does okay with this transition. It is something I worry about, but know that Matt and I will do our best to make sure everyone feels loved.

Well, we will let you know when he decides to come and I promise we will have lots of pics of our big girl with her little brother! Thank you so much for all the prayers!! We love you!

Matt, Janelle, Nella, and Baby Knox

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

21/22 months

Our sweet girl is almost 22 months! I cannot believe it! She is growing up so fast and so quickly! She is a little ball of energy and love how she is starting to have her own thoughts and ideas about what she wants to do. She has the prettiest smile and the sweetest giggle!

She just melts us and continues to be such a blessing in our lives. She loves to be read too. She has some books memorized and can remember the words on the page while you read. She really loves Mickey, Elmo, and Pooh books!

She loves Mickey and Minnie and really loves anything about them. She also loves to watch videos of herself and really loves watching Nella.

She continues to amaze us with quickly she picks up on things. She knows her ABC song, can count to ten, spell her name, and sing many songs. She loves to sing and has a pretty little singing voice.

With her new found independence comes her getting frustrated as well. She does get over things quickly and will be very sorry after she gets upsets with us, but she does have to sit out a lot more lately.

Her new thing she says all the time is I need....We say this for everything. I need an apple. I need milk. I need nack (snack). It is very sweet and I have no idea where she got this.

She is such a joy! We adore you little Nella!!!