Wednesday, April 3, 2013

Scaredy Squirrel.

Have you ever read the children's book "Scaredy Squirrel?"

My sister gave it to Olivia when she was born and it is a hilarious book. Our star, Scaredy Squirrel doesn't ever leave his nut tree because he is afraid of the unknown. In fact, he is TERRIFIED of the unknown. Life can be pretty scary for a little squirrel, his fears are germs, poison ivy, killer bees, green martians, tarantulas and sharks.

Sounds a little crazy doesn't it? I'll give our star the spiders and killer bees but why on earth would a squirrel be afraid of the other things? Logic tells us that the odds of a squirrel running into a shark are pretty slim but he stays in his tree to avoid all things scary.

Even though he never plans to leave his tree he is prepared in case something does happen and he must vacate. He has the following things ready at all times: bug spray, a parachute, mask and rubber gloves, hard hat, antibacterial soap, calamine lotion, net, band-aid and sardines. In case of an emergency Scared Squirrel has an Exit Plan, in fact he has 4 different exit plans based on the type of emergency he must face. Thoughout this story Scaredy Squirrel watches for potential disasters and spends his day doing so.

Best laid plans...

The inevitable happens... something not part of the plan appears and he is forced to vacate his tree because of a killer bee. He drops his emergency kit on account of the bee and when he jumps to catch his kit he remembers the parachute is inside... the best part of the book comes next...

Something incredible happens, instead of falling to the ground he starts to glide! Scaredy Squirrel is no ordinary squirrel, he is a flying squirrel! SS instantly forgets all about the killer bee and everything else he was once afraid of and instantly feels overjoyed, adventurous, carefree and alive until he lands in a bush...

He plays dead for a while and finally realizes that nothing horrible is happening to him. This unplanned adventure makes SS realize it is time to make drastic changes in his life because even with his planning something surprising happened.

I think we can all be a little like SS. We make our plans, most of which include avoiding things we fear and often times are a little crazy like sharks and green martians, never taking into account that the unknown is around us at all times whether we choose to face it or not. The unknown can be exciting, scary, fun, challenging and everything else in between. We even plan for disaster and create exit strategies for ourselves in case our plans fall through.

The great thing is that we don't have to fear the unknown if we know the one who is in control of it all. I am sure that God laughs at my fears on a daily basis and often times the path I am put on forces me to face those fears.

Maybe it is because I am a new mom and don't have as much time for reading outside of my baby's books but I love Scaredy Squirrel's message and pray that I won't get too comfy in my safezone that I miss out on what God created me for. The truth is we can never plan the future and although we are called to be honest, loving, hard-working and loyal the most important thing we can do is look to God for what our next steps should be in times of disaster, joy and transition.

Sunday, March 17, 2013

My husband rocks.

8 years and 5 months ago I met a boy. The first time I saw him was at a mixer on campus at Sam Houston State University. His fraternity- BUX were doing a fundraiser- a slave auction. I stood next to a girl I hardly knew who would later become my roommate and great friend. I turned to her when Ryan took his place on stage and said- "he's the best looking one." Amanda answered with: "ya'll are going to date." Then she bought him and introduced us.

Little did I know she had just given me the best person I would ever meet.

He really does bring out the best version of me and I could not be more thankful for this life God has given us together.

We have laughed, cried and been through alot over these years but I wouldn't change a thing. I just never thought I would be here, married and raising a baby with my best friend, my absolute favorite person on earth.

I know we have so much ahead of us and that there will be seasons of happiness and sadness but I can say without a doubt that my husband rocks. Why do I say this? Well there are a million reasons he rocks but here are 29 things that I love about him to help celebrate his 29th birthday today.

1. He buys me flowers. Pretty often. In fact I have 3 different vases full of fresh flowers right now that he gave me a few days ago for no reason. I LOVE FLOWERS. He just surprises me with them and I almost always have a vase full to make me smile throughout the day.

2. He's a great cook. We love cooking together but I really lucked out marrying someone who helped open Tommy Bahama's.

3. He is a manly man.

4. He is honest.

5. He is a great dad. Watching him with Olivia over the last 9 months has been amazing.

6. He has integrity.

7. He is patient. SO patient. He does not make hasty decisions and he rarely speaks out of turn. He waits patiently for God's direction- this is something I admire so much about him.

8. He loves the Lord more than he loves me.

9. He spoils me, Olivia and our dog Scout.

10. He is a great listener.

11. He is a great pastor to our students.

12. He's a dreamer and encourages me to follow mine.

13. He sings to Olivia with me each night.

14. He reads books with me, out loud.

15. He makes me laugh- constantly.

16. He is protective.

17. He can pick up heavy things. Including me. He carries me around like it's no big deal and that's pretty awesome.

18. He's a great dancer.

19. He can grow a beard faster than probably anyone on earth.

20. He holds my hand almost everytime we walk somewhere.

21. He is slightly girl-scared of spiders.

22. His laugh.

23. He has great hair.

24. He makes me slow down and relax. I can be a busy-body so I need him.

25. He leaves me sweet voicemails and texts throughout the day.

26. He still flirts with me and asks me out on dates.

27. He is very intelligent but doesn't flaunt it.

28. He loves to travel and so do i!

29. He is SO forgiving. He shows grace in a way that I admire so very much.

Happy 29th Birthday Babe! 29 never looked so fine! I love you more than you will ever know. Thank you for being the husband and dad that Olivia and I need. Looking forward to so many more years next to you!

Sunday, February 24, 2013

Me and My Girl.

So I have never been very consistent with writing.

I love writing but diaries, journals and now blogging have just never been something that I take the time for on a regular basis. In fact, growing-up you would only find diaries with lost keys and the first few days written in, I have never finished any type of journal.

I am not sure why this is as I was a journalism major and writing is a big part of my job. I love coming up with new ways to communicate to my volunteers at the AHA, writing for our newsletter, my campaign, our website etc. are what I love most about my work. Who knows, maybe I get burned out on writing creatively because I do it professionally.

Anyway, all that to be said that in the past I have tried to catch up with each blog post on the months in between and it just gets a little overwhelming because there is alot I would love to write about but just can't fit it all in! From now on I think I will just write when I feel like it and about whatever random thing pops into my mind. Thanks for keeping up with me- I get emails from alot of you who aren't bloggers but are readers and I am glad you are here!

I have been having a lot of really fun days with Olivia. I have enjoyed every stage of her- I really have! A lot of people have asked me recently if it has been so much more fun now that she's crawling, standing and talking so much more but I can honestly say that each stage thus far has had it's absolutely amazing and fun moments. I can't really choose one stage over another. We totally lucked out that our girl started sleeping through the night at 3 weeks so one that happened it's been really awesome.

Anway, back to my fun days, on Valentine's Day I took Livi to a little party at this baby gymnastics place during my lunch break. It was so fun watching her play and really interact with the other babies. It was seriously one of the best days of my life- just seeing her have a blast and listen to story time, play in the bubbles and ball pit- I actually cried after it was over to Ryan for like 2 seconds. I just love seeing her so happy! It made me realize I would do anything to see her smile and be so happy.

Yesterday we took Livi to the zoo for the first time. We love going and haven't been in a few years but I really didn't have any expectations of how I wanted the day to go because I honestly wasn't sure if she wouldd love it, hate it or not care at all...

We fell somewhere in the middle of loving and not caring. She was happy all day, waving to people, the other babies especially but really didn't care about seeing the animals. She did laugh at a monkey who was right in front of us and threw her bow into the fence where the lamas were but other than that she didnt have too much interaction with them which is be expected from a barely 8 month old. It was just really fun spending the day just the 3 of us, no schedule to keep to, no plans that night or things to worry about- we were just able to emjoy the day. We rarely have weekends like that so it was really great. We also tried a new restaraunt that night since we were in the city. It was a "hot pot" place which means they put a huge pot on your table-top burner and you choose everything you want to go in your soup and you cook it. It was mongolian food and it was pretty awesome! Ryan already said he wants to go back for his birthday.

Before you have the baby its all about preparation- getting the room ready, eating the right things, taking parenting classes, reading all those crazy books (i did not read a single one actually) but you know just doing what you can to "prepare" for this new human being that you are being entrusted with. Once the baby comes you realize that no amount of preparation would have made a difference because you are going to make mistakes, not always know why they are crying, realize that your baby could care less about her wipes being from the warmer first, whether her room is finished or if you are using the best diaper brand. All she cares about is being loved. Well and lets be honest- FED! I have so much more to learn when it comes to being a parent but I think the most important lesson I have learned thus far is to not sweat the small stuff and if at some point in the day you get a great laugh, cuddle time or just a fun moment than it's been a good day in the parenting world.

Parenting hasn't been all sunshine and lollipops these short 8 months- there have been some challenging times when she gets a cold or a stomach flu but there have been so many more happy moments that totally out-weigh the hard ones. As my Olivia is cuddled up next to me just playing with my hair while I type this out I wish I could just stay in the moment for so much longer than it will last! There is laundry that needs to be done, toys that need picking up and I need to go to the grocery store but for right now it's just me and my girl.

Monday, December 31, 2012

The month of December...

So I have been missing from the blogging world since Olivia was 7 weeks old which is pretty crazy because she will be 7 months in about 2 weeks! I can't believe how much fun she is, how much she has grown and started to show her little personality and changed my life for the better.

The world is entirely different when you have a baby. You drive differently, talk differently and even have a new sense of purpose because once I found out I was pregnant all that mattered was her and all I hoped and pray for was a long life spent with Ryan & Olivia.

Maternity leave was amazing. I miss it. Having that time with her and I at home was although exhausting all I wish I could do but alas we must pay bills so that baby girl doesn't end up in a box so I went back to work and yes that is full-time.

I am lucky that my childcare is my mom, nana and aunt. She doesn't have to go to strangers and they love her so much so that helps- even though I miss her all day long! I am also still blessed to work from home so my schedule is flexible and although she can't be home with me because I would literally get nothing done it's nice to set my own meetings and not need to be at an office or something at 8am.

So, let me catch you up on the 6.5 months of Olivia...

She is a laid-back, happy baby!

She started sleeping through the night at 3 weeks and there has been no turning back. She has had a few restless nights with being sick but still managed to sleep well even then- hallelujah because if you know me you know I love my sleep!

She has a very sensitive digestive track- we have had challenges there but she is doing great now!

She laughs all the time and it's the best sound in the world.

She rolls over, crawls, sits up and loves to play!

She said her first word and it was Mama! However, as soon as she figured out how to say Dada that is pretty much what we hear 24-7. She does cry Mama though every time she is sad, tired or hungry. She babbles and talks alot- she has said bye bye once as well.

She is teething, still haven't seen our first tooth but we feel it coming!

She LOVES to cuddle and loves kisses.

She loves Scout. He tolerates her pulling and hitting when she tries to pet him.

She loves being outside and going for walks.

She immediately goes to sleep when we are in the car but she is starting to tire of being in the car seat.

She took her first few road trips and did wonderfully! However, previous statement tells us that this might be a challenge in the future.

She used to love her swing- like LOVE it. However she doesn't really like it anymore and cries whenever we try to put her in it- now she just wants to play all the time!

She had her first cold and first stomach flu- both were very hard on mom and dad, especially the stomach flu!

She loves music and likes to listen to it when we put her to sleep.

This holiday season has been extremely different. Thanksgiving was good, we went to Austin to see Ryan's side of the family and Olivia slept there and back. It was great seeing our nieces and nephews, Ryan's grandparents, parents and uncles/aunts, cousins etc!

Christmas we had planned to go to Lake Tahoe with my side of the family- everything was planned for we were packed up and the morning of our flight at 5am I woke up with chest pains and what seemed to be a stomach virus. We ended up in the ER instead of the airport and missed our trip of snow and being with my family. It was so very disappointing. I never imagined I would end up in the ER on Olivia's first Christmas and the first holiday we were taking a vacation but I did. Thankfully after an EKG, chest xray and being monitored for hours the Dr's decided I must be having severe reflux. WHAT? This was my response. I have only had heart burn 3-4 times in my life and all accounts were while I was pregnant. Olivia did have it pretty bad when she was first born though- or so we think and the Dr said it could even be from the pregnancy and would go away. I am scheduled to see a GI Dr at the end of January but I just need to say that PREGNANCY DOES WEIRD THINGS. The Dr didn't really give me much advice- he said I was over-all a very healthy girl with great blood pressure, perfect lungs and heart so he expects it to go away. It's been a few days and is much better but I spent the rest of Christmas day and a few days after exhausted and still in pain. Who knew that Reflux could feel the same as a heart attack? Apparently it does! Scary stuff- especially for me since I work for the American Heart Association I know the signs for heart disease and stroke like the back of my hand. Although I am still sad to have missed our trip I am so very thankful that our trip to the ER was not something more serious. God was watching over us and for some reason- one I am sure I will never know we were not meant to go on our trip.

Our tickets are non-refundable and we will have to pay $300 to reschedule and take a trip before September or the money is lost but now we just get to plan another trip and I got to spend Christmas day with just my little family which was nice as well.

We have been really beaten down the entire month of December, pretty sure Satan has been attacking us in anyway that he thinks he can... Don't believe me? Read our month below...
  1. I get in a car accident at the end of November and the girl who hit me delayed the repairs until this week- yep, my car still sits unfixed and will finally be repaired this week. Thanks Farmers, glad I don't have you!
  2. We head to Fort Worth for Ryan's Seminary Graduation and to celebrate our anniversary and at our anniversary dinner Olivia projectile vomits all over me and the floor, she was fine for a full 24 hours so we thought it was a one-time thing...
  3. After Ryan's graduation we went to lunch with everyone to celebrate and Olivia shows us she has the stomach flu- it was rough. I still try not to think about that.
  4. We spent that evening in our hotel changing sheets, calling Dr's and I started running fever. It was our most challenging night as parents yet.
  5. ER trip made us miss our flight.
  6. No direct flights going to Lake Tahoe for days.
  7. Ryan's debit card was mysteriously cancelled while we were at dinner- the bank didn't feel the need to contact us, we found out while trying to pay at Bucca Di Beppo (they stated it had been compromised and a new one was being sent).
  8. We planned a little getaway to Galveston to try to relax and were told it would be raining the entire time so we cancelled that.
However, all of these things do not cancel out all of the major blessings we have had this month:
  1. I was not hurt in the accident and car is drivable.
  2. Ryan graduated from seminary! This was a long time coming and he has worked so very hard, I could not be more proud of that husband of mine!
  3. We celebrated 4 years of marriage and 8 years together- I am so blessed to have Ryan in my life. He is so caring, positive, supportive and the Godly leader Olivia and I need.
  4. Olivia turned 6 months!! It has been an amazing life with her.
  5. I did not have a heart attack and I was told I am a healthy person.
  6. We spent the break at our house, just the 3 of us. Even though the first few days were not relaxing the following ones have been.
  7. We ended up having enough cash to cover dinner- God really showed us He always takes care of us.
  8. We spent the day relaxing and just thanking God for all he had given us.
No, this holiday season was not what either of us planned or imagined it would be but we have so much to be thankful for- the main thing being each other and God's protection. It has always been one of my favorite verses but it really has been in my heart these last few days of 2012-

Jeremiah 29:11-13
11 For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. 12 Then you will call on me and come and pray to me, and I will listen to you. 13 You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart.

Thursday, August 2, 2012

7 weeks...

well it's been 7 weeks...7 weeks since I had a baby.
7 weeks since a brand new person entered the world.
7 weeks since we have tried to get to know this new person
7 weeks since everyone we know and love has come to see her multiple times and brought us yummy food.
7 weeks of a little less sleep ;-) however our sweet girl started sleeping through the night at 3 weeks so we have been getting about 5 hours so we consider ourselves very lucky.
7 weeks since we didn't care about sleeping because our lives being awake have never been so amazing.
7 weeks since our lives changed forever.

I knew things were going to change but I don't think I realized how much I would change when Olivia entered our lives. Everyone I came in contact with, strangers and people I had known my whole life would tell me the same thing when I was pregnant "get ready for everything to change but it will all be worth it!" and everytime i would say to myself or Ryan "what does that even mean??" now we get it. Although we are figting to keep outside lives because we both feel like that is a huge part of being a good parent and spouse to one another at the end of the day all that matters is our family of 4. and yes that means scout is part of that!

I am still the same girl that loves my husband, dog, my family, friends, fashion, design, traveling and everything in between but so many things that used to take up my time just don't seem important anymore. I have been so encouraged by the outpour of love from our friends and family since Olivia arrived- we saw it before she was here with all of the gifts, showers and advice but now we see it in a new way- how everyone loves Olivia and has come to visit her. I have said it a million times on this blog but I am SO lucky to have found the most amazing people in the world and they for whatever reason have decided to stick with me in life.

I love being a Mom and taking care of Olivia. She really is such a great baby- so calm, sweet and adorable! Although I feel SO very lucky to work from home and for our family to be helping with childcare I really wish I didn't have to go back to work but it is just not an option at this point. I start back at the end of next week and I will be part time until mid-september. I know all good things must come to an end but I definately wish I could be a stay at home mom these days which is funny because I didn't really think I would have that desire until now- I guess it's another one of the things that our sweet girl has changed :-) I am so thankful though for the 8 weeks that I had and the ability to go back part time for a little while and for a job that has such a great schedule!

Anyway, that is how life at the Jasper's is going so far- we got her pictures taken and are just waiting for the link, I will share a few as soon as I get them, she did great and I LOVED the photographer!

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

one month...

i can't believe Olivia is already 4 weeks old! the time has flown by so fast and we are enjoying getting to know this new little person that has completely taken over our lives and our hearts.

i am not going to lie- it has been challenging. the late night feedings have definately been my biggest obstacle and i am so happy to say they seem to be on their way out! the last 4 nights Livi has pretty much slept through the night- there have been a few little wake-ups but we were able to get her back to sleep quickly or she was able to soothe herself back to sleep. i honestly didn't expect her to start sleeping through the night this quickly but after all of our feeding issues our pediatrician suggested we try a new formula so she is now bottle-fed as of last week so we made it to 3 weeks but she just wasn't getting what she needed and it was really painful for me so we decided after a good hard try that formula was a better fit for us. anyway, this new formula was created for babies who tend to spit up, she isn't collic but was just experiencing some stomach issues and this new formula has been awesome! although it is for newborns and infants it has rice cereal in it so that it solidifies in the stomach making it easier for her to keep it down. another plus- it is more filling so she is sleeping through the night! getting 6 hours of sleep as opposed to 30min-1.5 hours at a time is pretty amazing.

Olivia is so much fun- she is really expressive, smiles alot and has started to make little "cooing" noises. When she likes something or is excited she does this little kicking thing with her legs that is really sweet. She also has to have her left arm out at night so when we swaddle her she immediately pulls her arm out, sometimes when we check on her it's above her head or extended to the side- pretty funny! here is a picture of her from yesterday:

The last 4 weeks of my life have been great but also completely different from anything i have experienced. i am not really even sure how to describe being a mom. it's humbling, exciting, scary, fun, exhausting and most importantly- life changing. i really do feel like a different person than i did a month ago. parenting really puts life into perspective and has made me learn so much about myself and made me even more thankful for my amazing parents and all the sacrifices they made for me. the moment i held Olivia in my arms nothing else mattered except our family.

i have to admit that i am just now starting to relax a little bit- for the last few weeks when Olivia slept i would clean or do laundry etc. because i felt like i wouldn't have time to do everything if i didn't. i honestly ran myself ragged trying to do it all because when you don't sleep at night and are up all day it starts to take it's toll. don't get me wrong- ryan has been a huge help and my mom has helped us so much we will forever be in debt to her but when it's just the two of us my busy-body self takes over. now i am just focused on slepding time with Olivia. the dishes and laundry can wait- i will never get this time back with her and if i am exhausted i wont even remember much so we are currently cuddling on the couch and enjoying this rainy day.

everyone has been asking how i feel- i am honestly still in alot of pain but i am thankful to say that i lost all of the baby weight almost immediately, i am now 4 lbs under my pre-preggo weight and although my body isn't the same and my clothes still aren't fitting how i would like i can wear my pre-preggo jeans and everything else so that has been relief! i want to loose about 25 more lbs and can't wait to get the clearing to work out- hopefully i will get that at 6 weeks. we just heard some popping during delivery and there is a chance that i did some damage so if the pain hasn't gone away by my 6 wk appt i will need to get xrays and all of that- we are just hoping it is really bad bruising so please pray it is not anything too serious!

here is a picture of Olivia that I took today, one of my besties from college made her shirts to wear for each month, such a cute idea!! thanks again hannah!

Sunday, July 1, 2012

Olivia has arrived and I have been living under a rock ever since :-)

As most of you already know our sweet baby girl Olivia arrived 2 weeks ago and we could not love her more! Her arrival took quite a while, on Wednesday- June 12 at 4am I started having contractions that were 3-7 minutes apart so we headed to the hospital at 6:30ish only to be told a few hours later that I would need to leave triage and home labor until I was a tad bit further along.... Unhappy we went back home where I had to deal with my own contractions for hours- 15 to be exact....

Then the electricity went out. There was a horrible storm that night so we headed back to the hospital because my contractions were now 4 minutes apart and I could barely walk or talk when they would hit. We were then told to walk the hospital for an hour because I was so close... we are talking less than a centimeter from where they wanted me to be- I was in tears and couldnt really walk! It was the most painful hour of my life, hands down. After our nice stroll I was admitted and swiftly taken to my room.

I immediately got the epidural which made all my problems go away- SERIOUSLY! I am going to give any preggo people out there a piece of advice- get the epidural and get it as soon as you can! It is just not worth waiting for, the girl next store to me decided to wait until she aws 9.5 centimeters and then started screaming for it- she sounded crazy and I felt awful for her so don't wait.

Anyway, after the glorious epidural I spent the rest of the night trying to get rest in between all the nurses and vistors coming to check on me and kept thinking I would deliver that night but was totally fine with going past midnight because I really wanted my doctor to deliver me and she wasn't going to be on call until Wednesday morning- well I got my wish! After some time with an oxygen mask and alot of contractions I was told it was time to start pushing at 1:25PM, they told me it could take a few hours- I looked at the clock and said "No, she will be out by 2PM."

Who did I think I was to decide this? Pretty sure I got my confidence from the epidural or something but God decided to humor me and she started screaming and was out at exactly 2PM!! 35 minutes, after 15 home labor hours and 16 spent at the hospital our girl had arrived!

Ryan and my Mom and I were all crying looing at her and couldn't believe she had finally arrived.

The Memorial Herman staff was absolutely AMAZING! Grantit I was totally spoiled because we are good friends with 2 night shift nurses and the head nurse during the day so they made sure we were well taken care of which I couldn't be more thankful for. I love my doctor and I think she was the reason I was pretty calm once it was time to get Ms.Olivia out- I just never doubted she would do all she could and I really trust her. If you need a new doctor you seriously need to consider mine!

Our days at the hospital were a huge blur along with the last 2 weeks, I was so blessed to have Ryan home with me, he got 2 weeks off and I am pretty sure I couldn't have survived without him- he is the best husband. Seriously. I knew it before but seeing him with Livi, the support and help he has given me and he has still found a way to make me laugh and feel loved despite the sleep deprevity and stress!

Poor Olivia has had some difficulty feeding, we have had to switch to bottles which is totally fine if it means she does better but now she is spilling milk out of her mouth even with the slow flow bottles so we are going to talk to our pediatrician about it this week because there has been alot of spitting up and most recently she threw up which totally freaked us out. Please keep her sweet self in your prayers and that we can quickly find out a good solution for her!

Other than the sleep loss and feeding difficulty everything has been really great! She is such a good baby and we feel completely blessed beyond what we deserve having her and just being a family of 4- don't forget about Scout! Speaking of, he has been so great with Livi so far! He is super protective and so affectionate, when she is asleep on her little boppy lounger he cuddles up next to her and when she cries he immediately runs to us and wants us to make it stop- it's so adorable! We were worried he would be jealous but he just isn't. Grantit we have been walking everyday and giving him as much attention as we can because we want him to know that we love him just as much as we did before the baby.

So, about the rock I have been living under- we don't know what is going on in the world. I had no idea anything happened in CO and just heard about the healthcare fiasco yesterday- I guess when you can barely find time to eat and sleep the news just ends up way in the back seat. Please let me know if there is anything else major that has happened in the last 2.5 weeks! I promise to post more pics in my next post but here she is!!