Saturday, December 31, 2011

New Year

I love this day, and the fresh new beginning that will be tomorrow morning. I am ready to start 2012 great. 2011 was, honestly, a difficult year with unexpected hardships, but beautiful-beyond-words blessings. But God, in His infinite wisdom, knows better than we humans and used the hard times for His glory. I sit here a much richer woman than I was one year ago. And that statement has nothing to do with money. I am rich in blessings beyond my dreams, not at all by my own effort. By Jesus' good grace our family has grown in size and wisdom. Hopefully Bill and I are better parents and spouses than we were a year ago. And our children hopefully understand Jesus better today than a year ago.

Looking forward to 2012, I hope I can grow just as much as I did in 2011. Growth in faith and wisdom, patience and love toward my family and friends. I hope God will grow me to be a better wife, mother and friend. And that He would help me grow to know and love Him better.

I pray that God would make me bold in declaring His truth! I pray that God would make me tender in how I respond to my children when I am frustrated. I pray that God would make me intentional in how I spend my time.

Before I sign off in 2011, I will leave you with a recent sermon from our church. When God asks, "Where are you," how will you respond?

Happy New Year!

Friday, December 23, 2011


We interrupt this non-regularly-scheduled programming to say Happy Retirement to my dad!

In 1986 my parents moved our family to Astoria Oregon and they bought a dental practice and we settled in as Oregonians. I lived in Astoria for about 15 years before Bill and I got married and I became a Washingtonian.

Yesterday was my dad's last day at his practice! He will continue dentistry with the Air National Guard but as far as private practice, he's retired. So, Congratulations! Thank you Dad for working so hard these last 25 years to serve the people in Astoria and provide for the family.

And I would be remiss if I did not also congratulate my mom on her retirement from the school district back in June. Obviously she's been retired for a while now, but still, Congratulations! Thank you for working hard for me and David and our family.

Now we're excited to move into a new season with Mom and Dad as retired parents/grandparents!

Friday, December 02, 2011


Finally I am sitting down to reflect and write about Della's birth experience. I literally have not had time to do this in the past five weeks. Four kids under 7 is not easy to manage, even with Bill having some time off work. I simply have too many things on the to-do list and blogging easily gets bumped to the bottom of the list. I am trying to be conscious of putting myself on the list, in the form of taking rests as needed and exercising moderately. If I were not to do this, then this blog would have been written sooner. Of course, it's a busy season anyway with Christmas coming up, so there are extra things on the to-do list, which wouldn't be there if baby had arrived in January or something. :)

This whole pregnancy, I really wanted to work on being patient. I didn't want to have to beg my doctor to break my water in order for the baby to come, and I really wanted to make sure I was in labor before going to the hospital. I had thought I would just wait for my water to break at home and then I'd be sure they wouldn't send me home. However, I also didn't hold back on trying to get labor started on my own. So Friday, October 28th I didn't stop moving all day. I had wanted to work in the garden raking leaves, but it was raining so we couldn't do that. Instead, during the kids' quiet time, I briskly washed our hardwoods on my hands and knees and drank about three cups of Mother's Milk tea which is an herbal supplement with anise, fennel and caraway. I had heard that pregnant women shouldn't drink it because it may induce premature labor, so I figured it'd be okay for me at 39 weeks since labor. You might be thinking, "I thought Addie was trying to be patient, yet she's trying to induce labor, wtf?" You are right, it seems contradictory. For me the difference was in my attitude. I did those things to get labor going, thinking it wouldn't really happen and being at peace with that. In the final days of my pregnancy with Wesley, my attitude was entirely wrong and impatient, even though I also tried to induce labor by being active and such. My heart was at peace this time and I trusted that God would bring the baby when it was His timing.

Anyway. My efforts on Friday brought on mild but not regular contractions and I went to bed around 11pm. My parents had arrived that day and were staying for the weekend. I woke up at 2am with discomfort and back pain, and semi-regular contractions. I started pacing around our 2nd floor hallways and began timing the contractions with the help of Contraction Master on my phone. Very helpful! The contractions were between 1 and 4 minutes apart. However, they weren't that painful so I didn't really believe it was the real thing. After an hour, I woke up Bill saying, "I don't know if this is real, but I'm having regular contractions and I think we should go to the hospital." He got things together, had a small breakfast, and we got going. Things were calm and I honestly believed we'd get sent home. The drive though was really uncomfortable during the contractions because I couldn't shift position in the Prelude's seat. I remember saying to Bill, "I have this picture in my mind of the first time Caley, Amelia and Wes will visit us at the hospital when the baby comes, even if it's not tonight, and it makes me really happy that this is how we've made our life."

We got to the hospital and walking from the car was very uncomfortable. I was unable to talk or walk during the worst of each contraction. I think that's when Bill knew I wasn't kidding and that this might actually be the real thing. We checked in and they magically already had a file ready for us! The receptionist was really confused about that. So it sped up our check-in process. It was about 3:45am. They put us in triage to test my urine and assess the situation. I told Bill, "Please don't tell anyone we're here or put it on Facebook, because I know they're just going to send us home." The nurse checked me and I was 8 centimeters with a full bag of waters!! It was the best news I could have ever received and we both cried with happiness! Our baby girl will be here soon!

The nurse kicked it into high gear and we started walking to our room, and they called my OB, who wasn't on-call but wanted to attend the birth regardless since she'd delivered the other kiddos. The nurse said, "Don't have your baby in the hallway!" As soon as we got in the room the other nurses started to bring in the newborn warming unit and they started my IV. I was, again, Group B Strep Positive so I had to have antibiotics to protect the baby. It's supposed to be a 4-hour dose. After about 10 minutes they realized my OB wouldn't arrive in time as my labor got more intense and I was feeling the urge to push, so they called the Evergreen Hospitalist, Dr. Pfeifer. Around 4:15am my water broke and, I don't think they checked me, but I was probably at 10cm. It was soon time to start pushing and after 2 pushes, she was out at 4:31am. Dr. Pfeifer delivered her and Dr. Tsuang (my OB) walked in about 30 seconds later.

It all happened so fast, it was kind of a blur! I still can't really make sense of it. I am amazed that my body just knew what to do, and did it without my knowledge. And I can't believe I was at 8cm and was able to carry a conversation and be normal! I think because the water was still intact it cushioned a lot of Della's descension and such.

Each birth experience has been unique, which is surprising to me. Through each pregnancy and birth, God has spoken to me in different ways. I have felt the most loved during my pregnancies and births, because I feel I can see God so much more clearly. The beauty of God giving us another amazing gift without us even knowing that we wanted it beforehand, really makes me feel loved. God really does care and knows every detail about me. Our family is so much richer now that Della is in it. Not that every single moment has been all chocolate and roses and butterflies, but it's better than what it was. Della just fits with us perfectly.

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Giving Thanks

So much to be thankful for this year, as every year. 

Friday, November 04, 2011

Baby time!

Today's my due date, but Della Suzanne arrived October 29 at 4:31am! Talk about a crazy fast birth! I woke up 2am Saturday with mild contractions, we got to the hospital at 3:45 and she was out 45 minutes later. I will write a more detailed post soon, but for now enjoy these pictures of our sweet Della Sue.

Friday, October 21, 2011

38 weeks

I'm officially "full term"! My due date is still 2 weeks away but baby can come anytime now and all would be okay health-wise. Each of our kids have been somewhat early. The earliest was Amelia born right at 38 weeks. Wesley was born at 38 weeks, 4 days; and Caley at 39 weeks, 2 days. Last weekend and this week I was having some major contractions and backache and we almost went into the hospital, but I tried to rest some and ended up falling asleep and the contractions faded so it must not have been the real thing. I'm very nervous to go in because of consistent contractions, even if they're painful, since I did that with Wesley and they sent me home twice because I wasn't progressing "enough." It's like torture. But at the end I get a baby, so it's okay. The baby WILL come. No woman has stayed pregnant forever, but there are times I'm SURE I'll be the first case of a woman who does. Haha.

Monday, September 26, 2011

Wesley at 20 months

In another month Wesley will be a big brother! For now, he's still the baby brother. I think he knows something's afoot. A few weeks ago I put the pack 'n' play decked out in pink in his bedroom. It also has a baby girl outfit laying in it. He points at it and says "baby." The blue blankets and burp rags in the basket on the floor have been replaced with pink blankets and burp rags. Wesley now only has one drawer of clothes, the other is filled with tiny pink clothes. The same goes for his closet. His boy clothes now only fill half. The other half is hanging floofy dresses and pink ruffles. All the same, I think he's going to get a rude awakening when he becomes a big brother.

Wesley is all over the place, all the time, unless he's sleeping. Oh how I live for Wesley's afternoon nap. It makes life so much easier, just for those few hours. When Wes is awake, he's into almost everything. I'm not trying to complain, just being honest. At the same time, he provides endless entertainment and enjoyment. He loves his sisters and Daddy, playing chase or dancing to music. He knows where his nose, eyes, and mouth are. He can say "Elmo" and today spent the morning with the Elmo backpack strapped to him. He can feed himself adequately with a spoon and fork and we have gotten rid of the high chair, he now uses a booster seat like a big boy. He's also getting proficient at coloring and stacking 3+ blocks. He makes dinosaur and car noises while he's playing. It's so cute!

What would life be without our dear Wesley?! If we're only going to have one boy in this family, I think we got the best one. :)

Wesley Eating Blackberries

We discovered a treasure trove of blackberry bushes behind our house by the garden and now there are tons are ripe, soft berries to pick. Wesley was uninhibited by the thorns and went for it. He didn't put any in the bowl for later, but it made for a nice post-dinner snack for his tummy.

Friday, September 16, 2011

Caley's first blog post

This is Caley's message to some regular readers of our blog- enjoy!
Dear Papa and Grama,
I had fun at your house. And swimming at the pool. Someday you can come to our house and swim in our hot tub. And we can go to the beach.
Love, Caley

Sunday, September 11, 2011

Amelia is 4!

Amelia turned 4 on August 6th. It is now September and I just realized I never posted a birthday blog! Silly mommy...I hope Amelia can forgive me. On her birthday we were in Lynden for the weekend and had a fun cupcake party with her Gerlach cousins (all 9 of them).

Amelia, you are 4! We love you so much and you are such a light to our lives. You are so sweet and cute and we just want to hug you all the time. You really love your mommy and daddy, and especially Caley and Wesley. We know you will be a great big sister to the new baby girl. You are so girly and love wearing dresses and having accessories such as headbands, hairclips and necklaces. You love your purple blankie and stuffed bunny. We are so thankful Jesus put you in our lives and hope that you will come to faith in Him in your own time.

We love you Amelia Diann!

Friday, September 09, 2011

Amelia the Cutie Pie!

Amelia is a Mukilteo Cutie Pie finalist this year! You may remember 3 years ago Caley being a finalist. Tomorrow we are walking in the Mukilteo Lighthouse Parade. It should be fun! The kids are so excited. Wesley's mostly excited to ride in the wagon.
Visit and email Vicki to vote! Amelia is #2. Or, come to the festival and vote in the ballot boxes!

This is the photo we entered!

32 weeks

32 weeks today. 8 to go. Hopefully fewer than that, but I'm trying to keep my mind and heart open if this labor and delivery doesn't go according to the previous ones. That is, I could be a week late, have a C-section, and this baby could pop out and surprise us with boy parts instead of girl. I don't really think those things will happen, but I'm trying to be prepared for anything.

She moves a lot and sometimes gets the hiccups. She is especially active at night. I have loved being pregnant for the most part. It's an exhausting time, but each time God has worked with me on something. This time has been no different. I feel like He is working in my character and especially in my patience. Pregnancy is a time to draw back and not feel like I have to do everything, like I'm allowed a bit of a break, and I don't have to be running every day or working out all the time. But God continues to work and I have more time to myself to really figure things out. During pregnancy I've felt God's love very closely, how He has everything planned out down to the smallest detail. And I can look back and instead of asking, "WTF" be able to go, "Oh, I get it now."

Here's what Little Miss may look like now. We still don't have a name, but we're working on it.

Sunday, August 21, 2011

The Garden!

We have the coolest garden this summer thanks to Bill's hard work and the help of our neighbor Norman John. Norman is English, loves gardening, and has a lot of time on his hands. He also plays soccer twice a week. He's amazing! I hope to be so spry when I'm pushing 80.

 The area behind our fence used to be overflowing with blackberry bushes and garbage (literally, the former owner dumped siding back there). It's an easement that is also a driveway. We asked the owner if we could put in a garden, and he said as long as we didn't build a permanent structure, it'd be fine. Bill told Norman about the idea and he got right on digging and sifting the soil, separating the rocks and "rubbish" from the good dirt. This was back in February when it was freezing!

They also did a second garden, which originally we didn't intend on planting in this summer, but Norman is like a sifting maniac so we had time to do a second crop! Here it is pre-dug/sifted.

They put a border around the good dirt and then Norman brought in some manure and roto-tilled it. Bill made a Jack and the Beanstalk bean trellis, we bought some seeds and started planting. Look at some of the progress!

 We made signs!

 The second garden! Bill planted kale and spinach, Norman did some radishes, turnips, carrots and about 6 rows of potatoes.
 Our first crop! (above) They got a lot bigger after a few weeks! (below)

 We also put in some berry bushes!

Bill is also getting some "Victory Garden" posters to laminate and put on the fence! Check out some of the images here

It's kind of like a bit middle finger to the economy having this garden to rely on! Thanks Bill (and Norman) for all your hard work.