wordless wednesday::little free library

have you come across one of these (or started your own) in your neighborhood?

more wordless wednesday here.


{not so} wordless wednesday::on this day

then and now...

9 years ago today, i married my best friend (as cheesy as that may sound, it's totally true).  my #2 guy (i know you know what it means, babe).  life together has been AMAZING.  a thrill.  an adventure. 

we've laughed together, cried together, gotten stressed out together, been stupid together...it's been so neat to reflect on how much our marriage has grown, especially these last 2 years.  so much crazy stuff has happened, but i'm thankful they did because it has drawn us closer together.  i think we make a pretty good team!

you keep me grounded when i want to have a panic attack.  you always make me laugh when i'm having a crappy day. you bring a new perspective when all i can see is one way (which is usually my way).  you help simplify my life (that's a good thing) when i want to over-complicate.  you bring me lilly's handmade chocolates when i need a pick-me-up...except now you're gonna have to FedEx them since we're in a different state. 

i'm thankful that God brought us together, and that he has made you my ultimate partner in crime on this earth.  thank you for loving me, for encouraging me, and for supporting me.  happy anniversary, my love!

more wordless wednesday here and here.


baby's birthday celebration

we had a lovely, low-key first birthday celebration for our little lani. 

we made sure to start the celebration the weekend before her birthday since daddy wouldn't be around for her actual birthday. aaron and i figured out that lani wanted thai food for her birthday meal so we went out to a thai restaurant (we have these special skills that tell us exactly what our kids are thinking, no matter how old they are).

after a full tummy, the birthday girl got to open her present from us.  nothing beats a vintage baby book (it was such a great find!).

big sister also made her a little gift basket full pretty, hand-colored, choke-able, little rocks.  perfect for baby!

on her actual birthday, we celebrated with more birthday singing, birthday presents and birthday brownie.  she had lots of excellent helpers when it came time to open presents.

and i think she thoroughly enjoyed her brownie.
i think she felt pretty loved.  thanks everybody!


12 months

my dearest lani,

i can't believe today we celebrate your 1st birthday! it has been an exciting and adventurous year, and you have just taken it all in stride.

it was love at first sight when i first met you. i felt like a first-time parent all over again, totally in awe with everything about you. from little newborn hands and feet to your sweet, newborn smell i couldn't get enough of you.

it has been a joy watching you grow, learn and discover things on your own. and those smiles always brighten up my day.one of my favorite things is to watch you and your siblings interact.  they are so sweet to you, and you absolutely love being around them.

i'm so thankful that i get to be your mommy, and i love you so, so much that my heart sometimes aches just thinking about it. i hope you will feel loved today (and everyday), and i can't wait to see what God has in store for you in the years to come.

happy birthday, leilani!


mommy (and daddy, ty, emma, gibson and cash)


oh baby :: our wee baby lani

tomorrow our youngest turns 1.  she is the last of 5, and will forever be our baby. and what better way to kick off her 1st birthday than to share the story of her birth?  it's been a year so some things are a little hazy, but i'm sure you won't mind if i skip some of the details, right?


monday morning, august 6, 2012, started off like any other monday: breakfast time followed by rounding up the crew for my visit with my midwife, colleeni was at 38 weeks and had been seeing her on a weekly basis for the past couple of weeks because of my SUA.  

i think that visit was the official kick off to my labor.  you can read some of the details from that day here, because i was crazy and decided to post something when i should be preparing for a birth.

anyway, from 11:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. there was nothing but my water leaking.  obviously, i blogged that day, washed the car seat cover and did other usual stuff (i think...i can't remember).

at around 5:30 p.m. i was greeted by a wonderful contraction.  hello!  at that point, i had a feeling we were probably going to have a baby that night.  it was a good thing colleen had given me her mobile number (she must have known i was going to go into labor that night) so that i could get in touch with her as soon as labor started.  she knew how much i had wanted to try a water birth (i had planned for one for the both boys, but didn't get to), so she wanted to make sure she got to the hospital early enough to make sure the tub was all ready for me once i got there.  

for once i didn't wait to call until i was having contractions every 5 minutes.  i think i must have called colleen after we put the kiddos in bed probably around 8 p.m. at that time, contractions were still not painful, but i was definitely sure we would be meeting our baby that night. even though the contractions were still about 10-15 minutes apart, colleen decided to head to the hospital to get my tub ready.  i have to say that i'm very thankful to have had a very intuitive and attentive midwife.  she just knew there was no chance in labor stalling with me, and getting my room and tub ready early was pretty much the only way i was going to experience my waterbirth :).

i can't remember all the specifics between the phone call and the time we left for the hospital, but i knew we left around 10:30 p.m. because we had to wait for plan A-1 to take into effect (a.k.a. our super, awesome friend ami who has been plan A-1 since Gibson's pregnancy, but we never had to initiate it until now).  as we waited for ami to come over, i remember the contractions starting to make me grimace.  my sweet husband was very helpful in distracting me when i needed to be distracted, and provided silent support when i just needed to focus. it's funny that this time around, i didn't feel nervous at all about laboring or delivery (even with the possible risks related to the SUA).  God had really given me peace about the whole situation.

we got to the hospital at 11:00 p.m. and began the check-in process at the ER.  when one of the gals at the front-desk heard that my contractions were about 5-6 minutes apart and that this was my 4th child, she decided we didn't need to check-in and rushed us up to our room.  her words: "i'm not about to deal with a birth in the ER!"  i'm so glad, because i wouldn't want to do that either.

everything was ready to go once we arrived to the room.  all i had to do was change.  SO awesome!  i had to go through the usual hospital protocol of being hooked up to the fetal monitoring machine for 15 minutes, but after time was up it was taken off.  man, being stuck in that bed trying to go through your contractions, even if it was just for 15 minutes, was brutal.  i was very relieved when i could finally move around.

while i wasn't crying like a baby (ha!) during the contractions, they did require more from me in order to manage the pain compared to the other 3 births.  we skipped the hep-loc, because colleen is awesome that way.  just kidding.  but seriously, she told the attending nurse that i didn't need it since we wouldn't have enough time anyway.  haha. speaking of the attending nurse, she told me she was a doula before she became a nurse.  how cool is that?  last time i was in with cash, i had a nurse who gave birth naturally to all 6 of her kids.  this time around, i have a former doula??  God has perfect timing.

i was able to push on my own timing again like last time.  i pushed once on the bed.  then colleen told me that if i wanted a waterbirth i'd better get into the tub, because she had a feeling that on the next push the baby will be making her appearance.

walking to the tub felt like the longest walk ev.er. my brain was trying to tell my body to walk faster, but those dang contractions slow you down, don't they? 

the tub was fantastic.  warm and soothing.  throw in the dimmed lights, and you couldn't help but feel more relaxed.  even though my contractions were painful, the warmth and the bouyancy from the water helped a lot.  and once the contraction was over, i felt even more relaxed in the tub, and didn't feel anxious about how the next one would feel.  i don't even remember how frequent they were coming, although i only had maybe a couple more contractions before i was ready to push again.

on the second push, which was in the water, i could feel lani's little head.  being in the tub by yourself, and being consciously aware that you're about to meet your baby was crazy, out-of-this-world. i vaguely heard colleen's words as she coached me through pushing her head out and how to catch her in my arms. 

i saw her come out and caught her in my arms. i think that was one of the craziest feelings ever!  our little leilani juliati was born 18 minutes after we checked into the hospital. in the water.  my little mermaid. and oh she was so tiny and precious and perfect in every way.  what an overwhelming feeling it all was...to be involved in the whole process of delivering the baby.  one moment i was watching her make her entrance, and the next moment i was holding her close to me with the warm water surrounding us. i have to say, i am glad i was able to experience the waterbirth. and seriously...catching your own baby?  that's just crazy pants!  but it was awesome!

and the best part was that the peaceful bonding moment between us and our new baby didn't end right after birth.  colleen and the nurse were very respectful of our space.  i felt i had enough time to just take in my newborn baby before we cut the cord, and we had plenty of skin-to-skin time before they took her weight and length.  thinking back on it now, it seemed like everything was kinda chill and low-key after she was born.  nothing felt rushed.  everything was just at the right time.

i'm thankful that God met this funny desire of mine to have a waterbirth.  He didn't have to, and i would have been ok with that.  but He did and i'm so grateful for the experience.  it was a great reminder of His perfect design...everything from the pregnancy to the birth was perfectly planned and engineered by Him.  every ache and discomfort in my hips as the due date drew closer and closer, every painful contraction, the instincts in my body kicking in as birth was happening...all perfectly designed by Him.

but i'm most thankful for the precious little bundle that he gave us that day, and for the opportunity to be a mommy and daddy to another sweet baby. 

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