Life on Cottage Hill: PAGES

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

...heavenly peace

I am convinced that there is nothing more peaceful than the face of a sleeping baby in the glow of a Christmas tree. 

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

busy, busy little man.

I am not sure who is going to be the most bummed when Dan goes back to work next week... me for being without my partner, Jackson for being without his best buddy or Dan for being without his best buddy... those two are complete mirrors of each other and I'm never really sure who is having more fun when they're playing- Dada or Jackson. Either way, they are busy boys who play all day long and reality is going to be a little hard for Jackson next week when he realizes that he and I will have to take play breaks to take care of Audrey. This mama is already game-planning how to make the most of our every day together because I've learned from experience that while my maternity leave seems long now, it will surely fly by way too quickly. 
One of Jackson's most favorite things to do is to go "up up up" to read books with Dan and I. "Up up up" means up onto our bed. He tells us exactly where to sit or lay, normally covers us up with our blanket to get all cuddled up and then makes several trips to bring in as many books as he can carry before beginning a reading marathon. 

Ignore my hair, please. It was early and I'm going on no sleep...

This little man is quite the big helper... he insists on helping with just about everything. One of his most favorite chores is to do the dishes. Sometimes I find myself sneaking into the kitchen to wash a few things as quietly as I can, but sure enough as soon as I get started I hear his little feet running as fast as possible to come and lend a hand. 
I see so much of both Dan and I in Jackson more and more every day- it's amusing to make those little observations of where he got "this" or "that" from or who he reminds us of when his little quirks shine through. I think one especially humorous (and sometimes exhausting) combination that we were able to finally put into words yesterday was that he has Dan's endless energy combined with my slightly-OCD personality... meaning, he goes and goes and goes and insists on things being just "so." He is anything but laid back which is especially funny right now because Audrey so far has been the epitome of laid back. I love that they are already so different- these two have a lot of adventures in store for us, I'm sure, and I couldn't be more excited to see what they are. 

twelve days old

Saturday, November 19, 2011


Day 10: For the sweetest baby girl I've ever known. Audrey is everything and more a little lady in the making should be. 
Day 11: For the smoothest, most natural transition from "only child" to "big brother" we could have hoped for. Jackson is a total pro at this already. 
Day 12: For the most giving, caring church family we could ever ask for- they have completely spoiled us all week with the most amazing, delicious (& gluten-free!) dinners. 
Day 13: For this priceless time with my little family- we are totally soaking up these days when we can focus on each other 100%. 
Day 14: For coffee. I didn't drink a drop of it when I was pregnant with Audrey, but it's back in my life and it is still one of my most favorite treats. 
Day 15: For Dan's endless energy with which he entertains and plays with Jackson all day long- those two are going to miss each other immensely when he has to go back to work, but for now they are living it up. 
Day 16: For Audrey's health. Our little peanut was getting her little foot poked for blood every day to monitor her jaundice and we're so relieved that it's all behind us. 
Day 17: For naps. Because sleep is at a premium in this newborn phase. 
Day 18: For family near by, because miracles like Audrey are a million times sweeter when you can share them with the people who mean the most to you. 

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

cousin love.

Audrey and Cousin Ben hung out for the first time today... Audrey's pretty pumped to have him to grow up with. Although he looks a lot bigger now, they are only 6 weeks apart in age and I'm sure she'll catch up soon so that they can go and take on the world together. And by "take on the world" I mean they're probably going to cause a lot of trouble in their years. 

Monday, November 14, 2011


every day dan and jackson take it to his chalkboard... practicing letters, colors, shapes. and every day jackson tells dan what to write and where to write it- first and foremost he dictates WHO to write on his list. it's his daily ranking of favorite people. pop's average for the #1 spot has been in the lead, followed closely by nanna. mama and daddy are normally close behind with sammy, bing & audrey making spotty appearances. my little man knows who and what he likes and he's not afraid to tell anyone, that is for sure.

Sunday, November 13, 2011

oh, daddy

Two photos of Dan cuddling with his babies- taken a little less than 2 years apart... notice anything?
Dan with Jackson (10 days old) taken on February 18, 2010

Dan with Audrey (3 days old) taken on November 12, 2011 

... the man has the SAME old sweatshirt on. Seriously, I promise you he has more clothes than Jackson, Audrey and I put together and yet he has worn the same 10 things over and over for the past decade. I don't think Audrey will be counting on her daddy to go shopping anytime soon...

our sweet, sweet audrey

Saturday, November 12, 2011

the sweet & not so sweet of home

we are home! we were released from the hospital last night after audrey's blood results showed that the jaundice wasn't as high as they had thought- we immediately went to pick up her big brother and i would do anything to turn back time so i would have remembered to videotape his reaction when he saw her for the first time. it was honestly one of the sweetest moments of my life- he completely ran past dan and i to get to "aud-wee" and got down to her level in her car seat and talked to her as if he'd known her forever- giving her the sweetest kisses and hugs as if nobody else was in the room and the protective brotherly love hasn't stopped since. 
on a significantly less sweet note, we were also greeted at home to the realities of continuing to live in a construction zone. early this morning a work crew started their very important but loud job of finishing the installation of the furnace and duct work for the addition and the upstairs renovation. this also included having to turn off the existing furnace for most of the morning- so we cranked up the heat early this morning so that we could keep the house sufficiently warm enough for a newborn. luckily, we just were able to turn the heat back on, but the loudness continues while i am trying to get jackson to take a nap which is really not working. on top of that we had a home nurse stop by to take audrey's blood again to continue to monitor the jaundice- it took over an hour to do all of the little checks she had to do and jackson had a complete meltdown when she drew blood because he hadn't heard audrey cry yet. 

dan assures me that the crew is almost finished for the day- lets hope he's right- i'm ready for some peacefulness to enjoy my beautiful baby girl and her big brother- oh and a husband who's not stuck working on the house would be a really nice bonus too!

Friday, November 11, 2011

...we're waiting on the word that we can leave the hospital with our beautiful Audrey. It seems like it has been days since we've been with Jackson and all three of us are anxious to get home to him. Audrey has developed some jaundice in the past several hours and so we are waiting on her latest test results to make sure we're safe to go home or if we need to take treatment with us. Tomorrow a nurse will visit us at home to check her levels again and then another follow up at the pediatrician's office on Monday. Lets pray that it clearly quickly so she can enjoy her first days at home in peace. We'll be home soon, Jackson, with your newest best little buddy...

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Welcome to the world, Audrey Danielle

Audrey Danielle was born at 12:51am on November 10, 2011 weighing in at 7 pounds, .08 ounces and 20 inches long. She is 100% perfect- welcome to the world, Audrey, we couldn't be more in love with you!

Wednesday, November 9, 2011


Audrey Update: We're still waiting... and waiting and waiting. We are going on almost 10 hours in active labor with slow, slow progress. The contractions were getting a little out of control so I broke down about a half an hour ago and go an epidural- Tom the epidural guy is currently my favorite person in the world. 

I wanted to do a month of Thanks-giving again this year and what better time to get caught up than when I'm in labor? 

Thankful to God for...

Day 1: For a husband who is my best friend- who I'm not only in total love with but who I genuinely enjoy being with more than anyone else in the world. He is proof that true love only gets better and better.  
Day 2: For the most adorable, hilarious, sweetest little boy who I am so blessed to get to call my son. I believe God gives us children so that we can truly understand how he loves us.
Day 3: For the miracle of being able to grow our beautiful Audrey inside of me for the past 9 months. For anyone who doubts God or who takes for granted children... I dare you to go through this journey and not be in total awe of the gift of life God gives on a daily basis. 
Day 4: For epidurals. Because my daughter is already being stubborn and she's not even here yet and girlfriend was giving her mother pain that was out of this world. 
Day 5: For our ever-strengthening faith. I can't imagine a better church family for us to raise our children with and I can't imagine life without the faith that Dan and I have grown to know and love these past couple of years. 
Day 6: For freedom. We live in a country where we hold the keys to our lives- we can choose to do whatever it is we dream of. I think we sometimes forget this and choose not to fight for what we want because we let our fears and insecurities get the best of us, but I honestly believe that there is nothing unattainable thanks to the freedom we have been blessed with. 
Day 7: For our furry children, Sammy & Bing. Dogs live love unconditionally better than most people do and I am forever grateful for the love they show us every day. And seeing Jackson light up with laughter every time he sees his "doggies" is a total bonus too. 
Day 8: For a family that is beyond supportive- especially our parents. They love us and our children more than most could understand and they support our every move- honestly the best examples of how to love your children we could ever find.
Day 9: For dreams. We have a lot of them- our list grows exponentially every day and I love that Dan and I are going to go after the ones that really matter to us- no compromises, no short-cuts, no skimping. 

the waiting game...

Today is officially "Audrey Day" - this morning Dan and I arrived at the hospital at 8:30 to be induced for labor. It's now just past 11:00am and I'm in labor- my water has been broken, I'm feeling the contractions and now we're just playing the (uncomfortable and slightly painful) waiting game. 

Meanwhile, Jackson is happily playing at Nanna's house. He knows that mama and daddy went bye bye to get 'Aud-wee out'... 

We're ready for you, Audrey!

Dan waiting for Audrey- it's a tough job for him... sipping on Starbucks, watching TV, lounging around. 

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

t minus a week (or less)

I would do anything for some of his energy right now. ANYthing...
But, energy or not, we are going full force ahead this week: we have a furnace system being installed in the addition, soffit and trim being installed outside, the ceiling being raised in the existing upstairs, baby things being washed and sterilized, hospital bags being packed, every inch of house being cleaned... but if you wanted to join us early we would gladly leave this all unfinished, Audrey!
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