Tuesday, March 29, 2016

dear Lincoln Steele (staying at home)

Hey there, buddy!

Today I am feeling particularly BLESSED to be staying at home with you! I am feeling particularly BLESSED that your Daddy is at work providing for us! I am feeling particularly BLESSED that the Lord has seen fit to give us YOU! I am feeling particularly BLESSED that the Lord has provided EVERYTHING that we need, including Daddy's job. 

What triggered this? It's the little things, buddy! I had just gotten done feeding you at  your 11:00 a.m. feeding... You were standing on my leagues & I just kept kissing your cheekies. That's all. That's all it takes for me to be ONE.BLESSED.MAMA. Think about it? So many babies don't get their mama's kisses all day. So many mamas don't get to GIVE their babies kisses all day. So many babies don't get their mama feeding them all day. So many mamas don't get to GIVE their babies their food all day. So many babies don't get their mama's snuggles all day.  So many mamas don't get to GIVE their babies snuggles all day. But today, I am basking in gratitude.

I love you. I am thankful for you!
I love you, Adam. I am thankful for you!
I love you, Lord. I am thankful for you!

xoxo, J

Thursday, March 24, 2016

dear Lincoln Steele (firsts)

Hey there my little handsome, 

You are the 2nd love of mommy's life & take up SO much room in my heart. Now that you're here, Daddy & Mommy can't imagine days without you! Mommy has been meaning to write every single day in your baby book about all of your new daily things, but seeing how I keep procrastinating that, I'm going to write them here until I get the book together! 

I love you so much!

Born: August 9, 2015
Time: 1:41 p.m.
Weight: 9 pounds 11.7 ounces
Length: 22 inches

Born with LOTS of dark brown hair (that we knew from mommy's last appt.)-(a lot lighter now) & blue-gray eyes (blue now). You looked lots like Daddy, but now you look soooooo much like Mommy & Daddy's sides!

First person to visit you in the hospital: Grandpa VS
Others to visit: Grandma VS, Uncle Justin, Auntie Jill, Uncle Jarryd, Auntie Lyndsey
Grandma F, Uncle Christian, Auntie Jess, Cousin John
Mr. Terry & Ms. Sherri, Ms. Kim, (twice!) Ms. Sarah
Miss Julie & Ms. Jessica
Mr. David, Mr. Aaron & Mr. Avery
Ms. Missy
Pastor Mike & Ms. Connie
Great Grandma VS

Mommy & Daddy took you home on Tuesday & we had you all to ourselves for a few days.

You had lots of visitors in the first 2 weeks or so of life! Uncle Justin, Auntie Jill & all the kiddos came to see you on Thursday & blessed us all with some yummy Papa Murphy's pizza! And even brought us one to keep in our freezer -- Daddy's favorite: sausage & green olive! Uncle Christian, Auntie Jess, John, Uncle Jonathan & Auntie Casey came to visit, too! Grandma Gayla was such a blessing & stayed with us for a whole week! She cooked us yummy food like alfredo & bruschetta, daddy's favorite chocolate chip cookies & lots of other yummies! Grandma Diane came & stayed for a few days after that, too! A lot of people from FFC came to visit bringing us lots of food to eat after that! It was such a blessing to have the body of Christ surrounding us during this time!

August 24: 2 week appointment
August 29: 1st I-Cubs game

September 4: Meet Lydia (@ MLG Launch)
September 11: 1st Sleepover @ Uncle Justin & Auntie Jill's
September 13: 1st Sickness (lasted a few weeks?)
September 19: 1st smile
September 22: Mommy's 6 week f/u post
September 25: 1st sleep through the night (2 days before 7 weeks)
September 29: kept smiling at Daddy's fart noises before work

October 9: 2 month appointment
October 10: Cousin Kelsey baby shower (& meeting Great-Aunt Melody/Lynn/Dot & Cousins Krista/Kelsey/Cierra)
October (sometime in here): 2nd sleepover @ Gpa Scott & Gma Gayla's for a few days while Daddy's sick... :(
October 18: Back from Gpa & Gma's -- sleeping through night again!
October 22: Daddy & Mommy anniversary! Bailey's baby shower
October 30: Beggar's Night/Gma Gayla babysits you & Daddy/Mommy celebrate a-day

November 2: Slept without dreamfeed (1 day after 12 weeks)
November 7: Meet Katie
November 13: Meet Uncle Jeremy!
November 18: Great Grandma VS comes to visit again
November 21: pick up new carseat b/c we thought you outgrew old one (1 day before 15 weeks)
November 26: Thanksgiving @ Gpa & Gma VS
November 28: Thanksgiving @ Gma F; First trip to her house

December 18: Eagle Christmas party & meeting all Daddy's coworkers
December 25: First Christmas  & WOKE ON TUMMY! (3 gifts from us -- FP phone & record player & recordable book); also got shirt from Andrew & Jeanne...bunch of stuff from Terry & See...stuffed animal from Sue...
December 26: Gpa & Gma VS Christmas; Meet Auntie Mel & Cousin JJ
December 30: Mommy starts cutting certain foods for BFing

January 11: Rolled 3x (Mommy missed the 1st one though!)
January 12: Woke up sleeping FACE DOWN (planking!)
Jan 16: squeezing hands really tight
January 22: Miss Jen was holding you at MLG & when you saw us, you started crying (NOT typical)
Jan 21/22/23: starting to make really funny, high-pitched noises
January 31: Dedication!
MID OF JAN: really started nuzzling into me before bed...faceplanting into my collar bone & getting last burps out before bed & naps!
END OF JAN: Loving new textures! Sucking on tongue! Grabbing toes! Rolling! Lots of noises!

February 1: Meet Cousin Jamie
Feb 10: Mommy saw you roll BACK over; starting to move HIPS; fascinated with TOES
February 14: 1st Valentine's Day (got a white button up w/ bowtie!); Daddy got to watch you roll back over!
February 15: 6 month appt; starting to get toes/feet under you...
February 19: Birth Days with 2015 IDA babies! Saw Laura & Emily & David
February 22: 1st Tooth (Gma Gayla was here! -- had been teething since 4 months) 2nd tooth VERY soon after!
February 27: 1st food (brown rice cereal that Daddy had purred, Mommy mixed, Daddy fed you for the first time!); John's bday party
Feb-March: Gma Gayla has been staying every couple of weeks since she had her hand SX...you are LOVING getting to know her & recognize her!

March 1: helped mommy plan daddy's birthday for the 1st time!
March 12: 1st DMV...daddy keeps saying, "everyone always remembers their 1st DMV!" He's silly.
March 13: Second Tru for the FULL time in nursery...your # popped up during service, so Daddy & I rushed to nursery & you were crying SO hard. We have NEVER seen you cry so hard in your life. You couldn't stop & were sucking air. We brought you to the nursing room where mommy brought you to breast to calm you down & we watched the rest of service from there. Apparently you started getting fussy, so they tried to change your diaper (you DO NOT like to be laid down on changing table when you're tired!) & that's when you really lost it! We were serving in KZ, so we tried a 2nd time & they brought you to us in KZ since you were starting to get upset again! Poor buddy.
March 16: First Lip cut (on window when you were standing on cill with mama)
MID MARCH: Really sitting on your own -- no props...getting your feet & knees completely under you with your butt stuck up in the air!
MID/LATE March: 4 hour eating schedule ...wake time approx. 1.5 hours before naps
March 27: tried sweet potatoes
March 27 or 28 (can't remember): FIRST basket with dada
April 9: Daddy starts calling you scooter
(week of) April 3-9: you start sounding "dada" even though we don't think you know what it means
April 12: BANANAS!
April 13: Mama THINKS you signed "PLEASE" 2-3x...but not 100%...although PRETTY sure :D
April 13: SHOWERING mama with kisses (Daddy says you've been kissing him a while)
-Really starting to fuss when put on your changing table...and when a toy is taken away (or sour cream at the grocery store!) :D

April 18: tries yellow squash

April 25: Ate off mama's banana
April 27: PEAS
April: starting to understand "HIGHFIVES" & NOT rolling over when changed; knowing the words "up, up, up" & saying please when we say this at times...
April 28: Mommy baby proofs outlets because you are SO close to crawling. Today you started up on your knees going after things! Gah! You've been working on it & it's really happening!
April 28: Mama bought sippy cups last night & we're going to try them out today!

April 30: When you yawned, you made a 'burp' noise, just like MAMA -- LOL
May 1: Just noticing he's starting to clap!
May 2: Avocados!!!
May 12: Greenbeans
-you're giving fives!
-you're saying DADA (although IDK if you know what it means)
-You wiggle your feet when you're excited
-You are getting more of an opinion!
-YOU.LOVE.BANANAS. and eat them pureed or regular!
-YOU HAVE 5 TEETH! and bit mama's collar bone the other day when it was nap time (not malicious)
-You LOVE outside


Other things you love: 
Pinching your pointer finger & thumb together tightly
Blowing Raspberries
Learning new sounds
Ceiling fans & lights!

May 14: eating puffs
May 16: were found sitting in crib
-starting to eat with spoon
May 17: dropped crib down to lowest setting
May 18: tried cheese!!!

husband's motivation!

You may have remember me writing about getting motivated to study for my massage boards here!

Well, I had told my husband that I needed some sort of punishment or something if I don't study some night... well, the other night it happened... I came home from shopping with my mom until like 1 a.m. Hunky husband & I hadn't had a lot of time to talk because we were having a fun girls night after our little dude went to bed. But the next day while folding laundry, husband & I were catching up on the previous night. He says, "You know how you told me you needed some motivation to get you studying? Well, here's what I thought of..." And he proceeded to tell me his clever ultimatum. I study 2 hours/night...or...HE SLEEPS ON THE COUCH (I also turn over my phone to him, so I don't get too distracted)! I started laughing. YES. All I could do was turn around & say, "You sure know how to make me study!" I DO NOT WANT THAT HAPPENING, SO YOU KNOW WHAT -- I HAVEN'T MISSED A SINGLE NIGHT WHEN I CAN HELP IT!!! And he has NOT slept on the couch. Turns out, this is what I needed all along! :) I love my husband -- well done, smart man. Well done. I have been learning SO much. Perk for him -- he gets some more practice massages, too! Boards -- HERE.I.COME.


Tuesday, March 8, 2016

red's amazing M&M cookies...

howdy friends!

I'm trying to get it more together as a wife & a mommy, in regards to the kitchen. I've made a calendar where we have certain foods certain nights...for example:

Monday: Make-Your-Own Pizza Night
Tuesday: Pasta Night
Wednesday: Taco Tuesday
Thursday: Random/New Recipe
Friday: Bible Study (so we eat there)
Saturday: Crock pot (depending on what's going on)
Sunday: Burger King (getting to know the workers) &/or Crockpot &/or Leftovers

I'm also trying to get better at dessert. Now that I've figured out how to spell it correctly (I told myself you always want more of it, so that's why there's 2 s's...not 1! :)...). I'm finding it exciting to have a snack for my husband to enjoy! I brought this to Bible Study & everyone seemed to enjoy it as well... 

Thank you grocery store clearance section, for having this bag of M&M Baking bits for $1! And for putting a recipe on the back of your bag. Sincerely, Jacie Noelle

1 cup (2 sticks) Butter
2/3 cup brown sugar
2/3 cup sugar
1 egg
1 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/4 tsp baking soda
1 tsp salt
1 1/2 cups M&M'S Brand Semi-Sweet Dark Chocolate Baking Bits 
(I just put the whole bag in...well, whatever I hadn't eaten yet...seriously)

1. In a large bowl, cream butter & both sugars until well blended. Add egg & vanilla & mix

2. In a different bowl, sift flour (I didn't do), baking soda & salt together (I just poured in a bowl & mixed). Slowly add these to butter mixture & stir until combined. 

3. Fold in M&M's (I used my mixer at first, but it was breaking them all, so I used a spatula & followed directions!). Chill dough for 1 hour or overnight (I did overnight -- mostly because I got too busy to finish that day!).

4. Drog dough by rounded tablespoons onto lightly greased tray about 2 inches apart. 

5. Preheat oven to 350. 

6. Bake 8-10 minutes for chewy cookies or 12-14 minutes for crispy cookies. Enjoy! (I found this to be a harder part -- maybe it's our oven. 8-10 minutes they were still like dough! So, I kept adding 2 minutes at a time...I still don't have a perfect time, but hopefully I'll make again!).

xs & os, 

Friday, March 4, 2016

what God is teaching me through my child...

My friend, Laura, wrote a little something on life with a 7-month old (I can't believe Link is going to be 7 months in 5 days -- GAH!). She wrote on how your baby teaches YOU so many things...she is SO RIGHT. 


Before Link was here, I was pleading with the Lord to show me His love through the gift of this precious life. To show me how He loves me by the feelings that I have for this little one. And He has taught me that & then some. 

A couple things the Lord has taught me:

-(more about) His unconditional love: When Link was first born, I distinctly remember sitting in that bright yellow rocking chair, snuggling him in my arms while he fell asleep in my arms. Bliss. And completely, utterly being head over heels. THIS IS HOW GOD FEELS ABOUT YOU, DISCIPLE OF JESUS! You are His child...and he is totally in love with you. 

-Growth: Around 2 weeks, we put Lincoln in his room to sleep. He's a pretty good sleeper & for the most part, always has been. After 4 weeks or so, we started BabyWise. There were a couple of nights later on where we let him cry 5 or maybe 10 minutes. But after a night or two, he learned that he falls asleep on his own. This isn't because we don't love him or want to neglect him...quite the opposite. We believe this is good & for growth. He NEEDS sleep. And we NEED him to sleep. We are still there, but we've stepped back a little bit to let him learn. And grow. And I think the Father does this, too. I've come to realize that in the trials of life...or when I think I can't hear or feel God, He is ALWAYS there...maybe he's just allowing this trial for growth. Never mistake that for unloving.

-Rest: Rest in Him & His promises. Just like a newborn rests in your arms & is completely reliant on you, allow God to be that for you. 

I just found this email that I sent to two of my girlfriends August 27th (Link was born August 9th):

Before Lincoln got here, I asked God to help me understand his unconditional love more with this baby. To show me just how he loves me by how I knew I'd love Linc... anyways, it's been neat to see & I'm still learning. Just now, Linc had a Moro Reflex while sleeping on my chest in his Ergo. He cried for like a second before I put my hand on him & he heard my voice & told him it's okay...the he immediately rested & fell back asleep. Isn't that what it's like with the Father? We have a 'problem' or something scares us & HE is the only one who can help us. Sometimes he allows us to have those 'problems' to draw us closer to the only One who can console us. Anyways, just a thought I had. Motherhood is the best!

Happy Thursday!

Now, I really wish that I would have written all these things down & I'm kicking myself for not...but as I remember others, I'll post them up here -- they're good reminders for me, too!

Praying that someone can be encouraged through this... :D
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