Monthly Archives: February 2011

Where did 6 years go??


Yesterday I was in my doctor’s office, looking at an ultrasound and hearing her say “we really should induce before you lose anymore fluid. Come back at 8 tonight and we’ll getcha’ going, ok?”  Okay!

Wait.  Um. You mean, like, TONIGHT???  As in, this time tomorrow I’ll have a baby in my arms???  Whoa.  Suddenly the whole “I’m gonna be a mommy!” thing feels very real.

Did I say yesterday?  Well it feels like it was yesterday.  It was actually six whole years ago!!!  Even typing that feels weird.  It seems very unreal that 6 yrs ago, Nathan and I were just a couple.  We slept when we wanted, ate when we felt like it, went to late-night movies without falling asleep, and talked about what great parents we would be one of these days.  (Doesn’t everyone think they’ll be a great parent until they *actually* become a parent??)  When I wasn’t at work, I was in our little Aurora, CO appartment, cleaning grout with a toothbrush, vacuuming perfect “V” patterns into the carpet, and alphabetizing our meager collection of books.  I would sit back in our futon with a sigh, look around at the sparkling clean room, and think “This is boring.”

Then came the happy day when we learned that the little thumps in my belly were the happy little kicks of a baby girl.  I was elated!!  I always wanted to have a girl first.  Who knows why… maybe because of all the fond memories I have of my big sister doing things with me and looking out for me?  Maybe because I have always loved being a big sister, myself.  But for whatever reason, I was thrilled!  So was Nathan… we could hardly wait to see what our tiny little angel would look like!

The first time I suggested the name “Cloe,” Nathan said “I like that!!”  He then told me of his idea for our kids to somehow carry our siblings names.  Nathan is the oldest of 4 kids, I’m the second of 8, and we both love our siblings dearly!  That sounded like a good idea to me.  The question was which name to put with Cloe?  Cloe Danielle?  Cloe Kimberly?  Cloe Leah? Cloe Renee?  AHA!  Yep.  We’ll just change the spelling a tad to make it “ours.”  And to confuse people.  😉  From that night on, she was Cloe Renae.

1 month before Cloe was born. I agree that it’s not my most flattering picture ever, but I love it.

Just a week after that pic was taken, I went in for my weekly check-up with Dr. Vargas.  All of a sudden, in the middle of measuring my belly, she looked up and said “whoa!  Does that hurt?  That’s quite the contraction you’re having!”  I was totally clueless.  I thought, “Really?  That’s a contraction?  I can’t feel it!  This labor business is going to be a piece of cake!!”  Haha!!  Little did I know.  She checked me out and told me to come back in a couple hours so she could check me again.  So my big belly and I wandered around Target for a while, buying some things for our guest bathroom since my mother-in-law would be coming in soon for a visit.  Eventually we went back to the Dr’s and sure enough, I had dialated some more!  That’s when the panic began.  I was sent over to Labor and Delivery and admitted!

Dr. Vargas was concerned that Cloe was really small (her guess was 4 pounds), especially being 3 weeks early!  She started me on an IV with lots of fluids to try and slow things down, which it did.  But too late!  The panic button had be pushed!  My parents were driving up from Beulah and Nathan’s mom was on a plane from Mexico.  Haha!  Within 8 hrs, the contractions and dialation had stopped.  *phew*

For the next three weeks I just hung out, took it easy (doctor’s orders!), and cooked meals with Nathan’s mom.  On the day that Jamie flew back to Mexico, I had the weekly checkup that I mentioned earlier.  By 8pm on Feb 15th I was checked in and getting an IV of pitocin started!  My parents and Nathan were there, playing cards and making small talk, doing a great job of keeping me distracted as the contractions slowly picked up speed and intensity.  By midnight it got really hard.

Let’s skip several hours of details and get to the good part, shall we?

At 5:20 am on Feb. 16th 2005, Cloe Renae burst into the world with barely a sound.  Even at full term, she was just 5 lbs 9 oz!  Such a tiny, precious little angel.

Sweet Cloe, just a few minutes old

My life has not been the same since that moment.  I had no idea I was capable of loving so deeply until I held that baby in my arms.  I thought I knew what the word “love” meant until I looked into her eyes.  That’s when I realized that I was only beginning to learn the meaning!

Cloe at 2 weeks old… such a teeny angel!

How is it possible that this was 6 yrs ago?  I remember it like yesterday.  I remember my parents and grandparents saying “cherish the little moments with your baby, because the next thing you know, she’ll be all grown up.”  I would smile and thank them for their advice, but inside I thought “yeah, right.  These sleepless nights seem never-ending.  I can’t even imagine her walking, let alone being grown up.”

Then I blinked.  When I opened my eyes, this is what was before me!

My precious first-born, 6 years old already!

I can hardly type it without getting all teary-eyed.  I think I’m beginning to understand the wisdom my parents and grandparents tried to share with me.  This is all going by too quickly!  Can’t we just pause the growing-up business???

Part of me does feel that way.  Like I’m just overwhelmed at  how fast my kids are growing up.  And yet, I love to see them growing up!  I love seeing their little personalities develop.  I love that Cloe and I can sit and have discussions about my Bible study, and she gets it!  I love it when she wants to hang out with me or help me pick out an outfit for a date with her daddy.  I love watching her with her little sisters… she’s so tender and loving with them!  The other night I overheard her telling Gabi about Heaven.  She explained that our brains are too small to understand how amazing Heaven will be!  Gabi sat in rapt attention, hanging on every word.  She trusts her big sister, and rightfully so!  Cloe is forever looking out for Gabi and Brennah, many times at her own expense.

I feel that these are just little glimpses of the woman she will become.  My heart does a dance when I try to imagine what God might do through Cloe!  There is so much potential there, I pray that she will always say (as she does now), “I just want to do whatever Jesus wants me to do.  `Cuz I trust Him.”  There are absolutely no limits to what God might accomplish through a heart so surrendered to Himself!

I have loved being your mama these past six years, Rae Rae.  I can hardly wait to see what the next 6 will hold!

For the jewelry lovers among us


And the winner is…. Kat Lopez!!!  These are gonna look SO cute on you, friend. 🙂


Can you believe I’m posting another give-away already?  Haha!!!  Neither can I!  But I’m going back to the US next Sunday, so it really is a perfect time.  If you like jewelry, you’ll love this.  One of the fun parts of living in this town is the jewelry!  Ambar, jade and turquoise are really cheap and accessible here.  So fun!  Here ya go!

Sorry about my horribly dry and unmanicured hands! I do dishes and laundry and change diapers all day. 😉

Aren't they pretty? The big piece is jade, and the small stone above is (I think) called a Tiger Eye.


All you have to do in order to be eligible for the give-away is answer one little question.  Ready?  Here goes.

What is your favorite kind of cookie?

If you want to earn bonus points (no, I don’t give stuff based on a point system… I’m kidding!) you can include a recipe!  Or a link to a recipe you love!  That would really make my day.  I love new cookie recipes!

That’s it!  Answer that one question in the comments section below and I’ll put your name in a hat.  If yours is the name I draw next week, I will be sending you these earrings ASAP!  Feel free to repost or pass on this link… the more recipes the merrier! 🙂

The very first give-away!


And the winner is…. Danae Stone!!!


I have a few friends that have done give-aways on their blogs.  I think it’s SO fun!  I started thinking a few months ago.

Haha!  That’s not what I meant!  But it came out so funny that I can’t make myself erase it.  I’ll try again…

A few months ago, I started thinking that I should start doing give-aways on my blog.  There are fun and completely different things to be found down here.  Things you can’t even find in the US!  Since I’ll be going to Colorado in a few weeks to get another tooth fixed, I can ship stuff myself instead of having to ask someone else to do it for me.  To top it off, I have this cute little thing to give away in honor of Valentine’s Day.

Yes, I know that Valentine’s Day was 4 days ago.  But it’s still Valentine’s WEEK!

If you follow my other blog (a daily photo blog), you may remember this post from November `10, where we visited a pottery place in Oaxaca.  It’s a cool place, and a really amazing process to get this beautiful black pottery.  And, lucky for you, I bought a couple extra pieces to give away!

This cute little thing could be used as a mini-pot...

But I would put a little tea-light candle inside and make *this* the top. See the cute heart cut-outs? SO pretty with a candle inside!


All you have to do to be entered for the give-away is answer one little question:  Do you remember who your first Valentine was from?  If so, who was it?

I’m pretty sure mine was from my dad.  At least, the first one I remember getting was!  I remember my mom making a big dinner, decorating the table in red candles and heart confetti, and my dad bringing home cards and chocolates for all of us girls.  🙂  Such sweet memories, and such a sweet daddy I have!

There you have it!  If you would like that cute piece of rare Oaxaca pottery (yep, completely free), just leave a comment below with your answer!  I’ll randomly pick a comment (how does Monday night sound?) and mail you a box as soon as I get to the US next month.  Good luck! 🙂

The joys of Mexico…


I just feel the need to share something with you today.  Bright and early this-morning (6 am, to be exact) I hopped in the car (with Mandy, a sweet gal here for language school) and headed to the flower market.  I’m now regretting the fact that I didn’t bring my camera!  But I took “after” pics for you.  I’m going to post a bunch of pictures of the flowers we came home with, and at the end of the post I’ll tell you how much I spent on them. 🙂

2 little roses I grabbed for Cloe and Gabi

Today is Rachel's birthday...

Rachel is here with the language team...

Daisies are her favorite...

So we got a bunch!!!

But can you ever have too many daisies? I think not.

Pink is Rachel's favorite color, so what could be better than pink daisies for her??

Not sure what they are called, but I got them for me. 🙂

Last, another bunch of callalillies

That’s it!  In the US, the going rate for 1 callalilly is $8.  The daisies are much more reasonable, thank goodness!  But still, not THIS reasonable.  The grand total for all of the above was $9.  Yep, nine.  There are definitely perks to living here!! 🙂

Brave Kate: update #1


I have been so incredibly blessed by several people who have written me recently.  I’ve heard things like “my family and I pray for Kate every morning” and “my Bible study group is praying for Kate and Amanda.”  I’m not sure that I’ve ever seen such a rapidly growing network of prayer warriors before.  I am sure, however, that there could not be a more deserving recipient!  Brave Kate is being such a trooper in the midst of all this yucky cancer stuff.

They are now doing Kate’s care at home, going back to the hospital every week for check-ups and chemotherapy.  The current plan is 28 weeks of chemo (2 down already!) and then re-evaluating.  Surgery can’t be done on the tumor until the chemo has done it’s shrinking job.

I asked Amanda for some specific prayer requests for me to share with you, and here they are!

– Kate’s chemo treatments on Mondays, this week it will be at 2:00 pm. She is still really afraid of her port being accessed after all the blood draws and the IV at the hospital, pray she would learn quickly that it is not very painful and she does not need to be afraid!
-Her tumor to shrink substantially before the next CT scan in 4 weeks
– The side effects would be minimal, her next dose of Chemo gives her constipation, and hair loss
– The hair loss, we praying either she will not lose any hair or that her transition will not be real upsetting for her. She has the opportunity to donate her hair, so I am hoping if she wants to do that is would help it to be a positive thing.
– The next surgery, she will either have it in 5 weeks or 11 weeks depending on how well her tumor shrinks with the chemo. It was pretty hard on all of us to be in the hospital for so long this last time, I am not really looking forward to it . Even though the care was very good. Pray for the hospital stay to be as good as possible.
– Pray for Luke, he loves his sister like crazy, but has a hard time being gentle with her surgery site. He also had a rough time while I was at the hospital, pray for our next visit when I am gone.
– Her mouth sores continue to bother her, but she has a rinse they prescribed to help her. Pray it will help her be in less pain.
– Her appetite to improve, she has lost 4 1/2 lbs. She is doing better, but I would love it if she would be willing to do a few more fruits and veggies in there!
– God’s presence to continue to be accessible to us, that we would really depend on the Lord and he would show himself strong. He would use this for good in our lives and the people around us.
– We praise God for the people who have poured out love and support for us. I am blown away by the kindness of each of you!