July 30, 2014
If you follow me on instagram, you've seen that I finally had my baby and that she is absolutely beautiful!

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The night before I was induced, I was really nervous. I wished that I wouldn't have to be induced and that I could go into the labor naturally, but because of schedules and airplane departures, we really couldn't wait any longer.

Despite my worries and fears over being induced and on Pitocin, the labor went very smoothly and I was able to do it without any pain medications. Andrew was so supportive and helpful and truly became my teammate, cheerleader, and coach. He counted my breathing repetitions, said words of encouragement, rubbed my feet and legs, and told me that I could do it when I truly believed that I couldn't.

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^^ before the contractions got really painful ^^

Delivering my baby naturally is the most difficult and painful thing I have ever done. It is also the most rewarding, amazing experience I have ever had. I can't fully describe the feelings I had when I first saw my baby. It was like in the movies when time stands still, and one moment lasts forever. She was the most beautiful thing I've ever seen, and all the pain I had experienced before that time didn't matter, didn't even exist. When they delivered her and placed her on my chest, every detail was clear. Her smell, the color of her skin, her hair, the way her tiny body felt so warm against mine, the way she stopped crying the moment I began singing... I've never had a feeling quite like it in my life.
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We named her Alexa. We feel so blessed to have her in our home and in our lives and love her so much already! Chelsea is still learning to be gentle when she shows love for her little sister (hugs are just a little too tight), but she is learning and has been so helpful. She likes to give Alexa the pacifier when she is crying and sharing her favorite blankie with her, too (sometimes).

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I am so glad that I was able to have the experience of delivering Alexa without the epidural, but more importantly, I'm glad that she arrived safely and is now here with us in our home. She is temperate and mild, sleeps well, and doesn't cry when big sister loves on her a little too roughly. We are so blessed to have her in our lives and look forward to getting to know her better. We love you, Alexa!

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Susan is a birth photographer/videographer serving Mesa, Arizona and surrounding cities including Chandler, Gilbert, Queen Creek, Scottsdale, and Tempe. Considering a photographer for your birth? Contact Susan for EDD availability.

T-minus one day and my Nursery

July 14, 2014
I have almost made it to my 40 week mark! Tomorrow is my due date and I hope you're all so proud of me for making it this long! I know a lot of people didn't think I would, but jokes on you... Or me since I'm still pregnant and I'm pretty anxious to get this baby outta here! Positive thinking... positive thinking...

I've been promising this for a little while and, although it's not completely-completely finished, I want to show pictures of my nursery!

So, without further ado, here it is!

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Room details:
  • Dresser table runner - home made
  • White picture frames and mirror - purchased from thrift store and spray-painted white
  • Lamp - purchased from thrift store, spray-painted turquoise and re-made lamp shade
  • Spray Paint - purchased from Home Depot, 2x Ultra Cover Paint + Primer
  • "You are my greatest Adventure" print and Twin Falls Temple artwork - c/o Alexa Z Design (she is AMAZING!)
  • "Because you mean the world to me" print - home made
  • "Scatter Sunshine" print - home made
  • "Dream Big Little One" print - home made
  • Crib sheet - home made (see tutorial)
  • Pillows - home made
  • Curtains - home made (planning on adding a blackout lining to those eventually)
  • Wall color - Lowes/Valspar, "Gray Repose," I think. It's ______ Repose.

Still to do:
  • Make cushions for rocking chair
  • Make new cover for changing pad (the cushions and the changing pad will be made out of the same hot-pink/salmon color)
  • Frame and place/hang "You are my greatest Adventure" print
  • Make mobile for above the crib (I was thinking hot air balloons, flowers, or clouds with raindrops. What do you think?)
  • Add blackout lining to curtains
  • Get a couple of interesting decor pieces for the shelves and dresser
  • Get baby in there!
  • Take newborn photos and use to decorate

I'll have to show you before pictures once the room is entirely finished. It's a pretty big change and I LOVE IT!

I can't wait to get this baby into my arms and in that room! Life is going to change so much, but I look forward to it. Hopefully I'll have good news for you very soon! Make sure you follow me via facebook, instagram, twitter, etc. for any big-news updates because that's where they'll go first.

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Thanks for stopping by and send your positive "deliverance" vibes/prayers my way! See you next time!

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4th of July 2014

July 10, 2014
We had such a great Independence day this year! We started it off on Thursday by doing some yard and house work in the morning and hanging out with our neighbors, then made our way down south to Andrew's grandparents house for a third of July BBQ and some fireworks on the golf course. We do this just about every year and it's always a good time with family, friends, good food, and good fireworks!

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On the Fourth of July, we slept in as much as we could until we made our way south again for a Fourth of July family reunion on my side. Almost all of my siblings were represented (we missed you, Dave and Kim). My sister Emily, who wasn't going to be able to make it, surprised us and I couldn't have been happier!

We spent the afternoon splashing in the kiddie pool, sliding down a slip-n-slide, swimming in the pool, eating, and just enjoying each other's company. We also had a water Olympics and some fireworks, but Andrew, Chelsea, and I were worn out and needed to get home before it got too late. We were so happy we got to spend the day with family, though, because that's what I think freedom is all about; to be able to enjoy the company of those you love most without fear or reprimanding.
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When we got home, we found that we still had a little energy left so Andrew went with our friend, Nate, and picked up some fireworks which we lit up on our driveway. Calvin and Chelsea loved it! Ever since then, Chelsea has been asking me, "Mommy, what do fireworks say?" and answering herself with, "Beeeeeeee-oooooooo, koooooooo!"
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In other news, I'm still hanging around with this big-ol beach ball! I went to the Dr. yesterday who said I was dilated to a 1 or 2 and almost completely thinned out. I'm very hopeful that this baby will come soon, or at least on time. She also told me that I have the option of being induced shortly after my due date if I want and I haven't quite decided if that's something I'm really interested in or not. On the one hand, I really don't want to have to be put on pitocin or have to be induced because I've heard about a lot of labors that have lasted longer and been even more painful as a result, and that's not exactly desirable. On the other hand, if this baby doesn't come on time or decides to wait an entire week like Chelsea did, that's not going to be fun either. I don't know. I'll have to consider it a little more. I just hope she decides to come on her own, like... today. Yes, my schedule looks very clear today. You can come today, little one. Besides, I just cleaned my house so... Anytime now!

I hope you all had a wonderful Fourth of July. Thanks for stopping by and checking in! I'll be sure to keep you updated with the (hopefully) exciting developments of this next week!

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Happy 4th of July 2014

July 4, 2014
Half Dome-Yosemite National Park, California

I hope it's filled with BBQs, family, fun, and beautiful scenes like this one. God bless America!

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