Wednesday, August 31, 2011


My sweet Haven Grace turned three years old on August 20th.
In honor of my little princess I thought I would tell her birth story for the first time.

August 7th, 2008, was my last day of a long, grueling year in cosmetology school.
Cosmetology school is tough for everybody that goes through it.  It is extremely time consuming, very dramatic, and mentally AND physically tough.  I'd like to think for me it was a lot more physically tough than it was for most girls as I was pregnant for all but 3 months of it.  By the end of school, every single second of it was a struggle.  I was 8 months pregnant.  I didn't want to go in the morning, could barely make it until lunch, and coming back after lunch made me want to cry.  (Those hour long lunch breaks to maid-rite may have contributed to the 50 pounds I gained...)  But I did it, I graduated in one year to the day! 

Me clocking out at cosmetology school for the last time.
13 days before I delivered.

Twelve days later on August 19th I attended a Jazzercise class with my mom and a couple other family members and I remember it being particularly bouncy.  I had to hold the bottom of my stomach because it felt like it was just going to drop out at any second.  
That night I went to sleep, got up around 1 a.m. for a potty break, got back in bed and splash!! - my water broke.  I remember being shocked and not wanting to wake Luke up.  But I did, and his reaction was priceless.  He woke up with a start because at the time he was in police academy and he thought he had slept through his alarm, but no, it was "just" me waking him because my water broke.  It was almost like he settled down when he realized he wasn't in trouble.  But then I think it hit him because he got up and helped me up to stand in the bath tub where I continued to leak (sorry, tmi).  He then packed my hospital bag that hadn't been packed yet while I shouted out things for him to remember.  

We finally got to the hospital and checked in within another hour.  I was given pitocin and my contractions slowly got stronger, but nothing I couldn't handle.  After a little while they were strong enough that I couldn't sleep, so I was given a shot of some wonder drug that was supposedly like "drinking three margaritas."  That really took the edge off and I was able to sleep for a good hour or so until the medicine wore off.  They gave me a little more of that and then came time for my epidural.  After my epidural I was feelin' good.  No more contractions.  I was sitting up, talking and laughing.  The nurse came in and checked my cervix and I was fully dilated in no time.  

We had to quickly call my family because only my mother-in-law was there at that point.  I still don't know what was wrong with me - I am not one to keep secrets, but for some reason we didn't call anybody until I was almost ready to push.  So our family hurried down to the hospital while I started to push.  When my mom arrived they allowed her to run in and hug me.  I had told her that she could stay in to watch but chickened out at the last second and banished her from the room.  (Don't feel too bad for her - I made it up to her  She was in the room when I delivered Parker.)  After a total of 45 minutes pushing, out came Haven Grace weighing 8 pounds.  

Haven Grace, born 8/20/08 at 12:42 p.m.

And now my Haven Grace is 3 years old.  I can't believe it.  
She's a stinkpot, and a sweet princess.  
I love her to death.

Friday, August 26, 2011

Custer {seen through instagram}

We just had the most wonderful vacation to Custer, South Dakota.
Extremely relaxing.
Very fun.
Just the right length.

Here it is seen through instagram eyes:
 princess Chels and Haven
 3 of 4
 Flintstone Village for Haven's birthday
 diptic/instagram combo
 Passed out in the shag carpet.
 Cute little family
 retro bedroom
 Parker wanted to be a princess too.
 Me and my homegirls
 Keystone horse
 We watched this once or twice.
 Pine sunset
 becoming a yearly tradition
 did a lot of reading. specifically The Hunger Games. obsessed.
 the cabin
 hangin with Pebbles
 sibling rivalry
campfire.  smores.  lookin good. 
 only found in Lynn's Dakotamart
 big girl!
 together at last
 she turned three on the trip
 my little sweetie was so good at mt. rushmore
 we played a lot of monopoly
 singin sisters
 two loves
 together at last
 happy 3rd birthday Haven!
 driving range
 sweet girl

Great vacation.  Miss it already.

Sunday, August 14, 2011

Dear Papa

Dear Papa,
I miss you so much.
So, so much.
I wish I could give you a big hug.

How's it going up there?  Is it as amazing as we've all been told?
Do you watch football all day?  Maybe play some racquetball?

How awesome was it to see all of our family and friends that have passed away?
Did you hug your mom, dad, and sisters?
Hold Matthew?
Joke with Glennys?
Do you miss us as much as we miss you?

You've been gone for almost two years now.
Two years on September 4th.
I think of that day often.  What an awful day.  Driving to the hospital, I knew something had happened but wasn't quite prepared for the reality that you were gone forever.  We bawled and hugged, and then we went to see you.  You were lying there, and you only looked asleep except for you weren't breathing anymore.  We could see the indentations in your face from where they had given you oxygen.  You were still warm.  We held you and we kissed you and we prayed together.  I knew those were moments I would never forget, but I don't think I realized how much I would cherish them.  
It was really our last time with you alone.

It's much easier now.
The first year your absence was ever-present and all-encompassing.
Every part of your house reminded me of you.
Your chair - it was worn where you had sat in it so many times.
Your bedside table - littered with your belongings.
The bathroom - where much of your medicines were scattered.
The Nebraska room - need I say more?
Your car - receipts from the last time you had filled up with gas and your sunglasses still inside.
We really are doing much better.  We talk about you with much fondness and we still miss you everyday.
Grammy is doing well.  I think she gets lonely in that big house, in fact I know she does.  But we keep her company, and I think she is happy.

Over the last four months you have gained three new great-grandkids.
I wish so much you could've met them.
On April 11th I had another girl named Parker Nicole.  Yep, Haven's a big sister.  I can't imagine you loving anybody as much as you loved Haven, but I know you had enough love in your heart to go around.
On July 1st, Chelsea had her first baby.  A boy named Carter Richard.  Can you believe somebody from our family had a boy?!  He's very sweet and has lots of black hair.
And just a couple days ago on August 11th, Megan and Joey had a baby girl named Harper Grace.
You would've loved them all so much.
We are so sad you missed out on them, but we will tell them all about what a wonderful great-grandpa they had.

Papa, you were my hero.  I told you that once before, but you really were.
I think of you often and I miss you everyday.
I can't wait to see you again.

Love, Court

Papa, Haven, and I

Papa reading to me when I was about 3 or 4.

Parker, Haven, and I visiting Papa

Friday, August 12, 2011

Sad, sad day

I don't know all of the details, but baby Ruby (see my last blog post) passed away last night. She wasn't able to get her liver transplant in time. She was only 7 months old.

Please pray for her family as I am sure they are experiencing complete and utter anguish right now. My heart aches for them and my stomach is in knots.

RIP Ruby Jane Taylor. You touched a lot of hearts in your short time on this earth.

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Pray for Ruby

Hello to any and all that read my little blog,
I have a prayer request for you.

I came across this blog last night:  just for the record... 

This mom is consistently updating on her sick 7-month-old baby, Ruby.
She has Caroli's disease which causes cysts on her liver 
and is in desperate need of a transplant.
The pictures she posts of her poor little sick baby are heartbreaking.
The great thing is, what she has is curable.  If she gets a transplant, it should cure her.

This lady has an older daughter around Haven's age, 
and Ruby, who is close to Parker's age.  
She is so similar to me and the thought of my baby girl being 
that sick makes me nauseous.  
While reading her blog last night I was about ready to see if I was a match to give a living donation - I am just so sickened by the whole thing.

Just please keep this precious little girl in your prayers.
I know her family would greatly appreciate it.

Monday, August 1, 2011

in the works

Obviously if you've read any of my posts lately you will know that our house is up for sale.  
So far we've had two showings.  Showings are great because we know somebody is interested in our little house (and have probably scoped it out online) but they can also be really inconvenient.  

I slept in late this morning and woke up to my phone ringing.  I didn't get it before it went to voicemail and it was a realtor asking to show our house around 2:30 this afternoon.  I was pretty excited but also dreaded the thought of having to get up and clean my butt off when I thought I had a day of leisure ahead of me.
I swept the floors in the kitchen and outside our front door, 
windexed the mirrors, windows, and half of the surfaces in the house,
 straightened the toys, 
folded the clothes, 
scrubbed the sinks,
and organized all of the miscellaneous items that were sitting out,
took a shower,
dressed the girls,
and got the heck outta dodge.

It's really amazing that even when the house is "clean" it takes a while to get it perfect.

Where are we moving, you ask?
Well, that is the part that is uncertain.
Originally the obvious choice was to look at houses and find one to move into.  
Our criteria has been: a lot more square footage, a finished* basement, a yard, four bedrooms, three bathrooms, etc.  The basics for a growing family of four.  

A little over a month ago we were pretty certain we had found the perfect house.  It was everything we wanted and more.  Even the decorating seemed perfect, except for a few minor details.  We loved the backyard - it had a great deck and it was a nice size, plus it had a play place that they were going to leave behind.  The basement was really cool - first off, it was finished, with an entertainment wall built-in, it had a little room under the stairs that I thought Haven could make into a fort and put a lot of her toys into, and they also had a chalkboard wall to draw on.  The exterior was so beautiful, it even had a turret up the front of it and one of the bedrooms had a really cool bump-out because of it.  The kitchen had beautiful tile floors and rich brown granite countertops.  And one of the coolest benefits was that it was about 1 minute away from my mom and grandma's houses.
We were sold after only 15 minutes of looking at it.  We made an offer right away that I thought was pretty dang good, especially in this market.  It just seemed like a no-brainer.  They counter-offered and we even went up a little bit with our offer.  A day or so later we learned they received another offer that was "the perfect offer".  We had a chance to counter offer one more time.  We made another offer, even allowing them time to build their new house before moving out, but we were apparently still outbid because they declined.  You would think I would've been devastated, but for some reason I wasn't.  I was  a little bummed and even confused, but not devastated like I would have thought.  Maybe that was God calming me and saying "Hey, there are better things to come."

So we've shopped around some more, but nothing has jumped out at us in the same way.  We will continue to look, but I'm starting to think we need to go in another direction.  A friend of ours mentioned buying a lot and building, so we've begun to consider that.  We've been warned it's a big undertaking, but we're also up for the challenge to get exactly what we want and need.

Please keep us in your prayers.  We want to make the best decision for our family.  The next house we buy will probably be about a 10-15 year house, so needless to say we want to like it and be comfortable there.  I have total faith that God will provide us with the perfect place to raise our girls.

*this is one we are willing to compromise on, but ideally we want it finished.
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