this will be funny one day.

At least I hope so.

Just in case you think things run a bit too smoothly over here…

The day began at 6:47 and by the time 10:06 rolled around, I was very ready for Ivy to take a nap and for me to get out of my robe.

So I went upstairs to lay Ivy down. She immediately started crying but I decided I needed to go brush my teeth and get ready for the day to better prepare myself mentally for any coming chaos.

I kept thinking she was putting herself to sleep but 7 minutes later, picked her back up and rocked her to sleep. About this time, the toddlers ran upstairs to join me. They’ve been rather clingy with colds and I’ve told them about 100 times today, ‘guys. Go play.’

I put Ivy back down, took some laundry to Jacks room and heard a funny noise from downstairs.

As I headed down, I decided that someone had turned the kitchen aid on but when I rounded the corner to kitchen I forgot about the kitchen aid because my attention was caught by the pool of milk on the floor. And on the counter. And by the coffee grounds strewn over in the corner by the espresso machine. I steamed.

Then headed back to the stairs and said, ‘Evelyn. Get down here right now.’

Then went back to the kitchen to start rinsing wash rags for her to clean up the milk.

Then I noticed the empty juice container. And the full solo cups.

And the bread that had been rising on the stove? A nice gaping hole in it.

Truly. Every area in the kitchen had been decimated. Hashtag so annoyed.

By the time Evelyn was vacuuming up the coffee (praise the Lord I had emptied the container yesterday), and I was punching the bread down so it could re rise, Ivy was crying again and I was doing Lamaze breathing.

Oh these darlings of mine.dsc_0037I mean really, isn’t it hard to picture these faces as the masters of mayhem? (Thanks to KPerry Photography).

But really. Here’s to long naps and some time to collect my brain.

Hallelujah, my dad comes in tonight.

And the weekend draweth nigh.

Praise hands.

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the first few weeks.

So this morning, Ev and I were unloading the dishwasher and I randomly burst into this kids song ‘To love and obey’, that I haven’t thought of in years and was like ‘whoa, where’d that come from.’ We’ve been working on the concept of obeying the first time and so I sang it about 100 times and then googled it to see if I could find some kids singing it for her. And google pulled my blog up with this post from four years ago. Which startled me, and then amused me and then led me on a wild goose chase around my blog reading stuff from four years ago.

I really can’t tell you how much I amuse myself. hahaha.

But. Moving from 2013 to 2017.

So, my parents arrived the day Ivy and I came home from the hospital and stayed for two weeks, (praise the Lord).

That first week home I pretty much stayed upstairs in my room, avoiding the stairs and held Ivy. One of the things I was so concerned about was how I was going to give Jack what he needed after a cesarean. Jack’s very much hands on and craves lots of affection. And he’s a lug. But I barely saw him those days. He’d occasionally come in for drive bys but then would motor off to go bang around in the kitchen with Poppi or read books with Megee or who knows what.

It was little miss Ev who’d come find me and sit in the chair next to me and visit and visit and visit some more. Every day for weeks, she’d ask me how my owie was doing and if it was all better and tell me she’s sorry I have an owie. And then at night, Wes would come back from tucking her in and tell me she was praying for my owie. So maybe faith like a child helped? Because this recovery has been so much better than Ev’s. It’s probably a lot of mental stuff. I knew what to expect  and gave myself lots of grace for doing nothing. So thank you fellow prayer people for praying peace over me.

So. By week two, I was downstairs and a bit more engaged in life around me and was like oh. my. gosh. How on earth am I going to survive when my parents leave. From my vantage point on the couch it was essentially taking four adults to take care of three children and the house. And I was like, next week, this is all me? What?! So I just tried not to think of it. But seriously, just the amount of laundry going on was overwhelming.

Ah.  But it was such a great two weeks. So incredibly thankful for Wesley’s parents and mine and all the help given. It made such a huge impact on my first week by myself which went astonishingly well. Mainly because I had all that time to rest, Ivy was giving me decent sleep, and Ev and Jack blew me away with how well they entertained each other after having grandparents on hand for three weeks. They just played together and had the best of times!

I mean yes, the amount of times I found Ev changing Jacks diaper was a couple times too many, or the toilet scrubber in the toilet with toilet paper everywhere…Or the bathroom/kitchen floor sopping wet from them playing in the faucet..or the coffee grounds all over from them making coffees…or…you get the idea. But I haven’t had three children hanging on me and that’s new and unusual. Praises.

So now. Here’s what some of this looked like.

Good days. Blessed days. 

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ev and jack meet ivy

jack-and-ivy-1102 ev-and-ivy-1058 img_8006 img_7993 img_8028dsc_1078 dsc_1087 dsc_1089 dsc_1096 dsc_1103 dsc_1108 dsc_1110 dsc_1137

Oh gosh, these pictures just make my day. One of the greater joys in life is introducing your kids to each other. Nothing like the excitement, the shining eyes, and the touch of uncertainty that melts into adoration.

Ev had no hesitation and hopped right on the bed to hold the Ivy. Jack was a little unsure the first day but by visit number two he was pretty much like, ‘give me the baby’, as you can see demonstrated in the first picture.

Hospital visits were a bit more chaotic this time with the little darlings and I was definitely ready to boot them out the door a time or two but gosh. These were some great days.



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some more stories

My mind, and probably my last epistle, couldn’t hold all the stories from Ivy’s arrival, so here’s a few more great ones.

Starting with the night before Ivy was born…If you recall, I was feeling like my body was turning into a slide. We were on the way home somewhat late at night and out of the quiet darkness pipes Evelyn.

‘Hey Dad, did you know mom’s pelvis is about to come apart?’.

Pretty sure I burst out laughing and definitely snorted.

Moving on to the next day. I was still in the operating room and Wes and Ivy had departed to the nursery when my doctor chuckled and said, ‘Well Kelsey, do you want to tell them all what you did to me on Wednesday?’.

Ahh. It was pretty funny. Wes and I arrived at the doctors office and sat in the waiting room with four other couples, all who were waiting to see the same doctor. And so we waited and waited and about thirty minutes later, finally got to a room and did the initial check up with the nurse and then waited some more. I figured that my doctor might enjoy a laugh (he always has a perpetually smirk on his face but I don’t think I’d ever got him to laugh) since running 40 minutes behind can’t be too enjoyable, and that there was no time like the present to try to flip baby. And so I pulled out the ‘foot tray’ and repositioned the pillow to be under my hips and then laid upside down on the examination table in a nice inverted position.

I laid there a long time, long enough for blood to be pretty lodged in my head but it was so worth it. My quiet, calm doctor opened the door and immediately burst out laughing. ‘Oh Kelsey, thank you. I needed that today. (snicker snicker) That was definitely a first. (chuckle chuckle)’. And he couldn’t get past it. We’d be visiting and he’d shake his head and say, ‘it’s going to be a long time before I get that image out of my mind.’

And he was still chuckling on Friday, ‘I’ve just never seen anyone’s head between the stirrups before.’

Bahahaha. Oh I do enjoy a good laugh.

Moving on to a completely different note. A definite hospital highlight.

Two days after Ivy was born, I figured I try to go walk the hallways. I made it from my bed to the bathroom and back and was like, mmm, not ready to take on the hallways. So I collapsed onto the couch and did some back exercises. But I kept hearing something.

I finally asked, ‘Wes, is that people singing or someone’s music?’.

Wes was real busy on his computer and holding Ivy and didn’t have much of an opinion. I was pretty convinced it was singing so I found a fitted sheet, wrapped it around myself and popped my head out the door. And sure enough, a group of twelve or so people ages 10-80 were down the hall singing hymns!

I immediately began the quest to find some pants because I was definitely going to be joining them. I pulled on one pair and they fit right on my incision so those came right off. I was rummaging around in my bag real awkwardly bent over (Wes was still real busy, haha), when I heard them walking by my room saying, ‘Well, I think someone stuck their head out here’. But they kept walking.

And I was like, I am not missing out on singing songs about Jesus with these people just because I can’t find pants! Who needs those anyway?!

So back went the fitted sheet around my waist and out I popped again to join them as they sang down the hall. They saw me come out and walked back towards me and we all finished the song together and smiled and started another. I motioned Wes out and he and Ivy joined in. Wes handed Ivy to the 80 year old lady who was being pushed in a wheel chair and at the end of the song she announced that she wanted to pray for this child. And we closed our eyes and she prayed the sweetest simplest prayer over Ivy. I had to keep my eyes closed because of all the tears coming down and was finally able to join in on the last verse of Silent Night.

And we exchanged a few more words and smiles and it was one of the best moments of church all year. Sweet communion in hospital corridors.


More coming on the two goobers meeting Ivy.

Hugs and love.


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Ivy Mae’s birth story

Ahh. I probably should have penned this a week ago when I was absolutely high on Ivy. My brain has come more fully to terms that there is now more to life than snuggling my newborn but that first week plus was pretty magical. I’d just snuggle her to my chest and she’d inch up so her head would be in the crook of my neck and warmth would spread through my body and my brain would shoot off endorphins. It’s pretty great.

But her story…it’s all pretty simple and straightforward until you throw in all my feelings and thoughts and then you quickly have quite the essay.

So here it goes.

Back in early November, my favorite doctor guessed that my breech baby had turned. He said he wasn’t betting anything on this one but he said he was 80% sure.  I didn’t ask for an ultrasound confirmation. I wanted to believe the baby had turned and so I did. And it was a great month of no baby on the brain stress.

Then I went to the another doctor in early December who chuckled at his fellow doctors guesses and said he liked to be sure so he pulled out their new ‘flip phone ultrasound’ and saw that baby was breech.

That’s when I said crud a bunch of times and shed tears and said crud some more.

I went to labor and delivery in the hospital the next week in the hospital for an ECV (the doctor puts their hands on your belly and tries to help baby flip). In case you’re curious as to what that feels like, I liken it to about three Jacks all wrestling on top of my very pregnant self. I do believe a kidney was bruised in the process.

I was wowed by the amount of exertion the doctor put forth but after a couple tries it was evident that baby was pretty darn comfortable in it’s current condition. It was really quite disappointing. When the doctor and nurses all left the room, I sobbed. And was really grateful for Wesley’s quiet presence and hand to hold.

It’s something that was hard for me to figure out how to pray for. I really wanted baby to flip. I really didn’t want a cesarean. But obviously, the most important thing was for a healthy baby and safe delivery. But I really didn’t want a cesarean. Really, I just wanted things to go exactly how I wanted them to go. Weird.

But in that last month, I finally was able to put it into words. And I prayed, ‘God, if having a healthy baby and a healthy moma means having a cesarean, then I ask you for a cesarean. And if I can have a healthy baby and healthy moma with a flipped baby, then I ask for that. With peace to cover me.’

It’s amazing how that prayer, (and I’m sure the prayers of many of you), altered my perspective. I woke up one morning and the phrase, ‘make your requests known,’ kept going through my mind. I can be bold making requests to God on the behalf of others but often feel as though I have so much, how could I ask God for something just for me, it seems selfish.

But that phrase, and then the verse, be anxious for nothing, but in everything, with prayer and supplication, make. your. requests. known. And the peace of God, which surpasses understanding will overwhelm, surround, fill you. (That’s a bit of a Kelsey version on Philippians 4:6-8). And I did have peace. And it was an amazing feeling to actually boldly ask for a cesarean, major perspective shifter.

I went to the doctor a few days after my ECV, prepared to schedule my cesarean. It was my favorite doctor again and he told me that if I wanted, we could just wait for me to go into labor and not schedule anything, thereby giving baby the most time to flip. This was like the icing on my peace cake. It was such a relief and wonderful feeling not to put myself or baby on a schedule.

And interestingly enough, I went into labor 36 hours later. This was so satisfying for a couple reasons. The day before, I seriously didn’t know how much longer my hips were going to be able to hold it together. It kinda felt like my body was turning into a slide. And I had no idea how baby was going to stay in until due date. And then boom. Water broke. And I was like ah ha!

And it was just like, I’ve done everything I can do. I’ve pilated, I’ve done the ECV, I’ve inverted, I’ve laid upside down for hours, and now I’m in labor, and there’s nothing more to do. This was very different from all my thoughts on Evelyn’s birth and really, gave me peace and shut the door on my wonderings on her birth, like what if they’d just waited?

And it was very satisfying and wonderfully exciting to know I was going to meet my baby that day.

And so, around ten am on Friday the twenty third, I loaded up bags and children and arrived at Mimi’s house to exchange children for husband and away we drove. And it’ll be awhile before I forget the look in Ev’s eye when I told her we were going to go get the baby. Her eyes got all big and she was stoked.

Happily enough, it was once again, my favorite doctor on call. We had to wait for quite some time and I did have some emotions, little bit nervous, a lot excited, and a lot more mentally prepared. I basked in my Jadon Lavik radio station (I cannot find my theme song to share but its a new version of thou wilt keep him in perfect peace, anyone know it?).

I walked into the operating room to Ten Thousand Reasons, and held on tightly to the music while the surgery began. Chris Rice crooned How Great Thou Art and it was pretty beautiful. I was piled with blankets because of how cold I had been during Evelyn’s birth and this made the experience much better. Also, there’s just something about anesthesiologists. This doctor had such a quiet voice and would soothingly give me updates and touch my face and was pure calm and comfort.

It seemed to take forever and I was waiting with baited breath when Wesley excitedly told me it was a girl. And I cried and cried as I very awkwardly got to snuggle my tiny sweet little baby.

And so, Ivy Mae arrived at 5:05 on a Friday afternoon right before two three day weekends. She had perfect timing and was the perfect size, 6 pounds 10 ounces, completely filling up our hearts.ivy-meets-mom-0657


There is nothing like a newborn.

All praise to Him. With overflowing hearts.

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Life on the drive. 

Ahh. Home is where ever I’m with you. And it’s so true. These pictures make me happy because of the people in them. (Not enough of Wes but you know).

This is essentially, November in pictures. We were lucky enough to have some gorgeous days and lived them to their fullest exploring our new neighborhood, meeting neighbors, feeding the fish in the pond and exploring the church play ground down the road. We were stoked to find a bike trailer at a garage sale and I see many a father/children activity when the weather warms back up. There are such gorgeous roads behind us that are perfect for bicycling except for one rather large hill that I do believe would take me months of training for conquering. I’ll let you know if it happens by next fall.

November was good, but it was stressful. I felt disconnected. December has brought with it a bit of a new stress (namely, baby breech) but the old stresses were left behind in November. So it’s good. I’m feeling much more in connected to my people and my home and am getting excited to meet the newest person.

More on that later! (I think).

Hugs to you and yours and a big thank you to all the ones who helped out in the November moving project. The degree of sanity I maintained was largely because of you.


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2016 in review.

I can only imagine what the next sixteen days of 2016 could bring forth so I figured I’d better start writing what took place in the first 349 days as I do believe this year will go down in the books as one of the more interesting thus far.

January began with a bang. We flew to California with an 8 month old and two year old and Wesley dived into flying lessons. Like, really dove into it, like it wasn’t really a vacation. He took February off and some of March and then dove back in, flying an average of 2-3 days a week and studying an average of 5 days a week. I’d guess that he was probably still putting in an average of 40 hours a week at Ace Collision and also running M.A.P Drones which has probably averaged 7 jobs a month, mainly providing imagery and mapping to construction companies, but also real estate, and some pretty time consuming films, such as his commercial of Yoders (you can watch that here).

Throw in a month of Band of Brothers prep for a concert and I think it’s safe to Wesley did a lot of running around.

I did too, it was just running after a one and two year old and you’ve been reading about it all year long so I’ll gloss over that.

Wes received his pilot’s license in August, quite the feat in general but throw in the aforementioned paragraph plus keeping his pregnant wife and two kids happy and it was really something to write home about. I can’t even describe the amount of pins and needles that I was on as I waited to hear from him after his flight test. Such major anxiety because it took longer than I had expected and because I had a surprise party in the works as soon as I heard if he had passed. And then the epic relief and as time went on the stunning realization of how much actual time we had on our hands.

Throw in a trip to Mississippi during this time.

Plus a weekend getaway with just the two of us. (Epic).

Shake around a camping trip where Jack woke up probably 100 people at three in the morning.

And then throw in a celebratory trip to California after Wesley received his pilots license.

And then throw in that North Carolina trip.

Add two visits from my parents. And one from my grandparents. Another quick visit from an aunt and uncle in Texas. And a few days with more Texas family, Gram, auntie and cousin.

And then as soon as life has the potential to slow down, I tell Wes there’s a problem in the whole nesting house department and he’s like, ‘well lets go buy one!’ (not really but you know, that’s what happened since that’s all I’ve been writing about for the last month).

And so here we are in the middle of December with two and a half weeks to go before baby is due. Praise the Lord, we are settled, not just physically, but emotionally into our home and it is a wonderful haven. Baby is breech, mother is hopeful, husband is crazy busy but wonderfully supporting all these new emotions since finding out baby is breech, one child is sleeping and the other is laying in her bed saying, ‘oh my gosh! oh my gosh! oh my gosh!’.

Don’t ask me. I have no idea.

We looked like this in January.062_Bowin2016

Twelve months later two of us can still wear the same outfits and two of us have grown substantially. (That would be me and Jack. I’ll try to get an updated picture here soon).

And how many praises can I give for the health we were blessed with; the safety Wesley has had on all his flights, the peace that I can hold on to, and how He holds us all in the hollows of his hands.

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