Elijah: 8 Months

img_5320When Elijah was a month or two old, I heard “it gets better” a lot. I didn’t really understand this statement because I loved my little peanut at those early stages. I had nothing to complain about, so I didn’t know why people were throwing out those comments. I think what they meant was that it gets more fun. I see that now because the last month has been particularly entertaining watching Elijah grow.

We’ve installed a baby gate at the top of our stairs because Elijah has learned to army crawl.

This 20+ pounder does great eating oatmeal cereal and purees. He refuses to eat anything with a texture, but I keep offering “solids” with the hope that someday he suddenly likes one of them.

His favorite person in the world is his dad. He kicks his legs and squeals when John enters the room.

Elijah’s laugh is the sweetest sound in our world.


Giving Thanks

img_5269Elijah thought it would be appropriate to wake us every couple of hours on Thanksgiving morning so we didn’t forget the biggest reason we are thankful. I could only smile at his big brown eyes and thank John for the venti Starbucks he picked up for me before we met up with our families.

As I captioned this photo on social media, I don’t need Thanksgiving to remember to give thanks to God for these two blessings.

Angel Tag Tradition

img_5240After I posted about Christmas traditions for our family, I realized we have one tradition John and I can now introduce to Elijah.

Every year, we “adopt” a child or family in need. This simple request is to purchase gifts/clothes so that the family can have gifts under their tree for Christmas.

It breaks my heart when I read tags requesting a gift certificate for a haircut or a hygiene kit. Talk about perspective.

Both my school and our church allow for the opportunity to make someone else’s Christmas extra special through gift giving.

Ever since I’ve started working at Xavier, John and I have shopped for these gifts together. In the past, it was fun to explore the kid’s aisles because we didn’t have children of our own and could pick out legos, games, and the newest toys. It was fun purchasing glittery boots, fuzzy mittens, and cozy sweats for these kids.

Now that we have a son, it’s even more important to me that he sees his parents shopping for people we don’t even know. I look forward to the day Elijah can pick out the gifts and eagerly give them away to someone who will enjoy them.

If you don’t have access to an Angel Tree, a simple google search will provide endless opportunities in your area to give back.

Turkey Trot ’16

fullsizerenderMy brother Matt has a heart of gold.

When he found out about my limited training because of my recent leg procedures, he wanted to make sure I crossed the finish line.

I showed up to get my race packet Saturday morning, and he was standing in the school entryway, race bib pinned to his shirt. He was running with me.

I was nervous I would slow down Matt’s natural athletic ability. He let me set the pace, and we settled in for five miles. After running the first mile in
just over seven minutes, I knew I needed to slow img_4704down. Matt let me slow down to eight minutes miles, and we finished the race in 40 minutes.

My cousin Christy and her daughter ran the 4k through Lydia’s running club at school, and my parents joined John and Elijah to cheer.

It was the perfect start to a fall morning.

Thanks for being my rabbit, Matt!


Now that John and I have a child, we’ve been talking more about traditions. Are there things we want to carry over from our own families for Elijah? Are there certain holiday traditions we want to begin as a family of three?

So far we’ve discusses Christmas traditions. We’ll continue to join my parents for Christmas Eve Mass as part of their family tradition. As far as gifts for Christmas are concerned, I like the idea of “something they want, something they need, something they wear, and something they read”. Don’t tell Elijah I’ve already purchased him a few books for under the tree. 

I also like the tradition of a Christmas ornament each year that begins to fill the tree. I’m searching for the perfect “First Christmas” ornament. 

While I am in no hurry to skip over Thanksgiving, I did order Elijah a personalized stocking. Six years later and Pottery Barn still makes the same ones John and I have with our names on them!

What are some traditions you’ve carried over to your own families? 

New Children’s Hospital

img_5189The new University of Iowa Children’s Hospital is incredible, but we hope to never go back!

When we were in Bay 1 NICU with Elijah, the construction was right on the other side of the wall. All of the nurses in this bay were compassionate beyond words, but one particular nurse we had multiple times would go tell the construction workers to quiet down or take a break because she had “patients healing”. Even though Elijah was sedated a majority of his time in this bay, I was thankful when the drilling stopped.

They have been at this construction since 2012. A few rooms were finished in the NICU for the tour, but a lot of work remains.

img_5177The open house consisted of seeing the 12th floor, which is the highest point in Johnson County, the NICU, and the lobby areas. The NICU rooms have windows, pullout couches, and bathrooms. Those are three luxuries we would have loved, so I was happy to see future families will benefit.

The 12th floor overlooks Kinnick Stadium. From what I can tell, no rooms will be located on this floor. It’s more of a lobby/family area. There is even a “Healing Garden” that will allow families to go outside all times of the year because the floor is heated to melt the snow. From the color changes on the elevator associated with each img_5187floor to the overall layout, they seem to have thought of everything.

Yesterday was about celebrating the work of so many donors who made this hospital a reality. Elijah even left his finger prints on the “Our Kids, Our New Hospital” sign.

We’re lucky to have an incredible children’s hospital so close to home. The people who work there will always have a special place in my heart.


This week…

I’m running the five mile Turkey Trot. This has been a fitness goal of mine since I had Elijah. I love this race. The distance, the cool weather, and the starting line just a short drive from my front door make it my favorite road race.

Having this annual race on my mental calendar helped motivate me postpartum.

Two weeks ago, I went to the dermatologist to have another biopsy taken from a “moderately abnormal mole”. They took the mole a month ago and were ready to go back bigger and deeper. I have had this done so many times that I figured I would be able to run through the healing. Nope. Once the numbing meds wore off, I was in a lot of pain. I couldn’t sleep. Two nights of parent/teacher conferences and being on my feet extra long added to the discomfort.

I know the pain was a small price to pay for the clean bill of health I received. I know. I know.

However, I’m still bummed I haven’t been able to run. The first biopsy took me out for two weeks while those stitches healed and now another two weeks set me within days of the race.

John took my stitches out last night, and I hope to lace up my tennis shoes before Saturday morning. This race is 100% relying on