Monthly Archives: February 2021

Eliza Grace- a photographic birth story

Eliza’s birth was quite a whirlwind! You can read the full story of her birth here, but this is the story in photographs. A special thank you to Joy Crampton at San Antonio Birth Photography and to my best friend, Catherine Esser, for these special photos of our sweet Eliza’s arrival!

40 week bump pic. 40 weeks came and went…
At our 40 week appointment (which was officially at 40 weeks, 4 days). My water had broken the night before, but I hadn’t had any contractions yet, so we went in for our normal checkup. We had to do a non-stress test to make sure everything was okay with the baby. Everything looked good, so we went home to wait for things to start moving.
A full day and a half after my water had broken, we inflated the birthing pool and waited. I had had a few contractions.
Out for a walk (in my jammies, lol)! Trying to get things moving and enjoy the beautiful day!
Here we are curb-walking through a contraction. They picked up in frequency and intensity while we were out. I left our house in early labor, but definitely transitioned to active labor while we were out! (in a mere 20 minutes-time)

Hitting another contraction and taking our very last bump pic!

Everyone waiting at the house while I went on my walk. Daddy holding our baby, who wouldn’t be our baby much longer!
Everyone laughing after we walked in the door. “Go for a walk, they said… it will be fun, they said.”
That first contraction after walking in the door that was waaaay more intense. (Transition time!)
Shelby helping me breathe through it.
One contraction later and it dropped me to the floor. She was crowning here- poor Shelby was scrambling through all the birthing supplies trying to find what she needed.
Catherine trying to comfort me.
“Trent, assume the position” aka “Get ready to catch your baby!”
Sweet words of encouragement from a dear friend. This was as I was mentally wrestling with (and letting go of) my expectation to give birth in the pool (which only had about two inches of water in it). She’s letting me know that it’s okay. I’ve got this.
Daddy and doula helping baby girl ease out.
4:56pm. Eliza is born. Daddy holding her while our midwife looks on via FaceTime. Things happened so quickly that she didn’t make the birth.
Drying her off and waiting for her to cry.
Whew. Taking a moment to breathe while waiting to see my baby for the first time.
Those lungs work!
My mother-in-law became the official “timekeeper” for the birth since Shelby was the only one there. Eliza’s time of birth and first cry.
The umbilical cord was still attached (the placenta was delivered later), so getting turned around to hold my baby took a little fandangling, but this was the first time I got to see or hold her! Such an intense flood of emotions!

Getting acquainted with our sweet girl.

This photograph is particularly special because within minutes of her birth, she reached up and grabbed my necklace. It was a gift from my dear grandmother, who passed a few years ago (right before Levi was born). It was like a sweet hug from heaven.
“Good job, momma! You did it.”
Midwife on phone, “Did anyone check to make sure it’s a girl?” Me- double checking. “Yep! It’s a girl!”
My midwife Nikki, still on FaceTime

Mommy and her sweet girl!

Hi baby!
At this point, Shelby’s assistant Vanessa arrived and Catherine brought Eliana in to meet the baby.

Nikki arrives and meets Eliza!

Replicating the look from Levi’s birth as we walked down the hallway to the bedroom. Haha! I love my midwife!

Getting all my vitals checked in the comfort of my own bed.

Sweet baby toes!

Sneaking a kiss!

A congratulatory hug between father and new (again) father.

Meanwhile the kids were still playing outside, oblivious to the fact that their baby sister was here!

Taking some time to get to know her before all the kids came in.

Skin-to-skin time with daddy.

Levi happened to wander in. He climbed up on the bed and was quite curious about everything that was going on!

Levi watched on as Nikki checked out the placenta and we took the last few photos with it still attached. It is amazing what the body can do! Women grow an entirely new ORGAN to grow their babies!

Daddy cutting the umbilical cord.

Weighing our sweet lil chunk- 8 pounds, 8 ounces of pure perfection!

At this point, the older boys wandered in as well. I honestly didn’t even think to send for them, since we were still taking care of all the details and they had been happily playing together outside. We all watched on as Nikki finished checking miss Eliza out.

The boys getting to officially meet and hold their baby sister for the first time.

So grateful for Shelby and that she’s been a part of each of our children’s stories. Particularly grateful that she was here to help deliver Eliza!

Eliza with her Nana and Popo!

What fun to have a few extra admirers! Elijah and Eliana loved Eliza. They will be such good big siblings to their baby in a few more weeks!

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Posted by on February 19, 2021 in Uncategorized


2020- Looking back

Well, I know that 2020 really threw most people a curveball, and we were no exception, but amidst all of the chaos and unknown, this year allowed us to slow down, BE together and focus on our many, many blessings!

We rang in this year in Austin with our best friends from China- the Essers and the Mosbys. We all met in China and were part of the same house church and it just happened that we all had roots in Texas! So, even though we have been back from China for 6 years now, we all ended up back here and are able to meet up pretty regularly. We are so thankful that God brought us together half way across the world!

January brought a new look for me- I got my nose pierced! It was something I’ve wanted to do for a long time, but the timing was never right. I decided it was “now or never” (because we knew we were going to be trying again for a baby again soon) so I got my support squad together and did it.  I’m super glad that I did!  *Thanks to Crystal and Chrystal for coming along!*

In late January we hosted visitors! My parents came down to ‘Ol San Antone for the first time since our wedding nearly 10 years ago!  We hosted them for a long weekend, visited Austin and hung out locally. The kids enjoyed time with their grandparents and we enjoyed having them here!

February brought Trent and I to Atlanta, Georgia for our annual EF (Education First) conference.  We enjoyed a weekend (kid-free, thanks to Nana and Popo) and checked out some of the important landmarks in the filming of “The Walking Dead.”

*Since then, we have taken a leave from the program. Although we LOVE student exchange and have really enjoyed our time there, now that we have three kiddos, we felt it was wise to take a step back for now.*

We knocked off one of my bucket list items by going to a lantern festival. This may have been influenced by our time in Asia, but I’d always found them quite romantic. We decided to take the boys along and are glad that we did- it was magical!

We also went to Schertz’ “Snow Fest” which was a lot of fun (complete with fake snow), went to the San Antonio Stock Show and Rodeo with our exchange students, drove out to Enchanted Rock to hike with friends and took family photos in Austin.  Thanks {Captured by Cat} for our first family photos since Levi was a newborn!

March began with our annual commitment to walk in the MS walk with team I Heart Hallie.  And then things got crazy… for everyone.  Spring break came… and things never really returned to normal.   Trent began to teach from home and I took to Zoom to lead my BSF group (Bible Study Fellowship).  While it wasn’t ideal, I’m super thankful that we were able to continue this way!  We’re also very thankful that Trent was called back to teaching late last year.  Although it wasn’t in our plan for him to return, God knew this whole pandemic was coming and was preparing our family for it.  The real estate market took a big pause and many of his clients’ situations changed during this time.  So we are so grateful for God’s constant provision! 

During spring break, we decided to go on a family camping trip to Government Canyon State Park.  We figured that camping was secluded enough to be safe and it was!  We had a blast!  We did a bit of hiking, ate lots of marshmallows and checked out some dinosaur tracks! 

We also went wine tasting for my best friend’s birthday, right before things were starting to get “locked down” due to Covid-19.

Unfortunately, March also brought early goodbye’s for our exchange students who ended up getting sent home early.  These goodbye’s were particularly hard because nobody was prepared for them yet- host families and students alike were devastated that their exchange year got cut short.  I’m super thankful for this last batch of kiddos- they were great!  I wasn’t ready for their early departure either!

April had us laying low and staying close to home.  We weren’t sure what this pandemic would look like or how long it would last. We hiked, biked, scooter-ed, played pickleball, gardened, explored, flew kites, had picnics, went fishing, jumped on the trampoline… everything we could think of to stay busy… not knowing that we would still be in a similar place over 9 months later. We also took up painting rocks.  We found a local Facebook group that paints rocks and hides them around town- this was what kept us busy for many months during this pandemic.  We went on walks nearly every day, searching for rocks and re-hiding them (while occasionally adding our own). 

We also found out some amazing news in April- we were expecting our third baby!!! This was entirely planned (prior to Covid), so I don’t count it as a Covid baby! Ha!

In May we decided to go to the coast to celebrate Levi’s 2nd birthday.  He’d been asking to go for quite some time, so we decided that his birthday weekend would be a great time to go.  We camped on the beach (which was QUITE the adventure) and then spent the next day frolicking in the waves, building sand castles and having fun in the sun. We were also lucky enough to learn that our baby was going to be a… GIRL!!!  My dearest friends came down from Austin and put together a little gender reveal “party” for us!  What a joy to find out that our family was growing and that the boys would get a baby sister!

June brought us up to Minnesota.  Usually we don’t go up until August so that we can partake in my family’s annual Breezy Point time-share experience, but due to the pandemic, we decided that we’d better go while we still could (we didn’t know if travel would become further restricted or not).  It worked out well- both of my parents were laid off at the time and most of my siblings were working from home so we were able to spend more time with all of them than we would usually get during a visit. We spent a lot of time outside- hiking and enjoying all the beautiful LAKES Minnesota has to offer (and rivers, and creeks and state parks).  The kiddos enjoyed spending time with their cousins.

When we returned we decided it was time to upgrade to minivan life.  We sold our trusty Honda CRV (which has been with us for the past 10 years!) and bought a Dodge Grand Caravan.  So far, no regrets!  We knew we’d need more space when the baby came and we are digging all the extra storage!

In late July, Jedidiah’s desire to have a fish came true- we bought him a betta fish who he lovingly named “Blue Rainbow Logsdon.” And then in early August we added two more members to the fam- chickens!  “Princess Lay-a” and “Hen Solo” have provided our boys with endless hours of entertainment and lessons in responsibility and they have provided us with EGGS!!!  Lots of free range, organic eggs!  

As August came to a close, we made another major purchase- a pop-up camper!  We’d been eyeing them since our March camping trip and had found the one we liked in late July, but due to the previous owners contracting Covid, we ended up having to wait quite a while to actually bring her home. 

September brought us several opportunities to use our camper- we took her to the Guadalupe River and camped there and then went up to Dallas and got to use her again.  So far, we are loving the pop-up life!  It’s so much more comfortable than tent camping and allows us the freedom to go more places together!  We can’t wait for more opportunities to explore and more adventures to be had.

September was kind of a crazy month- I had my first ever ER visit (and first ride in an ambulance) due to what they thought was a TIA (transient Ischemic Aphasia)- basically a mini-stroke.  It was very scary, but short lived, and after a follow-up with a neurologist, we determined that it was likely NOT a TIA, rather it was an asyphalic migraine and the symptoms that presented were due to the migraine.  A lot of weird things can happen during pregnancy and we’re chalking this up to one of them. At this point, only God knows, but we are so thankful for the Lord’s PROTECTION over me in that time. 

*Also, can we just take a moment to recognize how cool my pajamas are… I am clearly a child of the 90’s!*

A few days after my episode we had an ultrasound to make sure baby girl was doing okay. Thankfully, everything was well with her too!

Trent and I both celebrated birthdays this month along with some of our closest friends.  Trent also was the recipient of a teaching award from Academy Sports and Outdoors presented to him (via Zoom) by the former Spurs great Sean Elliott!  We are super proud of him!  

In October my mom came down for a visit.  We had a great week together and did all sorts of fun things.  One of our highlights was a visit to Tejas rodeo.  We had a great time walking the grounds, seeing the animals, enjoying the excitement of the rodeo events and Levi even got to sit on a horse!  He was pretty excited about that!

We also spent some time with our good friends Heather and Zach (who we met in China 7 years ago) on a huge private ranch in Mason, Texas (just outside of Fredricksburg).  We spent a weekend camping with them and enjoying exploring the 200+ acres by ATV.  We saw armadillos (for the first time ever since moving here 11 years ago), deer, turtles, a monster rattlesnake and Jedi even saw a water moccasin.  We had a great time with these dear friends and were very thankful that they invited us!

We also visited the pumpkin patch and visited the Snake Farm, which the boys enjoyed.

November brought us closer to meeting our little one AND celebrating our oldest one turning FIVE years old!  He was able to celebrate with a few close friends and with Nana and Popo.  He also got to do a soccer clinic run by my good friend Abby this month.

And that brings us to December, which brought our dear Eliza Grace into the world.  She joined our family via home birth on December 8th (only 5 days after her due date) and we’ve been smitten ever since!  I was thankful to have my best friend here for her birth and for the days leading up to it.  We were able to spend some good, quality time together.  You can read Eliza’s birth story here.

Aaaaaand that’s a wrap! Our year in a nutshell. 2020- a year that will certainly be remembered by all! While it was certainly a strange year, it slowed us down and brought us closer together. We are thankful for our many blessings!

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Posted by on February 11, 2021 in Uncategorized