Tag Archives: Texas

Looking back… My birth team

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As most of you know, baby Levi was born at home.  This was our first home birth, as Jedidiah had been born at a birth center.  What do you expect when doing a home birth?  Let me introduce you to my team of superstars!

First of all, my midwives- Nikki McIver Brown and Monica Barrientes from San Antonio Nurse Midwife.  Can I just say- these ladies were amazing!  We loved Nikki from the moment we met her.  She was a no nonsense, but lighthearted kind of gal!  She has a lengthy background in labor and delivery and she worked in a hospital setting for many years before shifting to the home birth world.  She is a Certified Nurse Midwife (CNM), which is a credential above most midwives.  She also has really good relationships and connections at the hospital where she worked (which put my mind at ease in case a transfer would have been necessary).  Her office is in Garden Ridge, so it was closer to us than the New Braunfels birth center, where we had delivered Jedidiah.  She was so great with both Jedidiah and Yi-Han during our prenatal visits.  We joked about Jedi always wanting to go “out-si-side” and she would let Yi-Han help with taking all the vitals and heart tones.  These ladies make my heart smile!





Next up, our doula, Mrs. Shelby Miller with Blooming Water Lilies. We’ve known Shelby since Jedidiah’s birth, actually. We attended her birthing classes at the New Braunfels Family Birth Center when we were pregnant with him and found them to be so thorough and informative that we took them a second time (and learned just as much, if not more)! She assisted in Jedidiah’s birth, but in a midwife-in-training capacity, not as our doula (I wish we could’ve afforded her with him). This time around, we asked her to be our doula and we found her to be invaluable!!! Let me just tell you that, although my labor with Levi wasn’t long, it was INTENSE, and I wouldn’t have handled it well without her there. She was so soothing and helpful. She did a million little things that really made a big difference. Even just knowing she was there put me in a different mindset. This time around, Trent was taking care of logistical things (aka calling my birth team, making sure Jedidiah was being watched, getting the birthing tub ready, etc.) and I truthfully don’t think he had a clue how fast things were moving. Well, neither did I, for that matter, so she was with me in the deepest throes of labor, when contractions were coming in waves and I couldn’t get a breath in edgewise. We were thankful to have her as a doula and as a friend!

Our birth photographer, Joy Crampton of San Antonio Birth Photography was also amazing! I was so bummed that we didn’t have a photographer for Jedidiah’s birth. When I went into labor, my dear friend Heather had agreed to take photos for us, but we knew ahead of time that she would be leaving for a family cruise around my due date. So when my water broke the day before they were slated to leave, she agreed to drive down from Austin and take photos for us. I think we all thought that Jedi would come sooner than he did and she stayed way longer than she should have, awaiting his (what we thought was) imminent birth. Well, who would have known that I would push for three and a half hours before he was finally born?!? She left about 45 minutes before he finally made his appearance. Soooo, that left me with a lot of photos of the labor… and really crappy phone photos after he was born (think red-eyes, low light and waaaay too much skin). That was pretty disappointing, so this time I knew we needed to invest in a birth photographer. I’m so thankful that we did!

So, funny story… Levi came so fast and furious that she missed his birth… by about 4 minutes. She walked in the door and I watched her face fall! She was absolutely mortified that she had missed it! But we had already told her about our birth “photos” from Jedidiah and had explained to her that what was most important to us was not the actual birth, but the moments afterwards… us snuggling and loving on our little love, him meeting his brother and big “sister,” etc. So, in my mind, she came just in time! We have wonderful photos and memories of that first day with him. Every time I look at them, I am thankful that I have them!!!

Oh, yeah, and did I mention that she was pregnant and also had a little boy named Levi only a short few months later?

The other vital members of my birth team were, of course, my mother-in-law (who had also been in the trenches with me during Jedidiah’s birth), my father-in-law (who was watching Jedidiah outside while all this was happening), our host daughter, Yi-Han, and of course, my husband!

They were such a blessing to me throughout the whole process. From getting things ready to taking photos, to whispering words of encouragement… I was super lucky!

So there you have it! My birth team! I would recommend any one of them and we were extremely happy with all of them!


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That one time we almost died…

So as Hurricane Harvey is quickly approaching the southern Texas region, I have been reminded of several harrowing near-death water experiences that Trenton and I have shared.  So I figured, what better time to tell the stories than now (after the statute of limitations has expired)!

So, many moons ago, before Trent and I were even married, some mutual friends of ours invited us to go camping with them down by the Guadalupe River.  Of course, we decided to go.  So I borrowed my roommate’s tent, we packed a cooler, and headed down to the river.

We had a nice afternoon floating the Guadalupe, although as we were finishing, it started to sprinkle.  It continued to sprinkle on and off for a while thereafter.

It let up enough for us to cook dinner over the fire, and then it really let loose!  The heavens opened up and it POURED!!!  For hours and hours, we were all confined to our tents drowned out by the pounding of the rain, the peals of thunder and flashes of lightning.

We didn’t think much of it at first, after all, we’ve camped in the rain before… it gets a little messy and it proves to be a bit inconvenient, but it’s no big deal overall.  But as it continued to rain throughout the night, none of us could sleep!  The thunder was SO loud and the lightning was constant and we were actually scared.  We were surrounded by big trees and I kept envisioning one of them getting struck by lightning and falling on us.  That’d be a sad way to go:

Angie Settle (formerly): crushed by tree.  RIP…

Thankfully it didn’t happen that way.  It got later and later, but none of us could sleep.  Around 3am we were still up listening to the storm rage around us and were debating between ourselves whether we should stay in our tent or move to the car.  We quickly decided on the latter.  Although it wouldn’t offer superior protection if a tree fell on us, it had to be better than a tent!  We weren’t in the car for more than 10 minutes (listening to the weather) when a police car pulled up with it’s spotlight pointed at us.  Over the loudspeaker, the woman officer told us in no uncertain terms, “Leave or you could die.”  She said that a flash flood was going to be sweeping through the area, not to grab anything, but just to get in your cars and get to higher ground.  So… we listened!  We left everything where it was, and Trent and I (in our car) and Ana and Will (in hers) left.

By now it was getting closer to 5 in the morning.  We were hungry again.  Trent and I found a Denny’s that was open, so we stopped in for breakfast.  We ate and chatted, all the while the rain still pounded away.  We decided just to go back home and come back for all of our stuff later the next day.  So Trent dropped me off at my house and he went to his and we called it a day.

It wasn’t until later that we heard that not an hour after we left, a 20 foot swell had come through our campground, wiping away EVERYTHING that was there.  Ana and Will made it back before we did and texted us pictures of the campsite (or what was left of it).  There were picnic tables stuck in the tops of trees, there were scraps of tents and all sorts of other debris everywhere and there was nothing, I mean NOTHING left of what we brought.  Our tents, food, coolers, and all the equipment that we had was gone.  Where our tents had once been, there was a flipped over trailer that washed up from an RV park 500 yards up river (bottom left photo). One person even lost their life.  Scary stuff!!!  That could have been us had we chosen not to heed advice and high tail it outta there.  We are so thankful that we made it out alive!  Things can always be replaced, but people can’t!

PicMonkey Collagedestruction23

Ironically, before we stopped for breakfast, we had to fill up the car with gas.  The gas station we stopped at had some Bibles there.  Trent just happened to find one he really liked- the Living Water Bible… it’s the Bible he still uses to this day.  And it serves as a constant reminder for us to be thankful for God’s protection and provision over our lives!  It causes us to remember that our God is powerful and our God is faithful.  To this day, I am so thankful that that police officer came through and warned us, otherwise we all would have been swept away!  Not being from here (or from anywhere where flash floods are an issue), I had NO IDEA how dangerous they could be!  Lesson learned.  I now know what flash floods are and I know not to mess with them!


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Posted by on August 27, 2017 in Uncategorized


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SHOWERed with love (part 3)


After spending three weeks in Minnesota visiting my family, we finally made our way back to our “home,” Texas. It took us a while to get moved in and settled, for Trent to start working and for us to feel “normal” again. Once we had had some time to settle in, we were thrown another baby shower!

This time Trent’s parents put it on. They suggested that we make it a “Welcome back from China” party AND a baby shower combo. They thought we might like a low-key event where everyone could socialize and where we could see a bunch of our friends, all at once. We set the date for Saturday, August 29th, and sent out invitations.

At this baby shower, I was 28 weeks pregnant… just beginning the third trimester!

Baby Jedi sign facing side

bump Jedi

monkey and Jedi

The big day came and we headed to the Olympia Hills Club House that people in their neighborhood can use for parties and such. Mom, Dad and my sister-in-law Katey had spent the previous night setting up all the decorations and getting everything ready. It all looked great! There were drinks on one table, food on another, the cake and some decorations on the third, and the Beehive, book and gifts on the fourth. That’s right, we got to use Catherine’s beehive again! After this round, there’s hardly any room left for more thumb prints! Sadly, I think most people overlooked the guest book, as only a few people wrote in it. Mom had also set up a special area for the kids with a bunch of toys so that they would have something to do too.







The kids' play area

The kids’ play area




Our friends began to arrive and we were excited to see them! So many of them we hadn’t had a chance to see yet since we’d been back, so we had a lot to catch up on! We had friends show up from church, from (Trent’s) childhood, from school… even from China! We met lots of new babies who weren’t quite born yet when we were home last summer and I met a few other new people too- a friend from Trent’s childhood years, Antonio, and also one of Trent’s cousins, Maggie. It was a great time to eat, chat, and hang out.

Friends that we met at Revolution Church

Friends that we met at Revolution Church

Trent's family

Trent’s family

The preggos (minus one who had already left).  Due October, November, and December (from left to right)

The preggos (minus one who had already left). Due October, November, and December (from left to right)

Our "China" friends, Zach and Heather.

Our “China” friends, Zach and Heather.

Us with Trent's cousin, Maggie.

Us with Trent’s cousin, Maggie.

Trent's friend, Antonio, from WAY back in the day.

Trent’s friend, Antonio, from WAY back in the day.

People ate and socialized while Trent and I made our way from group to group, trying to talk to everyone. The kids were anxious for cake, so we cut our cake and we all indulged in our sweet treat.


cake topper


Then we opened presents. Our four year old nephew, Cohen, was very excited to help us out. He brought each gift over and then helped us unwrap or pull out the tissue paper from each present. We had to try to slow him down enough to at least read the cards, but it was a lot of fun, and he sure kept us from dilly-dallying! We got lots of great things for Jedidiah, and knocked off the majority of things that we really need for when he makes his arrival. My Father-in-law and my friend Heather took photos for us.

Our little helper, Cohen

Our little helper, Cohen



opening Traci's gift

wild like daddy collage

Annika helped us too.  She kept saying, "That's so CUTE!"  It was adorable!

Annika helped us too. She kept saying, “That’s so CUTE!” It was adorable!

Mom and dad got us some handsome "church clothes" for baby Jedidiah.  Watch out Revolution, some serious swag is coming your way!

Mom and dad got us some handsome “church clothes” for baby Jedidiah. Watch out Revolution, some serious swag is coming your way!

Thank you to all of our friends who made it to celebrate with us!

Here are some other random photos of the day. Enjoy!

daddy excited













me and heather

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Posted by on September 22, 2015 in Uncategorized


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