Category Archives: piper

Happy Birthday, Piper Joy!


A little less than a year ago, I was standing in the kitchen when Geoff got home from work. He slid his phone across the counter and hit play on a YouTube song. The lyrics of “It Won’t Be Like This For Long” filled the room and for the first time that day, I felt a little big hopeful. Just a little though–not enough to actually believe that “one day we’d look back laughing at the week we brought her home.”

We’d just had Piper a few weeks prior, and her adjustment to life outside the womb had been, well…awful. For all of us. She cried and cried and cried and cried. Every time she cried, I cried. If we were both crying, Sam was probably crying. And everyone else in my life was trying to make ANY of us stop crying. The light at the end of the tunnel seemed so very far away. I remember asking Geoff if Piper could just go live with someone else, because clearly she wasn’t excited about the arrangement we had going on. I remember thinking that this might actually just be the first time God was wrong about something he gave me (obviously I was thinking SUPER clearly.)

I’m sitting here a year later–and Darius? You were right. This week, that baby turned one, and I laughed at those days and how I had no idea that my life was about to change.

It’s funny–when you’re pregnant with your first kid, EVERYONE tells you what’s going to change (they also tell you horrific labor and delivery story, ask questions about your cervix and boobs, and make comments about your weight. Pregnancy is a weird time.) They warn you about that moment when you first see the baby you carried. About how your heart just gets ripped out of you and you hold it. About how it will just crumble you to see your husband cradle that little one. There’s a this talk about how being a parent will change you. And it’s all true–every bit of it. So I was expecting it. I didn’t know what it would feel like, but I knew something was coming. I knew when he came, that he would change me and grow me and stretch me. I knew there would be new sacrifices and an entirely different life.

But no one warned me about the second one. I figured I had this whole mom thing down. Just gotta juggle two of them. The very first words I said to Piper, as soon as she was placed on my chest was, “you look different than I thought.” (You can drop my mother of the year award off anytime now.) I was SHOCKED that she looked different than Sam.

And now that I’ve had her for a year, I’ve learned something. It isn’t just being a parent that changes you. It is these little people–these specific little souls that have been specifically entrusted to my care. All the times I thought I didn’t understand what God was doing–he knew I needed Piper. I needed her sweet little spirit, her funny laugh, her stubbornness. He knew that Piper was going to change my world as much as Sam did, and that my heart was going to crumble all over again.

This week we celebrated a year of the little girl who has taught me to let go of my control of my life, and trust the one who holds it all. She is just the sweetest, bubbliest, girl ever (and a vacuum cleaner at meal times. She eats evverttyything) I cannot believe how blessed we are to have her in this family.

Happy Birthday, my little Piper Joy!


New shoes and such


So, this week is my last week of full time management! Crazy and scary and wonderful and sad and way too many things to even consider typing about any of them right now.

One of my girls that works for me got a new job, so she needed to put in her 2 weeks. She did so with a hilarious poem she wrote, and a box of chocolate & sea salt covered caramels. FOUR years in management, and that’s the first person that ever quit with candy. I wish everyone would do that. Hear that, world? If I’m ever a boss again, quit with candy. Always.

Somebody in this house started wearing shoes. Pink shoes. Tiny shoes. And the cuteness might just kill me.

 Piper’s starting to be on her feet more than crawling, so the time has come. She is getting so big! I feel like we knew exactly how Sam was growing and changing because since he was our only kid, our world kinda just revolved around him. Now that our house is busier, I feel like sometimes I just look up and go, “Whoa! Piper is a big girl!” It’s really fun to see her developing personality–girlfriend has a stink-face! She is too funny.

 Sammy has been super into planes lately. We took both the kids to Aviation Park the other evening to let them watch the planes take off and play. Sam LOVED it and every time a plane flew by, he’d yell “PAAAAANNNEEE!!! HHIIIII PPAAAANNNEEEE! GOOOOOOOOO!” It was hilarious! I’m loving as my kids get older that we get to have fun family days that they actually enjoy. I’ve been taking Sam on trips since he was born that I always imagined would be more fun than they are–only to get there and realize he’s too little or doesn’t care about whatever I took him to see. But finally he loves seeing new things and experiencing the world and I love showing it to him!

Allrighty, I’m outta here–I have to admit that knowing it’s my last week of full time is kind of bringing me the big girl version of senioritis! I’m desperately trying not to be totally checked-out yet, so I gotta try and be focused for a few more shifts….

Things to Remember


I wanted to jot down a few quick things that I’m afraid I’ll forget about these precious times with my babies 😀

–When Sam sees a balloon, he yells, “A-boon! A-boon!”

–Sam calls oatmeal “eeee-meeel”

–When Piper hears the CD player in the living start up, her entire world stops and she enters a musical trance until the music ends

–Sam is great at saying “please” but he mostly combines it with other words, such as “Uppies!” (up please!) “helppies!” (help please!) “nilkies!” (milk please!)

–Sam calls cheerioes “Chetchos”

–Piper growls often at her toys and she loves to blow raspberries on anything she can find. She loooooves The Wheels on the Bus more than any other song.

–Sam has made a little friend named Natalee. When he sees her he yells, “Naaaa-neee!!” and wants to hold her hand the entire time she is around.

These sweet little people are the highlight of my days and I’m thankful for their little personalities!


Just a little bit of bacon.


My kids are sleeping right now. They’re both sleeping in the same bed. This both thrills me and scares me. It thrills me because this means that my room is mine again. If I want to go in there right now and turn on the light, I can do it. I can look for something in a dresser. I can turn on Friends loud enough that I can actually hear it (though, let’s be honest, we watch it with practically no volume and I have realized that I have memorized basically every episode from all 10 seasons anyways.) I could even put away laundry instead of leaving it down in the laundry room like I usually do, though I probably won’t. It’s a little scary though, because though PJ is pretty consistent in her night sleeping, she does sometimes wake up…and having 2 awake kids in the middle of the night doesn’t scream ‘Happy Staycation!”

Last night we went out for fancy-pants Anniversary celebration. Yummy dinner–a filet of fish, deboned tableside, and some super awesome crabcakes. I really should have taken a picture but I was busy inhaling seafood. Then after dinner we decided to really class it up, and we went to Friendly’s for dessert. Who knew they had new Create-Your-Own-Lava-Cake sundaes? Well, we ordered one of those badboys, and then we ordered a side of crispy, hot, greasy, salty bacon. Crumbled that goodness right on top. Oh. Man. I reeeeallllly wish I would have taken pictures of it (or, a picture of the server’s face when we ordered) but again, too much inhalation. If you order this, you will feel like a huge fat head, and honestly, you’ll be right. But you really won’t regret it. (Also, if you eat all this, your run the next morning will be awful. And you’ll be cursing those calories the entire time. But did I mention it was worth it?)

6 Months of Piper Joy


Sweet Piper girl,

How is possible that you are six months old?? When your brother turned 6 months old, it felt like what were surely the longest months of my life. I was sure that time had stopped moving. And yet somehow, with you, every day since you were 8 weeks old has passed in the blink of an eye! I am amazed on a daily basis by how much joy and happiness you bring to our family.

I remember the night I knew you were coming to join us–even in the midst of labor, I was so scared of bringing you home. I knew we were mere hours away from having a family with 2 kids, and I still didn’t think I could handle it. I was scared of the sleepless nights; scared of caring for you and your brother by myself; scared that I wouldn’t be able to love you as much as I loved Sam.

And to be totally honest with you (you’ll learn that sugar coating things is NOT one of your momma’s strongest qualities….) the first few weeks of your life confirmed those fears. Your first weeks with us were difficult. You cried, and cried, and cried, and cried..and when you were exhausted from crying, it seemed it made you cry more. We didn’t sleep. I cried. Your brother cried. Your daddy tried to make us all stop crying. Your grandma’s came over every day to try to make us all cry less.

And then along the way, something happened. Your cries turned into smiles and giggles and coos. The nightly scream fests turned into long stretches of sleep, after which you’d wake up to eat, and instead of crying out for me, you would babble to your feet until I finally came to rescue you.

Your First Easter--wearing an outfit that was mine!

And now, at 6 months, you are nothing but a joy to this family. You are starting to LOVE your brother and every time he walks by you, you squeal and kick your little legs as hard as you can. You love when I sing “The Wheels on the Bus” especially if I use your arms and legs to make the motions. You think that it is SO funny if we tickle your neck with your own little toes (and girl, what I wouldn’t give to be that flexible….) You are extremely ticklish, especially on your little hip bones. You’re a chunky little thing, and even though you’re a year younger, you’re less than 5 pounds away from your big brother’s weight. Tipping the scales at about 18 pounds at your last checkup, it’s going to be time to start you on some solids soon, but for now I’m trying to still hold off as long as we can.

Memorial Day--so tough taking pictures of you two!

For awhile, you were sleeping about 12 hours, but recently you’ve started waking up once to eat. You go to bed pretty consistently at 7p and you put yourself to sleep. You also are a fabulous napper and put yourself to sleep for those too! You used to HATE the car and scream the entire trip, no matter how long it was, but now you’re a trooper. You are easy to take places, except that if you get tired you like to be on your belly in a crib, and have a tough time putting yourself to sleep sometimes. But you are SO happy and have smiles for everyone who sees you. You have 2 teeth already and are such a drool monster! We go through so many bibs around here. You also started sitting up and it’s so fun to see you being such a big girl! You’re getting stronger on your legs and getting better balanced. You also never stay where we put you anymore! You aren’t crawling forward yet, but you can go backward and turn yourself around to get wherever it is you want to go.

Piper Joy, all the nights after I found out I was pregnant with you, I wondered why God had given us such a surprise. And every day that I see your sweet face and listen to your little laughs, I know exactly why. I can’t imagine our family without you in it, and I am so excited to see you grow up more. You are the sweetest little girl I could have dreamed of having, and I am thrilled to be your mommy!


Mommy 🙂

Mother’s Day (Flashback Post)


The following is a post I wrote on my old blog back before Sam was born. Every word of it is still true–and being Sam and Piper’s mom is a more precious privilege than I ever could have dreamed.

I love my mom, a lot. She’s really an amazing lady. She is generous, kind, funny, hardworking, and a lot of other things that I hope I picked up a little bit of from her (she’s also slightly OCD and a clean freak–which, unfortunately and MUCH to her dismay, I did not inherit at all.) But mostly, she loves me. A lot. Not in a “my child can do no wrong” sort of way (my mom is also very honest!) but in a, “you’re mine, so never forget how special you are” kind of way. When I was growing up, it was just me and her for the most part, and I never felt like I was missing out (luckily, I did get to see my dad on weekends, so I still had the father figure. Not saying he was absent. Just that the majority of my life growing up was the 2 of us.) My mom worked a full time job–I have no idea what hours she worked. The reason for this is that I have absolutely no recollection of her ever being gone. I cannot recall a single soccer game, tee-ball game, softball game, gymnastics practice, school concert, school field trip, or any other significant event that she wasn’t there for. I don’t remember ever remember going to bed being tucked in by anyone besides my mom. I remember playing Barbies on the floor (actually playing together. Not me playing and her watching.) I remember sitting in the sandbox together. I remember playing with my dollhouse, singing our Steve Green bible verse songs, dancing to Wee Wing videos, having popcorn with Full House, back when it was a new and exciting show. I remember a home cooked meal nearly every night, and I remember having fish, hamsters, and kittens all during my growing up years. I’m sure there were things she had to miss; I know there were lots of friends and family who pitched in and made my life a wonderful thing. I know that I always had the same clothes all my friends did (and that I was proud my mom knew how to find the same clothes at yard sales instead of department stores!) and I never missed an after school event, summer camp, or youth group trip no matter what the cost was. I didn’t notice then that my mom never bought herself new clothes. I probably didn’t pay attention to all the things I had, and all the things she did without–probably because she has never brought attention to them. She has never grumbled about the sacrifice it was to put me through an expensive private school because she wanted me to have the best education possible. She’s never once reminded me, or even mentioned a single time, the hard times she must have had as a single mother. Rather, she has told me every single day for my entire existence, how loved I am.

My mom told me once that one of the trademarks of people who are truly happy is that every truly happy person knows that they are someone’s favorite. The morning of my wedding, she told me I should be the happiest person in the world, because all my life I had been her favorite, and now I was someone else’s as well. And how right she is. I never even thought I’d understand how much my mom loves me. But the closer I get to meeting this sweet baby boy thats growing inside me, the more it inspires me to love this child with everything I have.
This week when I was on vacation, I thought I might have a lot of those “this is the last time I’ll get to do ::fill in the blank:: before Sam comes!” since it was most likely my last trip without a baby in tow for awhile. Instead, I found myself anxiously awaiting his arrival so I can show him the world. A seagull walked up to my chair and I thought “Wow, Sam would LOVE if a bird came this close to him!” We walked the boardwalk and I thought “Look at that boy playing the arcade games! In a few years, I will get to play them with Sam!” When I was wiggling my toes in the sand I thought, “I wonder what Sam will think of the sand? I guess he will eat it…” Everything I experience now I want to share with him, and I get more excited by the day to meet him and love him in person.
I thought the other day “Man, I should try to think of SOMETHING besides pregnancy to write about on my blog or facebook” but then I realized–for 24 years, my mom has been my mom. I wonder how many times she’s been referred to as “Ashley’s Mom” instead of by her name. And it makes me smile to think that now, I am “Sam’s Mom.” My husband is “Sam’s Dad.” We are beginning a whole new phase of life, and I am thrilled to have been loved so well so that I can pass that onto my son.
And maybe somewhere along the way I’ll pick up a little of the cleaning skills, too 🙂

Finding the Beauty in the Now


If I had a dollar for every time someone told me I’d miss when Sam was a newborn, I’d pretty much be able to quit my job and live a life of luxury forever. So far, in the first 16months, they’d be wrong. I am 100% willing to admit that at some point this may change; I’m nowhere near an expert on parenting, and in the grand scheme of how long I’ll actually be a mom, I’m through, what, 5% of it? I also realize that having had another baby so soon probably changes it too, since every phase Sam outgrows I know Piper Joy will be in soon enough. So perhaps next year, I will eat these words. And I’ll do it gladly…but for now….

I LOVE every phase of Sam’s growing up. Every single day gets more FUN! And every day that passes now, I love the little guy more and more. I love his sweet faces he makes as he figures out how to scrunch his nose or stick out his tongue. I love his ever growing vocabulary (currently includes: hi, oh yeah, yes, woof, why, diaper, go, cold, uh-oh and wow) and the hilarious ways he uses the words.

I think ultimately, I feel like the absolute best part of parenting is getting to know these sweet little people who have been entrusted to me. I love seeing which books he loves, which toys are his favorite. I can only imagine how much more fun I will have when he can talk to me and tell me his thoughts!! I don’t want to wish away these wonderful days with him by rushing things, but I definitely don’t mind every day that he learns more and grows into the little boy he is becoming. The same is true of Piper as she is also growing quickly.

So for today, I am finding beauty in the little faces of my two growing kiddos and the fact that every day I am closer to discovering who they are!