Friday, December 31, 2010

Family Christmas

Here are some pictures from our little family Christmas!  We had a great time just relaxing and spending time together. 

We definitely got up at 6 am to open presents. 

Caleb got a farm and a johnny jump to play with when he gets a little older.

We had the traditional monkey bread Christmas morning.

And the 9 1/2 lb ham for the two of us.  We still have ham coming out of our ears.  :)

We made corn casserole - recipe from Nick's mom.

And green bean casserole.  Except I used cream of chicken instead of cream of mushroom.  The idea that anything has mushrooms in it gives me the heebie jeebies, even if it's those tiny little brown flecks.  YUCK!!  I really can't even stand the thought, which is why I've never even given green bean casserole a chance.  But at Thanksgiving this year, Nick's mom made it with cream of chicken and I absolutely LOVED it!!  Seriously, I could not get enough.  And those crispy little fried onion strings...DELICIOUS!  So, this may be my new favorite dish. 

And ranch roasted red potatoes.  Nick's favorite.  Just chopped up red potatoes with some vegetable oil and a packet of the dry Ranch dressing mix.  Easy and delicious.

Our delicious spiral, glazed ham.  yum!
And some rolls.  They look perfectly browned, right?  Well, they are, but the deceiving thing is - underneath that gorgeous brown is raw, gooey dough.  Didn't mean to do it that way, but Nick kinda likes it like that.  It was a little too gooey for me.

The spread.

Nick got a mandolin for Christmas this year.  He's been talking about one for like 2 years now, so I went ahead and got it for him.  He was like a little kid, so excited to play with it and spent all morning playing and looking for music.  :)

Haha!! Don't you just love that face? 

We had such a special first Christmas with Caleb and made lots of great memories.  Now we're headed to Springfield/Branson to have Christmas with the Braschlers and Mamaw.  Then, on Sunday, Nick is getting ordained!  I'll be sure to have a post on that. 

Have a very HAPPY NEW YEAR!! 

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

2 Years and Counting...

Today we celebrate our 2 year anniversary!  Happy anniversary, Nick!  I love you! 

We're planning on going on a hot date tomorrow night.  We're going to try Red Lobster again, since last time I went into labor on the way there.  Haha!  :) 

A few pictures in light of our anniversary...

Sunday, December 26, 2010

A Christmas-y and Rash-y Post

Bear with me, this post is long with lots of pictures...

Well, this has been an eventful past week to say the least.  We headed to Wichita last Thursday (Dec. 16) for my Grandma's funeral, which was Friday.  It really was a great weekend with our family with a wonderful service in honor of my grandmother.  My incredible mom got up and read a letter she had written to her mom several years ago and I was so proud of her!  After the service, Nick and I dropped off some flowers at my grandpa's house and were able to stay for about 2 hours and just chat with him.  It was a really special time that I will never ever forget. 

Friday evening, we were able to spend time with Nick's family and break in their new pool table - it was awesome!  We had a great time hanging out with them, as always.  Then, Nick took me shopping for my Christmas presents (new post-pregnancy work clothes!) on Saturday morning.  It was so sweet of him to go with me because it made it more special than just getting money. 

We had Christmas with the Goetz family on Saturday!  Mom and I baked some Christmas goodies during the day and then we opened gifts that evening.  :)  We are beyond blessed by my generous parents.  Seriously.  And Caleb had so much fun wearing a Santa suit and opening his first Christmas gifts of the season! 

Caleb & his Great Grandpa Willis         Grandma Goetz reading a Christmas story

                               In his Santa suit!  You can tell how much he loved it.

                         Caleb with his Aunt Julie and Aunt Hollie

We got back to Gravette on Sunday evening (so thankful for an extra day with our families after a tough week).  On Monday, I was headed back to work.  That 6 week leave went quick!  So, I dropped Caleb off for his first day of daycare and I got a call from them at about 2:30 pm and they said Caleb had a little rash starting and that I should come look at it.  Talk about a hard first day!  We took him to the doctor and she thought it looked like a drug allergy reaction or some kind of allergy and told us to give him benadryl.  Well, the next morning it was even worse - like really bad.  (Pictures below).  So we went back to the doc (and he stayed home from daycare) and she was totally perplexed - she said it was the strangest thing she'd ever seen.  She called a doctor in Little Rock at the Children's Hospital and he said that they had 3 babies in the NICU with the same type of thing.  Not scary at all, right?  But once they switched formula, it cleared right up!  So they gave us some new formula to try (Enfamil Nutramigen) and she told us that if he was worse the next day, then we may have to go down to the children's hospital in Little Rock, but she didn't think that would happen.  So, they gave us some new formula to try and the next morning Caleb was completely cleared!  Luckily, through the whole ordeal he didn't seem agitated or itchy or in pain or anything which was a huge blessing!  So, now he is doing SO MUCH better and back to his normal self!  Praise the Lord! 

Anyway, his first day of daycare and mine of work were pretty eventful.  But we both survived!  :) 

              These pictures are from Monday night (about 4 hours after the daycare called us.)

These pictures are from Tuesday morning.  You can see how much worse it got overnight.

This was Wednesday morning after using the new formula for 18 hours or so - all cleared up! 

I'll post more about Christmas and other things very soon!  Hope you and yours had a very Merry Christmas!  I know ours sure was special.  :)

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Nicholas Todd Braschler - hubby extraordinaire

I just wanted to dedicate a post to my awesome husband, Nick.  I won't be too mushy gushy, but I just want to recognize how great he is.  I'm so lucky to be married to him.  God sure knew what he was doing when he matched us up.  Here are a few things I love about Nick:

1.  Watching him be a dad to Caleb
2.  Knowing when to get me thoughtful gifts (like peanut butter m&m's and Christmas cds for my trip to Wichita -- that was before we changed plans and decided to go together)
3.  When he comes up behind me in the kitchen and gives me a big hug. 
4.  His smile and always knowing how to make me laugh when I need it most
5.  His support in every decision I make, whether big or small
6.  The way he stands up for me and trusts me.
7.  His constant encouragement (because, you know us females seem to need a lot of that).
8.  The way he makes me feel beautiful even if I'm feeling ugly.
9.  The way his strong hands and arms make me feel safe.
10.  His leadership - spiritually, familially (is that a word?), emotionally, etc.
11.  His wisdom and desire to be a man of integrity.
12.  That he still wants to go on dates with me.  :) 
13.  That he makes dinner when I'm feeling crummy. 
14.  That he loves his family and my family.
15.  That he carries heavy things for me. 
16.  That he listens to me.
17.  And I could go on and on, but I'll stop there. 

Just wanted to say how much I appreciate all the things he does for us.  Thank you Lord for blessing me with this man as my husband and as Caleb's father.  I am crazy in love with him. 

And I still get butterflies whenever I see him or hold his hand.  :)

Monday, December 13, 2010

Grandma's Celebrating with Jesus this Christmas

My dear, sweet, gentle, beautiful grandma passed away this morning.  She was 71 years old and one of the best women I've ever known.  Her worn out body was ready to rest eternally.  After 23 years, she lost her battle with cancer.  We are so blessed and grateful for every second and every memory of those 23 years.  I'm especially grateful for a special, last visit with her over Thanksgiving.  She is leaving behind an incredible legacy and example of how to be a godly wife, mother, grandmother, and woman of God.  Here are a few pictures of our last visit with her:

Meeting Caleb for the first time.  Excuse the blurriness, we just came in from outside and the lens was foggy.

Grandma and Grandpa.  :)

With al the grandkids.  The pictures of us facing forward are on a different camera. 

And this is Grandpa.  I thought he deserved a picture with Caleb too.

We'll be heading up to Wichita very soon for a busy, emotional week I'm sure.  I am so grateful that Grandma gets to celebrate Christmas with Jesus and no longer has to deal with any pain or difficulty breathing.  She was an incredible woman and I hope to be like her in many ways.  I love you, Grandma. 

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Labor & Delivery...the story.

Well, our little Caleb is now 1 week and 5 days old.  I suppose it's time I write the birth story.  Don't worry, not all the gory details, but just the basic outline.  :)

On Friday (Nov. 5th), Nick and I both worked as usual.  As part of Nick's job as chaplain, he does a lot of hospital visits around northwest Arkansas and sometimes even goes to Tulsa or Joplin.  He spent the majority of the day in Tulsa.  We decided we should go on one more hot date before little Caleb came since we were scheduled to go in to be induced on Sunday (plus, we had a gift card to Red Lobster - and who can resist those tasty little biscuits??!).  So I got home around 5 pm and Nick at about 6 pm. 

We left for Rogers (the town Red Lobster is in, about 30 min or so from our house) a little after 6:30.  Well, on the ride there, I started to feel my lower ab area getting tight (kinda like monthly cramps).  After that happened twice, I turned to Nick and said, "Hey Nick, just so you know, I'm starting to feel things getting tight.  Something's starting to happen, but I'm not exactly sure if this is the real deal or not..." (you know, I'd never done this before).  So Nick started timing these contractions (because that's what they were!) and they were about 4 1/2 to 6 1/2 minutes apart.  Once we realized how close they were together we were kinda like, "That's pretty fast....aren't they supposed to start out real slow and take awhile to get to this point?"  We got to Red Lobster and Nick's asked me what I wanted to do.  I was really torn, because I had my heart set on those dang biscuits...hehe...but then I had another contraction in the parking lot and we decided to grab some Steak 'n Shake drive thru (it was right next door) and head home, just in case.  So, the whole way back, contractions are like 4 1/2-5 min apart, but not too intense. 

We get home and eat our meal really fast, but during it - I stood up to get something and thought I felt my water break (like I said, new experience for me, so I wasn't completely sure).  After that, contractions started getting a little closer and more intense.  Nick went to shave and grab a few more things and I grabbed just a couple of things.  We called our parents just to let them know things were starting to happen (this was at about 9:15 pm - and they were all planning on coming down the next morning anyway because we were going to get induced Sunday).  At about 9:30, I said, "Nick we need to go to the hospital."  Contractions were about 3 1/2 - 4 min apart.  So we head to Siloam Springs and get there about 10 pm (and our parents leave Wichita to start their 4 hour drive --- and on the way there, contractions are at about 2 1/2-3 min apart). 

When we got to the hospital, all of their beds were full in the maternity wing (lots of babies that weekend), so they put us in a temporary bed to make sure it was the real deal.  I was dilated about 3 cm and they said my water had definitely broken (which is a good thing we didn't go to Red Lobster, because if we had, my water definitely would have broken there).  yikes...
About 2 hours later I was at 6 cm and the contractions were super intense and painful.  I was asking for my epidural, and they said they were about to move us into a real room (they had to kick someone out of their room - sorry to whoever that was!) and then we got moved in and I had to have a bag of fluids run through me before I could get the epidural (which they said would take 20 min - that's a long time when the contractions are so so intense!!).  Once we got moved into the room, I was at 7 cm and then Dr. Crownover (my OB doc - he's the best...seriously!) came in about 20 min later and checked and said I was at a 9!!  Whoa, that was fast!  And still no epidural!  owwie!  He said the anesthesiologist was right outside the door but they were going to do a spinal tap instead because I was moving so fast.  Dr. Cooper was the anesthesiologist (he is super great as well!) came in and gave me the spinal tap and after that it was like no pain.  Ahhhh....sweet relief.  :)  Then the nurses said it was about time to start pushing (it was about 2 am at this point) and our moms walked in the door - perfect timing! 

So, about 20 minutes or so later, they had everything ready and it was time to start pushing.  And let me tell you, that was the hardest 2 hours of my life.  And most painful.  While the spinal tap numbed everything, I could still feel the pressure in my pelvis and it hurt so bad, but the only way to get through it was to push.  So, 2 hours later (seriously, I think I only made it 2 hours by the grace of God and the help and encouragement of my husband and mom and mother-in-law), Caleb Nicholas Braschler entered the world at 5:14 am. 

What an incredible feeling to have that experience.  One of a kind.  The emotions I experienced in that moment were unbelievable.  It's amazing how much little Caleb has already changed in just 10 or so days.  I'm pretty biased, but I think he's a cutie.  :)  hehe....

Anyway, that's the short and long version of our birth story.  We're so grateful for our families that came down and for all the visits from friends and extended family and the delicious meals!  Thank you everyone for the well wishes and all your help and support! 

Now for some pictures...

Our new and improved family!

A proud daddy.

My doctor - Dr. Crownover.  He's the best!

My parents with their first grandson.

Nick's parents with their first grandson.

Nick's brother and his wife with little Caleb.

Nick's brother Jake with Caleb.

4 generations of Braschler men. 

My sister, Julie, with Caleb.



Our little cutie pie.