Welcome to the World, Woodrow!

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Our baby boy is here! Woodrow Paul was born Monday September 8th, at 8:04 AM, weighing in at 8 lbs 1.5 ounces and 18.5″ long.

Even though he’s only a week old, life before he arrived is difficult to recall. That may be due in part to sleep deprivation, but that’s okay. Our chubby-cheeked boy is perfect and we’re so happy to be home with him.

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I’m recovering well from surgery, and Margot is adjusting to her role as big sister beautifully. She had extra special attention from her grandma CeCe who flew in to help us out while we were bringing Woody into the world. Even the dog is taking the change in stride.

Isaac’s paternity leave ends this week, then I officially begin life at home with two kids. There’s a lot of trepidation on my end at this prospect, but I’m sure the adjustment won’t be as difficult as I envision (I tend to be a worst-case-scenario worrier). My house will undoubtedly take on a new level of disorder, lazy crock pot meals will nourish us, and the dog will likely go un-walked. I value order highly, but I know it needs to take a backseat to the bigger picture shift at hand. Sorry in advance to my visitors, and while it is very tempting,  please don’t write your name in the dust.

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More portraits to come soon.

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Why Pregnancy is Like Backpacking, So Far

Once upon a time, I used to love backpacking. Packing up my food and shelter and carrying it up a mountain in hopes of reaching a summit above the tree line was exhilirating. Slowly but surely, and a few days later, the mountain would run out of up and I’d be at my destination atop an archive of new memories. But the backpacking experience can also be very humbling. Weather and wildlife, the angry variables, will inevitably have their way with your trip, regardless of your expectations.

Pregnancy resembles backpacking in so many ways; if you’ve experienced one, you can gain some understanding into the level of difficulty involved with the other. For the sake of brevity in this analogy, I’ll skip straight to the moment you find yourself at the trailhead on the mountain, or starting point of your pregnancy.


At the foothills of the mountain, you may notice that the air is thinner. This is kind of like the first trimester of pregnancy. You just need to become acclimated to the new environment. It takes at least a day (for me, at least) to re-train your lungs to deal with the lesser amount of oxygen on the mountain.

Fortunately, by the time you get used to the fatigue and nausea associated with the first trimester of pregnancy, it’s over.

That’s when you hit your stride. It’s easier to take in the wonder of your changing world at this time.

Friendly Butterfly, ColoradoThe ascent up the mountain is relatively predictable, but there may be a thunder storm here and there, a mob of mosquitoes, or a patch unexpected snow. The second trimester of pregnancy is the same. Aches and pains become normal, there is a child growing inside of you, after all. The weird stuff happening in your body, like baby’s somersaults, and heartburn hasn’t become freaky yet.

Still, you’re taking it all in and dreaming of the spectacular view from the top.

Crystle Camping

Then the third trimester hits. Or, similarly, you reach and pass the tree line on the mountainside. Uh oh, you no longer have the tree canopy to shelter you from thunder storms.

Aspen Canopy

In pregnancy, you realize you’re no longer coasting on borrowed parenthood time and that revelation leaves you feeling vulnerable. It’s time to get real about being a parent and make sure you’ve got the tools necessary to be a good one. No matter what, there remains a degree of apprehension around your parenting capabilities. It’s something that parents probably don’t ever get over… it may even be a stipulation to join their club.

On the mountain, now is a good time to get out your rain gear so you can truck straight through the inevitable downpour. In pregnancy, go ahead and wrap up your nesting phase. In both cases, you’ve got the gear and you tell yourself you’re ready for what’s around the corner.

Incoming Storm

But, guess what? If ever there was a time for things to go awry, it’s now. You could run into a bear on the mountain, or be knocked off a cliff by gusty winds. Lightning could strike you much more easily since you’re on top of a mountain.

Your water could break IN PUBLIC, you could not know you’re in labor and end up delivering in the car, or you could end up delivering an eleven pound baby, vaginally. Or, as in my experience (up to this point), the baby drops and sudden sciatica renders you immobile. I’ve been stuck on the couch all week, unable to cook or clean or have any fun, really. Fortunately my husband is at hand and ready to help in any way necessary. He’s my rain gear, you could say. Without him, I’m not sure hiking straight through the misery* would be tolerable. Anyways, the uncertainty is daunting.

So here I am, at the point of the backpacking trip where I’d rather turn tail down the mountain in hopes of getting to a hotel at a decent hour. At the same point in pregnancy, labor hasn’t even begun, but the fear is taking over. Right now it’s looking like Backpacking is easier than pregnancy, because now I have no choice but to head straight into the storm of labor and delivery, unsure of what’s on the other side. No turning back!

I’ll be sure to let you know when this baby comes, and whether or not there were any bears.

Colorado Rockies


*I refuse to indulge any of you in the freaky things that my body is doing right now, but if you’re a mother, you undoubtedly know the disgusting (and painful) things your body does when you’re edging closer to labor and delivery.


This is my last week of relaxation, probably ever. It’s the final week in the month before Margot comes that I have no appointments with my midwife, no major shopping trips, no last minute baby items to collect — no major errands at all. I’ll go to my weekly bible study, but that’s it. I’ll be able to sleep in undisturbed until a shameful hour, wear faded leggings and baggy cardigans (my pregnancy uniform), watch old episodes of Lost (Isaac and I are watching the whole series for the first time), and snack all day long. Jealous? Well, hold off on that for now…

Coffee Table - Feb


First let me backtrack a little –I don’t want to come off as a complete glutton, here (read: that’s not me in the photo above, it’s Yango).

I see that I’m describing pregnant-me like the type of person that gets killed off in the neo-noir thriller ‘Se7en’ over a bowl of Spaghetti, or whatever. For the record, at around 1pm during the day, once my morning noontime breakfast of Honey Nut Cheerios has settled, I do a few chores to ‘earn my keep’. I usually make sure the dishes are done, the bed is made, and the house looks tidy. I’ll dust, vacuum and take out the trash to feed into the illusion that I’m an excellent homemaker and that I’ve had a gloriously productive day. Sometimes, I’ll even put on some blush and mascara, but that’s more of dignity-salvaging activity for me.

Then when my husband comes home, he can see how hard I worked all day, and enjoy the super-difficult pasta dinner I’ve prepared.

A day in the life, folks.

Table Runner

Like I said, this week is the last week where I’ll only have above-mentioned light chores to do. Next week is a horse of another color. I’ve got appointments every single day, and it doesn’t sound fun at all. Carrying around a bowling ball size mass in your abdomen slows you down a lot; every task takes twice as long, and if I’m walking around a lot, Braxton Hicks contractions kick in. Those are getting to be much more painful.

Remember that fat lady you saw panting over a bin of frozen crab at Costco last weekend? She was with a confused-looking man who was holding a crumbled shopping list, and pushing a cart full of snack foods. Well that was me (and my husband), and I’m very pregnant, JSYK, and not totally ‘into that crab’ like you may have thought. I was having a particularly painful contraction and I had to stop where I was until it passed. It wasn’t a pretty sight, and it makes me a little fearful for what’s in store on the big day. Fortunately, they pass quickly and each one brings my Margot nearer. And at this time, I’d appreciate your support for my purchase of 60 Quaker granola bars.

With or without your support for my snack food choices, I need to get back to carpe diem-ing this entire week. I’ve got a couch to reunite myself with during these final relaxation-filled days, the kind of which I may never know again.