Thursday, October 28, 2010

Sneek Peak

Just in case you can't wait for the weekend, I thought you'd like to see a preview of the most adorable kid ever. Seriously. Have you ever seen a cuter lobster?! :)

Happy Halloween!

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Sic 'Em Bears!!

Baylor Homecoming 2010
Points Taken/Lessons Learned: 
1. It is hard to travel with an 8 month old who is teething and has a cold.
2. It is difficult to sleep in the same room with him at a friend's house.
3. It is near impossible to go to a football game with him when there are rain/lightening delays and monsoon rain storms.

The thing that hit me square in the face this weekend is that having a baby really is life changing. People told me that before he was born, and sure....things changed a little when he got here. But to be honest, Matt and I have adapted well and I tricked myself into believing that it really isn't that different. The reality is, I have been trying to act like I'm the same person I was 9 months ago, and that's just not true. If you read the post about Will's birth story, you know that a lot has happened in the last 8 months. Between losing Matt's dad and Will being born all in the same week--it changed us. For the most part, I'm still the happy and optimistic girl I've always been. But this weekend taught me that I can't always be as spontaneous/flexible as I want to be, we can't be cheap like we've always been and stay with friends--a hotel room is a necessity, and my day really does revolve around his schedule. Point taken.....lesson learned. As Matt and I were talking about this on the way home, the bottom line is that it's worth it. Sure, things might look really different now than a year ago and it can be hard/stressful at times.....but he's so worth it. Just thinking of his sweet smile and his adorable eyes; how he loves to cuddle and lay his head on my chest.....I wouldn't change a thing.

Even though it was a different Homecoming than years past, we still had a good time. We saw old friends, we went to the parade (for the first time!), and we cheered on the Bears (even though Will and I were only there for a total of 20 min because of the crazy weather). The best part, is that Baylor beat K-State 47-42 and we're bowl eligible!! What?! In all the years of me being a Baylor fan, we've never been so successful! Yay! Sic'Em! And cheers to many more Homecoming weekends in the future as a family with a new perspective. 

Jae, Me, Will and Claire at the parade

Friends!!  Let the rain and frizzy hair begin!

The best family photo we could get

Will LOVED meeting Hallie--she is adorable!

How can you not love this face?!

We saw Erin and Duke! Yay!

Hanging out with Dad on campus
Attempting the game after the Monsoon Rain Storm was over

We didn't last long due to the continuing drizzle and Will's obvious excitement


Thursday, October 21, 2010

Will's Story

I mentioned earlier that I would tell Will's birth story, so here it goes. Some of you may know the story in all it's glory; others may have no idea. I'm thinking of turning this blog into a memory book someday, so I thought it would be best to include his story and all the details.

Will was born on Tuesday, February 23, 2010 at 3:40am. His due date, however, was April 5th. For all of you who may not be good at math (like me), that means he was born a full 6 weeks early. My water broke on day 1 of 34 weeks. But to tell the entire story, lets back up a little....

My pregnancy was a breeze. No complications; nothing out-of-the-ordinary. However, the winter months of 2009 were stressful--who knows if this contributed to Will's early arrival or not, but there were a lot of things going on. My job consisted of working with children with severe Autism, and I was working really long hours. My family in Arkansas was dealing with a stressful situation, and being far away made me stay awake and worry at night. Matt was unhappy with his job situation and decided to leave Chipotle without having another job lined up, right before Christmas. And, Matt's dad (Ed) was very sick. Ed had been battling a bad cough, that had turned into a lung condition that couldn't be cured (pulmonary fibrosis). The doctor said that it was unknown how long Ed could battle the sickness--could be months....years even. In December, we were told that he probably had 6 more months. This was tough news to swallow, but we were comforted with the thought that Will would at least get to meet his Pops when he was born and lots of pictures would be taken in those first few months of Will's life. In hind sight, the decision to leave Chipotle turned out to be one that God had guided--since Matt didn't have a job to get to every day, he was able to visit his dad several times during the month of December, and they were able to have quality time together. When January rolled around, Matt was offered a great job at Corner Bakery and he took it.

January came and went, and Valentine's day was upon us. That morning, we received a call from Matt's mom telling us that Ed had been rushed to the Emergency Room and it didn't look good. Of course, Matt immediately jumped in the car and went straight to San Antonio. I wish I could have gone with him, but I was 33 weeks pregnant in my 3rd trimester and Matt wanted me to stay put. I can honestly say that the week following was one of the hardest we've ever been through. More than anything, I wanted to be there to help support Matt and his mom. I did the best I could over the phone, but it wasn't the same. All I wanted to do was hug them both and be there in person. Ed took a dramatic turn for the worse and had to be put on life support. His last wishes were to have the family there together, so it was a waiting game for a few days until everyone could be there. Matt still didn't want me to travel and wanted my last memory of Ed to be a happy one, so again I stayed in Dallas. Matt's dad passed away on Thursday, February 18th. It was one of the saddest days I can remember. I've tried to put into words why Ed was so wonderful, but I can't seem to get it just right. He would be the first to say that he made mistakes and that he wasn't perfect, but he learned from his past and he truly relied on the Lord. I was blessed to have him as my father-in-law. He always made me feel welcomed and loved by Matt's family, and he was a picture of what a servant leader looks like. Even as I write this, I still miss him terribly....

Matt's mom & dad: New Years Day 2009
I called my doctor the next day and told him what had happened. Even though he said that he never encourages his patients to travel in the 3rd trimester, he understood the situation and gave me the green light to fly down to San Antonio for the funeral. I felt fine while traveling, and landed in San Antonio on Friday without any drama. Because Ed was a colonel in the Air Force, it took longer than usual to plan the logistics of the funeral. The service was moved from Monday (the 22nd) to Thursday (the 25th). We spent the weekend with family and close friends, remembering Ed and getting everything in order. Throughout the weekend I had slight pains in my abdomen, but I was battling a cough and thought the soreness was due to coughing a lot. Looking back, I was probably having early contractions but I had no idea.

On Monday, I didn't really feel like myself. I was irritable and tired; quick to frustration and just in a bad mood. I didn't want to project my negativity on the family, so I spent a lot of time resting and reading in our bedroom. Late that afternoon (around 5:30), Matt and I decided to rent a movie. He wanted to finish helping his mom and brother with some yard work before we went to the store, so I continued to rest and read upstairs. All of a sudden, my water broke! I didn't know that's what had happened--I honestly had no idea what was going on--I thought maybe I had an accident. :) My sister-in-law was in the room next door, and I thought I should get her advice. Once we started talking, it became clear that it wasn't stopping and I couldn't control it. I'll never forget Jessica saying in the calmest voice ever, "Well....I'm pretty sure your water broke. I think we need to go to the Emergency Room". You would think that panic would have ensued, but I was in denial. I honestly thought that we would go see the doctor, he would put me on bed-rest (I conveniently forgot the rule about having the baby within 24-hours of your water breaking due to the risk of infection), we would go home to Dallas and Will wouldn't be born for a few more weeks. I mean, I was only day 1 of 34 weeks! It's too early! Jessica was extremely level-headed and thought to call our insurance to make sure we went to a hospital that took our plan. Turns out that we went to the same hospital where Ed received care days prior. I calmly said, "Maybe you should get Matt" and the next thing I knew we were in the car on the way to the ER.

Even though Matt would beg to differ, he too stayed very calm. The only time I saw his nerves was when we tried to pray together on the way to the hospital--neither one of us could get a prayer out without falling apart. Matt just said, "I think the Lord knows whats going on--no need to verbalize it" and we moved on. I got a phone call from my doctor in Dallas and after talking with him a few min, he said, "well Mary Kathryn, looks like you're going to have a baby in San Antonio. It isn't what we planned, but the Lord is in control". This was the first time that the reality of the situation hit me and I started to cry. Matt was great at reassuring me, and by the time we were at the ER, I was calm again.

I walked into the ER (Matt had to park the car) and told the woman at the desk that my water had broke. She too remained calm and asked me to take a seat to fill out paperwork. I laughed and said, "ok, but I'll probably get your seat really wet"....needless to say, she realized what the situation was, and immediately took me to Labor/Delivery. I had a wonderful nurse who was encouraging and kind. She strapped me up to the monitors and immediately said, "um....are you feeling that?". I responded, "well...I guess it's hurting a little" and she said, "yes. that's because you're having contractions every min or so". What?! Crazy! Needless to say, I was already several centimeters dilated and things were progressing very fast. After a couple of hours, I started feeling excruciating pain (finally!) in my back. My nurse said that I was having back labor and we decided it was time for the epidural. After that, I actually fell asleep for a few hours. Matt said that I would wake up for a contraction and then immediately fall back asleep--I really don't remember any of that. I woke up around 2:45am and the nurse checked me. I had progressed all the way to 8 cm, so she got everything ready and paged the doctor. Once everything was set up, she checked me again and I could tell this time was a little different. She had a funny look on her face and said, "ok....don't freak out, but I just felt his head. don't cough, laugh, or sneeze--most of all don't push. I'm getting the doctor". Holy cow! After what seemed FOREVER (the doctor wasn't a real winner in my book), he finally got there and it was time to push. I kept my eyes closed for most of the time, but I did open them for a minute only to see at least 12 people in the room and I immediately closed them again. I only had to push for about 20 min, and then Will was here!!! I immediately heard him cry, but I couldn't hold him because the NICU staff had to check him out. I really wanted to know his weight and APAR scores, and made it pretty clear that I didn't want them to take him out of the room before I knew them. The staff understood and weighed him on the spot--he was 6lb 7oz.....what?! The nurse had prepared me for 4-5lb since he was so early. Needless to say, I think everyone was surprised by how big he was! His APGARs were 8/9....once I heard that, I felt immediate peace. He did have some difficulty breathing, so they rushed him to the NICU without giving me the chance to hold him--that's the only thing I wish could have been different. They had to help him breathe by putting him on the vent for a little while, but he was switched to a nasal canula by the time I got to see him.

Will's First Picture on his Birthday

After he was born, we weren't sure how long he was going to have to stay in the NICU. The first thing the doctor told us was that babies usually stay until their due date. In our case, that meant 6 weeks in San Antonio. Yikes! We had only packed for a couple of days! Of course, we would make it work and stay as long as he needed. We had wonderful friends who came to visit and brought us some much needed clothes, as well as Will's car seat for the trip home.

Ruthie came to visit!

Alathea did too! :)
As you can see from the pictures, Will had to be under the lights for a couple of days to get rid of his jaundice. I loved the speed racer goggles! :)

While he was in the NICU, Will earned a great nickname. We started calling him "One-Eye Will" because he would always open one eye to see what was going on, and then immediately close them again. :)

"One-Eye Will"

In order for Will to be ready to go home, he had to do 3 things: 1. Weigh at least 5 lbs  2. Feed consistently well  3. Keep his body temp warm. The weight wasn't a problem, but it took us a few days to get the temp steady and to get feeding worked out.

No more oxygen! And we're making progress with feeding--just an NG tube!

Finally--no more monitors!! :)

His first time in "real" clothes
Will made so much progress that he only had to stay in the NICU for 8 days! We were able to have a practice run on our last night in the hospital--he was able to sleep with us without monitors to see how hw would do.....he passed with flying colors! We were ready to make the long drive home!

Completing the stress test to make sure we were safe in the car seat

Going home as a family of 3!
Things were a little crazy when we got home--we weren't exactly ready for his early arrival! But while we were gone, some of our best friends helped paint the nursery and made some sweet signs for his homecoming. Welcome Home Will!!

It's hard to believe that it's been almost 8 months since he was born! Will has brought us more joy than we ever could have imagined. He will always be linked to his Pops--I'll never think of his birth story without remembering Matt's dad. It's neat that we have a story so close to our hearts of how the Lord can bring immeasurable joy in the midst of sorrow and heartache. We are incredibly thankful for our sweet boy and for his health and fun personality. We love you, William Beckett!!

October 2010

Sunday, October 10, 2010

Five Years

Our Wedding Day: October 8th, 2005
Five years ago, I was privileged to marry the love of my life.  What a fun day it was! The weather was absolutely perfect, we were surrounded by our favorite people, and we were happier than we'd ever been in our whole lives. I can't believe it was five years ago! It seems like yesterday! Looking back over the past five years, we have experienced ups and downs, happiness and joy, trials and celebrations together. I can't imagine my life without Matt. He is my constant, my leader, and my helper. We are truly a team. Not only is he the most encouraging man in the world, he is honest, faithful, and hilarious. We have so much fun  together! I find myself laughing until my side aches when we're spending time together. He makes me feel like I'm the most beautiful woman in the world, and he is one of the best listeners around. 

In the last year I've been able to see Matt wear a different hat--he became a Dad. I knew he would love having a son, but I had no idea how wonderful he would be with Will. He loves to play with Will, and the sound of their laughter together is the best thing I've ever heard. Will is so lucky that Matt is his father. 

We were able to celebrate our anniversary on Friday night. Matt's sister was in town, so she stayed home with Will while we had a night on the town. We had a fantastic dinner at Kenny's Wood Fire Grill, and then we were able to see some of our best friends who were in town for the Baylor game. We had a great night remembering moments over the past 5 years and celebrating how much God has blessed us. Can't wait for 50 more years with this man!!

Look what he surprised me with! Aren't they beautiful?!

Celebrating our 5th anniversary

Wednesday, October 6, 2010


That was the score of Baylor's football game last weekend against Kansas......and we were on the winning side for once! Praise the Lord! As Baylor fans we have been on the losing side of scores similar to this one, but this year we have a great team and a winning conference record (so far, so good!). My husband is an avid fan--read: we've had season tickets for years and have been through the ups and downs with the Bears. He is over-the-moon excited that we're doing well! As Baylor fans we try to manage our expectations; they always seem to get our hopes up only to crush us in the end, but we are really excited that the boys are winning!! Knock on wood!!

Even though it's great that the Bears are winning, my favorite part of going to Waco is seeing friends and spending time at our old stompin' grounds. Will enjoyed his first Baylor football game, however, when the crowd would yell he didn't know what to do so he would start crying. Good thing football games are loud! No one even noticed him! :) But as the game went on, he got used to the noise and seemed to really like watching the game. He loves being outside, so even though it was sweltering hot he was a trooper.

Will's First Baylor Football Game

Cheering on the Bears with his friend, Carter. They
couldn't take their eyes off the game! :)

Like I mentioned before, the best part about Waco is spending time with friends. One of my favorites lives in Waco--Rene (or Aunt NeNe depending on who you ask). We always look forward to seeing her and Pat whenever we visit. For the Kansas game, we were lucky enough to see 2 of my other favorites as well--Becky (or Aunt B) and Kelly!! How fun!! It was like a mini reunion! Kelly's little guy ACE was entertaining and sweet as ever, Kelly's precious Lily Kate was an angel, and Will just took it all in. What a fun weekend!! Not to mention, we beat the socks off Kansas! Will did much better at his second game; in fact, he fell asleep with Aunt B for the entire 2nd half!! Sleeping baby = success in my book.   :)

Friends!! Rene, me, Becky
Waking up from his 2nd half nap with Aunt B

The sweet Evans family: ACE, Kelly, Lily Kate, Jonathon

The Emmons & The Evans (Notice LK's awesome Sic 'Em--she's a natural)

Me & my boys   :)
Wish us luck against Tech this weekend! Hopefully the winning streak will continue! 

Friday, October 1, 2010

Miller Madness

It has always been a dream of mine to be a stay-at-home mom. But the hard part is that once I became a Speech Pathologist, I found a passion that I didn't know I had--I absolutely love working with preschoolers who have special needs! In fact, as I've gotten older and the more work experience I have, it's harder for me to picture myself staying at home full time. I've worked hard to get my masters degree, and I love what I do. I think it's really difficult for moms to balance work and family these days. Almost every young mom I know has struggled with the decision to either continue working or stay at home. For the first 6 months of Will's life, I was blessed to be able to stay home with him for the majority of the time and enjoy the first phases of motherhood as a stay-at-home mom. When he turned 6 months old, I was offered my dream job (out-of-the-blue) and I couldn't turn it down. Now, I work part-time (about 15 hours a week while Will goes to Mother's Day Out at a nearby church) at one of the greatest places on earth--The Rise School. I'm still home for the majority of the week, but I also get a chance to continue doing what I love.

The Rise School is a preschool for children with disabilities--primarily children with Down Syndrome. In just a few short weeks, the kids have already stolen my heart. I can't even begin to describe how wonderful they all are. I've had a lot of experience working with children with Autism, and now I can honestly say that both populations have a special place in my heart.

The Rise School stays open solely through donations and giving. Last night, Matt and I were able to go to the largest fundraiser of the year--Miller Madness. It was unbelievable! I don't know what I expected, but I was blown away by how many people were there and how fun it was. It was at a beautiful home in Turtle Creek and it was a true party--one that kicked off TX vs. OU weekend in style. It was great to have a real "date night" (thanks Jama!!), and I enjoyed spending time with my co-workers outside of school. We even won an incredible basket in the silent auction to help us do some home improvement projects! It was a great night celebrating and helping one of the best places in the world.

On the Dance Floor with some co-workers
Grace--the most fantastic OT ever!

We Won!! Wish us luck on our home improvement projects--yikes!

If you'd like more information on the Rise School, you can click here :)