Eamon Eugene: a birth story.

“I will sing of your faithfulness and tell the whole world of all that you have done because you, God, have done awesome things for me. You have not let me down or let me fall into trouble. I trusted you and you gave me peace. I was not afraid and you filled my heart with confidence. You heard my every request – even every unspoken request – and you satisfied my desires according to your loving kindness . You have dealt so kindly with me, God. Let me tell about what you have done!”

He’s here guys! The tail end of May just two days after his expected due date marks his arrival.

Meet Eamon Eugene. All just under 9 pounds of him.

Eamon Eugene birthday-1-2

Isn’t he wonderful? And I’m smiling! (or crying/shaking a little?) Y’all, No. HELLP. Syndrome. What a precious gift, both this sweet little honey as well as a healthy pregnancy, labor, and birth.

Let’s get to it. One of my very first prayers upon laying eyes on the positive pregnancy test was that I would literally be in labor for about a week without knowing it and baby would then just sort of, you know, come out. (I can ask right?) Considering our first born came 38 hours after my waters broke and our second was traumatically evacuated, the prayer made a lot of sense to this momma. God heard and He answered. For nearly 7 days I experienced regular contractions, 10, 5-7, and 2-3 minutes apart for a number of hours or sometimes all day long, then they would stop. It was quite frustrating not knowing what was going on, but then I would remember my prayer and suggested to myself that perhaps, just maybe, the Lord really was saying yes.

Memorial Day weekend came. I remember praying months ago that whichever day baby came, whatever we happened to be doing that day, wherever we were, that it would simply be a peaceful day. Storms rolled in and out all day. The smell of rain permeated the air and I was so satisfied. We played outside. We pulled a few weeds. Tad worked on his cafe racer in the garage. We ate outside on the deck under a few light sprinkles. I took 3 or 4 walks around the block between bouts of rain amidst more ‘false’ labor contractions. I remember thinking and saying, ‘Lord, this is a peaceful day. Don’t you think today would be a great day to welcome a babe? If not, thanks for a sweet day – and the smell of rain.’ Did I mention my love for the smell of fresh sweet rain?

Bedtime came. Contractions were still regular, perhaps slightly more crampy, but nothing to get excited about. We went to bed. I could not sleep. Something about having a large baby on my bladder and the constant need to make potty visits. So I got up. Things were more crampy still. I figured if this is legit, I may as well be moving to get this show on the road. If not, at least the dish washer would be empty! I had cleaned up the whole house, washed the dishes, and even purchased a lovely bouquet from my favorite florist, Beth from Elizabella Flower Farm, who also happens to be our across the street neighbor (win!),  downtown at the Ames, IA Main Street Farmer’s Market that weekend juuuust in case I did happen to go into labor and needed something pretty to look at. Aren’t they?


It was now 11:30pm. I finally called my momma and told her that should these continue to come and remain strong, perhaps she should come crash at the asayplacey just in case we needed to head out. We didn’t have a set plan in place for our two big kids. I asked and trusted the Lord to work out those details with some apprehension in the back of my mind – not knowing exactly how events would unfold. But I make myself out to be the fool every time I doubt, because true to His character, He proves to be faithful in everything. I called our doula, Ami, who arrived right around midnight. It was evident at this point that it was indeed ‘Go Time’. I was needing to pause at each contraction, and things were starting to be expelled (I’ll spare those details). In perfect timing (thanks for that Lord) as soon as my momma arrived, and it was time for us to head out to the hospital (I laid down my desires for a home birth a long time ago. deep sigh. content heart. moving on.)

We arrived at the hospital, were admitted to our room, everything with me and baby checked out. I had to use the potty and stayed there for what seemed like an hour (that’s probably not too far from the truth?) until my water broke – handy. Baby was CO-MING. It’s incredible how things can intensify so quickly after that point. I went and lied on my left side on the bed to give easy access to my arm as they needed to draw blood to make sure everything continued to check out seamlessly. A blood test was the only way HELLP was detected with W, our second born, and was again needed. It wasn’t long after that I realized I needed to stay right where I was – baby was almost here! Slowly baby’s head emerged and what I couldn’t see was that the cord was wrapped tightly around his neck. I am so very thankful for the knowledge that this is fairly common and easily remedied. That knowledge kept me from much unnecessary worry and anxiety. However, the cord was too tight to pull over baby’s head, so the midwife needed to clamp and cut it before the rest of baby’s body could be delivered. I remember having a thought that this might happen. I eased the rest of baby out while holding onto his little body and it was done. Over. Finished. He (it’s a boy!!!) was here!

He came some quickly (roughly only 3 hours of ‘work through it’ labor) and so slowly at the end. We had only been at the hospital for 2 hours! Hallelujah! What an amazing answer to my request and the requests of so many interceding on our behalf. Not only did we remain healthy, but the day was incredibly peaceful, relationships were happy, the timing of everyone’s arrival and our departure for the hospital was seamless, and he came without too much longing for it to be over (I had so much of this with LL after 15 hours in the hospital). Eamon’s birth was by far the most intense and most painful (he was, after all, two whole pounds bigger than Whitterboy), however, it was by far the best of all three births. Yes, somehow, those things can and did go together. Despite his size and the intensity of his arrival, the Lord answered yet another request – that my pieces and parts would remain intact, that I wouldn’t require any stitching, and that using the potty postpartum would be a breeze. Y’all. Truly. This may be TMI, but every time I make a visit to the wash room I thank the Lord for his kindness to me. I’ve experienced an awful tear my first time around where crying was needed to make it through every potty visit and you’d hold it for hours to eliminate even just one trip to that awful place that day. I still, a week and half out, thank God for that bit of mercy every time I see the toilet.

Eamon Eugene birthday-2

We were all rejoicing. We could finally let our breath out. This daddy especially had been holding his breath for months – waiting. Not knowing. Waiting is hard when you’re not given a definitive outcome. We worked hard to live wisely throughout the entirety of the pregnancy; to eat and supplement well, exercise, and do what was needed to be as well as possible. But I had to keep reminding myself that my hope was not in my diet or what I could do. My hope was ultimately in God and what He would provide the birth perfect for my good and the birth that would bring Him the most glory.

*Because God gives wisdom to know how to help our bodies function optimally, I know many of you have asked about my diet and supplement regime during this pregnancy. Just wait a teensy bit longer! That post is in the works!*

Eamon was given his name a number of hours after his birth. It’s an Irish name meaning ‘guardian of riches’ or ‘wealthy protector’. Our prayer is that he would be a protector of true riches, things that are of true value – people (namely those who cannot protect themselves – the unborn and the slave) and the gospel to name two.

His middle name, Eugene, was also my gramps middle name. He passed away three years ago and his birthday was just one week before Eamon was born. While I had hoped they would share a birthday, I still wanted to use his middle name should we give birth to a little boy. When I looked and saw the meaning of the name, I all the more desired to use his name. Eugene means ‘well born’. What a gift that the name which first came to mind literally means ‘well born’. He totally and completely was well born into this world. Now I pray one day he will be well born again into new, true, eternal life in the one to come. Eamon Eugene, what a precious surprise you are! We are excited to see what you will become. What a gift. A crazy, emotional highway of a gift.

Eamon Eugene birthday-3

Eamon, you are clearly so loved.



Our girl is three. THREE! I realize that next year I’ll be saying (Lord willing) that she’s four. FOUR! But right now, three is just so big. She is such a treasure to us from The Lord. A clever, strong-willed, tender-hearted, sweet and sassy treasure. And we love her so.

Here are a few snippets from our celebration:


Do you see what I see?!


It’s Larry Boy!


A dear friend of mine from Bite-Sized Bakery hand crafted these little pieces of edible artwork for Linley’s birthday party – and though my tummy would throw a major upheaval if I would have chosen to partake, I have had MANY in my day and can assure you (as can the nanas and papas and grandpas and grandmas) that they are DE-LI-CIOUS!


But for the sake of not having to javelin the cake balls with the birthday candles, I opted to make some coconut cupcakes as well (which I CAN eat, were also super delicious, and SCD legal.)ImageImageImage

Linners seems to get stage freight when there are too many people starring at her without her planning the event, so she required some candle blowing assistance from daddy and Whitter. She clearly needed no help, however, taking the first bite.


Some people wanted to preserve the Larry boys, but Grandpa Rob new that Larry was a treat meant to enjoy, and that he did!


It was 80º on the day we celebrated and LL did NOT want to come inside for cake and gifts, but once we sat down, I think she felt like we made a good choice. . . Especially since there were BOOKS involved. Her fave.


Sleepy little brother. He’s a love.


Baby C with his Papa.


It was just too nice to stay inside, and too warm to wear a long sleeved dress – so of course we decided to wear a new dress!


Oh how they love each other soooo much.


Girl at play.


Boy at play.


I told her she could take mom’s photo if she let mom take some for her special day. She played along.


And then go into it!


I’m three! Tell the world!


LL’s turn!


Nearing quitin’ time?


Yes. Yes, I think so.


The end!


Happy year #3 LL! Askign the Lord to bless you with a fruitful year of growth and peace sweet girl. So SOO thankful I get to be your momsies.

Dubya’s 2013 baseball extravaganza

I don’t even know exactly what an extravaganza is…

Definition of EXTRAVAGANZA

1: a literary or musical work marked by extreme freedom of style and structure and usually by elements of burlesque or parody
2: a lavish or spectacular show or event
3: something extravagant
Well Dubs was surely extravagant! He’s my one and only and favorite nephew. Here are a few highlights of him in action:
wesley baseball 2013-1 wesley baseball 2013-2 wesley baseball 2013-3 wesley baseball 2013-4 wesley baseball 2013-5 wesley baseball 2013-6 wesley baseball 2013-7 wesley baseball 2013-8 wesley baseball 2013-9 wesley baseball 2013-10 wesley baseball 2013-11 wesley baseball 2013-12 wesley baseball 2013-13 wesley baseball 2013-14 wesley baseball 2013-15 wesley baseball 2013-16 wesley baseball 2013-17

Happy Birthday America! … or something like it.

I realize I still haven’t posted photos from other special events (Linley’s SECOND birthday for example), but these are right here and handy, so enjoy!

This year’s Hodge Ave parade/block party: Linley helped decorate the wagon and Whittaker had fun riding.

4th of July 2013-1 4th of July 2013-3 4th of July 2013-4 Whittaker’s shirt did say, ‘my first word: HUSKERS’… so we made a little patch for it.4th of July 2013-5 4th of July 2013-6 4th of July 2013-7 4th of July 2013-8 4th of July 2013-9 4th of July 2013-10 4th of July 2013-11 4th of July 2013-12 4th of July 2013-13 4th of July 2013-14 The bell at the end of the parade. Linley wasn’t so sure about it – or anything really at first. We’re okay with that. It’s best to proceed with caution.  4th of July 2013-15 4th of July 2013-16 Whittaker catching they eyes of the ladies… what’s new?!4th of July 2013-17Hamin’ it up.4th of July 2013-18 Yay! The big parade!4th of July 2013-19 4th of July 2013-20 4th of July 2013-21Then we all strolled on home and took some much needed naps. Here’s to hoping America stays free and brave. Happy celebrating everyone!

she’ll be a great mother.

We were just having some harmless fun. ImageImageImage(i love them)ImageAnd then something happened. He probably was smashed or bonked somehow. I maybe was upset for a moment, until I looked and saw how great of a mother LL will be one day. Imagesee her compassion?ImageAnd everyone was fine after a bit of snuggling and maybe some singing.

homemade Lara (type) bars

I finally got around to making Lara bars (or something like them) thanks to my momma for hanging with the little lady this morning. I had extra apricots and almonds that I wasn’t convinced I’d finish off if left as is, so I decided to pick up a bag of chopped dates along with some other simple ingredients to give it a go.

I gave the apricots (about 1/2 cup) a rough chop and threw them, along with the dates (maybe 1/4 cup)  into the food processor until it turned into a paste, which looked like the image below.apndates_MG_9380Time for almonds! After they were evenly chopped in the food processor I added a bit of flax seed meal and a handful or more of pumpkin seeds. After a few quick pulses, I added the nut mixture to the fruit paste. nutsThen I had some fun. I attempted to use a piece of plastic wrap to keep the puree from sticking to my hands, but then decided it’d be more effective to just get messy. _MG_9385I squished and squeezed and pushed it around until everything was well incorporated together._MG_9392_MG_9397Then, I formed it into a log and cut it into even pieces. I actually ended up cutting it into six bars as apposed to four as shown. (These babies are hearty!)_MG_9399And then shaped and wrapped them into bars with the plastic wrap that I wrapped them in while Grandma Marty and LL were playing salon in the other room. _MG_9407_MG_9430

Isn’t she lovely?

LL piggies

Oh, a bit of this was going on as well…LL & gramI couldn’t wait. They were very yummy! I’m sure LL will enjoy a bit of these later. homemade lara bars

saturday morning waffles.

We haven’t started any regular traditions just yet with Saturday mornings (which I’d like to change!), and actually just ordered Noel Piper’s ‘Treasuring God in Our Traditions’ (I’ll let ya know what I glean from it). But every once in a while, we’ll bust out our mixing bowls and make a little bit more special Saturday morning breakfast.

This morning Daddy decided to make wheat waffles for us all (THANK YOU Daddy!) And it went a little something like this:

waffles feb2013-1Momma’s wafflesmomwaffles

Daddy’s wafflesdaddywaffles

LL’s wafflesLLwaffles

and W’s waffles waffle experiencewhittwaffles


Saturday Morning Waffles: 1 1/2 cups whole wheat flour | 2 tsp baking powder | 1/2 tsp salt | 1 Tbls sugar | 1 1/2 cups  vanilla almond milk | 1 egg | 1 tsp vanilla extract | 1/4 cup apple sauce | swig o’ oil. (or something like that) 

I think some whole wheat germ and flax seed meal was attempted to be put in, but mom forgot to put the wheat germ in the fridge, and we weren’t sure how it’d be after being out for say… months, and the flax seed meal (in the freezer) could not be found.  If you’d like to add those things in or substitute a different sweetener, I’m certain you could!

If you all have any Saturday morning traditions, we would LOVE to hear them… the Asayplacey is currently taking fresh ideas!


cardboard heart cards!

Happy February 14 everyone! It’s fun to wake up on days when one of the first things you see is this:

vday from daddyI can explain. Simply put, Daddy loves us. Yes; we would have known even if we would have woken up to dirty dishes without flowers, but we are extra grateful we didn’t! He made us each a special valentine card by cutting heart shapes from cardboard and writing a little note on the back, AND gave Linley and me flowers. What a sweet man, right?! cardboard heart cardsThese, and most other special cards go in LL and W’s ‘boxes’. We currently do boxes instead of scrap books or photo albums. So. Much. More. SIMPLE. This is what daddy wrote to our little loves. vday2013-5

And what daddy wrote to momma is for momma’s eyes, because momma is really mamacita (or as LL likes to say, ‘mommy-citi’.) mamacitaWe love you daddy and are SOO blessed that you are ours!

heart stamped valentines!

LL and I seem to share a love of crafting, so to enjoy a morning together during W’s nap and bless some certain family members with a fun handmade valentine, LL put daddy’s old undershirt her paint shirt on and went to town making heart stamped cards!

I had made this heart stamp from a used toilet paper roll last month and have been very much looking forward to watching LL use it.

LL_22mo Valentine making 2013-2While I was getting the paint ready, LL became a bit anxious and slurring her words said something that probably meant, ‘paint now? please paint now mommy? pleeeease?!’ im ready

So we began as soon as I had the paint ready and showed her how to use her new stamp.

startAnd then I got smart and put some newspaper down. It was (usually always is) a good idea because after a couple of minutes she decided that other things were fun to stamp also.

got smartThen I gave her this love birdie stamp to try. She got super excited and may have gone overboard with the birds.

LL_22mo Valentine making 2013-9That’s okay. We like birdies.

LL_22mo Valentine making 2013-10It wouldn’t be an LL craft experience without acknowledging (and maybe whining a little) about having dirty hands. She’s so proper. (It’s good to know the context behind the photo below. Without it, this could look not so pretty!)LL_22mo Valentine making 2013-11Needless to say, we both seemed to have had lots of happy feelings while using our handmade heart stamp and even had a pretty decent yield! (I may have ‘helped’ toward the end when attention spans began to wane…)

LL_22mo Valentine making 2013-12Here’s to a joyful Thursday February 14 everyone! Heart stamped cards are headed your way grandpas and grandmas!

happy vday