My Dyer-E
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The Annual Dyer Family Christmas Pic.

2010.

New member of the family:  Ryan Shippy.

He asked me to marry him in January of 2010, serenaded me down the aisle in June, and fit into our family flawlessly that December.

I can’t imagine this bunch without my very own Shippmate of a love.

(Don’t mind our weird prom pose– we were only just married– we hadn’t figured out what to do with our hands yet.)

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2011.

The only year Self-Timer was not responsible for our pic, but rather our wonderful Grandma Wanda instead.

This one is special, because we took a ride to our great-grandparents’ old cabin where my parents got the wood to make us these priceless frames!

To think now that we all just hopped in cars with no loading or carseats or diaper changes seems quite comical to me.

Look how young and childless and bored we all were.  (hahahaha)

10634113_665154015742_5057612175516461862_o2012.

Our last Christmas without grandkids.

Bailey’s 5 months pregnant with our Roman Henry and Self-Timer played a very important role in helping us announce our big news that I am also with child!

I love all of the emotions in this picture– while my family had literally JUST found out our news, The Shippmate and I are still pretty shocked ourselves!

None of us knew the joy and wonderful that was yet to come…

10548314_665154025722_9181821163816744578_o2013.

Two most special new additions to the family pic this grand year of 2013!

Roman Henry and June Harbor.

Roman is already yelling over to his best bud, “Juuuuunieeee!”

I love the special that these two will forever share as the first grandson and first granddaughter born just months apart in the same year.

And I can only imagine the way Grammy and Pa felt that year with their boy’s boy and their girl’s girl.

So much to love.

12377773_665154105562_3823433736137880134_o2014.

Welcome Ian Samuel!

Only 2 months new, we already love the addition you are to our fam, little Ian Boy.

And though you can’t see him, there is a little Smith Shippy just newly growing in my belly here, too.

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And a big boy of a Smith Dyer Shippy makes TEN!

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Six years of Dyer Family Christmases.

Each pictures makes me smile while also making my heart feel so full.

These are my people.

The love, the laughter, the diapers, the games, the crazy, and the together.

It’s all my favorite.

A resounding feeling of gratitude comes as I look through each of these.

God is so good.

And Self-Timer isn’t bad himself.

Merry Christmas to you and yours from me and mine!

12.27.15 5 Comments

Sharing Grammy

This morning I saw these two precious throwbacks from 4 years ago today on my Time Hop.

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While loving them and remembering what a sweet and fun first day of Christmas break that was with my mom, I also felt a twinge of sadness.

I was about to be in the car driving for 30-ish minutes, and for my bit of a drive, I found myself further exploring that feeling that came up in seeing those two pictures.

(I’ll spare you the minor pity party my fragile postpartum self had in seeing a body that knew not what the hormones and madness of being pregnant and/or nursing a new baby the last 4 Christmases could do to a person.  A person that used to have a thigh gap and little fingers that could wear the wedding ring and bands I miss daily.  I will say during my brief postpartum pity party I did realize I have either been pregnant or postpartum/nursing a new baby the last four consecutive Christmases.  Which is all kinds of exciting and joyful, but also pretty dang hard on the cool and fun wardrobes for Christmas events.)

After a couple miles of daydreaming of the Christmas when I’ll be skinny and sans the breastfeeding wardrobe again, I then focused on the more prevalent cause of my twinge of sadness upon seeing those pictures.

Ever since August 24th of 2013, my mom was no longer my very own.

And while I could not dream up or envision a better Grammy for my June and Smith, it also comes at the price of a little less just me and her time.

Or a different kind of me and her time.

It’s the weirdest feeling, because I would not go back to 2011 in my perfectly fitting size 2 skinny jeans for all of the money in the world.

I am so grateful the last four Decembers have brought two beautiful babies that get to call my mom their Grammy.

But if I can be honest about my twinge of sadness, I also don’t always like sharing the Grammy that used to just be my mom.

To think that we just had a mani and tea room day with no one lined up to watch kids or plan around breastfeeding seems so dang crazy.

And a little nice!

I love talks with my mom so much and it’s just not quite as easy and relaxing as it was once upon a Tuesday in December of 2011.

As I thought more about it, I realized how I cannot fathom my June and Smith not having someone love and adore and spoil them in all of the best ways like my mom does, so it’s really the grandest of pleasures to share her.

That’s me thinking logically and wisely like a 31 year old mama should.

But when I think of how much I want my relationship with my own daughter to mirror that of my own with my mom, I really can’t think of a better compliment from June one day than for her to express it’s hard to share me… even with her own two favorite people in all of the world!

I spent some time thanking Jesus for my mom and all that she means to me– and to my June and Smith, too.

The older I get the more I fully recognize not everyone’s relationship with their mom is easy or fun or even peaceful at times, and I could not feel more grateful for the friendship and unconditional love I have in my mom.

I feel like Jesus heard my heart this morning in missing those times with just my mom, and with several circumstances aligning– Smith’s appointment running late, Ryan working late, my dad making dinner for me instead of potentially infectious Chipotle– it ended up that June, Smith, and I were at my parents’ house tonight and I was able to just have some quality time with my mom and dad.

Pa and June were playing away, Smith snoozing, and my mom and I able to just visit and chill.

It was nothing out of the ordinary or special, but per my thoughts from this morning, it felt most special to me.

June then asked my mom to go in the playroom to play with her (in her most adorable and sweet little voice) and my mom left visiting with me to go play with June.

I ended up going in the play room with Smith and was finishing talking to my mom about something.  We were mid-conversation about nothing even important, but just visiting when June says, “Mommy?  Can you please go back in the living room?”

My mom and I both shared a grin as we so knew what was going on, and I inquired, “Are you wanting me to go in there so I’m not visiting with your Grammy?”

June confirmed that was exactly her motive, and I just couldn’t help but laugh at how similar of feelings me and my 2 year old daughter were sharing today!

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It means the world to me to watch June fall in love with the mom I’ve admired since I a little girl myself.

And while that tea room picture took me back to a different kind of time with my mom, I’d never trade the fact I now share her with my own little girl.

I love when life comes full circle like this, but you’ll never believe what the mama that was sharing tea with me on December 22nd of 2011 ended up doing with her only granddaughter on December 22nd of 2015…

Yep.  Their very own tea party!

Oh, my heart.

179772_665159300152_2955235595050861451_n1931153_665159310132_6439436902007302816_n12373343_665156321122_5336876286837339353_nGrammy has long known the value and importance of sharing a tea with her favorite girls.

We’re so blessed to get to call her our very own.

My mom.  June’s Grammy.

We’re both going to work on the sharing thing.

PS:  Mom- we need a three generation pic of you, me, and June!  It would have been the perfect picture to end on and we both know how cooperative Juniper B. Jones is with smiling for pics lately…

12.22.15 5 Comments

My Sacred December 3rd.

There are days in your life you’ll always remember.

The birth of my firstborn girl– August 24, 2013.

The birth of my linebacker of a son– August 19, 2015.

The day I married my Shippmate– June 25, 2010.

The day my June had her seizures and went by ambulance (twice) to different hospitals without me– November 7, 2014.

I’ll never forget the days my two dearest grandmothers– Nanny and Me-Me went to heaven.

I’ll never forget that day I was on The Today Show with my BFF of a MOH Karen.

I’ll never forget the day I was fired from a school that felt so much like home to me.

Those were all– with varying of degrees– memorable dates in the last decade of my life.

And yet, none of them quite hold the special of December 3rd.

It was one year ago today that we left early, early in the cold and icy morning to get June to her MRI.

It was one year ago today so many of you were pouring prayers and love upon us while I clung to Jesus, my Shippmate, and June’s precious talking bear from her Grammy and Pa while we waited in the waiting room during her procedure.

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It was one year ago today we hadn’t exited Children’s Mercy hospital and I received the single best phone call of my life.

(And I’ve had some dang exciting phone calls in my day.)

It was one year ago today in the 10 o’clock hour that Dr. Coffman told me–

“Her brain is absolutely perfect.”

It was one year ago today that we left the hospital feeling a million pounds of relief and even more gratitude to Jesus to go get June’s Christmas gift of a Pottery Barn Anywhere Chair.

It was one year ago today we then headed to Chik-fil-A to drive thru while June slept peacefully in the backseat of our old black Focus.

It was one year ago today in that super long line in the Overland Park Chik-fil-A drive thru that I noticed a weird tangled knot in my hair.

The kind of tangle that only pregnancy hormones had been capable of providing.

With the best news of our lives already delivered just an hour prior, I thought I must be dreaming that I could also be pregnant.

We’d been “trying” for quite awhile but also trusting it would happen in God’s timing.

Surely God’s perfect timing couldn’t be THAT perfect?

The Shippmate headed to work when we got home, and I had one pregnancy test left out of a pack of 25 I had bought– and used with no positive signs– months prior.

One test.

On this one day that had already felt so miraculous.

And you know the rest of this story.

It was so perfectly and wonderfully and beautifully positive.

My heart nearly burst from too much joy in one day.

December 3rd.

The day feels so near and dear to me and my June, but also so grandly special and important to me and my Smith Dyer Shippy, too.

It isn’t just a day of celebrating.

It’s a day of gratitude to Jesus.

We’d begged Him for good health for our daughter.

We’d prayed for months for the gift of a chance to love and raise another baby.

And here, on December 3rd— God went all Ephesians 3:20 and blessed us more than we ever could have dared dream or imagine.

Exceedingly abundantly more than we could have imagined.

That’s my Jesus, people.

I love that the most special and memorable day of my life is right here in the same month we are celebrating the birth of a Savior.

From the minute I woke up this morning, my heart has been so grateful.

The kind of grateful you really can’t know until you’ve had an experience with your baby girl like we did last fall.

The kind of grateful for a positive pregnancy test you can’t really know until you’ve peed in 24 other salsa cups to see a negative test result appear.

All day long, I’ve loved my babies a little grander.

I’ve hugged them a little longer.

I’ve kissed them a little more.

I’ve cried just because I love them and because I am afraid they won’t always be this little.

I’ve cried because I’m so incredibly grateful to Jesus He gave me a firstborn girl and then a SON– the son I never knew I always needed to love.  Lately I’ve just been so extremely grateful for the gift of a girl and a boy.

I’ve cried today because I know I won’t always get these two little babies just to myself from the time they wake up (10am, bless their souls) until the time Daddy gets home– they’re all mine.  I get them every second, and one day I won’t.  I might have to share them with a kindergarten teacher or eventually a college professor and Lord Almighty help me for the day they think they’re going to leave me and get married.

I’ll be worse than George Banks.  I’ll have his hot dog/hot dog bun meltdown TIMES TEN, because surely no one in all of the world has loved two babies with the magnitude… the passion… the depth of which I love my Smith and June.

All day long, I’ve celebrated the joy and triumph that is December 3rd in the life of my family.

For as long as I live, I’ll never ever forget the miraculous of our December 3, 2014.

And for as long as I live, I will always always hold my babies– whether they’re 2 or 32– a little tighter, a little longer, and a little more grateful on the third of December.

Thank you, Jesus, for blessing me with these two miracles of our December 3rd.

Let me conclude with some very ordinary moments that I never want to forget from our 2015 version of a December 3rd.

The baby boy I woke up to get to come snuggle with me in bed.

IMG_6595June headed to “the grocery store with her purse and Mommy Doll.”

Yes, she named her doll “Mommy.”

Yes, it was the highest honor, and I love it every time I hear her say her doll’s name.

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Snuggly and sleepy Smith who now weighs too much for his swing to swing him.

12313809_663671366982_1457589342570339848_n12316507_663668353022_2379699950662542020_nJune and I clearing the room for a game of hockey.  Just like Riley.  From Inside Out, of course.

IMG_3243The most beautiful little boy I’ve ever seen.  He just lights up so much when he sees me.  I DIE.

FullSizeRender-1 FullSizeRender-2 FullSizeRender-3And my favorite of all of our ordinary moments from the day…

June said, “Mommy!  Hurry!  Come see Smith Frosty!  I made him and he is so jolly!!!”

These are her Frosty puzzle pieces from Grammy that she has placed in the right places on him– the top hat on his head and the red scarf at his neck!

12295429_663671361992_352987820838639062_n 12341320_663671371972_7931612924517620900_nThis is my December 3rd.

For which I am the most grateful.

12.3.15 5 Comments

When Gross Is Beautiful

The Shippmate is taking a picture of me with Smith and says, “Ah! I wish you had pants on- this is awful cute.”

The picture he is taking is of how Smith just covered me in spit-up.  And our floor.

The awful cute is Smith’s face is BEAMING from the kind of joy only spitting up all over your mother can bring a babe.

And the reason I have no pants on?

That would be that just minutes prior before bath time while I was waiting for The Shippmate to get in there (I am not kidding that bath time with this linebacker is full on a two person job) Smith peed all over me.

And just an hour before that, I cheered harder and with more pride for my daughter peeing in her princess potty seat than you can even imagine.

Leading up to us having a full on FIRST TIME USING THE PRINCESS POTTY SEAT celebration was a good hour of time spent hanging out with our girl in the bathroom.

I was feeding Smith so it was Ryan for a good majority of the time.  Book after book, story after story, some coloring going on in there.

June was loving it.

When Smith gave me a brief break of his non-stop buffet of cluster feeding, I went in to have some one-one-one princess potty seat time with my girl.

I actually haven’t researched potty training (and I think there is a cooler term to use I can’t think of right now) but June just had a diaper rash so I was going to let her run around with no diaper for awhile and thought- “Hey! Why not see if she can do this?”

It was a really methodical and organized way to start such a thing, I know.

But several of my friends have said June will be easy, so I thought might as well try?

And due to my lack of research I don’t even know if this is crazy or silly, but I just thought the first time we have her sit on there for awhile, it would probably be best for her if she had success, so we kept at it.

I’m in there sitting on the actual toilet while she’s on her pretty pink princess one, and she starts discussing how much she loves my blue Royals toenails and my dark purple nails.

Since we’ve only got time and she’s sitting, I said, “Do you want me to give you a little mani/pedi?”

June:  “THAT IS A GREAT IDEA!  Can I have blue nails like you for my Royals?”

So nails and toes we did.

It was a blast.

Which leads me to my thought for tonight.

I’ve been peed on.  I’ve been spit up on.  I’ve cheered for pee in a pink princess potty seat.  I’ve waited for pee in our bathroom while just hanging out in there.

Parenting is gross.

It just is.

But the strangest, coolest thing is– it’s a beautiful kind of gross.

I don’t even care when Smith pees on me.  Him spitting on me made me want a picture to remember the crazy way that kid can spit up and look so proud.

Seeing June pee for the first time in that potty seat and look up at me with nervous but excited but a little confused eyes and say, “Mommy??” while pointing to her singing toilet seat?

It had tears that I held back in my eyes then, and I’m totally crying now.

I’m raising this Baby June that is somehow becoming a little girl.

It’s amazing.  It’s wonderful.  It’s beautiful.  It’s terrifying.  It’s the best thing I’ve ever done.

“Potty training” is something I thought I should dread.

Just like I thought diaper changes would be the worst.

But I was wrong on both accounts.

The bonding and talking and love that happens on that changing table? I wouldn’t trade those priceless moments for the world.

And granted, we’re literally about 2 hours into “potty training,” but undivided time just spent with my June– even in the bathroom– it’s anything but dreadful.

It’s a blast.

I LOVED painting her nails and toenails in there and talking with my favorite girl in the whole world.

Smith peeing on me wasn’t the most glamorous moment of my life, but it also didn’t stress me out either.  The Shippmate and I laughed.

Smith has eczema.  Which I would trade that out for perfect skin for him if I could, but instead of being annoyed at the thick cream we have to put on him like I thought I might, turns out him and I have the sweetest moments while I’m lathering him up in that stuff.  Tonight, as I was rubbing it in his arms all the way to the tips of his fingers, he laughed longer and harder than I’ve ever heard him laugh.  It was the sweetest sound in all of the world.  Sounds of sweet joy I wouldn’t have heard without the need for his eczema fighting lathering up in lotion after bath.

My point is that parenting is gross and full of creams- diaper and eczema ones alike– and spit up and cheering for pee in the princess potty seat, but it’s the most beautiful and precious kind of gross.

It’s not stressful nor annoying nor ACTUALLY gross.

Parenting is this crazy kind of love where you don’t mind sitting in the bathroom for an hour to wait for pee.

It’s this crazy kind of love where sticky thick annoying lotion doesn’t feel so annoying when you’re bringing sweet laughter to your baby boy.

If you’re reading this before kids, BE CONFUSED. I sure know I was. I cringed when I saw moms talking about weird things to do with their kids pee or spit up on Facebook.

I could think of nothing grosser.

But then you’re living it and in love with these beautiful babes and instead of feeling gross or weird, it just feels like such a special piece of the precious ride you get to be on with your favorite little people in all of the world.

I can’t even post any pictures to explain this sentiment.

I have the most stunning picture of June right after she peed in that seat and we’re cheering her on, but she’s naked and it’s not shareable.

The picture of Smith with me and all of the spit up is ADORABLE of him.  He looks like he is posing so proud with all the spit up he just got on me, but I can’t post it because I have no pants on due to him peeing on me minutes prior.

These moments are ones you can’t even capture in a picture, but man– they’re ones you can absolutely feel in your heart.

I rarely feel stressed or sad about my babies growing up, because I kind of assume I’ll keep enjoying each stage just as much as the previous one, but I don’t ever want to forget how unbelievably full my heart is raising my newborn baby and my toddler of a little girl.

These moments– spit up, potty celebrations, and all– they lack glamour and fresh scents, but they are never lacking in snuggles, kisses, and the fullest of hearts heading to bed after countless memories of falling more in love with my babies this weekend.

I’m so grateful to be their mom.

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11.23.15 6 Comments

Smith’s Story

Three months ago today.

I’ve had this video Bailey made for me for nearly three months and all this time, I needed it to just be mine.  To savor.  To weep when I watched it.  To feel the pain and the joy of that day.  To feel the grand triumph when Smith arrives.

But today, as Smith’s 3 month birthday falls on a Thursday, I thought this would be the most special of #throwbackthursdays.

Not just any Thursday, but a November Thursday when people are full on with their daily thankful posts.

I don’t do the everyday thing, but let me do the today kind of thankful thing.

I am thankful for a crazy talented sister who has dropped everything to be my birth photographer twice now.  She doesn’t just capture the best moments of my life, but she shares them with me in a very sacred space at St. Luke’s Women’s Center.  I am so thankful for her talent but even more so for the sister she is to me.

I am thankful for a doula of a best friend that also dropped everything that Wednesday morning and even intentionally wore a Royals shirt for me.

I am thankful for a dad who came to Warrensburg immediately upon receiving The Call to be with a sleeping June and would also be the first person to tell her that her baby brother was here.

I am thankful for a mom who came immediately to be with me in the hospital waiting room and cried the biggest of tears the second she laid eyes on Smith Dyer Shippy.

I am thankful for a Bradley professor who once upon a class taught me my body is absolutely capable.  Even of delivering a 10 pounds and 14 ounces baby that my doctor said had she known my body was carrying she would have insisted on a c-section.

I am thankful for my Jesus who heard my cries, forgave my F-bombs, and gave me another baby to love and raise to know Him.
I am thankful for a Shippmate who loved me through the most excruciating pain of my entire life (YES EVEN MORE THAN MY FIRST LABOR) and when he wasn’t whispering to me that I could do it, I could physically see the confidence and belief in me in his eyes.

But today, I am the most thankful for Smith Dyer Shippy.

I’m thankful he is healthy.  I am thankful he is such a perfect sleeper.  I am thankful for his huge cheeks I kiss all day long.  I am thankful for his patience. I am thankful for the way he smiles the biggest when he hears my voice or sees me smile.

But most of all, I am over the moon thankful he is the son I never knew I always needed.

I melt around him in that embarrassing way moms of boys do.  It’s different and it’s weird and it’s beautiful and it’s absolutely breathtaking.

I always knew I needed a firstborn girl and then I thought I would even be completely content with all girls.

But I was so very, very wrong.

I needed a son.

I needed a Smith Dyer Shippy.

Smith- I adore you.  I am the most grateful to be your mom, and I will cherish you forever.

Happy 3 Months, Baby Boy.

Love,
Mama

11.19.15 47 Comments

Hernias and Romance.

I remember someone once telling me that having a baby can be hard on a marriage.

So with June I was prepared for this.

Shoot- with her, I was prepared for life to be a living hell for a year or something after she was born because that is what you read.

Except it was about the opposite of that.

It was bliss and wonderful and awesome and nothing like I’d feared.

The marriage thing included.

I felt closer to my Shippmate than I ever had.  Labor had made me fall in love with that man in ways I didn’t even know were possible to love someone.  I’ve never felt more loved by anyone than watching him love me through June’s labor.

And when you have one little newborn, there is plenty of time to just sit and talk and stare at your baby.

This second go at things was a little different.

Smith has still been so easy and wonderful and fun.  Truly can’t even put into words how effortless it has been to adore him and love him just like I did June but in his own special way.

But when you have a newborn and a toddler, your time of cuddling on the couch with your Shippmate is a little more sparse.

And since we’d already fallen in love again during June’s labor, this time there was less of that.

Don’t get me wrong– Ryan was SO there for me and amazing and wonderful, but we’d already done it so it was less romantic, I guess?

That and I GAVE BIRTH TO AN 11 POUND BABY!  THERE WAS NO TIME FOR ROMANCE.

ONLY PAIN. HORRIBLE HORRIBLE NO MEDICINE BECAUSE I’M A CRAZY FOOL KIND OF PAIN.

All of that on top of postpartum being such an annoying time for the one that just gave the birth— weird ailments, mastitis, the physical demanding it is to feed a linebacker of a babe all of the time, clothes that are both too loose and too tight but for the love of Goldilocks never just right, etc.

So this time I kind of get where people say having a baby can be tough on the marriage.

Not that it presented any big problems, but there just isn’t the time to focus on each other.

Or you’re both tired (and Lord Almighty help us because we’ve never even had a baby that doesn’t sleep so I CAN ONLY IMAGINE THAT) and you are halfway bickering about something that between feedings and bathtime and clipping nails and playing make believe it doesn’t get resolved and then a week later you’re having an actual dysfunctional Shippmate breakdown smack in the middle of Worlds of Fun!

Hahahaha, but SERIOUSLY.

That was not our finest hour.

I’m 435 words in and this was all just the disclaimer.  Because what I really wanted to write about is ridiculously adorable and sappy and happily ever after romantic comedy kind of perfection.

But before I got into all of that I needed you to know we’re not always happy and heart eyes Emojis over here.

The first 6 weeks after Smithers were not my favorite in terms of being crazy in love with my favorite Shippmate.

But oh my goodness gracious, do I have a story of how even in the busy of a newborn and a toddler that man finds ways to love me so well.

So one of those annoying postpartum ailments I was referring to was that I have this blessed thing called an umbilical hernia.

It’s absolutely as sexy as it sounds.

No, but truly– I thought only old men got hernias.

Turns out, people who give birth to baby linebackers are also at risk for them.

And I mean, I look back at pics and I’m all:

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NO CLUE HOW MY BODY COULD BE WRECKED BY THIS EXPERIENCE.

Ha.

So, I found out that likely this hernia is surgical.  We have to wait until my body is a bit more normal to know for sure, but the odds are not in my favor.

And surgery scares me.

Not so much the actual process– but kind of that, too– but the recovery with a big ol’ Smith Baby and a very active toddler of a June Harbor.

And well, me.

The Me that has on multiple occasions said I love leaving my home by 11am everyday to feel alive and part of this world.  It’s imperative for my happiness in being a SAHM.

(yes, part of my happiness in being a stay-at-home mom is found in leaving the home)

(stay home for a week and you’ll totally get it)

The Internet has told me that for 6 weeks after that surgery I won’t be able to lift more than 10 pounds.

Which means I couldn’t have lifted my son the day he was born.

Ha.

But on a more serious note, not being able to lift my kids– especially Smith– will present a challenge or two.

The whole thing just really stressed me out and had me feeling annoyed at everything, so Ryan told me he would commit to praying for the hernia everyday.  Specifically praying that it would go away on its own and not be surgical.

Which that alone is incredibly loving and sweet of him.

But what happened about a month later is even better.

I go to get June out of her crib in the morning and we often either go to my bed or to the couch for some morning snuggles and sweet conversation.

There we are, mid-snuggles while Smith is snoozing in his swing, when my little Baby June looks up at me with such love and sincerity and says,

“Mama- your hernia feel better?”

I have to ask her to repeat the question because I am so confused.

I’ve never said a word to her about my hernia.

And I’m yet to see a Daniel Tiger on the topic, so I’m at a loss for how my 2 year old little girl even knows this word.

When I asked her again, she said, “You know- your hernia.  It feel better?  My Daddy and I pray for you every night.”

It’s not often I’m at a loss for words, but that kind of love– on so many levels– just left me speechless.

I had tears in my eyes as I held her close and kissed the top of her sweet head while saying the most grateful of prayers to Jesus.

A Shippmate that would love me so well to not only commit to praying for that dang hernia himself, but then to have involved my favorite little girl!?!?

Who then thought to check in with me on how it’s doing?

It’s too much.

It’s really and wonderfully too much.

The love I feel from those two gives me such a peace about my old man hernia.

With those two praying, it might go away on its own and that would be AWESOME.

But even if it doesn’t, the love and support and compassion of those two have me very peacefully content that I will be so well taken care of no matter what.

That kind of love makes anything feel possible.

It’s not been the easiest few months on our marriage, but there is absolutely no one else in the whole world I’d rather have by my side than Ryan Shippy.

We haven’t gone on a date since August and romance hasn’t been easy, but that man still finds ways to love me in the best and most sincere of ways.

For him, I am so thankful.

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11.18.15 4 Comments

When Mama Knows Best

My mom and I have been trying to get peds together since my birthday, but it’s a little tricky to align our schedules with ol’ Smithers.

(Don’t bother suggesting I take him with us, because I already tried that and Robin Dyer was all UMMM NO lol.)

So I thought I finally figured out a time for today after my mom got out of school and my dad was going to be with Smith and June from 4ish-5 or so.

All was planned and ready, but then late last night I had this thought that I would be leaving him the afternoon after his first shots.

I just didn’t feel good with it all.

I text my mom and called it off.

Which when Smith was all smiles for Pa right after his appointment earlier and my toes were dying to be pampered, I was wondering if I had made the wrong call.

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June, Smith, and I get home, and she’s going down for nap and my sweet little Smith Baby who NEVER EVER cries, wakes up in such big and loud and stressful tears.

And I kid you not- I look down at my phone to see the time and it was 4:32.

He was so upset for almost an hour.

The same hour I was going to be away from him.

It would have been the first hour of his two months of life that he ever even shed tears for longer than about .2 seconds.

I was too stressed and frazzled during that hour of him crying to really celebrate the complete wonderful and meaningful and important that is A MAMA KNOWING BEST.

Smith has a lot of people that love him so well, but there is something that makes my heart the most smitten about the fact that no one really knows him better than his mama.

I love being a mom so much.

Specifically the mom to my June Harbor Barbara Shippy (the Barbara part is an inside joke you’ll have to ask her about) and my Linebacker of a Smith Shippy (who yes at his appointment we learned is the size of a very healthy 11 month old baby).

And while trying to calm a very upset Smithers while trying to get our pediatrician’s office to return my call about if children’s Tylenol is the same as infant’s Tylenol was hardly the joy of a pedicure and hanging out with my mom– in fact my 4pm – 5pm hour was basically the exact opposite of a pedicure with my mom, and yet– I wouldn’t have wanted to be anywhere else than with my baby boy during that hour.

When you’re so glad you were with a screaming babe over a pampering and relaxing pedicure– that’s when you know motherhood has done something crazy to every fiber of your heart and soul.

This little man child is my favorite, and I’m the most honored I get to be his mom.

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10.22.15 Leave a comment

The Truth About Two Kids

Sunday morning, I decided to take all of my million kids to Overland Park for this walk by myself.

I left the house before 9am with my hair in a ponytail, make-up on, and felt pretty cute.

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I walked up our stairs to come home at 2pm with no shoes, a tank with no bra, and my hair a scattered mess with spit up in it.

The no shoes because I had forced my feet in my tennis shoes despite them no longer fitting.  Apparently pregnancy can make your feet bigger and I was DYING at the walk trying to pretend like my feet couldn’t have got bigger. (I WAS ALREADY A TEN BEFORE PREGNANCY!?!)

The no bra part is really the best.  I have broke THREE nursing bras, TWO nursing tanks, and a dang partridge in a pear tree.  No, but seriously.  This is what it takes to feed a 17 pound 6 week old.  My mom was going to be shopping so she took the bra to the bra store to have it fixed for me, thus the reason for no bra on the drive home lol.  I really think the bra store repair lady wants to hand me a can of formula.

And the hair a mess and spit up part is basically self-explanatory.

I have a few friends who are just a few steps behind me in the whole transition from one to two kid gig, and I promised them I would be honest about what life is like on this side of the family of four thing, and I can really think of no better illustration than leaving the house all cute and proud at 9am and limping across the welcome mat to return home with no shoes, no bra, and spit-up hair.

But you know what?  I MADE IT!

And per some riveting stories I made up, I made it home with June not napping during our hour drive which meant everyone got to nap at once.

Me and my spit-up, braless, shoeless self included and THAT, my dear friends, is what you call winning in the two kid world.

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10.21.15 8 Comments

Sing to the King!

Come, let us sing a song
A song declaring that we belong to Jesus
He is all we need
Lift up a heart of praise
Sing now with voices raised to Jesus
Sing to the King

I’ve had this song in my head all day, and so once June was in bed and The Shippmate was working on something downstairs, I decided to have a praise jam session with my favorite Smithers while tackling a serious laundry pile that got ignored for the Royals game earlier.

I took the huge pile to his room because it’s the only room with amazing carpet in this house and I strapped him in on his favorite changing table and found this song.

While I was dancing and singing and doing laundry, Smith started smiling so big.

The smiles quickly erupted to his own singing along with me!

For a solid two minutes, he was making the sweetest sounds this side of heaven right along with me singing these powerful words.

Isn’t that the beauty of our Savior that came to this earth as man?  He’s everywhere.

I couldn’t stop the tears from coming as I was literally participating in such authentic, such meaningful and powerful worship right in the middle of socks and underwear, and not only that but I was worshiping WITH MY SON.

The son that had us fervently on our hands and knees in prayer while still in the womb.

I worried about his chromosomes and little person before I knew him.

I worried until I had to quit that because prayer made infinitely more sense.

THAT son. That I prayed for and about and with such nearness to God… here he is– this side of the utero in all of his linebacker hugeness of glory– and he is singing with me to Jesus.

It’s moments like these that you can’t photograph.  You can’t video– though I kind of wanted to try because him singing to the music was incredible but I wasn’t about to stop the song and praise thing we had going on!

These moments are too sacred to capture, but really just made to treasure.

At 11:13pm on an idle Tuesday in my son’s nursery, I don’t know that I’ve ever felt closer or more in love with my Savior and my own son.

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My heart is still bursting with the kind of love that can only come from Jesus.

I’m so eternally grateful for what He did for us on the cross.

I’m so eternally grateful he gave me my Smith Dyer Shippy for a son.

My love for them both is immeasurable.

Let me end with my favorite part of the song that I was able to sing with my precious, precious son tonight:

For His returning we watch and we pray
We will be ready the dawn of that day
We’ll join in singing with all the redeemed
‘Cause Satan is vanquished and my Jesus is King


HALLELUJAH AND AMEN!

PS:  Moms that feel like this is such a dang tough time to worship and be where you want to be with Jesus– I hear ya, sister– I hear you so much.  Just don’t miss the moments Jesus shows up– even if it’s while folding socks and underwear!

10.20.15 10 Comments

A Thursday To Remember

Real is so important to me, so before I start this precious post, let me please just tell you briefly about my yesterday.

It was what I described to my mom as the worst day since Smith was born.

(which was kind of dramatic because I KNOW there are so many ways days could be worse)

(and no, best friends of mine- I’m not quite talking about the day a week ago when I text you none of my shoes fit my now size ELEVEN foot)

But seriously– we were sick, I hadn’t left the house in a couple days, and the sky was falling in.

Everyone cried, including me.

It was what Alexander might call a terrible, horrible, no good, very bad day.

But then there is this awesome thing about parenting and motherhood and life in general really, where you get to go to bed (maybe still in tears lol) and wake up to a NEW DAY.

And holy moly, did I wake up to SUCH A BETTER DAY.

As in a “I NEED TO BLOG ABOUT THIS KIND OF WONDERFUL” kind of day.

But before I jumped into walking you through my today, it was imperative I disclosed the annoying and frustrated of my yesterday.

With that behind us, let’s look at TODAY!

Smith and I were up a bit before June woke us, so just the two of us enjoyed some snuggles and feeding among great conversation.

IMG_1104(And I won’t go into exact details in fear The Sleep Gods might decide to change it all on us, but that full diaper might be a slight indicator of the HOURS this kid sleeps for us.  WE ARE SO UNWORTHY and I don’t even know how we get these kind of newborns but OH MY PRAISE JESUS FOR THEM.)

When June yells out, “MOMMMMMY!” and I go and get her, I always bring her into our room for some snuggles with the three of us.

It looks a little precious something like this:

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June being stressed about her favorite brother spitting up on our bed looks a little something like this:

IMG_1122 IMG_1106  IMG_1125This looks like June is about to hit Smithers but actually she’s playing peek-a-boo with him:

IMG_1107 IMG_1135So yes.  Starting my day watching them enjoy each other and snuggle with me and each other is basically the best.

I love them more than I can express.  Both individually, together, and then watching them love each other — it’s a whole sappy lovefest kind of thing we’ve got going on.

And don’t even get me started on weekends when my Shippmate is in that bed with us. It’s complete out of control on those mornings.

After everyone’s had enough lovefest and/or we get hungry, we move into breakfast together.

Not photographed, but still a grand time in which June is always ready to talk ninety to nothing and I love listening to every word she has to say.

Smith has less words currently but is always very eager to eat with us.

We had some tea parties, played with June’s new animals from Aunt Janet, read books, had pretend phone conversations, and just did our normal things around the house before I decided after a couple of sickly days of not going anywhere, I needed out of the house.

After getting us all dressed, we made a plan to go by the bank to cash June’s monthly check from my parents for her savings account which June gets so excited about because she is so advanced that she already thinks about things like saving for college.

And by that I actually mean she knows THE BANK MEANS SHE GETS A SUCKER.

Which is like the equivalent of money in the bank to a 1 but really 2 year old June Harbor.

After the bank, I asked June what she wanted for lunch, and she said Arby’s but I was thinking Sonic, so I suggested what we call a VAN PICNIC!

Which is about as classy as it sounds.

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I got June her ham melt from Arby’s and took that on over to Sonic where I ordered a #1 meal + a water for Junie, and then we all go to the back of the van for a full on party!

I am not kidding, June thought this was THE most fun thing ever lol.

As in, 15 minutes in to our “picnic,” she says to me, “Mommy!  THIS IS SO MUCH FUN!  Thank coo for this MINI VAN PICNIC TOGETHER!”

We took some pictures to document just how fun a MINI VAN PICNIC can be.

 

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We all three ate back there, sang songs, talked about life and such, read a couple of books even– it truly was a really great time together.

Smith was either eating or sleeping very close to his food source the whole time:

IMG_1171I love that little man to pieces.

I started to end the picnic after about 30 min (and our food was gone) but my favorite June Harbor said, “No, Mommy! Please can we do this longer!!! This is so much fun!”

And really— who am I to stop this kind of good time?

So we kept the party alive for another good 30 minutes back there.

I’m telling you people, MINI VANS ARE WHERE IT’S AT.

When we did finally end the picnic, and I was loading everyone back in seats, June started imitating Smith sleeping which looked like this:

IMG_1189 IMG_1190 IMG_1192I can’t even express how hilarious, intelligent, fun, sweet, and amazing that girl is.

I mean, I sat in the back of our mini-van for an HOUR with her and we had the best time.  She’s literally such a joy and delight to be around and we laugh so much that Smith sometimes has to hold on during feedings.  She’s my absolute favorite.

Because I was feeling ambitious, I decided to try Wal-Mart out with these sweet babes of mine.

It was in the Wal-Mart parking lot I realized I had not planned on doing anything but a bank and quick food run (thinking we were going home to eat lunch) so June had no shoes on.

Which might be stressful, but I decided to use it to my advantage and say it meant she had to stay in the cart.  (which doesn’t always normally happen)

She accepted the challenge, and in we went!

For what was literally THE best, smoothest, peaceful, amazing Wal-Mart kind of experience.

As we strolled aisle to aisle in smiling (and Smith sleeping) peace, it was then I knew that God had seen my angry and frustrated tears of yesterday and feared I might be giving up one of my two kids and thus gave me the gift of a beautiful kind of TODAY!

This was me trying to get June to smile for her inaugural cart ride with Smith:

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After those two weird poses, I said:  “Okay- just pose normal, Juniper.”

Which resulted in this:

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Looks about right to me.  Bahahahhahaha.  She’s so mine, and I love it.

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Then we ran into THIS WONDERFUL which had the Halloween lover in me all kinds of giddy.

IMG_1208I remember this happened after I had June, too, where the time between summer and fall is a bit of blur because it’s when I’m having a new baby, so I almost didn’t realize how quickly all things fall and Halloween are, and it just made me so happy to see those pumpkins, ghosts, and spooky books!

So in the spirit of our new day, I told June we could pick out one for her library at home.

I’m a complete pushover when it comes to books AND Halloween, so this was a complete combo of my weaknesses.

IMG_1240June read that book so intently for a good portion of the rest of our amazingly wonderful first Wal-Mart trip together.

We left Wal-Mart and came home with still a happy and content Smith Man, and my mom’s dear friend Bert had stopped by with gifts for the new baby and big sister.

IMG_1237I love the part of having a new member of the fam that brings people to our home that we normally don’t get to visit with here!

We had a wonderful visit with Bert, and June was MOST excited about her new colors, shirt, and especially her drum major baton since Bert had heard June was a fan of marching bands!  So sweet.

After Bert left, it was already nap time, and so June sat down with her dog and her favorite Daniel Tiger before bedtime.

IMG_1253 I know I’m on an awesome day high right now, but I just can’t express how much I love and appreciate that little girl.  Everyday is an adventure with her, and even the way she watches her show before nap kills me!

(and yes, we have NUMEROUS amazing chairs she could sit in– including her own that she loves but sometimes she prefers the floor lol)

She went down for nap like a dream, as she always does.  And as much as I adore every awake moment with that beautiful doll, I full on know that I’m ABLE to enjoy those moments even more happily when I know I always have a 2 hour break in my day during nap.  I’m so beyond thankful for our routine and her sweet sleeping abilities.

And in true AMAZING AND BEST DAY form, I see the mailman come and after looking for our newborn pics everyday this week with much excitement and anticipation, Smith and I went to the mailbox to find they had arrived!!!!!!!!!!!

I can’t even tell you how happy that made me!

Smith went down for a nap, and so with my new fall candles burning, two beautiful babes sleeping, and some TSwift “Never Grow Up” playing, I sat there and just cried the happiest tears looking at our AMAZINGLY BEAUTIFUL pictures that Janean Gray (click HERE for a link to her site) gifted to us!  I cannot say enough about how talented and amazing she is and how BEYOND grateful I was when she gave us the priceless gift of this newborn session!

IMG_1265Because Smith wasn’t about to not be a very contributing factor to my BEST DAY EVER, he decided while June was still sleeping to go ahead and serenade his favorite mama.

No but seriously– is he or is he not totally playing that guitar for me and looking into my eyes like I LOVE YOU SO MUCH MOMMY!?

I die.

IMG_1266 IMG_1384 IMG_1270 After nap and Smith serenades, The Shippmate got home and a sweet friend brought us our last of the delicious and wonderful meals friends and family have blessed us with this past month.

Before dinner, I went to get a tea, and June wanted to ride with me.

On our drive to McDonald’s, I drove by this sign that said FREE with three different items sitting next to the curb.  I actually turned around thinking my SIL might want the wooden highchair for a photo prop, but when I turned around I saw it wasn’t something she wanted and the other two items were things June might want!

I said to June, “Do you want that bike?”

Naturally she said, “YES!!!!”

Where the house was located was kind of tricky, so I had to pull in across the street and I suddenly realized the car next to me was doing the exact same thing.  But ahead of me lol!!!

I jump out of the van and sprint across the street (behind this guy lol) and he grabs the shopping cart and leaves the bike!!!!

So I run back to the van so excited and I literally find a SOBBING June!!!!

Actual big, big tears of her just wailing, “MOMMY! THAT MAN STOLE MY BIKE!!!!!!!”

She had sat there rearfacing but positioned in a way that she could see the guy getting out but not what he brought back, and she thought he had taken “her” bike!

She was so worked up and then instantly got SO excited when she realized I got it.  She goes, “YOU got the bike, Mommy!!!!  I love it so much!!  WAY TO GO MY MOMMY!!!!”

The pics of her with the bike are not great because we didn’t play with it until after dinner, but I had to include this story in our BEST DAY EVER post, because the whole event was so dramatically and preciously June.  And I loved it.

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Last but absolutely not least was how this day ended nearly as sweet as it began.

IMG_1404Yes, that is my very favorite flavor of coconut yogurt from Orange Leaf.  IT IS SO GOOD.

I actually rarely crave ice cream, but I have an annoying cold and had been wanting it all day, so Ryan put June to bed and held Smith while I made a quick trip for this sweet treat.

And that, my friends, was our Thursday.

A van picnic, a trip to Wal-Mart, some fall candles and newborn pics, and a free curbside bike might not sound that special, but the silliest and random adventures of a normal Thursday with my two babes feels pretty exceptionally special to me right now.

So special that I stayed up late trying to get this sweet day blogged about and literally fell asleep AT MY LAP TOP.  And when you wake up and see you’re in the middle of a blog, you have to kind of wonder about the quality of writing you’ve done thus far, so I went to bed and tonight– at 11:58pm– just now finished the last few paragraphs before it was already the NEXT Thursday!  Yes, it took me exactly a week to get a blog about last Thursday written.

I’m definitely still figuring out this whole two kid gig, and slowly but surely we’re finding our  groove.

It may take me a week to blog about a day, but with these beautiful babies as the reasons for my delay— well, I’m oddly okay with it.

Most of all, I’m just so crazy grateful these people are mine.

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09.23.15 2 Comments

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