My Dyer-E
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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.


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.


11.19.15 46 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?



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:



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.


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.


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.


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.


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.


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.


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


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.


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.

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:

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.


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.


09.23.15 2 Comments

June + Smith

Before heading to bed, I HAD to get these two June and Smith stories on the blog because I want to remember them always.

June + Smith Story #1:

So last night June was having a tea party and serving me some pie that she decided to toss to me instead of putting down gently.  It hit Smith in the head (barely) (he slept right through it while nursing) and so I had to get on to her a little bit and ask her to apologize.

I explained if she tossed something near him again, she would have to go to time out and she needed to apologize.  She said sorry in the kind of annoyed way she can when she knows she did something wrong.

She goes about playing with something else in the other room and a good five minutes later comes back to me and Smith, and looks at him SO genuinely and sweetly and says-

“Smiff- I’m so sorry I hit you with my pie.  You feel better?  Let me kiss it.”

Ryan and I both were just blown away by her empathy and love and concern for her baby brother!

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June + Smith Story #2:

Tonight we all read Daniel Tiger’s The Baby is Here! book that Smith gave June at the hospital.  It was just so dang sweet sitting on the couch together for some Friday Night Family Story Time.

But even sweeter was after we’re done and June is going to bed, she goes to give Smith a hug and kiss goodnight– all on her own— and then says to him, “Good night Smiffy Smiffy Smiff Smiff. I had fun with you today, my brother.”


Ryan and I are looking at each other just completely melting over the amazing sweetness and adoration of sibling love happening right before our eyes.

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The joy and complete giddy of watching June fall in love with her baby brother combined with the bond it gives me to feel so proud of her with my Shippmate as we exchange looks of amazement and awe together… ON TOP OF the fact I spent my entire day snuggled up with my Smith Baby just smelling him and kissing him and soaking up every minute of loving him…

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I’m basically drunk on love, people.

I am so beyond thankful I get to call these beautiful people MY FAM-UH-LEE!


08.28.15 2 Comments

The Birthday You Didn’t Know Happened

June Harbor,

I couldn’t let today pass without a quick note to you.

You’re 2.

Today is your birthday, and Baby June– we didn’t even tell you.

Your baby brother is newly home– just 5 days new– and I knew with his August 13th due date so close to your birthday, I wouldn’t be able to do your party and celebration on time this year.  With him arriving 6 days late, it really put things close together, so I wanted to wait to even tell you it’s your birthday until I could really do everything for you like I want.

You’ve been talking about your party for weeks, and you are truly SO excited for your birthday that I want it to be so special for you.  I want both your party and the day to be all about you and I just knew I couldn’t make that happen today.

Smith had a doctor’s appointment and I was going to be gone from you for a good portion of the day, and I just decided it was the best for everyone to delay both your actual “day” with the same weekend we’re having your party.

I was wildly confident this was the best idea for everyone and then also doubted it about three times today, too.

Which if that isn’t motherhood in a nutshell, I just don’t know what is.

But what I had to write to you tonight, June, is that I could not love you more, and I only didn’t tell you because I want your day (observed lol) to be all the special that you are to me.

While I took Smith to his appointment with Grammy, you had such a sweet afternoon with Pa.  In fact, he got here early this morning to help me, and while I was sleeping with Smith on the couch, I heard him go get you when you woke up this morning and you exclaimed– with much excitement– “PAAA!?!?!!”

Which made me think your actual birthday (that you didn’t know about lol) was really starting pretty perfect.

Before Grammy, Smith, and I left, you were so excitedly setting up a tea party at your table and you kept saying, “I’m having a tea party for my birthday party, Mommy!”

And you ARE having a tea party for your birthday party soon but hearing you say that with so much excitement today had me in tears that were some sort of mixture of joy, guilt, and mostly proud for how crazy smart and verbal you are setting up your party with the biggest and sweetest vocabulary all the while!

Smith and I had a really sweet time with Grammy at his appointment, and when we got home, you were so excited to see us all.  We had dinner together, and then Daddy and I wanted to take just you to Orange Leaf for ice cream.

(Part of our own secret celebration for your birthday!)

You loved this idea, put on an “Adi Morgan dress,” and we were out the door.

Even though we had thought it would be so special to you for it just to be us with you, I loved so much when you were a little stressed Smiff wasn’t coming but rather staying with Grammy.

Tonight happened to be a special at Orange Leaf that had all of Warrensburg there— including lots of sorority girls in tu-tus (“like my party, Mommy!!”) which you just loved.

Upon seeing the huge line in front of us, and after a pretty busy day for me with Smith’s appointment and some errands, and well- the fact I’m still just 5 days postpartum after having my own linebacker of an 11 pound baby… I suddenly felt a little not so great.  I hadn’t taken any pain meds in awhile, and it was about 8:30 and everything just started hurting.

Your daddy could tell I was in pain and encouraged me to go sit down, but I wanted to be there and enjoying the “birthday you didn’t know about” (lol) with you and your daddy, so I didn’t.  We talked and I savored every moment of just enjoying you.

After quite awhile and some pain getting a little more uncomfortable for me, we get to the part where we’re almost going to get our ice cream, and your daddy was being so sweet and great to me and leans over to start to tell me how pretty I look.

Which let me stop right there and say that I don’t know whether it’s the new mom joy or excitement or the glow of it being your birthday, but I actually had felt so pretty all day.  Which is not always the fact when 5 days postpartum, but even when I got out of the shower earlier, I looked at my naked belly that is drastically different than it was just last week and said, “MAN- I AM SKINNY!”

I was, of course, kidding, because oh girl– after babies, bodies take awhile to go back to where they used to be, but I just honestly felt so good.

All of that to get us back to where your daddy– and my Shippmate– was whispering in my ear how good he thought I looked when this lady behind us kind of interrupts his moment to say, “I just have to say– you are the prettiest pregnant woman I’ve ever seen.”

And oh June.

My body that felt so tired and sore and done but was determined to stand in that line and have a birthday celebration of a special ice cream date you didn’t even know about…. oh that very postpartum body just wanted to run away and hide in the bathroom to cry.

Instead, I smiled and thanked her, and truly- she had NO ill intentions and was so sweet and sincere and I had ZERO desire to correct her or make her feel bad at all!

I didn’t want to look at your daddy, because despite having a whole lot of content and confidence in my 5 day postpartum body, there was a part of me that felt so vulnerable and embarrassed that the love of my life  just heard her say that!

But he was looking at me and oh June, in his eyes, I saw such a love— and maybe some confusion on what in the world to do lol– as I knew he was dying that he didn’t want that to have just hurt me.

What’s especially funny is I had just talked to a friend that had this happen about a month ago when she was at work and I had told your daddy later that I was surprised it never happened to me with you, but that I was never out without you.

So here I am, out without my newborn that would be proof of why I have this pooch of a belly, and not because I don’t want to be with him or snuggling him on the couch, but solely because I wanted my firstborn girl and the baby who stole my heart 2 years ago today to feel the most special.

With all of the those feelings and emotions and the embarrassment that someone thinks I’m still pregnant on top of being sore in places you don’t even want to know about, I just couldn’t hold in the tears.

And oh June, I can’t wait to love you through those first few postpartum days like my mama so beautifully loved me 2 years ago and now again with Smith’s arrival, but girl- when you start to cry and feel emotional in this state of hormones and madness, THERE IS NO STOPPING THE TEARS.

So now I’m just a crying mess.

You look up at me with the most sincere and beautiful eyes and say, “Mama- what’s wrong? I love you, Mommy.”

And June Harbor Shippy, you won’t be able to understand this until you’ve fallen in love with your own baby girl one day, but you loving me and caring about me so deeply?

It is the most intoxicating kind of wonderful that made me have zero regrets about this birthday celebration at Orange Leaf we were having together.

The crazy of my hormones and emotions also made me so happy that we were not REALLY celebrating your birthday today lol.

But I knew I would have to write you this letter (instead of going to sleep like your Grammy and Daddy want me to lol) to just tell you that I love you and I CANNOT wait to REALLY celebrate your birthday you’ve been talking about for weeks.

And I’m sorry we skipped your birthday today, June, but I PROMISE it was only because I want to make your celebration and the observed day the most special that I know you will absolutely adore.

And I very much thought of you all day and even sent your daddy this text at the exact time of your birth–


We love you so much, and one day when you’re 5 days postpartum you will know just the extent of a mama’s love that I would want to go stand in a forever long line for ice cream I don’t love to just make sure you know just how very, very special and loved you are, my Baby June.

I could not love you more.  And I’m not calling you two yet, because for two more weeks I get to hear you completely shock people when they ask how old you are, and you tell them “Oh, I’m one!  But I will be two at my birthday tea party coming up!” and then rattle off another paragraph of such amazing talking that people can’t believe is coming out of someone so small and so one lol.

You are my favorite little girl in all of the world.


PS:  Before going to bed, you got to kiss your Grammy, Smiffy, Daddy, AND Mommy goodnight, which also felt like such a sweet ending to the birthday you didn’t know was happening.

08.24.15 12 Comments

June’s Birth Story: Chapter 8

So there we were– very much in the pushing stage with pain and tears all around, but with the leading emotion being such a strong feeling of anticipation and excitement.

The room that had just hours ago felt like it literally might close in all around me had such a new life and energy that felt so very beautifully similar to the long stretch of a finish line in a half marathon.

Because I’m such a fan of numbers being special, I very vividly remember watching the clock to be conscious of what would forever be June’s birth time.

I saw 2:13pm approaching and really loved that idea– and tried with all I could to make it happen, but it didn’t.

I then remember thinking since we missed that we could go for my other favorite number in 2:35pm and then realizing no amount of number love could make me want to stay in the kind of killer pain I was in, so all of the sudden I knew ANY number between 2:13 and AS SOON AS HUMANLY POSSIBLE would surely take on a special all of its own.

And with much encouragement from my Shippmate, JoHonna, and Dr. Lintecum, at 2:21pm, June Harbor Shippy entered our world.


Still in that sac with an elbow trying to break free and rip it open, as she was READY to meet us and make her grand entrance into our lives!

Dr. Lintecum had noted early on in the pushing stage that there was meconium present which meant they wouldn’t be able to put her on my chest immediately or delay cord clamping like we had planned, but rather take her immediately to just get all of that out of her face so she would not have meconium aspiration.

He had assured me this was no problem and she would be okay, so I didn’t feel worried, but do remember being so glad Ryan was over there with her and the nurses and asking him several times (in probably a period of a minute and a half)– “Is she okay?!  Can they please give her to me now?”

I was dying to hold her and see her and meet her!

The nurse brought her over, and my first thought was:  “OH MY GOSH SHE LOOKS LIKE RYAN!”

I am pretty sure I said that, too!

She was perfect.

Holding this life that LIVED INSIDE OF ME…. it’s the most surreal and beautiful and emotional thing in all of the world.

DSC_7832I just wanted to literally eat her up I felt so overcome with every emotion toward this baby girl that was my very own.

The giddy in my heart was out of control.

Not only was I experiencing this moment I had anticipated for 9 months– and in some ways my whole life– but I also was on some sort of euphoric cloud nine after just having completing the holy of all biggest and most challenging things my body and mind have ever been through.

I felt this wildly passionate and out of control bond with my Shippmate.

I would later describe our birth and labor experience as the most incredible team building experience in all of the world.  It was the mother of all mothers of rope courses and trust falls and tree tops— we had been in the face of so much and not just survived but completely rocked the experience with this precious and perfect and beautiful baby girl as our prize at the end of the race.

Despite quite a few obstacles in the way of this, I literally wanted to just make out with my Shippmate right then and there in that labor and delivery room!

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But instead I had a newborn babe to breastfeed.  Hahahaha.

JoHonna helped me while I wanted Ryan to go tell our families!

He went out to the waiting room to do the classic dad announcement (that I love that my mom knew I would want photographed and tried to capture for me!) and realized June had beat his family to the hospital.  He called them and told them the news.

My mom said Ryan was clearly so smitten and excited about both of his girls!

IMG_0300(Please don’t miss the emotion and pure love all over my Bobby’s face!  Not to mention how much I even melt at the blurry of this picture because my mom is not a photographer, but so wanting to have this moment for me– which means so much to me!)

I was so excited for my parents to come back to meet their very first granddaughter and although I had just seen them at our shrimp and movie night about 13 hours prior, it felt like a lifetime ago.  I was dying for them to meet June and know all that had happened since we were last laughing at George Banks just hours ago.

I will never forget all of the emotion on their faces when they walked in to see us.  So much joy, so much love, and so much pride– it was some kind of wonderful.  And oh goodness, were there ever tears.  I can really only imagine all of the feelings of seeing their firstborn girl with her very own firstborn girl.

DSC_7878DSC_7877They both just looked so proud.  So very, very proud.

The only thing left to happen in that Labor and Delivery Room #2331 before we would head to Mother/Baby was for the arrival of the cheeseburger I had ordered right after delivery! I was so unbelievably hungry and that cheeseburger, strawberry Jell-O, and Diet Coke were sweet perfection.  I never really eat Jell-O but they gave it to me right after June was born (before the burger would arrive) and in the past two years, I’ve found myself buying the exact same kind and flavor just to taste the glory and beautiful of that day.

A day that will be the most special to my heart always.

She weighed 8 pounds and 12 ounces of pure perfection.

My mom immediately noted that she had such a deep and strong cry.  Since I hadn’t heard many babies cry, I didn’t recognize this intitally but my mom did from the very beginning and for those of you that still know my sweet June, you know her voice is still deep and strong!

She was 21 and a half inches long with so many features of her Daddy but undeniably her Mama’s very flat, long, and skinny feet!

Everything about her was mesmerizing.

I still can’t believe she came on the one day out of 20 something others that I needed her not to come nor can I believe she was among the 1 in 80,000 babies born en caul.

Except– the truth is… after knowing her and adoring her and loving her for almost 2 years now, I kind of can believe it.

I believe that she absolutely would come on the day SHE was ready.  With such confidence and enthusiasm in knowing it would somehow still work out perfectly.

I believe that of course she would make an entrance into this world in such a grand and spectacular way that it absolutely makes sense she was born in the most special of sacs that only happens to 1 in 80,000 other babies.

June Harbor, I loved you the minute I saw you.  You came into this world in such a special and grand way and have only made our lives more special and more grand with each day you’ve been a part of this “fam-uh-lee.”

August 24th of 2013 was without a doubt the best day of my entire life.

The experience of writing this birth story has been so much fun, so much joy, and so much emotion that my sentimental heart has adored more than I can even express.  I’ve absolutely felt ALL OF THE FEELINGS.

You’re my very favorite, June Harbor Shippy, and here at the 8th chapter (8 chapters for the month of August being the 8th month) is where our birth story ends.

But as you know, my Baby June– it’s really only where the story of our lives begins.


08.12.15 22 Comments

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