Monday, October 8, 2012

thank you.

"For where two or three are gathered together in my name, there am I in the midst of them." -Matthew 18:20

We have seen this verse lived out this weekend. Since Sunday we have seen strangers come together with prayers, kind words and financial support for a family in need. I have been overwhelmed by the response to yesterday's post. Each time that Brooke told me how much money had been sent to her PayPal account, we were both floored with the generosity. I cannot tell you how many times I have found tears in my eyes just at the sheer kindness that has been flooding out towards this family.

In just 24 hours we raised $1,800. A small portion of that money has been used to send flowers to Julee and her family but the majority of the money is being donated to a fund that will help send Preslee to college. We are sending Julee all the names of the people who donated as well as any messages that were included with the donations (how much money you donated will not be disclosed).

If you are still interested in contributing, there are a number of ways that you can do so and continue to help this family. You can find a list of these opportunities at Jenna's Journey. There is a silent auction being planned, an opportunity to send encouragement to Julee over the coming months and several businesses are offering up their proceeds to Julee. There are so many ways to continue to raise money for Preslee. There are also ways to share prayers and encouragement with Julee to help carry her through the months ahead. There is truly an outlet for anyone who wants to help and no contribution or effort is too small.

I have had a few specific requests from people who would like to send a card to Julee. Julee's friend Melissa Stafford is collecting cards right now and will send them to Julee. You can email her at: and she will help you.

We are no longer accepting donations but if you are interested, you can donate directly to the fund here:

The Preslee Turner College Fund
PO Box 065
Arkadelphia, Arkansas 71923

Thank you to everyone who contributed in any way. There were so many wonderful women involved in deciding to do this and taking the time to make it happen, this was a community effort in the biggest way. Please continue to keep the Turner family in your thoughts and prayers. 

Sunday, October 7, 2012

Great is Thy Faithfulness.

The blogging and twitter community can be a wonderful thing. It is a wonderful place to share the little moments of our lives with other people like us. I have had the privilege of celebrating many joys in the lives of my twitter and blog friends and the honor of praying for them in trying times as well. 

I began reading Julee Turner's blog several years ago and enjoyed following along with her life. Julee's beloved husband passed away last night and leaves behind Julee and their beautiful baby girl. I am writing this on behalf of so many wonderful friends who want to reach out and let Julee know that we are praying for her, thinking of her and supporting her over the days, weeks and months ahead. Most of us have never met Julee but have shared in her life through her blog.

There was an overwhelming response from people who would like to do something to help Julee and her family. Several of us are working together to collect donations to send flowers to Julee. A fund is also being set up by Julee's friends and family. Any excess money that is collected and not needed to cover the cost of flowers will go directly to that fund. That money is being put towards sending Julee and Matt's baby girl to college. If you are unable to contribute financially at this time, we know that Julee would covet any prayers offered on her behalf.  The Bible tells us that, "where two or three are gathered in my name, there I am with them." (Matthew 18:20). And we are certain that Julee and her family need to feel the Lord's presence now more than ever.

If you feel led to donate, you can send your donations in the form of a PayPal gift to Brooke Frye. Brooke's PayPal email address is We will  be collecting money through tonight so that we can get the flowers to Julee as soon as possible.

Thank you all in advance for anything you feel comfortable giving and for your prayers for the Turner family. We will be praying for the Lord's faithfulness to carry the Turner family through these difficult days. As the old hymn, "Great is Thy Faithfulness" states, may Julee and her family have "strength for today and bright hope for tomorrow..."

"The LORD is close to the brokenhearted; He rescues those whose spirits are crushed." Psalm 34:18

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

31 days of annabelle-day three.

The second half of November was much the same for our little family of four. We continued to enjoy having extra hands with dinners and laundry and all of the things that fall to the side when you bring a new baby home. Annabelle also worked on perfecting her tummy time skills.

Our little pumpkin also turned one month old in November. One month has never flown by so quickly! I feel like I just took her one month photos and I swear she was wearing those precious cupcake pjs yesterday. 

Being born in the fall meant we got to dress our newborn baby girl up in some of the silliest, sweetest, coziest ensembles you've ever seen. These were two of my favorite outfits! Ananbelle's Aunt Jennifer made her sweet little cap on the right. I love her little sleepy smile in the picture on the right, such an angel!

My favorite moments were (and still are) the times we spent at home, snuggled on the couch, getting to know each other. 

Annabelle's first Thanksgiving was a lot of fun! We 'hosted' Thanksgiving at our house since we had no desire to make the drive to Texas with a 4 week old. Thankfully our families were willing to come to us! Our 'hosting' was far from spectacular. Kyle and I were still pretty exhausted so we let our families do most of the leg work with cooking and preparing our Thanksgiving feast. I spent my time dressing Annabelle up in holiday pajamas and pumpkin hats. 

The littlest dinner guest had to put on her fancy attire for the big meal and for Skyping with Uncle Taylor who was in St. Kitts for the holiday. Silly girl must have missed the memo about the call, she slept through the whole thing!

And our official family photo from Thanksgiving 2011. Don't you just want to hand those sleepy parents a big old cup of coffee or force a nap on them? Bless our hearts!

Being a few weeks older also meant Annabelle was finally able to leave the house. Her earliest outings included our first family dinner (at Longhorn Steakhouse) and our very first mommy-daughter date to Target. 

To wrap up the month of November, one of my favorite photos from our first days at home. 

When I was pregnant and imagining what would be the biggest challenges about being a new mom, I was terrified about how little sleep I was going to get. I am a girl who needs a solid 8 hours of sleep to be at my best. I was so unsure how I was going to operate on so little sleep and how I was going to drag myself out of bed for middle of the night feedings and diaper changes. I remember waking up in the night to the sound of Annabelle's cries and not even knowing if I had the energy to walk down the hall to her nursery. Those sleepy, quiet late night moments ended up being some of the sweetest times I had with Annabelle. Now that she sleeps through the night I miss those times with her. I am so thankful for pictures like this one that take me back to those moments. Those were the moments when the struggles of the day were erased and all that mattered was rocking my baby. There were times I wanted to cry at the very thought of getting back out of bed but I wouldn't trade it for the world. 

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

31 days of annabelle-day two.

{I'm linking up with The Nester's 31 Days blog challenge. You can read all about my topic here.}

The first weeks of having Annabelle at home were a whirlwind! We were fortunate in that Annabelle put herself on an eating schedule fairly quickly after she was born. She woke up to eat every three hours which gave us some predictability during our days and occasionally even allowed us to get some sleep.

We had loads of help after Annabelle's arrival. Both of our families were in town (minus Annabelle's uncles) when she was born and stayed for a few days after. After that my mom and sister stayed for a few weeks. When it was time for them to go, Kyle's mom made the trip out to Atlanta to help out. We had so much help from our families and it was wonderful!

Since Annabelle was born at the end of October and in the midst of fall colds and flu season, our pediatrician recommended that we stay at home and avoid outings for the first several weeks. Let's be honest, that was probably for the best! I wasn't in the physical or emotional condition to be strolling around town and even if I was, it was so much more fun to stay at home and stare at this snuggly angel.

We quickly saw our home transformed from being all about us, to all about Annabelle. Annabelle struggled with high billirubin levels when we came home so she needed lots of naps in the sun. My sewing room has three walls of windows so this is where our girl took many of her naps. My sewing table was covered in swaddle blankets, burp cloths and extra diapers and I wouldn't have had it any other way!

Since we weren't leaving the house and we were on a pretty rigid schedule of feedings, pumping and sun bathing (for the little lady), we spent every spare moment doing lots of this:

Even Gigi, Pops, Aunt Jenn and Uncle Jason got in on the couch naps. 

Overall, the first few weeks were wonderful. They somehow went by at a snails pace and in the blink of an eye. I have never been more tired in my life than I was in those first few weeks but I have also never been more thankful to be so tired.

This little 8 pound bundle of sweetness stole our hearts. We quickly fell into a rhythm with her and loved our moments of snuggling her, studying her tiny face and soaking up all of her newborn sweetness.

Monday, October 1, 2012

31 days: of annabelle's first year.

It's no secret that I have become a horrible blogger over the last year. I have been trying to think of a way to get back into it but the thought of skipping the past year, the first year of Annabelle's life, seemed a little wrong to me. Trying to come up with a way to go back and add all of these posts in a way that made sense was completely overwhelming. I was so happy to hear about The Nester's 31 Days challenge and decided this would be the perfect way for me to catch all of you up on our life and share these special moments.

I'm cheating on the challenge just a bit in that my actual posts won't begin until tomorrow. But starting tomorrow, I will be spending the rest of this month blogging about the past year in our life. I'll be starting with last November, when we first brought Annabelle home. I am saving her 'birth'day week posts for, well, her first birthday week later this month. I have it all planned out and it may be a bit choppy to all of you readers (I think there are about six of you!) but that's fine by me. What I really want to do is document all of this for me, for our family, for my baby girl. 

I am so looking forward to dedicating time to reflecting on this past year in our life. I am sure I will cry more than a few tears as I remember all of the wonderful moments we've shared this year. I know it will be fun to look back at how much Annabelle has grown!

I am excited to spend the month of October remembering how this tiny, perfectly pink, precious angel

grew into this snuggly, silly, giggly baby girl.

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Thursday, May 24, 2012

annabelle rae: month six.

Annabelle Rae,

You are SIX months old! Seeing you turn six months old was tough for me, it just seems so big. I can no longer trick myself into somehow thinking you are a newborn. You're not. Looking back at the things you have learned and experienced this month makes my eyes get teary and my heart swell with pride.

This month you learned to roll over! On March 27 you rolled from your tummy to your back for the very first time! Your daddy and I cheered and clapped, we were so excited! Just a few days later, on April 3, you finished your trick when you rolled from back to tummy for the first time. Lots more clapping and cheering took place!

You discovered the wonder of the park swing this month. You were a little unsure what to think of it at first but by the end of the month you had fallen in love! You love for us to push you in the swings and you love watching all of the big kids place at the park.

Another first this month was the introduction of real foods into your diet. You started with rice cereal on April 10 and took to it pretty quickly. Next you tried sweet potatoes which were a big hit! Green beans took you a bit longer to fall in love with but you caught on and now you love them all. You get so excited to see us get your food ready.

Your first Easter was celebrated in Georgia this year. We had a full house for the occasion! GiGi, Pops, Aunt Jenn, Uncle Ryan and Grandma and Grandpa Krueger all came to celebrate. The bunny was very good to you! Sitting in Easter Sunday mass with my baby girl was a highlight of this month!

You took your first plane ride this month which was quite eventful and very exciting. We took a trip out to Arizona so you could meet your great grandparents and help your great-great grandma celebrate her 100th birthday. It was a big weekend! Your last big event of the month was a move to Texas for the summer. You adjusted quickly to new surroundings and the crazy Texas heat!

Your smiles get bigger and bigger every day! Your daddy and I still know how to get them out of you better than anyone else, but you share them with other people a little more freely now. You love to catch someone's eye in church and smile at them throughout mass. I can always tell when you are feeling overwhelmed by a new place or a crowd because your smiles disappear and you snuggle up close to your daddy or me.

You have become such a chatterbox lately! You love to wake up around five in the morning and talk to yourself for about half an hour before falling back to sleep for another hour. You talk to your toes and to the toys on your activity mat. You giggle and talk when we are riding in the car. You have certainly discovered your voice and it thrills you to hear it!

Little lady, what a fun month this has been! Your personality is coming out more and more every day. You are silly and serious, bubbly and shy, busy as a bee and a super snuggler. You are our precious, perfect baby girl.

We adore you, peanut. Love you to the moon and back!

Six month stats:
(measurements taken nine days before Annabelle turned 6 months old)
Height: 25 inches (25th percentile)
Weight: 14 pounds, 7 ounces (25th percentile)
Head circumference: 42 inches, 3 centimeters (50-75th percentile)
Diapers: size 2
Clothes: 3-6 months (you are our little peanut!)