Thursday, January 14, 2016

2016: GROWTH

Hello abandoned blog of mine... I tend to forget about you, yet I love documenting life on here so I decided to write my first post of 2016. It may be my ONLY post. Ha! We shall see. Facebook & Instagram have become more of my "journal" these days.

However.. I wanted to document my 2016 WORD of the year.

It took me quite some time to settle on this word... I struggled this time around because it seemed like there was just so much I wanted to dream, ask & pray for in 2016. 

I'll be honest, 2015 was an interesting one for me. Having had our sweet new addition Ruby, it was definitely a transitional year. Through the sleep deprivation (which is a REAL thing) I really seemed to struggle more than I have before with finding my JOY. It was hard for me coming from having a PERFECT sleeper in Jude. I know it seems trivial and we prayed & struggled for our little Ruby Rae so I had a hard time with accepting that it was a real thing not wishing it away, but also trying to LIVE in the moment and treasure our little baby girl. It kind of doesn't make sense, but I promise it was my reality in 2015.

Insert... GROWTH.
Insert... 2016

A fresh new year. Calendar fresh, like when you turn the page on a new planner OR in my case, my cute Kraft brown office wall calendar. 

We officially have a sleeping through the night girl & I truly feel like a new person. I have more clarity & I have more direction. It seems SO weird to say, but I felt like I kind of was living in a fog since Ruby was born. I knew that the enemy wanted to use that to hold me back and it was hard. 

More times that I would like to admit I was not a joy-filled mama. Yes, I know I don't have to be perfect. Yes, I know it wasn't the end of the world. Yet I am excited to move forward and GROW in 2016. Dreaming has never been hard for me. I love to dream! I love to ask God for BIG things. Growing pains ARE what tends to be a challenge for me. 

SO this year, I want to find Growth. I want to expand & increase in many areas of my life:

My relationship with Jesus Christ
Being a wife to Josh
Being a mama to Jude & Ruby
A family member & friend to my beloved people
In our photography business, {Ri&He} Photography
Being involved at our church Northstar Community Church
Stepping out in visions God has laid on my heart

I was convicted with the fact that I never want to think I've "arrived". I never want to get to a place in my personal life, our business or any area and not want to grow to become greater. I want God to increase and expand my influence. He's called me (us) to life a higher standard in many areas and that is not an easy calling but with his help... I know I can do it with excellence. Key thing, his strength has to be the one sustaining me. I can not do this alone. I repeat, we cannot do this alone.

Here are the verses I pray for in 2016... 

I pray that your love will overflow more and more, and that you will keep on 
growing in knowledge and understanding. 
Philippians 1:9

Let your roots grow down into him, and let your lives be built on him. Then your faith will grow strong in the truth you were taught, and you will overflow with thankfulness. 
Colossians 2:7

Ultimately, I want to overflow & I want DEEP roots this year. I want to look back in 2017 and say THAT WAS A YEAR OF GROWTH. I want to say to myself...

Ria, you grew deeper in your faith, stronger in your commitment to Josh, richer in the way you love and pray for your kids, more intentional with your friends&family, influential and creative in your business, involved and active in your church and put your dreams into action. I want to say, I grew in JOY in 2016!

Here's to an amazing 2-0-16! God, do YOUR thing!


Tuesday, January 6, 2015

Ruby's Birth Story

I've always loved reading birth stories and I always love looking back on life. I started this blog several years ago as a journal and way to meet some new mamas that were in similar seasons of life as me. I met SO many people all over the world and its really a special thing.

Ruby, our precious daughter arrived on December 28th, 2014. She was 4 days "overdue" and still our little peanut. Not going to lie... It was EXTRA hard to be patient this time waiting. With the holidays & the unknowns it was for sure a faith test for me. I'm thankful for his grace!!

Here's how Ruby's birth story goes...

I had a lot of prayer requests going into labor with her. I really wanted a different experience from our son Jude. His birth wasn't bad or traumatic or anything like that it just seemed like things COULD have gone different (recovery & breast-feeding specifically). 

My main prayer was that I would "feel prepared". I didn't know how it would be if I was screaming in labor... Trying to pack Jude (our toddler) up & get myself to the hospital. Ha, dramatic much? Well thankfully, it was a very relaxing morning when it all happened. Josh was on Christmas break and all was well in the world. 

Sunday morning at 6:55am I woke up to use the bathroom (for the 10th time that night) & felt something different/noticed lots of blood AND felt a gush when I stood up. This "gush" was similar to how it felt when my water broke with Jude. It's always funny to me how movies display water breaking because everyone can be SO different. I wasn't 100% sure that it was my water but called the on-call midwife & then jumped in the shower (wanted to be prepared!!) I woke Josh up and told him to get ready... This could for sure be it!!

My midwife wanted to bring me in to monitor baby girl because of the amount of blood, etc. I also told her about the "gush" and how I wanted to be checked to see if it was my water. She agreed. 

We got completely ready, bags packed and just in time for jude to wake up by 8:15 a.m. ... Got him in the car and we were off to my parents house. They all were so excited & especially since we had our family from Seattle in town visiting and wanting to be here for Ruby's big debut!

We didn't want to get our hopes up in case today wasn't the day (because I wasn't having consistent contractions... only irregular braxton hicks and a few mild, real ones) but I also felt hopeful. As we drove we prayed, texted family to keep them updated & got some breakfast. 

9:30am we were in a triage room monitoring Ruby and my contractions no had progressed to 2cm dilated which was good progress but we were still waiting on the results of the test determining if it was my water. They threw out the idea of being induced that day if we wanted but I first wanted confirmed answer on the test. I really wanted to go naturally.  

5 minutes later the nurse came back... "POSITIVE" she said. It was my water... and we were going to meet Ruby that very day! We are so excited and couldn't beleive it. 40 weeks, 4 days waiting for this very moment. Seemed surreal.

After walking for a bit to see if contractions would pickup we decided to begin pitocin to get the show on the road... this was around 1:30 p.m. It was GO-time. My mama and sister arrived and we were ready. I am so thankful for them both being a part of this experience.

All smiles in between contractions ;). Things progresed... I was checked a few times and was at 4-5 cm and Ruby starting to get more in position for delivery. By 5pm I was at 7cm and getting VERY tired. I hit a wall. They gave me the IV fluid in preps for the BELOVED epidural. I was going to labor for one more hour and see if I made any progress.

My midwife checked me again at 6pm and I hadn't made any progress in dilation even after having INTENSE contractions every 30 seconds... I was frustrated but knew this was the time to rest. Soon it was going to be pushing time, wanting to cuddle my sweet new baby girl & family coming to visit. I made the best decision ever to get the epidural. By 7pm, I was resting - the pitocin was doing it's thing and I was able to sleep through the contractions. So nice!

By 9pm I felt a crazy amount of pressure and was ready to push. I just knew it was time!! My midwife wasn't so sure and didn't believe me... but I was ready! She checked me and yep, I was complete. 10cm! PUSHING TIME!


9:15 I began to push. It always is such a crazy thing to me... this whole process. This time however, it was MUCH more relaxed than with Jude. My midwife was just sitting comfortably on the base of the bed ... there was NO bright lights. It was peaceful. I held my legs up with the help of my sister and husband and we just started to push with a contraction. I think it was a total of 7 times pushing... 

9:33 p.m.

I was able to "catch" her as my midwife said, "Reach down and grab your daughter!" OH MY GOSH! It was the coolest feeling in the entire world.


Seeing her face for the first time... was... priceless. One of those moments in life I will never, ever forget. The second is seeing Josh's face seeing her for the first time. :)


A little peanut... I knew it from the minute I held her. She was tiny!
6lb 14oz

Our lives are forever changed. SO thankful!

I was so happy to know I didn't tear as bad as I had with Jude. That was a HUGE concern for me with recovery and all of that. I think it was accredited to the fact that she was MUCH smaller, but also my amazing midwife and the whole relaxed process of delivery.

We couldn't wait for Jude to meet his baby sister. I nursed her (she did great!) and then got her cleaned up, we changed into our matching robes and Jude was able to come in. So exciting!

Bringing his "big brother" gift for Ruby!

He was SO in love. Smitten.

Here's a little clip of the first meeting. Melt my heart in a million pieces!


All of our family was in the lobby anxious to meet this sweet baby girl. What a joy to have them all there! :) I couldn't wait to show her off!

 My favorite image! All the grandparents... PRICELESS!

More cuddles from Jude. He couldn't get enough... he had been waiting and waiting for this moment.

Phew! What a whirwind... it was such a fun and exciting time! I loved how everything went. It was a dream to think that God gave us a GIRL. We stayed in the hospital for 2 nights since her 24-hour screening wasn't until late in the evening on her first night and it was like -13 degrees outside. BRRR... I didn't want to bring her home in the pitch black. Ha

We left for home on the morning of December 30th and were anxious to pickup Jude. He wanted Ruby to "come home" with him he kept saying. SO precious!!

Ruby passed all her tests, checks & was 6lb 7oz when we left the hospital. Perfect in every way! God IS so good. I couldn't NOT believe in him after going through this process once and again now with Ruby. Babies are a miracle. Such an amazing blessing to be given this priceless gift!!
A few more sneak peeks from our lifestyle newborn session...


(So thankful for these ladies, especially Sarah my best friend for being there during my labor/delivery! A true friend!!!)

Thursday, August 7, 2014

20 Weeks: Ruby Rae

We are HALFWAY with our sweet Ruby Rae. Wow, it really feels like it is going so much faster this time. Our little girlie is growing & starting to move lots and lots. She is going to be a mover like her big brother, Jude.

Like I always say... she is a gift to us. I can't wait to kiss her little cheeks. :)

How Far Along:  20 Weeks!

Size of baby: 12 o.z. Size of a BANANA!

Maternity Clothes: Yes! Living in Dresses lately... and comfy pants. I don't like anything covering my tummy, it's outchy!

Gender:  BABY GIRL!! Ruby Rae!

                    (Kinda creepy 3D image... you can sort of see her sweet face!!!)

Movement:  Yes!! Still can't wait for Josh/Jude to feel it even more. Josh felt her at 18 weeks... a little flutter! Jude tried to feel her, hahaa "she kicking, mama?"

Sleep:  Getting better!! :) Thankful! Brought out the good ol' preggo pillow... #lifesaver

What I miss:  Hmmmmm.... nothing much lately. I am so happy to be pregnant.

Food Cravings:  Pepperoni Pizza from Papa Johns just on Sunday night. I was starving & that garlic dip for the crust was calling my name. Ruby liked it ;)

Food Aversions: I threw up while on a work trip... that wasn't fun. I think it was too much fried food. Staying away from that for awhile (until the State Fair that is ;))

Symptoms: A little heartburn started. Manageable and not too bad. Brushing my teeth is so hard lately... always makes me gag. So weird!!

 He LOVES his baby sister... Roooooby

Jude Is: Still making us laugh like crazy. He is now sleeping in "Rooey's Crib"... since we started on his big boy room. He hasn't officially slept in it yet, we are still finishing it. He's full of life, energy & so many funny things to say. What a perfect big brother he will be for Ruby!!

What I’m looking forward to: 
Seeing her face! I love envisioning what she will look like, smell like. I just crave the newborn snuggles and know life will get crazy come December when she arrives but I am going to embrace it. I am already praying for God to give me balance with our sweet Jude too!

 Face & Arm - like HEY Mama & Daddyyyy :)

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

17 Weeks: Ruby Rae

I type this in joy & happiness... we found out we are blessed with a baby GIRL on the way. It is really an amazing gift. :) I am trying to keep up on bump-dates... since baby #2 can get easily not get as much attention. I am determined to not make it that way with our sweet Ruby girl.

How Far Along:  17 weeks!

Size of baby: Size of Red Onion! Grow baby, Grow!

Maternity Clothes: Yes! Since week 10 this time around... nothing fit comfortably. :)

Gender:  BABY GIRL!! Ruby Rae!

Movement:  Yes, started feeling flutters 2 weeks ago. I love that it's only inside me that I can feel... special for Ruby and I. I love the big kicks too! That will be fun!

Sleep:  Pretty good. I wake up from 3-4am every morning so that's a little annoying but I use it as time to pray! :)

What I miss:  Nothing much besides deli meat. I sometimes cheat ;)

Food Cravings:  I crave peaches... peanut butter and boneless buffalo wings... honey bbq. Similar craving to when I was pregnant with Jude. I'm just not AS hungry like 3x a day, but hungry more often... :)

Food Aversions: Nothing too bad! Eggs were a little rough a few weeks back, but I am good now!

Symptoms: 2nd Trimester is so happy for me! I'm not AS tired and don't need to nap with Jude in the afternoons. Still get tired in the evening, but thankful for a full day without a nap!

Jude Is: Such a funny boy. Loves saying "Roo-ey" (his version of Ruby). He still thinks baby is a "boy" but I think he does that to get a laugh out of us. We are working on potty training :/ Crazy kid!! He is loving summer and having daddy home! :)

What I’m looking forward to: 
Growing & continuing to tell Jude about his sister. We talk about her all the time, it's really quite special. He always says he wants her to come "out" and I explain she is not done growing yet. We have a 20 week ultrasound coming up which will be super fun to see how big she has gotten! I love seeing her sweet little profile. :)

Sunday, July 6, 2014

IT'S A....


I'm still a bit in shock. What an amazing gift to be carrying life and the little girl we have been praying for. Since Josh and I went on this "parenthood" journey we have been praying for our Ruby girl. 

I remember many months back during some pretty hard days standing in the target baby aisle finding ruby red shoes and crying. My heart was so heavy for another baby but specifically a girl. I bought these $8 pair of Ruby red slippers and kept them by our beside. I felt like in that moment God promised me the gift of a daughter... Someday.

After finding out we were pregnant - I sobbed of course. I remembered the Ruby slipper moment. Knowing that promise from God, it was still uncertain if this child was that promise.

Fast forward... Two days ago... In the SAME Target aisle. Sobbing again with the realization of KNOWING we were granted the gift of a daughter. I'm not sure words can express how blessed we feel. (I wanted to explain to everyone that passed me at Target as I had this moment... ;))

It was a joy to share the news with our family and friends yesterday at our annual red, white & blue party! Such a fun time revealing the "secret". I'm really so thankful for a network of supportive people in our lives. Rejoice with those who rejoice!!!

In light of the 4th of July we lit RED/PINK smoke bombs! :)
Fireworks too!

We cherish our "people" so very much!

Jude still thinks Mama is having a BOY but we have still have a few months to convince him otherwise. ;)

Thank you sweet Jesus for this gift... Bring on the PINK, headbands, glitter & all things girly-girl. :)