Little Valentine.

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Happy Loooove Day!

 I was able to spent the day loving on my littlest valentine. This kid melts my heart!  I also received the prettiest flowers from my husband. Overall not a bad day!

 

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Newborn Pictures.

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We got out newborn pictures back from Jacie Ames and I LOVE them. In the spirit of transparency I spent my morning running around like a crazy person trying to get my house in some kind of order. Honestly it looked like a bomb went off. The sheet for his crib- which I thought of doing at the last minute was thankfully done in time for Jacob to swing by and pick up on his way home from work that morning. The crib was set up the night before and the pictures on the wall were hung up as Jacie was getting set up. I like to think I do my best work under extreme pressure with limited time. Oh and lets not even talk about the fact that I picked pants with two GIANT freaking holes in the knee… in my defense the holes weren’t that big when standing up and I was seriously. #teamnosleep

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Despite it all I’m grateful we have these pictures of our little family in our very first home together before we pack it all up to move in the next two weeks.

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[ 31 Weeks ]

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Since we are no longer moving, that’s a story for another time, I’ve spent the last few Saturday’s decluttering. Trying my best to be ruthless and get rid of the extra stuff we have sitting around taking up space. Let me tell you there was a lot of it.  The thought of even trying to fit a baby- or more all of the crap you need to care for said baby into our disorganized little townhouse left me feeling claustrophobic.

I’ve  spent hours weeding through clothes that I’ve had since Jr. high one of the benefits of not growing since 7th grade. Cleaning out closets, and going through boxes of crap stuff saved from our childhoods.

I mentioned to someone that I had been working hard to get our little house organized, their response of ” Awww your nesting!” made me cringe.  My immediate response was ” Nope. Just decluttering.”

But here we are, I’m now 31 weeks and I just spent my Saturday scrubbing down and organizing the kitchen cabinets, and thinking that I should definitely add scrub the baseboards and wipe down the walls to my ever-growing list of things I want to have done before 36 weeks.

 So… maybe I am nesting?  Though to be honest that word still makes me cringe.

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29 Weeks & 3D Ultrasound

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Jacob  and I had the opportunity to see baby Ryder on Tuesday evening! I’d been going back and forth on whether on not  I wanted to get a 3D ultrasound done.  My Dr’s office doesn’t do them so we would have to go to an outside facility to get it done. Which was fine, except our insurance didn’t cover it. I really couldn’t justify spending $129 bucks for 25 minute ultrasound, when we have sooo many things to get before this little guy gets here.  I found out through a co-worker that I could go to the local ultrasound school and get it done for a fraction of the price.  So for $45 dollars we had and hour long 3D ultrasound.  The student that performed it worked so hard to get our little guy to wake up and get his hands out of his face.

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We loooved getting to see his cute face and can’t wait for this sweet boy to get here!

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We’re Pregnant!

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This has been once of the HARDEST secrets to keep, but Jacob and I are super excited to announce that Baby Ryder will be joining our family in October!

I’m currently 13 weeks along. Our next appointment is in about a week and we are hopeful that we might get a peak at baby R’s gender.

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Miscarriage.

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Friday October 16th was our very first appointment. I remember looking out the window and seeing line of vans, at the very end sat our little 3 seat truck.  Amused I turned to Jacob and mentioned how we were obviously the least prepared for a child in the office today. He nodded and gave his usual “ Hmm” as he held my hand, while I worried whether on not it would even matter by the end of the appointment. Truthfully we both worried. Originally my appointment was scheduled for the following Monday, but due to spotting that had started the day before the nurse agreed, thankfully to work us in on Friday.

I waited anxiously to be called back, fidgeting in my seat, fearing the worst.  Fearing that the 3 home pregnancy tests all lied and that the Dr. would tell me I was crazy. Fearing that the ultrasound wouldn’t show anything, or at least anything good.

It wasn’t long before were back in the ultrasound room, my eyes glued to the screen as we hoped a little baby would appear. To my immense relief one did, one tiny little one the size of a grain of rice at 6 weeks 3days gestation. We were so excited and relieved to be able to see this little baby. Our little baby on the screen. It’s little heartbeat flicking away strong as ever.  Our Dr. was hopeful that because of how far along we were when the spotting started that our little baby had a good chance of making it and that we shouldn’t be too concerned.

We left the office on cloud 9 and quickly headed off to grab lunch and stop by the lab to get blood work done. I managed to talk Jacob into doing a little bit of baby browsing- though it wasn’t too hard. What fun we   I had looking and comparing everything, while Jacob had serious sticker shock.  The man shops by price while I shop by what I LOVE.  In the near 3 years we’ve been married this was honestly one of my favorite days. Everything was just right. We discussed baby names and the type of car we wanted to get. We reaffirmed our pack that we would NEVER get mini van, and made plans for the future.

The weekend passed in bliss and Monday came with a vengeance. All morning I’d felt off and by the afternoon I KNEW something was wrong. Then the bleeding started, and didn’t stop.  I left work early thinking if I could just lay down everything would be so much better.  Driving home I had the impression that this wasn’t going to end well.  This was similar to the impressions and feelings I had gotten when my brother had passed and my parents got divorced.

I couldn’t have had better timing getting home. It wasn’t long after at walking in the door that I knew what was happening and that it would be a miracle if our little baby made it.  I spent the rest of the evening laying low as my body cramped against my will, despite the pleas and bargains I tried to make with Heavenly Father. I convinced myself I just had enough faith things would be ok and I clung to any shred of hope I could find. Then I happened while Jacob ran to grab dinner.  I knew in an instant our baby was gone.

The next morning my mom took me to my appointment since Jacob couldn’t miss another day of work. I willed myself not to look at the screen as they did the ultrasound, knowing my heart would crack when I saw that nothing was there.  Yet I couldn’t help but stare. It was like my eyes were physically incapable of moving away from the blank screen.  I didn’t want to cry, and I didn’t as my Dr. held my hand going over what happened, what to expect for the future. I’d cried my tears the night before and I knew if I started it would be hard to stop. So I just didn’t.

Jacob came home from work; he’d asked me to call or text him after my appointment. But I couldn’t tell him that way. He walked in the door a little after 10, all I could do was look at him and lamely say “No baby.” Though he’d already figured as much from my lack of communication.

We spent the day watching Netflix and hiding from the world. We mourned that day the loss of our little baby, and the future that we had been dreaming of for the past month.  I couldn’t pull myself away from the open door that day as the rain poured down. The clouds had opened up and it mesmerized me. It felt appropriate that the skies were as dark and dreary as our hearts felt that day.

Though I keep my feelings pretty close the vest in the weeks that have passed I’ve felt a broad spectrum of emotions. I’ve also felt extremely grateful. I’m grateful that we got to see our little baby, that it was real.  For the tender mercies that always follow heartbreak. They are always there even when it’s difficult to see or comprehend at the time.

“Believe in God; believe that he is, and that he created all things, both in heaven and in earth; believe that he has all wisdom, and all power, both in heaven and in earth; believe that man doth not comprehend all the things which the Lord can comprehend”

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Vulnerability.

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As Jacob and I were laying in bed the other night I began to tell him how badly I want this blog to be successful.   How I want what I’m putting out in the world to ring true with people. I want those that are going through hard times, or also just trying to figure out life to feel like they could relate to what I have to say. I explained that I didn’t want to just settle for something subpar and that I didn’t want to fail.

 This blog, I have big plans for it but its scary terrifying to put yourself out there. To share your thoughts, feelings, any inadequacies, or insecurities. Possibly exposing any wounds that you may have to the world. The internet can be a cruel and scary place.  Over the years I’ve put so many locks on my heart and have my walls built so high that for the most part I couldn’t give a flying flip what anyone thinks. I realized that may not be as true these days. Not when putting my heart completely into a project that I so badly want to mean something, to become something.

Putting yourself out there puts you in a place of vulnerability, a place that I’ve worked hard for years at not to allow myself to be in. I’ve worked hard to lock away feelings and thoughts. Only sharing bits and pieces with those that are closest to me. I realized that’s why I’ve always loved running. Because If I needed to I could push myself to a point where my thoughts would finally shut off. Where all I was focused on was the road ahead of me and the sound of my own breathing.

Jacob leveled with me and pointed out that the fortress I’ve locked myself into may allow me to protect myself, but  it also stunts my growth, leaves me frustrated and cuts me off from experiences.

I’m learning as hard as it may be putting myself in the position of being vulnerable may be the only way I can grow as a person.  I’m sure this will be the longest process of my life, I’m not even sure I know where to start.  All I know is I want more for this blog. I want it to mean something, whether it ends up being just for me or it helps others remains to be seen.  This blog is about learning to love the life you live, in whatever stage that is, as messy as it can be at times.

I guess the first step for me was creating this blog and allowing myself to be vulnerable here and there.  For me that’s an uncomfortable and scary place to be.

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The Good Stuff

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 October was hard, November was rough and December got off to a bumpy start. The other night I was laying in bed and couldn’t help but think about all of the things that had gone wrong in such a short amount of time. Everything that had broken, all the things that were supposed to have happened, and we as couple wanted to have accomplished by this time. All I could think about was  how I couldn’t wait for the good stuff to finally start happening, and for us to finally feel like we were getting somewhere.  As I was laying there having a small pity party the thought came plain and simple “This is the good stuff.”

Instantly I felt ashamed that I had not recognized it. That I’d failed to see all that was around me. We may not have careers or our education finished, we drive old cars that sometimes have problems, and live in an even older townhouse. We may not be having a baby anymore and this may just be a rough season where the days feel too long and the nights far too short.

Despite it all there has been “good stuff “, good days and moments mixed in with everything else we’ve had to deal with.  There has been date nights, goal setting, laughter, and love.  There has been good stuff. Sometimes we just have to look for it.
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Let it go.

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Just when I was starting to think I was getting it together and forming a solid plan for my life. The bottom fell out and I’m back to square one.

Since I was in high school my plan has always been to go to nursing school. Originally I wanted to be a NICU nurse and to volunteer around the world on humanitarian missions. I had grand visions helping to deliver babies in remote villages and giving life saving vaccinations.  As time passed I began for whatever reason to question that decision.  In fact I began to question it so much that I became completely incapable of making any decision about a career at all.

Through my first two years of college and the next two years of marriage I’ve struggled, and wracked my brain daily in hopes of discovering what I should become. Finding my passion.  Something that I would love that would also pay well. Aptitude tests became the most unhelpful thing ever developed, and Jacob wasn’t liking the idea of becoming an Alpaca farmer. [ I’d seen a commercial that made it look pretty lucrative.]

After almost 4 year of wrestling with my decision and a million pre rec classes I decided to move full steam ahead with nursing school. It had everything I was looking for in a career… At least when it came to money, a nice schedule, the ability to help people.

Forget the fact that I HATE math and science classes. They were just a minor bump along the way. Forget the fact that I hate blood, guts, snot…basically anything that has to do with the body.  Forget that needles going into the flesh make me cringe inside and cause me to feel instantly nauseous. Ignore that I’m a germ phobic and require the use of disinfectant hand wipes after leaving a store.

I was going ahead with nursing school and NOTHING was going to stop me. It didn’t matter that despite all my efforts my class schedule wasn’t working out or that I’d probably have to sell my first two kids to pay tuition.

I moved forward making plans and praying about it for months and saying  “I’m doing this. If it’s not right tell me. Stop me. Let me know.”

 

I may have prayed about nursing school for years and I may have wanted an answer. But I wasn’t doing the best I could to listen for it or recognize it. It wasn’t until I actually sat still that I realized this was not what I was supposed to be doing. It wasn’t necessarily wrong, just not the best thing for me right now, and I was forcing it in that direction. I had been for years.

For as long as I could remember I would tell Jacob I just wanted to be a stay at home blogger wife that gets to work out and have a hot body. Well it may not financially be the most realistic or beneficial I struggle with the idea of giving it up.  So While I may be back to the drawing board with my life plans, that doesn’t mean I can’t blog about it along the way.  So here’s to having no idea what I’m doing or where this change of plans will take me. For now I’m content

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Love The Life You Live- Storms

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Not too long ago I thought my life was pretty set- I was married for 20+ years, I had four beautiful kids that kept me busy, and I was busy serving in my church. I was fortunate enough to be a stay at home mom so my life was centered on my family. My life was far from perfect, but I felt like I knew what my future looked like.

I guess I got a little too comfortable. When I wasn’t looking, what seemed like a massive storm swept through, bringing changes into my life that were so unexpected and unwelcome. It tossed my average life into total chaos, leaving nothing but a path of destruction full of broken, misplaced parts of what used to be my life. The only thing I could do was stand in the middle of the mess and look for a way to put it all back together again. Often times, when I surveyed the damage, panic would take over, paralyzing me and I would ask myself “Where do I begin”?

I have always been a big believer that we can grow under any set of circumstances if we look for the opportunities. I decided that if I had to go through the experiences I was faced with then I was going to learn EVERYTHING I possibly could. Otherwise, if I choose to just “get through” my circumstances I would most certainly lose an opportunity to grow and that would make the pain sting a little deeper and make the experiences seem like just a waste of time. No, if I had to go through this I was going to learn all I could. I was going to squeeze everything I possibly could out of it. I wanted to come out on the other side of this whole storm stronger than I was before it knocked me off my feet.

So I begin with what I KNEW. I knew I had a loving Heavenly Father that knew what I was going through, so I relied on my faith. I knew I had friends and family that loved me, so I reached out them (this wasn’t easy at first but it was part of the learning process). I knew deep down that eventually the dark clouds I felt swirling around me would move on and I wouldn’t be stuck in this storm forever, so I looked forward to the day when the sun would shine again.

I can’t say at the time that I was loving the life I lived while creating the life I wanted. In fact, there were many times that desperation would take over I would be in full-on survival mode. There were days that I hated. every. single. minute. of it. There were days that I was just trying to live life-there wasn’t anything I could find to love about it. That’s the honest truth.

I can say though, that over time I began to see the life I wanted and I worked toward creating the possibility, hoping that one day I might have it. After all, creating the life we want is a process.

Did the storm pass? Yes. Have I felt the warmth of the sun on my face again? Yes. Did I learn anything in the process? Absolutely.

Do I have the life I want now? Not completely, I’m still working on it and that’s ok with me. I love my life now. In fact, because of what I’ve experienced and the things I’ve learned along the way life seems just a little sweeter than it ever was before.

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