Saturday, March 21, 2015

One Month

Marshall was one month old on March 2nd. How can that be already?! I'm a little behind on my blogging. Ok, I'm a lot behind on pretty much everything, except for taking care of my sweet little boy. That's my new full time job and I love being his mommy! He keeps me busy.

Is he the cutest, or what? I plan on taking monthly photos of Marshall and documenting a little bit about his progress. Hopefully I can keep up! In one sense, the days and weeks are zooming by. Yet others, the days and nights feel long. 

• Gives lots of smiles
• Prefers a clean diaper (can't argue there!)
• Starting to enjoy bath time
• Likes to study faces
• LOVES to be held
• Sleeps better during the day (we're working on hopefully changing that)
• Very active with his arms and hands and likes to grab his face
• Doesn't really like to be swaddled, especially not with arms in 

I can't believe how much he's changing, right before our very eyes. At his one month Dr. visit he was up to 8lb 6oz (his birth weight was 7lb 2oz). He's growing every day! It's challenging to get a baby and me selfie. Our days look a lot like this - me holding, snuggling and feeding my little guy (and lots of diaper changes in between!). He really is such a good baby and a joy to take care of.

Saturday, March 14, 2015

Marshall's Newborn Photos

After Marshall arrived, I was so excited to have his newborn photos taken. Bethany captured some beautiful and adorable moments of our sweet little guy when he was just 8 days old. She is so patient and skilled at posing newborns - she has some serious baby whispering talent. Wow. I just love looking at these photos and will cherish them forever!

I already feel like Marshall is changing before our very eyes and I want to savor every tiny detail of his precious little self, for as long as possible.

Doesn't he just make you melt? 

We took some family photos too. I especially love the one of Andrew holding Marshall. The two loves of my heart! Swoon.

Here are a few of my favorites. 

I just love the perfect smile on his face in this one! Such a cutie.

A big thank you to Bethany for capturing these sweet moments for our family. Check out our maternity photos here.

Monday, February 2, 2015

Our Sweet Marshall

We are overjoyed to introduce our sweet baby boy, Marshall Andrew.

He was born on February 2nd (his due date), weighing 7 pounds 2 ounces, and 21 inches long. He's just as sweet as can be!

His arrival was a bit unexpected and he needed to stay at the hospital a few extra days. We are so thankful that God protected Marshall and that he was delivered safely. 

We were thrilled to take him home and could not be more in love with our little guy! 

I know all parents think that their baby is the cutest, but Marshall seriously is the cutest thing we've ever seen! I just love looking at him and admiring his perfect tiny little features. And that face!

Welcome to the world sweet boy. Your Mom and Dad love you more than you know and we're so glad you're here! 

I feel like he changes a little every day and I already want to stop the hands of time. If I could, I think I might keep him this little forever.

He is just too precious!

We are so grateful that God chose us to be Marshall's parents. He truly is a gift and a treasure. 

"For thou hast possessed my reins: thou hast covered me in my mother's womb.
I will praise thee; for I am fearfully and wonderfully made: marvellous are thy works; and that my soul knoweth right well." Psalms 139:13-14

Thursday, January 29, 2015

Very Soon

You guys. This baby could arrive any day now! 

I know I've been MIA lately with posts and updates. I'm sorry! We have been excitedly preparing for baby's arrival, enjoying these last few weeks hibernating inside during this cold winter and dreaming of what's to come.

It truly is hard to believe that I'll be holding our baby boy in my arms, in what could be a matter of days! My due date is February 2 (which also happens to be groundhog day). I have no idea when our little guy's birthday will be. I do like surprises though, so it's kind of fun not knowing when it will happen. Then again, it would be nice to know so I could be "prepared." Even though I know "prepared" may be wishful thinking.

I didn't think we would have the chance to do any maternity photos but I was wrong. I am so thankful for my sweet, talented friend and photographer, Bethany, for once again taking such beautiful photos that I will cherish forever! If you haven't seen her work yet, you simply must visit her website. We will be doing a newborn session with her when little Mr. arrives and I absolutely cannot wait. I don't know how many times I have swooned over her newborn image gallery. Bethany, you truly have a gift! 

I'll be starting my maternity leave soon which will most likely include a break from blogging. I'm sure you understand! I don't know how long I'll be offline, but I'll check in once things settle and share the news of our precious arrival.

Thank you, kind readers, for your love, support and prayers as we journey into this new world of parenting. 

Love and Hugs,

Sunday, January 4, 2015

Baby Boy's Room

I had so much fun dreaming up and decorating our baby boy's room. I couldn't have done it without my DIY partner, that's for sure. It was put together with lots of love by both Andrew and I. He is my expert painter, shelf hanger, furniture assembler, window blind installer and more. I am truly thankful for that! 

My vision was to create a tranquil room with a gray and white base, and incorporate pale yellow and light blue accent colors. I am still a fan of gray and white chevron and found pieces I could use to tie it all together (but not go overboard). 

The fabric I used to make tab-top window curtains started the ball rolling with the overall theme. It has the colors I wanted in a chevron and small polka-dot pattern (Jo-Ann Fabrics). Not too babyish, yet still boyish. I knew I didn't want a character themed room or one of those bedroom-in-a-bag sets. Just color and pattern with a simple, cozy customized feel. The colors and curtains can easily be swapped out.

I used the same color palette to sew a paper mobile, inspired by this one. The strings were definitely a challenge, but I love how it turned out! Very inexpensive, too. 

One of the dressers I grew up with will act as the changing table. Above the dresser, we hung a mirror we already had and added metal baskets for extra storage (from Hobby Lobby). We are so blessed to have many hand-me-downs and baby items to use and borrow from friends and family, such as the changing pad and diaper genie. 

Isn't this rocking elephant just the cutest thing (Pottery Barn)? He was a surprise gift from my Aunt and cousins. I can't wait for our little guy to use it! 

We added a pair of simple white shelves from IKEA. Baby Ohl will most definitely be an Eagles fan like his Dad, so of course he needed an Eagles piggy bank!

Beneath the shelves is a small bookcase that my husband made in high school shop class. He cleaned it up and painted it white. Now it houses all the wonderful books we received that I can't wait to read at bedtime. I love how special this piece is. 

Some buddies and blankies, waiting to be friends.

We decided to keep the daybed in the room, which I'm sure will be frequently used for naps and nighttime feedings. When he's ready to graduate from his crib, he'll already have a bed. And it can still double as a guest room when needed.

I put together some wall art (most of which was found or inspired by Pinterest). The magnetic alphabet letters will be fun to play with. I'm sure Nana will like the deer head. The snail and mushroom print was a gift to remember my coworker, Karen. She was such a talented artist, who passed away from cancer last year. I think she would be happy to know that it hangs on our nursery wall.

Another hand-me-down that I'm especially grateful for is this glider rocker and ottoman. I know I'll be spending many hours here, rocking our sweet baby. 

I can hardly believe that he'll be wearing tiny little adorable things like this! I have to admit, I'm looking forward to dressing him up in all the cute clothes we received. 

This is a look back at our former guest room which was lavender and periwinkle.

The walls are now gray and white, we have more than enough to care for him and the room is ready to welcome our baby boy. I hope he likes it as much as we do.

Our hearts and our home are ready for you, sweet boy. We can't wait to meet you!

Thursday, January 1, 2015

New Year, New Hope

Happy New Year! 

As I look back at 2014, and look ahead to 2015, I am filled with tremendous hope and anticipation of what's certain to be a life changing year for us. Based on my due date, the possibility of meeting our baby boy is just 31 days away! One month to go! Maybe sooner, maybe later. 

Next to the year I got engaged and married, I've never looked forward to something so much in my life. The thought of being a mom, entrusted with a precious new life, both excites and scares me. God has chosen Andrew and I to be this little boy's parents. The wonder and uncertainty of it all overwhelms my heart. I'm so thankful for what God is doing, and is about to do in our lives.

Last year at this time, we didn't know when or if we'd be pregnant. The first portion of the year was characterized by disappointment, frustration, sadness, prayers for patience and increased reliance on God's strength and timing. After "giving up" our will, our way and surrendering to the fact that it was out of our control, God surprised us when I found out I was pregnant in early June. It was an answer to our prayers and the most wonderful gift! 

For the rest of 2014 I felt a new sense of joy, hope, and so much thankfulness, completely humbled that God would bless us so abundantly. God is good. He's always been good. In so many countless ways throughout my entire life. I can look back at each of my 32 years and see God's hand carrying me, protecting me, loving me, leading me, helping me, saving me. Even when I turned away from Him or couldn't understand what He was doing. Through the good and the bad. When the road was beautiful and easy and when it was dark and difficult. Sure, I still have moments of uncertainty and doubt. I am human and flawed. But in the depths of my soul I know He is there, through it all. All of it is because of Him. Because of His great grace and merciful love, of which I am completely undeserving, yet so incredibly grateful. 

I hope that in 2015, you too, come to know the depths of God's love for you. That you experience His unspeakable joy and know what it's like to live life with Him. You were made by Him and for Him. He is so in love with you. It's hard to comprehend, I know, but it's true! 

The photo above was taken in early November, at the same spot where we had our wedding photos taken, nine and a half years ago. 

We've grown so much and come so far in almost 10 years since our wedding day. God has carried us through many seasons. I can't wait to see what He has in store for us in 2015 and all the years head. 

Thursday, December 25, 2014

Away in a Manger

We saw a live nativity performance when we celebrated Christmas a little early with our family in Pennsylvania. It was outside, at a dairy farm with (real) people and animals.  There were even angels on top of the barn roof, wise men with gifts and shepherds with sheep. I was trying to remember if I'd ever seen one like this, and I don't think I have. The message of Jesus Christ coming to earth was beautifully presented through Christmas songs and Bible readings.

One song in particular, I'd never heard before, was so beautiful I had to look it up when I got home. The lyrics speak about the night of Jesus' birth and the hopeless state our world was in before his arrival. The world would never be the same after that night. 

The Night Before Christmas
Brandon Heath

Empty manger, perfect stranger about to be born.
Into darkness, sadness, desperate madness, creation so torn.
We were so lost on earth, no peace, no worth, no way to escape.
In fear, no faith, no hope, no grace, and no light.
But that was the night before Christmas.

Warm hay, cold sweat, a mother, not yet, praying godspeed the dawn.
She looks to her man, holding her hand, they wonder how long. 
And the shepherds, wise men come to find them, and bow to a king.
One star above shining on love, so bright
it lit up the night before Christmas.

And the world didn't know, mercy was meek and so mild.
And the world didn't know that truth was as pure as a child.
The night before Christmas
The night before Christmas

And the world didn't know, redemption was sweet and so strong.
And the world didn't know salvation was writing a song.
The night before Christmas
The night before Christmas 
The night before Christmas

I can't help but identify with Mary, more than ever before in my life, as I'm 34 weeks pregnant, with my first son. I can't help but put myself in her place, anticipating giving birth, while traveling far from home. Only to arrive in Bethlehem and learn that there's no room in the inn. A barn meant for animals is the only place to take refuge in and this is where she will deliver a precious baby boy, the Son of God. Talk about the most unideal circumstances! No doctors, nurses, medical equipment or clean hospital bed. This would be an absolute nightmare for me. But it was all part of God's divine plan. 

"And she brought forth her firstborn son, and wrapped him in swaddling clothes, and laid him in a manger; because there was no room for them in the inn. And there were in the same country shepherds abiding in the field, keeping watch over their flock by night. And, lo, the angel of the Lord came upon them, and the glory of the Lord shone round about them: and they were sore afraid. And the angel said unto them, Fear not: for, behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people. For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour, which is Christ the Lord. And this shall be a sign unto you; Ye shall find the babe wrapped in swaddling clothes, lying in a manger. And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God, and saying, Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men.
Luke 2:7-14

Jesus Christ, Savior of the world, sent to earth as a baby, born to die for our sins, so that we could be reconciled to God. This is what Christmas is really about.