Wednesday, December 25, 2013

We Wish You a Merry Christmas!

For to us a child is born, to us a son is given, and the government will be on his shoulders. And he will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.
Isaiah 9:6

 Wishing your family a Merry Christmas, filled with peace and love.

Many Blessings,
The Fedell's

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Today I Choose

 Real life photo: convincing Colin to take pictures. I was not successful.

Today I Choose:

~To tickle and kiss my 3 yr old instead of folding that load of laundry.

~ To play on the bed with him instead of rush out the door, trying get groceries before Kindergarten pick up.

~ To feed them pasta and applesauce packets because I have not one single fresh item in my house.

~ To talk with a friend and listen instead of multitask.

~To {try} not stress out at the mess that is my house.

~ To not look at our savings account and freak out, instead be joyful that we sold our house.

~To be at peace with life, even when it is not going in the direction I think it should.

~ To {try} to enjoy the little daily things that make up life, glamorous or not.

~ To not compare my life through the rose-tinted, instagram -filtered life of others.

~ To be joyful in all things, faithful in the little things and intentional with my actions.

Some days you just need to choose your attitude, regardless of the circumstances of the day.

Today was one of those days.

Give thanks in All circumstance; for this is God's will for you, in Christ Jesus.
1 Thessalonians 5:18

Thursday, December 5, 2013

Thankful this Thursday

I know that last Thursday was the big culmination of all thing thankful and giving and so forth, and that I failed to post a single thing I was thankful for during the month of November, but it does not mean that I was not thinking and dwelling on all the many blessings of my life.

I do love Thanksgiving and the great meanings and feelings it verbalizes, but I also think that a thankful heart should carry you through your days, no matter what time of the year it is.

So, on this cold, December day, I am oh, so thankful for:

This little lady, who is sleeping on my shoulder while I type this. She snuggles right down, with her little cheek next to mine, making it perfect distance to either to rub my face on her baby skin or kiss that chubby little cheek. She is a happy baby, free with her smiles to anyone that will talk to her. She is a champion sleeper, giving her momma 6-8 hrs stretches at night, followed by another 3-4 hrs. This kind of sleeping pattern did not happen with her brothers till they were well into the 6 month. Pure sweetness she is.

Oh, Colin. This boy. He steals my heart. Sweet and loving, passionate and protective. He gives me a run for my money every day, but somehow makes me love him even more. He is having a hard time adjusting to the move, his brother being in school and a new sister. He feels things with 100% of his emotions, which leads to fiery displays as well as heart melting ones.  He also has the best eyelashes I have ever seen that showcase a killer pair of baby blue. Watch out, ladies.

This little dude, who is quickly becoming much too big for my liking. Jack is the classic first-born, oldest brother. He loves to kiss his sister and get her to smile and he likes to make his younger brother play with him while telling him exactly what to say and how to play. He is quick to apologize and adores adores his daddy. He is also becoming the quiet but popular leader at school, just like his daddy. The kids all want to hug him good bye and cheer when he gets to stay for recess and pizza day. I am glad they like him, cause I sure do. I will always love him, but it sure is nice when you really like your kid and enjoy his company and conversations as well.

 This guy, who holds babies and buttons buttons and wipes booties. Our not so neat and tidy life together is pretty perfect because of this man. He is giving and kind and the best daddy I have ever seen. The boys are besides themselves waiting for him to come home from work and never, ever want the weekend to end. We have had a rough year in some aspects, but he has remained faithful in all things. And he puts up with my desires to get some pictures, even though no child would do as we asked and everyone was hungry.

I am also SO thankful that after a failed first buyer on our VA house, we are finally under contract and scheduled to close next week. The day those papers are signed a thousand pounds will be lifted from our shoulders!

 Also, I am thankful for these:
Boots.   Because sometimes it is nice to just be happy about the little things. So, happy birthday money, birthday gift cards and black Friday sale to me!

What are you thankful for today?

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

The second month

 Someone is 2 months old.

Say what?!

Yep, the big 2 months now.

It is quite funny, actually.

Oh, look!  My hand!

Those two months have just flown by!

We are so thankful for this little addition into our family!

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

You know you are three when...


~ The world ends when your mom forgets to buy juice at the grocery store.

~ You offer to show her where the juice is at target because...

~ You never forget anything.

~ you prefer to be naked when :
- you go the bathroom
- you are mad
- you are happy
-when you watch tv
-when it is hot outside
-when it is cold outside
- when it is time to go...anywhere

~Socks are the worst.

~ You can laugh, cry, hit and hug in the same 3 minutes.

~ Your older brother is the greatest person ever, except for when you don't get your way.

~ You ignore the fact that you have a baby sister. You are still the baby of the family.

~ You sing your own soundtrack to your life.

~ Play voices are 3 times louder than regular talking voices.

~ Peanut butter and jelly sandwiches must be cut into shapes.

~ Don't ever, ever cut the wrong shape.

~ Any form of condensation on the ground constitutes as puddle, therefore it must be jumped in at any and every given opportunity.

~There is no such things as "nice" clothes or shoes.

~ Hugs and kisses are freely given. So are punches and kicks.

~ Dads are hilarious.

~ Wearing a cape makes you a superhero. Superheros do not wear hats outside. They also do not wear their hoods up on their coats. Ever.

~ You can do everything on your own, by yourself... unless you want your mom to do it. Than you can do nothing and she must do everything or the world will end.

~ Throwing things really makes your point more valid.

~ It is ok to like your mom's homemade chicken nuggets for one meal but hate them for another meal.

~ Despite what they say, you can live on bread alone. Bread and juice, that is.

~ It is ok to remember that your mom forgot to buy juice and throw yourself on the floor demanding juice to appear.

Man, it is tough being three.

Saturday, November 16, 2013

Fast and the Furious: The Birth Story of Macy Elizabeth

* If you are not interested in birthing information, than I would not suggest reading this post. It won't be graphic, but it will be about giving birth to a baby, which is not a clean and pretty process. And it is long and wordy.

40 weeks and 3 days. In pre-labor, about to get into the real deal. I was huge and crabby and tired. Excuse my bathroom, it is in mid-renovation.

I was due with Macy on the 14th of September. It was a rough and tiring pregnancy. I moved from Virginia to Michigan, had our VA home buyers break contract 2 weeks after we moved to MI, causing us to almost lose our MI house. The boys and I lived in my parents basement for 6 weeks while Ryan worked in Detroit and than came back for weekends. Once we were able to move into the house, I had around 5-6 weeks to completely move in. To say that I was stressed and overtired would be an understatement.

I started spotting around 36 weeks and was told to rest as much as possible. I ached constantly and had pretty much consistent braxton hicks when I was moving at all. I was positive this baby was coming early.

Once I hit 38 weeks and I was able to go into labor naturally, everything eased up. No more contractions, just aches and pains.

I was a very crabby pregnant lady. I was ready to have this baby out, just because it HAD to be easier to have a newborn than be pregnant at this point.

Since I delivered on my due date with Jack and 2 days past my due date with Colin, my doctors did not think I would be delivering early. At my 40 week appointment (I was 2 days shy of 40 wks), I was starting to dilate but the baby was still really high and not engaged at all. I was scheduled to come back 5 days later without much hope of having a baby over the weekend.

My due date came and went with not even a contraction in site.

By Monday, I was extremely cramping, but nothing like the contractions that I had with the boys. It was just annoying and felt like a really bad menstrual cycle.

I woke up at 5am on Tuesday the 17th to use the bathroom and was having small contractions. They were enough to keep me awake, but far enough apart that I was not concerned at all. I had a 7:45am doctor's appointment, so I just laid in bed till it was time to get dressed.

At the doctors, I was having contractions, but 15-30 minutes apart and not worth timing. I knew that things were at least starting to happen, but it could be a long time coming.

The doctor checked my chart and was not encouraged by the contractions. Since she was so far up at my last appointment, the doctor did not think much would happen, but asked if I wanted her to strip my membranes.  I did.

She measured my stomach and felt the baby, checking her position and listening to the heartbeat. Since my children love to be in tight balls and the very center of my stomach, my doctor could not tell if she was still head down and wanted to do an ultrasound to check before she checked my cervix.

Baby was head down and farther than she thought, so checked me to find out that I was already 4-5 centimeters and she could stretch me to a good 6 cm. Yep, she manually stretched me to 6cm and it was not a fun feeling. After stripping my membranes (did not hurt as bad as her stretching) she told me that if I wanted to call my mom to come down and head to the hospital around 6pm to leisurely start my labor I could, since i was so far dilated they would not turn me away, even though I was not really having any contractions.

So, I headed home and called my mom, who lives 3 hours away,  to come on down. This baby would be coming in the next day or so, and I did not want to worry about her getting here to take the boys in time, especially since I was in the hospital 3 hours after I had my membranes stripped with Colin.

My mom arrived around noon and my contractions were still coming every 10-15 minutes, but not consistently. They were starting to hurt though and around 1pm I went into my room to be alone and "labor". I did not want the boys to see me have contractions, as they were already concerned that it would hurt me. The contractions started to be really hard and painful, but not very close together at all.

By 3pm they were between 8-12 minutes, but I could no longer talk through them and had to really concentrate and breathe. I called my doctor and they said just to go ahead and head into the hospital, since I was already dilated half way.

Since we had just moved to the area and did not have a chance to tour the hospital, it was the very first time we walked through the doors. Not knowing what to expect, I just brought my purse and we figured Ryan would get the rest of the bags once we were settled and checked in. Luckily, I had thrown my camera in my purse.

By the time that we got up to the maternity ward, they had our room all ready. As I was wheeled past the nursing station I glanced up at the clock. 4 pm on the dot.

Once in the room, I changed into the ever lovely hospital gown and began the intake process with a million questions and paper work. By this time my contraction had jumped to 5 minutes apart and hurt very badly. I decided that I wanted to get an epidural, since at that time, I was still 5-8 minutes apart on my contractions, but they were very painful and I was already so tired from being up all day. I just wanted to slow things down, really prepare to have Macy and have some praise and worship music playing. I really enjoyed the peaceful aspect of Colin's birth and wanted the same again.

By the time the nurse had me hooked all up and they checked me, I was dilated to 6 cm. My contractions were really strong at this point and hurting quite a bit. They ordered the epidural right away.

It was around 5pm when I got my epidural. My water broke while I hunched over, waiting for the the doctor to finish. I was more than ready for the pain medicine to kick in, as my contractions seemed to come much quicker and much, much stronger.

While I was waiting for it to kick in, I noticed that my left side was starting to numb up, but my right side was hurting much more.  They tilted me to the side to try to get the medicine to head towards my right side and kept asking if it was starting to numb yet.

It wasn't.

I started to have severe pain on my right side, near my c-section incision. The throbbing pain did not seem to stop, regardless of contractions. At this point, it was pretty much a blur for me. People kept coming in and out of the room. They kept asking me where it hurt and I kept pointing to the same spot. I was so confused as to why it was hurting so very badly on that side. I just kept asking that they would please just fix the epidural and make it stop. Eventually my doctor came in, as well as a resident doctor and they also kept asking about my pain, the incision and looking up at the monitors behind me. 

At this point I had no idea what was going on, except that I was in blinding pain on one side of my body and getting dizzy, as I was breathing too deeply and not knowing when a contraction was coming or not. I did not know if i was about the go to surgery and my incision was ripping or what was happening.

They checked me again and asked if I felt the urge to push. Again, I was so confused, as the pain was not stopping and that was all I could think about. They asked me to push, as I was fully dilated and ready to go.

Um, what?!

I thought they wanted me to push to determine if they needed to go to surgery. I had no idea I was ready to have a baby.

Apparently when my epidural only worked half way, it magnified my contractions on that  side and my contractions were on top of each other and not stopping, thus the constant pain. Once my water broke, I went from around 6cm to 10 cm in about 30-40 minutes...thus the crazy, magnified pain.

I had 4 contractions and pushed 3-4 times per contraction. By the 3rd contraction, Macy was crowning and I felt the "ring of fire" and was told that I really, really needed to push as hard as I could this next contraction.

So, with one last push, out she came, all 8lbs and 9 oz of her. She had one of her hands up by her face and the cord around her neck, but was never in distress. I totally and completely let out the crazy lady in labor scream with the last push. It just came out of me. Minutes later I was completely embarrassed to have yelled out, but I don't think anything would have stopped me at that point. Labor does crazy things to you. Crazy things.

Miss Macy was born at 6:07pm, a mere 2 hours after I arrived. We never had a chance to settle in, for Ryan to get our things or even to be alone.

They placed her on my chest right away. She was still covered in "stuff" and Ryan cut the cord with her still on me.

She was chubby with big cheeks and head full of dark black hair. She looked nothing like my boys and was completely beautiful. We held her for a long time while I was stitched up (yeah for second degree tearing!) and they cleaned up the room.  The rooms at the hospital were labor, delivery, recovery and postpartum rooms, so Macy only left our room once for her 24hr newborn check. They did everything else in the room with us there.

By 7pm I was showered, walking and holding this bundled baby still in shock that she was finally here. It was, by far, one of the craziest experiences of my life. It was like once she decided to come. she came barreling out like a freight train.

We left the hospital 27 hours later. Normally, I would not want to leave a hospital so soon after birth, but this hospital was a "child friendly" hospital. All that basically means is, you have the baby with you at ALL times. They will not take her to a nursery for you to sleep, since they do not have one set up for that. I am all for doing what is best for baby, but when it is 3am and I have not slept, Macy has not slept and nothing is soothing her...I was beyond desperate. They do not carry pacifiers and we did not bring any with us, so Macy just sucked on her little hand. I nursed her constantly, trying to get her calm but was having latch problems. The nurses could not get me a breast shield, because the lactation closet was locked. By 4am I asked to supplement her with formula, just to get more than 10 minutes sleep. Macy was over stimulated from birth, hungry and not latching and exhausted. Even if Ryan would hold her and walked with her, she was still in the room with me and I could not sleep when she was making fussy noises. Momma instinct had kicked in and no sleep was had.

So, I opted to head home the next night, even though it was 10pm, just so that I could sleep more than 20 minutes at a time. If I was at home, I could be in another room and not hear her noises and my Mom could help take shifts with her.

Overall, I really liked the staff at the hospital and the hospital itself was very nice. If I could have sent Macy to a nursery to sleep a few hours, it would have made the experience 1,000 times better and I would have been better prepared to bring a newborn home, instead I opted to leave before I felt ready, just to sleep.

So, that is how our Macy made her grande debut into this world. You can read about Jack's birth here and Colin's birth here, if you are so inclined. They were all vastly different.

As always, we are just so thankful and blessed to have had a healthy baby. It is not something that we take lightly and thank the Lord for her. Giving birth is a miracle and we are so thankful to have our sweet girl with us, safe and sound.


Saturday, November 9, 2013

Travels: Solo and 5 weeks

Waiting to board the plane at the Detroit airport.

When Macy was a mere 5 weeks old, I took a solo work trip to VA with her. I am still working part time with CBN and part of my job is creating monthly spots for the European partners. Since I am no longer in state, I petitioned to do 3-4 months worth of studio time and editing and than to fly in to complete it. They agreed and I kept my job, which has been a huge blessing.

The first trial run for creating those multiple spots ending up being around 5 weeks after I had Macy. Not much of a maternity leave, let me tell you that!

So, off we flew, just me and the babe.

Oddly enough, I have flown with all of my kids at 5 weeks. The first two kids, we flew to Michigan from VA for a wedding and family events. Ryan was with me those times.
 This time, I flew from Michigan to VA for work.  So, I have some experience with flying with babies that young. I thought it would be a piece of cake.

The flying was. The loading and unloading, security and car rental claims were a bit more stressful alone, but we survived!

Watching a little Duck Dynasty while kicking (and peeing) on the nice hotel bed. Also sitting up next to mom, chilling out at midnight.

Work wise, the trip was successful. I got everything I needed to do completed and am happy with the results.

Doing a solo work trip with a 5 week old? Would not recommend it.
At all.

It was hard. Much, much harder than I thought it would be.

It is funny how much just having someone around to hold the baby while you go to the bathroom, or shower or do anything else is helpful. Kuddos to single mommas!

I was extremely sleep deprived, as little lady was wide awake till 2-3 am and than I was up around 7 for work.

Macy and Wynter having a little sleep over action. They are bffs. They just don't know it yet.

The best part of the trip was getting to catch up with friends, even if I was half conscious for most of it.

It was so good to see everyone and I hope that I will be able to do the trip again. It may be easier with an older baby who sleeps more...maybe.

Either way, I am beyond thankful to still be working and have a job that will fly me in for work...even with a 5 week old baby.

Thursday, October 31, 2013


October is a fun month for our house.We have lots to celebrate.

On the 14th, Ryan and I celebrated our 7th wedding anniversary. It was low key and quiet, nothing like the year we just survived. I will gladly march through another 7 times 77 years with this man.

Macy turned 1 month old on the 17th. Babies. Who said they could grow so fast?!

I turned 32 on the 18th. Legitimately in my 30s now. No hiding from that. 7 years of marriage, 3 houses, 2 states, 3 kids and 1 grey hair in those 32 years. Not too shabby.

My niece turned 1 and we were able to celebrate with her at her party. Some of the special benefits of living in Michigan and being closer to family.

Another benefit of living in Michigan?

Having a real fall with real colors. This tree is in our front yard and is even more vibrant than when this picture was taken. I love this time of the year.

Loads of fun, but not so many pictures of the events.

With the close of October just hours away, I am looking forward to the coming holidays and more celebrations in store.

Saturday, October 19, 2013

How to Terrify a Baby

 Take her from her momma's safe and comforting arms and place her in the arms of her brothers.

Thursday, October 3, 2013


I am functioning in a haze. A newborn haze, that is.

Days are not broken into days of the week or even day vs night. My time is divided into 2-3 hour segments. No starting or stopping, just one long continual churning of hours that makes me forget what day it is.

Little baby hands and little baby feet that need to be bundled up. Little tiny baby diapers (with the rather unfortunate 3 year old regressed back to using diapers) thrown in the mix.

Stacking pillows and the ever present boppy on the couch.

Water cups always on the side table.

Lansinoh is making a killing off of me with the disposable nursing pads and cream in constant use.

8 pounds of wiggling, nursing, barracuda mouthed baby.

While I am a big proponent of breastfeeding, and I nursed both my boys till they were at least a year... I really do not liking nursing from day 2 to about the 3rd or 4th week. It is painful. It is tiring. Every baby is different and it takes a few weeks to get a good routine and system down. Baby has to figure it out, momma has to figure it out. After that 3-4th week, everything clicks and it is as easy as pie.

But the constant feedings with no relief puts me in a heavy eyed, glazed over haze.

Than you have this warm, snugly little body that sighs with contentment when you pick them up. They snuggle right down in and go immediately to sleep.

3am comes around (again) and you get a glimpse of a smile, just half of one that hints of things to come. Sure it may have been gas and she was not just happy to get to eat, but you smile and hope to catch another silly little lopsided grin again and you forget that it is 3am (again).

In this haze, you ignore that amount of television your 3 year old has been watching while you are nursing, you become best friends with dry shampoo and you get acquainted with a mulleted man named Macgyver at 5am. You function and you keep moving, because stopping means falling asleep.

And when they grow so fast and this time is so fleeting, you don't want to miss a minute of it.

Friday, September 20, 2013


 Macy Elizabeth Fedell
8lbs 9 oz
20 1/2 inches long
Born at 6:07 pm on September 17, 2013.

 Big brother Jack feeling how soft his baby sister's cheeks are.

Big brother Colin holding his sister for the first time.

Sleepy little lady with her daddy.

After a hard, quick labor, our little girl made her debut on Tuesday the 17th, 3 days past her due date. She is my biggest baby and has tons of black hair.
We were home within 27 hrs and she is doing just great.
Noise doesn't seem to bother her and she is nursing like a champ.
We are so in love with her.

Monday, September 16, 2013

The new and the old

As you may have noticed, I changed the blog title. Since we no longer reside in Virginia, it didn't seem appropriate to continue with the ol' Virginia Living title.

So, we are embarking on a new adventure here in The Great Lakes State of Michigan and I hope that you continue to follow along, as we navigate a new city, a new school, new job and a new baby.

Speaking of baby...

She is still hanging my belly. I am 3 days past my due date at this point and I am pretty much going insane. Ugh. I feel like I will be pregnant for eternity.

So out with the old and in with the new!

 Next update will be baby. It WILL be.

Tuesday, September 10, 2013


My baby started Kindergarten last week.

I didn't even cry.

He was so excited.

I was sick to my stomach.

He can't be old enough to wear a backpack, have his hair combed and wave good bye. He should still spend his mornings snuggled up with me on the couch.

I don't think he realizes that this was the first day of a whole new world for him.

He will always start school now. Alarms will be set, regardless of how tired one may feel. There will be bags to pack and homework to compile. There will be breakfast to eat, hair to comb and teeth to brush.  It is a whole new beginning.

For at least the next 12 years (hopefully more).

Here's to a successful first year of school!

Brother was not happy when he realized that he could not go with his Daddy and his brother to drop Jack off. Colin has done well though. He is o.k with Jack going, as long as we get to pick him up soon!

We found out our house is the bus stop for all the public school kids. Random people in the yard and driveway from 7am to around 9am and than again around 3pm. Not awkward at all.
We quickly found the brackets for our curtains and had those hung up asap.

Backpack on, art project ready and he is off! (And maybe a bit tired of all the pictures mom was taking non-stop)

Wednesday, September 4, 2013

The Last Scenes of Summer

The first week of September is in full swing and the mornings here in Michigan are starting to get cool, hinting of fall to come. So before I jump into the craziness that will be September (hello, new baby, new kindergartner, new blog name/design and loads of other news) I want to cherish the last few outing of the summer before the leaves fall and whisk away the thoughts of summer.

Jack and Colin spending some time at the Children's Museum in Grand Rapids with my mom. Bubbles take a lot of concentration!

The boys taking a time to play some Star Wars LEGOs while the mounds of boxes were unpacked. (Let's be honest, they are still a LOT of boxes to unpack!)

I was granted permission to go 3 hours northwest for a last weekend of travel before baby comes to where all our family lives to celebrate a very special birthday with my whole family.

My grandma turned 80! She has come through quite a lot in the last few years and still looks incredible! It was such a treat to be able to be at the big family party and not be 17hrs away!
Gigi had lots of help opening presents from her great grandchildren.

Jack showed Addy how to play Star Wars LEGO game on his aunt's iPhone while Ryan and Audrey spent some time bouncing and dancing.

Our last family of four picture. I am around 37 weeks here.

We braved the crowds and headed to the Michigan State Fair with my sister's family and her in-laws. It was a pretty small fair, but the boys enjoyed seeing all the farm animals and petting as many as they could. Here they both learned how to milk a cow!

These little piglets were my favorite, although I felt much sympathy for the tired, large momma. The boys laughed and laughed at their silly noises. We also got to see pig racing, which is hilarious and my favorite fair activity to watch.

Summer 2013 was nothing that I expected it to be. Everything did not go as planned and yet, it still all worked out. I still feel like I am recovering from a whirlwind about to head into a hurricane. But, it was a good summer, filled will good memories and leaving us excited for the great, new things ahead.