Ruby June’s Newborn Pictures

Ruby’s pictures were taken by the talented Valery Bunnell Photography.  Ruby June was a complete dream during the session.  It was so easy to lose track of time.


Evelyn has been in love with Ruby from day one.  They are connected at the heart and soul.  (These dishy matching headbands were a present from Aunt Heidi <3 )



I’ve never seen a father be more in love with his daughters.



The most delicious back fat you ever did see.











Ruby June’s Birthday (4/15/15)

My pregnancy with Ruby was in a lot of ways very different from Evelyn’s.

It went by extremely fast!  I think that was due to being busy with Evelyn, and being busy with Real Estate.  I have had my busiest real estate year yet!  We also didn’t have a name picked out.  We had a long list, and some strong contenders, but nothing was decided.  We called her “Tiny.”  Toward the end of pregnancy, the doctors were a little worried about Tiny.  She was measuring small.  They predicted she was only going to be around 5 lbs.  My amniotic fluid was low also.  We did NSTs twice a week to make sure her heart was strong, and it was.

Time To Pop

I was scheduled to be induced April 15th.  They told us to be ready to go by 6:00 AM.  A huge storm had moved in that night.  It was blizzarding like crazy.  It reminded me of the April snowstorm that happened the morning of mine and Aaron’s wedding.

April Snow

The hospital called us and said that the storm sent many women into labor, and there wasn’t room for us at the hospital yet, so we needed to wait.  It was really frustrating, and there was a lot of sitting around.  My mom and dad were here so they could be with Evelyn when she woke up.  She woke up, and we were still at the house.  Everyone was eating breakfast, except me.  Finally at 9 AM they told us to come check in to Labor & Delivery.

They were trying to get my IV in, and really struggling.  They couldn’t find a good vein.  On the third try, they thought they had it, and started giving me fluids, however, it was just going into tissue, which ended up being REALLY painful for the next few days.  For me, getting the IV is the worst part of labor.

I didn’t feel very good this day.  I was extremely nauseous, and I had a high temperature.  They were almost going to just pump me with fluids and send me home.  I begged them to let me stay, and Dr Anders agreed.

Things moved pretty quickly.  I had my water broken around 11, and the epidural shortly after.  I took a nap, and things kept going quick.  I really wanted cupcakes!  So bad!

I could tell Tiny was ready to come out, and I was ready to push.  They checked me, and I had when they called an anterior lip- and I was dilated to 9 3/4.  They gave me a little bit more time to get to a 10.  Finally we got there.  I was feeling extremely nauseous and weak.  This is going to embarrass me so bad, but I sang Katy Perry’s “Roar” to myself over and over to help me focus, and she came out with just a couple good pushes.  She was definitely not 5 lbs!  She was a healthy 7 lbs 2 oz.  She was so healthy and perfect.  I got to snuggle her and hold her for so long before they took her to be cleaned.


While they were cleaning her, I got really sick and started to throw up, and had very heavy bleeding.  They kept me in the L&D room for over 2 hours to make sure they could get it under control.  I was feeling pretty miserable.  But that eventually wore off, and I had my healthy Ruby June in my arms!

Family pic

The techs were obsessed with Ruby.  I’m pretty sure she was their favorite baby.  We got lots of cards and extra goodies for her.


My whole pregnancy had been filled with anxiety about having two kids, and not knowing what to expect.  I think part of me was in denial and that’s why we had such a hard time selecting a name.  However, the moment I laid eyes on Ruby June all of my fear went away.  I was overcome with so much peace and assurance that she was absolutely meant to be a part of our family.  I didn’t know how I had lived my life up to the moment never knowing her.  Our souls were immediately connected.  I recognized her as I stared into her beautiful eyes (which were WIDE open right after she was born).


Ruby June made me feel more whole that I’ve ever felt in my entire life.

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Welcome to our team Ruby June Crowder.  You’ll be the one who keeps up grounded and humble.





One Year Old – Evelyn Faye

Mom’s First Birthday


This month has been incredibly emotional for me as I’ve thought of Evelyn’s approaching birthday.

I’ve spent time looking at her birth story, and each monthly update (1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11)

Normally I don’t get emotional while I write.  But I can’t help it this time.  No one warned me about how difficult it is seeing your baby turn one.  My eyes are wet.  My throat is tight.  My heart is achy.


Why?  Why is watching your baby grow up so emotional?  I’ve tried really hard to figure out WHY I’m feeling this way.

This video sums it up.  (Make sure to turn on the English subtitles.)

Tears.  Every time.  That video makes me weep, haha.

We survived one year together.  Every single day.  We survived me getting strep when Evelyn was only 2 weeks old.  We survived a very dark and difficult 6 weeks of more than just the baby blues; a very heavy PPD.  We survived stitches on Evelyn’s face.  We survived living in an unfinished basement.  We survived 3 ER visits.  We survived 5+ ear infections and ear tube surgery.  But we did more than survive.  We thrived.


These past 365 days have been the hardest, and the absolute best of my entire life.  I never really considered myself a “nurturer.”  I was afraid to become a mother.  I didn’t know if I ‘had it.’  Being a mum takes a lot of work, but I was amazed at the flood of nurturing feelings and instincts that came, when I put forth effort.  I felt my physical and emotional role as a mother naturally blossom.  I didn’t know ‘what to do,’ or ‘how to be a mom.’  But we have learned and grown together.

By no means am I an expert-mother.  Each day is a new adventure and I’m faced with new challenges.


I wish I could write the feelings in my heart for the love I have for our beautiful daughter Evelyn Faye Crowder.  It makes me cry when I think about it.  It is a love so strong.  It’s a love that cannot be broken by a thousand armies.  It’s a love that would sacrifice anything and everything, even your own life if necessary.  It is a love more precious than all the diamonds and gems owned by the Queen of England and the Shane Co combined!

This year I have learned:
That my needs do not come first.
It is important to apologize when you make a mistake.  Even to a baby.
Babies are quick to forgive.  And I should be too.
A little patience goes a long way.
Being flexible makes everything a little easier.
Asking for help isn’t a sign of weakness.


I feel so blessed in my posterity.  I know there were no mistakes with which baby got sent to Aaron and I.  I know that Evelyn is the right fit in our family.  I know we are the right parents for her.  I know she is the right child for us.  I’m so grateful for this special year Evelyn and I have had together.


Happy birthday, baby.

Thank you to Valery Bunnell Photography for perfectly capturing Evelyn during her cake smash!


Evelyn Faye 11 Months

Evelyn Faye!  You are a verb.  ALWAYS MOVING.

And you are anything but boring.  Your personality is hilarious.  You constantly have us laughing.

You walk.  You run.  You dance.  You climb.  You whistle.  YES, YOU WHISTLE!

You’ve actually been whistling since you were about 8 months.  You discovered it on accident.  Your lips happened to be in that shape, and you breathed, and it made a sound!  You thought it was hilarious.  You’ve randomly done it since then, and we’ve never been able to catch a video of it.  You’re at the point now where we can coax you into whistling, and you know what to do to make the noise.  It’s the funniest thing.  You think so too.  You always smile and laugh after you do it.

You have grown really attached to blankets.  You like to drag them everywhere with you.  It’s not necessarily any particular blanket.  You don’t care which one you have, as long as you have one.




You also love to rearrange furniture if it’s not too heavy for you.  You push your high chair, the bar stools, the kitchen chairs, the dining room chairs, the coffee table… etc.  Of course, while holding your blankie.


You’ve discovered boxes, and how cool they are.  And that is wonderful to me.  I feel like there’s nothing more imaginative than playing with a box!


This past month you had to have ear-tube surgery.  You were getting constant ear infections, and you were so miserable.  The hospital staff was so sweet to you, and you handled everything like a champ.  You did so great during all the prep.  I didn’t expect you to do well.  You didn’t even cry once.


After the surgery, things immediately improved for you.  You FINALLY were able to start sleeping the whole night consistently.  You could finally eat a whole bottle all at once.  It’s amazing how much your demeanor changed once you weren’t in constant pain anymore.


You have figured out how to sit and rock in your little rocking chair Grandpa Burton made you.  You love to scoot it around and find the perfect place to sit.


Stairs are your favorite thing.  You are lightning fast going up them.  But, you don’t like to come down them.  The concept of going backwards doesn’t jive with you.  You always try to go forward down the stairs.  Luckily we’re always there to catch you.


You will never snuggle and take naps with me.  Only daddy.  You two are the cutest best friends I’ve ever seen.



Christmas has been really magical for you.  Even though you don’t understand yet, you are taking in all the magic, and the wonder reflects in your eyes.



You loved watching daddy hang the Christmas lights outside your window.  I’m pretty certain that you wanted to be out on the roof with him, helping.


Let’s talk about your hair for a second, Evelyn Faye.  It is out of control!  The back is SO curly.  But after you sleep on it, it gets so nappy and tangly.  We have to put lotion in your hair every day to tame it, otherwise it is all over the place.  You didn’t get it from me or dad.  Both of our hair is straight straight straight.


Pre-tamed, out of control hair:


Whenever we take the puppies outside, you always wait by the door.  You love them SO much.  You also love to squish your face against the glass.

You say “doggie” all the time.  You love playing with them.  You love everything about them.  You love when we come home because letting the dogs out of their crate is your favorite.  You learned how to undo the latch all on your own.   (excuse the messy dog-room)

Evelyn, I love you and your daddy so much.  (and your little baby fetus sister too!)  The closer we get to your first birthday, the more emotional I get.  I feel like I’ve known you forever.  You’ve never been a stranger to me.  I KNOW we knew each other before this life.  I love being around you.  I love learning from you.  I have a feeling that you’re going to be constantly teaching me lessons for the rest of my life.  And I am most definitely up for it.



8, 9, 10 Months

Oh Evelyn. The fact that is has taken 3 months to write a monthly update will tell you how the past 3 months have been.


You are growing and changing so fast I can barely keep up with you. Every morning when you wake up, I see a new little girl, and I wonder where my baby went.   You turn more and more into yourself each day.  As fast as your body grows, so does your brain.  I see you learn and discover new things daily, and it surprises me and blows me away how much you know!

8 months Evelyn Faye

8 months Evelyn Faye

You have such a sense of humor.  You laugh at everything.  You make yourself laugh.  You have the sweetest belly laugh, but you also have a sassy little chuckle you do when you crack yourself up.

8,9,10 months Evelyn Faye

If there’s a floor vent around, you’ll be drawn to it like a magnet.  You love the way it sounds when you run your hand up and down the metal.  You’ve also discovered that you can squish things into vents.  Which is becoming a problem.  I found you trying to smash some of your baby food puffs into the vent just this weekend.

8,9,10 months Evelyn Faye

This summer in the basement was extra hard on you, but you handled it like a champion.  Nap times were very difficult.  We would covered-wagon your crib with a black blanket, and as you can see, it was very effective.

8,9,10 months Evelyn Faye

We took you to the Parade of Homes, and you were SO happy.  You loved being packed around in the Ergo.  I think it reminded you of Disneyland :)

Evelyn Faye


9 months

Evelyn Faye

When you were about 6 months, you had a little bump that grew on your cheek.  At first it looked like baby acne, and so we waited for it to go away.  It didn’t go away, and your great pediatrician had to open it with a scalpel and drain it.  We thought that would do the trick, but after a couple months it never healed all the way, and it came back worse.  It turned out to be a pilomatricoma.  It was a non-cancerous calcium tumor in your cheek, so we had to see the only pediatric dermatologist in the state to get it removed.


The hardest part for you wasn’t getting it removed, although that WAS hard.  The very hardest part was the stitches.  It took 4 men to hold you still enough for the doctor to stitch you up.

Evelyn Faye

You are undeniably a daddy’s girl.  You love me pretty good, but nothing compares to when daddy gets home from work.  You are obsessed with him and won’t leave his side.  It is a happiness that I don’t have enough words to explain!

Evelyn Faye

Evelyn Faye

Evelyn Faye

Evelyn Faye

You LOVE bath time.  Baths are your happy place.

Evelyn Faye

Evelyn Faye

Over the summer you started standing and walking holding onto furniture or a walker.  And when you were 9 months, you were taking steps all by yourself!

8,9,10 months5

Right after we moved into our house, we were just about ready to get you ready for bed, and you were walking back and forth between mommy and daddy.  You tripped and hit your lip so hard on a corner.  Your lip split wide open.  It was gushing blood, and we couldn’t tell how bad it was through all the blood.  So. Much. Blood.  We took a trip to the ER to see if you needed stitches.  Luckily you didn’t.  I was relieved since your first set of stitches was so traumatic.  You did have a very nice battle wound for awhile.

Evelyn Faye

We leave one of the cupboards un-baby-proofed for you.  It’s the mixing bowl storage.  YOU LOVE IT.  You love stacking them.  You love putting the smaller bowls in the bigger bowls.  You love putting the bowls on your head.  You love the colors.  You love to move them around.  The kitchen is NEVER clean because there are bowls everywhere.  But it makes me so happy to see you learn and discover.  I love seeing your imagination grow.  I would much rather have you play with mixing bowls instead of toys.  That is how creativity is born.  I hope you see the beauty in imagination as you grow up.

Evelyn Faye

You’ve discovered “people food.”  You always want to eat whatever we are eating.  And you always love it!  You love our vegetables.  You love our chicken.  You love our pasta.  You love our rice.  You love food.  All food.  You aren’t a picky eater.  I decided to give you a mini cupcake to see what you did with it, and to practice for your first birthday :)

Evelyn Faye

On Fridays we get to hang out with your cousin Dylan.  Sometimes we go to Nicklecade.  He wanted so badly to spend some of his nickles so you could do some rides.  It was so sweet.  He picked a fighter jet for you, because we love airplanes in this family.  You were unsure at first, but after the 3rd time of Dylan wanting you to ride it, you started to have a lot of fun.  Dylan LOVES you.

Evelyn Faye

One Sunday morning I was painting my nails, and daddy said, “Should we paint Evelyn’s toe nails???”  I said, if you can get her to hold still enough, I’ll do it.  And sure enough, he got you to hold still.  And you had some pretty pink toes!

Evelyn Faye

10 months Evelyn Faye

One of the most incredibly frustrating things is you WILL NOT hold your own bottle.  You completely refuse.  It’s not a matter of if you can, it’s that you are so stubborn you simply won’t do it.  You can walk, but you won’t hold a bottle.  It’s frustrating.  I see little babies at the store holding their bottles while the mommies shop… and I get very jealous.

10 months Evelyn Faye

On a cuter note, if we stick our tongue out at you, you’ll do it back.  And it is so funny.  Then you laugh.  You think it’s hilarious.

10 months Evelyn Faye

Evelyn, you are a diamond.  You sparkle and shine and reflect light.  There is something so special about you.  You make everyone around you happy.  You love everyone.  You let anyone hold you and snuggle you.  You make everyone feel loved.  You keep everyone around you laughing.  You always have something cute to do.   You love seeing people laugh.  When people laugh, you laugh.  I hope you always take great care to love people and cheer them up.  I know it will be a blessing to many people in your life!  I love being your mommy.  You and I have the strongest of bonds.  I love you sugar.