Sunday, December 1, 2013
His name is William Justice Woods, meaning: strong protector of justice. We hope that William grows up to honor his name by fighting for God's true justice. He also has quite a heritage of Williams on both father and mother's side: Kurt's middle name is William, as is his father's and grandfather's and Emily's grandfather is named William. We pray that he will take their example to be a strong, wise, generous, godly man.
He was born on November 21st, 2013 at 1:09 in the morning. We are so thankful for the timing of his birth, as we had been praying that he would be born before Thanksgiving so all of our family that came to visit could meet him! He weighed 6 pounds 14 ounces and measured 19.5 inches at birth.
Both Emily and William are doing very well as we learn each other and figure out our new life as a family of three.
Thank you all so much for your prayers. We are amazed by the great cloud of witnesses who love him so much already.
Kurt & Emily & William!
Tuesday, November 12, 2013
- You ignore the clothing and make up aisles of Target and make a bee-line to the cleaning section.
- Your body wakes you up in the morning before your alarm clock asking, "What are we going to clean today?"
- Your idea of a good date night would be rearranging furniture and baking loaves of bread to freeze.
- Whereas cooking dinner and doing dishes used to do you in, it's now thrilling just so that you can mop the kitchen floor afterwards.
- You have no desire to watch your favorite TV shows because you'd rather do laundry.
- You want to add housework to your to-do list.
- Everything in your bathroom suddenly looks filthy... a thought that gets you excited.
Kurt & Emily
Posted by Emily at 10:11 AM
Tuesday, November 5, 2013
HOT COCOA MAKES MY WORLD GO ROUND! Or, as the Pioneer Woman would say, it totally makes my skirt fly up. Basically, once the temperature outside is below 60, hot cocoa becomes a part of my daily life.
However, having a pack of sugary hot cocoa mix every day, though delicious, is purdy darn bad for me (and baby). So, I give you my guilt-free-in-fact-quite-beneficial-to-your-health-Hot-Cocoa recipe that I make each afternoon.
What makes it guilt free?
Milk for lots of protein and calcium.
Raw honey instead of refined sugar.
Coconut oil for numerous health benefits.
Cocoa powder has antioxidants (buy a really fancy, dark brand if you want the most boost) and even fiber!
But mainly I drink it because it is liquid chocolately goodness. This hot cocoa + the Bible + my fuzzy cat = my after work routine. It's nice, friends.
(I'm not good with exactness in cooking, so take liberties and personal preference with this recipe)
1 1/4- 1 1/2 cups milk
1.5 Tbs. cocoa powder
1 Tbs. raw honey
1 Tbs. coconut oil*
Pinch of salt
Squirt of vanilla
Put the milk and everything else but the vanilla in a small saucepan over medium-high heat. Stir it up, break apart any cocoa powder clumps. Don't let it burn! Once hot and smooth, take off heat, stir in vanilla. Drink, be happy, be healthy.
*Note: The oil will naturally separate and sit on top of the drink. Just use a spoon and stir it up if that weirds you out. If you like the taste of coconut, then go for the unrefined kind of coconut oil. If you don't like the taste, use a good brand of refined coconut oil. There are debates on the health benefits of refined and unrefined oil, but regardless there are benefits for your body. (Health benefits of coconut oil http://authoritynutrition.com/top-10-evidence-based-health-benefits-of-coconut-oil/ and http://www.huffingtonpost.com/dr-mercola/coconut-oil-benefits_b_821453.html)
Kurt & Emily
Posted by Emily at 8:48 AM
Friday, November 1, 2013
Now that my pregnancy is almost finished, I feel as though I perhaps have enough credibility to offer advice to other pregnant ladies. Yup, still a first timer. But you know what, someone will always know more, so here are my humble, yet earned, words of wisdom for other pregger ladies out there. :)
My dear mommies-to-be:
1. I love you. Other pregnant ladies and moms love you, too. Really. We are all here for you, to love and support you and help you through your unique journey. Tell us about your highs and lows; we truly do care, and if we can't personally understand your specific woe, we can find someone else who can. No question is too embarrassing or silly. No victory is too little to celebrate! Take advantage of those who have gone before you and find support in us.
2. Give yourself grace upon grace. Don't feel bad about what you're feeling or not able to do. The hormones are real and potent during this time. They are never an excuse for sin, but don't feel bad if you feel scared or disappointed or not excited. Personally, it took me at least a solid day to not be crushed about the fact we are having a boy, because I so wanted a girl. And I can't even say that I started to love our baby until I was 8 months pregnant (and I totally still don't get it). And that's okay. Don't worry if you simply don't have the oomph to make dinner or mop the floor. Just rest, knowing your main job is to grow your baby. (Kurt reminds me of this often.) There is way too much change and surprise and unknown during pregnancy to feel guilty about those sorts of things. God understands, He sincerely does. He created pregnancy and hormones, so accept the grace He gives to you.
3. Make this time fun, and do something you love every day. This is a time unlike any other in your life. You will only be first-time pregnant once! Soak up the experience, and each day do something you enjoy, just for the heck of it. Paint your toenails, watch an episode of your favorite TV show, lie down for 5 minutes and dream about holding your baby, go on an unhurried stroll outside, eat some chocolate, color in a coloring book, bake some cookies. Usually I tend to grate against the "pamper yourself, you deserve it" sort of mentality, but not during pregnancy. Your body is working around the clock, never stopping. For real, each day set aside whatever amount of time you can and simply do something you love.
4. Encourage other pregnant lady friends. I have one friend in particular who has been a massive source of encouragement to me during this pregnancy, and each time I'm around her, I feel so loved and uplifted. She taught me the joy of being only positive and helpful. Put aside any differences of birth/pregnancy opinions you may have, love your friend simply because she's your friend, and seek to encourage the hooey out of each pregnant lady you know. Tell her she's beautiful, she's doing a fantastic job growing her baby, she can totally be a rockstar through labor. We all want to hear those things, so be the one to say them and spread the pregger cheer! :)
Kurt & Emily
Posted by Emily at 6:19 AM
Wednesday, October 30, 2013
"You're going to be a daddy!"
I first heard those words nine months ago, and with them came a flood of emotions. So much joy and excitement, but also a little bit of uncertainty and anxiety. What would the next ten months look like? How am I going to pay for this kid? Will I be able to handle the crazy changes going on in my wife? Is there any way I will be able to be helpful on birth day?
After nine months, I can say that, although they were not without challenges, I have greatly enjoyed this time of pregnancy and would not trade the experience for the world! Here are a few random thoughts, both for posterity and for the new dads who are coming behind me.
- Morning sickness does not last forever!
I know that it feels like it will, and for some it does last longer. But the time when your wife cringes at any smell, and the time when you have to run the home, and the time when your grocery budget is $200 more than you budgeted will end. While I do love serving Emily, doing the cooking, dishes, and housework got really tiring. Rather than focus on how tired I was or how much I didn't want to do the dishes again, I tried to remind myself how thankful I was for all of the things that Emily does for me around the house. And I try to remember to thank her often for carrying our baby.
- God is an incredible creator
God has taken a single cell and formed it into a tiny human, a mini me. Emily subscribes to a weekly email detailing the growth milestones of our baby, and it is absolutely amazing to read about the mind-boggling things that happen during pregnancy. Things develop so quickly, and I rejoice in God's design. We are fearfully and wonderfully made!
- My wife is superwoman
Emily is superwoman for these two reasons: 1. She does so much for our family in and around the home. As I've already mentioned, she cooks, cleans, washes, shops, and does so many other things that I don't even know until they are sorely missed when I have to take over. 2. Her body is incredible. It knows how to grow, deliver and feed a human. From growing a brand new organ to support the baby, to causing a natural alignment plateau if the baby needs time to re-align during birth, it is stunning to learn exactly how her body was designed for this.
- Education is key
We are so fortunate to live in a time and place where we have so many options. We can choose where and when and how to deliver the baby. With that comes the responsibility to educate ourselves. We have mentioned this several times before, so I won't belabor the point. But I will say that our Bradley method classes have been a key part in this. We've learned techniques that will help BOTH of us through birth day, and that translate wonderfully to however you decide to birth. Hospital, home, birth center, midwives, doctors, drugs, or not, Bradley method has some great suggestions to make your day as worry-free and comfortable as possible.
- Cherish this time
This is such a unique time in life. Very rarely will I get to hold my wife and feel my son squirm in her belly. Not often will I get to stare into the ultrasound picture of my unborn child and dream of what he will be like. And there will only be a few times when I get to go on shopping sprees for this little one I've not yet met. As much as possible, I want to soak up and treasure this time. I think Mary had the right idea when she "pondered all of these things in her heart". One of my favorite activities during this pregnancy have been keeping a "daddy journal". Every once in a while I will sit down and write a letter to my unborn son, telling him all about how Emily is feeling and how he is growing. I know that it will totally embarrass him, but I'm glad to have a record, because I so easily forget the details.
- Cherish this time
In just a few weeks, I will never again have no children. While I am so totally pumped to have a son, things will be different. As easy as it is to get impatient for him to come, I am soaking up this time with just Emily and me. Even when we are doing our Bradley exercises or relaxation practice, it is just the two of us together. And we are making a point of setting aside special date nights. We are so enjoying being together and having fun looking forward to the arrival of our little guy.
Kurt & Emily
Friday, October 25, 2013
I think our cat, fitly named Cat, has SAD - Seasonal Affective Disorder. Only it doesn't make her sad; it just makes her crazy and busy and intense! Here are some pictures from this past week displaying her SAD, or her SMMGCAD (Seasons Make Me Go Crazy Affective Disorder).
Lately, Cat has been running all over the house like an insane animal, then will dive into this box with some cut-out holes.
She also has a thing for lying straight across my belly and staring at my face. She doesn't blink. It's creepy.
This is Cat being all Jillian Michaels on me while I was working out. Basically, I think her face says that she's not pleased with my lower intensity. Seesh, she's a toughie; no compassion for the pregger ladies.
Yesterday she took a little break from her craziness to watch an interview with me with Ina May Gaskin (a sort of founder of modern midwifery in the US and advocate for lowering the maternal mortality rate in the US). I think Cat thoroughly enjoyed it, and she decided she will use a midwife with any of her future babies. (I didn't tell her that she can't have any future babies, due to having no reproductive lady parts.)
Finally, she has overcome the SMMGCAD and is her cuddly self again. We'll see what happens when winter rolls around. I think we may have to put baby gates around our Christmas tree.
Have a warm, fuzzy, relaxing weekend! :)
Kurt & Emily
Posted by Emily at 6:36 AM