Verona Marie: A Birth Story

I have sat down to write this blog post so many times over the past 3 months, and I just knew that I needed a video to help better express our excitement and joy for this new addition. She was the promise that God told me about late at night, as tears soaked my pillow. She is worth every second of those 20 months of waiting, every second of heart ache and pain. She is a sign of redemption. She is my rainbow after the flood. “Rona” means “my joy” in Hebrew and “covenant or oath” in Gaelic. And that is exactly what she is to us. Our sweet rainbow baby.

If you want to hear the most laid-back, stress-free birth story, well I have one for you! Friday, June 30th, I went in for a prenatal massage, told the masseuse to do her worst and send me into labor. Contractions started as soon as I left the room. I began timing them, and for the next 5 hours, I had 30 second contractions every 2 minutes. It was bizarre, but consistent. After a quick call to the on-call doctor, they had me come in to be monitored. We walked around the maternity floor for about an hour, with just a little progress in dilation, they decided to admit me. 

I had a decent night sleep, with the contractions slowly intensifying. But when they checked me at 10:30am, I was still only around 3.5 cm. The doctor called an audible and without a minute to think about it, she broke my water and BOOM. We were moving. My contractions stayed at about 2 minutes apart, but quickly became extremely intense. I labored for almost 2 hours, and then received my epidural. 

After the epidural, I expected my labor to slow down, like it did when I had Jonathan. I washed my face, brushed my teeth and then took a nap. Thirty minutes later, I woke up with the urge to push. The nurse checked my progress and with wide eyes told me, “don’t push, your baby’s head is right there.” At that point my mom and sister in law arrived. I asked if I could quickly put some makeup on because I wasn’t prepared to do this just yet. I got my foundation on, the doctor walked in at 1pm, the lights came on and with 3 contractions, 7 minutes and a few pushes, Verona Marie was here. 

“Wait, did that really just happen?! That was so easy” i couldn’t believe she was here! So fast! So easily! It all felt like a dream. There was this moment that I will never forget though, as she was crowning and the doctor said “oh she’s going to be blonde.” I felt this instant flood of emotion, and couldn’t contain my joy, my excitement, the culmination of all my prayers & dreams, she was going to be blonde, just like God told me she would be. This was HIS story of Rescue and Redemption. His plans for our family, He knew them all along, He just needed me to surrender and allow Him to work. And man did He deliver. She is more perfect than anything I could have imagined for us. She truly is our joy. 

She feels like the piece that was missing, and Ryan, Jonathan and I couldn’t be happier. Welcome Verona Marie, we are so glad to have you here! 

All photos taken by Alyssa Fallon of Grace & Goodness Photo

Teach-It Tuesday : Thankful Pennant Banner


"Thankful" Banner

I am so excited to teach you guys how to make an adorable banner just in time for the holiday season!! And with easy to find supplies!

The Supplies:

4 Coordinating colors of cardstock (cut down to 6x10)
2 sheets of white cardstock (cut down to 8.5x5)
Tombow Dual Brush Pens (& blender) (Any colors you like)
Tombow Twin Permanent Marker 
Tombow Mono Drawing Pen 01
Bakers Twin
Gold Glitter (I used Martha Stewarts brand from Michaels)
Tombow Extreme Adhesive Roller
Mono Multi XL Liquid Glue
Two safety pins (to hang it)


First off, cut the white card stock at a diagonal, from the top left corner to the bottom right corner. Then putting it back together and repeating it, cutting from the top right corner to the bottom left corner. 

This will give you two perfect triangles that should measure 5 inches on each side, and then two long triangles (that you will discard). You will want to cut as many white triangles as you will need. I wrote out "Thankful" so I made 8 white triangles.

You will repeat this step with the colored cardstock as well. 

Once all your cardstock is cute to size, you should have 8 triangles of various colors, and 8 triangles that are white.


Next, poke to holes at the top of the colored paper, and start string the bakers twine through. Before you cut the twine, make sure that you have spaced out all your triangles to their desired distance. 


Now, take your white triangles and start writing your letters. You can do whatever style you prefer. I start with the lighter color, then add in the darker marker at the top and bottom of the letter. Then using the Tombow blending marker, I just simply blend the two colors together. 

Using the Tombow Permanent marker, I create a border around the letter, and then add a shadow. And using the Mono drawing pen 01, I create some small hash marks inside the shadow box giving it dimension. 


Next, using the extreme adhesive, attach the white triangles to the colored triangles, making sure they are centered with the white edge at the top of the triangle. Then, using the liquid glue, run a thin line all the way around the white triangle. Sprinkle on the gold glitter, and shake off the excess, using a small paint brush if needed after it dries. Then using the two safety pins, make a loop on both ends of the twine, & attach with the safety pins! Enjoy! 


I believe that a project isn't fun unless you end up covered in glitter some how, so make sure to have fun!! Also, I was lucky enough to get chose to be a finalist for the 2018 Tombow Design Team, and we were asked to create something using their products. With fall in full force, it was a no-brainer for me to create something to go along with all my fall themed decor in the house!! Hope you guys have fun creating! <3 

Can I Bite You? Please...

I often get this crazy urge to bite my children. I just want to nibble on their cheeks, bite their toes or just completely consume them whole. Apparently, this is scientifically deemed a normal reaction. Here I was thinking I was crazy, and it turns out that scientists have actually done studies on people where this is extremely common. Not to be confused with the biological primal urge to eat your young, the term "cute aggression" coined in 2013 by a research team at Yale, refers to the almost-overwhelming urge to do violence to an object that we find incredibly adorable. 


I know I'm extremely biased when it comes to my kids, but has anyone else ever felt cute aggression? It could be when looking at pictures of puppies, kittens, babies, really anything we find adorable! Mine really only comes out when I'm looking at adorable babies. 

I can't help but want to squeeze these sweet chubby cheeks. I found these pictures a few weeks ago, from back when Jonathan turned one and I wish I could jump in this photo and squeeze him tight! 


Obviously, I try to resist the urge to bite my kids, because that would only teach them bad habits and then make them an undesirable play date, friend, human... because let's be real, who wants to be around someone who bites! (full disclosure, Jonathan has done this once or twice out of anger, obviously, we are working on it)

Ribbons & Bows: Being a Girl-Mom

verona collage.jpg

If you would have told me five years ago that I would suddenly love all things floral, bows & pink, I would have said you were crazy! I enjoy my fair share of "girly" things, but it wasn't until I found out that our newest baby was going to be a girl, did I start to dream about sparkles, unicorns & different shades of pink.

There was this moment a few years ago, God placed it on my heart that I would one day have a little girl. I knew I always wanted a daughter, and was afraid that because I wanted it so badly that, like a lot of things in my life, God would make me wait. I'm on this constant struggle with the Big Guy as He is always working on my patience. I was starting to get scared thinking that this voice that I heard, telling me I would one day have a daughter, was just my own brain trying to convince myself it would happen. 

I kept praying/pleading with God, telling Him, "If you just give me a daughter, I'll stop begging you for more babies." We were so excited when we found out it was a girl, but it never really hit me until it came time to give birth. In my heart, I prayed for a blonde hair, blue-eyed little beauty, just like her brother, I had this vision of what she would look like, what she would act like. It all felt like a dream, and like I was being greedy for making demands.


Then as she was crowning, and the doctor said she had blonde hair, I lost it. No way was this dream becoming a reality. Tears of joy streamed down my cheeks, God is so good for giving me those specific dreams of what my daughter was going to look like. I truly believe those visions were from Him. Late at night, I would plead with him to give us another baby, and he would respond with visions of a little girl, in sun dresses and a sun hat, with long medium blonde hair and tan skin. Visions of her beautiful smile, her big beautiful eyes and I could hear her sweet giggle. God deals in specifics. 


Do you ever wonder, Chicken or the egg? What came first? Did I pray for those specifics because God made me want those? Or did I pray for those specifics and God answered my prayers? I know that He knows us even before He perfectly knits us together in the womb, and these two precious little blessings are more amazing than anything I could have dreamed up! 

I'm the luckiest mama in the whole world! I've been blessed with two beautiful children, and I couldn't love them more! Being a boy mom is AMAZING, and just as equally amazing to be a girl mom!