2014 was pretty much perfection

Not to be cliche or anything, but 2014 has probably been the most epic year of both mine and Ryan's lives. I feel like I should have blogged more in the past couple of weeks, but between Spencer's birth, moving across the country and Christmas with the family, life has been insane! Ryan, Spencer and I arrived in Black River, New York late Sunday night, and were meant to close on our home on Monday morning. It didn't happen…so it was rescheduled to Tuesday at 10 AM. That didn't happen either. Finally, after way too much back and forth, we closed on our first home together at 6 PM last night, and we couldn't be happier!

I took this picture back in November when I went back East to look at properties. We loved this one, and we are so happy to finally be in our brand new home! It was built in 1880 and completely remodeled by our neighbors, who actually bought the property after the old owner passed away in 2011. It's stunning. It has so much character, and yet it has all the new amenities, too. The only hitch to our moving in? Our household goods won't arrive until January 8th. So, until then, we're camping on an air mattress, Spencer is sleeping in his rock 'n play, and we're slowly but surely getting back to normal.

I'll take a lot of pictures and do a full house tour once our furniture arrives and we're really settled in a couple weeks, but until then, here are a couple shots I took back in November during my visit. 

^^^ quite possibly my favorite room in the house

^^^ our amazing back yard

As an aside, we're under blizzard conditions as I type this. Between tonight and tomorrow, we're expecting between 9 and 18 inches of snow. I, personally, am loving this change from Arizona weather! I owe you all updates on little Mr. Spencer Bruce, and I'll have a full post on our little man tomorrow, too. He's an amazing baby, and we're so excited to be in his very first home that he'll ever know, too. 

Until then, wishing you all the happiest of New Years, and hoping that 2015 is even better for all! xo

we're not in arizona anymore

Ladies and gentlemen…we're officially done with Arizona and Fort Huachuca! Ryan finally arrive in New Hampshire this afternoon, and I arrived last Wednesday. My mother flew to Arizona and flew back with Spencer, myself and our two cats, after quite the adventure of the trip. Honestly, the flights weren't bad, but the TSA and airline (United) in Tuscon were terrible. I've never met more horrible, rude and uncaring people in my life. BUT that's done. We're now in NH until Sunday the 28th, and then we're heading up to Drum!

^^^ this little man is settling in nicely

We also received some amazing news this morning. Our closing on our home will officially take place 12/29, and I can't wait to share with you our first home together! We can't wait for this next adventure. I'll do my best to blog in between now and then, but I can't promise anything! This Christmas (and Hanukkah) is all about family, and we sure are enjoying our time together again.

Love to all!

what's in a name?

As most of you know, when we found out I was pregnant, Ryan and I decided not to find out the sex of the baby. We figured that there aren't too many great surprises left in life, so we really wanted to save that for the day of our baby's birth. Naturally though, that presented a challenge in a few respects…and we had to think of two names. It's funny though. I was always so certain that Spencer was a boy that I thought the girl's name was just a backup anyway. I guess I was right.

^^^ Ryan will disapprove of this picture. I approved him not wearing his cap because we were rushing.

In any event, we pondered a lot of names through the nine months of this pregnancy, but we always seemed to backtrack to the fact that family means everything to us. We thought of a lot of fun, trendy names, but we knew we didn't want something that would be in the top 100 - definitely not the top 50 - because we both have pretty common and generic names. It clicked after a while though, that a family name was definitely the way to go.

Spencer was my uncle's name. My father's only brother, Spencer, was born 17 years before him and raised by his great-aunt because their eccentric parents decided they weren't ready to raise a child. Uncle Spence, over the years, became much more of a grandfather figure to my sisters and I, simply because of his kindness, generosity and genuine love of his family. While my real grandparents were fairly aloof, he was loving and gentle…and one of the greatest men that I've ever known.

^^^ My Aunt Jeanne & Uncle Spencer at my high school graduation + My Aunt Jeanne solo at my college graduation

In 2004, my freshman year of college, my grandmother took a turn for the worst, and my Uncle Spence and father did everything they could to keep her comfortable, but we knew it was a matter of time before she passed. I was at school in Florida, and I would get out of practice in the morning and check my phone, waiting for that inevitable call that she'd passed. I remember the morning distinctly that I went to the locker room, checked my phone and saw a voicemail from my father. His voice cracked when he told me to call him back. I did, fully expecting the news we'd been waiting on.

I did not, however, expect the news that we got. Over the night, my completely healthy uncle suffered a massive aneurysm, which hemorrhaged and, by the time they got him to the hospital, he was brain dead. This man that I loved so much, admired so much and never expected to pass so suddenly, was ripped from our lives quicker than I could have ever imagined. I've always felt a bit of a hole when I think about the loss of him.

So, when it came time to pick a name for our maybe son, I kept going back to Spencer. I asked Ryan, and he liked it, so we were sold. Spencer Moore. We didn't have a middle name though, and that was the tricky part. We wanted to have something that really meant something, but we kept toying with Wilson - just because we liked the initials "SWM" for our swimming past. Bruce kept coming up though, too, and as it's Ryan's grandfather's and uncle's name, we decided that family would win out in the end. And so, that was that. Spencer Bruce Moore was welcomed into this world with two great names for some of the greatest men in our families. 

spencer's birth story

I've been meaning to sit down and blog for a few days now, but words can't describe how very much having a baby changes your life, your priorities…and your daily timeline. It's been 6 days since this nugget was born, and our lives have changed immeasurably. Of course, there is the extreme lack of sleep, the delirium that comes with said lack of sleep and the mama brain that causes me to forget everything at the drop of a dime. However, there's also this amazing fullness in our hearts that's nearly indescribable. Spencer is perfection, and when I look at him, I see his father - and that just about brings me to tears.

I don't want to write a traditional birth story for little Spencer Bruce, but it was a whirlwind week when he was born. So, I'll try to process it as succinctly as possible. Last Monday, my OB had ordered a 38 week ultrasound because he thought my amniotic fluid might be low since I was measuring a bit small. We had the ultrasound, peanut looked great, and I expected to hear that the plan was the same - induction on the 8th if baby hadn't arrived. On Tuesday, however, I had my OB appointment, and he said that the scans showed Spencer had stopped growing around week 36. He said it wasn't terribly alarming, but since the baby was on the small side, they wanted him out, rather than in.

So, in a matter of an hour, I was scheduled for a mandatory induction starting late Wednesday afternoon on December 3rd. I was to go in, start Cervidil at 4 PM, then start Pitocin at 4 AM if my labor hadn't progressed enough. It was shocking, exciting and a little terrifying, but we were definitely ready. The Cervidil started contractions pretty quickly, but I didn't dilate much. Overnight, they noticed Spencer started having decels - his heart rate would go from 150 to 67 in a matter of seconds, then level out again. So, they kept me on the monitors all night, and I didn't get a ton of sleep. At 5 AM, they started the Pitocin. Let's just say that that drug did its job. My water broke at 9 AM, and then my contractions really started up; quickly progressing to around 2 minutes apart. Guys, the pain of contractions on labor-inducing drugs is indescribable. 

I was also group B strep positive, so I was put on IV penicillin, which compounded the pain. I tried to fight it but by 12 PM, I was in agony, and I opted for the epidural. Though I'd hoped for an all-natural birth, the epidural was amazing, and I was able to get an hour nap before things got real. They noticed that unless I was on my right side, the baby's heart rate would decel again, so they put a scalp monitor on him and tracked it that way. By 4 PM, I was complete, and they told me I was going to do some practice pushes. My nurses, however, said that it was insane, but they could already see the head. 

Once I learned to bear down and push properly, they quickly called for the doctor, saying that they didn't think it would be long. Frankly, I thought they were exaggerating. I didn't think there was any way I could be that close, but apparently, I was. I did maybe 12 cycles of pushing with Ryan by my side, counting and breathing with me the whole time. And then, at 4:39 PM, little Spencer Bruce made his appearance known, screaming - and peeing on me - the whole time. It was surreal - I couldn't believe he was out…and that I was right…we had a son!

There's a lot about the night Spencer was born that I can't really recall…it was so overwhelming. Ryan cut the cord, he was placed in my arms and that was it. We were so in love that it had to be madness. And, to top it all off, Spencer is totally, 100% Ryan's mini-me, which makes things even more magical. I have two perfect little ginger men, even though Ryan is pretty sure Spence is more blonde than ginger. We'll see. I have a hunch that I'm right.

We're learning as we go. This parenting thing is not one-size-fits-all by any means. Spencer has truly been great. He has a wonderful, easygoing temperament, and the only times he really cries are when he's wet, cold, being changed or hungry. Remedy those things though, and he's silent as a mouse. He's observant and sweet, his little old man farts that crack us up, makes the funniest noises when he sneezes and changes a little every single day. It's remarkable. Even in the middle of the night when I'm at the end of my rope, Ryan's there to tag-team, and I remember how very blessed I am. 

Motherhood is magical, trying, exhausting, emotionally, overwhelming and incredibly, indescribably rewarding. I can't wait to see what the future brings with our little man. I'll talk more about Spencer's name in the coming days, as it has a significant meaning for both Ryan and myself, and I'll picture overload all your feeds, of course :)

it's a boy!

What a whirlwind this past week has been! Unbelievably…miraculously…our little nugget was born, and we are so in love with him.  I fully intend to recount the entire birth story, including the days prior, but it might take a day or two, as we're still settling in. 

For now, please allow us to introduce you to our favorite little ginger man who has so completely stolen our hearts. Spencer Bruce Moore was born at 4:39 PM, weighing 6 lbs 7 oz at 20 inches long. He's perfect in absolutely every way. 

Be prepared for picture overload in the coming days because this momma is going to go. to. town. Until then, all I have to say is that I totally called it…momma's intuition rocks, Spencer :)

because of him

There is so much going on in our lives right now that sometimes it is absolutely crazy overwhelming, and there are days that I swear I'm on the verge of the world's most epic meltdown. Ryan has been this steady, incredible rock for me through all of it though. I know that this year hasn't been the easiest for him either. He's been away training for much of it, and I know that having a pregnant and hormonal wife hasn't always been the easiest to come home to. And yet, he takes it all in stride every single day.

He's been my pillar of strength this year. I've always known he's my best friend and the best partner in life that I could ever have hoped for, but these past few months (and weeks, especially), he's been more solid and focused than ever. Guys, we don't have a perfect marriage; I'll make no bones about that. We have our arguments, and we both err on the wrong side at times, but I've never once doubted his love, his commitment and the depth of his excitement for our growing family.

Today, for example, I was having a rough day. I'm tired, I'm sore and I'm ready for this baby to be born. I'm doing my best to prepare this house for a move, all the while incubating a chubby little nugget that has no desire to leave its comfy little womb. Ryan, knowing I've been overwhelmed, surprised me with those roses and the sweetest note - just to let me know how much he loves me and how excited he is for this babe to be born.

Honestly, this journey hasn't always been the easiest, but it's been oh so worth it…because of him. Ryan is my best friend, my partner in crime and the one who can make me smile even when I'm down. I'm so blessed and so thankful to be on this journey of life with the greatest friend a girl could ever have.