Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Introducing our first Daughter!

 "From Life's first Cry..." Lyrics to a song I've always loved, but until 7:30 p.m. on January 14th, 2014 I could only dream of its beauty.

January 14th, 2014 after 22 hours of labor Ms. Riley was born. 
Weighing in at 6 pounds and 3 ounces, she couldn't be any more perfect.

Photo Credit: The League of Extraordinary Artists
When Christopher and I found out we were expecting, we began the journey of choosing the perfect name. We knew that we wanted Baby Jimenez to have a name that had meaning, and we knew that we wanted the name to begin with the letter R. Actually we already had our "If it's a boy" name picked out. In fact, while I was training for my half marathon's I used to pray for my future baby by that name. So, naturally I thought it was going to be a boy - I mean, i'd been praying for peace with whatever the Lord had, and was ready to accept that maybe motherhood was not something the Lord had for me. So, on May 21st when I saw the words "Pregnant" on the screen I was so thankful for the answer to prayer and my prayers went from praying for baby by name to praying for Baby Jimenez.

A few weeks before my mid-pregnancy ultrasound Chris and I began thinking up a name for Baby in the event that it was a girl. It was a Sunday morning during Lords Supper, our Chapel had been focusing on the theme of "Bold Faith". One of the brothers got up to give the announcements and encouraged the saints to "Be Courageous with our faith". I remember just sitting there, after meeting was over and saying to Chris, that's what I want for our baby... With a look of shock Chris said "I was thinking the same thing!" So, we were on a quest to find the perfect name that would go with our verse. 

Joshua 1:9 

Have I not commanded you? Be strong and of good courage; be not afraid nor dismayed: for the Lord thy God is with you wherever you go"

After we identified a verse, and prayer for her it didn't take us long to fall in love with the name Riley. Not only is Riley a cute short name, but it wasn't on the top lists and it means "courage" (How perfect is that right?) 

I'd like to say that her middle name was inspired by the "Code of the Elves" (Elf) where it clearly states we are to "treat every day like Christmas"... it wasn't. I just thought it sounded really pretty together, and Chris agreed. 

So, Riley Noelle became our "if it's a girl" name. 

On August 29th, when the ultrasound tech said "you guys are having a girl" I couldn't help myself, I blurted out "Hi Riley!" and then, the journey of keeping it a secret began. 

So my dear sweet Riley. Our prayer for you is that as you grow, you would come to an understanding of your need for Christ as your Savior at a young age and that you would courageously follow Him. 

Photo Credit: The League of Extraordinary Artists

Special thank you to Vinny, with The League of Extraordinary Artists for capturing so many beautiful photos of Riley.

Monday, January 6, 2014

Inside my hospital Bag - First Baby

While my instagram, twitter and facebook feeds are full of images of costumes and packed suitcases for Marathon Weekend at Walt Disney World this weekend, my bags packed for a much different reason.

My hospital bag is packed, the car seat is installed and I am so ready to have this baby! I procrastinated for far too long when it comes to packing my hospital bag. Most online forums will encourage you to have it packed by 36 weeks. That way, when you are full term (37 weeks) you don't have to worry about running errands, and packing a bag should you go into labor before you estimated due date. I  didn't finish packing mine until last Friday (just about 38 weeks). 

What's in the bag? 

I spent a lot of time on google, and youtube putting together lists of items I might want. When packing, I took a few things into consideration.

  1. I don't like clutter. Since I'm not a fan of cutter, I wanted to be sure that I didn't over pack. 
  2. I hate to be unprepared. Since I hate to be unprepared, I spent quite a bit of time talking over the birth process, and hospital procedures with my OB. I wanted to be sure I was fully aware of what would be allowed in the hospital. 
  3. I wanted my husband to have everything he needed. I love my husband, he's been my rock through this whole pregnancy. While working full time and completing his final semester of graduate school he has taken care of me and NEVER missed a doctors appointment. So, I wanted to be sure that while we were in the hospital HE would have everything he needed to be comfortable. 
So, after I internalized what I thought I might need I came up with the following list of items to take. 

For Labor:
  • Birth plan 
  • Small note book w/pen 
  • Focus cards 
  • Kindle with funny movies 
  • Ipod with calming music 
  • Paper fan 
  • Tennis Balls 
  • Chapstick (about 5 tubes in every pocket of the suitcase)
  • My Pillow 
  • Phone
  • Camera 
    • Batteries and Chargers 
For After Birth:
  • Pj's - two different sets 
  • Going home outfit
  • Flip flops
  • Socks
  • Make up 
  • Toiletries
  • Hair Straightener
  • Dry Shampoo 
For My Husband:
  • Snacks
    • Meal replacement bars
    • Energy Snack mix
  • Change 
    • for vending machine
  • Gum
  • Water Bottle
  • Sweatpants
  • Socks 
  • Beanie Hat - He is always freezing! 
  • Clothing 
For Baby:
  • Receiving blanket
  • Hats
  • Outfits 
  • Socks
  • Mittens
For Nurses: 
  • Day 1 nursing staff gift basket 
    • Chocolate
    • Rice Krispee Treats 
  • Day 2 nursing staff gift basket
    • Chocolate 
    • Rice Krispee Treats 
  • Baby Book - in case my husband wants to start filling it out while we are in the hospital (*hint-hint*)
  • Guest Book 
    • We are taking a guest book for any visitors in the hospital to sign
  • Empty bag in case of freebies, cards or other things to bring home
I'm sure there are other things in our suitcase, I'm just not sure right off hand. 

What did you pack in your suitcase, am I forgetting anything? 

Thursday, January 2, 2014

2014 Goals!

The calendar has flipped from December to January.
Our Holiday decorations have begun to be packed away, and we are all trying to get into a post holiday routine. Yep. It's time for the New Year Resolutions to flood our newfeeds. Promises of "this is my year" and "I will lose weight" All well and good, but as one who has fallen in the trap I encourage you to make attainable goals.

My weight loss journey began with a simple goal of making a conscious effort to make the healthy choice. From January 2012 - May 2013 that simple goal helped me shed between 55-60 pounds, fall in love with running and complete 2 half marathons. So before you get discouraged over the scale refusing to budge - take a moment to change your perspective.

By the way, my own husband texted me his 2014 goals yesterday. Yes. They are weight loss / body composition related, and I encouraged him to set some smaller goal to accomplish his big picture
So, please don't misread this - if weight loss is a dream of yours then CHASE IT!

So, with a changed perspective I bring you my 2014 goals!

I am literally DAYS away from giving birth to my daughter, and I absolutely cannot wait!! As you can imagine, 2014 is going to be full of lots of changes for our family. Not only will we welcome our daughter into our home in a few days, my husband recently graduated from graduate school and is on the job hunt.

If having a baby, and career hunting isn't life changing enough... Since we had to defer the Goofy Challenge (Thanks Baby Jimenez), we will also be Marathon Training!

So, what are my goals for 2014?

As much as i'd love to do the 5 by the 5th with Mommy Run Fast, or the 14 races in 2014 challenge with Jill and Jen - I just can't commit this year. I did complete it last year, and LOVED it! So, if you're looking for a good challenge to keep you motivated make sure you check out their challenges!

I may participate in some of the 5 by the 5th runs, and perhaps a few of the virtual 5Ks in the 14 in 2014 challenge, but like I said... I have a new perspective.

In 2014, I'm going to take it 1 day at a time!


The Florida Everglades for Kids!

*this post contains affiliate links* As a family with three young children, we are always looking to create meaningful experiences for...