Tuesday, November 19, 2013


You know those days when no matter how hard you try, nothing seems to go right?  those days when you're too tired to even really try.  those days when you're children are in tears and you're in tears and all you need is ten minutes to yourself so you can gather the strength to make it for a bit.  those days when you want to scream at your husband for no reason (or even a good reason - it doesn't really matter).  those days when showering isn't even on your radar and the house is a disaster and the thought of doing anything is just depressing.  when all you want is to crawl in bed, pull up the covers, eat your weight's worth of ice cream, and have everyone leave you alone.   

the only thing worse than a day like that is four days in a row.  yep. 

here's the thing.  I love my children and my husband and almost every day I crawl into bed and think how wonderful my life is.  because it really is.  but I didn't think that yesterday.  or the day before that.  or the day before that. 

here's to a better tomorrow  :)

Monday, November 11, 2013


In October, I completed an Ironman over the course of the month.  I wanted a goal that would push me harder than I normally push myself.  It seemed like the perfect goal and I LOVED it!  I had so much fun and feel so great. 

Of course, it wasn't all fun and games.  There were days I was so exhausted that I had zero desire to exercise.  There were days when my baby woke up every time I got going.  There were headache days.  There were days when Jeffree and I wouldn't get to spend time together until 9:00 p.m. because he'd get home from work, then I'd exercise, then he'd exercise, then he'd have class or I'd have young women, etc.  But there were awesome days.  Days when I was in awe that I accomplished as much as I did.  Days when my body felt strong and I felt amazing. 

Jeffree was so wonderful to support me.  I know it was a pretty big sacrifice, especially when he is working on his Masters degree on top of his full time job.  And even though it was hard to be apart so much, it made our time together sweeter.  He even made me a medal and a poster while I was out on my final run.

It feels amazing to have accomplished such a big goal.  I am so grateful for a healthy body that can do amazing things. 

Friday, September 20, 2013

a birth story

Wednesday July 10: due date.  dilated to 2.5.  schedule to be induced the next week if nothing happens.

Thursday July 11: anniversary.  thankfully, he lets us have our special day all to ourselves.

Friday July 12:

12:30 a.m.  wake up quite uncomfortable with an upset stomach.  wake up about every hour after that with discomfort/cramping/needing to use the potty.

6:30 a.m.  after a long night with very little sleep, little e crawls into bed with me for a bit, then we're up for the day.

7:00 a.m.  dishes, laundry, tidying up.  having small cramps.  they are not nearly as painful as they were during the night.  i'm not sure if they are contractions or not, since they don't feel like what everyone tells you they feel like.  they don't seem very frequent - maybe every 30 minutes or so.

11:30 a.m.  one of my besties comes over to hang out.  i tell her about my discomfort, and i'm still uncertain about them being contractions.  we visit, watch little e play with her baby boy, and have lunch.

1:45 p.m.  my friend leaves just as Jeffree gets home from work.  at this point i am assuming they are contractions, due to the fact that i have felt them all day.  there is no tightening or hardening.  it just feels like i have some indigestion.

2:30 p.m. jeffree tells me they seem pretty close together, since i'm telling him every time i have one.  he thinks i should time them.  i think we should take a nap.  i win.  we go to lay down when i get a phone call from a friend.  her van is having troubles.  they're in cedar and wonder if they can park the van at our house while they wait for family to help them out.  jeff proceeds with the nap idea while i wait for our friends to arrive.  i decide to time my contractions.

3:15 p.m.  our friends have come and gone and i'm surprised that my contractions are only 10-12 minutes apart.

4:00 p.m.  naptime is over for the whole fam.  i announce to jeffree that as it turns out, i don't really like contractions.  i also tell him i want an epidural.  i figure i must be a pansy, since i don't believe i'm actually in active labor.  we are headed to my family's house at 5:00 for a movie night.  we decide to pack our bag so it will be ready just in case.

4:30 p.m.  my sister has been texting me and asks how close my contractions are.  i say "ten minutes?"

4:40 p.m.  i hop in the shower.  i am having pretty intense contractions now. i'm having a big contraction, then a few minutes later i feel like i'm going to have a contraction, but it fades before turning into a full blown contraction.

5:10 p.m.  i'm not sure what to do, so i call my mom and explain things to her.  do the small pains count as contractions or are they just after shocks? should i be timing them?  my mom says, "lori, just go to the hospital. then you don't have to wonder." i hang up and tell jeffree we're going to the hospital.  we finish packing e's bag.

5:20 p.m.  i figure i better use the lou before we take off.  there's blood and i tell jeffree, "we're going to have this baby."

5:30 p.m.  we get to my parents house and have my siblings come outside to meet us and get little e.  we head for the hospital.  i'm still not a big fan of contractions.  they're getting worse.  i make it pretty clear that whatever happens, jeff needs to make sure i get an epidural.  we go through the emergency doors, since it's past regular hours.  labor and delivery is like forever away from the doors, so despite my best efforts to hurry, i have to pause a handful of times to endure a contraction.  i'm hunched over in pain and i tell jeff i need an epidural.  he says, "let's go.  keep walking.  let's get in there."  *note to husbands: don't tell your wife to keep walking if she's having contractions.  just saying.

5:45 p.m.  i'm finally checked in and i'm in the hospital bed.  the nurse comes to check me and i think she's going to tell me i'm at a three and that i need to go home and tough it out.  as she's checking me she asks, "were you dilated at all at your last appointment?"  the way she asks makes me think i went backwards and i'm only a one or something.  i nervously confirm that, yes, i was dilated to 2.5.  she replies, "oh.  well, you're at an 8 now."  i was blown away.   i was on the phone with my mom asking her if she thought i was in labor and i was at an 8!!!  "can i get an epidural?" i asked.

6:30 p.m.  I have my epidural and I'm feeling pretty good.  the anesthesiologist had to leave his garden to come in, since the one at the hospital was stuck in OR.  my doctor is here after leaving his cart at home depot.  we're all set to go.  the epidural slows down my contractions, so my dr waits for one, then has me push to break my water.

7:15 p.m. after pushing for about 20 minutes, he's here.  he's beautiful and perfect and in my arms.  a few tears surface as i think about the miracle that my body just performed.  he is the miracle.  i'm in awe at how quickly it happened and how much i was able to do on my own.  and i'm so glad he's here.

7:19 p.m.  my mom and sister arrive.  my sister wanted to watch me give birth, but my mom convinced her that i would be a while before having him.  she's pretty sad she missed it.  grandpa brings little e to the hospital a little while later.  she takes charge immediately.  "dad, you hold the baby.  mom, you hold me."  i cuddle with her and she seems to understand that he is here now and is part of our family.  she loves him, but after a few kisses, wants to just be with me.  my dad tells me that i don't look like i just gave birth.  and i don't really feel like i just gave birth.  it seems so strange that he is already here.  i just keep thinking, "is that all?  are we finished?"  jeff's parents arrive after my family leaves.  after loves from family, i walk to my recovery room, and jeffree, k man and i settle down for the night.

we love him so much.  he's healthy and sweet and sleeps all night in the hospital.  both of us are doing well.  24 hours later, we are home with our sweet little man. 

he is the perfect addition to our little family.

Sunday, July 21, 2013

our little K man

Meet the newest addition to our family...

Kennan James Shirley

Born July 12 2013 at 7:15 p.m.

7 lbs 9 oz

19 inches long

A perfect little angel

We love our sweet little boy

Thursday, July 11, 2013

our special day

Happy Anniversary to my man.  Thanks for marrying me four years ago.  I love you with all my heart.

Here's to forever together.  Let's kiss.

Sunday, June 16, 2013

meet the dads

I thought it would be fun to do an ol' twist on the traditional father's day post.  First of all, I love my dad.  He's one of the best people I know.  And of course, I'm pretty lucky to have this man as the father of my children.  Now on to the good stuff.

They say you will marry someone like your dad.  I certainly wasn't shopping for a husband with a master list of dad-like qualities in my back pocket.  But it is seriously crazy how much Jeffree and my dad have in common. 

Jeffree and my dad both measure in at 6'3".  Both of them weighed about the same when they got married (around 150-155 lbs). 

They are both teachers by profession.  My dad taught math for 30+ years.  The hubs teaches elementary school.  Both are great teachers.

My dad is deaf in one ear.  My husband is also deaf in one ear.  True story.  My dad was injured when swimming when he was younger and is now deaf in his left ear.  Jeffree lost hearing in his right ear when he was about 10 or 11, due to some serious infections.  He had surgery to remove the infection, and was left with about 40% hearing in that ear.  I'm pretty sure it's gotten worse since then.  Take note, I always sit to Jeffree's left so that he can hear me. 

Both my dad and Jeffree are super funny.  I seriously laugh at almost everything they say.  My dad is probably the most clever, witty person I know.  Jeff's not far behind him.

Their favorite candy bar is Reeces. 

They both give really great hugs. 

I love them both.  Happy Dad's day!

Thursday, June 6, 2013


 Early morning snuggles.  She always chooses daddy to cuddle with in the morning.

She only wears skirts these days.  

Getting kisses from daddy while she helps him grind the wheat to make bread.

Working on the piles of sorted hand me downs that need to be washed before baby brother gets here.  This is my family room... not my laundry room.

Sidewalk chalk before it gets to warm to play outside.

The six feet in our little family.  With a blurry belly in the way to prove that two more feet will be joining us soon.

 Walking around the neighborhood in order to complete one of Jeffree's school assignments.

Stopping to say hi to our favorite neighbor.

Hours later, after naps and baking bread.  Waiting for a client at our photo shoot destination.

Playing frisbee with daddy while we wait.

Happy Thursday!