Monday, July 14, 2014

A Little Bit of Life

Life is busy and full for us! That is my main reason for not keeping up with our blog.  Below are some pictures to highlight what we've been up to these last few months!


This Spring we went on a campout to Brazos Bend State Park. This was Ezra's first campout, and he did great! At the campout he was about 4 months old which is a perfect age for camping! Small enough to be held all the time if needed, but not mobile to get into dirt and trouble. So EASY! This was our first time camping with two children. It was fairly easy since Ezra was in that easy stage of baby-hood. This Fall may be another story, though.

We took our Johnny-Jump-Up with us. John scaled a tree to hang it. Here is Ezra suspended in the air!

We visited the nature center one morning. We got to pet a snake, and an alligator! 

Learning the difference between and alligator and a crocodile.

Hiking to the lake.

This is the only large alligator we saw up close. Maybe 8 feet from the sidewalk to the lake. The alligator was probably about 5 feet or so long.

Shooting at a range:


It was a family affair.

Around the house:

Story Time!

James in disguise as Mr. Potato Head.

Exploring the outdoors.

Ezra has learned to pull himself up to a standing position!

Ezra started solid foods last week. He dislikes the pureed foods, so he went straight to soft whole foods. Yes, that is a french fry. :-)


Playing with Legos.

We replaced one of our large kitchen windows this month! The old one James broke by hitting it with a paint brush (the metal part). We also put up new blinds!

James showing off his tie.

My little helpers!

Russian Performance:

John was in a performance with the Russian group, Uzori. This was their 20th anniversary performance. Below is from the Ukrainian welcome dance, Hopak. 

Here is a link to watch the dances on YouTube! John is the guy with the long/peppy hair.

Three year anniversary:

We celebrated our third anniversary on June 4. We went to IHOP for breakfast,  then spent the rest of the morning at the butterfly exhibit at the Museum of Natural Science.

Our fearless boy.

A butterfly landed on my pinky finger!

We got to see so many different types of butterflies up close!

John and I went to dinner (alone!!) to the Carriage House Cafe. It was a unique place! It is full of antiques. We enjoyed the delicious food, and walking around the restaurant seeing all the antiques! The owner of the restaurant was an antiques dealer before opening up the cafe which was a carriage house way back when.

Driving by you may never know this is a restaurant.

This is tatted!

From our table

Thursday, February 13, 2014

Operation Wall Removal: Phase 1

We have plans to eventually remove the wall between the kitchen and living room to make the floor plan more open. A lot like a great room.

Last week John did phase one - removing the entry to the dining room.



We love the openness of the entry being gone and can't wait for the rest of it to be gone!

Tuesday, December 3, 2013

He's (Finally) Here!!

Ezra Michael Pedersen was born at home on November 21 at 12:20pm.

In the almost four weeks leading up to Ezra's birth I had several days of contractions pretty much each weekend and sometimes a couple days in a row. Each bout of pre-labor the contractions would gain intensity compared to the previous time and we would wonder hopefully, "Is this it?". Each time the contractions went away after I laid down for a while, or soaked in the tub. By the second week of this it was discouraging when they would go away.  With my pregnancy with James I did the same thing in the two weeks before he was born.

The night  before Ezra was born I began having contractions (again), but they were seemingly a lot like the last times - inconsistent in frequency and intensity, though more intense than the last bout of contractions. The contractions continued through the night, but John and I were very hesitant to think it the real thing since that's what we thought the last several times. In any case, I let our midwife, Cathy Rude, know I was going through it again and that I'd keep her updated with any change. We stuck to our usual evening routine and went to bed. I woke up about 12:30am to use the bathroom and get something to eat. It seemed the contractions stopped, but as I was up it felt like they were roughly 10 minutes apart and uncomfortable. I got back to bed about 12:45am and tried to go back to sleep. I continued to have contractions, though they hurt a lot because I was laying down. I worked on breathing through them, relaxing as best I could, and tried to sleep.  I was in and out of sleep all through the 1:00 hour breathing through each contraction, but I wasn't aware of my surroundings - just the clock and contractions.

By 2am I couldn't sleep through the contractions anymore, and they were just as painful in an upright position as laying down. I woke John up to let him know the goings on. We moved out to the living room so I could try to rest in the recliner between contractions. We began timing the contractions before we let Cathy know so we could tell her the averages of duration and intervals. They were consistently inconsistent! Though quite painful in both my back and front and I needed John there for every contraction.

By about 6:30, we began letting people know that I was in labor, and made arrangements for James to be picked up after breakfast to spend the day at his grandparent's house. We let Cathy know that since labor began at 2am the contractions ranged an average of 2 minutes and 38 seconds to just shy of 9 minutes apart lasting an average of a minute each. At about 8am I called Cathy and left a message that she should come now. Unfortunately she didn't get the voicemail until I called again shortly after 9am to tell her I've been having double and triple peaked contractions. With James, I delivered shortly after the multiple peaked contractions began, so Cathy was quickly on her way! Thankfully she made it with time to spare before Ezra was born!

By the time Cathy arrived (about 9:45 or 10am) my contractions ranged from about 2 minutes to 15 minutes apart and the longest lasting contraction was over 5 minutes long (a triple peak).  John helped me work through the contractions as Cathy and her assistant Virginia finished filling the birth pool and got things ready for the birth.  My contractions never did get to the fairly consistent intervals of 2-5 minutes apart like all the books say happens.

Finally the time came where I was pushing! I'm not sure how long I was pushing, but it was longer than I pushed with James (20 minutes) and a lot more painful. In time, though, Ezra Michael was born! He weighed 8 pounds, 9 ounces and 21 inches long and 6 days late!

We praise God for the safe delivery and that nursing and my recovery are going well!

Thursday, October 17, 2013

Bathroom Progress

Over the last several months (since the last post in March) we have made a good amount of progress on our guest bathroom!

We now have drawers, feet, and hardware:

Drawers in progress. Made by John! :)

Feet added to the base of the vanity

The finished vanity!
We like how the feet make the vanity look like a piece of furniture.
We have a medicine cabinet installed (also made by John)

Close up of the hardware. We splurged on the hardware and bought something we LOVED! So glad we did, because it adds a lot to the look and feel of the bathroom!
And our latest accomplishment is the window:
We purchased this window on our honeymoon at a salvage shop in Galveston (which sadly, has since closed). This is what it looked like halfway through the removal of the old caulk and paint.
All the old paint and caulk scraped off.
John added a frame to the window so it would fit the opening we had for it.
Here he is priming and painting
The picture before being cut to fit the window panes.

The FINISHED window!!

We love how it helps complete the look and feel of the bathroom! 

Saturday, August 31, 2013

It's Been a While...

It's been quite some time since I've had time to write up a blog post. As my sister-in-law, Anna, so aptly puts it: "The activity of a blog is never proportional to the activity in the lives of those who write it; if anything, it is inversely proportional. A quiet blog is quite as likely the symptom of a life too full for writing as of a life with nothing to say."
That sums it up perfectly for us! These last several months have been filled with joy and sorrow, but always with an ever present reminder of God's grace and goodness towards us. Below are some updates from May-June.

The end of May John's paternal grandmother passed away suddenly and unexpectedly. In God's providence, us, the other Pedersens, and the Wades (John's sister and family) were all at the other Pedersen's house that Sunday when we got the phone call from John's aunt about his grandma. We made plans that evening and the next day about what to do for specific family members' travel.
John's parent's flew up to Ft. Collins, CO the next morning to begin funeral preparations with Karen (John's Aunt). The rest of us left Houston that Thursday to make it to Colorado by Friday late afternoon/early evening. We had John's four siblings along with us for the trip up.

We made it to Clayton, NM the first day. The next day we left about 8am to continue our journey. After about an hour, our van's transmission went out on us. We waited for about an hour for a tow truck to take us to the nearest town (Raton, NM), so we could get a rental car to finish our trek to Ft. Collins. Thankfully the tow truck driver let us keep our van in his shop yard while we were gone. This was our second vehicle in one week to have a transmission out. John's truck's transmission went out that Tuesday.


James playing with some rocks while we wait for the tow truck.
We acquired a rental car, but the largest one they had sat 5 people, and we had 7 - including a car seat for James. Needless to say it was a very cramped trip. We met the Wades north of Colorado Springs to give them two passengers so that the drive was less crowded. Now with both cars maxed out, we were on the road yet again to make it to Ft. Collins.

The people in the front

The sardines in the back
We arrived at John's Grandma's house about 7pm. We ate dinner, brought luggage in, and mingled with old and new faces for the evening.

The graveside and memorial services were the next day (Saturday).  The graveside service was not without tears as we mourned our loss of Grandma Pedersen.  For myself, that's when it hit me that she was really gone.   After the graveside service, we made our way to the church for the memorial service.

Grandma Pedersen's grave site

With return travel arrangements made, we three left Sunday morning. We rented a moving truck with a trailer to tow our van back home. In Pueblo, we dropped off the rental car, and made it to Raton, NM to pick up our van. We pushed to make it to Dumas, TX for the night. We made it home late the next night. Praise the Lord we didn't have anything go wrong on the way home! It was so nice to be home, but we wouldn't have missed going to Colorado.

Shortly after we arrived home, we had both our vehichles towed to have both transmissions fixed. It was a very sad event to see BOTH our cars on a tow truck and being driven away! We were so grateful when we had them back a week later!

A sad sight to see...
On June 4, John and I celebrated our second wedding anniversary! To celebrate, on our actual date, I made a nice dinner - Lasagna Rolls, salad, and rosemary bread. Lasagna rolls is the meal I first made for John after we were married, and each year I make it. :)  That weekend, we stayed in a nice hotel down town, went to a nice restaurant for dinner, and walked around the city. It was an enjoyable and relaxing weekend! Below are some pictures.
The front of The Lancaster Hotel
Our room

Sitting area
James looking down at Buffalo Bayou from a bridge.

In mid-June, we had our 18 week ultrasound to check on baby #2, and to find out if it's a boy or a girl - It's a BOY! We eagerly look forward to meeting Ezra Michael Pedersen come November!
One interesting tidbit: When Ezra is born, John's parents will have 5 grandsons 4 and under! Still no girls yet. :-)

The end of June, we traveled to San Antonio to go to a builders show. This one was much smaller than the one we went to in January, but the learning sessions John went to were really good, and James and I walked around the show floor and played while John was attending the classes. The one night we spent in town, we spent at family's house who is a part of the A Candle in The Window Hospitality Network. They were such a sweet family, served us dinner, and we had a great time just visiting with them. Sadly, we forgot to take a picture of them before we left.
While we were in San Antonio, we stopped at the Tower of the Americas. The view at the top was amazing! And VERY windy!

James was quite amused by the windiness. :)

We have been making progress on our bathroom! I hope to get a separate post up about the updates some time after this one.