Monday, March 8, 2010

Another Perfect Day!

Today was another perfect WNC day. We had the windows open in the house and we stayed outside all day!

I love these early spring days, the brisk (yet warm) air, the outdoor trips, the hikes, and the time with family. It doesn't get any better!

Here are a few shots of Canyon and Arden at the Nature Center, while Rory was in school.

Sunday, March 7, 2010

My middle darling, Arden...

I think all of my boys are gorgeous, but between his behavior and facial expressions, Arden is so darned cute. Here are a few photos of him from today... Don't you think he is adorable (and goofy)?


We also went to the Biltmore Estates today... if you live in the area, a season pass is totally worth it, and you should think about getting one!

I think today might have been the last of the snow on the estates, and the weather has gotten beautiful! Here are just a few shots of the house, I didn't get the camera out much, we were too busy having fun!

Saturday, March 6, 2010

Every Step Counts... Mark this one for the midwives!

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Thursday, March 4, 2010

CDC Report: Demand for Out-of-Hospital Midwife Births Sharply Increases
Research Debunks Physician Group Claims that Actress Ricki Lake is Responsible for Rise in Out-of-Hospital Births

WASHINGTON, D.C. (March 4, 2010)—
A Centers for Disease Control National Health Statistics report released this week showed a five percent increase in demand for out-of-hospital midwife births in 2005. Seventeen states reported an increase of ten percent or more, numbers that continued for 2006. The increase predates the release of actress Ricki Lake’s film, The Business of Being Born, which the American Medical Association cited as a leading factor behind the new consumer demand, a claim echoed in an anti-home birth position statement from the American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists.

“The idea that American women choose out-of-hospital delivery because a celebrity had her baby at home or because they value the birth ‘experience’ over the health of their babies is not only insulting, but it reveals an appalling lack of awareness on the part of ACOG and the AMA about the economic pressures influencing the health care decisions that people are making,” said Katherine Prown, PhD, Campaign Manager of The Big Push for Midwives.

The CDC report identified the reduced costs associated with out-of-hospital maternity care as a factor in the increased demand, as well as religious and cultural practices and personal preferences for birth settings that are both safe and private.

Consistent with the medical literature on the safety of home birth under the care of Certified Professional Midwives, the report also found significantly reduced rates of pre-term and low-birth weight in out-ofhospital
populations. Certified Professional Midwives, who specialize in out-of-hospital birth and who deliver the majority of U.S. babies born in private homes and freestanding birth centers, provide intensive, individualized pre-natal care that focuses on prevention and risk assessment. The authors of the report identify appropriate risk assessment as a likely factor in the reduced rates of pre-term and low-birth weight in out-of-hospital settings.

“Those of us who have been advocating for increased access to Certified Professional Midwives and outof-hospital maternity care have long known that the research shows that AMA and ACOG statements about the safety of home birth and the reasons why women choose out-of-hospital delivery have no basis in the evidence,“ said Prown. “It’s great to be able to cite even more research on the safety of out-of-hospital birth and to be able to point to data showing that women in the United States do not, in fact, make decisions about where to have their babies for frivolous, selfish, or trendy reasons.”

The Big Push for Midwives Campaign represents tens of thousands of grassroots advocates in the United States who support expanding access to Certified Professional Midwives and out-of-hospital maternity care. The mission of The Big Push for Midwives is to educate state and national policymakers about the reduced costs and improved outcomes associated with out-of-hospital maternity care and to advocate for expanding access to the services of Certified Professional Midwives, who are specially trained to provide it. Media inquiries: Katherine Prown (414) 550-8025,

Thursday, February 25, 2010

So much for spring?

Well, we were given a slight taste of what the normal weather pattern this time of year is... and then it was yankd from us! We went from 60degrees to snow, all in one day.

The weather here in WNC never ceases to amaze me. It changes so quickly and without warning.

Yesterday, Carl built a ramp for the neighbor's dog. Poor Blackie has lost the full use of his hind leg/hip on one side. He is a beautiful, old, greyhound rescue. He wasn't able to get up and down the 3-4 steps from the door to the yard, and this was the solution. Carl's skills never cease to amaze me :)

While Carl was working on the ramp, it really began to snow! I have to admit, it was gorgeous, but I am ready for spring.

The woods, rivers, and just all of nature is calling me. I can't wait until all the access roads to our favorite hiking areas are re-opened. I heard that the National Forest Roads will be open this week if they didn't today.

Thanks to Deb that treated us to dinner as a thank-you! It made it easy to go to bed early.

On a side note, is it wrong that I love that my child had a two-hour-delay today? I got a nice long night of sleep for the first time in a while!

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Giving Thanks for a wonderful fellowship dinner...

Last night I was lucky enough to have a wonderful fellowship dinner with some couples from church, at the pastor's home.

Dinner was delicious, and the company was great. I hope we get to do it again soon!

Thanks again to Jim and Jane for a wonderful evening.

Sunday, February 21, 2010

And this is why you listen to mom...

So, over the weekend WNC had perfect weather. I think we even hit 60degrees on Sunday...

Well, we took the boys for a hike and picnic at the river, and while I was making lunch I kept telling the boys to stop throwing rocks into the water. I had a few reasons for stopping it, one was because they would scare away the fish, two was because the beach was really sandy and they needed clean hands, and third was because I didn't want them to fall in...

I was making sandwiches as we sat, and handed them out according to age, with Rory being first. I reminded him again to stop throwing rocks.

As I was finishing making all the sandwiches and handing them out... I hear Rory start crying.

I turn to him and see that he has a rock in his hand and no sandwich.

It didn't take long to realize what happened. Rory threw his sandwich in the water instead of the intended rock... That definitely wasn't the reason I was telling him not to throw rocks, but hey, it works as a reason to listen to mom!

Here is Rory right after throwing his lunch away:

And here is the floating sandwich (which became fish food):

Saturday, February 20, 2010

The warmth is here...

And not a moment too soon!

Today we went hiking in what I hope was the last of the season's snow. It was perfect out. The temperature held in the 50's, the boys played in the water, the fish were jumping... it was great.

I hope that this weather is here to stay, we were right around the normal temps for today...

Going for these late winter/early spring hikes do so much to lift your spirit! I love that feeling you get as you inhale that first breath of pure mountain air, and smell the creek, trees, and the dirt... There are very few things that I love more.

The boys had a blast. We ate lunch on a cobblestone beach, sat on a tree, and took some photos. Rory is getting the hang of the camera!


Thursday, February 18, 2010

An awesome mini-vacation!

We had an awesome set of friends who invited us to Wilderness in the Smokies and since Rory had a snow-day on Monday, and no school on Tuesday, we decided to take them up on their offer and to go.

It was AWESOME. Probably one of the coolest things I have ever been to. They have a HUGE indoor waterpark with anything you can imagine!

Arden and Canyon got to play in the kiddie pools (there were 2!) and Rory was tall enough to go on all the rides except for one waterslide. I found out later why he couldn't go on that slide... it was HUGE and like nothing I have ever be on!!!!

They also have an indoor wave pool, 3 other big slides, and an awesome surf wave. Rory rode it all, and rode hard all day. He got on the surf wave and body boarded!! He was so good at it that people stopped, watched him, and cheered!!!!! He would start to wash out, and then paddle back down it with his hands to get back into the sweet spot, it was great. I didn't get any photos of him or me, (but we hope to order them) I did however get a few good ones of Carl! He had a blast, he wiped out trying to do tricks... So here are a handful of photos, I was too busy having fun to get many.

And again, Steph and Chris, thank you SO much :)









Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Long week!

We had a long week last week that kept us from getting to blog!

Canyon dislocated his elbow, I got mastitis, and the list kept going on... talk about busy and long ;)

Here are a handful of photos from this week, I will post another blog tonight with a few more!


Sunday, February 7, 2010

13 Days of Love... Day 7

We are completely blessed to have such a wonderful church family.

I really don't have much to say other then I love our church, I love our pastor, and I love our church family.

Every time we go to church, I sit and listen to our pastor preach, and am reminded how good he really is. It is incredibly hard to find a minister that really preaches the bible in a way that feels right and touches your heart. We must have visited 5-6 different baptist churches before we found our perfect church.

Each week that Jim gets up to the pulpit, I know that we are going to hear a wonderful sermon. He is well educated, worldly, and has both an open heart and open mind. (Which is surprisingly hard to find in many Christians now-a-days).

He reminds me of listening to Carl's dad when he was the pastor at our old church, and makes me want to go to WV to listen to Carl's mom (who is now the pastor at the old church).

Our church family is so generous, and so loving. It is amazing that we found a church where we never feel judged, or looked down on.

When life get's hard for me, I tend to back off a little, and seclude myself. It makes it easier for me to deal with the problems and situations. When Canyon got sick, I felt the need to back away from a lot of things (my blog and church included). We have recently started to go back to church, and it is wonderful to see how much we were missed, and how much people care. Everyone was respectful of our space while we were away, prayed for Canyon and the family, checked up on us, and then welcomed us back with open arms. We couldn't ask for more.

Today's service impacted me pretty hard, and I am spending time thinking about the real reason things happen here on Earth... but that is another discussion.

Today's love is my church family. Thank you all for your love and support.

Saturday, February 6, 2010

13 Days of Love... Day 6.

My love today is Asheville and it's local commerce and food...

There are a lot of places in the country that don't have available local stores and local food. We here in Asheville are blessed to have both all year.

This morning I got up, and took Rory to the "Toy Box" store down the road from our house. He was able to pick out a gift for a friend, and look at a ton of toys that ToysRUs or Walmart wouldn't have. Every week we go to local restaurants to eat, and many of those use local foods as much as possible. We do our shopping at neighborhood grocers and even at the local farmer's market.

I think that shopping locally for both food and other items is one of the most important things we can do for our planet, our economy, and our children.

Here in Asheville, we have Walmarts, McDonalds, ToysRUs, and even a mall, but you want to know a secret? We don't need them. We have such a great local selection of small family owned stores and restaurants, that you don't need those big chains and discount stores.

We get our hair cut at a local salon, we get our food at small local stores, we get most of our clothes from local stores, and even our toys and gifts come from 2 small toy stores in town.

I LOVE ASHEVILLE and the opportunity it gives us to eat and shop locally!

Friday, February 5, 2010

13 Days of Love... Day 5

I have spent a lot of time traveling around, and living in different places. One thing I have found is how much I love the mountains.

As a little girl, I grew up in the Potomac Valley in Maryland. There were hills, and mountains near by, but we never got to see them or to experience what they had to offer us. I used to go to visit my Granny Eva in southern West Virginia. Her home is in this beautiful location, and when I would stay, I would tell her that someday I was going to live there. I did for a while, and someday, I probably will again.

I have lived in river valleys, in the "low country", close to the beaches, in the midwest, and somehow, I always come back to the mountains. They literally pull at my heart. When we take trips to visit friends and family on the beaches, and in other parts of the country, I miss the call of our mountains. As we travel back over the foothills, I can feel the mountains, and I know we are coming home. I feel at peace knowing that we will soon be able to see them.

We have been blessed to live here in Western North Carolina. Both the Appalachian and Smokey Mountains run here, and offer us their life and their beauty. The mountains here thought smaller then the ones out west, are breathtaking.

They offer us clean water, fresh air, naturally grown fish, and the opportunity to explore and "disappear" into the wilderness. They offer the chance to kayak, ski, hike, fish, bike, and really to do anything our hearts desire.

I still desire to travel, and to leave the mountains for a brief time... but I know that I will always come home.

My love for today is the mountains. They hold a special place in my heart.

Thursday, February 4, 2010

13 Days of Love... Day 4

As much as I love the moments that I shared yesterday, there are moments that I covet and protect like no other.

Those moments are the few moments in the evening when my children have gone to bed, the dishes are done, lunches are packed, and I finally have time to spend on me.

As much as I love being a mom and being with my children, I love those moments of silence and solitude.

Those few moments keep me both grounded and connected to myself. I usually spend them curled up in my favorite blue chair, and can be found knitting, having a glass of wine, studying midwifery, or blogging. I spend them doing what I love, that time is for me. They are not moments that I have to spend doing things for others, they are moments that I save just for myself. Every mom needs to have time for her.

We live our lives for our children. I choose to be home 24-7 with my babies, and that choice is one of the best decisions I have ever made. It is not something I will ever regret, it is the most important thing I have ever done.

The thing is, we don't realize when we make that decision, that over time we begin to lose who we are as individuals. Little by little, that person we used to be before children begins to slip away, and unless we do little things to protect that, we lose sight of ourselves.

I have a degree in English, with a concentration in Journalism. I am an outdoors person who lives for the next adrenaline rush. I have spent my adult life before children taking photos, writing, living minimally (in a tent or on the road) and doing extreme sports. After having my beautiful children, I realized that adult contact began to decrease (more so with each child) and that self expression was no longer easy to come by, I no longer get to go rock climbing, skiing, or kayaking on a regular basis, I no longer can live minimally (not in the same way I used to) and sometimes I wonder where those parts of my life went.

In order to keep that part of myself, I take those few moments each night, and I make them mine. I think that all moms need to do the same :) I encourage you moms to take this "love" of mine, and to take those moments and make them your own. You not only deserve them, but you need them.We are people outside of our children, and we need to remember who we were/are, and hold onto that.

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

13 Days of Love... Day 3

Those precious moments...

Every day, there are little moments that I will always cherish and hopefully never forget...

With each of my children there is a special time that we spend together each day, and with each little one, that time is different.

Almost every morning, I get to drive Rory to his morning car-pool for school. This is our "private time" where (usually) his brothers are not accompanying us, and when he can just talk to me... and he does! Rory will talk non-stop about different things that are important to his 6-year-old mind, and I am learning to see the whole world through a different set of glasses recently. I love my time with Rory, and can't believe how old and mature he is getting!

Arden and I spend time in the kitchen almost everyday. I love that he helps me get food prepared for meals and then after meals when everything is calm, he still climbs up onto my lap and hugs me. It is such a sweet time to get to have with him, and as he grows older, I know I will miss it. He is such a sweet child who wants nothing but love, and I love that about him.

And that brings us to the Can-Man.

Canyon, because of his age, still monopolizes much of my time and my life. But the time I will always cherish with him are our afternoon and evening nursing sessions. When he gets hurt, upset, or sleepy, he come to me, smiles really big, and says "Nur Nurs". His smile and excitement is so endearing as he gets lifted to my lap. He is getting so big, but is still able to curl up in my lap and be comforted in the way only a mom can do. It really is sweet, and I love those minutes.

I know that as my boys grow older, that the precious moments I love are going to get further and further apart. I just hope that my boys will remember them as fondly as I do.

A first hair cut...

To me it is kind of funny that Canyon has now gotten a hair cut before his brother! The resemblance to Rory and his first hair cut at about the same age is amazing!

Without further to-do, here is the Can-man before:

And after:

And here is one of Arden just because he wanted a photo too:

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

13 Days of Love... Day 2

Carl, my husband, my partner, my love.

I met Carl when I was in 2001 while I was finishing college. I had just turned 20, was just a few months out of an extremely unhealthy relationship, and wasn't even looking to fall for anyone.

I decided to drive from Kent, OH. to Ohiopyle, PA. to go kayaking, and was just hoping to be able to bum a shuttle ride from someone.

When I arrived at the put-in I was excited to see a couple of guys there getting ready to run their own shuttle. I jumped out of my car and begged for a ride. I think my exact quote was something to the effect of, "I just need a ride, I can get all my own gear if I swim, and don't need to follow you guys or anything... what do you think?"

Carl and Lad readily agreed to go down the river with me, and give me a ride back to my car at the end.

Looking back on it, I must have been quite a sight to see. I had been out partying for Halloween the night before, still had on my makeup, my hair was a disaster (in curls with so much product it was crunchy!), I was sick to my stomach from the prior night's activities, and was gulping pepto as we made our way down the river. (I actually had the pepto in my kayak along side my water bottle!)

Carl kind of hung back, and was quiet. He was respectful of my space and really polite. He was really a nice guy and I assumed unavailable because of his age and behavior.

After paddling the river, Carl and Lad decided to go out for drinks and dinner, and since I was going to be paddling for a few days, I agreed to go out with them. We went to the Black Bear, and ate and talked. We had a great time. Lad left early from dinner, and left Carl and I to talk at the table.

Carl and I shared some bacon-cheddar fries, and had a great conversation. Carl was so sweet; he was kind, and cute, and nothing like most of the men I had dated! It was a welcome experience, and wonderful to meet someone so "good".

We agreed to go kayaking the next morning again and to meet at 10am.

10:30 rolled around and I decided that I was going to get my gear on, and at 10:45, I was leaving to paddle. I figured he was one of "those guys" who can never be on time or care enough to call someone if they are going to be late. I was pretty hot under the collar by this point and figured he wasn't as nice as he had seemed.

At 10:44 Carl came screeching into the parking lot, jumped out of his car and was apologetic. He had slept through his alarm. He was so relieved that I hadn't left. I actually felt bad for him with how rushed he seemed and how tired!

We had an awesome day, and at the end agreed to boat the next weekend again... little did I know that this was the beginning of something real, and life long.

A few months later, during a pool-game at the BrewPub in Morgantown, Carl pulled me aside and told me he loved me... The almost school-boyish smile on his face as he shared that secret, is something I will never forget. I was in love with him too.

Over the following years Carl and I have grown closer together. We have dealt with a lot of turbulence and stress, but in the end, we have always come out closer and more in love. Now, with 3 children, and almost 7 years of marriage under our belts, I know that our love is real and substantial.

I don't love Carl the way I did when we first started dating. I love him more. The more comfortable and safe we feel in our relationship, the more I love him. Each day that passes shows us trials, tribulations, and more ways to fall in love and to support each other in life. I love my husband, and cannot imagine our lives without each other.

He is my partner in life, my other half, my equal, my love.

So, if you read all of that, I just wanted to say, I love my husband! He is the first love in the "13 Days of Love" that I wanted to share with you.

Monday, February 1, 2010

Just got home...

From the Red Cross Donation Center.

Please, think about going to donate blood or platelets as often as you can. It is a simple procedure that can save 3 or more lives :)

Rory and I (obviously he just keeps me company) are going to try to donate platelets every 2-3 weeks and blood in between. :)

13 Days of Love... Day 1


What is love? What does it mean to be "in love" or to "love" something or someone?

Wikipedia describes love as:
"any of a number of emotions related to a sense of strong affection[1] and attachment. The word love can refer to a variety of different feelings, states, and attitudes, ranging from generic pleasure ("I loved that meal") to intense interpersonal attraction ("I love my husband"). This diversity of uses and meanings, combined with the complexity of the feelings involved, makes love unusually difficult to consistently define, even compared to other emotional states.
As an abstract concept, love usually refers to a deep, ineffable feeling of tenderly caring for another person. Even this limited conception of love, however, encompasses a wealth of different feelings, from the passionate desire and intimacy of romantic love to the nonsexual emotional closeness of familial and platonic love[2] to the profound oneness or devotion of religious love.[3] Love in its various forms acts as a major facilitator of interpersonal relationships and, owing to its central psychological importance, is one of the most common themes in the creative arts."
For me, love is not one thing; it falls into different categories, and depending on the context, it means different things. For instance, I love my husband, I love my dog, I love my kids, I love meatloaf, and I love the color yellow. Not one of those "loves" pulls the same emotion from me as any other on the list. The interpretation is the same, but the meaning and emotion behind the word in each sentence is different.

My heart yearns for my husband and children when we are apart; when I come home from a trip, I feel immediate peace and comfort when I walk into my home and see the yellow walls that hug my home in warmth and love; when I eat meatloaf, I savor each bite and yearn for more long after I am full.

Each of those scenarios are types of love. Over the next few weeks, I am going to pick things from my life that I love, and I am going to blog them.

Tomorrow, my first blog will be about my husband, my love, my equal, and my other half.