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Here is a peek of my lovely wedding day! We were married July 20, 2008 in the gorgeous Black Hills of South Dakota. Find more images and details about my incredible wedding day on Style Me Pretty.

                    

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Entries in family (11)

Monday
Feb012016

birth story ::: arden skillman

My first labor & delivery didn't exactly go as planned. Well my second one....sorta went as planned? Meaning it was still a little crazy. My husband was (again) the one to help deliver his child. Apparently I should have included that in our wedding vows.


Shortly after our first son was born, my husband and I had decided a homebirth was best for our situation (aka a precipitous birth). While I am a crunchy kinda gal, I never thought I'd be "that lady". But we knew it would take a lot to convince me to get back into a car while in labor. We also LOVED spending the first 24 hrs at home as a family. Those precious hours are pure magic.

A few days before my 40 week mark I had a some cramping that lasted a couple hours each time. By cramping, I mean they gave me ptsd flashbacks of the pain involved with childbirth. Can I un-pregnate myself please?!

Around 4pm on the day that marked 40 weeks, the sporadic mild contractions started again but this time didn't subside after a few hours. I informed my midwife that this might be happening tonight. She had a 3 hour drive and had been to my house earlier that day for our prenatal. Oh the joys of living in rural Wyoming.


At 7pm the contractions are still random but we are convinced this won't stop. We have a shared moment of panic where my husband joins me in a ptsd flashback. He then makes a dash to Walmart for last minute supplies. The garden hose, which we needed to fill up the birth tub, was delayed because of holiday shipping (this comes in real handy later). I take a bath and relax....still hoping the contractions might stop.


Some time before 10pm I realize things are picking up and I now inform my midwife that she should start the drive. By picking up, I mean I can no longer lay down or do anything. Sitting on the toilet is THE ONLY comfortable place to be in the whole house. And so now I sit there. And endure what is quickly becoming not fun (people call this active labor). Doubts creep in about preferring to go to the hospital.


The next two hours fly by. My first labor felt out of control and miserable. This time I felt pain but it was much more manageable. 1) I knew the labor wouldn't last 15 hours and 2) there was a few minutes of reprieve between each contraction. I had neither the first time around. At 11pm I tell my husband to fill the tub because I think I'll want to be in it soon and we share a moment of clarity. We know we want to have this baby at home and we know the chances are good that the midwife won't make it on time. And we are okay.

Now. I don't understand how women don't know they are pushing out a baby. But somehow I didn't realize I was pushing out a baby. I just know that my mom walked in to ask how I was doing (she had just arrived to make sure if the toddler woke up he'd have someone attending him). I looked at her and said things were "not fun" and then all of a sudden I yelled that she needed to find Trevor...NOW.


I was (still) sitting on the toilet. And there was a baby's head beginning to emerge. Dangerously close to a very small porcelain birth tub. My husband walks in like he knows exactly what to do, giving both me and my mother instructions (me to get off the toilet and her to get towels). With the next contraction he catches our son's head which was still contained in the amniotic sac. Another contraction—the sac breaks and we hear a little war cry as our baby gracefully falls into his hands.


It was just after midnight. That garden hose had managed to fill the tub a whole 8". Just like my first birth, I looked over at the tub with jealous eyes thinking "it sure would have been nice to use you". But alas, all was well and I was comfortably laying on my bed snuggling my sweet babe. The birth assistant arrived within 15 minutes of the birth and my midwife about an hour after. They both did a great job caring for us and cleaning everything (there was surprisingly little to clean actually). Postpartum care lasted about three hours and we laid down around 3:30am to sleep. Gunnar had slept through a rather noisy ordeal just across the hall—until 4:30am when Arden made a small cry. He walks into our room and says "BAY BAY". We introduce them and then my dear dear husband gets up to play with our toddler so I can rest.


While we didn't *quite* get the relaxing stress-free birth we intended, it was an amazing experience. I feel honored to have my husband at my side to experience such craziness. He is my champion always. We named our second son, Arden—which is a Celtic name meaning eager/ardent. Skillman is my paternal grandfather (whom I was never able to meet) and an ancient Norse name meaning trustworthy. Arden was born on January 3rd at midnight, weighing 7 lbs 2 oz and 20.5" long. He's also real cute.

I am hopelessly in love with all three of my boys and look forward to watching my babies grow up as brothers together.

Photography by Smiling Eyes Photo

Wednesday
Jan062016

winter maternity + family session

HAD to share these amazing photos that I will cherish my whole life! I had no idea how much I'd appreciate them—having captured these moments of our family. My sister-in-law did such an incredible job. If anyone lives in the Denver/Fort Collins area, you won't be disappointed!

Photography by Smiling Eyes Photo

Friday
Dec252015

merry christmas

Wishing everyone a beautiful Christmas full of love & laughter.

Tuesday
Apr282015

my babe turned one

I'm blogging! There must be pigs in the sky. But how could I resist showing off this little light of my life?!!!!

It's been over a year since this insane day happened—and yet it feels like yesterday. Party pics coming soon!

Tuesday
Dec162014

8 months old ::: gunnar james

My little sprout is eight months old! This warrants a mini shoot. In the midst of the bustle of Christmas moving into our new home. He sure is a distraction. But I don't mind catering to his every flinch. Not one bit.

He has a complex range of emotions, this being the pensive one. Absolute genius I tell you.

Agh I love that face sooo much!

Monday
Aug042014

4 months

Oh how I wished I blogged more! This ball of pudge is clearly no longer a newborn squish. It's true what they say, the days are long but the years (months) are short.

Just shy of four months old, Gunnar loves to smile & giggle. He is so chill and SUCH a chunker. Probably because he loves to eat a lot. I love that he often holds my hand while nursing. His face still melts my heart at every opportunity. Currently he does not enjoy tummy time, rolling over, or naps....I'm holding out that he might some day. Luckily he prefers the potty over his diapers, which should come in handy in the future. He enjoys being worn, shaking his keyring, storytime, walks & exploring the world, making faces at momma & daddy, growling, and being my little photo prop. (As evidenced on my instagram feed)

My days are spent nurturing this little guy. I'm a lucky gal.

Wednesday
Nov202013

long distance pregnancy announcement

For my parents, this will be their first grandchild and I wanted to tell them in a fun way. Because we live 1100 miles away, I was very limited when searching for ideas. Above was the idea I came up with—a calendar of birthdays, including the newest addition. This felt extra clever because my mom doesn't have the best track record for remembering birthdays AND it was baby animals. How fitting.

I had plastered the mail with "call me when you get this so I can explain". Though I didn't anticipate my mom looking through the calendar because the pics were cute! Despite figuring it out before we were on the phone, it was still a fun way to surprise her (and my dad a bit later).

She then confesses that she's been buying baby doll clothes for years. Probably safe to say she's rooting for a granddaughter.

Thursday
Jun142012

lovely bundle {father's day printable}

Adorable printable paper downloads for Father's Day, in case you need a last minute packaging solution.

Any fun plans this weekend? I hope to visit this epic flea market in Illinois (it's huge!) and maybe another outdoor movie night. Have a great one, friends!

Image Sources: 1. Gift Tags by The Graphics Fairy // 2. Tie Printable by Ruban Collectif for The Sweetest Occasion // 3. BBQ Tags by Jordan of Polkadot Prints for Design Mom // 4. Giftboxes by Papercrave (via FFFFound) //

Monday
May212012

summer fun // bucket list //

Happy Monday!

In order to slow down and not let the summer pass me by, I've decided to create a summer "bucket list". Aaannndd of course I feel that you need one too! Below are downloads that you can edit to create your customized list. There is also a circle option to throw into your bucket as you tackle each activity.

It's official. Enjoy your summer.

Wednesday
Nov092011

time for mario kart

My husband is home!!!!

Mario Kart is long overdue. As you may have picked up while following my blog, my husband has been working overseas for far too long and I am SO HAPPY to tell you this chapter of my life is now closed. Even now I'm so emotional just knowing he will be by my side every day from now on.

These images are from a previous anniversary shoot and happen to capture our favorite family pastime. It may not be the healthiest to have such weekly competitions and major trash talking, but golly gee it sure is fun.  I'll now take my leave and woop some husband derriere (at mario kart of course!). ;)

Photography by I'm Fine Today