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Tuesday, December 25, 2007

'Twas The Best Of Times...

Leading up to the big day, we had fun family time...
Lots of giggles

Thoughtful reflection

Peaceful rest

And more peaceful rest...

Christmas Day we rocked out p.j. style all day long!


...made a huge mess and loved our gifts!

Shook things up with cool wrist rattles...


Even the dogs had fun, new toys (though Savannah ate the one pictured already...)

Thought about the beautiful meaning of Christmas

And enjoyed our greatest gift this year.

And now we're recovering from sugar highs.

We hope you all had a wonderful Christmas! Many blessings in this new year!

Friday, December 21, 2007

Jesus Had a Green Christmas, So Can I

Click Here To Read Our Christmas Letter!

A large portion of the United States never has a White Christmas. I should be fine being included in the vast number of folks who decorate their leaf-covered trees and hang outdoor lights in shirt sleeves, but -no- I felt like a fake. This certainly isn't Christmas, is it? Sitting in my air conditioned living room, listening to Bing Crosby and staring at our brightly decorated tree, I pondered how I could have a real Christmas in Texas.

Then the thought came, "Wait a minute! Lots of people don't need snow to truly celebrate Christmas. So, what makes Christmas feel so... Christmasy?"

We put up all our ornaments, garland and twinkle lights. The stockings were hung with care and presents sit beneath the tree, but it seems devastatingly anti-climactic if this is it.


On the first Sunday of Advent when we lit the candles at church and sang our first carols the holiday sparks ignited my heart! I've always loved Advent -the ceremony, the anticipation, the holiness of the season and it's traditions. Without the communal celebration of Christmas with a church home, the holiday seems empty to me. Along with church and remembering that the focus of Christmas isn't if I finished my shopping and if everyone is happy with the presents I bought them (and if I made the 8 different kinds of holiday cookies...) one more thing remains.

Giving from the heart and not from obligation. I had another moment sitting on my couch: our church had planned to carol at a retirement home that evening and I wasn't sure if I wanted to go. Brian was gone and I was feeling very introverted. Finally, I decided Wilder and I would go. It was the best thing I have done this season. Sharing treasured songs with treasured folks, hearing stories of their families and past Christmases, seeing care-worn faces light up when they saw Wilder -I was humbled and very blessed. I had been so caught up in making Christmas "Christmas" at our house and for me that I had neglected to do exactly what God would want me to do -to share love and joy.

It's so easy to get stuck in creating Christmas, but I learned I can't make the magic of the season. That only happens when I look beyond myself, share with others, and celebrate. I don't need snow to make a wonderful Christmas. I need you. Merry Christmas, All!

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Hi, I'm Wilder. Wilder Scott.

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***Remember to view our Christmas Letter To You below!***

-Wilder at 6 weeks old smiling up a storm! Grandmothers, you'll love this!-

Hi everyone! I thought I'd share a little bit about myself since many of you don't get to see me in person. I like people. People and lots of loud noise -particularly music. When Mom and Dad practice with the church band I sleep for the whole two hours. I tend to wake up at church when the sermon starts (practicing my "Amen! Preach it, Brother!" for Pastor David) but I'll fall asleep when the worship songs begin.

I'm not too impressed with my vibrating rocking chair mom likes to video me in, though it's fun at times. Honestly, I prefer hanging out on the floor, "talking" and kicking my legs. The Christmas tree is cool to look at so Mom puts me under it a lot. I'm beginning to think I'm a Christmas present, though.( Mom will probably be corny and say that I'm her Christmas present. Goofy mom.)

Being alone sucks (oops, I don't think I'm allowed to say that word yet.) I like it best when Mom or Dad holds me while I cat nap in the afternoon, though it's hard for Mom to get much done -and it takes her forever to type emails. But I don't care and I don't think she minds too much. She likes to sing really loud to me, too. It's fun and often puts me to sleep. It's good times when she practices songs for church -then she really gets noisy and I stare up at her in awe. Dad rocks on the guitar -which I can't wait for him to teach me --that is, when I have slightly bigger hands, muscle control and eye-hand coordination. I like it best when he plays to me in the living room -yep, you guessed it, it also puts me to sleep.

Baths are the dogs bollocks. So are pacifiers. I love them both with a passion, though Mom makes sure to give me my plug only when she knows I'm full and just want something to suck on. For some reason she doesn't like to be a pacifier... can't quite understand why.

So, as you can see, I'm a pretty happy guy! And I'm strong and attractive and, gosh darnit, people like me.
It was nice talking to you! Take care!

-Wilder Scott

Saturday, December 1, 2007

Crazy Mom with Camera -starting the photo torture early

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***Please view our Christmas Letter to You below!***

Wilder at 5 weeks -and very sleepy.

Our Christmas Letter


Dearest Friends and Family,

Comfortably medicated with an epidural, surrounded by capable and friendly hospital staff and my wonderful OB/GYN, with my husband at my side, we welcomed Wilder Scott into the world. But she lay surrounded by animal manure and hay, a young woman of little or no knowledge of child birth with only her new husband as help, laboring in the cold of the desert night. As the nurses lay my son on my chest, fresh from the womb and still covered in blood and fluids, I was in such wonder and awe -and immediately in love. This gift was greater than I could have fathomed or anticipated, this precious gift of life. I wonder how Mary felt. I can only imagine tears flowing down her face as she soaked up every moment of that miracle -the Son of God laying at her breast, so perfect and small, totally human, yet holding complete authority in heaven and on earth. The amazement that arrested my heart as I welcomed my son pales in comparison to what she must have felt.
The gift of life is ever more poignant this year. Christ's life, Wilder's life, and -more than ever- I am thankful for my own life. God has redeemed me more times than I can count from going "my own way" and ending up in the dump instead of the top of the golden stairway I set out for. Often times life looks very bleak and we wonder if all this strife is worth it, I know I have. What I have come to understand is that life, in all its richness, has more heights and depths than we can comprehend until we have walked through them. These times of immense joy and, alternately, of sorrow are what make this life so worthwhile. I remember times when I hurt so badly I prayed I would never feel again. If God had answered my cries of relief I would not know the sublime joy that has enveloped me now in the blissful moments of parenthood and marriage. God has brought me through some incredibly difficult times and, by His grace, has delivered me into a promised land of blessing and overwhelming love. I am forever grateful, and forever encouraged. I feel like the poster child for God's faithfulness, and I am so thankful for it.

Now, here are the highlights of this past year! Please look through the archives on the right hand side for incredible pictures and fun stories of our journey through the year!

  • Brian returned Nov. 25, 2006 from a 15 month deployment in Iraq during which he gained national attention and recognition through his blog.
  • I spent several months last fall in L.A. and got to work on film, television, production, and commercials -it was fabulous!
  • We learned mid-March that I was pregnant!
  • I did several company and private shows with Mr. Whitekeys, including playing Gov. Sarah Palin at her inaugural ball in Anchorage. Too much fun!
  • We had lots of quality time together as Brian had so much time off -much needed after so long apart.
  • Brian re-enlisted for 3 more years in the Army and was able to secure a post at Ft. Hood near Austin, TX.
  • I did another season of Donavan Covey at the Anchorage Saturday and Sunday Markets. We made it a family affair: Brian was excellent help (and got lots of reading done...) and the dogs loved all the people and smells!
  • We left Alaska at the end of July and drove south, getting to visit with lots of family on the way down.
  • By the beginning of September we had a new home -our first home!- in a wonderful new town that we simply adore.
  • Wilder Scott was born October 24th -7 lbs. 2 oz, 20 inches long. Happy and healthy and growing like a tree.
  • Brian was slated to deploy mid-December but THANKFULLY it has been rescheduled for sometime this spring (word is mid-March, but we'll see.
It has been a year of great joy and newness. We are incredibly thankful for where God has brought us and look forward to the new year. You are often in our thoughts and always in our hearts, though cards or phone calls may be few. Thank you for your friendships and love! We hope this new year brings you great joy and wonderful new memories!

Love,
Kelly, Brian and Wilder

Sunday, November 25, 2007

Thanksgiving Weekend

This wonderful Thanksgiving weekend...
We feasted...
We roasted...

We looked adorable...
We decorated for Christmas...
With Aunt Mitsi...
We cuddled...
We kept looking adorable all weekend long...
We relaxed...
We listened to Christmas music...

And we cuddled some more.

It was a fabulous weekend! We stayed in comfy clothes the whole time, spend quality time together, watched movies, had great conversation, were creative (Brian wrote some songs on the guitar and I sewed some new blankets), Christmas shopped online, and thoroughly enjoyed each other.

Wilder has slept in his room for the past two nights and it's continuing to get smoother as a transition. Last night I think I finally got six hours of sleep with only one feeding in between. Lovely! I think I'm getting the hang of this. I'm learning to be an adoring mother while not freaking out about every little noise he makes -and as such a vocal baby he makes a lot of noises (though, thankfully, mainly not crying. He just "talks" a lot, which makes for long nights if you can hear every sound.)

It was thrilling decorating our new house for Christmas. We bought our faux tree today and used treasured decorations I've "inherited" -some bulbs from great grandma Ruth, some pre-Kelly ones my folks had, and many that I've grown up with and been given through the years. Twirling the garland around our banister and making the ribbons to decorate it, I felt thoroughly grown up -we have a beautiful home and it sparkles in its holiday splendor! Besides, Christmas is the best time of the year. And this is a holiday seasons of firsts. First Christmas in our new home, first Christmas on our turf together (we've either visited family or were apart,) and first Christmas with Wilder. There is something extra special about your own home, together, during the Christmas season. This place is so full of love, of thankfulness, of gladness, it makes my heart overflow. I pray God does something very special in our hearts this season, something that we'll remember for the rest of our lives. I'll be planning on it.

Sending our love,
Kelly

Product Review: Choxie's Chocolate


Many times I have passed the goodies aisle in Target and been tempted by the vogue packaging of Choxie's chocolates (the fact that it's chocolate is excuse enough to be tempted.) Finally I caved and decided I must try this fancy looking product. The pricing and packaging makes one assume the quality is on par with, say, Lindt chocolates. An 8 oz. box of assorted milk chocolate truffles for $5.99 would make you think so. Specialty chocolate shops are near that much per ounce.

Very disappointing, I must say. It's waxy. There is a tremendous lack of quality in both texture and flavor. I like Hershey's Treasures better --and I HATE Hershey's. I feel so had, my box of Choxie staring unapologetically from my chocolate stash on the counter next to me. I feel like a school girl who got kissed by the cool jock -that got paid 5 bucks by the snickering crowd -and he was a lousy kisser. Wh-ell, I'll no better next time.

A definite bet on a delicious experience that won't pull your purse strings: Dove Chocolate Promises. Both the milk & dark chocolate are creamy, heavenly and cheap -plus they are small enough to enjoy several in one sitting without feeling guilty! Besides, who can resist the fun sayings inside. I love being told to "take a bubble bath," "do it now," and "write a love letter."

Obviously not all chocolate is created equal, but we have a choice. And with the power to choose, I say no to hotsy-totsy Choxie and embrace many other delicious options.

Thursday, November 22, 2007

A Month to be Thankful

Wilder is one month old. He's had his first smile, his first formed sound ("Ga-Goo! Ga-Goo!" believe it or not,) his first bath -a lot of firsts. And it has been one month of wonderment, of awe, of exhaustion, of experimentation, of healing, of extreme joy, and certainly of thanksgiving. Actually, it's been an entire year of thanksgiving.

I'm thankful for...

  • A flawless and easy pregnancy
  • helpful and wonderful husband who loves me
  • A healthy, beautiful and wonderful baby
  • That Brian and I had SO much time together this year, especially after his 15 month deployment
  • A fantastic and safe road trip
  • All the hikes we took this summer in Alaska
  • Wonderful new friends
  • Family who love us
  • A great church home
  • How easily and quickly we found and were moved into our new home and that we were able to have this spectacular place as our first home
I am also thankful for all things we are daily blessed with and often take for granted like...

  • Being able to talk with my mom or sister in an instant via cell phone

  • Reliable and safe transportation

  • Taking scalding hot 15 minute showers

  • Too many clothes

  • Too much food

  • The wonders of the internet and how it helps us keep in touch so easily

  • Instant everything -from food to heat to light, etc.
  • Air travel which has made the world a smaller place and loved ones nearer

  • That we live in the best country in the world and that every day my husband contributes to its greatness and protection by serving in the military
When we take time to acknowledge the blessedness of our lives, the over abundance and the luxury that we daily take for granted we ought to feel a little disappointed for griping so much -I know I do. The lists I just popped out only scratch the surface of all the things I have to be thankful for. I am also extremely thankful for my mother, my sister, my friends and their friends who have and continue pray for me and my family. I'm thankful for the grace that covers me through Jesus. I'm thankful for His unconditional love that he lavishes on me even though I come nowhere near deserving it.

So many wonderful things to be thankful for this year and every year! Big things, like health and safety, and small things like chocolate and toothbrushes. Today I encourage you to talk over turkey about the things that you are grateful for. Make it a family tradition! We have decided to place lists on the fridge through November where we write things we are thankful for, then we'll put the pages in a book so that as time goes by we can see how we've blessed throughout the years. It is so encouraging to witness how God has blessed us through this past year and I'm thankful for another year to look forward to!

Sunday, November 18, 2007

He'll Be Home For Christmas

Wonderful news! Brian's deployment has been postponed until the spring and he will be home for the holidays! So far word is mid-March for deployment, but nothing is official, set in stone or on paper. He will be off to officer training camp for two weeks at the end of this month through early December which will be good practice for Wilder and I in gearing up to be just the two of us come spring.

Since Christmas truly is the best time of the year (even though ours won't be white) we are thrilled to get to spend it together. It will be our second -our first at our home base, and our first in our new home. We're looking for a tree and still figuring out the perfect spot for it.

What Christmas will look like in our family has been a source of several discussions and much thought. Family should be at the heart of it all. Family, faith and fun. Notice "stress" is not listed. To keep stress as far from the equation as possible we plan to maximize good old fashion family fun and minimize the "gimmy gimmy" and "everything has to be perfect or I'm not a good housewife/parent/party diva." We're having family game night. We'll do a puzzle. We'll give gifts that mean something -and we'll keep the gifts to a minimum. I won't be making 8 different kinds of cookies unless I want to. We'll focus on the love and joy of the season and remember God's faithfulness through the ages -past, present and future. I'm looking forward to the challenge of resisting the commercial Christmas and finding our own, meaningful ways of celebrating that we will enjoy for years to come.

And, most of all, I'm thankful we'll get to celebrate Wilder's first Christmas as a family, not from two different parts of the globe.

Saturday, November 17, 2007

Poetry of Parenting

It's been three weeks and...

we've hit the town,
been up, been down,
felt like falling on the ground
(from lack of sleep and the flu...)
convinced myself to just not do
all the things that I used to
like vacuum, clean, or cooking dinner
you'd think by now we'd both be thinner
but, thanks to Mom, our freezer's packed
with frozen dinners and yummy snacks!
I haven't written anyone
or called them back on the phone,
it's not because I do not care
it's only that instead of a pair
of hands I'm down to only one
and my idea of having fun
is sleeping, snagging half a nap
with baby sleeping in my lap.
I truly think of you so often
and don't you think that I've forgotten
all of you, those far and near,
who in my heart I hold so dear.
I think of you between midnight feedings
diaper duty and evening meetings
with Brian when we steal a second
to reconnect (and do some neckin'.)
I promise that I soon will write
but, honestly, won't be tonight.
I'm loving being a new mama
Though I spend the day in my pajamas
and wanted all of you to know
I love sharing how we each grow
in this new phase of life we're in
now, please Lord, let the sleep begin!

Love,
Yours Truly

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

We're Growing!

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Wilder at Two Weeks: Beautiful and Sheer Heaven


Wilder has been an angel of a baby. He's eating and growing like a champ and beginning to sleep very well at night. I am finally feeling rested and we're getting into a routine -slowly but surely.
I never dreamed motherhood could feel so heavenly. Every day I find myself tearing up as I hold my new baby boy, thanking God for such a beautiful gift -such an incredible, precious treasure. It's utterly overwhelming this feeling of gratitude, of such beauty, such purity. I'd like to share a little bit of my heaven with you.




And thankfully I'm hanging in there and truly feeling great! Wilder and I are taking daily walks and I'm healing fantastically -had a bout of mastitis, but it seems to be cleared up and I'm just one happy mama!

Monday, October 29, 2007

Labor, Delivery, and Our Fabulous New Family

We arrived at the hospital a few minutes to 6 am to check in. The dress I wore was one that when I tried it on at the store I knew right away I wanted to wear it to delivery. There is something to be said for inductions -you can look pretty and have plenty of time to relax and prepare for the big day. I mean, you wouldn't get married just sometime between, say June 1st and July 2nd and rush off in your p.j.s to the nearest church at 3 in the morning, would you? Granted, labor isn't something you can plan unless you get induced and most people don't elope, but thank goodness for those positive aspects of planned delivery.

We settled into the hospital room where everything would happen -labor, birth and recuperation. Brian played some soothing music on the boombox -"Prairie Lullaby" by Joe Weed and "Underneath the Onion Tree" by our fave, Bob Schneider. I was hooked up to the external fetal monitor and given an IV with the Pitocin drip and plenty of fluids. My doctor came in around 8:30, broke my water and then the fun began. Strong contractions increased to unbearable contractions within half an hour and we called the anesthesiologist in for the epidural. Thank Goodness! I got to experience the kind of contractions that bring on the tears, so I don't feel like I was "cheated" out of the labor experience. I'll gladly take the medication.

Not long after my legs went numb, as they do, and then... so did everything else. My mouth, my eyes -I felt like I was in a cloud. Plus I was nauseous and dizzy. After two hours of feeling totally drugged out, I told the nurse we needed to turn this thing down a notch because I'd rather be in pain and be conscious for the delivery of my baby than feel so doped up. They turned the epidural off for a few hours -when I could finally feel my legs again and wasn't sick to my stomach. Brian and I played a movie trivia card game and I channel surfed while I dilated further. I think we watched most of "Rainman" -we'll have to get it now that it is part of my birthing experience.

At 3:45 I was dilated far enough that my nurse prepped for pushing. I was in no pain and can hardly say I was in discomfort. This epidural stuff is GREAT! After pushing through a few contractions my nurse brought in a mirror so I could gauge my progress. That was incredibly helpful. As gross as it may seem, it helped me focus on the goal at hand better than finding an object or focal spot elsewhere as I channeled my energy to push Wilder out. When his head began to crown the nurse called my doctor, who's office is just across the street. Within 20 minutes Wilder was born.

The weirdest and most memorable feeling was having his body expelled from my womb. The crowning was uneventful compared to those brief seconds of emptying of that little, wriggling body from his home of 9 months. I kept repeating, "Oh my goodness. Oh my goodness."

After having his cord cut, Wilder was placed in a towel on top of my belly where I held him for several minutes. They were some of the most incredible minutes of my life. Covered in bits of vernix and streaks of blood, the amazing creation that started from the tiniest cells and grew into this marvelous baby were held in my arms. I couldn't stop cooing over the miracle of what had just happened and what -and who- I was holding. This was my baby. The perfect combination of the man I love and myself. A marvelous melting of two becoming one. I was in love.

Instead of staying the social butterfly I had been pre-delivery, I became oblivious to the world around me. All there was in my little universe was Brian, the baby and me. My cell phone stayed off (and is still off most of the time) and we were computerless. Even the nurses which constantly changed while we were there were too much.

We were welcomed home after our mandatory 48 hour stay at the hospital to a house and lawn decked out in "New Baby" decor. While Mom held the fort down and took care of the pooches, as well as visited us daily and brought us supplies, she went to 5 different stores to get the house in proper Welcome Home Wilder fashion.

Wilder has been a terrific baby. He's latching on pretty well, feeding GREAT, Brian's embracing his occasional diaper duty and putting his Daddy arms to some good cuddling, I'm getting plenty of sleep, and -all in all- we're doing great. Wilder keeps showing us his "fountain of youth" trick when we change him, which means we're changing outfits quite often.

So far my favorite times are nap and sleep times when Wilder nurses, then lays on my chest. Having him cuddled on top, his tiny body cradled between my breasts, hearing his soft breathing -it's sheer heaven! Brian and I are camped out on the blue couch downstairs which reclines on both sides -much, much more comfortable than trying to prop myself up with 10 pillows in bed. The system is working great, though we won't be down here for long. Just until we get established into a good feeding routine and Wilder latches on easier.

We are loving our new little family and, quite honestly, I can't wait to do this again. I never dreamed motherhood would be so fulfilling or that I would bond so wonderfully with our new little guy!

Friday, October 26, 2007

Introducing Wilder Scott

Wilder Scott, born Wednesday October 24th, 2007 at 4:32pm. He weighed in at 7 lbs. 2 oz. and was 20 inches long. Delivery went wonderfully smooth and he's a terrific and beautiful baby. Thank you, Brian and Mom, for being my go-to team, and for all of our friends and family for oodles of love! I'm exhausted, so I'll sign out, but I'll give a nice Kelly-sized account of the whole she-bang when I've got a few more minutes.








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