My Life

Broderick Lately

November 5th, 2013

I know… I post a lot of pictures of my stinkin’ adorable son.  But wouldn’t you post zillions of pictures of your son if he looked like this?

Exactly.  So here’s what he’s been up to the last couple of months.  He got his first tooth in but there isn’t a picture for that.

He modeled for Janie and Jack (not really).

He took his first airplane ride and saw the ocean for the first time in Miami.

He visited the pumpkin patch and carved his first pumpkin.

He learned how to swing and slide.

He dressed up as an elephant for Halloween and went trick or treating.  No, I didn’t let him eat any candy but even if I had, this blog is a no-judgement zone!  ;)

And hung out with his little cousin, Mary.

 We are all looking forward to his first Thanksgiving and Christmas.  He is a winter baby so it will be nice to return to the season of his roots!

The Modern Man: Broderick’s Nursery

May 2nd, 2013

Those who know me, know I’m not a huge fan of “blue for boys” and “pink for girls” when it comes to clothing, toys, and decor for babies.  I’m also not overly fond of “babyish” stuff scattered around the house.  So when I started planning Broderick’s nursery, I was at a bit of a loss because so  much of what is out there for nurseries are just that: babyish.  So I decided to put “baby” out of my mind and just decorate a room for a stylish, modern little man.

I broke some rules along the way (I’ve never been a big rule follower).  I painted the walls in a dark taupe shade and there is no mobile hanging over the crib, although there were a few that I liked.  There are no toys out in the open other than stuffed animals.  

This was a family project!  The crib was given to us by my parents who found it at a fabulous antique market here in Colorado Springs.  The lion painting was painted by my older sister, Tia.  The silver Tonka truck, in addition to a few others that don’t appear in these photos, was handed down from my father from when he was a little boy.  No wimpy plastic trucks for this little lion! :)  The photos above his crib are of trees from the yards of our family members along with a photo of Dave and I from our maternity shoot.

 

Decorations are from:

Target
West Elm
IKEA

 

 

The Story That Must Be Told *Our Birth Story and Birth Photography*

April 4th, 2013

What an incredible journey- natural childbirth.  It is a journey that I will never forget and feel so thankful for having had experienced.  Though it was the hardest things I’ve ever been through, I’m grateful and profoundly humbled that God would ever allow me to engage in such a pure labor of love to bring forth one of His little treasures.  So here is our story of birth; a story that must be told.

Estimated Due Date: February 16th, 2013

Broderick Michael Springer’s Birthday: February 23rd, 2013.  

At 4:30 a.m. on Friday, February 22nd, I was awoken by very mild contractions.  After timing them for half an hour and realizing they were consistent, I woke Dave and told him I thought this might be something.  We continued to time them for an hour and called our Douala, Katie Johnson, and explained that the contractions were consistent.  She told us that it sounded like we were for sure in labor and to enjoy our morning. We were so excited that this was actually happening!

We got up, made a big breakfast, and sat on our sofa talking about how this was our last morning as a married couple without children.  Our last morning as just the two of us.  It had been snowing that morning and we reminisced about how it had also snowed on our wedding day :)  That quiet morning spent with just the two of us are some of the sweetest moments of my whole life.  They were so full, so meaningful, and so significant. Contractions continued at a very manageable rate.  I showered, did my makeup, and put curlers in my hair.

Katie came over around 3:00 that afternoon to coach and encourage us through labor.  Things continued to go smoothly.  It was calm, peaceful, and intimate.  Just the way we had planned.   Around 8:00 p.m., I became concerned that I had not felt Broderick move much during the day.  Not having a doppler, there was no way to check his heartbeat.  With the added intensity of the contractions, we made the decision that it was time to head to the hospital.

We packed our bags in the car and drove to the hospital to finish labor and finally meet our son. We arrived at the hospital at 9:00 p.m. and went through triage to confirm that labor was well established and to be admitted.  When the nurse placed the doppler on my belly, our little man’s heartbeat was loud and clear and I breathed a huge sigh of relief.  I was 4cm dilated.  But there was a minor complication.  There was maconium in the amniotic fluid, which then required that we do continuous monitoring as opposed to the intermittent monitoring we had in our birth plan.  And this is where things started to get complicated.

We were admitted and settled into our labor and delivery room and got the monitoring going.  It was ridiculous.  They were wireless monitors held on by bands that uncomfortably dug into my sides and back and prevented me from laboring in specific ways that I wanted to.  The nurse had to come in every few minutes and re-adjust the monitor to pick up Broderick’s heartbeat and my contractions simultaneously.  It was extremely distracting, as we were using the Hypnobirthing Method, which calls for deep relaxation exercises.  I ended up doing a lot of the laboring laying in bed. Despite the distracting monitoring, things were progressing smoothly but slowly.

Around 2:00 a.m. on February 23rd, I had progressed to 8cm.  Another hour later, my midwife checked me again and I was still at 8cm.   Another hour later, she checked again.  I was still at 8cm.  Our labor had come to a screeching halt and labor had transitioned from normal labor to back labor (10x more intense than normal labor) because Broderick had shifted his position.  The pain was incredibly intense. Around 5:15 am, my midwife offered a couple alternatives.  She pointed out that I had been at this for over 24 hours, my body was exhausted, and I was unable to relax my pelvis because of the pain.  She suggested that if there was no progress in next 30-45 min, I should take Fentenol or get an epidural so that I could relax and get some rest to gear up for pushing.  I was completely devastated.   I wanted so badly to have a natural birth.  Dave and I had done so much preparation to ensure that we would have a natural, smooth, healthy birth and here I was- stuck at 8 cm in incredible pain with no end in sight, being offered an epidural.

After 45 minutes, my midwife checked me again and I had not progressed.  At that point, I decided to take the Fentenol,  a fast-acting relaxant that does not linger in your system for very long.  They administered the Fentenol a few minutes after 6:00 am.  Within a couple minutes, it seemed to take the edge of slightly and I thought I should get up and try to go to the bathroom to help alleviate some of the pain and help me relax.  With the monitor cords unhooked and wrapped around my neck, and in the middle of a horrible contraction, the nurse and Dave helped me limp to the bathroom.

The moment I sat down, something happened. There was LOTS of pressure.  It was a feeling I had never experienced before.  It was incredibly intense.  I explained the sensation to the nurse and she checked me again and quickly said, “we need to get you back to the bed right now before you have this baby in the toilet.”  As I stood up, I realized I was going to have the opportunity to deliver my baby naturally in the very near future.  The thought was both exciting and terrifying- how was I going to deliver a baby after such an intense several hours?!

After barely making it back to the bed, the nurse checked me once again and then turned to my midwife and exclaimed, “she’s complete!” which meant I had gone from 8cm to 10cm and ready to push in about 5 minutes!  Jana and the nursing staff quickly jumped into action.  There was lots of chaos in the room and I said, “I don’t know how to do this!  I’ve never delivered a baby.  Tell me what to do!”  Katie, my douala, grabbed my face and said, “Listen to your body.  It knows exactly what to do.  You can do this.”

With that, another contraction came and I immediately felt the strongest, most involuntary sensation I’ve ever felt: the urge to push.  So…I pushed!  With each push, I felt our son move further and further down.  With three more pushes, he literally came flying out.  There was no head, then rest, then shoulders and body.  He just came all at once and as soon as he was out…the umbilical cord snapped!  Yes, you read that right.  The cord actually snapped.  My midwife quickly clamped down on the cord.  Of all the medical professionals in the room, no one had ever seen or heard of a cord snapping upon delivery.

Broderick was quickly placed on my chest as Dave and I marveled at our little miracle, crying and embracing him.  It was a moment I will never forget.

The sense of accomplishment when it was all over was great.  And I couldn’t believe he was here!  It was all so surreal and all-consuming at the same time.  Despite the very quick deliver, Broderick was very healthy at birth and is strong and healthy to this day.  He is the greatest thing that has ever happened to Dave and I.  He’s our little Broderick The Brave.

Photos:  Megan Hardre Photography 

Douala:  Katie Johnson, Into Loving Arms

Midwife:  Jana Flesher, CNM, Exceptional Care For Women

*The Motherly Glow* Colorado Maternity Photography

February 2nd, 2013

In full disclosure, and no offense meant to anyone, I’ve never been a fan of most maternity photography.  I’ve often felt that the inner beauty of an expectant mother gets a little lost in most photos.  So when it became my turn to consider maternity photos, I was highly skeptical and dreaded the thought of being photographed standing in a field staring at my baby bump, softly touching tips of wheat.

This is essentially what I told Kathryn Bacalis when I emailed her.  I started the email by listing all the reasons I dislike maternity photography and everything I *didn’t* want them to be…and then I asked her to take my maternity photos.  How is THAT for being the ideal client :)  Luckily, it turned out that Kathryn and I had a very similar vision for what would make an elegant maternity photo.  So we decided we would strike out into uncharted territory for both of us and challenge ourselves to go beyond our comfort zones to make something really beautiful.  

I wanted to feel glamorous, edgy, urban, and elegant.  Kathryn chose the perfect location, The Colorado Springs School.  And by the way, I cannot recommend Kathryn Bacalis Photography enough.  She and her husband, Perry, exercised their artistic eye and talent to make something come to life that I thought didn’t exist.  It *always* pays to work with a professional!

*Kathryn, thank you SO much for making my vision come to life in these photos.  You are so talented and a complete joy to work with*

*Merry Christmas*

December 6th, 2012

It’s the most wonderful time of year once again.

*Christmas time*

This has been an amazing year for Dave and I.  It has been full of firsts, a few bad things, and a lot of great things.  We are pregnant with our first child, we moved into a whole house,  and Smash Events was a part of some beautiful weddings and events.  We are anticipating 2013 with great excitement and wonderment for what our first year as parents will hold.  Oh, and many unique and gorgeous weddings :)

Here’s a little look at Christmas from our home and hometown this year.

 Christmas Tree Lighting and my friend’s son, Thomas, getting ready to kick the crap out of Frosty the Snowman while everyone else watches the tree light up.  

Acacia Park has an ice skating rink this year!  Also, all of the Christmas branding for Downtown Colorado Springs was expertly designed by my dear friends over at Fixer Creative.  They have been paramount to raising the coolness factor of Downtown.  Thanks, friends!

Merry Christmas, everyone!  I wish the very best to you and yours!

 

Rome

October 16th, 2012

After Florence, we headed to Rome for a couple of days.  The two things that struck me most about Rome is how ancient everything is and how HUGE the ancient buildings are.  The pictures don’t capture the size, but take my word for it.  These sites were absolutely mammoth!

I could never get over how many years these buildings have been around, who all has walked through their doors, and what their walls have seen throughout the centuries.  It really is mind blowing.

We started at the Trevi Fountain.

Some ancient columns.

The Pantheon.

The Spanish Steps.

Vatican City.

We hiked up 550 steps (yes, I was 20 weeks pregnant at the time) to the very top of the dome of St. Peter’s Basilica.  The trip up was tougher than the Manitou Incline because of the conditions but it was worth it when we got to the top!  We beheld the most break-taking views of Rome!

 

Blue is for **Boy**

October 8th, 2012

Dave and I will be welcoming a very healthy and active **baby boy** into our lives in four and a half months!!!

Originally we had planned on finding out the gender along with our families.  But after considering the possibility of it being a boy instead of a girl (I was hoping for a girl and pretty darn convinced it was going to be  a girl), we decided to find out first and take some time to process through this not-so-small detail about our child.

Though we found out during the ultrasound, we decided to surprise our families by throwing a gender reveal party where we let our parents cut the cake instead of us.  So there we were, surrounded by our families in a dining room that could not have been more full of love.  We had our parents each cut one half of the cake simultaneously and pull the piece out at the same time.  

It was perfect :)

We look forward to raising up a strong, honorable, passionate, warrior who will have a powerful impact on his generation.  Our little lion is going to change the world.

The cake was baked by Icing and Sprinkles.  Erica makes a FANTASTIC CAKE!!!

 

 

Tuscany and An Italian Wedding

October 5th, 2012

My cousin’s wedding was held at Castello Vicchiomaggio, located at the top of a hill in the heart of the Tuscan wine country.  It was epic.  We actually stayed in the castle for two nights.  We attended a family dinner at a nearby restaurant which featured one of the top five butchers in the world!  We had LOTS of delicious Florentine beef.  Mmmmmm.  We also took a tour of the castle’s winery, complete with a tasting.

As I mentioned in my last post, the images don’t do it justice, so you’ll have to take my word for the beauty of this part of the world.  Go visit when you have a chance!

The winery at the castle.

Castle grounds. 

The chapel where the ceremony took place.

 The restaurant.

The Wedding!!!

My handsome cousin, Jon, in a well-tailored navy blue suit.

My new cousin-in-law, Kate Middleton.  I mean Morgan.  But seriously…is this dress not stunning?!?!  She reminds me of Kate Middleton on her wedding day.  Morgan removed the skirt for the dancing portion of the reception to reveal a shorter cocktail dress.  

The cocktail hour took place in the castle’s courtyard.  About 20 minutes into the cocktail hour, Jon and Morgan waved down to all of us from the second floor of the courtyard.  It was epic.

Oh, and by the way, their photographer is the singer (or was it a guitar player?) for Third Eye Blind.  He gave us a private, in-prompt-to concert.  No big deal…

 

Europe Trip Part I: Amsterdam and Florence

October 2nd, 2012

Dave and I spent last week exploring Amsterdam and Italy and what an enchanting trip it was!  We traveled to Italy for my cousin’s wedding (more on this epic Italian wedding, located at a castle on a hilltop in Tuscany, in a later post).  We spent priceless time with family and met some new friends.  If you haven’t been to Florence, or Italy in general, I cannot recommend it strongly enough!  Florence is absolutely breathtaking the nearby wine country is indescribable.  

This first post will include Amsterdam, Florence, and Pisa.  Stay tuned for two more posts of the Tuscan wine country, the castle where the wedding was, the wedding, and Rome.

We started with an eight hour layover in Amsterdam and happen to have some dear friends that recently moved there!  They were kind enough to show us around for a few hours.

The Amsterdam Library

On to Firenze!  (Florence, Italy)

**Note:  Pictures (especially because I am not a professional photographer) cannot quite capture the beauty of Florence, Tuscany, and Rome.  I did my best, but know that these pictures do not do Italy justice.**

 The Duomo

My handsome husband

My baby sister and I

The coffee.   Ohhhhh, the coffee.  Italian coffee is the absolute finest, I’m convinced.

The restaurant where my cousin proposed to his lovely Italian bride.

My new cousin-in-law is friends with an architect working to restore portions of the infamous Uffizi.  They closed the museum for our families and we received a private tour!  The art is very moving.  It is profoundly inspired, something that I think may lack in a lot of modern art today.  I was also surprised to learn how much art was commissioned by the Church.  (I never took an art history class…forgive me, artsy friends)

Four of the seven virtues.

Florence Town Hall

My new cousin-in-law, Morgan!

The Ponte Vecchio

On to Pisa!

Stay tuned for the Tuscan hillside and the fabulous wedding!! 

 

Life’s Next Chapter

August 10th, 2012

It is my honor, profound pleasure, and joy to announce that my husband, Dave, and I are expecting our first child around February 16, 2013!

I’m sure every mother-to-be has experienced the strange cocktail of thoughts and emotions that I’m experiencing right now.  There is…

Unbridled excitement-  This is what Dave and I have wanted and have been preparing for several months.  There is excitement for the amazing adventure that we are headed down, excitement to get to hold and nurture my very own little creation, excitement to see Dave and I grow closer together through this, and excitement to walk through the baby aisle at Target and finally get to buy something for my own baby instead of everyone else s :)

Fear-  Fear of the unknown, fear that something could go wrong, fear of being inadequate as a mother, fear of not being able to recognize what my baby will need and when, among other things.

Uncertainty and confidence, simultaneously- Uncertain of what the pain will be like, how much weight I might gain, what it will feel like when the baby kicks for the first time, uncertain of how the birth will go, uncertain of what it’s really like to be seriously sleep-deprived.  Yet at the same time, confidence because  in general, I am comfortable around babies and I feel very in tune with my maternal instincts.  And maybe I’ll get lucky and she’ll come with a manual!  For the issues not covered in the manual, however, there’s always my mother, mother-in-law, grandmothers, and sweet friends.

Most people say “you’re never completely ready for your first child” and that is probably true- how can anyone ever be completely ready for something they’ve never experienced?  But Dave and I have been very purposeful about waiting to have a baby until we were in a stable, comfortable place in life to do so.  Having a baby is something that we DO feel ready for, although there will be MANY surprises along the way, I know.

So!  I’m pregnant!  I’ll keep you all posted as life unfolds.  For the record, I hate the words “belly” and “bump”.  They creep me out so you won’t be reading them on this blog.