Introducing Finnley Joan Gordon.

Thursday, December 31, 2015

Finnley decided to make a very quick and somewhat early (only 5 days before her due date of the 23rd) entrance into the world on the 18th of December! It was a pleasant surprise for all of us. And here's what happened...

We went to bed on the night of the 17th around midnight with no signs of being in labor. I do remember waking up a few times during the early morning thinking I was uncomfortable, but then I'd fall right back to sleep and keep dreaming. However, I started to feel more and more uncomfortable, so I looked at my phone and it was 4AM and I was then coherent enough to think "oh, maybe I'm having contractions" so I got out of bed and decided I'd try to go to the bathroom and start timing the contractions to see how far apart they were. I checked the clock as the next one started and it said 4:04, then 4:07, 4:10, 4:13, 4:16 and so on. Since they were coming so consistently and since I was having to focus on relaxing and breathing through them, I figured it was time to wake Cole up and let him know that it was time to get ready to go to the birthing center. I called my midwife, Cyndi, at 4:32 and let her know what was going on and she said that since I had a quick labor with Kennedy (about 5 hours) that it'd probably be best to head to the birthing center and she'd meet us there and we'd see how things were looking. 

When we arrived and got settled in, Cyndi checked my chart to see the results from my Group B Strep swab in order to see if I was positive or negative. I didn't have it with Kennedy, but that didn't mean it wasn't possible to have it with Finnley and sure enough, I was Group B Strep positive, so she decided to check and see how dilated I was to see if we had time to administer antibiotics or not. When she checked me I was dilated to 6cm, close to 7cm, so she knew there wouldn't be enough time for the antibiotics to get into my system before Finnley was born (they need to be administered at least 4 hours before a baby is born in order to be effective). I was somewhat relieved that I wouldn't have to have any sort of IV put in, but was also concerned about the risks involved with having her exposed to the bacteria. (Here's a good article that talks all about Group B Strep if you want to read more about that). I found comfort though since Cyndi said that it would all be just fine since she would be teaching us how to monitor Finnley's heart and respiratory rate for the next 48 hours anyways, which is all that needed to be done in order to catch any early signs of a complication from exposure to the Group B Strep. And since Cyndi would be coming to our home the next day and her birth assistant, Lisa, would be coming the day after that to check on us at home, that also meant we'd be able to pick up on any signs of infection quickly. 

The contractions didn't let up one bit on the ride over and even as we settled in, but they didn't really seem to be getting much more intense, so I figured we'd be at the birthing center for quite a few more hours. I decided to try getting into the awesome tub/mini swimming pool that's at the birthing center to help me relax a little more as the contractions started to get more intense and I'm SO glad I did - it was amazing! I can remember a couple of pretty intense contractions where Cole was holding my hands and reminding me to breathe and relax as I leaned over the side of the tub while my midwife had a hose that had warm water coming out of it spraying onto my belly, which felt fantastic. After those few contractions that were the most intense, I had the urge to push, so I remember saying "I wanna push!" so Cyndi said, "Okay! Go ahead and try!" so I did and then I felt a pop, which came with a huge relief - my water had broken! They then checked Finnley's heart rate to make sure she was doing well with her new pressure now that my water had broken and she was perfect. I then remember hearing Cyndi say, "She's complete." meaning she could tell just from the way I was acting during my contractions that my body was definitely ready to have baby Finnley, so during the next contraction Cyndi kept saying "Little push!" and before I knew it Finnley was born into the water at 6:57AM and I instinctively reached down and grabbed her and pulled her onto my belly/chest as we waited for the cord to stop pulsing. It was one of the most beautiful, quick, intense and amazing experiences in my life thus far! She weighed 7 pounds 8 ounces and was 20.5 inches long. And the nice thing about my water breaking on its own and breaking when it did, is that Finnley had very little exposure to the Group B Strep bacteria, so that definitely decreased the likelihood that she'd have any complications from it, and so far she hasn't had anything wrong! She's beautiful and perfect in every way. :)

We stayed at the birthing center for just a few hours so I could get all fixed up and cleaned up and then we just sat and admired this new little beautiful baby girl of ours, ate some food and then we were able to come home, which was another awesome perk of having her at the birthing center. I really feel like my recovery has gotten off to an awesome start since I've been able to be in my own home with my own bed and couch and food etc.

I had Kennedy naturally as well, but I was in the hospital, sitting in a bed the entire time, which wasn't all that comfortable, and didn't need any kind of medical intervention. So I knew this time around that I wanted to be in a more comfortable environment where I was encouraged to walk around, eat and drink and just really tune into what my body was wanting to do during labor and that's exactly what I got. If I could I'd have all of my babies with Cyndi at the Birth Sweet here in St. George!

Sassy and sweet.

Sunday, December 13, 2015

One day I looked out our back window and noticed a bunch of really pretty yellow leaves had fallen from the tree that's just outside our kitchen window, so we decided to go outside and check them out! Kennedy thought it was a little too cold and the leaves were kind of wet, so she didn't play in them for very long, but I did manage to get a few cute and very sassy pictures of this little girl.

Looking through these pictures of Kennedy is really bittersweet for me. There's not much time left with her as the only little girl we have to look after, which is exciting and sad all at the same time. I am super excited to have a sweet little newborn to love on, but I'm just really hoping the adjustment for Kennedy isn't too hard. I've been reading all kinds of blogs, articles and listening to lots of advice from friends of mine who have recently been through this same phase of life we are about to experience in an attempt to prepare for the coming weeks. And I can guarantee you that I'll be praying like crazy everyday for help to care for these two sweet girls of ours. But most importantly, I know that the love for a sibling is indescribable and unconditional, so eventually they'll be the best of friends...and thank heavens I'm not in this alone! I have the love and support of an awesome husband, multiple family members and friends ready and willing to help and the love of my Father in heaven to see me through this sacred and unique experience. 

Here's to becoming a family of four very soon!

Our fall shenanigans.

Monday, November 23, 2015

Well...I haven't blogged since Cole's birthday (oops!) and seeing as how today is the 23rd, which means exactly ONE MORE MONTH until Finnley's due date, I figured I better put somethin' on this lovely old blog of mine before life gets crazy with the holidays and a new little baby in our home!

Back in October, Kennedy and I went to a place down here in St. George with some other moms and their kids to Staheli Family Farm where they had a fun little pumpkin patch, petting zoo, corn maize and lots of fun swings and slides and she LOVED it. Especially these cute little baby goats she got to pet.

We then went and spent the end of October and beginning of November in Provo with Cole's family since I had the pleasure of being our cousin Hannah's doula for the baby girl she was expecting around Halloween (but ended up having her on November 5th; 5 days over her due date, just like I was with Kennedy Lou). Kennedy LOVED her spider and eyeball donuts that her Yaya (Cole's mom) and Papa bought for her at the Provo Bakery. And she loved carving pumpkins, dressing up as Jasmine for Halloween and she of course loved getting candy to put in her bucket as she went door to door saying trick or treat!

Kennedy was pretty antsy during church one Sunday while we were in Provo, so we decided to walk back to Darin and Lisa's after it was over to help get some wiggles out and it was SO gorgeous outside. I will admit, fall time in Utah is so pretty compared to where I grew up in Texas. The leaves are so bright and vibrant and Kennedy Lou loved crunching through the leaves.

It will all work out.

Wednesday, October 7, 2015

For the past month and a half or so we have been way more stressed than we'd like to be, for various reasons, and we were coming to a point that we just did not know what else we could possibly do to help our situation get any better. (And let me just add that everything is perfect with my pregnancy and baby Finnley is doing great; that is one of the many things we have to be grateful for right now!) 

Cole's birthday was this past Sunday, so we decided to go on a little adventure for the afternoon to get away; both from the problems we're facing and from the heat of St. George! We went to a cute little town called Pine Valley that's only about 45 minutes from our house and it was just the escape we needed. 

We were also able to listen to several uplifting and inspiring messages via General Conference, which is put on by our church every 6 months. Click here to see all of the talks given and let me know if you have any questions!

One of my favorite talks was given by a woman named Neill F. Marriott and it's titled "Yielding Our Hearts to God." It stuck out to me in part due to the southern accent she had, but also because of overall message she was sharing. She said:

"My husband, children, and I chose this family motto: 'It will all work out.' Yet how can we say those words to one another when deep troubles come and answers aren’t readily available?"

Our family motto doesn’t say, 'It will all work out now.' It speaks of our hope in the eternal outcome—not necessarily of present results. Scripture says, 'Search diligently, pray always, and be believing, and all things shall work together for your good.' This doesn’t mean all things are good, but for the meek and faithful, things—both positive and negative—work together for good, and the timing is the Lord’s. We wait on Him, sometimes like Job in his suffering, knowing that God 'maketh sore, and bindeth up: he woundeth, and his hands make whole.' A meek heart accepts the trial and the waiting for that time of healing and wholeness to come."

I have come to adopt this as a personal motto and I'm hoping to find a cute printable of it on Pinterest sometime soon because it is so true! Life gets rough and we have trying times, but it won't be that way forever! I truly believe that things always work out if we put in a little work and do all that we can and put our faith in God to handle the rest and in the end we will have learned and grown so much.

Now it's time to enjoy some pictures of our Pine Valley adventure!

This trip and these recent experiences have taught me that faith in God, family and good friends can help you get through anything!

A letter to my dearest Finnley Joan.

Wednesday, September 16, 2015

Well baby girl, you have a name! We have decided to name you Finnley Joan Gordon. Your dad and I decided that each of our children would have a family name for their first or middle name well before we had children. Your big sister's middle name is Lou, which is from my great grandma's middle name "Lou Nell." And now your middle name, Joan, is from your great grandma on your dad's side, Eleanor Joan Rasband. We love her dearly and the fact that she's a Texan gives her major cool points in my book, obviously. :) I knew a family in Texas that had children with very unique names and they were all such fun people and Finley was one of them; I didn't know her all that well since she was quite a bit younger than me, but your dad likes the name Finn, so we decided we'd add another "n" to Finnley so that you can go by Finn for short if you'd like. 
However, we tend to use full names in this family, for example your dad likes to be called Nicholas instead of Cole and we usually call your sister by her first and middle name, Kennedy Lou, so we'll see what happens with your name. :) 

I'm 26 weeks along with you currently, and so far so good! You are growing just like you're supposed to and everything is right on track. I have been measuring a little bigger at my prenatal appointments (for instance last week I measured 26.5cm when I was technically 25 weeks along at the time), which is the opposite of when I was pregnant with Kennedy, so you're either going to be a big baby or my due date is a little off... We'll see which one it is come December. :) The past couple of months you have been moving around like crazy, which is always such a fun part of being pregnant. It makes up for those not-so-fun parts of pregnancy, that's for sure! 

We're expecting you to come around the time of December 23rd, so you will be entering the world at such a magical and wonderful time of the year. Your sister was 5 days past her due date, which I was totally  fine with, so you go ahead and come whenever you're ready as well; I won't rush you one bit. :) Although I will say I am looking forward to the wonderful, and empowering experience of bringing you into this world and snuggling you as a sweet, newborn babe.

So far I wouldn't say I've had any specific cravings with you, but for some reason Dr. Pepper and french fries tend to be my comfort foods in the beginning, but as I'm in the end of the second trimester I've really been focusing on drinking more water and eating a lot more fruits and vegetables since I know that's what is best for us at this time.

I sure can't wait to meet you and love on you! But until then I'll do my best to enjoy this pregnancy and the last little bit of time with just your sister and I, who by the way, prays for you all the time, knows that you're in my belly, and loves to play with her baby dolls, so I'm sure she's going to love having you around. :) 


Kennedy Lou is 2!

Thursday, August 20, 2015

It's so hard to believe that just over 2 years ago Kennedy Lou made her speedy entrance into our family and made me a mom. I will forever be grateful to her for being my first baby and enjoying this wild ride together with me. I sure love you baby girl!

Kennedy Lou,

At a ripe 2 years of age you are SO smart! So many people comment to us on how well you talk for a 2 year old. You know so many words and you actually enunciate them really well. You are really good at identifying colors. You can somewhat count to've done it on your own before, but then sometimes you jump from 3 to 7, so we're working on that. :) You try to sing your ABCs and at the end you say "next time won't you sing me you" and it's really cute and funny! You are still such a determined little gal, which I'm trying hard to understand and help you foster in a good way. I truly believe these are some of the unique gifts that you've been born with and I hope I can help you blossom into a wonderful, strong, independent and determined woman someday by seeing these as your strengths, instead of challenges. I've got a long ways to go, but we'll get there together. :)

As we sit down at the table for our meals each day, you remind us to say a prayer and you always love to say it. You bless each of our plates of food, our forks, our drinks and everything else in sight. You also bless "mommy's baby" and "daddy's baby," which is really cute and we always pray for your uncle Mckay on his mission. You genuine, innocent and perfect love for your family is admirable. I love that at this age you don't see the flaws in anyone you come in contact with, but instead you love them unconditionally.

You enjoy playing in your own little kitchen more and more these days. You even tell me to be careful since the oven is hot. :) And you got your own little broom and mop set since you wouldn't leave mine alone, which has been a great addition to your little kitchen area! 

You've been doing this really funny thing where when we tell you that you're beautiful or that you're a princess you say, "No! You a princess mommy!" or "No! You budeful mommy!" as if it's an insult of something. It's really funny, but I've been trying to tell you to instead say "thank you" so someday I'm sure we'll get there. :)

We've also had quite a few people comment on how polite you are and how well you use your manners, which makes this southern bred woman pretty darn proud! You are really good at saying please and thank you, so now I think we'll work on the yes ma'am/no ma'am and yes sir/ no sir. :) Just watch this video if you don't understand why this is so important to me. 

Most of all, just know that we love you dearly. Seeing you as a big sister in the next little while will be such a sweet and fun experience. Our little baby girl sure has an awesome big sister and role model already! I just know she's going to love you just as much as we do.

Here's to another fun and awesome year with you my sweet girl! "Bye-see ya" (as you say these days). 



Kennedy Lou is getting a sister.

Tuesday, August 11, 2015

If you know Cole at all you know he's dying to have a little boy, but that will not be the case with baby #2 since we now know we're having another sweet, little girl! 

We're both excited and I'm especially excited for Kennedy Lou to be a big sister. I always wanted to have a sister close in age to me to talk about boy stuff, share clothes, shoes, accessories and what not and to be my built in BFF, so I'm excited that she'll get to have that experience. And it'll be so nice that we get to reuse everything we already have! Maybe the next two babies can be little boys and we'll be all set... (fingers crossed!) 

As far as this pregnancy goes, I've been sick just like I was with Kennedy, but boy let me tell ya...having a toddler and having morning sickness is not a good combination! Thank goodness for unisom and b6 this time around (it makes me a little more drowsy during the day than I normally am, but I'd rather that than be nauseous all day long). I'll be 21 weeks as of tomorrow, which seems crazy to think I'm already half way done! When we ask Kennedy Lou where the baby is she points to my belly and she even prays for "mommy's baby" and "daddy's baby" when we say family prayer or any prayer for our meals, and it's pretty stinkin' cute. I sure hope she does alright with having to share myself and Cole with the new baby; I have been reading blogs and articles about this little change our family will be experiencing, but if you have any tips please send them my way! 

Here's the video we made to tell everyone that we were going to be having another baby. Stay tuned for the reveal of this new addition's name! :) 

A long awaited BYU graduation.

Friday, May 29, 2015

Life has been a little crazy this past month (I'll explain why soon), but Cole finally graduated from BYU! I say finally because I graduated 2 years ago and because he served a two year mission for the LDS Church to Louisville, Kentucky, that put him a little behind in school, so I've been with him through it all. Looking back the years passed so quickly but the days and weeks, not so much. He technically won't be officially done until about mid-June since he's currently doing his internship to complete his degree, but he went ahead and participated in the graduation ceremonies in April since we moved to St. George for his internship/full time job. However, despite all of this he has juggled school, work, a wife and a child for 2 of the 4 years he was in school and he's still graduating with a better GPA than  I did! Hats off to him for sure. :)

He's currently doing some health research for Kevin Hall who is a very kind and intentional family friend and author that Cole (and myself occasionally) have the pleasure of working with for the next year or two. The research he's doing is about the mind-body health connection; Kevin is writing a new book about the healing power and influence that words can have on the human soul and the research Cole completes during his internship will be mentioned in the book, so it's really neat and a great opportunity for him! I joke with Cole that we're slowly moving south until we end up back in Texas since we're not in the southern part of Utah and not the central part anymore. :) But at this point in time we're just kind of at the mercy of the blessings and windows of opportunity that come our way, which is really intimidating and scary at times, but I know if we have faith and do what we know is right that we won't be led astray.

Another reason this past month has been crazy is because I'M PREGNANT! We decided when we were married we'd like our children to be a couple of years apart; enough time to give my body time to rest and prepare for pregnancy again, but not too much time that there was too much space between our children making it harder for them to be close as they grow up. I don't think we really realized how quickly that time would go by with Kennedy Lou, but it did and here we are expecting baby #2 this December and really close to Christmas time! That wasn't the best planning on our part, but we'll take it. :) 

Here's a few pictures from Cole's graduation and our little video announcement for baby #2 will be in the following post. Lots of exciting and new things happening here in the Gordon home!

Our beautiful bodies.

Saturday, April 18, 2015

About a week ago I had the yuckiest cold I've had in quite a while and boy let me tell ya, it was not fun! Kennedy Lou had it as well and eventually Cole and numerous other family members had it. However, as I was starting to get better I realized just how grateful I am for a healthy, capable and  fully functioning body. 

I grew up being very active and therefore had a really strong, toned and lean body, for the most part. I was also a life guard and loved to be outside, therefore I usually had a good tan too. Now knowing how damaging some of the tanning methods I used are, I'm a lot more cautious about that. 

Getting pregnant and having Kennedy was such a miraculous thing for my body to do, but it definitely presented its challenges. I had a hard time breathing well since I do have asthma and since I had a little tiny human shoving all of my organs close together. But I also started to feel really self-conscious about my body since I had never dealt with weight issues in my life. Obviously I knew gaining weight was a good thing because that meant baby girl was growing and my body was also doing some growing to better sustain her life, but that wasn't really what was at the forefront of my mind. And the fact that no one really ever tells you what your body is like or all the things you go through after having a baby either, so that was a bit of a shock to me. 

Over the past year and a half or so I have been really hard on myself and the way my body looks compared to the way it did before. But having been sick recently and realizing just how blessed I am to have the body I do, really changed the way I have been thinking about how my body looks. 

I may not be in the best shape of my life, but I have changed and become stronger is so many ways because of what that sweet little girl of mine has taught me. I have also been really focusing on eating better because when I eat better I feel so much better and I've been working out more than I was before, which is so invigorating. (In case you were wondering, my new found love is an aerobics class known as barre. I have loved pilates for quite sometime and barre is closely related to pilates with a dance/ballet influence to it). 

A few years ago I would have been doing these things so I could look better and be more "hot," but now I do them because I know it's good for me physically, mentally and emotionally as a woman, wife and mom. And I feel that it's so important to take care of this body I have been gifted with; I want it to be a healthy, safe and fully functioning vessel to bring more lives into this world as well as continue to sustain and nourish them as individuals and my family as a whole. I only have one life in this 5'2" body of mine and I want it to last as long as it can!

Do me a favor, will ya? Stop thinking badly about your body. That's not good for you. If you're not happy about your appearance, change what you're doing! I'd love to help you out if you want to contact me about where you can start. But don't make the changes because you want to be "hot" but rather, make the change because you want to feel better as an entire person. We need to learn to see the beauty in each of our bodies and how much they're capable of doing.

My favorite job.

Thursday, April 2, 2015

This past weekend I was blessed to hear some very wonderful and inspiring messages during the Women's Conference, which is put on by The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints for all women and girls ages 8 and up. One of the things that stuck out most to me during one of the talks given was the following quote:

"We eagerly teach our children to aim high in this life. We want to make sure that our daughters know that they have the potential to achieve and be whatever they can imagine. We hope they will love learning, be educated, talented and maybe even become the next Marie Curie or Eliza R. Snow. Do we also teach our sons and daughters there is no greater honor, no more elevated title, and no more important role in this life than that of mother or father? I would hope that as we encourage our children to reach for the very best in this life that we also teach them to honor and exalt the roles that mothers and fathers play in Heavenly Father’s plan."

I am so grateful for the education I have received, the training and education I am currently receiving, AND the many more things I aspire to learn more about in this life. I find it vital for girls and women to become educated and I take pride in the fact that there are just as many girls/women graduating from college and getting advanced degrees as there are men and in some circumstances, the females are outnumbering the males in these endeavors. I do not doubt that this is something my children will learn from my example. However, will they learn from my example that my most favorite job, biggest responsibility, greatest passion, love and endeavor is their health and well-being? Will they see just how important my family is to me as I sweep the floor multiple times a day (since I don't like the feeling of the crumbs on my bare feet), wipe their tiny, cute, snotty noses, get up with them in the late hours of the night to comfort and nourish their bodies and souls and pray my guts out just about everyday for help to raise them right? I firmly believe that they will, in some way or another see my love for them through my acts of service to them, but the quote that I have shared really struck a chord with me. It made me realize that my husband and each of my children need to know without a doubt how much I love and care for them and that my thoughts, actions, intentions and who I am as a person needs to show that.

I love my chosen career and the aspirations I have to further it. But I also love being a mom to this sweet little girl of mine and the little ones that are yet to join our family, as well as the man that stands by my side and loves, supports and encourages me in all that I do. 

My most favorite job position and title is that of being a mother.There won't be any raises or bonuses in this career. There won't be as many "job well done" chats with my boss and there won't be anyone to vote for me as employee of the month. But what I have learned thus far being a mom and the changes I have gone through to try and be a better mom each new day is priceless.

Chickens, camping & cows.

Sunday, March 29, 2015

Since Cole wasn't able to take off time during the holidays we made a trip to Texas a couple of weeks ago and had a great time! The crazy thing was that it snowed while we were there! But there were some days that the sun was out and it was very pleasant, which was so nice. Kennedy got to see some baby chickens, the cows at my family's farm and we even did some camping with my mom, step-dad and brothers and we loved every minute of it. Can't wait until we get to go back to the greatest state there ever was! :)

This little girl sure has lots of people who love her, doesn't she? It's such a fun and tender thing for me to think about.