Ashlyn had her first school field trip to the zoo last Friday! And although it was tiring, we had lots of fun! Oh and we HAD to go on the one of the coldest days of the year. It was freaking freezing! 

Ashlyn's good friends from her class
Her whole class
This girl totally fell asleep on me in the bus on the way home. Awkward!!!!!

Then we came home and immediately got ready for Ashlyn's sleep over. She had about 3 friends (which was all I could handle for my first sleep over). All the girls had a blast! I will definitely do this again. And while it was exhausting, I had a lot of fun! The girls made their own pizzas. We set up a huge tent in the basement where they watched movies, ate lots of junk food and slept (very little). We even did make-over's on the girls! Fun had by all.
After the make-over's (Don't they look beautiful..LOL)
Rachel and Melody were so sweet to come over and help give the girls make-over's. Thanks girls! You're the BEST!!!!

7:06 PM

Better late than never.

Posted by Courtney |

I wrote this a long time ago and haven't had the time to post until today. It's late but least I did it :)

Today is Ashlyn Rose's birthday (November 7th)! She is 6 years old now. I can't believe it.

The time really does fly by so fast! Wasn't it just yesterday that I held her in my arms for the first time. I was completely in awe of her. And after 1 hour and 45 min pushing, I finally got to meet the little girl that had been growing all those months inside me. What a dream.

I went into labor on a Wednesday night November 6th. Nathan was at youth and I stayed home to do some cleaning in preparation for little Ashlyn's arrival. I remember I was bent over cleaning the tub when all of the sudden I had this really hard contraction. I waited till it was over then resumed cleaning and scrubing the tub. Then I had another one... and another. I thought to myself, " I better lay down and take it easy. Maybe I just pulled a muscle or something." Ha! The contractions didn't go away.

At this point the contractions were just 15 min apart. Well I was by myself and didn't really want to drive anywhere alone, so I picked up the phone to see if my sister could come pick me up and take me to my parents house while I waited for Nathan to be done with youth meeting. The call went something like this:

(phone ringing)

Des: Are you in Labor?

Court: Hello to you too? And I don't know. I think so.

Des: (In a screaming voice) Oh MY GOSH, Oh my GOSH!!! I can't believe it!

Court: Des calm down I just need you to come pick me up and take me to mom's house.

Des: Ok, Ok awesome! I'll be there in 5 mins.

And she just hangs up on me.

Des gets there and all but pushes me out the door. I swear the energy on that girl was irritating. We got in the car and all she kept asking me was, "Are you having a contraction? Are you having another one?" as she drives like a mainiac. She was so excited that I was going to have a baby.

I get to my mom's house and go sit in the living room. My parents were trying to play it cool and just time the contractions but I knew the suspense was killing them too. Finally they reached 3-5 min. apart. I said, "We need to go to the hospital." and when i said that, the chaos began. People jumped up and started running into one another, all talking really fast and not knowing what they were to do. They soon began to file out of the house, but who did they forget, Yes!!! The pregnant lady in LABOR. I seriously was scene out of Father of the Bride 2.

When I arrived at the hospital, I was dilated to a 4 and 100% effaced. I got checked in around 12:45am, they broke my water, I got my epideral (Woo Hoo) and settled in for the long haul of labor. Which really wasn't a long haul at all because around 3:30am just as I was about to dose off, I felt this wierd sensation down in the lower regions. I woke Nathan up and told him but about that time the nurse walked in too. When she checked me, I was fully dilated and ready to push. What a shocker! Only 7 hours of a labor for my first child I thought was pretty good. But the pushing was the not so fun part. I guess because my epideral was working so good (Thank you Jesus for that), I couldn't really feel when or where I needed to push. Which in turn made me have a 1 hour and 45 min. pushing session to get this baby girl out of me.

There she was....gorgeous in every way. She looked like a porclain doll. Perfect round head, rosie cheeks, and beautiful full lips. She was my daughter...MY daughter! The feelings are indescribable. When i held her for the first time, all the cares of the world just melted away.

So my baby girl is 6 today. And although some things have changed like, no more colic, no more reflux, she is still the same beautiful, perfect girl. Ashlyn is so smart and intelligent. She loves people, life and Jesus. Her favorite things to do are (1.) Read, read, read (2.) Go to church so she can dance and Sing (3.) play with her siblings and friends (4.) watch movies (5.) Try to act like she is 12. Right berfore her 6th birthday, I was able to pray with Ashlyn to receive Jesus in her heart. That is a memory that will stay with me forever. I cry just thinking about it. She really understood what it meant and there was such a sweet presence of the Lord that was there as we prayed.

Ashlyn is AMAZING!!!! I am so grateful to God for blessing me with her. She has an Awesome Destiny on her life, of which she is already walking into at this very young age. 

Happy Birthday Sweetie! I LOVE YOU!!!!!!!!

8:05 AM

Have I been home a week already?

Posted by Courtney |

Yep, I guess so!!!! After 9 short days in Belgium, I am back to the harsh reality of life here in Texas. And although I really wanted to be with my kids, I honestly was not ready to come home. I LOVED Belgium!!! It was freezing and even snowed while we were there, but I loved it still. It felt like home. It could have something to do with the fact that I knew so many people over there and that Jon's family is the most hospitable family in the world. Words can not even come close to describing my experience in Belgium. God did some powerful things. I am still processing everything that took place there, so I think I will wait to write a detailed blog on the spiritual aspect of our trip till later.

We didn't have Internet access very much on our trip so I didn't get to write blogs while we were there. However, the first night we arrived in Belgium, I wrote a blog about my "so far" experience and was hoping I could post it but didn't get to. So here it is:

Belgium Day #1

Wow!!! I can’t believe that we are actually here! It’s completely what I thought it would be. Beautiful. Cold. Rainy. Quaint. Historical. Totally Amazing!

We arrived at 10:30am on Friday October 24th (my birthday!!!) Our flight was long and tiring but ultimately, uneventful. Which is good! We had a non-stop flight from DFW to Amsterdam. From there we had about an hour and a half lay over, then it was a 25 min flight to Brussels, Belgium. When we arrived I thought Jon was about to come out of his skin he was so excited! He just kept saying, “I get to see my brothers and mom and dad” with a big smile on his face. He practically ran off the airplane. It was so cute! However, when we came out of the gate, no one was there to meet us. We looked and looked, but no one. Finally after about 20 min of waiting, we find out that Jon’s mom told Tim (Jon’s little brother) to pick us up at 8:00am instead of 11:00. He had been waiting in the car, sleeping, the whole time. Poor Tim L Once our luggage was loaded in the van it was off to Christophe’s house for some lunch and R&R. Even though I have never been to Belgium before, it was comforting to know familiar faces. I know almost all of Jon’s family so it felt like a reunion of sorts for us.

Chris lives in a beautiful home. Ramonda fixed us a WONDERFUL lunch, rice, chicken and broccoli mixture and fruit salad. It felt so nice to have a warm home cooked meal to start the trip off right. Then the sweetest thing, Jon went out and bought me a little birthday cake. It was precious and I adored it. I can’t believe he was so thoughtful! It made my birthday special because he actually thought ahead about something. Destiny you would have been proud (you probably told him to do that ) Lol!!!!

After Liz and I did the dishes for Ramonda, we loaded up in the van for our long journey to the middle of no where. This is where the youth conference (can’t pronounce the name so I wont even try) will be held. It’s in this huge prison like place. Seriously I feel like we should be in an episode of Prison Break. It’s sorta creepy but not, at the same time. Currently I am typing this as I sit in this rickety bed wearing about 2 layers of clothes to sleep in because it’s so cold that I can almost see my breath. Oh Lord help me! The drive was humorous! Jon drove us in this OLD van that didn’t have power steering and was a standard to top it all off. Jon drove like a maniac but he did better than I would have done for sure. All of us were jet lagging BAD too! We all kept head bobbing on and off the whole time. We all caught each other, more than once, with our mouths open, head back and totally asleep. It cracked me up. Liz and I got to laughing so hard about something but we wont say what that was (wink, wink Liz). Once we got there we had to wait for everyone else to get there before we knew where to take our luggage and such. By this time it was about 6pm and we were starving. For dinner, we walked to get some French Fries, of course, then came back to make preparations for the youth conference. There will be about 350 youth attending this conference. It should be awesome! I actually have no idea what to expect but I’m sure it will be great!

After taking a Hot shower (thank you Jesus), it’s off to bed for another day of Belgium! Woo Hoo! I miss my sister, kids, family and friends though. I hope they are doing ok. Well I better get some sleep. Love to all.

I'll post an extensive picture blog later!