Category Archives: family

Birkelo Pruett

birk pruett

We welcomed our Birkelo “Birk” Pruett into our lives on July 22nd, 2015 at 8:05AM. He weighed in at 8 Ibs 9 oz., and was 21 1/4 inches long. It truly was love at first sight.

The pregnancy was a long and hard one, to be honest. We found out early on that I had something called polyhydramnios. This basically meant that I had an increased amount of amniotic fluid. And if you are trying to stay svelte and beautiful whilst pregnant? Polyhydramnios is not really something you want to have.  Near the end, I was so swollen I hardly recognized myself! That being said, I made the mistake of going home and googling polyhydramnios and found out that sometimes it is caused by a congenital birth defect. We did not do genetic testing, because we knew we would love our baby either way.  So at that point, we were left to wait until he was born to know for sure that there was nothing wrong with our baby boy. Around 34 weeks, I found out at one of my appointments that I had started to dilate. We were rushed to the hospital for monitoring, and it turns out I was having contractions every few minutes.  I was quickly given a steroid shot to promote lung growth, and at the same time,  I was also given a drug to stop my contractions. (If you’d like to know the most painful thing I have felt (truly!) it was that shot!) Unfortunately, that round did not work, so they gave me another shot in the other arm. Again, it did nothing to slow down my contractions.  At the end of the day, I did not dilate any further and they sent me home.  Our Birk was covered in prayer, and we were fortunate to carry him to term after that scare!  We did, however, have weekly monitoring and ultrasounds to make sure he was swallowing and moving properly.

Because of my polyhydramnios and because Birk was such a big baby, (they thought he was going to be 10 Ibs!) I was scheduled for a c-section.  The night before he was born, Chad and I each wrote a letter for him to open some day. Perhaps when he leaves the nest…perhaps on a special day.  We wanted him to know exactly what we were feeling before we ever even met him.  We each read each others letters aloud, and could barely get through them without crying. We snuggled and talked through the night. Nervous and excited about our early morning trip to the hospital.  We knew our lives were about to change overnight.

On July 22nd, we woke up in the wee hours of the morning. Since the c-section was scheduled, we had time to pack our bags and get ready the night before.  I was able to curl my hair and put on a little makeup, while Chad paced the house and prepared the rest of our “hospital necessities”.  The car ride was filled with unspoken anticipation.  It wasn’t until we were in the hospital and I was hooked up to the monitors that I started to get nervous.  I remember I just kept repeating “gosh, I’m just getting really nervous”.  Chad and I didn’t talk much, because we were both so anxious.  We just looked at each other in amazement. Sometimes we giggled. Other times we said how excited and scared we were.  I began to feel very uncomfortable, and it turned out I was having pretty strong contractions! He might have come that day after all! An hour or so later, one of my very best friends, Cassie showed up.  She was there to capture our special day on film, and she did such an incredible job in doing so.  Not only did she do a wonderful job taking photos, she also relieved so much of my anxiety!  We laughed and laughed as her tiny body (minus her adorable baby bump) was suited up into her over sized scrubs. Between the three of us, we told jokes and laughed and the time flew by as my nerves slowly melted away.

A little while after Cassie arrived, she and Chad put on their scrubs, and we all headed down the hall to the room where the surgery would take place.  They had Cassie and Chad wait in another room while they gave me the spinal shot.  For any of you soon to be c-section moms, that really was a breeze, I promise.  I read on many blogs that the drug made women incredibly nauseous, so I was super thankful that feeling never kicked in.  They laid me down on the table and that’s when the hard part started. I quickly felt my legs fall asleep and then the drugs began to work their way up towards my diaphragm.  I am a tad bit claustrophobic, and so the feeling definitely put me on edge.  Chad was not in the room yet, and my nerves really kicked in.  The nurses and Dr. were just chatting away and I remember just shouting out, “hey, I’m starting to feel pretty weird here. I might have a panic attack!”  They did their best to soothe me, and I did my best to soothe myself. I looked up at the bright lights and slowly breathed in and out.  My body just told me to pray, and pray I did.  With each slow breath, I prayed for peace and for my body to calm itself. I prayed that God would keep me safe and keep our baby boy safe as he was delivered. Moments later, Chad and Cassie were in the room and I felt Chad in my ear whispering that he was there and that he was proud of me.  He was nervous, I could hear it in his voice.  He said the silliest things in those few moments as they prepped me for surgery. I won’t repeat them because I don’t want to embarrass him, but we laughed so hard about it afterwards.  I felt some tugging and pulling and pressure, and the minutes felt like hours to me.  It felt as though the room was silent (trust me, it wasn’t) and I know i asked “is everything okay?” about ten times. Chad kept reassuring me everything was fine, and I finally heard “Dad, do you want to look over the curtain now? Here he comes!” and then I heard Chad tell me with a shaky voice that our boy was here.  He said he was definitely big and that he had dark brown hair.  (Which was a huge surprise! We were sure he would come out with blonde or strawberry blonde hair)!  The moment I heard Birk cry and saw him for the first time as he was lifted over the curtain, I felt myself blow out a huge breath of air. Chad went over to where they weighed and measured him. He was crying so hard and wiggling about.  Chad leaned over and grabbed both of his tiny hands, and Birk immediately stopped crying as he heard his dad’s voice for the first time outside of the womb.  That memory brings tears to my eyes. When they laid Birk on my chest for the first time moments later..skin to skin…my heart nearly exploded. I felt an immediate connection to him (which truly surprised me) and I just wanted to stare at his beautiful face for hours.  No one existed but him and I for those few moments. I examined every inch of his face and opened his tiny fist to reveal even tinier fingers.  It shocked me, how tiny his fingers were.  I  couldn’t believe he was mine.  That he was ours. And then there was Chad.  It was then the three of us, and we were a family.  They rolled us into a recovery room where I could nurse Birk and relax before our families came in to meet him.  We loved on Birk. We both enjoyed skin to skin time. We stared at him, we kissed his little body and we just spent time as three.

I remember how proud Chad and I felt to introduce him to our parents.  How thankful we were that he came out healthy and beautiful.  Pink, chunky skin and beautiful brown hair. The next few days in the hospital went by in a blur, and I honestly enjoyed every minute.  I barely slept a wink, as Birk was nursing every hour or few hours those first few days. I didn’t mind one bit. I loved those middle of the night hours when it was just he and I awake.  Chad sleeping on the cot next to us.  The TV blaring nonsensically in the background.  I had tunnel vision only for Birk.  We snuggled and I told him about how great of a gift he was to our little family and how much his parents loved him.  Sure, there were ups and downs. First time scares and jitters.  But nothing compares to knowing God knit that tiny baby in my womb and that he was here and healthy. That he was our little boy to raise together.

In the next few weeks/month, we ran into a few medical scares with Birk and we are still walking through those waters.  Fear and anxiety is a very real thing as a parent, but we are thankful for friends, family and a community of people who cover our baby boy in prayer.  We know he is well taken care of and that God loves him more than we do.  We rest in that!  I wake up every day thankful he is here and that I get to spend the day tired, frustrated, exhausted, joyful, scared, overwhelmed and just plain happy that he is our baby boy and that we get to care for him. He is worth the sleepless nights and long (but oh so short!) days.

Birk Pruett, we love you so much.  Our little warrior!

There is a wonderful story behind his name that I would love to share with you soon!
I apologize for the multitude of photos, but how do you choose just a few?  Cassie did a wonderful job documenting our day!

chad and I waiting for the delivery

This ring was given to Chad’s grandmother, “mama hugg” by his grandfather, “papa hugg” on the day she gave birth to Chad’s dad.  I wore it on my wedding day, and also on the day of Birk’s birth.  I love keeping their memories alive, and I cherish the special meaning behind it.

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Mama’s Blackberry Cobbler

 I’ve decided that baking is my therapy.
Some people run. Some people eat lots of candy (okay, I’m guilty of that too) and some people shop until they drop. Me? I like to take all of my stress out on the kitchen.
Flour everywhere. Sugar in my hair. Egg yolk on the floor.
If the kitchen isn’t messy when you’re done, you’re not doing it right.

This past week was really stressful for me. I can’t really pinpoint one particular reason, honestly. I think it’s just a really big itch. An itch to do something new.
And I think because I can’t really scratch that itch (seeing as i’m not sure what that itch is) I took that stress and baked it into one large, scrumptious, mouthwatering blackberry cobbler.

And now I want to share that steamy, delicious love with you, too.
This is actually my mom’s recipe.  I have very fond memories of climbing up onto the barstool and watching my mom roll out pie crust. She was oh, so meticulous. Making sure everything was just right. (Now I find myself rolling out dough in just the same manner)  I would rest my hand on my face and just watch and watch as she rolled and perfected. Rolled and perfected. Throwing me and my brothers a piece of pie dough every now and then to keep us busy.
And at the end of the afternoon, the delicious smell of ooey gooey blackberries would waft up to my room (which was conveniently located just above the kitchen) and i knew it was almost time to gobble up the first bite.  I can almost smell it now.  Isn’t it funny how childhood memories are the most memorable ones we have? I love that.

Now, where to begin. Ah yes, the dough.
This is just a standard “from scratch” dough recipe.
Really simple.
Let’s get started.

The Dough:

Ingredients

  • 2 1/2 cups all purpose-flour
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 16 T COLD unsalted butter (equivalent to 2 sticks)
  • 1/4 cup ice water

Step 1
In a mixer, combine flour, salt and sugar; mix on low to combine.

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Here’s the tricky part. Make sure your butter is REALLY cold. Don’t take it out of the fridge until you are ready to use it.  Cut the butter into pads and add it to the mixture.

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Now, I did this the old fashioned way.  You don’t want to completely mix the butter in, so I took two knives (using both hands) and cut the butter into the mixture.  Sounds difficult, but super easy.  Mix until it resembles corse meal, with pea sized pieces of butter remaining.

Step 2
Slowly add the ice water. Mix on LOW for a few seconds until dough is crumbly, but holds together when you pinch it.  Add water as needed.
This process will make your dough extra flaky when you bake it. Yum!

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Step 3
Split the dough in half.  Form each dough into a round ball.  Do not knead the dough, as you want delicious pockets of butter when baking. Transfer each half of the dough onto a piece of plastic wrap.  Secure tightly and refrigerate for one hour or until firm.  Now you will have two disks ready for the bottom and top of your crust!

Step 4
When dough is ready, remove both disks from the refrigerator. Start with one disk.

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Grab a deep pie dish.  On a floured surface, roll out one of the disks to cover the bottom of the dish. I like to leave a little dough hanging over the sides so I have extra to pinch at the end.
(Sidenote: Roll out and slice a few strips of extra dough to use for the pie filling! I’ll explain later!)

Blackberry Filling

Ingredients

  • 6 cups of blackberries
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 1 cup flour
  • 1 T. lemon juice

Step 1
Now that you have the bottom of the pie crust prepared, lets start with the filling!

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First, wash those blackberries! I was lucky enough to find big, juicy ones at the local farmers market.  Next, toss together all of the ingredients.  It will seem as though there is quite a bit of the flour mixture and not enough liquid, but toss to cover all of the blackberries.

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Step 2
Use 1/3 of the blackberries mixture and pour on top of the uncooked pie crust in the prepared pie dish. Throw in a few of those strips of pie dough. These will be a little doughy surprise when you cut into the cobbler.  Don’t skip this step.  It’s a delicious, doughy secret.

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Repeat this step again, and then top with the last 1/3 of the blackberry mixture.
Ready for this? More butter. Before you add the top of the crust? Just slice a few pads of butter and place them on top of the finished blackberry mixture. Just a little extra yumminess.

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Step 3
At this point, you are done with the blackberry mixture, and ready to top the cobbler with the other pie crust.  Roll out the dough and either top it with normal pie crust (which is totally acceptable and just as delicious! If you do, before you place the crust on top, make a few slices in the middle with a knife. About half an inch apart. This will let the cobbler bubble through a little at the end of baking and you will know it’s ready!
I created a lattice crust.  It was super easy! (Find a tutorial for that here!)

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Pinch the outsides of the pie. I use my thumb to make an imprint and then pinch the sides together. You can do whatever pleases your little heart.

Step 4
This is an important step and a lovely trick my mama taught me.
Before you place the pie in the oven, brush a little milk onto the crust and sprinkle with sugar. This will make that crust a beautiful golden brown color.

Step 5
Bake at 350 for 1 hour.
**If you notice the edges of the crust burning, you can open the oven and wrap them in a little bit of tinfoil. This will allow the middle to continue baking and keep the outsides from burning. Another fun mama fact. Aren’t they the best?**

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ENJOY THAT LOVELY cobbler.  I like to have a little bowl when it’s still hot. There is something about warm cobbler that just tastes like a warm, summer day.
Chad likes to top his with a dollop of vanilla ice cream.
Blue Bell vanilla ice cream, to be exact.  This IS Texas, y’all.

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Florida Keys

This past weekend, Chad and I flew to the Keys with his family to hang out for a few days.  We rode our bicycles around the island, delighted ourselves with sno cones and ice cream and spent time laying in the sun.  There never seems to be enough time to hang out with Chad’s brother Jerod and his wife Bethany. (A sibling trip will hopefully be in the works very soon!)
But time by the beach is always time well spent.
The boys indulged in Cuban cigars and we watched from a sailboat as the sunset melted into the ocean.

Pictures say a thousand words and I took about a thousand pictures.
I chose a handful of my favorites to share!
Now if I could just indulge in one more pineapple sno cone.

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The Christmas Dress

When I was a little girl, my mom would always pick out a Christmas Eve dress for me to wear.  For several years, she actually made my Christmas dresses. Looking back, those always turned out to be pretty interesting with their rather large early nineties peter pan collars, tacky plastic buttons, and sparkly reindeer tights.
{Not slighting my mother’s sewing skills, though. She is amazing!}

These days, choosing what to wear is a little more exciting. This Lulu*s dress made for a perfect Christmas Eve outfit. I actually forgot my black opaque tights, so I threw on the only thing I had. And I’m glad I did, because I actually loved the fun little touch these polka dot tights gave the dress.

We were in Austin at Chad’s parents this year, so I wanted to take these photos in front of the cabin {on their property} where we were engaged Christmas morning two years ago. Their log cabin home is so magical at Christmas and it brings about wonderful memories and cozy feelings. I love that I get to spend Christmas with both of my families. It really is such a wonderful time of the year.
As Christmas came and went, I honestly felt the best gift was getting to see everyone and spend time with the ones I love. It doesn’t happen often enough.

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Dress: c/o Lulu*s
Tights: Forever 21
Heels: c/o Lulu*s
Necklace: c/o Savoir-Faire

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