Friday, October 17, 2014

Brynn's 1st Birthday

I swore to myself that I was keeping Brynn's birthday simple, because, well frankly, she wouldn't remember it.  BUT, as birthday time approached, I got really excited and realized surviving this first year is worth a celebration!  Thanks to all who helped us celebrate!  Love you! :)

   Daddy and the Birthday girl
Brynn with her buddy, Jon before the festivities

Aunt Kristin and Brynn
She's thrilled to be 1
                She LOVED her cupcake!
I had way too much fun with the decorations


A little wiped after the party
Spent the afternoon at Chambers Bay
I love that she loves being outside

Saturday, September 27, 2014

Our first year with Brynn

I am absolutely flabbergasted that a year has come and gone since we became parents.  It has been a heck of a year full of so many ups and so many downs.  As much as I prefer the up moments, both Mark and I have grown so much from the down moments.  I feel very strongly that if we didn't have trials and tribulations we would not become stronger, better people.

During these times of trials and tribulations we have an tremendous promise from our Savior,  Jesus Christ.  He says in John 14:18, "I will not leave you comfortless:  I will come to you."  There will be nothing on the earth that can defeat us.  What a beautiful promise and I can truly say that my belief in God and Jesus Christ has brought so much comfort during our rough times this year and also during previous hard times.

So, having said all that, I thought since I have been pretty bad at keeping up our blog, I would share a video we made of our first year with Brynn.  It's a little long, but it's hard to fit a year into a short video.  It shows how far she has come and what a true joy she is now.  We love her to bits and feel so lucky to be her mom and dad.  Enjoy!


Tuesday, December 10, 2013

A Month at Home

It has been nearly a month since we brought Brynn home.  I can say without any hesitation that motherhood has been the biggest challenge of my life so far.  I have heard countless times how hard it is, but I now know until you experience it, you have no idea how hard it is.

Although, all newborns are a challenge, our little Brynn, has been equipped with a few more on top of being a newborn.  I am ashamed to say I have not only felt so bad for her, but for myself also.  It sounds so selfish to say, but it is true.

I have felt sorry for myself because I didn't get to experience giving birth to her and I didn't get to be by her side for a whole week of her life.  I don't get to breast feed her.  I can't EVEN feed her from a bottle.  I have felt that I have been robbed of having the "normal" baby experience.  

Pretty pathetic, huh?  Well, guess what?  I have been humbled, once again.  I have been humbled many times during our time with Brynn and I suspect I will be humbled countless times to come.

Today, Brynn had another swallow test and to be honest I knew that the results wouldn't be what we wanted them to be before the test was even done.  For those of you that don't know, a swallow test is  done to make sure her formula is going down the right tube and also to see if her swallowing has become more coordinated.  Although, they saw improvement, it wasn't enough for her to feed from a bottle.  I sure hate when my intuition is right!

Along with knowing the test results weren't going to be great, I also had an epiphany that we (Mark and I...and Brynn) can do this!  She is our baby and we are meant to be her parents and we can handle this.  I thought about how we made the decision for me to stay home once we had children and how it couldn't be any other way for Brynn.  She needed to have a mother (and father) who could be there for her all day and all night.  I needed to be home to care for her and take her to her many, many appointments.  I decided that I can no longer feel sorry for myself, because motherhood/parenthood is so much bigger than me.  It's not about me.  All I can say is thank goodness for these humbling experiences or I could find myself being a very unhappy person.  But, my family doesn't deserve that.  They deserve a wife and mother that is happy to be a wife and mother....and that I am! :)


Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Brynn Catherine Beagley

As most of our family and friends know, our lives have been forever changed this past month.  It's been a month full of different emotions that seem to change day to day.  I know I not only speak for myself, but also for Mark when I write that this month has been one of our happiest, yet stressful and overwhelming months of our lives.  Although it's been absolutely crazy, we wouldn't change it for the world.  

I've had several people ask if I would share our adoption story on our blog and I am more than happy to oblige.  

As I shared in our last blog post our baby girl, Brynn, was born on Monday, September 23rd.  She was 4 lbs. 2oz and 17 inches long.  She was born approximately 7 weeks early and had a very hard beginning.  Out of respect to her birth mother, I don't want to go into the details of why she came early, other than there was complications that caused Brynn to be without oxygen to her brain for a time.  

On Thursday, September 26th, I received the best and most shocking phone call of my life.  Our adoption agency shared everything they knew about Brynn.  It was extremely overwhelming to hear everything this poor girl went through, but I immediately felt love for her.  I just couldn't believe this was happening.  First of all, I couldn't believe we were getting this call so soon after our approval to adopt.  Secondly, I think anyone that has adopted or has had trouble conceiving goes through many moments of doubt and failure.  So, to receive this call, well, words can't quite explain it, but it was a wonderful blessing from God. I, of course, called Mark right after The phone call with our agency, and couldn't keep my emotions under control.  Surprise, surprise.  I cried out of happiness, excitement and worry for this child.  We prayed harder and more fervently than ever and knew that Brynn was our baby.

By the time we talked to our agency and they talked to the hospital, the social worker (who likes to be there for the first visit) was gone for the week.  So, we were finally able to meet our girl on Monday, September 30th.  I will never forget that feeling of walking down the hall in the NICU knowing we were about to meet our child.  I, of course, was overcome with emotion and love when when we saw her.  She was absolutely beautiful and perfect!  We were also able to meet her birth mom who was a bubbly, happy, sweet woman.  I have so much love and gratitude for her.  It was kind of funny because Mark and I kept thanking her during this time with her.  She was probably thinking, "OK, enough already.  I get it, you're thankful!" :) I truly don't think I will ever be able to thank her enough.  

Here's a glimpse into our first meeting.  She's was so tiny she made my hand look huge, which it's not. I actually have farely small hands, so this puts her size into perspective.  

My first time holding our precious girl!  I can't get enough of her!

Mark's first time holding Brynn.  I love that this picture captures his adoration and love for her.  

On Wednesday, October 2nd, Brynn had an MRI done to see if they could see any abnormalities with her brain.  We received the wonderful news on Friday, October 4th that the results were completely normal!  Since her couple of weeks of life she has come so far.  My latest hang out spot is at the hospital.  It's such a happening place. ;) I know she needs to be there until she's completely ready to go home, BUT it's absolutely heart wrenching to leave her and I can hardly stand it for much longer. Of course, when I think logically, I know this is just a small part of our lives and eventually it will seem like no time at all.   

One of the many things I have learned in the last month or so, is that I was COMPLETELY naive when it comes to premature babies.  Thank goodness for the books that have been lent to me by the hospital staff that has helped tremendously.  Although, I have had many frustrating moments at the hospital, I have also had many wonderful ones, due to the hospital staff.  I am eternally grateful for these moments.

Please enjoy the following pictures of her life on this earth so far.  It's wonderful to see her growth and progress throughout the past 6 weeks.  

Week 1

Our first meeting.

Such a doll

First family picture 

Week 2

Gotta love headbands 

Checking daddy out 

She loves him 

Week 3

I love her beautiful eyes 

She's a deep thinker

Bath time 

Week 4

This girl had found her voice.  When she's mad she'll let you know.

She looks like she's up to something 

Smiley girl 

Week 5

I love her lips!

Having a good dream

Looking good with my pacifier 
Week 6 (this week)

SHHH!  I'm sleeping!

I know I'm cute and all, but please stop taking pictures of me. 

Just us girls hanging out at the hospital, our main hang out these days. 

Our September

The last couple of months have just flown by!  It's hard to believe we are nearing Thanksgiving and Christmas.  We imagine that this holiday season is going to be one of our favorites, since we are now parents to a beautiful baby girl. Yes, we have been placed!!  I will share our story soon.  In the meantime, here's what we have been up to the last couple of months:

This handsome man had a birthday on September 6th!  What was his birthday request?  Dinner at the Original Pancake House (or should I say breakfast).  I sure love my humble, easy to please husband.

We celebrated our 9th wedding anniversary on September 18th.  How did we celebrate?  We went out to dinner and then had a nice, relaxing night at home.  It was wonderful!

This little angel, Brynn Catherine Beagley was born on Monday, September 23rd.  We are head over heels for her!  I will share more about her in another post.

Sunday, September 1, 2013

Where did August go?

It's hard to believe another month has come and gone, but whether we want to accept it or not, one has. We've had a fun, busy month!  Check out what we've been up to this month:

Melissa turned 30!  Wowza!

What did this 30 year old want to do for her birthday?
Go to the Detroit Zoo.  It did not disappoint!
The two of us at the zoo

We became a 2 car family again!!  
Woohoo!  We're preparing 
for a little one! :)

Another thing we did to prepare for a little one coming into our
 lives, is move our computer into our bedroom.  The computer
was in our extra room, which will be the nursery.  The previous
desk was way too big to fit in our bedroom, so I found this
 small, cute desk and chair at a thrift store.  I sanded and stained
the desk and painted the chair.  I love how they came out.

 For Melissa's birthday, we also went to
our first Detroit Lion's game.  They
 rocked!  It was a fun, great game!
Melissa's dear friends surprised her for her birthday.  They had
a "Barbie" party for her...more like mock barbie party.  They
made Melissa dress as an "old-lady" barbie...and yes they made
her go in public dressed like an old lady.  You gotta love friends!

Sunday, August 4, 2013

Our happenings for the last few months or so

This year is flying by!  I can't believe it's August!  We've had a great year so far and thought we'd share what we've been up to:  

1.Went to Niagara Falls for the first time!

2. Went to some of our Church's historical sites

The Hill Cumorah in Palmyra, NY
The Book of Mormon publication site

3. Ran a half marathon with my wonderful friend, Tobey

4. We went to our first Detroit Tigers game.  They kicked butt this game!

5. Mark ran a 12 mile Tough Mudder

6.  We took a road trip to Colorado

We invited these little stinker along
We were so excited to spend time with these cuties, our two nephews and niece.