Monday, December 8, 2008

The Stuff of Sleep

Last night was the first night that Annabelle spent in her crib, in the nursery. She was not in our bedroom, in the bassinet, next to me. She slept just fine. I did not. She just felt so far away. This will take a little getting use to. I'm guessing that sleep deprivation will help the getting use to it. I'm not really sure what I ever did without her.

Friday, December 5, 2008

Smile Breaks

In becoming a parent you have so many hopes of teaching your beloved wee one all you can of the wonders of this world and warning them of all the not so wonderful. Inevitably, they end up teaching you. Annabelle is four months old today, and has already taught me so many things. One of my personal favorites is: when you are tasking away on a mission, take smile breaks. She does this when she is nursing. It hasn't ceased to crack me up. She'll be feed-feed-feeding away and just suddenly stop, smile, and then go back about her business. It's adorable! And it's admirable. I picture her exclaiming ( like Will Ferrell in Elf ) "I love smiling! Smiling's my favorite!"

So when you're tasking away with the busy hustle and bustle of the season, take a break, and smile with Annie.

Saturday, November 29, 2008


The last few weeks have been a whirlwind of extreme joys and challenges resulting in many blessings to be grateful for. We attended the dedication and celebrated the adoption of Mari Crittenden, the baptism of baby Grace Weaver, and celebrated the first Thanksgiving for little Annie & Keaton with friends Hawkins & Jacksons. All shared with friends that are considered family. I have bitter-sweetly started back to work part time, and Pops is home on his six week paternity leave. We have been in and out of the hospital for several cast removal replacements, and watched in amazement as our little girl's feet are gradually turning to their proper position. We have also been in and out of the E.R. with deep concern of a malfunction in the shunt in Annabelle's head ( thankfully she is fine, but we have not abandoned our concern ). Such is life to keep rolling in those extremes from joy to challenge and back again.

We've just been keeping with the theme of the last year. It's no secret that the joys and challenges have been abundant. We have seen pain we could have never imagined and joy we never thought possible. We have seen the love, mercy, grace, and generosity of our Creator as He has entrusted to us our miracle baby Annabelle. The outpouring of support we've been given in every way from friends, family, and even people we've never met has been comforting and humbling beyond words. Our home is the house that love built, and continues to build both literally and figuratively. For all of this, "grateful" hardly seems enough. But we are. We are TRULY GRATEFUL.

Thank you for sharing this wonderful, joyous, challenging, turbulent, heart breaking, phenomenal life with us. We are so very blessed, and I lift up my thanks to you!

Silly Games

Ok, so for the whopping three of you who indulged me with guesses on my last post, thanks, and here are the answers.

1-thrift store
2-padded hanger
3-regular shop
4-padded hanger

This little game has confirmed my belief in 2nd hand shopping. I had several people tell me they "just couldn't tell." Hooray for thrift stores! And a heartfelt thanks to my lovely and talented model.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Padded Hangers

Considering that I now have a little doll to dress up, I have had to use a great amount of restraint in the purchasing of clothes for her. It's just so tempting, and I think I've done pretty well. I only bought a few things while I was pregnant, and even after Annie was born ( not that shopping was really a priority ) I didn't do much at all. Now that we're into month four, and the appointments and being a new parent has calmed down a bit, the story has changed. My restraint justified some splurging.

When it comes to shopping, I am part thrift or vintage, and part boutique. When it comes to my wallet, the first parts usually win. I've always enjoyed the hunt for gems at the 2nd hand stores. It's become a finely tuned skill for me, and I like that it's recycling. All that said, now and then I find myself under the seductive powers of a boutique. Both of these venues offer things you won't see a million of, and mean you don't have to brave the dreaded mall ( much to the chagrin of Pops, the dread melts away if the mall has an Anthropologie ). While I was pregnant, entering a store like Babies R Us would nearly throw me into a panic attack. Now that I've gotten used to the scene and I've discovered they sort of have a boutique section of clothing, I don't so much mind the trip anymore. Last week I did both kinds of shopping for Annabelle.

Her casts have created some fashion challenges that I was more than willing to find creative ways to remedy. The weather is a bit cooler now, and most of her clothes are Summer pieces, so we needed to get some Fall and Winter things that would be cast friendly. Especially since we'll be in Washington in December. I don't mind her casts showing sometimes, but it's nice to go out with her, and not have strangers ask "what happened?" It's fun to fashionably conceal them. So with these things in mind, I went to a thrift store, and to the foofy section of Babies R Us to dress up my Dolly, and let her stylishly blend in her casts. The trip to Babies R Us was a family one, and was mostly intended for the purchasing of crib bedding. We are getting ready to move Miss Belle into the nursery and out of her bassinet in our bedroom. But that's a whole new post for a different day. I picked out some things and brought them to Pops with a nervous smile. His response was "how about only ONE padded hanger ( meaning shwanky ) per trip?" We compromised at two, and one from now on, which will definitely not be very often. Fortunately, the "padded hanger" items I selected were marked down, and then I also bought a couple of things from the regular section. The day before, I made a trip to the local Veteran's ( how appropriate ) thrift store and spent $20 on a bag full. The priciest item was $1.65, and there were several things that were .65 or .95. I love it. The 2nd hand baby clothes are in great condition as they grow so fast that they don't wear them out.

And now, just for fun, I'd like to see if you can tell a difference in the padded hangers or regular pieces, and the thrift store purchases. Feel free to post your guesses in the comment section. The tops don't count in the pictures of Lu-Belle in skirts or pants. I didn't purchase any tops. There are three padded hanger items, two regular, and four thrift store. Have fun guessing!










Friday, November 7, 2008

I Love Being Three Months Old!

It's hard to believe it's been three months. It seems like yesterday and a really long time ago all at once. I can't imagine life without this little girl now. She has rocked my world into lovely.

Thursday, November 6, 2008


Annie got her casts put on today to straighten out her little feet. As per usual, she was a real trooper. She did much better than I did with it. The casts are pretty big, heavy, and awkward, and they go all the way from toe to hip. She will be recast every week for two to three months. I already miss her soft little legs. Ok, I'll say it... I will also miss her precious club feet. I know it sounds crazy, or even wrong. Think what you will. I know it's for the best, and I'd never wish anything less for my darling girl, but it's how God made her. It's how I fell in love with her, and I'm admitting today that I will miss them. She is so beautiful to me no matter what.

Bless her heart.

Sunday, November 2, 2008

For Wendy

From the rising of the sun, to the going down of the same...

The name of the Lord shall be praised.
Happy November 3rd!

Friday, October 31, 2008

First Halloween

Baby Monarch had a wonderful time trick-or treating with her her big Kessler brothers.
We went to a street that's all spookified for the night.

Then we made our way back to the Team Kess home to watch The Great Pumpkin.

Just the trick, and such a treat.

Oh When Will He Get Here?!?

I can't wait! I can't wait!

I can't wait for him to get here!!!

I'm going crazy waiting for him! My first little buddy!
Oh, when will he get here?!

Did he ever come?


Tuesday, October 28, 2008

A Slice of Angel Pie

Ok, so maybe it's five slices. I just couldn't help it. Annabelle is 10 lbs now! And it's a special little dress. Both my sister and I wore it, and I LOVE how she looks in it. Sweet sweet sweet.

Saturday, October 25, 2008

Double Plaid Dad

Really? This is what you're going with? Hmmmmmm...interesting choice. You know, there may be a time and place for two different plaids, like maybe, on two different people at the St. Patty's Day parade. Or perhaps some hip and quirky, deconstructed, made in France, fabulous dress ( well, this look may not be an improvement for HIM ). But this? No.

A mistake to it's equal was made a while back when he decided on the double denim. Denim shirt with jeans, and then I think where I lost it was when he put a denim jacket over the whole atrocity, and it became the triple denim.
Oh Pops. You gotta love him.

Sunday, October 19, 2008

The Perfect Introduction

I whole heartedly intend to raise this child up in the arts. Last night was a beautiful beginning as she attended her first opening. The artist of honor was friend David Adey, which made the occasion perfect. We were art students together back in the day, and when you take a gander at his work, you'll see why it was difficult to sit next to him in school. I would encourage you to take a more in depth look at his work as it is multi-faceted and has very complex meaning.

The show was held at contemporary art gallery Luis De Jesus Seminal Projects and was a combination of Adey's work, and that of glass sculptor, Graham Caldwell. We Linden's have a great amount of respect for David, and Caldwell was a wonderful new discovery. I have always had a weakness for glass and it's fascinating relationship with light and shadow.

Annabelle was happy and alert the whole time. She seemed to enjoy the social gathering and stimulating visuals. Our little Annie-Lu is David's newest fan!

Nothin' like a good art show.

Friday, October 17, 2008

Back in Business

It's a whole new world for Miss Belle today as she is now allowed to be on her back! I bought her these happy little overalls yesterday after her appointment with Dr. Goseman ( plastic surgeon ). Yesterday was the first day of her life without any bandages on her little body. The Doctor was so pleased and almost seemed surprised at Annie's healing progress. We are absolutely thrilled, but not surprised. Thanking God over and over. We are so proud of her! She loves her new perspective.

Monday, October 13, 2008

To The Pumpkin Patch!

It was a very grand excursion for the Lindens last Saturday. The biggest outing yet since Lu-Belle was born. We loaded up all things family, and took our pumpkin to the patch. It was a wonderful time with dear friends Hawkins, Keener, Harrington, and Medina. What a festive day! The Bates Nut Farm is worthy of an annual tradition.

Sunday, October 12, 2008


This was Friday night. I couldn't remember the last time I'd done this. Many, many months ago. It used to be a cherished ritual for me. And yes, I was so excited about my bubble bath, that I brought my camera with me, to be able to remind myself: if mad at husband refer back to this evening. This is how cool Pops is. He came home after a tough day at work, took The Belly Bean from me, and ordered the usual Friday night pizza. Excellent. And it set the stage for a WONDERFUL weekend. More on that later. Just want to relive this one for a little while. Happy.

Friday, October 10, 2008

Happy Feet

It was decided yesterday that it was high time our little Belly Bean do some art making. So, Scrap Booking Extraordinaire, Auntie Wendy came over with the goods and we put Miss Belle to work!

Oh, so much work!

We had so much fun experimenting with different colors and getting the feets all inky and...pinky.

This blue one is Dad's favorite.

I am pleased with my work.

I think Auntie Wendy is too...

We're so proud of our little artist!

We'll keep you "posted" on future showings of Annabelle Linden's work.