... THE PERKES. We still consider ourselves newlyweds [we've been married for almost 5 years]. Our firstborn, Jace, is now 2 years old, and became a big brother when Sofia Rain joined our family in November 2012. We are from the East Coast [Luisa is from MA and Nate is from NH]. We are Bronco's Fans [We've lived in the Boise area for almost 5 years]. We are travelers. We are athletes and we are dancers. We are enthusiastic about food. We are spontaneous. We are addicted to the sun. We are in love.
Most importantly... we are HAPPY. We are the Perkes.
We had such a blast on the 4th of July. Literally, it was the perfect summer day. I would have been the perfect day overall, if Nate didn’t have to shoot a wedding that day. With the rest of the fam, Jace and I went to Roaring Springs, the local water park. We had SO MUCH FUN! All summer I’ve been dying for that chance to sit in the sun and soak up the rays, and that was my day. I lathered Jace in enough 75 SPF sunscreen to allow him a trip to sun’s surface and back. I got a snow cone reminiscent of the ones Nate and I had in Hawaii, that were roughly the size of Jace’s head. After we pooped ourselves out, we headed home and showered up. We headed up to Jake and Kate’s for a BBQ, and we roasted hot dogs over an open fire. We had chips and mango salsa, greek pasta salad, watermelon…. MMMMMMmmmmmm, it was amazing. And THEN!! Let the show begin. Between the two of our families, we had purchased… WAY TOO MANY EXPLOSIVES. I found myself totally wrapped up in the fun of it all!!! That childish part of me that likes to set things on fire and watch them explode apparently has just lay dormant the past couple of years, and only that day had reared its ugly head. It was such an adrenaline rush to light a wick to one of the BIG mortars and then make a dash away to safety. We had so much fun!! Jace was not a fan of the very first firework, but after that, he seemed to enjoy the show, just like the rest of us! I’m not sure who thought up the genius idea of lighting metal sticks on fire and then handing them to small children to twirl around. Sparklers are a mystery to me, but we didn’t have ANY injuries!! Therefore…. it was a completely successful 4th of July!!
What a beautiful country we live in. I’m amazed at the freedoms that we enjoy that many parts of this world do not enjoy. It is a blessed nation… so Happy Birthday, America. We love you!
… The Denver Series!! Last year we hosted the Annual Perkes Family Reunion here in Idaho. We spent a day down here in Boise but mostly we were up in McCall. Nate and I arrived a day early to Denver in order to photograph Nate’s oldest brother, Josh and his BEAUTIFUL family. They had chosen a downtown park as a fantastic location.
Cousin Love: There is no way that Jace could complain about feeling ignored or lonely during the reunion. His cousins just loved on him the entire time with lots of hugs and kisses [and the occassional headbutt.. ooops! ; ) ]The only thing better than being together, is being together all playing separate electronic devices. The Daddy’s of these giga-nerds weren’t very good examples. Nate and his brothers spent any moment they could playing some golf game against each other on their phones. The first couple of days were our water activities! The first day we went to the community pool and the next day, we spent the entire time at Water World… the largest water park in the entire US!!! Have you seen ‘Finding Nemo’? Every time I see these pictures I think: ‘Shark Bait… Ooh Ha ha.’
Here is Nate and Max on one of the Water Park Rides. I thought that sled looked a little too small for two grown men over 6′ tall.
Our brother Buck let Nate use his underwater camera and Nate LOVED it. These couple of pictures are only a small selection of the dozens of pictures that Nate took. He has a great underwater smile…I present, a previously undiscovered species: The Cross-Eyed Platypus… Hello Handsome!While the girls got to leave the kidlets with the Daddy’s to head to the spa, the boys took the kids to the park to play some football!
After us girls returned home, we sent the boys out to play laser tag, which they did… but they also made an extra stop on the way home. It still trips me up just looking at it. Haha!! And wait a minute! Were they mocking us?
Mom & Dad go ALL out with their plans and preparations to show the kids a GREAT time. Making memories, having fun, winning prizes, learning lessons, sharing, team work, creativity, laughing A LOT and expending ALL energy is an accurate description of a typical activity with the Perkes. We had SO MUCH FUN, adults and children alike, during our own homemade RODEO!!We had a shoot out with water guns…… we raced delivering mail on the Pony Express… we locked up a bunch of bandits in jail… we lassoed some heifers… and we collected some piglet tails [my personal favorite].The day after that, as if we hadn’t had enough fun already, we went to the ‘Garden of the Gods’ National Park to have the Kids Annual Scavenger Hunt. It was the favorite event of last years reunion.The park was GORGEOUS! The sandstone and limestone formations were beautiful and majestic. Numerous times we felt like we had transported back to some ‘Land Before Time’ movie set. Here are some of the kidlets deciphering one of the clues…As you can tell by the head gear, a ‘PIT OF SNAKES’ was one of the dangers encountered by the children on their quest…I wonder if the kids knew about the creature spying on them… ; ) This is Jack-Jack, our newest nephew. He is the closest in age to Jace and is an absolute delight! He is super friendly, speaks sign language and is beloved by the whole family. He is a doll. What a stud my hubby is… ; )Here is Natey after a long day at the park. Guaranteed EVERYONE felt the same way. Beside him was one of the prizes: ‘A DINOSAUR EGG!’Believe it or not, we had plans for that evening as well: THE DENVER ROCKIES GAME! I would never watch baseball on TV and have no real interest in the series… BUT THE GAMES IN REAL LIFE?!?! They are so much fun. Unfortunately, we had to park about 6-7 blocks away from the stadium. After a day of hiking through the Garden of the Gods, and being accompanied by our darling, newly-pregnant sister, Jeralyn [YAYYY!!!] we decided to commandeer the services of Ronald, a local chariot driver:
The atmosphere, the food, the entertainment, the music. It was all intoxicating, although some might have disagreed. Here are some Instagram pictures that Nate took at the game:Of course, we had to get Ball Park hot dogs…. aaannnnndddd funnel cake, peanuts, Red Vine licorice, fresh squeezed lemonade, cotton candy, slushies, and soft serve ice cream. Ahem… we weren’t hungry or anything.Jace wasn’t hungry either…As if we hadn’t had enough fun already, Nate and I decided to go Indoor Sky Diving on our last day. It was one of our favorite past times when we lived in Denver. It is THE closest to flying that you will EVER feel, as opposed to real sky diving where you are just falling. Nate is SOO good at it. He’s mastered all the spins, and the ability to move forward and backwards, up and down with no problems.
Here is Nate during his first flight. I, however, got in trouble for having the phone in the tunnel with us, and so Nate couldn’t record me… Stink.
The last day of the reunion, we wanted to take a big family picture. Haha!! It was quite the feat. Trying to get 10 little children to look at the camera and smile simultaneously was near impossible. A couple of our little ones just couldn’t take the pressure. Personally, I would argue that THIS is probably the most accurate portrayal of us. Sigh. I LOVE this family.
As the closing ceremonies to this momentous event, Mom and Dad took the opportunity to teach us, adults and children alike. I LOVE that. Us parents may be all grown up, but that most definitely doesn’t mean that we are done learning. We are still somebodies children. At the beginning of the fireside, they called the children to meet them in the basement. I was asked to come help with Jace’s preparations. When I walked into the room, the children were dressed in authentic, beautiful armor. My little nephew, Ben yells: ‘Wisa, look!’ And thrusting his sword in the air he yelled: ‘We are the Army of Helaman!!!’ Even as I type this, my chest constricts with emotion at the feeling in that room. Purity, excitement, courage, power, hope. I passed my little peanut off to Dad, and he presented him to the room and explained that the inspiration for this fireside came from Jace’s blessing, when Nate blessed him with ‘strength and courage.’ After polling the children later that day, they all agreed that this was their favorite part of the whole reunion.
I was humbled that evening. Dad said that he hoped we could catch a glimpse at the TRUE nature of the heroes that stood in our midst. They are, in all actuality, warriors of truth. They are the hope for our future and most importantly, WE are responsible for ARMING them, preparing them, training them in the ways of truth and righteousness. For those who might read this that are not LDS, the ‘Army of Helaman’ is the scriptural account of an army of 2,000 youth who were forced to defend their country from destruction. Not one soldier was lost, which they attributed to the faith of their mothers. It is a beautiful story. I was left with a profound sense of graveity that evening. I held my little warrior as he slept in my arms and I feared for him. At the same time, I was filled with such peace and JOY. Those little ones, every single one, has such a deep and resounding goodness. I should have no reason to fear for my family. I have been given everything that I need to protect them, and they were born already strong, already courageous… prepared before they were born for a great destiny and purpose.
What a PERFECT reunion. We laughed… we cried… we reminisced… we were taught… we played… we ate… we REJOICED at the chance to be in each others company and feel of each others love. Thank you, Josh and Brooke, for having us, and Mom and Dad for…. everything else. : )
… I thought that it was a myth. But low and behold, as my pregnancy progressed and my sanity slowing disappeared along with my waistline, after my house was ‘in order’, I started just MAKING stuff. Now, Nate got me a sewing machine for Valentines Day last year [YAY!!] and I am SO proud to say that I have put that baby to good use!! Apart from mending Nate’s wholey pants, and altering some of my own clothes, I’ve made a few carseat covers which are AWESOME for the windy, winter months…
This is Jace’s “Mommy quilt.” He received a plethora of blankets and quilts MUCH more beautiful than this one, but I decided to make him one anyways, because he HAD to have one from his own Mommy. I splurged though, and made it entirely out of minkie. I refused to answer Nate when he asked: ‘Its so much cheaper to just buy one… so why are you doing that?’ ; )…I’ve made some rip quilts, which are super fun, easy and soft. Here’s the link to the blog that I used for instructions: Rip Quilt.
My sister warned me before I had Jace, that I was going to need A LOT of burp rags, and not just the cheap Gerber ones. I needed to have the cloth diapers that absorb like a sponge. ‘I KNOOOOOOoooooow….’, I said. Luckily, Jace isn’t a spit-upper, but he DROOLS like the Niagara Falls. Sadly, I only had ONE cloth diaper burp rag, so I’ve made some more, and some for friends too! She was RIGHT! [Ok, I said it. She'll love that.]
I also made some scripture cases out of place mats for my sisters and best friend. UNFORTUNATELY, I didn’t take a picture before I mailed them off… : ( But here is the general idea: Scripture Cases
My man sure knows his lady… I’m so glad that he got me that machine. My BIG objective, after making presents for the next 4 baby showers that are coming up is a quilt for Nate. He helped me pick out the material, and it will be lime green, cream and black. CAN’T WAIT… but I’m scared. I’ve never made a REAL quilt before. WISH ME LUCK!
There’s nothing like returning to the home that bore my childhood. My birthday’s, 3-17, were all celebrated in the same kitchen, in the same house, on the same street… on ‘Day Street’ actually, where the sun never sets… #9 . It makes me happy that I have a niece and a nephew that are growing up in the same fantastic neighborhood that I grew up in. I got to introduce Jace to two of his cousins, my two sisters, his two great-grandmothers… and most importantly, for me, his grandfather… my Daddy. He is very dear to my heart and I want those two very important men in my life to become acquainted. Here is Jace with his two cousins, Cameron and Brooke, most commonly known as Cammie and Brooka:They just could NOT get enough of him and he enjoyed EVERY minute with them:
The first night that I was home, my sisters and I treated ourselves to a night out on the town. Girls will be girls, and “girls just wanna have fuh-un”… so, we did. We went out to eat at The Cheesecake factory, where I can NEVER go without a full piece of White Chocolate Raspberry Truffle Cheesecake [my wedding cake!!] We ate dinner, round-robin style, each sharing eachothers meals like only sisters can do.
Tia Love!! Then we finished the night off with very authentic Carrie Underwood impressions in the parking lot.
The next day was my baby sister’s graduation! That’s right, I call her ‘baby’, but it WAS in fact, graduation from HIGH school, not kindergarden or anything. I wish she was facing the other way, because I did her hair! That was a big feat for me… I’m no hairstylist, that’s for sure.
Saturday was one of my favorite days… ‘TAKE ME OUT TO THE BAAALLL GAME!!’ My sister got some Red Sox vs. A’s tickets and we had such a blast. It was GORGEOUS weather, sunny with a cool breeze.
Apart from us winning 9-8 in the bottom of the 14th [longest game since 1979], my favorite part of the entire game was having to change Jace’s diaper and nearly clearing all the stands surrounding us because of the stench. My Dad yelled: ‘What are you feeding that kid?’ At that point, the cool breeze did not work to our advantage. It was an amazing game, with Papelbon getting kicked out of the game for the first time in his career and J.D. Drew walking off in the 14th.
And OF COURSE, we had to have the hot dogs and peanuts. For over processed, unidentifiable meat, they were AMAZING!
These are my grandmothers. They loved that boy more than anybody. My Grammy Pat on the left, was one half of the equation of how Jace got his blue eyes!These are Nate’s parents, Jace’s grandparents, and Jen, Nate’s Mom was the other half of where Jace get’s his baby blues. They nearly fought tooth and nail to hold Jace the entire time. I LOVED It! They came over for a typical Costa Rican meal and afterwords, we played our new favorite game, Canadian Salad. They brought the most amazing Chocolate Raspberry cake… we overindulged ourselves. My Mom took Monday off, and took me and my brother and sister and Jace into downtown Boston. We had SO MUCH FUN!!! I am ESPECIALLY entertained and very easily distracted by the street performers. They were such a riot.We went to Quincy Market and Fanueil Hall… of course, to get something to eat. To those that have never been, Quincy Market is this incredibly long hall way with restaurants lining each side. The options are endless!!! They have developed the Costco technique of leaving samples out for people to try. We had the hardest time picking one, so we bought a few different things and all shared.
We checked out a bunch of the shops around the Market, and this booth was outside of Local Color. I love it!! After that, we still had time to spare and even though, we shouldn’t have been hungry at this point after sharing Quincy Market delicacies, we decided to head to the Famous Mike’s Pastry shop in the Italian North End. The canolli’s were out of this world. Here I am estimating what I am going to look like after this trip is all over. We took our snacks down to Boston Harbor and watched the ships come and go in gorgeous warm sunshine. Can you believe that that night we still went out to dinner? We went out to a Hibachi restaurant where they cook your entire meal right in front of you!!Complete with pyrotechnics!! They put on quite a show with the juggling of knives and tossing us pieces of shrimp to catch in our mouths… sea lion style.
Hummingbirds have a special significance for my Dad, so in Boston I found a mini one for him to hang on his rearview mirror. The sushi chef decorated his plate all fancy with his little gift right in the middle.
This was BY FAR, the best trip home that I have ever had… I haven’t lived at home for quite some time, and they made this event the best yet. Still… nothin’s quite home unless Nate is there. We sent him this picture on our final flight home. It is SO good to be with my Nate.
You would think that having the talent and the resources that we have in this family to take amazing family pictures… it wouldn’t be so hard. I nearly dragged Nate out on this photo shoot by the ear. And sweet, sweet redemption… by the end, he was thanking me profusely for submitting him to such ‘AMAZING LIGHT’ and locations. Being the wife of a photographer, I’m always driving around looking at the world as potential shoot locations, for Nate’s clients OR for us. Star has locations in abundance. I’ve needed some pictures for Jace’s baby book, and so, for Family Night this Monday, we set up the trusty tripod, put it on a one second timer, and just a had a blast!
Nate has been more than generous as I have painstakingly been learning the editing techniques of the professional software that he uses. What he can do in 1 minute, I do in 7. We also have very different styles of editing. As you will see on the pictures that he is posting on his blog today, they are very different from the ones that I’ve posted here, even if the image is the same. I like to have a lot of fun with a variety of filters, while Nate aims for consistency of his brand. I like dark, sultry high contrasted tones, while Nate loves the warm, creamy, slightly washed out, sunny look. I hope that both blog posts are pleasing to your eye. Speaking of ‘easy on the eye’… ISNT JACE THE CUTEST? He was a little bit cold, and a big bit tired, but at least he didn’t have a big meltdown on our very first family photo shoot.
A couple of Monday’s ago, on my Life Thru the Macro post on Nate’s blog, I talked about Jace’s blessing. As is the tradition at church, we presented Jace before the congregation and Nate gave him a name and a blessing. It was a beautiful experience. In that post, I spoke about my fears as a mother, about how in this day and age, there has never been a greater need to instill in our children the standards and values that we hope they can live by. The world is a dark place… new evils and evils as old as Cain himself seem to rampage through the Earth. At the same time, I am filled with hope. Filled with the knowledge, that our special little boy Jace is unique, and ‘strong and courageous’. There is no need to despair, because I have to believe that good will prevail. Here are some shots of our little family, and of the light of our life, Jace [taken by our sweet Mama photographer, Jen Perkes].
To say the least, this post has been a VERY long time in coming. It’s amazing how one trip can mess up the beautiful little routines that we had going on at our house. Jace would sleep about 12 hours every night and parenting seemed to be sort of easy. Our little vacay to Hawaii was our wake up call, and we are still trying to recover. You think Jet lag is tough on adults?
But while we were there, we had such an amazing time! We definitely want to go back and visit some of the other islands. I had a layover in Oahu, but it was a hugely populated and busy city, so I didn’t venture out of the airport. Nate and I want to go back and visit Kaui which is where they filmed LOST. But Maui was absolutely fantastic. The smells were amazing and the Maui Gold pineapple was the best on earth. Jace did pretty dang close to PERFECT on our flights. The last 45 mins of our 6 hour flight were the hardest. He didn’t scream uncontrollably, but he fussed. I nearly cried with relief when we landed. Here is a picture of us in the Honolulu airport. We sent this picture to Nate to report in on our status. We had to fly separate flights since his ticket was booked through the corporate travel agent.
Nate sent this one in return from his iPhone and it made me SO ANXIOUS to catch up to him in Kapalua on the Northshore of Maui.
The event that Nate was hired to cover was at the Ritz… and what an amazing resort it was, like a little slice of heaven.
He also took this very “NATE” picture of himself while waiting for Jace and I get there. I LOVE it.
Immediately upon arrival, we made fast friends with all the people there that Nate was working with. EVERYONE was such a blast, and I enjoyed sharing Jace as they passed him around.
During one of the nights off, we went out with a few couples from the group for a night out on the town. While the boys took the Jeep Wrangler, the ladies took the CONVERTIBLE, BABY! WAHOO!! I felt like I was in high school again… speeding down the highway alongside the beach, and blasting the radio with the fresh Hawaiian air in our hair. We were like little girls!!
We went out to an amazing local grill called Kimo’s in Lahaina. The food was ridiculous and I WISH that we had gotten a picture of the Hula Pie. It was SO ginormous that the 6 of us shared it and it was more than enough. It was a huge slice of chocolate chip ice cream pie with an oreo chocolate crust.
As if that wasn’t enough for dessert… we HAD to go to Ululani’s to get shaved ice. No lie, that cone was nearly as big as Jace’s head… if not bigger. Nate and I shared a Mango/Passionfruit with sweetened condensed milk and coconut sprinkled all on top. TO DIE FOR!!! Afterwards, we went for a walk on the boardwalk, and burned a whole 2 calories. It was a gorgeous night.
The company treated their ‘winners’ to a whole bunch of adventures and Nate got to tag a long to all of them! First was a snorkeling trip on a 70 foot Catamaran named Shangrila. Nate said that it was THE BEST snorkeling he had ever seen in his life. The next day was an early morning deepsea fishing trip. Unfortunately, nothing was caught. : (
The day after that, they went on a pretty intense zipline canopy tour. No, no. That hot blonde is NOT me. I was back at the resort with Jace. ; )
Jace and I most definitely had a ton of fun NOT in the sun. Haha! I would never have imagined that any baby of mine would be as fair as he is. I’ve got my own little Casper… with transparent skin. I wanted to be really careful not to get him burned. As you can tell from this picture, he was NOT a huge fan of that hat. I, however, am a big fan. He looks like Gilligan!
We also taught him his first swimming lesson. It wasn’t much of ‘lesson’, per se. But he definitely knows that when you’re legs are in the water, you’ve got to KICK!!
By the end of our vacation, I was actually REALLY disappointed because I felt like we didn’t have ANY pictures of us!! : ( So right after we checked out, and before we had to head to the airport, I got Nate to set up the trusty old tripod and take some pictures of us. YAY! I love that first picture, not only because Nate is ABOUT TO BE SLIMED [hehe!], but because you can tell by the expressions on our faces how enamored we are by our little boy.
Nate’s done it again. I can’t believe how lucky I have been to have traveled to so many places with him. It is my favorite thing to do in the world. He is the BEST travel buddy and I’m so grateful for all his hard work and dedication. He is truly an amazing photographer and more and more people around the world are beginning to realize that.
I can hardly believe that Nate and I got married 3 years ago. Its funny how your perception of time is so warped. I feel like it was just yesterday, and I also feel like its been forever… like I’ve just always been married to him. That’s when my life began! Our wedding day was such a blast… it was THE perfect day.
Here are some funny memories of our wedding:
Nate surprised me with a serenade the night before we got married – complete with an acoustic rendition of our song: ‘Making Memories of Us.’
I spilled chocolate on my dress from the chocolate fountains.
We got pelted with marshmallows as we made our exit from the reception.
We drove away without the key to the car [it was an Infiniti G3S, and you didn't have to insert it in the ignition to start it...]
We drove in the gorgeous bright sunshine of a perfect day, blasting our radio, windows down, singing at the top of our lungs, taking pictures and eating our favorite candy bar: Caramello.
Our anniversary has also been one of those ‘perfect days’… We didn’t make any elaborate plans, but instead we had an all day picnic. We napped in the sun and ate and read and ‘oogled’ over our gorgeous little baby. And then Nate presented me with my gift…I KNOW, RIGHT!!! I freaked out, and in all actuality, started crying. Nate got a photography gig in Hawaii, and we had basically planned on me NOT going this time. I tried DESPERATELY to be ok with that… but in my heart of hearts it made me so sad that I would be missing this great adventure with him. Well, Nate told me that he couldn’t imagine being there without me… and so it goes!! WE’RE GOING TO HAWAII!
At this moment, Nate is lying in bed. He was running a fever last night, with cold sweats and the shakes. As morbid as it might sound, when Nate is sick I LOVE the opportunity that it grants me to spoil him, and coddle him and grant him his every wish. I fed him, made him drink lots of water, gave him cold compresses to bring down his fever, gave him medicine. When I had Jace, Nate was the same exact way. He takes THE BEST care of me. I love this picture that was taken on our wedding day… 3 years ago. I am in the best hands, literally and figuratively. We promised to take care of each other, no matter what, forever. I hope that Nate feels like he is in the best hands as well.
I think that Nate’s professional camera for work, his Nikon D3S, probably weighs about 5 lbs. There is no way that I want to be lugging that beast around with me all day as Jace is charming us with all of his antics. I’m so grateful that Nate ALWAYS has his phone on hand, and has continually been taking pictures. Here is a little sample of what it looks like to spend a day at the Perkes house:
I have been SO excited about getting this blog on a roll. I wanted our Baby Jace to have a new blog to feature all the amazing things that he is experiencing and that WE are experiencing as new parents.
Many thanks to Nate for designing this for me, and for being EXTREMELY patient as I have nitpicked and nagged. There are still a few things that are in the works, so please be forgiving of any glitches. I can’t wait to begin documenting our adventures, aspirations, amazements, appetites and atrocities, although hopefully not too many of those.
Please come and visit often!! Oh and Happy Saint Patrick’s Day! I’ve got to get started on our corned beef and cabbage!
We’ve hoped that you all have been able to view the pictures that Nate and I have taken of Jace and posted in different places, both on Facebook and on Nate’s blog [Check them out here or here or here]. We have had SO much fun finding backdrops and props to showcase our little rockstar. Sleeping, our little buddy is the MOST cooperative guy ever, obviously. Awake? Well… he’s always hungry, and that’s not very picturesque. Nate and I had two main photo shoots: one with Daddy and Son and the other with Mommy and Son. Nate’s went wonderfully well:
My shoot, however, did not go so well. First of all, we had a lot of this going on:
And after that, Jace peed all over me. And all over the place. What a goober!! Drying me off and cleaning me up turned out to be completely futile, because right after that, Jace went #2. TWICE!!! All over me. We decided at that point it was time to pack up the gear and get a diaper on that kid! We have gotten some fun shots though, and we hope you have seen them. We are so proud of our little bugger.
My Doctor put money on the fact that I was going to go late… like WAY late, past my due date. Nate and I felt comfortable in the fact that we would have some extra time to get ready. Ha! Very funny. Instead, one week BEFORE my due date [instead of 2 weeks after as predicted!], I had my appointment with the Doc and wasn’t dilating whatsoever. I worked the rest of that day. I took castor oil that evening… and wahla!! The contractions started 3:00 am, February 3rd. I was convinced not to go to the hospital only to be sent home again because I wasn’t considered to be in ‘active’ labor, so for the next 6 hours, the LONGEST 6 hours of my life, I labored at home. I woke Nate up to time my contractions at 6:00 am, and finally at 9:00 am, when I started throwing up everywhere, we decided to head into Boise. I got emitted and the nurse let me know that: ‘Yup… you are definitely having a baby today. You’re dilated to a 5!!’ The moment she said it… I asked for the drugs! I could hardly wait another moment. And when Doctor Dave walked into the room, I knew he was an angel sent from heaven. They sat me up and started prepping for the injection. Nate was supporting me in front, and was peering over my head and shoulders to watch the procedure. All of a sudden, he goes: ‘Oh man, I’ve got to lie down.’ I ALMOST couldn’t help but laugh to see Nate, stark white, lying down beside my bed, nearly passing out. What a cutie! The fun hadn’t even started yet! When the meds kicked in… oh what heavenly bliss… I got to sleep until it was time to start pushing.
I’ll spare the gory details… but suffice it to say, I had a great delivery. The epidural slowed me way down, so my contractions were about 8-9 mins apart. Because of that, I pushed for an hour and a half and at 4:21 pm, the most beautiful being I could have ever imagined came into my life. They had some minor concerns [he was experiencing some duress during labor and there was 'meconium' when my water broke- just Google it], so I didn’t even get to meet him until about 10 mins after. I will say this: his cone-head freaked me out, and I am SO glad that his head is perfectly normal now. Jace barely cried when he came out [but has, since then, made up for lost time]. He stayed WIDE AWAKE for 4 1/2 hours after he was born! He was alert, bright-eyed and bushy tailed. We talked to him and laughed and sang to him and just ooohh’d and ahhh’d at every perfect inch of his body. He weighed in at 8 lbs. 1 oz. 21 in. long [89th %!! Tall, just like his Dad!].
Exactly 24 hours after I went into labor, at 3:00 am on the 4th, a nurse bursts into my room and hands me Jace, saying that there is a fire on our floor and that they were bringing all babies back from the nursery. About 5 minutes after that, fire fighters came and started evacuating. There was smoke in the hallways and pools of water on the floors. I felt so blessed feeling well enough t o walk after seeing half of the Mom’s being wheeled around in office chairs, many without their babies, and ALL of us without any idea where to go. We ended up a couple of floors down in a room with 5 other women and their babies. Apparently, someone had been smoking in a closet and had thrown their cigarette in a pile of soiled linens; genius. All’s well that ends well, and the hospital tried desperately to compensate for the inconvenience [free food and gifts, and flowers!]. Our little Jace now has an incredible story to tell about the day he was born.
Nate and I have been on ‘cloud 9′. We have smothered this little boy in our kisses and our love. We have given him his first bath and have mastered the art of ‘swaddling’. Nate has waited on me and Jace, hand and foot. He has taken to learning EVERYTHING he can about newborns and their care. He has made MULTIPLE trips to Babies R Us and has come back with treasures, more excited than a child at Christmas. He is SUCH a good Dad and has even tamed the “photographer” in him and has only subjected Jace to ONE photo session! We will post the results soon!
I’m still in shock, I think, that we are actually parents. I cannot believe that Jace is mine and we are his and that his level of perfection was even possible. I miss him when he is not in sight. I miss him when he sleeps. I long to hold him and kiss him even if I was doing that only 5 minutes ago.It seems life has finally begun. And what a beautiful life it is.
It would be an understatement to say that I have been sufficiently “harassed” to post some pregnancy pictures. For some deranged reason, it seems to be that when a woman is at her HUGEST, people all of a sudden want to see as much of her as possible. ; )
To appease the masses… behold… THE BELLY!
And of course I couldn’t help flirting JUST A LITTLE with my sexy photographer.
I can’t believe that in a few short days, that belly will be gone and in our arms instead, will be the most beautiful being to grace this planet. Ha! Just kidding. We can’t wait!
Nate and I have made it a tradition to make a video every year as a summary to our adventures and memories. It has been a blast this past week filtering through our library of photos and videos. We laughed and reminisced, and I couldn’t believe how many times I thought: “I completely forgot about that!!!” Anyway, I’ll let the video speak for itself about US and our 2010.
I’m not sure if life gets any better than this, and I’m also not sure if we will ever have a year like 2010. It seems like we began the year with adventures and that we have ‘adventured’ our entire way through until the end. Our most recent travels brought us to Mexico for another wedding and we had a blast. In general, Nate and I are always treated very well by the bride & groom and their families, but it seems that THIS particular group of people were there to serve and take care of us and make us feel like part of the family. It was incredible. We started the trip in Guadalajara which is the 2nd biggest city in all of Mexico. It was busy… it was alive… and it was FULL of people. We LOVED it. Below are 2 of the old cathedrals near our hotel.
The wedding took place in a gorgeous tiny vintage chapel, which was where the brides parents were married 30 years ago. We were in the city for 2 days and then we headed west to Puerto Vallarta on the coast [about a 5 hour drive]. Nate was pretty excited to see the ocean.
Our little brother Max is serving a mission in Italy and has OFTEN told us about the gelatos. We saw this shop and HAD to try it out. But after talking to Max, we learned how unauthentic these gelatos really were, regardless of how AMAZING they tasted. I guess you can’t really expect authenticity when you come to Mexico to have ITALIAN Gelatos. ; )
Nate and I spent limited time in our hotel room. There was just TOO much to see! When we were walking along the boardwalk there were ALL kinds of statues and art work, vendors and entertainers. It was a blast. Nate has a surprisingly similar appearance to this alien statue.
Nate and I rode the buses the entire time we were there. It was a blast being crammed in there with all the locals, and it was SO CHEAP… $1.30 for the both of us!
Once we got downtown, we walked around, just looking for trouble.
During one of our wanderings we came across a charming Mexican restaurant called ‘Si Senor‘ located right in the heart of downtown.We LOVED it. Nate got one of his favorite meals: Chicken Enchiladas and I got STEAK! It was so much fun!
Christmas Eve we decided that we needed to do somehting extra special. Nate got his Scuba certification like 7-8 years ago and hasn’t really used it much since, so we decided that NOW was the opportunity. We found Chico’s Dive Shop and they took great care of us! On a Catamaran with about 10 other people, they took us out to these beautiful, mini islands called Los Arcos.
I was planning on snorkeling, but upon arriving on location I found the waters infested with MILLIONS of jellyfish. Since I didn’t have a full wetsuit like Nate, I declined, and just enjoyed sunbathing on the boat lost in the depths of a good book.
Nate LOVED every second of exploring below the surface and he saw some AMAZING things. Diving here was definitely different for him than diving in the Caribbean. He saw eels, King angelfish, huge Blue tangs, Puffer fish, an octopus, sting rays, sea slugs, an 8″ sea horse, sea snakes, starfish, and butterfly fish… just to name a few.
While Nate was diving during lunch time, we started feeding some blue tangs that we saw below the surface and before you know it we had this HUGE school of King Angelfish right beside the boat. On our way home, also from the boat, we saw a pod of sea turtles, an eagle ray and a couple of HUGE manta rays. Manta rays can get to be up to 25′ across! The ones that we saw were probably 10-15′. The tips of their wings would come up out of the water and looked similar to shark fins (to the untrained eye, obviously). From the beach earlier that day, we saw a pod of dolphins swimming along the coast. They were SO beautiful and graceful. We even saw one jump completely out of the water!!
Even though we spent this holiday on the beach, we STILL got our Christmas tree!!
Christmas morning was SUCH a blast. It took me forever to wake Nate up, but when I finally did, over breakfast, we opened our stockings! It was SO much fun and I felt like a giddy little girl.
Nate biaccidentally forgot my stocking, but TOTALLY improvised and used my new pajama pants to hold everything in! It was a genius idea.
For Christmas Dinner, we were referred to ‘El Palomar de los Gonzalez’… a restaurant of international cuisine. It had a breathtaking view of the entire city and the sunset. The place was almost entirely outdoors, with gardens, fountains and galleries of artwork.
We had our favorites: PINA COLADAS!
The food was FANTASTIC… we got Caesar Salads to start and the gentleman came to our tableside and made the dressing for us right there! It was the best salad I’ve ever had and we wrote down the recipe so we can try to recreate it!!
So, once again I feel like I haven’t done our trip the justice that it deserves with what I have said and with the 25 pictures I’ve provided. But it WAS truely amazing and we loved every single second of it. We feel so grateful to be able to see so many of the gorgeous corners of this planet. It was an amazing way to spend this Christmas and was what we consider to be our last little ‘shibang’ until our baby comes!
During the year of ’09, it seemed I had to pace my posting… I had SO many things I wanted to talk about and only ONE post a day to do it. THIS year, however, I can’t seem to find enough time to post about the COUPLE of things I really want to talk about. To make matters worse, I am now dividing my ‘blog posting energy’ between 2 separate blogs. I apologize for my lack of attention and devotion to this one. But if you miss me, I wanted to steer you towards a place where weekly, you’ll be able to hear my voice and see our lives through a different venue. For the past two months I have been posting on Nate’s photography blog. Every single Monday I feature ‘Life Thru the Macro’… an insight into life behind the photography. I have enjoyed every single second of it. Sometimes I feel flustered in wanting to represent Nate well, and do justice to the wonder which is HIM, but I’ve had fun at the same time. After all, who doesn’t LOVE to get on a soapbox and GUSH about the one thing in life that truly makes them happy? I’ve provided this link so that you can see the past posts, and I invite you to visit Nate’s blog on Monday’s… where you’ll be sure to find SOMETHING going on, unlike the ‘Nate & Luisa’ blog. ; )
Never in my life have I thought so much about what in my life I can deem as ‘worthy, or of good report.’ I think the fact that I soon become a mother has made something in me become ultra sensitive to the influences of the world in my home and in my life. I’ve discovered this new devotion to fill my life with good books, good movies, good music, good company, etc. Recently I went out with a bunch of ‘the girls’ and we went to a concert by pop artist: Ingrid Michaelson. I adore her and every musical note and lyric that comes out of her mouth. Her music is unique, clean and uplifting. LOOK HER UP, or buy her album. She is amazingly talented.
I have ALWAYS loved this website, ‘Kids in Mind’, for helping me screen the movies that I know might be questionable or that I think are probably fine, but aren’t. I know that I will be using this when my children are old enough to ‘go to the movies with their friends’. It has saved me from walking out on plenty of movies.
And finally… this was a recent discovery. I have looked EVERYWHERE to find this particular kind of censoring website for books, instead of for movies. I have felt that I can’t trust anyone now a days to give me good CLEAN book suggestions. I prefer knowing beforehand what to expect instead of having awful images and language sprung on me when I least expect it. I even talked to Nate MANY times about creating a website like ‘Rated Reads’ of my VERY OWN, but I was reluctant to have to read A LOT of unsavory books in order to have a sufficient library on a website. Luckily, someone else has already started and now I can just contribute with ratings of my own.