Kalyb turns 9!!


Kalyb turned 9!!! We are now about three weeks after his actual birthday, but it’s been a little busy around here as to be expected J I always try to write the kids an email on their birthday so I can remember what this age was like – and so they can know what it was like for us. So here we go!

Dear Kalyb –

Wow! You are rocking this year already! You seem to have matured so much this summer and we were so impressed by you. You had such a great summer – you listened well (overall), worked hard (overall), and you’re really starting to understand the value of ‘taking initiative’ in things. You had VERY few breakdowns around school work that we did throughout the summer. You had VERY few days where you would be a little short/stubborn with us. Instead, you are really starting to understand what a model you are for your sister and others around you. You continue to be kind and gentle with Kadence, though you are both starting to have your strong wills shine through even in this relationship. You are learning more about give and take in friendships and relationships and because of it, you have more kids your age really wanting to hang out with you. You are making more friends – you’ve always had a very black and white expectation of what a friendship should look like, and not everyone lived up to that expectation which left you feeling disappointed and left out many times. That’s hard to watch as a parent – but we’ve worked hard to model good friendships and expectations and you’re starting to implement some of those strategies. You have become an avid reader and that makes this teacher heart happy. We would often find you in your bedroom long after your summer bedtime reading away (particularly Berenstein Bears and Ninjago). Your sense of humor and sarcasm continues to sharpen – you’re learning the appropriate delivery and regularly have people laughing at you, particularly adults who really understand your sense of humor. You are extremely intelligent – and that is reflected on your ‘big’ tests at school, but not so much in your school work (as you often ‘don’t feel like doing the work’ – I’m not quite sure why you think you can decide what you should or should not do as a 9 year old, so that’s something that we’ve been working on). That was always very frustrating for me last year – knowing how smart you were but seeing you not do the work expected to prove what you know. However; you have started out 3rd grade with a bang – you come home each day excitedly sharing about all that you did and learned and who you played with at recess. You’ve done your work and done it well. You are so proud of yourself, and so are we! You definitely know how to push people’s buttons, so sometimes it’s hard to hear about rules you haven’t followed or things you haven’t done out of what seems to just be outright defiance (you are starting to feel more remorse about this and are turning things around sooner) – I’m hopeful that you’ll continue to grow and mature and really understand the importance of being a blessing and making people’s lives easier as much as it’s up to you. Around the house, you really excel at this. 99% of the time you do what’s asked of you and even more. I’ve noticed that a lot lately – you see things that need to be done and you do it. I so appreciate that about you. I know a lot falls on your shoulders being the oldest, and you are patiently awaiting the day that more is expected of your siblings, but you are truly being patient and understanding in this. I love getting to know you more as the days go by and you discover more about yourself too. You are so aware of others, hate hurting your sister (if she starts crying due to something you’ve accidentally done, you’ll run to your room crying), are very sensitive, smart, and understanding. I’m excited to watch the Lord hone your leadership skills – you have such a clear understanding of right and wrong (which makes it hard to understand why you’d purposefully do the wrong thing, but we’re working that out). You really did a great job in the church play again this summer (you stole the show in the Christmas performance when you had to take over for the lead character who got sick with just a few hours’ notice). I love watching you on stage and hope that’s something you continue with. You and Dad had a good time with Tae Kwon Do together, although we’ve had to take a break with all of our summer activities (and the addition of Asher). Kalyb, thank you for who you are and how you help me grow as a person and a parent. You continue to teach me so much about myself – strengths I didn’t know I had, and weaknesses that I’m working on improving. I appreciate your grace and forgiveness and love. You are a strong, independent, cautious, gracious, loving, and opinionated little boy and I couldn’t be more pleased to be such a part of your life. We love, love, love you and pray that the Lord allows you to live a healthy, happy, long life that honors Him (this is my constant prayer for you 3) – and for you, that you would be known for your cheerful and obedient nature. I love seeing you laugh and smile and enjoy life! Happy 9th birthday, Kalyb Isaiah – I can’t believe you’ll be TWO handfuls next year!

Asher Josiah Dicken


On Thursday, July 16th, my Doctor did her first check and was surprised to see that I was 1 cm dilated and Asher was in the right position (which he hadn’t been a few weeks prior) – however, because I didn’t get checked until 39 weeks with Kadence, the reality is that I could’ve been at a 1 with her for weeks. Because Kadence moved so quickly, I decided to get checked again the following week (even though I was with a midwife this time and they usually don’t check that early) – I was then 4cm dilated and 60% effaced. AHHHHH! Enter the reality that this child would definitely NOT be making it to his due date.

Interestingly, the few weeks prior to my July 23rd appointment, I had really been thinking about when to pray for his arrival – and couldn’t quite decide on a date that would ‘fit’ (I didn’t even think of praying for a July date with my August 14th due date!). I had also been on major nesting mode throughout the whole summer – rooms had been arranged, clothes organized, all Kalyb’s back to school shopping complete, his birthday party planned (and all decorations made and agenda written out), I’d randomly gotten my hair cut that week (thinking to myself, ‘when will I have the chance to do this?’), we had maternity pictures done that Tuesday (and I’d even questioned having them that early…), we’d paid for someone to come out and clean our bathrooms (I know, I know – I just hate doing them and Josiah and I have a different standard of clean) and I had even gotten a pedicure! I’m telling you, the Lord was definitely preparing us for an early arrival!

Anyways, Thursday proceeded as normal – I took the two kids to the Haggard’s pool party (even telling people that I was moving along quicker than anticipated only to find out later conversations then were had about how I definitely would not be pregnant much longer…), I enjoyed a great nap, and went to EJ’s house to help her with some packing (to move into our house in the interim before buying her own house). I was told at my appointment that Asher was ‘sunnyside up’ and was given some exercises to do to encourage him to flip. That evening, Kalyb and I laid in bed and he finally got to feel Asher move – he even had the hiccups. We then watched a ‘spinning babies’ youtube video and did some exercises together encouraging Asher to flip. Kalyb’s final words that night were, ‘flip over, Asher!’.

I woke up at about 3am just a little bit uncomfortable. I started wondering if I shouldn’t have gotten checked that day because my mind was racing – what if this was it? Or what if I was just overreacting knowing that I was definitely progressing. After hearing Kadence’s birth story, the midwife had told me earlier that day– ‘if you feel any rectal pressure, come in immediately’. Enter TMI here – I felt like I needed to go to the bathroom which then made me go into high gear – what if this was rectal pressure of needing to push and not just a bowel movement?! At that point, I decided to wake up Josiah – he thought I was waking him up to stop him from snoring so he apologized and rolled over – ‘no, no – I think we need to go to the hospital!’. I called into the hospital – and once again, after hearing Kadence’s birth story, they decided it’d be best to come in even though their recommendation is usually if you can’t walk or talk through a contraction. We grabbed my bag (that had also been packed for weeks) and I brought the monitor down to Carrie (who I hadn’t even asked if this could be part of our plan – I’d simply text her on Thursday night, ‘remind me to talk to you about our back up plan’ but never gave her any details!). She answered her phone, ‘IS IT TIME?!’ and immediately opened her door and agreed to be on kid duty (this was her first day that week not having training!).

On the way to the hospital, I called EJ (who had text me at midnight saying, ‘you better call me if you go into labor!’) then I called Lynn to wish her a happy birthday and inform her that a grandson might be joining her birthday. I tried to get ahold of our photographer/doula, but my text earlier that day to her had been, ‘just letting you know I’m at a 4 but I still think we have awhile….’. Contractions were happening every few minutes and lasting only 30 seconds to 1 minute but were VERY steady. Seeing as I hadn’t experienced the pain of any contractions with Kadence, I was unprepared as far as what to expect – and they just kept coming! We got checked in and moved to a triage room where they let me know I was at a 7. I let her know I needed to go to the bathroom (yes, TMI – #2) and she said, okay, let’s take care of that first – ‘NO! I don’t actually need to go, I gave myself an enema – I think I need to push!’. I was still not in a delivery room (and at this point, Lynn and EJ had arrived and Lynn was trying to inform them how fast this was going to go – but they all seemed to be moving at the pace of a baby snail). About this time, I decided I NEEDED an epidural – so I started begging the nurse to get me to a room, call the anesthesiologist, and get the doctor in the room. We had arrived to the hospital at 4:07 and we got into a room about 4:40. The anesthesiologist arrived to get me prepped for the epidural I was begging for (which, reflecting on it, I don’t know why they even agreed to let me get one that late in the game…). He would sterilize my back and I’d have a contraction and need to lay down and he’d say he needed to re-sterilize. By this point, I was really getting close to needing to push so told him to forget it – I needed to have a baby. Lynn and EJ were let back in the room at this time (not sure why they even had to leave) and it was 4:47 (thankful for EJ’s time stamped pictures on her phone!). I was not a happy camper. At 5:05, the doctor finally broke my water (this is the one picture I have during this time where there is a sense of relief – almost a smile – on my face). At 5:07, after one contraction and a few pushes within it, along with a scream of ‘I HATE PUSHING BABIES OUT OF ME’, Asher Josiah was born!

Interestingly, Asher’s umbilical cord was so short, he couldn’t even be laid on me – so Josiah had to cut it earlier than I would’ve liked so that he could get up to my chest. While laying on my chest, Lynn noticed he looked a little blue which they assured us was normal with the altitude – thankfully, she kept pushing it and they finally came to check his oxygen and it was in the 60’s. He was immediately taken to the other side of the room to get a little bit of oxygen. At this point, I text my family with the news (my sister definitely thought it was all a joke since it all happened so fast). My mom called and we chatted while I was getting just a few stitches (haha!). Asher was good and breathing great on his own, so he was brought back to me for the hour that they have the mom and baby (and Dad) have alone – even before getting the stats! He latched well and we rested – and he was so darn cute to me!

EJ was a little bit late to training that day (and proved her whereabouts from all the pictures on her phone), but really, we couldn’t have asked for more perfect timing! We moved to our own room about 2 hours later. I was able to walk myself (I’m SO thankful I didn’t get an epidural after all) and the nurse told me that the doctor had left the delivery saying, ‘Wow – if only every delivery were like that!’ and the nurse let me know that it ‘was just such a joy getting to be a part of that’ – I asked her if she was serious because I felt like I was being a little dramatic (Josiah even informed my family that I was directing doctors, contracting, telling EJ what pictures to take, and bossing everyone around while I pushed him out…). They didn’t think I’d be able to go home Saturday because he was so little and young, but after all of his tests came back with flying colors, I was cleared for release the next day.

Friday was kind of a whirlwind – the photographer called when she woke up so apologetic that she’d missed the whole thing – but was able to come in and get pictures when the kids came to meet Asher a few hours later, so it worked out perfect! We had a lot of visitors – EJ, Carrie, the kiddos, Ashlee and crew, Sarah, and Lynn and Rudy came by again before heading out on Lynn’s birthday retreat. We unfortunately had to cancel our anniversary plans which were scheduled for that Sunday. Although I really wanted to convince myself that I could bring a 2 day old up to Denver for Cirque de Soleil, I was encouraged otherwise. I was able to sell the tickets, cancel our hotel and dinner reservations, and obviously had to cancel my prenatal massage scheduled for that Monday and the chiropractor appointment to get Asher to flip – that was no longer needed!

Saturday was calm – the Simonds watched the two older kids while Josiah took a group from church out on their scheduled shooting day (there were 20 people signed up and it seemed to be more of a hassle to reschedule). Asher and I napped on and off the whole day until Josiah came back to go through our check out procedure (which this time also included getting my placenta to be encapsulated – so far, so good – even if it is a placebo effect, I’m thankful to have energy and feel positive about this whole experience!). We got checked out that afternoon and headed home to our new normal – a life where we, as parents, are outnumbered! It is crazy how different it is from 2 to 3.

We are now approaching almost 4 weeks home with Asher – I don’t even know how that’s possible! A youth student asked for three words that describe him and I think I’d go with content, calm, and sweet – I’m going to add strong, too (he’s been lifting and moving his head for well over two weeks despite being so early). He is such a sweet addition – I really don’t know how we came upon one so mellow (although his vocal cords are warming up the older he gets), but we are so grateful. The older kids are adjusting well – I’m so glad he came early so Kalyb had a chance to get to know him before returning to school. They’re both so helpful and want to do everything they can. Sleeping is still a challenge – we’re waking up every 2 to 3 hours to keep him fed and I just think to myself, ‘FOUR HOURS WOULD FEEL AMAZING!’. Josiah tried to keep him downstairs last night through the first two feedings, but by 1:30am, Asher was really missing his Mama so up they came. We’ll try again in a few weeks. Nursing has been a MUCH better experience and I’m SO THANKFUL for that. Yesterday (so 3 weeks and 2 days), he was weighing in at 8 lbs and 6.5 ounces!!! Kadence took nearly a month to get back to her birth weight of 6 lbs. 7 ounces so he is plumping up quickly!

My mom came in for 9 days the week after he was born and in true fashion was so incredibly helpful. The days are kind of a blur – lots of napping, eating, nonstop cleaning, and running around. It’s amazing the appreciation and understanding and love that you gain for your mom after having kids – it is incredible. Lots of tears leaving up to her departure but Kadence assured me that ‘it’s okay; Mimi will be back real soon’. Awww. Anyways, I could keep going forever – all this to say, we were once again incredibly blessed through the birthing experience. I’m so thankful for answered prayers and a loving, supportive, growing, healthy family. I pray that Asher will continue to live up to his namesake of ‘blessed and happy’. He sure is a joy!

31 weeks with Asher


31 Weeks

weight – +12 pounds

waist – +2 inches (which does not seem accurate; it seems MUCH larger than that…I’ll have to remeasure or maybe things have just shifted??)

likes – being pregnant!  having a belly, public pregnancy comments, not being able to see my feet, most of Asher’s movements, fruit

dislikes – some of Asher’s movements can be uncomfortable – a little jarring and aggressive.  Not fitting in clothes comfortably

So, here we are – entering the single digits of weeks left in this journey of pregnancy!  I’m still very much enjoying being pregnant – I feel good, have pretty normal amounts of energy (I’m tired more to just being busy, not necessarily pregnancy), and really can’t complain.

Asher moves SO MUCH.  Like ALL. THE. TIME.  More than I remember Kadence moving.  It’s fun to feel him most of the time, though some of his jabs can be a little harsh!  Josiah gets to feel him quite a bit.  The kids still haven’t felt him move though it’s getting to the point you can almost see him moving on the outside – fun, fun!

Each month, my weight has fluctuated quite a bit – I’ll gain some weight, lose some weight, gain some, lose some.  Last month (after losing 2 pounds the month before which I attribute to testing craziness at work), I gained 7 pounds bringing me to a total of 12…but I’m not at biweekly appointments, so hopefully I won’t be at a point where there’s been a 7 pound weight gain again; hahaha!

We did a Birth Boot Camp Refresher course with a local instructor this week.  It was great!  She came to our home and Kadence literally napped the entire 3 1/2 hours she was there so we got to fully concentrate.  It was good to be reminded of the different processes – although we are praying for a very similar birthing experience this time around, I want to make sure we’re both prepared if I do enter an active labor that I can feel.  :)

I’m getting to the point I get a little nervous thinking about the newborn stage, though I know this time will be much better as I know more of what to expect.  I’ll also be much more vocal if breastfeeding causes any of the issues that I had with Kadence (for those of you who don’t know, I ended up with an undiagnosed internal ductal yeast infection that went untreated for FOUR AND A HALF MONTHS.  That is about 140 days of excruciating pain that happened while nursing, not while nursing, while pumping, etc.  I got one week of relief with an antibiotic in April but that was it.)  I only made it to 6 months of nursing which wasn’t my plan…but all things considered, it was a very good run for us.  All that to say, if that pain starts coming back, I’ll be knocking down that doctor’s door to get some meds for a longer period of time…

We’re delivering at the hospital down the street from us so getting there shouldn’t be a problem.  I’m really praying that this one doesn’t go much faster than Kadence – so we’ll see how these next few months pan out!

We are all getting more and more excited to meet this little guy – just a few more things that need to be done – clean all the baby stuff in the garage, finish washing his clothes, organize their closet, and set up a crib/pack and play/sleeper in our room.

This week, my friends Ashlee, Lindsay, Carrie, and EJ threw Asher a little diaper shower.  It was small and sweet.  We got spoiled with diapers, wipes, and some other necessities.  It’s getting real!

Entering Week 22…Over half way!!


Week 21:

Weight: + 8 (this was a big weight gain month for me – it was with Kadence too! I’ll blame it on Spring Break!)

Waist: +.5” (this part doesn’t make too much sense to me as I can barely button any pants these days! There’s a lot of loose clothing, maternity jeans, skirts, and belly bands going on around here!)

Likes: I don’t have any crazy cravings – although with this pregnancy, bacon, burgers, and pizza have all sounded appetizing most of the time. Sweets aren’t as appealing to me (I still consume some, don’t worry!). I always enjoy a smoothie and have been ordering salads more often just feeling like my body is craving those nutrients.

Dislikes: I’m kind of away from that stage now. With Kadence, I lost my taste for salmon which always sounded good to me – with this one, I feel like I’m losing my taste for chocolate ice cream which was almost always a go-to for me! However, I am very annoyed by the amount of times I have to pee during the day – and especially the night!

On March 13th (when I was exactly 18 weeks), we went in for our gender ultrasound! Josiah came with me (of course) and we made sure to look away when she was in the ‘gender revealing’ area – haha! Josiah was very frustrated not to know right away! The ultrasound tech put the gender ultrasound pictures into a sealed envelope that I passed to EJ that evening. I really liked the excitement of not knowing this time! I also sent EJ home with a pinata, candy, and blue and pink streamers so that she could put in the appropriate color for the gender reveal party we had planned after church on Sunday!

There are three of us due within two weeks of each other at church (Lindsay due 7/30 with their 2nd, Sarah due 8/1 with their 1st, and us due 8/14). Each of them already knew what they were having, but the church didn’t so we decided to have a gender reveal party after church – so much fun! Lindsay’s sister, Ashlee, made corresponding cakes for each of us. Joe and Sarah did theirs first – a GIRL! Hunter and Lindsay cut theirs next – a BOY! Then, it was our turn for breaking the pinata. Ashlee held up my Kindle so that my Mom and Jim could join us on Skype – gotta love technology! Kadence hit the pinata first – but after hearing the word ‘hit’, she promptly handed me the bat and hit the pinata with her hand; too cute! Kalyb was up next, then me, and then we left the destruction for Josiah! We were not surprised when blue confetti and candy came out – YEA! A little brother for Kalyb and Kadence! Obviously, a girl would’ve been convenient with all of the clothes we have, but Kalyb has wanted a little brother so bad, I feel like he deserves one for how great he is with Kadence (even though there will be a 9 year age difference!). The Monday after finding out this is a boy, I went through all of Kadence’s old clothes and made some piles – some for friends, some for donation, and some special ones to keep. Looking forward to building this little one’s wardrobe! We’ve decided on the name Asher Josiah, possibly ‘AJ’. Asher means ‘blessed, happy’ and Josiah means ‘fire of God, God will save’. We are praying all of that over his life!

1 2

I’m definitely starting to show though I’m still in that awkward, ‘is she just gaining weight?’ stage…I’m feeling pretty good and thoroughly enjoying the second trimester! We did a Spring Break roadtrip to Dallas which was so much fun, though there is never enough time. Saturday morning we left to get to Canyon in time to hang out with the cousins there – it’s always such a fun time with Aunt Nichole and Uncle Wayne and it works out perfect that they are the half-way point between the Springs and Dallas! We got in Sunday and met up with our former small group, went to dinner, and went back to the Autreys to socialize some more. Monday, we swam, met up with the Hogans from CFNI, visited with Grandma Kiki, and then met up with some former teammates for dinner. Tuesday, Grandma Kiki took us out to lunch at Red Lobster then we met up with Randy and Mari and cousin Kaiden for some Peter Piper Pizza and FroYo. We decided that evening we were worn out and my hopes for connecting with more people moved to the back burner. We all slept in past 10 on Wednesday, took our time getting ready, and headed to the Dallas zoo for a fun visit (this was Kadence’s first time going to the zoo actually knowing what the animals were so that was fun for her). We met with the Cowans for dinner that night and to meet their new addition, Jaxson. Kadence was thrilled to ‘hold it’ and couldn’t be more about babies! Kalyb was very sweet with him as well. Good practice! Thursday, we stopped back by Grandma Kiki’s for a quick farewell and then we went up to Denton to see Erika and crew then to Krum to see the Estrada crew before retreating in Decatur/Alvord that evening. We had the pleasure of staying at the Bethunes beautiful new home and both kids had a great time playing with their daughter, Haylee. We headed back to the Wells on Friday and got home Saturday afternoon. Although it was a great trip and the kids were both AWESOME travelers, we were ready to get home! I’m really bummed that we missed out on catching up with Monica and Alisha; we’ll just have to plan another visit soon!


Sunday evening, I got a random motivation to switch around the kids rooms in preparation for Asher (a little early for nesting, I think, but oh well!) – I definitely could’ve waited until this summer, but I’m probably more mobile now and a friend brought up a good point that this leaves Kadence with more time to get accustomed for the adjustment even though Asher won’t be joining her in her room for some time. So now we have the Asher side which has the crib and changing table and the Kadence side with her new toddler bed and bookshelf. She thought she might want to sleep in there last night but lasted about 10 seconds before getting up crying, so we moved her back to her crib again. I’m happy keeping her there while she isn’t climbing out and sleeps very well!


Today, I have my last appointment with Miriam before she switches practices and I change to Dr. Wagers. I’ve heard good things about her, but the way that the ob rotation works, there’s only a 1 in 4 chance I’ll actually deliver with her (unless labor starts Monday-Friday, 8-5 as one of the receptionists told me…haha!). We’ve decided to hire a doula to support us in this birth – we are definitely hoping, trusting, and believing that we’ll have a birthing experience similar to with Kadence, but I’d like some extra support! And, if all is going well, she’ll become our photographer as well. She’s also a lactation specialist, so that’s what I’m most looking forward to – Kadence and I had such a challenging and painful time nursing (due to unidentified infection), that I want to be proactive in that not being the case this time!


I’m looking forward to a fun and relaxing summer and want to make a lot of memories with Kalyb and Kadence before Asher joins us. Although I always said, ‘anything but an August baby’, I am excited for one more summer with just the two and not having to care for a newborn yet – it’ll work out perfectly taking most of the first semester off to be home with Asher. So August will just be a busy month for us always – Kalyb’s birthday, our anniversary (interestingly enough, at our last ultrasound, this is the due date that Asher was measuring at), Asher’s birthday, and the start of school!

Crazy to think that we’re half way and I’m sure these last few months will fly by! We’re looking forward to meeting little Asher Josiah in due time J

Happy Golden Birthday, Kadence!


In some ways it seems like way longer than two years that we were eagerly awaiting your arrival and in other ways, it seems like just yesterday. As I’ve said many times before, each month from six months on has become my favorite of yours. You are exploring and interacting with the world constantly. You can be so sweet and gentle yet so aggressive and adamant. You are developing more of a voice and have an opinion on just about everything – where we sit, what we do, what Bubba does, what we watch, what we dance to, when you are sleepy, etc. You will still wake up in the mornings and from naps and play contently in your crib. We’ve moved your bookshelf right next to the crib so you’ll just grab a book out and read away – or play with your stuffed animals, or rearrange your blankets, etc. Sometimes you’ll stay in there for over an hour before asking for us to come get you. But you also like to be in the middle of stuff going on – you’ve always been very observant and very intentional. You LOVE music. You’ll dance and sing at church and copy anything your brother is doing. You love Remy and will absolutely love the day that she starts obeying your commands of ‘sit’ and ‘lay down’. You love balls, your pink heart pillow, stuffed animals (the cats are affectionately called ‘she-shes’), watching youtube videos of nursery rhymes, racing (you’ll try to say ‘ready, set, go’ and start running forward), playing outside, babies, jumping, hanging around your brother, animals, and most people (especially Cal Zeb and EJ). Sometimes you will be super outgoing and wave to everyone – even cars passing by. Other times you prefer to stay close to us and just watch. It’s fun watching you grow and explore.

You are talking more and more and repeating just about everything we say. You also have your own little jibberish language that you amuse yourself with and seem very sure that we should know exactly what you’re saying. You’ve started saying ‘scuse me’, ‘tank you’, and ‘amen’ without being prompted which is just about the cutest thing ever. This weekend, you even became very interested in the potty. While I was going to wait until this summer to potty train, you have used the potty every night this week when I get home from work and I let you run around without your diaper on. You want to be like Layla who you get to play with over at ‘Grandma’ Andrea’s and she is already potty trained.

I love getting to know you more the longer you become a part of our lives. You are passionate, curious, loving, strong, and committed. You want to make sure that things get done the way that you think they should be. You will make an incredible big sister and the other day you informed Gammie that you would prefer another brother. You say ‘hi, baby’ and wave to the baby in utero and interact with every baby we come into contact with (usually pretty gently, but very much in their face). You are pretty picky with food – somedays you’ll love certain things and the next day you’ll refuse the same thing. You like cashews, mandarin oranges, yogurt, milk, orange juice, gummies, green beans, guacamole, carrots – and you could survive on just chocolate and cheese if it were up to you. Not bad choices, if I do say so myself.

I’m so thankful for all of the people you have in your life who love and adore you. You and your brother continue to be the biggest fans of each other – you’ll cheer him on, imitate him, jump on him, wrestle with him, and hit him. He absolutely adores you so it’s not surprising that you’d want another brother because of him. Your dad thinks you are the best thing since sliced bread and he’s not far off from the truth. I am amazed by you and love singing with you, cuddling you (although you’ve never been a huge fan for very long), making you laugh, and learning more about you. Thank you for blessing our lives two years ago. We are humbled by the opportunity to be your parents and pray that you stay strong, passionate, and kind. We love you, Kadence Emercyn! Happy, happy GOLDEN birthday!

I always love sharing your birthing story because it was such an incredible experience – I can’t wait until you’re old enough to appreciate that stuff!  So, I probably have another 25 years…

We went to Little Monkey Bizness for your birthday which we will definitely do again – I don’t think you stopped running once and all the kids had a blast!  Your brother was a sweaty beast at the end of it – you were not a fan of the candle on your cupcake, but happily devoured it once we dealt with the flame…

2 years ago at the hospital about 3 hours after you were born

2 years ago at the hospital about 3 hours after you were born

You were not thrilled with the candle that was ON FIRE that we placed on your cupcake.

You were not thrilled with the candle that was ON FIRE that we placed on your cupcake.

Entering Week 13

Picture taken at 12 weeks and 1 day

Picture taken at 12 weeks and 1 day

Week 12:

Weight: +1 (I think I might’ve gained some weight the first few weeks but didn’t weight myself until week 9, so we’ll set that at 0).

Waist: +0 (same as the weight, I’m sure something is going on – but there’s been no change in size the last 3 weeks so we’ll set it at 0).

Likes: fruity stuff, sandwiches, Dr. Pepper, sleep

Dislikes: most food, how tired I am, working full-time first trimester!

Alright – pregnancy Round 2.  It’s almost impossible to compare because they are such different pregnancies.  With Kadence, my first trimester was at home over the summer which was AMAZING.  Read: daily naps/relaxation/etc.  Also, Kalyb was 5 and able to take care of himself for the most part.  This time around, I’m working full-time, getting my Master’s online, and Kadence is a toddler.  Much.  Different.

In going back and reading my blogs from when I was pregnant with Kadence, the main difference is that ice cream always sounded good with her.  Not really the case this time around.  Nothing ever really sounds super good to eat – several times, I’ve wanted pizza and I force myself to eat almonds and some sort of vegetable each day.  I was pretty convinced with Kadence that I could feel her around 13 weeks which my OB denied – until I for sure felt her at 18 weeks and know that is what I was feeling at 13 weeks too.  I do think there are moments that I feel this little one – which would make sense because the baby is already the size of a lime.  I’ll know for sure in a few weeks once the kicks are more pronounced!

The ultrasound was so fun – we had it on January 2nd and everyone was in the room.  The baby was super active and the heart rate was 165.  I randomly remember Kadence’s being 152 around the same time.  Wives’ tale would say this could mean it’s another girl.  However, the craving of more salty things would say this is a boy.  I’ve had SEVERAL dreams about gender – so far, in 3 it’s been a boy and in 4, it’s been a girl.  I really have NO idea one way or the other.  Kadence and Kalyb would both prefer a brother, which would be fun!  However, a girl would also be convenient when considering all the stuff that we have and the room sharing that will happen because we only have three rooms upstairs.  We shall see!

Another neat thing is that I have two friends from church who are also pregnant and we are all due within two weeks of each other!!  It’ll be interesting to see when all of the babies make their debut!  For one, it’s their first, for another it’s their second, and for us, our third kiddo.  What fun!

Things are definitely fitting tighter faster this time around…I am very tired at this point.  Josiah was gone for a week and I’m SO THANKFUL for the help from EJ, Debi, Andrea, and Lynn.  So tiring!

Other than the exhaustion, the nausea is starting to dissipate.  I was never truly sick, just felt the same as I did in my first trimester with Kadence.  We are so excited to be on this journey again!

I went to the second doctor’s appointment on Friday (1/30) and it was frightening!  First, she used the Doppler and couldn’t find the heartbeat which she assured me was okay for this time (but we could easily hear Kadence’s by this point!) so she got out the ultrasound machine.  Still nothing.  She decided to go ahead and do another internal ultrasound to make sure everything was good – and there was the baby; kind of in a position like superman with head forward and butt back so the heart was hidden – but the beat was going strong at 175 bpm.  I’m curious if this will reflect the kind of personality this little one will have!  Kalyb referred to the baby as the ‘newcomer’ this morning and I think that will stick!

After the scare, we were able to get more pictures!  :0)

After the scare, we were able to get more pictures! :0)

Eight is Great!


Kalyb decided that ‘Seven wasn’t quite heaven’…but we decided that EIGHT is inevitably going to be GREAT for him!

Kalyb Isaiah Dicken,
I cannot believe you’re already 8. I love that it’s to the point now that I’ve known you more than half of your life and every month, I feel like I learn more and more about you.

This summer has been one of my favorite with you. You’ve grown so much and shown so much maturity – sprinkled in with some crazy outbursts, emotion, and your strong-willed nature! Your courage to try new things is through the roof – you’re climbing more than you had the nerve to before, rock climbed with our youth group and ROCKED it, etc. Things that would’ve caused you to slow down before, you’re kind of getting control of.

When it gets down to it, you are one of the sweetest and most compassionate little boys I’ve ever known. You’ll still jump up on my lap to cuddle and crawl in bed near me on the weekends. You love Remy so much and absolutely adore your little sister – though now that she’s getting more involved, she can drive you a little nuts with her over-involvement in your activities (especially toys with small parts…).

You’re really taken to the idea that you have so much power over speaking life or death in your life and while writing your thank you notes, came up to me and said, ‘I’m one blessed and well-loved little boy. I have SO much to speak life about!” You’ve worked really hard with your play therapist this year, as have your Dad and I. We learn so much each time we go – it’s like a family growing experience!

This entire summer, you were so excited about starting to go to school with me this year. I’m so glad you’re here as well. The adults here get you – as I’ve spoken about you often. Although you might not like Mrs. Wilson, she’s doing a great job being consistent with you. And that’s exactly what you need, though it’s rarely what you want!

You love learning more about yourself and how your brain works – you sit with me to look at the information from ‘Whole-Brain Child’, a book that I’m reading. You’re always curious to know what you’re meant to be. You’ve finally decided maybe you shouldn’t be a rock star since you have stage fright, but maybe you’ll be a guitarist. You’ve taken really naturally to the guitar; we really should get you lessons. You finally started gymnastics after asking for years – you don’t totally like that you just don’t have free reign over the whole place. There are still rules and boundaries; story of your life – and you must push all boundaries to see what you’re able to get away with in what environment.

This summer, you decided that you finally believe in God for sure. The night after I had a bad feeling and Dad found you on the roof, you told Gammie that you’d been praying for weeks that God would reveal Himself to you or speak to you. This is what you needed, I guess! I explained to you that God had let me know you were being unsafe – and since that day, your heart hasn’t been the same. You’re still trying to figure it all out (as am I, at 32) – but you’re seeing things more in light of how the Lord is working. It is so sweet to see!

I love you so much and love getting to watch you grow up and mature and become more of the person God has designed you to be. You have a big calling on your life and I feel so blessed to even be a part of it. May the Lord bless you and keep you and make His face shine upon you, Kalyb Isaiah. The neatest boy I’ve ever loved!