Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Christmas Video, inc Annie footage

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Annaleigh Marie Hill

We are at home with our lovely daughter, Annie. After spending just over 24 hrs. in the NICU she has made a full recovery and we were able to take her home as soon as I was discharged. She is such a little love, we are smitten. It's crazy how much she sleeps, but I guess I'm just making up for how little Judah slept at this age. Judah is doing amazingly well with her. He is so excited to have her around and so far we haven't had any huge meltdowns. He even decided to sleep in his big boy bed last night for the first time and slept through the night, wow!

Here is a play-by-play of Annie's birth for any of you who love the nitty gritty...

Well, we made it. Our daughter Annaleigh (Annie) was born on Thursday, December 11, 2008. She was 9lbs. 2oz. and 20.5 inches long. BIG girl! I had a successful VBAC and feel so amazing about it. After our last birth class on Monday my labor started to pick up and I was unable to sleep at all. Contractions continued through Tues. but they remained at about 5 minutes apart and the intensity didn't pick up until later in the evening. I had a regular appointment with Dr. Yin on Tues. morning and she said I was 1.5 cm, 90% effaced. She stripped my membranes and was hopeful that I would deliver the next day.
I think that I was a little unique in that I didn't feel comfortable at home for very long, maybe it was because I was a little scared being a VBAC. I decided to go to the hospital around 1:30am . When we got to the hospital, the nurse checked me and said I was 2cm, 90%. It was such a blessing, my admitting nurse was a new friend of mine from church and I really needed that kind of care, she even stopped and prayed for me as it was determined that I wasn't in labor yet... after 2 nights of no sleep... yikes. So Haupt gave me an Ambien and let me stay so that Dr. Yin could take over in the morning. I got about 3 hrs. of sleep and when Yin got there I had dilated another cm. We had previously talked about an epidural due to the exhaustion factor. So she told me I could have that at any time, but I really wanted to wait as long as possible.
I labored 8 more hrs. and was checked by a nurse and was told I was 2cm again. You can Imagine I broke down at that point. Dr. Yin's had overestimated when she checked me the last time. She was so optimistic the whole time and when she came back in about an hour she checked me and broke my water, which had light meconium. After that labor was really difficult, the contractions picked up immediately in length and intensity. I was having back labor as well. I lasted about 2 hrs. before I decided to get an epidural. I'm sure you remember my anxiety about having another spinal so the nurse gave me a low dose of Staidol before the epidural. Dr. Hack was amazing, I told him I was really afraid of the procedure and he did a great job calming my nerves. After that I was able to rest for a few hours while they started me on Pitocin. I got the epidural at 6:00 and by 11:15 I was ready to push. I was amazed! I didn't feel a thing until I was fully dilated.
Pushing was crazy, her head was already super low, so she moved down to near crowning fairly quickly. But there she remained for almost an hour, which is when I really started to feel things. It hurt bad, but it was great to know where to push. I almost gave up and Dr. Yin was very close to giving me an epesiotomy and finally Annie's head popped out. I tore pretty bad, so that has been fun.
Annie came out with the cord wrapped around her neck and had some complications due to that. They told us that it caused
hypovolemia and acid build up in her blood. So round 2 in the NICU for us. She also got a little meconium down past her vocal cords so they really wanted to monitor her and keep her on oxygen. She recovered so quickly it was really miraculous to us. It was emotionally taxing to again not have that initial bonding time with her, but knowing the NICU drill made it less stressful. She was able to room in with me on Friday and we brought her home on Saturday.
It was an amazing experience in spite of having a really long labor and a little scare when she came out. I was shocked that I never thought about having a c-section or wanting one at all. Having Dr. Yin there the whole time made me feel so safe and I was able to trust her completely even when her plan was not what I had expected. I loved delivering my girl! I was so worth it.

Thanks to all who prayed for us. We felt so blessed by all the calls and emails. Knowing that the Lord hears our prayers is a comfort in times of joy and times of fear. We are so blessed by a community who surrounds us with prayer and encouragement in the Lord. We hope to see many of you in the next weeks to come.

Sunday, December 7, 2008

False Labor?

Okay, a little confused here. Night before last I was up for 3 hours with some intense cramping, contractions and light bleeding. I was able to go back to sleep for a few hours and everything slowed down. I was really crampy all day yesterday and had some really painful contractions last night. They stopped again and I went to sleep and had nothing last night. Today I feel way better than I did last night, so I'm a bit bummed. I thought it was the real deal. I guess it still could kick in anytime but now I feel like I'm on pins and needles. Maybe Annie is just waiting for her due date, December 9 would be a lovely birthday. In the meantime I'm just trying to stay on top of the house, get some Christmas shopping done and spend quality time with my boys. We'll keep y'all updated. Pray that I would have peace about God's timing in this delivery and be patient to meet our daughter.

Sunday, November 23, 2008

37 weeks in Frisco

Joey swept me away last weekend for our last official babyless vacation for what I can imagine will be a long time. We had such a blast. I wanted to do the touristy thing this time since we usually just stick close Union Square for some marathon shopping. We took the trolley to Fisherman's Warf and ate at the world famous Scoma's restaurant, which was delicious. We did a bit of shopping, but I'm not really in the condition to be making any purchases since hopefully very soon my body will change drastically (hopefully). I did manage to find some sunglasses and a pair of shoes. 2 pregnancies down and my feet are a full size bigger than they used to be. Ouch!

Judah stayed at home with his grandparents and had a blast. I don't think he missed us at all. Since he's talking so much, he's been telling us all of Gigi and Papa's secrets. He got a Madagascar giraffe at McDonald's and he was telling me all about the movie, which to my knowledge he's never seen. He also told me 'surf's up' the other day then said 'watch it'... hmmm, I wonder it he watched that one too. I just love to tease Joey's parents about it, but it is slightly strange and new to me that Judah is beginning to have a little bit of a life independent of Joey and I. I guess that's growing up for you.

The pregnancy is going really well. I still feel ridiculously good, but my doctor assures me that the baby has dropped and things are progressing, I'll spare you the details. She'll let me go up to a week overdue and if things haven't progressed much more I'll have to have another c-section. Otherwise she might be able to break my water and see how things go. We are busy getting bags packed and things in order. I can't believe how much peace I have though. At this point with Judah I was so anxious to get the baby out that it consumed me. Just going through his traumatic birth gave me eyes to definitely trust God's timing an methods. We can't wait to meet our baby girl, but are so happy to enjoy these last few weeks with Judah, trying to pour into him and soak him up as much as possible.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Hill Happenings

I thought it was time for a long overdue update to all our fans out there. We've been busy getting ready for the baby and keeping up with the one we have at home. I have been in nesting overdrive for the past 2 months, so I've been consumed with projects and cleaning and whatnot. In the midst of that we've had a really enjoyable fall, if you can really call this fall. I still sweat most of the time for no apparent reason, luckily I have an excuse. The weather and the leaves are turning slowly, marking the quickly approaching arrival of our daughter.

We have decided on a name for our girl... Annaleigh Marie. I wrote a post a while back on her namesake, Leigh, if you are interested in that story and Marie is a Hill family name. We have been calling her Annie, except for Judah who calls her baby Nanny. He is really starting to get excited for her to 'come out.' He commands her to come out every day, but I have to explain to him that she's not quite ready yet. He already has a list of things that he wants her to do with him, including riding in the back of the jeep at the park. Mommy's too big to fit back there but he figures Annie will be small enough to take for a spin.

Some of Judah's favorite things right now...

- his new big boy bed with NEMO sheets (although he won't sleep in it, he loves to play there)
- anything NEMO
- books
- dancing to Bruce Springsteen's Seeger Sessions, preferably Froggie Went Courting and 'Flute Song'
- playing his guitar bat, or guitar fork, or guitar tennis racket, or guitar anything, even air guitar
- surfing with daddy
- closing doors (this one is borderline OCD, he can't focus on anything until he's sure for the 5th time that every door in the room is closed)
- oh, yeah, huge victory in Sunday School and Bible study, after 1 year of major separation anxiety he's finally staying in class!!
- repeating EVERYTHING you say, I've been totally busted a couple of times... yikes
- soccer

There's so much more I'm sure. This kid is passionate about everything he does. We are really enjoying this season with him and cherishing these last few weeks with just the three of us.

Here are the latest pictures... Halloween, my nursery project, my lovely baby shower, and of course random Judah pics

Thursday, October 16, 2008


This afternoon I took the family to the beach. I threw a surfboard in the car just in case, which made Judah really excited. So when we got there he wanted to go to the water, and he wanted me to bring the surfboard. The 56 degree water didn't bother him at all.

Here is a sitting reverse paddle out one-hander.

Here is Judah flopping backward on his first wave (the pic doesn't show him recover from this, but he did!).

Here is a video of his 2nd wave. He loved it.

Monday, October 6, 2008

the fall

"the fall" as in the season that follows summer, not the sinfulness of mankind (that's a topic that's best had in person, not on a blog, right?). here are some photos from a day here on the central coast that resembled fall. I am sure we have a lot of sunshine left and time for some Indian Summer action which I enjoy, but Katie really loved the gloomy weather, so that was cool. You know your spoiled when you look forward to rain.

here is my boy judah with slobber on his chin (drool runs in the family, sorry son).

jumping over the cracks, so we don't break mama's back!

judah roots for the cubs, and so do I. this day happened to be there last game of the season (they lost again, ouch).

3 cheers for the fall [season]!

ps - photos generously taken by my good friend & talented photog ken kienow. -thanks KK!

Saturday, August 16, 2008

terminal illness

for those of you that don't know, I (joey) do a little bit of traveling for work. I love my job, i love the company, the people, the challenges of the job, but I don't love the travel. Airplanes & Hotels used to symbolize fun/vacation/adventure or relaxation, but they now represent time away from my two best friends; Katie & Judah. So I have a few conversations throughout the day with them, try to pray for them, think about them a lot, and usually look at pictures. I usually show the photos off to people on the airplane, or my customers. I am sitting in a terminal right now with some typical delay, so I thought I'd blog to share the pics. Enjoy...

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

21 Weeks

So I hear that when you are carrying a girl you tend to carry them "all over." I never really understood what that meant until now. Apparently I'm carrying her mostly in my booty. Either that or the 3 helpings of dessert a day are starting to get to me. Seriously, how hard is it to know that every month you're going to gain at least 4 pounds. As women we already struggle so much with body image and the bombardment of society telling us what's 'really' beautiful. Unfortunately even being pregnant I'm really not doing well with the expanding waist line. When I was pregnant with Judah I think I was just naive to the fact that it is so hard to get the weight off afterwards. They tell you that breast feeding will melt it away, but that was not the case for me. I think that's why it's been so hard for me, knowing that realistically it will be another year and lots of sweat before I will wear my normal clothes again. I guess that until we're done having kids this will be a constant up and down battle, but it's worth it.

On a separate note, Judah has been really into my belly lately, well, not just mine. He thinks that everyone including him has a baby in their tummy. He goes up to whoever is around, male or female and tries to lift up their shirt while saying 'baby'. Please don't get offended if he does this to you, he's just a bit confused. He gives baby sissy lots of kisses and lately is really into giving raspberries. It's really sweet and I hope that there's a part of him that will start to understand that she's really in there.

Saturday, July 26, 2008

Leigh, spirituality & massage...

My sweet brother Howie gave me a gift certificate to Sycamore for a prenatal massage for Mother's Day/Birthday. I'm sitting here now, greased up with my mind racing after finally taking advantage of one of life's simple pleasures. This post has some random topics that all came out this morning in conversation with my masseuse. First of all, a little know fact to most of you is that I have a rather large tattoo on my lower back that is a cross with the initials of a very special friend who passed away 6 1/2 years ago. I've been thinking of her quite a bit lately as Joey and I are pondering names for our daughter. Ever since I was pregnant with Judah (and thought he was a girl) I had felt very strongly that I wanted to name my first daughter after her. So back to the massage... the woman commented on my tattoo and began asking me about it and then began to share some very interesting spiritual thoughts with me. Before I get into that, I really would like to share Leigh's story with you which is a huge part of my coming to know the Lord.

We met in college at UCSD and were in the same suite. She was a passionate lover of Jesus and the only Christian in our circle of friends. I had totally walked away from the Lord and became very much involved with... let's just say, some very unhealthy, self-destructive behavior. Somehow Leigh and I were still close friends and she loved me so well and accepted me despite my occasional unkindness to her.

Leigh had a very rare adrenal disorder that put her in the hospital at least once every other month with crippling migraines. I was the only one with a car and so I became her ER buddy, which gave me such an awe and respect for her faith in a good God despite such hardships in life. She lived and breathed Christ, without saying a word most of the time. She believed with all her heart that God would heal her in his time, even if healing came in heaven.

By the end of freshman year we had decided to live together the following year. I think that I was deeply afraid that her light would expose my own sin and darkness and much to my shame, I asked her not to live with us when it all came to pass. She was wounded, understandably, but we were able to restore our friendship and remain close.

That summer I came to live in SLO and was challenged by a good friend (after being dumped) that I needed to find my joy and life in Christ again. God transformed my heart and gave me a desire for Him, his word and his works. When I returned to SD in the fall, I shared my conversion experience with Leigh and she took me under her wing with such joy. She discipled me and helped me find fellowship and stand strong in my faith in spite of the temptations I had all around me.

As I grew in my faith that year I felt the Lord calling me away from UCSD. I sensed that he was giving me a clean start somewhere, which led me back to SLO. I visited Leigh 1 month before she died and believe that was one of the greatest gifts God has ever given me. She went home to be with the Lord on February 6, 2002 from complications with her migraines. Although she was very ill, it never was seen as a life threatening condition, but the Lord wanted her to come home. Despite the pain of such a loss, I know that she is where her heart has always been, with her first love Jesus. No other person has had such an impact on my life, loved me when I was ugly, and laid her life down for me as a sister.

I really struggled in my faith when she died and backslid for a time, but the Lord has been so gracious to me and given me even more appreciation for my hero of the faith. With all that said Joey and I would be honored to give our daughter her name, Leigh-anne. What a rich legacy. We are thinking that it will be her middle name, but haven't made any concrete decisions yet.

Okay that was a bit exhausting, so maybe I'll save the rest of the post for later...

By the way, who is your hero in the faith?

Friday, July 25, 2008

She's a girl!!!

I don't have the ultrasound pictures loaded yet, but they aren't super clear anyway. It was so exciting to see her and to know that she's really in there, growing and moving. Everything is totally normal at this point which is even more exciting than knowing her sex. I was getting worried because I haven't felt her move nearly as much as I had felt Judah. Turns out she is a super active baby, but my placenta is right in front of my tummy, so it's blocking a lot of the kicking sensations. I thought she was just a bit on the shy side, but now I know she's just hiding a bit for now.  We are so excited to have a girl. There's just something really precious to me about having a daughter and I haven't even met her yet. It's also scary to me that now I'm going to be this girl's number one role model. I know I have similar responsibilities with Judah, but it's just different with a girl.  And not to mention the fact that now I will be responsible for at least one sex talk... aye. I will post her first pics. soon, maybe even a belly shot.

Sunday, July 13, 2008

Mut-neh & Deet-deet...

            Infamous deet-deet, courtesy Pawpaw J.
 Already trying to do tricks, at least he's quickly learned to practice on the grass... oy!

     The new mut-neh, every kid should have one of these
Family outing to Avila Barn, his favorite thing (other than the ice cream) was an old rail road tie that he practiced his balance beam skills on. 

Judah has been starting to talk quite a bit. I've been surprised at how quickly he's been picking up new words. Now I don't know how language develops in these little ones, but Judah has also come up with own little dialect. Joey and I joke that he speaks fluent Portuguese with the occasional Mandarin slang.  He does the traditional wa-wa for water and nigh-nigh for night night, but otherwise, things are a bit different. Momo = movie, deet-deet = skateboard, mut-neh = helmet, pah-kah = park. It took us a while to catch onto to these new words, but now Joey and I find it hard to call them anything else. I don't know about anyone else, but I find this new toddler/communication phase both super exciting and frustrating at the same time. He thinks that because we understand a fair amount of what he says, that we should get everything, which makes him frustrated and whiney, making mommy equally frustrated and whiney.  It is so amazing to begin to see the little person that he's becoming. The more I get to know him, the more I think he's a clone of Joey. He lives to make people laugh, loves mommy's kisses, can charm the pants off of anyone, LOVES baseball, skateboards and dirt.  I remember when I was pregnant with him, Joey and I would try and imagine what he would be like. Of course we both had our wish list. Each had our hopes of what he would love, what he would do, and what his personality would be and I can definitely say that God seems to have wrapped all those things up into a crazy, independent, high energy, spunky, thrill seeking toddler named Judah. 

I think even in the midst of certain behavior/attitude issues that we're dealing with right now, Joey and I have been so in awe of what a gift and what a joy Judah is. I think that this will probably sum up our entire career of parenting.  Going through periods of feeling like a total idiot, praying non-stop that we don't screw him up, and loving him so deeply that none of it makes sense.  

As far as the pregnancy goes, even before I got pregnant I hoped for a very mellow, easy going baby for #2. A girl would be my preference, but if we had a boy I would be equally thrilled.  It's funny though because when I was pregnant with Judah I felt him moving super early, no surprise. I think Joey even felt him kick at around 17-18 weeks. Well, the little one I'm carrying now is being awfully shy.  I thought I would feel this baby even sooner because that's what everyone says, but I think I'm just now at 19 weeks starting to feel baby. Part of me starts to get worried, but I know they're all so different.  We have our ultrasound next week, on Friday, so I'll be sure to post some pictures and let you all know what we see.  Anyone have any guesses?

Wednesday, July 2, 2008

Long Time...

I think the threat of Jamie Hill has scared me into submission. We are alive and well, I'm just not feeling particularly bloggy lately. As most of you know, we are expecting our second baby in December, and couldn't be more thrilled. We have also recently moved to Arroyo Grande, which has been such and amazing blessing. I'm feeling better, pregnancy-wise, but am usually exhausted by our little man. Judah has been a busy boy, exploring his new house, big back yard and new neighborhood with 3 parks within a 10 minute walk.  Motherhood right now makes me feel kind of manic. I could not be more in love with my son than I am right now, but new challenges in this toddler stage have definitely caught me off guard. I'm really trying to center my life on prayer and more reliance on the Lord every day for his sufficiency.  Especially with the daunting task of raising another child, I'm feeling waves of insufficiency, excitement, apprehension, and just really quite overwhelmed. But one thing I do know and am trying live out is that HIS grace is sufficient for me. I have to come to the well and drink and be filled with his Spirit, every day, every hour. I'm sure any parent can truly testify that this is the key to our joy, our sanity and our success. The more time that passes the more I am convinced that I can not love as a wife, a mother or a friend on my own strength, but it must be the overflow of what I have received from the Lord.  I can't rely on others for my happiness, this includes Judah, Joey, my family and my dear friends. What an incredible burden to put on our loved ones when they can bring us such joy at times, yet when the inevitable let downs come our joy is stolen. Christ came to make our joy complete, Joey didn't come for that purpose and neither did Judah.  

Sorry for the random musings, but that's what's spinning around in my head and in my heart. I'm starting to realize though that when the Lord is doing things in my heart, no matter how painful, I am filled with an immeasurable amount of hope and peace that Christ will truly bring about transformation if I merely invite to him to rule and reign in my life. 

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

happy birthday kate

we recently celebrated katie's 27th birthday. It's ok to say "27" were not afraid of age, right katie?

ok, I didn't post this earlier b/c I know my wife doesn't like everyone fussing over her. But it's fun to keep celebrating her, she's worth it. I thought I'd tell two truths and a lie about her, and you the reader can play along at home by guessing what the lie is:

1) she's the worlds SLOWEST reader (not because she's dumb, she's very smart), because she tries to read in bed and falls asleep every night. She averages 1 book every lunar eclipse.

2) she's grew up in a town called Bodfish (good luck finding that on a map!)

3) she celebrated her 14th birthday with her mother & grandma Mimi at Euro Disney with Madame & Monsieur Mouse

The first person to buzz in the with the correct answer will be able to come over to my house and pick out not one, but TWO articles of clothing from my closet.

Good Luck Contestants!

Monday, March 24, 2008

new photos

here are some photos that Ken Kienow ( recently took.

Sunday, March 2, 2008

Rock for Water - SLO

Check out this event coming up on Saturday Night. All the proceeds go to digging wells in Southern Sudan. To preview the bands, check out their MySpace sites.

When: Saturday, March 8th
What time: 7:30 doors open
Where: Calvary's Grand Location (115 Grand Avenue | San Luis Obispo, CA)
Cost: $5 at the door

Monday, February 18, 2008

1 year old

We just celebrated Judah's first birthday. Here is the video to drop into his digital time capsule.

It's been an amazing year to say the least!

Saturday, February 2, 2008

bath time

Judah loves bath time. This is our time together (Judah & daddy), my favorite time of the day with him. He loves to swim, splash, and especially DRINK the bath water. I am not sure if that is bad for him or not, but he loves it so much I can't seem to tell him "no". Our good friends Ken & Courtney Kienow came over for dinner this week, so ken snapped these photos. Ken has recently started doing events/weddings/portraits, etc. He is very talented, check out his site