One year reflections… Happy Birthday, Sweet Boy

A note to the reader: I feel like oftentimes it’s easy to romanticize our lives – to look at only the positives and ignore the negatives. However, with our son, even with the “negatives” (ie, getting up in the middle of the night for feedings when an infant, poopy blowouts ;)) there has been such a joy throughout Jaxon’s life that it truly has been our pleasure as his parents to love him and serve him. I am not ignoring the negatives. There are no negatives. Maybe it’s easier because he’s such a good kid, or maybe we just truly appreciate the gift that he is to us and the “downsides” greatly diminish. Jaxon was made to be our son, and us, his parents. We fit perfectly together as a family unit and each and every day, every interaction brings a tremendous amount of joy that I can’t even begin to explain.

My one year letter to our son:

My sweet boy, Jaxon.

I can’t even start typing this without my eyes becoming moist.

You turn one on Friday… How is that even possible?

It has been a whole year that you have been in our lives and it has been so much fun that the days, weeks and months, have seriously flown by. I can’t wrap my head around the fact that you are one!!!


It was around this time last year that you were 5 days past your “due” date and it was finally starting to get to me. I had been super patient up to that point and knew that God was doing his finishing touches but I was ready to meet you! All the questions swarmed in my head…

What would you look like? What would your personality be like? Will I finally get to hold my sweet baby in my arms? Is it actually going to happen? Is this really for real?

The anticipation was building and I was starting to get impatient.

Then, the first contraction came….

15 minutes later, another one….

From then on out they never stopped and 50 hours later I was holding you in my arms amazed at this little human being that my body grew.

So crazy.

So unbelievable.

Your dad and I finally had our first born child. What a gift. What a miracle.

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(Image by Evin Photography)

The word says…

Children are a heritage from the LORD,
offspring a reward from him.
Like arrows in the hands of a warrior
are children born in one’s youth.
Blessed is the man whose quiver is full of them.
(Psalm 127: 3-5a)

… and I personally know this to be true. Over the last year you truly have not only made our lives richer, but you have brought out the best in us.

It has been SO fun seeing you grow from a tiny helpless infant, to a baby that can grab at things, roll over, sit on his own, say our names, use sign language, crawl, and now begin to take his first steps.

Completely amazing.

You are not only a joy to me and your dad, but you brighten many, if not hundreds of lives each day. Who you are is a constant reminder of an answered prayer – when I was pregnant with you, I kept a prayer journal and I prayed to the Lord for…

… our son’s personality and disposition. Create him to be easy going, affectionate with other people and have your joy flowing through him. Let him light up a room with his smiles and laughter.”

I have lost count how many people have told us what a smiley baby you are and that they look forward to seeing you each day online because it brightens their day. Jaxon, you are one in a million, kid, and I am so honored that God chose ME to be your mom.

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(Jaxon 6 months | Image by Amy and Jordan)

I knew that I would have kids one day but honestly, wasn’t really sure if having kids was going to be that awesome… based on what others have said about their kids. And I never really got why people talked about their kids all the time.

Now, I get it.

I get it all, and those people who view their kids as a burden and complain about them are missing out on something special. You haven’t halted our lives, you enhance our lives. Sure, it’s not as easy anymore to just pick up and go, but it’s really not a big deal. Life is waaaaay more fun with you!

What I love about you….

– I love how you are the only person in the world who can wake dad up in the morning and actually have him SMILE back at you (your dad loves his morning sleep :))
– I love how when I enter a room you turn to me and crawl with your toothy, open-mouthed smile as fast as you can to get to me
– I love it when I pick you up and your little legs grip onto me and your arm goes on my shoulder
– I love how you like to explore EVERYthing and taste-test it all – the edible and the not-so-edible.
– I love your determination and your curiosity
– I love your sweetness around other kids and how you just take it all in
– I love our sweet moments together before bed when we just sit with each other, your head on my chest, your hand on my arm, and your heart in mine.

We were told that it gets even better with each new phase and season and I can’t agree more. I cannot wait to have conversations with you, actually sit down and go on adventures together in a book (right now you’re more interested in eating the pages…), and explore the world through your little eyes. If the past is any glimpse of the joys we will have with you in the future then I am strapped in and buckled, ready to enjoy the ride.

Happy one year birthday, Jaxon I truly never knew what love like this felt like until I had you. You are the best thing that has happened to me and your dad and I will always love you.


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Introducing Jaxon’s nursery

I’m so excited to share with you Jaxon’s nursery!  It’s finally (pretty much) completed!


This post will take you through the process and then of course show ALL the details and where I got the items!

I have always been excited about decorating a nursery for our children, but living in an apartment while pregnant as we awaited our home to be completed, definitely didn’t allow me to decorate our nursery before baby. While I waited for an actual nursery to decorate, I busied myself planning and trying to figure out what I wanted. Continue reading

Where has the time gone?

Six months… SIX months! Holy, cow it has been six months.

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6 months ago today I gave birth to Jaxon Pierce Gray and he has forever made our lives better. They say it goes by fast, but holy moly, it really has. How in the world is he six months old already?

Zach-and-Jody_0001(image by Amy & Jordan Photography)

Jaxon, you have made me a better person and I am so proud to be called your mom. You are a ray of sunshine in our lives and there are so many firsts and sweet moments we have had with you these last six months…

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The Top 10 Lifesavers for New Parents

Being a first-time mom can definitely be an interesting challenge, even for one who may have grown up babysitting her whole life. In my journey of becoming a  mom I have found a few items/resources through friends/birthing class, etc. that have helped smooth the transition of being a first time parent and I wanted to share.  (Feel free to share in the comments any of your own lifesavers that aren’t included here!).

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Jaxon and I together… some of my all-time favorite moments with him…

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Life As a New Mom

It has been almost 13 weeks so far that our little Jax has been born, and even though I have considered myself a mom long before he popped out, I really have felt like a mom these last 3 months.

I’m a mom…


(Image taken by Zach on his iPhone at the hospital)

Calling myself “mom” and letting the title sink in has really taken some getting used to.  It’s crazy that I(we) have a kid now!

People have asked me what it has been like/how the adjustment has went and Continue reading

Jaxon’s Story | His 50 hour Entrance Into the World

As I’m starting to write this, it’s Saturday late afternoon and I can’t believe its 4:30 already… Shoot, I can’t believe that Jaxon is 9 days old!! Time flying by has been a theme ever since we got home from the hospital. It’s crazy where the day goes, but as Zach keeps reminding me, we have nothing to do and nowhere to be, so that helps ease the question “Did I get done what I needed to do today?” Our priority and focus is our son and if we have taken care of each other and his needs then we have done well.

As I’m writing, Norah Jones is playing on my phone and little Jax is right next to me swaddled up like a baby burrito sleeping soundly. I kicked Zach out of the house so he could have a break. He has been working so hard here (not like I haven’t… just different) and I could tell he needed to get out and have some man time. So it’s just me and the little man.

I thought I would take some time to share with you all our birth story! The 50 hours of labor kind of blended together, so below is to the best of my memory, Zach’s and what the midwives told me 🙂

For those of you who want to skip the story and head straight to the images, click below to view the slideshow of the birth by photographer and friend, Evin.

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Maternity Session – Just the 3 of Us

We just had our maternity session with the incredible David Molnar and his lovely wife Tammy (below image that we shot during their family session with their 6 month old son Judah)!

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These two are good friends and great photographers that have walked through a lot of life with us over the years. It is such a blessing to know them and to be a part of their lives and to be able to take images of their family and have them do the same for us. We are super excited to share the images they shot of us just a few days ago!


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Update from the home stretch…


(Baby Gray at 36 weeks!)

We are in the home stretch!  Cuh-RAY-zee! (Yes, I just turned a two-syllable word into a three :).

We had our 36 week appointment and everything is looking good!  However, our little man has turned from the perfect head-down position to posterior (which means his head is still down, but instead of facing my spine he’s facing my stomach), which can mean a longer and not-so-pleasant labor (ever heard of back labor?).  Since we area planning to give birth naturally, this is definitely not ideal, so I have been doing exercises to get him to move, and also praying 🙂 🙂 Continue reading

Baby Reflections


I’m in bed right now and it’s almost 6 am. I’ve been awake and restless since about 4am… It’s quiet moments like this, where I admit my first go-to is to check Instagram and then Facebook (which I rarely check FB). Occasionally I’ll feel our little man stretching out or adjusting his position and I’m reminded that it won’t be too long now that when I wake up in the middle of the night or early morning it will be because our new little one will need us.

We have 8 weeks to go. Holy moly. The time has flown by. At first, time seemed to crawl! We were hoping just to make it past where our first three pregnancies ended and then hoping to make it to 12 and then took forever for the 20 week anomaly & gender ultra sound to get here. Now, we find ourselves at 32 weeks! Ahhhh… Continue reading

Parenting Words of Wisdom

I think every marriage should have mentors, counselors – SOME other couple (or person) pouring into their marriage.  No individual is perfect, and therefore no marriage is perfect and there will be bumps along the way and things to work out and work through together.

Since early in our marriage, Zach and I have been seeing this  amazing couple, Dee & Barbi. Our last session with them we were talking about the birth of our son and the fears and worries of being parents.  You know, wanting to be the perfect mom and dad for him and the children that follow (Lord willing) and being afraid of messing them up.  Dee & Barbi shared two things that I’ll never forget that I thought I would share here with you all: Continue reading