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The Retreat

(written late on the eve of Davids 1st birthday)

I can’t remember what I was feeling last year on the night before I had David. My family was in town, and my mom was a little under the weather, so I think I was probably focusing on her getting better.

I don’t remember being nervous or anxious about anything. And perhaps that is because I had no idea what was in store for me.

If you haven’t read this blog for long, you may not know that it took Justin and me about 14 months of trying to get pregnant with David. While those were easily the most challenging months of my life, particularly when it came to relinquishing “control” to the Lord, I can see now how valuable they were in teaching me about faithfulness, persistence in prayer, and a general shift from “what I want when I want it” to what God has for my life.

The day I learned that I was pregnant will forever be ingrained on my soul. I wrote about it here, but it can also be best described as putting on noise canceling headphones in the middle of a crowded city street. As I held up the pregnancy test, and saw the 2 pink lines, silence and focus surrounded me as I absorbedΒ this incredible news.

The noise of e-mail, to do lists, grocery shopping, etc, had all gone away, and I stood in front of the mirror, with my hand over my heart, and mouthed the words, “I’m pregnant” through the massive smile that had spread across my face.

It was rather unbelievable, given the months of negative tests leading up to that point, but it only took about 3 minutes before I went in to total “first time pregnant” mode and began to google everything. What can I eat? What cleaning products can I use? What prenatal vitamin is best? And the list goes on.

My pregnancy was a dream. Sure, I was sick in the beginning, but I’d still say I had an easy pregnancy. I’m thankful for that. And the scheduled c-section was a smooth process as well. IΒ loved being pregnant, and am thankful to be pregnant again!

Motherhood, while deeply challenging at times on levels I didn’t know existed, has been an incredible gift. I am truly humbled that I am able to experience being a mom, particularly after learning of so many women that, despite their desire and greatest efforts, sometimes travel quite aΒ journey to get there.

It was so hard for me to celebrate friends or even loose acquaintances on their pregnancies when Justin and I were trying to conceive. And when I shared about our struggle, I was overwhelmed with the response from so many of you that had been there, or were praying, or had just come out of a tough time of trying. And I thought, “Well this is why I blog. To connect with women that I would not otherwise meet, and be able to understand each other on an intimate level.”

And so many of you have kept in contact, and followed up through e-mail, and I just feel so richly blessed by that. The kind comments on my “david wednesdays” posts mean so much to me. I just sit at my computer with cat hair on my pants, writing about lipstick or a sweater you need to check out, but so many of you have invested time in getting to know me through this blog, and therefore getting to know my son.

I didn’t intend on writing anything particularly emotional on the eve of David’s first birthday, but I had just finished frosting his birthday cake, and topping it with sprinkles of course, and I couldn’t help but think back to the very beginning of all of this.

And I guess I just want to say thanks. Thank you to those who have been so sweet and thoughtful with your kind comments. Thank you to you who encouraged me and offered helpful advice. And I also want to say that I haven’t forgotten about you, you who are trying to become a mom. I still pray for you and hope you get to experience your hearts desire.

On this note, I need to get to bed. I need all the energy a 7.5 month pregnant lady can muster to celebrate my boy tomorrow.

Thank you, readers, for everything.

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Jarieke says · 12.13.14

Congratulations!!

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Leigh Ann says · 12.13.14

Tears in my eyes. My son turned one in October, and I already feel the time speeding up as he grows. I just wanted to respond and say “Thank you!” for not being afraid of being honest about the highs *and* the lows of motherhood. Sometimes it’s so easy to feel alone in your struggle, and it’s always nice to find that connection whether it’s across a kitchen table, a park bench, or the Internet. I know it’s probably not easy to offer the glimpses of your personal life here on the blog because people aren’t always nice, but thank you for doing it anyway πŸ™‚

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Heather @ Thrifty Stories says · 12.13.14

I have been following your blog for a LONG time (And I enjoyed attending your Fall Meet-up several weeks ago. We didn’t have a chance to actually talk though…next time.). It has been a blessing to me as I have read of your struggles and also your triumphs, the happy and the sad times of life. Your faith in God was clearly evident. As a mom of five kids, a fellow blogger and a Christian gal, thank you for your example to us all.

Now go enjoy your day with your little one year old man. (And eat lots of cake. πŸ™‚ )

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Emily Ransom says · 12.13.14

Happy Birthday to that sweet baby!
I have been following your blog since before he was born and it has been so
awesome to watch him grow and change along with you!
Thanks for making such a great blog!

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Jaime says · 12.13.14

happy birthday to sweet David! Congrats on surviving your first year of motherhood! It sure is the best, isn’t it?!? And just when you think your heart can’t be more full of love, you’ll meet your second child. Enjoy celebrating David’s 1st birthday!

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Sarah V. says · 12.13.14

This brought tears to my eyes. So sweet. You are blessed for sure! I hope you enjoy your day with that sweet baby boy, and congratulations on the new little one on the way!

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noel @ Third Day Hair says · 12.13.14

This is so sweet! And really, it’s the opening line that I loved most. Not because I don’t remember being nervous, but because through all of the articles and essays I read on the subject, I don’t remember being in a sort of foggy-miserable-tired state my first year as a mother! And I’ve felt guilty for not remembering. But that line alone eased that.

Additionally, I can’t imagine your struggle to conceive and, though I haven’t been a reader for long, I am happy that you were able to fully enjoy your pregnancy that was long awaited! God Bless!

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Trisha says · 12.13.14

I can’t believe David is 1!! You have done a wonderful job incorporating motherhood into your blog. I hope you continue to keep us reading when baby number 2 comes along. Blessings to you and your family!

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Bergan Blundell says · 12.13.14

So sweet!! Motherhood is such a precious gift. Every year that my oldest has his birthday, I reflect back to those first moments of finding out I was pregnant too. His birthday is always a bit more special to me because it’s also the anniversary of when I became a mother. πŸ™‚ I hope David has a wonderful 1st birthday and here’s to the “terrific twos!” πŸ™‚

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Dianne says · 12.13.14

That was beautiful.

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Colleen Mercer says · 12.13.14

Happy First Birthday, David!! And Happy First year of motherhood, Kate. As you already know, a mother looks forward to her child’s birthday probably more than she looks forward to her own! It is a day to celebrate not only David’s First year of life, but you and Justin on becoming parents. The best present of your lifetime for sure!! Have a wonderful celebration!!!

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Jenny says · 12.13.14

I am glad that you got to become a mom because you seem like a wonderful mother! I could only hope to be a mommy as great as you are one day. Happy birthday to David! I hope to see his cake eating photos- I love 1 year birthdays, they are the cutest!
xx
Jenny // Mish Mosh Makeup

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Talia says · 12.13.14

Happy 1st Birthday, David. Thank you for sharing your thoughts over the past year, so moving. Your blog is something I look forward to reading everyday. Congratulations on your first year!

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Ashley Brown says · 12.13.14

Happy Birthday David! My son, Porter, will be one year old at the end of this month. Children are such an amazing blessing!

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Julie Spady says · 12.13.14

I’ve been following you for a long time. I understood your pregnancy struggles as I went thru that too. I love how your emotions come thru in your writing. You feel like a friend. I always look forward to your posts, your stories and reflections on life. Merry Christmas!
Happy Birthday To David!

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mia says · 12.13.14

I always said first birthdays are for the parents as much as kids. Happy birthday David!

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Katie says · 12.13.14

Happy Birthday David! I have followed your blog for years and was never inclined to comment, but your writing today just touched my heart. Thank you for sharing such a special moment with us. You are truly an inspiration!

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Wendy says · 12.13.14

Have a great day with your little birthday boy, Kate! Your post today touched me and brought a few tears to my eyes. Very sweet…

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Leigh says · 12.13.14

What a beautiful post. Many blessings on you and your family.

Happy birthday, David!

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Allie S says · 12.13.14

Thank YOU, Kate! Thank you for giving us a peek inside your life and sharing your love of the Lord, beauty and style tips, and motherhood moments. So, so thankful for you and your blog! And a Happy Birthday to David!

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melanie says · 12.13.14

Happy Birthday David!

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Leticia Justus says · 12.13.14

Although unrelated to this post – I LOVE your new photo of you in the upper right hand corner . The other one was nice but I always thought it didn’t really look like the real beautiful you πŸ™‚
~~ As a LONG time reader / follower I have enjoyed reading through your life . And when you shared about wanting to have a baby I remember praying ” God , please give Kate a baby , she has given me so much . ” You have no idea ( I am sitting here with tears running down my face ) how much I stalked your blog during a rough period in my life . And although deep down I knew you didn’t have a Perfect life ,…I sought the beauty and realness of your blog . So besides heading to God’s Word – I was here …( I know it’s hardly a comparison ) . I was SO excited for you & Justin when you announced the arrival of your Baby David ! Thank you for sharing the Small Things in life and also the Big things . You have truly been a blessing to me and others .
Congratulations on your new little one- can’t wait to meet your precious new addition !

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Amy says · 12.13.14

I’ve been following your blog for a couple of years now and it might sound cheesy but, what a blessing your sweet little family has been in my life! I feel like I know all of you. Thank you for sharing your journey with us πŸ™‚ And Happy Birthday to David!

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Aleassa says · 12.13.14

Ahhhh, my favorite line from this post, “and topping it with sprinkles, of course”. Yes! Life needs sprinkles. πŸ™‚

Thank you for sharing your heart with all of us.

P/S I hope we get to see a pic of him with his birthday cake.

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Bonnie says · 12.13.14

Oh, sweet Kate, this is one of my favorite posts ever. May your dear family continue to be blessed. Happy Birthday, David! You are famous and don’t even know it.

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Kelcie says · 12.13.14

Happy Birthday David!!

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kathy says · 12.13.14

Soo happy for you!!! Happy Birthday to your little one and may you have a great and wonderful year ahead!

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Sara says · 12.13.14

Great post, lovely photo. Hope you all enjoy David’s birthday.

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Stephanie says · 12.13.14

Congratulations on your family, Kate! I’ve loved your blog for quite some time now and it’s been wonderful to watch your family and life grow! I’m much more of a reader and not so much of a poster, but I thoroughly enjoy your blog. Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays to you and yours!

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Katie says · 12.13.14

I’ve been reading your blog for a few months. I started reading because I noticed how close in age our sons were. My son Cooper is 8 months. Today is the first time I had heard of your struggles… and I went though the exact same thing. Almost to a T. I was actually waiting on my period to start , so that I could start Clomid…. and of course … God’s timing is perfect… I didn’t start my period…. I was pregnant. Just wanted to say that these moments you share so beautifully have touched me tremendously.

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Shanna Leigh says · 12.13.14

So beautiful, Kate. This took me back to the moment I first learned I was pregnant with my girl who is now 10 months old. I’ve been right behind you in this motherhood journey and I’ve so appreciated your transparency through all of the good and bad. As a reader, I’m happy to hear that you DO read the comments on your posts and that they are meaningful to you. I often hesitate to leave a comment of my own, but I think I can speak for your readers when I say we are grateful for you and your heart!

Happy first birthday, baby David! And mama – you survived your first year! πŸ™‚

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Sarah says · 12.13.14

Happy birthday David! πŸ™‚ thank u for sharing what you do on your blog! It really can be a blessing to people; like me. πŸ™‚

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Evelyn says · 12.13.14

Congratulations to David and you guys!

You guys are adorable and I love to read the stories. I like the way the blog is now and I’m happy your life seems to be going so well.

I wish 2015 brings even more blessings to you and your family!

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Jenn R says · 12.13.14

That was such a heartfelt post! Brought tears to my eyes! Happy Birthday David πŸ™‚ & Congrats on surviving your first year!

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Emily says · 12.13.14

I have been following your blog for quite some time and I feel like I know you personally. So believe me when I say that I was so unbelievably happy for you and Justin when you announced your pregnancy with David, and this new little miracle as well! I anxiously await your “David Wednesday’s” and can’t wait to see what cute thing he does next! You are such an inspiration to so many and I doubt you will ever know how much we appreciate you! πŸ™‚ Keep doing what you’re doing, girl! Happy 1st birthday to David and congratulations to you for surviving the first year!! πŸ™‚

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Malea says · 12.13.14

happy birthday david!

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Amy says · 12.13.14

I’m not sure how I came across your blog, but it was around the time my husband and I decided it was time to start a family. One we decided I think I spent that first week reading every blog, and every link on pintrest that I could find on babies! That was 6 months ago. While my family and friends are trying to be supportive by saying “It will happen when the time is right” and “You will have the perfect little baby at the perfect time” it’s still incredibly difficult. My husband is very supportive and he also believes it will happen when it happens and sometimes I felt so bad that I was so angry when my pregnancy tests were negative. When I read this post today, I followed the link you posted when you were trying to conceive, and you took the words out of my head! I truly believe that there is a plan, and that I will absolutely have the perfect baby at the perfect time, but it was still so nice to see that I am not alone/crazy with the way that I sometimes feel! I loved the post, and it was exactly what I needed to read! Thank you!!

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Kate says · 12.14.14

I’m glad that post helped you! I know it was helpful for me to talk to other women who were going through the same thing I was πŸ™‚

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Summer says · 12.14.14

Very nice post. Thank you for remembering those of us who are still in the midst of trying to conceive! As someone who has had two miscarriages and no kids (yet!), I am genuinely very happy for you and others who have made it past the struggle to have kids. It’s also easy to feel a little alone and forgotten though (although I know that, sadly, my situation is far from unique) so again, thank you for remembering. I wish you loads of happiness with David and your little one on the way!!!!

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Kate says · 12.14.14

I’m sorry to hear you have had 2 losses. I hope you get your take home baby soon!

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ami says · 12.14.14

What a lovely post. So many of the thoughts and feelings you share resonate with me. I love reading your blog, it’s like having a cup of coffee with a girlfriend. Happy birthday to David! So happy that your wishes to be a mama were fulfilled.

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Catherine says · 12.14.14

Happy 1st birthday to your sweet little David! That was such a kind and warm post. You have a gift for writing and bravery for sharing your life with so many. I appreciate all of the posts–from the ones about hair styles and cute clothes, to the more personal ones about your pregnancy journey and your life as a mom. I am due in March with my first and I so appreciate the honesty of your posts. So, from a reader of your blog, here’s a thank you back to you for sharing your creativity and your heart on this wonderful blog!

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Elaine says · 12.14.14

OMG …a year already? It’s amazing how fast the year went by. Not having been blessed with children of my own, I enjoy watching other people’s children grow up including fellow bloggers. Happy birthday to David! Enjoy every minute!!

Elaine

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Kristen Biloki says · 12.14.14

It’s truly been a wonderful thing to see you and your family grow on the blog. I look forward to reading your posts each day! Thank you for sharing your life and inspiring others!

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Kimberly says · 12.14.14

Hey Kate! So happy for you and your family!! I don’t read your blog for the beauty posts (although it has sparked a new interest in make-up choices for me) I started following you a few months before you announced your 1st pregnancy. As a mother of a 3yr old boy I can chuckle to myself at the fun that is in store for you in the coming months. I truly appreciate the honesty and sincerity in your posts. Being a mother has also been one of the most challenging and rewarding job I have ever done. God’s richest blessings to you in the coming months!!

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Jen says · 12.14.14

Happy Birthday to your sweet boy. Enjoy, because 2 is fun, but hectic at first. You will have a blast with 2. Congrats!

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TaraF says · 12.14.14

Reading about your journey gives me strength. After a miscarriage on Christmas Day last year, my husband and I are still praying for a little one. Knowing I am not alone in this struggle, and having you share your story, gives me hope. You have a beautifully family and I appreciate your openness. I look forward to seeing your posts and advice on everything from baby gear to the best lip balm!

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Meg says · 12.14.14

It took us 18 months to finally get pregnant. We had just started seeing a fertility doctor and had to go in to get a progesterone shot. But first they took a pregnancy test. I assumed it was negative. When the doctor showed me the positive test I immediately started bawling in the office. I’m now six weeks along and cannot wait for August to come!!! I have always felt uplifted knowing that I’m not the only one that struggled through these situations.

Happy Birthday to David!

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Sarah-Jean says · 12.14.14

Happy Birthday David!!

Kate, I love your blog so much. My son is 10 months old and I love reading what David is up to because it helps me to know what is right around the corner of us.
I’ve been reading your blog for years and have always loved the fashion, hair, lifestyle. But when you announced your pregnancy with David, it was just after I’d found out I was expecting my first, and I thought, “This is amazing! I get to go through this with Kate!”.
Thank you for sharing your life and your beautiful family.

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Lindsay M says · 12.14.14

As someone who is not a mother yet, but hopes to be someday, you are truly inspiring. You are so great at balancing your blogging and work with your family life. I’ve been reading your blog for almost 18 months and I truly appreciate that you’re willing to share your life with all of us. Keep up the great work!

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Jacqui Chan says · 12.15.14

Thank you so much for sharing your journey. By the time l got to the end of this post l was sobbing, it was exactly what l needed to here. We have been trying to conceive a second child for a year now, after miscarrying twins last year. Throughout the year my emotions have been all over the place. After finding out l have a low egg count a few months ago, I prayed for what our next step should be, and felt at piece that we should wait until the end of the year before going down the IVF route. Have an appointment booked in Feb, praying l can cancel that appointment πŸ™‚ After reading your post and the one about trying to conceive, it has helped me put things into prospective. I actually cried more when you said you were praying for those who are trying to conceive. Thank you for sharing what’s on your heart. Enjoy this new stage with David. All the best with your new baby xxx

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iBirthdaycake says · 12.15.14

These are Beautiful and Sweet.

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Caroline Josie says · 12.15.14

Happy Birthday, David!

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Nicole says · 12.15.14

I am so happy that you and Justin have gotten to experience all the blessings of parenthood, and that you get to do it all again very soon. Being a mother, to me, is the greatest gift that God can give and having the opportunity to view the world through the eyes of a child makes even the most mundane tasks truly exciting. On days that I am worn out, stressed out, and would rather melt into a puddle than keep going, one look into my children’s eyes or one smile from either of them makes everything I do matter. Happy Birthday to David! I hope you all had a great day celebrating such a fun milestone.

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Christina says · 12.15.14

Happy birthday David. Kate, you have seemed to handle motherhood so beautifully and more balanced than I did the first time around. My third child and only son was born just a few months before your David so it feels like we have been doing this together. Love hearing about your life. I hope the transition to two kids is just as smooth for you. Merry Christmas!

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sarah o says · 12.15.14

Happy birthday to your little mr.!
he’s very lucky to have a mama like you! thanks for sharing!

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Sarah M. says · 12.15.14

Thank you for your honesty in your struggles over the last few years. It’s an encouragment to those who are facing those same giants. My husband and I were in a similar situation. We had been married for several years, trying to pave the way financially for me to have the option to stay at home once babies did come, before we started trying.

We tried unsuccessfully for 12 months and during that time I felt much the same as you when it came to hearing of other families’ successes, especially when it came so easy to them. Not that I didn’t want to celebrate with them, but it was very difficult to do so and not ask, “When is my turn, Lord?” I know compared to some, 12 months is nothing. But in the waiting it feels like eternity.

This past August we finally became pregnant and just found out last week that near the first of May we’ll be meeting our little girl. I’m humbled by God’s blessing that I certainly don’t deserve as well as His impeccable timing.

So happy for you and your family as you celebrate David’s first birthday!!

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Ashley says · 12.15.14

Happy first birthday to your little guy! And congratulations on the upcoming arrival of your second! I have been following for maybe 3 years now and have always admired how open and honest you are. When you posted about your struggles, I prayed right along with you. So thank you for thinking of those of us that still struggle to get pregnant. My husband and I have been trying for a year now with no luck and I’m actually going in for a laparoscopy on Thursday of this week for possible removal of an ovarian cyst. I’m incredibly nervous but hopeful that this will give us more clarity, answers, and bring us one step closer to a baby. I know it’s not on my time and that God sees the larger picture here and knows what is best. Prayers are much appreciated!

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Ann says · 12.16.14

Cutest picture ever! Happy birthday to David and happy “soon to be here” baby.

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Claire says · 12.21.14

Hi Kate, I’ve only been following your blog for a few weeks, after I came across you hair styles on Pinterest (loose curls and messy buns are my new obsession!) THANK YOU!! I understand the struggles of falling pregnant, and I now have 2 adorable children. I wish you the best of luck with your second little one and a wonderful Christmas. Xxx

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Lindsey says · 01.03.15

I’ve just now discovered the other side(s) of this blog. Originally, and for quite some time, I have only watched some of the hair tutorials and raved about those to friends who like me have a hard time knowing what to do with our hair! I did one of them just the other night for New Years Eve and was complemented a few times πŸ™‚ They’re great. What makes it better is all this other stuff though! Ha! I’ve enjoyed reading through some of the posts on the “baby” portion of the blog. It would seems we’re journeying at about the same pace and it’s fun to hear another mama’s heart and giggle at similarities! I have a one year old son (as of September) and our second baby (boy) is due in February as well. Counting down! I know I don’t know you, but tonight I’m praying over you and your family and enjoying the fact that our great God brings people together in the most random ways all because of our common Lord. What fun! Anyway, I know this post is a few days old so I hope you enjoyed your little one’s first birthday party – I know we did with our (too) quickly growing boy!

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pengobatan Sipilis Yang Mujarab says · 01.10.15

enjoy

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