Sunday, December 21, 2008

A Mother's Love

As I was laying in bed thinking about all I have yet to do to be officially "ready" for Christmas, I began to think about my little is the usual place where my thoughts drift. I began to think about how much I love him and what a miracle he is and how,thanks to him, life will never be the same.

Then my thoughts drifted to the manger scene of long ago. I, for the first time ever, truly feel like I can relate to the essence and mood of that scene. I can picture everyone standing around, staring into the manger at the miracle of Jesus...just like we do every day at our little boy. I wonder if they were all just waiting and hoping for Jesus to open his eyes or to smile...and when He did, I wonder if they all said, "Oh look!- he smiled!!" Every little twitch, blink, yawn, or gassy smile, suddenly becomes the most interesting and precious thing in the world!

And to imagine- having that much love for your child- and then on top of that, knowing that you were looking at the gassy smiles of the King and Savior and kissing the chubby little cheeks of the face of God.


Thanks to HIM, life will never be the same.

Merry Christmas everyone!

Saturday, December 13, 2008


Monday, December 08, 2008

What I've learned so far about being a mom and about babies...

10. There never are enough burp rags.

9. Dogs like to eat baby spit up.

8. I feel more like a cow than a woman.

7. Husbands are BIG helpers!

6. Early mornings aren't so bad when you have a smiley baby to wake up to.

5. Change the diaper IMMEDIATELY when you suspect a poopy...or else it will creep up and out and all over.

4. Don't just pack extra outfits for the baby, pack an extra for the mommy and daddy too.

3. Letting Caleb cry sometimes is okay...even though it breaks my heart.

2. There's nothing like story time right before bed...SOOOOOOOO cuddly!!

And the #1 thing I've learned so far... to thank God every day for our sweet boy.

Saturday, November 22, 2008

It doesn't take much... make Caleb happy. He has this one toy that he talks to and laughs at. Enjoy the cutest 2 and a half minutes ever!!.....

Sunday, November 16, 2008

"O Christmas Tree..."

Amy: "Can we get a Christmas tree? There's a slim 9 foot pre-lit on sale at Joann Fabrics."

Russ: "Oh ya, how much?"

Amy: "$119...that's a really good deal".

Russ: "So that's like me and a half. Does that look tall enough if I stand over here next to the window?".

Amy: "Yes."

Russ: "It really will only go to the bottom of those windows. How much for a taller tree?"

Amy: "There's a 12 footer at Sam's Club but it's $250."

Russ: "Check Craigs List."

Amy: "Okay. Here's a 12 footer for $150 here in Holland."

Russ: "Call em up!"

Amy: "You do it."

A little while later, Russ arrived home with this...Russ: "I might need a little help."

Amy: "Why? It can't be THAT big."

A little while later Russ began to assemble the 12 footer that he bought...

Amy: "Don't you think it's a little too big?"

Russ: "Let's finish putting it up and see."

Amy: "Okay."

Amy: "It's huge. People are going to make fun of us for our oversized tree. I've never seen a tree this big in a house before."

Russ: "It's not that bad. I like it! It's cool. If you're gonna put up a Christmas tree, it might as well be a big one. Besides, it's staying up now after all that work."

Amy: "I'd like to officially go on the record by saying that I wanted the 9 foot slim tree from Joann's."

Russ: "Okay Scrooge."

Amy: "We should blog this conversation."

Russ: "We should title it 'Mines Bigger Than Yours'."

Amy: "That sounds perverted."

Russ: "Yup."

Monday, November 10, 2008

2 Month Stats

Well, it looks like our little Caleb is right on track and hanging aroundthe 75th percentile in all areas. Currently he weighs 13 pounds, is 23.5 inches long, and has Russ' beautiful blue eyes.

Oh and yes...he still has all that hair...

Saturday, November 01, 2008


For those of you who don't have family nearby, I'm sure you can relate.

This morning my family left after spending a couple of days with us. Usually I cry my eyes out after they leave, but today it was different because I knew that I would see them again in a few weeks at Thanksgiving....that is until I picked up Caleb and got a wiff of his hair- it smelled like his Grandpa Cottrell's aftershave. The tears came flooding down. I was going to give Caleb a bath this morning, but I think I'll wait till later so I can keep smelling his hair.

I've been saying goodbye now for 12 years. It never gets easier.

Thanks Mom and Dad and Becky for making the trip to see us. It meant SO much to us that you took the time to come here for a visit and we had a BLAST with you.

Love you!

(This is is a picture of Grandpa Cottrell with Caleb when he was only a couple of days old)

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Caleb Photo Shoot

Well, we were going to pay for a photo shoot for Caleb's one month pictures and then decided to just give it a try one night. We are pretty happy with the results! Here are a few of the pictures that we took. Enjoy!

Saturday, October 11, 2008

Russ' two favorite things....

So, I asked Russ to watch the baby while a got a few things done around the house....and I came into the guest room (which was also his office for the month of September) and this is what I found. Who knew a guitar case would make such a comfortable place to sit :)

First REAL smiles :)

Well, it's hard to believe that one month has already passed since Caleb was born. Everyone always says that they change so much so fast- and it's true!! Yesterday he had his first real smiles. It was the highlight of my day and I pretty much sent the picture out to practically everyone. It's kinda fuzzy because I took it with my phone, but it'll do :) As far as stats- um, we think he's around 11 pounds now...that's pretty much all the stats we have. At his last appt. at 2 weeks, he was in the 50th percentile for height and 75th for weight....or the other way around. Seriously, I don't know how all of you moms keep track of this! Anyway, enjoy the makes me smile :)

Wednesday, October 01, 2008

The Story of Caleb's Birth...

So, many of you have been asking me about how my labor went, so I thought I would post the details for ya'll!

On Tuesday, September 9th, we went for a walk on the beach with my parents, hoping to go into labor on my own (after being overdue by 2 days). I was told earlier that morning that my actual date for being induced would be that Friday (yuck!). In addition to walking, I had plans to drink Castor Oil, which I did after lunch that day. All I got was a bad case of the runs. Gross, I know. After lunch, I decided to take a nap. I woke up from my nap with what I thought might be a contraction. I said to my mom- "Hmm, I think I just had a contraction...but I don't know". Then, nothing for about an hour. So, I decided that it couldn't have been a contraction and that I imagined it...or that I was still cramping from the after effects of the Castor Oil.

Minutes later I had a contraction that felt like period cramps. I told my mom and she wrote it down so we could possibly time them. Then, about 3 minutes later I had another one. Then another 3 minutes later another. In denial that this was the real deal, I decided that I would text Russ and just let him know that he should maybe come home soon from his meeting. For the next half hour or so my contractions were about 1-2 minutes apart. At that point, Russ still hadn't responded to my text, so I called him and told him to get home ASAP so he could take me and my parents to the hospital.

The car ride to downtown was loooooong. The contractions continued to be 1-2 minutes apart yet I still did not believe that I was really in labor. It just didn't seem like it was "textbook". I even told Russ not to call anyone else yet because I was sure that this was false labor.

When I got to the hospital, my mom stayed with me while the men parked the car. I got to the triage room (spelling???) and they checked me and I was dialated to a 4. I remember thinking then, "well, I guess this is labor". 10 minutes later they checked again and I was dialated to an 8. At this point they asked me if I wanted an epidural. DUH!!!! YESSSSSSSS!!!! So they rushed me up to the delivery room and promptly gave me the good drugs. :)

From there I dialated back down to a 6 and things slowed down significantly. A hour or so later (or maybe more...I don't know!) we decided that it was time to start pushing. My mom, Russ' mom, Jen, Rachel, and Russ were my moral support. They fed me ice chips, held my limp legs, took pictures, and managed to help flip me over onto all fours when my heart rate and Caleb's heart rate plummeted drastically. I still don't know how they did that. I remember panic setting in once they strapped the oxygen on and then I felt myself losing consciousness. Scary stuff. Apparently though, getting on all fours works. Our heart rates got back on track and we got back to business. Unfortunately, Caleb didn't want to come out. The doctor started using words like C-section and vacuum. We tried the vacuum and after 3 tries, Caleb finally took his first breath of fresh air!

Every day I think back to where we were a year ago at this time. We were hopeless and had given up. We were told we had a 3% chance of having children of our own naturally and after a couple of years of trying and after countless doctor appts. at the fertility clinic, we took a break from it all only to find out on New Year's day that we were pregnant with our miracle child.

God is good.

Every day we thank him for our little Caleb, our little miracle.

Friday, September 12, 2008

Caleb Pics

birthday eve....

this is one of my favorite pictures... taken the night before the birthday.

don't tell amy I posted this one, otherwise she will get that same look in her eye. :)

Wednesday, September 10, 2008


Caleb Russell Miller
the stats: 8 lb, 12oz, 19 1/2 " long
What a gift from God!

Saturday, August 23, 2008

Self Punishment

notice: for best viewing results place left ear on left shoulder...

Friday, August 22, 2008

2 weeks to go....YIKES!!!

It's hard to believe that we only have 2 weeks left. Today we are working on the nursery some more so hopefully we will get it done before Caleb arrives and then we can post some pictures of our hard work (or should I say Russ' hard work).

Also, here is a lovely picture of the ever expanding belly. I can't believe how much Caleb has grown just in the last few weeks! This little guy sure is active too- I think he's gonna be a soccer player :)

Well, that's all for now. We will do our best to keep you updated on Caleb's arrival.

Till then...

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

moving sched.!

Hey everyone...

here's the plan,

loading at 6pm at my parents house on Friday!!! (bonfire shortly thereafter???)

unloading at 10am at our new home on Saturday!!! (the beach isn't too far away if you want to make a day out of Holland)

also... if you're interested in throwing paint on the walls, the only day I will be working on it will be thursday... any help is welcome, but we will still be friends if you have something better to do! : )

just give me a call for directions...

thanks ya'll...


Saturday, July 19, 2008

We're Moving!! Finally!!!

Hi all! Sorry it's been a while since we've posted. We've been playing the waiting game with our lives...waiting for the baby to get here already...waiting for my grad classes to finish (3 weeks!)...waiting for our house to close...

Hopefully on Tuesday we will be in our new home. Unfortunately, I will be leaving for WI on Tuesday as well, so that leaves Russ with all the work! So, I am calling all troops to come to help paint and move. Russ will be painting and staining Tuesday evening, Wed. evening, and Thursday evening from about 6-9. Friday evening we need Rockford peeps to help pack up our loot over at the Miller's house in Rockford. Saturday, we are calling on all Holland peeps to join in the effort and help unload the uhaul in the morning at our new place. If anyone can help, please call Russ. I feel terrible that I can't be there...but someone has to open the presents at our baby shower in WI, right? ;)

Here are a couple pix that I took of the house during inspections. Not the best shots, but I'll post more once we get moved in.

Friday, June 20, 2008

30 Weeks!

Yesterday we were privileged to have another ultrasound, since Caleb was so shy at our first. However, he once again was quite shy. It took about 45 minutes to get these shots and they still aren't the greatest. So, let's see how good you are at finding the baby in the picture :)

And here's everyone's favorite...Amy's expanding belly bump (yikes).

Friday, June 13, 2008

Day 11

Well... we're back, safe and sound, and on the ground... i don't think we even took 1 picture of our trip here's the last of the pics... thank you rhianon and heath so much for being our tour guides... we had a blast!

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

day 10

Monday, June 09, 2008

Day 9

Guam 7 & 8

On Saturday, we swam a little and snorkeled a little. When we got back, we got ready for the wedding of a co-worker of Rhianon's. It was a HUGE wedding! Beautiful too and good food.

On Sunday, the family had plans to go snorkeling at GabGab, but we locked the keys in the truck (oops)... So we went to the pool instead. Once the spare keys arrived, we went to GabGab and snorkeled, swam, bbq'd and played a while. Then we got ready for another family dinner at Pedo and Flo's house (neighbors and "adopted family" of Rhianon and Heath).

Day 6 in Guam

On this day, we toured the southern tip of Guam and learned a little bit about the culture. We also went to our first "family dinner". We all had a great time!

Friday, June 06, 2008

day 4

refrigerator down!

Days 4 and 5 in Guam

Tuesday, June 03, 2008

Day 3 in paradise!

Monday, June 02, 2008

Guam, Day 1 and 2

Sunday, May 18, 2008

Possible torpedo belly?? a couple of times I have seen pregnant women with a rather pointy belly that I refer to as "torpedo belly". I wonder if that will be me. Judging by the looks of it...I think so....yikes!

(6 months)

Saturday, May 03, 2008



Here are the few ultrasound pics that we had at 20 weeks. They are tricky to figure out, but for you experts moms and dads, I'm sure you'll have no problem!

This is a profile picture. Caleb is sucking his thumb so his knuckles are also in the profile.

This is the 3-D picture. I know it's difficult to tell what's what, but if you look closely, you can see his little button nose and his mouth. His hands are up next to his face as well. You can even see the umbilical cord!

This is the proof that Caleb is in fact a boy! The was taken as if he was sitting on the camera. Look closely between the legs...:)

We have another ultrasound in June. Hopefully we will get some better pictures then.

Tuesday, April 29, 2008

for those of you who wondered...

...what I would look like if I gained 10 pounds, I thought I'd give you a little peep show.

The photo below is rated PG-13.

Yup, that's right...I'm wearing sweatpants. They are lovely too. So are my stretchmarks. Simply lovely. Actually, I had both before I got preggo- and wore both the stretchmarks and sweatpants proudly.

As soon as I get over to the Miller's house to use their scanner, I will post a picture of our little Caleb. He's very active these days. I think he thinks my uterine wall is a hamster ball. It's not.

Okay. There you go. Now all of you who have been asking for a picture can look at it and go "Oooohhh, so that's what pregnant Amy looks like". Notice I didn't let you see my face...that's because I was pale with nausea and my eyes were watering from my newly developed allergies. Good times.

(I just realized that this message is coming across a bit unhappy...that is not the case, just so you know. I am still thrilled to be Caleb's mom and can't wait to hold him in my arms, instead of in my belly!!)

Monday, April 21, 2008


Today we had our ultrasound. Our little bean was not shy at all. In fact, our little bean decided to give us a little glimpse of his manlihood. Yes, that right folks, we are having a BOY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

We have decided to name our little bean Caleb Russell. Already, he looks like he's going to be a big one!

As soon as we scan in our pictures, we'll post one for you all to see.

Ahhhh!! We have a son!!!!!!!!!!! crazy!!!!!!!!!!!! I still can't believe that we're pregnant!


Monday, March 31, 2008

Happy 30th Birthday to MEEEEEEEEE!!!!

Yes, that's right peeps...I'm 30...and proud of it! Thank you so so so much to all of my friends and family that were able to make it- and especially thank you to Russ for being the party planner. I love you all and I had a GREAT time!

Here is a picture of a few of us at Marie Catrib's enjoying a delicious dinner. Dawn... you may now officially begin signing autographs for making it on to our famous blog ;)

After dinner, we went to Naked Plates and showed our creative sides! This is Whitney and Chase painting a...well...a something.

Here is the whole crew busy at work. I can't wait to see how my plate turned out!

Easter at our place!

Yup, this year we were blessed to have Easter "dinner" and our famous Easter egg hunt at our place. Rhianon and Heath and Whitney and Jen were greatly missed!Here are a few pictures of the action.
Katie was the winner! (as you can see)

Friday, February 01, 2008

A whole new life... almost...

yes... as you all may have heard, we were surprised and excited to find out about an addition coming to our family towards the end of the summer! If not, well you're out of "the loop" and you should stay in touch with us better... :) In addition to that crazy exciting addition, my first Sunday at my new church is the day after tomorrow, our house is for sale, I have a new computer, Amy and I switched cars, I got a hair cut, gained 20 lbs., got a new pair of kicks, and drink much less coffee than ever before. I have what seems like a completely new life.... it seems like, anyway. We're really excited about all of the changes, hoping and praying we sell our condo soon because the drive to holland is terrible, especially with all of this stinkin snow... maybe if I had a better realtor... :) that's assuming there is a better one... not likely though. I am going to keep the real estate gig going to be able to help friends out and make a little side cash now and then, so if you're thinking about buying/selling, or just want some info or advice, give me a call. k... advertisement over, now, back to vain discussions about myself. :) jk... I'll spare you that train wreck (for now).
Anyway - I wanted to show you all my new church! With all of the sadness about leaving friends and family, we are almost equally excited about this place. It's great! The people have been great, co-workers great, Facility is well... they're building. But it's not about the building anyway. anyway... here's their website .
Enjoy... and visit sometime... k?!

gotta go -


Tuesday, January 01, 2008

the holidays

Hello everybody.... (last comic standing, anybody?)

anyway... just wanted to let you know we had a great Christmas. thank you all for the gifts and more warm fuzzy stuff to say.... really we had a great time though, first with my family and then with Amy's... we even got to spend some time with the Guamarino's via skype. here's a few pics from the miller's Christmas.

ok... guess i only had one pic from that, and it was of a pile of bacon. guess you can tell where our priorities are. When we see piles of bacon, we take pictures because they last longer. We did get some video from the Miller's Christmas though.... ironically it isn't of any people... just of their dog showing off her new shoes...

From there we went to the Cottrell family Christmas Celebrations.... we had a great time as Amy's mom waited on us hand and foot, which seemed like a week long thanksgiving feast. We also got some great snowshoeing in...