Family Photos & Fabulous Friends

SO! as most of you know, i am obsessed with photo Christmas cards! every year i hire a professional photographer & order beautiful cards from minted{dot}com. i even wrote a post about it, here!

well, this year we were a little tight on funds so i actually had to cancel our scheduled shoot with our fabulous photographer {stab me in the heart!} and i wasn't sure we were even going to be able to order cards at all this year {stab me in the heart, again!}.

BUT, all was not lost! my beautiful friend Ashley {who is a fantastic photographer, herself } came to our rescue. she offered to trade for photos this year and we were able to scrounge together enough money to order a smaller amount of cards than we usually do.

talk about fabulous, yes!

here are some of my favorite pics from our shoot.
before Huck and i got married, i would receive Christmas cards from friends with photos of them and their families and i knew that was one tradition i wanted to start once i got married and had a family of my own. 

last year, we used our Christmas card as our gender reveal announcement {see here} & that was super fun! this year is Hailey's first Christmas and our first Christmas as a family of three so it would've completely broken my heart if we couldn't do a card this year. 

God even works out the little things that are so very important to us. 

huge THANK YOU to Ashley for working with us this year! her info is below so give her some love.

do you guys do photo Christmas cards? if not, what are some of your other favorite Christmas traditions and must haves?

Have a very Merry Christmas!
{and don't forget to enter the giveaway here, only two more days left!}
xoxo, kerri

Photographer: Ashley Amaral Photography


The Perfect Stocking Stuffer + A Giveaway

 every mother knows the "joys" of a crying, fussy, teething baby. am i right, ladies? well, Hailey has been teething like a man women and since she insists on sticking EVERYTHING in her mouth i have been on the lookout for the perfect teether...and i found it! i bought these amazing teething rings from Fairy Of Color and she LOVES them!

these teethers are organic maple wood rings made in the good 'ol USofA. they have two different textures for your baby to explore. they are simple and lightweight, therefore simple for your baby to hold. they have been tested for safety and are CPSIA complaint with no removable parts or beads.

they are basically God's gift to your baby's gums!
raise your hand if you have a teething baby or know of someone who does? yes, i can name about 15 mamas right now. that's why you should enter this giveaway. 

i have partnered with Fairy Of Color for a fantastic giveaway. you could win these Christmas Combo Teething Rings PLUS a 3xRing Triangle teething toy in your choice of color(s) from Fairy Of Color.

they'll make the PERFECT stocking stuffer for your Little this Christmas.

1. follow me on Instagram at @iamkerrirose
2. follow Fairy Of Color on Instagram @fairyofcolor
3. comment on this post the color(s) you'd like the 3xRing Triangle Teething Toy in, if you were to win.
OPTIONAL ENTRY: 'Like' my facebook page (+ 1 extra entry)
OPTIONAL ENTRY: follow the Fairy Of Color etsy shop (+1 extra entry)

giveaway ends December 14th and the winner will be announced on December 15th. the winner will receive their teething rings before Christmas.

Good luck & Merry Christmas!
xoxo, kerri


Hailey's Holiday Gift Guide

I put together this little gift guide for Hailey. I've called it a gift guide but really, it's just a list of things we got her for Christmas. haha. I especially love the wooden teething rings. Stay tuned for your chance to win these on my blog. giveaway coming soon!

1. Target has this great line of children's clothing called Cat & Jack. I found this sweater in Hailey's size & I am obsessed!

2. I found these teethers on etsy. These are great because Hailey is cutting some little daggers right now and she wants to chew on EVERYTHING! They are organic

3. I love all the classic stories, Pride & Prejudice, Emma, Little Woman & I've always wanted to share these stories with my daughter! Now I don't have to wait. BabyLit has created these little board books of the classics that are perfect for toddlers!

4. The Anthropologie Fashionable Fauna Doll - need i say more?

5. These Cat & Jack skinny jeans with the heart knee patches. Oh my word, have you ever seen such an adorable pair of jeans in your life?

So, these are some of my favorite gifts for her this year. What are you guys buying your Littles this year? Send me links in the comments below!

Merry Christmas!
xoxo, kerri


The Wonder and Magic of Christmas

I remember Christmas morning as a kid. My mom went to great lengths to make Christmas amazing! I remember not being able to sleep the night before because I knew the excitement that would come when I ran downstrairs in the morning. My eyes practically popped out of my head when I saw what was under the tree. 
Most of our gifts would be wrapped but some not, and we would scream out the things we saw that we knew were ours, "ahhh my Pocahontas Barbie!" Yes, I wanted that doll so bad one year, I took the store advertisements out of the newspaper & left them on mom's bathroom vanity every morning with a big red circle around Pocahontas so that she knew, without a doubt, what I wanted. 

On Christmas morning, mom would make us all stand in front of the tree before we opened anything and just, look. She wanted to see us marvel at everything. It really was magical! 

This year, it's my turn to see Hailey get lost in the wonder. I can't wait to make Christmas as wonderful for her as my mom made it for us. 
I also can't wait to experience the true meaning of Christmas with her. It's not so much about what's under the tree but about a baby in a manger and what He did for the world on another tree. How He gave, gave of himself so the world could be reconciled back to God. And how God gave Him to be given. We give because He gave all. This Christmas may we remember & celebrate His precious birth. 

How do you connect to the true meaning of Christmas?

Merry Christmas!
xoxo, kerri


Home Is Where You Park It

Welcome to our new adventure!

As most of you already know, we made the decision to jump on the tiny house movement (sorta) & bought a 5th wheel. We will be moving into it full time in September. There were many factors that played into the decision to buy & live in a camper but the main reason was we weren't ready to buy a house & yet we didn't want to keep throwing away money on rent with no return. We had eventually planned on buying a fifth wheel since we like camping & Huck is a hunter, we just thought it would be a few years down the road after we had settled into a house. I guess we are doing it a little backwards. Who knows though, maybe we'll love camper livin' so much we'll live that way forever. 
There have also been talks of traveling full time but we haven't made that decision yet. We both want to travel & see all the amazing things & history this country has to offer so it's definitely not out of the realm of possibility. I have always wanted to live like a gypsy for a time in my life. 

We pick up our new home this coming Monday. Like my blog's facebook page here. I'll be streaming a live tour of it and answering more of your questions there. I'll also be sharing storage hacks and other fun things. 

We are so excited for this next chapter and even more excited to share it with all of you. 
xoxo, kerri


Hailey's Diagnosis

Occult Myelomeningocele - a very rare, very mild case of Spina Bifida. That is what the surgeon diagnosed Hailey with.

Monday, April 25th we headed back to Salt Lake City to discuss the results of Hailey's MRI as well as the details of her surgery with the surgeon. He confirmed what we had been praying for. The cyst on Hailey's back at the bottom of her spine was filled with just spinal fluid. Before, there was a chance that part of her spinal cord was tethered inside as well which may have resulted in more challenges growing up such as an awkward walk or even a wheelchair and bladder & kidney issues. Neurological problems were a concern as well. 

Tuesday morning I handed my baby off to the anesthesiologist who took her back for surgery. They said it would take about three hours or so. When she came out of surgery, she was still a little out of it, laying on her belly with her eyes closed and softly moaning. She hurt. You don't know the feeling of helplessness until you see your 6 week old baby laying in a hospital crib moaning because she is in pain and you, her mother cannot pick her up to comfort her. 

For three days she laid on her belly. Through feedings, through diaper changes, she didn't move except for the occasional turn of her head from one side to another so that she wouldn't get a stiff neck. She cried. She screamed. She healed. 

She is home now and has had to remain on her belly for two weeks but those two weeks are almost up. She will be able to lay on her back for the first time in her life. First normal diaper change. First time in her bedside rocker. First time being held normally. First time in the car seat without the really cool pad Daddy made for her. We will be celebrating a lot of "firsts" in the next few days. 

Above all the "firsts" though, we we will celebrate the "constants" too! The constant fact that God is good, that He is faithful! That He works all things together for the good of those who love Him, who are called according to His purpose (Romans 8:28). And man, this kid is Called! 

Just like In The Beginning, "you intended to harm me, but God intended it for good to accomplish what is now being done, the saving of many lives" (Genesis 50:20). In Hailey's Beginning, what satan meant for evil, God has & will continue to use it for good. She has the scar to prove it ...and another has the scars to prove it.
"He was pierced for our transgressions, he was crushed for our iniquities; the punishment that brought us peace was on him, and by his wounds we are healed" (Isaiah 53:5). 
{press play} 

Thank you Jesus! 
And thank you to all of you who prayed for our baby girl.

xoxo, kerri

***For Part One of Hailey's story, click here!***


What You Didn't Know About The Birth of Our Daughter

"For you created my inmost being;
    you knit me together in my mother’s womb.
 I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made;
    your works are wonderful,
    I know that full well.
 My frame was not hidden from you
    when I was made in the secret place,
    when I was woven together in the depths of the earth.
 Your eyes saw my unformed body;
    all the days ordained for me were written in your book
    before one of them came to be." - Psalm 139:13-16
All my life I grew up hearing "God is good". God is good, all the time. All the time, God is good! What a simple yet profound statement.

A few months ago, I was struggling with this truth. Not because anything bad had happened. Nothing did. In fact, life was good! I was pregnant with our first child, our marriage was (and is still) flourishing, the favor of God felt all over us. But I was still struggling with "is God good?" Of course I knew he was but I wanted more than just head knowledge. I wanted heart knowledge. To know his goodness first hand & tangibly. So, I asked him for that. I asked to experience his unlimited goodness so I would truly know.

Fast forward to March 18th, 2016. I shot up in bed at 2:00am from the pain of a contraction. I had been experiencing contractions for weeks prior to this day but they would always cease after a few hours so I laid back down & was able to sleep until 7:00am. When I woke up I had other signs of labor (to which I will spare you the details), so I called my midwife. She told me that I could be in early labor but we'd have to just wait and see if the contractions would pick up or die off. I explained to her that my husband was at work & depending on how soon his coworker could come in to relieve him, he was 4 to 11 hours away so I asked if  there was a way to tell if I was in actual labor? She told me to call the clinic & make an appointment for a labor check. It was 8:20am when I called & was able to get an appointment for 8:50am. When I arrived I saw the on call midwife who quickly said "oh honey, you are 4 1/2 centimeters dilated & 90% effaced, you're going to the hospital to have a baby". A rush of every emotion possible hit me in that moment. "4 1/2 CENTIMETERS? I was thinking maybe 1 centimeter but 4 1/2?? ...and today is my birthday! I'm going to have my daughter on my birthday!" I left & called my husband, "hey babe, I'm in labor & going to the hospital, you should probably come home now". I ran home & grabbed my bag & headed to the hospital. When I arrived 4 nurses rushed me, plugging in the IV, wrapping my belly with the fetal monitor, taking labs & asking me annoying questions. I was overwhelmed to say the least. I got a call from my husband saying he had to wrap up a few things first but his boss told him to "get outta here" & he would be home around 5:00pm. I was so excited!!! About noon, my midwife arrived. She checked me to see how I was progressing. I was still at a 4 1/2. Hailey must have been waiting for Daddy. About 20 minutes later, my contractions got more frequent & more painful, whatever our midwife & her magic hands did when she checked me must have kicked me into active labor. About every hour my midwife would check in with me and ask if I wanted my epidural, but the pain wasn't too severe so I kept saying "not yet" (That in and of itself is a testimony of Gods grace because I have a very low pain tolerance. I mean, I stub my toe, I'm calling out of work!). 5:00pm rolls around & my husband has made it back to town. I told the midwife that I was ready for my epidural so she called the anesthesiologist who got to my room with all his equipment right as my hubby arrived at the hospital. I got my epidural & my midwife checked me again, "oh you're at an 8 right now". About 9:30pm she checked me again & I was at a 9 1/2 so they gave me a shot of Pitocin to kick that last half centimeter. I started pushing around 10:00pm & our little Hailey Mae Rose came into the world at 11:01pm on March 18th, 2016, my birthday.

When Hailey came out, our midwife got quiet & then she said "oh... oh she's got a little bump there". I couldn't see what she meant until she lifted her up & we saw it. A golf ball size lump filled with fluid at the bottom of her spine. The moment that I had been looking forward to for nine months was destroyed by complete and total fear.

Once our pediatrician got to the hospital, he examined her. Everything on her was working perfectly. She was kicking her legs, breathing well, responding well. He told us he did feel a gap in between some vertebrae & it looked like they didn't fuse together causing spinal fluid to leak & create a cyst.

The next morning, an ultrasound tech came to our room & did an ultrasound on her spine and the lump. Our pediatrician told us these photos would be sent to specialists in Salt Lake City since we don't have any in our town. He also told us we would need to get an MRI to make sure there is only fluid in there and not part of her spinal cord.

The specialist in Salt Lake City reviewed her ultrasound pictures and contacted us. He will need to determine what is in the lump, then remove it. We have our first consultation on April 18th.

The last couple weeks have been a roller coaster of emotions but the peace we feel is unfathomable. God has revealed himself more to me in this one experience than I could've ever imagined. 

There are still so many unknowns, more tests & eventual surgery for our baby girl but this one thing remains, God is good! 
The doctors of course had to fill us in on the "possible scenarios & outcomes", but we refuse to believe anything that man has to say & will only stand on what God has to say. We have complete peace that she will be healed & whole - "by his wounds, we are healed" (Isaiah 53:5). That's a promise, and I'm standing on it! 

My heart is filled with complete peace & even joy, if you can believe that. I know who my God is and what He is capable of. 

Even now, The Spirit gently whispers to me, "Just as I showed the world my goodness through my child, I am going to show you my goodness through your child."

xoxo, kerri
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