Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Mister Bliss

Written by Shannon Leigh

"You know, your blog still thinks you are 39 weeks pregnant."
Yes, I realize I am about 6 weeks behind in posting about our darling boy as I was kindly reminded by my dear friend Betsy a few days ago.

My sweet little mister has arrived and boy have we been happy and busy.

As I write, Mister is taking his morning nap swaddled in his woombie and Ruby is happily watching (and dancing to) a Charlie Brown Christmas in her purple sparkly dress.
We have settled into a nice little routine around here despite the absolute craziness going on around us.

We are moving into the new house at the end of the week.  We are living out of one kitchen cabinet with food and essentials and every spare minute has been spent packing and NOT napping like I would like.
We have a tiny little Christmas tree tucked into the corner of the kitchen perched on top of Ruby's table.  With all of our Christmas decor packed away we bought purple lights and some cheap colorful ornaments to Ruby's delight.  I was nervous that Ruby would somehow be disappointed with the lack of decor but she thinks it's awesome!  I'm not sure what I was worried about.

Although things are crazy, life is good.  Max in wonderful and Ruby is a rockstar.

After meeting our little man in the hospital we decided to name him
Maxwell Wade Anderson

It was a tough decision but he came back from his first bath with a mohawk and we just knew he was a Max.

I was a bit nervous about having a baby boy after having a girl first but let me tell you- I'd have 12 more boys if the Lord allowed (okay, maybe not 12).

They are just as precious and there is something really special between a mommy and her little boy.
Everyone told me it would be an instant and different kind of love but I was skeptical.
And boy does it happen, and it happens IMMEDIATELY- the second they laid his chubby body on my chest.
All the fussiness of girls (the bows, the shoes, the clothes, the accessories) is stripped away with boys and I just get to love on a precious little bundle without all the stuff.
It's kind of nice.
Don't get me wrong, there is nothing more precious than a pair of pint sized ballet flats and a giant bow but I am loving the simple striped sleepers and fuzzy, non-accessorized head.

Thankfully my recovery was laughably easy this time.  I didn't have any stitches and let me tell you it's a completely different experience as far as recovery goes.  Nursing has been pretty simple too, aside from some major overproduction in the beginning.  The Lord was kind to me and thankfully within 48 hours I was making decisions out at the house and meeting with our contractor.  Plus Max slept for the first 3 weeks of his life.  It was quite the blessing.

Max is a big boy with a smaller than average head.  We have already put away his newborn clothes, which about killed me.  He likes to be swaddled and loves tummy time.  He is super smiley and loves it when we talk to him.  He is like clockwork when it comes to eating and sleeping.  He generally gives us one 5 hour stretch + another 3 hours at night.  He isn't as great of a sleeper as Ruby was (yet) but we really can't complain and we are hopeful that the 8 hour stretch is just around the holiday corner.

Although our days are crazy, they are wonderful and I am soaking up my baby boy and my precious 2 year old as much as I can.
I'll be back to post his birth story and the meaning behind his name soon!  Stay tuned (I hope it won't be another 6 weeks before I post again but I'm not making any promises).


Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Week 36-39

Written by Shannon Leigh
The end of this pregnancy has been kind of strange.
I am pretty nervous this time around.  I mean I am excited to meet the little man but I'm nervous too.  Life is just going to change so much. Last time I just couldn't wait to hold my new bundle.  This time, I already HAVE a bundle at home and I don't want her to feel neglected or not important… you know, it's that tremendous amount of mommy guilt.  I still can't imagine loving another one the way I love my Ruby.  I am sure I will but I just can't picture it.

Besides being HUGE I have developed a multitude of random pregnancy symptoms this time around.  Oh the joy.
Like pregnancy induced carpel tunnel.  Really?  Thankfully I didn't develop it until about a week before my last wedding (around week 37) but my poor achy hands, especially at night. I finally broke down and bought some wrist braces to wear at night and that has helped tremendously.  You should see me in them, they're sexy. I am just so cool.  I am hoping this symptom will resolve itself shortly after delivery.  My work kind of depends on my hands.

The house has actually become a house in the last few weeks too.  It's been a pretty great distraction from the long hard days that accompany any pregnancy at the end.  We have paint, floors, and siding.  It's coming together nicely.  It's pretty nerve racking to see all of my choices coming together.  This whole thing has been SUCH a long process with SO many choices.  I just hope we made the right decisions.  So far, so good.  I am sure there will be things that we wish we would have done differently but we have been pretty pleased so far.

Last Saturday I had contractions all day, 2 1/2 to 3 minutes apart.  We finally decided to go into the hospital in the middle of the night because I couldn't sleep through them.  Sure enough I was having contractions but I seemed to stall out at 4.  They sent me home with some Tylenol PM and I slept until noon.  Since then I have felt fine.  I guess that's why they call it false labor.  It certainly FELT like real labor. BLEH.
We're still hoping that Mister decides to come this week but clearly he isn't in a hurry (and truth be told neither am I).  I would love to soak up these last few days of being a family of 3.  One more weekend would be nice.  The midwives seem to think he is big (no kidding).  They think he will be well over 8 pounds if I make it to my due date.

Whatever happens I am trying to remember that God's timing is better than mine.  Le sigh….

Friday, October 5, 2012

weeks 33-35

Written by Shannon Leigh
Brenna -400
Man do I feel pregnant.
It's actually kind of crazy how much more pregnant I feel this time around than last.
This whole pregnancy thing is crazy tough on a girl's body, especially the 2nd time around (Dear Mrs. Duggar, you're nuts).

It's no secret that I am not a big fan of being pregnant.  It's a means to an end.  You get a baby at the end and that's awesome, but truth be told the getting there kinda sucks.
I know it's beautiful and a miracle and all (which it really/truly is) but it just feels to me like a big fat inconvenience with a side of discomfort. I know I sound like big fat ungrateful baby.  I know I am blessed.

Truthfully I have enjoyed being pregnant more this time than last time and I will slightly miss the alien movement I feel in my tummy when he's out.  As far as pregnancy goes, it appears that I have great ones, so really it could be much, much worse.  Although I hurt- ALOT- especially after a shoot (weddings are even worse) I feel decent most of the time.  The contractions seem worse after a busy/physical day but maybe they'll make labor a little quicker this time?  They have to be good for something, right?  They're too uncomfortable to not be doing anything.

My poor house has been so neglected as far as cleaning goes.  Photography is such a physical job that I haven't had the energy to give her a good scrub down in quite awhile.  I have looked into getting it professionally cleaned before Mister comes but man I just don't know if I can justify the cost.  I have light fixtures to buy… for  a house that I don't live in yet.  Come on people.

The bigger I get at this point the more real "getting him out" is.  I guess that's why the end sucks so bad, so you'll have the motivation to push the little booger out.  That part really isn't easy.

Now that we are getting so close I am feeling a bit insecure.
Will I know how to raise a boy?  Will I do ok?
How on earth can I love another baby the way I love Ruby?  My heart feels like it may explode sometimes because I love her so much, could I possibly love another one the same way?
Will a boy feel different?
How will Ruby react?  Will she feel neglected?

The insecurities get me down sometimes but then I remember how sufficient and abundant God's grace really is and how fully he loves me.
No matter how much I love my babies, my Jesus loves me infinitely more.  The plans he has for me are so much better than the plans I could have made for myself.  Remembering this in the moments of chaos is key.

I'll be "full term" in a week and a half.  YIKES…. but We'll see when Mister decides to make his appearance- I am betting at least a week after his due date:)

Stay tuned!

Thursday, September 20, 2012

Family Photos 2012- Waiting on Mister

Written by Shannon Leigh

Yes we are waiting on Mister… but enjoying our family just as it is too.
You can check the rest HERE.

Monday, September 17, 2012

Week 31 & 32

Written by Shannon Leigh
Brenna -389-1
Brenna -409-2

Is it really true that Mister and I only have 7 weeks left?  AHH, I'm so not ready.  I'm pretty ready to not be pregnant any more but I am really not ready to have 2 kids…ha.
 Without having a baby room to get ready I feel kind of strange.  There is only so much I can do without a crib, and walls to paint, and art to make, etc.  Plus the fact that I am insanely busy with building a house and working.
My body is a bit worn down but I am still feel pretty good for the most part.

I started having contractions during week 32.  They are pretty annoying but they aren't the real thing and only come occasionally.  I didn't have a single contraction with Ruby until I was in active labor so MAYBE that means the baby will come more on time this time?
Probably not.

In house news we are completely framed and shingled.  We have exterior windows and doors and and amazing clawfoot tub sitting in the master bedroom just waiting for my aching bones. Plumbing and electricity are supposed to be in this week!
Both my body and the house are coming along as they should (mostly).
We'll be back soon with more news!

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Week 29 and 30

Written by Shannon Leigh

Since we are now well into week 31 it's hard to remember the happenings of 29 and 30.

I know I am starting to feel really pregnant now and I still have a LONG WAY to go.  That's kind of depressing but we are now into the single digits as far as weeks go.  THAT feels good, at the same time I am not sure if I am quite ready for 2 babies.
I am kind of focused on making it through my last 6 weddings and countless shoots. September is crazy.  
I like to pretend that I'm not pregnant and it works most of the time.  I'm staying mentally strong, that's what I keep telling myself anyway.  Mind over matter.
Mister is really growing now and my belly has finally popped out there.  ha.
He has the hiccups 19 thousand times a day and rolls around like crazy.  We are still not sure if he is head down or breech. I personally think he flips all the time…  if they aren't sure in a few weeks we will do a scan.  I'll do whatever it takes to flip him if he is breech but only time will tell.

With Ruby I couldn't WAIT to go to the doctor every few weeks now I just find them annoying, can't I just tell them when I go into labor?  We've got plenty of time… trust me.

The house is mostly framed now!  It should be finished by the end of the week.
Now we are starting to get to pick out the finishing touches!  Yikes, talk about pressure. SO MANY DECISIONS!

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Then & Now

Written by Shannon Leigh

Ruby on the beach.
 Charleston, SC.
{September 3, 2011}
South Carolina-232-1
{August 5, 2012}

What a difference a year makes!

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Week 28

Written by Shannon Leigh


Week 28 was a little slower than the rest of my summer so far and I really enjoyed catching up on some things around the house.  I finally got around to sorting through Mister's clothes and baby toys.  I am so very grateful to my sister who very generously gave me her boys clothes.  I won't have to buy much of anything, which is awesome!
It's funny how different things are with baby #2.  It's also funny how GIRLY everything I have is.  Luckily the big stuff is gender neutral but all the little stuff is so very not.

I plan on working on blankets/bedding/various other projects over the next few weeks but we don't actually have a nursery since we are currently living in a 2 bedroom place.  My nesting bug is being squashed in a big way. C'est la vie.  It is what it is, I suppose.

My cheeks are getting much fuller these days which must means we are getting closer to meeting mister.  I am so ready to snuggle him in my arms and rub my lips on his perfect head.  Oh yeah and I'm ready to not be pregnant any more.  We've still got a long time to go!

Monday, August 13, 2012

Week 25-27

Written by Shannon Leigh

Mister and I are officially in the last trimester!

week 26
Week 25
Mister really started to roll around in my belly. He started to dance around constantly and wake me up in the middle of the night.  I don't remember Ruby waking me up in the night so I am super worried this little guy is a wild one.
Week 26
We spent all of week 26 in Charleston, South Carolina.  I seriously underestimated my discomfort level on the 14 hour road trip but we survived with zero accidents from a potty trained little girl and a pretty prego mama.  Fortunately on the way home he was kind enough to move out of my lungs and I was much more comfortable.  We had a lovely time in Charleston (hopefully I will post some pictures at some point).

Week 27
We entered the 3rd trimester this week and I can't believe how fast this pregnancy is going!  I am really entering the nesting phase which is difficult since we are living in a temporary residence.  I am 

feeling quite unsettled and on shaky ground.  I know it's only temporary and I'm trying to just focus on what's really important instead of all of the "stuff."
Speaking of "stuff" we HAVE WALLS at least on the basement of the house.  We also have plumbing.  They are supposed to start framing this week- WOO HOO!

Sunday, July 22, 2012

Week 24

Written by Shannon Leigh

Week 24 was a big one!

Mister is really really active.  I don't remember Ruby being this active but you tend to forget these things so who knows!
He has officially started waking me up in the middle of the night with his acrobatics.   I am starting to think he is no longer breech or at least not breech all the time.  I am feeling some pretty big jabs on the sides of my belly.
I still feel great and I LOVE being prego in the summer.  Everyone always complains about being pregnant in the summer but I am loving the flowy skirts and dresses.  I was majorly pregnant all winter last time so I prefer the flowing stuff compared to the restrictive jeans and sweaters.

Week 24 also came with some BIG house updates… we have a HOLE!  A big giant, gaping, dusty hole!
I wish it were more than a hole, especially since we are already 3 to 4 weeks behind but hey, it's progress!
I kind of feel like I am birthing 2 babies at the same time.  The preparing, dreaming, hoping etc is all very much the same (and obviously incredibly different).
Things could get interesting over the next few months!

Saturday, July 14, 2012

Week 22 & 23

Written by Shannon Leigh


The last few weeks have really flown by.
During week 22 we got to see Mister via sono.  He was so darn cute I could hardly stand it.  He moved around a ton and sucked his thumb.  He was also very obviously a boy- not that we were doubting it.

The sono also confirmed what I already suspected, Mister is currently breach.  He kicks all the time but the kicks are low and have been since I started feeling him move.  I've been a little concerned about this but I'm trying to trust that he will turn at some point. Ruby was pretty much head down the the whole time.  I know we have plenty of time but I'd appreciate some prayers!

The bright side of him being breech is that we got some AWESOME profiles shots of his little face.  He's got a sweet squishy nose and he kept touching his face with his hands.

I have had 3 weddings in a row and I am tired.  Luckily this coming week is slow.  I am hoping I can get caught up and spend some good quality time with Ruby (although we will have 3 dogs in the duplex since I am watching my sisters 2 dogs-yikes).  

Another HUGE happening in our house is that RUBY IS POTTY TRAINED!  Woo hoo!  She hadn't had an accident in undies in about a week and only has to wear a diaper at nap and bed time!   
We still can't believe how fast it went once she grasped the concept.  It just took a few days.  I am so relieved.  I really wanted her potty trained by the time Mister showed up.  Here's to hoping she doesn't regress when he's born!

Check back for week 24, it's sure to be interesting!

Thursday, July 5, 2012

Week 21

Written by Shannon Leigh


Week 21 was good.
I was super busy with shoots and other personal projects but somehow we managed to make it through. :)
It's crazy how pregnant I FEEL this time around.  Honestly I don't remember feeling very prego until the late 20's last time and I'm already starting to feel the strain this time around.  But I've got SO much longer to go.
My job is a lot more physical now than it was with Ruby and that might have something to do with it.  I can't believe how limited I already feel.  Who knows.  All I know is that I have a long way to go and I need to suck up the aches and pains:)

In some fun news: I am pretty sure I have started to feel his little hiccups! That's always fun/annoying!

Thursday, June 28, 2012

Black & White Sunday

Written by Shannon Leigh


{June 3, 2012}

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

I Yike it A Yot!

Written by Shannon Leigh

Most of Ruby's L's sound like Y's and maybe sometimes W's.
It's great to listen to her tell stories in her sweet wittle voice.   She's really starting to get an imagination.

She's been cracking us up lately with what she says and I want to write all of them down before she moves on to another stage and we forget.

She was playing with a red mitten she found in a basket in her room and asked where the other one was.  I told her it that it was lost and that we would have to buy her new mittens when it got cold outside.
She then said. “oh no, my mitten is yost!  Oh no, it’s yost in the country with my yittle brother!”

Ruby and I drove past a cemetery a few days ago and she said “ Ohhhhh  Mommy!  Wook!  It’s castles!”

We often call Ruby nicknames.  Lately when we call her a name like "dude" or "peanut" she promptly responds with "I not dude, I RUBY!"

She brought me Sophie the giraffe a few days ago and she said "Share Sophie with baby brother!"



Sunday, June 24, 2012


Written by Shannon Leigh


We are officially "halfway!"
Well, kinda halfway.  Halfway for most people, but probably not for me.
I am looking at 42 weeks as my ending point (mentally I have to or else I'd go insane- after all I do gestate longer than the average woman).
Anyway, all the books say halfway so here we are (can you sense my eye roll?).
I feel really great and I am LOVING the second trimester- now if it could all be this good. :)
I am definitely larger than the last time around but how could I not be?  This little mister is a monster, remember?

Our vacation out West/North was really great.  Crazy but great (I'll post about it at some point).
The day we got back we moved into our new duplex (I am still yawning from all of the excitement).  It's a cute little place with lots of great walking paths nearby.  We are utilizing these frequently especially since Matt and I decided to GET RID OF TV!
It's true, I feel all pioneer woman.
Truthfully it's been really great so far.  I am getting a lot more done around the house and Ruby and I are spending lots of good, quality time together before baby brother makes his appearance.

We also moved Ru into a big girl bed which has truly been a seamless transition (I'm not surprised, that's just Ruby).  We didn't even put up the crib in our current house- I figured out of sight out of mind, right?  Mister will hopefully be in the cradle in our room until we move again and then we can set it up in HIS room once we're settled.
It's a bit of a crazy time around these parts but I I don't think I would change it.

I hope to update again soon but we are super busy, you know, NOT watching t.v.:)

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Westward Ho!

Written by Shannon Leigh

Westward Ho! August 1968 leaving Pleasant Plains Il{Westward Ho!  Grandma & 5 kids in the station wagon.  August, 1968}

We are off on a bit of a family vacation/road trip  out west (and then north) for the next 12 days!
I will be answering emails occasionally but responses may be delayed!
We'll be back on Sunday, June 17th!
Thanks so much for your patience!
x0- Shannon
August 1968 Great Sand Dune National Monument who family
{Grandma, Grandad, & the 5 kids at Great Sand Dune National Monument August, 1968}

Monday, June 4, 2012

Mister: Week 18

Written by Shannon Leigh


I keep forgetting to share my 14 week sono of Mister.
I love his little profile and his crossed feet at the top.  We have been lucky to get really great profile shots of both of our babies so far.  I could just stare at him all day.
Ruby is obsessed with the picture and carries it around kissing it (she is such a little mommy).

My sister has nicknamed baby boy Haus, because well, he is huge.

When they put the wand on my tummy at my first sono I couldn't believe how meaty he was.  All I kept thinking was "Lord, please let that be a boy"- he was just so big.  Ruby was so dainty (still is) so it's a mighty contrast.

Things are moving along well and we have made it to week 18!  Today Ruby and I got to listen to Mister's heart beat at the doctor's office.  He likes to hang out on the right side of my body and kick me on the left so she had to move the doppler all the way to my right side to hear his heart beat. Silly Mister.


Oh sweet Mister,
I have enjoyed praying these verses over you so very much!
Man, what a blessing these scriptures have been to this mommy.

See you at week 19!

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Week 17

Written by Shannon Leigh

Poor 2nd baby.  He's already getting the shaft when it comes to pictures.
Oh well, he's a boy.  He won't care anyway :).

So I FINALLY started a maternity series at 17 weeks.

This maternity series is going to be all about focusing on the Word.

I have committed to praying these next 23 (or so) verses over my sweet little Mister as the weeks go by.

I am trying to focus on what the Lord wants to teach me throughout the rest of my pregnancy and I get the bonus of memorizing scripture. I want to focus on what a blessing Mister truly is and not how much I want this pregnancy to be over:)

Man oh man, I am way bigger than last time and things have been VERY different.  Things are definitely sorer as I get stretched out.  I don't remember being this crampy last time either, bleh.  Truth be told it's getting kind of old.  I am actually kind of glad my job is so physical, I don't notice it when I'm working.

The good news is that I have been feeling Mister move for weeks and weeks now and last week (week 16) Matt even got to feel him kick!

Thursday, May 17, 2012

Far, Far Away

Written by Shannon Leigh

Ruby's squeaky little girl voice absolutely melts me. She has always been quite articulate and easy to understand but her voice is just so girly.

A few weeks ago she stayed with my parents while I shot a wedding.  It happened to be the night of the infamous super moon and my mom and dad took her out to see it.  Apparently Ruby loved it and thought it was great.

We talk about the moon and stars a lot.  She has always been intrigued by them and we discuss them with her often.  We ask "who made the moon?" And she promptly answers "God made the moon."  Then we ask "who made the stars."  She answers "God made the stars."  It's a bit of a game we play.

One night we were on our way home from youth group and the moon was shining bright.  Ruby caught sight of it and shouted,
"Wook Mommy, wook! It's the super moon!  (pause pause pause, and in a sigh she said) It's far, far away...I can't weach it."

Melt my heart my precious one.  Please stay this innocent forever.