Mother's hold their daughters hands for a little while, but their hearts forever.

Wednesday, December 5, 2012


GRACE. I needed and was served some grace last night!
There was a women's Christmas celebration last night at the church we have been attending, Coeur d'Alene Bible Church. You had to either bring a "savory" or a "sweet". I decided to bring a sweet. Why is it that no matter how many times you tell yourself you won't try a new recipe when you're having guests over or bringing a dish to something special... you do. Or at least I do. I should have known with the title of the recipe being "Sour cream Oatmeal cookies" :) Well... it was a TOTAL FAIL. I took this picture and sent it to the gal I was meeting at the church and she responded with "Don't worry, come and enjoy my disgusting tastes like nothing cheese puffs" :) That made me laugh.. and made me feel better and so I went empty handed. Not only did I feel a little bad being one of the ONLY women not bringing a dish... but I was truly empty handed. I totally forgot there was a love offering at the door!!! How embarrassing. Again, GRACE... as Kim graciously paid for me and told me not to worry about it. Have I still not learned that I REALLY need to carry at least $5 on me at all times?! Obviously not! Regardless of how the evening was starting it went well from that point on. We had a speaker come in from the Union Gospel Mission and she really spoke from the Lord and really struck a chord in me about being available and open to whatever God has for us. I feel like I have the passion at times... but I let my fear or insecurities get the best of me. Lately I've really been feeling God just telling me to "LET GO" and just surrender myself to Him... and just follow wherever He leads me! I'm not sure what all my life will entail being a new SAHM but I'm really excited and loving it all so far.
That's all for now. In case you are worried about us up here, all the way in the panhandle of Idaho... we are doing great. :) We are meeting some friends, having dinners, going to get togethers and all that sort of stuff. We are "plugging in" and although it's never really easy, it's still fun and exciting. I'm super excited about some of the women I met last night and the friendships to come.

Oh, and one last thing. Kim made a great point last night... I think the reason the cookies didn't turn out was because I used fat free sour cream :) Lesson learned!!! T.J.'s comment after he told me he was sorry I couldn't take them was "I'm really sorry, but I'm kind of glad because now I get to eat them"... thanks babe! ;) They WERE edible and good... but completely floppy and never set right.

Thursday, November 29, 2012

15 weeks later

A lot has happened since I wrote last. Let's see... we had a baby girl, accepted a job in Idaho, packed up a house, went to two weddings outside of Michigan, and MOVED across country to the Northwest! We always did want to "try out" the west so here we are...

We are now living in Coeur d'Alene, Idaho in a cute little house on a 10 acre property right outside of the city. T.J. is working for Idaho Fish & Game and is a Fisheries Research Biologist. I am a SAHM and loving it! :) T.J. is really liking his job and his exact words were, "If I had to dream up the perfect job when I was at Cornell this would be it."- what great words to hear!

Coeur d'Alene is so great... in a lot of ways it reminds us of Ithaca which is so great. We just went to a lighting ceremony in downtown CDA (the easy way to type Coeur d'Alene) last weekend and it was so fun. There is a parade and then they have a presentation of carolers before the countdown of the fireworks (which is choreographed with music) and then all of the million + lights are lit. Teagan did really well- We just bundled her up in a marshmallow suit and she was fine!

If you are friends with me on FB then you see pictures of Teagan uploaded almost every day. :) I can't help it. She is just so darn cute. I literally have over a thousand pictures on my phone and half of them are probably of her. :) Teagan is the light of our life. Like everyone says... you have no idea the love you will have for your child until they make their appearance and it is so true. There are many mornings when I am holding her and praying that my eyes fill up with tears and sometimes I cry because I just love her so much and I can't imagine anything bad ever happening to her. She makes me the most thankful person on this planet. I could go on and on about what a blessing she is... trust me. The Lord really blessed us with such an easy going, non-fussy baby who likes to sleep! We definitely have had our hard times with breast feeding and tummy issues but we have overcome all of that and she is doing so great. Hello, she is like a big butterball! She has more rolls than I can count and I LOVE THEM. She probably gets a thousand kisses a day from me.

I need to finish Teagan's birth story. I told myself I was going to type it all out so I wouldn't ever forget it and I think I'm only a 1/3 of the way through it. Teagan's delivery went amazing. I had her ON her due date... what a good little girl. :) I had to be induced because my water was breaking (or leaking really) and because of the risk of infection they have to induce you within 24 hours of this. T.J., my mom, and Mike and Debbie were at the hospital with us and the birth of Teagan was better than I EVER could have imagined. There were some "hiccups" in the whole process but overall it was perfect. I still think about all of my nurses and thank God for them. They made our experience so great and truly have a gift for nursing. I wish we could have all of our children at Henry Ford West Bloomfield and have the nurses that we had.


So now we are trying to get into the groove of things. This is T.J.'s forth week of work if I'm not mistaken. I'm still trying to tie up all of our loose ends here and get my driver's license in Idaho, get my tags... all of that fun stuff. I didn't know this but I had to take a test to get my driver's license here! Thankfully I passed. :) I just missed two.

T.J. and I are going "home" for Christmas and we are SO EXCITED about seeing everyone. Teagan misses her grandparents and aunts and uncles! She is smiling ALL THE TIME and even laughing some for us. People are going to EAT HER UP in Oklahoma, I'm sure of that!

Well... that is pretty much what is going on for us right now! We think we have potentially found a church we would like to "plug into". It's called Coeur d'Alene Bible Church and reminds us a lot of the church we went to in Ithaca. Just a bunch of believers meeting together to study God's word! There are a lot of classes, bible studies, home groups and fun events the church has put together and so we are excited about diving in and meeting some young adult families just like us.

One last thing- we love to Skype (our user name is NYNEWBIES) and we'd love to Skype with you if you have it too!

Much love and enjoy the pictures... :)

T.J.'s "new" truck- our first diesel truck, runs like a champ!

Teagan loves to sit up in her Bumbo chair, she feels like a big girl in it.

Hanging out with mommy

This picture just cracks me up. T.J. saw it and he was like WOW could Teagan BE any bigger?! She just looks like the world's cutest butterball here!! BTW it was SO GREAT to see some of my dear friends from SNU when I was home in Oklahoma a couple of weeks ago. So many of us have had kids around the same age so it is super fun to get them together and get pictures!

 These are the times I treasure. She is just a little angel I tell you!

 One of the first things I told T.J. was that I didn't want to move to Idaho b/c of the mountain lions. He assured me that they are few and far between (ha!) and that we'd never see one. I get a call his FIRST WEEK on the job and someone had brought this in to tag it...

T.J. showed me and Debbie his office.

 T.J.'s first day at work- right outside our house.

The cutest little stretcher

Our tater tot!

Teagan's first time at church in CDA, ID

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

39 weeks

I can't believe I am 39 weeks pregnant!!! No, really, I can't! In some ways it has gone by fast with how many changes we have made with jobs, moving, etc. but then I think back and I can't really remember what it is like to not have a big belly and not be thinking about a baby growing inside of me!

Sometimes I look back at pictures of myself before and I don't recognize myself. Sometimes I also stand halfway out of a mirror and pretend I'm not pregnant and it looks crazy... and then I take a step backwards and the belly fills in the rest of the mirror. I'm sure you did it too if you've been pregnant before.
I'm ready. We're ready... is Teagan ready? :) It is kind of scary to think she could be a week late which means I still have 2 weeks of being THIS pregnant.. eh. With that being said though, I can't complain. I am SO THANKFUL that I am not working! When we were in NY the plan was to work until she came... but then with the move to Michigan I was able to start staying home before having Teagan. This has been one of the biggest blessings.

I know the pictures aren't much at all.. but I put the pictures I had on my phone together just to give you a glimpse of our house. If I had any energy right now I would go take pictures of the house... but I don't :) So these will have to do.
Okay, I'm off. I need to nurse this headache and take a nap! I hope my next blog is about Teagan... with pictures!!!!

Thursday, August 9, 2012

White Lake

I mentioned in a previous blog we were moving to Holly, Michigan. It is a long story but basically we were told the house we originally were going to rent fell through- so we moved on to the "Plan B" house which was in Holly. Thankfully, OH SO THANKFULLY- the "Plan A" house ended up working out and we are here in White Lake, Michigan. Just west of Waterford, Michigan. White Lake is a cute little town that definitely has the "lake vibe". I didn't take the two pictures below but they are of the lakes around us and what we get to look at all of the time (TONS OF LAKES HERE).

I only say "OH SO THANKFULLY" about getting the "Plan A" house because the second house was site unseen and just for because we were curious we went to check it out after we moved here. I kid you not it was the smallest house... EVER! With absolutely no yard for our pets... thank you Lord for your provision with our "Plan A" house!

I will try and upload some pictures of our cute little house soon. Moving when you are 36 weeks pregnant is NOT the easiest thing but we made sure to stop a lot, walk, eat, pee... :) very often and it wasn't too bad. Debbie, T.J.'s mom is a rock star and made the trip to Ithaca to help us with last minute packing and cleaning and then drove with us to Michigan. I know I say it all the time, but I am so thankful for her! Debbie has the BEST attitude and always lifts me and T.J. up. Not only did she help us move here... but she helped us UNPACK and decorate the house and get everything ready for Teagan's arrival later this month!

A couple of teaser pictures of Teagan's room:

I never really thought we would have a nursery all ready and set to go when she arrived. I didn't even think we would be unpacked in a house... but we are... and it feels so good. I can't even begin to share how God has provided for us and met every need we have had. For instance, ALL of the furniture in her room was given to us... for free. Teagan has already been blessed by so many people (and so have we!!) and I can't WAIT for everyone to meet her!

Do you like the fun lamp on the nightstand? :) I love it! At my work baby shower my sweet friend Kelly put on for me she had it sitting in a backroom and I just happened to say, "That's a really cool lamp!" She then proceeded to tell me she didn't like it and that I could have it! It had been in her house for... a really long time (she bought her house from her grandma) and so I took her up on it! I saw some definite potential in it! Debbie spray painted the top pink and the bottom white and I think it goes great in her room! Thank you Kelly H. for the lamp!!!

Guess who can't get any bigger?! ME!!! (But unfortunately I think I will!!)

This was taken on Tuesday. T.J. insisted we still take the weekly picture.. I guess I'm glad so one day I can look back and gawk at myself at how huge I was. I made T.J. wait to take the pictures though b/c I had a little breakdown earlier and I really didn't want to have a "crying face" for my weekly picture. :) Who knows what I cried about. It was a rough day I think.

So... how do I feel? I feel "pretty good". I honestly have had a great pregnancy thus far and can't complain. Some days my back really hurts, my feet, etc. but I'm really looking forward to meeting Teagan! T.J. and I talk about it ALL THE TIME. I mean, honestly, this will be the best moment of our lives... when we hear that little girl cry for the first time- I WILL BREAKDOWN. Oh my goodness.. I can barely even think about it without wanting to cry. I can't wait to meet sweet little Teagan Bradley Ross! She is going to steal our hearts I just know it.

Okay, that is it for now! My due date is August 21! Any guesses on when she will come? :) T.J. guessed the 26th I think and I'm guessing the 24th. I HOPE SHE COMES earlier though- I would TOTALLY be fine with that!!!

Here are some pictures when I was just 35 1/2 weeks pregnant! We had an amazing night with our amazing friends the Foshees in NY before we left. How gorgeous is Seneca Lake behind us?! We miss our friends even more that Seneca Lake though!!!

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Look out... MICHIGAN!

Wait... what?! Did you say Michigan??? Yes, I did, I did in fact state that we are in fact MOVING TO MICHIGAN!

I know you are probably thinking- BUT AREN'T YOU DUE SOON!? Who moves when they are 35 weeks pregnant? Well, this family does. :) We have been packing for awhile (don't worry I haven't lifted one single box) and have been wanting to wait to announce it until everything was 100% official.

I am SO PROUD to say that T.J. got a job with the US Fish and Wildlife service in Michigan and he will be a fish biologist! This is exactly what he came to Cornell for. He has spent the past 3 years working harder than I ever thought possible and pushing himself further than he knew he was able to push. He has had countless presentations, written hundreds of pages of work, logged hundreds of hours in the field... and he made it- he graduated with flying colors and I honestly COULD NOT be more proud of him. I'm not quite sure how he was able to balance it all. He is the smartest guy I know!

T.J. has been applying all over for different jobs... Maine, New York, Idaho, Montana, Oregon, Wyoming, Nevada, New Mexico, Arizona, Texas, Utah, Washington, Canada, Georgia, Arkansas, Minnesota, Colorado and Michigan! :) I'm sure I probably forgot another 10 states! We truly were giving EVERY opportunity to the Lord and just consistently asking Him to direct our path with T.J.'s career. Everyone asks us, "Are you coming back to Oklahoma??"... that is such a hard question. At this point, no, not right now, but who knows what God has for us in the future. The job in Michigan is clearly our next step. We feel so blessed that he got a federal job from the get go and we are hoping this makes the next step even easier. We have completely fallen in love with the northeast but T.J. definitely feels the west calling his name (Montana specifically I think...) so we'll see what happens after Michigan! No matter what, we will follow the Lord's leading. I could go on and on about how amazing the past 3 years of our lives have been with living here in New York and how much we have grown- but I'll spare you for now! :) Even though "starting over" is scary... we know how amazing it can be just from our move to New York so we are trying to stay as positive as possible.

T.J. starts July 30! We move July 24 and both of our last days of work will be July 20. Like I mentioned before, we have already started packing and so the move should be relatively "easy"... at least for me. ;) Remember... I'm not allowed to really do that much... :)

Holly, Michigan (where we will be moving) is about 8 1/2 hours away. We will get to Michigan on the 24th and we'll have a good 5-6 days of unpacking before T.J. starts his job. Thankfully, and graciously, Debbie, T.J.'s mom is flying out to Ithaca on the 22nd so she can help us move to Michigan. She is amazing like that!

In case you are worried... we already have our doctor and hospital lined up in Michigan. The hospital is AMAZING (West Bloomfield Henry Ford Hospital) and so much bigger than the one here in Ithaca. Not that it matters, but I'm happy I don't need to worry about anything.

Here is the best part... T.J. had a colleague at Cornell that moved back to Michigan (his home state) with his wife and little girl about a year and a half ago. T.J. will now be working with this guy in Michigan! They just had a little boy not too long ago and so the wife was able to give me all of the great advice on the hospital to go to, the doctors/midwives to use and all of that- word of mouth is the way to go! She had an amazing experience and it definitely eased my mind.

The crazy thing is, with all of the million things that are changing... I'm really not stressed (at least yet!) :) and I'm sure that has to do with all of the people praying for us. T.J. is so nervous I'm going to stress and now I'm stressed that he's stressing about me being stressed. ;) Ultimately... we just know that God is in control and He is taking care of us. We feel so great about the decisions we have made and are excited about the future. Our doctor is also not concerned about the move.. he just said "Don't stress!" We realize that everything doesn't have to go according to any particular plan. I HOPE that we have time to set up the house, get Teagan's nursery ready, and are as "prepared" as possible.. but I also realize that if I went into labor on our way to Michigan (which I obviously shouldn't!) that we would be fine. God will see us through it all. We do appreciate ALL of your prayers though! We are praying that Teagan will go full term and that I will continue to have an easy, non-complicated pregnancy.

I am planning to stay at home with Teagan. I am VERY excited about this. I'm sure we'll get our little eBay business up and running again like we have done in the past. :) I loved doing that and it would be nice to have another source of income. T.J.'s job will allow him to work 4 10 hr. days most weeks which is super nice because then we will have 3 day weekends together. Not to mention his office likes to start the work day early... AND I MEAN EARLY! It looks like a lot of days he will get off work around 3:30-4:30.

There are many more updates to come but I thought I would at least "spread the word"- we are moving... and we are moving to Michigan! Goodness gracious, who would have ever thought!? Not me!

This is the only picture I have available at the computer right now! I apologize for the terrible lighting! We were staying with our friends for the weekend in Michigan and I remembered we hadn't taken our 34 week picture... so we took an impromptu pic. :)

 WE FOUND A SONIC ON THE WAY!!!!!! In case you were wondering I got a limeade slush and T.J. got a strawberry limeade and we split an order of cheddar bites- YUM YUM!!!

Oh, did I forget to mention that we drove there last weekend JUST to take all of T.J.'s mounts out there? :) I might have forgot to mention that... we didn't get weird looks or ANYTHING!

Our adventures continue :)

Saturday, June 2, 2012

Love it!

I can honestly say that I'm loving pregnancy! I have come far from that never ending first trimester. It is hard to believe that I'm in the third and final trimester of pregnancy! This means that in 12 short (hopefully) weeks I will get to meet our sweet little baby girl! Can I just tell you that I'm so ready for that? We might not have a nursery set up, or know exactly where we'll be, but I know that it will all work out perfectly in God's perfect way.

T.J. and I both realize that we really have no idea how different life will be. We know it will be dramatically different but we are still super excited. We were just talking about how crazy it is that if for some reason Teagan was born now that she would have a very high chance of surviving life outside of the womb! That is crazy! Sometimes we get blown away with the thought that we ALREADY have a baby girl... she is just inside my tummy! She is kicking, turning, squirming, and rolling around constantly. We can watch my stomach move with her sometimes. I love how active she is. T.J. loves it too and almost every night we spend some time talking to her, reading, praying and even play music- I know it sounds so cheesy but if you don't have kids you'll understand one day!

I just hit the 28 week mark. This means Teagan is most likely opening and closing her eyes (with eyelashes that hopefully resemble T.J.'s) and can see light filtered through my skin. She is close to 3 lbs. and is getting a little cramped! She is definitely stretching my tummy, that is for sure. I literally don't know how I will get bigger! Sometimes it is a little scary! I'm to the point that everyone knows I'm pregnant so I get asked questions all the time from strangers. It is really weird to be the pregnant girl! Sometimes T.J. and I both just stare at myself in the mirror and just say "woooooah" for about a minute. It is crazy to see your body change so much in not that long of a time period!

Next week we will have our 28 week appointment (although I'll then almost be 29 weeks) and because I'm now in the third trimester we will get to start having our doctor appointments every 2 weeks. Last week I had to take the glucose test. This is a test to make sure you do not have gestational diabetes. It isn't the most fun test either. You have to drink this HIGHLY concentrated sugary orange drink (within 5 minutes) and then EXACTLY an hour later have your blood taken. After almost puking (but getting it down!) I start my drive to the lab to have my blood taken. I pick up T.J. first and when we get there we CANNOT figure out why their doors are locked. Five minutes later we realize we arrived FIVE MINUTES after they closed. FAIL. I drank the drink for nothing. So, of course, I do the only reasonable thing and start to cry. I did NOT want to think about drinking it again! Needless to say, we picked up another drink at the doctors office as they chuckled and I took the test later on in the week. Unfortunately my levels were a little high, SO, I get to take a THREE HOUR long glucose test next week. :) (sarcastic smile). I'm sure everything is totally fine they just want to take precautions! I guess I better take a good book with me...

I was blessed by my sisters and mom with an amazing baby shower when I was in Oklahoma last week. Teagan will be the cutest dressed baby, that is for sure! We were blessed beyond measure and continue to be blessed by people. The generosity is out of this world. Thank you Lord! We have a work baby shower coming up and we are really excited about it too! Boys are invited. :)

With Heather and Julia at the shower-

I'm hoping my next update will have more information on our plans the next couple of months. We will see!

Here are some fun pictures my friend Lacy Robinson took for me while I was home. I was SO happy that she took the time to meet with me in my crazy short weekend back in Oklahoma to take some maternity pictures. :) As you can see, Julia came with me! It was really fun because I didn't tell T.J. I was doing these so I was able to surprise him with a book of these pictures when I came back to NY.

Saturday, April 28, 2012

Over halfway there!

I wanted to share some of the cute little pictures of baby Teagan that were taken at our last doctor's appointment. She was about 21 weeks in these ultrasound pictures. Currently we are at week 23 and I can hardly believe it! Over halfway there?!?! Wow... I'm not going to lie, I hope it continues to go this fast. Although we have A LOT to do and prepare for before Miss Teagan makes her debut I am antsy to cuddle with my little baby girl. I'm finally coming to the realization that mommy hood is ahead and I can't tell  you how excited I am about it. I realize (I think!) how trying it will be at times (lack of sleep, etc.) but I know it will be worth it a million times over. I'm ready to see this baby girl in T.J.'s arms. :) We are so excited. Here are the pictures...

You can see Teagan sucking her sweet little thumb here... and then her tummy with her little knee curled up. :)

This picture is looking down at her face. You can only see a sliver of her face... but do you see her sweet little nose?! Her cute lips are open as well... is that a plump bottom lip I see? :)

I just could stare at these all day. :) I never knew the excitement of looking at ultrasound pictures until they were my own! I mean that little forearm/elbow! I just want to kiss it! :)

The appointment went really well though. Teagan's heart rate is great and she looks like a perfectly healthy little girl! She is really starting to move around like crazy. T.J. can feel her when she's moving and he's even laid his head on my belly and she will kick his head hard! He loves it. :) I also felt her have the HICCUPS, cutest thing ever. I thank the Lord he blessed us with this sweet little girl and that we are able to experience this. We feel so fortunate.

I haven't had too many cravings... I have definitely requested a burger and fries a couple times and Thai food but that is about it. My emotions have pretty much been in check until about this last week and I could feel emotions that were kind of irrational... I have a confession. :) Today I went to pick up T.J. and we had been planning on going to The Creamery all day (the BEST ice cream place around here)... When I asked him if we were still on for ice cream he told me he didn't think we had time. Guys... I.KID.YOU.NOT... it took everything in me not to cry. Literally. I was so sad and upset that we weren't going. Needless to say, we went... :) T.J. saw my eyes fill with tears and I guess he realized how much I had been looking forward to it. About 10 minutes later I laughed and said "Man, I really almost cried when you told me we couldn't get ice cream!" He said, "Um... I KNOW, I realized you must have had this on your mind all day..." Anyways, all that to say there were some CRAZY pregnancy hormones going on there. When else would I CRY about not getting ice cream?! Wow....

I really do love being pregnant though! I love all the little kicks and squirms and I love thinking about "the three of us". :)

Here is a picture of me at 23 weeks!!

Miss Teagan Bradley is growing!!

Our 6 month (OH MY GOODNESS!) appointment is next week. We love going to the doctor and LOVE our doctor!

In a couple weeks I'm heading "home" to Oklahoma for Teagan's baby shower!!!! I can't believe it. My sisters are throwing me a shower and I'm so excited! I miss my family and friends and I'm glad they'll get to see me pregnant with Teagan!

Until next time! :)