Sunday, August 10, 2014

Jada Rae Taylor's birth story {7/11/14}

The day began like all other 3:00 AM zombie trips to the airport to visit my family in Texas. Jessica, our birthmom, wasn't scheduled to be induced until the 18th, so our plan was to go to Texas (our friend's, Toad and Cass, were also en route to Texas, too!!), have some fun with fam and friends, and fly up to Des Moines on the 17th for Jada's birth on the 18th. As for how 2014 has gone for us, we should've known by now that things never really go as planned. ;)

We all landed in Houston around noon and ate a delish lunch at Spring Creek BBQ. We headed over to my parent's house, lounged around, and got ready to go to the Houston Astro's baseball game. As we were walking into the stadium, I get a text from Jessica saying she's having heavy contractions, and she was thinking she needed to head to the hospital soon. I was flipping out! Around inning 3, I get a call from Jessica's mom saying she's dilated to an 8! I immediately called Andrea, our birth photographer in Des Moines, and asked her to please HURRY to the hospital. It was GO TIME! 

This was our last selfie as a family of 2! Poor Matt was soo tired from traveling.

I quickly walked back to our seats and told everyone the news. My mom starts bawling, which makes me cry, and we decided to head home.

This is us, my mom, Toad, Cass, and Norma at the game. **I need to take a pause and say how freaking grateful I am for Norma (she's the one with the cute black hair). Norma is a flight attendant and lives with my parents in Houston. She let us purchase her buddy passes so we were able to travel at such an affordable price. Thank you so much, Norm, from the bottom of our hearts!!!**

During the drive home, Andrea kept giving me updates about Jessica's progress.
We were so bummed that we weren't able to be with Jessica during the birth, but Andrea captured some AMAZING images. This is what was happening in Des Moines while we were driving home...

Dr. Z was amazing. He and his wife have adopted 5 children so he was so sweet towards our situation.

So much love in one picture...

We arrived at my parent's house, ate some Blue Bell, and then I get this picture in a text at 9:48 PM...
 My heart literally stopped. I quickly grabbed my phone, walked into the den, and just stared at this beautiful baby on my iPhone screen. I whispered to Matt to come here and said, "This is Jada!"
We walked back into the kitchen and I'm sure I said something along the lines of, "She's here!" (This night was kind of a big adrenaline pumping blur.) I showed my parents her picture, and we all started crying tears of happiness. Our little girl was here.

We FaceTimed Jessica around 10:30 PM, and we all got to hear Jada's cry for the first time. Poor thing was HANGRY!

The next morning, we were on the first flight out to Iowa. As we were parking at Mercy hospital, we see Jess in the parking lot! We got out of the car to give hugs, and I lost it. This amazing woman and mother was sacrificing so much for us. My heart was SO full of love for her in that moment and we just cried together in that hot parking lot. :)

 Jess headed back upstairs, we found a park, and were on our way to meet Jada. I was so NERVOUS! This was the moment we had been praying for for such a long time.

We love you so much, Jess. This was one of my favorite pictures from that day.

Later on, Jessica's three girls, Lexi, Kayla, and Aviana came up to the hospital with their grandma. They're the strongest and sweetest girls I've ever been around. It was so cool capturing the moments of them meeting Jada for the first time.

Jessica and her sweet girls.

Miss Aviana! Jada and Aviana are full sisters. Jada is seriously a clone of Aviana (just with slightly lighter hair and eyes)

Kayla holding Jada for the first time.

I spent the night at the hospital with Jessica and her daughter, Lexi. We stayed up late, talked, watched TV, and eventually dozed off with Jada by our sides. 

The next day, Jessica was released from the hospital. It was an extremely emotional day. I took some pictures of Jess and Jada before we left the hospital. I wanted to capture the love that Jessica has and will always have for her sweet baby girl. I cherish these images.

This picture sums up everything...
"The sacrifice a birthmother makes is a perfect example of what mothers do all the time: they put their children first."

We love you to the moon and back, Jess.

We are loving every minute with our sweet girl. She has been an angel baby and brings such a sweet spirit into our home. We are so thankful to our family and friends who have walked with us through this adoption journey.

If you would like to donate to our adoption fundraiser page you can by clicking here:

I'm giving away 3 free photoshoots to one lucky contributor to our adoption fundraising page! Tomorrow is the last day to enter, and you can donate $1 or $1 million (lol jk) to be entered into the giveaway. We are beyond grateful for your donations on our behalf. 

Tomorrow this little lady will be 1 month old. We love her SO MUCH!

Friday, June 6, 2014

A quick trip to Cali to see my boo Matty

 I have a bad habit of blogging pretty much only when I should be doing 567 other things--mainly 1,500+ pictures to go through/edit and packing up our entire house. No biggie. ;) They say that moving and having (in our case, adopting) a baby are two of the most stressful things to go through, and we are definitely feeling the pressure!

Here's a quick adoption update for yall.
I am flying out to Iowa in a few weeks to formally meet our birthmom (yay!). But it honestly feels like we have known eachother for years. We text several times a week, and I just love her. While I'm there I get to go to her 4D ultrasound! I don't think I even fully understand what 4D means, but I know it's going to be so so cool. We are also meeting with our attorney to go over the adoption details. And you know there will be some shopping and fun girl stuff going on, too! While I was in CA, Matt and I had a good talk about how freaking excited and nervous we are about being parents. The thought of having another human being completely dependent on us is intimidating! The more we talk to other parents, this seems like a very common emotion to be feeling, so that was definitely comforting. Everything is still going really well with the adoption.

Last week, I visited Matt in Stockton! We stayed a couple of nights in a hotel and a night at his apartment with his roommate, Nick. Nick is truly a gem, and is one of the funniest people I've ever met. He's been such a  fun roommate and friend to Matt! We love you Uncle Nick! I'll always treasure the moments going through the girls on Tinder and listening to your cheasy convos and watching you roast almonds. LOL!
We also stayed with our lovely friends, The Guzy's!

A 6 year old took this pic of us at the Oakland Temple. I was very impressed with her photog skills!
My fam and I can probably list the amount of pictures that my hair looks decent on 2 fingers. This is one of them haha. One of my nicknames is "Mushroom" because 90% of the time my hair is in a mushroom bun on the top of my head. 

Promise me that you will go to an Indian food place and order "chicken tikka masala." It is so divine.
Best feeling... :)
We went to a minor league baseball game to watch the Stockton Ports play. 
1. We were burning UP. 2. Players got on base maybe 4 times the entire game. -__- 3. Guys in baseball uniforms=hot.
Mini mushroom pictured below...
Banana split Dippin Dots!!! I almost walked through a huge pile of a child's puke to get these lovely bits of heaven.
Can't wait to be with you FOR GOOD next week, Matteo!

Saturday, May 10, 2014

Mother's Day (our adoption journey)

I have thought about this blog post for weeks and weeks. Where do I even begin to express the hundreds of emotions running through my brain? Mother's Day is tomorrow, and for the last  4 years has been a day I absolutely dreaded for 2 reasons.

1. Being thousands of miles away from my own mom who is my very best friend, confidant, and funniest lady in the world.

2. Wanting nothing more than to have and hold my own little one.

We stopped going to church on Mother's Day Sunday because I would find myself getting so resentful and jealous (& that's TOTALLY NOT my personality) watching (amazing) women hold their babies and just dying to be in their shoes. Not to mention, the mothers getting their cute gift as you leave the chapel hoping the next year would be MY YEAR to get that chocolate bar or flower. Dramatic? Probably. Did I still take a chocolate bar? Maybe. :)

This Mother's Day, however, we have great hope for the first time in a long time. A few weeks ago, we were contacted by an absolutely wonderful woman. She explained that she is pregnant and due in July, and wanted to get to know us to see if we would be a good fit to adopt her baby. My guard was  up at first, due to the several disappointments we've had through our adoption journey. As soon as we had our first conversation over the phone, my heart and Matt's were so at ease and comfort filled us. We have talked basically everyday since our first conversation in April, and we are BEYOND excited to adopt this sweet baby! With adoption, there's not really any guarantees until all is said and done, but we have never felt more confident. It is the best feeling. 

Today is National Birthmother's Day, and I sent our birthmom this quote, which I LOVE:

"In adoption, a child is not given up.
A bithmother GIVES life.
She GIVES a part of her heart that will never feel whole.
She GIVES another mother a part of her heart that was always missing.

An adoptive mother GIVES a life and family to this child.
She GIVES unconditional love.
She GIVES a part of her heart to another mother.
You GIVE a lot--just never give up."

When I came home from getting my nails done with my sister-in-laws today, these were waiting on my doorstep. Flowers, chocolates, and the sweetest from our birthmom wishing me a Happy Mother's Day. How thoughtful is that? I just love her so much!!!
 I'm not sure what I did to deserve to be surrounded by such amazing moms, my Mom, Julee, my mother-in-law, Tami (Happy Birthday!!), and our birthmom, Jess.

These women, and especially my own mom, have molded me into a strong and confident woman. 
I pray I can be half of the mother my mom was to me to our sweet angel. If you know my mom, you know she will be the BEST GRANDMA EVER. She literally has had an entire closet full of baby clothes since 2010 stored up for this day...


Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Survival Mode

This is our last picture until June 14th.
 Matt started a new job selling for Vivint Solar in Cali, and I get to join him when my school year and Idaho weddings are ova! We had a fun weekend in SLC before he left. We ate at the "Copper Onion" in downtown. HIGHLY suggest it. We also hung out with Matt's longtime bud, Chris George and his wifey, Janie. Guys, why didn't we get a picture?!

The one pro about Matt being gone is how much more productive I am! Why does it become 100 times easier to keep a house clean and all other tasks done when your significant other is away?!
 While in Utah, I was able to visit one of my bffffs, Mary and her hub, Tay. Their babies are the cutest, and I need my future babe to be as chubby as Roman. I could seriously eat him! Chubby babies are the best. We went to the BYU v-ball game. Those guys are legit! Mary makes the BEST necklaces. You need to check out her shop here. They're perfect Mother's Day gifts! 

 You can still find me at teaching these little chitlans. We took a walking field trip around Rexburg this week. Field trips are a relief because no lesson plans, but then you realize you're herding 24 crazy kiddos for three hours basically begging them to listen/be good, and lesson plans don't sound so bad. :)
We completed our state testing (hallelujah!), and we are ready for summa!

Sunday, April 27, 2014


Do you remember Hollister's perfume, August? Yes, the one from like '05 that smelled absolutely AMAZING, that they discontinued! And you can literally only buy it on eBay for $300.

I have been on a quest for years to find a perfume close to August, and it fell right into my lap. Well, mailbox. In my Birchbox this month, there was a sample of perfume called Cedrat Enivarant that smells almost exactly the same you guys!!! 

It's a little spendy, but it smells just as lovely as August. I am seriously thrilled.
You can buy it here: Cedrat Envirant

Monday, April 14, 2014

Cooper's Birth Story

Let's talk about the Ash's for a second. They are our absolute best friends in the entire world. Matt and Bryan served LDS missions together in Miami, and were best friends since day 1. They both left Miami at the same time and were roommates at BYU-I. That's where Matt and Bryan met me and Monica. And the rest is history. No joke, we have spent basically every weekend together since '09. 

The Ash's told us they were pregnant while having dinner at Stockman's. I instantly burst into happy tears and gave Monica the biggest hug. She is not only my best friend, but she's my soul sista. I'm absolutely convinced we were BFF's in heaven. I'm not sure what we are going to do without them when we move to Cali ;(((

So, last week, they finally had their BABY BOY! Monica seriously had the worst pregnancy evs. She puked 3x a day for about the first 5 months of her pregnancy. We all were thinking she would have an easy labor because her actual pregnancy was h.or.r.i.b.l.e, (we were sadly incorrect) but of course, the end result made it all worth it! Here's baby Ash's birth story told from my perspective.

 I arrived at EIRMC on 4/9 around lunch time. I bought Bryan a Big Mac and chicken nugs for lunch. We all sat around and chatted...waiting and waiting...

Since day 1 of her pregnancy, Monica worried and worried about the epidural and her dang IV because of her HUGE fear of needles. She seriously handled both like a champ. I was so proud!

So crazy what the woman body can do...

Monica went from 6cm, to 8cm, to 10c, in about two hours. And so she started pushing...

Bryan was such an awesome motivator! Again, proud moment! I honestly felt like I was watching my own children conquer a huge mountain together ha!

Finally, after hours and hours of pushing and the doctor using this vacuum, a C-section was ordered. Baby was SO close to coming out, but his head couldn't fit through the birth canal.
Getting his bunny suit on for the OR.

After basically going through hell for pushing every three minutes for 5 hours, Monica remained her usual, hilarious self. The nurses and surgeons kept commenting about her upbeat personality. 

Cooper Adam Ash. Born at 7:18 PM on 4/9/2014. I had the honor of being with Bryan as he met his beautiful newborn son for the first time(Monica was getting sewn up next door). Talk about heart explosions.  

This just may be my favorite picture I've ever snapped. 

Coop meeting Uncle Matty for the first time.

First bath 

Monica was so brave and strong the entire day and maintained such a positive attitiude. I am so so proud of her! You are a rockstar, Moni!!

Baby heaven. Thanks again you guys, from the bottom of my heart, for letting me capture this amazing day. Coop is one lucky kid to have yall as parents. I love all of you!!!