The joy of new friends

In the last few months I have been able to witness something beautiful and heartmelting, as a mom.  I have got to see my children play with children they have never met before and within a few hours they are great friends.

On one Saturday this  summer I got the opportunity to see one of my friends from high school and her four children.  Our families match in terms of having 2 girls, a boy and then another girl.   They spent the morning playing with the kids, jumping on mom’s trampoline, going with rides in the bob cat, playing tea party with American girl dolls,and  running around the farm.



Later that day we saw them again along with about 10 other kids at an outdoor wedding reception.  All the kids played so well with literally zero toys, no devises, and minimal meltdowns. It makes my mama heart happy. Happy to see kids play and entertain themselves, happy to watch them make me friends, happy that they can love and embrace others like they are family!

BONUS: when my kids were playing I got to catch up with a couple of church friends from high school. A rare and fun reunion.

Another day at a Mops play date the girls played with some new friends at a Mom’s house. They had a picnic together, made a craft, swung from a willow tree, and imagined together. Another friend made!

On the 4th of July we met up with a new family that is joining our church from Texas. We went to a parade with them, the girls learned rock- paper-scissors, we had lunch and again made great friends!

In the end these friends we may see yearly, frequently or maybe never again but I am proud of them for embracing others.



Norah turns S I X


Dear Norah,

Today is the day that you have been counting down to for quite some time. Yesterday you wanted to do everything fast: eat fast, go to bed quickly just so your birthday would come faster.  You are just so excited!

Norah you have grown up so much this past year! You went from saying sounds to reading books. You have grown taller and lost your first tooth.  You ask so many questions and want to know the answers.

God had given you such a spirit of generosity and compassion for others.  When a sibling is sad over not getting something you most likely will share what you have to make them feel better!


You love love love your baby sister Amelia. You love to hold her and give her kisses. You have even gotten up early so you can have time to hold her before your siblings get up. ( which is saying something because you like to sleep in.)

Your imagination is the best! You love to think of things to play. This summer you created a fort inbetween some pine trees that had entertained you and others for hours. You sing lots and can memorize song so fast.

You love to eat cherry tomatoes, watermelon, and anything bread like. Legos and American girl Dolls are are your favorite thing to play in the house, while you listen to audio books with your sister.

You are my super passionate, know-what-you-want-girl. God has blessed our family with you life and I am so thankful. We love you so much Norah Reagan!

Lots of Love,



Amelia’s Birth Story- Part 2

We left off our story at arriving to the birthing floor and after they checked me they quickly confirmed that my water had broke. (Read Part 1 here) I was admitted and we were on our way. The floor in general was a bit under staffed and 5 women all went into labor within an hour.  They started to call in their on call nurses and the floor became a pretty busy place in the middle of the night.

God’s blessing #4- My labor nurse named Candise.

My labor nurse drove in to work from about an hour away and did my exam at about 11. I told her my birth plan of going natural and she said that ,” you’ve got the right nurse for a natural birth.” After they check me and I was only dialated to two a two and my contractions were only about 15-20 minutes apart.  They did a fetal heart check and everything looked good.

We decided to start walking the hallways to get this labor going. I really felt pretty good at this point and we walked almost 2 miles on that unit.

We went back into our room at about 1:00. They checked me and I was slowly progressing and was at 3. They started me on a slow drip with some pictosin to help progress labor. Then I got to go and sit in the tub.

Since there was no rest for the weary this night , Chris took a brief nap on the couch. I was breathing through some stronger contractions. At around 3:00 am I was starting to get louder in my contractions and Candise came to check on me. I told her I needed to get out of the tub and was getting pretty uncomfortable.

We had told them that I go pretty fast and so they thought this was showtime. Bless their hearts! They had gotten everything ready and woke up the doctor checked me and I was only between a 5 and a 6.

Deflating…… everyone left…. and I thought, “wow I’m tired!!!” Now the room was empty again except for Candise , Chris and me.

Candise helped me get into different positions using: the excercise ball, this inflatable peanut ball, leaning up against the bed and sitting on the toilet. She was amazing and encouraging! At this point I was still able to breath through contractions and focus on my job at hand.

The hours between 3:00 and 5:00 were really a blur. I tried different positions and up until this point was doing this think all natural.  I think they checked me again sometime inbetween and thought I had another sac of water that was slowing down labor. I was still only dialated to a 7 or 8 at this point.  I was really exhausted and feeling the pain of labor. I had almost been up for 24 hours and I was done.  During these contractions I started to not be able to focus the pain and my body was locking up and tense.

I asked if I could have some drip IV and they also gave me a fast acting shot.  She asked me if I was feeling like pushing and I said no, but was feeling tons of pain. I was rolled over on my side and felt some relief fast. I was able to breath some though the contractions and not give up. This must have been shortly before 5:00 am. I remember looking up at the clock thinking , “!ive been up for 24 hours … I’m done… this baby is never coming. ”

I was pretty non coherent  at this point.  At this time Candise could tell I was close even though I couldn’t. She asked to check me and said th magical words, ” we are there!” And ” Marisa if you roll over on your back you are going to have this baby!” Everyone came back in th room ! The doctor checked me again and I was at a 10 at 5:15am. I pushed two time and Amelia was born st 5:16 am. Two pushes!!!

God’s blessing #5- The labor felt long but the pushing was short.

I was almost in shock by how fast she came out! They announced it was a girl, chris cut the cord and she was flopped on my chest.

She was beautiful and perfect ! She was 7 pounds 4 ounces and 20.5 inches long of pure JOY!

I was kind of in shock that she was so little, especially since everyone was so concerned about how big this baby was suppose to be.  She came out perfectly formed and so beautiful!

God’s Blessing #6: No stitches needed! Woot woot!

For any mama out there you know that this blessing is a game changer. You can push out a little person and still feel like a normal human. The placenta delivered about 5-7 minutes later. Then I got to nurse Amelia, close my eyes a bit and soak in the newness of this little life.

We called the Grandparents and our own kiddos. Then we were moved later that morning around 7 to the post pardum unit.  We had officially been awake for over 24 hours and I believe we got a chance to sleep before guest started to arrive.  Though we were tired we were anxious to introduce this little sweetie to friends and family.   Later that afternoon I was having a lot of blood clotting and we couldn’t figure out why.

God’s Blessing #7: Being in the hospital with staff that are amazing!!

My nurses and Doctors were amazing. They were so supportive and helpful and finally figured out around 6:00 that I had part of the placenta that was still attached in my uterus.  After that was extracted the bleeding stopped almost immediately as well as the clotting.  After that event I can say that it was smooth sailing.

I can fully and wholeheartedly say that the miracle of birth is something to behold.  I am thankful for the hand of God present before, during, and after Amelia’s birth.  AMEN


Amelia’s Birth Story- Part 1


I’ve tried to write down each of the kids birth story shortly after they are born. Reason being that mommy brain sets in, life marches on and God’s mercy in forgetting some of the pain does happen.

But for as much pain is involved in that delivery room something within me is sad when it is all over. Because those few precious minutes between being pregnant and having a newborn life put on your chest is  like witnessing a miracle. A miracle that only God could create and orchestrate.

If you are not one for birth stories I can tell you the short version: Mom made it and there was a beautiful baby born in the end. If you want to read the long version here is Amelia’s birth story just the way that God had planned

On Thursday June 1st, 2017 we had a pretty normal day. The previous day I went to my 38 week and 5 day check up and hadn’t really progressed that much and didn’t feel any closer.  On Thursday I went to my mops bible study in the morning. I left with lots of friends hoping they wouldn’t see me next week because I would be in the hospital or home with a baby.  We left did some errands and home for the remainder of the day.  When Chris got home from work that night  I told him I was a little nauseous but thought it was also just hunger. He agreed and made a yummy supper for us all. During supper he looked at me and said,” are we going to the hospital tonight? Are we doing this? ” my response was a total no. He then proceeded to fill up his glass of wine a bit more full.  After supper I left the table to go and sit in the rocking chair and suddenly

My water broke at 7 pm.

God blessing #1: Chris was home when I went into labor. 

My water has only really broke with Norah’s labor. It’s not a lot of water but enough to know that I didn’t just lose my bladder control but that something else is in motion here.Plans began to be put in motion.

God’s blessing #2: His perfect timing.

Grandma and Grandpa Maloney were called to come and stay at our house with the kids. Chris’ parents had just got back from the cabin and text that morning about being home and being able to watch the kids if we go to the hospital.

Chris’ adrenaline kids in and did all the random things outside he needed to finish, I finish packing my back and the kids were excited/ start to cry.

Grandma and Grandpa arrive and we start to settle down kids. Leeland is sad because he didn’t realize that he has to stay here instead of go to the hospital with us. Norah is sad too and Chris chats with her out in the porch about the baby.

God’s blessing # 3:  Putting our kids to bed before we leave.

Before Leeland was born and Amelia we got to put our kids to bed and have a normal goodnight. We prayed and calmed fears, gave hugs and kisses and said goodnight.

I started having small contractions maybe 15-20 minutes apart.  And we left for the hospital.  We arrived shortly after 10:00 pm.

We entered through the ER and were brought up to the labor and delivery floor. When we checked in they said they would do an exam to see if my water did break and if I would be staying here tonight. Chris’ response was , “She’s staying!” I don’t really do that thing were we go to the hospital and it’s a false alarm. When we go to the hospital we know that this baby is going to come!


Two Lost Teeth

Usually naptimes are pretty uneventful. I try to pass out in the chair with Amelia and the kids upstairs play quietly in their rooms.  

This nap time, however, ended with crying and much excitement. Lillian came with her loose tooth in her hand followed by crying Norah with her loose tooth in her hand. 

Lillian was twisting her very very loose tooth and it came out. Then Norah wanted to show Lillian how loose her tooth was and out hers came as well. 

This is Lillian’s 5th tooth lost and Norah’s first! I am guessing it will probably not be the first time in those girls lives that they experience something at the same time. Here is to sisters and all the moments that they share- good , bad, funny, and sometimes a little painful. 


Amelia {month 1}

Dear Amelia Joy,

Today you are one month old. I have said I don’t really know where June went this year . But then I just look down at you and know it was spent snuggling, caring and watching you grow. 

You are a summer baby. You have wore newborn onesies, bare feet and light blankets wherever you go. 

You have met so many friends and family! Your siblings still fight over who’s turn it is to hold you.  Everyone loves your name. People comment on your hair, and clear skin and how little you still are.

You have traveled to the berry patch, bible study, the spray park, play dates, church, Fairmont, the doctors and many more places in the van.  

You are my fourth baby and I have been enjoying this month so much.  


Your Mama

Funny Kid Quotes, leeland

Leelands running commentary

We missed Leeland while we were at the hospital about a month ago.We told him how quiet it was and that we missed all his words. We knew that he would have lots of things to say about the new baby after she was born. Here are a couple of ones that stuck out and I could remember!

  • After calling the kids from the hospital and telling them they had a baby sister Leeland cries and says, ” But I wanted a brother!”
  • After Grandma Wilken arrives in the hospital room Leeland rushes over to Grandma to tell her the news  of his new sister but forgets her name and says, ” Grandma, grandma…. it’s a ….it’s a … we have another one.”
  • After seeing her umbilical cord Leeland says, “What’s that thing sticking out of her tummy?”
  • While swinging he said, “Amelia is my favorite of all babies .”
  • After her umbilical cord falls off Leeland says, ” oh her plug is out.”
  • When his feet fell asleep the other day he said, ” mom I think my feet slept too long.”

Leeland you are so full of life and words. I have been telling people that since you didn’t get a brother you have now turned into two boys at once: double the energy, double the loudness, double the fun. Sort of like those old double mint gum commercials. But we love you  so much and all your words !


When the cousins came

One of my favorite books children’s book is called When the relatives came by Cynthia Rylant

This is a delightful story about how aunts and uncles and cousins all travel in one big station wagon from Virginia. They fill the house with laughter, hugs, and fun!

This week my sister Molly and her 3 kids came to stay at our house from Monday nap time to Wednesday nap time( read here blog post here) . That is 7 kids 7 and younger in one space.  We had our own little version of when the relatives came.

Here are a few things we did when the cousins came.


  • Played with indoor toys: dollhouse, bug trucks, lego cars, etc….
  • Reading books in the shade
  • Crying
  • Girls playing Laura Ingalls Wilder
  • Random people getting hurt
  • More crying
  • Henry decided that he didn’t like Molly holding Amelia
  • Spotting hot air balloons
  • Went for a walk in the field.( Chris mowed in walking paths)
  • Had watermelon for dessert
  • Fed chickens watermelon scraps
  • girl sleepover with Anne in their room


  • Meet more cousins and aunts in the park to watch a play ( Read Ashley’s Blog post here)
  • Eat a picnic by the park’s flower beds
  • Celebrate Darin’s 16th birthday
  • Try not to lose children in the sunken garden
  • Laugh, smile and be oh so happy for family
  • Go swimming in the indoor pool
  • Meet cousin Ross- bonus helper at the pool
  • Swim, warm up in towels, rebound, swim some more
  • Confuse Henry about who is mother is (Darn those sisters they all look alike)
  • Snack time
  • Naps in car rides home
  • Transition video for the tired
  • More indoor playing
  • The Anne and Norah put on a play.
  • Playing on the swing set and doing trains down the slide
  • Put REALLY tired children and parents to bed


  • Catch up day
  • Quiet self play indoors
  • Kickball game with Aunt Molly
  • Over an hour of the girls playing baby dolls and house
  • Boys were wearing fire hats and playing with cars!
  • Lunch
  •  & Goodbyes

I texted my sister  after she left that these days are really hard as a mom ( the crying,  the feeding, the whining , the hurts and the fights) but they are the best( everything else:)!!


3 Weeks old

Amelia is three weeks old today!

We have enjoyed every day of her life. It is a blessing from God! 

She is starting to be more awake and look at the people that are holding her. The sleepy newborn honeymoon stage is not as prevelant.

At her two week appointment she weighed 8 pounds. 

The kids like talking about all her firsts: going to church, seeing a train, going to the pancake house, having a bath at home, wearing a specific outfit! 

She also had newborn photos done in Monday! Cute pictures to come!!!

At three weeks Amelia is so much apart of our lives and it’s hard to remember life before her. We give thanks to God for this sweet girl !


First Bath

The kids were so excited to have Amelia have her first bath at home. I kept reminding them that babies usually cry and don’t really care for baths. Plus we were waiting for her umbilical cord to fall off.  When she was two weeks old it did fall off . Leeland told us, “that her plug fell off!”

Monday we were going to do newborn pictures with Amelia and so the kids helped me do her first bath. Lillian and Norah helped photograph and take video. Leeland wanted to brush her hair.

Amelia did pretty good . She cried some but calmed down after a bit. It was fun to see her fluffy hair poof up after her bath!