Thursday, December 29, 2011

'Happy' Holidays...

Hi all.  Forgive me for not writing much in the last few's been a rough few weeks to say the least.  After a hard life long battle with Cystic Fibrosis, Justin (my husband)'s father passed away on December 15.  He was an exceptional man whom I loved and respected very much.  He was such a giver, particularly to his church and from the first moment I met him, just over 5 years ago, he made me feel like family.  I will never forget the family dinners, vacations and holidays with this kind-hearted man.  Ronald Wade Skidmore will forever hold a special place in my heart.

He was a pastor almost all his life and a darn good one too.  He had been getting weaker over the last 2 months after Annaliese was born.  But because all his life he had bounced back and shocked doctors every time before, we didn't expect the worst case scenario to happen this time.  He lived a very fulfilled life and was even able to marry both of his sons and hold his first grandchild.  We're all very lucky to have known him and to be a part of his life and now we have a guardian angel looking over us. R.I.P. "dad".

Ron's first time holding Anna
Ron and I Christmas 2010
Father's Day 2009
<Justin, Ron, Ashley>

It really makes you stop and think of how precious life really is.  Having my daughter has really opened my eyes to so much reality.  It's amazing how much strength this little 2 month old girl has brought to Justin and I through all of this.  As young and tiny as she is, she is our rock.

Hope all of you had a wonderful Christmas with your loved ones.  It IS really important to cherish every moment with the ones you love.

Thursday, December 8, 2011

Recipe Worth Trying- Banana Banana Bread

YUM!  Just the thought of this makes me hungry!  

I've made this banana bread quite a few times and enjoyed it every time!  I've even managed to not be stingy and give some away to family too!  Haha!  I was told that they enjoyed it just as much!  It's very moist and sweet and somehow it turns out perfect every time!  I wish I could take credit and call this recipe my own but I couldn't do that.  I give credit where credit is due!  I got this recipe from one of my favorite websites  Take a gander at some of their recipes if you want, but I definitely suggest making this banana bread.  And it's very simple to make too!  My dad even used this recipe, added walnuts and made Banana Nut Bread Muffins!  

Prep Time:
15 Min
Cook Time:
1 Hr 5 Min
Ready In:
1 Hr 20 Min


  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup butter
  • 3/4 cup brown sugar
  • 2 eggs, beaten
  • 2 1/3 cups mashed overripe bananas


  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Lightly grease a 9x5 inch loaf pan.
  2. In a large bowl, combine flour, baking soda and salt. In a separate bowl, cream together butter and brown sugar. Stir in eggs and mashed bananas until well blended. Stir banana mixture into flour mixture; stir just to moisten. Pour batter into prepared loaf pan.
  3. Bake in preheated oven for 60 to 65 minutes, until a toothpick inserted into center of the loaf comes out clean. Let bread cool in pan for 10 minutes, then turn out onto a wire rack.

Tis the season for baking! :) Bon Appetit!

A Moment.

My heart has officially melted...

Words cannot even express how in love I am with our daughter.  My almost 2 month old little lady is showing her "pearly gums" for all the world to see and grinning from ear to ear so much lately and I just melt every time.  I am instantly overcome with tears of love and joy from this little being and I have never been so proud of anything in all my life.  
I have always enjoyed children and babies.  They are little miracles from heaven, even in their worst state. Uncontrollable crying, temper tantrums, messy diapers, messy rooms...but when you see your tiny creation, your gift from God, smile at you or give you a hug and a kiss, it is undeniably the best feeling known to man.  I believe now more than ever, that I was born to be a mommy for I have not been as moved and as passionate about anything else in my 28 years of life.  

The last 2 months have surely been a challenge with random bottomless feedings, adjusting to a non existent sleep schedule, trying to find time to maintain the laundry, dishes, cleaning, bills, cooking AND trying to find time to spend with my husband after his long work day when all we want to do is sleep.  But as times goes on, things do get better and just as everyone with children have always said, "it's worth it".  It truly is!  

Small and Sweet- by Shauna Scott
My little girl so small and sweet, 
Those tiny hands and tiny feet.
Everyday I watch you grow, 
You teach me everything I know.
Such a joy to be around, 
Every smile and every sound.
Number one you will stay, 
Each and every single day.
You changed my life in such good ways,
''Thank You'' is all that I can say.
I love to watch you sleep at night,
Cuddled warm and wrapped up tight.
As I blink the time it flies, 
It breaks my heart to see you cry.
I gave you life, so proud to say,
I'll love you more with every day.
My little girl so small and sweet,
For you my heart, It beats and beats.
I love you Annaliese Marie Skidmore.  I breathe for you.


Monday, December 5, 2011

Sleep? What's that?

*Yaaaaaawn*  Oh good, I mean afternoon.  It technically is 2:50pm on Monday here, but I couldn't confirm that because I have no perception of time right now. Haha!  Little miss Annaliese, at almost 8 weeks old, still seems to have her days and nights mixed up, which I hear is common in babies.  Some nights/days are better than others, but last night was pretty rough.  Preparing for another work week for Justin and knowing that my duty of "operation let daddy sleep and tend to baby" was soon to be in full force by Sunday evening.  So around 7pm I decided to take a little nap and woke up around 10:30pm so that Justin could go to sleep and get up for work the next day. I fed Anna around 11pm and she wanted more.  And then more.  And then spit up cause she couldn't burp. Then was wide awake and wanted to 'play' (for as much as a 2 month old can play)...smiling away.  Then wanted to eat again.  Then was so tired and fighting sleep that she kept herself awake by crying for around 2 hours, and finally around 5am this morning I was able to bounce her to a calming state and then rock her to sleep.  She and I slept on the couch for about 3 hours and then it was time to eat again.  A mother's work is never done!  haha!  

But with all that said, I still wholeheartedly and thoroughly enjoy motherhood and ALL it entails.  I know the first few months are the hardest, especially when it's your first baby.  Everything is new and it takes a lot of adjusting and getting used to the new lifestyle.  We are just so thankful that we are able to have me home with the baby during the day.  Justin and I both plan to return to college in summer 2012 and also try to look for a house.  It's going to be another busy upcoming year but everything is going how we planned it to, so we certainly can't complain.  Time to focus on the now and that is... CHRISTMAS!

Saturday, December 3, 2011

The Long Introduction of Miss Anna

I guess I should introduce you to the recent headliner of the family ~

After getting married on 8/21/10, Justin and I tried right away to conceive, as we had talked about for a few years.  On 2/16/11 I took my first of four positive pregnancy tests (yes I was in disbelief!) and that's when our lives had officially changed as we became aware that our family would grow!  We soon headed to the doctor and heard the sweet heartbeat of our little miracle and then made the announcement to the family and later, our friends.  Our due date was deemed 10/24/11.

We decided to get non medical ultrasound pictures taken at 17 weeks and find out the sex of the baby early.  On 5/22/11 we drove down to Owings Mills, MD and walked into a licensed ultrasound company called My Little Bo Peep and saw the best thing that our eyes had ever seen before.  There was our little baby girl, all ten fingers and ten toes and smiling...yes smiling away!

We kept a hard secret from everyone for a week and on Memorial Day weekend we brought a cake for dessert to a family picnic and the inside was dyed pink to reveal that we were expecting a girl.  It was a great day and I'm glad we decided to do the cake gender surprise.  

My pregnancy fortunately went very well.  I didn't get sick at all, didn't have weird cravings, didn't have bad heart burn, didn't lose too much sleep at night.  It was very enjoyable!  Although sometimes the little miss would kick me all day and all night.  I called her my tiny dancer. :)  

Here's a little proof at 37 weeks...

Here's me at 38 weeks pregnant:

And so it goes... Monday, October 10, 2011, which happened to be Columbus Day (my maiden name is Columbis) this year, I went to bed that night feeling very nauseous and discontent.  I was up throughout the night getting sick, had chills but felt hot...just a very rough night with no sleep.  I called the doctor the next morning, told them my symptoms and because I was 38 weeks pregnant, they wanted me to come in to make sure everything was OK.  Justin had off work because of the holiday the day before, so he took me to the doctor for a last minute appointment at 1:00.  They checked me and said that I was 2-3cm dilated and 90% effaced.  And because I was up the night before getting sick, I was very dehydrated so they sent me to the hospital to get an IV and replenish my fluids.  We arrived at the hospital and I was hooked up to an IV, a baby heart monitor and a contraction monitor by 3:00.  We waited in the room while I was being administered fluids and talked about how crazy it would be if I went into labor that day, because of how much I was already progressing.  The RN that was monitoring me asked me if I was feeling the contractions that were showing up on the monitor.  I told her that I didn't even feel anything.  She then informed me that I was having contractions every 3-5 minutes.  By 5:00 the doctor on staff, Dr. Malloy, came in to check me again and said I had progressed to 5cm dilated and that we were going to have a baby that day!  We were beyond shocked but SO excited!  
I labored for awhile and spoke to a few visitors while I updated facebook of my progress and sent out mass texts to tell everyone that Annaliese was going to be arriving shortly.  They broke my water probably around 7:30 and right away the contractions became unbearable, so I received the epidural.  By 8:45 I was 10cm dilated and it was time to push!  They prepped me for delivery and from 9:00-10:00 I pushed with all my much as I could with not having any food that day and no sleep the night before.  And finally with a little help from the doctor, Anna arrived at 10:02pm.  The most beautiful moment of my life...our lives.
This is our pride and joy, Annaliese Marie Skidmore.
She was born 13 days early, on a full moon - October 11, 2011 at 10:02pm.  Weighing in at only 5lbs 15.2oz and 19 1/4 inches long.  I believe she was the smallest baby I had ever held.  Mommy thanked her. (wink wink)  

So that's how it all went down, in a nutshell.  It was by far the best day of our lives. Annaliese has been and will continue to be a blessing for us and for both of our families.  We look forward to every day with her and to see her grow.  

Gotta Start Somewhere...

So... here's the scoop.  I've wanted to start a blog for quite awhile now but never truly felt the inspiration to do so...until I became a mom. I've always enjoyed writing and from what people have told me throughout the years, I have a knack for it too!  We'll see how it goes.  I'm creating this blog so that our friends and family from across the miles can see how we are doing and keep updated on our life events and to watch our little girl grow.  

Here's to blogging!  Cheers! 

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