Friday, March 9, 2012

Banana-Breath has Teeth!

This has been a big week for this little Dummel clan. Last Wednesday, February 29, 2012, Jojo turned 6 months old! So of course, we had to celebrate!

I can't believe our precious boy is a 1/2 year old already!!!

This cake was delicious! I found a little bakery run by two little old ladies just a few blocks from our house. They were excited to be a part of our celebration. So sweet!

Daddy's little Yankee fan!

Upon turning 6 months, Jojo decided it was time to be a big boy. On Friday, he sat up for the first time, and Saturday, he started solid food! We decided to forgo cereal, and start with bananas. He did really well. He still seems perplexed by the texture and flavor, but it's a start. I have a feeling he'll be demanding something more hearty soon, especially since we just discovered two tiny teeth poking through his bottom gums on Tuesday! He was a wee bit fussy last week, but I assumed it was the 6 month growth spurt. I had no idea he was teething! He's such a trooper!

The song "You Are My Sunshine" has taken on a whole new meaning for me. How could I not have constant sunshine with this sweet face in my life everyday?!

Friday, December 23, 2011

Christmas Greetings: Reflections of 2011

2011 was a year of changes for us! I would have liked to send out Christmas letters, but I'm proud of myself for just getting the gifts bought and wrapped!

This time last year, we could have never imagined what was to come.  We had a wonderful time at Christmas, but I do remember feeling just a little under the weather.

Christmas 2010

I had just enrolled in grad school with the goal of earning my Masters of Arts in Counseling, I was working as an office manager at IUPUI, and Dustin was working the second-third shift at Fastenal. We didn't see eachother much because of our opposite schedules, but we did what we had to do to make it work!

The Sunday after Christmas, we found out that Matt and Liz Beavers were expecting! I was so excited for them, but my heart ached, because although we didn't plan to have children for several more years, I wanted the same for us. I was pretty nauseous that day, but though I hoped, I doubted it was actually morning sickness. Afterall, we weren't trying; I had just committed to grad school!

The next morning, I decided to take a pregnancy test while Dustin was still sleeping. I figured it would be negative, so I didn't want to wake him up...but two pink lines later, I was yelling for him to come see what I saw! I couldn't believe it. Could we really have a sweet little peanut on the way?! We call Josiah our "God baby", because He came in the LORD's perfect timing.  

The doctor confirmed that I was indeed pregnant a few weeks later, and we were off to tell our families. We gave Paula a mug that says, "Grandma's my name and spoiling's my game" (or something to that effect) when everyone gathered for the Dummel Family January birthday party. The next day, we gave my mom a similar mug and my dad a grandpa's t-shirt. Both families erupted in cheers. There was lots of hugging and tears. Such a happy time!

Between work and morning sickness, my classes were tougher than usual. Fortunately, my boss allowed me to take some time off. I ended the semester with an A and a B-...not the best, but I'll take it!

Dustin earned two promotions at Fastenal during that time. I'm so proud of his work ethic! His second promotion was a supervisor position on the day shift! Praise Jesus!!!

When we realized we'd be bringing a baby into the world, we crunched the numbers and decided it would be best to move out of the city and hopefully become homeowners. The process was somewhat painful, but ended well. After placing offers on two houses in Plainfield, we were so disappointed that neither worked out. However, we found our little gem in Danville, and we couldn't be happier. It is perfect for our little family! Thanks to our friends and family, we were able to get moved in and the entire house painted within the first week! Thank you, Kevin, Daena, Blake, Blair, Bree, Denny, Paula, Devin, Mom, Dad, Lainer, Kalley, Sam, Noel, and Jamie!!! It's been awhile...I hope I didn't miss anyone!

I finished working at IUPUI at the end of the Spring semester after training my replacement, Tamara, who became one of my best friends in the process! The rest of the summer, I spent my time settling into our house (we still have a few packed boxes, haha) and decorating the nursery. I think it turned out pretty well! Besides the furniture and paint, Josiah's room decor only cost about $30...I was a garage sale junkie! I went garage saling up to 39 weeks :) I'm pretty sure people thought I was crazy. Looking back, I can see why...I was huge!

I was so worn out after painting for 8 hours, but the results were worth it!

Pillowy Wall Decor from Garage Sale :)

Woah! I can't believe my stomach was that big! No wonder I was uncomfortable!

On August 30, at 10:52pm, we welcomed Josiah Everett Dummel into the world!

I love those little feet!

I will never forget how I felt when they put him on my chest. Pure bliss! Josiah was 8lb 4oz and only 19in long. We're still a little shocked at how short he was! :)

Because of his elevated temperature and rapid breathing, Josiah was taken away to the NICU almost immediately. It was such a scary time.

Poor baby had an IV :(

We ended up having to stay at Methodist hospital for 5 days, but it felt so much longer! In the end, the problems were unexplained, and left as quickly as they came. Things did not go at all like we hoped, but we brought home a healthy baby boy, and we couldn't ask for anything more!

Since then, we have just been soaking him up and trying to be the best parents we can be. We learn more and more each day. Josiah is incredibly precious. He is very cheery; his chubby cheek smiles are like rays of sunshine on even the gloomiest winter days!

We'd be lying if we said being parents hasn't been a challenge, but it is one we are very grateful for and one that will only make us better. 

This year has not been without its struggles, but it lead us to where are now, and that is a very blessed place! We love our home, being a little family, and living a simple life loving eachother. As we celebrate the birth of our Saviour, we are so thankful for His loving sacrifice for our salvation and His constant provision in our daily lives! We are excited to see where the LORD will lead us in the coming year. 

We hope that you have a blessed Christmas and a very happy 2012!

Dustin, Felisha, and Josiah :)     

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

A Little Christmas Shopping

When I woke up this morning, I decided to pack up the baby and go get his last Christmas present. I'm really excited to celebrate Christmas this year. There's just something about having a baby that makes this time of year so much more exciting.

On the way to the store, I stopped at Starbucks. They sent me a postcard for a free drink on my birthday! So, of course, I got a delicious drink that I would never have bought otherwise. My venti gingerbread latte (decaf and dairy free, since little man's tummy is so sensitive) would have cost me $5.83...yikes! What a good treat :)

When I got to the Family Christian Bookstore, the older lady at the door practically yelled, "Hey! How are you and your little shopping buddy doing?!" Even without a baby on my arm, her volume would have been a little much. I smiled and quietly responded, "Well, he's sleeping, so I'm good." Obviously not taking the hint, she yells, "He's sleeping; so you're doing great, huh?!" Not for long, lady. Not for long. Oh well, it made me chuckle. He woke up, but I only had to get one thing, so it was no big deal.

When we knew we'd be together for the long haul, Dustin and I decided that we didn't want our Christmases to be so commercial as the standard American holiday. Along that line, there won't be any Santa in our house, and last year we heard of someone only giving each of their children three gifts, and we thought that sounded great! The concept is that three gifts were good enough for Jesus, so that's good enough for our kids. It might seem a little corny, but that wouldn't be the first corny thing we've ever done :) Although that was the original concept, it was really appealing to us because we had decided long before not to allow ourselves to become materialistic at Christmas or otherwise. We want to give to people who actually have needs, rather than continue to fill our house with more stuff!

Now that we have a baby, we realize that this will likely be a challenge at times (buying gifts for Josiah is so fun!), but it also comes with more benefits. For instance, limiting ourselves to buying three gifts means that each one is thought out and meaningful to our child. It also cuts down on time spent in stores. Knowing exactly what we're going to buy allows us to "get in and get out" or to simply order gifts online. I love getting packages in the mail, even if they aren't for me!

I'm so excited about Josiah's three gifts. Waiting until Christmas to give them to him is so hard!

Thursday, December 1, 2011

The Wonder

It's hard to believe that Josiah is already 3 months old. You hear parents say that kind of thing all the time, so it sounds like a broken record, but once you've had a child, you realize just how much wonder is in that kind of statement.

Seriously, the days pass by so quickly, and I no longer long for what comes next. I want to soak up this moment. Life is NOW.

Josiah is so sweet. I find myself telling people he's an easy baby, but when I really look at what people think that means, I realize he's not. Josiah is a challenging baby. He is passionate and knows what he wants. I want to be like him. 3 months old and already an inspiration!

When he cries, he cries hard and loud until I finally determine what he needs (and it's getting easier!). When he eats, he indulges. When he's happy or excited, the smiles not only take over his face, but also his whole body. He squirms and squeals with delight. When was the last time you wiggled with excitement without regard for who saw?

I love this baby so much. I hope that I can encourage him to remain passionate and not stifle himself because he's afraid of what people might think. Josiah came on God's timing, and I know he is meant for great things. He challenges me every day, and for that, I am grateful.

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Living the Dream

Lately, when someone asks me how I'm doing, I often tell them "I'm living the dream."  For the first time in my life, I don't long to be something more than I am.  I LOVE my life.  I am a wife and mother, and as I anticipated for all those years, this is exactly what I am supposed to be. 

It amazes me how much motherhood changes a woman immediately.  Suddenly, I don't think of my own needs as the primary issue in my life.  I think that's why I'm so happy.  All day, I think of my baby boy and my husband.  Their needs are my life, and I love doing everything I can for them. 

I have found my balance, because I have become the person my heart always longed to be.  To anyone who is reading this post, I hope that you listen to your heart and let God make your dreams happen, no matter how impossible they may seem.  He put them there, and He'll bring them to fruition if you surrender your heart to Him.  Don't misunderstand; I'm not saying this is easy.  Getting to this place in my life was not simple.  There were obstacles and heartache that I can't begin to describe, but I kept looking to Jesus.  That's the key.

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Circus Clowns & Other Oddities

Well, this blog wouldn’t be a true reflection of me if it didn’t suffer from inconsistency.  So, in that regard, well done, blog. Well done.

I won’t try to catch you up on everything that’s happened.  If you’re reading this, I’m assuming you know at least some of the recent events in my life, and I’ll likely reflect upon those things in the future.  It wouldn’t be like me to reveal everything I’ve thought or felt in the last four or five months, anyway.  I try to be an open book when asked, but I’ve never been generous with pieces of me, otherwise.  

I do want to note the dreams that I’ve been having.  Bizarre is the best word I can come up with to describe them.  Let’s just say that if I wrote them down in detail, I’d be the Lady Gaga of fiction.  You’d find me strange, entertaining, and at times, a little frightening.  Last night, my dreams involved circus clowns, betrayal, and overall emotional adjustment.  Let’s just leave it there…  I would like to take this moment to thank pregnancy hormones for making my life more interesting.

One major thing that happened to me in the recent past was a challenge given by some loved ones to share more of my true self.  So that got me thinking…who would I be sharing?  Are we who we will be at birth, or is it more complicated than that?  My recent studies in psychology, in particular, have told a story that starts with a foundation given to us at birth and throughout childhood by our parents.  This foundation, like any good house, is built upon with various building materials.  In this metaphor, each experience and relationship throughout our lives are those building materials.  

What I’ve come to realize is that my confusion over what my house looked like didn’t stem from a lack of personality on my part.  It had more to do with my years of attempting to distract everyone around me from the truth of who I am.  The house of my life could hardly be seen through the haze of yard ornaments I had constructed and clumsily placed.  This little shabby chic cottage was unrecognizable past the strange collection of lights and whistles, traffic signs, and Astroturf in the front yard.

Well, this year, I’ve allowed all those things to be stripped away, slowly letting more of me to be known by, not only everyone else, but most importantly myself.  It’s been a scary process that I could never fully describe, and the peace of knowing who I really am is truly indescribable.  BUT the pain of opening the deepest parts of my heart, allowing my Father in to delicately heal each of my wounds, is a pain I would gladly wish upon each and every one of you.  There is always hope of healing and reconciliation if you are willing to allow Jesus Christ to take over every part of you, including those parts you’ve spent years hiding away.

So now, when you look at my little house, you’ll begin to see me.  I’m still shy about a lot of who I am, especially when I’m looking inward.  However, when I look up at my Builder, the One who not only put me together, but also the One that reminds me daily of who I am, THAT is when you will see me in my truest form.  Despite all of my oddities and shortcomings, you will see His light shining throughout all of my walls and out of these little rickety windows.  His glory reflected throughout my halls is the most beauty you will ever see in me.  So for His sake, for mine and yours, I’m trying to look to Him more and more consistently.  Thank You, Jesus, for reminding me who You intended me to be…a delicate, but well constructed house, who welcomes in a few at a time to share a hospitality made of Your fierce love, and who wears Your beautiful creativity on my walls, in my closets, and even on the exterior of my odd frame.  May I reflect You more each day.

Tuesday, March 15, 2011


I'm feeling really emotional right the good way!  As I sit here researching for my Human and Family Development class, I'm feeling my baby move in my womb.  This experience is a current manifestation of my future.  I cannot wait to meet my precious child.  I've wanted to be his mother for as long as I can remember.  Love for him has been building so much over the years, and I finally feel his life within me. 

I'm studying to get my Master of Arts in Counseling Degree, because I want to follow my dreams, so that my son will follow his.  Of course, at times, I get scared that I won't be able to pull all of this off, but I won't let that stop me.  My dad once told me to live the life I hope my children will, so I'm following the call of the Holy Spirit.  I'm trying each day to listen to the LORD, love Him with all that I am, and love the people He puts in my life.  That now includes my son.  Praise God from whom ALL blessings flow!