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.