Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Meet Ella Kate!

I boarded a plane early on Dec. 9th, so excited to meet my new grand daughter who was going to be born that day!  But in true American Airlines fashion, we sat at the gate for an extra hour while a defective generator got fixed. It all worked out, I didn't miss my connection at DFW, and I was on my way to Nashville! I actually read an entire book, Heaven is for Real, on my flight. FABULOUS book and I recommend it to everyone to read!

Natalie's friend, Anna Redmon, picked me up at the airport and off we went to the hospital.  I can't tell you how good it was to see Natalie and David!  She did so well with her labor ~ I was so proud of her!  

Around 7 p.m., Baby Ella Kate Leonard entered the world and she was beautiful!  I got to witness her being born and it was a memory that I'll always cherish.  
Her Daddy was in love!
Ella Kate weighed in at 8 lbs. 4 oz. and was 20 1/2" long.  Chubby little thing!
Finally, Natalie got to relax and just enjoy her little baby girl!

Here's Natalie with her Tulsa-native doctor, Dr. Roop.

Then Ella Kate got to meet the grandparents!  
Her Nana, Carla Leonard...
Her Pops, Rob Leonard ...
her Aunt Emily... 
Her Aunt Amy and Uncle Alex...
and her GIGI!!!!!!!!
I think I could've just looked at that angel girl forever!  She stole my heart!

Two days later she got to go home!  It was a first time for everything!  First time to see her sweet nursery ~
First time to get a bath at home ~ which, by the way, she slept through!!
~ and the first time to dance with her daddy!

She will forever be our favorite Christmas blessing!

Ella Kate would just stare at the pretty Christmas tree lights.  Sweetness!

Unfortunately, Ella Kate was borderline jaundice, so for the first 6 days of her little life, she had to have blood drawn to monitor her billyrubin levels.  So each morning, off we went to the Medical Center to prick her little foot.

It never was severe enough to do the "tanning bed" ~ so thankful for that! She's fine now and can finally stop giving blood every day!

She's such a good baby.  She loves to sleep ~ sometimes making it hard to wake her up to eat!  For a while, she had her days and nights mixed up.  So after a sleepless night, she and her mama finally got some shut-eye for a few hours. Aaaah, life as a new mommy!
I miss that little baby girl so much, but we'll be together for Christmas!  So here's one more picture..until we meet again!

Merry Christmas!
Love, Gigi

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

It's Almost Gigi Time Again!

I can't think of anything that has brought me more joy in life than being a Gigi to Ms. Harper.  I knew I'd love that little sweetie, but I had no idea how deep that love would be.  I remember when Lindsey and Brian told us we were going to be grandparents, it just felt surreal.  I was too young for that role (or so I thought) and didn't have a clue what it even meant.

But once I met that little bundle of love, my life changed forever.  Now I can't even imagine how empty my life must've been without her!! She is truly my little buddy and I love her with my entire heart.

And then came the news that Natalie and David were expecting their first baby.  Oh my gosh ~ Here we go again!  Now I had a reference point as to how much joy was about to come into our family.  It was almost overwhelming to think that we were going to be grandparents again!  What a blessing!

Then the realization that 10 hours of travel would separate me from my new grand baby set in and it was almost too much to think about.  I couldn't imagine being so far away from Harper.  I really look forward to our weekends together.  So how in the world will I handle being so far away from Baby #2?

It's been so different not being with Natalie as she went through most of her pregnancy.  I cherish the times we were together this past fall.  She is such a beautiful pregnant mama, inside and out.  I miss her and miss that I didn't get to be more of a part of her journey called pregnancy.

But now here we are ~ less than 2 days away from welcoming little Ella Kate into the world and into our family.  I'm excited beyond words and also a little melancholy because I know that the time with her will be shorter and we won't have that constant together time that I cherish so much with Harper.  Believe me, I will figure out creative ways to spend time with that little sweetie.  I just can't hardly wait to meet her!

So Friday is the big day.  December 9, 2011.  My heart is so full right now and I'm just quietly thanking God for the gift of one more precious child into our family.  I already know that I love her with my entire heart ~

Happy Dreams.

Friday, November 4, 2011

Picture Frenzy

I have a thing about taking pictures.  It is probably one of my most favorite hobbies in the whole wide world.  Not sure why.  But I know that if it's on film a picture, I'll keep that memory forever.  I never want to forget.

So last Sunday after lunch, we headed to Crockett Park in Brentwood, Tennessee.  Our son-in-law, David, had a photo shoot scheduled with some friends but wanted to take pictures of Harper Girl before they arrived.  She was on Day #2 without an afternoon nap and wasn't very cooperative.  However his pictures turned out amazing.  I wish I had them to display on here.  Maybe in another blog.

I also took my fair share of pictures.  Enjoy!

 Sweet Pea
Harper and Lindsey outside Journey Church on Sunday.
 Looking at the tree lights in the Factory!
David and Harper ready for the photo shoot.

David had to keep up with Harper ~ She was on the go constantly!
 This is the historical home at Crockett Park ~ perfect back drop for pictures.
 Harper checked out the pictures Uncle David was taking of her.
"Hmmm ~ How can I get off this porch without Uncle David noticing?"

 Harper and her mama
 This pretty much sums up the end of the photo shoot. 
Nap time coming right up.
One way to keep Harper in one place was to give her an iPhone.  
 Beautiful Natalie
Natalie's picture of Harper turned out so cute!

Hope you enjoyed all of these!  It was a fun day.

Tennessee in the Fall

I thought Fall Break would NEVER come ~ but FINALLY IT DID!!!

Lindsey, Harper, and I drove to Tennessee to spend a long weekend with Natalie and David.   There's no place like Tennessee in the fall.  Oh my gosh.  Beautiful.
We got to see David's office/studio.  That's was fun because I finally have a visual when I hear that he's been recording musicians, etc.  I didn't get a picture of the actual recording studio.  Not sure what I was thinking.
 I LOVE that steal guitar!

Oh yes, Ms. Harper showing her style.

It was frost-on-the-pumpkins-cold when we woke up on Saturday morning.  But by the time we got to the PumpkinFest, it was perfect.
 Harper was dressed as a kitty-cat but it had to keep her coat on so it was a little hard to see.
 I love downtown Franklin in the fall!  
Lindsey, Natalie and Harper ~ and of course, STARBUCKS!  We wish Katie could've been there, too.

The BIG EVENT came on Saturday afternoon.  A baby shower for Natalie and Ella Kate was given by their Nashville family.  It was amazing.  

The hostesses displayed Natalie's pregnancy pictures that David took on the mantle ~ the perfect touch!

Wishes for Ella Kate on the entry table.  Natalie will bind them into a book later.

Oh my gosh! The food! It was spectacular!
Natalie with her BFF hostesses.
 The lavendar-filled sheep was a favorite!

Lindsey and Harper posed in front of a ruffly curtain that Natalie's friend, Karrie, made for Ella Kate's nursery.  It was just stunning!

 Harper and Irabelle became friends ~ They loved climbing on the box.
 Sometimes they just sat there and other times they pounded on the wall.  Behind that door was Irabelle's daddy's recording studio and it had music playing.  They beat out their rhythm on the wall.  SO CUTE!
Aunt Natalie and Ms. Harper
Anna is my inspiration to be tall.  


I hope you're enjoying all these pictures!  Just a few more, I promise!

Elise came all the way from Memphis to help Natalie celebrate!  Her precious little guy, Gabriel, got to come, too!
Summer and Gabriel
 Katie and Karrie
Anna and Natalie

Natalie is truly blessed to have such a strong family of friends in Tennessee.  

I hope you enjoyed the shower with us!