Thursday, January 1, 2015

Fear and Anxiety… and baby #3

Today is one of the first mornings I have sat and nursed my baby and not felt crippled with fear and anxiety. Maybe it’s because it’s a New Year and all things new give me a rush of joy and excitement… Maybe my baby anxiety is finally lifting… either way, I want to soak it up and breathe this moment in deep.

Because look at that sweet face!

This whole third baby thing has been harder then I had ever imagined. It’s been beautiful and joyful and full of grace… but very vey hard.

On our second day home I remember lying on the couch with all three of my kiddos being oh so tired but feeling a rush of joy and thankfulness that this was my life. How precious to be holding a new life, a gift, surrounded by two other precious gifts that loved me and call me Mama.

When Ruby was six days old I woke up feeling incredibly terrible. Bad headache, I was flush and slightly out of it. I tried to fight it during the day but by the afternoon I knew something was wrong. Drew took me to the clinic and they quickly sent us to the ER with blood pressure in the danger zone. I just remember the on call doctor telling me I might have postpartum pre-acclampsia (how do you even spell that and who knew that was even a thing) I was terrified. I fought back tears as my husband quickly drove us to the ER. I wasn’t happy to be back at the Hospital that I had just left!

They ran lots of tests and watched my BP for a few hours as it slowly came down to a non dangerous range. They sent me home really unsure what was happening.


The next four weeks were brutal as my blood pressure stayed high and spiked like this almost daily. When it would spike I would get a headache, shake like crazy, feel horrible, I was flush all over and I felt absolutely out of control and wrecked with fear.  I went to the doctor often and ran every test known to man but no answers came back except for “this happens sometimes after baby… it should go away by the time she is 6 weeks old.”


I didn’t love this answer and I didn’t like feeling out of control or needy. Because I was oh so needy and this was oh so out of my control.

Drew left the country in the middle of this and my house got hit with the stomach bug. Seems like little things but when you’re already struggling with one thing this absolutely did me in.

I knew in this struggle that the Lord had a lesson for me… and I knew so clearly what it was. To recognize my need for Him and to recognize that my life is His.  In my fear and anxiety I had to make peace with the Lord.  I had to face some fears that I didn’t know I had and I had to recognize some serious struggles and sin in my life. Pride being my biggest.

In the middle of this I clung to the Lord. I clung to His word. I clung to his goodness and just knowing that besides my small struggle here on earth that God was still good and He was still in control… and He loved and cared for me.

It has been a sweet time of growing in my trust in Him and recognizing my daily need for Him. More then daily, like every single minute of every single day.

My blood pressure finally resolved itself but it left me with an anxiety and fear that I have never known before. Recognizing that I need Christ more then I ever knew.

And I am thankful for that.

Wednesday, January 8, 2014

We Moved??

Oh yes we did, 5 months ago to be exact! AND that seems CRAZY!! I feel like we are just now finally getting settled! Whew! Next time we move I think I am going to find a house that is move in ready! Ripping up and laying new floors is a lot of work! Like moving and making a house your home isn't a ton of work… we just wanted to make it even harder! But in the words of Elsa (you know the sister from Frozen) the past is in the past and I'm too afraid to grieve… let it go… let it go! 


I have been meaning to post some before and afters but I didn't want to do it when Christmas was up and LETS BE HONEST my house was pretty much a disaster from November to… well today. The rest of the house still is so you won't see those posted here.. but soon!!

First of all HUGE shout out to everyone who came and helped us! Especially our family… couldn't have done those floors without you!!!!

The house still has some work to be done. All the trim and doors are going to be painted, I have lots of things I want to hang on the wall (works in progress) I am painting the dresser under the TV… the list goes on and on! BUT If I didn't take these now I don't think I ever would!

So here it is our incredibly simple and THRIFTY house. Couches are all hand me downs, dresser I got for pennies, kitchen table from an awesome couple from our church in PTown… Cute frames over fireplace and entry way are my grandfathers old garage door windows… the list goes on! Who needs new things, right??

Sorry for the bad quality of photos as well! I just took screen shots from what was posted online of the house because I forgot to take before photos ;)

What we did:
-Ripped up all carpet and linoleum and layer new hardwood flooring throughout the house… with the help of friends and family!
-Obviously Painted! Its Revere Putter by Benjamin Moore… awesome mix of Grey and Tan… love this color!
-Painted all the cabinets & did new knobs in the kitchen… you can't tell but it was actually a yellowy white… it is all STARK white now.
-New Fridge
-Ran out of $$ for the countertops but I am learning to love it… chipping off and all!
-Umm new chandelier that I got for a steal from Lowes… seriously, Lowes??
-Painted to doors and woodwork

Thursday, August 1, 2013

Bathroom Remodel for Mom & Dad!

July has been a BUSY month!

In the middle of the month Drew and I flew to SF to shoot a wedding and to pack up all of our stuff to move to Oklahoma! We had a great trip and enjoyed a little time in our favorite place without the kiddos! We went to check out Epic Church in San Francisco on Sunday Morning because Ben and Tim have given us some great advice on our future church plant! We were very blessed to hear Tim Milner speak on the Kingdom!

After church we started walking to the Ball Park to see if we could snag some tickets once the game started! BUT we happened upon some super sweet people who gave us two extra tickets and who happened to be from EDMOND, OK?!? Even though our Giants lost it was still a super fun game!

When I flew back my mom went on a trip to Chicago to visit her family so my sister and I decided to surprise her with a bathroom makeover! We know she's wanted to change her super hip early 90's wallpaper for a while but didn't know how or really what to do. We didn't know what our plan was either but we started scratching away at the wallpaper and 4 days later... {yes FOUR DAYS} we finally had bare walls ready to texture {well patch and then texture... taking down wall paper is not pretty people}! After 97 trips to Lowe's we finally decided on a paint color... Urban Sunrise.
Anyways below are some before and afters! We still need to add some wall decor and are going to put in flooring but I'd say we've definitely moved into the 21st Century!!

Below are some remodel outtakes... 

It got a little ugly...

The tile options!

Moving on to our SF trip!

At our favorite Sushi place in Pacifica! 

Organizing all our "crap" for the movers to come! 

Shooting our Wedding 

Of course I had to have a Cako while in SF! Also tried a new awesome restaurant in SF call the Green Chile's a must try! 

Cheering on our Giants! 

Skype date with my babes! 

We pretty much ate the whole trip! 3 Zero Cafe in Half Moon Bay! 

We acted like tourist with our friends Joe & Megan in the Haight! 

Signing the Star Spangled Banner on our way to the Airport {what is Spangled??}

Got to have dinner with "MY GIRL LINDS!" {what Carsyn calls her}

When we got back to The Falls Carsyn, Drew and I went and got our hair cut by my awesome pal Keyli! Carsyn has only had two haircuts in her itty bitty lifetime! I think she is pretty stinking cute! 

I was so happy to have a makeover! My roots were about 4 inches long! Yikes! 

I am SUPER excited to for our next post which is HOPEFULLY the signing of our new house!! 

Sunday, July 14, 2013

Buying a House and an Engagement!

Ok here is my effort at keeping this blog up to date! It has been a VERY VERY busy week! One of the busiest! Since last Sunday we have looked at at least 25 houses and most of them with my children... that is at least 12-13 hours of looking at houses with my 2 and 4 year old. In all honesty they were pretty awesome... chocolate milk and donuts go a long way!

We found a house we loved... it was move in ready and while we were signing papers for an offer the other realtor  called and someone had made an offer and the seller accepted! Back to square one on Wednesday! Thursday we looked at 7 more houses and some that we had seen before. We actually chose one that we had seen before that was way under our budget! That's a great thing huh!? Hopefully we can add some of our own personal touches to the house and make it our own!

I am just excited to have a home! Living out of suitcases for 7+ months has been more then trying on us. But we have loved being closer to family. Carsyn has made some sweet friends and got to go to school at the church I grew up in. It has been so much fun reconnecting with old friends and getting to see the joy of both of our parents in seeing their grandkids so much!

Also in the last two weeks my baby sister got engaged!! I cannot believe that she is old enough to get married but she is almost 23... I was pregnant with Carsyn at 23 so I guess I need to let her grow up ;)
She found a great guy that loves her to pieces... I am so excited for them! Carsyn is most excited about being her flower girl and being there to help her with her dress all day ;))

This past weekend we all (my whole family) got together to celebrate my baby sister and her engagement! See photos below...

My sister and her boo

The whole family!

Aren't my parents so lucky!?

redoing an old photo ;)

me and my babes... love every photo I can get with them!

The kids checking out the new house... still not ours until August 8th.

20 houses down... 20 more to go!

my AWESOME sis in law looked and houses with me and took notes about every single house!

Saturday, July 6, 2013

We’re moving to Oklahoma… Say What???

 The Cunningham's are on the Move!

Drew and I moved to the Beautiful Bay Area a little over 6 years ago this summer. We were newly married and ready and excited to start a new adventure together. It only took a few weeks for me to fall head over hills with the area and to begin to feel at home… (I am sure all of my Bay Area friends can relate). It's a place that steals your heart… and when you leave you feel the constant tug to come back home… even when we would go on vacation.

Throughout our time in the Bay Area we had a lot of friends move away and I always felt so sad for them…that they had to go somewhere else… to leave this amazing place. How could you ever leave? Thankfully Drew and I both have the same love for the Bay Area and to us… this is Home. I imagine us sitting on our back porch in 60 years sipping coffee, watching the sun go down on the Pacific with complete peace knowing that we followed our dream and made living in this beautiful (but super expensive) place work.

About a year and a half ago the Lord started to pull on both Drew and I’s hearts that it was time for a change and Drew began to fill a very clear call to be a lead Pastor. I always knew that Drew had this in him… he just didn’t know it yet ;) Over the course of that year we prayed, we asked, we applied for jobs and sought the counsel of many friends, family and mentors. The call that he had for us became very clear… to church plant.

We have started that journey and are starting to dream up what that is going to look like. Our hope and prayer is that Santa Cruz, CA is the place that we will start this church. We initially planned to move there in August (one month from now) but Drew has been given the opportunity to join an awesome staff for a handful of years in Oklahoma where he will get to serve under one of the greatest (in our opinion) and most successful staff/pastor teams in the country. We are super excited about taking this position & investing here in the OKC/Edmond area! 

What does that mean for my business? I will definitely scale back on my CA portrait clients and will start doing some portrait clients in the Oklahoma City/ Edmond Area and Wichita Falls, TX area. As far as Weddings in San Francisco I will become a “Destination Photographer” for the Bay Area. I plan to do about 6 weddings there each year…flying back 16 times a year with two babies seems impossible… 6 I can handle! I am already starting to book weddings for 2014 so if you are thinking about booking me for your wedding photographer for 2014… reach out now!

Oklahoma City and Wichita Falls friends I am excited to start shooting more Weddings and Portrait in the area!

I am also really excited to start blogging again! I want to keep an account of these years and I think blogging will help bc we all know how fast time goes by!  I am so excited to get to live close to both of the kiddos grandparents {also known as our Parents ;)} and to reconnect with some of my sweet college friends!!

Today we are hitting the ground running house hunting so if anyone has any tips for us in the  OKC/Edmond area... please send them our way!!