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Thursday, January 30, 2014

what i'm loving...thursday?

I had every intention of being a little nostalgic of my early blogging days and making this a "what I'm loving Wednesday" post...but the day got away from me and here we are. Between working full time and being a mom, I can't manage to blog on a daily basis - or even sometimes a weekly basis!

I started thinking about what I'm loving these days and all I could think of was my little family. Our life revolves around Crew and I  L O V E it. He is our greatest joy and I wouldn't want it any other way. In the WILW posts I typically write about things on my wish list. As I scrolled through my Amazon & Pinterest wish lists, I noticed a theme.... the things I want most are for Crew. Whether it's the cutest little baby man clothes, a new gadget to help him magically sleep through the night (which he's doing for the most part), or teethers for the upcoming months, it's all for my sweet baby.

I thought more and more on the things I'm loving lately until finally realizing that the items on my wish list aren't tangible. I wish I could work from home and be with Crew. I wish for him to continue to grow into a healthy, happy baby. I wish for Will's dream job. I wish to open an online business in the coming months and for it to be successful. I wish for quality time with my family. I could go on and on...

Another thing I'm loving today are these photos that Kelly & John took last weekend when they had Valentine's mini sessions. I was a little worried because Crew hadn't napped all day so he was tired, and not to mention cold, so he wasn't smiling too much. BUT K&J didn't disappoint as usual! Isn't Crew the cutest!? And yes, that is his hat on my head!

Our weekdays to go by slow and fast at the same time. After waking up around 5 or 6 a.m. to eat, Crew is typically asleep again by the time I'm leaving for work. I come home every day at lunch to feed him (if he's not napping) so by the time I get there and he eats, it's time for me to get back to work. I get home in the evenings around 5:30 and Crew usually goes to sleep by 7:30-8:30. After laundry, dishes, trying to work out a few times a week and showering, I'm ready for bed! I absolutely hate only getting to spend about 3 hours with him each day. It goes by too fast. It makes me so sad and I've really been struggling with it. We've really began praying about it and what's to come for our family. It's because of this that I don't blog as much as I used to. Time spent with Crew is so precious and I don't want to waste a minute of it. I LOVE HIM!
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Friday, January 24, 2014


A friend of ours came up with this hashtag on Instagram (Thanks, Taylor!) and I must say that I love it! We love finding adorable outfits for Crew to wear. I have never been a fan of outfits that look too "babyish"....if that even makes sense. I like Crew to look like a little man!

He even looks pretty stinkin' cute in one of my old outfits...

This is another one of his outfits that used to be mine. How could you not love footie overalls!?

My handsome boys before church! We always have the cutest hats and shoes for Crew to wear to church, but by the time we get there, he's kicked the shoes off and the hat just doesn't have a chance... oh well!

I will say one thing that is so frustrating when it comes to baby clothes: The ratio of the boys and girls section of clothes in any store is about 1:5! There are always girls' clothes that go on for days while I'm standing in front of the one rack of baby boy clothes. Crew wants to be fashionable too! I've been to Old Navy and Children's Place in the past week and had this problem.

I wouldn't trade this little handsome man for anything! He's too cute for words. I am in disbelief that my baby is going on 4 months old. Where does the time go?

I'm linking up with Lauren today for the Baby Mama link up!

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Saturday, January 18, 2014

crew at the zoo + video

We took Crew to the zoo last Sunday for the first time. The weather was sunny and 60... a nice break from the arctic cold it had been. It was great to get out of the house! The Memphis Zoo is half off and free parking in the month of January. Perfect!

Crew enjoyed being outside. Chewing on his hands was way more interesting than looking at animals though! I'm so glad we got to have a family day!

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Wednesday, January 15, 2014

crew's first christmas + a video

Yes, I realize it's been 3 weeks since Christmas, but this mama has been busy with going back to work. (booo)

We loved every second with Crew this past Christmas. We went to our church for Christmas Eve, spent Christmas day with my side of the family and Christmas night with Will's side. I know Crew was worn out, but he did so well.

Who can resist a baby in a Santa outfit?!

Our Christmas card this year

and a short video of the few clips I got this holiday...

I can't imagine how different next Christmas will be when Crewboo can walk and open gifts!
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Thursday, January 9, 2014

the dark night

I'm so lucky to have a husband who can write! Read about one of his experiences in Africa this past summer.
P.S. - Please excuse these horrible quality photos. iPhoto is not our friend.

The foothills of Mt. Meru are breathtaking. The sweeping land is beyond splendid as the trees rise towards the top of the sleeping volcano. Hills of corn fade into the backdrop of Mt. Kilimanjaro, her white fingers reaching towards a pale blue sky. The land here has a way of speaking to the depths of one’s soul, and one can hardly doubt the existence of God.

The sunset on a clear day is beyond compare. The sun slips behind the shoulders of Meru as beams of light cast colors of red against the waning gray sky. Kilimanjaro is but a dream in the pressing darkness, her looming shadow the only reminder of her presence. In the day this place is breathtaking, an oasis of black volcanic soil bringing life to a once desolate valley. At night, the picture changes altogether. The darkness here is heavy. As if it were a weight upon one’s shoulders, the vast darkness has a perplexing presence.

Our headlights pierce through the night as we finish up the second day of our dental clinic in the jungles of Tanzania. The village population here is more effectively counted in terms of crops than people. The land here means life. Everything that is needed is grown or provided by the animals. There is no running water; there is no electricity. The darkness is heavy. The land separates the families here, each with their own shamba to generate livelihood. Despite the rugged terrain and the separation between villages, people walk for hours to take advantage of the free dental services being offered.
We close our practice for the day, not because lack of patients, but because the disappearing light. Along with the many patients that have come, we are accompanied by translators who themselves have walked many miles. On this particular day, two of the translators stay with us longer than normal. It is our last day as a team here in Tanzania, and they have stayed to spend these last moments with us. We laugh and talk about the events of the day, joyous to see what God has done through us being in this place. Alas as the darkness deepens, they begin to say their goodbyes. Getting to know these translators without a doubt was one of the greatest benefits of the trip. The older is a pastor who serves in a neighboring village. He is not on salary nor does he have a benefits package. He serves God because of his love for Him and his passion for showing love towards people. The younger is a young man taken in by the pastor. At a very young age this boy lost his parents, but has been raised by the pastor since childhood. His name in English is literally translated “God Listens.”

The darkness here is heavy, producing many dangers. Just a few weeks prior to our arrival a man down the road was killed by an elephant. Most villagers light fires at night to keep the elephants from coming towards their homes. This man was walking back from tending his night fires when a group of elephants passed through his property. Elephants are perhaps the meanest animal in Africa, and very territorial. These elephants trampled the man and moved on through the darkness. There is little anger towards the elephants; it is more of a sobering respect as one considers the weight of the uncertainties of the night.

As the translators turn to leave I ask God Listens how they will get home in such darkness. I offer them a flashlight, but he declines, saying this is a walk they have made many times. The weight of the darkness becomes even more real to me in the moment, as they prepare to walk several miles through the abysmal jungle. I then ask how they keep from being afraid. With a smile on his face, he replies, “We sing. We sing because when we do, we feel the presence of God with us, and we know that He will keep us safe.”

At that, I watched God Listens and the pastor walk away until they disappeared from the beam of light provided by our headlamps. Later that night, we shared dinner and stories for what seemed like hours. But as I was walking down the trail towards our hut, I turned off my light.

We live in a world of darkness. The weight of sin is heavy. But there is a God who produces light through his servants. The darkness around us can feel heavy. It can produce fear, uncertainties, and regrets. It can cause us to stumble, to fall, to suffer. Often times we are looking for artificial light to guide us through this sea of darkness. We seek out possessions, friends, entertainment, but to what avail? To find rest, we must rest in the presence of God. It his presence that guides us, that transforms us, that inspires us. Simplify your life. Live in, through, and to the One who gave it all, Jesus Christ.

“In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God. All things were made through him, and without him was not any thing made that was made. In him was life, and the life was the light of men. The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it.” 
John 1:1-5

Wednesday, January 8, 2014


Today I'm linking up for the Girl Between the Lines with A Beautiful Exchange and The Albrechts Blog.

The topic is: Tell us about a characteristic you admire in one of your loved ones. Why do you admire that characteristic?

I didn't even have to think twice about this one! The characteristic I admire most about my sweet husband is his selflessness. I don't think this man has a selfish bone in his body.

I've noticed this quality in him more and more since Crew was born 3 months ago. Even before I gave birth to Crew, Will would pick up my slack with cleaning, laundry and cooking. He's still picking up my slack and Crew is going on 14 weeks! I thank God every day for giving me a husband like this. I've never once had to ask him to do some laundry for me or unload the dishwasher. Being helpful around the house is something he finds joy in doing and that quality in him is such a blessing to me.

Besides always being so willing to help out around the house, Will never thinks twice about offering up his time to help a friend in need or with a church project. He is passionate about missions and his selflessness plays a huge part in that. He wants to go on every mission trip, volunteer with every church function, offer to help every friend move and on and on. 

I could learn so much from my husband. Becoming a mother has taught me so many things, one of them being how selfish I can be - how I crave sleep when I'm up in the middle of the night feeding our son or how I'd like to sleep in on Saturdays (do you see a sleep pattern here?) - Don't get me wrong, Crew is the greatest blessing in our life and I am so incredibly thankful for him. I would not change one single thing. Selflessness is something that doesn't come as easy for me as it seems to come for Will. With the example that my husband has set for me, and with a lot of prayer, I can hope to act as selfless as he does. I'm so so grateful that Will is not the opposite of selfless. What a blessing!

Girl Between the Lines Link up
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Tuesday, January 7, 2014

crew | three months

Crew turned three months old on January 3rd.

The past month of Crew's life flew by just like the Christmas season did. He is growing more and more every day and we are so in love with our little talker! He has such a personality!

weight: 16.8 lbs!
length: at 2 month appointment he was 24.5 inches
clothes: 6 months
diapers: size 2 in disposables and wearing OS cloth
hair color: blondish-brown
eye color: blue
eating: still breastfeeding and occasionally supplementing formula if we are out & about. He takes around 6 oz. each feeding
nicknames: crew baby, crew man, crewster, C, crewseph, crew boo, crewdy booty (I'm sure he'll love that one when he gets older)
likes: (loves) baths, riding in the car, talking to you, smiling, being able to look around and see what's going on, play mat, being read to
dislikes: being hungry!

This was a big week for little Crew man. He slept 8 hours straight for the first (& only time) at night AND rolled over from belly to back. We managed to get that on video! I guess all that rolling made him sleepy enough to sleep 8 hours. (His typical sleep night these days is 5-7 hours, up to eat for 30 min, and then back to sleep for 3-4 more hours.)

We also started cloth diapering full time last week. It's going great and we love it. We still keep him in disposables overnight though since they hold more. Lovely Pockets and Sunbaby diapers are our favorites.

Crew went to his two month appointment this past week. He did great with his shots. He cried, but as soon as I picked him up he stopped crying and started making a moaning noise. He was pitiful. He stared at Will as if he was the one who gave him the shots. Too funny. I think the worst part about the shots was how he felt afterwards. He felt bad for a good 2 days. After getting home from the doc, he took a long nap and then woke up screaming. It was so out of the ordinary for him to cry that much. Next time I'll give him Tylenol prior to the appointment and hopefully he won't feel as bad afterwards. Crew measured >97% in height, weight and head circumference. Because his head was measuring so large, the doctor recommended we go get an ultrasound just to be sure there was no fluid on his brain. He said that Crew is just a big baby all around, but he wanted to be on the safe side. So my mom went with me to the hospital for Crew's appointment. He did perfectly and slept through the entire thing. He didn't even know it had happened. The ultrasound was completely normal. We've just got a super smart baby!

This was Christmas week. Our little talker went to see Santa on the day of this photo. He was indifferent to the experience. I'm sure next year will prove otherwise though! We loved our Christmas with him so much! It's so different with a baby and I am so grateful for our first Christmas with Crew. As we learned at Thanksgiving, holidays tend to wear out the sweet boy. He fussed a little because he was sleepy, but did so well. We spent a few nights at Will's parents and a few at my parents' over the holiday. My brother-in-law and sis-in-law were in town so that's why we decided to stay on that side of town for the most part. Crew did really good sleeping in different places each night. However, almost every night he ended up in bed with us and slept better than in a crib he wasn't familiar with. I'll take those baby snuggles!

Crew also got to meet his Uncle Micah (Will's younger brother) this week! Micah had spent last semester studying abroad in Germany and was out of the country when Crew was born. He Skyped with Crew at the hospital when he was born. He sure has grown since then though!

He went to work with me for the first time this past week and did great! I'm so thankful I get to bring him with me some. Read more about that here!

Crew is such a little flirt. He loves when girls talk to him. He grins so big every Sunday at church when people come up and talk to him. He's always so happy and we are SO thankful for that.

It seems like he's started recognizing the camera and we can (almost) always get a smile out of him for pictures.

Crew loves when Will does "Super Crew" to him. Will holds him up on his belly as if he's flying through the sky and Crew just looks all around. It's pretty funny.

We love this picture of Crew just chillin' in his chair. He looks so relaxed. We celebrated the New Year this past week. We didn't have big plans. We went to my parents for dinner and then they watched Crew for a few hours while we went to get dessert with another couple. We were at home, in bed before midnight. Will and I did stay awake until the New Year, but went to sleep soon after!

Crew giggled this week for us. It was hilarious. Up until now, he will talk and talk, but we haven't had any belly laughs from him yet. I got tickled at him in the bath and was laughing at him and I think that's why he started laughing - because I was laughing. It was priceless and I wish we could have captured it on video. Even his little shoulders were bouncing up and down!

He has a new favorite thing to do in the bath this week. Since he LOVES kicking his feet, I will put my hands up against the bottom of his feet and he will push up against them and push his little baby tub backwards. It is so funny to watch his fat baby thighs straighten out to push himself backwards. He always grins and talks when this happens!

He is such a blessing!
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Sunday, January 5, 2014

2013 in review

What kind of blogger would I be if I didn't do a year in review post? I didn't plan on doing one until finding the following piece of paper in our 2013 memory jar. This has been the best year of our lives with the birth of Crew. This year brought blessing after blessing and I have loved looking back and reflecting on it.

Will and I started a new tradition of a memory jar with writing things on little pieces of paper throughout the year and then reading it the following New Year's Day. I'm so glad we chose to start this when we did!

We spent a lot of time together riding. We haven't done much of this since last January because of being pregnant.


I shared how we told our families about our big news

We celebrated Will's 25th birthday with dinner at Carrabba's

We celebrated 3 years of marriage by announcing our pregnancy on our anniversary

We went to our gender ultrasound and gave the secret envelope to Kelly for her to prepare for our party

We had our gender reveal party and found out that we were having a boy!

I shared why we chose Crew's name

Will graduated with his Masters from seminary

Will got ordained at Faith Baptist

I shared about all I've learned from pregnancy

I went to Myrtle Beach with my family....

...while Will went to Kenya, Tanzania and China

We had our first baby shower with the couples' group from church

Kelly took our maternity pictures

We were given our second baby shower at our home church

Kelly and Roxanna gave us our third baby shower

Only the greatest month of our lives...we had our first baby, Crew William Kassner. I shared all about his birth

Kelly took his newborn photos when he was 8 days old.

We celebrated Crew's one month birthday

We dedicated Crew to God in front of our church and family

I shared Crew's birth day video

We had our first Thanksgiving with our little turkey

Crew turned two months...already

We started cloth diapering full time and love it

I took Crew's picture for our Christmas card

We celebrated my 25th birthday

We had Crew's first Christmas!

Can't you see why this has been the best year...thus far?! I can't wait to see what 2014 has in store for our little family. I'm so excited to watch Crew grow and learn and experience new things. God has truly blessed us!
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