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Saturday, December 24, 2011

6 Years Baby

May 2011
For our first wedding anniversary we visited "home" in California together. I got our rings engraved and we had a party where we ate the top of our cake. For our second he was deployed so we got all glammed up and spent it via webcam. Our third was spent in Salinas while we were staying with friends. He got me a leather purse and we went out to Monterey for dinner and a movie. For our fourth wedding anniversary Gabe came home for 3 weeks from Afghanistan and surprised me with a trip to San Francisco where we stayed at the Hyatt and went on a dinner cruise. A live band played our song on the boat for us. Last year for our fifth we went to our favorite little tea house in Carmel and spent the day strolling through the storybook town and relaxing on the beach.

This year, for our 6th wedding anniversary we stayed in and played with our daughter. We fed her her first "real" food, goofed around with her, watched TV... Then we went out and got a couple movies from Redbox, cinnamon buns from Safeway, and some chinese food and came back to the house. RJ was fussy so we spent a good amount of time listening to her crying and trying to soothe her. We finally put her to bed a little early because she was tired and then we ate, decorated her stocking while watching a movie, finished up some gift crafting/wrapping, and then cuddled while we watched the second movie. I fell asleep on him.

Can you guess which one is my favorite anniversary?

Friday, December 9, 2011


I have recently discovered (rather, could no longer avoid) Pinterest. If you have already joined you realize the great benefit and the serious problem this is. For one, it's totally wonderful to be able to organize all the crafts you'd like to make or photos you find inspiring or decorating ideas you think are copy-able. It's also pretty great that you can see what your friends are finding because it makes for this concentrated soup of creativity. But it's also highly addictive. And there is no way I am going to make every adorable project or fulfill all those dream decors in my one house.

If you haven't joined, you really should. It's amazing.

Thursday, December 8, 2011

Late Night Check-in

It's those moments when you can't help but go into her room and stare in the darkness at her sleeping silhouette. The moments she is crying and the only thing she needs is to be in your arms. The moments you look at her from across the room and her face lights up. The ones in which the rest of the world seems like background noise to a song more beautiful than you imagined possible. It's those moments that make you appreciate what it took to get her here. The changes to your body, the fear you felt approaching labor, the excruciating pain, the (long for some) recovery, the terrifying mood swings, the exhaustion after everything... All of it necessary to bring that perfect little being into this world. This crazy, messed up, ugly world that is made a little less so by her presence.

I am stunned with how much I love her. She's changed me, but life goes on. Finances get tighter, relationships have their ups and downs, we learn more and more the areas we aren't fully trusting God with and yet, she's here. Her sweet smile greets me every morning like a honey coated reminder that we aren't forgotten. God is near, He loves, He is the God of provision, peace and grace. I don't deserve her. I don't deserve such a perfect child with eyes like the sun and hands that sweetly clasp my fingers. She is Grace personified. That God loved us enough to give her to us is a miracle, but the greater miracle is that he loved us enough to give us His son... That is a love I don't know that I can understand, but I am eternally grateful for it.

That is a good thought to go to sleep on... That my Father loves us all that much...

Friday, November 11, 2011

To My Daughter

Raychel Joye,

You have ruined me. From an eager mom-to-be with the sober knowledge that I couldn't know how much love I was capable of you have made a fool with a heart broken by the devastating joy you brought with your arrival. When you curl into my chest I feel love. When you scream in my ear I hear love. When I catch a glimpse of you my eyes are overwhelmed with love. It's radiant. You are radiant. I wake up every morning tired, but eager, anticipating the walk to your room where I find love personified. Nothing is the same.

You are growing so beautifully. You smile with your eyes and I see wisdom in you already. I can tell: you're a thinker. You make your father and I so... proud. The kind of pride that is humbling. I don't even want to know why God thought we were in any way worth giving such a perfect gift. He did it and we are exceedingly grateful. As you struggle through your milestones - discovering what frustration is while trying to roll and what pain is while teething - I pray you will never feel without hope. You are proof of it, my love. You are a reminder of the purest hope we have in Christ, a concentrated bit of Heaven. His grace is sufficient for you always and as you grow you will find that to be the deepest truth.

My time is taken up with you so this letter won't be long, but I want you and the whole world to know that you are my heart. Even better, you are the heart of myself, your daddy and our God, lovely in the truest sense of the word. We love you. We love you. We love you.

In all devotion,

Monday, October 24, 2011

She popped the question!

The adorableness of my sister-in-law-to-be is too much!

Go here for full story. :)

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Mama's Love

There really is an indescribable sort of love that is accessed when one becomes a parent. A friend asked me what it was like and all I could say is that it is just like romantic love except that it isn't reciprocated. It's much more sacrificial and in that way I think it is much closer to Christ's love. I have no doubt in my mind that I would do anything to keep RJ safe. Despite the fact that she never says "thank you" or tells me that she loves me or gives me hugs and kisses I adore her. I love her when she is screaming her head off while I scramble to make things better. I love her when she throws up on a new shirt of mine. I love her when she has sticky poo that gets all over the place. I love her when she is angry, sad, excited, scared, joyful or tired. I just... love her. Not because of anything that she has done, but because of who I am; I'm Raychel's Mommy. I love her. If no one else in the world did, I would. 

It's an example set by our own Father who loves us with sacrifice.While we were still sinners - while we were screaming our heads off and making a mess of things - Christ died for us (Romans 5:8). It doesn't get any more loving. It has nothing to do with what we do or who we are, but it has everything to do with who He is. He's our Father, our Creator. He's our lover and our truest friend.

I love Raychel with all of my heart, but my love is merely a faint shadow of the Real Thing. His is more patient, more forgiving, more intense, more pure. I could never compete with a love like that and I don't want to. I am glad to know that we are recipients of grace, heirs to a promise. Raychel will grow up learning what an undeserved gift it is to be loved by a perfect Prince. 

Saturday, October 15, 2011

RJ's Mommy

Photo by Tish + Tom Photography
There is a funny thing about motherhood: you don't know what you are doing...

I used to think about having a baby someday and while the thought thrilled me, it also caused me great concern over the fact that... it's a human. I would consider the differences between babies and puppies. I'd think about what could go wrong - would I know how much to feed it? would I be fragile enough in handling? would I forget it somewhere? would I damage it psychologically with my ignorance? I would start to become anxious with the thought of such a heavy responsibility.

Saturday, September 17, 2011


The chair in Tessa's living room.
I looked curiously at the big tan armchair sitting in the corner of a living room far from North Carolina or Salinas or Fargo. A living room right above my own actually, overlooking my new "hometown."

It was familiar and it took only moments for my memory to jog: this is the same chair Beth has had since I've known her. The chair I sobbed in while Gabe was gone and cuddled Ayden in during humid southern summers with the AC on. It's the chair I joined my husband in for rounds of the hat game and spent holidays lounging in after festivities died down. It's the chair I saw packed away in moving trucks and the chair I sat in with Raychel the size of a poppy seed tucked in my womb.
The chair in Beth's living room in Fargo.

God provided the Balls years ago when we needed family and He has not ceased to provide community everywhere we have been, building on the things He's taught us through every season. How appropriate then for this chair to be in the home of a brother and sister He has recently introduced to us. The Wellings and other beautiful believers we have come to know are family now, too. God's sincere and constant love is sewn through these relationships. Reminders (like this chair) are visible stitches. He provides, He loves, He answers prayer consistently and in a way that brings Him glory and us joy.

It's a comfortable armchair, but the warmth I feel when sitting in it comes from the heart of my generous Father rather than the stuffing.

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Auntie B

Beth and I have been friends - "Persons" - since a few months into Gabe's first deployment. When we met she was pregnant with her first child and when Ayden arrived on the scene it was love at first sight for me. Never before had I loved anyone that deeply by merely meeting him. He changed my perspective. In one moment I became Auntie K and still wear the title proudly for my Ayden.

Friday, September 9, 2011

"But as for me and my house..."

It's amazing how sometimes the simplest things reveal the most about God...

Several nights ago I put Raychel down in her crib after a late night feeding. I believe she was still pretty awake and at that point she was not proficient in putting her self to sleep. We had to get up early the next morning to leave for our trip to Sandpoint so the whole family needed to get some good quality shut-eye. The nervous mother in me anticipated a fussing RJ, a tired husband and a fabulous headache the next day. As I laid down in bed, sure enough, I heard her start herself up. She wasn't in distress, just making some of those early fussing noises and I could tell that she was going to keep going right into Screamville.

So I prayed. God has put it on my heart, whenever she is crying and I know she is okay, to pray that she feels safe somehow and that she knows she is loved and protected. So I prayed this prayer as the monitor lit up with little coos and grunts. I asked God to help her drift to sleep, to let her know somehow that He's with her. I hardly noticed that her noises died down.

Saturday, August 20, 2011


I am typing this with my darling little girl asleep next to me with her hands sweetly and gracefully balled up next to her face, one holding her chin. She has a content look on her face and every now and then a smile spreads under her button nose. She is a miracle. She is everything that is right with this world. She is God's message of hope and abundant affection. She is my beloved and anticipated Raychel Joye whom I have adored since long before I was a mother, a wife, a fiance or a girlfriend. She is my daughter.

I wanted to write this for a few reasons. One being that I am a writer at heart and it would be strange for me not to record it somewhere. Another being that I know I am not alone and I want others to know that they are also not alone. I was not prepared for the "Baby Blues" and I think that if I had read others' accounts and gotten an idea of what might happen it would have been helpful. The most significant reason however is to brag a little about my God. :)

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Darling Girl

Nestled in the South Hill among large, beautiful, old homes is a collection of brilliant gardens called Manito Park. There are five in all and the three we have visited are nothing short of magical. My favorite so far is the Perennial Garden. I feel like I am in a dream when I am there - the colors are incredible, butterflies and bees circle around, birds provide a sweet serenade... It is heavenly. It fit Raychel Joye quite well. I'm so glad that Kaleb was there also - she is going to love her uncle so so much. Click "read more" to see the photos.

Friday, August 12, 2011

First [non-herbal] Bath

She loved it! Not much else to say; behold the cuteness! 

Thursday, August 4, 2011

The Birth Story

Disclosure: This is a fairly detailed account of Raychel's birth. If you don't want to know, don't read. :)

Raychel Joye Sedberry joined this crazy world on July 18, 2011 at 6:24 in the morning at Dayspring in Hayden, Idaho (she's our little spud). She weighed 8 pounds and 12 ounces and measured 21 inches long. She also had a full head of hair!

As she is lying here on the bed next to me, making adorable faces, I am just in complete amazement by her... I seriously can't even concentrate on writing this. It's taken me like an hour to get this far. She just keeps doing cute things!

Monday, July 25, 2011

 My dear friend Megan (who was a bridesmaid in our wedding) quilted this gorgeous quilt for Raychel... She began working on it way back in November/December when we found out we were pregnant. It's themed on Narnia and it is absolutely perfect... Not only does it match the nursery precisely, but it's so well made that I know it will last for generations. And it's colors and design fit little Raychel Joye so well (don't ask me how). THANK YOU, Megan... This gift means so very much and just blew us away.

Click "Read More" to see the pictures!

Thursday, July 14, 2011


On Sunday Justin (one of the leaders at Emmaus) spoke on Ephesians 4:1-16. He focused us on the unity Paul encourages. He told a hypothetical story about the 2 blind men that Jesus healed meeting one another after Jesus' ascension. They are excited to have found one another and begin to talk about it. One describes excitedly how Jesus answered his cry and commended his faith and then he could see! The other guy looks a little confused and corrects him saying that the first man must have meant to say

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Pampered Chef

Gabe did a Pampered Chef party last weekend and I photographed it! :) It was really fun and he did a great job showing. Plus we had awesome food and got to meet new people while hanging out with friends. Perfect way to spend a Saturday morning!

Monday, July 11, 2011

When All the Love in the World is Right Here Among Us

I can say it over and over again, but the truth in God's ridiculous love doesn't weaken: His love is not reasonable... Not to say He's not a god of reason, but that He defies it for us. I love the moments when a song gets stuck in my head or I see a bit of grace somewhere unexpected or I hear a word from a brother or sister and my wandering mind is miraculously focused. In those moments the clearest thing to me, so far above my views on any theological quandary, is that my sweet and terrifying God is sweetly and

Monday, April 25, 2011


Once again in church, during worship, my thoughts wandered a bit... My passion lacked and I prayed for focus, for humility, for less of myself and more of Jesus. Then as we began singing "Lead Me to the Cross" my prayer was answered. It carried into "All Creatures of Our God and King" as I was once again led to reflect on this baby - this small (and growing) creature of the King's for whom He died. And not only died, but endured temptation, severe persecution, betrayal, mockery, disappointment, fear...

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Growing Together

Our first attempt at a garden! Gabe has been preparing and has done just an amazing job. When we moved into this house the backyard was just a mess of brush, garbage, bamboo... It seemed impossible to me, but Gabe somehow - even with all of his schoolwork (which is just insane) and other duties - whipped that yard into shape! We now have 2 full beds and another spot cleared out. We also have a compost going. My husband is amazing! 

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Baby Berry's Newest Gear!

Another surprise!! My mom and Vickie sent us the playard!! It's also made by Chicco (pronounced, I have learned, KEE-ko) and it rocks!! Thank you, Grandmas for the awesome playard!! It's so hard to believe that in just a few months we'll have a little one to put in here. Whew!

Thursday, March 31, 2011

A Huge Surprise!

So my mom has been hinting behind knowing, excited smiles that *something* would be coming in the mail for us. We didn't know what it could be, but our biggest, most stretched guess wasn't even in the ballpark. The UPS truck came by and when I saw her carrying the box up to the porch I was just shocked. The travel system I have been practically drooling over since December when I picked it out from among about 20 similar travel systems was on the box. And it is in the color I actually wanted, but couldn't register for (and since we're buying off the registry because of the post-shower discount, figured I couldn't get) because it wasn't available. So we now have a stroller and car seat!! 

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

An Attempt to Lift His Name High

"For this very heart you have shaped for your pleasure, purposed to lift your name high."
(Brooke Fraser, "Lord of Lords")

God is King. He rules over Heaven and earth, over life and death, over peace and chaos. He reigns over the nations and their leaders. He reigns over fear, over worry, over hopeless situations. He reigns over rest and sleep and enjoyment. He is the King of the mountains and valleys, all of nature bows to His sovereignty. He doesn't need a crown, but the sunrise can serve that purpose. He doesn't need a throne, though the one described in the Bible is nothing short of majestic. He doesn't need our recognition, He is

Friday, March 25, 2011

Gabe chewing one of my disgusting prenatal vitamins. Yes, chewing it. Ew.

Baby Bump

Weekly Baby Bump Photos

35 weeks + 4 days

33 weeks + 3 days

Narnia Nursery

So when Mom saw the glider she (and Gabe) banned me from buying anything else off the registry until after the shower in May (which I am stoked for - can't wait to go baby shopping!). Instead I will focus on the decorations. Our theme is Narnia after the books Gabe and I grew up loving with the Message of God's love that we live by. So we took a trip to Michael's to get our first batch of decorations.

My glider. It's heavenly. :o)

Saturday, March 19, 2011

"My love is mad, without motive, as Your love is, too."

This is a Romanian poem, translated to English by the author, a preacher who was imprisoned during the communist rule in Romania. He describes the time of authorship as a time when he felt Satan's presence in his cell. After being kidnapped, kept away from his wife and son who had no idea where he was, tortured to recant his faith, with no end in sight, he wrestled with doubt and accusations against Christ. He felt abandoned by God and taunted by Satan. He wrote this poem (it doesn't look like a poem in

Friday, March 4, 2011

Dreaming Ahead

I spend a lot of time making sure that I don't come across too ignorant - I know I'm ignorant and I know there is plenty about motherhood that I will not even come close to understanding until I'm in the middle of it. I don't want to offend any current mothers or burn any mommy bridges before I cross them so I won't ever claim to know more than I do. However, in my caution, I am also ridiculously excited. Over the moon excited. I'm as ready as I'll ever be and I can't help but focus on the things to come - most

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

A I-Shouldn't-Be-Awake-Right-Now Vent

So there are a plethora of things "they" do not tell you about pregnancy. Not only will you find out on your own, but when you do you will be utterly freaked out because you are about 83% positive that it is abnormal and your baby is going to end up with some bizarre complication. 93% if said symptom is discovered in the middle of the night when you're disoriented.

I won't make a list, but to any of you non-pregnant ladies out there, feel free to ask when you do get your BFP (big fat positive - evidently there is a whole dictionary of acronyms just for pregnant women) and I will do my best to tell you all the things that are totally normal and never discussed. Of course, one of those things is the fact that you completely lose random portions of your memory so you'll have to forgive me if I leave a lot out. 8-/

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Bad Baby Pie

So during the worship time at church a couple weeks ago we sang the song that goes,
"Crucified, laid behind a stone. You lived to die, rejected and alone. Like a rose, trampled on the ground You took the fall and thought of me above all."

When I sing those words I can't help but put myself in the "me" position and reflect on how Jesus

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Baby Beat

We heard the baby's heartbeat today (video below). It wasn't the magical experience I guess I thought it would be, but it was beautiful. I was a bit distracted at the time, but later I thought back on it and it just... amazed me... It's overwhelming. We only got to hear it for about 15 seconds (I seriously thought it was only 5 when I was recounting it) which was just not long enough. After she took the doppler away I sort of missed him (or her). Obviously he's in there and I get to be with him all the time, but usually there is

Monday, January 10, 2011

Pregnancy Survey

So I feel I have thoroughly exhausted my facebook friends with pregnancy things and if I have not, I believe a Pregnancy Survey would do it so I am posting one here. In search of one I found this in one of the search result headlines on google: "Baby Berry in the Belly." My Baby Berry? No. Someone else is going around referring to their own bundle of joy by the same (quite original, I thought) term of endearment! So now I am annoyed. Because I suppose I honestly thought that in the history of the world nobody, despite the copious amount of surnames which include "berry," had thought of such an adorable moniker.

Your name?
Krysann SedBERRY.