12/15/08

Your Christmas Card


Kristina: Just couldn't get to it this year! We took the photos and even uploaded it all to Shutterfly but by the time we would've finished it, ordered it, bought stamps and addressed all the envelopes, Christmas might've just come and gone! So, Merry Christmas & Happy New Year from the Hepting Family! :)

12/9/08

Gratefulness & Smiles


Kristina: Every year when the holiday season approaches I feel as though time is just flying! It's hard to believe that another year has passed and I wonder if I truly take the time to thank the Lord for all the wonderful blessings He's bestowed upon my family & I over the past 12 months. Sometimes I can't think of this without being overwhelmed with emotion. I feel truly grateful for our family, for our friends, for our church, for our home, for our jobs, for our cars, for our health, for so many things. And of course, I am most thankful this year for our beautiful son, Luke Henry. He is growing so fast ... 7 weeks old already! It's amazing to witness the changes in him on a daily basis. He brings us such joy... as well as frustration at times but let's focus on the joy! :)

This past month has been a time of major adjustment in our lives. The first few weeks, Luke was so easy. All he did was sleep, eat and poop. And while he still does these things quite often, just after 3 weeks something changed. We've been up at night a lot with him, we have been comforting him during his hours of crying in the evening and sometimes for hours during the day. But through all of these trials, he has also learned to smile and has been doing this since week 4. His smiles are much more frequent now and just completely melt our hearts! Whenever he is with just one of us and the other comes in to say hi to him, he smiles so big! He is also cooing which he does most on his changing table. The mornings are my favorite! He can be on his changing table for an hour just smiling and goo-ing and ga-ing. It's the sweetest sound and no matter how frustrating he can be at times, it's these moments that make it all worth it.

We are overjoyed to be spending this Christmas with Luke and teaching him each and every year what the true meaning of Christmas is. We love this little guy so much and want him to know how special and loved he is, not only to us, but to Jesus as well.

We welcome your prayers as we continue to adjust to our new lives as parents. Specifically, good rest for Luke and for us! :) Love to you all and best wishes for a wonderful December! We hope that you'll take the time during the busyness to reflect on the true reason why we celebrate Christmas.

xoxo

11/16/08

Luke is 4 weeks old!

Kristina: 4 weeks have come and gone and we are still adjusting to our new roles as mommy & daddy. The first three weeks were manageable but I think it might've been because we were on cloud nine. This fourth week has been tough! Jeff went away to Michigan for a wedding and the day after he left, Luke was a completely different baby. We were up one morning at 1:15 and never went back to sleep! That same day, my sister Toni was here for a visit and the following day my mom arrived. It meant so much to have them here spending time with our precious little guy... although he might've seemed a little less precious to them! He was very fussy, fussier than usual and he cried A LOT! I ended up taking him to the doctor on Friday and found out that he's been constipated. I also found out that our little whopper junior is now almost 12 pounds! No wonder my back is killing me! Soooooooo we're just trying to get him "regular" again and hoping that it happens fairly soon. It's so hard to hear him cry so much... and so loudly!

I don't have too many NEW pictures, but here's a link to some that we have uploaded on Shutterfly that you may not have seen. We'll have more recent ones up next time.

share.shutterfly.com/action/welcome?sid=0IZMWzdm5asXOw

10/24/08

Luke Henry Hepting has arrived!

Kristina: As many of you know, our precious little boy is finally here! We are so in love with him and are enjoying every minute together!

It all started last Friday when I started having painful contractions that were between 3 and 5 minutes apart so off to the hospital we went around 8:00 p.m. They admitted us and set us up for monitoring and we found out that I was only experiencing "early labor". Had I not been 41 weeks pregnant and scheduled for induction that same weekend, they would've sent us home. We're thankful they kept us there but it was a longggg night! The room we were in at first was SO small and uncomfortable. At 2 a.m. they started me on Pitocin. It was impossible to sleep during my contractions and poor Jeff was sleeping in a chair! At 7 a.m. they took us to the delivery room and I finally got the long awaited epidural. Surprisingly, it wasn't so bad. My doctor came in at 8 a.m. to break my bag of water only to discover that I hadn't progressed in my dilation and my cervix was still high. So they increased the Pitocin dosage and she came back at noon to try and break my water again. Noon came and she discovered, once again, that there had been no changes. I LOVE my doctor and totally respect her in every way so when she suggested we consider having a c-section, I trusted her. She felt that either I had a small pelvis or the baby was going to be big and for one of those two reasons, he was not preparing himself to come through the birth canal. When we found out that we could have the c-section an hour from then and that we'd be holding our little baby shortly thereafter, it seemed to be the right choice. There was no way of knowing how much longer the Pitocin would take and it had been such a long night already... I was exhausted and so was Jeff. Soooo, in we went & out we came with our little 9 pound 8 ounce 21 and 3/4 inch long bundle of joy!! He was born at 2:36 p.m. on October 18th.

We came home on Tuesday and it's been a great week. The recovery process for me started out pretty rough but one look at Luke reminds me that it's all worth it (percocet seems to help too!). Jeff has been amazing this week and has really taken to his role as "daddy". He's been very hands on with Luke and so helpful with me since I've needed some help getting up and around too ... I don't know what I would do without him. It's been so special already in many ways and I'm just so grateful that God has given us this beautiful gift ...

So yes there are, I'm sure, sleepless nights ahead and other challenges as well but we are doing our best to learn together and embrace each moment. We look forward to keeping you updated on little Luke and the many ways he keeps us smiling!

xoxo

10/13/08

The Countdown Is On!

Kristina: Long time, no blog... sorry! I've had no desire to sit down for an hour to type out the past month's happenings and upload photos. But I will try to be better since we'll have more to keep in touch about very soon! :)

Things have been good lately. We had a wonderful time with our friends Colin and Dev who visited from Vancouver. We stayed quite busy during the 10 days they were here and thoroughly enjoyed our time with them. I was also able to visit with my cousin Nikki and two of her little boys during one night of her stay in Arizona. It's definitely interesting to catch a glimpse into the lives of little boys ... I hope we're ready for this! :)

Jeff has been under a bit of stress at work as they have handed him some pretty big projects to manage recently. While all that is good, it just comes at an awkward time considering our circumstances. But he handles it well and we're just so thankful for his job during this depressing time in our economy. I have been done with work for quite some time now although I volunteered to fill a need at my office for 3 weeks. It was for 24 hours per week and since it's not our busiest office, I caught up on emails and read "baby" .. it wasn't a lot of fun but it definitely helped pass the time a bit as I was starting to go a little stir crazy in the house!

As many of you know, we celebrated my 32nd birthday last week. (I cannot believe I am 32!) Saturday night, the 4th, was our "big" night out. We enjoyed a nice dinner out together and then met our friends, Josh and Katherine, for a comedy show. It was SO much fun! We just happened to catch Last Comic Standing on TV this summer and the final five contestants were here in town to perform. We are obsessed (healthily) with one of the comics, Jeff Dye. Unfortunately, he wasn't the winner, he came in third but that remains mind boggling to us. He, BY FAR, had the most laughs and the longest line at the autographs table during intermission. But that's besides the point. We met him during intermission and bought one of his CDs, shook his hand, and took a pic with him. One of the things we've liked about him from the beginning is that he doesn't tell "crude" jokes but still manages to make us cry from laughing so hard. Come to find out at his performance last Saturday that he is a Christian and takes a stance in not using profanity in his stand up. Now, we bought his CD and there were a couple of things on there that were a bit more on the "edgy" side but still... in comparison he is pretty clean and all I can say is that he is HILARIOUS and everyone should go see him! :)

So on to baby news... my dr. appointment this morning revealed that I am now 1 cm dilated. The baby hasn't dropped yet and my cervix is still quite high so there wasn't much the doctor could do to help labor start progressing. If I haven't gone into labor by Friday, I will go in on Friday for a "foley catheter" and we are scheduled late Friday night through Sunday for induction. The hospital will call us any time between those days for us to come in & we're expecting it to be shortly after midnight the first night. I have to say that I have been feeling pretty good lately. A couple of days this last week I have felt pretty tired but I think it's because I cleaned our entire house and was just busying myself with things. I'm definitely big and I'm definitely uncomfortable 80% of the time but I think knowing that by the end of this upcoming weekend our little guy will be here just puts me at ease a bit. Our nursery is pretty much ready and has been for a couple of weeks now. Our house is clean. Our bags are packed. Jeff's parents arrived late on Friday and my mom and sister, Toni, have booked their flights to come out. What's left??!!

Oh and we thought we'd include a 39 week belly shot... below is a link to view our progression:


http://www.kodakgallery.com/ShareLandingSignin.jsp?Uc=10x03nej.4fvehonf&Uy=3zg66f&Upost_signin=Slideshow.jsp%3Fmode%3Dfromshare&Ux=0&UV=864309858471_583000125603&localeid=en_US

Please keep us in your prayers this week! We would really love to experience going into labor naturally rather than being induced but we trust God in all of it and are preparing ourselves for however baby h will come into this world. We are very much looking forward to introducing our precious son to you all and we can't wait to finally hold him in our arms!

And happy Thanksgiving to our fellow Canadians! We hope your Turkey dinner tonight was as yummy as ours! :)


xoxo

9/6/08

35 Week Photo Update!

Warning! It's big! :)

You can also see the "Belly Album" by going to:

http://www.kodakgallery.com/I.jsp?c=10x03nej.4fvehonf&x=0&y=3zg66f&localeid=en_US

Just click on the album and it will allow you to look through the 4 pictures... you don't have to register for an account.

9/4/08

5 Weeks To Go!

Kristina: Here's an update on what's been going on since our return from Gatlinburg:

My sister, Jodi, came on out for a short visit so that she could be here for my baby shower. It was very sweet of her to come and we really enjoyed having her here... it's too bad it wasn't for just a tad bit longer! My shower was wonderful and we can't thank our family & friends enough for their love and support. We received so many gifts from our registry and that has been so helpful to us. Friends at work are having a shower for me the third week of September and hopefully after that we'll be able to complete our nursery. It's coming along quite nicely so far and I just can't help going in there everyday just to look at everything! It's all just too cute!

Our friends, Scott and Erin, stayed with us for a while and were able to move into their new house right before Jodi got here. And last week on August 25th, they had a beautiful baby girl, Nora Grace. She weighed in at 8 pounds 10.5 ounces and is very precious! It's kind of nice having someone I'm so close to go through this process first .. I've been asking a lot of questions and stealing organizational ideas for the nursery. It's been a big help!

Jeff & I finished the last of three birthing classes that we took at the hospital this past Wednesday night. We would highly recommend these classes to anyone having a baby for their first time, but I won't lie... it definitely put a little more of a "scare" into the labor/delivery aspect for me! I do think, however, that it gave Jeff more knowledge and confidence to be a great support and coach while we're in the delivery room. I think he said he might even go get himself a whistle! :)

Our front yard is progressing too as Jeff has been hard at work the past couple of weeks. All of the old rock has been removed, new dirt has been brought in, mounds have been formed, plants have been planted ... oh, it's coming along. He still has more planting to do and then will bring in our new rock. It's so labor intensive and I can't understand why he enjoys it so much, especially when it's 100 degrees outside but he definitely puts a lot of heart into it and it shows. Wait til you see it! :)

We look forward to a visit next week from our friends Colin and Dev from Vancouver and the following week from my cousin Nikki from NY. It's hard to believe that by the time that's all said and done, we're at the end of September already...

8/14/08

Gatlinburg Adventure!


Kristina: We are back from our latest adventure and it is good to be home! We had a wonderful time with Jeff's family and it was so good to see everyone and I enjoyed getting to know them all a little better. Gatlinburg was a neat little town to visit and where we stayed worked out perfectly for each family. The grounds were beautiful with lush landscaping and tall green trees. It was a nice change from our brown desert landscape we see here everyday! Some of the fun outings we had included dinner with the entire family we were there with, a night out at the Dixie Stampede, hiking to a waterfall in Smoky Mountain National Park (I wasn't sure I would make it!), riding the tram up the Ober Gatlinburg which offered us wonderful views of the city and then the rest of the family (not me... I watched Josh and the purses!) enjoyed the Alpine Slide up at the top, we enjoyed breakfast at the Pancake Pantry, mini-golf (my favorite course ever I must say!), touring through downtown Gatlinburg, and many late nights enjoying the company of Jeff's cousins and playing games in the game rooms we had in our cabins. We had pool tables, Ms. PacMan, air hockey, foosball, Wii... It was quite the week!

Once we checked out there, we headed to Atlanta to visit with my friends, Heather, Dave, and their two little girls, Claudia and Juliette. Jeff got to see and catch his very first firefly! It was a momentous occasion! :-) We really enjoyed our time there and it gave us some valuable insight to parenting a 3 and 1 year old. Life's going to be busy the next few years! We only stayed for one night but itworked perfectly and gave us time to enjoy a nice dinner & breakfast, courtesy of Chef Dave, and an afternoon at the park watching the girls play. It was a great way to end our vacation!

7/20/08

12 Weeks to go and counting....

Kristina: We're happy to report that all is going well in the life of the Heptings! Baby h is still showing off his moves and they are definitely getting stronger and more noticeable to the outside world. The books are telling us that the baby now gets startled by loud noises which is kind of funny. I can totally feel an abrupt movement from him at the sound of an unexpected, loud noise. He's probably just over 2 pounds right now and almost 15 inches long!

I continue to feel pretty good for the most part which I am so grateful for. Believe me, there's always something a pregnant girl could complain about but when you put it all into perspective, it's minor on most days. :-) My biggest battle recently has been my swollen feet and my acceptance of my new "cankles". That has been HARD!! So I am just trying to watch my sodium intake a little more carefully and attempting to elevate my feet more often. Hmmm.. can you say bon bons??! :-)

My wonderful sister in law will be hosting my shower probably at the end of August some time so I have recently braved the registering process. That was an overwhelming but fun experience. I had LOTS of notes from many friends who have had babies in the past couple of years ... it was awesome to have recommendations based on recent experiences! Plus I did my own research so I had a lot of information and felt very prepared. It was such a feeling of accomplishment once I was done!! It did feel surreal though... I won't lie! And this topic gives me the opportunity to "showcase" a talent of one of my dear friends, Stephanie Flies. She has decided to take her passion to the next level and is now creating invitations, birth announcements, etc. I've posted a link to her website, IDesign, under the add'l blogs listed on the right side of our page. Whether you're near or far, you should take a looksy... she is very creative and talented and will be doing my invitations, thank you cards and birth announcements. I'm very excited! Even her blog is so fun to read! There's a link to it from this page if you have time to see what I mean. :-)

Jeff has started a new project of re-landscaping our front yard. Now for those of you who don't know Jeff too well, not only does he enjoy projects, but he LOVES his yard! He is so creative and so good at keeping everything so nice, neat and lush looking. He does have a tendency, however, to wait until the absolute hottest days of summer to do these outside projects! Drives me nuts! So now, at 110 degrees outside, Jeff is raking and shoveling rock, removing and replacing plants, bringing in and shoveling down new dirt and laying down new rock. His hard work always pays off as I know we will love his new creation. I'll have to remember to take a picture and pass it along once we're all done.

We are looking forward to our friends, Scott and Erin, moving back this week! And we head out the 1st of August until the 10th for our family reunion vacation in Gatlinburg, Tennessee! So it will be probably be a while until our next "hello". We've attached a few pictures below for your entertainment...one is from a night out with my sister in law and her family. Jen's birthday was on the 14th so we all enjoyed a nice dinner at "Roy's" together. Unfortunately, I didn't get to enjoy a glass of wine as I normally would dining there, but only 12 more weeks, right? :-) And the other photos are of my growing belly. I have completed 28 weeks! Here's a link, also, to show the progression over the past 8 weeks. They're the same photos you've seen on here but you can see the "growth" a little more clearly this way. Just click on the album... you don't have to have sign in or have an account:
http://www.kodakgallery.com/ShareLandingSignin.jsp?Uc=10x03nej.4fvehonf&Uy=3zg66f&Upost_signin=Slideshow.jsp%3Fmode%3Dfromshare&Ux=0&UV=629001619002_120458182603&localeid=en_US

6/30/08

25 Weeks - 15 to go!

Kristina: It's been a while! I can't believe how quickly time passes! Baby h is still movin' & groovin' and we're at a fun stage now where Jeff can feel and see him moving in my tummy. This whole process continues to amaze us everyday! I have been feeling pretty good although struggling w/ some lower back discomfort, sore ligaments, swollen feet (the list could go on!) but have been trying hard to focus on the "good" of it all! :-)

Gosh, so what have we been doing the past 5 weeks? Well, we've been getting Le Marche ready for its new tenant... we've had yard work and painting and fun things like that to do. And our tenant finally did move in this weekend only to discover a flood in our kitchen the day she got there! Sooooo... down to Le Marche we went... a couple of times... just when I thought we were done! All should be good but the washing machine valve got us when we weren't looking and caused some minor damage that we're working through. Luckily, God has blessed us with someone patient and understanding... well she is for now anyway! :-)

A few weeks ago, I had the privilege of joining the youth ministry's high school camping trip at Lake Powell as a volunteer leader. I've been involved with them since about last October, leading a high school girls' small group each Wednesday night at our church since January. It's been fun getting to know them and fun to reminisce to myself about what it was like to be in high school.... oh the worries we had back then... Yeah right! :-) But despite all of the challenges we had, and trust me, there were TONSSSSS, we had two kids come to Christ and one rededicate her life to Him. And in the end, that's what it's all about!

Last weekend, Jeff & I took a trip to San Diego. We thought it would be nice to get away for a weekend out of the heat & as a bonus, we would visit with our friend, Michael. Michael moved from AZ to San Diego about 3 years ago & he was a GREAT tour guide! We really enjoyed the time we had w/ him and with each other...even if it was San Diego's hottest weekend on record! Oh & we don't recommend Sea World when it's hot & if you're pregnant! :-)

So it's almost July now and there are so many things we are looking forward to over the next few months! We just found out that our close friends, Scott and Erin Bacchus, are moving back to Phoenix. YAHOOOOOOOOOOOOO!! We've all been praying for this for quite some time so we're very, very excited! And since Erin is 32 weeks pregnant, they are planning to be here by the end of July and I am just overjoyed that they'll be here for the birth of their baby and for the birth of ours! We are also awaiting our upcoming trip to Gatlinburg, Tennessee, which will be the first week of August where we are going for Jeff's Family Reunion. Every five years, he and his cousins plan an "FR" in a fun location that everyone agrees on. Gatlinburg came through in first place so off to the Smoky Mountains we go! It'll be very fun for everyone to be together again! Once we're back our baby & I will be "showered with love" by my dear sister in law and we'll start our birthing education classes. Jeff's really excited about that one! ;-) That will take us through the end of August... my how time is flying!

We appreciate your prayers more than you know and thank you for your love and friendship! We'll do our best to update our blog again in the next couple of weeks!

5/25/08

20 Weeks - Half way there!

Kristina: We have officially concluded 20 weeks of pregnancy and are half way to our October 11th deadline! I had another dr. appointment last week and got to hear the little guy's heartbeat again.... boy, is he squirmy! But I look forward to that sound every month. I can feel him moving quite frequently and have been feeling his little kicks. Perhaps he's already practicing to impress his daddy with his soccer skills!

We celebrated Jeff's 35th birthday this past week! God had to remind me that no matter how hard I try, I just will never be a good cook! It was a poke to the eye after I had spent 3 hours in the kitchen and nothing went right. But we had some good laughs about it. And I won't be cooking next year... that's for sure! (FYI, I do have a few good meals that I can cook... I'm not ALL bad!)

Jeff: Where's the nearest McDonalds?

Kristina: Hardy har har... ANYHOOOOO... moving along... we had a HUGE answer to prayer this week as we found a new tenant for the house we used to live in. We were very unsure how we'd be affected by the tragedy that occurred at the house w/ our previous tenant. Although legally we didn't have to disclose what happened, we felt it was the right thing to do even though it might bring us some challenges. We had two potential interests that we never heard back from once we shared the information with them. This left us feeling nervous & unsure about how long this process might actually take. A few days later, we had two more potentials who were still interested after we told them. We're not sure how we, ourselves, would've responded had we been "the tenant" so we are very grateful that God provided this person for us, one who we feel extremely comfortable & confident with moving forward. PHEW!!

For you Americans, we hope you've enjoyed the long weekend! :-) We ask for your continued prayers (U.S. and Canadian please) for the health of our pregnancy. And as promised, here are a few more photos! I'll try and make them more colorful next time! xoxoxo


5/14/08

Busted...


Kristina: Okay, so I've been called "busty" and it's been requested that I wear a more "fitted" top to show the belly. Sooooooooooo... thanks for the feedback (I think! :) and the pictures that were previously posted have gone bye bye. I will try to take some over this coming weekend... I'll see what I can find in the "dressing room" for something a little more loose up top and a little more snug at the bottom. But to give you an idea of how I feel and look, the gal on the left pretty much sums it up!
xoxoxoxoxo

5/12/08

We're having a . . . !!!

Kristina: Well... I am 18 weeks and 3 days pregnant and I feel amazingly great. Minus the constant pregnancy sniffles, a few aches & pains, and some extra added "fluffiness", I have so far felt really well!

We experienced today what we both described as the most amazing day of our lives! We had our 2nd ultrasound today and received the wonderful news that so far, our baby contains all the right ingredients for a healthy baby boy! We are overjoyed! Everything looked to be as it should and we are so thankful for this 7 inch, 7 ounce miracle!

Since I have been repeatedly asked for photos of my expanding mid-section, we have finally replaced our broken camera and are granting these wishes! (now leave me alone! :)

We will soon upload photos of our ultrasound for your viewing pleasure and we ask for your continued prayers! We'll be in touch again soon and send our love to you all. XOXO