It's a BOY!!!

I know most of you have probably heard, but our little one, Luke Henry Shumake, has arrived!!

I can't believe I haven’t updated on here since announcing our pregnancy - what a whirlwind of events has transpired since then!
In short, Justin finished his second degree in May, accepted a full-time position in June, we began house-hunting, we closed and moved into our new home in August, and my sweet Grandmother went home to be with the Lord after years of suffering. At the same time, we began childbirth classes, our car died and we had to find a new one to buy, we were getting settled into the house, and were very busy preparing for baby's arrival. I left my job at the beginning of October, we were blessed with multiple baby showers by our kind family and friends, and we traveled to Missouri for my brother’s marriage to a wonderful girl! Such a crazy time in our life, but a time filled with many blessings for which we are so thankful.

And now our biggest life change has occurred!

Our little one’s birthday for us began at 2:48am Wednesday, November 3rd. I was 39 weeks and 2 days. We had just found out late Tuesday that our baby appeared to be breech, and had an appointment early Wednesday am in Nashville to confirm the news by ultrasound. We then had plans to start doing what we could to get our little one to turn head down, hoping to avoid surgery and have the natural birth we'd prepared and hoped for. But "the best-laid plans of mice and men often go awry..." After lots of prayers and finishing the packing of our hospital bags Tues night, we went to bed. Just a couple short hours later, I awoke to my water breaking, sealing baby’s position inside – there would be no turning around now. Our little one was coming this day, one way or the other!
We headed to Vanderbilt, and by that time my contractions were already coming 3-4 minutes apart, making for a tense drive, knowing there was a good chance little one was not in the optimal position to be born. Our Midwife met us at the hospital and confirmed the baby's breech position by ultrasound. It was hard news for me to take, as they quickly began to prepare me for surgery. How different this was from what I had always pictured! Thankfully, the surgery went SO well, and Luke was born without any complications whatsoever. Praise God that he was able to arrive safely, and that, even though not the way we pictured, Justin and I were able to welcome him to the world together. How exciting it was to be told we had a little boy with a head full of dark hair, and as they brought him around the curtain for us to see immediately, he opened his eyes and appeared to look right at us. :) Our midwife, Margaret, took our camera over to where they carried him and captured his first moments for us. After what seemed like a lot longer than it likely was, Luke began to cry vigorously, relief pouring over us. We cried as we listened to our precious baby boy scream in protest at his abrupt entrance into the world. But he was safe, and he was ours. Praise God!

Photobucket
"What just happened to me??" Poor sweet baby!

PhotobucketHappy family of 3, after a long night and day

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PhotobucketHow could we not be in love??

PhotobucketReady to go home!

PhotobucketAbout to check out. :)

My recovery has been easier than I expected, for which I am grateful. My Mom is staying here for two weeks, which has been a HUGE help and blessing. We are adjusting to the sudden and huge life change that is having a newborn, and we are so in love with our little Luke. It’s amazing to think he was the one I carried inside all those months!
Hope all is going wonderfully with each of you!!
  • 23_bravo_7
    Now time for those 1 AM feedings. Lord willing someday you will know that "old" feeling of seeing ones you knew as a baby having babies of their own. How blessed for those who have them and those blessed with life to see them.
    by 23_bravo_7 at 11/16/10 5:47PM
  • firebolt
    I'm so happy for you, Justin and Luke!! And um, I love your little one's hair!!! He is so precious!!
    by firebolt at 11/16/10 7:15PM
  • bamy
    He is certainly precious! I wish I could get my hands on that sweet baby. I'm so sorry that you didn't get to have the birth experience you hoped for...that is so disappointing, but certainly the outcome of a healthy baby and mommy is a blessing! I love all three of you and hope things are going well at home. I'm sure your mom feels just as blessed to be there as you feel to have her!! Keep the pictures coming please :)
    by bamy at 11/16/10 9:17PM
  • mjintexas
    I love this post! I'm so, so happy for you. And I love his comment too. How blessed we are.
    by mjintexas at 11/16/10 10:13PM
  • tweedledee
    This is so sweet! Thanks for sharing! We are so happy for all of you!
    by tweedledee at 11/16/10 11:33PM
  • linz_foster
    I'm glad your recovery is going so well - have fun on your new adventure!! He's a doll. :)
    by linz_foster at 11/17/10 12:30AM
  • rebecca_mckay_howell
    That hair is just adorable! I'm so sorry that you didn't get the birth you planned for, but Lord willing if Luke is blessed with a sibling down the road you can get that birth!
    by rebecca_mckay_howell at 11/17/10 9:33AM
  • tweedledee
    How's the little one?! Update please!
    by tweedledee at 02/19/11 10:11AM
  • bigdeborah
    I really don't think we were giving her enough information but she was also trying not to be pushy. She told us when we met with her beforehand that she would come when we asked her to come.
    btw, your lil one is beautiful!
    by bigdeborah at 07/20/11 12:18AM
  • hanban
    I wish our boys could play together, too. I have to say, though, Ethan doesn't usually play with other kids (parallel play). He plays well with zeus, though... uh oh. Maybe he thinks he's a dog. :) Yes, you should update to tell the world how amazing your child is! BTW, He is one of the cutest kids I know, and I'm not just saying that. What a beautiful newborn he was!
    by hanban at 09/22/11 9:18AM

A picture to share...

Priceless...

Lord willing, we are expecting a sweet baby this fall!! Our "due date" is November 8th. We feel so very excited, humbled, and blessed. We earnestly ask for prayers for all three of us as we start this amazing journey!
Much love to you all!
  • tu_madre
    congrats (-:
    by tu_madre at 04/18/10 11:04PM
  • 23_bravo_7
    Good news, a child to be born into a wonderful family.
    by 23_bravo_7 at 04/19/10 5:28AM
  • firebolt
    I am so so thrilled for ya'll!. I cried when I saw this photo in FB. I will keep you all in my prayers! Congratulations! :)
    by firebolt at 04/19/10 6:59AM
  • pokey
    Congratulations!!!! I've also been waiting for this wonderful post! :) Prayers for a healthy pregnancy!!
    by pokey at 04/19/10 8:26AM
  • beckdobbins
    So so so so so very happy! Love you all so much! So excited for all three of you!
    by beckdobbins at 04/19/10 9:18AM
  • boromom
    Congratulations!!! You are right, it is priceless and a wonderful journey you have begun. :-)
    by boromom at 04/19/10 9:25AM
  • tweedledee
    WAHOOOOOOOO!
    by tweedledee at 04/19/10 11:13AM
  • mrs_worm
    aww, yay! I'm so happy for both of you! Let me know if you need anything or have questions or whatever!
    by mrs_worm at 04/19/10 12:13PM
  • mrs_worm
    Cute idea for the announcement!
    by mrs_worm at 04/19/10 12:13PM
  • rebecca_mckay_howell
    I LOVE the announcement!! Congrats!! You're gonna be an awesome mom!
    by rebecca_mckay_howell at 04/19/10 12:19PM
  • spinningbee
    Congratulations!!!
    by spinningbee at 04/19/10 12:32PM
  • audge
    I love your idea for the announcement! Congrats Jess...you and Justin will make such awesome parents. God bless you and your little one :)
    by audge at 04/19/10 6:58PM
  • elizabethk
    Congrats! The picture is perfect. :) Praying that all continues to go well for all 3 of you! =)
    by elizabethk at 04/19/10 9:38PM
  • mjintexas
    So happy for you!
    by mjintexas at 04/19/10 10:34PM
  • snickers63
    Soo sooo happy for you!!! Congratulations! I love the way you announced it!
    by snickers63 at 04/19/10 11:14PM
  • queenie03
    aww, i have seen that done before and it is precious. LOVE you guys!! SSSSSSSSSSSSSSOOOOOOO excited for your news!
    by queenie03 at 04/20/10 4:51PM
  • spike427
    yay!!!!!!!
    by spike427 at 04/21/10 1:06PM
  • beckdobbins
    No, she's actually in Nashville. I switched before I knew we were moving. She came highly recommended. Apparently she is the high risk dr in Nashville and I believe it! Her name is Dr. Cornelia Graves and she delivers at Baptist.
    by beckdobbins at 05/10/10 9:09PM
  • movieguyford
    You're going to have so much fun. I know everyone tells you what a blessing it is, and that you can't understand how great it is yet, blah blah.... it's absolutely true. What a wonderful blessing for the Shumake family.
    by movieguyford at 05/27/10 12:14AM
  • beloved
    Thanks for getting me all of the invites to the different pregnancy groups! They look like great resources!
    by beloved at 07/23/10 8:03AM

Headed to the mountains...

Justin and I are about to leave for the Smokies! It's Justin's spring break, and we both got some time off from work. We are SO excited to get away and couldn't be happier. :) We're meeting his parents, Adam & Rosie, Phillip & Tracy, and all of their kiddos too, of course! We have a cabin rented and are looking forward to soaking in the beauty of the mountains, with lots of relaxation and time together. Hope you all have a great week!
  • mrs_worm
    JEALOUS!!! Have fun. What cabin will you be staying in? I have researched cabins a few times for different vacations. We've stayed in "Eight is Enough" and "Lasting Impression". Both were gorgeous and definitely cabins we would go back to!
    by mrs_worm at 03/08/10 1:10PM
  • pokey
    Sounds nice!! Have a great time!!
    by pokey at 03/08/10 3:58PM
  • neenee
    WOO! So happy for you! Enjoy. :)
    by neenee at 03/08/10 7:08PM
  • bamy
    Have fun! So happy you both get a break!
    by bamy at 03/08/10 10:07PM
  • beckdobbins
    have fun!
    by beckdobbins at 03/09/10 10:48AM
  • mjintexas
    How fun! Have a great time!!
    by mjintexas at 03/09/10 3:29PM
  • tweedledee
    Wahoo!! Soooo fun! Can't wait to hear some stories and see some pictures!
    by tweedledee at 03/13/10 8:48PM
  • mrs_worm
    We love the smokies, they are so pretty! There's also tons to do! We went two yrs in a row (08 and 09), but... I don't think we'll go this year. Hopefully we'll go back next year?? I miss it!
    by mrs_worm at 03/20/10 8:57PM
  • 23_bravo_7
    Don't think so. Her last name is Garcia. They only came to HS a few years ago.
    by 23_bravo_7 at 03/22/10 3:16PM
  • beckdobbins
    Hey Jess, it went really well. It was so reassuring to see the little one. They are doing great! I've decided to switch to a different high risk dr in Nashville. I have that appt in a couple weeks and am looking forward to it! Hope you all are doing well!
    by beckdobbins at 03/30/10 7:13AM

The Sled

Well, we wound up having a FANTASTIC weekend following my last post about the impending winter storm. But before you can appreciate hearing about our weekend, you need a little history...

My family moved to Tennessee from Florida in the fall of 1994. My parents found us a home on 1 1/2 acres of beautiful land. Our yard backs up to acres of woods, and we spent many hours playing on our beloved wooded hill. At the top is a clearing that runs the entire length of the hill, creating a fantastic place for sledding. (And a great workout year-round!) The first 2 winters we lived there we had a couple really nice snows of 6 or 7 inches. We Floridians just loved it and assumed that this was normal for the area. We ran out and bought a little plastic sled when the first big snow was predicted, and we had a blast with it, even if it was cheap and less than ideal. It survived those first couple snows and then succumbed to the rigorous hill and cracked. The next winter my dear Grandparents gave me and my brothers a beautiful, old fashioned wooden sled, complete with metal runners. Here we are with our Grandparents and cousins! :)

Smaller

We were ecstatic and couldn't wait to try it out when the next big snow came...

It never did.

It's been hanging in my parents garage since 1996.

Every winter since, we have thought longingly of that sled, just hoping for the chance to get to use it. We would have a few snows here and there, but nothing over a few inches. Due to the rough terrain of the hill, you really need at least 5 inches to cover the rocky ground and make sledding safe or even possible. We began to joke that the sled was a curse and that it would never snow again until we burned it, ceremonially. We refrained, hoping it would have its chance yet!
But as the years passed, our hopes dimmed. Now that all of us kids were grown and out of the nest, what were the chances of ever getting to use the sled? What was the likelihood that we would all be at home together when the infamous big snow finally came?

Fast-forward to Friday, January 29, 2010.
That's when my parents had to decide at the last moment that they couldn't come up to Bowling Green to spend the weekend with us kids as planned. The predicted winter storm would make it too hard for my aunt to come and care for my Grandma as had been planned.
So we kids decided to take the weekend to THEM instead. :) We weren't going to miss out on our weekend together. And in the back of our minds, we were all thinking, "Maybe we really WILL get a big snow this time....maybe we'll finally get to use that sled...”

Jeremy, Justin and I were lucky - we all got off work early and headed for my parents' in the early afternoon Friday, trying to beat the storm. The snow started falling as we made it further south, and by the time we got home, there were already several inches on the ground. Mom said that Dad was up on the hill, making sure the sled run was clear. We all bundled up and ran up to help him clear the way! Dave and Sarah made it in later that night, but they didn’t have as fun a trip down, as the roads were much slicker by then. Thankfully, they made it in slowly but surely – and safely. We had a great night, talking by the fireplace, watching the snow fall, and looking forward to the next day.

By the next day we had over 5 inches, with a half inch of ice on top! After lunch we pulled out the sled and set out through the woods and up the hill. The snow covered woods were GORGEOUS! The sled run turned out to be just right, as the little ice on top packed things down and made for a breathtakingly fast ride! It honestly was a little frightening just how fast you would go! The sled was still in great condition even after all these years of hanging in the garage. It performed beautifully and was even better than we’d always hoped!! :) Mom and Dad were right there in the middle of it with us, and Mom even got the record for going the furthest!! I love my parents. :) Here's a video. It doesn't look as fast as it felt!



It only took a couple hours for us to get worn out, as it’s quite a hike back up the hill each time! We headed back to the house for some hot chocolate and to exult in our adventure. The rest of the weekend was much enjoyed as well, filled with delicious food, laughter, and good times. :)
I am so blessed in having such a great family that enjoys being together this way, and I am so very thankful!

In other news, work is going just fine for both of us, and Justin has started his LAST semester!! He is soo busy, but there are only three months to go! This week we’ve been enjoying the Olympic Games. I’ve always liked the figure skating, and this year we’ve gotten into the Moguls, Snowboard Cross, and all kinds of events. And we loved seeing Shaun White in the Men’s Halfpipe!
Which event is your favorite??

  • 23_bravo_7
    Don't care to watch the Olympics, not enough shooting events. Your post brings back a lot of good childhood memories. Bucknell Elementary School hill in VA and a long sled with Dad, Mom, Danita and me on it going down that long hill. With all the people who used to congregate there it is a wonder no one ever got hurt. Sleds don't make quick turns or have breaks.
    by 23_bravo_7 at 02/20/10 5:28PM
  • neenee
    You write your blogs so well! Sometimes I think you need to write as a side job. ;) I love the story about the sled! I miss sledding so much (I grew up in the mountains of West Virginia!) But I haven't been sledding in YEARS..... :( I'm glad you could make such good memories with your family!! :)
    by neenee at 02/20/10 7:58PM
  • linz_foster
    Fun! We have been total opposite this year - we got a tiny bit of snow, but it's been a really mild winter! The picture you posted is teensy-tiny for me...maybe I'm not doing something right.
    by linz_foster at 02/20/10 9:39PM
  • beckdobbins
    Sounds like so much fun! I LOVE the figure skating :) But they have all been fun to watch!
    by beckdobbins at 02/20/10 9:58PM
  • julie
    How fun!
    by julie at 02/21/10 2:52PM
  • kris
    Ooooh! Sounds so fun! What wonderful blessing to all be together!
    by kris at 02/21/10 3:07PM
  • beckdobbins
    looks like the perfect place to sled! The refills make such a big difference!
    by beckdobbins at 02/21/10 3:15PM
  • firebolt
    Awww...I love this blog! I'm glad ya'll are enjoying the snow! :D

    by firebolt at 02/21/10 4:02PM
  • linz_foster
    Now I can see it. :)
    We usually don't get a ton of snow here in Portland/Beaverton - usually one or two snows a year, and it either doesn't stick, or we'll have one day where a couple of inches hang around until it rains. But occasionally we'll have a year where it snows several inches and stays for a couple of days.
    Up on the hills/mountains close to us, it snows a lot. But down here, when it snows, no one knows what to do, so all the schools close and everyone stays home from work. :)
    by linz_foster at 02/21/10 5:38PM
  • staci
    I have been so sad to have missed the great snow this year. I remember when it stopped snowing so much in TN. I'm so glad you could have such a nostalgic weekend! Miss you!
    by staci at 02/21/10 9:26PM
  • snickers63
    I had heard about the curse of the red sled! I'm so glad that you all were able to come down and put it to good use!!!! What a ride!!!!!
    by snickers63 at 02/21/10 10:40PM
  • tweedledee
    What a fun story =) I love that hill!!!!!
    by tweedledee at 02/22/10 10:57PM
  • mjintexas
    I LOVE that first picture!! And what a great story :)
    by mjintexas at 02/24/10 11:53PM
  • spike427
    love that story!!! so sweet.
    by spike427 at 03/06/10 9:59PM

Winter Storm Warning...

They're saying we could get as much as 5-9 inches of snow by Saturday, which is a LOT for around here. It hasn't snowed that much since the mid '90's, so I'm pretty excited about it! Of course, they often miss these forecasts, so it could turn out too be much ado about nothing. But I can't help but be hopeful!
The only negative is that my parents are supposed to come up and spend the weekend with us, and we've all been looking forward to it so much! So, I'm just hoping they will be able to get away and here safely, so they can enjoy the snow with us.
What are your plans for the coming weekend??
  • beckdobbins
    I love your profile pic! You two are so cute!
    by beckdobbins at 01/28/10 7:35PM
  • mjintexas
    Wow! Hope you enjoy your snow if you get it!
    by mjintexas at 01/28/10 9:55PM
  • linz_foster
    Hope you get a visit from your parents and snow. :)
    This weekend is my nephew's birthday and a baby shower for triplets that I'm making 2 desserts for. Fun!
    by linz_foster at 01/28/10 10:51PM
  • kris
    My MIL flys in town on Saturday for the week, looking forward to time with her, and lecture week. A blessing to be able to see so many wonderful friends this time each year here in Tampa! Enjoy your snow!
    by kris at 01/29/10 7:23AM
  • spike427
    i just want to snuggle inside where it's not cold this weekend. we're getting a cold front (sans any snow!)
    by spike427 at 01/29/10 11:08AM
  • bamy
    I hope your parents got to visit. My mom came to see me this weekend, too. There is just something about having your mom around that makes everything easier! I hope you and Justin are doing well! Miss you!
    by bamy at 01/31/10 5:06PM