Labor Day

John timing my contractions...we were on "Lap 40" at this point, almost 3 hours into his timing.

I am kind of thinking of today as my Labor Day in the very literal sense that one year ago today I spent about 20 of the 24 hours of March 1 in labor as Sage worked to get her way out into the world. It’s one of those days where I have looked at the clock periodically and thought, “at this time last year _______.” Although it’s not the day she was born it was really the beginning and I almost think of the 1st and the 2nd of March as one day in regard to Sage’s birth.

I recently finished writing out the birth story–which was more than six pages–and also included a Cliffs Notes version. Below is a Cliffs Notes of the Cliffs Notes.

Cliffs Notes
– Very first contraction was felt after a very close and intense GFU women’s basketball game at Lewis & Clark (Saturday, February 26).
– Continued feeling contractions periodically over the next couple of days, but carried on with normal life.
–  Real contractions started early Tuesday morning, March 2.
– Called our midwife, Desireé, around 8am and she said to let her know when contractions got to be consistently 4 minutes apart.
– Spent the day resting as much as we could.
-The consistent 4 min contractions never exactly happened, so when Desireé came to check things out about 4:30pm, we were all surprised that I was in over halfway dilated.
– The birth team was called and we got down to the business of having a baby.
– Long night and slow progress from there.
– I was nearly fully dilated in the early hours of the morning but my water hadn’t broken. After moving around and changing positions yet again it finally broke and we were able to move into pushing.
– Pushed for about 1 ½ hours and our baby was born just before 8am on Wednesday morning, March 2.
– Sage Charlotte-Rose Macy weighed 7 lbs, 13 oz, and was 21 inches long.
– Birth attendants included Desireé LeFave, Carmen Cosby, Karla Williams, and Angie Chisholm. Aunt Linsey Macy was also there through the night and morning taking photos.

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Lopez

If you have never been to the San Juan Islands in Washington State, do not delay, make your plans now. Seriously. It is a stunning and serene area that we love. John and I have been coming here for nearly 10 years (ever since we started dating) and many of the trips we have made have been with our dear friends (who also happen to be related), Derin and Andra. It was fitting, then, that they invited us to join them on Lopez Island in September. We had never been to Lopez and we just might not ever need to go to any of the other islands in the archipelago–it definitely captured us.

The home in which we stayed for the week was about a mile to the nearest beach/state park, Spencer Spit State Park. We made that walk at least once a day, often multiple times. The view from the home looked across to another island but was also the thoroughfare for the ferries. It seemed that any time you looked out there was a ferry either coming or going. I loved seeing this. We had mostly good weather (September is the secret month! shhh…) and were able to spend much of our time outside walking, biking, exploring, paddleboarding, crabbing, sitting, talking, and relaxing. We enjoyed living an island paced life for a week!

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Visiting Aunt Emily

Flipping the calendar back to October… Sage and I flew to the East Coast to visit her Aunt Emily, my youngest sister, over a long weekend. Emily and Jess were great hosts even giving Sage and I the master bedroom of their apartment–complete with elliptical trainer (broken), private bathroom, and cable TV. Sage was a great traveler, sleeping much of the time as we flew from Portland to Chicago and then to Dulles. Phew!

The weekend was relaxing and fun as we got to meet and hang out with Emily and Jess and their friends. We hit a pumpkin patch, checked out Old Town Alexandria, hiked at Great Falls National Park, watched Emily’s team–the Dallas Cowboys–on Sunday night football, saw the AOL campus where Emily works, did an Insanity workout, hung out on the rooftop of their apartment building (which had an awesome view of DC), and just chilled together.

The return flight was just as good and Sage was a star. We flew Southwest and I could see people making the distinct choice not to sit by me as they saw a baby in lap. It was a relief that she did so well and made friends with everyone around her (think we have a social girl on our hands).

You can see these monuments from the top of Emily's apartment building: Air Force, Washington, Jefferson, and The Mall

 

 

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11 months and counting

I know we always are amazed at how quickly time passes, but SERIOUSLY, our daughter is going to be one year old in less than 30 days. Holy cow, how did that happen? I haven’t been real regular about the monthly mile marks and updates, but this month there is one big noteable:

She only has two teeth, but the kid is walking! It’s so fun to watch her cruise around and she gets a kick out of going for “walks” around the house or out in front of our house, holding one of our fingers and waddling around.

Other things she’s doing that at least we find interesting:

  • Pointing at everything and saying “that?” or at least that’s our interpretation. This is constant from the moment she gets up and throughout the day. Most of the time we don’t have a clue what she’s pointing at, but we just start naming anything in the general vicinity of her finger’s direction.
  • Her food consumption has gone up and she’s trying all kinds of new things, but peaches remain her number one favorite food, followed by any kind of beans.
  • Climbing. She loves to climb–stairs, pillows, the fireplace, the playground–you name it. Up and down, up and down.
  • Playing the piano. Whether it’s the little toy piano she got for Christmas, Mawmaw’s traditional upright, or John’s electronic piano she likes making “music”.
  • The playground down the street from our house gets a lot of visits from us. Nearly every day, unless it’s rainy, we try to get down there and let her swing and slide (which she fearlessly goes down head first). Sometimes we’ll meet John there on his way home from work so he can get some park time in too. Yay for more light in the evening!
  • She doesn’t really play with her toys too much. She spends most of her awake time making trips between her room, the living room and the kitchen, taking a few minutes here and there to climb on something, drag a book around, pull all the videos off the shelf, play with the magnets on the fridge, open all the kitchen cupboards, throw/chase a ball (or the new hacky sack from Gum) around, and take all the shoes off the shoe rack.
  • Reading books. Okay, really she likes turning the pages and seeing how fast we can read the book to her. Brown Bear, Brown Bear, The Snowy Day, Knuffle Bunny, and the book her Gus made herabout herself are her favorites.
  • Giving kisses. She’s not super consistent about it, but this month she really started giving kisses more and it’s the usual kid-open-mouth deal, but somehow we still want her to kiss us!

This month she went on her first snow adventures. The first was at Timberline where we climbed to the top of Palmer chairlift (about 8500 feet). John skied down and I snowshoed to where we met at the Silcox Hut and then down to the parking lot. The second was on a snow day with her cousins and Great Uncle Daryl to White River day use area. We spent some time hiking in our snowshoes and then sledding. She wasn’t a big fan of sledding, but she’s doesn’t mind hanging out in the pack and being hauled around!

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Phoenix, Grand Canyon and Sedona

Part of the tradition we are trying to set along with Thanksgiving in Juarez is a mini-vacation in Arizona just before we head across the border. Last year we stuck close to Phoenix, visiting with our friends, the Rickeys, and family, the Andersons. This year we set our holiday plans to include both of those again as well as the Grand Canyon and Sedona.

What a trip! We flew in Saturday afternoon and were so lucky that we got to see every member of the Rickey family (Jeff, Debbie, Jon, Angela, Jacob, Joshua, Ali, Kyle, Maddie, and David!) over dinner at Jon and Angela’s. It was really special to be part of the gathering and to be able to introduce Sage to them all. We really enjoyed the time together through Saturday night and Sunday morning. Unfortunately, our time ended not in the way planned as Jon and Angela’s car was broken into and valuable items were stolen while we played at a park with the kids. (Definitely not as good as our plan to grab lunch at In and Out before hitting the road!) We left Jon and Angela with a Glendale police officer and them quickly making calls to credit card companies to alert them of the theft. Boo.

Our first stop from Phoenix was about 2.5 hours north in Flagstaff, which would be our home base for two nights. It’s pretty incredible to drive from Phoenix to Flagstaff as so much changes in such a short distance. We drove through desert and cacti and temperatures in the 60s to mountains and snow and temperatures in the 30s. We followed our noses from our hotel to the university district (Northern Arizona University seemed to be the lifeblood of Flagstaff), convinced that there had to be good, cheap food nearby. And there was! We found some delicious Mexican food that hit the spot. (Our personal rule–held loosely of course–when eating in Arizona: Eat as much authentic Mexican food as we can… and if there’s none to be found, go to In and Out or Pei Wei.)

Our Grand Canyon day started early as we wanted to make sure we had the most amount of daylight as we could in the park. Sage was sick with her first cold so we didn’t leave quite as early as planned, but we still managed to arrive mid-morning. The Grand Canyon is pretty amazing! It seemed so bizarre to me how you just drive and drive and there is really no sign of anything “grand” and then, all of a sudden, you’re standing at the edge of this massively deep canyon, almost without warning. Crazy.

It was plenty cold, which we had, thankfully, prepared for, but the sun was out and began warming us. We did our best to maximize our one day in the park, and taking into consideration a sick baby. After our walk to the rim and a few photos with hundreds of other people trying to get the same shot (SO glad we weren’t there in the summer, I’m sure it’s CRAZY with people!), we jumped a bus and ventured out on a trail down into the Canyon to “Ah-Ha Point”. The layers of the Canyon were incredible and just gorgeous–really, such a different view and beauty to hike into the Canyon versus standing on the rim.  Truly stunning! We continued to marvel at the depth and color and layers and all that we don’t know about geology.

Hiking out we grabbed the bus again and headed the opposite direction to the end of the park road at Hermit’s Rest. There were many beautiful stops along the way. At the end of the trek we got out and enjoyed a cup of cocoa inside a really cool, old stone house. Once warmed up, we returned to one of the lookout points to take in the sunset. It wasn’t an epic sunset, but the scene was still certainly epic. We picked a spot where you could see the Colorado River and soaked in the last rays of the cold winter sun before it got really cold. Finally, back on the bus and back to our car and, eventually, back to Flagstaff (but not after some more Mexican food!).

The following morning we headed out of Flagstaff going southwest this time with a destination of Sedona. We weren’t really sure (beyond big rocks) what to expect, but had been told by a friend, and Phoenix-native, that it was a must see. Wowsers! This place was the perfect spot for us. Warm, blue sky, sunny, and serious hiking. We stopped at visitors info booth and got a list of hikes; decided rather than doing the “easy” hike the attendant had recommended (he spotted the baby and took us for “easy” kind of folks) and went straight to Bear Mountain–5 miles round trip, 1800 feet elevation gain. Not the hardest hike ever, but it was no 1.5 miles round trip on a flat grade either. We had to bust it out in order to get back to Phoenix in time to pick up John’s parents from the airport, but it was just what we needed and was so incredibly beautiful. Sure didn’t hurt that it was in the high 60s either! Sage was feeling better, it felt so good to be working hard in the sun, and the scenery was great. Ah…an awesome way to end our time outside of Phoenix (well, that and the barbeque pork sandwich we grabbed on the way out of town! Do I talk about food too much? ;-))

We made it to the Phoenix Airport just in time to meet John’s parents. The five of us headed to John’s sister’s home where the rest of our Juarez team was hanging out. The following morning all 15 of us packed the cars and drove to El Paso and then over the border! The rest of the trip can be read about in previous blog posts.

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Juarez in photos

Next in the “Going Backwards” series, we revisit our time in Juarez. The blog post shared just after we returned certainly captured our thoughts and the video of the house going up well, but I wanted to share a few more photos to round out the visual aspect of our time there.

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Going Backwards

Sometimes you have to go backwards in order to move forward and this is one of those occasions. (Or, perhaps I am being inspired by Benjamin Button, which we recently watched for the first time…) We are climbing out of the hustle of the holidays and a full fall of photography and hoping to catch up on documenting life. Yesterday I posted about New Years Eve and today is Christmas!

This is the second year we have had both Macy and Hatch families living in the same city–we are so grateful for this–and are learning how to “do” holidays in a new way. We had the added bonus this Christmas of one of Erin’s sisters and her family joining us all the way from Fairbanks, Alaska! Our celebrating began Christmas Eve with the annual fancy breakfast. Usually this takes place at The London Grill, the restaurant of The Benson Hotel downtown Portland, but this year we opted to stay close to home and eat at JORY (which can be seen from our backyard). Crab cakes benedict were enjoyed by many (not by me!) and the meal was gorgeous, as seen below!

We do have to show off Sage’s Christmas Eve outfit, which Sherry made from an old sweater. The coolest!

A little Christmas Eve family photo session:

From JORY we headed to our house where we exchanged stocking gifts…

The rest of Christmas Eve was spent prepping for Christmas Day and enjoying the Christmas Eve service at NFC, which John played in this year.

Christmas itself was fun and definitely different having a kid! We seriously debated on whether or not to get Sage gifts, knowing she really would have no clue what was going on or care in the least. (I mean, the girl didn’t hardly even blink at the Christmas tree!) The whole of Christmas Day was spent with the Hatch family. Unfortunately our six-year-old niece came down with a stomach bug and spent the day quite uncomfortable. Not her best Christmas. It quickly passed to the rest of us and we all had a touch of it over the next couple of days. By mid-week we were through it and ready to get out and have some fun. The rest of the week was spent going to the movies, bowling, the Portland Children’s Museum; watching football and basketball; playing Spot It! and doing puzzles; and just hanging out.

In the end, we actually bought Sage two gifts–an activity doll and a toy cell phone–but did not give her either. She was so overwhelmed by all the fun gifts grandparents and aunts and uncles showered her with that it seemed better for us to save her gifts for her birthday in two months. That’s a win-win, I’d say!

It was a fun Christmas and we were so thankful to be able to enjoy it with so much family (and we really missed the family who couldn’t make it)! Oh, and my best gift? John gave me a day off–from 8am to 5pm on a weekday, he will take a vacation day and take care of Sage while I go out and do anything I please. Also promised was one movie ticket and a popcorn. Pretty awesome, right!?

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