Tag Archives: family

Into the Unknown

This morning in Sunday School, we talked about the Prophet Jeremiah (chapters 42-43).  Israel asked him to seek God’s will for their lives as their enemies were coming.  What God told them was completely illogical, and went against what they thought they wanted to do.  We also talked about other examples in the Bible where God asked his people to do crazy things—Noah and the ark, Abraham leaving his country to follow God to an unknown place, Jesus asking us to love our enemies, and on and on.  As the students were reminded, there will be times that God asks us to step out in faith and do something that goes against what the world says is logical.  And when that time comes, if we choose to follow Him, he has something better planned for our futures than anything we could dream up for ourselves.

 

We are at that place in our lives.  We absolutely LOVE our students, youth parents/families, church staff, and Wesley.  However, we have felt God calling us to something new, and we know that when God leads us, we must follow.

 

Words cannot describe the heaviness in our hearts as we deliver this news.  We will miss so many people, and we thank God for the time that He has given us together.  If we only focused on the leaving part, we wouldn’t be able to make it.  But we know that God has a bigger plan and purpose than any of us could imagine.  He has a plan for our family, and He has a plan for the Wesley Youth and their families.  Since He is calling us to begin a new chapter, we also believe that He is already preparing someone to come and love the students and minister to all of the youth families.

 

We would also like to give some insight into this decision.  As most of you know, Staci’s family is in Oklahoma, and Michael’s family is in San Antonio.  This means we are almost 9 hours from Staci’s family, and 5 from Michael’s.  As Josiah has gotten older, it has been difficult being so far away.  It is our desire for him to grow up closer to his grandparents and other family.  As we began to feel God drawing us to a new stage, we felt Him leading us towards the Dallas/Ft. Worth area.  This will be a great central location between our families (3-4 hours for each).  Staci also has a lot of family in Dallas, including her grandpa who was recently diagnosed with Alzheimer’s.  Many of you also know that we went to school in Dallas and met there.  All that to say, we feel the DFW area will be a great next step for our family.  We have also considered the Tyler area, because of our love for Pine Cove, the area, and Staci has family there as well.

 

In August, Michael began pursuing his Alternative Teaching Certification in Middle School Math.  One of his favorite parts of youth ministry is teaching the students, and we are looking forward to this new career choice.  We also feel that this will be a great springboard for ministry to students in a different setting, because we all know how much impact teachers can have on students.  While we have absolutely loved working with students for 5.5 years (over 3 of which have been at Wesley), we feel it is time for a different pace.  We will still be a part of ministry at whatever church God leads us to, but it will be on a volunteer basis.  This will also give Michael the opportunity to become more involved in the worship ministry of the church, which has always been one of his passions.

 

We have also applied for a ministry called Apartment Life.  If we are accepted into this program, we will be able to minister to people at our future apartment complex by planning a monthly event, welcoming new tenants, celebrating new babies, etc. in exchange for a portion of our rent.  We will also be encouraged and empowered to build relationships with our neighbors, possibly start an apartment Bible Study, and invite them to church.  Our prayer is that this will allow Staci to stay home with Josiah.

 

Please keep our family in your prayers during this time of transition.  We are trying to sell our house, and Michael is currently applying for teaching jobs.  We have no clue how God is going to work all of this out…all we know is that He is calling us to step out in faith.

 

We will continue to pray for the students, families, and Wesley as they are also in a time of transition.  As we mentioned earlier, we believe wholeheartedly that God has someone wonderful planned to come in and work with the students.

 

After visiting with our pastor and sharing all of this, we have collectively decided that our last Sunday will be January 5, unless Michael gets a job and needs to start before then.  It’s all coming so quickly…and it’s taking a lot of faith to resign without having something else lined up.  But we just keep on praying that God will provide and that He will help us rely on Him wholeheartedly in this time.  And while we are so sad to leave everyone here, we are excited to see what He has in store for our family.

 

Thank you to all of our friends and family, both here and away, for all of your encouragement and support.  We are so blessed to be a part of the ministry at Wesley.  While leaving our students and the youth families is the absolute hardest part of all of this, we know that God has a plan.  And just like we learned in Sunday School, His plan is always better than anything we could dream up for ourselves.

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–Michael and Staci

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P.S. If you’d like to read about our decision to move down here over three years ago, you can click HERE.  It’s a great reminder of how God orchestrates everything and how His plan is always the best.

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HOPE for MOORE T-Shirts

Hope for Moore

T-Shirts are $15, V-Neck T-Shirts are $20.  ALL PROCEEDS go to Disaster Relief in Moore, OK!

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For those of you who don’t know, my parents, sister, brother, and his family all live in Moore, OK.  I cannot even begin to describe how thankful I am that none of them were hurt in Monday’s disaster.  My parents’ house is literally one mile south of some of the worst damage.

The devastation is horrendous.  My heart feels like it’s been broken in pieces since Monday afternoon.

I wanted to do something to help with the relief, but I didn’t know what.  This morning, when Josiah woke up at 4:30 a.m., I had the idea to make a shirt.  After not being able to go back to sleep, I finally got up at 5:30 and got to work!

ALL PROCEEDS go to the Disaster Relief.  Orders and money are going through my church (thank you to my church for being so supportive and wanting to help Moore in this way!) so it is completely secure.  They will pass all funds on to UMCOR, the United Methodist Missions Organization that responds to disasters. All monies given to UMCOR go directly to the disaster area; none of it is used for administration, promotion or anything else.

I will be taking pre-orders for two weeks (until June 5).  The shirts will be in two weeks after that.  If I can get some corporations/individuals to underwrite the costs of the t-shirts, I will be able to order some extras to sell after the pre-order is over.  If you know of anyone, please email me at selizondo@wesleyumc.com!

You can find the order form below this.  Here’s the information on where to send your orders and money:

Staci Elizondo
Wesley United Methodist Church
3810 N. Major Dr.
Beaumont, TX 77713

Cash or checks only.  Make Checks Payable to Wesley UMC.  Write “Moore T-Shirt” in the Memo Line.

Please feel free to pass this information along.  Thank you!

–Staci

Hope for Moore Order


Happy New Year! – By M

2012 came to a close so quickly!  It was like all of a sudden we’re into 2013… a whole week into 2013!  So I realize this Happy New Years post is a tad late, but better than none at all, right?

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Since the last time I wrote on the blog we have celebrated Thanksgiving, vacationed at Disney World with my family, went to Harry Potter World at Universal Studios, played the part of the holy family (you know Mary, Joseph and baby Jesus) twice, vacationed in Oklahoma and spent time with family over Christmas, had both our cars die on us while traveling on vacation, experienced two snows, and now our baby boy is starting to sit up all on his own!

2012 was definitely a great year –full of change and new beginnings.  I look forward to 2013 and all that is in store for our family and seeing Josiah get bigger every day.

I hope that you and your family are well and are getting off to a great start to the year!  May you continually  experience God’s blessings.

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What is the best thing you can look back on from last year?  What do you look forward to this coming year?

Family at Disney World

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-M


Disney Trips Flashbacks

As I mentioned in my last post, we are going to Disney World in December!!  I am beyond excited.  This will be my fifth trip to Disney World–I’m so fortunate!  All of the excitement of our upcoming trip has made me think about past trips and how much I loved each one of them.  I thought it’d be fun to share some flashbacks of my previous Disney Trips!

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Summer 1989 (2 years old)

For some reason, this is the only picture I have of our trip.  My mom has more, but this is the only one in my scrapbook.

Like I said earlier, I don’t remember this trip at all, but I know my family had a great time!  We went with my mom’s whole family.  And one of the things about taking such a little kiddo (at least so I’ve heard) is that it’s more for the parents than the kids.  I know my parents loved watching me get so excited while we were there.  And I’m thankful that I was able to go at such a young age!

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June 2002 (15 years old)

I just took pictures of my scrapbook pages for this trip since I don’t have any digital copies of the pictures.  And here’s a close-up of our family:

This trip was a BLAST!  We camped at Fort Wilderness on Disney property, and stayed for a whole week.  My little sister was 5, my brother was 12, and I was 15.  We were all at such good ages for a Disney trip.  My uncle, aunt, and their 3 kids also went with us.  We had such a good time, even though it rained every day.  We felt like a group of ducks in our yellow Mickey ponchos!  We visited all the parks, both water parks, and played mini golf.

It was so wonderful to be there with my family.  We made SO many great memories, from dancing with the parade people at Epcot, to getting splashed on the last hole at Fantasia Gardens Mini Golf, to eating breakfast with Pooh and friends, to riding everything we wanted to at least once, to just being together.  It was one of my favorite vacations of all time!

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October 2006 (19 years old)

This was our “Girls and PawPaw Trip”.  I skipped college and took off work for a week in order to go on this Fall Break trip.  My mom, sister, aunt, cousin, her two girls, Meme & Pawpaw all went.  We really missed my dad and brother, but it was such a great trip!  We were on the Disney Dining Plan for the first time, and it was probably one of the biggest highlights of the trip!  (I’ll probably never go to Disney World without it now!)  It was also my first time to go “off-season” and now I’m sold on the short wait times and cooler weather!

We met TONS of characters,

Rode/saw everything we wanted to with virtually no waits,

Went to Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween Party,

Acted goofy,

Ate INCREDIBLE food with the Dining Plan,

And just had a great trip.

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September 2009

This trip was just Michael and me.  It was AMAZING.  We went as a sort of delayed honeymoon.  There will never, ever be another trip like this one.  We were able to do and see everything we wanted to–without having to do the things we didn’t want to.  We didn’t have a care in the world besides what to pick to eat.  And speaking of eating, we did the Dining Plan again and ate at incredible restaurants!  We were goofy and carefree, but also took time to enjoy just being together and celebrating us.  It was PERFECT.

We stayed at Animal Kingdom Lodge,

Met Mickey & Minnie,


Ate at incredible restaurants,

Saw all of the different nighttime events, including Wishes, our favorite fireworks show,

Had PRIME seats at all of the shows and rides due to planning, planning, planning (this is when I fell in love with planning Disney trips, by the way),

Took pictures in goofy hats around Epcot World Showcase,

Michael got to be in two shows,

Rode everything we wanted to at least once,

Took a tour (which was great),

Took tons of “magic shots”

& just had an AMAZING time together.

Like I said earlier, it was PERFECT.

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Needless to say, I am SOOOO excited about our upcoming trip.  It’s going to be so great to take Josiah to Disney World for the first time and get to spend time with family.  It’ll be here before we know it!

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–Staci

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Q for you:  Have you ever been to Disney World (or Disneyland)?  What was your favorite thing?

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A Post Of Thankfulness Part 1- By M

I’m not on Facebook all the time, but I get on enough.  Anyway… I guess the popular thing to do for the month of November is to post something everyday that you are thankful for.  I think this is a great idea and awesome way to remember the true heart of the Thanksgiving holiday (Turkey and football are nice, but you get my point).

The only thing with posting something you are thankful for each day, most people start strong and by the second week of November most people stop.  So I decided to make sure I get all 30 days of thankfulness in, I’m going to post all thirty things right here, right now… but so I don’t bore everyone to death I’m actually going to break this into 2 posts –15 today and 15 later this week– and I’m going to try to keep each one relatively short so you can read through them all.  (Lastly, they are in no particular order)

Here we go!

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1.) My faith – It has made me who I am today

2.) My wife – The way I’ve described it before is that we are so much better together than apart.  Staci helps me be a better person in so many ways and challenges me to always grow and mature in my faith and in my daily life…. and we have so much fun together and so so so much more!

3.) My son – He is a sweet little guy and has already shown me so much about life, unconditional love, and so much more.

4.) My family – Since I already mention my personal family unit (Staci and Josiah), this one is for my immediate family.  Couldn’t be blessed with better mom, dad, brother/sister-in-law, and sister.  Also, all of Staci’s family is so special to me.  You hear all kinds of in-law horror stories… none here!  🙂

5.) My family – I know I already said family; this is for all the extended family!  I love my aunts, uncles, cousins, etc. And once again, all the in-laws are awesome too!

6.) My job – Working with Staci is awesome. And getting to hang out with our students is awesome!

7.) Our students – We have an amazing group of kids at Wesley.  Love them to death!

8.) The Wesley Staff – While I’m still focused on the job front, we do have an incredible staff at Wesley

9.) Wesley Church Members – OK, one more for Wesley.  We do have some really awesome people in our congregation who care so much about their faith and each other.  What a great church family for Josiah to be raised in!

10.) Our house – Being able to build it from the ground up was a pretty cool experience. We love it and couldn’t be more happy to be here.

11.) My Heritage – Can’t lie… I love being a Mexican.

12.) The Spurs – Grew up loving them, going to games, watching them on TV.  I have lots of great (and not so great) memories with this team.  Love the way the Spurs really bring the city of San Antonio together… which brings me to…

13.) San Antonio – My home town.  It was an awesome city to grow up in.  I still love going to visit when I get the chance.  Mom, Dad, you better never move from there or I will be mad!

14.) The internet – Let’s face it… you wouldn’t be reading this if it weren’t for the inter webs!  But honestly, I love it for the quick and easy access to information and for how easy it makes keeping in touch with friends and family through email, facebook, blogs and…

15.) Facetime/Skype – I love that even though my immediate family are hundreds of miles apart we can still keep in touch through video chat!  And, it’s not like the really choppy stuff from back in the day; we’re talking quality audio and video here.  It’s especially nice with Josiah here so that he can see his family and they can see him even though we are so far apart.
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So those are a few… I’ll have more up soon so stay posted!

During this month of Thanksgiving, what are some things that you are thankful for?

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– M


Josiah’s Visitors

I (Staci) started working on this back in July, and forgot to post it.  Oops–we’ll call it “Mommy Brain” since I can no longer blame it on “Pregnancy Brain.”

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We’ve been so blessed by all of the friends and family who have come to visit little Josiah.  We thought it’d be fun to do a post of all of his visitors thus far. (Now, through the first month or so…)

We have TONS of pictures of him with our immediate family, but I’ll just choose my favorite of him with each person.

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Grandparents

Vovo’ (sounds like Vaw-Vaw: Portuguese for Grandma) – Staci’s Mom

Vovo (sounds like Voe-Voe) – Staci’s Dad

Grammy – Michael’s Mom

Pops – Michael’s Dad

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Aunts & Uncles

Tia Emmy – Staci’s Sister

Aunt Mandy & Uncle Rico – Michael’s Brother & Sister-in-Law

Titio Marcos and Titia Maddie – Staci’s Brother and Sister-in-law (we don’t have a pic with just him and Maddie, but here’s all of us together)

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Cousin

Elias – Staci’s Nephew

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Other Family

Meme – Staci’s Grandma

Pawpaw – Staci’s Grandpa

Auntie B – Staci’s Cousin, Bethany

Paul & Elizabeth – Staci’s Cousin & Wife (and soon to be babies!)

A – Staci’s Cousin’s little girl

Dodo – Staci’s “uncle”

Angie – Staci’s “aunt”

Trace – Staci’s “cousin”

Kylee – Staci’s “cousin”

Aunt Laura – Staci’s Aunt

Uncle Terry – Staci’s Uncle

Missy & C – Staci’s Cousin and her daughter

Michael & Paix (Daron, Michael’s husband also came, but we forgot to get a pic…) – Staci’s family

Uncle Kenny – Staci’s Uncle

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Friends

Amy & Sherry (& Amy’s son, B – not pictured) – One of Staci’s Best Friends from HS & her mom

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Church Family

Carly & Gracie – our youth

Pastor Robert – our pastor

Gail – friend & fellow church staff


Tyler – our summer intern (and friend from OK)

Barrett – our youth

Craig – our youth

Cal – our youth

M – one of the sweet girls from church

Elizabeth – one of our friends and youth moms

Courtlyn – our youth

Carlie – our youth

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Thank you SOOO much to everyone who came and loved on our little guy.  We are so thankful for all of our friends and family (and those who weren’t able to make it to visit, also).  We love you all!

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–Staci & Michael

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The Pride of Parenthood – By M

I can’t lie that these past few months haven’t been difficult.  I don’t think I have continuously ran on this little sleep for this long of a period of time in my whole life; not even in college!  And the amount of new responsibility and change in routine has been beyond what I thought.  But it is so rewarding and so awesome to have our little boy in our arms and watch him as he has already grown so much in these few short months.

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(Newborn Josiah)

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(3 Month Old Josiah)

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It’s been so fun to see Josiah learn and grow.  He’s just now getting to the stage where he really looks at you and responds (sometimes) to the things you do.  He’s started to smile a ton, and the other day even gave his first little squeaky laugh.

It’s funny how being a parent really opens your eyes up to your own childhood and parents.  It’s funny to see things on the other side.  You really start to appreciate parenting a lot more.

One of the things that hit me today was how proud I am to be our baby’s dad.  The funniest part is that he hasn’t really done a whole lot or given me much reason to take much pride in him.  Most of the time he sleeps, cries, and/or poops.  But the times I just get to stare at him sleeping I think about how blessed I am.  When he laughs while we play or get’s excited because he made a silly noise or sat up, my heart is full of happiness.  I think about how much more proud I will be when he begins to walk and talk, and read and write; when he get’s into sports, or band, or school clubs.  I’m thankful for our little boy, but I’m also thankful to look back and see that I know my parents felt the same way for me when I was Josiah’s age.  The pride of being a parent is like nothing you have ever experienced before.  And I know that pride will continue to grow over the course of our baby boy’s life, and I can’t wait.

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Tell us your story… What or who is someone you are so proud of and why?

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-M


2 Years Later – By M

2 years ago (just a few days back) marks when we moved from Oklahoma down to southeast Texas.  It’s funny how time has flown so much and how much can change in such a relatively short amount of time.

It’s been such a blessing to be a part of Wesley church over these past two years.  I can’t lie that there are things that we miss –being far from basically any family (especially immediate), and experience the seasons with the weather (down here it’s basically hot, not so hot, and really hot!)– but we have also loved being at our new church and new home.

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Here’s sort of a Trip down memory lane since our move (PS… Some have links to previous blog posts):

– when we first arrived, we found out on a very first day at church about the Wesley Pumpkin Patch.  It was crazy overwhelming and made for a very long day, but after two complete Pumpkin seasons and heading into our third it’s been a blast and a great part of our ministry here.  It’s also been a fun opportunity for me to make it onto our local news stations every year.  In fact, one of my most memorable moments was being interviewed by Fox news my 3rd day on the job.  I had fun with that.

– That same day we left for IKEA in Houston and bought some new furniture!  It was my first trip and now I’m hooked.

– Staci went to her first Spurs game at the AT&T Center!

– We celebrated our 2nd anniversary up in Dallas!

– We spent our 3rd Christmas together in our third house, so we had to figure out how to decorate all over again.

– Went on my first Ski Trip!

– We began searching the housing market for when our apartment lease was up.

– My brother got married in Memphis and we got to road trip it up there together which was pretty fun!

– We jumped out of a plane!!!

– We found where we wanted to build our new home and began the process!  Before we new it we were moving in!

– Built my first porch on mission trip!

– Read all the Harry Potter Books and saw all the movies… umm… maybe 3 times….

– Found lots of new good music for all seasons!

– Moved to a new house!

– Got Pregnant!  And shared our story!  And found out he was a boy!

– Celebrated another holiday as a family… the first one in our new home!

– Celebrated our 3rd anniversary together in San Antonio!

– Had countless youth activities including: Christmas Parties, Halloween Parties, Mission Trips, Summer Camps, Retreats, A trip to Sacramento, CA, Beach Trips, Pool Parties, and tons more!

– Our Baby Boy was born!

And here we are starting our 3rd Pumpkin Patch season!  We can’t believe that it’s all flown by so fast (even though sometimes it feels like it’s been a really long, long journey)!  We have been so blessed in so many ways over these past 2 years and we are very thankful!  We look forward to the coming years with our sweet son and our new family unit!

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What have you been up to these past 2 years?
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– M


Our Sweet Boy Part 2 – A Father’s Perspective – By M

Hopefully you had the opportunity to read “Our Sweet Boy Part 1” Posted by Staci a few weeks ago.  If you haven’t you can get to it by clicking HERE (click the word “here”).   I don’t want to repeat too much of what Staci wrote, I just hope to give you a little perspective on how it felt to become a dad the day that Josiah was born.  Also, this is my third attempt at trying to complete this post, so I’ve decided to shorten it some anyway.  So hopefully you can read along and enjoy.

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As Staci mentioned in her post, on Tuesday, July 3, we headed to the hospital early in the morning to meet our little guy later that day.  I was pretty excited.  I’ve never been to the hospital for myself before (and I guess technically I still haven’t, but this is the closest I’ve gotten).  Staci got prepped and I got into my scrubs.  The doctors/nurses filled us in on the process of trying to get our baby turned so that he could come into the world facing the right direction and what the procedure would be in case of the need of a C-section.  This is where things started getting intense and more real in my mind; I didn’t want there anything to happen to my little boy that would hurt him.  I listened intently.

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This is where being a father up until our baby actually being with us was so hard — all you want to do is fix things that you just cant fix.

For example: when Staci was dealing with morning sickness, the best I could do was help her avoid the food that turned her stomach and keep her hair out of the way when she was bent over the side of the toilet.  Or when Staci was put on bed rest, the best I could do was get her what she needed which I know was a big help, but I couldn’t fix the problem.  Then Josiah never turned the right direction for delivery and there was nothing I could do… helplessness is not a fun place to be

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So I got all “scrubbed” up and ready to go

When our doctor began the procedure it was another one of the toughest things I’ve had to sit through.  She had to press on Staci’s belly, and our baby boy, as hard as she could to try to get him turned around.  Staci was in so much pain, and all I could picture was our little boy on the inside getting so sad and hurt.  Once again, the best I could do was stand there and let Staci squeeze my had till I had no feeling left in my fingers and continue to encourage her to be strong and tell her that she was doing such a good job.  After 4 tries and about 20 minutes with no results the doctor, and Staci, finally conceded that this boy was going to stay breach.  So we moved over to surgery.

For the next 10 or so minutes I waited outside the surgery area as they prepped Staci and got her nice and numb from the chest down.  As I waited, the anxiety sort of reminded me of waiting to see Staci on our wedding day.  Of course, there were a lot of other nerves running through my body like fear.  I didn’t know how things were going to turn out.  I knew that God had things under control, and I had to continue to remind myself of that and just breathe deeply.  Talk about the longest 10 minutes of my life.  In fact I started to wonder if they might have forgotten that I was standing outside, but then I knew that there was no way in the world that Staci would let them touch her before I was in the room with her.

Eventually I was called back to the room, and it felt like I had stepped into an episode of ER.  Like I said before, I’ve never had any kind surgery or been in the hospital for any kind of procedure.  The lights were shining down over Staci’s belly with about 5 doctors and nurses surrounding her working away.  I looked at Staci and thankfully she was so peaceful which helped set my heart at ease.  I didn’t really know what to do while we waited so I told her about waiting in the hall, and we made some small talk about how crazy it was that our son was going to be with us any second.  Before we knew it we heard little baby moans and groans coming from across the curtain that separated the surgery from our faces.  My eyes started to well up as I told Staci “That’s our baby boy!”  Then our doctor called the birth time and lifted him up for us to see!  It was a moment like I’ve never experienced my entire life.

This was a picture we took after seeing our baby boy for the first time:

Yes, if you can’t tell, there are a few little tears rolling down my cheeks.

The nurses then took our boy to get him cleaned up and I had my first opportunity hold him in my arms.  It’s funny how I’ve never been much of a baby holder, but as soon as the nurses handed Josiah to me, I felt like I had been doing it for years (paternal instincts I guess).

I’ve never felt so much pride and joy and good feelings all at one time!  It’s so crazy to think that I was part of making a brand new life.

I know that it had to be hard for Staci not to be able to hold him right away because of the C-Section, but I have to admit that it was a pretty special thing to be the first one (besides doctors) to hold our son.  The nurses had to take him to the nursery, and it was hard to leave Staci behind but I knew the doctors were going to take good care of her.

We got up to the nursery and they weighed our little boy who came out to be 7 pounds and 19 inches long.  It was a really special time getting to stay with our little baby boy for the first hour or so. During this time I had two of the most memorable moments of my life:

1) When Josiah first grabbed on to my finger while he was laying in his baby bed!

2) When our family came to the window and all stared in at him with so much pride and excitement!  Now that I think about it, I wish I had a picture from that moment.

Eventually I got to go back and see Staci and show her all the pictures I had taken of our little guy!  It was a really sweet moment for the two of us.  Then I headed back to the nursery while they took Staci from surgery recovery to her room.  On my way back to the nursery I was able to see the family and talk with them about it all and show them some of the pictures too!  It was such an awesome time to spend together.

We finally were able to all head over to where Staci was at and she had her first moment holding our little guy.  It turned out to be a crazy first couple of days with Staci unable to get out of bed.  Thankfully with my mom and her mom there they were able to help walk me through diaper changes, swaddling, and baby holding techniques while Staci recovered.  Talk about trial by fire.  I had never touched a diaper in my life and by the first night I was changing them on my own.  It was all pretty scary for a lot of different reasons, but it was so nice having Staci there with to coach me through it all from the bed.

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Most of the rest of the story is all kind of a blur with a lot of awesome things that I have already gotten to experience as a father.  Over a few following posts I hope to share some more of my journey into parenthood.  It’s been a lot of work and not a lot of sleep, but every second has been so worth it.  Even after 6 weeks, it still feels funny to know that I am a dad!

Every time I lay eyes on the little guy I find myself staring for minutes at a time!    And so I leave you with a few of my favorite pics of the little guy!

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The two loves of my life together for the first time

Three Generations of Elizondo Boys

First Diaper Change

Father and son

From his first home sponge bath

Playtime with daddy!

A Picture from Josiah’s photo shoot with Ashley Fisher Photography (click for link) at one week old (those are my hands he fit so small into)

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– M


Our Sweet Boy part 1

This post is very long overdue.  But we’ve been just a little bit busy over the past two and a half weeks.  In a matter of minutes our lives were forever changed.  And neither of us would trade one moment of the past two weeks and five days.

Even the nearly sleepless nights are worth it because we get to see our precious little boy.  We’re constantly in awe of this gift that God has given us.

I’d like to take a few minutes to introduce you all to the little guy who has stolen our hearts.  Here’s a glimpse into the story (so far) of Josiah Michael.

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On July 3 I was scheduled to try to turn him at 7:00 a.m.  We got to the hospital at 5:45 and they prepped me for a C-Section in case the turning wasn’t successful.  If it was, I would go to Labor & Delivery to be induced.  Either way, we knew we would have our little boy by the end of the day!

The attempted turning was the most painful thing I’ve ever been through.  I should have listened to my cousin when she told me to skip it and go straight for the C.  But I really wanted to try to get him turned.  After 4 unsuccessful attempts with my doctor pushing on my stomach with all her strength, she and I both knew that it was time for the C-Section.  Our boy just didn’t want to turn around!

While I was given my spinal block and prepared for the C, Michael waited outside the room.  He would get to come in when they made sure I was nice and numb.

When he came in the surgery room, he told me that the way he felt waiting to come in was the same way he felt waiting to see me before we got married.  We both knew that this was going to be one of the biggest days of our lives.

We were talking and in a matter of minutes (less than 3 to be exact), we heard Josiah make little noises.  As Michael said, “I’ll never forget that sound for the rest of my life.”  Then they held our little boy up above the partition and we were able to see him for the first time.  Even though he was all messy, he was absolutely perfect!

After a couple of minutes, Michael was able to go back to where the nurses were cleaning him up.  Then he came back to me and one of the nurses brought Josiah to him.  The head surgery nurse and the anesthesiologist took some pictures of us meeting him.

Even though I couldn’t hold him, my heart completely melted as I got to see him and touch him for the first time.  He was OURS.  And he was finally here!

While I went to recovery, Michael was able to go to the nursery and be with our boy.  Here are a couple of sweet pictures of their time together.  I absolutely love this one.  It’s so incredible that such a tiny little guy can grasp his daddy’s finger so tightly.

I love the pride, love and joy on Michael’s face.

Michael came in to my recovery room and told me his birth time, height, and weight:

Josiah Michael born 8:16 a.m.  7 lbs even, 19 inches even.  🙂  We were both just so proud of him!

After a few minutes, they wheeled me into my room and I was finally able to hold our sweet son!

There is nothing that can describe that feeling.  I was just overwhelmed with love and awe.  This perfect little baby had been inside of me.  And now he was in my arms!  Michael and I had prayed and tried for him for so long.  It truly felt like a miracle to be able to hold him.

It was so wonderful to have our family there.  My parents and sister and Michael’s parents were there.  Later that day my grandparents and cousin came.  Michael’s brother and sister-in-law came that weekend, and we had other special visitors throughout my stay and once we got home as well.  We’ll do a post with all of Josiah’s visitors soon.

We decided to have Josiah room in with us.  Even though we knew we’d be up a lot during the night, we wanted every second we could have with our little boy.  We were just so thankful that he was finally here!  Some of our sweetest times were during the nights while we were in the hospital.  Words can’t describe the feeling of being the three of us.  We were completely in awe of him.  Even though he stayed in his little crib part of the time, most of the time we took turns snuggling with him.  He loved being on our chests.  We knew he would be a snuggler because of the way he acted in my stomach–if we put our hands on my belly, he’d push himself up against our hands.  But it was just so sweet to have him snuggling in real life.

Look at this precious face!  Even though we weren’t getting much sleep, we wouldn’t trade seeing this for the world.

I loved (and still love) our time nursing.  It’s just incredible to know that God has given me the ability to give him the nourishment he needs.  And it’s such an incredible time of bonding.  Here we are sharing a special moment before it was time for him to eat.  I’m so in love.

One down-side to having a C-Section is that I couldn’t get up at all for the first 24 hours, and after that I was still in a lot of pain, which made getting up and down really difficult.  As a result, Michael was left to do all of the diaper changes, swaddling, and anything else our son needed that couldn’t be done with me laying down in bed.  He was amazing!  I was completely blown away by the way he took such good care of our son.  I always knew he would be an incredible father, but I fell in love with him on a whole new level when I watched him caring for our little boy in the night.  See what a great job Daddy did swaddling?

Here we are snuggling before he got dressed for the day.

The next day was the Fourth of July.  So even though it was a little big, we had to put him in his little “My First Fourth of July” shirt.  Some ladies had knitted little patriotic hats for all of the babies in the nursery.  Here he is all dressed up for Independence Day.

Here are a few of my favorites from day 2.

Look at those eyes!

That night was full of more snuggling with Mommy and Daddy for little Josiah.

I think that this morning was the first time that I was able to get up and help change his diaper.  Even though it was something so small, I loved being able to help.  It helped me feel like I was really recovering.

After we changed him that morning, our little guy decided to suck his thumb!  Michael captured the moment, and it’s become one of our favorite pictures of him.

The next day, we were able to go home!  Here’s Michael getting our little boy all dressed and ready for his first day at home:

I forget how tiny he was (6 lbs 6 oz when we came home) until I see pictures like this!

We couldn’t wait to go home and finally be taking care of him in our house.

Getting ready to get in the car!

Home sweet home!

It’s been such an incredible journey with our little boy so far.  There have been so many times that we just look at him and are filled with awe and love.  We had no clue that this is what it felt like to be parents.  Our hearts are literally swelling for our little boy.  And it’s made us love each other in a whole new way as well.

Thank you all for following along on our journey into parenthood.  We are so excited to continue to share this wonderful time of our lives with you.

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–Staci and Michael

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