Ritchie Crew

Ritchie Crew

Monday, May 30, 2011

Memorial Day Weekend

We have spent the holiday weekend as a girl's weekend. Matt got put on orders this weekend due to the flooding in South Arkansas, so that means that Caroline and I have been getting in a little girl time. We have been swimming several times this weekend and it looks like the pool idea is going to change a bit for Caroline this year. Her favorite thing to do is jump off the pool stairs...not safe!

Caroline and Mommy...the sun was so bright!

Getting ready to surf

Saturday, Aunt Karen helped watch Caroline while I hosted a wedding shower. Caroline has been chatting about Zoey all afternoon!
I had the privilege to host a wedding shower for Brittany and Joey this weekend. Our house is now spotless from top to bottom. It was a "stock the kitchen" shower and looked adorable thanks to my friend Jennifer. We are so happy for Brittany!

Entrance decor

Our dining room table...Matt be proud...I used the table
One of my best friends, Sarah, got married on May 21. I did not have my camera with me before the wedding, so I only have two pictures from after the wedding. The wedding was at the Capitol and the reception was in Maumelle. Beautiful!

Sunday, May 22, 2011

Proud of My Family

This week I was blessed to have two keepsakes given to me. A picture of Matt flying was featured in the Gazette. Such a proud wife of all he has achieved!

Caroline creating a piece of art
Caroline's last day of school was last Thursday. She came home with all of her art projects from the last semester. They are already placed in a safe place and will be admired for years to come.

Saturday, May 14, 2011

Thursday, May 12, 2011

Mother's Day-Part II

We had a great finish to Mother's Day Weekend. Below are a few more pictures from the weekend....

Uncle Jared, Aunt Megan, and Jensen got to come home to visit this weekend. We got to help babysit Jensen Saturday night while the couple went to dinner.
Saturday we went for our first family visit to the zoo. We had a BLAST! Caroline's favorite animal was the donkey. We took the stoller, but as you can see the view was better in Daddy's arms. I had not been to the zoo in years, and I could not believe how much it had changed. Great improvement!

I told Matt we need the sign below for Caroline's room...

Friday, May 6, 2011

Mother's Day Weekend

I would be lying if I said I did not take advantage of every single little thing this weekend. I know it can be hard for children/parents who have lost a mother, but also rejoice in knowing that your mother has given you the gift of life from God and one day you will rejoice with her again.

I have been grinning from ear to ear as I tried to pick out my favorite pictures from Caroline's birth and first few months of life. These pictures below are not necessarily the best pictures, but they are the most meaningful pictures.

To me, being a mother was unlike anyone had described. It was a feeling of love and protection that I had never felt before. I would like to take you down memory lane....

I found out that I was having a baby in March and was not excited...I was scared, worried, and overwhelmed. Those feelings came from my husband leaving to go out of state in one month. Matt and I discussed many different options to our future, but in the end decided it would be best if he still proceeded with his goal to fly a helicopter. His goal involved him leaving in early April and not being home for part of the baby's first few months. I have never relied on the Lord more in my life than during my pregnancy when I was alone without my husband.

I would travel down to Alabama on the Thursdays to meet Matt and then turn around on Sunday morning and head home. I would drive the trip straight through and there was no stopping me. It must have been the prenatal vitamins that made me make that crazy drive all the time. I remember Matt feeling Caroline move in my belly for the first time and I remember countless trips to Destin on the beach. I never thought I would be pregnant and in a swimsuit in public...never say never!

Then came September and Matt left to go to SERE School the same weekend I found out I would be put on bed-rest and might have to deliver early. For those of you who do not know about flight school, SERE school is the part of school when you cannot talk to your spouse or loved one and you only have one number to call in case of death of an immediate relative or in case of emergency.

I remember my two weeks of bed-rest better than I remember my wedding day or the birth of my child. My two weeks on bed-rest I became God's best friend. One morning I remember getting in the bath tub and my phone vibrated with a text message. This bath time I will never forget, because God sent an angel from above. I do not think I can name this gentleman's name because of confidentiality, but just know that he is an angel and he will forever have my gratitude and thanks. A man sent me a message on my phone that stated he would be with Matt for the next two weeks and that I could send him updates every other day as I went to the doctor. He told me to call if I needed to talk or if I needed to let Matt know something.

My mother took me to the doctor every other day so I could lie on my side until we arrived at the doctor's office. I would lie on my side to keep my blood pressure as low as possible. Each visit my blood pressure would rise. Dr. Taylor would order blood sample after blood sample. I felt as if I lived at the Doctor's Building. I would beg the receptionist each time to give me a morning appointment so my blood pressure would be the lowest possible. I could not have this baby while Matt was in SERE school. One day at my check-up visit, Dr. Taylor informed me that I needed to walk over to St. Vincents and deliver. After a few tears and an explanation that Matt would be home in two days he let me keep my appointment for September 28th.

I left the doctor's office that day with a smile and hope that I would make it till Matt arrived home. I debated time and time again to call or not call the emergency number. I called and another angel answered the phone. The gentleman told me that would have deliver the information to Matt that evening about the delivery and would fill out Matt's release packet. He said Matt would be able to leave and not even have to stay for the ceremony. I will again forever thank the people in the Alabama SERE school for there love and support.

The next day I received a phone call from a lady at Fort Rucker and she was the third angel. She said Matt had been told the information, his pass for leave had been filled out, and he would be released the following day. Some may understand and some may not, but for the military to make such a huge sacrifice to comfort and inform me during this particular school is a blessing. Matt called the next day to tell me he was on his way home and my blood pressure rose with excitement....I was going to be a Mommy and Daddy was going to be there for the birth!

Matt got home and we headed for the hospital on September 28th. We went out for one last dinner just the two of us. I chose Red Lobster....I know....out of all the places and I wanted this particular restaurant? Below is a picture taken before we went back for the cytotech procedure.
I will spare you with the birth part of the story, but the next evening we had a little girl, named Caroline Ainsley Ritchie. She was perfect and I had a new feeling inside that I had never felt...the love and protection of a mother.

The most beautiful baby...might be a little partial
Don't get me wrong...I had love for Caroline the moment I had Caroline, but three weeks later there was nothing else that mattered in the world other than that little girl. I used to take random walks throughout the day with Caroline and I will never forget the track at Fort Rucker. This is the most pivotal moment in my motherhood so far. I remember walking each day thinking about the worries, problems, and consuming things in life and how I would make such a large deal out of each. Now there was only one thing that mattered in my life and that was being the best mother I could be to this little girl. I think I prayed more for Caroline each day when we walked that track than I had ever prayed me entire life. How could God give me so much love to give? This was what being a mother felt like!
This is another one of my favorite pictures of 2009. One of my favorite childhood memories is putting up my Christmas tree, and being able to put up a Christmas tree for a child of my own was an unforgettable memory.
Another memory...Our dedication to the church and to ourselves that we would raise Caroline in a Christian home and environment.
I have watched Christmas play after Christmas play and have never been emotional, but after the year of 2009 I will never feel the same about another Christmas play. Caroline was asked to play baby Jesus and I was asked to act as Mary in the production that our church had in 2009. During the production I remember all I could think was that I loved this little girl more than life itself and then I started to think about Mary.

As a mother, Mary watched her son be born in a manger, grow into a child of God, and watch him when he was crucified on the cross.
This is my first hand-made gift for Mother's Day. It will go into my keepsake box.

Gifts from SCDC that Caroline made this week for Mother's Day

Friday, Caroline and I spent the day shopping for her first flower girl dress. We had the best day together and a great start to Mother's Day. I will be sharing more pictures from this weekend soon. I just love being a mother!
Proverbs 31