Monday, May 27, 2013

Hayden Patrick {a birth story}

It's hard to believe my baby is two weeks old...harder still to believe I could still be pregnant with him, had he not come three weeks early. I haven't written his birth story yet, but it was definitely one of the sweetest days of my life...well, in the top eleven :)

In the mean time, here is his birth story in photos ~ which in my opinion is even better than words....

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

babies, orphans, and Lily.. OH MY !

Just popping in today for a few important messages.

One : this little girl wanted to say hello ....

her OH MY face

I took her outside yesterday to take some pictures, because Little Miss has been a wee bit jealous of all the attention lavished on Little Brother this week. I told her to smile for Mama, and she turned sideways and struck several poses....

... I have no idea where she gets this stuff. Clearly Lily does not lack for self confidence !


Two : There are still parents advocating for orphans in Russia who have families waiting for them here in the U.S.

One of those parents is Katrina Morris, a dear blogging friend whom I had the privilege of meeting in March. Katrina and her family were a court date away from bringing their little girl home from Russia when the adoption ban came down. They spent multiplied thousands of dollars and many many months pursuing the adoption of a young girl with Down syndrome. The traveled to meet their daughter and were fully expecting to bring her home this winter. Everything changed with a stroke of Putin's pen, and now Katrina and others are imploring our congressman and administration to do something to help these stranded orphans.

Are you sick of Washington scandals ? I know I am. Wouldn't it be great to see elected officials do something powerful and proactive and good ? Here's a way you can encourage them to do so....

(Letter from Katrina)

We need your help. We are families that are stuck in the Russian Adoption Process. Some of us just got back from DC because we are lobbying the House and the Senate to sign a letter to President Obama begging him to put the adoption ban on his agenda when he meets with President Putin in June. We feel like this is our last hope to get these children home. There are about 300 children who met their prospective parents and are now stuck in orphanages instead of homes because of the ban.
My daughter is a 7 year old little girl with Down syndrome. She will grow up in a mental institution if we do not get her home.
We are asking anyone we possibly can to help get the word out about our letter signing campaign. I have attached a list of congressman who HAVE signed the letter. We need people from the states and districts of the congressman who have NOT signed the letter to call them for us and beg them to please sign it.
Here is the link to those who HAVE signed.
Here is the link to find out who their representatives are
And here is the link to the Senator one
We would feel so blessed if you were to share this with your FB group. We only have until Friday morning to finish collecting these signatures. So far 50 Senators have signed.
You are welcome to send people to my blog also for more information.
Thank you for considering to help us.


Three : We are one thousand dollars away from our goal of raising three thousand dollars to Save Penny, an orphan with Down syndrome in B*******.

Penny's family will travel this fall to bring her home for good. Our iPad giveaway will end as soon as we hit that $3,000 raised mark. Please consider donating to Penny's grant fund on Reece's Rainbow, and please help us spread the word about this giveaway. 


Four : Hayden is ten days old. 

It's hard to believe that a little over a week ago we were anxiously awaiting his arrival, and that he was still tucked away inside of me. Every day is like Christmas around here waking up to this precious little gift from Heaven....

We are so very thankful for our eleventh baby ~ thank you for every sweet comment and word of congratulations after his arrival :)

Now go take on the day !

Monday, May 20, 2013

a little heaven

A friend emailed me the other day and said something that summed up last week perfectly: "I can only imagine the little heaven you are experiencing right now."

It is so true. We are in heaven...

This little curled up bundle of cuteness has all of us wrapped around his itty bitty finger. It's already hard to believe he hasn't always been a part of our lives. Isn't it crazy how that happens ? One day we're all wondering who it is that is moving around in Mama's tummy, boy or girl, and the next it's as if we have always known him.

The miracle of life.

the day before I went into labor and five days after. what a difference a week can make !!

hayden patrick, a few minutes old. already looking at the world around him !

..a few minutes after delivery...jason and baby k were sleeping at home after a LONG night waiting for hayden to arrive :)

in love

Mackenzie took the most amazing photos of Hayden's delivery, and she is putting together a slideshow with those. For now my phone has been the quickest way to capture his first week, and that's how we're rolling...kicked back, soaking up each moment and just relaxing with our newest addition. If there's one thing I've learned after eleven babies, it's that these first few weeks fly by. So we wipe everything off our schedule that we can, lay low, and enjoy these brief newborn memories while they last. Housecleaning can wait, photo sessions are limited, social engagements are put on hold...we have a new baby to get to know right now.

no make up, no sleep...couldn't be happier :)

daddy bonding time

abigail and her twin

Our sweet friend Ashley Quinn had the above plaque engraved for Hayden. We love you, Ashley !

going home outfit

So many have asked how Lily is adjusting to having a new baby in the house. I shared this earlier today on IG ...

Happy indifference best describes her attitude. She tolerates a picture with him and has shared a binkie bonding moment or two. But for the most part she practices not looking at him or acknowledging he is here. I'm sure she will warm up to him in the days ahead, but for now she is not too sure about this little invader...

"some little pipsqueak hijacked my blog last week !!"

Aside from a few days on the bili-blanket due to Hayden battling a bit of jaundice, things have gone pretty smoothly here at the Rice Ranch. Adjusting to a new baby is always a bit of a juggling act at first, and I'm sure we'll drop a few balls in the days ahead. (Responding to emails and blogging have taken a back seat to baby care, so if you have sent me a message and I haven't responded that's why !)

Sam and I were just talking this weekend about what a difference a year can make. A year ago this month I was recovering from a long drawn-out miscarriage - recovering both physically and emotionally. We were in the process of having to leave our beloved rental home of nine years unexpectedly, we were struggling financially, and for awhile I thought I was never going to feel normal again. It was a season of loss and God brought us through.

But the wonderful thing about seasons is...they are just that. We go through hard times, and it's sometimes difficult to see our way out. It's easy to think that all of life is conspiring against us through those times...but if we can just hold on to the thought that life can be hard, but God is good, we'll come through to the other side.

"weeping may endure for a night, but joy cometh in the morning." psalm 30:5

I'm so very thankful for our new little life, and so mindful of the goodness of God...

As arrows are in the hand of a mighty man; so are children of the youth....happy is the man that hath his quiver full of them ! ~Psalm 127:4-5

Happy Monday !!

Sunday, May 12, 2013

Some exciting news...

Well, he's finally here. Yes, you heard right! IT'S A BOY!
Hayden Patrick Rice entered this world at 6:16 am, on one of the most special days, Mother's Day. He weighed 6lbs 12oz and measured 19 inches long.
It was such a beautiful birth and my mom was a CHAMP. She pushed for 10 short minutes, and then he was here. And we were all in love.

We love you so very much Hayden, you make our family complete.
Love, Kenzie

Thursday, May 9, 2013

just for fun

Hello there friends. How's your week going ? Mine is...slooooow. Because when you have just a few weeks or days left to meet your new baby every day is like a week. So really I have spent 4 months this week waiting for baby number 11 to make his/her appearance.

To help pass the time I put some old funny photos into a slideshow for your viewing pleasure. And also for my nesting pleasure. You know, nesting ? That thing anxious pregnant women do to make the time pass quickly. Yesterday I took Old English furniture polish to the windowsills in our bedroom, organized our bathroom cabinets, cleaned the toilet, sinks and counter, organized our linen closet in the hallway, did ALL the laundry, and glue gunned a co-sleeper sheet for the new baby. Because I didn't feel like sewing it - I wanted it yesterday. So I took an old crib sheet that was gender neutral, measured it using Lily's pink co-sleeper sheet as a pattern, and employed my glue gun. Voila.

This is called Nesting On Crack. I shudder to think what our house will look like in two weeks if this baby hasn't come. We might have hot pink dining room walls and glue-gunned window coverings for the family and living rooms. Martha Stewart ain't got nuthin on a mama on nesting crack.

Anyhoot, here is my little family slideshow just for fun, and afterwards I'll announce the winner of the Shabby Apple giveaway.

p.s. it's more fun to go to youtube by clicking on the link and watching it full screen. but whatever floats your boat is fine.


The winner of the Shabby Apple giveaway is.........

Danielle said...
I love the Jacob's Pillow dress, so cute!

Danielle, please email me at so I can mail you the gift code for your $50 credit to Shabby Apple. Congratulations !!


Our Saving Penny Giveaway is still going strong. So far we've raised $1,700...we have $1,300 to go.

You can be entered to win a brand new iPad just by donating to Penny's grant fund on Reece's Rainbow and leaving a comment on the giveaway post. Any amount is acceptable-  ten dollars might win you an iPad, and you'll be helping rescue a precious orphan in the process.

Please help spread the word ! The giveaway ends as soon as we hit that that $3,000 mark.


Thank so much to all who have been praying for our new baby to arrive safe and sound. Your prayers and kind words mean so much to me...I can't wait to post pictures of his/her arrival !

Until then....

Happy Thursday !!

Tuesday, May 7, 2013

baby of mine

Dearest Baby # 11,

It is three and a half weeks til you are due. I am having so many contractions and you are so low, that I think we will be seeing you earlier than that. Mama went to the doctor this morning and I'm already dilated to three...sometimes this doesn't mean much, but because of how early your sister Lily was, I feel like you will come soon as well.

Yesterday your oldest sister Mackenzie did a maternity shoot for me and you. It was a much needed diversion from all that I've been going through. Every day seems to take forever to get through, because I really just want to do nothing else but see you.

I'm consumed by you.

I put this slideshow together and picked a song to go with it, and as silly as it sounds I started crying when I watched it. In fact...I'm crying right now typing those words.

I've just waited so long for you, baby.

After your sister Lily was born, I didn't think I'd be able to have any more babies. I was 42 when I had her, and I didn't start my cycles again for quite long that I thought maybe I was going into early menopause. Then when I started them again, it took us seven months to conceive a baby. I was so happy, dear baby, so very happy.

And just as suddenly as that baby made its appearance, it left us for Heaven. It took a long time for my body to realize that- eleven long weeks. Those were some of the most difficult weeks, knowing I was going to lose that baby, and just waiting for it to happen. I went through a very long grief period, and I really thought my  baby carrying days were over for good.

But your daddy kept telling me you were coming.

He never gave up hope, and every time I broke down in tears and said, "I'm just not ready to be done yet," he told me we had one more baby waiting for us. He told me when you came I would see that he was right.

And you did.

You came when I least suspected it, when I gave up all hope, when I had almost convinced myself that this season in our lives was over.

And maybe that's why this pregnancy has seemed so long to me.

Because I didn't really believe this day might come.

And now you're almost here, and I am so so very happy and blessed and I just can't wait to hold you in my inhale your sweet newborn smell, to kiss your little nose, to feel your fingers curl around mine, to hear that first lamb-like cry...I am so anxious to see you.

I'm counting the days now, my sweet little baby. I can't wait to meet you.

All my love forever,

Mama oxoxox

*photos courtesy of lilybirdphotography

Monday, May 6, 2013

Shabby Apple Giveaway

Hello Monday !

This is such a happy day on so many levels.

I'll start out with a fabulous giveaway....

 I love this shop. I mean LOVE it.

Shabby Apple offers a beautiful assortment of vintage clothing for women and children, including retro style dresses and swimsuits, vintage skirts and blouses, baby dresses, and gorgeous retro accessories to complete your outfits.

If you love vintage clothing, Shappy Apple is the place for you to shop.

And today Shabby Apple is offering Lily's readers a chance to win a $50 gift card to shop their site for your favorite piece of vintage clothing.

To enter, simply visit Shabby Apple and take a peek at all they have to offer. Leave a comment on this post telling me what piece of jewelry or retro outfit or baby dress caught your eye. One random commenter will be selected from the comment section to win the $50 gift certificate and announced this week.

Easy peasy lemon squeezy !!


Next order of business...Saving Penny.

Our Saving Penny Giveaway has only been going a week, and already Lily's readers have raised over $1,300 for Penny's adoptive family. Our goal is $3,000, so we're almost halfway there - let's keep this going strong! Just visit the giveaway post and donate ANY amount to Penny's grant fund on Reece's Rainbow to be entered to win a brand new iPad.

Penny's father Paul, and his wife Maureen, are so grateful to those who have given thus far...

Patti and everyone else,

I would just like to take a moment to say thank you. Of course these simple words do not fully express the deepness of how much it means to have others serve and bless your family in such a profound way.

While we are, with God's grace and guidance, going to bring Penny home, experiencing the love and support from so many that we have never met never ceases to have its impact- it is God's love in action through others. We have done the same many times yet rarely are in a place to receive it.

Thank you again from the depths of our hearts for confirming that God wants Penny to be our daughter in addition to His own.

Paul Huizinga, Penny's dad.

Please help us spread the word about our Saving Penny Giveaway.


Next up, this little cutie...

She's going to be a big sister any day. I can't believe those words. I don't think she has a clue what's coming, but she does pull up my shirt and pat or kiss my tummy whenever I ask "where is Mama's baby?" ANY time we ask her if she wants a boy or a girl she answers "girl."  99% of our family thinks it's a boy, so we shall see who's right.


My oldest son and his wife Naomi are in an adoption their family is listed on the website of the agency they are going through. I just know God has a baby for them soon, and I'm asking you all to pray that they find their baby sent from the stars...I would love for my beautiful daughter-in-love to bring home her baby the same month that I do.

Please keep Naomi and Jason in your prayers.


Praise report:  (teehee)

I was having a bad day a week ago. Just feeling fat and tired and sore and ugly and ready to deliver. The last month is always hard for me, but at age 45 it feels like ten times as hard. I don't have the patience I used to !!

week 35
week 36...does it look like I dropped ??? please say yes.
 So I was sitting on the couch feeling like a beached whale, and wishing I had something to put my brain on other than going into labor. And my wonderful sister-in-law called me and begged me to tell her something I need for this baby. After much arm twisting I said that I have been looking at diaper bags online...only I am not in a decisive mood lately, and I'm not good at picking things out like that. (In other words- I don't have any sense of personal style. I wish I did, but I just don't know what's cute anymore...unless I see it on someone else !)

Lori, my SIL, is the queen of picking out good gifts. She never ever gives you something she didn't put any thought into- she always researches things, asks questions, pays attention when you are talking about what you like, etc. And she somehow stores it all away so that when it's time to shop for gifts she knows EXACTLY what you would like.

I am now the proud owner (well almost, it's being shipped here this week) of this gorgeous and stylish and completely perfect diaper bag...

I am soooo spoiled !!

Isn't that just like God? We could be wallowing in self pity, and He puts us on someone's heart to cheer us up. Thank you, Lori, for calling at just the right time, ordering me just the right diaper bag, and most of all being just the right kind of friend I needed that day :) Love you !


Last order of business...

Most of my pictures have been taken with my iPhone for the past few months. It's just so much easier than going to find the camera ! And instead of sending pictures via text to all my friends, I just post them on Instagram for the most part...that way if they feel like I am a little overkill on spreading the Lily love, they can tune in or tune out :)

I love instagram because I've connected with so many wonderful ladies there.. and I love photography... so it's just like opening a magazine every morning featuring your favorite people. If you haven't joined the IG revolution, get on the bandwagon. And when you do, look us up- aperfectlily. Daily pics of Lils there, like the ones above !


Lots of goodness shared here today- don't forget your homework :

  • Visit Shabby Apple and leave a comment here to be entered to win a $50 gift certificate

  • Visit our Saving Penny Giveaway post, donate any amount, and leave a comment there to be entered to win a brand new iPad

  • Pray for Jason and Naomi's adoption and check out their family page at Catholic Charities.

  • Follow us on Instagram at a perfectlily

and finally....


Happy Monday :)