Not so good at blogging. But we’ve got a house.

October 18, 2006

So I get enough heckling from people about how we never update this thing anymore. And you’re right. I think I’ll close down the Baby Blog and start a general purpose one. Someday. For now, a few updates:

1. We bought a house. It is wonderful. If you haven’t visited yet, leave a comment and we’ll have you over sometime. We’re planning on Bunko nights starting soon.
2. We visited San Diego recently for cousin Whitney’s wedding to John. What an awesome time.

3. Jill turned 1! We had 2 fun parties with lots of family and friends. We’ll get some photos added shortly.

I’m still working at iModules, busting my rear on some cool stuff. Gretchen is a full time wife & mom and I think she’s doing a terrific job of it.

Well, I’m out of time for updates but this should give you some pictures to look at for now. God is faithful and loving, and has continued to bless us. Keep in touch–jlk


Standing tall on Memorial Day

May 29, 2006

Like they say, “they’ll grow up before you know it.” Jillian started crawling–her own version of it anyway–a week or so ago. It is cute, and a bit more reminiscient of leapfrog than crawling. But it is crawling nonetheless and a great milestone for us.

She has been able to support her own weight on her legs pretty well for a while, but hasn’t put balance and pulling up together with that–until today! Tempted by a can of Dr. Pepper she grabbed the edge of the coffeetable and pulled herself up. We took some photos and pictures in between the laughing (and crying) and celebrated with Jillian until she wore herself out.

Here’s the video.

Palm Sunday Cuteness

April 9, 2006

We got up a bit early today and went to First Watch for breaksfast (a change from our usual IHOP weekend visit). Jillian of course charmed everyone there, including the hostess who was very pleasant until the kissy noises started while I was eating my Acapulco Express. That crossed the line a bit. As people walked by us to their tables Jill caught their eye and they couldn’t resist. Oh the curse of the cute baby, I know.

Palm Sunday was cool. Frank & Marie Drown came and spoke. The End of the Spear movie is the story about his missionary work with the headhunters in South America. Pretty moving story, very good speaker. Can’t wait to see the movie. The documentary they put together some years ago will be shown at church on the 23rd, I hope we can go.

After church we came home and Jillian put on a little show for us. Here’s a video.

So it’s been another month…

April 5, 2006

…okay maybe a bit more. We really aren’t so good at this blogging thing!  It is ambitious for sure, and now that Jillian has *maybe* started teething, it will be tough to keep this next promise–to have a real update by the end of this week.  Thanks for your patience, dear readers…

Happy Valentine’s Day

February 19, 2006

Hopefully everyone has received their Happy Valentine’s (Announcement) Day cards. (Chalk that one up to dad’s procrastination skills.) We were happy to be able to send these out with some recent “glamor shots” of Jillian. With the new year, we are really going to try to keep this updated more often. However, since it is now February, you may have some inkling as to our adherance to that resolution thus far.

One of Jillian's glamor shots.Regardless, Jillian continues to delight, amaze, and otherwise infatuate us. She is an absolute doll and is very interactive–moreso than I had expected at this age. I was a little discouraged at first with her apparent disinterest in daddy; however, we now have a great relationship and it makes my morning when I walk in to get her and as soon as she sees me peeking over the crib railing she gives me a huge smile and laugh. She has started to reach for mom and I when she is ready to get picked up.

She is playing with toys and has a great time with “Ducky” and “Lamby.” She has just started sitting in a high chair (with the aid of some blankets stuffed in to prop her up a bit) and is able to sit up with some stability. She has some great leg strength–we’ll play “standing up” and she can support her own weight very well. I sometimes imagine her running around the apartment as short as she is and have to laugh at what a funny picture that is. I want her to continue to grow up and have conversations with her and play more and more, but I know I’d miss out on all the stages in between.

She did get incredibly sick the other night; I woke up to her cries at about 1am and picked her up from a big glob of ucky throw-up. She continued to throw-up and heave for a while, so we called the Emerge-nurse or whatever and said it probably was just a stomach bug and watch her for a while. It was scary; but she was over it shortly thereafter and slept the rest of the night just fine. It is such a disturbing feeling when something like that is happening; literally all you can do is pray…it certainly requires you to realize your finiteness and dependance on God for peace and protection.

Gretchen has had an inordinate amount of work in the past few weeks, preparing Habitat’s annual donor recognition ad in USA Today. In case you missed it, here’s a PDF version. It ran in this past weekend’s worldwide edition. She was responsible for verifying all of the donor names, giving amounts, logos, coordinating the copy and design. A pretty major project, and this is the second time she’s managed it and pulled it off on time without any problems (and this year she did it while watching Jillian!) I’m so proud of her hard work.Work for me continues to go well. It is challenging but very rewarding. Our company is doing some awesome stuff this year and I’m happy to be able to help. (If anyone is looking for a flexible, dynamic online community solution, drop me a line!)

We’ll post some new photos and videos shortly. You can watch the progress via our new fancy slideshow, which is here for now.

Who says we never update?

November 12, 2005

Okay, so since Jillian has been born we’ve been a bit behind on updating our blog.  We have sent some photos and videos to people, and have taken our mom-and-baby show on the road to Ellinwood. We also got to see Great-Grandparents Bob & Dot in KC not very long ago.

Being a dad is great. Things have been fairly surreal, however: I always thought I’d be a dad but without comprehending what it would mean. If nothing else, I now have a more full understanding of those people who put pictures of their kids up at work, enjoy taking photos and sending them to everyone you know, and posting them on the bulletin board at work just in case everyone has missed you talking about how beautiful she is at the company meetings.

Jill (I go back and forth between Jillian and Jill…both work for me) has started to express more and more of a personality and use a voice rather than a shrill cry when communicating with us.  Her sad face is much more than a scrunchy face now–it is absolutely heart-melting. Her smiles and laughs are hilariously contagious. We’ve taken some videos (that I have indeeed passed around the office) and will be posting here to share with all of our far-off family and friends.

  Big Smiles!In the SwingHelloBrilliant!Being Cute

  Videos require Flash Player 8

Happy Birthday!!

September 16, 2005

Jillian Laine was born on September 15, 2005 at 3:39pm!! Gretchen did an amazing job delivering (with no drugs even!) and both are recovering well this morning. The full story will come when we both have time to sit down and write it out…but since we promised to have pictures up as soon as possible, here you go! Visit the first day photo gallery at

I also just added a short video clip of Jillian waking up on Thursday morning — nothing exciting, just one of those things enamored dads do. It is cute though!

Right Here Waiting

September 5, 2005

No, not the Richard Marx break-up song; just us waiting for baby to decide to show up! After visiting the doctor a few times and hearing “it could be any day now,” we really were hoping for things to move along quickly…but apparently baby has a different schedule. Which is fine since we want her to be good and ready when she does arrive.

baby's roomWe do have her room pretty much ready for her though, so I took a few pictures to give you a “preview.” We had fun putting it together, and Sherris (G’s mom) helped us hang stuff and arrange it. The quilt and bedskirt were made by Sherris and family friend Nina S. (Nina is also working on the bumper which isn’t in the picture).

baby's shelvesLast week we decided to attempt to install the carseat, much to the amusement of our neighbor. We wrestled it in pretty good…or so we thought! We took it to the police dept. to have them check our installation and he politely indicated that we fell a little short of the safety standard. But the officer installed it for us and showed us how to use the LATCH system to get it in securely. So we’re getting used to driving around with the carseat in our vehicle.

Gretchen is doing really well lately, other than the sore muscles and feet. I am getting good at giving foot massages though, which will probably be handy down the road. She has been cleaning and getting the apartment ready, and we’ve started to work on baby announcements. We have a bag packed for the hospital and are just waiting for the day! We have another appointment this Tuesday to find out if things are moving along more.

A new addition to this site is the “gVisit Map” in the links at the top of the right side. It will show you a map of where the visitors to this site are from! Pretty cool.

Finally…I got an iPod!! Those of you who have seen my “Free iPod” links can doubt no more–it really works! It came via express DHL last week, absolutely free. It has a color screen and right how is holding 5.8 GB of songs and podcasts. Who says everything on the internet is a sham?

Sooner than Later?

August 26, 2005

Good Morning!

Justin and I went to the doctor yesterday for one of our weekly checkups. We found out that I am 3 centimeters dilated, 50% effaced, and she has dropped down to a -2 station!! Which basically means that things are happening and she is coming soon!! The doctor wouldn’t commit to saying she might come earlier – so we are still looking at September 14th. Which I guess is good. As much as I want her here now, I still have a few more things to finish before she arrives.

I’ve had light to moderate contractions every day this week, although they haven’t lasted more than an hour or so. Good practice, I guess.

Today Justin and I will go to the hospital (St. Luke’s South in Overland Park, KS) and get a tour and fill out all the paperwork we can. They will keep it on file and then have it for us when we come to deliver. That way, I won’t have to be signing a million documents while laboring!!

We installed the car seat last night and have an appointment with the police station next Wednesday to check it to make sure we have it in correctly. It’s a little more complicated than I thought it would be. One of our neighbors got a kick out of watching us wrestle with the thing.

It has been so amazing to see how God has truly worked everything out. When I first found out I was pregnant I was happy and excited but mostly nervous and scared. We were 1500 miles away from our family and we were volunteers for Habitat – which made for great benefits, but not so great income. I thought that I would have to put the baby in daycare and work and Justin or I would have to find some work on the side just to make ends meet. I was praying about it one day, telling God the desires of my heart – to be close to family, to be able to stay home and truly nurture this child, etc. I felt like He whapped me over the head and said, “Gretchen, I put those desires in your heart. Let me take care of things. Stop worrying.” So instead, Justin and I started praying for His will to be done. We still worried and wondered – but God was faithful even through our weakness to be able to fully trust Him.

And, only because of His faithfulness, look where we are now: twenty minutes away from one set of parents, four hours from the other; our own place, in a nice rental community; Justin’s job – he loves it, it will support all three of us, and is even close enough to home to allow him to come home for lunch. And, He’s not done yet.

Excited? Who, me?

August 23, 2005

Things are moving ever so steadily along in the world of baby development. I am amazed at how many physical changes happen to a pregnant woman; it is a fascinating process and that’s only from the observer’s standpoint. Gretchen’s tummy continues to expand to accomodate our little one, but we might make it through without seeing the belly-button pop out. It sure is close though. In spite of what our midwives tell us, it seems like things are moving ahead of schedule a bit…not that we’re getting our hopes up, but we wouldn’t be surprised if baby showed up a little early. Gretchen is tired most of the time, but does have big bursts of energy–the nesting instinct at work I suppose. She has done amazing work getting the apartment in order. Of course, those big bouts of nesting result in entire days of resting afterwards. We are super-pumped up, overwhelmed, nervous, and of course excited about getting closer.

We are about 90 percent moved into our apartment and have the baby room set up nicely. Still some unpacking to go in there, we received so many fun things at the shower that it is hard to put them away–they are fun to look at!

Our apartment is turning out to be pretty nice. Other than the fact that there are no ceiling lights and only half of the outlets work, we like it. They put in new carpet for us which was awesome–it still smells like a new apartment. We finally got Internet hooked up this week which will make things a bit easier for Gretchen’s work and keeping up with emails. And it will allow me to handle some work from home when the baby is here.

Speaking of, my job is going well. I really enjoy it, although I’ve been in “training” for about a month now. As they say, you can only learn so much standing on the side of the pool. Well, this week we decided I needed to jump in: everyone else left for a workshop in Philadelphia, leaving me to field client calls and emails pretty much by myself for three days. It has been a little nuts as I cover three other desks, but I’m really having a good time and getting help from the development team. I caught up enough to take a lunch, which is where this comes from.