Saturday, December 11, 2010


Check out this entry I found on Shutterfly Holiday Photo Contest.

I have entered Eli in the Shutterfly Holiday Photo Contest! Please take a couple of minutes and vote for Eli! Thank you!

Monday, November 29, 2010

Shutter Crazy!

The past couple of years I have tuned into my creative nature and love for graphic design (on an amateur level of course) and spent hours upon hours creating my own family Christmas card in Adobe Photoshop. The task itself is a bit time consuming, resizing and reformatting pictures to be the correct size but great enough quality to show the awesome pictures. And then there is the process of loading the Adobe Photoshop file into whichever service you plan on using to print your cards, which last year was the most frustrating part of my Christmas card experience.

Last week however, on Monday a friend of mine that I go to church with agreed to take our Christmas pictures with Eli, she did his new born pictures as well. Bianca took the pictures on Monday morning and by Monday evening she had sent me the link to Elijah’s own web page through that had all of our family pictures! If you would like to view some of these amazing pictures you can find them at The next day I loaded all the pictures from the page she had created into my own account and from there made a Christmas card within 15 minutes! And ten of those minutes were spend trying to decide on just one of their Christmas cards!
I won’t tell you yet which Christmas card I have chosen but a couple of my favorites are below; feel free to help me decide.

1. With Love Chartreuse Christmas:
2. Many Merry Memories Christmas:
3. Merry Modern Collage Christmas:

Also, besides Christmas cards does so much more! I have already done two photo books and I am working on a third. The photo books have been amazing! I have one from mine & John’s trip to Italy celebrating our 5th Wedding Anniversary and one from the first months of Eli’s life celebrating his birth. They are so beautiful and even sent me a replacement when my Italy book was torn. For Eli’s book all I had to do was upload the pictures and actually organized them for me into a photo book layout. Caring for a new born, I was thankful to have so much of the work done for me.

Like our Christmas card from last year I spent several days (maybe even weeks) working on Eli’s birth announcement, by the time I ordered them and got them in Eli was already 3 months old. I wish I had made Eli’s birth announcements from; they have some many super cute ones... I love the ones with multiple pictures because we could never narrow down Eli’s pictures to one. And because his new born pictures were already on a share cite I could have made it in about 10 minutes! Think of all the naps I could have gotten in, instead of working.

So, there you have it! I hope that even if you don’t go to to get your Christmas cards you will look into how great their service is! I am working on getting all of my pictures into my account. After my computer crashed last year I almost lost all of them, but on I can not only store them but create a share page for family to see new pictures of Eli. Which is great considering John’s brother & family is in El Paso, and John’s sister who just returned from Afghanistan is now in Georgia. She hasn’t even met Eli yet but has been able to see all his pictures!


Thursday, October 14, 2010

Five Months, the next step...

Elijah is now five months old! I cannot believe he has been a part of our lives for that long already, it is simply amazing. He is doing great and it seems getting happier and happier each day. Below are a few photos for you, we started yesterday giving him rice cereal! He seems to like pretty well for the most part.

Thursday, September 09, 2010

I have returned from the wonderful life of maternity leave! I love my time at home with Elijah and being able to visit friends around town- it was amazing. I am so thankful to have a job that allows for 12 weeks maternity leave!

However I am also loving being back at work- I have completely renewed passion for youth ministry and feel confident that I am working where God has placed my heart. Also now as a mother (even though I'm only a new mother) I do feel like I even have a renewed love for the students themselves, knowing that they are someone's children and need to be dearly loved as I hope some day others will love Elijah.

Our fall at home and with the students has taken off with a flying leap! I came back the week we welcomed in our new 6th grade students, and the next Sunday we had 52 in class! To put it in perspective, the first Sunday John and I were at Preston Road (6 years ago August 1st) we had 5 students in class- in 2007 our goal for Friends Day was 50, and we didn't make it. What is more amazing to me is that it isn't really a huge income of new families either, it is simply our members that are now invested. Our next Friends Day is this Sunday, our goal is 80- I'll let you know how that goes.

At home Elijah has been wonderful! Smiling, rolling, and reaching are some of the highlights- it is amazing. And we have been so blessed to spend time with loads of friends lately. I had two college roommates come in to see me (well to see Eli, but I was there too). Traci and Neena each brought their kids and we had so much fun! It was as if we had not been apart at all- I love these girls and cherish their friendship so much. We have also had so many chances now to spend time with the Howards who have Kennedie(she is 10 days younger than Eli), their move to Dallas have been nothing short of the hand of God. I know it's not just for my benefit but sometimes it does seem like it. :) Lantz & Jessica shared their tickets to the Cowboy game last week, I have to say this is one of the first games that I have spent more time talking than watching the game.

Tuesday, July 20, 2010


Baby Eli and John play with the new video camera.

Monday, July 12, 2010

A few sweet moments...

I thought I would update with a few sweet moments I have had time to work on, we have so many pictures it takes so long to pick ones out and edit them. In this slide show are his first bath, and just some sweet moments with dad or sleeping. :) Elijah is doing great! Growing so much, smiling all the time, and making some sweet sounds. I love how much he recognizes mine and John's voices! He is starting to sleep 6-8 hours at night, which really makes the days so much more fun! We are loving every moment of our little man.

Let me explain this picture, of course it is funnier to JOhn and I than it might be to ya'll but oh well. The left side is Eli trying really hard to stay asleep, he would not wake up for anything. The right side is after John had pestered Eli to try and wake him up, his little fist went up really fast- as if he was saying, "go ahead touch me again..." We laughed so hard in the moment. Hope you enjoy the pics!

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

The Sweetest Sound...

This past week Elijah has been discovering his voice, other than his cries- though he has been working on that one too. But the sweetest sound to me has been hearing him discover his “coos” and “ahhs.” It is just so precious. He is also developing a few facial expressions; John didn’t believe so I got it on video and hope to show it to him tonight.

This week so far, has been great. We have recovered from camp I believe, if you didn’t know Eli and I went to camp with our youth group last week, Pine Springs. I am so thankful that I got to go, and Eli did great traveling but it was challenging being away from home and taking care of him. The only thing left to do is wash our sleeping bags! So this week I have been concentrating on getting Eli’s routine down. Not so much the exact timing of everything but working on the routine of eat-wake-sleep more consistently for each cycle. He is not a very good napper at all in the late morning and early afternoon, and has been very fussy in the late night (12am). But he is a baby and we are finally giving him more consistency so I am hoping that will help him know what to expect and work on his sleeping.

Finally, a lot of people have said he has my nose and others have said he looks like John. I really thought he did have my nose and looked quite a bit like me. Then I pulled out our baby pictures, look for yourself and let me know what you think.




Tuesday, June 08, 2010

Four Weeks For Real...

Elijah will be four weeks old tomorrow, I cannot believe it has been four weeks since Eli entered into our lives and changed them forever. It has really just seemed like one super long day. He is getting so much bigger each week, his cheeks are getting chubbier and his little legs are getting fat rolls- he is so precious. And despite that he is a little boy we call him beautiful and gorgeous all the time! We will transition to words like handsome when he is older.

Being a mom has been the most amazing experience of my life, it has also been the most challenging. Adjusting to all that my body went through in pregnancy, delivery, and postpartum- I have never experienced such emotional changes. I consider myself a pretty even tempered person, so dealing with so many emotions in a short period of time was hard for me. And you considering the physical changes my body is still going through, it’s weird because Eli was pretty heavy to carry and since I have delivered him it feels like I should just ‘poof’ be back to what I was pre-pregnancy. Of course that’s not how it works. I have lost half of my baby weight but there is still so much more to go, and I am so anxious to see it gone. I look at my regular clothes and just feel like I will never fit in those again.

Another challenging part is the lack of sleep and keeping Eli on a routine. We have not really mastered his routine yet; there have just been so many people around. And no one cares too much about the routine he needs when they are just there for a few minutes. Our little family has not had one day since Eli was born that someone hasn’t been by to visit or come to stay. I am absolutely ready to be home and set our family’s schedule without considering who will be coming over or if Eli will be over stimulated. Over stimulation has been one of the biggest challenges for our little man I think. It seems that people feel if his eyes are wide open then he doesn’t need to go to sleep yet- and when he misses that small window of perfect timing for a nap the next cycle is ruined. Eli has also had a hard time transitioning through his sleep cycles; it is also called the 45 minute intruder. At that point he needs to be soothed back to sleep; otherwise he cries and is wide eyed again.

I apologize if my tone seems negative, I don’t mean for it to be. I am blessed beyond measure with a beautiful healthy baby boy, a husband that goes beyond expectations to take care of both our baby and me, family that adore our son and help at every opportunity, and so many people that truly love us and want to love on us. And on top of that I love being a mom, but I don’t wanted to be honest with the challenges I have had, because I know that from the friends I have that read this ya’ll might have some wonderful insight.

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

I Love It! I Love It!

We arrived home on Sat. around 4pm. This little guy is amazing. If you don't know, he has already peed on me. He set me up with a poopy diaper and as I cleaned his bottom, he locked-on to his target and shot away. Direct Hit. But never the less, his skills are improving. He got his Nana (Crysty's Mom) the next day. He then waited for his next victim which happened to be his Aunt Cyndy. She came over yesterday as she held him in a blanket with his diaper on, He let go of the control valve and made it through the blanket through the diaper on her belly. "Score!" was what he was thinking. This morning as I got up, His Nana pointed to the couch were there was a spot. Yep He peed on the couch. Now with the last two, I am thinking there was a operator error on the diaper exchange. But he is marking his territory faster than expected. Elijah is amazing. We love him and he so beautiful (handsome). Thank you for your prayers and love.

Saturday, May 15, 2010

This is Amazing

Wow, it's been three nights in the hospital and now we are headed home! I can't wait. Not so much for Eli to be home, but for me to be back in MY bed. This hospital cot thing is not working for the back. Eli on the other hand has like 100 places to sleep here at the hospital. His crib, his mommy, his daddy (chest,arms,lap), his Paw Paw, his Nanna, his Grandpa, his Grandad, and his Abuelita. His last two days have been amazingly great. He is sleeping,and eating wonderfully. He is a big shutter bug (His cousin is the ladybug). He constantly shutters in his sleep. It could be triggered by noises, movements from us, or even just something he may be dreaming about. I told Crysty he is fighting crime in his sleep. There he goes again. Right now he has been sleeping since 9:30. Awesome. It's Noon. We are loving it. Thanks for all the prayers. God is great. The picture is of his Uncle Chris and Aunt Cyndy.

Thursday, May 13, 2010

More of Elijah


Elijah, Daddy, Grandad

Other Pics

Elijah Keaton

Here is Elijah. We had a great first night. He is feeding great and sounding great. I am doing great healing and enjoying time with him. All the grandparents were here and we were so blessed to have them here waiting and anticipating his arrival. My sister and her husband were also here waiting for him.

Monday, May 10, 2010

40 weeks!

It has come; I am officially 40 weeks pregnant on Tuesday, May 11! However Elijah has not even dropped yet so I have a feeling that we will be arriving for our appointment on Wednesday ready to meet our baby boy. Wednesday, May 12 at 5:30pm I will be having a c-section. My doctor believes Elijah is so big she is passing up the epidural and going straight to a c-section. So please keep John and I in your prayers as we prepare for this amazing life changing step. It will probably be a while before I update our blog again- but wanted to let you know where I will be.

Tuesday, May 04, 2010

Wishing & Hoping...

Today I am 39 weeks pregnant! The hope of my family, myself, and my doctor is that I will naturally go into labor any minute now. I had a sonogram last week that estimates Eli is already over 8.5 pounds, I know there is room for error but our doctor, as she gazed wide eyed at my round belly says she doubts the error is on the small side. It's amazing to think that at any moment God may decide ok, this is the time that Eli should be welcomed into our world- and bam, our lives are forever changed.

Tomorrow I go for my weekly check up and that will be the day that we make some choices on Eli's arrival, I think. I hope to go into labor naturally, the only reason being I have always wanted to have those moments of excitement when I get to go tell John, "It's TIME!" And then see him freak out, and go into a frinzy getting ready. Oh that would be so fun! But I am ok with however we need to get Eli out, I have peace about the whole thing, just anxiously awaiting.

Do you have any great stories, or heard any great stories on couples going into labor, husbands freaking out, or anything of the sorts?

Here are some shower pictures...some are from my church shower, and a few from my family shower.

Thursday, April 29, 2010

Elijah's Room!

I am finally finished with Eli's room! I am pretty happy with it, there are several more things I would have liked to do, like painted or picked out a little different furniture - but I am super excited about how well we budgeted the room and kept all costs to a minimum. So I have posted the pictures on facebook if you want a better look at them. The blog is being difficult and only posting the pictures as text.