world, meet Ralph.

:: Ralph Robert Markgraf ::
arrived on October 22nd, 2012.

7lbs 13oz
21 1/4 inches 
(a good chuck of that length was cone head, I'm sure)

Every inch of him is wonderful and perfect and precious, right down to his hairy little ears.
And his mysteriously long, girly thumbnails.

We waited so long for him,
and we prayed so hard for him,
and now he's here!
We're so thankful we get to keep him.

I can't wait to tell you all about his birthday and his first week of life.
Be back soon, friends!



39 weeks. (and 2 days.)

Still no baby, friends. Still no baby.

We went to the doctor on Monday afternoon. All signs pointed to a baby coming, and soon! Baby's head is down, I'm dilated over 2cm, and my belly is tight as a drum. I made an appointment for next Tuesday, and before my doctor left the room he said with a wink, "I bet I'll see you before then."

And guys, he totally shouldn't have said that.

Because Ryan and I scurried home and finished every little thing we needed to do to prepare for this kid. And now we're just waiting. And we're kind of bored. Every night before bed we get all sorts of excited, thinking it might be the night! And every morning I wake up, feeling as normal and un-laborish as can be. I must have made a pretty cozy nest in my belly, because this child is hanging on by his umbilical cord.

Happily, though, I don't feel too uncomfortable, and I've slept better the past couple nights than I have since July. (Oh, bless you, sleep.) And while we're waiting, we're having lots of fun making guesses at what he'll be like. We already know he gets the hiccups about 5 times a day. So there's that. 

Come on, sweet baby! We're ready for you!


One year ago.

Today is the one year anniversary of meeting our little baby girl.

One year ago today we went to the hospital and I delivered her little body. Two days later, we left the hospital and discovered that fall had arrived. We drove back to our apartment, and the tree-lined streets were ablaze and littered with golden leaves. Our hearts were broken, and yet the rest of the world was moving along without us as though nothing had happened. It was the most bitter and melancholy feeling I’d ever had.

It’s a lot different this year. The golden leaves are a joy to see—I know that they mean our little boy is coming soon. But sometimes, in between all the happiness and excitement, I look at those leaves and remember the melancholy feelings. The long, lonely days missing our little girl. I think they’ll come back to me every fall season.

A few weeks ago, Ryan asked me what I thought we should do honor her today. We both thought that it would feel strange to do any sort of celebrating. We felt a little lost. What does one do on a day like today? I didn’t know how to answer him.

And then I remembered this:

When we had the inspection on our house, the man who came to do the inspection told us, right out of the blue, about a baby boy that he and his wife had lost years ago. He was a pretty serious and quiet guy—not the chatty type. I still can’t quite figure out what even made him bring it up, but I loved that he did. I loved that, even years later, he still felt it was important to remember that little baby. We were total strangers, but that didn’t stop him from talking about his son.

So we’re spending today, and every October 5th, remembering her. We’re going to say a prayer of thanks for all the little and big ways she blessed our family, and a prayer of thanks that she’s happy and safe in heaven.

That, and I baked a chocolate cake with pink frosting. Because, technically, it is her birthday after all. And I’m convinced that any daughter of mine would appreciate a chocolate cake with pink frosting.

Happy Birthday, little girl.



You guys!

We’re in our little house! Except I don’t know why I’m saying little, because it actually feels huge. I mean, I have to go up an entire flight of stairs to use the bathroom. And my dining room table looks child-sized in its new room. And sometimes, when Ryan tries to say something to me from another room, I can’t hear him. And I have to say WHAT? three times before we finally give in and meet in the middle of wherever we were to talk to each other. Huge, I tell you!

I’m still not feeling quite at home here yet. I think it’s all the boxes. And despite a rather good start, we still have a pretty long list of things to get done. On Saturday a whole bunch of family came over to help us move. We rented a U-haul and our brawny brothers moved almost everything we own in just two trips (thanks, guys!) My mom and sisters stayed here and cleaned the house from top to bottom (thanks, ladies!) I moved from room to room feeling overwhelmed, while being told repeatedly to sit down (thanks for nothing, Amelia.)

There have been a few hiccups along the way. Like how our box spring doesn’t fit up the stairs. We’ve been sleeping on the floor in the bedroom while our partially cut in half box spring taunts us from the living room. We’re still undecided on how to handle that situation. But the kitchen is unpacked, the bathroom is clean, and there’s a fresh coat of paint in the nursery. So, we’re getting there.

Speaking of the nursery, this baby boy is still snug in my tummy. I’d love it if he stayed in there at least a week or two more so I can settle a few things with the house, and also find all the things I need to put in hospital bags. But, my curiosity is getting the best of me, and I’m anxious to meet my little boy. I can’t wait to find out if he has hair! HAIR!

With all the chaos going on in my life right now, I feel a little out of the loop. We still don’t have internet hooked up, so I haven’t even had a chance to read my favorite blogs, let alone write in my own. I’ve got lots of inspiration and good ideas rolling around in my head, so once the baby comes and things are more settled, I’d love to start keeping up with a more scheduled blogging routine. Life is more fun for me when I blog. It’s a fact. I hope you’ll all stay with me!

That being said, I do have a pretty special post all ready to go for tomorrow. Come back, okay?

See you then!

ps: Thank you to all who left such wonderfully comforting messages about my Grandma—each one meant so much to me. You are all so sweet. I’m thankful for you! Hugs and kisses all around.

pps: I have been finding time to update my twitter (@Marthelia) and instagram (@ameliamarthelia) accounts, so feel free to follow along there!