Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Welcome Baby Boys, Part 2!

This post will be far from perfect. Even though it's been over 6 months and my boys are THRIVING, it's still so hard for me to see these pictures! I'm leaving out a lot of them, because they feel too private to share in such a public way. However, this is a really great way to document the experience for George and Theodore. And even though it was hard to feel so helpless, this story has a really happy ending!

On April 29th, 2014 at 5ish a.m. my water broke. I called my sister in law, who is also my next door neighbor and a former labor and delivery nurse. She rushed over and confirmed my suspicions. 

By 5:30 a.m. my doctor had been called and we were given instructions to meet him at the hospital. 

It's hard to explain how it felt riding to the hospital in my husband's truck. I had spent 36 weeks focused on keeping these two boys inside of me; 12 weeks on bed-rest fearful that every moment sitting upright eating dinner was inching them closer into a world they weren't ready to enter.

We were on our way to MEET OUR CHILDREN! 

At admissions while they were copying my insurance card and driver's license, I remember filling in these blanks.

How many weeks pregnant are you? 36

Are you in labor? I think so. Yes!

Jim left his truck parked at the entrance because I wouldn't let him leave my side. 

Jim pushed my wheelchair instead of the orderly, and it was comforting to have one of us in control of something.

While I was getting hooked up to monitors and signing various consent forms, we asked when we should call my family to come. The nurses said, "NOW!" 

When they arrived, my family circled up around us and prayed. They thanked God for these babies and asked for a healthy delivery for all of us.  

The anesthesiologist asked me to sit on the edge of the operating table and hunch over as far as I could, rounding my back so that he could get the needle in between my vertebrae for a spinal block. 

A nurse (I will always remember you, even though I don't know your name), hugged me and asked what she could do to help me relax.

 "I saw your family praying with you. Does that mean you are a Christian?" she said.


Then she sang the name of Jesus over and over and over and over until the anesthesiologist was finished they let me lie down.

While someone went to get Jim, I remember trying to learn everyone's name in the delivery room. I thought this would be really important! Anxiety makes you do crazy things. 

Jim stood behind my head and held my hand. 

At 7:51 a.m., I heard Baby A give a loud cry. 

7:53 a.m., Baby B's cry was just as forceful, but a little quieter than his brother's. 

Someone placed tiny Baby B on my chest first for a very brief moment, before they gave him back to the team of nurses and doctors. 

"Baby B"

Then I got to hold sweet Baby A on my chest for a few minutes. 

"Baby A"
Jim followed the nurses and doctors out of the operating room with the babies. We had names picked out, but Jim and I planned to wait until our boys were born to assign them.

Baby B on the left and Baby A on the right being wheeled away to the special care nursery in the same isolette

Baby A on the left and Baby B on the right
During this time, I was in a little room off the delivery room waiting for my spinal block to wear off.  The nurses would call the nursery and give me updates on the boys. I knew they were concerned about Baby B.

So lying there on that table with my body numb, I closed my eyes and prayed. I prayed for health, protection, and strength for my babies.

Then something unreal happened. I hesitate to write it because I know it sounds crazy. In my mind, I saw my grandfather, T.J. He told me Baby B was going to be okay. That he would take care of him. And then he was gone and I felt peace.

When I finally got out of that room, I told Jim. We both agreed that Baby B would be John Theodore since that is the name we had chosen honoring my dad and my grandfather.

Baby A was our George Beck. The name totally 100% fit him from day 1. He definitely looked like Jim's family, and George Beck was the name we had chosen to honor his dad and maternal grandfather.

Me holding George for the first time in my hospital room
It was a week until we all went home together as a family.

George, you smiled so much. You absolutely did not like the tube in your nose and managed to pull it out almost every day!

John Theodore, you loved it when Mama sang to you. You gazed up at me and cried when I stopped.

I'll leave the rest of the details about that week out, but if you'd like to know them, buy me a mocha and we'll chat.

The first time Jim held John Theodore

The first time I held John Theodore 

Talking with Georgio

Sometimes when you think you might have a mental breakdown because your tiny babies have a million tubes going in and out of them, God gives you a good hair day. 

Our last day in the hospital!

Family photo!
George and John Theodore, thanks for making me a mama. Your dad and I love you so very much. 

Friday, September 5, 2014

Welcome Baby Boys! Part 1

I have babies! Two of them! Two precious, perfect baby boys. 

I am going to write about my pregnancy and their birth because 1) other than marrying Jim, it's the most important thing that has ever happened to me, and 2) I love hearing about my birth from my mom and hopefully my boys will read this someday.

I surprised Jim with the news! He had been burning brush at our new house, and I made him hurry home by saying I taught Rufus a new trick.  

Rufus wore this tag around his neck.
It felt like we were waiting FOREVER.
It was so hard for me to wait until he read the tag! I wanted to scream out the news!

One week after we found out we were becoming Mom and Dad!
Rufus got the honor of telling my parents, as well.

We had a dinner at my parents to tell the rest of my family.

We served these little desserts with babies in them.

 As a joke, some of the desserts had two babies. Turns out, the joke was on us!

We went home to Ohio to tell Jim's mom about her first grandchild! We gave her and each of Jim's siblings custom M&M's announcing their new roles as aunt, uncle, and grandma!

In the bag Jim's sister, Cynthia, received, they accidentally included a few M&M's that said "from the twins," which is crazy because we still thought we were having one baby!

I was pretty terrible at being pregnant. "Morning sickness" (let's just call it pregnancy sickness) began at 8 weeks and continued throughout my entire pregnancy. I couldn't even walk into our kitchen without throwing up.

I read up on extreme nausea during pregnancy and learned that it was a sign of twins.
This THRILLED me. I started praying that we would see two babies on our first ultrasound.

As we walked into the doctor's office I told Jim, "We are only going to see one baby." I didn't want to get my hopes up!

When my doctor showed us the ultrasound of two separate sacs and two little embryos, I screamed, "I knew it!!" and Jim and I both cried happy tears.
Stroller for TWO and Jim's Christmas jammies.

We let Rufus announce it on social media, too. Everyone thought he was having puppies... Sheesh.

Being as sick as I was, I didn't take cute "week by week" photos. This picture was in the bathroom of a car dealership... 
Our gender ultrasound was a few days before Christmas. We each learned the sex of one of the babies. Then when we got home we gave each other gingerbread people representing baby A or baby B.

It's a BOY! And another BOY!

At 24 weeks, I had to go on bed rest. I thought this would be fun, and I'd be able to get tons of stuff done. Nope. Anytime I tried to be productive, contractions would start, and I'd earn a trip to the hospital.

Our church family was wonderful. Several times a week people brought us dinner. It was a really difficult time, but they made it much better with some of the best roasts, casseroles, salads, and PIE we've ever had!

Jim on his "bed" at the hospital the first time I went into preterm labor. I love this man so much.

Also, we bought/renovated/moved into our first home during my pregnancy. Jim did this almost entirely by himself (in addition to taking care of me and working full-time).

Baby A (who we now know as George) got the hiccups everyday. He was a wild guy, and it felt like he was banging on my pelvis at times!

Baby B (Theodore) was a snuggler. He didn't move as much, but when he did, he made it count! He loved to get his feet up under my ribcage. 

Thanks to my temperpedic mattress, prescription drugs, countless friends, family, and Jesus, we made it to 36 weeks before my water broke!


Wednesday, March 27, 2013

I Wish I Could Think of a Great Title, Because I'd Really Like You to Read This

Have you ever felt so loved and humbled that you actually felt a weight on your chest? Like your heart is literally about to burst because its so full? 

My childhood was completely MAGICAL because of the love I received from my grandparents. I started this blog, not because I think my life is amusing or that you want to read all about my adventures with Rufus and Jim, but because I missed my grandparents' love. I ached for a way to feel it again and share that love with others

Last week I heard Francis Chan speak at the Tulsa Soul Winning Workshop. To an audience of at least 60% "gray hairs," he said, "Young people are dying to be lead by older people who are living faithfully." He described an older man who supported him when he started a church in San Francisco. Chan said he was so humbled that this man would actually show up every Sunday. Floored that this man who he respected prayed for him daily. 

I understood him completely. He made me think of the mentors who have shared their lives with me and have invested in my salvation. 

Every time I ended a phone call with my grandma, she said, "I love you, and I think about you every day."

Heavy, full-heart feeling. 

She also said things in her Oklahoma accent like, "Chelsi-baby, you show them how to live."  She communicated her faith in me to do great things for God

Grandpa made me believe I could go to the moon, win a gold medal in Olympic gymnastics, and write an award winning novel. (Really. Even though I tripped walking to the kitchen and back to refill my bowl of creamed corn, TJ Golson had me convinced I was destined to be the next Shannon Miller.)

The happiest girl in the world. Hanging out in Grandpa's boots.
But Grandma made me believe I was bound for something even greater: sharing the heart crushing, life-changing love of Jesus. 

During the past year, I've felt a strong urge to do something more: to tangibly serve the God who has blessed me beyond reason. But whenever I felt pulled in a certain direction, big loud sirens of doubt sounded in my head. "You are NOT capable of this." "They will see right through you." "If you open up your life to those people, a whole world of problems will follow." "Be smart. Protect yourself."

Over breakfast on a recent Saturday morning, a man named Randy, who I consider to be one of the wisest people on the planet and who helped shaped my faith in a very profound way, told me he prays for my husband and me. He took several hours out of his very busy life to spend with us, and communicate how much he cares. 

Jim cautiously asked me why I was in tears as we drove away that day. I told him (or at least I tried to tell him through heaving sobs) that I felt humbled. Invested in. Unworthy.

Heavy, full-heart feeling. Loved.

Our wedding day. My grandma in the lower left. Randy standing next to us. 

I know the truth. I'm not worthy of this love.

Really. I'm a jerk. (I've snapped at my husband twice while writing this post... about love.)

Even more so, I'm not worthy of the love of God, but he gives it to me anyway. 

But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us. -Romans 5:8

God has used faithful mentors like my grandparents and Randy to pour out his love on me at times when I've felt the least deserving of it.

This Easter, I'm feeling heavy, full-heart weighed down with the love of Jesus. He loves me. He loves YOU. No matter how unfit you believe you are.  



Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Be You. Believe in Yourself.

After I finished graduate school and began my professional career, I heard this saying constantly:

"Fake it 'til you make it."

During that time, I felt really ignorant. 

Whenever I tried to fake it, I froze.

I made this graphic a few months ago before starting my new job.

Along with the excitement, I was feeling a bit nervous.

Image original to chelsileigh.com, but feel free to use it. Just link back, please.

My advice to new graduates (and anyone else who's feeling overwhelmed) is not to overstate your abilities. People will see through that. 

Instead, be humble enough to admit your inadequacies, and be confident in your ability to LEARN. 

Then study the heck out of whatever it is you don't know.

You can learn to do the task.

And you can learn to do it well, without faking anything at all.


Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Star Trek:TNG 25 Years!

Last night I drove 45 minutes with my dad and husband to see “Star Trek: The Next Generation 25th Anniversary Event.”

Live Long and Prosper. Mixing in a little TOS with TNG.
And I loved it.

You might be wondering what this was…

Did they replay the movies?

Did they show new episodes of the series featuring aging cast members, ala Sex and the City?

Was it a big costume party where Trekkies wore their Starfleet uniforms complete with phaser guns and tricorders? *


Nope. It was better.

It was an “event” to precede the release of the remastered season 1 on Bluray. In the documentary portion, people associated with the production talked about how they used modern HD technology to give Gene Rodenberry’s vision new life.

They showed two episodes from season one...


Data meets his evil brother... What a rascal. via

And “Where No One Has Gone Before”

Wesley Crusher impressing the Traveller.  TNG fans know how important this will be for his future. via
This Trekkie was literally giddy for the whole 2 1/2 hours. 

I say in all seriousness that Star Trek:TNG was a phenomenal TV show. They tackled social issues like race, parenting choices, and gender equality respectfully and often with humor.

They spread a message of compassion and respect for those who are different and a sense of duty to protect those differences.

But the main reason why I love this show so much?

I grew up watching it with my dad.

It was our thing. We lounged about laughing at the antics of the angry Klingons and those deceitful Ferengi, totally confused by Q, and completely ready to jump into a holodeck given the opportunity.

We didn’t go to any Father-Daughter dances, but I think our Star Trek nights were just as special.


Friday, June 15, 2012

I Can't Hold My Licker // By Rufus

"Hey, little girl. You want some kisses?"

"Mmmmm... Sunscreen."

"You've got floppy ears like me."

"If you stand still, I'll give you kisses."

 "That's it... Right behind my ears. I think I'll pay you in kisses."


Wednesday, May 30, 2012


The National Spelling Bee Preliminaries start this morning on ESPN3. 

I'm totally serious when I say this is my favorite televised event of the year.

This guy articulated my feelings perfectly: National Spelling Bee: Sport Is A Breeding Ground of Clutchness

I tried to get my family and friends to have our own Spelling Bee 2012 while we watch it on TV...

They looked at me like I was growing horns. 


The Top 5 Reasons Why You Should Watch This Year:

  1. Boys and girls are fairly evenly matched (136 to 142). It's a battle of the sexes.
  2. Lori Anne Madison, age 6, will be the youngest competitor in the history of the bee. She sounds like a pretty cool kid.
  3. This will be the 5th and final Bee for Rahul Malayappan and Nicholas Rushlow.
  4. The Champion of the Bee wins $30,000 in cash, a $2,500 savings bond, and a $5,000 scholarship? So freaking cool. Read about the rest of the prizes here.
  5. You just might learn something.

Get revved up to witness the "army of marching human dictionaries," and test yourself to see if you could have qualified for the semifinals here.

My results:

Even at 28, I'm still not worthy of The Bee.

Here's the schedule if you want to tune in with me:

Preliminaries: Wednesday May 30th 8:00 a.m.- 5:30 p.m. Eastern on ESPN3

Semifinals: Thursday May 31st  10:00 a.m. - 1:00 p.m. Eastern on ESPN2

Finals: Thursday May 31st 8:00 p.m. - 10:00 p.m. Eastern on ESPN

Are you going to watch?


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