Caden's First Birthday.


How has it been a year since you were born?! The memory of so many moments still feel as fresh as yesterday. I remember hearing our OB say, "Kyle stand up and meet your son" during my c-section, and your dad's eyes tearing up (and then mine too)!  I also remember the bleary-eyed sleepless nights, with strong coffee in the mornings. There were many days when you would only nap in a Solly wrap, but I loved feeling your warm breath on my chest. I remember when you would splash in our kitchen sink, just loving bath time. I remember the day you crawled for the first time -- what a game changer! I love seeing your face as you try new foods (most with delight and some with distaste). Or watching you light up with excitement when your dad comes home from work.  Or how fast you crawl towards the kitchen when you hear the refrigerator doors open. And your grunts, squawks, and crinkle nose smiles are just the best. There are so many things about this year I want to remember and cherish!

To celebrate your birthday, we had a low key day spent together as a family (you get a little anxious around big groups, so we spared you from a big party). We started the morning with a walk to the grocery store for some balloons, and we stopped by the park on our way home -- you love the swings! We watched you open your gifts (caring mostly about the packaging), smash your first cake, and get soaked playing on your new water table (thanks grandma and grandpa)! We ended the day with a bike ride along the trail -- your new bike seat is a gift for both you and us :)

We are so thankful for the joys, challenges, learnings and adventures this past year has brought. Caden you add so much life and sweetness to our days and we can't imagine our family without you!

Happy first birthday sweet boy! 


Mom and Dad

Visitors + Reflections.

Over the first several weeks since Caden was born, we have had a quite a few visitors here to meet the little man.  We have been so grateful for family and friends who have supported, cleaned, and cooked for us. It seems crazy that it has already been a little over two months since he was born!  Time flies between feedings, diaper changes, sips of coffee and baby cries. This has been a season of adjustment both for him and us.  We are learning what it looks like to sacrifice in new ways.  I am seeing sides of my heart that are both beautiful and ugly (if I'm honest), but know that these are refining times and I wouldn't trade them. We are beginning to develop rhythms, but I'm sure those will change just as quickly as his weight! I think one lesson that has been most prominent is that I can create a plan, but I need to hold it loosely.   


Photo credit: Kelsey Moll    

Caden's Birthday.

It's been about two weeks since the day Caden Mark Zabel was born (5/6/17). Since then, time has gone by both fast and slow. I feel mixed emotions as I reflect back on that day. It didn't go as I had dreamed or planned, but it ended with a sweet baby boy in our arms and so much to be thankful for.

We found out Caden's birthdate only a few days beforehand. Our c-section was accelerated because Caden was breech and I had some pregnancy complications which made it difficult for him to change positions to enable a natural delivery. A scheduled surgery wasn't how I envisioned labor happening, but it was our reality. We got packed up that Saturday morning and drove to the hospital knowing that in just a couple hours we would meet our son.

About an hour prior to surgery our OB updated us about our most recent ultrasound imaging (done the day prior) and she explained that this surgery could be a bit longer and potentially more complicated than expected. As we entered the operating room, my biggest prayer was for a healthy baby. The anesthesiologist went to work and I slowly lost feeling in the lower half of my body.  

The first part of my surgery was fairly smooth and I soon heard the doctor say, "Kyle stand up and meet your son."  As I looked up at Kyle, I saw him smile and cry; tears began to slip down my face too.  The sound of Caden's first cry was the best sound I could have heard.

The rest of my surgery was less smooth, longer than expected, and certainly not how I imagined those precious first minutes with my son to transpire. But fortunately my ultimate prayer was answered; Caden was a healthy and beautiful baby boy. 

We spent three days in the hospital and my recovery time was slower than I'd hoped, but recently I've started feeling much better. It was such a blessing for Kyle to have two weeks off work and for my mom to stay a few days to help with our transition.

People ask about our birth story and how we are holding up over the past few weeks. My response is that it wasn't glamorous and it's been an exhausting ride so far, but every time we look at Caden we are overcome with joy. It's a beautiful thing to be the parents of a newborn. We are so blessed with this baby boy and pray that we love and parent him well by God's grace.

Baby Shower.

This past weekend a sweet friend hosted a gorgeous shower to celebrate Baby Z! It was an intimate gathering with local friends. The food was delicious, the decorations were lovely, and I felt deeply encouraged and cared for by each of the women that came. I certainly wished that other friends + family who live out of state could have been here to celebrate, but I am so grateful for my Seattle community of friends.

It's crazy to think that Baby Z could be here in a little over a month!  

2017 | Zabel Family Changes.

Happy New Year!  Kyle and I are so excited for this next year, and we have wonderful news to share: we are expecting a baby boy in May 2017!  We are so thrilled for Baby Z to join our family.  He has come with much prayer and anticipation.  Our pregnancy hasn't been glamorous and has been a trying season (hence the quiet blog and limited social media presence), but Baby Z is healthy and we're so grateful for this blessing from God.  Here's to new challenges and adventures in 2017!