Thursday, December 11, 2008

Twas Two Weeks Before Christmas (Abridged)

Twas two weeks before Christmas, when all through our house
Everything was stirring, but thankfully there wasn't a mouse
(I don't think mom could handle that . . . .)

These sockie things were hung by our fireplace with silver hooks,
Not sure what they are for, maybe just for looks.

I'm sleeping now all night in my crib,
with drips of rice cereal dancing on my bib!

The days are pretty cold, so I wear a cap,
and I'm even learning how to take a long nap.

Mom and Dad decorated the house really nice,
we've even enjoyed a nice fire once or twice.

There's talk of this dude who brings presents galore,
I don't know about all that, but I am sitting up more and more.

Mom is sending these cards full of happiness and cheer,
They bring wishes of joy, peace, and hope to friends far and near.

Mom and Dad show me this pretty scene,
I'm learning each day that this is what it all means:

A baby like me was born long ago,
and we want all our friends and family to know . . .

This season means more than hurry and fuss
Jesus came to bring life to ALL of us!

Merry Christmas from Callen!

Saturday, November 29, 2008


Here are some pics from Callen's first Thanksgiving. We spent the day with the Stenberg family - both immediate and extended. It was a nice day.

Thanks mammaw for the "little turkey" duds!

Check out my new trick . . . I can sit up pretty good when I'm supported. I like this view!

Sweet baby blues!

Sheer Delight!

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Callen Travels to Louisiana

We traveled to Louisiana at the end of October/beginning of November for Louisiana Tech Homecoming. It was so much fun to see old friends, introduce Callen to Ruston, and relax at my dad's house to end the weekend. We enjoyed every minute of the trip and even celebrated a BULLDOG victory!

Enjoy the show!

Sunday, October 12, 2008

Center Grove Orchard

I couldn't pass up the opportunity to take some great fall pictures of our little punkin' amidst the pumpkins at Center Grove Orchard. Callen's red hair just BEGS for fall photos. Enjoy!

For the die hards . . . . you can check out the album on picasa to see the pictures a bit larger. Its worth it!
Fall 2008

Friday, October 03, 2008

Callen Mark is THREE MONTHS OLD!

So hard to believe that three months have already passed in this little boy's life. Callen is a joy and so much fun to have around. He's smiling more and more and even laughed for the first time with his daddy just yesterday. We are blessed.

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Teri's Wedding

This weekend we took a road trip to Sheldon, Iowa, for Teri Hulshof's wedding. I did the pictures for the family and ceremony. Jen, Eve, Teri and I are all friends from Ames. When I take pictures, I'm rarely in them . . . so here's one Jen had taken with her camera and a photo of the bride and groom for anyone who knows sweet Teri!

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Busy busy busy

It has been busy busy busy around our house. I'm back at work part time but for these first few weeks of D6 (our mid week ministry and my main ministry focus) it feels like I'm working overtime!

Here's a little photo video I put together from our Labor Day weekend with the Stenbergs at Clear Lake. Turn up your sound . . . this one has some music!

Thursday, August 28, 2008

Callen is 8 weeks old!

Eight weeks ago today the most precious little boy came into our lives. He is a treasure and such a gift from God. Enjoy the pics from his 8 week birthday.

Also, don't miss the first ever CALLEN video on the previous post!

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Caught Smiling!

I caught Callen smiling! Thanks Aunt Debbie for this cool FLIP camera! This is our first of MANY videos to upload for family too far away. We love you all.

Sunday, August 24, 2008

Guess What I Did?

Callen slept through the night last night! Yes, I did get up at 2:30a and was confused as to why he hadn't woken me up to eat. Yes, I went in to see if he was still breathing. But only once! I did wake up a few other times . . . just waiting to hear him. I can't believe my baby slept through the night. Now, I know that it doesn't mean every night he'll do that. But I know he can now. WOW. What a milestone!

He'll be 8 weeks old this Thursday. I'll post more pictures then!

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

First attempt at a SLIDE show . . .

New Photos

I've been a lazy blogger. My sister said, "You gonna put some more pictures up for us or what?" So I took some new ones this morning Angie! Here are a few of my favs . . . then a link to a picasa album with a TON more photos from this morning. I couldn't get the slideshow to work . . . maybe I'll try again soon. But for now . . . here you go.

Thursday, July 31, 2008

Who Loves Baby?

Callen was given a book called "Who Loves Baby?" that you put pictures in to show the baby. So I thought I'd put a few here for you all to see as well! Here they are as a Picasa slideshow. You can click on the "word bubble" for captions!

One of my most favorite shots is the one of the FOUR red-heads: Callen, Daddy, Papaw Tom, and Grandpa Stenberg. NO QUESTION where the red hair came from! -

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Happy Birthday GiGi!

Today is Callen's Aunt Angie's (GiGi) birthday!
Happy Birthday Angie!

This is Callen's friend Naomi. She came for a visit the other day! Callen slept while she was here!

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Almost two weeks

We had a good time at Clear Lake over the weekend. Mark's mom (Grandma Stenberg) was a huge blessing to me as I was able to have some moments to relax while she had some goooood grandma time! We are glad to be home now.

Here are some more pictures for the Callen fans!

First Photo: Check me out Aunt Sonee . . . I'm a lake boy!

Go Bulldawgs!

Daddy and Callen

Family Photo and Mommy and Callen

Friday, July 11, 2008

One Week Old

Great news! We had a visit with the Homeward Nurse today and after a week or so of struggling with the eating thing . . . Mr. Callen has now gained back FIVE ounces in two days! Praise the Lord!

We are headed to the lake for a few days so Mark can get some work done up there on a family project. So, no posts until Wednesday or so. We'll leave you with these pictures . . .
Callen at one week . . .

Callen with Grandma Stenberg

Tuesday, July 08, 2008

Sunday, July 06, 2008

More of Callen!

We made it home finally around 12:30p Sunday. It has been an adventure.

Here are more photos of the very handsome man.

Bath time before headed home from the hospital

Daddy getting Callen out of the car . . . HOME SWEET HOME.
We LOVE his red hair!

Friday, July 04, 2008

Callen Mark has arrived

Callen Mark came into this world yesterday (July 3) at 8:57 am. He was 8 lbs. 12 oz, and 21 1/2 inches long. And very good looking much like his father.

What happened

Mandy was admitted to the hospital to "jump start" the process. We were one of 9 couples having a baby. It was a very busy night for the nurses. Mandy was given something for her cervix which was 2 cm. dialated. The side effect of this was severe cramps. At 2am the nurse came in the checked. She was already at 7 cm. And she announced Mandy was in active labor. This wasn't obvious because of the cramping.

I got up and thought..."this is it!"
2nd thought: "what do I do...I don't remember what I am supposed to do!"
3rd thought: "don't freak out, don't freak out".

Everything progressed rather rapidly. We had not expected the medication to knock her into labor. The doctor broke the water at 4, and then did another procedure to "finish out the cervix" at 5am. This is when the pushing began. The doctor said "now the work starts".

"What?" (my thoughts again) "work....what are you talking about? This is what we have been doing. You are supposed to be bringing us the baby now."

Mandy did so good! She really pushed long and hard. It was very very exhausting for her. She did this without any meds. We were trying to go as natural as possible. Mandy even at one point in between contractions was able to give me a nice smile. But later, 7ish, she was so tired, she would fall asleep during the 20-30 seconds of rest. At 8am Dr. Beer (see pic) came in and checked.

"If he wasn't coming out, we were going in to get him"
Although Callen had made progress, it appeared he had stopped moving out. Perhaps his size, or the pelvic shape, or something, but we were at a wall. It looked like it would be a much longer time before he would be delivered. Given Mandy's exhaustion after over 3 hours of active pushing, we opted to have a c-section. This went well. I watched the whole procedure. (which is not for the faint!) It took only about 5-10min. for Callen to be removed from Mandy.

I went with our little man to the nursery and realized something....he was bright blue!

"don't freak out, don't freak out"

All is well that ends well
The doctor and nurse took care of the situation and soon he was responding and a more natural color came over his face and chest. I was able to spend some alone time with him. We were not quite sure what the name was yet, so I took the time to try our favorites out on him. I don't think he understood this because he started to cry. But it was a beautiful cry.

So they got Mandy stiched up and in and then out of recovery. We have got him to Mandy for a late night snack and even breakfast and lunch this morning. We have had some visitors. Mandy's folks, my folks, and others.
Thank you to everyone who prayed. Thank you for thinking of us. We will be in the hospital until Sunday so Mandy can heal up some more. We look forward to sharing Callen with you.

p.s. If he had been born the on the fourth I think a patriotic came would have been in order....I think something like.... George Jefferson.

Tuesday, July 01, 2008

Change of Terminology Requested

So, due date VS. estimated date of delivery . . . .

Due Date: An item should be returned or turned in at that time. Library books, reports for school . . . . and the like. Also there seems to a "penalty" inherant in a late performance when the word "due date" is used. With a baby . . . . there is no penalty. It just doesn't show up on its due date. As in the case of BABY STENBERG. No action.

Estimated Date of Delivery: I read this suggested term in one of my many baby books. I like it better. It suggests that maybe something will arrive on the date we tell you, maybe it won't. Again, as in the case of Baby Stenberg.

At our appointment today, Dr. Beer made a suggestion that we've decided to take.
We'll check in to the hospital on Wednesday afternoon to start the process of inducing labor. I won't actually be induced until Thursday, so don't expect any updates till either late Thursday or maybe even Friday. Mark JUST MIGHT get his fourth of July baby after all!

We appreciate your prayers as we go through this process. We can't wait to meet the baby and introduce him or her to all of you!

Monday, June 23, 2008


Doctor appointment today . . .
Blood pressure is still down. 1 cm dilated (TMI???)
Back home for more rest . . . BUT I can add the recliner to my sitting locations now! Yippee for change of scenery!

We have another appointment on Friday.

Must be that I've just created the perfect place for this baby and he/she is in NO hurry to vacate! That's OK. We'll wait.

Thursday, June 19, 2008

Bed Rest

Well, after a night at "Camp Mary Greeley" as my doctor called it . . . . we are back home. My doc was NOT happy with my high blood pressure on tuesday and put me in overnight to observe me and the baby. Blood pressure went down with rest and she sent me home - on bed rest until Baby Stenberg decides to make his or her appearance.

So, it is the couch or bed (with a few minutes in between for showers and an email check NOW and then . . . . ) for Mandy B Stenberg.

Pray that Baby will decide to come on his or her own and we can proceed with our "plans" for a natural childbirth.
Pray that I will follow doc's orders.

Our connection group and other church family has already been a huge blessing to us. They have meals planned and folks are calling all the time to check on us. We are blessed and loved.

Best way to contact us: email or cell phone.
THANKS for praying!

Monday, June 16, 2008

2 weeks to go

Hey friends and family. You've been asking "How are you feeling?" . . . . so I thought I'd better update!

This past Thursday at my now weekly doc appointment I had pretty high blood pressure. So the doctor told me to take it easy for the next few days, stay off my feet as much as possible. Easy to do unless you have a wedding scheduled to photograph and work on Sunday and Day Camp with 72 campers starting on Monday . . .

But . . .
I found some great friends/fellow photographers to sub for me at the wedding
Left work early on Sunday
and I have been sitting most of Day Camp today just giving everyone else direction!

So we have an ultrasound scheduled tomorrow and we'll know more about if the high blood pressure was a one day fluke or an issue we need to address sooner than later. You can just pray that all will be well and that I will continue to follow doc's orders!

I'll let you know when we know anything else!

Saturday, May 31, 2008

Almost 35 weeks

A picture from wedding rehearsal. Almost 35 weeks along.

Angie and Philip Likens Wedding

Well, the wedding weekend was amazing. God was honored above all with Angie and Philip's ceremony. It was wonderful to see family and friends. Here's a slide show with some pictures!

And for those who want a closer look, here's the link to the Picasa album:

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Newest photo

Here you go ladies (and any gents that might care!) Here's the latest photo. I thought I'd better get dad-to-be in a shot or two. This is just as much about him as it is about me!

I'll post more after the big family shin dig this weekend. That's right . . . Angie B becomes Angie L this Memorial Day weekend. Pray for safe travels for us!

Friday, April 25, 2008


Thanks so much for praying! God is good! We had our doctors appointment and ultrasound today and we got great news!


And we are done with ultrasounds for good! They won't do any more testing at this point and the doctor says at this point there is no risk that I will develop the virus!


Thank you so much for praying!

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

30 weeks

We are on the countdown for sure now! 10 weeks to go until the due date . . . of course, there's only ONE who knows when baby Stenberg will make his or her grand entrance into this world. And we continue to trust Him for the baby's growth and well being.

We have one more ultrasound scheduled for this Friday. I'm hoping that after this one, they will tell us that all is well and that the chances of me developing Fifth's are gone! So pray with us to that end.

I've been feeling pretty good - other than normal aches and pains and tiredness . . . .

It is very hard to imagine how our lives will change in the coming weeks. Both Mark and I are ready to embrace parenthood . . . funny though how we don't really even know what that feels like. We just know that we are ready to meet this little person who has been kicking and flipping and rolling around inside me!

This is our week of concerts! I gave Mark tickets to Bon Jovi for Christmas. So we kicked off the week Sunday night with that show. It was pretty good! Mark, ever becoming more and more dad like, was worried that the noise would be bad for the baby! So sweet! On Thursday we'll go to Casting Crowns and then on Friday . . . MICHAEL BUBLE! (Can you tell which one I'm most excited about?????)
Angie B and Phillip's wedding is set for May 25. It will be tons of fun!

So, here's what many of you have been waiting for . . . the latest picture. I don't feel very photogenic these days . . . but here you go.

Wednesday, April 09, 2008


We had a doctors appointment yesterday. So far, so good. Keep praying! There seems to be no indication that I have contracted fifth's disease or that the baby is affected at all. The doctor says she'll go ahead and do two more US over the next four weeks just to be sure. But if everything continues to look good through those, we are in the clear. KEEP PRAYING!

Tuesday, April 01, 2008


So I've been exposed to Fifth's Disease (parvo-virus). Apparently, there has been an outbreak here in Iowa this winter. Fifth's Disease is a childhood disease - the fifth in a family of viruses that cause children to break out in fever and a rash. It is a mild disease really, nothing to be concerned about for kids. But for those are expecting . . . it can present a few problems. Over half of the adults in the US have been exposed before and don't even know it. Once we found out I had been exposed, I wasn't really concerned. I figured in all my time with and around kids, surely I had been exposed and was already immune. But no. Can't be that simple.

What does it mean for baby Stenberg?
Well, fifth's disease can cause anemia (lower red blood cell production) in unborn children if the mom contracts the virus. So far, I have not contracted the virus. My immune system is fighting it off. So . . . that's prayer request number one - that God will direct my body to continue to fight the virus and that I will NOT contract it.

How will we know?
I am to the point in my pregnancy (27weeks) where normally I would begin to see the doctor every two weeks anyway. So along with those regular appointments, we'll be getting an ultrasound every two weeks where they will look at the blood flow in the umbilical cord (modern medicine is amazing) and just follow along to see if there is any indication that that baby is being affected. IF over the course of the next six weeks or so everything continues to look normal, then we'll assume I've fought off the virus and there will be no further testing or concern. But IF something comes up, I'll be sent to Des Moines to baby specialist for further testing.

Of course, I'm hoping for the best and believing that God can protect both me and the baby.

So, put us on your prayer list and I'll keep you posted!

Sunday, March 16, 2008

24 Weeks

Here you go photo fanatics!

Let it be known . . . . I am only doing this for those friends and loved ones far away.

Yep, we are 24 weeks along (25 on Tuesday) and plans are well underway for the baby's room. We've finished the new guest room and bathroom downstairs and have moved all the furniture down there too. The baby's room is empty now, waiting on our furniture - sweet hand-me-downs from Mark's brother and sister in law.

My mom and Jerry are coming next week. We have another ultrasound and I invited mom to join me for this one. She's pretty excited.

No, we still don't know what we are having, and we are still not planning to find out!

Yes, we have names picked out. No, we aren't sharing them.

I need to go register for baby stuff. That's next on my list. Maybe I'll do that while mom is here too!

That's about it for now!