Category: Everyday Life

A Must See…

The movie…

So, Oliver had heard of this movie well before I had. I think that was a God-thing really. Oliver told me later that, when he saw the trailer, he immediately knew I shouldn’t/wouldn’t be able to go see it. I (thankfully) didn’t see the trailer until after we knew squishy was on the way. So, when it actually hit theaters, we were eager to go. What I didn’t realize was how raw our pain continues to be. Within the first 5 minutes of the film I had tears streaming down my face and Oliver said he was feeling quite emotional too. The movie begins with a couple, sitting in a fertility doctor’s office, being told they “gave it a good fight, but it’s time to stop trying”. Oh, how that familiar ache came flooding back into my heart. Later in the movie, people innocently dig spears into that wound with lines like “I thought you’d have a real kid first — you know, your own” and similar painful statements. By the end of the movie I was full of warm-fuzzies from the story line, but emotionally drained from the reminders.

It’s amazing how quickly you think the wound is healed when really, it can still be quite raw underneath. Things often bring back that flood of pain for us, and often catched me off guard. Oliver is really amazing at always assuming the best of people. This is an area he has really helped me grow in – but an area I need to continue to work on. It’s so easy to feel hurt by people’s innocent actions. We are finally able to welcome our own blessing,  but people inadvertantly jab us in our still open wound. Statements like “it’s about time..” and “this is your mom’s second grandbaby right? You didn’t have the first?” knock the wind out of you. I foolishly thought it would ALL be better once our baby was on the way. But what I realize more each day is that I carry battle wounds that are still raw. Still real. Some people thought that, after over 2 years of battling infertility I should have become “numb” to the world of “baby” all around me, and that I should just get over the pain. Now it’s as if I am expected to be numb to what we just went through, now that it is over. But I don’t think those are things that I should become numb too – God allowed us to go through that trial to grow us and change us. If I become numb to these pains, I become numb to the lessons He taught us. And if I become numb, I won’t be able to cry with my fellow couples who are going through their own similar journeys. So being raw hurts – a lot. But there is a reason for it.

Please … go watch the movie. And while you watch it, please be aware of the innocent things people say that hurt the couple so much. And vow NEVER to say these things to ANY couple. You never know their circumstances.

Please …. raise you own awareness and the awareness of others. Those of us who experience(d) this valley will be eternally grateful.

<3 Tara (and Oliver!)

Daddy’s First…

Dear Baby Boy,

Last night daddy had a first… after multiple times of trying to feel you kicking me, you finally gave dad a “thump” in the hand. I wish I’d had the camera going – it was a miracle moment. His eyes were as big as silver dollars, he gasped in air and was actually speechless for a moment. When he finally did speak all he said was ..


“Ohhhh….. It’s getting so real…”


You are so very real baby boy *smile* We love you already!


<3 Mommy and Daddy

Knock knock, Anyone Home?

* squeal!!* Too adorable!


Yesterday was a particularly LONG, but VERY fun, day. My cousins was in town, so Kelly and I played “tour guides” around San Francisco all day. We did the Golden Gate Bridge, Presidio, Pier 39, Boudin, Ghirardelli, Chinatown, Little Italy, Lombard Street, The Painted Ladies (i.e. the “Full House” house) … *phew!* The biggest hike was UP Lombard Street from the Warf. The best way to explain it would be to say “it’s like Vegas – you think the next casino is right there – but it’s WAY down there!” Except for Lombard street, it is STRAIGHT uphill. It was a fight to keep oxygen going to baby boy! *smile* While walking, we passed a street vendor with hand knit baby hats. Auntie Kelly found this owl one among them and bought baby boy his first San Francisco souvenir! Baby boy is going to be SOOOOOO cute in this! After our adventurous day, I crashed HARD last night when I crawled into bed.

When the alarm went off this morning, I was slow moving to actually get out of bed. As I laid there, reading through my social media on my phone, I felt the strangest sensation. Was that…. a kick? I lay there longer, willing myself NOT to hold my breath (the poor boy does need oxygen!). Sure enough… on the left side of my abdomen it continued, irradically, about 10-15 times. Thump thump thump!

Well hello and good morning little boy *smile* And happy 19 week birthday!

<3 Your mommy.

Feeling a little blue today …

We are SO excited to find out it is a baby BOY on the way in January. You can ask Oliver, I’ve had an inkling it was a boy from the very day we found out *smile* The party was a HUGE success, and turned out just as we’d hoped. Low key, people we love around us, people we love watching via webcam! People watched our unveiling *LIVE* as far away as Asia! And more people are watching the recording! Squishy is so very loved all the way around the world!

Here at the house we had fruit & dip, chips & dip, tea and lemonade for snacking… friends drove in from all over, everyone from my parents’ neighbors, friends from former jobs, church family … we were surrounded by people who love us and are excited for baby Roehl! And everyone was dressed in pink and blue to cast their “votes” for the occasion!


The girls gathered around the dining room to talk, the boys hid out in the media room with dad’s new 65″ 3D TV 😉


Even Chief was “dressed” for the occasion! (That’s his girlfriend, Piper, wanting in on the kisses too *smile*)


About 3pm everyone started looking at their watches and counting down. Mom found Oliver pacing the house – he was so excited to begin! We started up the webcast and pulled out the AMAZING cake from Sugar, Butter, Flour.


Our amazing cake – what color is inside?!


Soon it was 4pm. Everyone gathered around with their colored pennants and dad prayed over us and this precious new life we’re bringing into the world…


Dad praying over our future!


Now was the time EVERYONE had been waiting for …

Cutting the cake…


It’s a BOY!!!!


Needless to say, we’re a little excited *smile*




Thank you again EVERYONE – for those who came, those who watched, those who sent us well wishes, those who have prayed for us! We can’t wait to meet our little boy in January!

<3 Oliver and Tara


P.S. If you took photos at the party – PLEASE send them our way! taranicoleslp at gmail dot com

The Party is a GO!

That’s right… Baby Roehl “revealed” him or herself to the ultrasound tech while keeping the news from us – just PERFECT!

(L to R) Chugging a Jamba Juice to encourage the baby to MOVE, the card the tech “checked”, our “top secret envelope”, me and the envelope in front of the bakery!


I recorded a quick message for you all…  It become more and more breathtaking and real as we get further down this road – it REALLY IS HAPPENING! God ALWAYS keeps His promises, and His timing is ALWAYS perfect. So … excuse the tears! *smile*


In other news, we have been working to prepare for this weekend. A few people will be at the house with us, some will be watching via webcam, and others will be watching the recording later. But, me being me, we couldn’t do it without a LITTLE over the top-ness!

Crafty Crafting!

Love you all – can’t wait for Saturday!

Love, Tara (and Oliver!)

Whirlwind Road Trip

This past weekend the Squishy and I took a whirlwind road trip down to Yucca Valley. Read: left at 8:15am Friday, got home at 6:00pm Saturday. Now for those of you who don’t know where Yucca Valley is (like myself) … it’s about two hours east of Los Angeles.


Yucca Valley … AKA “the desert”


Something a LOT of people don’t realize when the visit us, is how far away the major cities in California are. You need to keep in mind, California takes up the majority of the west coast. The top of California lines up with Northern Pennsylvania/Connecticut, while San Diego is in line with Georgia.

The red box outlines the top of Cali down to the bottom

So when you come to visit us and want to go to Disneyland (which eveyone does!), you need to realize that you are asking to drive from Virginia down to South Carolina! Which is exactly what I did with Kelly on Friday. I got a call from her on Tuesday that included the phrase “I have a plan, but tell me if it’s crazy”. That is usually code for “Here we go!!!” Haha! I guess I’m lucky she only took me as far as Yucca… she ended up following me to Africa last year!


Us and the giraffe in Rwanda!

But, I digress *smile* Kelly was planning to go home and pick up her dog, to move her into their new place in the north bay. And she was looking for a road trip buddy. So we threw our bags in the car and headed off Friday morning. Now, something to remember: Kelly and I used to stare at each other for hours on end, 4-5 days a week. Like, literally stare at each other. We moved our desks at the office to face each other because it hurt our backs to turn around all the time! Now that neither of us work for the clinic anymore, we take our together time VERY seriously. As in, I think we turned the iPod on, but we spent the entire trip talking with the radio turned down… All eight hours there and back! I have never been to the California desert, so there were a lot of “firsts” for me on this trip. The amazingly dry heat (105ish at 4pm) and Joshua trees. Joshua trees have a very cool story behind their name, read more here.

Us and the Joshua Tree in Kelly’s front yard! (count this as my 16 1/2 week belly shot!)

We got in Friday night and hung out with some of Kelly’s friends, then had dinner with her mom and stepdad. We laid on the trampoline to looked at all the stars and even made S’mores! Mmmmm! Saturday morning we woke up, had breakfast, loaded the car up with the dog and all her things, then headed back to the Bay Area!

All three girls are on their way “home”!


As we neared the end of the trip, Kelly commented that we should stop and let the dog out. I agreed, and when we realized we were near Gilroy, our brain’s IMMEDIATELY got onto the same channel – SONIC!!!!

Sundaes and Lemonberry Slushes!


Perfect ending to a fantastic trip! Kelly and her pooch are settling in at home, and I am happy to be back with my “boys”. Until our next adventure …


<3 Tara

Living in a New Room

For some time now I have been wanting to rearrange the living room. This urge occurs every 12-18 months usually. But we had just been talking about my “vision” for the past year, and hadn’t done anything about it. I decided last week was the week we were DOING IT! Part of the motivation is that we were gifted a gorgeous, brand new, brown leather sofa. A wonderful couple (parents to my friend Linda), had bought the sofa, but then decided they just wanted their recliners in the living room. So they were looking to give it to us. Oliver and I were contemplating purchasing it from them when we received a call that they were GIVING it to us! Not only was this an overwhelming gift for our home, it was just the kick in the pants we needed to rearrange the living room and make space for it!

Wednesday, Curtis came over while Oliver was at work and helped me clear out some rooms, get furniture out of the living room and move around the furniture that was staying in the living room.That evening our friends Wedny and Bryan came over to help us move some other furniture, and Oliver moved a different couch into the living room (yes… we now own 3 couches…).

Curtis helping undo the “old” set-up of our living room…



Oliver moving a couch in (and a couch is right in front of me too…)


Once we had “space”, we were able to spend the next day picking up the couch and bringing it over to our house. Sadly, I don’t have pictures of this – but for good reason! Our friends Reuben and Ranfrey (brother-in-laws) were able to come out and help us move the sofa. However, Ranfrey’s wife was working, so I was interpreter for Ranfrey. Kinda difficult to sign AND snap photos at the same time 🙂 But they did AWESOME and soon the new couch was in! My next idea was to cover the couch Oliver moved (above) with a brown cover to coordinate it.

“Easy as 7 steps” – great!


Liars…. I broke a sweat! A Masters degree and I can’t figure out a stupid couch cover?!


Once I succeeded at the couch cover (like I would let it beat me…), Oliver had to wire up the TV again, and try out the new couch…

Fun fact about houses built in the 60s … no overhead lights and ONE 3 prong outlet per room




SUCCESS!!! The living room is done! …. Well, almost. I have a big wall I need to decorate and throw pillows to brighten up the room 🙂

Couches… (the leather couch is where the TV used to be)


The TV set-up (next to the stairs)


Where the couch USED to be (and where the playpen will go!) … the weird tile in the middle of the wood floor is a loooooooong story. Just know, we didn’t do it!


A little bonus … the newest addition to our “family story” set-up… dating, engaged, married, BABY!!!


I love how many times my dog  photo bombed this post 🙂

<3 Tara & Oliver

Ok Baby, REVEAL yourself!

People ask us frequently if we are going to find out the gender of Squishy. When we began this journey over 2 years before this blessing, we were adament against finding out. We wanted to be surprised! Fast-forward over two years and we began to rethink this plan. You see, most couple have to wait 9 months – a year in a half from starting the childbearing process to meeting baby. For us, it will be 3 years by the time we meet this bundle of joy. Considering we are already almost 2 and a half years into this journey, we decided we’ve waited long enough!

And knowing me, you expect me to do anything “easy”?! We’ll be having a small gathering at my parent’s house to reveal to baby’s gender. Now…. this is gutsy considering the appointment is only 2 days prior. But if anyone knows my parents, they know it is WICKED hard to get them both in the same state at the same time. Especially considering daddy lives in Colorado for work now! So I’ll be chugging a Jamba Juice and hoping to make that baby “dance, dance, dance” for the ultrasound tech! But the event may have to be postponed if the baby doesn’t agree …


So mark your calendars for August 18th at 4pm PST!


Although we are keeping this reveal party small, and we live so far from much of our family, we want to include as many people as we can! So here is how you can participate:

  • Send us a picture of you and your family, wearing either “pink” or “blue”, to help us decorate the house with your “votes” (taranicoleslp at gmail dot com)
  • Watch the live stream of our “cake cutting” (come on, you’re shocked we’ll be live streaming this?!) – more details here as the day approaches
  • RSVP for the event here  (no sense in live streaming if no one is watching!)
  • Cast your vote below for a Baby Boy or a Baby Girl!