Category: Surprise!

A change in the winds…

*Disclaimer: Yes, I have been extremely negligent in this blog. But with all of the drama around Liam’s birth, then surgery 3 weeks later… mommyhood has taken its toll. Oh.. and the news below too…


I am a huge Julie Andrews fan. Like, huge huge. One of my favorite movies she starred in is Mary Poppins. I love how Mary Poppins’ gentle, yet firm, spirit is what changed the heart of a whole household. I also love how she fostered the children’s curiosity. I always hopped I would grow up with a bit of Mary Poppins inside of me. But this isn’t my point … my point is this. Do you remember how, at the end, the winds changed and signaled that it was time for her to move on to a new home? I can clearly identify with that right now… the winds have changed for the Roehls. As of September, we will no longer be California residents.

This is a bittersweet announcement. When we left Illinois 5 years ago, it was a bitter announcement. We were leaving a place we hadn’t ever planned on leaving. When we realized that Illinois would not provide the career opportunities we needed, we set our sights on Oregon, Colorado and North Carolina. The only place I told Oliver and God (ha!) I wouldn’t move, was California. *ahem* God put me in my place REAL quick with that one! We were given an amazing opportunity in California, and we moved here. I can see so clearly now why God had us come here. I have made some great connections, close friends and even best friends here. We had fantastic job opportunities that furthered our careers and helped us see, even more clearly, God’s plan for our lives. All along we had a 5 year plan… we kept this 5 year plan in the forefront of our minds. We even took two trips to our other “choices” (Portland and Denver) to continue towards the decision of our next location.

During our time here, we purchased an investment home. It was in no way our “forever” home. We never LOVED it, but it has provided us so many opportunities to learn and demonstrate hospitality. It’s given us a shelter from the storms of the world (we don’t mean actual rain…), and it has come to hold a special place in our heart. This home is where Oliver first carried me across the threshold (yes, he really did!). It’s where we first decided to start a family. It’s where we learned we would struggle with infertility. It’s where we’d curl up in bed and cry as we waited for our child. It’s in the front bathroom where I discovered I was pregnant – where I stared into the mirror in complete shock before slumping against the counter. It’s in the living room, on our sofa, where I first told Oliver he would be a father… it’s the front door we carried Liam through when we brought our promised child HOME. Although we don’t LOVE this home, there has been a lot of love in it and a lot of memories were made here. It’s hard to leave, but it is time.


Our home - for sale
Our home – for sale…


So, where are the Roehls headed next?! Remember how we had been planning on Portland, Denver or North Carolina? Well, we went and visited Portland together and, although beautiful, it just wasn’t “us”. We also really wanted to be near family… so North Carolina was our next choice. Oliver’s mom, sister, brother and my sister would all be just a days drive away. We’d also  be significantly closer to our family in Ohio. I began talking to college friends who lived there and secret shopping for the private practice market/ competition. That’s where we ran into a BIG hiccup. The socioeconomic status of the state, along with the income-to-“cost of living” ratios were WAY off (based on our careers). North Carolina was no longer looking like someplace we could “get ahead”. And we weren’t about to move to a place where we’d struggle to make ends meet – been there, done that. About this time my dad took a job in Boulder, CO and Oliver had two cousins who had been living in Denver for some time. In October, while I was VERY pregnant with Liam, we took a trip out there. On the plane we made a pact NOT to fall in love, but to keep our heads about us. Two days into the trip, we’d fallen head over heels. I asked Oliver to not make me make any decisions until AFTER Liam arrived. Liam was born on a Monday, on Tuesday Oliver began discussing the move *smile*

So where are we at in this whole process? We placed our home on the market last Wednesday. Over the course of the week we had over 60 groups visit our home and  last night we signed papers on one of the offers. It should be finalized in less than 20 days, and we will no longer be California home owners. For the summer we will be living in my father’s work condo in Sunnyvale (about 20 minutes from our home) with my mom, Chief and the 2 chinchillas. And in September, we’ll move to Colorado! To say 2013 has been a whirlwind year already would be an understatement. But we are at peace with our decisions and we are ready for the next chapter – all THREE of us are ready. *smile*

Come what may, all the glory goes to Christ. So Colorado, here we come!

<3 The Roehls




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

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!

The Facebook Announcement

Today we announced it to facebook that…

YES! We’re expecting!

You’re probably here because you saw that announcement or got our e-mail blast about baby. But we want to let you know that this will be our only “Baby update” via social media. Although we will sometime talk about a new “post” going up – there won’t be blatant “BABY!!!” updates. We still have many friends dealing with infertility and we want to respect that they are still waiting for their own blessing. So *all* updates will be here …

Please be sure to read “Our Story” to understand where we’ve come from …


<3 Oliver and Tara

P.S. We are still in the process of doing some “back posting” of photos, videos, etc. We’ll put up a “new” post telling you when to go look at “old posts”. Confused yet?! Must be the baby brain…

Nana and Papa McKinney

My parents were both in town at the same time, so we could FINALLY break the news to them! Now, you know I couldn’t just say it – we had the benefit of seeing them eye-to-eye and watching their reactions (unlike the majority of our family). They are some of the few people who knew of our on-going struggle to get pregnant and were praying fervently for us. So we convinced them to go out to dinner with us to celebrate “mother’s day” and “father’s day”, since they had been out of town for both of those holidays. We met them at P.F. Changs in downtown San Jose. We then brought of the conversation of dates for a trip to Vegas we were going to take in January …. all while having these in our laps:

Nana and Papa x2 (this will be their second grandchild)

I’m not quite sure what my favorite part of this audio is …

  • dad cutting me off when I was trying to get to the big news
  • the dramatic pause where we hold up their shirts
  • dad’s yell of “ARE YOU KIDDING?!” which resulted in the entire restaurant looking at us 🙂
  • Me, being too close to the secret recording, laughing and crying simultaneously through the whole thing
  • Mom telling the waiter when he came to give us our food
  • Ok… I pretty much love the whole thing.

Listen for yourself… Telling Parents Moment

<3 Tara (& Oliver!)

Oliver finds out …

This morning I couldn’t believe it still.. so I took the 3rd (and last) test in the box. Yup. Still said pregnant.


Time to begin operation “Tell Oliver”. I’d been planning this for years.


The fortune inside the cookie says “You’re a father”

What I love about this: He looks like I’ve just played the worst prank ever … I think this really shows how much we’d been waiting and wanting but still struggling with the “what if it never happens….” question.




I hadn’t been feeling well all week. After a long weekend at Maker Faire, I figured I’d just overdone myself and that a seizure was on the way. But as the week went on the exhaustion just wouldn’t subside, no seizure came, and I was weirdly adversive to some of my favorite foods.


…. wait a minute.


I thought about it for a few days before finally buying that new box of pregnancy tests. Oliver and I were set to go out of town for the long weekend to celebrate our 6 year anniversary. And those two dreadful words (“not pregnant”) just always made me so emotional. So here was my thought process: take the test Thursday, have it say “not pregnant”, cry, get over it, have a nice weekend with the hubby.


So I did it… and waited. And waited some more. Then a little longer. (ever notice how those 2 minutes feel like HOURS?!?!)


… it said pregnant.


I stared in disbelief for what must have been a minute. Then I began to shake, cry and had to hold myself up on the bathroom counter for fear of falling.


I took another test that evening… because I didn’t believe it. But it said the same thing. I would wait till morning to tell Oliver.