Tag Archive Jesses

Life Update: Pregnancy (38 weeks), pictures from way back when, and hair-cutting

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38 weeks — and it’s finally close enough for us to do the gender guessing game you all have been begging for. So, if you want to play along, leave a comment with your gender guess. I’ll be revealing the answer after the baby is born!


I had another OB appointment and ultrasound on Thursday. Baby got another 8 out of 8 score and everything looks great! I’ve definitely dropped even more (though you can’t tell from my picture!) and I doubt I’ll drop anymore before the birth considering the pelvic pressure I’m experiencing!


I’m having more contractions this week — which I’m all, “Bring ‘em on!” Because it seems like all the contractions I have in the weeks leading up to the birth really have helped my births be so much faster and easier in the past.

I’m officially on Maternity Leave as of this weekend! The plan is for me to be on leave through the end of May.

I’ve never, ever had a Maternity Leave before (in fact, I’ve always been back to work within 24-36 hours of my births — something I do not recommend), so I’m not even sure how to do it, but I’m excited to have this opportunity to rest, recuperate, savor my babies, and just take time to recover slowly.

(In case you’re wondering, I’ll still be online a little bit — I’ll be around on instagram and I’ll be writing a few content posts on the blog each week. We also have quite a few content posts pre-scheduled — some from me and some that are guest posts. But the plan is for me to only work around 2 hours/day max — as I have time and energy — versus my usual 8+ hours/day.)

Okay, there’s my update for this week! What’s your gender guess? I can’t wait to hear — you’ve got a 50% chance of being right. 😉

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By the way, a lot of people have been asking for pictures from previous pregnancies. I have almost zero of them because I rarely took photos back then and, if I did, I was rarely in them. But I did dig up this one from Kaitlynn’s pregnancy. I was 38 weeks here.

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The girls learned how to cut Jesse’s hair this week — and ended up doing a GREAT job on it!


(Kathrynne — 2 1/2 — holding Kaitlynn when she was a brand-new baby.)

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(Kathrynne — 4 1/2 — holding Silas the week he was born.)

Just shy of 11 years ago, I had a 4-year-old, 23-month-old, and a newborn. Jesse was just starting his law firm. I was working full-time from home. And life was overwhelming.

I loved being a mom, don’t get me wrong, but it was a LOT of work. Someone constantly needed me for something. I never got even close to enough sleep. I was hopelessly behind on laundry. There were always messes. And did I mention being tired?!

Fast forward to today when these three are now 15, almost 13, and almost 11 — and y’all, all those hard early years of motherhood have paid off in huge dividends.

These three need almost zero help from me… in fact, they are now the ones helping me! They’ve been doing a lot of the cooking, cleaning, and dishes + taking care of all their virtual schoolwork, changing diapers, feeding bottles, loving on Champ, and even staying up at night or getting up in the morning to take care of him so I can get enough sleep.

Not only are they huge helps and contributors to our family, but they are SO fun to hang out with! I can’t get enough of their sarcasm, humor, deep thoughts, great questions, and honest assessments of life.

Also, getting to watch your babes all grown up and taking care of another tiny human with such love and tenderness just might be one of the most rewarding things ever as a mom.

Mamas of littles: I know the days are long and the nights are short right now. It’s exhausting and you might sometimes wonder if it’s really worth all the effort and sacrifice.

I’m here to tell that it is EVERY BIT WORTH IT. Don’t give up!

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Fear, Unknowns, & Courage (some thoughts on COVID-19 & more)


Early Friday morning, Kathrynne (15) got on a plane to fly to Suriname (in South America) for 9 days with a teacher and a small group of girls from school. (This picture was taken at a park there yesterday.)

This is the girl who — just 5 years ago — was scared and completely uncomfortable to be around kids her age. This is the girl who has struggled with so many panic attacks and anxiety. The girl who was incredibly angry with us when we made the decision to put her in school after always homeschooling (she was so fearful of having to be around kids she didn’t know and to be in so many unknown situations all day long). This was the girl who was terrified to get on a plane to South Africa with us just 4 years ago.

It’s our heart’s desire to raise self-sufficient adults, not co-dependent children. So over the past 5 years, we’ve slowly pushed her to do a lot of uncomfortable things, because we knew the only way she would grow wings and fly was if we gently nudged her out of the safety of our little nest.

We often wondered if we were making the right call and we spent a lot of time crying out to God for wisdom and direction for the next step. God has been so faithful to give us wisdom — even when it’s meant making really hard calls (like quitting homeschooling).

We look at her now and see that is was SO worth it — she’s a confident, outgoing 15-year-old with more friends than we can keep track of and a social calendar we struggle to keep up with. A girl who loves Jesus, life, adventure, travel, and people. A girl who excitedly jumped at the chance to go on trip to Suriname (her first international trip without us)!

We’re still finding our way in what it looks like to parent teens. And I know we’ve made plenty of missteps. But we continue to just look to the Lord to give us wisdom for each new day, each new situation, each new unknown… and we trust Him to be faithful!

Also, watching your kids go on their own adventures, jump out of their comfort zone, stretch themselves, and live courageously is one of the most rewarding things as a parent… even if it involves a lot of our own letting go! 😉

Tackling the Timely Topic of Fear

On this week’s episode of the podcast, Jesse and I tackle the timely topic of fear. We discuss the current fears over recent tornadoes in our area, COVID-19, political unrest, sending our daughter to Suriname, and a recent situation of a lot of unknowns with potentially fostering a newborn.

If you struggle with fear — especially when it comes to unknowns or your kids — I think this episode will really encourage you. Fear isn’t necessarily a bad thing; it’s how you choose to act as a result of that fear.

In This Episode: 

[01:44] Our area was hit by some devastating tornadoes, which is rare and has shaken up our community. 

[03:33] On top of that, the first case of COVID-19 was reported in our area the day we recorded this. We also just sent our daughter on a plane to spend 9 days in Suriname and we’ve walked through a lot of unknowns in foster care. We’ll talk more about what we’re learning from all of this later on in the show.

[05:14] But first, AT&Ts international plan is saving Jesse’s life right now and lotion is saving my life this week. 

[08:52] To go along with this week’s theme of fear, my book pick is one I highly recommend:Raising Worry-Free Girls

[11:41] We’ve been receiving some amazingly kind reviews on the podcast lately. Thank you!

[14:44] Get ready to dive into fear. First, I share the entire emotional journey we went through while waiting to potentially foster a newborn. (We’re still waiting on the call!)

[19:00] How I let go of the fear and anxiety I was feeling around this whole fostering situation. It wasn’t easy, but it was so good for me to work through.

[21:13] We discuss the emotional turmoil our community is feeling with the tornadoes, COVID-19, and political unrest and we share lessons and thoughts on fear. 

[23:31] Did you know fear can actually be helpful and isn’t necessarily a bad thing?

[24:25] Fear can either propel you to healthy action or paralyze you from taking action.

[26:20] We want to raise adults. Letting Kathrynne go on this trip and prep for this trip is one more step in the right direction.

[28:38] How are you going to act or react when fear arises?

Links and Resources:

How to Listen to The Crystal Paine Show

The podcast is available on iTunesAndroidStitcher, and Spotify. You can listen online through the direct player here. OR, a much easier way to listen is by subscribing to the podcast through a free podcast app on your phone. (Find instructions for how to subscribe to a podcast here.)

Ready to dive in and listen? Hit the player above or search for “The Crystal Paine Show” on your favorite podcast app.

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