December 10, 2007

1/4 of the way there!

10 weeks down, only 30 to go! Honestly, I have not even felt pregnant other than the nausea and the need for a nap every afternoon.

I'm hesitant to even say this, but most of the time I don't even think about being pregnant unless someone asks me how I'm feeling. I'm just really distracted with Asher as he is all over the place and still constantly changing and learning new things. (I have soooooo MANY videos that I need to post of him signing, walking with the walker, and doing his "favorite" trick.)

In the last two weeks I've gotten to see a sonogram of our newest baby twice. Even though I've been through all this before--(a year ago I was 8 months preggo) it was incredible! To see the tiny heartbeat, and with my most recent sono, the arms and legs moving around is mind blowing. I looked at the screen and then looked up at Asher, as I marveled about the gift of life and our Creator. It's incredible to me that we will have another one of these most precious gifts to lay eyes on at the beginning of July.

What a privilege.

What a joy.

How blessed we are!

I've decided that I am going to be better about documenting my growing belly this time around. And be proud of it! Every 5 weeks I will take a new belly pic so that we can really see the progress.

Here is my pic from 5 weeks pregnant...I had just found out!

And here is from today...a whole 10 weeks.

Though it doesn't look like it's changed much, my pants are getting tighter around the waist! It really does happen so much quicker the second time around! I am sure that in another 5 weeks I will not disappoint you with some growth (though, that may just be due to the holidays and a few birthday cakes!)

December 4, 2007

Phase I complete, Phase II begins!

Phase I Apel Remodeling has officially ended and Phase II started this morning. Phase II will not be so extensive...just a wall being punched out, a couple doors being added, and a wall that needs to be closed in! Isn't my husband amazing?

In celebration of Phase I being complete, I wanted to post these pics of all Charlie's hard work!

This was the kitchen BEFORE we moved in (notice all the wasted cabinet space on the left):

During construction...look at all that cabinet and countertop space we gained! We closed in one of the doors, took out a wall and a closet behind it (to open our living room up) and put in a window bar and widened the other entry to the kitchen:

Look at my BEAUTIFUL red kitchen:

More Before and After views:

November 4, 2007

Our little Turkey + a little surprise

Asher was dressed for his 1st Halloween all day long. From the moment he woke up in his jammies... his "Baby's First Halloween" onsie that was handed down to us from my cousin's son...isn't it so cute?

And, of course, we had to carry on the "Seewald Baby's 1st Halloween" tradition that Reid started 6 years ago...poor baby didn't like sitting in that slimey pumpkin.

He's such a texture boy. He doesn't like to touch anything that's gooey or slimey. His favorite food is a banana, but if I cut it up, put it down infront of him, and let him feed himself...this is how he eats it. He will find a way to eat it without touching the icky stuff.

Finally, he warmed up to the pumpkin...but quickly held his hands up after we got a few pics and was ready for us to take him out.

On Sunday night, we were sitting at the Brieger's and didn't know what we were going to dress up as for Halloween, when Duane gave us the idea to be a pilgrim, indian, and turkey. It was so much fun! (Thanks to Larra and Emily for helping me make my costume...ha!)

So, for those of you who have been hanging with me this whole post waiting for the surprise...we have another little turkey baking in the oven! We just found out last week so I'm only about 5 weeks along. And will be due right around our third anniversary! The new baby and Asher will be 18 months apart!

Some other shots of our darling little turkey!


October 13, 2007

We love these two people... much that the couple lines in the last post does just NOT do them justice. And even more than to publically praise them, I just want to share with you what Charlie and I learned from living with them.

The Brieger's (Duane & Marylou) or, as Asher knows them, as his "College Station Grandparents", Dr. Duane & Mammy--Ou, were selfless enough to let us live with them from July 20-Sept 23. What started out as what us, rookie home renovators, thought would be just a couple weeks turned into over 2 months!

The entire time we lived there--they served us, loved us, showed us what it meant to live out hospitality and did it with joy the entire 1,560 hours we lived with them! Not kidding. There was never a moment that we felt like they didn't want us there or like we were getting on their nerves. And that doesn't mean that we weren't! They genuinely lived out 1 Peter 4 before us.

Most important of all, continue to show deep love for each other...Cheerfully share your home with those who need a meal or a place to stay. God has given each of you a gift from his great variety of spiritual gifts. Use them well to serve one another...Do it with all the strength and energy that God supplies. Then everything you do will bring glory to God through Jesus Christ. All glory and power to him forever and ever! Amen. 1 Peter 4:8-11

You know how the Bible says that nothing is really our own...that it all belongs to Him? Duane and Marylou actually live this way! When we lived with them they did not let us pay for ANYthing!


We ate their food, did many loads of laundry there, drove their cars, and they babysat Asher often. We basically took over their house and were treated like honored guests the entire two months we stayed with them.

After a couple of weeks of living with them, we asked how we could help out...if we could pay rent, pay for our groceries, do some chores around the house--something! They said no. They just told us to pass it on.

Never again will I be annoyed when someone pours themself some of my organic milk and doesn't finish it. Seriously, I would calculate in my head that it was about a good $0.75 that someone had literally just poured down my drain. How selfish I am!

Living with the Brieger's has blessed us more than just materially. We've learned invaluable lessons of love, selflessness, service, hospitality and joy. Nothing belongs to us, anyway...God's given us everything we how come it's such a surprise when people act the way that God tells us we're supposed to be living?

September 24, 2007

Apel July/August/September Update

Alright! You can all rest easy. We are still alive. A lot has happened since our last hang in here while we fill you in.

First, on July 25th, Kirby had surgery to correct some complications brought on by Asher's delivery. Most of you know the details, but for the sake of having a public blog, I will keep it pretty vague. She was kept in the hospital for 3 days. And for the first 40 hours, she had no pain medication!! Her wounds and pain were that or worse of having a baby--and yet no pain medication. She is the strongest person in the world. The nurse had made a mistake and 4 nurses after her had missed it...but then she got Demoral for the next 36 so it made up for it!

We were released that Saturday night and able to catch some of Kirby's family reunion. Kirby has been healing really well ever since. She had one follow up appointment almost two weeks later and the doctor said that she was ahead of schedule -- normal Kirby.

The next major thing was our house. On August 2nd we closed on our first home (see "We Buy Ugly Houses" below). It was a complicated, but exciting process. It's been a ride the last two months with this house. It's over 50 years old and had never been updated so we decided to do some renovating before we moved in. We knew it would never get done if we waited until after we moved in. And if we were going to put some money into it for the sake of 'resale value', we would prefer to get to live in those updates.

A couple from our church, Duane & Marylou Breiger, were gracious enough to let us stay with them for a few weeks -- which turned into about seven -- while our house was being finished. Words cannot express our gratitude to you guys. We love you. We're so thankful for the friendship we share. Thank you, thank you, thank you for all that you have done for us over the last 2 months.

Lance and Blake Czajkowski did a lot of the remodeling and were awesome (if you need anything done let us know and we'll get you Lance's digits). They took out walls, added ceiling joists, created custom cabinets, and dealt with all of our requests and changes.

And Mike Garratt knows a lot more than just chicken -- this guys is a machine and knows a ton about remodeling! And I cannot get away without mentioning the faithfulness and hard work of Tommy Clements and Jonathan Houston and their wives for letting us have them for many nights into the wee hours of the morning.

Thanks also to my brother, Cary, for all that you did and Aaron for helping tile our countertops.

My Dad also made many late-night trips to help us with the tile, sink, gas problems and a lot of other things. We love and are so thankful to you ALL!

Shipley Wedding

A month ago, on September 2, our best friend, Cate married Ryan Out-of-Shapley. (Sorry Ryan Helena Boy spirit never dies.) It was the most beautiful wedding EVER (says Kirby)! The entire family was so honored to be in the wedding: Kirby was the Matron of Honor, I was an Usher and Asher was a "ringbearer" who was pulled down the aisle in a wagon--he did great!

He was the cutest thing and smiled at everyone the whole way down.

Pretty soon you can check out all of the wedding pics here.

We were so happy to welcome Ryan into the family, since Kirby is like the sister that Cate's never had. I could go on and on and never quite capture how we value her our friendship with these was Kirby's toast at their Rehearsal Dinner:

Ryan, you know how much of a gift this girl truly is. I don't have to tell you that. She has been the best friend a girl could have--and how much more she will be for you as she was created to specifically be your helper! You will have the most loyal friend and devoted wife a man can find.

For several years everywhere we went we were known as, "Cate and Kirby"...actually we didn't go many places without each other. We were pretty much inseperable.

Then two years ago, when I got married and it became "Charlie and Kirby", Cate graciously stepped down from the title of my best "best" friend, to my best "girl" friend. Tomorrow night at 7:30, I look forward to doing the same.

I've often told Cate how easy Charlie makes my job. I can't help but desire to do anything but love him by the way that he loves and honors me. When someone is constantly considering you better then himself-truly modeling Christ in your home by putting your needs and desires before their own-you can't help but love them and constantly try to out bless them in return.

I know that you will treat her the same. I've seen you treat her this way. And because of this, I have great peace and much thankfulness in passing on my title. I'm confident that now Cate has her "Charlie" (as he's been her standard since I met him.)

I realize that I keep comparing you to my husband, but this is the biggest compliment I can pay anyone. How thankful I am that she's never settled for anything less than an equivelant to Charlie.

Ryan, I love you. For the way you love our Cate and the way you love our Lord.

You have my word that you will never have to worry about Cate bad mouthing you to me. I can't imagine her ever doing that now. But years down the road, I want you to know that I will forever do all that I can to encourage and build up your marriage with my actions and words, and everything in my power to encourage her to love and submit to you like she loves Jesus.

I want all of the rest of you here tonight to know-if you don't already-just how much the Lord really is the author of this marriage-I can testify to that.

I'm so thankful to the Lord for Ryan. As we've been praying for Cate's "future husband" over the last several years-long before he even came around-He's been shaping Ryan into the man that will love and lead Cate under Christ's leadership. The very qualities that we've been praying for, the Lord has given Ryan.

We've prayed for someone who would be gentle yet bold in dealing with Cate, someone who would be careful with their words, and cautious in their decision making, someone who would be strong enough in their convictions that they would honor the Lord before seeking to please Cate. I've seen all of these displayed through Ryan...and yet none of these are truly just from Ryan, but what the Lord has done in him.

Ryan and Cate, I can't wait to see how God uses your marriage and your family to show others that Christ's love is still real and relevant today.

I'm passing on my title of "Cate's best best friend" to you, Ryan. I know that you will fill this role with much care and much more completion as the two of you become one. As you grow together in your love for Jesus you truly will be inseperable.

We're soooo IN

Last weekend, Kirby's family came in to help us get the house "move-in" ready.

The MVP goes to her mom, who did all the dirty work. Bathrooms.(I wish we had before and after pics b/c you had to see it to believe the magic that she worked.) Windows. Screens. And after all that-she mowed the lawn!

Both her brothers moved boxes and furniture to their various rooms. Todd completely transformed out landscape with all the cutting, trimming, and tidying up he did with the yard and trees. Thank you, Todd! It looks GREAT! Jordan also helped Todd with some yard work and swept off the roof.

Kyle and Kirby were able to finish setting up the kitchen and Asher's room so that we could finally spend the night in our new home the next evening. We're so thankful you were here to help us get going.

Thank you to Kirby's family for getting us in! We appreciate you all so much!

As of last Sunday, we have been living in our house over a week now!

It's good to be home.

Thank you to all of our many friends and family who helped us in so many ways and stayed up long hours, working really hard.

Asher has been doing so much and growing up right before our eyes, but he will get his own post. SOON...

July 12, 2007

Asher's Eating Like a BIG Boy!!

Kind of...we started him on rice cereal about 3 weeks ago. So far Asher's had rice cereal, oatmeal, applesauce mixed into the each of the cereals, and last night he just tried mashed bananas for the first time and he LOVED them! He ate a whole banana! This morning we had all things stinky going on in the Apel home. That nanner cleared him out...and I could see the banana remains in his diaper! How come I wasn't ready for this?

He'd only been eating solids at dinner each night, but this morning he ate breakfast, so we're beginning to phase him into two meals. By the way, Asher is still "drinking" plenty of breast milk. (I had some hilarious inquiries from Hayden and Ashton about feeding Asher the other night. And I stand corrected, Asher does not eat--he drinks my milk. And when he wants a meal-he's not hungry-he's thirsty. Thanks, precious boys, for setting me straight!)

A video of Asher taking his first bites of cereal. We didn't want yall to miss it!

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For those of you who can't watch are some pics of the big event:

Quite the little helper we have.

So pleased with his first "real meal".

Asher holding his own bottle while Daddy watched him one morning! Since he doesn't take bottles very often I was SO shocked when I first learned that he could do this about a month ago!

Other moms have told me this would happen. He's growing up WAY too fast! Our lives truly are but a vapor.

July 10, 2007

We Buy Ugly Houses

The rejection of the first house ended up being such a blessing...we are buying a house 5 houses down from that first one that we put an offer on.

Get this: this home is a little bit bigger, is on the same size lot (just under 1/2 an acre--this is the thing we loved about the first home), has one more toilet than the other one (which makes Charlie very happy), beautiful refinished hardwood floors, and is $35,000 less!

Our ugly duckling definitely needs some work, but we are so excited about our little fixer-upper...we love to do this kind of stuff! And with my husband-the brilliant artist, ex-architect, and handy-dandy carpenter-pretty much anything is possible.

The sellers accepted our contract last week, the inspection went really well yesterday, and we close August 1st! With a lot of paint and a few updates this home is going to be perfect for us. So, if any of you like to paint let me know-we close a week after my surgery, so we'll take all the painting and moving help that we can get!

We're still playing with color options but look at what my husband did with just a few minutes in Photoshop. A little paint plus one amazing man can completely transform a house!

July 5, 2007

Asher's First Trip to Rockport

Two weeks ago we went to the beach with my entire family. It was so fun! We've got tons of pictures and videos to share. Here are a few pics, but you can see the rest of the album here.
This wasn't his first time in the pool...but he had a lot of fun kicking around on that kickboard.

I think he's going to be a little swimmer like his Daddy.

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This was on the way to the beach...

His first time to feel the ocean...

But this is what most his trip to the beach consisted of...

But the beach got better...on the way home he tried some peach snowcone.

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Asher had lots of fun playing with his Daddy...especially when Daddy blew bubbles.

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He also really loved playing with his cousins...we tried to get a photoshoot of all 4 of them...but that didn't last long.

Just the boys:

And the babies:

Talking to his cousin, Stella. It's a rough life stuck between two girl cousins.

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June 29, 2007


Well...we got rejected on our initial offer, but the seller invited us to bid again, so we bid the highest the we would pay for the house (it is WAY overpriced!) and they said NO again. That was good enough for us...we know the Lord has a house for us somewhere and maybe he was protecting us from making an unwise investment. So for now, as of July 31 we are homeless. There is nothing else that we have seen on the market right now that we would want to buy. So tonight we go looking, I guess. Looking for houses for lease or houses to buy that we haven't yet seen-I guess a house listed for sale by owner, since I check BCS Realtor everyday. If you know of anything let us know...ideally we would like to stay close to campus! Thanks!

June 28, 2007

Changes for the Apel's

This has been a crazy busy, yet exciting week for us. Charlie started his new job at Texas A&M on Monday and is loving it! His first four days as the new graphic desiger for the Engineering Communications department has been filled with a lot of paperwork and computer set-up, but he's already been assigned 5 projects. He is excited about the opportunity to continue to develop as a print designer. It will be a change from designing mostly websites, that he is looking forward to!

For those of you who don't know, about 5 months ago Charlie knew that the Lord was calling him to get a new job. His last company, Vantegis (who is based out of Boerne-where I'm from), was wonderful. His hours were flexible-as long as he worked 40 hour weeks; he worked remotely from home, so somedays he would go to work in his Pj's; and it allowed us to travel easily and go to Boerne often, so that I could visit my family! On top of all that, the men he worked for are generous men, with much integrity, who love was such a blessing for Charlie to get to work with these guys and grow as a designer during his time at Vantegis. But he knew that God was telling him to get a job where he would be outside of the home, and in contact and relationships with people other than just Asher and me.

I'm so proud of Charlie. This has been a long four months of waiting on the Lord. Charlie interviewed for this position back in March and the department has undergone a lot of changes since then, which delayed the hiring process...and sometimes made us (mainly me) question where he really was supposed to be. Charlie had peace about this the entire time, trusting that God had another job for him...I'm so glad that I am under his leadership! Thank you to all of you who have been praying...we are continually reminded that God is so faithful to answer prayers. (If you need another reminder this is just a commercial to what God has done in our Neighbor's lives!)

Charlie will continue doing contract work for Vantegis until they find a new graphic designer. So, for a while he will still be pretty busy working a fulltime job with A&M plus anything else Vantegis needs him to do.

And the next exciting new thing is we are in the process of seriously looking at a house to buy! We have to be out of our house by July 31...yikes! There is a home that we really love that we put a contract on last night! I can't believe I just typed that sentence. This is such a major commitment! So, you can be praying for us through this process as well...we are pretty much asking for a miracle! More on this later...

June 18, 2007

The Best NEW Daddy

Asher, you have the best Daddy that I have ever known. I am so proud of him. He loves the two of us so much. He serves us with all that he is. We truly are his favorite things. And above all this...He loves Jesus through all that he does. That's what makes him such a good Daddy to you and husband to me.

I love him even more now that he is your Daddy...I didn't know that would happen when I had you, but I love him in ways that I never even knew that I could before you came.

And I love to watch you look at your Daddy. When he walks into the room and starts talking, you look around, searching the room until you find your Daddy...his voice is one of your favorite sounds.

When you smile at Daddy, your eyes light up and you smile with your eyes as well as with your sweet face...and sometimes even your eyes tear up.

No one could take your Daddy's place. You know what I love when I watch you adore that Daddy of yours? The sweet reminder of this beautiful picture. Just the way you look at that Daddy...with all that love and all the trust-is how we're supposed to be looking at our Heavenly Daddy. Maybe that's one of the reasons God gave us Daddy.

I'm so thankful that he is your Daddy. I can't imagine trying to do this parenting thing with anyone else. You're going to be the most incredible man, husband, and father one day, because of the way that you see your Daddy love me. And I know that because your Daddy loves the Lord so day He will be your first love, too. And that's the most important thing a Daddy could ever do for his son.

April 11, 2007

Asher's First Easter

Go check out the new pics!
We will hopefully have videos up of our smiley little guy in the next week, so check back soon!

January 22, 2007

More Pictures

Here you go! By popular demand, more pictures of Asher after his first day. Here are a few to get your mouth watering then go to this site for all that we have:

Click here for Asher's whole gallery of pictures. You will have to sign up for a name and password if you don't have one already.

Asher and his little hospital companion (Yes, it's a dog.)

Asher's most excited cousin ever!! (That's his real excited smile--he's not just a camera ham.)

Asher's first bath.

His favorite way to just crash.

Cutest kid ever!!