Photo session with Daddy

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Here are a few pictures from McKinley's first (one of many) photo sessions with her Daddy

Daddy is already wrapped around her little fingers!

The sweetest face in the world.

Baby feet!

Almost gone.

Wide awake.

Getting love from Mommy and Daddy!

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More Pictures

Monday, December 28, 2009

Here are some more pictures of the past few no particular order.

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McKinley Grace

Friday, December 25, 2009

McKinley Grace is here! She was born on Monday, December 21, at 7:31 P.M. She weighed 7 pounds and 9 ounces, and she is 19 inches long. McKinley spent the first few days in the NICU because of a little breathing difficulty, but that is now resolved and she made it home with us late Christmas Eve. We had a great Christmas together and are enjoying spending lots of time with our baby girl. Here are some pictures of the past few days and some of McKinley's first Christmas! There will definitely be more to come, so keep checking for updates!

Thank you all for the prayers. We are so excited about our precious daughter, and we cannot wait to introduce her to all of you.

Love Wins!

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35 weeks

Monday, November 16, 2009

Tomorrow will officially be the start of my 35th week of pregnancy. Overall things have continued to be uneventful. I have the typical pregnancy problems, the worst being back pain and difficulty sleeping. Other than those two issues everything has been great. We will be going back to the doctor a week from Wednesday to evaluate our status thus far. I am praying that this little girl is just so anxious to meet us that she will decide to arrive a little bit early. Our due date is the 22nd of December, but I would like for her to come at least a week early. I know that her birthdays are going to be difficult, but the farther away from Christmas the better!

We have several things coming up to keep us busy. This Friday and Saturday are full of wedding festivities for our friends Samantha and Ryan. On Sunday we will be celebrating my grandfather's and my mother's birthdays. The next week starts the Thanksgiving holidays. I will, unfortunately, be working on Thanksgiving, but I am already looking forward to some good leftovers. Next Friday is the Iron Bowl...War Eagle...and I officially set aside the day of the 28th to put up our Christmas tree. I really wanted to do this sooner, but there is just no time, and Keith is not very fond of decorating prematurely.

Hopefully, after all of the sweet chaos our little girl will arrive. I cannot tell you all how exciting and nervous I am for this day, but I am also beginning to realize that these last few weeks will be the conclusion of "just Keith and me." I am starting to enjoy those nights where we just sit and do absolutely nothing. I know that they are coming to an end or at least a significant decrease in number. Keith and I are trying our best to spend as much time together now, so that we can be ready for Ms.McKinley.

I really hope to post some pictures of some recent maternity pictures we have taken. I also have a belly picture from last week to post. Have a great week!

Love Wins!

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Monday, November 9, 2009

Visit Keith's website or click HERE to register for a FREE one hour session. Deadline is November 25th! Just go to the the contact tab and send him a message with the word "CONTEST" in the message line. Be sure to include a way for you be be contacted in the message. The drawing will be the day after Thanksgiving!

Love Wins!

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32 weeks

Thursday, October 29, 2009

We visited our doc for our 32 week appointment yesterday. Everything is looking good and measuring right on schedule. We will visit again in 2 more weeks! After the appointment Keith and I headed downtown to take some pictures of the baby bump. These pictures are not your typical maternity pictures, but we had a great time shooting them. I am only posting the bump picture on the blog, but visit Keith Varden Photography on facebook for the other pictures.

Love Wins!

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31 Weeks

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Quick update: Here is a new belly picture. We are now 31 weeks along...9 weeks to go until that due date. Everything is still going great. I have been really tired, and my back is now hurting in all kinds of places. Keith can not sleep in the bed with me because I move so much, so he has taken up permanent residence on the couch for the time being...just so I do not sound like a horrible wife, he does LOVE to sleep on the couch, so it works out good for both of us. Our baby tea is a week and a half away, and we are both very excited about that. We will be spending some quality time with some family and friends this weekend, so needless to say, Life is Good!

Love Wins!

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My Wonderful Husband

Monday, October 19, 2009

First of all, a little about Ms. McKinley...we attempted to have a 4-d ultrasound a couple of weeks ago. I was 29 weeks when we went in and she was measuring around 2 pounds and 15 ounces. Because of her location we did not get any good pictures, but we could see enough (mouth up) to decide that she is definitely going to have her daddy's big eyes! Now on to how great my husband is...

He worked very, very hard last week painting and making the room perfect for McKinley's arrival. He practically painted the whole room by himself, and I am so thankful for all of his hard work. He is absolutely wonderful, and I love him so much! So the room is officially painted a nice yellow/green color. We also got our furniture back from the man who was refinishing it, and it looks absolutely amazing. We set up the crib and changing table on Saturday, and I got so excited that I could not wait to put the bedding on, so we went ahead made her crib. The plan was to continue spacing all the preparations out, so that we would not be "waiting" for so long, but that did not last long! We hung 4 pictures that our friend painted for the nursery, and they look incredible! Thanks Lauren! We still have several things we are waiting on (i.e. glider, twin bed so we can sleep in the room if needed), but the room is coming together quite nicely.

My wonderful Sunday School girls gave me a Dipe and Wipe party yesterday. It was very nice to see our closet full of diapers and wipes. Thank you to all the girls and teachers! We also had Samantha and Ryan's wedding tea yesterday. It was a big success and Samantha got so many nice things! There wedding is a little over a month away and I know they are ready for the big day.

We are going to attempt another 4-d ultrasound this week. I am now 31 weeks, and we have been told that this will be our last chance to see her before she is just too big. I am very excited to see her again, but I will not be upset if we do not get a good shot of her. It will just be all the more special when we see her for the first time. Well that is a quick update of the last few days. Again I must say THANK YOU to my husband. He truly is amazing!

Love Wins!

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New Site

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Click HERE to view Keith's new photography blog. He has developed a new site with a few teasers from his latest shoots. Hope you enjoy!

Love Wins!

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The Beginning of the End

Monday, September 28, 2009

According to my online baby calendar, today is my first official day in the third trimester of my pregnancy. I can honestly say that I have enjoyed being pregnant...thus far! I have very few things that are even worth complaining about, so I feel very blessed. As the date gets closer and closer, the shock of the whole idea is diminishing and excitement is setting in. I cannot wait to see her and to hold her. I know that I will miss having her "all to myself" but I am counting down the days until she is here, and I know Keith is ready for me to share!

We are starting to get things ready for Little Miss. We (mostly Keith) have picked out some gorgeous bedding for her crib.

Keith and his parents have also been working incredibly hard on refinishing our crib and changing table. We will be painting all the furniture black. Keith and I have also spent plenty of time at Babies R Us and Target registering for our baby shower. We still have plenty to do, but things are starting to take shape.

Love Wins!

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26 weeks

Saturday, September 19, 2009

My lovely husband/photographer ( took a few more professional pics of the belly this week. So far everything is still going great! The headaches are getting slightly better and we have officially less than a hundred days before this Little Miss makes her grand appearance. She is moving more and more and I am getting bigger and bigger. It is becoming more difficult to bend and move and sleeping at night is also something I am leaving behind. I know all of these things come with the game, so I will not continue to complain.

The next few weeks bring absolutely nothing but WEDDINGS! I have mentioned before that two of my best friends are getting married this fall and all of the parties start this coming weekend. I have a bridesmaid luncheon, lingerie shower, and bridal tea all in one weekend. I really am so excited about all of the parties. I remember how much fun I had at all of my parties and I hope these two girls sit back and enjoy all of the festivities.

I will post some pictures of all the events soon!

Side note: I mentioned above that Keith is doing some photography. I know that I am biased but he truly is incredibly talented. If you need a childrens/wedding/portrait photographer check out his website for pictures and prices.

Love Wins!

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Monday, September 7, 2009

We are now on our 25th week of pregnancy. It is crazy to think that we only, technically, have 15 more weeks to go! We will be going back to the doctor this Wednesday for our 6 month check up. They will be "double checking" the gender of the baby this week, so I will be sure to update if something changes! I will also be posting another belly picture soon. There has been some significant change!

Now let's play catch up with what has been going on in our small life!

We took our "babymoon" vacation 2 weeks ago. We spent a wonderful week in Cancun, Mexico. It was gorgeous. We had plenty of time to relax and enjoy the company of family and friends. I will post a few pictures as soon as I get home this afternoon. I just returned from our annual College Labor Day Retreat. Keith will be traveling home today, so please keep in your prayers. The Generation Band led worship and we were blessed to hear David Jett speak the whole weekend. It was absolutely awesome! Keith was able to enjoy some good seafood (This baby is not such a fan of seafood). We also settled in on Saturday night to watch football. Auburn won-WAR EAGLE! and just so Keith will not feel left out, Alabama won, too.

I am back at work now and our vacations are over, but the wedding season is just beggining. Over the next two months I will be in two weddings and attending multiple teas for my two best friends Amy and Samantha. I am so excited for both of them! All of the fun starts at the end of September, and I literally have some type of tea or wedding every weekend from that point on until November 21 and then it is time for baby!

Lastly, See the Need is on the way to Nuevo Laredo, Mexico this morning. The team will be gone until Saturday, so please keep them in your prayers!

Love Wins!

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20 weeks and counting!

Sunday, August 9, 2009

This picture was taken at exactly 20 weeks and 5 days!

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The Beginning

Thursday, August 6, 2009

This is a belly pick around 6-7 weeks pregnant. I had just found out that I was pregnant, and the shock was beginning to settle in! I will post a belly pick at 20 weeks as soon as I take one!

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20 weeks

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Today marks the start of our 20th week. It became so real after we found out that we were having a girl, and now the we are half way there things are getting more and more exciting. After talking with many other women who are currently pregnant or who have been pregnant before, I would have to say that so far I have had an "easy" pregnancy. The only thing I could do without are the wonderful hormonal headaches. My doctor said that they should slack off, but, as of now, they are still in full force. I can honestly say that I have taken more Tylenol in the past two months than I have taken in a lifetime, but, like I said, other than the headaches everything has been great. I am still battling the fatigue, but that is unavoidable.

We have started looking at all the "girly" things that are out there to buy. So much PINK! I think I have FINALLY decided on a bedding set that is yes...PINK and light green pasiley. We also decided on a name: McKinley Grace Varden. She has also started moving a lot. I began feeling just little waves every once in a while, but for the last two days it feels like she is flipping over and over again. I feel a lot better now that I can feel her move. If she is moving then I know she is doing okay, and that is much better than waiting for the next doctors appointment. I know the next few months are going to fly by. Two of my best friends will be getting married, and that means tons of fun parties to attend. I will go back to the doctor next week for my next appointment. We have one more ultrasound, and I am still trying to get the past pictures up on the blog for comparison. That will happen soon...hopefully!

In the meantime, please say a prayer next week. Keith and my brother (Jonathan) will be spending sometime with all our beautiful children in Casa Hogar Elim! I am so jealous that I will not be making this trip, but I am so happy that Keith and JP will be there with them!

Love Wins!

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The color PINK

Monday, July 20, 2009

Yes it is true...we are expecting a daughter. I can honestly say that I knew from the very beginning that we would be having a girl. I guess you could call it a mother's intuition, but no matter what I was right! It makes me laugh to imagine Keith and I raising a daughter, but God never makes mistakes and I am becoming more excited by the minute. I will be 18 weeks tomorrow, and it is insane to think that we are almost half way there. I have gained a total of 6 pounds (this will most likely be the last time I update about this fact), and I have major headaches on a daily basis. The doctor reported that our baby girl looks very healthy and is right on schedule. I do plan on posting ultrasound pictures, but I do not have access to a scanner right now, but they will be up soon!

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It's official...

Monday, June 15, 2009

After much procrastination I have decided to update our blog with some very interesting and exciting news...we are going to have a baby. Yep! That's right. There is going to be a combo of Keith and me running around this world in about 6 months. I am 13 weeks preggers (as my brother so kindly calls me these days). Keith is incredibly excited and I am recovering from the shock of things while my body settles into 6 more months of change. Everything has been pretty uneventful. I was fortunate not to face the dreaded morning sickness that I was so prepared for. I did however become an instant vegetarian! No meat for me! The fatigue is easing up, while the crazy dreams and insomnia are settling in. Overall, I am very excited, and I cannot wait for December. Yes! A Christmas Baby! December 22 to be exact! I have tons of ultrasound pictures that I promise to post sometime within the next several days! Hope everyone is doing well!

Love Wins!

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Come Home

Thursday, April 23, 2009

I have not spoken to my husband in 6 days and it is starting to affect me! He has been in Nicaragua since Saturday and is not due home until this Saturday. I miss him very much, but I know he is having a great time! Come home soon my love!

Love Wins!

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Lily Anna

Monday, April 20, 2009

Today my sister-in-law's (Rachel) sister (Hannah) will have her baby (Lily Anna). There are some special concerns revolving around her birth. Please keep Hannah and Lily Anna in your prayers today! God is our Healer.

Love Wins!

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Party in the Park

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

It's back...May 23, 2009! Visit the website for more info!

Love Wins!

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Catching Up

Tuesday, March 31, 2009

It has been forever since I have updated this blog, but I have a little free time so here we go...Life has been very interesting in the Varden household. School is finally winding down (thank you Lord!). This semester has been so busy. I am taking two graduate courses (the worst ones from what I hear), as well as, a clinical course that has required 135 hours of my time over the past 3 months. I will be finished with this semester on April 25, and I cannot express how excited I am about that fact. One great thing has happened this semester and that would be the fact that my two best friends have moved back home. It has been great catching up and planning another wedding. Congratulations Amy and Sean!

Keith has also been busy with school and work. For those of you who do not know, we will be making a major change in May. Check out Safe Haven Church (on the side bar) for details. We are incredibly excited about what all God is doing in our life right now, and we would love for all of you to be involved. We will be relocating to Tuscaloosa in the near future, so keep an eye out for updates. I still have so many things that I want to post about, including tons of pictures from Mexico (I am pretty sure I left half of my heart there). Luckily, I do believe that we will be returning to Casa Hogar Elim as soon as the border begins to calm down. If you are interested in visiting this orphanage please visit See the Need's website for info. See the Need will also be hosting another "Party in the Park" pretty soon, and we will definitely need some volunteers, so check the website for dates.

I cannot express how excited I am about all the changes our small family is going through. It seems chaotic and a little scary, but I have never felt such peace. God is good!

Love Wins!

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One Year

Thursday, February 5, 2009

On January 26, 2009, Keith and I were officially married one year. We celebrated our anniverary by flying to an orphanage in Mexico (more to come on that later). It could not have been a more perfect first anniversary. The night before we left for our trip Keith surprised me with the best gift. He personally made a book (on his MAC) of pictures from our first year of marriage. Each picture had a caption describing the moment. It is absolutely beautiful. He did such a good job that I even cried. So I have to props to my did good! I love you so much and thank you for the past year. God has blessed me with a man who first, loves Him more than anything on this earth, and secondly loves me unconditionally. I could not ask for more!

Love Wins!

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Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Today...Pray for Abby! Click on the side bar to read her story!

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New Year Resolution(s)

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

It is amazing to me that it is already 2009! I had always heard that time begins to move faster when you get older, but I had no idea it would move this fast. Over the past year Keith and I have managed to accomplish and encounter many amazing things. Here are few that are on my mind (in random order):

1. We were married on January 26, 2008...we are closely approaching our first anniversary!
2. We spent a week in Jamaica celebrating our marriage.
3. I started the nursing mobility step closer to be completely done with school!
4. The Generation Band completed their first CD.
5. We experienced God move in a mighty way through our college ministry.
6. God laid it upon our hearts to begin a non-profit ministry that provides opportunities for individuals to travel to orphanages and serve our God...See the Need!
7. Keith's father survived a massive heart God be the Glory!
8. We planned our first international mission trip through our non-profit organization.
9. We added a member to our family: A 901b. Weimaraner named Bella.
10. Keith visited New Orleans for school...said he would never go back.
11.Realized that there is nothing more precious on this earth than family!

These are just a few of the major events that occurred this past year...I know I am leaving tons out! It was a very busy year. As 2008 came to a close, and 2009 began I found myself once again making resolutions for this next year. In the past I have made resolutions that are so far out of reach I know that I will never accomplish them, but this year I have been slightly more reasonable.

New Year Resolutions for 2009
1. Become closer to God. This is by far the most important on my list. My heart is yearning to learn and know my God more. It is something that has constantly been on mind the past few weeks. God is doing so many great things in our lives, and I want to know more of Him.

2. Eat health. Much less important than the first, but what I can say. I am not going to say that I want to lose weight in 2009, but I would like to fill my body with more healthy items. This one will prove to be very difficult. Keith and I have such crazy schedules that eating usually consists of fast food on the way to where we are going or a frozen pizza because we are both too tired to cook. I know that the first step to meeting this challenge is to only buy healthy foods, so when I finally have time to go to the store that is definitely what I am going to do.

3. Complete the BSN portion of my mobility program. This one will be completed in approximately 4 this one is pretty much done! Thank you Lord! I hear the master's program is a little easier, so I am looking forward to that...and to finishing!

4. Be more spontaneous! Keith will love this one! I am usually a "I need a plan" kind of person, but this year I am going to leave a little bit of that behind...or at least I am going to try.

5. Focus a bit more of my time on "my girls" in the youth department. I love my girls, but I can honestly admit that I have neglected them over the past year. We have been so busy with other things that I have failed to make time for them. I know that God has put each one of them in my life for a reason and I feel a little responsible for them now. My greatest desire would be that they would grow to be beautiful women of God, and I pray that God would give the wisdom to lead them in this direction.

6. Last but not show my husband every single day how much I love him. I must say that I really believe that Keith and I have a great relationship. Yes we are married, so we do fight, but overall we are generally a very peaceful couple. I make this resolution because I know that somedays I can be harsh and moody, but I always love him. God has blessed with an incredible man, and even though he is a little hard to handle sometimes...just a little...I love him and I never want him to go a day without knowing exactly how I feel.

So here they...six things that will happen over the next year. I also plan to update my blog a lot more.

One thing that I would like to mention would be our upcoming trip to Mexico. We will be leaving the 25th of January and traveling to Nuevo Laredo, Mexico. This is part of our non-profit org. There has been concerns over safety and the condition of the border town we will be traveling to. I would like to ask anyone who reads this blog to please keep us (there will be four of us traveling) in your prayers this week. We will be leaving the 25th and return home on the 31st. Not only would we like your prayers for safety, but we also pray that God would be glorified through this trip. We will be spending lots of time with approximately 110 orphans and their caretakers. My brother and I have previously visited this orphanage and it brings tears to my eyes thinking that in only two weeks we will be there with them again. Needless to say, I can't wait. I pray that God uses us and the supplies that have donated to this orphanage to minister to these children and show them God's love.
I will post pictures when we return, but until then please check out our orgs. website and blog for new info.

Until then...

Love wins!

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