Friday, January 10, 2014

Christmas Letter 2013

Dear Friends and Family,

     It has been another year of many changes for us this year!  We bought our first home this year in Portage, MI, Sean graduated college, and we are expecting an addition to our family!

     Sean graduated in April with his bachelor’s in Criminal Justice and a minor in Spanish. He still loves his job as a public safety officer at Kalamazoo Department of Public Safety (KDPS), and he’s had command officers comment on how hard he works.

     Christy has enjoyed being a stay at home mom, and making our new house feel like a home. She’s been spending a lot of time doing church service as Primary president with the children ages 18 months to 12 years in our congregation. She’s also pregnant with our baby girl, due March 2014. This pregnancy has definitely been difficult, but it’s starting to get easier.

     Elijah has been growing like crazy! He has enjoyed spending lots of time with both sets of grandparents. He’s been able to do fun things like go to various zoos, parks, and museums – including Discovery Science Center, apple picking, and the beach! He loves to play in water, no matter what the temperature and his favorite words are: balls, cars, Mickey!, cheese, juice, Mommy, and Daddy.

     This summer was busy with traveling! In June, we went to visit Christy’s family and Eli had his first visit to Disneyland! Right after that trip, Brenda came out to spend a week with Eli so Christy could be a leader at church girls’ camp.  Then we went on a camping trip with Sean’s family to the UP and Mackinac Island to celebrate Scott (Sean’s dad) retiring from KDPS. Lastly, we are excited to spend our first married Christmas in California this year.

     We hope all is well with our loved ones and that you have a blessed new year!

                                    Sean, Christy, and Elijah Szekely

Sunday, March 3, 2013

Christmas Letter 2012

Dear Friends and Family,                                              December 2012

     We have had a crazy year for sure! Sean and Christy have been adjusting to parenthood and other life changes that have happened.

     Sean has enjoyed his second year being a public safety officer for the city of Kalamazoo. He already has received the life saving award from the department, which was one of his career goals. He’s also been going to school and should be graduating Spring 2013!

     Christy has been enjoying being a full time mom. She spends a lot of one-on-one time with Eli and enjoys watching him learn about the world and grow. She also has been spending time doing enrichment activities with the 8-12 year old girls at church and is a Sunday school teacher for the 11 year olds.

    We have been able to travel quite a bit even though Sean has been very busy. We were able to go to California to visit Christy’s family this spring. Eli enjoyed his first time at the beach. Then we were able to make two family trips up to Traverse City this summer to hang out with our dear Uncle Don and Aunt Judy. Then, Christy and Eli were able to visit California once more in October.

     We have also had Grammy and Doppa (the Davis grandparents) visit several different times throughout the year. They love visiting with their first grandbaby. And even had a visit from Aunt Jeaninne!

     Another highlight of the year was when Sean’s sister Leilani visited for a week from Arizona. Eli got to see his aunt and cousins every day as we did fun things like Boo Zoo, going to the pumpkin patch, and getting to play with his very own soccer ball (as you can see in one of the pictures, Elijah loves soccer)!

     This Thanksgiving we were able to have Christy’s family come to Kalamazoo and join us for a wonderful dinner.

     We hope all is well with our loved ones and that you have a blessed new year!

                        Sean, Christy, and Elijah Szekely

The Arrival of our Sweet Son

I had Elijah Scott Szekely on Thursday, December 15th, 2011. He was born at 4:55pm and he was 19 inches long and 6 lbs 10.5 oz.

I had had a few nights where I thought for sure I was going into labor. My body went crazy with Braxton-Hicks contractions. What can I say, my wanting to be overly prepared for everything is a biological response more than a part of my personality. And my body was preparing for labor when I was 36 weeks along. At my appointment I was 70% effaced and dialed to 1 cm! So when I called my mom and told her that they thought I could go into labor at any time, she flew out two days later so she could be here to help me out getting everything ready.

I had an appointment on the Monday before I delivered. At that appointment I was 80% effaced and 1-2 cm dialated. While Brandi was checking me, she stripped my membranes. From that point on I had Braxton-Hicks contractions until real labor started at 5:30 am on the 15th. And of course, Sean was at work and it was the day that the department did vacation bid.

I was so grateful my mom was here in Michigan with me. I would have freaked out with going into labor with no one around. I had started to lose my mucous plug the night before, and my BH contractions were every 3 mins but not painful so I did not sleep much.

When labor started, my contractions were 5 minutes apart lasting for about a minute. Brandi had told me that when I was in labor and once my contractions were 5 mins apart lasting for a minute for an hour, then I needed to call and touch base. So around 6:45 am, I called up the on call midwife (who happened to be Brandi), and we decided that I should labor another hour and see how I felt. In that hour, I took a shower - which was AMAZING for the back pain I was already experiencing - did my hair, and ate breakfast. In the future, I will know to NOT eat once you're in labor. It leads to throwing up while in labor. Then my mom and I started to get everything into the car to head to the hospital. Sean wanted to finish up his shift and then do his vacation bid before coming to the hospital.. Yes, he is that dedicated to his job.

I ended up laboring with my mom helping me while Sean slept. As I entered into transition, my back labor wasn't letting up and I decided to get an epidural. It was amazing because I could rest, but when it came time to start pushing around 4 pm, I could feel some sensations without experiencing too much pain. My contractions spaced out to every 5 mins, and around 4:56 Eli was born!

Friday, April 13, 2012

Belly bump pictures

Taken July 2011. This is at Station 7 during Sean's FTO.

Visiting Donna and Jack Vizzard. During my California trip September 2011.

This was at the KDPS training center. Sean received the Life Saving award. October 2011.

Liz's 22nd birthday party. This was about 2 weeks before Eli was delivered.

Right before leaving for the hospital to go deliver Eli! He showed up about 9 hours after this was taken!

Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Happy Leap Day!!

It has been FOREVER since I have written a post on here, and life for Sean and I has changed so much!

Our April last year was crazy!! Sean and I took our first mini-roadtrip to Syracuse, New York to visit my brother and his girlfriend Erin for Easter. We weren't sure if we would be able to take this trip because one of Sean's coworkers was killed in the line of duty, and we needed to be at his funeral. It turns out that the funeral was the Tuesday after Easter.

Eric Zapata's funeral was so beautiful. It was a wonderful tribute to a public safety officer that gave his life to protect our community. It was amazing to see how many officers from all over the country came to support KDPS in our time of need. One of my greatest fears is Sean never coming home from work, I have been worried about being all alone dealing with the loss of my dear hubby. I realized that I am never alone, that there is a whole family in blue that will be by my side. Not to mention the blessings of being sealed in the temple, so I get to spend eternity with my love even if he is taken prematurely from this earth.

Here are some touching videos from Eric's funeral:

Last year I took my first graduate level classes and applied to the get a Master's of Social Work at Western Michigan University. Sean and I had been praying about what direction we should take our life and the big question was either we should have a baby or if I should get my Master's before we started our family. We had been praying for about a year, and we had decided that it would be easier for me to go to school before starting our family but I couldn't figure out what program I wanted to do. On April 28th, 2011 I found out that I was not accepted to the MSW program for this year (they wanted me to reapply for this coming fall) and then a few hours later I took a pregnancy test and it came back positive. We thought for sure that I wasn't pregnant, and that I was just stressed out from everything that was going on that month.

We went to the doctor to see if I really was pregnant. Sure enough I was already 5-6 weeks along!! Right after we found out, the morning sickness started. It was a LONG summer being sick, Sean was working 24 hour shifts, it was an average of 95* when I was the sickest. It was a good day if I managed to get out of bed and make it to the couch for the day. We saw the midwives at Partners in Women's Health, and they had this medicine that helped with the morning sickness and once I was on that it was AMAZING and such a life saver!

In July, my mom came out for a visit. It was so fun to have her here. While she was out we visited Uncle Don and Aunt Judy at their lake house. And I had an appointment when I was 17 weeks along. At that appointment, Linda French said that we can do an ultrasound to see if we could find out the sex of the baby since my mom was in town. We were able to get in, and we found out that we were for sure having a boy!! Our little baby was NOT shy at all!

Here is a picture of his ultrasound:

The rest of my pregnancy went pretty smoothly. We did another ultrasound around 32 weeks, and I told the ultrasound tech that I still was having morning sickness. She thought I might have gallstones. She said she would check, but with how big I was that she might not be able to see them. Luckily, she was able to see my gallbladder, and I in fact did have one really large gallstone! Craziness. It explained why I was so sick and uncomfortable. I just had to wait till after I delivered Elijah to do surgery to remove my gallbladder. More of the story to come.

Thursday, May 5, 2011

The Big Move

This most likely won't be the only "big move" that we make while living here in Michigan. But I'm looking forward to the "BIG move" one day to another state.

Anyways, Sean and I moved into Cooper's Landing Apartments the second weekend in March. We were able to get in early to paint some of the rooms. We painted the dining room and one wall in the living room a Martha Stewart color called Bamboo - it's my favorite. We also painted the master bedroom and the second bedroom. It makes our place feel so homey.

We actually moved our things in with tons of help from Sean's parents, members of the Kalamazoo 1st Ward, and one of our dear KDPS friends. We were able to move everything out of the old place and move into the new place in about 4 hours! Then Grandma Skinner and Aunt Barb made lunch for all of our hard workers.

Everything was unpacked and cleaned up by the following Tuesday. We absolutely love living here. It is so quiet most of the time. And there are tons of families here as well as doctors. One of the main blessings of living here is that we have the totally awesome Shumway family living below us. We met them from church and it has been awesome getting to know them better.

Sean and I are going to get a new camera for our one year anniversary coming up in June, and then we'll post pictures!!

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Snow Snow Snow - My first Big Blizzard

Today we woke up to 2 feet of snow all outside. It was really windy last night, so the snow drifted. I thought it was rather beautiful to see everything covered in white.

Sean had to be to work by 6:30, and when he walked out to his car, he realized that he would not be able to drive his little sudan. He shoveled the front part of my car out of the snow, and made it about 10 feet before it got stuck! But Sean, being the amazing man he is, got it back into my parking spot. So he walked the half a mile to work. Sean is so dedicated to his job.

And it's a good thing that Sean thought he had to dress warmly for work today because his training officer told all of the new bees that they were going to spend the whole day shoveling fire hydrants out of the snow. Luckily, the ended up just wrestling each other for 3 hours and then received their gear instead!

When I woke up around 8:30 being grateful that I could sleep in because the Museum was closed, I peered through the windows at all the snow that had fallen. There was about a foot of snow on our porch, and knowing that Sean would most likely come home for lunch, and seeing that there was a break in the snow, I decided to shovel it. I mean, I live in Michigan now and will for a couple of years, I should get used to shoveling, right?

Anyways, I couldn't find the shovel and thinking, "Oh, Sean must have taken it to shovel those hydrants," as I'm still half asleep, I decide to use my mop with the nice brush end, and "shovel" our porch and stairs. I was very proud of myself for braving those cold temperatures and freezing winds. AND I did it again to shovel my car out of the snow after the snow plows came by our street. So that means that I shoveled twice in the same day. Although, as I was in the middle of shoveling the people in the plow saw me, and came to help. It was super nice of them.

Skyler ran outside with me when I went to shovel my car out - and let me tell you - I think the most difficult part was getting her to come back inside! She loves the snow, and this is the first time that there were snow walls. But I had lost her for a moment because she jumped into a snow pile and all I could see was the snow moving and no Skyler. She's the strangest cat ever.

After all that excitement, I curled up inside with my lovely electric blanket my husband gave me for Christmas, and drank my bengal spice tea while catching up on some homework. After I finished that, I cleaned almost the entire house, and made Butternut Squash Soup. All in all, it was a productive day during this wintry weather.

Hope everyone stayed warm and safe today!