Wednesday, December 23, 2009


Here is a video of Jackson and my grandma Ginny. Notice he's discovered his "squealing/screaming" abilities. It's pretty long so if you're not a relative, bare with me. The even funnier part is my grandpa, bless his heart, playing in the background with my dog. Tucker is like that dog in the movie Spanglish - once you start playing fetch with him he'll never stop. Good ole Grandpa is the one that will always play with him while we're all visiting, playing with Jackson, etc... I love my grandpa.

Merry Christmas

Merry Christmas! I have not been in the holiday spirit as much as normal, but I think it's finally kicked in! We went to church Sunday night for the candlelight Christmas service and the whole evening consisted of singing carols and learning about the true meaning of Christmas. The snow, and the candlelight service has finally put me in the spirit and now I can't wait to spend the holiday with my little family. It is so exciting to be celebrating Christmas with Jackson for the first time! He and I are headed to Ft. Lauderdale on Sunday. Wish me luck - I'm pretty nervous about flying with him for the first time, but hopefully he'll do well. I think he will.
Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

It's the holiday season!

There has been so much going on that I haven't had time to blog! Here's a recap of the last few weeks...
This past weekend we had our annual girls Christmas gift exchange. Unfortunately we didn't get a picture of all of the girls, but we did get one of the little ones! The gift exchange was so much fun. Our theme this year was stocking stuffers and for dinner we had tappas. We ate, we drank, and we talked and laughed until 2 in the morning. I look forward to it ever year and this year was just as fun as all the rest. I think we've been doing it for 9 years! Here's a pic of Ava, Jackson and Cameron in their jammies.

Here's my christmas tree. Aren't the feathers cute!?
This is Jackson on his 6-month birthday. I love this one because you can see his two front teeth!

The weekend before he Cole women got together to bake Christmas cookies. I think we baked for 5 hours! It was so much fun. We made traditional cut out cookies (Grandma Selis's recipe), Oatmeal scotchies, no-bakes, chocolate covered pretzels, buckeyes, and buttery graham crackers with pecans. Mmmmmm...

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Nothing much new to post about, but I always feel like I should. What do they call this - blogger's guilt?
I sold my horse Dan two weeks ago. It was very difficult to leave him at his new owner's house. Fortunately, however, they are extremely nice people and I think they love him already. Last night, his new owner called me to tell me that he had had an accident. He tried to kick their mare and got his leg caught in between two stall boards. He cut his leg open pretty badly and has to be in a sterile padded stall for four or five days. I'm thankful that he doesn't have any broken bones and that they won't have to put him down. I haven't seen it myself, but I think the cut must be pretty bad if they're keeping him at the vet's office for so long. Dr. Langhofer is treating him so I hope he will take good care of him. The poor guy - I drop him off to a strange place and then he gets hurt! I think that his new owners will do everything in their power to make sure he's okay. I could tell that she felt terrible when she called to tell me what had happened. I hope to go see him tomorrow.
We had a great time in Roanoke for Thanksgiving. A lot of relaxing, eating, and laughing. My brother David gets funnier every time. He can make me laugh harder than anyone I know. A lot of times what he says is extremely inappropriate, but that's probably what makse his comments so funny. Love you, David!
This is for all of my fellow '99 graduates from Penn High - i just got a request from Erin Milliken to join a fan club for Josh Garrel's music. DO you guys remember him? He is a pretty successful Christian singer in Portland now...go figure! There are videos of him singing in concert on You Tube. He's really an awesome singer. I hadn't heard anything about him since high school so it was pretty cool to see the videos. Thought you might be interested!
That's it for now...of to pick up my little man.

Friday, November 27, 2009

Thanksgiving was a great day. We went to DJ's aunt and uncles and then over to Justin and Heidi's for a little while. Last night we drove out to Roanoke - Jackson slept 3/4 of the way here and played with his toys the rest of the way. Everyone was waiting for us when we arrived at Matt's - Jackson of course was the highlight. :)
Today we are just hanging around Roanoke. Tonight is the Haefli family reunion - hosted by my dad this year. Should be fun! DJ can't sit still so he's walking around the farm and heading over to Martin Implements to check out the equipment.
Tomorrow is my annual shopping day with my dad! I'm SO excited! DJ will stay in Roanoke with DJ and we are off to the windy city! I am especially excited as I haven't bought any Christmas gifts yet. My friends' gift exchange theme this year is "Stocking Stuffers" and I haven't bought Kara (whose name I drew) a single thing! I hope to find her some cute stuff in Chi-town.

Wednesday, November 25, 2009


I'm making Paula Deen's Creamy Macaroni & Cheese for Thanksgiving Dinner tomorrow at DJ's aunt and uncle's house. Someone at work recommended it to me. I am excited to try it out! Here's the recipe:
2 cups uncooked elbow macaroni (an 8-ounce box isn't quite 2 cups)
4 tablespoons (1/2 stuck) butter, cut into pieces
2 1/2 cups (about 10 ounces) grated sharp Cheddar cheese
3 eggs, beaten
1/2 cup sour cream
1 (10 3/4-ounce) can condensed Cheddar cheese soup
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup whole milk
1/2 teaspoon dry mustard
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
Boil the macaroni in a 2 quart saucepan in plenty of water until tender, about 7 minutes. Drain. In a medium saucepan, mix butter and cheese. Stir until the cheese melts. In a slow cooker, combine cheese/butter mixture and add the eggs, sour cream, soup, salt, milk, mustard and pepper and stir well. Then add drained macaroni and stir again. Set the slow cooker on low setting and cook for 3 hours, stirring occasionally.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Happy Thanksgiving!

Happy Turkey Day to everyone! Thanksgiving is one of my favorite holidays - great food, time spent with family, and a reminder to be thankful for what I have. Here's some things that I'm thankful for this year:

  • My little boy, Jackson. The past five months of my life have been the best five months of my life. I am so lucky to be your mom.
  • DJ - I love you more now that you are Jack's dad. You are so great with him and he loves his dad sooo much.
  • Chocolate Chip Dessert Balls - Kelly - thanks for this recipe. It was a hit at our first Thanksgiving celebration on Sunday. Mmmm...think I'll go eat some very soon.
  • My parents - they are so supportive and love me unconditionally - I hope that I can be as good of a parent as they've shown me to be.
  • My grandparents! Thanks so much for watching Jack for the past 6 weeks - I KNEW you'd take such great care of him.
  • Friends - I am so lucky to have an incredible group of girlfriends that let me vent when I need to, cry when I need to, and ALWAYS make me laugh. I am so excited that we are getting together on December 12th for our annual sleep over and gift exchange. I look forward to it every year!
  • My job - although it's been really tough to come back to work since having Jackson, I really am thankful for my job and being able to enjoy what I do (even if it is stressful at times)
  • Movies - does anyone love to go to the movies as mucha s I do? Well I know aunt dawn and heidi do. :) I love seeing movies on the big screen and eating popcorn and the whole experience!
  • Christmas shopping - I haven't started yet - but I can't wait to try to find the perfect gifts for my friends and family.
  • Our health - I'm so blessed to have such a healthy family.
  • hmmm...there's so much to be thankful for - i'll add more later.

Friday, November 20, 2009

Jack has four teeth! He popped his fourth tooth through today. Now he has three on the bottom and one on the top left. My little jack-o-lantern. :) I'd include a picture, but everytime I try to take a look, he sticks his tongue out. :)

Monday, November 16, 2009

First Harvest

On Saturday, Jackson took his very first ride in the combine. I think he loved it! He was so enthralled by the sounds and the sight of the corn being shelled. He got really quiet and was looking all around so fascinated with everything. After about a 1/2 hour of that, he fell sound asleep in my lap. The motion of the combine and the sound of the motor knocked him out! DJ's dad said that DJ used to sleep in the tractor when he was little too. It was so cute. DJ and I have always talked about what it would be like to have our little boy ride in the combine with us and now we've done it. It was such a fun day for our family. Here is a video and some pictures ...
dj & jake

sleeping boy

me and dad

Thursday, November 12, 2009

5 Months Old

Jack turned 5 months old yesterday. Amazing how time flies. I was going back through my camera last night and I cannot believe how much he's changed. Here's some pictures of him on his 5-month birthday.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Jackson went to a new babysitter yesterday. It was the first time that he was being taken care of by someone who wasn't family. It. Was. Hell. I cried until about 2 p.m. It was like coming back to work all over again! Nothing against Kelly (Jack's babysitter) personally – just leaving him with someone other than family for the first time was so difficult and scary. I mean, with family, you know FOR SURE that he will be well taken care of. While I trust Jess’s judgement (my friend who introduced me to Kelly), and I called and spoke with a few of Kelly's references, you still just never know. I was sitting in my department meeting at work with tears streaming down my face (hoping that no one would see me) thinking about all the bad things she could have been doing to him. I know that’s not what I should be thinking, but I couldn’t help it. I stayed with him until about 10 a.m. and then went back to visit around 2.
The good news is that by the end of the day, I felt much better. Kelly was wonderful with him. She was kissing his hands and holding him and playing with him within five minutes of us bringing him in. When I started crying when I was leaving him in the morning, she cried too! She said she totally understood how I must feel as a mom and I thought it was so sweet that she cried.
She kept this adorable little journal of his day. It was like “Today was my first day at my friend Vienne’s house (Kelly’s daughter). We played together until 10 o’clock and then Kelly took us on a walk by the river. At 1 p.m. we ate lunch and then Kelly changed my diaper….” So cute. She also washed his clothes and bottles and packed them in my diaper bag. She really went above and beyond what I had expected. I have really high hopes. As I get to know Kelly better and trust her even more, I think I’ll be really confident that she is taking excellent care of him. But the first day – oh my gosh was that hard.

Grape Salad Recipe

Mmmmmm. That's all I have to say about this delicious dish that Sara's friend Tiffany made for the baby shower on Sunday. It was a hit! Here's the recipe for everyone to enjoy ...

Grape Salad with Brown Sugar and Pecan Topping

4 lbs grapes(a mix of colors); cleaned
8 ounces sour cream
8 ounces cream cheese; softened
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract For the topping:
1 cup brown sugar; packed
1 cup crushed pecans
In a small bowl, mix brown sugar and crushed pecans for the topping. Set aside.
In a large bowl, mix together cream cheese, sugar sour cream and vanilla until blended. Stir in the grapes. Cover with the topping and chill for at least two hours.

Baby Shower

On Sunday, we threw a baby shower for DJ's cousin Sara. She is looking very cute with her baby bump and now we are just waiting for little Carter James to get here. He's due February 13th! Congratulations mommy-to-be! Jack and Carter will be great friends.

Friday, November 6, 2009

Haaaaaalelujah! Haaaaalelujah! Jackson slept THROUGH THE NIGHT last night for the first time in his life. Since he was born, Jackson has been waking up anywhere from 2 to 6 times per night. I belive that this is because we had created a habit of feeding him every time he woke up - this stemmed from his need to eat every few hours when he was a newborn.
I was at my wits end. DJ and I were running on very little sleep and it was becoming difficult to function at work and to be nice to each other. :) So...I decided to ask around and do some reading about ways to help babies sleep through the night. Jackson's new babysitter, Kelly, told me that she had done the same thing with her daughter - feeding her every night, each time she woke up. Kelly's pediatrician told her that she should have stopped doing so when her daughter was around 3 or 4 months of age. So, Kelly bought this book called "Solving Your Child's Sleep Problems" by Dr. Richard Ferber. She told me that within a week, her daughter was sleeping through the night. I was sold.
So I bought the book. I read it in one night. It was so interesting to read stories about other parents and babies like us. I found that I was not alone and that Jack had learned to expect food every time he woke up and it became necessary for him to eat in order to fall asleep. Dr. Ferber says that babies need to learn how to fall asleep on their own AND that they shouldn't rely on eating in order to fall asleep.
Last night I put this doctor's advice to the test. I was really nervous. I have never wanted to just let Jackson cry - for any reason. I felt like letting him cry just so that I could get some sleep was selfish. But Dr. Ferber said that it's best for both baby and parents if he or she sleeps through the night and with just a few nights of SOME crying, he could help you achieve this.
So I documented everything I did last night. My goal - to gradually decrease the amount of milk that Jackson would eat at each waking, and to teach him to fall asleep on his own.
Here' s my log:
7:30: Put Jackson to bed (after he'd eaten 2 tsp. of rice cereal and drank 6 oz. of milk)
9:20: He woke up at expecting his first meal.
9:25, 9:30, 9:45, 10, 10:15: Checked on Jack and comforted him (without picking him up)
10:30: At this point it had been 3 hours since he had eaten last. I decided that on this first night that three hours between each feeding would be my goal. I gave him three ounces. (Dr. Ferber says to increase this amount of time by 30 minutes each night.)
4:30 am: I LEAP out of bed and rushed into his room to make sure that he was breathing. Surely he couldn't have slept that long
6:30 am: He DID IT! Jack slept through the night from 10:30 pm to 6:30 a.m

I won't lie - it was really hard listening to Jack cry off and on from 9:20 until 10:30. I sat in my room and watched the clock. It was very hard not to go in, pick him up, and give him as much to eat as he wanted, but I knew if I picked him up after 30 minutes of crying then it would all have been for nothing.
I never thought I'd be able to let Jackson cry ... at all ... but I really feel like this went okay. His cries weren't terrible - just winey "come feed me or pick me up cries". I worried this morning that he felt like I had ignored him so I gave him extra hugs and kisses so he'd know how much I loved him. I hope that last night was the beginning of the end of our sleepless nights.

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Four Words ...

Chocolate. Caramel. Coffee. Creamer.

This wonderful stuff is so delicious that it actually helps me get out of bed in the morning. Every day, while I drive to work, I drink my flavored coffee and try to 'gear up' for the day. I swear this sweet stuff really helps. If I can't stop at Starbucks in the morning for a caramel machiatto (which rarely happens because I'm always running late) - this is a close second. I would highly recommend it.

In other news ...

Preparing to throw our cousin Sara's baby shower on Sunday. I'm planning to make chicken salad croissants and some kind of pasta salad. If anyone has some good pasta salad recipes please comment!

DJ is in the middle of harvest. He has been shelling corn in Michigan for the past several days.

My cutie pie will be 5 months old a week from today.

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Happy Halloween!

We took Jackson "trick or treating" on Saturday. He was a giraffe. Not sure he was all that excited about it (see expression above), but obviously we HAD to take him out and about. We visited Grandma and Grandpa Reed, Great Grandma and Grandpa Cole, and Uncle Trace and Aunt Ann. My favorite part of his costume was the little tail on the back. Grandma Ginny about died when she saw that. :)

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

I took the day off yesterday because Jackson had his 4-month checkup (with shots). We had a GREAT day. This is a picture of him all bundled up for a nice walk on a beautiful fall day. Don't you love his new hat?

Friday, October 23, 2009


Thursday, October 22, 2009

I just had lunch with Jackson's future babysitter, Kelly, and her daughter Vienne today. Af ter a LONG search for the right babysitter, a mutual friend put us in touch with each other and after my grandma leaves for Florida, Kelly will be watching Jack every day while I'm at work. The great news is that Kelly's home is within walking distance of my office and she has a 7-month-old daughter that Jack can play with. By the time he's going to Kelly's he'll be sitting up and able to play and interact with her a little bit. Kelly and I decided to have lunch to get to know each other a little better. I have to admit I was a little nervous - wondering what she'd think of me. I had e-mailed her asking her for references and sent her questions like "what would you do if both of our kids were crying?". I was sure she'd think I was some neurotic, over-protective mom, but fortunately it seems like Kelly and I take care of our kids pretty similiarly - at least from what I know so far. She can't let her little one cry for hours; she does tons of research about sleeping, feeding, etc...; and she interacted with her daughter just like I do with Jack. We had a lot to talk about since we both have little ones and the lunch went wonderfully. I feel like a huge weight has been lifted, knowing that Jack will be in the care of a competent, loving, normal person. I have really high hopes for this situation and I hope that Jack will be a more well-rounded kid after spending time with Kelly and her daughter. Thank you, Jess, for putting us in touch with each other. I don't know what I'd do without you!

In other news ...
DJ is in the middle of harvest. He and his dad started cutting beans on Monday and things are going smoothly. They've already finished three farms and are working on cutting the beans at the home farm today. DJ has been pulling some long hours and says he's getting tired and missing Jackson. It is supposed to rain for the next few days so hopefully that will give him a break and a chance for all of us to spend time together.

Friday night we are headed for a night out. I can't wait! It's been a while since I've had a night out with friends. Our cousin Sara and her boyfriend Casey are going to babysit - thanks, Sara! I'll be returning the favor and watching your little one soon. :) Can't wait until Carter gets here!

I'm headed to New York next week for work. This will be my first time away from Jack overnight. DJ is nervous about taking care of Jack alone at night, but I know that he will do a great job. Jackson LOVES his dad. It's really not fair - I get up with him at night, but guess who gets the first big smile every morning? You guessed it ... DAD.


Tuesday, October 20, 2009

He's a Talker

Here is a video of Jackson. He is very vocal when he's happy. I love it when he "talks" to me - I know he's trying to say something - just not sure what. :) He is four months old, he's rolling over, and he has TWO TEETH!

Friday, October 16, 2009


Here's a video that my mom took on her phone of Jackson with the Hiccups. Not a lot happening but thought a video of my cutie pie might be fun to watch.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Happy Halloween

Last weekend we had our friends Meghan, John, Madison, Justin, Kara and Ava over to carve pumpkins. I was hoping to get some great photos of Jackson with his first pumpkin, but unfortunately he was ready for bed before we could get any cute shots. We still had a great time! The kids ended up playing with each other and the adults did most of the carving. Here are a few photos from our night ...

Jackson's 1st Pumpkin (Carved by Mom)

John and Madison

Kara carving her perfect pumpkin :)

Meghan and Madison

The boys hard at work!

Kara & Av

Monday, October 12, 2009


Happy Birthday to my girls, Jess and Heidi! (Jess October 15 and Heidi October 16.) I love you guys and hope that you have a great birthday and a fabulous year ahead. Enjoy it ladies ... this will be the last year of your 20s!
Oh ... did I mention that I have TWO YEARS left of my twenties? I just wanted to make sure you both knew that.
Vegas here we come!
Here are a few of my favorite memories of each of you ...
  • You hopped around on one foot for DAYS when I broke my foot in 1st grade. Talk about being a GREAT friend.
  • Remember when we used to sneak out of your parents house through the garage window? What excatly were we sneaking out for? I don't remember doing much after we "broke out". Hee!
  • I will always remember winning the doubles bareback class with you at the fair.
  • Remember when a certain someone showed up at my house after a little vino tasting and DJ thought someone was trying to break in? I'll never forget the sound of your giggles as you skipped past my bedroom door at 2 a.m. :)


  • Every year in our yearbooks we would write, "let's go swimming at your house and riding horses at my house" ... yet, we never did it!
  • Windsor. So much fun. Remember this: "Citizenship?". . . "Yes."
  • Playing the drums on stage at The Landing. Yes, that's right folks, The Landing.
  • Tequila night with Woodlee!
  • Eating at the "good dorm" and watching the very last 90210 our Freshman year at Purdue

Thursday, October 8, 2009

Planning Ahead

This month I set up a 529 College Savings plan for Jackson and also created a Roth IRA for our retirement. Lately I've been thinking about the future a lot - probably because of Jackson - and I want to be sure that we can pay for his education and also that we have a nest egg for retirement. I would highly recommend that my friends and family set up a Roth IRA - they are great because taxes are deducted before the money is invested, not after. This means that when you cash it in, you receive ALL of the money that is in your fund.

Here's a little information about Roth IRA's:

  • Its a good idea to contribute as much in an IRA as the government will allow you to. This is because the more you save in a tax-favored account, the more tax-protected money you can rack up!
  • If you're under 50, and you're in my income bracket, you can only contribute up to $5,000 per year or the total of your taxable income - whatever is smaller.
  • In a Roth IRA, you can take out money whenever you want, as long as you don't take out any earnings ony our investments - if you take out earnings, you'll incur a 10% penalty. This is different from traditional IRAs.

Setting up these funds literally took about 10 minutes each. It's something I've been wanting to do for a long time - now that I know how easy it was I wish I would have done it sooner!

Happy saving!

Monday, October 5, 2009

No Fair!

After a wonderful month-long visit I took my mom to the airport on Saturday morning. She took care of Jackson for my first month back at work and it was wonderful. Tonight - for the first time in five weeks - I don't know what we're going to have for dinner. :) Fortunately there was no time for an emotional goodbye because we were running so late. It is probably better that I didn't have time to think about losing my "granny nanny" because I would have been a wreck! I think my mom missed Florida and my Dad just a little bit. Case and point - the picture below. This sign is posted at my parents' beach club. Look at the air and ocean tempurature. No. Fair.

Today I went to work out for the first time since having Jackson. While I was on maternity leave I walked him in the stroller almost every day, but today was the first time I had to use my muscles. My legs are jello and I realized that my abs are GONE. It's okay though - very worth it. For all of you ladies out there who haven't been pregnant yet, I'm going to share a little secret with you...After you have your baby, the weight will come off. Even if you think it won't, it will. But there's a catch - even though you lose the weight, everything looks very, very different! :) That's why I'm working out at lunch now - to get everything back to looking like it did before - hopefully better!
Update: I found someone to watch Jackson! My friend Jessica's friend Kelly has agreed to watch Jackson after my Grandma leaves for Florida. I am thrilled because she will be watching him 5 days a week and there will only be one other little one there with him - her 6 month old daughter Vienne. I am still getting to know Kelly, but she seems very down to earth and we seem to share the same opinions about raising our kids. I am so blessed to have found someone like her. It just goes to show you - persistence and patience really pay off!

Saturday, September 19, 2009

Wanted: Stay At Home Mom To Take Care of Jackson

I have been using all of my resources to try to find someone to watch Jackson while I'm at work. Fortunately, my mom is here until October and my grandma will be watching him until she leaves for Florida in January. My next step is to try to find someone to watch Jackson starting at the beginning of 2010 (he'll be six months old by then). I figured, why not try Facebook and my blog to try to find someone? My goal is to find someone who can give Jackson all the attention and love that he deserves. We are trying to avoid the daycare setting - at least until he's old enough to play with other kids. My ideal scenario would be to find a stay at home mom who's looking to make some extra income and that loves little ones. I want Jackson to be with the same person every day, if at all possible, so that he has some consistency and can keep a schedule. Please e-mail me if you know of any trustworty, caring, honest moms who would take great care of my little boy. I can be reached at

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Madison Road

A good friend of mine has recently asked me to help her with some marketing for her new company. I am truly excited for this opportunity. Ann's company, Madison Road, is really starting to take off. We are in the process of forming partnerships with boutiques in the South Bend area, the merchandise is available online, (to view some our portfolio - mostly young girls' clothes - click here: , and Ann will be hosting a home show in November to kick off the holiday shopping season!

She is soooo talented. She designs and sews incredibly unique and stylish clothes and accessories for infants and children. If any of you were at my baby shower, you'll remember that she MADE some really really cute burp cloths and onesies. Within the next two weeks we'll begin working on a fall/holiday catalog and my family gets to be part of the photo shoot! Can you say Reed family Christmas card???!?!!?

This company's goal is to promote the strong family values and ideals of common Midwestern families. It is the face of everything that I was raised to know. I am so lucky to be friends with this creative, enterprenurial family. They are amazing people and I feel honored to help them with this. Some day, we hope that Ann will be the "Martha Stewart of the Midwest". For now, we are focusing on creating a local following of her designs. Please check out her blog (link above) and stay tuned for details about future Madison Road events!

Friday, September 11, 2009

Three Months Old

My baby is 3 months old today! I cannot believe that three months ago he came into our lives. I am so proud to be his mama. Here are a few recent pics...

Thursday, September 10, 2009


Jan. 28, 1994 - Sep. 3, 2009
MISHAWAKA - Joshua Reed was a very vibrant 15-year-old boy. He was taken from this world by a truck accident on Thursday evening. Josh was a bright light who warmed all around him. He loved ATVing, snowboarding - anything fast. Josh was much loved by family and friends. Our hearts ache with his loss. He was beautiful and smart, and we loved him with all our hearts. Josh was a true friend to so many; he cared and helped whenever he could. He was big-hearted and always tried to do the right thing. He will be missed by all who knew him and loved him. There will never be anyone to replace him. He was a great asset to his family, always helping his Dad on our dairy farm. He was a Madison Twp. 4-H member, showing both pigs and cattle. Josh loved his My Space page and how it let him keep in touch with his many friends. The family would like all of his friends to leave a message on his page so we can read it. If you have pictures to share, his family would appreciate it. Josh was a Penn High School freshman, having come from Grissom Middle School. He was the greatest son anyone could ever ask for: I pray that God takes care of my baby now. Josh is survived by his father, David Reed; mother, Marci Reed; brothers, DJ (Heather) Reed, Eddy (Jenn) Reed, Jakob Reed and Jonathan Reed; maternal grandparents, Ed and Shirley Thomas of South Bend, Charles and Berniece Vogel of Ft. Worth, TX; paternal grandfather, James (Elaine) Reed of Cassopolis, MI; and many aunts, uncles and cousins, and one nephew, Jackson. Josh was a parishioner at Holy Family Catholic Church. Visitation for Josh will be held from 2 to 4 and 6 to 8 p.m. with a Rosary at 3:30 p.m. Monday, September 7, in the Hahn Funeral Home, 505 W. 8th Street, Mishawaka. A Mass of Christian Burial will be held at 1:00 p.m. Tuesday, September 8, with visitation one hour prior in Holy Family Catholic Church, 56405 Mayflower Road, South Bend, with Rev. Bernard Galic officiating. Burial will follow at St. John's Cemetery, Woodland. Memorial contributions may be made to Riley Children's Foundation, 30 South Meridian Street, Suite 200, Indianapolis, IN 46204. To leave the family an online condolence or to share memories with the family, please visit our website at

Thursday, September 3, 2009

Working Mom

Yesterday was my first day back to work after three wonderful months at home with Jackson. Honestly, leaving yesterday morning was the hardest thing I've ever had to do. I was a wreck. Fortunately, my mom is here until October staying at home with him and taking great care of him. Despite how lucky I am to have her here, I had the hardest time saying goodbye yesterday. I was thinking too much about the "forever-ness" of going back to work.
My former manager and new manager have been amazing. (While I was on maternity leave my company reorganized and therefore I have a new boss.) When I got to work yesterday, there was a chocolate chip muffing sitting on my desk with a note from my former boss saying she knew how hard my first day back would be and that she was here if I needed anything. After a tear-filled message on her voicemail thanking her for the muffin, she rushed over to give me a hug ... a badly needed hug.
Next was a meeting with my new team and my new boss. I should have come in earlier and tried to get myselft together. By the time my 8:30 meeting rolled around, my face was all puffy and my eyes were red from crying. I never cry at work so it was hard for me to seem so vulnerable right off the bat on my first day. Then I saw Sarah - one of my new teammates who returned to work last Monday after having her little boy, Henry. The smile on her face gave me hope. She seemed to be coping with going back to work very well and I knew she had just as hard of a time returning to work as I did. My new manager has a 10-month-old son and we talked about traveling for work, the cost of daycare, and the amazing thing it is to be a mom or dad. I am seriously fortunate to work with such great people and it makes returning to work so much easier.
Did I mention that EVERY woman in my family has stayed home with her children? I'm serious. Every. Single. One. My grandmothers, aunts, sister-in-law, mother-in-law ... all stay at home moms. Ya - that makes it tons easier, I promise.
Now, I need to focus on the positive. My goal is to show Jackson that his mom is a hard working, successful career woman. Okay - that sounds corny, but what's the point of all this if he doesn't feel that way in the end? I want to show him that it's important to like your work and that I've done everything I can to give him the life that he deserves. I have quickly learned that I need to just take things one day at a time and run home as often as I can to hold my little guy so that he doesn't forget who Mommy is.

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Saturday, August 22, 2009

Summer Beer

Here is a recipe for my aunt Marnie's Summer Beer. It's like a margarita without the bite! But be careful - these go down smooth and catch up with you faster than you think!

Summer Beer

1 Can LimeAid
3 Cans Light Beer
1 LimeAid Can filled with Vodka

Serve on the rocks!

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Jackson is 10-weeks old today! He's so much fun. He smiles at me like crazy every morning and has discovered his hands. He was staring at them this morning like "huh...what are these?" :)
We've had a busy summer and I'm behind on my blog posts. The picture above is my brother David with Jackson. David and Joe were here for 10 days in August. It was so much fun! They are great uncles and we had so much fun with them while we were here. I will post pictures of their trip as soon as I get a new memory card for my camera.
Last weekend we went to Lake Sweetwater in Brown County to my uncle Bill and aunt Marnie's lake house. We had the BEST time! It was so relaxing and their kids were so fun. Jackson went on his first boat ride and loved it! I think he's defnitely a water baby - grandpa Mangold would be so proud. :) Jack and I had so much fun that we are going back this weekend (sans Daddy). We will be joined by my grandparents, aut dawn and uncle jeff, their kids plus friends AND bill and marnie's family. It's going to be a full house but we will have a great time.
In two weeks my mom and brother Josh will be here. I can't wait for Jack to meet his uncle Josh. I think they'll be great friends. :)
Til next time ...

Saturday, August 8, 2009

Happy Baby

My little boy is 8 weeks old! I cannot believe it. (I know I keep saying that.)

Here's my little cutie. I finally got one of him smiling! :)

Wednesday, July 29, 2009


They're finally here! My photographer finally posted Jackson's newborn photo gallery. Check it out:
Gallery: reed
Password: jackson

Monday, July 27, 2009

Things I've learned...

Things I've learned so far as a mom...
- Baby Wipes work just as well for removing eye makeup as those pricey eye makeup remover pads.
- Turning on the kitchen sink will stop Jackson's cries EVERY TIME.
- Vacuuming stops his cries as well.
- It's important to have time alone with your husband, even if it seems impossible with a newborn.
- It's okay to let your baby sleep in his carseat if he'll STAY asleep.
- Our friends and family are the best. They have been SO generous and loving since Jackson was born.
- It's easier to file baby's fingernails then to cut them.
- Baby's get ear wax.
- Baby's can spit up throug their nose. :(
- It's hard to figure out if what I'm eating affects Jackson's tummy, even though I'm keeping a journal of my diet and his eating/sleeping/awake pattern.
- Jackson has the Mangold lazy eye - just like me and his Grandpa Mangold.
- Pregnancy jacks up your skin.
- Twelve weeks is not long enough for maternity leave.

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Stroller Club

My friend Stefanie had her little boy about 20 minutes after we had Jackson. Today we got the boys together and went for a walk with the strollers at the Mishawaka Riverwalk. It was a beautiful day. You can tell from the pictures that the boys were thrilled. :) They both slept the whole time and I think we walked a few miles!

Even though they were born minute apart, Jackson looks quite a bit older I think. It must be because Drew now weighs what Jack weighed when he was born! Drew is such a cutie and Stefanie is a great mom. She has great advice and it's awesome to be able to compare notes since our babies are at the same stage.

Looking forward to our next walk!

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

This one's for you, Mom

Jackson has changed so much within the past week and a half or so. He hardly looks like a newborn anymore. Today we went to the doctor and he weighs 10 lbs. 7 oz! Almost two pounds more than the last time we were in. Here's a video of my little man from the day he turned 4 weeks old. So, Mom, this one is for you. I wanted you to be able to see Jack doing his latest new thing - making noises and having a "conversation" with (okay maybe not a conversation) and smiling at his mama. Love you! Can't wait to see you in September.

Sunday, July 12, 2009

Cutest Baby Ever

Last Thursday Jackson had his newborn photos taken. I am thrilled with the way they turned out! I found a photographer in Goshen who does natural light photography and she took wonderful pictures of him. And okay...I know I'm biased because I'm his mom...but seriously the pictures that we had taken last Thursday when Jackson was 4 weeks are adorable! :) Am I allowed to say that as his mom? Who cares..I'm saying it...he's the cutest baby ever.

So far I only have access to the photographer's sneak peak, but these are seriously adorable. I love the one on the swing and the one in the corn. Check them out:
(Scroll down on Jeri's blog page to see four pictures from Jackson's session.)

Saturday, July 11, 2009

One Month Old

I am typing this one-handed because I'm holding Jackson in my other arm so excuse any typos. :) Jackson is one month old today ... I cannot believe it. He has really grown/changed this past week. His little cheecks are filling out and he's looking less and less like a newborn (sniff). Though its a lot of work, I wish he'd stay this size forever. Its crazy how much I love him.
Let me tell you about his latest cute thing... Before he starts fussing, he kicks one leg over and over like ke's kick-starting a motorcycle! Maybe he's a future Harley man. :) Its adorable asnd a great sign that he needs mom!
Jackson loved the fair, but im not so sure he loved the food. Im pretty sure 8 poopy diapers in one evening is niot good for his little stomach. Guess Ill be staying away from the elephant ears from now on. As a result I've decided to start a journal to keep track of what /i eat to see if anything upsets his stomach, as well as hus eating and sleeping times (in hopes of putting him on a schedule at some point).
More pictures coming soon! This weekend: painting the basement and Jessica's bridal shower!

Thursday, July 2, 2009

Three Weeks Old

Here are a few pics from today's "photo shoot". Jack is three weeks old today!

Time with him is going so quickly... Here's a typical day for us:

7-8 am~ Wake Up, Eat
8-10~ Awake/Play with Mom/Stare at Random Objects like couch cusions or Ceiling Fan
10-10:30~ Eat
10:30-12 pm~ Sleep on Couch
12-12:30~ Eat
12:30-2:30~ Sleep in swing or while Mom is holding me or Go On a Walk in My Stroller
2:30-3~ Eat
3-5~ Sleep, Tummy Time (5 min.), Take Vitamins
5-5:30~ Eat
5:30-7:30~ Sleep or Cry
7:30-9:30~ Sleep, Bath Time
9:30-10~ Eat
10-2 or 3 am~ Sleep
3-:30~ Eat
5:30-7 or 7:30~ Wake Up and Do It All Over Again!
Throughout the day we also have many diaper changes, many cute little facial expressions from Jackson and an occasional belch. He has been such a great baby thus far - he's a great sleeper which has allowed us to be able to go a few places already. Yesterday we went to Shipshewana and he was an angel! Sunday we'll go to the fair to watch Jake, Josh & Jon show their dairy beef steers!

Tuesday, June 30, 2009

He's here! Our little man finally made it. Jackson James Reed was born on June 11 at 8:11 a.m. He was 8 lbs. 4 oz. 21 inches. We're pretty sure he's the cutest baby ever. :)

Here's a video of our first attempt at "tummy time". I'm not very good with the camera ... sorry. :) Be sure to watch until the end!

Thank you to all of our visitors and friends who've sent gifts and have come to see him! We are so lucky to have you all.


Heather, DJ & Jackson

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

The Bachelorette

So my latest reality TV addiction is The Bachelorette. This is a show that I have not watched since Trista & Ryan, but this season has me hooked. I think Jillian is a pretty normal girl (although I'm not sure I would go on national television looking for Mr. Right) and the group of guys that she's selecting from is pretty entertaining. Here's the low down on my top picks and total losers:

Jake: My favorite! Seems like a genuinely nice guy and he's cute too! Plus ... he's a pilot! Hello travel opportunities!

Jesse: My second pick - a little full of himself maybe, but a cutie that seems to be pretty real.

Michael: Hilarious. I want to be friends with this guy. Not sure if he's date-worthy for Jillian, but he's so fun!

Kiptyn: What kind of name is that?! Despite the name, I like him. I don't think he'll win though.

Wes: I think Wes is scum. He's totally got a girlfriend and is only on the show to promote his musical career. Bleh.

Monday, June 8, 2009


pa⋅tience  -noun

1.the quality of being patient, as the bearing of provocation, annoyance, misfortune, or pain, without complaint, loss of temper, irritation, or the like. ability or willingness to suppress restlessness or annoyance when confronted with delay: to have patience with a slow learner

After having a minor melt down this weekend as I watched my due date go by on the calendar I finally realized this morning that I need to chill. Our little one is just not quite ready to be born and I guess this is my first lesson in being a patient parent. :) Can't wait til he gets here!

Friday, June 5, 2009

No Baby Yet

Well I just got back from my doctor's appointment and I must admit I'm a little disappointed. I have not made too much progress since my appointment last week (now I'm close to 2cm and 50% effaced - not much different than the week before). I am just so excited to meet our little boy that it feels like time is standing still. I just need to remind myself that he will come when he's ready. So in the mean time, I plan to walk, walk, walk and walk some more over the weekend.
The fun part was that my mom is here and she was able to go to the doctor with me this morning. She said she almost cried when she heard his heartbeat. That never gets old - I love hearing his heartbeat - it reassures me that everything is okay in there.
I've had people tell me some crazy ways to speed up labor including eating a fresh pineapple, getting a pedicure (LOVE this one), walking, drinking castor oil, and getting "busy". I've tried most of these methods but so far, no dice. :) Guess I'll just have to be patient for our little one to arrive.

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Happy Birthday, DJ!

Happy Birthday to my hubby and best friend. The big 3-0! You are an amazing guy and I love you so much.