Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Anonymous Kitchen...

I helped a "friend" clean and organize her kitchen today. She laughed when I took before and after pictures and said I could use them as long as I didn't use her name! :) She is getting ready to welcome a baby boy in January so we needed to make room for his stuff. Well, we (Sarah and I) were able to help this "friend" clean and organize. She now has PLENTY of space for her growing family! We had a great time spending the day together and the results are spectacular!

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Saturday, December 26, 2009

Hotel Gibbs

We have been cleaning and organizing getting ready for our first real house guests. Ray decided that if this was going to be a true guest room it needed to be clutter free. Here is the final results! :)

Sunday, December 13, 2009


Wow, Thanksgiving is over and Christmas is right around the corner. I can't believe 2009 is coming to an end. We are taking time to reflect on everything we have been through and trying to look to a more positive future. Ray and I both have been busy with work. Best Buy as you can image is super busy. Ray is working in the install bay now so I am sure all of the new toys people are buying will need to be all installed the day after Christmas. I see long days in his future! :) Franklin is actually closing for a Winter Break so I will have some time off between Christmas and the new year. I am hoping to get a lot of cleaning an organizing done to ring in the new year on a "clean" note!

We decided this year not to buy any presents. Not a single present! We really need to remember the true meaning of Christmas and it's not about the gifts. We are looking forward to spending quality time with our families. It's has been liberating not having to worry about who wants what and who did I forget?? I also donated all of our wrapping paper, tissue paper and holiday bags to my moms church. I have been really bad about buying items because they are on sale. Well, after a few years of that I had more wrapping paper than I knew what to do with! I was happy to give these items to someone who could really use them.

I hope everyone has a safe and happy holiday season! Love you all! Leslie

Monday, November 23, 2009

Being Thankful...

As Thanksgiving approaches it's a time to reflect on what I am thankful for... my wonderful husband, my family, my friends, my health, my career and many many more. We've had a trying year but when I truly reflect we have had more days smiling than crying. We've had happy times and bad times. We've had losses and we've had additions. We are now wiser, more humbled, we are more real and we are closer.

It's been easier to see the things we don't have and it's amazing to think of all of things we do have. I am very thankful for all of the experiences in my life that have made me who I am today. Without these experiences where would I be? Thank you for reading, loving and supporting us! We love you all very much!

Monday, November 16, 2009

First Communion...

Well, it's official the god sons have been baptized and now have gone through first communion! Camden, Keegan and Carter did very well. Carter kept asking if church was over. The little old ladies thought he was soooo funny! Good thing he is so cute!

Monday, November 09, 2009

Love my God Sons...

They don't truly know how much joy they bring to our lives but every time I think of them I smile! They remind me of why we try so hard to grow our family. How can you not love this face??He loves making "goofy" eyes! :)

Monday, November 02, 2009

Feeling compelled...

I am feeling compelled to blog about what really matters in life. There are so many distractions in our lives to pull us away from what really matters. It doesn't matter how many friends you have on FaceBook (lately I feel like just canceling my account), it doesn't matter how many tweets you get on Twitter (again, opened an account but not sure why) or how many people find you on MySpace (should just close this one too!). There are just so many distractions that don't allow us to focus on the blessings that really matter. Stress at work along with family craziness is enough to break me out in a rash (has happened!).

I have so many blessings in my life that I want to share with others. I want to make myself and others smile. I want to help make other people's lives a little easier and more enjoyable. I want to help remove road blocks for others. I want to help not criticize. I am trying to focus each day on the things that matter and distances myself from the little things that only bring me down. Thank you for listening to me get that off my chest... Have a wonderful day!

Monday, October 19, 2009

Crazy time...

These last few weeks have been a blur. We have been so busy with plans during the week and then even more plans on the weekend. We are proud to note the we are the "official" God Parents of Keegan and Carter Hix! They were both baptized on Saturday October 11, 2009. Keegan is 5 years old and Carter turned 3 years old on the same day as the baptism. It was also my dad's (AKA: PoPa) birthday. We are so blessed to have such a great family in our lives!

While I was shopping at Hallmark I found this necklace!

I found this necklace in the clearance area and there were 3 left. I bought all 3 and gave one to my mom (AKA: Grandma Terry) and Winnie (my "adopted" sister) the day of the baptisim. Grace has a way of showing me that she is always with us. I wore this to work for the first time and a few people saw the necklace and gave me a big smile! :) Thank you to everyone for their continued love and support!

Thursday, October 08, 2009

Trying to heal...

Ray and I have been trying to heal. We decided that we needed to finish some projects around the house to help us move forward. We had a friend of the family come over and paint the baby room. We had cleared the room and primed over the pink but never got to pick out a color for the room. One day at home Depot we picked out a color that was close to the color of Ray's bedroom growing up. As we prepare for another baby in our future (yes we are "practicing") we have learned that it doesn't matter what color the walls are, or what the bedding looks like, the most important thing is that we have a happy healthy baby. We hope to be blessed again so that we can share our love!
Below are the before and after pics...

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Due Date

This week should have been the week that Grace was to be born. It has been a tough few weeks and I know we will continue to heal over time.

I read this story (http://bandssullivan.blogspot.com/) and it put my life in perspective. The family has a very sad story about cancer mixed with the miracle of life. Please share with others to prayer for this family.

Thank you for all of your love and support! We love you all very much!

Tuesday, September 08, 2009

New Look!

Well, I am trying to update the blog and make it stylish while I am at it! :) Hope you like! We went to a wedding over the weekend and had a great time visiting with friends. We are both looking forward to football season and cheering on the Buckeyes. Trying to relax and enjoy each day as it comes. Have a great week!

Monday, August 31, 2009


I started to make scrapbook of my pregnancy with Grace. I want to keep all my memories of her in a safe place but what I realized is that she is in my heart. Every time I look at her hand and footprints I smile...She changed our lives forever... I get jealous... I get sad but overall we are so blessed to have had her in our lives. Our life is so different then what I expected...and we have learned so much about each other and how strong we really are. Grace was given to us as a gift and the mark she has left on our hearts will last a life time!

I have to say that my family and friends are what help me get through each day. I am so blessed to have such a wonderful support system. I have three god children who I hold near and dear to my heart. They are so very special to me and make me smile every time I see them! Thank you for always making my day...

Keegan, Carter & Camden

Sunday, August 23, 2009

Vacation - Rehoboth Beach, DE

Well, we are just back from our annual trip to Rehoboth Beach, DE! We had a great time and got lots of rest while sunning on the beach. We have family here and it's nice to just get away from the day-to-day stuff. Here is a pic of Ray & I on date night. It was a great trip! We are looking forward to going again next summer, until then we will be in Ohio! :)

Sunday, August 09, 2009

Feeling encouraged...

This week I have been feeling very encouraged... I'm not sure why but I am. I wanted to share a bookmark that my Aunt Susan found while I was visiting her in June. She had received this as a gift from someone and while she was looking for something she came across this and knew it was a sign...
Grace has changed all of our lives and will continue to remind us she is still with us in spirit. I am very grateful for all of the blessing in my life.

Saturday, August 01, 2009

In memory...

Well, it's been two months since our traumatic loss. We are healing each day and looking for the positive in all that we do. It can be hard at times but we have such a great support system to help us through anything! Thank you to all who have been on this roller coaster with us.

In memory of our daughter we have designed necklaces to wear each day. For Ray we had a charm made with Grace's name on one side and her birth date on the other.

For me I had a necklace made by a wonderful gal in Colorado. She sells her pieces on a website called Etsy, my new favorite place to shop! The name of her store is Sophie's Closet. She make many different hand stamped items. You have to check it out!

We both cherish our small tribute to Grace. We wear them daily and both get many compliments.

The next few months will be difficult as milestones approach. I am not sure how we will deal with each but we will take one day at a time. Please continue to pray for us! We need all the love and support you can provide.

Sunday, June 28, 2009

Our story...

It has been a month since we sent our daughter to heaven. I am now able to talk about our story without crying my eyes out. We have received MANY cards, emails and phone calls. We truly appreciate each and everyone one and hope that you understand that our grieving has to be done on our time line. Ray is back to work and I am returning very soon. Each day we remember our daughter and we will never forget the joy she brought to our lives. Here is our story...

On Thursday May 21, 2009 I was 21 weeks pregnant. We were so excited to go in for our ultrasound and find out the sex of the baby. During the first trimester we had a total of three ultrasounds because of some minor bleeding so we had seen the heartbeat on three occasions. Ray and I were just anxious to see the heart beating again and to find out if we needed pink or blue crib sheets! The ultrasound tech came in and got started. She showed us the heart, the kidneys and many other parts. She kept focusing on the baby's head and said she couldn't get a good read on the head. She went to get the doctor and I thought something was wrong but not anything the doctor couldn't fix by getting a better "read" on the babies head. My doctor is fun loving and very up beat. When he walked in with a sad look I knew something was wrong. He said, "I don't know how to tell you this and I am very sorry but your baby is very sick." My heart sank and the tears started to flow. Ray was by my side as strong as ever gripping my hand. The doctor needed us to go immediately to Riverside Hospital to have a second level ultrasound. He prepared us for the worst and he used these dreaded words "your baby is not compatible with life". I thought my life was ending...

We struggled to the car. The sobbing didn't stop. We had to pull ourselves together to fill out paper work at the next stop. My parents met us at the hospital for much needed love and support. We were quickly taken into a room with many monitors and other medical devices. We were so overwhelmed with the news, we were in shock. The words coming from the nurses were kind and gentle. They took such great care of us. We had an amniocentesis test to determine if our baby had genetic issues or if this was a neural tube defect. The doctors were not sure if the baby had Tri Chromosome 18 or some other disorder. We were heart broken and beside ourselves with disbelief. We were in a daze not sure what to do next. We went in and out of every possible emotion. It wasn't fair. We had been waiting so long for this blessing. We didn't think it could happen to us. Ray and I have been through a lot but this was the worst feeling ever, there was nothing we could do. We held each other, we cried, we were just together. Ray was sad that he couldn't take my physical and emotional pain away. I was upset that he didn't get to bond with our baby the same way that I had. The baby was kicking and growing each day. We had to come to terms with our baby not making it to full term. These were what I though to be the hardest days but little did I know the hardest were still to come...

On Thursday May 28, 2009 our daughter Grace Ann Gibbs was delivered to us and taken to heaven the same day. She was diagnosed with Anenecephaly. This is a neural tube defect that happens during the development of the brain (very early in pregnancy). Her little brain did not develop. There is nothing we could have done differently, it just wasn't meant to be. We are thankful that there were no genetic issues for us to worry about for the future. We know that we did all that we could and we had to leave the rest in God's hands.

Grace Ann Gibbs will be with us in our hearts and she will always be a part of our family. We are so blessed to have so many friends and family to surround us with love and prayers. We continue to struggle and our lives will never be the same. We have learned and will continue to learn many lessons from this experience. We have a better grasp on what is important and what we need to focus on in our lives. Ray and I continue to thank God everyday for the blessings in our lives.

Thursday, June 11, 2009

One day at a time...

As I sit here thinking about the last two weeks it all seems like a bad dream. I wasn't sure if I was going to continue to update the blog but I found so much comfort in reading other blogs I feel compelled to keep writing. I hope to use this as a way to keep everyone updated on our situation and a way to help us heal. We love everyone very much and will be posting more in the near future.


Friday, May 22, 2009

Not sure what to say..

Life can be so unfair and so confusing. I wanted to share all of the wonderful things that would happen...but this will be the last post. Please email me if you have not already heard from us. Thank you for your love and support.

Monday, May 18, 2009

21 weeks - Ultrasound week!

Congrats to Ashley (above) and Matt! They found out just today that they are have a little boy! We also found out over the weekend that Kati and Phil are have a little boy. Either we will have a small football team or Ray and I are having a girl! :) Ashley is 19 weeks and I am 21 weeks. The comparison above makes we wonder what I will look like at 30 week!! :)

We have a very exciting week ahead of us. We have officially felt the baby move. Even Ray got to feel a little bump in my belly! :) I wanted to share some pics of what the baby's room looks like before the paint job. We are not sticking with the pink even if it's a girl.

I am still feeling really good. I have been trying to do too much and my body is letting me know. I have a hard time asking for help but I am learning. My mom has been wonderful! She has been coming over on a regular basis to help me clean the bathrooms. She has also been helping me plant hosta and other plants to make the flower beds as worry free as possible. We have 50 bags of mulch that need to be spread if anyone has any free time! :)

I will be blogging again this week on Thursday night to tell you all about our doctors appointment! Until then don't forget to vote on what you think the sex of the baby will be.

Monday, May 11, 2009

20 weeks Half Way!

The half way point is upon us! Each week I say I can't believe we have made it this far. It's a miracle that we move successfully from one week to the next. As promised below are some pics of my growing belly.I have a hard time thinking that I am growing but after looking at these pics compared to prior weeks I can see that baby growing!
So for those who read the blog and don't just stop in for the pics. You will have to check out the "Baby Poll" that is on the left hand side of the blog toward the top. We want you to guess the sex of the baby. We will find out soon so place your vote!

So this week I wanted to focus on why we are so thankful. Ray and I have been together for a little over 10 years. We met when I was 15 years old and dated for about 6 months. We broke up and got back together shortly after my 18th birthday. We lived together for about a year in an apartment and then moved into our first home. We were married in March 2003 and in 2005 I received my masters degree. Most of you know that I am a planner and the next item on my to do list was to start a family. Well, when that didn't happen in a few months I became frustrated. Days turned to weeks, weeks into months and then months into years. I lost focus of what was important. Ray and I needed to have a solid foundation before we could be ready to bring life into this world. I think I have mentioned before how wonderful my husband is but I will say it again. Ray is wonderful! He always says "Everything happens for a reason." During these hard times I didn't want to hear that and I would get very frustrated. Well, I am here today to say, "Yes, everything does happen for a reason!" We are in the right place at the right time to bring this miracle into the world. We both have great jobs (Franklin University 9 years and Best Buy 10 years). We have a beautiful house in a great place! We have a wonderful support team of friends, family , coworkers and each other. We are so thankful for everything that we have but most importantly the love that we receive from all of you! Again, we are so thankful to be hitting the milestone of "half way"! There is so much more to come and we are so excited to share in these times together and with all of you!

We go to the doctor next week! But not until after next week's post. So check back next Thursday for the sex of the baby! :)

Tuesday, May 05, 2009

19 weeks = Tomato

I can't believe that we are at week 19! Each week is such a blessing and we are counting down the days! So this week the baby is as big as a Heirloom Tomato?!? My mom is a gardener and knows exactly what that looks like. For those of us that don't here is a pic...
Now, that we have the fruit of the week out of the way... :) We have been busily planning the baby's room. Sarah Petereit (Baker) has been helping us pick out colors and ideas for either a boy or a girl. The room we will be using is already Pepto-Bismol Pink! Our house was an old model home so this room was decorated as a girl's nursery. Either way we are painting the room. We will also be putting in a new closet system so we can make better use of the space. Ray is getting ready to sand the nail holes that he filled and then primer the walls. Pink is a tough color to cover but I know he can do it! :) Once we find out the sex of the baby on May 21st, we (we, as in Ray) can start painting!

I am still feeling really good. I have gained about 3 lbs, so far so good! Ray thinks my belly keeps getting bigger each day. Depending on the clothes I wear to work you can really tell on some days and other days I hide it well. I know some of the other pregnant buddies are still sick so I hope they are feeling better soon!

Next week will be the half way mark so I will have pics of my growing belly and a good story!

I wanted to give a quick congrats to Elizabeth (Liz) Smith and her new fiance Tom Ayers! They just got engaged over the weekend and I am so excited to help them plan for their big day! Congrats!

Monday, April 27, 2009

Week 18 - Traveling Pregnant

Week 18 is upon us and things are growing each day! We just returned from a weekend trip to Annapolis, Maryland. We went to help my Aunt Susan and Uncle Larry celebrate their 25th wedding anniversary. The weekend was filled with great times with family and lots of good food! I have to share all of the details. If any of you watch the Food Network their is a small show called "Ace of Cakes". Where they follow a baker named Duff at "Charm City Cakes". Well my aunt is a big fan so their cake was made by "Charm City Cakes"!! It was out of this world!There were three different flavors and I liked two of the three! :) We even had some leftovers on Sunday and it was still wonderful!

I have decided that this will probably be my last time traveling while I am pregnant. I am still very comfortable but as I get bigger it will only get harder. Ray could tell I was tired and edgy at times. He was so great and took care of all of my needs. We flew out late Friday and flew home late Sunday so my sleep schedule was off and I was hungry all the time! It was nice to be away from home but I was glad to see my bed Sunday night! We both took Monday off and tried to relax. We are getting a new roof so the roofers started at 8:30am! :) We took the day and went shopping at the outlet mall. It was a great day to be outside and we got a few things for us while we there.

Here are a few pics from this weekend. The red dress I had in my closet, it's my $11.99 dress from Wal-Mart! It will be perfect for any special events that might come up over the summer. It was super comfy!

Ray & I enjoying the sun set!
Ray loving his red velvet cake! :)

What a cute family!
The baby bump!

Monday, April 20, 2009

17 weeks = turnip

Wow, how time flies! I can't believe that we are at week 17 already. The baby is now the size of a turnip. I guess that is about 5 inches from the top of the baby's head to its bottom :) I am feeling good. I had a long week at work and I was on my feet a lot so resting is part of the plan this week. On Wed April 15th I think I felt the baby while I was lying in bed on my left side. It felt like a one two punch but not for sure if it was the baby or something else! :)

Below are some pics of my growing belly. I went to JC Penny and bought some new work pants and a pair of shorts to prepare for summer. While I was there I couldn't help but look at baby items. I have been really good and have not bought a thing, until this weekend! :) I only picked up a pack of bibs and some birp cloths. It was nice to buy something for our new baby. Nothing big but it's something. :)

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

16 weeks = avocado

Well, week 16 has started off well. We spent Easter with Schupp side of the family in New Philadelphia, Oh. The weather was perfect and so was the company. I decided to gorge myself with lots of yummy Easter foods but man did I pay for that later! We were popping Rolaids on the way home and I still woke up feeling like crap on Monday. I then had a dentist appointment first thing Monday morning. So needless to say laying in a chair with my mouth wide open for 45 min didn't help! I made it to work and after eating loads of carbs at lunch I was feeling better.

So one of my favorite foods is guacamole so it's fitting that the baby is the size of an avocado this week! :)
I will try to get back to taking pictures of my belly for week 17! Below is an "inside" look at what the baby might look like:
We have a trip to Maryland coming up toward the end of week 17 and we are looking forward to visiting with friends and family. The friends and family that we are visiting are the same group we went on vacation with in January. We didn't know we were pregnant then so now the group will be able to see my belly and help us celebrate! :)

Sunday, April 05, 2009

15 weeks - Check up went well

Well, this week marks week 15! Ray and I went to the doctor today and the baby is doing well. We were able to hear the heartbeat which was 154 bpm. This is good and strong! The doctor said that everything was progressing nicely and wants to see us in 6-weeks. We will go back on Thursday May 21st. During this visit we will have an ultrasound done to make sure the baby is developing on schedule and to hopefully (cross your fingers) find out the sex of the baby!!! We are very excited to find out so the planning can begin!!!

I am feeling well. I am in the second trimester so I am feeling good and anticipating the belly to grow very quickly from her on out! :)

As I was looking at pictures today on the computer I forgot to share the story of how I told and showed Ray we were pregnant!
As you can see the + sign is faintly there but it's there! :)

I took the pregnancy test the day after we returned from vacation. Ray was sleeping and I was getting ready for work. I did my business on the stick and put it on the bathroom counter. I kept looking at it thinking, does that say what I think it says? I have take quite a few over the years with the same result, could this time be different? Well, it was! I start freaking out and pacing the bathroom floor. Should I wake Ray up? What should I do? Should I call someone?? Well, I freaked out about it all day. Needless to say my first day back to work after vacation was not a productive one! :) So, Ray had to work late that night so I was going through all of the different options of telling him. Do a search on the web and you will find hundreds! I decided on the placing the word "BABY" on the spare room we had always planned to be a nursery. When he arrived home I asked him to come up stairs. He thought something was wrong with the roof (we had a leak a few weeks earlier) but he came up and started looking at the ceiling. I had to point him in the right direction and he was shocked. He said "What does that mean?" I said "What do you think it means, we are going to have a baby!!"

I don't think it was until week 10 or so that Ray realized this really is happening! He is so involved and is so very excited to be a dad. He is a terrific husband and will be an outstanding father.

Monday, March 30, 2009

14 weeks Baby = lemon

Well, the 14th week is upon us. My belly is growing and people are starting to notice. Ray is especially infatuated with my belly getting so hard. At first it was a little soft but then one day it was hard as a rock. Very weird feeling!

BabyCenter.com says that the baby is as big as a lemon this week. I love how they compare everything to fruit. Even funnier, the title of the slide show is called "Poppy seed to pumpkin: How big is your baby?" Doesn't pushing out a pumpkin sound like FUN!
Below are some pics I took of my belly. I will try and sport the same type of tank top so that you can watch me grow! :) Remember, I wasn't a twig to begin with but my belly didn't look like this 14 weeks ago!!

Ray and I have decided that we are a little overwhelmed with all of the items we are going to need for this new baby. We are taking things very slowly and have made Friday nights dinner and shopping nights. The last two weeks we have stopped at Babies R Us and Target. We have just been looking around to see what we might like. Don't worry we aren't buying we are just looking! :) Once we find out the sex of the baby many more decisions can be made. Well, here is to another great week and hope everyone is doing well.

Congrats to Phil & Katie! We just found out that they are excepting their first baby two days before we are! The babies can be poker partners! :)

Monday, March 23, 2009

13 weeks: Belly starting to show...

We are going into week 13 which means I am moving from my 1st trimester into my 2nd trimester, YEAH! They say this is the time I will feel my best and once the 3rd trimester starts I will be uncomfortable so the next few months should be fun! :)

The baby this week is about the size of a small peach. Right now my back hurts as if I had a small watermelon growing in my belly! I am sure if my back hurts now it's only going to get later! :)

Ray and I celebrated our 6 year wedding anniversary over the weekend. We went to dinner at Olive Garden and then went baby item shopping. All the things we have to look forward to! :) We narrowed down some keys pieces and will have to coordinate with our ND (Nursery Designer) Mrs. Sarah Petereit (AKA Sarah Baker). She is so excited to get start on decorating the babies room! We just have to wait until May when we find out the sex of the baby.

I have to give a shout out to Ashley & Matt Anthony. Ashley is Ray's cousin (also mine) and they too are expecting a baby! They are two weeks behind us so she is 11 weeks this week! YEAH! We will swap stories and prepare for the biggest and most exciting new adventure together! We love you both very much!

I hope everyone is doing well and I hope to post some belly pictures next week! I know you are excited!! Have a great week!

Sunday, March 15, 2009

We now have something to talk about!!!

Well, the time as arrived! Ray & I are helping repopulate the earth!! Watch out world Baby Gibbs is on it's way.

Ray & I are thrilled to the new addition that will enter our lives at the end of September 2009. We have waited a long time for this and want to share all of the exciting news. I (Leslie) will update the blog on a weekly basis to let you know about the progress of our pregnancy. I will share pictures, stories and much more!

I am 11 weeks 5 days so almost to the 12 week mark. I am feeling really good. During the first 10 weeks I didn't think I was going to make it through the 1st trimester. I am almost there and can't wait for all of the planning and preparation in our near future. We will find out the sex of the baby in May. You know me, I have to plan and prepare, so we need and want to know.

Thank you to everyone for your love and support! We love you all and look forward to sharing for years to come!

7 weeks
9 weeks

11 weeks