Sunday, December 21, 2008

Merry Christmas 2008

I am posting our Christmas card picture and letter for all you blogger readers who may not have received a card via snail mail. Don't know if I will get back here before Christmas so have a wonderful holiday season!

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year everyone! What a busy, crazy year it’s been. We’ll do our best to catch you up on anything you may have missed about us over the past year.
Chase turned 1 on Jan. 26 and I find it hard to believe that we are quickly approaching birthday number 2 for our little guy. Chase really got into NASCAR with his daddy this year. If he sees the number 24 in fluorescent yellow he immediately starts saying “go! go!”! He is starting to talk up a storm and constantly amazes Howard and me with the new words he comes out with. Chase loves Matchbox cars and spends hours playing with them. He also spends a lot of time going through his books and reading to himself or asking us to read to him (yay!). Chase is also becoming quite the little helper around the house and loves to vacuum with me when I am cleaning, help his daddy with anything pertaining to cars or the outdoors and feed our cat. Chase was diagnosed with a severe egg allergy in February so we’ve had to make some changes to our diet and closely monitor what he eats. We carry an epi-pen with us everywhere and so far we thankfully have had no emergencies!
As most people probably know by now, I was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes at the start of my second pregnancy. I started with insulin shots and quickly have progressed to the insulin pump. It allows me much more flexibility and control over my routine. With the pregnancy and the diabetes together it has proven to be a very trying and stressful year for me. Howard has been a wonderful support and encouragement and helped me keep things in perspective. I’ve run the full range of emotions and have come to terms with the fact that I just have to adjust some areas of my life to accommodate this disease. Otherwise, my year has been full of motherhood. I love staying home with Chase and have enjoyed watching him blossom. We spent hours outside playing, taking walks and meeting neighbors this summer. We also spent one day a week at my parents keeping my grandmother company, as she is in the beginning stages of Alzheimer's. I made a point, whenever possible, to get to the library and keep up on my reading this year, since I am such a voracious reader. I always come home excited when I find new books!
Howard got a slow start to his work year due to the economy affecting funding for roadwork. He still was able to make it a decent year at Guidemark and has high hopes for next year. He was able to get out golfing a few times throughout the year and has found some guys at work to golf with when their schedules allow. Howard fully enjoyed the 2008 NASCAR season, although Jeff Gordon didn’t do anywhere near as well as he had hoped. In addition to the sports stuff Howard has also been reading and studying up on the stock market and is quite excited to have some time during this layoff to try a few different options the stock market offers. He has the mind for it so we’ll see what happens.
Our second child, Alexa Kathryn, made her debut on December 2, 2008, via c-section. She has been such a great baby so far. She is very content and easy going. We’re hoping that continues in the weeks ahead!
With Howard working and me being pregnant, we didn’t take any vacations this year. We planned weekends together and got outside whenever we were able. We enjoyed taking Chase to various playgrounds in our area and watching the Phillies win their second World Series Title! Chase is a great fan! Now we are all enjoying our little girl. Chase is making such an excellent big brother.
We helped my parents move in April and then helped my grandmother move in with them in July. My brother Peter and his wife Kendal just purchased their first home in November so Howard and I helped them move as well. Lots of transition for my family this year!
Howard’s sister Steph and her kids, Austin and Gwen, flew in from Washington state for a visit in August and we got to spend a day with them. It was really nice but much too quick! The kids are doing well and appear to be thriving
We are looking forward to spending time with family this Christmas season. It’s going to be a lot of fun watching Chase during this time of year! We’re also looking forward to growing closer together as a family. We hope each of you has a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.
Howard, Sarah, Chase & Alexa Hackelton

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Giving Thanks

I just wanted to post a quick update about how we are doing. Alexa spends most of her time sleeping and is generally very content. It is such a change from how our first few months were with Chase. He was so colicky and miserable that the little bit of fussing Alexa may do doesn't even faze us. I'm so grateful for how content she is.

When Alexa is awake I just marvel at this new little life that God has given us. She is so tiny and yet so perfect. I keep praying for her and Chase and the world that they are going to grow up in. Our kids need our prayers covering them each and every day, more so now than ever.

I'm so grateful for a little boy who delights in the fingers and toes of his sister and wants to hold and help with her whenever possible. I'm grateful to have my husband home for the winter. His help with the kids and the household has made my recovery so much easier and less tiring. I'm so grateful for a swift recovery and that every day I am feeling so much better than the last.

I'm grateful that yesterday Howard took Alexa for an 1 1/2 so that I could have some time to play with our little boy. He just lit up to have my undivided attention and talked to me with such exuberance. I've missed the opportunities to revel in his wonder at the world. Chase is so quick to pick up on everything going on around him and continues to delight me (us) with his chattering about the world.

So this is thanks Lord for my family. For the transition of a new little one going smoothly so far. For a wonderful, supportive husband and our time together. Thanks for my two healthy, precious children and the light they bring to our lives. This is thanks for how blessed we are and how grateful I am for Your grace...

Saturday, December 6, 2008

She's Here!

She's Here! Alexa Kathryn Hackelton was born at 9:40am on December 2, 2008. She weighed in at 6lbs, 12oz and was 20 1/4" long. She checked out healthy and we are hoping to keep it that way! :-)

Big brother Chase is so proud to help take care of her and has been really amazing the last few days. Mommy and Daddy are proud of him too.

Sarah is recovering well so far and is really happy to be home. As a family we are adjusting to a new little one and a new schedule. We'll keep you posted as often as time allows. Enjoy the photos in the meantime...

Chase gave Alexa a bottle and suddenly she wasn't so scary anymore!

Monday, December 1, 2008


Hi All! We will know by about 8:30am tomorrow who the newest member of the Hackelton clan is. I will try to post info and pictures as soon as I am up to it. Can't wait to meet this precious little baby! Big-brother-to-be Chase is getting to spend two days with his Nee Nee and Me-Mom so he'll be having fun! Please keep us in your prayers.

Tuesday, November 25, 2008


Chase has a new bedtime buddy named Aleigh. We've had it for a while but I just pulled it out of a box because we have let him start sleeping with blankets and loveys. Aleigh is his favorite and he can say the name. They are very happy together.

The final growth scan of the baby was today and the baby is 6.5lbs! That means this little one shouldn't exceed 7.5lbs by delivery day which is awesome! No 9.6lb baby this time. All is going well and we are just playing the waiting game until Dec. 2. Soon we will know if Chase is getting a brother or a sister. I am so excited!

Saturday, November 22, 2008


This is Chase's new obsession. We spend hours building towers and knocking them down. He's very creative with how he places them and tells Howard and me if it is okay for us to put our blocks on "his" tower or not. If he doesn't like where we put them he says "no" or grabs the block and gives it back or repositions it to his liking. It's been a week of constant block parties. :-)

Monday, November 17, 2008

The Winner Is...

Both of us! Howard and I tied in the first ever (and possibly last ever!) NASCAR fantasy picks our family ran for 36 straight weeks! Yours truly was the score keeper, and no, I did not cheat. I kept a running tally each week that was reported to all participants.
Peter, who got us all hooked on NASCAR in the first place, was the loser, or to be politically correct, took 5th place. All very funny since he had the most NASCAR knowledge to start the season. Now, we are all burned out from making our top 5, dark horse & last place picks and may never do this again. :-) The razzing and stuff was fun but picking all that stuff for 36 weeks in a row got really old.

For the moment, Howard and I will bask in our 2 seconds of family fame and enjoy getting to tease everyone else about the fact that we won. You all have been great sports!

On a side note, you can't see mom's score but she got 226 for 3rd place.

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

We're closing in...

We are officially scheduled for a c-section on Dec. 2 at 8:30am. I have been having lots of Braxton-Hicks contractions lately, some that are quite intense, so the date only holds if the baby doesn't decide to come early! At the last growth scan the baby was in the 50th percentile, meaning it is completely average size at this time. Thank you Lord!
In the meantime I am sharing some photos of my only surviving mum from last year. My parents gave me 5 plants last year and only one came back. It is huge and beautiful and full of "fall". Hope you all are enjoying this last gasp of fall weather. I can't get enough of the beauty outside right now...

Friday, October 31, 2008

The Face of a Charmer

I know I am a biased mom but how can you look into these beautiful brown eyes and not fall in love? :-) Chase loves wearing my visor that I use for tennis so I had to snap a few pictures of my little cutie!

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

A Leaf Hunt, a Snowsuit & Being Silly...

I took Chase on a leaf hunt around our development the other day and he had a blast! We probably got five feet in fifteen minutes because he wanted to pick up every leaf in sight and put it in his bucket. We brought them home to show daddy and he dumped the all over our living room floor for more fun. :-)

This picture is Chase checking himself out in the mirror after we got his first snowsuit. It's a little big on him yet but he loves it and had so much fun waddling around the house in it. I love the look on his face. This was the first time he saw it on himself. Too cute!
And this is our family having fun with the camera one night. We were trying to get Chase to stick his tongue out but everytime the flash went off he'd close his mouth. This was the best we could do. We finished off with a nice picture for good measure. Can't believe we're closing in on the last few weeks of it just being the three of us!

Friday, October 24, 2008

Something to Think About...

I got this post from a friends blog so I am borrowing it to share with anyone who reads our blog. It's just one of many thought provoking tidbits I have found about this years election. Many of the instances this man references have also been confirmed by James Dobson from Focus on the Family. I just got a great newsletter from him which I will try to post if I can figure out how to copy it up here.

Friday, October 17, 2008

And the Word is "NO"

Not much going on with us this week. Howard and I are both fighting nasty sore throats so I/we haven't felt up to much of anything.

Chase has learned the meaning and pronunciation of "no" and so it is all we hear when we ask him any question. Right now it is still cute because he has such an adorable little voice. We'll see how long that lasts!

From watching the Phillies Chase also picked up how to spit! I couldn't figure out what he was doing one day and then when I realized he was trying to spit, Howard and I couldn't figure out where he would have learned it. While watching the Phils that night it finally hit me that he had been watching some of the games with us (we don't usually let him watch tv) and must have picked it up from the players. Greeeaattt!!! :-)

Friday, October 3, 2008

The Joys of Boys

This is one of my favorite things about little boys...

I can walk into any room in the house and I will find random lineups of cars on the windowsills, the dining room hutch, the couch, a chair, etc. Chase will just spend hours moving his cars around the house and lining them up. He is so careful and methodical about it. I never know where a line of cars will show up next. It's such a great reminder that a little boy lives here. At the end of the day there are always cars all over the house BUT I wouldn't trade his joy in doing this for anything! :-)

Sometimes he pulls out the big guns to move all his cars from one place to the next. He's a smart one!
There are moments when Chase decides the cat would much rather wear Chase's sunglasses around his stomach. (If Chase will give him attention Smokey is more than willing to put up with this. The glasses incident didn't even faze him.)

Then, there are moments like this, when Chase is completely engrossed in one of his books. He will "read" aloud to himself, touch all the pages he's supposed to and want nothing more than to cuddle and read some books with me for a while. He proudly tries to point to all the letters in his ABC book and recite them to us. We get A,I,E,B and a bunch of letters that are jibberish. He is so proud of himself for being able to point out the letters on his own.

It is a challenging time with him, to be sure, but it is also a wonderful time that is going by quicker than we can sometimes handle too.

Thursday, October 2, 2008

Baby #2 Update

Got back from the doctors with more good news about baby #2. The baby is now in the 37th percentile as far as size which means we are still doing great with controlling my blood sugar, etc. They still think I will only have to deliver one week early which is normal for anyone with a scheduled C so that is even more great news. I find out for sure in the next week or so what my actual scheduled date will be.

I do have to start going twice a week, every week until I deliver, beginning with next week. They are going to run bio-physical profiles of the baby which is a fancy way of saying that they are going to be running tests to make sure the baby is not under any stress as a result of my diabetes. So, all things considered we are doing great!

I'm getting my stomach kicked in by one super wound up baby. If this one moves as much once it comes out as it does in my stomach, Chase is going to look like a turtle! :-)

Monday, September 22, 2008

Mommy's Little Helper

Who ever thought that I would have to fight with my son for control of the vacuum cleaner? Whenever I pull it out anymore he is immediately at my side trying to take over. I indulge him when I can because he really does a good job for a 20 month old. The problem is, when I am trying to get things done quickly he throws a major temper tantrum because he wants to do it without my help.

Notice in the second picture how focused he is. When he's cleaning he is dead serious about doing a good job!

Saturday, September 20, 2008

Happy Anniversary... us!!!

I can't believe how fast 4 years can go by! Our actual date is Sept. 18, 2004 but I am only getting to our blog today AND we have a babysitter today so that Howard and I can actually go out and celebrate.

It might not sound exciting to anyone else but we are going to play some miniature golf and go out to dinner at a local steakhouse. Howard and I used to mini golf all the time before Chase was born and have been to as many mini golf places as we can find in our area. Although I absolutely hate the game of golf, I really enjoy miniature golf and it puts Howard and I on a more neutral playing field. Since we are so competitive that is important!

Through a lot of effort and hard work not to mention a ton of communication Howard and I both agree that this has been our best year of married life so far. When two people really commit to figuring each other out and working to resolve misunderstandings that easily crop up in everyday life something special starts to happen. We aren't the crazy in love couple we were 7 years ago when we first met but we have reached something much better. It's so hard to explain where we are right now but I will try to keep this short and sweet. We're learning to forgive and really forget, we're learning so much better how to truly listen to one another and be attentive to what they are saying, we're learning how much fun everyday life together can be and that it isn't always candlelit dinners, romance and flowers. It's five minutes of shared time when Chase is in bed where we compare notes about our days, laugh about something simple Chase did, catch up on the Phillies score or share something funny from work. It's where me meet one another daily in the real world and find that we are growing more in love from those few stolen moments than we ever were on fancy dates. This is life, our crazy, wonderful life and right now it is very good...

Friday, September 12, 2008

A Few Cooking Ideas...

I get very bored with the same old, same old when it comes to cooking. I don't really enjoy cooking so I am always looking for new recipes and things to try. I checked out and found that if you sign up for their Food & Family magazine you get sent a full color magazine five times a year loaded with easy recipes, pictures, coupons and nutrition info. I LOVE this magazine! They suggest all Kraft products of course but I just make my own substitutions based on the veggies and cheeses, etc that we are eating at the time.

For baking my favorite website is I have made so many recipes from them and I always get rave reviews. I just go on their website and drool a lot. :-)

Check out Food & Family and maybe you will be inspired to try something new too! If you do check it out and get their magazine let me know what you thought.

Friday, August 29, 2008

New Playset

Chase got a playset for the backyard. I said we would never get one because they clutter the yard and fade out to ugly over time BUT this one has already faded to an okay color and it was sitting in the driveway of one of our neighbors for free so we couldn't pass it up. Chase loves it! It took him all of one day to figure out how to climb all three sides. He no longer goes down facing foward. He will either go down on his stomach or lay on his back and go down. He is such a wild man!

This was the second day when he was still going down facing forward.

Second day climbing. He doesn't concentrate this hard to get up. He was laughing so hard one day when he climbed up it that he fell right off! Probably one of the best freebies we've picked up in a while. Mommy can sit down for a little rest and Chase still gets to burn some energy!

Thursday, August 28, 2008

Family Visit

First of all, Chase is in LOVE with Rita's. He can eat water ice faster than Howard can get it on the spoon! In fact, he gets quite intent on what Howard is doing and if the spoon goes past him (Chase) to Howard's mouth he gets really upset! :)

Secondly, Howard's sister Stephanie and her kids, Austin and Gwen came in for a visit in the beginning of August. They live in Washington state now so we don't get to see them too often. The only person missing from the photo is Steph's husband Jason who was unable to fly in for the week. We had a nice visit with them, still can't get over how much the kids change and grow in a year!

Sunday, August 17, 2008


Chase has been having such a great summer. We've spent a lot of time in his swimming pool but it is starting to get too heavy for me to be dumping all the time so I got the sprinkler out the other day and he had a blast! He loved it until it would start swinging down towards him then he'd turn and start running away in sheer panic. He finally figured out that if he ran around to the other side he could play in the water for a little while before it reached him again. Any time he can get his hands on the hose he thinks it's the most fun.

We've been trying to walk everyday since I need the exercise and it helps Chase burn off some of the excess energy he has. We've made it around the 1/3 of a mile and 1/2 mile loops in our development without me having to carry him. The other day he pointed that he wanted to go the 1 mile route I used to push him in the stroller. He almost made it the whole way. I only had to carry him a short distance! When we got back to the house he needed a short rest and then he was rarin' to go again. He has so much energy! Thank goodness for matchbox cars and the giant Tonka truck we got him. He pushes the Tonka truck around the 1/3 of a mile and it gives him quite a work out. When he gets tired I pop him in the bed and start pulling him which he thinks is quite cool. In the picture he's reading his truck book right after he got the truck.

We've been having a great time enjoying the sunshine and being outside. Chase never wants to come in so we take frequent walks. He's become an expert at pointing out the birds, trees, airplanes and the moon whenever it is out during the day. He doesn't miss much and it's often a challenge for me to pick up on what it is that he's pointing out to me!

Friday, August 1, 2008

Little Bits of Sunshine

I just LOVE Black Eyed Susans. There is something naturally uplifting about them. I see them and feel happy. A little patch of these wild flowers is better to me than beautifully landscaped gardens. Howard and Chase gave me a few plants for Mother's Day this year so that I can grow my own bed of them. The results so far delight me!

Today I was reminded again of the fact that God loves me and sees my every need. I was feeling very down about my diabetes. I just started an insulin pump and have had to get up at midnight and 3am every night to check my blood sugar. It has made me tired and weepy and not very happy. I was whining to the Lord about it and getting somewhat angry over the whole situation. I even was complaining to my mom when she called to see how I was doing.

I called in my blood sugar numbers this afternoon like I am supposed to and the RN I talk to told me my numbers are better than she ever expected for someone who just started the pump. In fact my numbers are almost perfect and she sees no reason why I should be getting up in the middle of the night to check my numbers! I got off the phone once again completely humbled by the Lord. He does know my name and every hair on my head. Even though I still don't understand why this all had to happen He keeps reminding me that He's in control of even the littlest of details and my best interests are held close to His heart. Thank you Lord for answered prayer and little bits of sunshine You send to brighten my day.

Friday, July 18, 2008

Snack Time

Because I have to eat snacks in between meals Chase has started joining me for a mid-morning snack. He climbs up into a "big" persons chair and is so charming. I had to snap a couple pictures the one day because he was just hamming it up for me. :-)