Rocco Samuel: First weeks of life.

First weeks of life - IHOD

 “And she loved a little boy very much – even more than she loved herself.” – Shel Silverstein

Life with four little ones is as busy as you would expect it to be, and probably more so, but thankfully this new little one brings a familiarity with him as well. A deep rooted confidence takes over as I get to know little Rocco. I know I have been here. It all will settle well. This new life has brought with him that very familiar newborn smell, the tiny sounds and grunts, the long 3AM parties, and the way he fits perfectly into my arms.  It’s all a welcome familiarity of the most rich moments of my life. I feel selfish with time wishing the newborn days would linger a little longer, and that I could pause the ages of my children. This time around, I know just how fast it goes. Wasn’t Max just this size? 

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Veronica and Rocco


little ones

The new experiences I welcome too. The shift in family dynamics has brought some hair pulling moments, and some exhausting days, but as we all adjust to the change, so has each of our demeanors. A mother’s heart can duplicate another for each child, but I am seeing that happen for my children as well. Witnessing their love for Rocco has been perhaps the greatest of it all. After a cranky first few weeks, they each have suddenly turned a new leaf as it always happens just in time it seems. A little older, a little more mature, and a proud adjustment to their new role as guardian, sister, friend, etc. There are still many squabbles and referee times as I try to feed the baby in one hand and keep Max from the draining the dish soap bottle with the other, but thankfully there is so much more love to go around with it all. I mean….it is obvious Rocco is never left alone…

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My children have offered me the gift of seeing life beyond material possessions, wanderlust, and the pursuit of success. They have given me the ability to see the eternal and intrinsic value of our relationships. A mother to her children, a child to its mother, a sister to her brother, a father to his sons, etc.

 Since I know how quickly time can pass, I have wanted to just hold Rocco Samuel all day long, or wear him in his wrap, or tote around in his moses basket so as not to miss a thing. These photos will help keep these memories. Lord knows I need the help in the memory department as I just found the milk in the microwave, and my coffee in the fridge….

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I’ll give you all that update on life with four kids soon. I am still in a postpartum fog. I am trying to be more patient this time around, and am allowing more room and time for the new groove to settle in. So for now, it’s just sleeping, adjusting, eating, feeding, relying on family, friends, and a whole lot of prayer. Figuring out this grand adventure one day at a time. x

*Rocco’s striped blanket is from Little Unicorn, bear hat from baby Gap, striped onesie from Native Wilds, Eat Local Onesie from Twiddle and Tweet, and bedding is from Anthro.  My extra hand and saving grace is the 4moms Mamaroo and BounceRoo, a gift when Max was born.

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My sister’s wedding…

My sister Angela got married a few months ago, and it was a wedding that was a gift to everyone who attended. The bride and groom’s joy was tangible. I asked her to write today about what the day was like from her perspective. I have such a deep admiration for Brian and Angela’s focus on each other and the dedication to the great gift of marriage…

My sister's wedding | In Honor of Design

MAY 22, 2015 — Profound Joy.

I woke from the deepest sleep just before my alarm clock, my eyes opening to sunbeams piercing through the window where my wedding dress was hanging. My heart fluttered knowing that in just a few hours I would be wearing this gown to meet my groom at the altar. I lied there for a while thinking about the exchange of lifelong vows we were about to make that would bind us and protect us all of our days to come.

Dozens of pivotal moments that helped bring me to this day kept flowing forth. From my dad’s nightly blessings growing up that instilled a deep sense of self-worth, my mom’s homemade dinners that gathered my family to talk about life values, and the unforgettable earthquake that erupted inside of me when Brian looked straight into my eyes as we shook hands to meet. 

I ran downstairs to find some of my sisters already buzzing around, as if they hadn’t been up all night picking though hundreds of flower stems to help create centerpieces and bouquets. Coffee mugs and very tight hugs were shared with lots of squeals from each of them. My sisters and I have a unique bond that perhaps only sisters can understand. The paradox of preparing for marriage was that I felt like bursting and breaking at the very same time. The shift that comes with such a big life change was hard, as change always is for me, yet surreal happiness remains.

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The morning rapidly passed by, and I got to spend that precious time with my bridesmaids and parents getting ready at my house. I had all of my nieces and youngest sister as flower girls, and it was so wonderful watching their innocent youth taking everything in. I made each of them flower crowns, and then a simple one for myself as a symbolic surprise for Brian. As soon as the I put on the flower crown, I knew I was ready. I had just my mom come up to my bedroom to help put on the gown. Just she and I, the woman I admire and aspire to be most like in my life. My Dad snuck in after that, the man who taught me what it feels like to be truly cherished.

My gorgeous ‘maids all lined up as soon as we got to the church, and the flower girls held hands and giggled behind them. The trumpet began to play and the tears started to flow when I looked to my dad as he said: “you’re not just a bride today, you get to be Brian’s bride every day.” And with that the doors opened to the most joyous moment of my life. Profound joy had consumed me, knowing my life would be forever changed in such a significant way with him as my husband. I will always have that moment seared on my soul.

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Our wedding ceremony was just as I had hoped it would be, with a church full of people we admire and love. It took everything in me to keep it together at one point as I looked around and took each of their faces in. I whispered to Brian: “All of them! Here because they support our decision to be together! They believe in us!” As if it had just clicked why we were all there. And it had. It wasn’t until then when I let it sink that it was me all of this goodness was happening to. I loved sitting at Brian’s side as his bride, holding his arm and praying together as newlyweds.

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We exited the church with ribbon wands waving and wedding bells ringing as as the new Mr. and Mrs. Hoyer. We loved every minute of our reception, but especially our first dance. Our dear friends performed the same song Brian played for me when he proposed, and we sang together: “Life is ever changing, but I will always find a constant and comfort in your love. With your heart my soul is bound, and as we dance I know that Heaven will be found.” We were completely swept away the rest of the night, and nothing will compare to the joy we felt on the day we began our greatest adventure…

Written in my journal, the night before we got married…
“Meeting him and falling into deep admiration, my heart reawakened to the most beautiful melody it’s ever known. Our love song is the battle cry of defeating sin and choosing each other again and again. It was written by our creator with the most unique arrangement of notes. My only hope for our marriage is that we never stop hearing our song. That through hope and courage we will always choose the battle cry until the day we die.”

*All photos by Photography by Lydia 

Florals by Paper Whites and Whimsey and bridesmaids bouquets assembled by the bridesmaids.
Dresses via J.Crew

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Happy 4th of July Weekend!

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We changed our plans last minute due to a rainy forecast and stayed put for the weekend. I know, I’m the idiot who thought she could go camping with three little ones at 36 weeks pregnant, but I held onto hope because I realllly wanted to see all of my family. Swallowed that humble pill and moved on to lockdown pastures…

Lightening bugs

It ended up being a really good weekend though, just the 5 of us + baby belly, and a good deal of time with friends. Along with millions of other proud Americans, we did many of the patriotic pastime traditions. You know, something like this…..  the smell of hot dogs on the grill, watermelon stained shirts, wide eyed faces under firework lit skies, chins dribbled with popsicles, grass stains and bandaids,a history lesson from Gabe to the kids on the meaning of Independence Day (ohhh the questions were comical), sparklers, flag waving, lighting bugs, and a few delicious naps in between. 

Land of the free

The babe in utero got a little excited and put me in bed Saturday morning with severe braxton hicks contractions. I kindly reminded him/her that we still had a few weeks to go…their chance to be a firework will come soon enough;)

Baby Claire - In-Honor-of-Design

The highlight may have been getting to meet little miss Claire Vivien in the hospital. I was a little bitter my pregnant pal Jessica had to go have her baby, and leave me in the dust to be pregnant all by my lonesome for a few more weeks, but I quickly forgave her after holding this brand new softer than soft swaddle of beauty. Looking forward to seeing our babes take down milestones together:)

How was your weekend my friends? Hope you had a splendid weekend with your families and loved ones. 

“Those who won our independence believed liberty to be the secret of happiness and courage to be the secret of liberty.”  ~Louis D. Brandeis

P.S. Links to some of the maternity pieces I am wearing in the new shop page:)

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