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Michelle and David

Baby Claire Michelle and David

Claire’s Birth Story

January 24, 2020

We welcomed our precious daughter into the world on January 14th via a repeat c-section. I was exactly 39 weeks pregnant. It was such a beautiful day and as a way to remember all the details of Claire’s birthday, I’m going to share her birth story here. Just like I did for James when he was born in June 2017. I have shared James’ frank breech c-section birth story many times over the past two years and have been told by many nervous, anxious mamas that it was encouraging to learn more about what to expect with a c-section birth. Hopefully Claire’s birth story will also encourage and inform more parents as they prepare to welcome their babies. 

Repeat c-section birth story Continue Reading

Baby Claire Michelle and David Personal

Dear Baby Girl, We’ll Meet You Tomorrow

January 13, 2020

Dear Baby Girl,

While I feel like we’ve been expecting your arrival for a very long time, I can’t believe we are so close to actually holding you in our arms! Tomorrow morning, your Dad and I will arrive at the hospital and will begin the process of meeting you. We’ve been through this experience once before, with your big brother, but it still feels surreal and so exciting. We have been anticipating your arrival since we found out you were growing in my belly back in May, right after your Dad and I celebrated our eighth wedding anniversary. Once we rang in 2019, we were ready to start trying for a second baby and we are so happy that God blessed us with you just a few months later. You’ve been growing so strong over the past nine months and we are so proud of you! Your Dad and I thought you were a girl from the very beginning and your anatomy scan in September revealed our suspicions to be true. We are so excited to have a daughter and for James to have a little sister! We have been thinking about you, dreaming about your future, imagining who you are, deciding on a name, and have been praying for your development.  Continue Reading

Baby James Michelle and David

Stoker Christmas 2019

January 8, 2020

Christmas with a toddler is so much fun! James asked for three things for Christmas: a walkie talkie, play kitchen, and a baseball bat. It was so much fun to watch him open and play with them! His Melissa & Doug kitchen is his new favorite thing. So glad to have that in our play room now! We celebrated the holiday with my family in Orlando and then a late Christmas in Tampa a week later with David’s youngest sister and her new husband. I snapped a few pictures of James in front of our tree just like I’ve done the past few years. Look how much he’s grown from 6 months, 18 months to now 2.5 years old. We had a great Christmas as a family of three and looking forward to having our little lady join us soon! 

2018 Stoker Christmas

2017 Stoker Christmas

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Baby Claire Michelle and David Personal

Maternity Photos and 38 week update!

January 5, 2020

I’m writing this blog post in my current favorite spot – on our king bed with six pillows around me. Nine months pregnant and I will gladly lay down any chance I get! We are SOOO excited to meet our daughter so soon!! People keep asking me “are you ready for the baby to come?” and for the past month or so, my answer was “I’m excited to celebrate the holidays as a family of 3 and then focus on baby’s arrival.” and now my answer is “yesss the countdown is on!” 🙂 I am so grateful to have had a smooth, uneventful pregnancy. Every time I leave a OB appointment, I tell David how nice it is to have a normal, boring visit. Praise the Lord for normal! We had our family portraits taken by the lovely Darlene Barlows Photography back in November and snuck in a few maternity photos. Thank you for these sweet updated pictures, Darlene! Continue Reading

Michelle and David

My 30th Birthday!

August 27, 2019

Today is my first day in a new decade. HELLO THIRTY! I’m embracing the new age and feeling good that I’m on the young side of a decade rather than being on the older side. 😉

When I reflect back on my 20s, my heart feels overwhelmingly grateful. It was such a sweet experience writing up this blog post and finding old photos on our hard drive. It was difficult to summarize ten years of life… so much happened! I am thankful for photos and big life events that help organize time!

In 2009, I turned 20. I was two years into college at UCF and spent the year learning, student teaching, meeting new friends, serving in my sorority and dating my high school boyfriend long distance. Later that same year, David got down on one knee and proposed to me in front of the Disney fireworks. Best surprise ever!

In 2010, I turned 21 and had too much fun drinking my first martinis that night. David and I spent one last year at different schools until our crazy exciting May of 2011. He graduated with his EE degree (electrical engineering) at UF the first weekend in May, I graduated the next weekend with my EE degree (elementary education) at UCF, and then we got married at the Winter Park Farmers’ Market on Friday the 13th. I was 21 and David was 22. We jumped on a cruise ship for our honeymoon and then road tripped out to Fort Collins, Colorado for David’s summer internship. It was a wonderful summer of hiking, exploring, and enjoying being newlyweds. Continue Reading