Thursday, November 29, 2012

Ivy Lin Gietzen

Some of my friends and family have asked about Ivy's birth story, so I am going to share it here for those of you who like to read about it.

The Sunday, after Thanksgiving, I started showing signs of going into labor.  We had just spent the evening at a friend's house.  We returned home and about an hour later I started having contractions that were about 7 minutes apart.  As the evening progressed the contractions started becoming more intense and were about 3-4 minutes apart by 6am Monday morning.

We left for the hospital and were evaluated by the nursing staff.  I was only dilated to a 2-3 and was 80% effaced.  We were brought to a delivery suite and I was monitored throughout the morning.  By 1pm my doctor told me that I had not made any progress over the last 14 hours.  I was still dilated at a 3.  Each time I was having a contraction, Ivy's heartbeat would drop significantly.  We found out later that her head was near the birth canal and was squeezed with each contraction.  Her head was tilted sideways (ear into the canal) and with the danger of her heartbeat dropping my doctor recommended a c-section.

I was brought into surgery around 1:20pm.  My team of nurses, NA, doctors, and staff were excellent.  The surgery went well.  I was nervous but tried to stay strong throughout.  Sam was there to hold my hand through the entire thing.  I was strong until I heard her first cry.  At that point, my eyes filled with tears of joy.  I couldn't hold it back any more.

Ivy had had her first bowel movement prior to birth so she was whisked away for evaluation.  Once she was cleared for clean lungs and she was breathing strong she was brought into me and laid on my chest.  One of the best moments of my life.  Again, many more tears.  Such happiness.

The surgery went well.  I was sewn up and Sam went with Ivy for her bath.  We all reunited in our suite and spent sweet, sweet, time together as a family.  Ivy is a great eater.  We are thankful for healthy appetite!  We have had a lot of visitors.  We are thankful for such loving and supportive friends and family.  I am still pretty sore and healing from the surgery.  That will take some time.  Nothing compares to this beautiful miracle.  We are thanking Jesus for this incredible blessing.  Thanks for loving on us, and sharing in our special joy, Ivy Lin :)

About her name:

Ivy is a family name.  We did not know this when we chose the name Ivy, however, Ivy was the name of my maternal grandmother's aunt.  Her aunt Ivy was a beloved elementary school teacher in Minnesota for many years.  The middle name is Lin, after me, her mother (the first 3 letters of my name) and also after her paternal grandmother Linda.

Friday, July 20, 2012

Sunday, March 18, 2012

New Furniture

This is upstairs on our landing. Fun find on They look brand new. The table and end tables were found at garage sales and will be painted to match. My favorite new space in the house :)

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Christmas Letter 2011

Hello Everyone!

This will be our 2nd annual online Christmas card in our attempts to be "green" and (probably more so)... frugal :)

We have had a busy year this year. Here are the updates in our lives...

Sam and I rang in the 2011 year celebrating our 2nd year anniversary. It's hard to believe another year has gone by and we are about to celebrate our third year of marriage. In March, we took a 2nd honeymoon and enjoyed a vacation in Jamaica at Couples Tower Isle Resort in Ocho Rios. It was a wonderful, relaxing vacation and was fun to get some sun during the chilly month of March!

Our first trip to Jamaica: Honeymoon in January, 2009

Our "second honeymoon" trip to Jamaica: March, 2011

In April, I attended a conference in Washington D.C. with some colleagues from United Tribes. I finished out my year teaching K-8 music at United Tribes, in May, and began taking classes this summer through NDSU towards my Masters in Music Education. I have continued taking classes this fall, and just this week I heard good news from the grad school admissions office that I have been accepted into the program. I will continue to take online classes this spring and will then be commuting to Fargo during the summer. The program will take 2-3 years.

In Washington D.C., at a national teaching convention: April, 2011

This summer, Sam and I enjoyed a couple of mini vacations. The first was to the Twin Cities with my parents. We enjoyed two MN Twins games, shopping, and spending some fun family time together. The second mini vacation was a camping trip to Medora, ND with another couple from our Bible study, over Labor Day. Both trips were very fun, and a great time was had by all.

In the Twin Cities with Mom and Dad: August, 2011

At the game

In Medora, ND: September, 2011

This fall I began my new position at Roosevelt Elementary in Mandan, ND, teaching K-5 music. I absolutely love this job. It is a great fit for me. This fall, I was able to attend the national Orff music convention in Pittsburgh, PA with the other four elementary music teachers in the Mandan district, as well as a couple other teachers from other area schools. It was a very fun time for gathering ideas, attending excellent sessions, and learning from the top professionals in my field. I love that when I go to a convention, I can take part in African drumming, Russian folk dancing, acting out Jewish folk tales, and learn to hula, among many other things. What other jobs get to do that? My job is so fun! Right now we are looking forward to a Christmas program- which is happening next week. My students in grades Kindergarten, First, and Second Grade are performing "The Nutcracker." It will be a very fun evening.

Grabbing lunch with the other music teachers at a local pizza place in Pittsburgh: November, 2011

Sam also began a new job this fall. He is now working for Red Door Homes as estimator and purchaser. Prior to this job, Sam was the building official in Lincoln, ND. This new job is a great fit for him, and has a lot shorter commute, as it is right up the street, instead of a 17 mile trip down the highway. He loves his new job. In addition to work, Sam enjoys playing softball in the summer, basketball in the evenings, and playing on a volleyball team throughout the year. He also leads a Bible study on Thursday evenings that we host in our home. We love seeing our friends once a week and studying God's Word together. It has become a very special time each week. Also, this week is the first week Sam will begin teaching Sunday school to the preschoolers in our church! I think it will be a fun and good experience for him.

Sam's softball team took 3rd place in the Rug Rat Tournament this summer

We have also continued to make improvements around our house, as we did landscaping, updates to our house exterior, as well as build a garage this summer. Sam definitely kept busy. The garage is finished now, and we are so excited to have a place to park our cars this winter. Next summer, our plans are to finish up the some landscaping and most of our goals for our home renovation will be complete.

Hard at work, and happy too!

Sam working diligently on the garage, framing.

Making progress! It's starting to look like a garage!!!

The garage is complete! Hooray! (Still primed gray. Will paint to match the house next summer.)

New railing on the front porch, and a flower box that Sam made.

How much is that puppy in the window? The flower box Sam made me when I was in Washington D.C! Fun to come home to this surprise! He did a wonderful job!

Some of the landscaping and exterior work we have done

Side rock garden

We are also looking forward to this summer, as my brother Jeff is getting married to Kaylie. We are so excited for these two. They are perfect for each other. We are looking forward to a lovely summer wedding!

One of Jeff and Kaylie's engagement photos, photographed by Kaitlyn Cornell

The holidays will be a little different for us this year, as we will not be around snow. We are going to be on a cruise to Mexico with my family! We haven't been on a vacation with my family since 2004, so this is very exciting. We are looking forward to relaxing and spending some time together as a family, and getting some sun too!

And as the Christmas holiday approaches, may you remember the true reason for the season:

"For to us a child is born, to us a son is given, and the government will be on his shoulders. And he will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace." Isaiah 9:6

Blessings to you all! Have a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!

Sam and Lindsay Gietzen

At Sam's cousin's wedding: July, 2011

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

A Wedding Day

Sam and I attended his cousin Erica's wedding a couple weeks ago. We were honored to sing at the ceremony. Below are some pictures from the wedding.
Sam and our nephew, Hayden.
Sam and Hayden.
Our new little niece, Hadley.
Hadley's mama, Rachel and me.
Sam and me.
Congrats to the happy couple!