Five on Friday | Silver Linings

First things first, here’s an update on Kennedy: Yesterday, we went to see the pediatric dentist and guess what? That poor girl did indeed have a mouth full of ties. She had an upper lip tie, buckle ties on the top (or a tie on each side of where her eye teeth would be), a bottom lip tie and a front tongue tie. In the words of the dentist, “I have no idea how you have managed this for nearly 3 months.” Clearly, he didn’t notice the black bags under my eyes and the Venti Triple Shot Caramel Macchiato in my hand, but that’s besides the point.

He laser cut the ties right there in his office. I cried harder than Kennedy did as I watched them hold her down and laser the webbing out of her mouth, but I kept telling myself it was for her own good. It was definitely one of those moments that as a mother, your instinct is to say, “NO! You can’t inflict more pain on my baby,” but you have to make the tough decision to allow it because you know in the long run it’s worth it.

The procedure lasted less than 10 minutes and immediately after they asked me to nurse Kennedy. She latched on like a champion and ate for a solid 15 minutes. Prior to all of this, I didn’t think I had pain while breastfeeding, but after they cut the ties yesterday and she latched, I felt a difference immediately.

We still have 5-6 weeks of mouth stretches & exercises and 2 follow-up visits, but already I’m seeing a difference. For example, last night she nursed to sleep for the first time in her life! And while playing on the floor with her brother, she was cooing, babbling and smiling. Just look at this cute, non-screaming face:


And as Murphy’s Law would have it, as soon as I started to feel like I’m finally seeing the light at this very dark tunnel, Maverick ended the evening yesterday with a 100.6 fever. I, too, am not feeling 100% so I pulled out my Neti Pot last night and lathered up in some Vicks in hopes of keeping germs at bay.

With all this stress, it’s easy to get caught up in the negative. So here are 5 silver linings that I’m focusing on right now:

{one} Last weekend, my sister moved back to Kansas City from Orlando!! I am SO excited to have her closer and that was only made better when she offered to babysit Maverick while I took Kennedy to the dentist. That was literally the BEST thing to happen. Not only could I focus 110 percent on my baby girl, but Maverick got to spend a Thursday morning with his Aunt Haggie and boy did he have fun!


Eating cookies in his diaper


Under Aunt Haggie’s bed so he could play with her cat

{two} Motherhood can be so isolating and when something is wrong with your kid, that feeling is multiplied by 100,000. Yesterday, I received several text messages from friends and family wishing Kennedy well and telling me that I was a good mom. That last part–the good mom part–was the one that got me through the day. I didn’t know if I was making the right decision to have her ties cut, and quite frankly, I may not know for a while if I made the right call, but having a cheering squad of people I admire tell me I’m doing a good job was everything.

{three} During all of this, Shawn has been in Portland. Not only is he not here, but the 2 hour time difference is near impossible when constant communication needs to be had. Luckily, he comes home today and I think we are all looking forward to a infamous Shawn Brack hug!

{four} In case you forgot, it’s Easter weekend and I have done nothing. The kids don’t have outfits. We have no plans. I have half of Maverick’s Easter basket ready and flat out gave up on Kennedy’s (she’s 2 months old, she’ll never know!!) and dying eggs is laughable at this point. But you know what? It’s okay because we’ll be together as a family. And that’s what I’m going to keep telling myself when my Facebook feed blows up with everyone’s perfect pictures.

{five} It’s been on the calendar for 2 months now, but Shawn & I are supposed to celebrate our first wedding anniversary on Saturday. We had big plans to go to a fancy restaurant and spend a night out on the town, but after this week, I think we are scrapping those plans and sticking with what we know–comfort food & cold beer. It won’t be fancy and we’ll be home right after we eat to take care of our sick kiddos, but I’m looking forward to enjoying a hot meal without having to bounce a baby on my knee.

Happy Friday everyone and Happy Easter!

Trusting My Gut

So remember when I said that Kennedy has been nothing short of a nightmare? We tried the acid reflux medicine and it did help…until it didn’t anymore. The last couple of weeks Kennedy has reverted back to being an absolute disaster and I am seriously at my wit’s end.

I can handle a crying baby. I get that babies cry. This isn’t my first rodeo here. But what she does is so much more than just crying. It’s an ear-piercing scream. She screams so hard and so loud that she literally turns red. Her whole body tenses up and her little fists are clenched so tight her knuckles turn white. She’s impossible to calm down and when she does stop screaming, it’s usually because she has screamed herself to sleep. After an hour, she’s up again, screaming.

It’s painful to listen to, it’s painful to watch and it’s draining me of what little sanity I have left. Not to mention, breastfeeding has become a battle all its own. I breastfed Maverick for a year, no problems, and felt confident I knew how to do it with Kennedy too. But every single feeding, I have to fight her to eat. She’ll latch on, but within minutes of starting to nurse, she unlatches, arches away from me and starts to scream. This goes on throughout the entire feeding and it’s exhausting.

I’ve been debating whether or not I should just give up and wean her, but my intuition has been yelling at me that something bigger is going on here. So yesterday after some soul-searching (i.e, having a complete breakdown and a good cry), I listened to my gut and called a pediatric chiropractor. I don’t know why, considering I have never been to a chiropractor myself, but something told me this is what needed to happen and luckily, I had a referral from fellow blogger friend.

The chiropractor got me in for a same day appointment (thank you Jesus!) and within minutes of talking to her and describing what was happening, she asked if she could watch Kennedy nurse. I whipped my boob out without hesitation, desperate for someone else–especially another nursing mom–to witness this nightmare. And without fail, Kennedy latched, suckled, unlatched and the screaming battle began.

The chiropractor recommended a pediatric dentist to access Kennedy for a lip & tongue tie. I left her office feeling very unsure of the whole thing, so I called my Lactation Consultant. Now, why I didn’t call them before all of this is besides me. Let’s chalk it up to exhaustion, okay? Anyways, I had to leave a message, but by the time I got home my gut was once again yelling to just call the dentist.

So I did and guess what? They suddenly had an opening for today, so I took it, and within minutes of getting off the phone with them, my Lactation Consultant called me back and confirmed that yes, it sounds like we are dealing with a lip & tongue tie.

But my intuition wasn’t done yelling at me yet. I wasn’t comfortable with the idea of clipping the tie, but I had this nagging feeling that I needed to ask fellow moms and what better way to do that than Facebook? So I posted a status and guess what, moms that I know had AMAZING things to say about the same dentist I was referred to and the procedure in general.

In less than 24 hours, I had seen a pediatric chiropractor, spoke with Lactation, made a next-day appointment with one of the most respected pediatric dentists in the Kansas City area and got confirmation from fellow mothers that this is the right move. And you know what, my intuition that had been screaming at me all day suddenly quieted.

I’ve been a wreck for the last 2 months. I am beyond exhausted. I am cried out. I have spent endless days trying every trick in the book to calm my daughter. I am literally at my wit’s end with nothing left to give, yet today I feel more at peace than I have since we welcomed Kennedy into this world and I truly believe it’s because I trusted my gut.

We’ll see what happens today at the dentist, but if I listen to my intuition, I think this is it. I think this is the answer to my prayers. Wish us luck!


Happy Friday!

It’s Friday and it’s almost April…what the heck?! I have no idea where March went but I do know I’m pretty excited for this next month. April is my favorite month because everything starts blooming, the weather is usually nice (I say usually because Missouri weather is bipolar) and it’s also our anniversary month.

That said, I’ve been trying to find Shawn a gift to celebrate our first wedding anniversary, but I’ve only been really good at finding stuff I want to buy for myself. Isn’t that how it always works? So here are my top 5 favorite items that are currently hanging out in my virtual shopping carts.

{one} With 2 young kids that hate sleep, my time to actually shower and get ready for the day has dwindled to absolutely no time at all. Luckily, I can get by without washing my hair every day, but come day 4 or 5, it’s looking pretty bad, so I’ve been on the hunt for the perfect hat. One that I can wear with anything, but still look cute-ish (because can you really look cute with 5 day old hair?). I’m currently loving this 1KC “No Name” hat in black. It’s simple, has the vintage look I love and the company’s mission is pretty awesome.



{two} When I was working, I mostly wore pants (and occasionally a skirt or dress) during the spring and summer months. Now that I’m staying at home, neither of those are really suitable for chasing around kiddos all day, so I need to update my wardrobe. Since I’m still adjusting to this lovely postpartum body of mine, I’m not ready to rock shorts just yet, but I know I need something other than my go-to yoga pants. I think I like these straight leg crops from Loft. I don’t have anything like them in my closet currently and they are the Curvy Skinny fit, which are my favorite because they aren’t too tight in my hips or thighs, but still have the skinny jean look, so I know I’ll be comfortable in them.



{three} I love shopping local businesses and right now one of my absolute favorites is Nickel & Suede. I got my first set of earrings for Christmas (thanks Mom!) and they are seriously the best things ever. If you haven’t tried them, you need to! This week they launched the Select Blue leather earrings and I need them in my life. I mean, hello Royals baseball is starting soon and if you know my family, you know the Brack boys live and breathe Royals baseball.



{four} The number one thing I hate most about breastfeeding is constantly having to think about what top I’m going to wear. How easily can I nurse in this? Can I wear a nursing bra or tank under this? How much will show if I’m in public and my baby gets hungry? Ninety percent of the time I just end up in a t-shirt because it’s easy, but it’s not helping me feeling cute and new moms need to feel cute. I stumbled across Latched Mama recently and I’m in love with their clothes. I haven’t tried any of them yet, but I think I’m going to order this lightweight hoodie in grey.

Latched Mama

lightweight hoodie

{five} Because what mother doesn’t need this coffee mug? It’s simply perfect.



Kennedy | Months 1 & 2

I have been putting off writing about Kennedy’s first month of life because it wasn’t a pretty journey. In fact, her first 4 weeks were probably some of the most challenging weeks I’ve had…ever, but then I remembered that the purpose of this blog is to always deliver the good (and the bad) of motherhood, so here’s a recap of her first month and an update as we move into month two!

One Month Old

9 lbs. 1 oz.

If a picture is worth a thousand words, this picture sums up everything that was Kennedy’s first month on Earth. She cried…and cried…and cried. In fact, in the words of my mother, “That baby cries more than any other baby I’ve ever known.”

It didn’t matter if she was being walked, rocked, swung, sung to, hummed to, bounced, patted, fed, burped or any other newborn calming technique, she just cried. She cried so much that eventually I just started crying right alongside her. I was miserable, so in an act of pure desperation I called the pediatrician.

At almost 4 weeks old, Kennedy weighed in at 9 lbs. and 1 oz., which means she gained 4 lbs. in 4 weeks. Clearly, eating wasn’t her problem. The pediatrician looked her over and while it sounds crazy, I was hoping that she’d find something to explain the nightmare I’d been living, but everything checked out fine. Best guess? Acid reflux. So we were sent home with a Zantac prescription and the ever-encouraging words of “It’s just a phrase.”

On top of this screaming “phrase,” Maverick decided that he didn’t need to sleep anymore. I am sure it was his way of regressing, but he just stopped sleeping. He stopped going to bed like he had been…for the last 2 years of his life…and he started waking up almost hourly–screaming for someone to come into his room. Literally, for 4 weeks, nobody was sleeping and everyone was screaming in our household. To really add to the fun, Shawn had started to travel again so I was left all alone to handle the non-stop screaming on a maximum of 3 hours of sleep a night.

I’m not really sure how we survived, to be honest, but by the grace of God (and lots of coffee), the dark clouds started to part and a teeny tiny bit of sunshine started to peek through. The acid reflux medicine was actually working! Kennedy’s screaming started to decrease and she started sleeping some in the day (even if it was only when being held, but hey, beggars can’t be choosers). And that brings us to now…

Two Months Old

10 lbs. 6 oz.

Yesterday, Kennedy turned 2 months old and I’m happy to report that the crying is drastically better!!  We’ve gone from all day screaming to only screaming in the evenings, which is usually combatted with her pacifier and wearing her in the Baby K’Tan, both of which she LOVES. While she still prefers to nap on someone, she’s sleeping 5-6 hour stretches at night in her bassinet in our room. Her brother, however, still isn’t sleeping, but that’s a different story for another day.

Kennedy is starting to track things with her eyes and turn her head towards her favorite voices (AKA her daddy). In fact, Shawn got her first smile. He was talking to Kennedy after changing her diaper and sure enough, she flashed him the biggest, toothless smile she could and I think he absolutely melted inside. I’ve gotten a few smiles, but nothing like Shawn gets. When he enters the room, she immediately turns towards his voice and as soon as he comes into focus, she’s smiling, waiting to be spoiled by her daddy.

Within the last week, she’s started to coo and make different noises. Her favorite is when she is in her swing and she sees the monkeys on the mobile above her. She loves to talk to them and kick her legs in excitement.

Kennedy is also taking quite an interest in her big brother. She watches everything he does and Maverick, of course, is happy to show off for her. In fact, he’s starting to take to her too. He likes to help me burp her and he’s been really good about fetching burp clothes, diapers and pacifiers for me when I need them. Occasionally, I will find that he has placed a blanket over her face in an attempt to cover her up, but I keep telling myself it’s an accident and he isn’t actually trying to suffocate her. I think the best part is when she does cry and Maverick asks me, “Baby okay?” Or when we get ready to leave the house and he asks, “Baby?” as if we’re going to leave without her.

Sibling Shirts

At Kennedy’s 2-month checkup, she weighed in at 10 lbs. 6 oz. and got her first round of vaccines. Maverick even held her hand while she got the shots and Kennedy spent most of the day sleeping following her appointment.

She’s still continuing the acid reflux medicine, but I’m hoping she can get off it within the next couple of weeks. We are also transitioning her from the bassinet to her crib. She’s been waking up more in the early morning hours and I think it’s because she’s starting to kick and hit the sides of the bassinet. We’ll see how it goes, but I’m worried that her crying will wake Maverick up since their rooms are right next to each other and the last thing I need is for him to get even less sleep than he already is.

I did do a quick comparison of Maverick at 2 months and Kennedy now and while Maverick was a little bit larger than she is, it’s obvious that they are related. And could they be any cuter?

Finally Friday

Thank goodness it’s finally Friday! It has been a LONG week–so much crying, so many tantrums and not ever enough sleep. Luckily, we’ve survived the first month of Kennedy’s life (update coming soon–I promise!) and I hope we can start settling into more of a routine. In the meantime, my focus is going to be reigning in Maverick. My once sweet, perfect little boy has turned into a full-on nightmare! I know it’s a) part of being 2 years old and b) his way of coping with his new sister, but it’s starting to get out of control. I mean, just yesterday, he kicked Kennedy and bit my mom all within a few hours of each other. NOT OKAY!

But anyways, let’s get to it, shall we?

{one} This weekend I will be stepping away from the children for the first time in a month and enjoying a relaxing afternoon with one of my good friends from college. The agenda includes a sushi lunch date, manicures and a lot of gossip. I don’t know what I am more excited for–seeing my friend, eating raw fish or just not having to wipe anybody else’s ass for a few hours. Good luck Shawn!

{two} When I was pregnant with Maverick, my sister gave me this stuffed giraffe for him. I put it in his nursery and it sat on a shelf for well over a year. One day Maverick just grabbed the giraffe and ever since then it has become his lovie. In fact, he loves all giraffes so much now that he has 3 Gigis (as he calls him) that he takes just about everywhere. The other morning he was lugging them around the house, singing “Gigi, Gigi, Gigi” and I just so happened to snap this quick picture. Isn’t he adorable when he isn’t terrorize everything and everyone?


{three} For Christmas, my mom got me these sweatpants. I was super excited simply because of the Mom Life brand, but also I have seen them all over my Instagram feed. They claimed to be the most comfortable sweats ever and let me tell you, they so are!! I probably wear these more than I should and for several days in a row, if I’m being honest, but I can’t get over how much I love them! And when I was checking out the website, they now have a lighter gray color too.


Ezra & Eli

Is it bad I want those too? Oh and can I add a few of their adorable shirts to my wish list while I am at?


{four} I realized yesterday that in 1 month, Shawn and I will be celebrating our first wedding anniversary!! It’s super exciting, even though we feel as though we’ve been married for so much longer. We know we want to do something special for it and it will probably be the first time since Kennedy that we will be going out, just the two of us. Any recommendations on what we should or where we should go within Kansas City? Typically, our date nights are spent at Buffalo Wild Wings (classy, I know) so I’d like to step it up a little bit.

{five} Remember when I said that Maverick has been a nightmare? Here’s a picture I sent to my mom earlier this week of him in one of his many timeouts. Dear Lord, please help me get through another week. It’s going to be a rough one as Shawn leaves for his first trip since January!


Happy Friday guys!!

Newborn Pictures with Missy Moore Photography & Film

I’ve said it before, but I LOVE getting family pictures taken. My home is filled with them from the major events that have taken place in my family over the past three years–my first pregnancy, Maverick’s birth & our wedding–as well as our annual family pictures.

When I knew we’d be welcoming Miss Kennedy into our family, I immediately reached out to my friend, Missy Moore of Missy Moore Photography & Film. For the last couple of years she has done a phenomenal job on our annual family pictures and I couldn’t think of anybody better to capture Kennedy’s first days in the world.

Before Missy arrived that morning, our family was in pure chaos mood. Shawn & I had been up most of the night with Kennedy. Maverick was refusing to eat breakfast. Kennedy was too sleepy to nurse and like most moms 8-days postpartum, I felt unattractive and uncomfortable in my own skin. Not to mention, Missy was coming to our home and my cleaning to-do list that included mopping the floors and dusting hadn’t even been started. To say I was stressed out is an understatement.

But when Missy showed up, none of that mattered anymore. When I told her that our session might include a toddler tantrum and a hungry newborn, she just smiled and said, “That’s totally okay, we’ll make it work.” And make it work she did because these pictures are beyond beautiful!

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When it was all said and done, my children were perfectly behaved. Kennedy was so alert & happy and Maverick only requested his snack favorite–fruit snacks–at the end of the session. And you know what? The messy kitchen & the dirty floors made the pictures that much more beautiful because 9 times out of 10 that’s how our home looks. These pictures are ones I will cherish for a lifetime–my family, in our home, just being ourselves.

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Here’s the massive photo dump because there is no way I could pick just a few favorites to share:

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My heart just melts when I see the way Maverick looks at Kennedy.

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And I’m loving these pictures of me and my baby girl.

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Of course, I have to have one of my silly boys.

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Like all little girls, Kennedy, adores her daddy and if I have to guess, I think her daddy is just smitten with her too.

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Okay, just a few more favorites.

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Thank you so much Missy! If anybody needs pictures, seriously check her out at Missy Moore Photography & Film. I promise you won’t be disappointed!

Kennedy’s Birth Story

I know, I know…it’s been FOREVER since I last posted. In all fairness though, I was growing a small human inside of me and then I brought that small human into this world and well, she’s a little high maintenance so I’ve been busy, okay?

Speaking of that tiny human–I wanted to be sure to document how our baby girl, Kennedy Joy, entered this world. I know the details will start to fade as time passes and I don’t want to forget any of it. Plus, everyone likes a birth story, right? (Or maybe it’s just me?)

img_4530Kennedy Joy Brack, born January 28, 2017 at 10:56 AM
5 lbs. 15 ounces & 18 inches long

My due date was February 1, 2017 but I had a feeling Kennedy might come early. I was induced 4 days early with Maverick and I had hoped to avoid a medical induction this time around. However, the days leading up to Kennedy’s birth, I was flat out miserable. I was having contractions all the time, but they weren’t consistent and I wasn’t making any progress in terms of dilation. I was also just uncomfortable–my back, my hips, everything just hurt. Despite previously telling my doctor that I wanted to avoid a medical induction, I was seriously considering one now because I was so over being pregnant.

The Friday before Kennedy was born (January 27) I had my 39-week appointment. My sister, Maggie, just so happened to be in town for the weekend and offered to go to my appointment with me, just in case the doctor did decide to induce me.

At the appointment, I was still only 2 centimeters dilated and about 60 percent effaced. I brought up how miserable I was feeling and inquired about induction. The doctor said it was unlikely she could get me admitted since it was the weekend, but she was willing to sweep my membranes in hopes of jumpstarting labor. I agreed to give a try and boy, was I glad my sister was there to hold my hand! It was quick, but it was definitely painful. The doctor told me to expect spotting, cramping and more contractions as the day went on. She said it was likely I would go into labor within the next 24 hours.

After hearing that, my expectations were high and I was willing to do anything to help speed the process along. So Mags and I headed to Target to walk the aisles. Because who doesn’t need an excuse to spend a good couple of hours shopping the home decor section?!

By that evening, nothing had happened! No spotting, no cramping, no contractions. I was so disappointed because I really had my heart set on having a baby that day. When Shawn got home from work, I was in a horrible mood. I was just disappointed, but despite my sour attitude, we headed to a Kansas City Mom’s Blog event at We Rock the Spectrum–Kansas City.

Several hours later of running and playing with Maverick, we got home and still nothing!! Shawn went to bed and I wallowed in self-pity and disappointment on the couch while binge-watching Grey’s Anatomy on Netflix. Around midnight, I went to bed accepting the fact that Kennedy was just going to come on her own time and unfortunately for me, that time wasn’t now.

Or so I thought because at 1:45 AM I woke up with contractions. I was hopeful, but since I had been having contractions for a few days now, I didn’t want to get too excited. I told myself that if by 2:30 AM I was still having contractions, I would wake Shawn up and call the hospital.

2:30 AM came and my contractions were officially 3 minutes apart. I woke Shawn up and told him it would probably be a good time to get ready to go the hospital. I was shocked with how calm we both were. He just got up and started getting ready, while I gathered a few things. There was no rushing around or panic.

After talking to the hospital, I called my mom to have her come watch Maverick. It was almost 3 AM at this point and you would have thought my mom had a sense this baby was coming. She answered on the first ring and was at our house in less than 15 minutes!

By 3:30 AM, Shawn & I were pulling into the parking lot of St. Luke’s Hospital Kansas City. The ride there was a little rough, as my contractions were definitely getting stronger, but still averaging 3 minutes apart. As we pulled into the parking lot, I looked at Shawn and said, “Damn it, we should have gotten something to eat first!” I knew if this was the real deal, once I was admitted I wouldn’t be able to eat until after she was born and I did not want to get hangry. Shawn did offer to turn around and get something before we checked in, but I didn’t want to push our luck.

After some time in triage to make sure the contractions were the real deal, we were officially admitted to Labor & Delivery. It was early morning on Saturday, January 28, but I am not sure what time it was because at this point I was in a lot of pain and I just wanted my epidural. Once we got settled in our room, my doctor came to break my water, but before she started she asked me if I was okay. I told her I was really nervous that once she broke my water, my labor would progress quickly and there wouldn’t be time for me to get that precious epidural. I was shocked when she asked if it would make me more comfortable if I got my epidural first? I quickly agreed and she paged anesthesia.

Let me tell you, getting that epidural before she broke my water was the smartest thing I could have ever done. After she broke my water, I was numb and comfortable. I told Shawn that we should both try to sleep as it might be a while now.

An hour and a half later, I woke up feeling some discomfort. Not pressure or the need to push, just uncomfortable. I paged my nurse. She went to check me, assuring me that it was probably nothing. Then I watched as her face completely changed. She looked at me and said, “Whatever you do, do NOT push. The baby is crowning.”

Suddenly it was a blur. I was trying to wake Shawn up. Nurses were running in and out to get the room ready for a delivery and I could hear my doctor being paged throughout the hospital. It all happened so fast and within 2 pushes, I had my beautiful daughter in my arms.


Kennedy enjoying some skin-to-skin with Daddy shortly after making her world debut.

Kennedy’s birth was perfect. I felt at peace the entire time. I wasn’t worried about the what-ifs or the unknown. I just knew that everything was going to be okay. Due to Kennedy’s smaller size (5 lbs. 15 oz.) we got to spend the first couple hours after her birth doing skin-to-skin. Her body temperature wasn’t warm enough and her tiny size was making it hard for her to get and stay warm. While our nurse seemed a little concerned and continued to pile on the heated blankets, Shawn & I soaked up every minute of the new baby snuggles. It was one of the few times where it was just the 3 of us and I loved it.

Later that day, my mom, Wayne (my stepfather), Maggie and Maverick came up to the hospital to meet the newest Brack. I was nervous about how Maverick would handle it, but like always he surprised me. He came running into the room, pointing at Kennedy and saying, “Baby! Baby!” I think my heart exploded into a million pieces when he asked to hold her and I witnessed my first-born love on his new baby sister.





Over the last several weeks, we have slowly settled into a new family of 4. We’ve definitely had some hiccups and I don’t feel like we are anywhere close to a routine or functioning schedule, but we are getting there. For now though, we are just enjoying getting to know our newest family member and loving on her sweetness.


Welcome to the family, Kennedy. We love you!