Grady Lane McGowan


Jett Aubrey McGowan

Lilypie First Birthday tickers

December 11, 2008


There's a new craze that's sweepin the McGowan nation. It's unorthodox I know, but still the hottest new thing! Grady, being the trendsetter that he is, has once again reached new heights. Or is it new lows? Yes folks, Grady's the name and toe-sucking is the game. I am truly counfounded by this kid's gumby-like flexibility. I mean, I won a couple of sit and reach contests in elementary school, but that's nothing! When he lays on his back, it's like a contortionist circus act. I'm not sure if it's just general curiosity or the taste, but he loves it. I actually took the liberty to taste his toes and they are pretty good. To him though, they must taste like turkish delights compared to that bland rice cereal slop he's been eating. FYI, I also tried the toe sucking thing myself, but I was unable to raise my foot quite far enough. Although, I was able to get it close enough that the smell quickly quenched my desire to continue. Warning, if you are unable at this juncture to even touch your toes, attempting to taste them could be harmful to your health. Leave the toe sucking to the kids... oh and the thumb sucking too.

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December 3, 2008

we survived...

Grady's first cold! He woke up last week w/ a fever and a horrible cough! I was so afraid that it was an ear infection or worse but the doc said just a nasty cold! We fired up the ol' humidifier and suctioned out the poor kids nose at least a thousand times! And then, of course Mommy caught it! Needless to say, we were thrilled to have Gigi here to take care of us!:-) It was definitely a bummer to be sick over the holiday but we still had a great Thanksgiving! We celebrated w/ Gigi & our dear friends Pete & Jolene at the good ol' Cracker Barrel!

Grady Man feelin' rough but such a trooper!

Me & Gigi

the whole gang!


November 20, 2008

All Things New

The last six weeks have been a whirlwind adventure for the McGowan clan. We have:

-Listed our old house - kind of on a whim

-Sold it - kind of a week later. Praise Ye the Lord and Big Strib our realtor.

-Bought a new house - had only one day to search

-Moved - with lots of help from Nana and some great friends, including Eddie McKinzie (Pastor John's dad) who quipped my favorite quote of the past few months. He would be taking a break and someone would ask him if he was alright. His response was, "Just sittin here waitin on the world to catch up." Nice. I will be using that one.

-Experienced daylight savings time in a whole new light. Fall back used to be a semi-annual highlight. Yeah, it's all fun until your 4 month old thinks it's 6:30, but just kidding... it's really only 5:30. Haha... gotcha... not too funny... but still cute.)

-Been verbally assulted, insulted, battered, etc. by our new neighbor. Vengance is the Lord's..... oh wait, um... No one is beyond His reach...there's pow'r in the blood... yeah that's what I meant!

-I can walk to work in about 8 minutes. Love it! And Jen and Grady can come and visit me at the office.

-Grady finally figured out how to roll back to his tummy! This is a/an historic accomplishment!

-Introduced the little man to cereal, a.k.a. mushy grits, and he is seriously takin to it like a champ! He loves to get a spoon full and wash it down with a little thumb sucking before the next. I am working on a video for that!

-One day Grady gained 5 lbs from the time I left for work to the time I got home. OK that's a tiny stretch. But no joke, sometimes he grows and changes hour by hour.

-Implemented our weekly Family Menu! Seriously saving some cash and loving the time we get to cook together as a family. Daddy grills the meat, Mommy cooks the veggies, Grady's the taste tester, and Riley mops the floor. Like a well oiled machine! (ok, just kidding about the taste tester thing... don't be so uptight... laugh a little... I never knew that babies loved jalapenos)

-We finally had room in our new house to break out the exersaucer. Yes, I totally wish that they had one my size. Envious I am, but so proud of Grady. He's doing so good at holding his head up and grabbing everything in sight.... such a big boy! We love him so much!

That's enough news for now... Even though America's Funniest Home Videos begs us for mercy and threatens to file Chapter 11, 13, 19, and 84 everytime we say it, here is some riveting new footage of our little guy. Just meeting the demands of the public... Sorry Bob Saget and that other guy that's not really funny on the show, Grady Lane is comin at ya live and commercial free! Enjoy!

Sir Laughs-a-lot from AUBREY MCGOWAN on Vimeo.

GradySaucer from AUBREY MCGOWAN on Vimeo.

A Sad Story from AUBREY MCGOWAN on Vimeo.


November 4, 2008

Happy Halloween!

Okay, I'm a bit late posting this but hey, give me a break! We put our house on the market, sold it, spent a week in Minnesota, found a new house, packed up and moved...all in 4 weeks! Stresses me out just typing it!:-)

We took Grady man to the Fall Festival at our church last week! After a long day, he wasn't exactly thrilled about being a zebra!:-)

cutest zebra ever!
My photographer friend, Shannon took this one...

Daddy & his little zebra

Grady & Eme (birthday buddies!)

Shannon also took this one of Grady w/ her son, Christopher & hubby, Jonathan!


October 23, 2008

Pumpkin Patch

We took Grady to a pumpkin patch today & let him pick out a pumpkin!:-) Here are a few pics...


October 11, 2008


The McGowan family just returned to Texas today after a week in Minnesota. We were invited to lead worship for Northwestern College's homecoming week. During the morning chapel services, it was just me, Aubrey, a guitar and 1,800 students singing at the top of their lungs! It was an amazing sound and experience! It was such a beautiful campus w/ trees everywhere turning shades of red & yellow! We also led worship for an alumni candlelit communion service on Friday night in the most gorgeous's actually the #1 wedding site in all of Minnesota! This trip was such a blessing in so many ways! They flew us there...payed for our hotel, rental car, food and for the "gig"! We really only spent a few hours each day on campus and had the rest of the time to relax and check out the Land of 10,000 lakes!:-) Here are a few pics from our adventure...

Grady all bundled up! Goin' out to eat...
First rainbow I've seen in years!
The Mall of America...
Cathedral of Saint Paul
Grady had to take showers w/ Daddy all week! I totally forgot to take a picture of the redneck roll-away crib that Aubrey made towel bumpers was a little crazy to be in one room w/ a baby!The chapel at Northwestern...gorgeous!!!Last but certainly not least...SUE! Our new friend who hung out w/ Grady all week!

October 3, 2008

A Few Of My Favorite Things - Baby Edition #2

In all my years, I have still not accomplished the great feat of reading the Bible through in a year... until now!!!!! No longer is that guilt trip to be lain on my shoulders by greedy read-the-Bible-in-a-year manufacturers and their holy-literacy regimes. In the past month alone, I have read the Bible through more than FOUR times... count it faithful brothers and sisters!!!!!! Back off you Gifters of Guilt... You Deliverers of Dissention... Take That!!! Of course, I have to admit that it probably does not meet the publisher's standards for the specifications of an adequate study Bible. Actually, it has cardboard pages and cool colorful pictures. Oh and it summarizes the whole of Biblical truth, wisdom, and knowledge in less than 20 pages! So, if you are feeling burdened by the guilt placed upon you by the "one year one-ders"... pick up your copy today, of my #2 Favorite Thing - Baby Edition

Little Golden Book Bible!

Happy Guiltless Reading!


September 30, 2008

Gone Country!

One of our favorite country sayins around here is "I tell you what..." It's a common coloquialism at the McGowan household used for everyday things like describing the weather and talking about the price of gas. (i.e. "I tell you what, it's hot out der." or "I tell you what dem gas prices are chewin up my life savins.") The proper way to read/say it is to pause slightly after the phrase before you continue... for a dramaticized effect! Go ahead and try it... you know you want to.

Well, today... I tell you what, that kid of ours is growin like a weed! He's got more appetite than a bunny's got hops. I tell you what, that kid is talkin like he's got somethin to say to the world. I mean he ain't messin around. We been rollin around, squealin, squirmin, kickin, cooin, conversationalizin, sneezin a little, snottin a lot, smilin, and everythin else! Oh... and let's not forget (drumroll pleeezz) SLEEPIN!! I tell you what, that little boy of mine can snooze like a hibernatin grizzly bear in the dark of winter! Yeeehooo!
Ok... enough of the country talk. All that I'm sayin is that our little man is growin and changin every day. He tells us stories and listens attentively to us as we read him the Bible every night. (more about this to come in "Favorite things Baby" post #2) Oh yeah... big points for mommy and daddy.
And finally after much Tom-foolery, here are some pictures and yes, in leiu of the much awaited, debated, and ultimately terminated Bush 700 Billion dollar bail-out plan, here are some new videos for your viewing pleasure! Enjoy and hors d'oeuvres... I mean au revoir... wait.... see y'all later!!! I tell you what!

The man in black!

Shady McShadykins

I told Jen that she was drinking too many Diet Cokes while she was pregnant, but she wouldn't listen! It's not his fault!


Look Who's Talkin' - another language! from AUBREY MCGOWAN on Vimeo.


September 18, 2008

Our little steam-roller & Nashville part 2...

We got back safe & sound from Nashvegas last Thursday night & hit the ground running! We had a jam packed weekend at church, so Grady & I have spent this week resting & getting back into our routine. Grady also learned a new skill this week, which he would much rather practice than sleep! He figured out how to roll over during one of his naps on Monday! It's so cute b/c he has the most startled look on his face every time! The only problem is that he doesn't know how to roll back over, so naps have been a bit challenging this week! We're so proud of our little steam roller!:-)

Our trip home was wonderful w/ LOTS of spoiling involved!(including me b/c when Aubrey's around, he doesn't let me change a diaper!) Grady was dedicated at our home church on Sunday with both of our families in was such a special day! We also took a trip to the ol' college town of Murfreesboro to visit my Aunt Barbara and stopped in to let Grady meet his great grandparents, Grandmother & Pop! He met his friends Emery & Liam for the first time & got to be there to congratulate his Aunt Sasha at her engagement party!!! I could go on & was so neat to introduce our son to folks that have been such a huge part of our lives!

Click on the picture below to see more pictures from our trip home...

The McGowan Boys...

We have a ton of video to upload that we'll post soon!!!


September 15, 2008

A Few Of My Favorite Things - Baby Edition

Before Grady-Man came to this world, I took the opportunity to share with you a few of my favorite things in regard to pregnancy and all things baby. You can view those posts here, here, and here. Having been parents now for going on three months, (I know that's pretty crazy huh?) we have seen some really cool stuff and some really lame stuff mass produced and specifically marketed to sleep deprived gift card toting delirious fresh from the throes of late night feeding parents. It's seriously a racket and every product tells you that it guarantees that, if used according to guidelines, it will have your kid sleeping through the night, talking, eating well, and 100% colic-proofed at 3 weeks of age. This is specifically why babies, baby-making, baby-caring, and baby-spoiling make up a billion $ industry. (don't quote me on the stats)

Ok enough of my rant about the extortion of nuevo parentos and on to a few of the things that have reached "favorite" status in my book because they really deliver.

A Few Of My Favorite Things - Baby Edition

#1 - The Happiest Baby on the Block - DVD

I have to say that I have been a less than avid baby book reader. Ok, so I haven't read a thing since chapter five of "What To Expect When You're Expecting". At least I tried to keep up. But then one day our good friend Ronnie told us about this book that was ingeniously turned into a DVD about methods of soothing your baby. This was around week 3 or 4 when Grady's scream was just getting to that "I think my ears are bleeding" level. We were up like every other normal parent about every three hours feeding and then trying to soothe him and coax him back into a deep sleep. About once every couple of nights though, he decided that sleep, sleeping alone, or sleeping at all did not work into his nightly agenda. Seriously, he would do so good for a few nights and then during one feeding in the middle of the night he would decide to sing out and wake the neighbors with an unconsoleable cry. After calming him down and getting him to sleep, it was about time to feed him again. Haha.
Then, at just the right time, Ronnie drops this DVD in our laps. It's covers "The Five S's", which are techniques for soothing your baby. There are two things that I love about "Happiest Baby": #1 Whattaya know? It delivered! As cheesy and awkward as the author, Dr. Karp, is on the video, we were mesmerized and couldn't wait to experiment on Grady! My favorite is the "shoosh" Oh Yeah! #2 The marketing cronies at the publishing company had a stroke of genius... They put the main content of the book on a DVD! They must've known that the last thing new parents want to, need to, or have time to do is read some crummy old book! No offense to you baby bookworms.

Here's to happy babies and happier parents everywhere!


September 5, 2008

2 month appt. and Grady's Nashville Debut!

From Grady Wk 10 and Nashville Part 1

Grady had his 2 month appt. last Friday. He weighed in at 13 lbs. 9 oz. which puts him in the 90-95th percentile for weight & at 23 inches long, he's in the 70th percentile for his height! I'm so proud of how he's growing! He also received a few vaccinations (a.k.a. shots!!!) which was so pitiful it had me & Aubrey in tears (big shocker, I know)! It's just so heartbreaking b/c he's totally defenseless...just laying there looking up at us like "how could you let her do this to me!?" He had a pretty rough day Friday. He kept doing this horrible screamy whine as if to say "Don't forget what that mean lady did to me this morning!" He ran a fever through Saturday afternoon, which they assured us is totally normal. My sister said it doesn't get any easier when they do understand and you have to strap them down to get a shot!:-)

We arrived safe and sound in Nashville yesterday afternoon and got to introduce Grady to his Uncles Jon and Michael, his Aunt Jaime, and his cousins Trystin and Jace.
He will make his TN debut tonight at a Sip-n-see at Gigi's house! We are so excited for him to meet some of our favorite people! I was super nervous about the plane ride, but he was the perfect little angel all the way through. People treat you so nicely when you travel with a little one. They couldn't keep their eyes off of him and we couldn't blame them.

Here are some more pictures for you guys. Aubrey is still working on a couple videos to post.


August 26, 2008

A day is as 1000 years!!

It's been 11 days since we've updated you on what's happening in Grady-land and we fully understand that this is a sin! 11 days in a newborn's life is like 3 years in yours and mine. The changes are coming so fast. He has begun to sleep for longer and longer intervals at night, his poops are becoming larger and less frequent, he is starting to roll over to his side, and, after he has worked through his last package of size 1 diapers, he will start sporting 2's. By the time we visit the doctor on Friday, Grady-Mac-Truck will probably be 14+ lbs.

In other news, Grady was visited by three special people this past weekend, Nana, Papaw, and Sasha. In adult language, that is my Mom, Curtis my step-dad, and my sister Sonya. Grady and Nana are old buds, but he had not had the opportunity to put his magic spell on Sasha and Papaw! But oh did he pour it on! Curtis is the person that I have to thank for all the neat sayins I have rolling around in my head like, "KD-bar the door (what?)", "You ain't got enough sense to pour piss out of a boot" (I'm just quoting, so don't be offended), and "On it" (pronounced like Ohn-it). Sonya, on the other hand, is the one person that I can trust to someday divulge to Grady the truth about my invisible childhood friend, Tupidy. No, really! This goes without saying, but Grady won them over quickly with his chubby belly and edible cheeks.

I know they will miss him, but we are making the trek to Nashville in a little over a week. They won't have to deal with Grady withdrawals for too long. And, for all of our friends reading this from the comfort of your Tennessee abodes, you will have the chance to see the cutest baby in the world!!! I can hear it in my head like a classic monster truck commercial...

SUNDAY! SUNDAY! SUNDAY! Grady Lane, The Mac will be on the scene... featuring "The Edible Chubby Cheeks", "The Mommy's Nose" and "The Mini-Santa Belly"... Don't miss it!! Bring the whole family!! Kids 12 and under wash your hands!! AT GIGI'S HOUSE!! AND NANA'S HOUSE!! GRADY-MAC!!! NASHVILLE!! DON'T MISS IT!

After a few short months with Photoshop Express online, which looks like a racecar but runs like a dump truck, we have decided to move away from using it. Here is the link to our new photo albums location. You will still be able to see our old albums on photoshop, but henceforth we will post them to the new site.

Videos remain on Vimeo... it's so fresh and so clean clean!! Love it!

Splish'n and a Splash'n w/ Mommy from AUBREY MCGOWAN on Vimeo.

Not the Next Michael Phelps from AUBREY MCGOWAN on Vimeo.

Papaw and the Jumping Bean from AUBREY MCGOWAN on Vimeo.

August 15, 2008

Just Add Water

I'm pretty sure that I looked down the other day and saw Grady grow 3 inches and gain a whole pound right before my eyes. He's kind of like those little pill shaped things you used to beg for at the grocery store that when dropped into water grew into a giant dinosaur-shaped sponge. Man, so cool!! I mean the sponges... oh and of course Grady is cool and B-I-G, notoriously!

Seriously though, he just looked over at me and I was astounded once again at his good looks. I mean he is a chip off the old block for sure! :) Ok, so he looks more like his mommy, but he's definitely got his daddy's toes.... yesssss!!!

Well, Grady man has been doin a lot since we last talked via one-way-blog-conversation (wouldn't have to be one way if you would comment!) I mean, he's starting to make talking sounds instead of sticking solely to grunting. I'm so proud of him, already diversifying his portfolio! I knew he'd be smart! He's also into hitting and grabbing things with his hands and is seriously about to roll over. Jen and I checked on him the other day during a nap and he had turned himself sideways in the crib. He also made the leap or, shall I say, mommy and daddy made the leap and he's been sleeping in his crib all night. We hooked up the monitor, but opted not to attach the supposed-to-bring-peace-of-mind-but-really-keeps-you-awake-worrying-with-every-little-sound movement sensor mat! It was a good decision.

And just when you thought that the Olympics had completely dominated your lives and extra curricular viewing schedule, more pictures and videos of Grady are posted which prove to be more exciting and less monotonous than Michael Phelps gold medal #8!

August 3, 2008

Grady Lane Update!!

Sorry we haven't updated in a while...things have been pretty busy around here! Gigi, Kim & the girls kept me company while Aubrey was away at youth camp. Grady had his one month appt. and was again awarded an A+. He has also been busy with his normal daily activities of sleeping, following people with his eyes, grunting, smiling, filling diapers and, of course, eating. Evidence of his healthy eating habits can be seen all over... in his cheeks, his belly, his legs, and his double chin. In fact, the picture above is Grady's tribute to his Grandaddy and Papaw, who both sport the belly-hanging-over-pants look.

On a more serious note, I know some of you have been praying w/ us for our good friends Justin & Alyson. Aly's water broke last Sunday at 23 weeks. On Wednesday night, little Jonathan became the newest member of heaven's nursery. My heart is broken for them and I can't even wrap my head around why this happened but I'm encouraged by their strength and trust in the Lord. The service on Saturday was so special! Please continue to pray for them as they heal.

Honestly, Grady is such an unexplainable gift and I am so in love w/ this little man! Here are some pictures & videos from the past few weeks...

For Pictures CLICK HERE.

Grady Fresh from AUBREY MCGOWAN on Vimeo.

Grady and Hannah Feeding from AUBREY MCGOWAN on Vimeo.

Grady in a deep sleep from AUBREY MCGOWAN on Vimeo.


July 28, 2008

It's my baby's birthday... and she's beautiful!

I can't tell you how much I love this woman!
She is the most wonderful wife and now she's the most beautiful Mommy too!




July 20, 2008

Grady McGradykins

We can't believe that our little man is almost a month old! He is getting so big and has unofficially gained about three pounds since his birthday. Everytime we wake up... and that's pretty often... it seems like his little cheeks have gotten chubbier and his little belly has rounded out a little more.

In the past week or so, he has finally hit his stride with sleeping and eating. He and mommy are doin so awesome! We've gotten to the point where we are willing to trade a couple of minutes of crying for an hour of walking around in our sub-spacious house to get him to sleep. I even got to play mommy and feed him the other night, by bottle of course! :) He took to it like a champ.
He's earned a couple of nicknames to this point in his life such as:
SweetAngelPreciousBabyBoy (thanks to Nana)

And depending on his mood he is...
Grady McGradykins
Fussy McFussykins
Grunty McGruntykins
Grumpy McGrumpykins
Unused but no less fitting names are...
Sleepy McSleepykins
Chubby McChubbykins
Poopy McPoopykins
Sharty McShartykins

I could keep going if you like... :) I'm sure that he'll have plenty of other names if I know his dad very well!

And, yes, in spite of the declining financial markets and the near collapse of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, consumer demand for pictures and videos of little Grady Mac have spiked to an all time high. So, in response, the controlling partners at babymac08 have decided to release yet even more unseen footage. Enjoy and remember... invest wisely! Coming soon... GradyMac: The college fund!

Here are some CoolGradyPics

And some Cool Grady Vids

Hunger Cues from AUBREY MCGOWAN on Vimeo.

Soothing Techniques from AUBREY MCGOWAN on Vimeo.


July 13, 2008


Ahhh! It's really good to have great family!

We just dropped Aunt Kim off at the airport. Since Grady's birfday and thanks to Nana, Gigi, and Aunt Kim, I don't think we've cooked a meal, mopped a floor, cleaned a bathroom, done more than a couple loads of laundry, or been grocery shopping.

We could really get used to this. Looks like Grady already has!


Love you gals!


July 10, 2008

Grady Lane Update - Week 2

Here we are flying past the 2 week mark. Every Tuesday we sing happy birthday to our little man... I guess that will stop sometime soon, but it's fun for now at least. Well, fun for mommy and daddy... he's probably like, "Allright already... enough with that birthday song... give me some more... Diamond Rio!" :) Yes, Diamond Rio, Josh Turner, and our Slow worship mix are favorites for our daily dancing routine.

We had our second Dr's appointment on Grady's fortnight birthday. His name is Dr. Geutersloh and he's quite opposite from the fast talking lady doctor. He's laid back, kind, and has a name that sounds like a mixture of Goober and cole slaw. So we like him... Dr. Gooberslaw! I can hear Grady calling him that right now. hahaha!!! Grady had, much to our surprise, gained a whole pound since his last appointment and almost 3/4 of an inch! For his efforts, he was awarded 2 A+'s from the doc! Way to go buddy!!! We didn't realize that he was really growing until then! But he and mommy are doing so well with feedings and he is such a poopin and peein machine that it comes as no surprise.

In response to an overwhelming demand, here are more pics and videos for your viewing pleasure!

Here is the link again.


Wake Up from AUBREY MCGOWAN on Vimeo.

Smiles and Kisses from AUBREY MCGOWAN on Vimeo.

Grady Chillin from AUBREY MCGOWAN on Vimeo.


July 2, 2008

Highlights from Week 1

Here is some eye candy from our first week with little man Grady!!!

Click on this link to view our photo albums and save it as a favorite if you want to keep up with what he's doin!

1st Doctor's Appt. from AUBREY MCGOWAN on Vimeo.

Grady Lane Update from AUBREY MCGOWAN on Vimeo.


June 27, 2008

Let me tell you a little story about Grady and Jen (to the tune of The Beverly Hillbillies)

Warning: Yes it's long.... but lay off!! It's a good story... Just read it, but not on your phone like some people I know. :)

It feels like it's been a whirlwind since Tuesday morning. I think that's because it has. Mom and Grady are doing so good and we're enjoying the company of Nana, Gigi, and Aunt Kim. He's poopin and peein like a champ and I am quickly becoming a diaper changing phenom!! If I do say so myself. What I am about to tell you is probably nothing extremely out of the ordinary for many of you who have been through this experience, but I have to say that the labor and delivery process was the most amazing, beautiful, and awe-inspiring thing I have ever experienced and I'm not even the one who had the baby!

About 1:30 on Tuesday morning Jen received a call... it wasn't from Gigi or the Doctor. It was a conference call from Grady and Mrs. U. Teris! She said she got up for her usual late night pit stop en el bano and said something hit her like a freight train. She told me later that if this wasn't a contraction that she didn't want to know what one felt like. So, after about 30 minutes or so and another contraction or two she woke me up from my long nights rest. (I mentioned in an earlier post that we were rebelling against the common advice that we should catch up on rest while we could... true to form, we had gotten to bed about midnight.) After another hour or two of debating whether this was the real thing or not we finally decided that... yes indeed, this was the long awaited day! The realization came in waves and so did the increasingly frequent contractions. I busied myself between by working on a focal point collage that was yet to be finished.

At this point, it was 3:30 (still AM) and we decided to call Gigi and Mama to let them know. By 4AM, we gave them the official word and like Revolutionary Minutemen, with bags packed for a whole week prior, they were on the road to Texas just before 5AM... coffee in tow!

I laid on the floor in Grady's nursery for the next few hours timing the contractions with Jen in the chair breathing and trying to relax. It was so crazy! The best thing was that all that stuff they said in our birthing class was really happening... contractions went from 15 to 10 to 5 minutes apart. Holy Smokes! The worst thing was that my sweet Jen was workin' hard to keep down dinner, water, breakfast... anything. By 0800, everything she possibly had to puke up was gone and the contractions were borderline 4 minutes apart. That's when she looked over at me confidently and said, "It's time!"

At that, bags, car seat, cd player, pillows, snacks (for me), laptop, phones, phone chargers, candles, lotions, little mini fan, one anxious dad, and one about-to-be-unpregnant mommy were in the car and on our way! Riley told us good luck and we left him to take care of the house while we were gone.

We screeched into the hospital with Jen really feelin it. They sent us upstairs and took us straight to our room (thanks to the wonder of pre-registration)! There were three things we had specifically prayed for regarding the L&D (as insiders call it). First, we asked God to help Jen to go into labor naturally without induction... we had our answer. Second, Jen really wanted to "go natural!" as they say. I was ready to do anything I could to help her, but we asked God for a good nurse that would be willing to help us. Third, we asked for Grady to be perfectly healthy in every way.

Within two minutes we met Jill, our L&D nurse. I'm pretty sure that she didn't know how to read Jen because she was casually talking with us until she proceeded the dialation check..... uhhh then she got serious real quick! She turned to us with a look of surprise and said, "Well you're at a seven." Immediately she turned to the nurse in training and began speaking hospital jargon like, "Get me a table and an IV, give me a setup of this and that and get her hooked up to the monitor... stat!" She asked if Jen was planning on going natural and was excited that she was. Come to find out, she had three children naturally herself! This was a huge answer to prayer #2! At that, Jen threw up one last time and was ready to go! I took the opportunity at this time to get all of our creature comforts from the car. Yes, ALL of them! Those people were probably lookin at me like I was crazy... like I was movin in. I'll just say this, the only things we used were the focal point collage, the mini fan, and the tennis balls in the sock for massaging! Genious! I took a should've been quick pitstop at the "Financial Counselor's" office because I guess you have to prepay for these kinds of things. She was slow!! And I was like.. uhhh yeah could you speed up the process because my wife is having a baby right now.... you know that's why we're at the hospital and all. I seriously ran down the hall and through the doors back to our room. I was waiting for a nurse to yell, "No Running in the halls!"

I made it back and it turns out that Jill was truly a miraculous gift. For the next hour and a half, she worked with us so closely and supportively. When it was time for the next dialation check, Jen's water had broken and she had progressed to a 9... It was 10:30AM! We had only been at the hospital for an hour and a half! There were a couple of people that stopped by to visit for Jen to sign some papers. At this point I was in shock. Picture my wife bursting at the seams pregnant filling out paperwork and signing her name between contractions! Not cool! The first lady was the "Financial Counselor" and she was in an out. The second lady seriously almost got punched.... by my wife!! She was the anesthesiologist's nurse and she spoke in a very hard to understand form of english. Not that I have anything against people who speak a very hard to understand form of english, but when your wife is literally within minutes of having a child it's punch-you-in-the-face frustrating! So she seriously proceeds to go through my wife's whole medical history with all her "did you's?" and "have you ever's?". I'm thinkin', "Lady you better lay off," because I can sense Jen's agitation through her labored breathing. Jen cut her eyes toward Jill while the lady was jabbering and said, "Is this really necessary?" Then Jill looked at the lady and said, "OK that's enough, let her sign the papers and be done. She's not getting an epidural anyway!" The lady was so shocked... "You mean you no get epidural... oh... well that good for you and baby... I think that good... you still need fill out paper... oh but that good...thank you good luck." With that, she was gone and we were quickly back in action because she had progressed even further... to a ten!

I don't quite remember how the next few minutes transpired exactly, but there was a fray of activity. Jill called the fast talking lady Dr. and he said he had his running shoes on sittin on go. I was busy massaging, adjusting fan positioning and speeds, and texting Gigi and Nana who were already on the Dallas side of Little Rock with updates. (for those of you that don't know they were makin dang good time... I think they were pretty excited :)

About that time, Jen asked Jill when she would know to start pushing and Jill responded with a "Oh you'll know." Oh and she knew... in about five minutes, she felt it and she was ready. I was lookin at her in awe and amazement. Right before my eyes through the breathing, pain, and grip of her hand I saw so much love, strength, beauty, courage, and sacrifice! I loved her more in that moment and ones to follow than ever before.

The doctor arrived at about 11:15 along with a couple of ladies from the nursery and another nurse. They said that there hadn't been any babies born yet today so they thought they would come and cheer us on! Seriously, it was like we had a whole fan section. They said that natural births were rare in Plano, TX and she was the talk of the L&D wing. Our doctor told us that a natural birth in Plano was an epidural without makeup. He had the whole room laughing except Jen... She was kickin at his head because he was joking around. He told her that she was a "Rockstar" pusher. I'm not sure what that means, but she was kickin butt! Jen kept apologizing that she was so tired and we were all like.... uhhh you woke up to contractions at 1:30AM, threw up everything you had in you, and you are still pushing like a rockstar! It was kind of funny looking back. There was excitement in the air and Jen was showing everybody how it's done! You could sense everybody on the edge of their seats rootin for her! Jill was right there keeping Jen focused while Dr. G was still cuttin up. Jen kept saying, "I'm not sure if there's really a baby in there." We all reassured her that there was and that he was coming soon!

And then whattaya know?.... after about 45 minutes of pushing, our beautiful little boy was born. He took his first breath and we got our first look at our little man! He was perfect in every way! God had answered our prayers!

The next hour and a half was just me, Jen, and Grady with the occasional people coming in and out. What an awesome, unforgettable, and unexplainable (well, I did my best) experience!

After everything calmed down, Jen asked me if I had any snacks left and all I had was a protein bar called a "Builder Bar". It had a picture of a muscle-y guy on the front and I thought, "That is perfect!" I believe now that my beautiful delicate wife is stronger than any body builder! I have so much more love, respect, and healthy fear for her than ever before. Way to go Jen! And Happy Birthday Grady!!


June 25, 2008

Happy Birthday Grady

Now presenting... Grady Lane McGowan!!!

Born: June 24th, 2008 at 11:55 AM

He weighed 7lbs. 11oz.

I can't yet describe to you how it feels. Someday soon I will be able to put it into words, but not today.

Grady in the Hospital from AUBREY MCGOWAN on Vimeo.


June 20, 2008

Grady's Nursery...

Here are the long awaited pictures of Grady's Nursery...