Longing for Closeness

He may look a lot like his daddy, but Jude’s definitely a mama’s boy. Always longing for me.. reaching for me over shoulders, across the table, and now he even scoots to me.

It reminds me of how my relationship could be with Jesus…me longing at all times to be closer to Him, to be near to Him, to get more time with Him, read more of His Word, talk with Him more…
I think that the key to getting that longing deep down for more of Him starts with tastes here and there, learning and seeing and remembering His good good character. I think I’ll dive into His word now..

Jude Solomon | Birth Story

Preface: this has a lot of details that I never want to forget. I won’t feel bad if you skim it or just look at the pictures.

When I was 19 weeks along with Jude, we found out that I had placenta previa. My grad school self went into research mode and I found a study in a peer-reviewed journal that figured that ~80% of cases of previa resolve themselves before delivery. But weeks and weeks went by, and my complete previa hadn’t resolved. Therefore, the best way to have a safe delivery was by cesarean. I was able to make it to my scheduled delivery date without complications (thank you, God!).

I woke up super early feeling so giddy. It was finally the day I was going to meet my second baby. We didn’t find out gender, so it was also the day we would find out whether Brooks would have a sister or a brother.

Since we didn’t have to be at the hospital until 10am, we went for a beautiful walk to enjoy our last few hours with Brooks as an only child.

Once we got checked in to the hospital, I almost immediately turned on the playlist I made for the day. I chose my most favorite relaxing worship music to keep me calm and focused on my (and Jude’s) Creator and Lord.

One of our nurses said, “I’m guessing your having a girl” and we told her that that was our guess (and nearly everyone else’s) as well! We also found out that my midwife Karen, who was supposed to assist, was with her daughter who was in labor. So then a general surgeon, who does annual mission work in Haiti and often gets asked to do cesarean while he is there, assisted so he would feel more comfortable doing them.

Philip got into his scrubs, and it was go time. This man held my hand the entire surgery and anytime I got worried (painful spinal, weird feelings, odd pressure), we locked eyes and I focused back on my praise music and the One who is our peace.

Just 20ish minutes later, I felt pressure on my chest and then the relief of Jude’s delivery. It was the oddest thing. Then Philip said, “It’s a BOYYYYY.” And we were both so shocked and instantly my eyes were full of happy tears.

Someone (maybe Dr. Sandmeier, my OB) said “Hi mom” and showed me Jude’s tiny wrinkled face right after he was born before they took him to the warmer. I wish I had a picture of his face over the drape because I don’t ever want to forget the details. I’ve been trying to engrave it in my brain.

The hospital I delivered at has a camera on the warmer and a video screen, so I was able to watch our baby being checked over. After a little while, Philip said look over here and look at his feet. And I looked over. And I saw those tiny feet. Kicking and straining like only a healthy, strong baby could do. And then all of the worries of the previous 20 weeks dissolved away.

After what felt like ages, but was actually about 10-15 minutes, they brought my sweet baby over and laid him on me. Because I wasn’t expecting a boy and this boy looked sooo different than Brooks, I kept asking Philip, “Who is he? What’s his name?”. We spent the next three hours trying to land on a name.

When my parents brought Brooks up to the hospital, Philip met them in the waiting room and brought Brooks in so he would be the first to meet his baby brother. He was so in love. And so excited. And so sweet. (Still is.)

It was also then that we decided on Jude Solomon. Jude means “praise” and Solomon means “peace” and it was just so fitting. Because during the pregnancy and delivery, whenever I would remember to praise Jesus, I would feel more at peace. And the verse (Philippians 4:6-7) I had so often meditated on in the past year reflected that truth as well.

After Brooks met Jude, Brooks introduced everyone to his baby and revealed the gender and name. I thought it was so special that Brooks could do the reveal to all of our family.

The next day, my midwife Karen came in and said “that’s a Sandmeier” when looking at my incision like an art enthusiast would say “that’s a Picasso”. I guess I’ve got a nice-looking incision…?

Also the next day, Brooks brought one of his favorite books (Groovy Joe: Ice Cream & Dinosaurs) and recited it to Jude. So stinking cute. He melts my heart.


Then the hospital photographer came in and snagged these!

A Lumberjack Halloween 

Philip and I are really trying to be thrifty lately, so when October came around I decided to challenge myself to a no-cost Halloween costume for our entire family! I’m a plaid lover, so when I saw ideas for a lumberjack costume, I knew I had hit the jackpot.

We each already have a flannel and jeans so we just needed some suspenders and beards. Philip already had a pair of suspenders from a wedding he was in (thank you K+A!) and my mother-in-law had some extras lying around! Luckily we could make an adult size super duper small to fit Brooks.

I saw some ideas on Pinterest for making a beard for Brooks & I but figured he would just rip it off before I even got a picture! And I decided against wearing a beard to be a lumberjill instead! 😂

Brooks hat was a gift and I DIY’d his axe out of a paper towel roll, tinfoil and a piece of cardboard.

And there you have it. A thrifty, last minute costume for us Rohde’s. Don’t mind the pink socks! I didn’t realize my mom was going to make me be in the picture! I changed into boots! 🙈

We all got dressed to go to Boo at the Zoo! Both sets of grandparents came so we had the perfect ratio of six adults to one kiddo! ❤️

What did you dress up as for Halloween? Let me know in the comments!


A Birthday Adventure

My best friend (husband) turns 29 today! We celebrated all day yesterday because LPS was on Fall Break so Philip had the day off! I won’t sap up this post too much, but just know that Philip is a kind, fun, wonderful, gracious, and overall amazing man. Brooks and I are so stinkin’ lucky!

Anyways, yesterday we went for a sunrise walk on the Lincoln trails. We started at about 98th & A and went meandering east on the trail that is surrounded by farmland, trees, and animals. It was so gorgeous and truly peaceful to be amongst nature for a while. Here’s way too many pictures of our fun time! ❤

Comment below about your favorite place to walk/hike!

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I love his little hoodie!


How do I get my hand in my pocket?


He’s trying to to get his hood off
Adjusting the hood


I love this face!
Checking out his shadow..


Best buddies!


You should hear the giggles from this moment!

Goodbye Summer

Philip started back to school this past week and we miss him like crazy. I am so thankful for his school schedule job and that he has summers off to enjoy family time.

Our summer consisted of lazy days and relaxing nights!

Brooks and Daddy sharing an ice cream sandwich.

Bath time is Brooks’ favorite time of the day!

Hurts Donuts!

Horn-T Zoo

Reading books

And silly faces!

Here’s what this week looks like:

Just sitting by the window waiting for dad to come home from work.

Dear Brooks

Here’s the story of the day you were born:

On your due date (June 4), I started feeling signs that you might be on your way! So daddy drove us to the hospital. When mama was in labor, the sky got very dark it started to rain. Soon, a thunderstorm started and there was lightning flashing all over the sky.

After a lot of hard work, I knew you were coming quick and nurse Sara call Dr. Cada to tell her to hurry and get to the hospital.

Finally, the doctor arrived at the hospital. And then mama had the hardest work at all in front of her. Sweet boy, it was all worth it because just a few minutes later, at 12:12 am, you were born! Brooks Allen Rohde,you gave off the loudest scream in the world. The nurse put you on my chest and I fell in love. You were and are the most beautiful thing I have ever seen.

After you and I snuggled for a while, the nurses weighed you, measured you and made sure you were healthy. They gave you an Apgar score of 8/9/9, which is amazing! You are one very healthy newborn! You weighed 8 lbs. 5 oz. and 21 1/2 inches long.


Photo credit for last three: Baby Bella Photography (all others taken by me or Philip)


Our New Year’s Resolutions | 2014

This year I am going to be intentional about living each day to its fullest. I will gain wisdom, peace, faith, fitness, and thus, happiness this year. I will exude joy, love, and patience.

Also, this year my focus word is SIMPLIFY & I’m excited to see how it manifests in my life. My mind is always going in a thousand directions and I want to simplify to one focus, that being Jesus Christ. I’m hoping I can simplify our home and simplify my spending so that we can save & give more. I want to simplify our diets to less processed and more homemade.  Last year my focus word was TRUST and I had a year of trusting God and my husband through not getting accepted to medical schools, transitioning from being engaged to being married, moving across state lines, and many other things that turned 2013 into a roller coaster.


  1. memorize 12 Bible verses + finish reading the Bible
  2. read 12 books
  3. go on 2 vacations
  4. cross 4 things off my Bucket List
  5. cook / bake 24 new foods
  6. go back to school  or start a job I love
  7. be more fit / healthy
  8. stop biting my fingernails
  9. complete 6 projects
  10. save + give more


  1. “I don’t have any.”
  2. “I resolve to just continue to be me.”

…I guess Philip’s already pretty perfect…he doesn’t need a resolution! 😉

Check out our Year in Review & our Christmas Card.

2013 | A Year In Review

This Year’s Highlights

1. Bringing in the New Year with the Rohde family at a cabin in Platte River State Park
2. Making homemade heart-shaped pizza for Valentine’s Day
3. Braving the cold to celebrate Easter in a tent at Fort Kearny
4. Philip’s job offer from Pueblo County School District 70
5. Graduating from Wayne State College on a wintry cold day
6. Watching Virginia marry Nate & become a Huckabee as her bridesmaid
7. Marrying the Love of My Life in a beautiful outdoor ceremony
8. Spending a week in the Bahamas on a honeymoon cruise
9. Moving to Colorado caravan style with my parents
10. Celebrating my 1st birthday as a Rohde
11. Driving 13 hours to see Kayla & Rich tie the knot
12. Finding out that Aaron & Kirsten got engaged via FaceTime
13. Exploring Garden of the Gods
14. Hiking in the mountains near San Isabel Lake
15. Road tripping through Canon City, Buena Vista, Salida, and Rye for Philip’s birthday
16. Hosting some of the Rohde’s at our Pueblo apartment for a fun-filled long weekend
17. Celebrating Thanksgiving at Spring Creek Prairie
18. Meeting Ronan Jacob Powers for the first time
19. Trimming a Christmas tree with my husband
20. Celebrating 3 Christmases & going to UrgentCare on Christmas Eve for some bug
21. Driving to Ponca State Park & playing a bunch of laugh out loud games with the Rohde’s to bring in 2014

Things Annie crossed off her Bucket List
13. Latin dance with a man who can be described as “suave”
53. send a message in a bottle
60. see the largest “something”
65. go on a cruise
69. marry “The One”
71. graduate from college
81. be a bridesmaid
82. stay in a sketchy hotel room

Places We Traveled
1. Cherokee, Iowa
2. Rye, Colorado
3. Salida, Colorado
4. Colorado Springs, CO
5. Pueblo, Colorado
6. Nassau, Bahamas
7. Miami, Florida
8. Great Stirrup Cay, Bahamas
9. Freeport, Grand Bahama Island
10. Mahoney State Park
11. Ponca State Park
12. Spring Creek Prairie