A New Baby Boy and A Video for Branch

It. Has. Been. So. Long.

Did you think I forgot I had a blog?! I didn’t. It was just super hot and I was super pregnant, and then {as you will already know if we are friends on Facebook or Instagram} I went into the eternal labor, and then I had a baby, and now I’m figuring out what life is like with a tiny human I am solely responsible for. {hint: it’s pretty fun.}

BEFORE I went into labor, I had wanted to share a video with you all. We were privileged to share some of Branch’s story, as well as some of our own story, with our church family several weeks ago. The video team came to our house on a super hot day (as can be seen by our glistening faces) with loads of equipment and asked all sorts of deep questions. We talked for HOURS, and our friend Brad edited it all down to these few awesome minutes. We are really proud of the final product and so honored at all of the kind words people have said, and the ways Branch continues to inspire and encourage others.

The video was used as part of what our church called the Onward Campaign, as we are starting a new campus in Encinitas (really close to where we currently live!}. If you haven’t already, please watch it!

The Murdock’s Story – Branch Lionheart from FloodSanDiego on Vimeo.

A couple of weeks after the above video was shown at church, WE HAD A BABY!

He is perfect! I seriously can’t even believe he is here — and we are now toting all sorts of baby things with us wherever we go. His name is River Righteousness Murdock, an intense name I know… did you expect anything less from the couple who chose Branch Lionheart for their firstborn son’s name?

I’ll blog about how we came up with his name sometime soon, but for now I wanted to share with anyone who wasn’t already aware – that yes, baby boy #2 came and is alive and healthy!

RIVER!

Much love to all of you. I’ll try to keep it to less than 3 months between posts next time. ūüôā

~Kristin

Lately : July 2015

Last weekend we celebrated Independence Day on both the 3rd and the 4th. Double celebration!! We had ribs and watched fireworks with some lovely family and friends on the 3rd, then spent all day Saturday at the beach with this fun crew. SUPER fun. It was overcast all day, which April didn’t like one bit, but I happened to love it. What’s better than being at the beach without any sun?!?! San Diego at its finest! ūüôā

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I have had a few ice cream cravings lately. Lucky for me, we had an ice cream social at work to celebrate the holiday weekend. A few days later, Glenn and I stopped by Baskin Robbins and I got a DOUBLE SCOOP. It was my 2nd time IN LIFE getting a double scoop. Glenn was shocked at that fact and promptly informed me that he “has been getting double scoops since he could walk.” Goofball. The double scoop was delicious, but it was a little intense. My body may or may not have had a negative reaction to all that lactose. Oopsie!

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My beloved car, The Camry, hit 250,000 miles. I am pretty sure that in car years this is 250. Does that sound right? So my car is a dinosaur?

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I LOVE my car. We have had some issues in the past, but we’ve worked through all of those and it has only cost a few limb’s worth of $$$¬†to get us to where we are today. I had the interior super-cleaned and Camry and I have made a commitment to stay together for at least another year, if not another 50, 000 miles. It’s going to be the perfect first car to take our baby around in, and I am so grateful to have it! 1999 Camry’s Forever!

 

Finally, HAVE YOU SEEN THESE?! I happened upon them while looking up prenatal yoga DVD’s on Amazon. You have got to be kidding me. There are not cuter shoes in this entire world. I just added them to my order.

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Happy Tuesday, everyone! Hope today brings a little rain, or sun, whatever you so desire. xoxo

Psalm 28:7
“The LORD is my strength and my shield, my heart trusts in Him, and He helps me. My heart leaps for joy, and with my song I praise Him.”

~Kristin

Welcome to July!

I could not be more excited to welcome July.

JUNE. WAS. AWFUL. Good riddance, sixth month of the year of our Lord twenty-fourteen. I am glad to see you gone!

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Patriotism and Chick-fil-A :: two of my favorite July things!

I do not know all that July will hold, but there are some fun things coming. First up, my parents are in town for the month, which is always exciting. My Mom is taking me out for lunch and a shopping date on the 3rd, which I am really looking forward to. What better way to celebrate Branch’s 7 month birthday than with lunch?!

Second, I am looking for a job! Gasp! I know — it’s thrilling! I have a couple of leads and am really hoping to hear sometime at the beginning of the month. Who knows, I could be EMPLOYED in July!!! That would be very exciting!

Third, I have started hiking Torrey Pines somewhat intensely and plan on doing so for the rest of the month. For those familiar with the area, I go up the big hill, down the beach trail *almost* to the beach but not quite, then turn around and go back up the trail and then down the big hill back to my car. When I did this for the first time last week, I wondered if it was a good idea or if I would regret it.  I am loving it! I feel strong and it definitely gives me a good workout.

What will you be doing this July?

~Kristin

Celebrating Baby Murdock :: Gender Reveal Party

As I believe I have mentioned before here on the blog, even in the midst of our grief and sadness, we have chosen to celebrate the life God has given us while Baby Murdock is still alive and well in my belly. Our community of friends and family have been awesome at helping with this — they even offered to throw us a “gender reveal” party a few weeks after the diagnosis. We got to see people we hadn’t seen yet, had a chance to speak about our decision to carry Baby Murdock, and were encouraged BEYOND MEASURE by the kindness and grace of our loved ones.

Screen Shot 2013-09-03 at 11.29.31 AMThe night was honestly one of the highlights of my pregnancy so far, and certainly a highlight of our lives since the diagnosis. We are, and have always been, people people. We LOVE our friends and family and get so much from being around them. Seeing everyone that came out to support and celebrate Baby Murdock’s life with us was overwhelming. Every detail was perfectly orchestrated by a group of ladies who are excellent party planners: Sheri, Julie, Kimberly, and Mara. We didn’t have to think about anything at all, we were just told to show up and be ready to celebrate. It was marvelous. ¬†Toward the end of the evening, our friend April, who is also pregnant and due only a couple of weeks before me, presented us with a surprise from the group: gift certificates for three ultrasounds to spend more time with and get to see Baby Murdock in the womb, and the Baby Murdock Fund, which I have linked here before, to help with upcoming expenses. We were honestly BLOWN AWAY by the generosity that was shown at this party. Knocked us off our feet!

At any rate, here are some incredible pictures done by Journey of the Lens, that should show you more of the evening’s festivities and awesome details, as well as show you if Baby Murdock is a BOY or GIRL.

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Here we are, about to tell everyone if it’s a BOY OR GIRL!

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It’s a…..

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That’s right, folks, Baby Murdock is a BOY! Obviously, everything associated with this pregnancy is a little bittersweet, but in choosing to celebrate — we are THRILLED it’s a boy! We were hoping for a little boy, and this, strangely, now gives us confidence we can make more boys in the future should God allow it. We have named him, and I will write about that hopefully tomorrow, but for now — please join us in celebrating this little boy’s life! We love him SO much and are so glad God chose us as his parents.

And, although it has been a little while now, I just want to give another shout-out and huge thank you to these ladies who worked SO HARD to make our gender reveal party perfect. THANK YOU. From the bottom of our hearts!

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Much love,

Kristin

My Mom Came for A Visit

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My family lives all over the place.  A few of us are in San Diego now, and the other few {my parents and youngest sister} are on the East Coast. This summer marked the first time we were all back together IN San Diego since they moved six years ago. My parents and little sister were planning on coming out for a week or so, but after the diagnosis, my Mom and Dad decided to stay for a full month.  My Dad had work to do {they own a home here that he needed to fix up}, and my Mom wanted to be able to spend time with me and help me with anything I may need.

It was lovely.

My Mom and Dad left just last week, and I realized, after they were officially gone, what a comfort it was to have my Mom around for several weeks with no agenda other than being my support and assistance. She cleaned my floors and bathroom every week, did my laundry, took me out to lunch, and bought me a few maternity shirts at Gap. If I said I needed to take a nap, she had no problem sitting in the living room and doing nothing. If I said I needed a day off, she found something else to do or spent time with another friend or daughter. Overall, it was a real blessing, and I am sad she is gone now. I am, clearly, not sure how to navigate this season of grief, but having someone who is grieving with you but also knows you and supports you as only a parent can, was really helpful.

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While my parents and sisters were here, we did some really fun things. It has been interesting to observe the intimacy that comes to a family when going through crisis together. We seemed to have even more fun than usual, and, from my perspective, we also seemed to be more unified as a “clan” than we have been in the past. Since Katherine, our youngest sister, was only here for a week, we tried to squeeze in as much fun as we could for her stay. We rented bikes on Coronado and spent the day riding around the island. Super fun, and something we have done for years. Word to the wise: if you haven’t been on a bike in a year or two, your bum will be sore after a couple hours of riding around. The fun outweighs the soreness, but the soreness is still a serious factor to consider.

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We also managed to get to the beach a couple of times. Once just as sisters, and then again after Katherine had already left, where both of my parents came along. We felt like this was a major accomplishment, because my Dad, despite having grown up as a surfer/swimmer, does not particularly love being at the beach or getting sandy. I am usually scared of getting in the water {hello SHARK WEEK!!!!}, but for some reason since the diagnosis, I have decided that our baby likes to swim. It could be the fact that I am 5 1/2 months pregnant and ROASTING all the time so any chance to cool off sounds amazing… but I’m going to stick with “our baby likes to swim.”

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While my parents were here, Glenn and I also had the opportunity to go with them to Jet Propulsion Laboratories in Pasadena. My Mom is *slightly* obsessed with space, so she arranged for us to do a half-day tour, and had to sign up months in advance. We enjoyed the day together, driving up through LA, spending the day at JPL, and then introducing my parents to authentic Ramen and boba tea for dinner.

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Finally, just a few days before leaving, my Mom arranged a high tea for my mother-in-law, herself, and me. Who doesn’t love a good cucumber sandwich?! We enjoyed each other’s company {at least I think we did…. I guess I never asked either of them! ha!} and the delicious food and teas we were served.

Although I am sad my Mom and Dad and Katherine left, I am also looking forward to getting back to a more normal routine. Ultimately, I would love nothing more than ALL of my family to move back to San Diego so we could spend more time together and just live normal life in closer proximity, but I am grateful that they all make an effort to spend time with me as often as they can.

Glenn and I are blessed with families and friends who support and encourage us every day. I know this is not the case for everyone faced with a fatal diagnosis, and I am overwhelmed at the ways God is protecting us from so many other hardships right now. Thank you for reading along, for being kind, and for caring about us. Coming up next on the blog:: Gender Reveal!

~Kristin

Baby Murdock Gift Fund

My Mom’s Blog

The Time Glenn Asked Me to Marry Him

Last Monday, April first to be exact, marked seven years since THE Glenn Murdock asked me to marry him. Here is the wine we drank. Same wine we drank seven years ago, which, by the way, was my first time getting to order a bottle of wine.

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I have a rather detailed written version of the story saved so we never forget exactly what it felt like RIGHT THEN, but for you lovely bloggie friends I thought I would share an abbreviated timeline version : containing only the *most* important details.

Saturday, April 1st 2006 {yes, April Fool’s Day}

6:30am Wake up and drive to SDSU to take the GRE.

10:30am See immediate GRE scores and laugh. This is what we call *bombing* a test. It was an absolutely disaster.¬† And¬†I mean, ABSOLUTE disaster. Call Glenn to tell him I finished and it was awful, he tells me we should meet for lunch to debrief {even though we already had plans to go to dinner later that night, which he had arranged for earlier in the week so that I would have something to look forward to after the GRE}, call college roomie, BFF, and academic genius Julie and leave her a message about how ridiculously bad the GRE was and how I am pretty sure I won’t be able to make it to grad school after all.

11:00am Meet up with Glenn and head downtown for lunch and a designer-sunglass pickup of the¬†super fancy Prada’s I had ordered a few weeks prior.¬† Got to pick the¬†sunnies up¬†from my sister {#3), who was working at Nordstrom at the time. Excitedly wear Prada sunglasses everywhere from this point on… up to and including today.

1:00pm Head home and take a serious nap. Exhaustion has hit.

2:30pm Wake up to a call from Glenn wondering how my nap was, and asking if I could be ready to leave for dinner at 3:30pm. {Are we eighty? Why in the world are we eating dinner at 4pm?!}

2:45-3:15pm Shower, “do” my hair, and dress myself up in a new black dress I had been waiting to wear.

3:30pm Glenn picks me up, and we’re off! Favorite jazz CD {I think it was Wynton Marsalis but I’m not sure} was playing in the car. I am SUPER excited to not have to think about the GRE anymore, and SUPER excited to spend¬†a fun evening with Glenn.

5:00pm¬† I have figured out that we are going somewhere outside of San Diego for dinner. We’ve been on the 5 for over an hour, so my best guess is LA. Glenn asks if I want to know where we are going. I say “YES!” He tell me it’s The Napa Rose. I die a million¬†deaths from sheer excitement. I had been reading article after article about the chef, sommalier, and ambiance at the newest Disney restaurant, and was so excited to try it.

5:30pm Walk through the lobby at The Grand Californian {to this day one of my favorite hotel lobbies}, and check-in with a woman named, no joke, Mickey. *interesting side note: our waiter last Monday night was a lovely Japanese man named Mickey. F’real.*

5:35pm We sit in the fireside/bar area of the restaurant and I order a lemon drop. I feel super cool.

6:00pm After waiting quite a while, Mickey and some other hostesses came over, with sincerest apologies for our wait, and lead us to what I deem the best table in the restaurant.¬† It was in a corner, so we didn’t have anyone right next to us, and it was quite close to the center of the open kitchen, where you can see all the cooking action. So much fun. Our waiter introduced himself to us and was ABSOLUTE PERFECTION: Kind, funny, full of genuine compliments, and very knowledgeable about everything on the menu.

6:00pm-9:00pm I was wined and dined, and it was Heaven.

9:00pm We rush out of the restaurant and run to the car to get our change of clothes, hoping to make it into Disneyland in time for the fireworks. We realize we are cutting it extremely close and have no time to find a bathroom, change, and come back to the¬†car. Glenn changes IN the car. I decide to be brave and pop open the trunk, hiding behind it so Glenn can’t see me as I strip down in the Buzz Lightyear parking lot and throw on my jeans and sweatshirt. Keeping it classy, Kristin, keeping it classy.

9:25pm We get into the park right as the first firework bursts in the sky. I grab Glenn’s hand and we sprint down Main Street, stopping here and there to watch the Firework Spectacular. We zip over to my favorite ride, Space Mountain, and rush through the starry galaxies.

11pm We have ridden a couple of rides and are completely exhausted. We walk through Sleeping Beauty’s castle and as we come out the other side I remark on just how many people were still walking around the park. It seemed like there were swarms of people all over! Glenn suggests we stop and “take it all in” for a minute. We sit in a stoop along the castle wall and talk about how much we love Disneyland and how beautiful the castle is. This transitions into Glenn telling me how beautiful I am and how much he loves ME. I feel quite awkward and question ordering that bottle of wine.

11:15pm Glenn continues in his spoken love sonnets, all extremely kind, but to me {having no idea that this is supposed to end in an engagement}, all quite shocking and inappropriate.¬†*more¬†side note:¬†I had recently read an incredible article by Elisabeth Elliott that had helped guide my decision to stop saying “I Love You” until someone officially asked me to marry them. I could go on and on about this one decision and why it was helpful to my soul and how it eliminated¬†the unhealthy¬†expectations I had previously set on Glenn, but for the sake of the timeline, let’s just keep the facts the facts: we weren’t saying I Love You and we certainly weren’t talking about a future together like it was a done deal.*

Glenn says something to the extent of “Kristin, someday I want my kids to look like you.” —¬†to which I respond with “This is inappropriate!” and a good shove.

All of a sudden¬†he¬†grabs my hand and says “Which hand is it? I can’t remember which hand it goes on.” and I reply “Don’t ask me this! You don’t have a ring!

Keeping it classy, Kristin, keeping it classy.

Yes I¬†do!”¬†he replies. I go into INSTANT shock. I am shaking. I am sweating. I am¬†slurring¬†my words. I am rambling. I am making no sense. I¬†pause¬†in the middle of this madness and look him¬†directly in the eyes and say “Yes.” before going back into koo-koo land.

11:45pm My bowels completely empty.

My “first response” to stress, anxiety, and¬†excitement is {always}¬†diarrhea.¬†My favorite person in life asks me to be his bride and what do I do? Explode.

And again I say: keeping it classy, Kristin, keeping it classy.

Happiest of Wednesdays! May your day be filled with fun and laughter.

~Kristin

 

Families CAN be Fun!

Families. We all have ’em in some way or another. Sometimes they can be stressful, sometimes they make you mad, and sometimes they are a hoot and a half. Lately I’ve been thinking about how important it is to just SPEND TIME with family, because at the end of the day they really are your history and your legacy — and you are theirs.

If it’s been a while since you have done something fun with your family, might I suggest an excessive dinner out? At the famed and oh-so-fancy Bertrand at Mister A’s perhaps? That’s how my sisters and I roll. We choose one fancy dinner with a bottle of wine and cappuccinos over eating for the rest of the month. This is moderately acceptable behavior for us, as none of us are responsible for others at this point in our lives. If you have seventeen children and are living off one income, or, worse yet, are living at your parent’s house, I would not recommend this course of action.

Wait. Did I just say living at your parent’s house? Drats. That’s me. I take it all back.

For spending time with parents, here are the activities I have found most enjoyable:

Walking or Running Marathons
Calling the political opposition idiots
Taking walks around the neighb, or around the hood – whichever you prefer
Eating tacos, burritos, Eastern European fare, or sushi {even if they fight you on it, they love spending time with you!}
Visiting historical sights

Another great option for spending time with your family? Force them to make you dinner. Check out this fig, prosciutto, and arugula pizza #3 whipped up for us last night for our Debate Party. Highly Presidential!

Mostly, this blog post was just an excuse for me to tell my family I like hanging out with them, and for me to remind YOU to hang out with your nearest and dearest. They love you, even if it’s kind of hard to tell sometimes. {yep, I’m talking to you my precious friend!}

Happiest of Thursdays,

~Kristin

 

Caffeine

It happened last week. BAM. Out of the blue. A headache.

“I never get headaches.*” I thought to myself.

*This statement is not entirely true, but it is true that I seldom get headaches, and when I do the culprit is usually dehydration and excessive time spent in the sun. 

I was on my way over to Ryan & Julie’s and was SO tired I could barely stand it.

“What is wrong with me?!”

I started to go through a list of things I could potentially have that would be causing this headachy tiredness.

The list goes something like this: general illness, stomach flu, deadly illness, brain tumor, cancer, freaky disease no one has ever heard of that will kill me in a matter of minutes.

“Hold on. Take a deep breath. It’s probably not that bad.”

I thought through things I had done recently. Was there something I ate? Had I been walking 15-20 miles in the heat? Had I consumed a caffeinated beverage {or three} every day for the last two weeks without knowing it?

“Oh.”

I grabbed my phone and sent Julie this message:

 

Happy Thursday!

~Kristin

How to Eat Raw Oysters

Step One: Examine Oyster. Is it indeed raw? If the answer is yes, proceed to step two.

Step Two: Bring oyster to lip. Tilt slightly.

Step Three: Tilt head back, allowing oyster to slide out of its shell into your mouth. Do not chew.

Step Four: DO. NOT. CHEW.

Step Five: Allow oyster to slide down your throat and into your gullet. Contemplate why you ever wanted to try oysters in the first place.

“It tastes like La Jolla Shores.” — Glenn Murdock, after eating his first oyster.

Weekend in Atlanta

This past weekend was awesome for several reasons. First off, I flew to Atlanta to watch Glenn walk across the FRL {foundations of restaurant leadership} Graduation Stage. ¬†Even though the graduation ceremony isn’t a huge event filled with elaborate pomp and circumstance, it is a time of celebration of what is to come and a symbol of all Glenn has done to get to this point. Go Glenn!

The FRL graduation was on Friday, which also happened to be Kelly’s 26th birthday. We were puuumped to be there to celebrate with Chris, Kelly, and baby-on-the way. One of the only sad parts about being in San Diego for-e-ver is that we are far away from friends like Chris and Kelly. We will, forever, do our best to convince them to move back.¬†

To celebrate Kelly turning 26, we went out for Mexican food at an awesome restaurant called Agave and got “hooked up” with a dessert platter. Personal fave? Chocolate peanut butter mousse pie with a little cayenne kick. Pardon me while I drool.

The rest of the weekend was filled with funtivities {don’t you hate that word??!!} like a “festival” as they are called in the south — street fair for the rest of us, trying delicious King of Pops popsicles {chocolate sea salt!}, drinking Dunkin Donuts iced coffee every chance we had,¬†going to a true Southern cook-out with a group of Chris & Kelly’s friends {Glenn said it reminded him of Duck Dynasty – ha!},¬†and watching Kelly water her front lawn – barefoot and pregnant of course.¬†

I think my favorite part of the weekend, besides being reunited with my husband after way too much time apart, was making dinner together and just hanging out at home on Sunday night. I loved it so much, in fact, that the meal will get a post of its own.

Until tomorrow, friends!

~Kristin