Like a Little Child

I’ve been humbled this week. On Tuesday the twins and I got hit with some sick strain of either the flu or a cold, and it’s leveled me. I didn’t go out of the house for 5 days, and even my eyeballs ached. I was humbled by how easily I can lose my health, but even worse, how easily I can become spiritually frustrated. After day 3 I wanted to throw the towel in.

In contrast, my sweet angel twins reacted to the same sickness in a very different way. It broke my heart to see them struggling and congested, but yet after feeds they would still look up at me with that baby sparkle in their eye, and warmth in their smile (which Dave says is because “they are just so full of goodness”).  Never in their countenance did I sense blaming or anger.

It’s made me ponder all week about how the Savior’s taught that we must become like little children.

At the same time came the disciples unto Jesus, saying, Who is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven?
And Jesus called a little child unto him, and set him in the midst of them, And said, Verily I say unto you, Except ye be converted, and become as little children, ye shall not enter into the kingdom of heaven.
Whosoever therefore shall humble himself as this little child, the same is greatest in the kingdom of heaven.
Matthew 18:1-4




I am learning so much from my 3 little children, and realizing how far I have to go to become like them. While even little children face sadness, pain, and hurt, I must learn like them not to turn to frustration, anger and bitterness.

One of my favorite verses in the Book of Mormon beautifully explains that little children are “submissive, meek, humble, patient, full of love, willing to submit to all things which the Lord seeth fit to inflict upon him, even as a child doth submit to his father.”  

I hope that someday I develop that same childlike meekness and learn to trust God and his will, whether in sickness or in health. How grateful I am for the command to become like them.

Uncle Mike

A few weeks ago I got a card in the mail, and couldn’t make it past a few lines without tears falling freely down my face.

The card was from my brother Michael and his wife Rachel. Enclosed with the card was a check, along with this picture:


Michael is currently a second year medical student at Texas A&M. He and his wife along with their son are living the life of med students, busy, budgeting, and spending too much time apart as studying is all consuming. But somehow in the middle of their want they found time to do something very special for me and my family, and it has touched me beyond words.

A few months ago they wanted to think of a way to support my family while I was in the hospital. It was at a time when we didn’t know the outcome of our pregnancy, but only knew that the hospital stay would likely be long for both me, and if they made it, the girls. So they got the idea to organize a fun run, invite friends and family in the area to join them and then donate to help our family with medical bills and expenses. And their friends came, even to support a family they have never met.

I didn’t know any of this.

In fact, I didn’t hear about it until I opened that card and saw the smiling faces looking back at me.

If I can take the liberty, I want to address this next part to all of you who came and ran and donated that day, without knowing me or my family. THANK YOU. If only I could invite you all over for dinner and let you meet our girls who are thriving and growing and doing so well--in part because of you. Thank you for giving us of your time, your money, and I know also of your faith. Mike asked that I share what we did with your money, and although it’s nothing glamorous, I think it’s exactly what you hoped, that we used it to help pay for the hospital and medical bills from this journey.  I hope to pay forward what you did for our family, but a piece of you will live on forever in our two little girls.


And to my brother. THANK YOU. You know you are one of my greatest heroes.

As I read this scripture today I thought of all of you:

And to godliness brotherly kindness; 
and to brotherly kindness charity.
2 Peter 1:7

I think the command for us to develop brotherly kindness means to treat others—even whom we don’t know—as family; to not only serve those we love, but those we’ve maybe only just met. And I think part of charity is learning to give not just out of our abundance, but even when it may be from our want.

You have done all of this, and inspired me to do the same.

xoxo,

Lizzy

Blessing the Twins

This weekend was a very special one for me and my family as Jane Elizabeth and Clara Mae were blessed on Sunday.


The weather couldn't have been more beautiful. New England has been so good to us this fall and our little corner of the world has been a piece of heaven, both in the mild weather and the unbelievable fall colors (If you've never been to New England in the fall you need to put it on your bucket list!).

For a little context on baby blessings in my faith, we don't baptize little children (individuals aren't baptized until they are at least 8 years old, or later when they join our church). Instead babies are given a blessing to help them in their life and their names are put on the church records. Also, instead of a priest or church leader giving the blessing, they are often blessed by their fathers.


Watching Dave as a father has made me fall even more in love with him. He is such a good dad, and loves his daughters. He prepared and prayed and was very thoughtful about the blessing, and tried be in tune to know what God would have him say to our daughters.

The blessings were beautiful.


What really hit me while listening to the blessings is that God knows these two babies, separate and distinct from anyone else. This meant so much to me personally because I have struggled feeling like I don't know them individually, only just as "the twins". Funny enough, this has probably been the hardest thing for me about being a mother of identical twins. I want to know my babies and have an individual connection with each of them.



But in listening to the blessing there was no doubt in my mind that God knows them. He knows their names, he knows their unique gifts and talents, and knows that they each have a separate and special purpose here on the earth. When I need help as a mom to know how to give them the courage and confidence to develop their unique gifts, I can rely on God to show me how because he knows them. They are my daughters, but they are his daughters too.

I can't wait to see their lives unfold and for them to become all those things that were part of their blessings.














Happy blessing day my angels.

xo,

Lizzy

Sip n' See


Is anyone else as surprised as I am that the girls are 3 months old today?! It seems like the time is going by so fast--I blink and a day is gone. We are busy feeding, changing diapers, and growing babies, but it's a good busy.

Since the girls were born 2 months premature they are acting a lot more like they're a month old (they were originally due September 23, so it makes sense) then like 3-month-olds. But we did get the first social smiles last week, and they're starting to spend a little more time awake during the day. They are really strong and can hold their heads up and push almost all the way up, which is encouraging to see for a mom of preemies. The best news is that last week they dropped one of the night feeds so I am even getting sleep in 5 or even sometimes 6 hour stretches!

I have realized that I am not taking near enough pictures of the two of them, so I'm going to have to up my game this month.

Last week I had some dear friends throw a "sip-n-see" to come meet the babies for the first time. The whole evening was delightful and it was so sweet for me to introduce the girls to so many people who have already been a part of their story by supporting our family.

 
We waited until just before the event to get the girls all ready in their little twin outfits (which lasted maybe half-way through the event before one of them had a blow-out).
 

Baby Jane.
How was this out of focus shot the only one I got up close of the girls?!











 Friends helping set up the delicious food and darling decorations

I think this little one was sneaking candy all night long.
 Then a whole lotta baby feeding, holding and chatting and eating. Recipe for success in my book.




 

 
The little message that Clara & Jane wanted me to share with everyone. Seriously though I can't wait for them to really know their story and of the many people who prayed them here and supported our family. They are truly our miracle twins.

Happy 3 months girls!

xo,

Lizzy

Do I Think to Pray?

My daughter Tillie Rose loves to pray. I hope that I never forget the way she clasps her pudgy hands together, or how she mimics the way we start our prayers, “Heavenly Father”, in a very high pitched voice sounding something like, “hebeny fada”. I am amazed that a little girl that isn’t even potty trained can somehow remember to pray before every meal. And I love looking up at Dave after Tillie’s prayers, and seeing a grin as big as mine as we hear her energetic “Aaaameeen!”


Now just in case you feel like I’m tooting my own horn here, I should make it clear that we aren’t always praying. We try to remember before meals and before bed, but definitely aren’t perfect. But luckily Tillie has caught on, and for some reason loves it. In fact, every once in a while we will catch her pretending (or for all I know really praying) by herself, and sometimes she will just randomly turn to us and say “prayer, mommy daddy?”
 
This happened yesterday in the car. Tillie and I were driving to a city about 20 minutes away, when I heard her little voice pipe up from the back, “Pray? Mommy?” and sure enough I looked back to see her earnest eyes, and her pudgy hand clasped together. I asked her, “Do you want to say a prayer?” and then saw her face break out into a smile as she said “la!” (her form of yea!). So I proceeded to pretend to close my eyes and then prayed as we drove, listing off the things we typically pray for. No sooner had I ended the prayer, however, than I heard another “more, pray, mom?” from the back. So I asked again, “Do you want to say another prayer?” to which she again smiled and answered “la!”
This continued, and by the 4th prayer I was digging deeper, thinking of something I hadn't yet prayed for, and my prayers became heartfelt as I expressed gratitude for things I don’t usually mention. I expressed gratitude that we didn’t have any traffic (funny how I am quick to pray for traffic to clear up, but I don’t know the last I prayed just because I was grateful for clear roads), for my good health and a good night’s sleep the night before, that I was able to get out of my house with Tillie, and thanked God for many things I often take for granted.
Needless to say in those 20 minutes there was such a sweet feeling in our car and in my heart. Tillie was peaceful. I was more focused on her. We could feel the spirit
.
How humbled I was to be taught by a little child to think to pray. I need to remember that I can pray at anytime, anywhere, and that there is so much to be thankful for.
 

Growing Up II


My baby’s growing up.

It was just yesterday that she was trying her first solid foods, being rocked in my arms, and babbling with that toothless grin.  Now she feeds herself with a spoon, loves to twirl and sing and dance, and melts our hearts with her distinctive way of saying “I love you, daddy". 
 
with daddy over labor day weekend in Maryland
She’s growing out of clothes, talking about her friends, and learning about the time out chair. She even had her first big girl haircut.


A few times now I've been watching her and other older girls and have had little glimpses of stages still to come—taking trips together, cooking together, and late night talks about things that matter most. I’m the last person to wish away this stage but I do get excited imagining all the fun mothering stages yet to come.

As I was picking out some prints for the girls nursery I came upon this print:

via
The quote comes from the Chronicles of Narnia series. Call me a nerd, but it is one of my all-time favorite book series. In and of themselves the books are entertaining and imaginative, but with the underlying Christian themes and allegories they are brilliant. Throughout the series is the character Aslan, a lion that created the world, visits the different people throughout the stories, gives his life to save someone and then is brought back to life by deeper magic, and in the end, helps the world become new—obviously the Savior figure in the book.
 
He is weaved in and out of the stories and is a special friend to the little girl Lucy, who in a later book meets him again when she is older and has the conversation quoted on the print.

When I saw the print I knew I wanted it for the girls’ room, if nothing else as a reminder to me that the Savior is there no matter how big or small I am, and is big enough to help me parent no matter the age. He is there to help me have patience in the middle of the night, to help me recognize the needs of a toddler who is acting out, and to help me love when I feel like I don’t have enough in my heart.


How comforting to know that for every stage of parenting, for every year they grow, because He loved enough he can, and will, help me be grow to be enough too.

xo, 

Lizzy
 

Keeping Up

 
Hey friends,
 
It's been awhile. Writing and sharing were a huge blessing to me while in the hospital, and I've missed that, and more importantly, I've missed you! I have felt prompted to write, and so feel badly when I don't write as much as I would like to. I'm so grateful for Kelly, Brittany, and Jeni for continuing to put together so many things to inspire me and hopefully some of you too.
 
Sometimes at the end of the day I just think of all the things I would have liked to get done, and hope that the next day is a little smoother. Last night Dave and I were talking about this and he said, "really you just have to work on survival right now, and that's success." That's a bit of a low bar, but probably more realistic than my expectations :)
 
 
I'm so grateful for the support we've had, friends and help that have come to the rescue, women that Tillie has called mom, and the meals that have replaced my own. Yes, life is a little crazy around here with 3 under 2, but I can't imagine what it would it be like without all the help? I've never been comfortable on the receiving end, but feel humbled as that's where I find myself often in this season of life. And really, as busy and crazy as I feel sometimes, most days I really am feeling pretty good and even getting some sleep!
 
Tillie's friend (ok really my friend) Katie, who comes over after high school to help me out. She has been my angel. 
Two of my nurses that came to see me and meet the twins. I love these girls!

Even as unpredictable as life is right now, I want to keep writing, sharing, and connecting. I have a few little updates to the blog and some content coming up that I'm really excited about. Thank you, to all of you that have made this a special place for me and made me feel like this is a project that is worthwhile. I know it's just a small thing, but it's something that has made a big difference in my life. I'm excited to be back writing more and can't wait to connect again with you!
 
 
xoxoxo,
 
Lizzy

Fall

Growing up in a desert I never imagined that fall could be so beautiful. I thought that the beauty of the southern Utah red rocks couldn't be beat, but because the weather stayed so warm and there wasn't much vegetation, I never appreciated the full beauty of changing seasons.

This last week Dave's sister (who is also expecting twins!) came to visit us with her little boy for a couple of days. The weather was heavenly and we decided to head up to a local farm and orchard to let the kids do some apple picking and walk through the petting zoo. 


It really was the perfect fall day. The kids got to see animals, explore a darling wooden playground, play in the "cereal bowl" (an enclosed area filled with a foot deep of corn kernels), and run through the pumpkins. 

Miss Tillie was in heaven seeing the animals for the first time

And to top it off they had some amazing desserts that we all ate more than our fill of. (For you locals, do yourself a favor and go to Silverman's and get an apple dumpling. And do me a favor and bring me one back!)

Tillie Rose in the "cereal bowl"

As we wandered through the country store filled with everything from fresh apples to country home decor, I came across this little sign:


And for me, it was a little answer to my prayer that week. 

Being home with three kids under 18 months is great and crazy and exhausting and fulfilling, and sometimes at the end of the day I finally understand what all those mothers were talking about. Motherhood (and probably fatherhood, and work, and service, and really anything worth doing) sometimes leaves you wondering if you're really doing any good, or making any difference. 

But reading this sign made me remember that there is a time and a season for everything. Sometimes the season is one of investment and sowing, and not yet the harvest. Just like planting seeds, there may be days and months and maybe even years of planting and sowing before the seeds ever produce fruit. 


But I think that is how it is supposed to be. There are times and seasons for everything. And in the end I think that is what makes life full of joy. 

As I came home I looked up the scripture from the sign. And realized again how much divine wisdom there is in the scriptures. 

To every thing there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven:
A time to be born, and a time to die; a time to plant, and a time to pluck up that which is planted;
A time to kill, and a time to heal; a time to break down, and a time to build up;
A time to weep, and a time to laugh; a time to mourn, and a time to dance;
A time to cast away stones, and a time to gather stones together; a time to embrace, and a time to refrain from embracing;
A time to get, and a time to lose; a time to keep, and a time to cast away;
A time to rend, and a time to sew; a time to keep silence, and a time to speak;
A time to love, and a time to hate; a time of war, and a time of peace.
Ecclesiastes 3:1-8
xo, 

Lizzy

Welcome Home Clara Mae

Friday morning I got another call from the NICU, letting us know that Clara Mae was ready to come home.

Dave was travelling for work (which of course made me sad that we couldn't have a picture perfect family pick-up, but let's be honest, we are probably going to have many moments as a family of 5!). So thank heavens for good friends that could come help out with the two other girls under 18 months at home. We left Jane with one friend, and then the other came with me and Tillie Rose to pick up Clara.

 My oldest and my youngest daughter. (Still pinching myself when I say I'm a mother to 3 daughters)

 These kisses are not posed, this girl seriously just can't get enough of her sisters. 


 My angel friends who helped me get through the first feedings before Dave got home. (Oh and ps, the friend on the right, she's about 8 months pregnant here and looking awesome right?)

 After their feed I laid them down together, side by side, with space in between so they wouldn't wake each other up. Within an hour or so I came in to find this, somehow they had moved to find each other. 


It looks like we're all glad to have Clara Mae home.

Welcome Home Jane

So the day started like this. Tuesday morning came and I was trying to get everything put together after a fun weekend away for Labor Day (we took one last trip as a family of 3 to see my brother play football in Virginia). As far as we knew the earliest Jane would be home was Wednesday, but likely it would be Thursday or Friday. So on Tuesday morning I knew I had one last day to get everything done on my list and be ready for our new arrival.

And then the doctor called. And Jane was ready to come home.

So Tillie ran around with her hair in her eyes and no clothes on while I got the last things put together, and then when Daddy came home it was finally time to bring Jane home. 


We waited for a minute in the family room outside the NICU. It's crazy for me to think that when Clara gets home we will be done with hospitals, waiting rooms and doctors for a while.

Then Jane had her last diaper change in the hospital (I love that she's still drowning in the size 1 diapers), and we got to finally unhook all the monitors.

Tillie was so excited to see Jane in a carseat, and it was all we could do to stop her from giving kisses and pointing out everything on Jane (hair bow, eyes, nose, mouth, fingers). We're going to have to work on the pointing and smothering. But I couldn't be happier (and more relieved!) that she adores her like she does.


And then just like that, we were ready to go home as a family of 4.

I have to admit that a part of me stayed in the hospital with Clara. But gratefully she should be home any day now, and so I'm just trying to take in time as a mother of 2 in the small window I get it.

And so on Wednesday we did just that.

Doesn't Tillie's face just say it all here?



Our biggest welcome to our littlest Jane. Lucky for you, you have a sister who will slip you toys and be your friend, parents who will do all they can, and a whole support team of people who love you and have prayed you  here.

Welcome home baby Jane.
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