New Years Resolutions

The Sunday between Christmas and New Year’s Day is always a good one. While we’re still enjoying the peaceful Christmas music, the twinkling lights and the Christmas tree, this Sunday is a good day for me to catch my breath and—if we’re lucky—get caught up on missed sleep to kick the inevitable Christmas colds.

However the biggest reason that I love this Sunday before New Years is because it is the perfect day to focus on what I want to accomplish and who I want to become this year (it’s much easier to do this on a Sunday than on New Years Day when I’m tired from the night before!). Not only is it a great day to write my own resolutions, but to take time to set some resolutions as a family as well.

One resolution—both for me personally and for our family—has been on my mind this whole holiday season. It started back when I first got out our little nativity. It was in the center of our living room throughout December and since we spend a lot of time there with Tillie, she played with it a lot. Her favorite pieces were the shepherd (because it was holding a baby sheep), Mary, and baby Jesus.  She spent more time with that baby Jesus than any other “toy”—and Tillie loved to put him in the baby swing, burp him when Jane and Clara were being burped, and give him food and water.

As I watched her play with that little set we spoke often about the Savior and his life, and though I don’t know how much Tillie understood, she heard a lot of stories about Jesus this Christmastime. It was easy because he was there in the middle of the room. As I looked around our home I realized I need to do a better job after the holidays of having things up around the home that remind me of him. I want him to be at the center of what we do and think, and a bigger part of our family in 2014. I love this scripture about how we can keep him in the forefront of all that we do, and hope my children will say this about how I parented.

So one of my resolutions for 2014 is to have the Savior as more of a central part of our family. 

On the first day of summer

Just a few days ago I drove past the Yale New Haven hospital. Immediately came flooding back to my mind exactly where I was a year ago. Sitting in my hospital bed overlooking the bay, with nurses in and out of my room, and without my husband and Tillie Rose. I held on to hope that we would have a good outcome for our twins, but barely allowed myself to dream that someday I would be able to take my 3 kids out and enjoy the sunshine.

It's crazy to me that a year has already past, and even more so that all those dreams have come true. 

Now here it is, the first day of summer! No better way to celebrate the twins' first summer than a day at the beach with splashing chunky baby legs, daddy-daughter walks, and sand in my toes. 

Still getting used to the whole sand thing (except of course for Jane on the left with a whole fist full in her mouth). I keep giggling at how these swimsuits look a little like wrestling singlet's on our chunky babies.

I think this last one is my new favorite. 

Welcome back summer!

Mother's Day

As I sit down to write about Mother's Day I've already changed 3 diapers, cleaned up a puddle of pee, unloaded and loaded the dishwasher, wiped up at least 10 pools of spit up, made a meal for 5, gave hugs, wiped tears, washed 2 loads of laundry, and said a few prayers for patience.

And it's not even 9 am.

I probably couldn't be paid enough to do this in any other setting, but all the money in the world couldn't take me away from doing what I do as a mother.

I think that's worth celebrating!

This Mother's Day we invited over a few dear friends, ate some great food and enjoyed one of the first days of spring (so overdue!). With a little help from Dave, Tillie Rose picked some flowers for the table and made me my first ever Mother's day card.

This is how most family pictures go these days--we start out with great intentions, and end up with one of us laughing and usually one of the babies crying.

Who would have thought last year (when there was only 1 child between the 3 of us) that just a year later there would be 5?

Times have changed from last year--from a mom to Tillie Rose to a mom of three! I'm so grateful that my experience with motherhood so far has included a supporting husband, some great friends that I get to learn from and experience motherhood with, and 3 angel girls that drive me to my knees both to thank God for the opportunity, and to ask for help so that it doesn't eventually drive me crazy! It's so much work, but such an honor, to be a mom.

Happy Mother's Day!

Happy Easter!

We decided at the last minute to head to D.C. for Easter, and be with family! (It feels so good to say that, living so far away from family makes us appreciate moments like this.)

The weekend was filled with an Easter Egg hunt, movies, tennis, reconnecting with one of my dearest friends from law school, a gorgeous Easter dinner, and an Easter service.

The 4:1 parent to child ratio on the Easter egg hunt was comical, but none of us were complaining with these two.

This is how the whole hunt went, Tillie would find the eggs then bring them to Pierce. Clara unfortunately (or fortunately?) slept through the whole thing, so Jane had plenty of adults to dote on her as well, including our cousin Jane Elizabeth (and if our Jane turns out as beautiful inside and out as Jane, we'll be lucky parents).

The grand hosts, and my idols.

And of course we had to (try) to take some Easter pictures on Sunday.

I can't help but say how blessed we feel, especially on Easter. The knowledge that we have a Savior and that He lives, has changed our marriage and our family in every way. The more we center our lives on trying to become like Him, the better life is. 

And last, getting out some energy before the drive home.

Happy Easter!

General Conference Weekend

What a wonderful weekend. My heart is full of gratitude, and sings with David's in Psalm 136, "O give thanks to the Lord!"

Lately I've been yearning to feel centered again, and this week I've been able to do that. Everything has found it's proper place, and even the sun was shining!

General Conference brought me so many answers, and funny enough (after my post this week) steered me in a very different direction than the questions I had written down! I guess that's the beautiful thing about revelation.

I am ready to yet again turn over a new leaf, start a new chapter, and realign my life more closely with the best version of myself. I'm grateful for eternal reminders and heavenly tugging that come when we try to do those things that bring us closer to God. And I'm especially grateful this weekend for the messages that seemed to be sent from Heaven just for me.

Here are a few pictures of what was a very good day!

How to carry two babies at once

Just in case you were wondering.

And doesn't he make it look too easy?

Deep Cleaning

This morning I decided to do a good deep cleaning of our place. Nothing too fancy, but taking the extra time to clean baseboards, wipe down walls where it was needed, organize the toys and throw out the old or broken ones, you know the drill (unless of course you don't clean your house or someone does for you, to which I say lucky you!).

As I was cleaning, and looking over at my girls playing (hooray!), I kept thinking about the need for a good deep cleaning every now and then in our lives. Most of the time in my house doing the dishes and light pick up is good enough, and as long as I do a daily sweep to put things away and keep the kitchen looking good, our house is in pretty good order. But every few weeks the house needs a little more love, and when I take the time to do a deep clean it feels so good!
Aren't our lives the same? When we're trying to live right, most of the time our lives just need a little upkeep, but every once in a while it's important to do a good deep clean. It is so healthy to take an inventory of our lives and see if our priorities are in order, if our relationships are strong, and if God is central to our life. Sometimes it may lead us to more serious repentance, and sometimes we may be inspired to simply make smaller course corrections, but every time it brings satisfaction and added peace.
There is nothing like a good deep clean, whether for our homes, or for our spirits!

Tillie Rose is 2

My Tillie Rose turned 2. This last year has been a whirlwind, and she has been a trooper through the crazy (crazy like mom's-not-living-at-home-for-three-months crazy, and I'm-only-16-months-and-I-have-younger-twin-sisters crazy). She has taught me how resilient kids are. She has helped me see God's hand in my life. I know there is a special purpose for her being in our family, and getting here first. This girl is a special soul.

As I looked over some pictures from her first year I realized how much personality she has had from the very beginning. She was so fun to celebrate, and I hope I never forget the look on her face when people sang her happy birthday, her little head kept turning around and around to look at everyone as if to say "are they really singing to me?!" She seemed to be just tickled from head to toe.

Who knew one little girl could bring so much sunshine into our life. I love her so much it hurts sometimes. Happy birthday little one!

Thoughts for 30

Today I am 30.

This is me, circa 1984. It’s hard to believe that 30 years have passed, and now I’m the one taking pictures of my own babies. But can I admit it?—I have been looking forward to this day! There is something liberating and empowering about 30. 

But as thrilled as I am to be 30, I have realized that I still need to grow up. Yes, even at 30. There are a few things that have weighed me down for too long, and it's time that I grow up

In my 30's I intend to do just that, and put a few things forever behind me, like:

Worrying about what others think. Worrying about what others may (or may not) be thinking about me is never a good use of my time or energy. Happiness comes when I serve others and am grateful for the good life that I've been given. 

Taking myself too seriously. Life is too good (and I have a feeling too short!) to be soooo serious

Being jealous or tearing others down. Jealousy is damaging to me and my relationships, and no one’s a winner when I talk negatively about others. Not them, and not me. Being inspired and holding others in admiration builds us both.

Thinking that this life is about me. Marriage and parenthood have taught me one important lesson, the more I focus on making others happy, the happier I am too.

And I have to say, there are also some things I hope I’ll never be too big or too old for, like:

Believing. I hope no matter my age or experiences I don't become jaded or suspicious or hardened, but keep fresh eyes and an open heart for the good in the world. There is so much of it!

Trusting my instinctSometimes I really do know what’s best for me. 

Being like a little child. Yes, you heard me right. Playing and laughing, loving unconditionally, getting dirty, being humble and teachable, singing loud and dancing recklessly--without caring who is watching. Being like a child makes life good. 

Standing up for what matters most. I hope I’m never too old to be a fighter—for my family, for my husband, and for my God.

Trusting God. Trusting that no matter how much I think I know, I have a Heavenly Father who knows so much more. He’s real and he loves me! And he’s bigger and stronger than anything that could stand in my way.

So here’s to the big 3-0. I welcome you with open arms and the hug of a dear friend! I can’t wait to take the weekend to dream big and make a bucket list of what I want to do and become in the next 30 years. No doubt at the top of the list will be two simple words. Grow up.


The 30-year-old, Lizzy

I want my kids to be stars

Today I have another story about a song, a book, and tillie Rose (do I need to get out of the house more so I have something else to write about? Probably). But if you know Tillie it's not surprising, as reading and singing are two of her favorite things. Possibly on the top of her list of favorite songs is Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star. She loves to sing it, dance to it, and if a toy or book plays "Twinkle, Twinkle" she will play it non. stop.

This week I pulled out a box with books that I have been saving to share with Tillie as she moves on from board books. I let Tillie pick out a few new books to read, and she started with a classic, Mother Goose Nursery Rhymes.

We sang and read our way through the pages, and I shared songs that have been collecting dust in my mind, like Polly Put the Kettle On, and Sing a Song of Sixpence. Sure enough, not too far into the book we found Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star. I was surprised however to see that it has more than one verse, and how sweet the other verses are.

As I read through the words I couldn't help but think, I hope my kids will become these little stars! All too often in our world it seems that the "blazing sun is gone", and many cannot "see which way to go", or feel that they're "travelling in the dark". Many wonder if there is a God, or if he cares about us anymore.

How the world needs these little lights, to show the way and give hope and courage! Lights to help others see that God lives and loves us. Lights to show us that even in the darkest times we are not forsaken.

How I hope to raise my daughters to keep their lamps bright with faith so they can be those lights. I pray that they will learn to "twinkle"--to not be ashamed of what they believe and not be afraid to stand out and be different, and to be the warmth and light when the world seems a cold and dark place. I pray that they will realize how much the world needs their light.

I am going to try to memorize the other verses of the song, and on those days when we are singing and twirling away to Twinkle Twinkle, I will also be giving my girls a gentle reminder that they are those little stars.

Twinkle on little stars.

6 Months

We made it to the 6 month mark.

To anyone else that may not seem like much, but to us (me?!) this is one big milestone. Ironically, we are just a few weeks shy from when we found out we were expecting a "baby" last year. Oh how we've been taken for a ride since then! But I wouldn't trade it, and gratefully every month gets even better.

So indulge me in a few pictures and words to mark a big milestone for my two little girls.

To my girls:

It's amazing to the think of the journey we've been on in the past 6 months. We've already made it through so much. You are fighters! You passed with flying colors through a C-section, prodding, poking, feeding tubes, breathing help, kangaroo care and all that 2 months in the NICU entails.

And to look at you now you would never know.

I love that I finally feel like I'm getting to know you. I love your steel blue eyes. I love that I can see myself in both of you.

I love to see you learn. Whether you like it or not, you're learning patience, especially to wait for me and each other--to wake up, to finish eating, to get your diapers changed, and to play. You're learning to share, even the one-on-one time.

I love that you're starting to figure each other out, and likely yourselves too. You're even reaching milestones within days from each other--reaching and grabbing, rolling almost both ways, and pushing up.

I'm so grateful that you let Tillie adore you both, and that you forgave her for that one time with a bat (I promise she was just trying to make you stop crying).

Clara, I love the way you babble babble babble, so loudly that I have to look twice to see if all that noise is coming from such a little thing.

Jane, I love the way your soul seems to connect with mine when you smile up at me. I love to see you observe and watch and notice.

I hope you know how hard I try to make you happy. I hope you feel how much your sweet Daddy and I love you.

I hope that someday this love will help you understand how much God loves you.

I can't believe you've only been a part of our family for 6 months. It feels like forever.

And I'm so glad that you forever will be.


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