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.



Bloom Where You're Planted

I recently read this article in Forbes magazine, about the benefits of blooming where you're planted at work. The article shared a recent study that found that the raw materials of greatness can be found in almost anyone's employment situation. Though it's easy to be disgruntled at your work (no matter your employment-including parenthood) by job conditions, compensation, a boss or co-worker, or your job responsibilities, the study found that if employees in regular jobs decided to look at their opportunity differently, it could change their whole career trajectory.
Powerful stuff right? And oh so applicable.
I've found that this is never as true as it is being a parent, and really a disciple. Take yesterday for instance. I was pooped on three times, and never once got an apology. My schedule wasn't really ever taken into consideration when my "clients" needed something (kids can be pretty demanding you know). I worked before the sun rose and didn't stop until long after the sun went down. So much of what I do right now as a parent doesn't exactly scream "ideal job conditions", but when I focus on blooming where I am planted, it changes what I do and how I feel about my job every day. And I think it even influences those I "work with" too.
The study also recommended some great ways to bloom right where you're planted:
1. Work with what you've got (not what you wish you had)
2. See your current constraints as an opportunity to use your talents and creativity
3. Identify problems in the status quo that others don't notice
4. Be a team player on how you approach problem solving
5. Find novel solutions simply by making minor corrections
Isn't it empowering to realize that you can change your situation just by the way you view it and interact with it.
So let's have a little less talk, and a lot more blooming.

Thanking my lucky stars

It was 4 am. I had been "flipping babies" (what you do when your babies can roll to one side but not the other--and can only sleep the "other" way) for the last 30 minutes and was done. It had been a week of baby flipping and middle-of-the-night-wake-ups, and because of it I hadn't been able to shake a stubborn cold. I desperately needed a full night's sleep. More in desperation than humility, I finally knelt down and asked for some divine idea of what to do. And probably more because I was tired than because of an answer to my prayer, I decided to just go to bed and hope they would cry it out.

This morning as I sat feeding the girls, the thought came to me (maybe the real answer to my prayer), "Don't forget that just 6 months ago you were praying these two angels here." The realization sank into my heart as I realized how quickly I forget! A 4 am waking is nothing, I have two sweet angel babies to wake up for!

How often we pray and plead and hope for a blessing, receive it with gratitude, but then all too quickly we move on. How quickly we forget that job we worked and fought for, the school we did everything to get into, the guy we desperately wanted to go out with, or the baby we longed for, was an answer to prayer that we're now griping about. If only we could remember how badly we wanted it in the first place, and how kind God was to listen.

So here's my new trick. When you start to get frustrated about something (the new boss or ornery clients, the sleep schedule or lack thereof, the tough class load), try to remember what you would have given for that very challenge, and thank your lucky stars! Or maybe more appropriately, thank a loving Father in Heaven who blessed you with your hearts desire, and will now help you to navigate that very blessing.

So next time I'm up at 4 am, you can count on me to be groggily thanking my lucky stars that I have two babies to wake up for.



This is the Life

A couple of weeks ago Dave had just come home from work in the evening, and we were chatting about my day—which consisted of what it largely always consists of: feeding, burping, changing diapers, playing baby games, putting babies down for naps, cleaning it all up, a quick workout…and, well, then doing it all again. With a smirk on my face I said to him, “Dave, I really don’t have a life!” He turned to me and said something I hope I’ll never forget, “No, you have the life.” He went on to tell me not only what a blessing this life is to me and our family now, but how the time I’m spending at home with our kids is a great investment for the great things that will come down the road.

What he said has stuck with me, and I've been thinking about it for the last couple of weeks. And you know what? I believe it. I really do believe that there is nothing better that I could be doing right now, no matter how unglamorous it is from the world’s perspective.

The key for me is remembering this. It is so easy to forget—especially when I look to the world for assurance. When I look to TV, magazines, even sometimes my own Facebook and Instagram feeds for clues that what I’m doing as a parent is the most valuable thing I could be doing with my time, I’m largely left empty and disappointed. The world doesn't value raising children. Even though they should, because it’s the very thing that would save them, their social policies, their crime rates, and the emptiness that engulfs so much of all of it!!

However there is one source that I can always go to remember that what I am doing has the greatest worth. I go to the source that is unchanging, that always “gets it”, that doesn't mold to the popularity and trends and fashions of the world, that is the well of water that never runs dry. When I regularly talk with God and anchor my life to him, I am reminded that there is no greater work than what I’m doing every day.  

Yes, this is the life. 



Happy Friday!

Hope you have a great weekend! And if it's as cold where you are as it is here, stay bundled up!




We’ve spent the last three weeks living out of a suitcase as we attended a wedding, two births, a trip to the hospital, Christmas, and a funeral. The twins met many relatives for the first time, we enjoyed fresh Arizona oranges for almost every meal, I got to be with my mom and spend time with dear grandparents, and we got to swim outside in January (only in Las Vegas!). Aside from the inevitable holiday cousin sickness (which we unfortunately both gave and received), it was an amazing and needed holiday.

But you know what? I am so glad to be home.

Last night as Dave and I were lying in bed we realized that it’s been 7 months since we have had the house all to our family, and boy does it feel good.

Yesterday I just soaked up being a mother: kissing soft chubby baby cheeks, making homemade applesauce and licking the spoon, staring into my babies’ eyes during feeding time, reading picture books, and running my fingers through Tillie’s hair as I sang her to sleep. How I love my home, my husband, my babies, and our life—no matter how much of a circus it is right now. 

There is much to be grateful for, and much that I can attribute to nothing but the hand of God. He is real, he hears my prayers, and he's made something beautiful out of this life of mine.

Farewell to travelling, airports, and time changes. And hello to HOME.
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