Mother's Day 2017

Every year on Mother's Day I am overwhelmed when I look at the beautiful women I am surrounded by.  I'll never take for granted the cards and flowers I get to buy for these special women or the calls I get to make to say thank you for being a blessing and role model to me.  This has been a season of ups and down for the health of our family.  It seems to be one of those seasons where one there is one thing after another to worry about, but in the midst of it all, I find myself thankful.  Thankful for each one of the special bonds and relationships I share with the men and women in our family, whether they are near or far.  I realize not everyone has a support system like our family does.  Not everyone has an army of people to worry about, love and be loved by.  So today, I choose to rest my worry in the arms of Jesus just like He asks us to.  I will instead, focus on being thankful and present.

As for being a mom myself, I still can't get over how blessed I am to be Grayson and Hallie's mother.  Being their mom is the greatest gift I could ever ask for.  God has granted me with more than I deserve.  Nothing can prepare you for the love of a child.  That love grows everyday, just when I think I can't fall deeper in love, I do.  It's the little things, the joy, the cuddles, it's the hard days.  Motherhood is my greatest honor and the best job in the world.

Hallie and I kicked off MD with her first mani/pedi.  She chose a light pink shade with sparkles.  I was so proud of her as she sat perfectly still in the chair admiring her newly painted hands and toes.  Her face during the mini-massage was priceless, I am not sure if it was bewilderment or disgust, but it was pretty hilarious.  She didn't know what to think of the sugar scrub being rubbed over her cute little feet.  Grayson melted my heart later in the afternoon when I came in the door and he ran to me with his arms outstretched, yelling, "Mommy!  We got a suprise for you!"  He was tickled to have a present for me.  Daddy helped pick out a study bible that I have been wanting and Hallie picked out yellow daisy's.  I love my family.

For Grayson and Hallie

Grayson and Hallie,

In life, we are constantly reminded that we are not promised tomorrow.  We are, however, promised as believers of Jesus to spend eternity together.  I rest easy at that thought.  If I were to leave this world early there are so many things I would want you to know.  Most importantly, I would want you to know that you have brought me more happiness and joy than I ever knew possible.  I loved my life before having you.  I had a fulfilling career, your Dad as my best friend, our faith and church family and an army of loving friends and family.  You could say we had it all.  We did, but then you two came along.  There is a common saying that once you have a child or children you know what it feels like to have your heart live outside of your body.  That's what loving you feels like.  My heart lives inside of you and your daddy, and of course with the Lord.  The love is so big that it is hard to put into words.  I can't begin to tell you how many times a day I stop and look into Grayson's big blue eyes or at his joyful grin and think, how lucky am I?  Hallie gives me a kiss on the cheek, puts her head next to mine and closes her eyes and says, 'ahhh, I love you Mommy.'  It's heaven on earth, you two.  You melt my heart time and time again.  You were perfectly made by our Creator and I am in awe of His creations.  If ever I doubted my faith in God, all I have to do is look at my family and know, science can't explain this love or these beautiful souls who have captured my heart.  I want you to know that I will love you no matter what, under all circumstances and forever & ever.  You and Daddy are the greatest gifts I'll ever know.  I am far from perfect, and will make mistakes along the way, but you will never have to doubt my love for you.

Watching you grow is nothing short of amazing.  You are both so smart, thoughtful and so much fun to be around.  I love to watch Grayson use his big imagination in the world of superheroes.  There is a lot of discussion around Batman, Superman, Spider-man and occasionally the Hulk, too.  You're giggle and smile melt my heart everyday.  A few days ago while Hallie was sick you crouched down, put your little hands on your knees and said, 'how ya doing, Little Lady?'  You absorb everything around you and even when we think you aren't paying attention, you are!  Lately, you haven't wanted to eat what we serve you, unless it's fruit or something sweet.  We are seeing your stubborn side!

Hallie, you are sweet and smart as can be.  We have enjoyed watching your 'performances' as you sing "Let it Go' and make up your own songs standing on the fireplace.  Princesses and dollhouses are your cup of tea these days.  You're independent and catch on quickly.  This week you spelled your name for Dr. Prater and she asked if you were really just two, rather than 3 or 4.  You impressed her and were so good for her.  I laughed when you asked to go back to the doctor later in the day.

Day in and day out, you fill my heart and life with love and joy.Being a mom is special, and being a mom of twins is something I am so proud of and thankful for.




Happy 37th My Love!

I should be writing about our exciting night out on the patio at Joe T's with friends, but I came down with a tummy bug instead.  I told him to go anyway, but he didn't want to go without me.  Sweet, right?  We traded margaritas for a movie.  I can't say enough about Fences.  It wasn't exactly a feel good movie, but it was a great movie.  Denzel and Viola were fantastic.   The kids were at mom's so we went to bed early and slept until the last minute.  Sleep isn't a bad birthday present, especially, when he shares it with me!

As I was saying my prayers before bedtime, thanking God for Aaron and praying over our year ahead, I realized how much easier life has become.  A year ago we were head over heals in love with our new-ish family, and often at our wits end.  It was messy, exhausting, hard on us and on our relationship.  Giving all you have to two tiny people over time took it's toll on us.  We weren't in a bad marriage, we didn't hate each other, but we were more than likely not as patient or loving towards each other as we had before becoming parents.  We took a couple adult vacations and quickly relaxed and were reminded that we really do like each other!  In all seriousness, it was a good reminder that we hadn't changed, but our lives had.

I can't tell you how many times we have run into other twins parents who told us, it gets easier, we promise!  And it really has.  We have settled into our groove and life is super sweet.  I am so thankful that we didn't lose ourselves in the craziness, we just put 'us' on the back burner for a bit.  Isn't that what all parents do?  It's worth it and it has made us stronger.  We have more love and respect for each other than ever before.  We are so in love with our family and our life; at times I think it's too good to be true.  I wouldn't change those two years for the world and I know Aaron wouldn't either.  Today, when I see a frazzled mom with two babies or young toddlers, I look them straight in the eye and say, IT WILL GET EASIER.  I promise.  I know their pain, but I also know this twin parenting gig is a very special club that we are so proud to be a part of.

As usual, this has turned into a post about our precious boy and girl, but life ahead only seems to get sweeter.  I can't end this post without bragging on Aaron.  He is such a loving and involved Dad.  I am so lucky to have him as my partner through life and Grayson and Hallie couldn't ask for a more loving man as their father.

Happy Birthday, Aaron!  You are so loved by us!


Broken Bow 2017

We took a last minute trip to Broken Bow.  It was cold, but we still had a great time.  As always, we can't wait to get back!


I refuse to start another post about the twins with, it's 'hard to believe' or 'time flies'.  Instead, I will say this, in 6 months my 'babies' will be three!  Grayson and Hallie are soaking in the world around them, saying and doing bigger and more everyday.  If I am being honest, I am quite obsessed with them (my Facebook and Instagram prove this).  Everyday is a little bit different and a lot the same.  We are battling the word NO, dealing with fits, hitting and flying food.  At the same time, we are having the sweetest conversations, learning tiny lessons and having so much fun.  H&G love to play together, despite the occasional, he/she stole MY toy meltdowns.  In the morning and after naps the first words out of their mouths (after milk please) are usually 'where's Grayson' or 'Sissy sleeping?'  Sweet as sugar.

I wonder how many times I have looked at them and thought pretty soon this is going to be all over.  Mom says it just gets better and so far she has been right, but there is something ever so magical about toddlers.  I may be in the minority here, especially among other moms of multiples.  When I dreamed of having kids prior to, I always pictured little ones walking unevenly around the house and chubby cheeks singing the wrong words in the back seat.  Babies are sweet, but toddlers are my jam; no matter how difficult and temperamental, seriously.  Call me crazy.  Aaron was out of town last week in Colorado with his friends on a much need getaway and after a very busy open enrollment period.  I thought I would possibly die of exhaustion after 5 nights without him, but to my surprise, I enjoyed (almost) every minute of our one on one time.  When you know you are running the show without help, the 'get things done' mentality kicks in and is in a strange way, a bit easier.  Not surprisingly at all, Hallie flipped the switch on us almost as soon as Aaron came home.  Either a cold or teeth had her completely out of sorts and I was praising the good Lord above that I could call Aaron after work and say/shout, 'they are all yours and I'm going to yoga.  Please don't call me unless it's an emergency.'  Toddler life.  Ups and downs, but precious as can be.

Here are what my little man and lady are up to in their second and a half year.

Playing outside, grandparents (Big Daddy is by far Grayon's best pal), coloring, 'swimming' in the bath together, snuggling to a good movie, Peppa Pig (esp Hallie), dinosaurs (esp Grayson), reading stories, animals and their noises, singing nursery rhymes and Jesus Loves Me in the car, the park, playing with friends, riding the horsey aka on someone's back, riding real horses and the carousel, the zoo and anything sweet (we try to make this fruit more often than not).

Barking dogs including our's, going to bed without milk, brushing teeth depending on the day, shopping with mom (this used to be so easy!) and fixing miss Hallie's hair.  Overall, they are happy kids with the occasional melt down.

Other than fruit, H&G have a pretty diverse pallet.  Grayson isn't into meat at the moment, but loves pasta and bread.  More carbs please.  Hallie loves meat and is picky about pasta. She loves cheese, Grayson does not. Both are great fruit and veggies eaters.  Both love milk, have I mentioned this yet?  LOVE MILK.   Of course, they love sugar and cookies and treats at their grandparents and on special occasions.  Graham crackers are our go to treat at home, but they'd be just as happy with blueberries or an orange.

Hallie loves to play with small or miniature figures like Peppa the Pig or Calico Critters.  She puts them in their miniature beds and takes very good care of them.  Grayson likes to play with them too, but usually finishes up by swiping the table clean of Hallie's perfectly placed set up, usually ending in tears.  Grayson is most into dinosaurs and play food.  Currently, he carries around a basket of fruits and vegetables and serves them up to whomever is around.  As for his dinosaurs, he enjoys reading about them, learning their names and making them 'ROAR' and 'FIGHT!'  Both kids really like anything art related and Hallie is a sticker-a-holic.  Puzzles are still cool and so are books.  At night, Hallie sleeps with her girrafe-y and Grayson sleeps with his monkey.  Both were shower gifts.  I love that they have 'lovies' as some people call it.  I had a blanket I carried around.   I won't say how old I was when I ditched it or it fell apart at the seems.... I can't seem to remember.

Similar, but very unique.  Grayson is full of joy, energy and is 'all boy' as my mom would say.  He has the best laugh and loves to have fun.  Singing has been his thing lately.  He loves to belt out nursery rhymes at the top of his lungs from his crib, carseat or while playing.  Pretty adorable if you ask this mom.  He challenges me most in terms of listening and following rules.  We are constantly reminding him to use his manners and that yelling NO at adults is never okay.  Time out works best for him as punishment.  He hates to stop what he's doing and sit by himself.  He loves to cuddle and says, 'I want to hold you' several whenever he needs some love or one on one time.  He is very outgoing around family, but a little more shy and apprehensive around new people and new things.  Once he warms up, he is all good.  He gets nervous trying new things at times and weary of things that seem scary, until he knows he is safe.  Lately, he repeats before bed time, 'there are no monsters in this house' like we have told him.  When he sees something scary he covers his little hand over his mouth and nose and even starts to shake a little.  We avoid scary TV and movies, but on an occasion something will scare him that I'm not expecting.  He is my sweet, playful and funny boy.  His smile is contagious and melts my heart.
Hallie, is also sweet and loving.  She is independent until she decides she needs us.  When she wants to cuddle, she often caresses our faces and says in her sweetest voice, 'I love you, Mommy.'  It's precious.  She only needs to hear something once to remember it.  She's a quick study and knows what she wants.  She has a stubborn side to her, but is very polite at the same time.  She likes to remind Grayson when he forgets to say please or thank you and has recently started telling on him.  She has a very big heart and constantly asks if 'you okay?' if she thinks something may be wrong or someone may be hurt.  At the Gap yesterday she tilted her head, batted her eyelashes, gave a huge grin and asked a stranger, 'what do you think about that?'  I died laughing.  The woman had just told me she was pretty, so I guess, Hallie was going to give her a little bit more to really wow her.  My funny girl.  Dealing with her when she's sick or doesn't feel well is something else.  She goes from her easy going self to sometimes inconsolable.  It's hard to tell if she truly feels terrible or if she's blowing things a bit out of proportion.  I think it's likely a combination of the two and I remind myself she is only TWO.  She doesn't have a high pain tolerance and likes a bit of drama.   Tender hearted, independent and confident are the words I think of when I think of my little girl.

Grayson is currently 33 pounds and Hallie is about 28.5.  I have their height written somewhere from their most recently well visit.  G is at the top of the height chart and 75% percentile in weight.  Hallie is about 50% height and weight and 90% for head circumference.  She got that from her Daddy!

I am savoring these days as much as possible and trying my best to be the mom that they need.


New Year, New Me

Christmas came and went without a post.  What can I say?  We have been busy!  The holidays were so good to us.  We made precious memories with family and watched two very excited two year olds learn everything Christmas.

Everything went off without a hitch other than Grayson coming down with strep and a little health scare I had at the beginning of December.  It started with a headache that was new, out of nowhere and lasted for weeks.  It was localized toward the top left side of my head.  I broke the cardinal rule after a few days and resorted to Dr. Google.  Bad idea.  I became extremely anxious and decided to have a MRI done (even though my ACTUAL doctor was not concerned.)  The MRI showed a 5mm spot on the RIGHT side of my head, completely unrelated to the headache.  Long story short, I saw a neurosurgeon who diagnosed as a non-specific lesion.  We will watch it to make sure it doesn't grow over the next year, but it is not a tumor and does not have characteristics of MS, Lyme or anything else recognizable.  Originally, I was told it could be any of those things, and that they just didn't know.  During the month or so that this was going on I continued to feel extremely anxious.  My mind went to all of the worst places.  After finding out that it is most likely nothing, I made the easy decision to take better care of myself.  Like many, I indulged more than I should have over the holidays and gave up the gym.  Not only was I feeling tired, sluggish and bloated, I believe it contributed to the anxiousness I was feeling.  If I am going to worry this much about my health, why am I not taking care of my health?!  Unlike previous years, my new year started with a desire to be healthy and put good foods in my body for my long term health.  In previous years my sole goal was SKINNY.  It has been such a change of mindset for me and really much easier to stay on track with a goal that actually matters to me.  I've known the danger of sugar and chemically modified foods and now I am going to say no to them more times than not.  I will never be the perfect eater.  I love bad food too much!  I will however, be conscious of what goes in my mouth and make better choices most of the time.  I already feel so much better and as a side effect of being healthier, I have lost 8 pounds.  This week I started hot yoga.  WHY OH WHY did I wait so long?  It's really, really heavenly.  I love everything about it from sweating and difficult poses to the refreshing, zen like feeling I have during and after class.

Another lesson learned through this was to rely on my faith, it is there for reason.  I came to a point where the worry was making me feel sick.  I knew then to go back to what I know.  I focused heavily on the scripture of Jesus' promises.  Shortly after, and prior to my neurosurgeon appointment I had a strong sense of peace wash over me.  It was a reminder to me, to go there first not last.  Every time I have struggled in my life I have seen the power of God work when I chose to trust Him and his plan for my life.  It's an experience that I can't explain, but am so thankful for.

I am learning so much about my body and how to take care of it through the research I have been doing.  It's my new hobby!  So cheers to a healthier me in 2017!

PS.  The headache went away and was possibly caused by a change in medication.  Back to normal!



It's the most wonderful time of the year!

Mom and I took the twins to their first performance at the Bass Hall to see Rudolph.  The production couldn't have been better.  It brought me back to childhood. Grayson and Hallie loved it and sat perfectly through the entire show.  Proud mamma moment!

The Bass is decorated beautifully at Christmastime.  We picked out ornaments for H&G as keepsakes for our special day and plan to make it a annual tradition with Nana.