Friday, October 28

4 weeks to go...

until I'm officially carrying full term twins!

neither Korey nor I can figure out if it's more exciting or incredibly scary to know that sometime within the next 4 weeks we will meet our little girls and officially become a family of 6!
I, for one, am not uncomfortable enough to be begging these girls to get out, yet! I'm excited to meet them, but I don't know if you can call it practical or just pessimistic, but I can't stop thinking about how much work it's going to be when they come home and how exhausted Korey and I are going to be for the next year...In fact, if I were to be honest I am freaking out about all the realities of bringing the girls home. I haven't really allowed myself to think about actually bringing them home, until now, and even as I do think about it I just feel complete and utter panic! Don't get me wrong- I love these girls and I would never in a million years do anything to not bring them home, in fact, I will do everything in my power to bring them home with me, but I'm just petrified about what the future may hold for me and my family. I'm nervous about my marriage and how Korey and I will ever find time for one another, I'm sad that Jackson, my baby, will have to be a big boy and accept his new place in the family (and I'm scared that he will have a hard time with it), I'm fearful that I won't have time to even read my Bible...there's just so much that it's just overwhelming...
Please pray for us in these next few weeks- we would definitely covet your prayers! Pray, especially that my heart would be steadfast, trusting in the Lord and not in man's strenght or wisdom!

helping Daddy rake leaves!

since I'm not allowed to rake and the kids aren't very good at it- we all played around while Daddy finished raking some leaves and putting them into his truck! :)

we sure had a good time playing

I think Hailey's favorite part was just wading through the leaves
unfortunately they didn't really want to sit and pose for a picture- go figure!

doesn't a big pile of leaves just make you wish you were a kid again??

there's just something fun about playing in the leaves in the fall! I guess that's good, since it sort of makes up for the not so fun part of raking them all up and taking them to the yard waste site :)

there are certain things...

that honestly make Korey and I question the reason as to why God would trust us with two more children!

this poor little picture is evidence of one of those times...

first, we let our kid run around outside playing with sticks

second, we decided to try and do some raking, as he was running around with the stick

third, well, you can tell that something bad happened- yup, our little baby boy took a stick and decided to try and climb up onto Hailey's trike with it you can tell it didn't turn out so well for his poor little face! (in case you haven't guessed, he fell and poked himself with the stick)

I don't know when we've ever felt so bad for the poor little guy and more thankful that God's gracious hand was upon him and us, as he didn't end up poking his eye out or do anything more damaging to himself!

Saturday, October 22

32 weeks

I did it! I made it to 32 weeks!

(here's me and one of my best friends, due almost 2 months apart, but looking eerily similar in size) I breathed a huge sigh of relief on Friday morning....

And, then today, I read, "I sought the Lord, and He heard me, and delivered me from all my fears" Psalm 34:4 and I knew that more than allowing us to make it to 32 weeks, God had done a great work in my heart and my life in the last 20 weeks(yes, it has been 20 weeks since we found out I was carrying twins)!!

I wrote this prayer to the Lord and this morning and it so encompassed what He has been teaching me that I thought I'd share it with you all.

Lord, I really am in awe of how far You've brought me - I marvel at Your faithfulness through these last 20 weeks. I feel a peace deep in my soul that could only be from You. There were days that were shrouded in fear and trepidition- days where I wasn't sure how I was going to make it- some of the darkest, most selfish days of my life, but You remained faithful! I sought You out in Your word and You drew me to Your side and delivered me from my fears. You calmed my anxieties and You proved Your faithfulness over and over again. You brought me to the place where I can honestly say, "whether I bring my girls home or not- You will be glorified and honored in my life and cirucmstances and that is all that matters." Thank you, Lord, for not leaving me in my selfish, self-pittying state- thank you for faithfullly standing by me and delivering me from the fears that threatened to overtake my life. We still have a ways to go, Lord, before the real work begins, but I am convinced that You will continue to remain faithful and to that hope I continue to cling. I refuse to let fear rule, because, "I sought you out, You heard me and delivered me from all my fears!"

It is true, ya'll ;), we do still have a ways to go, but God has proved His faithfulness to us time and time again and I know that He will continue to be faithful as I start my non-stress tests this coming week, see the doctors more and more often and continue to try and keep my babies growing inside my ever expanding "oven" as long as possible! :)

Tuesday, October 18

2 peas in a pod

that was the theme of the beautiful shower thrown for me and my baby girls by some wonderful friends at church! I felt so incredibly blessed and so loved, last night, the minute I walked into the room and saw all these adorable little touches and my friends there!

have you ever seen anything as cute as these little pea pod cookies?? :)
and this adorable little dress?? :) In case you can't read what the little signs say here are the words:
twice as much to love, two blessings from above!
there's two to kiss and two to hug, best of all there's two to love!
two precious lives to mold, four little hands to safely hold!
all the food was so wonderful- not to mention incredibly cute!!

even the table decorations were adorable!!

I was even blessed enough not to be the only pregnant lady there- my dear friend, Christy, who's due in a week and a half came out to help me celebrate! :) (I don't know if you can tell, but our bellys are pretty close to the same size...too bad for me I have a lot longer to go than she does) :) We did try to hug and basically bounced off of each other...lesson learned- don't try to do a front hug with another hugely pregnant lady! :)

we were given so many wonderful gifts!

aren't these shoes adorable?? (plus, they even make my belly look rather small)

and, these two great little outfits?? They're adorable and super cute! :)

we were even given yarn for some adorable little hats that my mom is going to get made for maysen and maelle!

speaking of Mom came up and surprised me!! Isn't she wonderful?? :)

All of this was wonderful and adorable, but the best part of the evening is when we all closed our eyes, bowed our heads and my dear friends lifted up Korey, Jackson, Hailey, Maysen, Maelle, and I to the Lord. I wasn't able to stem the tide of tears as they prayed for my family! They prayed for everything from mine and Korey's relationship to strenght and endurance when the girls come, to Hailey and Jack handling it well, to them being able to see and help where I need it! I feel so blessed by the Lord to be from such a wonderful church family! Where else can you find a group of great women who all get along and are willing to support one another??!!

Thank you, girls- you are all so dear to me and I truly thank God for you all!

Friday, October 14

the goofiest of kids...

definitely reside at my house!

their new dinnertime routine is to eat with their feet on the table...of course it started with Jackson and Hailey had to copy him- go figure! :)

he's just too cute for us to make it stop, though, so I guess we deserve feet full of food and baths every night as punishment for not being "tough" enough parent's! :)

Hailey "snuggling" with her family member tree! ;) She and I made a thankful tree and put all our family members on it to thank God for each of them and she wanted to snuggle with them all!

hiding in Daddy's decoy box!

These kids just keep me laughing and giggling all the time! :) I'm so glad that God blessed me with them to keep me laughing!

31 weeks

woohoo! We made it to 31 weeks! :) 5 or 6 more weeks to can do it, Jenni!! :)

(thanks for letting me throw my own little pep talk to myself in here...think I hit a "wall" this week and am getting more and more uncomfortable, so I'm definitely getting more and more ready to meet these two little ones)

since we're getting a little closer to the delivery date, we've started getting ready for these babies...

we ordered some preemie diapers

and , Daddy's favorite "outfits" (in preemie size) little gowns that don't require any snaps, zippers or buttons! ;) (perfect for the middle of the night and those "manly fingers")
It almost feels surreal that we've made it this far! When I went into the doctor on Tuesday he said he was so proud of us and told me that we'd hit a big "milestone" the 30's! And, it honestly does feel like that. It's an exciting time and a little bit of a scary time, too. It seemed so much easier to not really "think" about them coming home when we were so much further away from it, but now it's starting to really sink in! Especially now that we've washed all the little tiny clothes and moved Jackson completely out of the nursery. I really can't wait to meet my little princesses, but I'm definitely starting to freak out about all the little things like- how am I gonna nurse two babies?? Can I do an unmedicated vaginal delivery(can I handle it- is it even possible)? Will they stay in long enough for me to be able to take them home with me? Will they be big enough? And, when they do come home- how are we gonna handle that?? Yikes! So many questions and so few answers!! Guess I'll just be happy that we made it to 31 weeks and try to continue not to think too far ahead! :)

Wednesday, October 12

it's pumpkin time!!

Since we (I mean "me", but my family is nice enough not to leave me at home) can't go traipsing around the pumpkin patch searching for pumpkins we decided to head out to a friend's house and just pick out some pumkins from their already picked ones to take home with us!

I love the fact that my kids still thought it was a super fun outing and just enjoyed playing with all the pumpkins! We even found a pumpkin for each of us!

Hailey thought it was super fun to climb on the wagon...

and poke her head out through the pumpkins

trying to pick up a giant pumpkin is fairly hard for such a little girl...but, she gave it her best shot! :)

even Maysen and Maelle got to pick out pumpkins...the biggest ones Korey would let me pick up!

Jack found one he could carry!

but, he liked the big one better, so that's what Daddy took home for him

the highlight for Hailey, though, was the kitties that she found in the Stroik's barn! Too bad Daddy wouldn't let her take it home ;)

It's a little sad for me this year to not be able to do some of the "fun" things that come with the fall, but, it's so nice to have a supportive husband and kids that are young so that we can still create memories without doing any great and huge adventures! Now if only I could find a way to get Korey, Hailey, and Jackson to make some of the fall treats that I love so much... ;)

it's humbling...

when you have to allow someone else to do "your" work for you! But, definitely in a good way!! I have been so blessed and so humbled by all the help, encouragement and prayers sent our way from family and friends and today was no different! My mom in law came and helped out so the babies and I could do some grocery shopping and then spend the rest of the afternoon resting!

If I had a picture of a giant whale laying on a couch, sleeping while drooling (that's because I have a hard time breathing) ;) I'd insert it here, but, since I don't- use your imagination!

here's a letter that I could have written to any of the helpers that have come to our house, but, Darlene, this one is for you:

Dear Mom,

thank you so much for your help at our house today. I know that words will never do justice to how much it meant to both Korey and I, but we really do appreciate ALL your help! Teh fact that you gave up your day off to come up to our house and spend the entire day watching the kids, reading stories, wiping noses and cleaning for me is amazing to me and honestly I can not thank you enough for it! It's been very humbling to have anyone else in my house doing things that I feel like I should be doing, but I am so thankful that God has allowed me to learn some humility through this and allowed you to be one of the "teachers". I only pray that someday I will be able to pay you back and be as much of an encouragement and help to you as you have been to me. I definitley praise and thank God that He placed me in your life. I knew I was incredibly blessed the day that I married your son, I just had no idea how much! Thank you, thank you, thank you from the bottom of my heart! Love, Jenni

Saturday, October 8

A friend for everyone...

Korey's good friend, Kody, and his wife, Devra, are some of mine and Korey's favorite people- and, consequently, one of the only friends we have that give us a "run for our $" when it comes to having kids! ;) Unfortunately, we didn't get a picture of the Ashbeck clan, but they have a little girl, Meredith, who's about 2 weeks younger than Hailey, and two little boys- Lincoln, who's about 19 months and Brady, who's 3 1/2 weeks! So, basically they have a friend for each of us! :) We were really hoping that little Brady was gonna be a girl, but I guess you just can't always get what you want! :)

Today we hung out with them for a few hours and we had a good laugh thinking about some of our first dates (Kody and Korey were roommates, so he was there from our "beginning" and one of their first dates was to our wedding), our weddings, homeschooling, the big V (wink, wink) ;) and how life has changed so dramatically for all of us in the last 2 1/2 years!!

Kody, Korey and I all went to school together, but like all relationships- it's really us girls that keep the "relationship" going! :) Korey and Kody like to tease each other about how much Devra alike- I'm just glad that they think I look like her, 'cause she's super cute! :)

the two that I do think look alike are these two cuties! It's weird...even when we met Meredith for the first time I thought she looked a lot like Hailey, but as they grew a little bit, Meredith quickly surpassed Hailey, since she had her mommy's good milk and poor Hailey had mine...but, now that they're both "bigger" they look alike again!

We're so thankful that God blessed us with good friends that we can share life with! (and someone who can understand the trials and fun of having your kids all close together) :)

Wednesday, October 5

51 days

Pretty amazing, isn't it- that we only have 51 days until we hit 37 weeks in my pregnancy??!!

We're all definitely getting more and more excited to see these little girls- Hailey bought them each a present to bring up to the hospital when they're born and they each bought both Hailey and Jackson one...I got sheets and mattress pads for their beds, all the clothes are washed and put away, wipes are stocked, yesterday my Dad and Mom came up and got some "outside" stuff winter ready, so all in all I'd say we're getting well on our way to meet these little princesses! (just really praying that it doesn't happen anytime soon, 'cause the one thing I have not done yet is pack my hospital bag) :)

Here's me- 29 weeks 5 days- growing like a weed, but not too uncomfortable yet- thank God!

In case you can't tell from the picture-my belly is getting HUGE...I honestly do think that it grows exponentially at night- 'cause I feel like each time I wake up to go to the bathroom it has gotten bigger! (and that's been around 3 or 4 x's, so that's a lot of nightime growth) :) These two little girls are so active, too, they keep Korey and I in stitches every night laughing at them "wrestling" around in my belly! I don't think I've ever seen a belly move like it does when these two get going! It really makes me wonder what they're gonna be like when they come out...

We had a check up last week Thursday (these are some pics of the two of them- they're both head down, now- Yay! and we're praying that they don't flip in the next 51 days). I had meant to update the blog letting you all know how well the girls did with me on my "house arrest", but, well, I guess I've had other things on my mind! :)

The girls did do wonderful at gaining some weight with me just sitting around at home! They were both weighing around 2lbs 4oz and that was a HUGE improvement from the time before- so, the consensus from the doctors was that I needed to continue on doing what I was doing- with a little bit more freedom! :) Other than hearing the good news the best part was that Korey went with me, because he thought I was "exaggerating" how much freedom they gave me, so it was great for him to hear that I could do a little bit more! But, with all the great help that we've been receiving from friends and family for the last two weeks I haven't really had to do too much. It has been such a huge blessing for all of us to see how much our "family" has stepped in to lend us a hand. More than one friend has offered and/or taken the kids for the day, my sister took Hailey for 4 days, our nanny started a little earlier than she was planning to and has done above and beyond what I even asked of her (she went grocery shopping for me!!!!), we've had people stop over and clean bathrooms, throw in a load of laundry, bring us tons and tons of fattening foods, lots of meat and goodies- it has just been amazing! I really had no idea how wonderful and supportive of a network we had until now! I think that when God blessed our family with twins He knew that we were gonna be ok, because of all the great friends that He had blessed us with (and the amazing families that we were born into)!! :) So, thank you to all of you who have helped us out! I so appreciate each and every one of you- there just aren't words to express it enough!

Sunday, October 2

"I'm sorry"

One of the things that I truly appreciated about my Dad was that he was always willing and "able" to say "I'm sorry" to whoever he wronged- even if it was one of us kids! And, I have never been more thankful for his great example than, now, when I have a little girl of my own who I find myself saying, "I'm sorry" to more often than I would like to have to!

You see...there's something special and crazy about mine and Hailey's relationship- I swear that she and Korey just had this instant bond and since the day she was born he loved her and has never really looked back. For me, it's a whole different story- even though I fell in love with her the instant I felt her tiny little fuzzy head, my "like" of her definitely has it's days! I tend to get more frustrated with her than Korey does, I find myself being short with her and cross with her more often than I'd like, and if there was ever a kid that was going to drive me to drink- it would definitely be Hailey!!

Obviously, like every parent- I have my good days and bad days and there are times when I just cherish and enjoy this little girl more than I could ever have imagined I would enjoy a kid, but this pregnancy has been rather hard on me, lately, and I've been finding that those days keep getting fewer and fewer...much to my chagrin! :(

I think the Holy Spirit has really been tugging at my heart about this a lot, lately, and like usual- I'm a little hard headed, but this morning in church I felt a punch to the chest that was unmistakedly the Lord telling me that it wasn't Hailey that needed to change, or needed better discipline, or was the problem- it was her mother! It broke my heart in half and I almost sobbed, right there on the spot. I always thought that loving our kids would come easy and that the "mother instinct" would take over and I would be forever after consumed with incredible patience and wisdom when it came to raising kids, but I have found that that just isn't true! Not only was my love for Jackson not even close to instant, but I do not have incredible patience or wisdom when it comes to either of my kids! I get irritated about things that don't matter, I loose my temper, and I find myself raising my voice and, yes, even sometimes yelling at Hailey! All those things that I never wanted to do- I find myself doing!

So, all this to say, that today, I got in the car after church, turned to my little girl and through my tears apologized for loosing my temper and getting frustrated with her on our way to church that morning, and Hailey, being the sweet, precious little girl that she is said to me, "Hailey love you mama- you ok? Don't be sad- here have Hailey's blankie- you snuggle and not be sad"! How can you not love that little girl? Despite all my frustrations with her, I have to admit that she has the sweetest heart and really, truly does have a heart that wants to please me and the Lord. It's amazing how she transforms when I tell her that her attitude isn't making Jesus happy- I just often am too tired and too weary to do the right thing in my parenting- so, instead, I revert back to the wrong thing, thus making it harder and more frustrating on all of us! And, for that I need not to ask Hailey's forgiveness, but God's, because it is to Him that I am sinning against when I let my selfish, tired self take over- instead of doing what I know to be true and right!

So, now that I shared this with all of you- feel free to keep me accountable! Ask me how I'm doing with my little girl (and I'm sure her little brother will be at that age before I know it and needing some discipline of his own...) and discipline! Ask me if I've spent quality time in the word and in prayer for my little ones- ask whatever questions you want, because I don't want to stay in this same place! I want to grow and mature in my walk with the Lord and become a better mom- apparently I just need a little bit more "nudging" than the rest of the mom's out there do! :)