Friday, August 31

Happy Birthday, Unca Phil

My littlest brother turns 18 today! (yesterday, 'cause I'm a little slow...)
My mom let my sister and I be a part of her big day- the day he was born and I can remember it like it was yesterday. My mom started contractions in the morning and by the time 9 o'clock at night rolled around I was starting to get nervous. I can remember shooting baskets outside while my mom walked around and we waited for my Dad to get home from work. I've never gone into labor on my own- other than with the twins, early, and let me tell you- it was anything but calm and rational walking around, like my mom was that day. (it involved calling my mom sobbing, calling the nurses hotline sobbing and my neighbors coming and finding a 1/2 naked boy running around chasing the dog with scissors as his sister decorated her with stickers...not calm or rational) My brother hung poor mom labored into the wee hours of the sister and I slept on chairs in the waiting the end it was totally worth all the distress I went through (because those chairs are uncomfortable- right mom???) ;) to see my precious little "squirmy" brother all red and crying under the heat lamps. I still remember looking at him the first time and immediately falling in love. I think I knew at that moment I was going to be a mom- whatever it took. When he was little I got the amazing privilege of taking care of my little brother a lot. He went with my sister and I everywhere. We doted on him, took pictures of him, used him for projects at school, took him out with us and our friends, we absolutely loved our littlest brother! (and it hasn't changed- I still absolutely love this guy who now towers over me and throws my kids higher up in the air than I ever could) :) My littlest brother isn't so little anymore...he's quite grown up. I'm proud of who he has become and of the man he is working towards becoming. He is someone that I truly hope and pray my son turns out like! We love ya, Unca Phil!! 
or should I say princess phil? ;) 

Wednesday, August 29

2 years

 Jackson Ray turns 2 tomorrow!
3 days old
1 year old

2 years old
 My little man-
I can't believe that you're 2 years old already. In some ways these years have flown by and it feels like just yesterday that I held you in my arms for the first time. You are the little boy I always dreamed of. You didn't even cry when you were born you just looked up at me with those big eyes and I swear you smiled at me and in that moment I knew you and I were going to have a special bond. You make me laugh, you make me smile, you make me cringe. You have the softest sweetest heart. You love Jesus with abandon and I love that! Your prayers are sweet and beautiful and nothing can bring tears to my eyes faster than hearing you say, "Amen, Jesus, thank you mommy, daddy, Hawey and babies", like you do almost every night. I'm in awe of and almost jealous of the way you completely and utterly trust that God protects you from monsters and lions and snakes and scary things under your bed. You are just precious. You love your Daddy so much and we have taken to calling you his "mini-me", because not only do you look so much like him, but you copy everything that he does. You like nothing better than to go outside and work with your tools on his boat or the deck or the truck. Last night I came outside and you were working with Daddy and he had a few zip ties in his mouth that he was using on a project and when you turned to look at me I saw that you had a few in your mouth, too. You didn't know why- you just copied your Daddy and I found that to be so incredibly cute. You're also the toughest little thing I've ever met. You fall a lot and rarely cry. You hit your head numerous times a day and never complain. You're always sporting some new bruise or scratch that you didn't come and tell me about. Watching you grow up is the most exciting, scary, and wonderful thing I've ever experienced. At one moment you act like you're already 3 and you're running and jumping and doing all the stuff that Hailey can do, but in the next moment you're coming in the house crying and needing mommy to kiss a "hurt" away or tattling on daddy for picking on you. I cherish those precious times when you need me. I sneak in a little hug every time you fly by me on your way somewhere. I snuggle you every chance I can get. Because I know that all too soon, my sweet baby boy, you're going to be grown up and not needing me to kiss your hurts away and not begging me to read you stories about garbage trucks and not wanting me to sing another song when I tuck you into bed at night! 
Happy Birthday my sweet Jackson! 
Love, your biggest fan- mommy

Tuesday, August 28

9 months

wow! my littlest buggers are 9 months old already!! Here's a little of what they're up to:
They're all over the place- crawling here and there, but mostly up my leg or into my lap...they're always following me around and always clinging to my legs. I've even accidentally knocked them over a few times when I've moved about the kitchen too quickly and haven't realized one of them was attached to my leg! 
 loving their momma
I know that most kids love their mom's, but I guess because Hailey wasn't a "momma's girl" I'm always happily surprised when my kiddos choose me over anyone else and these little twinnies definitely do! (I think it has more to do with the fact that I am "food", but don't tell my heart that- I like to think that I'm just that special to them) :)
 taking baths with the older kiddos :) (they don't even need their little seats anymore, in fact, they climb out of them, now, so we cant use them) 
they're all pretty cute, huh?!
 still tormenting their siblings- they're just getting better and better at it, these days :)
 sippy cups!!!
woohoo! our little baby girls have moved on and are using their little sippy cups more and more each day! I've even taken to pumping at night, just so I have something, other than water, to put in them, because they love using them so much 
 standing up on everything...
 climbing!! eeeh! Both girls are climbing up the stairs and Maelle is pretty much climbing on everything and anything! Thankfully Maysen is still a little bit behind, so I'm not having to console both of them as often as I do Maelle. (about 3 seconds after this picture was taken she fell face first off of the dishwasher)
I'm still nursing the girls and still don't have plans to quit anytime soon- even though it's a lot less like the sweet snuggle time that I pictured in my mind and a lot more like wrestling alligators, but at least they're getting good food that's free! :) 
These little girls are such a joy. We all just love watching them play and crawl and climb and do pretty much anything! God definitely knew what He was doing when He blessed our little family with twins! (what a shock, huh?) :) 


is slowly fading away. Thankfully there are a few nice days left!
we went to the "beach" with my sister on one of those days. It was fun to share some memories with our auntie fysh! (can you see the hiding baby on my lap?)
 there's nothing better than sandy little toes- especially chubby little baby ones! 
 some rare moments when my kids are quiet and still 
 auntie fysh- our chief baby wrangler :) 
I can't get enough of these 2 when they're actually still and just doesn't happen often:)
  I'm gonna be one sad momma when summer does finally fade away. This is really the first year that all the kids and I have been able to enjoy being outside each and every day and it has been a lot of fun to take them swimming and to the beach and to just have so many little "experiences" with them! 

Monday, August 27

Jack's "early" birthday party!!

We celebrated Jackson's 2nd birthday on Sunday and it was a blast! I even enjoyed myself, regardless of how sad I was feeling about my baby boy growing up! 
Daddy and Mommy bought him a tool bench that he loved :)

my amazingly creative friend, Jenny, created another incredible cake that Jackson absolutely loved! His favorite part was the fondant tools. He stuck the whole hammer in his mouth and chewed on it for what seemed like an hour ;)
Thanks, all, for celebrating with us!! :) 

Saturday, August 25

tractor show!!

we started our celebration for Jackson's birthday a few days early by going to an antique and steam engine tractor show!! I'd have to say that it was pretty cool and there were some really neat things there and despite the fact that we got there at 9 and were gone by 11:30 and I felt beat for the rest of the day it was totally worth it seeing how much my little boy was in awe of all the tractors, the fire truck and all the other big machines! The kids even got to climb on a bunch and that was probably his favorite part...that or seeing the old bucket truck!! 

It's hard to believe that my little man is turning 2 soon...please bear with me if I get a little weepy in the next few days! I feel like his life has just flown by and I can't get it (or him) to slow down!!! 

Tuesday, August 21

my little girl

who isn't quite so little (or who isn't acting quite so little these days) 
 yup, Maelle, the baby in our family is pulling herself up on anything and everything and get this---climbing the stairs!! AHHH!! 
good thing for me our little Macy is still content to watch her sister, but I know it's only a matter of time, as she's starting to get up and rock on her knees at the bottom of the stairs!  eeeeh! not sure what I'm gonna do when they start really moving, because I can barely keep up with them the way it is!

7 things for 7 years

there's so much I love and appreciate about my husband and I definitely feel like this year has been the best year of our marriage- to date (God willing we have plenty more to choose the best from) :) But, I really feel like there is something about a marriage that has been "tried by fire" (I realize being blessed by children isn't a horrible curse or anything-just hard on a marriage) and come out stronger. Before we had the twins I was incredibly worried about our marriage. I knew the dynamics would change. I knew Korey would have to be more "hands on" than before. I knew the rate of divorce within the first year of a multiple birth is over 60%. I knew that we would be exhausted. I knew our marriage would have to take a "backseat" for a while. I knew it would be hard on us. And, I didn't know how we would weather it all. 6 years seemed like a long time, but I worried it wouldn't be long enough to weather some of the challenges I knew we were going to face...I worried that we would hurt each other, wound each other, and we would emerge not stronger for it, but bitter and constantly at odds with one another. I'm pleased to say that through this year my love and admiration for Korey has only grown. (yes, we've had our fights- mostly about the dumbest stuff and mostly at the midnight feeding of the twins) ;) I've seen him put me and our kids first in a way that he'd never had to before. I've watched him pitch in at home. I've felt his constant encouragement and strength. Even just the simplest of things aren't taken for granted- that has made our marriage stronger and for that, I thank God! We may not have a date night every week. We may not have "quality time" with one another talking and chatting and sharing our hopes and dreams. Most of our conversations may be at 6 in the morning, bleary eyed and chugging coffee, but I love my man and I love my life and I wouldn't trade it for anything in the whole world.
In honor of our 7 years together, here are 7 things I love and appreciate about my man:
1)he's an AWESOME daddy
 2)there's nothing he can't build or fix or make
3)he rubs my back when I've had a long hard day of carting little ones around
4)he does the laundry, when it gets backed up, he empties the dishwasher when it needs it, he takes out the garbage when it's full
5)he makes me laugh- even when I wanna cry or be angry
6)he gave me 4 beautiful children
7)he's not afraid of hardwork- he'll work hard all day at work and then come home and work some more
I love this man and I've never once regretted marrying him :)

Sunday, August 19

a time to cry, a time to be happy...

for everything under heaven and earth there is a time...
there was a time in our lives that was scary and heartbreaking and hard- that was the time that our daughter's spent in the NICU (newborn intensive care unit). Granted, they were only there 5 days, they were only there for breathing and feeding troubles, they were some of the biggest twins the nurses had in there, they were 37 weeks when they were born- they had a lot going for them, but, regardless of how good things were- how everyone told us they were doing so great and would be fine- as a Mom and Dad it's never easy to see your  tiny precious babies all hooked up to iv's and oxygen and listening to their breathing wax and wane throughout the night. It's never easy to leave 2 precious children at home to sleep with 2 precious children in the hospital. It's never easy not knowing. And, that's where we "lived" for 5 long days- not knowing. Not knowing how long we'd be there, not knowing if they would ever nurse, not knowing what the future held for us. We were scared, we were nervous, we were overwhelmed by it all. I cried every time I left the hospital, I cried every time I left home, I cried watching my 2 oldest children and husband leave the hospital, I cried when I pumped and got nothing, I cried when I had to leave and get some food to eat and I cried when I got back and sat in the dark room with my sleeping little ones to eat. Those were hard and lonely days for me and hard and busy days for Korey. 
But, those sad days are far from us- they almost seem like a distant memory, now, and last week, Thursday, we went to a party celebrating all the NICU graduates. It was such a fun and special day for the twinnies- ok, just kidding- Hailey and Jackson had fun and the twins sort of "hung out" :) I just enjoyed the opportunity to see some of our nurses and the doctor and be reminded that those sad and scary times are no more! 

all in all I'd say we all had a great and fun time! It was a great reminder to think back to those first few days of the twins lives and to rejoice in the fun, instead of sorrowing in the hard times! 

Saturday, August 18


sometimes, as parent's of twins, we get to witness the sweetest and most precious of moments!
 (and we get to share them with you) :)
holding hands!
snuggle buddies 

Thursday, August 16

fun with my kids

Life here is settling down, again, and we all seem to be getting beyond whatever cold and sickness we had for a couple of, we've started making more time for "fun"! I've been thinking a lot, encouraged a lot by friends, and spurred on by my kids to just have fun and not worry so much about the rest of life! Oddly enough, the more I've been focused on just having fun and enjoying the simple parts of our life- God has provided the extra time and energy to get stuff done around the house, also. (even if it does mean that I'm folding laundry at 10:30 at night, while waiting for Korey to get home- God also provided the grace I needed to get through the next day without feeling too overwhelmed with tiredness)
here's a few things that fun means to my kiddos:
painting fingernails with Hailey, when all the other kids go down for naps
making rice krispy treats with Jack and letting him lick the spoon
  letting the M&M's keep the bag of crackers they snagged off a chair and letting them crawl around on the floor eating them
 I feel like my kids and I often have a lot of crazy fun over here, but it's just a good reminder to take some time out of my day to truly enjoy this time of life, to make special times, to revel in the fun- instead of wishing away this time or allowing it to just pass by me too quickly!! 

Wednesday, August 15

7 years...

and 4 kids later...we've found that life is a little different than it used to be! :)
7 years and 4 kids later:
you find yourself taking a shower in the morning and blow-drying your hair- praying no one throws up on you or ruins your hair, knowing you won't have time to shower again
you wear a long dress because during the preceeding shower 3 kids decided that they needed to jump in with you and one of them got soap in their eyes so you didn't have time to shave your legs
your husband asks you to change out of before mentioned dress and opt for jeans because he doesn't feel like dressing up
you make your husband pick out your outfit for you
you do your make up and hair at the dining room table, between shoving food in babies mouths and sweet talking your kids into eating their mac 'n cheese
your last minutes before walking out the door are spent putting mac 'n cheese in the fridge and laying out jammies and diapers, instead of primping and double checking your hair
you go out for a celebration dinner 6 days early, because that's what works for you and your free babysitters
you remember your anniversary only because your amazingly sweet babysitters get you a gift card and offer to babysit for free!! 
you opt to sit at the bar and wait for a quiet, secluded booth far away from children, instead of taking the first available table
you stop at menards and at a friend's house to return some stuff on the way to dinner
you go for a nice quiet drive after dinner, just listening to music and enjoying your time away
you find yourself quietly sitting and staring at each other and your food and loving every minute of the quietness and not even feeling like you need to fill the silence with chatter
you thank God for 7 beautiful years, 4 beautiful children and 1 amazing man that-
you talk and dream and think of the future laugh at your kids with, you laugh at your life with and then-
you walk out of the restaurant, holding hands, excited that you get to go home and "live life" with the man that you love and your best friend! 
7 years and 4 kids later I wouldn't change a thing! I love you, Korey, and I wouldn't trade all the time to get ready and dressed up and all the fun date nights that we used to have for anything that we have, right now. I love every minute that I get to spend with you, every moment that we share together, and every time that you come home my heart leaps in my chest- just like it used to when we were first married! You light up my life and put a smile on my face, even when it seems impossible! I thank God for you and still can't believe that you chose me to be your wife! 

Monday, August 13

so blessed

Once again our family has been blessed by the generosity of others- our friends gave us a burley for me to pull the twins behind my bike!! woohoo! We had such a great time using it today- we went for 3 bike rides (1 time Hailey and Jack had to ride and we left the twins at home- they didn't wanna miss out on the fun) ;) It's so nice to be able to have Hailey riding her bike...Jack riding behind Daddy...and me pulling the twins!! It was incredibly fun :)