Happy Thanksgiving 2010!


This year we will be spending Thanksgiving here in Houston -- the first time since 2006. That was the Thanksgiving that was only about 3 weeks after my dad passed away -- so needless to say there wasn't very much celebrating and it was a rough holiday for all. So I am very excited this year to host again under happier circumstances. We have so much to be thankful for this year --- and how sweet it will be to have our 2 little ones babbling in the background (well, hopefully babbling & not screaming!) Either way, it's going to be wonderful.

My Type A personality has reared it's ugly head --- I broke down and made an actual Excel spreadsheet to keep track of who was responsible for what and what ingredients I needed to purchase. I am quite sure I have annoyed my entire family with my repeated emailss to verify dishes and arrival times. Oh well! I think we have everything organized and hopefully I will just be able to relax when everyone arrives.

Anyway, I thought I would share a few pre-Thanksgiving photos of the kids! The ones in their matching smocked outfits were taken before their very first outing to church this past Sunday. I kept them in the stroller the whole time and with me in the back of the church, but it was great to at least take that first step in taking them to my favorite place to be on Sunday mornings. They did great --- they loved the worship songs, probably because they recognized quite a few from our Praise Baby DVD's! Too fun --- I will be glad when we can all go as a family and they can go to the nursery like the other babies, but that's a few months off until Q's surgery and recovery.

Hope you all have a wonderful Thanksgiving holiday and enjoy lots of good food :)

In Him,

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Giving Back of the "Perfect Gift"

For those of you who know me personally--- you know that I am not fond of a couple of things...

#1. Having my picture taken and

#2. Being in a video.

All of these people who want to get famous by going on reality shows --- well, I just can't relate to that. I will do almost anything to hide from the camera. And to see my life (and bad hair days played out for an audience every week - forget it!!!)

But a few months ago, I felt completely convicted to help get a blood drive going at our church to help babies such as Quinn and her bestie Caroline, not to mention all of the other thousands of people who benefit from the "gift of life". So, that has been my pet project the last couple of months and it will culminate in a drive on Sunday, Nov. 28th (9am-3pm) at our church.

 If you live in the West Houston/Katy/Richmond area and are interesting in donating, please comment and let me know. If you cannot donate or do not live in the area, I sincerely ask you to please be in prayer for the donors and recipients alike that day.

So, all of that being said -- and my preference for not videotaping myself, we of course made a video that was played this morning at church. If I could have crawled into a corner and hidden effectively, I would have. But my love for Quinn and my passion for this cause trumps all of that. So for better, for worse, here's the video. I don't know if you will cry like I did -- but hopefully maybe one or two of you will be moved to give "the perfect gift" this season.

In His Hands Always,

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Things People Say...

As the twins and I are getting out a little bit more these days, it never fails to crack me up at the things people say to us. I am actually always a bit shocked that people notice us --- since I have at least 3 friends who had twins all within 3 or 4 months of Ryan & Quinn, I just don't think of twins being that out of the ordinary. But I guess there is something cool about babies and twins - so there ya go.
And people, for the most part, are so kind and incredibly gracious. I have never had so many doors opened for me in my life. And people let us cut in line all the time. Unbelievable really, when you consider sometimes that we live in a pretty self-absorbed society. I have been so pleasantly surprised and immensely grateful to them all. Especially to the wonderful lady who walked me to the front of the line on Voting Day so I didn't have to stand in the rainy & cold weather outside for 45 minutes. Awesome!

But anyway, in no particular order, my favorite utterings from perfect strangers:
(Authors Note: MOST people say the sweetest things, I just happen to think the following are amusing. So they are not exactly indicative of what we always hear, except #2 seems fairly popular and #5 as well)

1. Oh, you have a boy and a girl! So lucky! Are they identical??? (I questioned this one a bit (High School Biology was failing me) until I googled it and found that absolutely not, boy/girl twins cannot be identical - just fyi)

2. Do twins run in your family? (I still have yet to come up with a good response for this one --- I am fairly open about our infertility in most instances with friends and obviously to the strangers on this blog, but I don't think the lady working at Children's Place necessarily needs to know.)

3. Shouldn't you have a license to drive that thing? (Referring to my "boat" of a double stroller)

4. Twins! Oh, my gosh! Did you have a surrogate? (SERIOUSLY?!! Even if I did, I wouldn't tell you about it standing in the line at Pot Belly getting my TKY)

5. Oh, you are so brave to take them out by yourself! (Because I am just supposed to sit at home watching Bravo re-runs?)

6. That poor, poor girl. (Said from one woman to another at DSW, as they shook their heads in sadness & disbelief at me. Nice.)

7. Please tell me you have a full-time nanny to help you. (ummm, no. Although we had that 2 weeks of the night nanny which was a complete God-send, this is totally doable at the moment. If we throw another kid in the mix at some point, then I may need more sitters!)

8. Are you going to have more children? (Maybe, but I am probably not going to discuss my family planning with you at Which Wich. Obviously, we go and pick up a lot of sandwiches these days. Mostly to get out of the house and get some fresh air - it's a lot of work for just a sandwich but sometimes I think it's a savior for my sanity.

9. You had twins? But you are so SHORT. (Not small, SHORT. Because there are stature requirements to having twins)
Anyway, I know there are more - but just thought I would throw those out there. I actually do love having conversations with all of these people --- and amazed how many people really do care. It's been enlightening to say the least :)

I will say this... when I see both of my kids tucked away in their stroller, happy little smiles on their content little faces --- I am just blown away by God's Grace and our blessings. They make me smile every.single.day.

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A Time of Thanks

So, it's a little early in November to do a list of thanks, but I wanted to get ahead of myself for once. The end of November looks a little crazy, so I doubt I'll get to it. Look at me - no procrastination :) ha.

It's no secret that I love fall. I love the weather (better hair days!), the smells, the colors, the food, and pretty much everything else. I broke out the fall decorations in early October and it brings a smile to my face (although probably not to Martha Stewarts) to see our fall decor. I am not a crafty person and I am not a good interior decorator. If I had it my way, I would order just pages out of Pottery Barn exactly as shown and be as happy as a clam. But I tried this year to put something together --- and at least with the candles burning a lovely cranberry apple smell, it smells like fall :) The look is debatable, but oh well...thank you, Super Kroger for the awesome burnt orange placemats for $2.99.

Ok, so my thankful list, in no particular order:

I am thankful for:

1. Numero uno - my babies. Enough said. (although more will probably be said later)

2. An amazing husband who continues to spoil me with his time, love, affection, and amazing daddy-skills. As soon as he gets home from work, he is down on the ground playing with the babes so I can have a few minutes of "me" time. I have no idea how I got so lucky.

3. For Ryan's big grin first thing in the morning after a great nights sleep - it melts my heart!

4. For Quinn's huge giggles when we play --- the other day I was just laughing so hard because it was such a precious sound.

5. For Diet Coke. Lots and lots of diet coke. Especially from Sonic. With the ice.

6. For lazy Saturdays. Few and far between --- but lovely, lazy, football - watching, family togetherness Saturdays.

7. For Baked Cheetos. I heart you.

8. On a related food note - leftover Halloween candy, especially you, Baby Ruth. I don't remember ever really liking Baby Ruths in the past, but I am a HUGE fan now. Actually, that's a thankful and a loathe --- I need to get rid of all the candy!

9. For my friends - my far-away & local together. I feel incredibly blessed. They know just when to call or email to check in. I only pray that I am as good of a friend to them as they are to me.

10. For my church body - they have been so incredibly supportive of our journey & continue to lift our family up in prayer. I am so incredibly grateful to have such wonderful people in our lives.

11. For the nap nanny - a dear friend lent it to us and Quinn LOVES it. It keeps her so happy while she digests her food and mommy can clean some bottles.

12. For the dishwasher - which I run way too often. My hands were literally bloody with washing so many things all the time. Lovely, right?

13. For our amazing families - that would have been higher on the list but I got distracted with Halloween candy. We are so lucky to have such great moms, sisters and brothers, and of course, nieces. Looking so forward to spending some quality Holiday time with them all.

14. For Thanksgiving at home this year --- we are being a little selfish and having Thanksgiving here instead of traveling the "Texas Tour". 14a. Future thanks for the oyster dressing courtesy of my mother that is to come!

15. For a solid job for my husband so I can stay at home and raise these precious ones.

16. For babysitters!

17. For my magazines that I faithfully follow: Food Network, Rachael Ray & People - allows me a little break from the real world and dreams that I could actually have time to cook a few of those meals.

18. For a husband who is willing to eat chicken, baked potatoes and brocolli every.single.week. And leftovers. And tacos. But he loves taco night.

19. For a family who has brought us food every Sunday since Quinn came home from the hospital. It has been such an amazing treat and we feel incredibly spoiled. (and I am jealous because she cooks WAY better than me)

20. For all of my friends currently expecting new little bundles of joy - at last count there was about 9!!! Bring them on, my kids need playmates :)

21. For Mommies Night Out - enough said. It's necessary.

22. For clean sheets and a clean house -- it doesn't happen often, but when it does, I revel in it.

23. For my kids happily babbling on the play mat as I write this.

24. For my camera that has captured so many fun images over the past few months. I love looking back at all the pictures and seeing how much the babies have grown! 24a. For facebook - to be able to share with family & friends how the twins are doing and keep in touch with new & old friends. I have rekindled some great friendships on facebook, as crazy as that sounds!

25. Lastly, thankful for God and how He continues to work in our lives. I see His Hand in so many things. I thank Him for His patience with me...the selfish girl I can be.

That's my list for the month --- I am sure there is much, much more. But some babies would like to be bathed & fed at some point this evening.

In His Hands Always,

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Some Pics @ 5 Months

Ryan is getting so strong!

Ryan & Quinn are 5 Months Old (and they love to hold hands!!)



Just layin' around

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Ryan & Quinn are 5 Months Old!

I say it every time I write one of these... but seriously, where does the time go? My little babies are turning into little people. And while that has its advantages (ie: sleeping mostly through the night, consistent routines, and fun play time), I miss the sleepy little babies I brought home. I think that's why some people get pregnant right about this stage --- I went through that when they were about 3-4 months old and I was so wanting to do it again. Crazy talk!! I think we will wait until the kids are at least almost potty trained.

Anyway, here we go:

Ryan: What You Are Up To @ 5 Months Old:

- I haven't a clue what you weigh right now. I am guessing somewhere in the 14 1/2 - 15lb range. You are getting big and you have a buddah belly and I love it :)

- You are smiling and giggling almost all the time now. You are such a happy and pleasant baby. You wake up happy and go to sleep happy.

- You had your first cold/virus last week. Momma felt so bad because I am quite sure I gave it to you. I had not been feeling well & went to the doctor and sure enough, the next day you were snotty and not so happy. But that only lasted a little while, and then you went back to your happy (albeit snotty) self. The humidifier seemed to do it's job and you are mostly recovered.

- You can wear 3-6 month clothes now!!! So exciting. Except that I think you are going to be a little small guy b/c the 6 months fit your belly but I can't see your feet --- am I going to have to get your Carter's tailored? ha.

- You rolled over back to belly for the first time on November 1st, 2010. You have been working soooo hard on it and a lot of times, that is the only time you cry --- you were so frustrated that you couldn't get that big head over. But you finally did it! And this morning (Nov. 2nd), I went to wake you up and you were flat on your belly, still wrapped in your blanket with your favorite lovey in your arms (Thanks, Amy!). Scared me to death initially and then I came to my senses and took a picture before waking you. And this afternoon, during both of your naps, you did it again. Yikes! I've said from the beginning that you were going to be a tummy sleeper - looks like I'm right.

- You are such a light in our lives!!! You bring so many smiles to our faces and I love to cuddle with you --- I call you my little cuddle monkey, because you can snuggle like no other! Love you, little (big!) guy!

Quinn: What You Are Up To @ 5 Months:

- My guess is that you are almost 13lbs now... we will find out on Friday for your monthly weigh in. But you have been packing on the pounds and it shows -- in the best way possible. Those chubby cheeks - irrestible!!

- You are solidly in 3 month clothing now. So much fun now that I have cuter options for you. We dress up every day and you almost always have a bow in your "hair". Well, sweetheart, your hair hasn't quite grown in yet, but that's what hair bands are for!

- You too are such a happy baby!!! You have gotten to this full chuckle that makes me almost cry because I am laughing so hard at you. You LOVE it when I nibble on your toes or your hands. When you aren't feeding, you are just about the most content baby. You love to laze in your nap nanny or bouncy and just chill.

- You are freakishly strong for such a small child!!! You can pull your head up so high now and you roll from belly to back without even thinking about it. The other day you must have performed your little trick at least 10 times in a row. You are working so hard on back to belly but sometimes you are just content to lie on your back and babble at the ceiling. You are also getting so much stronger on your sitting. You can hold a sit position for a good 15-20 seconds now (and then you topple over like a little bobble head!)  But it's just a matter of time - you'll get there soon I'm sure!

- Your feedings have improved so much. You are on rice cereal now (in your bottle) and I think you like the taste and consistency better. We have also started spacing your feedings further apart instead of trying to force you every 3 hours. For some reasons, 3 hours and 15 minutes works for you --- don't know why, but I'm not questioning it! You still have at least one rough bottle a day, but at least most days we don't have hysterics which is lovely for both of us :)

- You are looking soooo healthy now! I don't think most people would know that you have such a serious heart defect. But you are doing so well. Your fiestiness continues to serve you well and I KNOW you are going to be just fine after all of this. And guess what? We haven't even been to the doctor for you in at least 3 weeks -- that's a record!!

- Quinnie, you are my heart. You are so much like me that it scares me :) Ha. Independent and fiesty, but lovable and charming all at the same time (wait, I'm not saying I'm lovable & charming --- I'm more of the independent! -- so lovable and & charming you must have gotten from your daddy!) I love to see you grow and blossom every day.

Love you, my little blessings. My heart bursts wide open every morning.

Always in His Hands,

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It Just Goes By too Quickly... Halloween 2010 (R&Q's 1st!)

 We hang out with greenery and pumpkins. Normal, right?

Quinn, right after she spit up. 5 minutes after I put on the onesie.

 Ryan and his new favorite toy

Laying on pumpkins!


My Little Flower

My Little Bumblebee!

The whole family at RiverFest

This was last year --- 4 weeks pregnant with the babies. How time flies!

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