Friday, April 29, 2016

APRIL CONCERTS

John and I have been spoiled rotten this month by getting to attend two concerts within three weeks.  Last night, we met up with friends (i.e. crashed their double date, which they graciously allowed us to turn into a triple!) to see Carrie Underwood.  She was incredible live - truly.  I got the tickets from a college friend last week, and they ended up being floor tickets - I've never been that close at a concert before.  Because the stage was 360 degrees, it was never too crowded, and we got to see Carrie up close!

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Earlier this month, we saw Mumford & Sons who also put on a really great show.  I love beauty and truth, and my heart responds to both through deep emotion that often catches me off-guard, though I am more prepared for it as I get older.  I had an experience that reminded me again of the power that lays within truth, no matter where you hear it.  Mumford and Sons are certainly not a Christian band, but much of their music is laced with truth.  And since I spent a lot of time in college growing to understand that "All truth is God's truth," their concert turned into a worshipful experience for me.

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During both concerts, the lights came up, and we were treated to a display of talent that is truly God given.  Because my musical abilities stack up to nil and none, I am always blown away watching people create music so eloquently and seemingly easily.

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Here's to April and great artists coming through Little Rock - we've been so spoiled!

Wednesday, April 27, 2016

FYE & BOOKS

It's been a long time since I've complied some of the things that have entertained me recently.  Jimmy Fallon had Melissa McCarthy on a few weeks back with this hilarious lip sync battle as a result.



I know this zombie apocalypse prank video was shared about a million times online, but it is SO worth the watch.  I laugh with tears when I watch it.  😂😂😂



If you want to see the follow up on Ellen where they discuss the prank - here it is.



In the vein of pranks - check out this prank where people use what looks to be a real raptor to scare their co-workers in a parking garage.  😳😳😳



I have also been reading a TON this year.  I read mostly fiction, though I have been trying to warm myself to more non-fiction and memoirs.  (I give other book recs and a little background of my reading tastes here, if you're curious.)  Here are a few books that I've loved this year.


The Lake House by Kate Morton

This might have taken the place of The Secret Keeper as my new favorite Kate Morton - though I certainly have enjoyed most of her books.  It flashes back and forth from the past to the present to tell the story of a family mystery, and it is just a beautiful journey.

Eleanor and Park by Rainbow Rowell

After reading this book, I read almost everything else that Rainbow Rowell has written, because I enjoyed the style so much.  It would be considered a young adult book as a love story between two high schoolers, but the themes are a little grittier, and the characters are so endearing.  My other favorites by Rainbow Rowell were Fangirl and Attachments.  (There is some bad language - be warned.)

Little Beach Street Bakery by Jenny Colgan

This book would be considered classic chick lit, but it is so adorable and set in a charming English city by the sea, and I fell in love with everything.  It also made me want to bake more bread and includes recipes for things she makes in the book.  (another language warning)

The Chief Inspector Gamache Mystery Series by Louise Penny

I'm only three books in, but I am really enjoying this series.  Gamache is such a likable character with hero qualities, and you find yourself cheering for him.  These books (so far), are set in a small village in Canada with an assortment of interesting people and references to great food and art.  I definitely want to visit Three Pines - though I hope I don't get killed there.  (language warning)

Also - did you know that you can check out audio books through your local library on your phone?  Check it out!  My library system has SO many of the books that I want to read available on audio (or at least an e-book), and this helps feed my reading craze without breaking the bank.  I'm a huge fan!

Sunday, April 24, 2016

TWINS' VERY HUNGRY CATERPILLAR PARTY

Throwing birthday parties is one of my favorite things to do as a mother.  And one of the reasons I always wanted twins is that I thought it would be great bang for our party buck to do a two for one!  For now, it works wonderfully.  In the vein of making life a little bit simpler for our family, we chose to host this party somewhere that wasn't our house.  It really did cut down on prep work, and it was still a great party- win, win.  Here's how it all went down.

We love Eric Carle books in our home, and The Very Hungry Caterpillar is one of the favorites.  I thought it would work for a boy/girl party nicely.

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The only downside to having the party someplace else is that there is limited set-up time.  Thankfully, I had my party helpers of Mom and Wes (why didn't I take a picture of them???) to help me ahead of time, and John brought the children right at party time.  It turned out to be fine, and in the end, it didn't allow me to continue to "improve" (read: obsess) over details that aren't that big of a deal.

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At one point when I was planning this party, I fully intended to have every food that the caterpillar ate on Saturday.  However, in trying not to be a party psycho, I pulled back and just did the fruit from Monday-Friday.

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Everyone played and had a grand ole time.  The Wonder Place is really fantastic for younger children.

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We headed back to the party room to eat and sing Happy Birthday to William and Violet who quietly sang along with the crowd.  They also blew out their candles like little champs!

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We sent everyone on their way with caterpillar cookies.

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William and Violet loved their party, even if they didn't love taking a picture after it.

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Happy Birthday, Violet and William - we love you SO very much!

Twins' Past Parties
{Berenstain Bear Party}
{VW Party}

Friday, April 22, 2016

VIOLET & WILLIAM TURN THREE!

Today marks three years old for William and Violet.  Thinking about the miracles that God worked to place them into our family never gets old to me, and I look forward to sharing those stories with them when they are old enough to understand.  (You can read more of our adoption story here!)

Violet is sassy and spunky in the extreme.  She never stops moving.  She LOVES to help clean and take out the trash.  She has very specific ideas about what she wants to have happen at almost any given moment.  However, all of this is balanced by the overwhelming love and compassion and tenderness that she shows towards people.  She is the first to rush to any other child that may be crying, and she is incredibly affectionate.  I look forward to seeing the ways that God grows all of these into strengths that he can use.

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William is my most chill child to date, and even he usually knows what he wants.  He is playful and likes to make us all laugh.  He is incredibly sensitive to disapproval or to being hurt in any way.  He loves to play with cars and trucks and Magna-tiles, and he really enjoys watching "toons" with his big sisters whenever the opportunity arises.  It is amazing to watch him grow and develop and start to understand the world.

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Both twins have come so far in their therapy this year and have cut back on what they need.  Speech is the area where they have the most room for improvement, but it is amazing to see how far they've come and how much they are gaining all the time.  Being able to communicate with them is so very helpful, so I appreciate any and all progress is this area.

As with all of our children, I hope and pray about what their futures will hold.  I'm so thankful that God knows what he has for each of them already and is making the way for those things to come to fruition.  Being a "twin mom" has been much harder than I thought it would be and also much better. I'm so thankful for the opportunity to parent William and Violet and to have them as part of our family.

Here's to hoping that having two threenagers at the same time won't be too painful!

{Twins Turn One!}
{Twins Turn Two!}