Friday, September 27, 2013


While I decorated for Fall, the rest of my peeps were in full effect.  Lily was particularly enthused about the decorating process and insisted on helping at every turn.  It was so sweet, and it's turning out that she has an eye for things, which I not so secretly love.

She also really loves pumpkins.


Bella came out dressed in her Tangled dress.  She loves to kiss things, including pumpkins.  I hope that pumpkin doesn't get impetigo.  I think that Bella might have been the carrier that infected William with her constant open-mouth kisses to the head.  I could be wrong, though.


Violet was fussing, so I carried her around with me and set her down to watch.  She is turning out to be the smiliest little thing and just grins when you look at her and talk to her.  Her big smile scrunches up her whole face, which is so precious.


William slept through much of the decorating, which may be a coping mechanism for living in a house with a lot of girls.


When John got home, we migrated outside to enjoy the beautiful evening.


We all marveled at how big and amazing this spider web was.


And now it's Friday.  This week has had me thinking deep thoughts, and I've had emotions close to the surface.  I haven't had the energy to process any of it, but maybe next week or next month or next year, I will.  I think when things are just slow enough, my brain starts to try to take in all that this year has brought our family.  It is so full and so joyous and so bittersweet.

On that enigmatic note, I will say, Happy Weekend!  I hope that it is full of fall fun, faithful friends and festive food.  That last sentence was brought to you by the letter F.  Farewell - I'm off to go organize more kids clothes.

Thursday, September 26, 2013


This week has been full of doing things that need to be done, which in general are my least favorite kinds of things to do.  Caught up on bills.  Finally went through all my cookie receipts and invoices.  Got a bank account.  Started on my least favorite job of all time - sorting the kids' clothes for the season change.

In the midst of those (less fun) things, I have allowed the one major fun thing of fall-ifying the house.  Fall is such a fun, transforming season.  This year, I used mostly stuff I had and bought fresh pumpkins and gourds.  So, I pretty much threw apothecary jars, pumpkins and burlap together and called it good.

Here's a mini-fall tour of our house!


I just love pumpkin towers.  Lily said they were like snowmen, but pumpkins.  Well said, my little friend.  Lily and Bella keep asking me, as in - several times a day, when we are going to "Pick Pumpkins."  That is what they call going to the pumpkin patch.  I keep explaining that it will probably be a while, and Lily will say, "So after nap?"  Time is so hard to grasp.


This may be my favorite thrown together fall look yet.  Hope that you are enjoying the start of this festive season!  I know we are at my house.

Wednesday, September 25, 2013


In the past couple of months, two separate people that I respect who are in a place of leadership in my life told me the same thing.

"You are intentional."

These women would never have compared notes on this and are in two separate contexts in my life, so it struck me as sort of amazing that they would have said the same thing to me, about me.

"You are intentional."

As I thought about it, I realized that that could be a defining characteristic.  I think a lot about what I do, and I try to follow through on things I think I should do.  I plan for them and try to make them happen, and usually I have a reason behind the things I am doing.  But just them saying that to me made me want to be even more intentional.  I want to live up to one of the things they chose to remark on in my life, and I want to make it even more true.

It showed me the power of speaking things into people's lives.  Especially my children.

This semester, in my women's group, we are going through The Christian Parenting Handbook.  So far, I have really loved it.  It has little chapters chalked full of wisdom nuggets for me to grasp onto during this time of life.  One of the chapters from this past week was about helping your kids see how positive character traits they have could play out well for them in the future.

I can see that Lily is endlessly creative and can be so helpful.  I want to nurture those things inside her heart and help her to see what talents God has uniquely gifted her with.


I can see that Bella is naturally loving and already a fantastic conversationalist.  What a treasure those gifts will be to the world around her, and one of my jobs will be helping her to see those things and grow them inside of herself.


I am starting to see glimpses of what sweet gifts Violet and William will have.  Violet is very attuned to the people around her, and William is so joyful.  I never cease to be amazed at how God creates such different profiles in each person that all work in harmony to reflect the myriad facets of God when we are functioning inside his grace.


Our speaker at Bloom challenged us to really SEE our children this week, and I want to be looking for the positive traits they each bring to life and encourage those inside of them.  It will take more of me listening.  More of me paying close attention.  More of me watching.  More of me praying that God will show himself to me through my kids and guide me in my words to them.

I want to give my children something to live up to.

Monday, September 23, 2013


Every month I am amazed that another month has sped by.  That is the benefit and drawback of doing these posts - time seems to march on that much more quickly, but at least I am capturing a tiny bit of it through pictures.  Yesterday William and Violet turned 5 months old.  Though they have reached this milestone, I still cannot get a picture of them both smiling.


Miss Violet is an absolute delight.  She has certainly found her voice and often makes squeaky dinosaur type sounding noises just for fun.  She still loves looking at people and wants to be where the action is. She is also a major mover - always kicking and stretching.  She moved so much while taking these pictures that it was hard to get a clear one, since she was constantly in motion.


We don't go back to the doctor until 6 months, so I don't know what she weighs, but she is definitely growing really well.  Also, she is a bit of a bobble head, because her head is in the 90%, so she can seem a bit top heavy.  Just means she has a giant brain ready to get to work on all the world's problems.  You know, once she can sit-up by herself.  She is an incredibly messy eater and usually ends up with a milk beard, which doesn't seem to bother her one bit.


Happy Five Months, sweet Violet!  We love you.


Mr. William is also a delight to have around.  He is so very smiley and sweet.  He has started to be a bit more easy going than Violet, though if they are hungry, watch out - because you better feed them both five minutes ago.  He loves to be nuzzled on the nose and tickled.  The band-aid on his head is because he has impetigo - a common skin infection.  It's being treated with anti-biotics, but we are creating bald spots where the band-aid goes, which is just what I was hoping for.


He loves staring at his hands.  He seems to find it unbelievable that they are, in fact, attached to his arms and that he can move them.  Because we did have to go to the doctor for the skin thing, I know that William weighs 15 lbs, 8 ozs.  He's becoming quite the little chunk.


Happy Five Months, wonderful William!  We love you.  (side note - prepare yourself for the cutest picture ever.)


They are now starting to sleep through the night with a bit more consistency, and the rice cereal in their last bottle has seemed to help with that.  I'm so thankful.  All the colors of life seem brighter when you sleep all night, or at least a lot closer to all night.  The girls wanted their picture made with the babies.


Here are the other Monthly Updates:
1 Month
2 Months
3 Months
4 Months

Hope that your Monday has started off well and that you are welcoming Fall's advent with open arms.  Fall is such a gift from God.  He knows just what we need, and right now, I need fall.

Sunday, September 22, 2013


Last weekend, when we were in San Antonio, we found out that our dear Ms. Frances had passed away.  She had been at work on Monday, and by Friday night, she was gone from a heart attack and other complications from the fact that she was 87.  She had worked with us for 5 years almost daily as a hostess in our dining room.  Her kind demeanor and feisty spirit made her an instant favorite with all of our team and all of our guests.  She was, simply put, irreplaceable in every way.


She spent her free time baking cookies for the homeless ministry that her church supported and always had a freezer full to continue to give away.  She was generous with her time, her energy and most importantly, her smile and spirit.


She had become family to us.  She lived on her own and drove herself everywhere, which was pretty amazing and gave us some opportunities to help her out.  At one point, as a community group, we got to help redo her kitchen, and our CFA team helped with her leaves last fall.  She gave them all cookies.


At the end of the day, I am left with the knowledge that she is somewhere better - truly.  She knew Jesus and walked with him.  She got to live life fully right to the very end, with no significant decline, which is just as she would have wanted it.  What a privilege it was to watch her be in relationship with people constantly and now to be missed by so many.

I want to be like Ms. Frances.  I want to love people always and shine a bright light through my service.  I want to give generously and without restraint.  I am missing Ms. Frances and so very thankful for the joy it was to know her in the last years of her life.


Friday, September 20, 2013


I'm writing today to link up with Kelly's Korner Show Us Your Life series, and this week is for Mom's of Multiples.  I am thrilled that I actually fit in this category!

I always, always, always wanted twins.  I hoped and prayed for them.  Twins don't run in my family, so it seemed a long shot, but with God - all things are possible.  It seems truly incredible that my wish came true, especially in the fantastic and miraculous way that it did.  We are truly blessed.

(photo from their newborn shoot with the amazing Main Street Studios)

My guess about twins was that it would be about 1.5 times as hard as having one baby at a time, and for our family, that is definitely the case.  Since I didn't have a twins pregnancy, it certainly started out physically easier - though not emotionally - adoption is simply no joke.  Though they were in the hospital for almost three weeks, once they came home, they were pretty average newborns, though small.

Those first several months feel like a sleep-deprived blur.  When a friend who is a twin and has twins came to the hospital to visit, I asked her advice.  Here's what she told me -

1)  You will sleep again someday.  It will not feel like it for quite some time, but you will sleep again someday.
2)  Always feed them at the same time.

In the short five months that we've had our precious twins, those things both ring true.  I need to hold on to the fact that we will sleep again, and it seems as if we can almost see it on the horizon.  Almost, but not quite.  We are still plugging the babies with a paci pretty regularly at night, even with rice cereal being added to their last bottles.  And, I ALWAYS feed them at the same time - or at least within 20 minutes of one another.

This has made our life so much better, because it really does help them to stay on close to the same schedule, and as all mommies of littles know, schedule is king.  We still are not on a stringent napping schedule, but I know we will get there in time.

I'm so thankful that my twins are babies number 3 and 4 for me.  I am relaxed about them, and I generally know what to expect about babies in general.  One thing that is totally fascinating is being able to see two babies develop into two little people at the same time.  It would have been so fun to be able to compare Lily and Bella and see their similarities and differences so starkly, and with twins - you get that opportunity.


I have so much to learn about raising twins - though I think since we have a boy and a girl, I will not have as many of the identity issues that I imagine same-sex twins sets deal with.  I think our future will be a bit more complicated by the facts of adoption and transracial family issues.  However, I am so happy to know and trust that God put us all together for a reason.  He designed our family, and he will guide our decisions and circumstances as we lean on him.

So - twins are just as fun as I thought they would be and getting more fun all the time.  It is true that someone is more likely to be crying, so sometimes it does feel twice as hard - but mostly, it is twice as joyful, because we are getting to raise two precious people together, along with our other two precious people.

Thursday, September 19, 2013


So I know last Friday rolled around and you all totally thought, "Carol told us she was going to do a Day in My Life post once a month, and today should be the day!  Where is it?  I was really looking forward to knowing about how her September 12th went."  Well, silly me - I forgot.  Shocker, since there are a million things going on right now, just like in your life.  Fall is like that.

Clearly, I know this matters to no one else, but I do want to do this monthly, so it ended up being 14 pictures on the 18th.  I think in a couple of years it will fascinating to look back and see how my days were spent.  (side note - every time I type the word "spent," I am tempted to write "spenst."  Those are the serious hazards of our last name.)

8:45ish:  After dropping off all kids at MDO, late I might add, I headed to the river to go walking by myself.  It was a delightful time to clear my head and pray through all the things swirling around my mind and heart.  It's actually been a pretty heavy week and talking through some of those things with the Lord was really helpful.


9:45ish:  Heading to Wal-Mart to pick up a few things and take several extra loops around an interstate exchange by accident.  While at Wal-Mart, I checked out adult Hello Kitty shirts so that I could possibly match Bella's upcoming birthday party.  The disturbing thing is that they were all sold out of any size that could possibly fit me.


10:45ish:  Got a pedicure.  Felt good.  My poor knees are very upset about how unflattering this picture of them came out.


12:15ish:  Pick up all children and stay for lunch with friends at MDO.  It is always a bit chaotic, though, with no fire alarm, it felt quite tame this day.


1:30ish:  Chilling on the couch with the babies.  Catching up on emails.


2:30ish:  Feeding babies.


3:30ish:  "Naptime" is mostly wrapping up, and Lily keeps bringing me paper that she has cut out and colored on to look at.  There's dirt around her mouth from playing out back during her quiet time.


4:30ish:  All children are up.  I am feeding babies again, and we are watching the "Cupcake Show" as the girls refer to Cupcake Wars as.  I still hadn't showered for the day, which was actually unusual.


5:30ish:  I decide to shower after John comes home.  I have a visiting fairy.


My visiting fairy turned into two little hoodlums in John's puffy vests and my boots.


6:45ish:  After dinner, the girls are playing "Cupcake Show" using my cookie cutters.  They intermittenly yell out, "Five Minutes!" and "Oh My Gosh!" and "Time's Up!"  John was stuffing paychecks full of info about the Affordable Care Act.


Babies fell asleep on our bed while this was happening.  In the precious outfits that Stephanie (who we just spent the weekend with), the Doctor, made for them.  I'm so impressed that she can be a doctor and craft.  Thanks, Steph!


7:45ish:  We decide to put PJs on all children, load them into the car and go get dessert.  I am currently hooked on Panera's iced shortbread cookie.  The girls and John all had yummy CFA desserts, which also happen to be free for us.  Double bonus.


9:30ish:  Cleaning out a pot while watching some of the Dodger game with John.


We actually stayed up late and finished the game, which wasn't super smart, since we desperately need sleep.  But, the twins did better last night, so I am hopeful that we may turn another corner yet!  Our lives are full, and I am continually grateful for all that God has added to them.