Friday, May 29, 2015


Lily is almost finished with kindergarten.  Because of all the snow days, there is still another week + one day of school left.  We will be attending some days, but certainly not all of them, because it feels like time for summer, and they are not doing much.  We've had a delightful first year of school, for which I am incredibly grateful.  (I wrote about getting ready to start Kindergarten, meeting the teacher and the first day back in August.)

I've spent a lot of the last two days up at the school, which has been a lot of fun.  The kindergarten classes have the annual tradition of having a "Splash Down for Summer" day where a firetruck comes to spray them all down while they run around screaming.  Pretty much every kindergartner's dream.


It really was so much fun, and it finished up right before the bad weather, which was a great relief.

Today was Field Day.  I vividly remember the joy of elementary school Field Day, and going to help with my own child's was a great treat.  I signed up to volunteer, but when I checked in, they ended up not needing me in any specific place, so I got to follow Lily's class around.  This was a lot more fun for me, so I did not complain.  Herding kindergartners around is like herding whiny cats, and my respect for Lily's teacher grew as the hours went on.  They had a great day!


I wish that Mrs. Shearer's eyes weren't closed in that last picture, but I thought I'd post it anyway and note that she could teach kindergarten with her eyes closed.  She's just amazing, truly.  She's been teaching kindergarten at our school for 36 years, which is fairly mind-blowing.  She was so gracious and encouraging all year, even as we weren't able to get everything little thing done at home.  Lily has learned so much and most importantly to me, Lily has learned to love school this year.  I know that Mrs. Shearer was a huge part of that, and I am so thankful.

I know that not every child thrives in a mainstream school setting, but Lily has really done well.  Our approach (in theory that we are just now starting to live out) to education is to try to do what works best for each child for each year, and its really nice to have a successful first year at this formal education thing.  For now, I know this is exactly what God has for our family.

I feel emotional about the end of this year, because it closes another chapter.  It really does go as fast as everyone says it does.  It has flown by.  Makes me want to cry again, but it helps me to take note of how good it really is.  Peace out, Kindergarten - you've been good to us!

Wednesday, May 27, 2015


Things are settling a bit in a manner of speaking.  We are not running at a frenetic pace, and for that, I'm so grateful.  Here's a quick run down of some of our highs and lows of lately.

Low:  I mentioned in a post last week that we had another allergist appointment for Violet.  So far, the eczema is not getting dramatically better.  I will keep throwing things at that wall until it does, but it feels pretty icky right now.  Anytime Violet sees someone new, she shows them her arm and says, "Itchy."  It's pretty pitiful.  But - she is still very cute.


Low:  Mother's Day Out is over for the year.  I miss my few quiet mornings.

High:  In light of no MDO, we are doing more playdates with friends, which is a huge bonus.  I LOVE my friends and getting to meet up with them at the park, at the zoo or at CFA is always a nice treat.  My kids love it too.


High:  We are slowly introducing the smaller Legos into our home, much to the big girls' delight.  Ironically, they call them "Baby Legos."  I've just gone with it.  Over Memorial Day weekend we got them Ariel's palace to put together, and they knocked it out with very little help from us.  Lily drove the project, and they were quite pleased with themselves.


Low:  We tried to teach Lily how to ride a bike without her training wheels.  She has been begging to do this, and now that her cast is off, we decided it was the right time.  However, we displayed our novice approach when we assumed we could all head out to the park for a run/walk/bike ride and enjoy ourselves with Lily trying to learn.  Silly John and Carol.  It turned out to be a very frustrating experience.  Unfortunately, Lily has our coordination (read: very little) and was quite distractible.  We took turns working with her, but it was pretty annoying for all involved.


It wasn't Lily's fault, because we really didn't set her up for much success.  It's funny, because I realized it's something she just has to pick up.  I cannot force her to be balanced, and I didn't have a lot of practical encouragement to offer her.


We did come home and watch some YouTube tutorials on it and removed the pedals from her bike so that she can work on learning balance.  I know she will get it when she's ready, and now we all have better expectations.

High:  We truly did have some good meals together this past weekend.  On Friday night, we actually enjoyed eating out with our whole family, which is a rare, dare I say unique?, occurrence.  I can see that there is light at the end of this twin tunnel, and it gives me great hope.


High:  We are nearing summer.  Lily is almost done with Kindergarten!  (#howdidthathappensoquickly #makesmewanttocryalloveragainlikeatthebeginning #butiwontmissmakinglunches #orgettingheroutthedooreverymorning)  I love being able to be outdoors more and having more time together.  Mostly, we really enjoy it.


Did you see what I did there?  I got a little sick of writing this post and just threw most of the rest of the pictures under that last heading even though they don't really fit.  Here's the last pic - I do love how they love on each other.


Hope your week is going well!

Tuesday, May 26, 2015



Life regularly takes twists and turns that we can never expect, plan for or imagine.  A couple of years ago, I mentioned that William and Violet have a biological half sibling and that we have contact with that family, which has been an amazing blessing.  I am very careful about what I share here on the blog, because ultimately, I want my children, especially William and Violet (and their biological siblings), to feel that I was guarded with their story.  It is theirs - though obviously, our stories overlap a great deal in the here and now.

Adoption is a beautiful, painful thing.  I've written it before, and I'm sure I will write it again, but it does start out with great loss.  I wish it were more clean-cut and didn't carry such weight, but I am thankful that God knew better for our lives.  He knew I needed more compassion than I came pre-wired with.  He knew I needed a story that had tattered edges and scarring pieces and not tidy endings.  He knew it would bring me more to himself, and it would better connect me to those around me.  I need all of that.

In the past two years, there have been more ups and downs in our modern, extended, adoptive family. There is another half-sibling whose adoption will be finalized within the month, and I am so looking forward to celebrating with the family we've already created.  A few months ago, we found out that there was another baby on the way.  My heart has been in pieces over this child, because they belong to us in so many ways.  But, we also do not feel like adding to our immediate family is what God has for us.

However, I've had a dear friend, Christy, who has always had a special place in her heart for the twins.


It's funny, because as I think back, I have several pictures of her with William or Violet from the past year.  She and her husband, Brian, are going to try to adopt this precious baby.  She's written a post about it, and I could not be more excited or thrilled.  There is a chance that we could be gaining some of the best family imaginable, and I am so thankful for even the possibility.  No matter what happens, our hearts are being tied together in new ways, and I'm grateful.  This is an unusual place to travel with friends, and I couldn't think of anyone better to journey it with.

There are many unknowns and no guarantees.  It is very similar to our adoption path.  God is writing this story, and it may not work out the way that we hope it does.  But, we are hopeful and have reason to hope.

Would you be praying?  Ultimately, we want God's glory more than anything else.  Truly.  We know that he knows what is best for all parties involved, and we trust him.  We covet your prayers.

Monday, May 25, 2015


If you've been around this blog for any length of time, you may have observed that being still does not rank high in my skill set.  It's sort of funny, because I think I used to do it pretty well.  But, being a mother and being married to a fellow achiever has turned me into someone who is rather constantly in motion/seeking productivity.  However, there are many situations when being still is exactly the best course of action.

In fact, God even commands it.

He says, "Be still and know that I am God."   
Psalm 46:10a

Life certainly never has a dull moment, and as I survey the situations surrounding my life, there are many that I can do nothing tangible for.  I have to watch them unfold.  I can pray, and I do, and I will.  Ultimately, God has to do the work.

I have a friend going through the adoption process right now.  Truth be told, I have many friends in the process right now, which is such a joy to behold.  But, when talking with this particular friend and knowing the situation, we both needed the reminder that God is the one who moves.  Obviously there are things on our end that we have to do to be ready for something, but at the end of the day, we cannot guarantee any final results.  That is in God's court.

Scan 5

I've begun meditating on this verse lately, and I decided to try hand-lettering for the first time.  What a fun thing to do!  I can definitely see this becoming a new hobby.  It's quite relaxing, and I realized that you really get to soak in whatever you are writing.  Plus watercoloring anything is just so fun.

I went back to Exodus 14 to see the context of this particular verse, and it comes from when the Israelites are fleeing Egypt.  Pharaoh's heart has been hardened and softened several times, and at the end of it all, God parts the Red Sea through Moses, and the Israelites walk through on the dry land, away from the chasing enemy.  God said that he was doing it all for his glory.

It's amazing to read and see how much back and forth there was.  And confusion.  And hardship.

But, God had a plan all along, and it was for the good of the Israelites and for the glory of God.  They only had to be still.  Sometimes, I just need to trust God and be still and remember that his plan is much bigger than I can see or imagine.  I'm so thankful.

Thursday, May 21, 2015


Consider this as a sort of snapshot of what life feels like right now - a little State of the Union for our family.

We are coming to the end of our first school year, and there seems to be a tiny bit of light at the end of the tunnel.  But - I've got to be honest here, we are tired.  You are probably sick of reading that, but the good news for you is that you can always stop reading.  Unfortunately, I haven't stopped living it yet, though I am hopeful that there is rest on the horizon.  This week I've found myself irrationally angry at people when they have asked us for anything.  This is not their fault - it's mine, and I know it.  It just feels like we are responsible for a lot of things, and I want to quit addition and only work on subtraction.

John and I often liken being at home with our kids to a Koi Pond.  Anytime there is any food out or anything going on, you get swarmed.  Actually, you pretty much get swarmed by children any time they are awake.  That is just the stage we are at, and it takes a lot of energy.


As another indicator of what things have been like here, Violet had been struggling for weeks with bad eczema and allergies.  I had a follow up appointment with her allergist and had been really looking forward to what we would find out.  When we got in to the room, he asked how her regular meds had been going.  That's when I realized that he had prescribed stuff back in November that I had never once given her.  The prescriptions were filled and sitting in my kitchen cabinet unopened and had been completely forgotten.  I felt like an idiot and a terrible mother all rolled into one.  The doctor noted that those things would probably really help her.


Also this week, we were cleaning out the mini-van and discovered mouse droppings.  It is easy to see why mice would be drawn to our car - there are regularly left over crumbs for them to devour.  So, when the Bug Man came to our house yesterday, I mentioned this to him, and he set a trap in the very back corner of the car where we had found the droppings.  When I got to a play date today and went to get the stroller out of the back, I saw it.  A stiff little mouse body.

I died a little on the inside and tried to keep it together, because I had my three youngest and one of my friend's kids with me.  Thankfully, my friend is a braver woman than I, and she fished it out of the car.  We did manage to dispose of the wretched thing (#reasonsyoushouldalwayshaveplasticbagsinyourcar), and now I am praying that it was a very lonely mouse with no mouse friends who liked to party with it in our van.  But, John has already said we need to set another trap.  Sick.

I promised my friend that I would post a picture of her with it on the blog if she did the deed.  Thanks, Jenn.  Friends don't let friends drive with a dead mouse in their car.


Between the Koi children at home, pests in the car and life pressures pressing in at every turn, life feels a little daunting.  So, when life feels like this, what are we to do?  Well, it dawned on me the other day that we have everything we need to make some changes.  Sort of like going to the doctor and realizing that we had the medicine all along.  We can slow down.  We can regroup.  We can continue to ask the Lord to guide our decisions with how we spend the time he allows us to have.  Some of this is just seasonal, because we will not always have two year old twins who think that any moment not spent eating or looking for food to eat or throwing everything everywhere is a moment wasted.  I am hopeful that we can make some of these changes and be able to enjoy the good things about having young children.

The other thing I personally need to do is continue to look outside of myself.  As John has reminded me in just the last week, "We got everything we asked for."  And we did, and I am truly so thankful.  So many things are so sweet, and I have a choice about how to think about them.  In the meantime, I am asking the Lord to work in my heart continually.  To align it to see things through his eyes.  To truly view all of the resources at our fingertips as his and to not want to hoard any of them for ourselves.  I know there is a balance somewhere in there, but I think there will always be a healthy push and pull here trying to walk in a way that is pleasing to him.  It's like a tight rope that I will regularly fall off of, but it's not far from the ground, and the Lord will always catch us.  He's good like that.

So to sum it all up - we are tired, but God is good.  And I don't like mice.

Wednesday, May 20, 2015


Well, I've been sitting on this one for a few weeks, because the adoption was not public news, but I am thrilled to be able to share about it today.  I've gotten to know Lynn over the past two years by being in the same D-group together.  She's got a quiet strength, and I am always wondering what wisdom she will share next.  She and her husband Jeremy love Jesus, and it has been a joy to watch their adoption process unfold over the last year.

There are usually twists and turns in an adoption story, and their's certainly had a fair few.  But in March, it looked like they were finally going to meet their new son, Micah.  He is precious.  He rocks an extra 21st chromosome, and he is thriving as their 4th child with an older sister and two older brothers who adore him.  (You can see pictures and read more of their story on the blog post Lynn wrote yesterday!)  I love seeing God work, and seeing the Hagues walk in his plan for their family has been such a privilege.

As soon as the Hagues got home with him, we began planning a shower.  It was an afternoon shindig with a few fun treats and lots of talking and presents.  I loved the theme we used - You Are My Sunshine.  It was perfectly appropriate for the sweet sunshine that is Micah.

Baby Sunshine_invite

It's fun throwing showers with friends, because everyone pitches in so the work load is significantly less than doing a party by yourself.  The whole affair turned out quite lovely.


I didn't get any pictures of the other people there, because I was too busy talking.  But - I did snap this shot of the precious mother opening gifts.  Love you, Lynn!


So looking forward to loving on Micah for years to come!


(All printables from Lauren Haddox Design on Etsy.  We loved them!)

Sunday, May 17, 2015


William and Violet get six hours of therapy each week.  Five of those hours are at Easter Seals of Arkansas here in Little Rock.  They do Speech Therapy, Occupational Therapy and Physical Therapy with a team of therapists.  I have been so thrilled to have a support system there.  They have known us since the twins were 8 months old and have been cheering them on from rolling over to walking and from saying nothing to saying a host of words.  Easter Seals has worked with our rather complicated schedule and been incredibly accommodating and supportive.

Now that I have children with some developmental delays, I truly understand how valuable these services are.  I could do not what I do without the work that they do.  Our therapists love my children even when they throw tantrums, throw sippy cups or flat out refuse to do what is being asked of them.  I'm so thankful.

So, when I got an email asking if we would like to have Lily walk as a model in the Easter Seals Fashion Show, I didn't hesitate to say, "Yes!"  We picked out some clothes at The Toggery on Wednesday afternoon and headed to the Marriott on Friday afternoon.

It was such a great event!  Lily was partnered with a boy that she met that day, and they held hands as they walked the runway.  My heart was beating out of my chest as it neared her turn.  I think I was far more nervous to watch her than I would have been to actually walk myself.  Being a parent is a thrilling ride that certainly never gets dull.  Thankfully, she did great.


Many of the models who walked were clients at Easter Seals and seeing the reception they received from the crowd had me in tears much of the night.  One girl, Haven, walked the runway without help, which was a HUGE accomplishment for her.  Her family attends our church, and her father is planning a dirt bike ride across America as a fundraiser for Easter Seals this summer.  For more info on Haven's Road and how to support them - go here!  (William makes a tiny cameo in the video!)


A couple of our therapists were up on the catwalk as volunteers helping to shepherd little ones in the final walk.  I'm so thankful for their role in our family!


John, Bella and I had a great time watching the event, eating hors devours, bidding on silent auction items and riding the escalators.


All in all, it was a great event, and I'm so glad to have the chance to support an organization that gives our family so much support and encouragement!