Monday, April 23, 2018


We needed to do something pretty simple for the twins' party this year, because I haven't had a ton of excess energy.  That said, throwing a party is fun for me, so I still wanted to make it cute.  Our very favorite ice cream shop in town, Loblolly Creamery, has an ideal back room and party package.  They even agreed to make a vegan ice cream cake for our dear food allergy princess.  Done and done.  Thanks so much, Loblolly, for helping us have a fantastic day!


My sis, Ellen, graciously agreed to design invites for us.


I actually did keep it simple, which felt good.  Popcorn, Ritz Crackers, waffle bowls filled with fruit and water bottles kept people hydrated and with some salty options to balance all the ice cream.  I used balloons I had on hand for a little garland.


Loblolly was an excellent place to have a party - everyone got to have ice cream and chill!


I invited family and some close friends - that happens to be a lot of people.  The grandparent picture makes me feel weepy, because I do not take for granted what a gift it is to have all of these people love all of our children.


It did get a little crowded as we mixed and mingled, but since I didn't have any activities planned it turned out all right.


I know I mentioned this before, but I have to say it again, because it is so wonderful - Loblolly made a vegan ice cream cake for us so that Violet could have it!  Everyone sang Happy Birthday to our precious twins, and we all chased our ice cream with more ice cream.


We sent everyone on their way with cookies, so no one can say their sweet tooth was not satisfied at this shindig.


Happiest of birthdays to William and Violet!  We LOVE you!


For past Spenst parties, click here.

Twins' Past Parties
{Twins' Fiesta Fourth}
{Hungry Caterpillar Party}
{Berenstain Bear Party}
{VW Party}

Sunday, April 22, 2018


I remember people telling me that five is the age that you get to take a deep breath when raising twins.  That is not exactly true here 😂, but we are still so thankful to be celebrating five years with the most loving and precious twins imaginable - William and Violet.  Today they are officially five, and since they've been reminding us about it multiple times a day for the past several months - I'm glad that it finally came!


Violet is FULL of spunk, sassiness and love.  Her spirit is so affectionate, and she insists on helping around the house, which is sometimes more helpful than others.  She is only in speech therapy this year and has continued to make great progress.  We are completing a second year of dance and beginning semi-private gymnastics, which seems to be a fantastic fit for our little dynamo.  Currently, she says "Dilly Dilly" with far more regularity than I am comfortable to admit, and her favorite person in the world is our friend Mr. Adam.  She even named her new baby doll after him. 😂


William is our most "laid-back" kiddo, but he still has his fair share of spunk.  He is all boy, loving trucks, baseball and dinosaurs.  Playing catch and tickle-chase make him light up with glee.  He, like Violet, is incredibly affectionate and loves to give big hugs.  He barely qualified for occupational therapy this year, and he has mastered doing buttons himself - though he does NOT prefer to wear shirts that have buttons.  He really enjoys having Bella read aloud to him, and both William and Violet have learned to write their names and are able to recognize all letters and numbers.


William and Violet super love each other, which warms my mama heart.  They also both have little crinkles in their noses when they smile. 😍  We had their Ice Cream birthday party yesterday, which will be it's own blog post.


They will head off to Kindergarten in the fall, which is a bit mind-blowing.  (We are currently planning on them doing Kindergarten twice, to get a little extra practice.)  They are looking forward to being in the same school as the girls, and I am going to relish having one drop off for two years!

Happiest of birthdays, William and Violet.  You are cherished beyond words on all the days - both good and hard.  We cannot imagine our world without you in it, and we are so thankful that God gifted you to us.

Past Birthday Posts

Monday, April 16, 2018


It's our 13 year wedding anniversary - what!?!  I'm sure you get tired of reading it just as I get tired of writing it, but time goes SO QUICKLY.  I cannot believe that we've been married for 13 years, but it is also hard to imagine not being married.  Like my life began with my marriage, somehow.  Truthfully, because of all that John and I have traversed together, we are woven together in so very many ways - you know, that whole one flesh thing is true.

I posted lots of our wedding pictures here and several of our honeymoon pictures here - my, we were so young and carefree(ish).  It's funny to think back to our wedding and know that it really was exactly what we wanted - though maybe a little bigger than we had imagined.  It was before Pinterest, but I still managed to craft table centerpieces and get M'M's in our wedding colors to spread around.  Also, I found fabric and got patterns for the bridesmaid dresses - bless their hearts.  I was trying to save everyone money whilst also getting a look I wanted, but as it turns out, getting dresses randomly made by seamstresses is challenging in its own way. 🤣🤷🏻‍♀️😳  Thankfully, I had very gracious and beautiful sisters and friends who made the best of this.

It was a most lovely day, and John and I were truly so delighted to be marrying one another.  It's funny the things you plan and don't plan.  For example, my perfectionist husband had a wedding binder full of details, but when we walked out of our ceremony, we didn't know exactly what to do.  We had a feeling we weren't supposed to be seen, so we went and hid in a Sunday school classroom in the church before sneaking out the back to drive to the reception.  Then, when we left on our honeymoon, we did not give any flight or hotel info to anyone - not on purpose - we simply didn't think of it.  But, still to this day, my mother shakes her head when she thinks of not having any idea where or when or anything about our honeymoon whereabouts other than knowing that we would be in Hawaii for a bit.  😂 (sorry, Mom!)

Thankfully, I feel like we actually got the biggest details right - like marrying the right person and committing before the Lord to love Him and one another above all other people or things.  Now - we are not awesome at this every day - in fact, we say sorry all the time in our home.  But, we love and LIKE each other, for which I feel extreme gratitude.

Last night, we went for a leisurely dinner at SO.

(for some reason, winter made a comeback, so even though it is mid-April, I'm wearing a sweater and tall boots, which I was not happy about.)

Today, we met up for lunch, and by wonderful happenstance, we were handed "13" as our table marker.


I truly am thankful for the joys and even the challenges of marriage - I certainly find myself being shaped by both into a better woman.  And I would not want to do life with anyone else.  John and I regularly tell each other, "I'm glad I'm in it with you."  Happy Anniversary, John - you are my very favorite!

Past Anniversary Posts:
{2011} {2012} {2013} {2014} {2015} {2016} {2017}

Saturday, April 14, 2018


For all of the hard things in our life right now, I am so thankful to have the rich gift of precious friendships.  My friends literally keep me afloat in the craziness through prayers, group texts, lunch dates, working out, sleeping over, hanging out and double dating.  This is not bragging, this is just stating facts - we have great friends, and we regularly count our blessings in this department.

Back at the beginning of March, the guys had their yearly campout/canoe trip, which they thoroughly enjoyed.  This year they canoed 30 - THIRTY - miles.  It doesn't sound relaxing to me, but they had a great time.


Past D-Group Weekends
{2017} {2016} {2015} {2014} {2013}

While the guys were gone, we ladies got together for sushi one of the nights and dinner with all the kids on the other night.


We've had several other occasions to be together over the last several of months, between family on family dinners -


mom/kid sleepover when the dads are away for the night,


girls' night or lunches out,


and double dates.


When I feel sapped and drained from the run-of-the-mill parenting/work/life gig (a lot of the time currently), there is nothing like time with friends to rejuvenate my spirits.  We've also realized that our kiddos often do better with other families in the mix, and now that everyone is getting just a bit older, it is easier to do things together than ever before.

Keep in mind, these friendships take work and intentionality.  They do not "just happen."  But, it is worth every bit of the work, and we regularly reap the rewards in spades.  So grateful for friends who push us towards the Lord and make us laugh and love us in the midst of our messiness!