Dear John and Theo (Year 3)

Dear John Silas,

Happy birthday, John-John! You are my incredibly sweet and incredibly stubborn little big boy.  What a year it has been.  You are a book-loving jumping bean and I love you more than I can describe.  You want to be a fireman when you grow up.  You practice by wearing your Firehouse Subs plastic fireman’s hat and taking the old hose out of the garage and running around “putting fires out.”  You can recite 80% of The Little Fire Engine by heart and you have thrown Daniel Tiger to the curb for Fireman Sam (I miss Daniel).   A few months ago you learned to poop on the potty and we were so proud of you!  Now you go to the potty all the time except when you decide to be stubborn and wait too long because you don’t want to stop playing.  In April we went to Disney with Grammie and Papa and you had the time of your life.  Your face on the Teacups ride was priceless!  You hugged all the characters and grinned from ear to ear.  Lately you’ve been in a phase of hitting and kicking which is no fun for anyone.  One minute you’re kicking me and the next you’re hugging all over me and telling me you love me (it’s so very confusing).  It’s a phase and it will pass.  You tend to get hurt more than your brother, always tripping over something while chasing after him.  I do the same thing!  You are the pickiest eater I have ever met.  I have finally gotten to the point where I am no longer offended by your refusal to eat.  You go to bed hungry a lot (and Theo always eats your scraps!)  You really like to talk about Jesus and often say that you want to follow Him.  I’m praying for His work in your heart because that’s what I want, too.  You can recite your bible verse “The joy of the Lord is my strength! Nehemiah 8:10” and like to read about Jesus and the bad guys (the story of his crucifixion).  “But he doesn’t stay dead!” you say.  My goodness how I love you.  Your all-encompassing bear hugs are most certainly one of my favorite things on this earth.  Please never stop hugging me.  I will always be your Mom-Mom wanting hugs from you, my sweet and sassy John-John.




Dear Theophilus James,

Happy third birthday, Theo!  You are my tender-hearted helper who just so happens to also be an Olympic shot put thrower and rock climber.  You climb everything.  This was your morning routine for a few months: you’d climb your dresser, stand on top, reach over and move the childproof lock on your closet door, climb down, take everything out of your closet, and then come into my room looking cute with some new treasure from the closet.  (Side note: everything in the room is attached to the wall).  Thankfully you aren’t doing that as much any more (instead it’s been your brother waking all of us up!).  You are difficult to contain now that you no longer sleep in a crib.  I think the toddler bed transition has been almost as hard as your colicky baby days (in a different way, of course).  You are a grabber (you even call your arm the “grabber arm”) – anything within reach is yours.  Last fall that included a bottle of Motrin that was on the bathroom counter.  You both had been sick with a fever and I was up most of the night trying to help you both sleep.  In my delirious state I left the Motrin on the bathroom counter and didn’t closed the top.  You chugged that thing so fast there was barely anything left by the time I found you drinking it.  So there I was on the phone with Poison Control thinking I was the worst mother in the world.  Thankfully you didn’t manage to drink enough to need to get your stomach pumped.  The man on the phone told me your stomach would be upset but you didn’t seem to mind at all.  In fact you kept asking for more medicine all day.  You love eating food.  All. The. Food.  I am so thankful you eat pretty much everything I put in front of you, including broccoli!  You are getting noticeably bigger than your picky brother, who you adore.  You are extremely protective of him.  When John is getting in trouble (which has been frequent these days) you come over and yell, “STOP IT, MOMMY!”  It really makes no sense to me considering the fact that I’ve usually just been hit by your brother, but you guys are quite the duo.  Other than those outbursts and fits when you don’t get your way, you are very sweet and helpful.  You want to help me cook and clean and you love when I ask you for help with little things – like finding my shoes or keys or one of the many things that I lose.  You finally figured out how to jump and now you won’t stop.  You can do a handstand (using the wall to hold up your feet) and you love going to Capoeira class to learn how to be like Captain America.  You also love to read books and keep telling me you want to learn how to read.  You will soon, little man.  I am thankful for your hugs and kisses and eagerness to help others.  I can’t wait to see more of who God has created you to be.
















Dear John and Theo (Year Two)

Dear John Silas,

Happy birthday, Johnny! I can’t believe you are two years old.  You have grown and learned so much in the past year.  You are tender and sweet, but also a ball of energy!  You wear me out most days.  One minute you are sitting on the couch cuddling your teddy bear and the next you are running loops from your bedroom to the kitchen.  You love singing and dancing, especially while Daddy plays guitar.  Your signature move is spinning in circles (brother always joins in, too).  If you could be outside all day you would, but this summer heat wipes us out pretty quick!  You enjoy using your shovel to move dirt and you particularly love to pick up dirt and dump it on your head.  This always ends badly because Daddy and I have to work really hard to get the dirt out of your hair and you hate getting water in your eyes.   You are a notorious toy thief, but thankfully Theo doesn’t mind much (but if he takes a toy from you, you mind VERY much).  You like to copy your brother and a lot of the time that gets you into trouble.  Cars, trucks, tractors, and anything with wheels gets you excited.  We took you to Touch-a-Truck with Grammie and Papa a couple months ago and you had the time of your life.  You got to sit on a digger, run on a trailer, touch a firetruck….it was bliss.  I love talking with you – you know so many words and can repeat everything I say! You pick up on things so quickly it’s crazy.  If you were a couple feet taller you could make a cup of coffee for yourself.  You know to get “daddy’s coffee cup,” “shake” the creamer, push the “button,” and add “sugar in there.”  One thing you and I have in common is that we both love to sleep.  Your brother is always waking us up and we both need some time to adjust to the daylight.  You snuggle your lion every night and love being tucked into bed.  You like to pray with us, which always melts my heart.  You usually say something like, “Hi, God. Thank you, God. Siah. Trip.”  (You love your friends Josiah and Trip!) I love being your mommy and I am so thankful for you, my sweet John.




Dear Theophilus James,

Happy birthday, Theo! I can’t believe you are such a big boy.  All your chunky baby features are gone and you are so very active! Climbing on tables, standing in chairs, grabbing Daddy’s cereal and dumping it on the floor, throwing food, dumping your water everywhere……you keep me on my toes (and let’s be honest, you visit time-out a lot).  We love to sing songs from music class together, especially the Teddy Bear song.  Lately we have been including teddy bear while we eat.  He gets a chair next to you and after you’re done eating you feed him his food and water.  If you could only eat one food for the rest of your life, it would be yogurt (aka “gogo”).  You ask for “gogo” at breakfast, lunch, and dinner.  You and your brother have become picky eaters, but I can always get you to eat macaroni and cheese (it’s one of my favorites, too).  You love to color and play with stickers.  You are learning your colors and can count to 10 (minus 9…that one always gets left out!).  Daddy and I think you might be very athletic one day.  You have a good arm and can go so fast on your bike!  You’ve wiped out quite a few times from taking turns too quickly, but it doesn’t seem to phase you.  You also busted your lip a few months ago when you and brother escaped out the front door and ran down the driveway.  There was a lot of blood, but all you needed was a little bit of glue (I was so glad you didn’t need stitches).  Lately you and John seem to have reversed rolls – whenever I drop you off, you are the first one to cry and yell, “Mommy!” and John doesn’t seem to care as much.  You like to snuggle with me when you wake up from your nap (usually an hour before John wakes) and I love it. You are my little helper – you sweep, dust, put things in the trash, and bring in laundry from the garage.  There is a certain sweetness about you that I just love.  I hope you always have it, even if you grow up to become some big, tough linebacker.  I love being your mommy.  I am so thankful for you, my sweet Theo.






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Fair Trade Friday – Rethink Your Christmas Gifts! 

Last Mother’s Day J.R. got me a membership to Fair Trade Friday’s “Earring of the Month” club. Each month I get a pair of earrings sent to me and each month it is a surprise – I have no idea what they will look like or where they will be from! I have received earrings from Kenya, Mozambique, India, Azerbaijan, Haiti, Guatemala, and Ethiopia. They come in a cute little bag like this:

Then you get to unwrap your surprise and discover where it came from!

Fair Trade Friday is part of Mercy House, a ministry dedicated to meeting spiritual and physical needs of women around the world. 

“Mercy House exists to engage, empower and disciple women around the globe in Jesus’ name. Engage those with resources to say yes to the plight of women in poverty. Empower women and teenage mothers around the world through partnerships and sustainable fair trade product development. Disciple women to be lifelong followers of Jesus Christ.”

I LOVE the opportunity we have to support these women by purchasing their handmade goods. It really does help meet their physical needs, and the best part is Mercy House is gospel-centered so they are also hearing the good news. 

As far as their products are concerned, I have loved every earring I have received. They are unique and very well-made. There was only one time I had a piece of an earring break, and they sent me a new one right away.  Fair Trade Friday also has a bracelet of the month club and a FTF box that is full of fun goodies (soaps, home decor, etc). Mercy House has an online shop with many of these items that you can purchase without becoming part of a club. The items are reasonably priced and shipping is inexpensive.  Before you do your Black Friday or Cyber Monday shopping, check out their website! You may be able to buy a gift for a friend while gifting someone else with income that helps put food on their table.

Here are a couple pics of some of the earrings I have received:

Happy Thanksgiving!

A Baby Shower Devotional

A few weeks ago I was asked to give a devotional at a friend’s baby shower.  I loved creating this short little study about motherhood, so I thought I’d share:

Psalm 127

[1] Unless the LORD builds the house,
those who build it labor in vain.
Unless the LORD watches over the city,
the watchman stays awake in vain.
[2] It is in vain that you rise up early
and go late to rest,
eating the bread of anxious toil;
for he gives to his beloved sleep.
[3] Behold, children are a heritage from the LORD,
the fruit of the womb a reward.
[4] Like arrows in the hand of a warrior
are the children of one’s youth.
[5] Blessed is the man
who fills his quiver with them!
He shall not be put to shame
when he speaks with his enemies in the gate.

We’re probably familiar with the last few verses of this Psalm, which talks about children and the blessing that they are – and they really are! But I’m actually going to talk about the first couple of verses.  

Being a mom is wonderful – and really hard!  There are many moments when you don’t know what to do and you feel overwhelmed.  In the beginning you’re dealing with breastfeeding and no sleep and your body is still recovering. Then eventually your kid starts moving around and getting into everything and then you need to figure out how to discipline them, a whole new challenge.  And eventually your baby will go to school and maybe be around kids whose families don’t love the Lord and that’s a little scary.  And one day she’ll start driving and boys will want to date her and it’s all just plain overwhelming!  

When we think of all the challenging aspects of parenthood, we tend to get anxious and try to figure things out for ourselves.  You might even read books, or maybe ask other moms for advice.  But according to those first couple of verses, we’re doing things in vain when we try to do it without the Lord. “Vain” in Hebrew means useless, nothing, or worthless.

In verse 1 it said, “Unless the LORD builds the house, those who build it labor in vain.” Of course the builder must labor to build his home, but he must have faith and trust God in order for his work to be beneficial.

It’s not wrong to ask friends for advice, or to read books, but ultimately we need to seek the Lord as we parent our children, just as in everything else we do.  We see in 2 Timothy 2:16-17 that He gives us His word to guide us:

“[16] All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness, [17] that the man of God may be complete, equipped for every good work.”

Surely God is equipping us in our work of motherhood.  Scripture is full of wisdom that guides us as we figure out how to best love and care for our children.  We will have lots of hard decisions to make and we will have to choose between trusting the Lord or trying to control things ourselves.

Verse 2 reads, “It is in vain that you rise up early and go late to rest, eating the bread of anxious toil; for he gives to his beloved sleep.”  Godly parenting requires diligence, but our labor of motherhood shouldn’t lead to anxiety.  We are God’s beloved, and he cares for us and he cares for our children.

But even when we are trying to trust the Lord and seek Him, there will be times when we won’t parent well.  We may lose our tempers, shout instead of listen, punish instead of give grace, worry instead of pray.  Thankfully God’s grace is sufficient in our shortcomings.  In 2 Corinthians, Paul writes about the thorn in his flesh and he says:

“[9] But Jesus said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly of my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may rest upon me.”

You don’t have to be a perfect mom – the pressure is off!  You don’t have to do more or be more, because your baby girl doesn’t need a super mom.  She needs a mom who needs a super God.  The God who created her and loves her more than we can imagine.  She is your heritage, your portion, your gift from the Lord.  We are so excited to meet her and be a part of her life!

Dear John and Theo

Dear John Silas,

Happy birthday!  I can’t believe it’s been a year since I met you.  You were so tiny with so much hair!  Now you’re a big boy….and the hair is still working on coming back evenly.  You love going on walks, looking out the window watching summer rain showers, and sitting on my lap reading books (you are an excellent page turner).  You’re a pro at saying “dada” and say “mama” when you feel like it.  You love making the “s” sound and it often turns into spitting.  Brother always joins in.  You clap hands, give high fives, and shake your head “no” as often as possible.  Your smile is adorable and kind of goofy looking with your two front teeth.  Blueberries, bananas, and chicken are your favorite foods.  You like to hit the spoon when I’m feeding you.  It creates quite a mess, but you get so excited!  Before I even have time to get a rag and wipe it up you’ve got sweet potatoes in your hair, eyebrows, and ears.  You like to tip the laundry basket, take all the clothes out, and crawl inside (and now brother is copying you).  In the past month you’ve become very clingy and scared of strangers.  Sometimes it’s hard for me (I feel bad when I have to leave you and you’re screaming) but deep down it makes me feel really special that you want me to stay.  New things scare you, but you usually warm up.  You love it when daddy plays guitar and when he stops you clap for more.  You adore your brother.  I hope you boys are best friends forever.  I thank God every day for creating you.  Your name means “God is gracious” and you are a daily reminder of the grace He has shown us.  We have so many hopes and dreams for you little man.  We enjoy every moment we get with you.




Dear Theophilus James,

Happy birthday!  I still remember the sound of your cry when I first met you.  I thought jeez, he’s got a set of lungs on him, and you do!  You love getting kisses from Burgh and Georgia and playing stinky feet with daddy.  You smile when I give you kisses and bury your head in my chest when you’re sleepy.  It took you a while to say “dada” but you figured out “mama” quickly thereafter.  You’ve got a couple pounds on your brother and it’s no wonder why – you love food!  I don’t think you’ve ever refused to eat, but you have started dropping food on the floor while looking at me with a sneaky little smile. You like to explore and always seem to end up somewhere you shouldn’t be.  You think throwing things out of your playpen or over the baby gate is hilarious.  Your brother is your buddy.  You love to tackle and nuzzle him, and steal his pacifier even when you have your own.  You love being silly and scrunching your nose – it’s the cutest!  You were the first to stand on your own and you were so proud! Every time you stand up you get a big grin on your face….I think you are going to take off pretty soon.  You are a delight and I’m so thankful I get to be your mama.  Your name means “friend of God” and your daddy and I pray every day that you come to know and love the Lord.  You are a daily reminder of His friendship toward us and we are so thankful.  We can’t wait to see what He has in store for you!




And Then There Were Four

I don’t remember much from our first few weeks home.  Our parents took turns staying with us to help out, so we didn’t have to think about meals or laundry for a while. The boys were almost exclusively breastfed so most everything revolved around their feeding schedule (every two hours and it didn’t get much better at night).  I do not regret breastfeeding them, but it was extremely difficult.  It took about an hour to feed them both, so there was only an hour in between feedings.  If J.R. was around he would help prop up both the boys on the boppy pillow so I could feed them at the same time.  Tandem feedings were extremely uncomfortable and I quickly gave it up and did back-to-back feedings.  That was great unless the second one wanted to eat (I had a baby attached to me and couldn’t help the other one).

Some people questioned why I continued to nurse them since it was so physically draining.  I felt like it was best for my preemie babies, I had an abundance of milk and it was free.  Yes, it would have been easier if someone else could have fed them in the middle of the night.  I did use formula every now and then for that purpose (I am in no way against formula – they have been on formula since eight months and they are just fine!).

My physical recovery from the C-section took a while.  I needed help getting up and down, taking showers, etc.  J.R. was my nurse.  My hormones were completely crazy – I would get extremely hot or cold and have shaking spells.  I barely got any sleep, my body was working hard to make milk for my babies and I had intense, burning pain on the right side of my incision.  J.R. was gentle and sweet and cared for me so well during that time.  He also changed most of their diapers since getting up and down was difficult for me!  I definitely win now though, I’m guessing I’ve changed close to 5,000 diapers at this point.

Everyone left around three weeks and J.R. was back to work so I had to figure out how to do things on my own.  Things you wouldn’t think of – how to move from one room to another with two of them, how to get in and out of the car, how to get them to sleep at the same time, how to feed them without one screaming……this is when I started throwing out everything the books said!  I read several books during my pregnancy. It wasn’t a waste of time, but I will say that no child comes with a manual and going with your mama instinct is a safe bet!  I quickly discovered that many of the things I said I wouldn’t do were no longer a big deal and that my five-pound babies were not going to be sleeping through the night by twelve weeks (sorry, Babywise).

Here are some things the books suggested that I threw out:

  • Tandem nurse twins so you spend less time feeding (great advice in theory but I wonder if the people who suggest this have ever tried it…..)
  • Don’t use pacifiers before four weeks so your baby doesn’t experience nipple confusion (anything to soothe them)
  • Don’t rock your baby to sleep so they will learn how to fall asleep on their own (have two babies with colic and see how that goes….more on that next time)
  • Don’t let your baby fall asleep in a swing or bouncy seat (if I had four arms maybe but I only have two so the swing was like an extra set!)
  • Keep your baby in your bedroom until 12 weeks old (I woke up from every peep so this did not work for us)

When you have a newborn you are in survival mode.  When you have two you feel like you are barely hanging on to the life preserver.  I did what worked for my family which often went against the recommendations.  But hey – we survived!  J.R. also started a new job when they were about three weeks old, so there was a lot of transition going on at once.  By God’s grace we got through it.  In the moments when I felt so inadequate and exhausted, God sustained me.  When I was up for the fourth time at night and felt weary and alone, He was there.  He showed me how much I need Him, and how much I need family and friends to help care for these boys (thanks to everyone who has supported us during our journey of parenthood – we appreciate you). 


The Birth Story

My babies are going to be one next month?!!  I’m a mess of emotions – excited, sad and nostalgic.  My memory of their early days is foggy, but I want to write down what I remember so I don’t completely forget.  I’ve decided to write a few posts about the past year and the different phases of their growth.  This post is all about their birth and our time in the hospital (this post isn’t very gory, but it might make some people uncomfortable, so if that’s you, skip this one!).

I ended up having a C-section and I wasn’t sure what to expect.  I still deal with weird feelings of guilt over not having a vaginal birth, but that’s another story. Thankfully the surgery itself wasn’t terrible.   Knowing my doctor was slicing me open was strange, but she got the boys out super quick.  J.R. was holding my hand the whole time.  She grabbed John and held him up for me to see, then went to get Theo.  I didn’t see him as quickly because his umbilical cord was wrapped around his neck. When they finally brought the boys over to me, I couldn’t really hold them.  The anesthesia worked a little too well and I couldn’t move my arms!  J.R. and a nurse helped prop them up on my chest.  It was surreal – my babies were on the outside!  The moment was brief because I had to be put back together.  J.R. left with the babies and my doctor worked on me.  I tried not to think of what was going on down there, but I kept thinking of Dax Shepard’s hilarious description of a C-section to Ellen DeGeneres.

Eventually I was carted back to the room where I got to see my sweet boys again.  The nurse tried to help me breastfeed and I knew right away it wasn’t going to be easy (I now say breastfeeding twins was one of the hardest things I’ve ever done).  I was shaking uncontrollably for a while after the surgery, which made snuggling difficult.  The boys were born at 36 weeks so we were nervous they would end up in the NICU.  Thankfully that didn’t happen and they were in my room during our stay.  Advice to new mamas – if sometime during your hospital stay the nurse asks you if you want her to take the babies (or baby for most people haha) to the nursery for a couple hours so you can get some sleep – say yes!

I quickly learned that my body was incredibly weak.  I couldn’t get out of bed and I was in terrible pain.  Once they took the catheter out, I couldn’t even pee.  The trip to the toilet was awful.  I couldn’t get out of bed, walk, sit, or stand without assistance.  We didn’t have many visitors (just my parents and a few close friends) because frankly I didn’t want anyone around except J.R.  I felt so vulnerable, my boobs hanging out everywhere, people touching me everywhere, it just stinks.  No one told me about the nurses pushing on your belly afterwards, and good grief!  That was the worst.  On the third day the nurse convinced me I needed to shower. When the water hit my skin I wanted to scream.  I can’t even stand up, how am I supposed to take care of two babies?!!  I thought. My doctor told me my nerve pain was probably a little more than usual because everything was incredibly stretched from holding twins (I measured 10 weeks ahead, so it was like I was 46 weeks prego).  I also lost a little more blood during surgery than the norm, which added to my exhaustion.

The boys kept failing some test (I don’t remember what it was now…I think it had to do with their glucose levels). The nurses had to give them formula in between my attempts to breastfeed them.  The first lactation consultant who tried to help me was not very encouraging.  She made me feel like I was a lost cause because the boys already had been given formula. I remember crying one of the times she came in and J.R. asked her to leave.  My hero.  The second lactation consultant was wonderful!  She was sweet, energetic and sympathetic.  The boys were latching well and I was learning how to feed them both at the same time.

And suddenly it was time to go home….and I didn’t want to!  I couldn’t imagine taking care of the babies at home because I couldn’t even take care of myself (enter superhubby/dad J.R…..more on that next time).  But away we went, off to sleepless nights, poo-explosions and lots of snuggles.





p.s. – the boys were pulling up on my legs saying “mama” while I was writing this and my heart was melting.  Pregnancy, birth and recovery are painful but beyond worth it.



The Things People Say When They See Two Babies

For some reason I thought the questions would stop after my giant basketball belly disappeared.  False.  My quick ten-item grocery outings turn into hour-long trips from all the questions and comments I receive when people see two babies.  You know when you break a bone and people see your cast and ask what happened?  In the beginning you don’t mind recounting your clumsy fall down the stairs, but a couple weeks later you are just about done telling your story for the one hundredth time and decide to come up with something more exciting.  So yeah….sometimes I want to tell people I stole them from the hospital or that they’re cloned or from a different planet.  But usually I’m nice and say normal things.  These are the top questions and comments I get about the boys.

Are they twins?!!!!!!!!!  (lots of exclamation points because it’s usually asked very enthusiastically)

This one gets me every time.  To me it’s pretty obvious they are twins.  I guess that’s because I am their mother.  I suppose it’s not a silly question, but when I’ve heard it for the fifth time in forty-five minutes it feels silly. It might be a more legitimate question if you see two kids that look slightly different, or look the same age but are different genders.  However, I have two babies that are the same size and look the same.  Yes, they are twins.

Are they identical?

This is an okay question.  Most of the time they follow up with:

How can you tell them apart?

I’m their mom….I just can.  That may be a lame answer but it’s true!  One looks like John and the other looks like Theo.  There are no magic markers to distinguish them.  Theo has a chunkier face, but this varies because they get bigger every day and John is catching up.  I also think Theo’s eyes are a bit more rounded.

Is it a boy and a girl?

SERIOUSLY.  First, if someone says this after asking if they’re identical, I will not answer.  Second, I dress them in boy-colored clothing.  I don’t think I’ve ever put them in anything even neutral.  And whenever I’m asked this, they always think poor Theo is the girl.  Why Theo?  I have no idea.

Do twins run in your family?

I see now that I will be answering this question until I die.  See my pregnancy post.

What a nice stroller!  What kind is it?

I’m considering contacting Joovy and demanding compensation for the time I spend marketing their product.  I really do love their double stroller.  It’s super easy to get the boys in and out when we’re on the go.  Their car seats snap right into the frame and there’s a basket underneath where I can put a small amount of groceries if I’m at the store.

I also get a lot of “You have your hands full!” and questions about what it’s like with two babies.  The best conversations I’ve had are with people who are also parents of twins.  J.R. and I have both encountered other twin moms and dads and the common theme is this:  they immediately offer encouragement and don’t ask questions.  They say something like: “I know your life is really tough right now, but it’s going to get a easier.  It’s even going to get fun. Hang in there. One night you’re even going to get some sleep!”  A few weeks ago we were at Moe’s with the boys and an older couple came up to us.  They were as sweet as could be and offered up lots of encouragement.  After having their first baby they had twins a year later and then had another baby a year-and-a-half after the twins.  If they can make it so can we!

Anyway, enough talk about how hard it is.  It really is so dang tough, but these boys are getting less fussy by the day which is making things a lot easier.  They are rolling like crazy, “talking” up a storm, and laughing a ton.  It’s amazing and I’m so thankful for each day I get with them.  Here are some pics from Thanksgiving in Melbourne (John is in yellow and Theo is in green).












To all the mamas of little ones

To all the mamas of little ones: Bless you.

The days are long but the years are short.  I chant this to myself in the middle of the night when everyone (and I mean everyone) is crying.  No one and nothing could have prepared me for motherhood. No stories of sleepless nights or What to Expect books. If someone would have told me I could survive on two hours of sleep I would have laughed in their face. If they said one day five hours of sleep would seem like a lot I would have thought they were crazy.

Caring for two newborns is really, really hard. I would venture to say it’s the hardest thing I’ve ever done. Is it wonderful? Yes. But so so hard. 

To all our amazing family and friends: THANK YOU.  Thank you for bringing us food, doing dishes, cleaning the house, taking care of our dogs, letting me nap, etc etc. We are so thankful for each and every one of you.

To all the mamas of little ones:  You are saints!  You are so strong and brave.  You work the day shift and the night shift for no monetary reward and often without any thanks or praise.  You might not know it but you are doing kingdom work – yes, the dirty diapers and dishes and never-ending laundry and meal cooking and middle-of-the-night feedings have a purpose and its bigger than you can imagine.  I have so many dreams for my boys but my prayer every night is that they will become men after His own heart.   It’s easy to lose sight of the grandness of motherhood when you’re dealing with spit up and poop but being a mama is so meaningful and beautiful and I am so desperate to remember that each moment of the day.  In all the little things, we are a part of something really, really big.


“You’re having twins?!!”

I’m pretty sure all pregnant ladies get a lot of questions, and I seem to get a ton of additional questions after someone finds out I’m having twins.  Here are some of the questions/comments I get (most of them are pretty reasonable, but some might be better left unsaid!)

Are you having identical or fraternal twins?


What is the difference between identical and fraternal twins?

Here’s a short article that sums it up: Identical vs. Fraternal twins

Do twins run in the family?

This is the #1 question I’m asked.  If you read the article above, you might have noticed that identical twins aren’t hereditary.  However, to answer your question: J.R. has an aunt and uncle that are fraternal twins and I have some distant cousins cousins that are twins.

Are they natural?

Think before you speak!!!

Were you surprised when you found out that it was twins?


Do you have to see the doctor more often since you’re having twins?

Yes. I go every two weeks to a specialist in addition to seeing my normal OB. The twins share a placenta, which means they are at risk for Twin to Twin Transfusion Syndrome and a few other things.  So far they have been looking great, praise Jesus!  Please pray with us that both babies will keep growing and getting what they need.

One positive thing about seeing the doctor more is that I get a ridiculous number of ultrasounds – it’s so much fun to see them grow, and it gives me peace of mind seeing them often.

Your belly doesn’t look very big! Are you sure it’s twins?

Yes, I’m very sure there are two babies in there. Just FYI, I spent the last couple months throwing up.  Also, my belly is actually measuring on the bigger side, so I don’t know why I get all these comments.  I guess people think twins and automatically think (and many even say)………

You’re going to be huge!

Why thank you! (I think comments about pregnant people’s belly sizes should be banned, whether you think it’s small or large.)


Here are some questions/comments I get that aren’t specific to twins:

When are you due?

June 7th.  But then some people get confused if they know how far along I am because the math doesn’t add up.  The goal (set by my doctors) is to get to 36 weeks.  Twins don’t stick around in the womb for 40 weeks.  I’m pretty sure I would fall over by then anyway!

Are you having boys or girls?

Two boys! (Identical twins are always the same gender.)  And for all of you who tell me “Good luck, two boys will be crazy!” – I’m really excited about my boys!  I’m pretty sure it would be equally crazy with two girls (think teenage years, people!)

What are their names?

We are 99% decided on names, but I’m going to keep them off the Internet for now 🙂

And finally, I often get some variation of: You look tired/exhausted/wiped/drained. You should get some rest.

Between my back and hips aching, acid reflux, and getting the munchies at 2 a.m., I am not sleeping great.  Please only say this if you’re going to offer me some assistance, like hey, “I’ll bring you dinner!” or “I’ll do this or this for you!” Pointing out that I’m not looking too good doesn’t really help!


Here are some pics from my last ultrasound at 18 weeks:

Here’s Baby A’s foot.  I don’t think we’ve gotten a good profile shot of Baby A since week 12. He’s usually moving around like a wild man and can often be found sitting on Baby B’s head.

Baby A

Meet Baby B.  Baby B is usually found sucking his thumb and is a bit more cooperative for photo ops.

Baby B


I can’t wait to meet them!!