Sunday, April 29, 2012

Frankly, I don't know how she does it either.

Last weekend I sat down and watched the movie (while writing thank you notes & folding laundry, ironically) and loved it.

The ol' blog has been quiet lately. When my days are too full, all-things-internet are the first to go. The end of the term for Dave means a work schedule change for him, and for me, and we're all still adjusting. Luckily right after the twins were born, a wise friend advised me to aim to be more "routinized" than "scheduled". So, we all still know what comes next around here, it just may be happening at a different time.

I guess if I had to come up with one word to summarize my current season it would be behind. I'm behind at work and behind at home and behind at being a friend and daughter and sister. I'm behind in healing from my car accident.  It feels like it's all too much. And while I try and give my best, lately it feels like everyone is only getting part of me. Like my best just isn't cutting it.

Family is my priority. I stake and claim that not to sound Holy or Righteous, but honestly to remind myself. My kids come first. Parenting is something I desire to be intentional about at all times...because if we mess this up, really, what else matters???

I am so grateful I only need to work part time, and that I still get to be home with my kids so much. Not that chasing around two 2 year olds isn't work (mercy, it sure is work), but it's the most important work. And I feel so blessed that I get to be involved in so much of Abbey and Luke's days. Watching them learn and grow and explore and challenge and play and interact fascinates me. Being able to be present in their days is a gift I do not take for granted.

My job is a good one, but incredibly demanding. The position I'm in used to be a full time position, and I am (attempting) to do it in 24 hours a week. I've been behind since the day I started in January. I walk out the door (late, most often) after every shift with a pile of work still on my desk. Luckily, I have the world's best boss, who completely understands and supports my family-first priority. They've worked around whatever schedule suits my family best.

Between phyical therapy, massage therapy, and spine manipulation I'm averaging about 3 appointments a week in an effort to recover fully from the car accident in February. I'm not proud to admit that I'm not giving my back and neck the attention and care they deserve to get better - but who's got the time?!? Working part time, having twin toddlers, and staying on top of our home keep me busy enough each week.

As I type this, I can see a mountain of laundry taunting me. But I've decided to ignore it -it'll still be here tomorrow- and blog a bit. Journal a bit. Get some thoughts out of my head and hopefully clear up some space in there. I need to.

My needs are just as important as any other member of my family...but I never, EVER, want my children - or husband- to feel like an inconvenience to me. The weight of being Mom can be a heavy burden. Every once in awhile, resentment about all that is expected of me creeps in..

Sometimes, I catch myself feeling like my family and home responsibilities are "getting in the way" of my life. And then I have to stop and remember, they are my life. I'm called to manage my home. Being a mother and wife, and CEO of our home is my greatest calling, my top priority. It's the most thankless and important job I will ever do. A home doesn't just run itself. A close family doesn't just happen. Children don't just learn confidence, security, trust, discipline, kindness, faithfulness and compassion on their own. We teach them, we show them. And while ultimately God is in control of all of this and able to do it all without me, He also calls us to a high standard when He entrusts our children to us.

I want to honor the roles I've been entrusted with.

As for my job, the Bible also calls us to work as if we are working for the Lord. So, I try to. I work hard when I'm at my there. And then, I work hard to leave it there when I walk out the door and allow myself to focus on my family and my home that I am returning to. 

"Try" being the operative word there.

Some days, I fail. My kids watch way too much TV as I run around getting ready for work or getting chores done around the house...all because I chose to "sleep in" instead of getting up before them, or chose to watch TV the night before instead of getting things done then. And that's okay. In those times I try to cut myself some slack, and remember most days I really am doing the very best I can.

And I'm also constantly re-evaluating what I value a "Good Mom" to be. Does a Good Mom constantly play with her children? Drop everything she is doing when she hears the tiny voice request "Momma play with me?". I don't know. Sometimes - most the time- I think yes. But occasionally, I think no. A Good Mom plays with her kids. She gets down on the floor and acts silly and gets inside her children's world. But she also makes sure they have clean socks to wear. And veggies to eat. And changes their crib sheets. A Good Mom also makes sure there is sunscreen in the closet for warmer days, and infant ibuprofen on hand for when the fever spikes at 2am, and diapers and wipes always around for the constant diaper changes. And if a Good Mom is busy making sure there are clean towels for bath time and groceries for dinner, that means sometimes she isn't available to build with blocks the very minute it is requested of her. And that's okay. She's still present. She's still intentional. It's just - in those moments - in the vein of preparedness for her loved ones instead of racing trucks down the hall with them.

I'm good at playing with my kids. But I'm also learning to be okay with saying "Momma needs to finish washing these dishes right now so we can have clean plates for dinner, but I'll play with you in a little bit. How about if you build a tower by yourself and show me how tall you can make it?".  And if the children don't like that response? So be it. I'm learning that a Good Mom also makes sure her children understand that even though they are so very precious and important and special...the world does not revolve around them. I believe a Good Mom has boundaries. And I'm becoming more and more comfortable with that.

I'm also working on accepting my husband's help without seeing it as a failure on my part.Why do we women do this to ourselves? When I am overwhelmed and David steps in, why do I feel like I am letting my family down? I really don't know. The Super-Mom expectations I put on myself are mine and mine alone. David and I are a team. We both work some outside the home (granted, him more than me) and we both work inside the home. We are both parents to our children. I am lucky to have a husband who truly sees us as a partnership. He desires to be hands-on with the kids, and is more than willing to do his "fair share" of chores to keep our home running. So I'm working on recognizing that doesn't make me any less of a Good makes me a Blessed one =).

There. I don't know if any of that is coherent, but it sure felt good to get out.

Now how about some pictures of my Adorables?

Friday, April 13, 2012


I needed to make a phone call that would require my full, uninterrupted attention. So, like a Good Mom, I moved my kids' high chairs into the living room and put them in front of a DVD. Strapped in and distracted...that should do it, right? Nope, they're gonna get bored quick this way, I acknowledged.

 I know! Play-dough!

We'd gotten play-dough for their birthday and used it just a few times. Abbey and Luke both loved it. So I divided out the play-dough on their trays, reminded them not to eat it, and headed to my bedroom to have my phone conversation in peace.

I finished up rather quickly and came back out into the living room to find my cherubs smiling and playing happily in their high chairs.

And play-dough ALL OVER my house.

They'd made 7,520 play-dough balls, and hurled them in every direction.

Now to be fair, I'd never told them we don't throw play-dough, so they weren't in humongous trouble. It wasn't blatant defiance. But. I do feel like they are old enough and understand enough to have guessed that chucking play-dough in every direction was likely a no-no.

I told them so.

"We do NOT throw play-dough! It makes a BIG mess and can get stuck places which is very you understand?" They half-nodded and half continued to watch their DVD. I shut if off and asked them to look me in the eyes while I waxed on about how we only play with play-dough right in front of us, it's okay to roll it into balls, but not to throw them...yadda yadda yadda. I can't remember exactly what I said, but I'm quite sure they retained every word of it.

Normally we make them clean up (or at least help) any mess they make, but this was a delicate situation. There were play-dough landmines EVERYWHERE just waiting to be smooshed into my carpet and couches. So I cleaned off a portion of the couch, and picked them up and set them on it, with a strict warning to STAY PUT.

As I went about carefully navigating my living room while cleaning up, I saw Lucas slowly move towards the end of the couch.

"You need to stay on the couch" I sternly reminded him while I picked up ball #4,218.

He inched further.

I let it slide and kept going. Waiting to see if he was going to chose to obey or not.

He slllooowwwllly slid off the couch. And waited.

I stood up, walked over to him, picked him up, and carried him into his room.

"You didn't listen and obey Momma, so you are in Time Out" I said as I plopped him in his crib and walked out of the nursery.

I came back in the living room to find Abigail on the edge of the couch. We locked eyes.

I could see it in her face...the inner turmoil. Where did her loyalties lie? Abbey is a total Momma's girl who is usually devastated when I discipline her. But she also adores her brother.

Our stand off continued for a moment more before she gradually slid herself off the couch.

I walked over, picked her up, and carried her to her room.

"You didn't listen and obey Momma, so you are in Time Out" I repeated as I plopped her in her crib.

As I turned to leave, I heard Luke - just above a whisper say "hi sishter" and they both dissolved into a fit of giggles.

Luckily my back was turned so they couldn't see the broad smile across my face.

As much as I do not like being disobeyed, it made my heart swell to see them in it together.

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Pottery painting!!

 A little while back, my sister Natalie and I took Abbey and Luke to paint pottery for the first time! We had some thank you gifts we wanted to make for some people who have been very helpful and generous to our family.



They both LOVED it and the gifts turned out so cute! Definitely on our to-do again list!

Sunday, April 8, 2012

Easter Weekend

Yesterday morning we woke up to beautiful spring weather for this first time in a long time. Our Church hosted it's annual "Epic Egg Hunt", which we were so excited for!

"Hey! There's chocolate in here!!!"

 With our favorite twin buddies...

Some protein to (hopefully) counteract all the sugar...

This morning we made cinnabunnies for breakfast before heading out to Church...

 And this morning's photo session outside went just about as well as you'd guess with two two-year olds...

Gah. Love them.

Happy Easter all... He is Risen!

Saturday, April 7, 2012

A lil' family vacation

After all our party fun, we came home and packed for our trip the next day!

Sunday morning we woke up and had breakfast, and then loaded up the van and headed off to the beach!

We'd been planning and saving for this little trip as a way of celebrating surviving two years together as a family of four =).

The kids snoozed during our nap time/car ride over, and woke up happy to have arrived at our hotel. We promptly set up camp and had ourselves a tasty snack...

 The weather wasn't so great on the day we arrived, but we still enjoyed looking at the ocean!

 What's a family with two toddlers to do when it's raining at the beach? Head to the indoor swimming pool!

After a fun afternoon of swimming, we headed back to our room for dinner and baths and family movie night =). We popped popcorn and watched Finding Nemo. The kids are starting to really take an interest in movies, and it was so fun to snuggle in together and enjoy it as a family!

The next morning we woke up to sunshine!! At the Oregon Coast!! In March!!! God is still in the business of miracles people!! =)

After a few minutes of digging in the sand, Luke just took off exploring. He's so funny that way! He's not a darter or one who runs away, he's just so curious and LOVES to have the freedom to explore =). So, Daddy dutifully followed behind our adventurous little man...

Meanwhile, Abigail and I stayed and played in the sand together...

 Even the most adventruous among us get tuckered out sometimes...=)

My sweet babies...

We all had so much fun playing. Luke and Abbey could have stayed down there all day, but lunch and naps had to take place at some point!

That afternoon we went to the outlet malls to do some shopping and then some more swimming.  The next day we just took it easy around our hotel room, enjoying the chance to relax a bit...

We are so grateful for another wonderful family vacation to the beach! We had so much fun that I'm already figuring out how to make it happen again soon =)

Here's to memories made...

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

A Party Post

Last Saturday we celebrated the twins' 2nd birthday.

We started the morning off with "birthday chair", a tradition for David growing up that we plan on continuing within our little family too!

Then we let them open their present from Daddy & Momma -- a train set!

It's hard to say who loved it more - the Daddy or the kiddo's...

Probably the kiddos...

 After a leisurely morning of birthday pancakes and playing with trains, I headed to the church to set up for the party. My Dad, stepmom, sister, and sweet friends Steve and Lisa were all there to help too! Thank goodness for them - by the time we were done, the place looked great!!

The night before, my sister Vanessa and two of her friends spent sweet forever making and decorating these beauties:

 SO fun!!

My sister Natalie tackled these for us:

The great thing about having a Sesame Street birthday theme is you can just decorate in primary colors and it looks like it all goes together but is still fairly thrifty compared to all the licensed decor.

 We had Crack bread, cream cheese sausage balls, chips, goldfish crackers, cookies, little smokies, veggies, fruit and cupcakes.

Dave and I are SO grateful our Church is so willing to let us throw birthday parties there! We love our house, but it's quite...cozy. There is no way we could host a large gathering here in our 990 square feet! Plus all the kids had so much fun using the play equipment =).


Time to sing!

And just like last year, Luke dove in face first!

Sister keeping Daddy close while snacking =)

Ahhhh the life of a 2 year old... =)

Then on to the presents...

Luke supervising while Grammy and BopBop opened his new helicopter for him...

A picture of our whole family on David's side!

Once again, we were so blessed with many family and friends to celebrate with! Abbey and Luke got SO many new fun toys and also a one year membership to a local children's museum!