Friday, July 27, 2012


Maybe you've noticed that I typically cover all of our major life events on this blog.  And maybe you've also noticed that I've not yet written about our move.  Four weeks in Indiana, and not a single post about life here.  Why?  Because it's hard.  Being here is hard. 

When I write, I think.  I sit with my thoughts, letting them bounce around in my head, trying to explore every facet of whatever the topic may be.  And I have not yet been ready to write about the move.  I'm not sure I can sit still with my thoughts about the move...

I was excited about this new adventure.  I encouraged Andrew to take this job, and I am so proud he has embraced this career opportunity.  But I oh-so-sorely miss Knoxville.  I miss knowing where to go and how to get there.  I miss the familiarity of our home and neighborhood.  Most of all, I miss the dear friends we left.

I know it will be fine...we will love it here, eventually.  In fact, it's already getting better.  I don't have to pull out my GPS as often, and I have found a few girls with whom I can enjoy a fun drink.  But for now, I miss Tennessee.

Like most challenges in life, dealing with infertility on any level changes a person.  Losing a baby changes a person.  Losing three babies and then welcoming twins in a fourteen month span reshaped my very soul, and in many ways I'm still learning about the new facets of my heart.  One thing I know is that, since our journey to parenthood, my highs are higher and my lows are lower.  When I'm joyful, the joy is richer, and when I sorrowful, the sorrow is deeper.  I feel more.  And in Indiana, I am lonely. 

Luckily, this loneliness will not last.  We will find our people.  And, more importantly, we will always have each other.  Andrew, Barnes, Frances, Cooper, Stella, and me.  Our own little team of hoosiers. 

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

it's here

Yesterday marked 11 months since sweet B&F were born, which means...their birthday month has begun!  In just 30 days, our tiny twins will be one!

I absolutely love birthdays.  Maybe it's because I had so many fun parties growing up, or maybe it's just the thought of having a day completely to yourself (or you and your twin in this case).  Whatever the reason, I think birthdays are a big deal.  And the first birthday is, of course, the biggest.  While I normally celebrate birthday week, this occasion seems to call for more.  More than a week.  A birthday month.

Admittedly, a big part of me is sad to be so close to this milestone.  My infants are becoming toddlers.  They are growing up and gaining more independence.  They will never again be the tiny newborns that  slept and cuddled all day.  But the newfound fun their continued development brings more than makes up for the sadness.

So here's to the next 30 days--a time for Andrew and I to celebrate, bask in, and be thankful for the blessing of our twins.

Monday, July 16, 2012


Yesterday marked six years since Andrew and I stood before God and vowed to love one another for life.  In planning our wedding, we chose the most traditional vows.  We promised to love one another "for better, for worse, for richer, for poorer, in sickness and in health."  We also pledged to lovingly accept children and bring them up according to God's Holy will.  Basically, we agreed to be a family matter what life threw at us, no matter how our family shape or size changed...we were unbreakably bonded.

Children change your marriage.  Seems obvious, right?  But I'm not sure any couple can be fully prepared for the way their dynamics will change once kids are added to the mix.  Suddenly all spare time is focused on a tiny little human (or two) who is completely incapable of taking care of itself.  Most all spontaneity is out the window--a simple date requires that a babysitter and bottles/meals are planned in advance.  Weekends change.  Fun activities change.  Every change is more than worth the joy that your sweet little one brings, but compromises must be made.  Your life, your marriage, cannot remain the same.

So often you hear of a couple having a child to "save their marriage."  I cannot imagine a worse idea.  Marriages require time, care and attention.  A healthy marriage requires a daily commitment to choose one choose to love one another.  Children drain these precious resources.  Little ones monopolize your time, energy, and love.  Sure, watching your partner become a parent is a unique and wonderful experience.  But even the beauty of watching a husband become a dad cannot change the fact that a marriage with young kids is likely not receiving the nourishment it needs.  For the sake of the children, the relationship will often find itself neglected.

So what's the best gift you can give your children?  You can bring them into a relationship that doesn't need to be saved.  You can ensure that your relationship can withstand a little neglect and still remain undoubtedly in tact.  And, whenever possible, you can take time to nourish the love that made you a family in the first place.

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

sure to make you smile...

Sometimes you actually have your camera (i.e., phone) in your hand at the right moment.

Monday, July 9, 2012

our big girl

Sweet, petite Frances is growing up.  Over the past few weeks, she has begun moving faster and faster away from infancy and towards toddlerhood.  A couple of weeks ago, she started crawling a few steps at a time, but last week she really took off.  She can now crawl wherever she wants and can often be found tailing her brother on his mischievous excursions.  And this little lady crawls with avoid letting too much of her body touch the floor, she tends to keep her right leg straight out to the side.  It's hard to explain, but adorable to watch.

She has also learned to pull up on shorter objects like stairs, bouncers, her play table.  Unfortunately Barnes often knocks her down, but she is quite persistent and usually pulls herself right back to her feet.

And her sweet, gummy grin has been replaced with two tiny bottom teeth.  They are growing very slowly, but they are both peeking through her gums now and becoming more visible every day.

Our sweet little girl who once refused all solid foods now cannot get enough.  She loves to eat...her favorites are turkey, oranges, yogurt and all things bread related.  Much like her mom, she tends to carb-load.  And she is simply giddy over her "crunchies."  If you pull out the crunchy can, she starts laughing and squealing with excitement.

We've always been slightly more protective of little Frances.  She has seemed to have a bit of a harder road than her brother.  And, on top of a few extra challenges, she is our girl.  Our little girl.  So maybe we've been slightly over-protective of her (not that I would take any of it back). But little Frances is not so little anymore.  She's growing, learning, and developing, and we could not be more proud.

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

rules, rules

I love rules.  I believe rules were created for a reason, and in most cases I strongly believe that rules should be followed.  Intersection says no right on red?  I don't turn even when there are no other cars in sight.  Instructions say to put pieces A & C together before adding piece B?  Hand me pieces A & C, please.

But sometimes life gets complicated.  Sometimes there are so many rules...and different sets of rules...and rules that contradict other rules.

Every aspect of our life comes with some set of rules.

As a mom, I am bombarded by rules from other moms, TV, and books.  Rules about when kids can eat what foods, how I should make my kids sleep, how I should or shouldn't structure their day.

As a Christian, I constantly hear people espousing rules allegedly supported by the Bible.  There seem to be as many different sets of Christian rules as there are Christians in the world.

And on top of that, I'm Catholic.  Talk about rules.

As B&F get older and start to somewhat understand that some things are off limits, I've been thinking about which rules really matter.  In this world of advice, guidelines, laws, etc., how do you know what's actually important?

While I'm not so sure about many rules that allegedly come from the Bible, I think Jesus was pretty clear on this.  When it comes to rules, He gave us some clear advice.  First, love God.  Second, love everyone else.  That's it.  Love.  Love your Lord and your neighbor.  

When you think about it, all other important rules, the ones that are vital to follow, really come back to these two.  Rules about safety?  If you love the Lord, you will protect the body He gave you.  If you love others, you will do what you can to ensure their health and safety as well.  Rules about helping the sick and the poor?  That's really all about loving them.  Sharing?  Loving.  Obeying?  Loving.  

As we begin guiding B&F into this world of yes/ no/in between, I pray that, above all others, I can impart these two integral rules.  I pray that they will love their God.  I pray that they will love other people, both those that are easy to love and those that they find more difficult.  And I pray that they learn to judge all their decisions by these two most important standards.