Sunday, June 30, 2013

in love

We all know that parenting can be hard.  People write about it, talk about it, make TV shows about it.  But parenting can also be pretty amazing.  Sometimes I look at Barnes and Frances and can't believe they're mine.  Sometimes I am simply overwhelmed with the privilege of being their mom.  When I met them on August 24, 2011, I fell in love.  And sometimes, some days, I find myself falling in love with them all over again.

Saturday, June 29, 2013

the noes

We thought we had escaped it.  In what I understand to be a somewhat atypical progression, both Barnes & Frances learned to say yes long before they learned no.  In fact, they were quite agreeable.  They answered yes to practically any question you asked.  But the tables have turned.  The noes have officially raided our home.

At first it was kind of amazing.  You ask them a see them actually think about the listen as they communicate what's going on in their head.  Smart, right?  Well, as all parents can attest, what started out as amazing and adorable has quickly turned slightly annoying (are you allowed to say that 22 month olds are annoying?).  Barnes still says yes a lot of the time.  He mostly only says no when he really means it, when he really doesn't want to do something.   But Frannie is loving the no.  I think it makes her feel powerful.  She says no to most everything.  Does she want to walk the dogs/ eat lunch/ come inside/ put on her clothes?  No, no, no, no.  And her no has some sass behind it. With all the feistiness, though, I'll take the increased communication any day.  I love learning more about what is happening inside those two precious brains.

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

vacay at the lake

We just got back from our trip to Lake Michigan, and I must say that our vacation with two 21-month-olds went much better than expected.  While it's not quite our favorite Carolina coast, you could honestly hardly tell the difference...and the twins certainly couldn't.  There was plenty of sand, cold water, sunshine, a children's museum for our one rainy morning, and a quaint little town (St. Joseph) filled with multiple ice cream options.  What more could you want from a vacation?

Every afternoon was spent digging in, throwing, making holes in, and filling buckets with sand.  B&F were even brave enough to venture a little way into the cold lake (especially Frances, who is apparently a water baby).

Boat watching and bird watching were favorite activities as well.

And no vacation is complete without ice cream (at least not in this family).  We even had a Thomas the Train sighting near the ice cream shop!

Monday, June 10, 2013

coincidences of grace

At mass this week, the priest made a quick point in his sermon that I can't stop thinking about.  He told the story of his sister Margaret, who died when she was just six months old.  He later told the story about his father being surrounded by his children as he was preparing for death, and noted that his father's nurse was named Margaret.  "So we were all there," he said.  "Though some would dismiss it as a coincidence, we knew it was a grace given by God.  Don't we do that often?" 

Don't we?  Don't we ignore or belittle so many of the small ways God showers us with His mercy?  If we opened our eyes and hearts a bit more, so many "coincidences" in life might remind us of the vast love of our Lord.

The day we learned that we were pregnant with #3 was actually, in retrospect, filled with graces.  It was a Saturday...Andrew had just arrived home from Hong Kong late the night before, so he was thankfully present for the big news.  This day was already marked as special; I was scheduled to leave around lunch for Nashville to celebrate the baptism of my goddaughter, the daughter of one of my dearest friends.  Soon after we started our morning, a box arrived from Tennessee--a box that contained a sweet gift from our fertility center in Chattanooga.  The gift, a small figure, was titled "prayer of peace."  Peace--something that was so lacking in the weeks preceding and following this day. 

You see, while I wanted a positive pregnancy test so much, I was also terrified by that prospect.  So God, through these small graces, was reminding me that He was next to me.  He was there when that second line appeared.  He was there in Andrew's smiles and laughter, in his joy; He was there in my tears and anxiety.  This was not a journey we would walk alone.  Our God, defined by constancy, would be with us in whatever celebration or heartache lay ahead.

Sunday, June 2, 2013

parents of the year

If you know of a super parents contest, let me know.  I think these pictures would definitely qualify us to at least make the finals:

"Boom" is their current favorite game.  At first it consisted of climbing onto a table and expecting mom or dad to catch, but it has now evolved into a freefall from the coffee table to the couch.  We tried to stop it, but these munchkins are creative.  Short of getting rid of all furniture, I think the twins have won this one.  Oh, well.  Pick your battles.