Thursday, April 25, 2013

Worst Bluebonnet Pictures Ever....

I have been determined to get bluebonnet pictures this year. We have tried several times, but one thing or another always came up. 
Well, this week, I was going to make it happen. 

I got the girls all packed and ready. 
Convinced Bryson to change out of "running clothes". (a HUGE accomplishment)
Michael left work early to meet us.
Made it to the field we went to 2 years ago with beautiful bluebonnets...

ooooh how adorable and tiny!
and there was not a single stinkin' bluebonnet!!
The entire field was covered in weeds 3 feet tall and red wild flowers.
But after all of that work, by golly, I was going to get pictures. 

It was quite chilly for the last week in April and Bryson definitely let us know he would much rather be wearing his running clothes. And he definitely didn't want to smile. Mr. Grumpy Gills was NOT feelin' the pictures that day. Thankyouterriblethrees.

The weeds were out of control.
The sun was crazy bright.
The boy (with a giant scrape on his forehead) refused to smile.

But, somehow, we managed to get a few cute pictures. 
Definitely not what I was going for, but that's just life these days :)

I'm still holding out hope for some real bluebonnet pictures. Maybe next week? 
I'm definitely bringing candy to bribe a certain someone to smile. 
I'm sooo not above bribing that kid ;)

Monday, April 22, 2013


While Michael was in Boston, the kids and I stayed here, and with lots of help from his family, survived the 5 days without him. 

Steph qualified for Boston last year, way before I got pregnant (but we had planned on having baby #2 by the time of the race). The plan was that I was going to go watch her run and just take the baby with me and Michael would stay home with B. Well, since I had twins, that plan came to a screeching halt. New plan was for Michael to go to support her. But I was going to be left with all 3 kids by myself. eeek!!

As soon as Melony heard that Michael was going to be gone, she took several days off work to come stay with us. She is so so wonderful!! There's no way I would have survived without her!!

Rebecca came over on Saturday to hang out and play with the kids. Bryson loved having her here and show off soccer/baseball/basketball/hockey/football/bike skills :)
It was beautiful outside, so We walked over to the park :)

She took B down to Grandma and Papa's when she left and he stayed with them until Monday morning. It was just the girls and I for the rest of the weekend. I was nervous about how they'd do, but they were awesome!! We had lots of girl time :)

Grandma dropped off B at school Monday morning and came over to the house to stay with us for the next few days. 

It was so so nice to have her here and have an extra set of hands with the girls!! 

She got lots of baby snuggles!! :) 

Bryson LOVED having grandma here at night time. 
(talk about multitasking! )

Bryson CONSTANTLY keeps us entertained. We just laugh at him all day long!

She was originally just going to spend Monday and Tuesday with us, but since Michael was stuck in Chicago, she unpacked everything and stayed another day. I'm so thankful for her and that she came to our rescue!! We had a great few days spending time with Grandma. Especially Emily, who decided she needed to play for an hour at 5 AM one night. Grandma took her out to the living room and rocked her until she fiiiinally fell asleep. Have I told you she's amazing!?

Thursday, April 18, 2013

All In The Details

For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.  Jeremiah 29:11

The Lord has been proving his all-knowing, incredible power to me and my family over and over recently. 

Knowing that "He is in control" has never been more true to me than it is right now. 

I prayed so hard for our girls during my whole pregnancy. I knew all along it was a very high risk pregnancy and they would almost certainly be born early and with complications. The Lord held Emily and Madelynn tightly in the womb until the perfect time, letting them develop and grow fully  before being welcomed into this world. We were all so thankful and knew it was a true miracle that they were absolutely perfect.
It hit a little harder when a labor and delivery nurse stopped me in the grocery store while I was shopping with the girls. After I told her the details of their birth, she got tears in her eyes and gently held my arm and told me that "full term mono-di twins born with no complications are so so rare. {They} have only had 2 sets come through their nursery in the 8 years that she worked {at her hospital}."  

For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother’s womb.
 Psalm 139: 13

My dad and sister went on a mission trip to Honduras in late February. My dad had organized the trip for their church and were teaming up with Predisan, a Christian medical group. They set up camps, taught women how to care for their babies and did the dirty work of digging latrines. My dad and Stephanie's group was supposed to head out to the mountains one morning, but instead of going straight there, my dad decided to make a last minute stop to the Predisan office to get some medicine for a man he had seen the previous day. As they were pulling up to the office, my dad had a seizure. Stephanie is a nurse and ran to his aid until the other doctors from the group came to check him out. The Lord directed them to the office to get that medicine for a reason. Had he decided to forgo the medicine and just go straight to the mountains as planned, there is no telling what would have happened. The seizure was a complete freak thing having to do with a very rare side effect between the anti-Malaria medicine and another medication he was taking. It was a very emotional and stressful next few days, but they both made it home healthy and safely {except for a staph infection due to the IV at the hospital}. The Lord had my dad make the stop at the clinic instead of going into the mountains, put a wonderful Predisan doctor with them and took care of all the ambulance and MedJet details to get them home safely and put together so many other tiny details to get them home. 
Originally, Stephanie wasn't even supposed to go, but a spot opened up last minute. We are all so thankful she ended up going to be with Dad as he went through this scary situation on his own. 

Keep me safe, my God, for in you I take refuge.  Psalm 16:1

This past weekend, Stephanie was running her first ever Boston Marathon. We were all so thrilled an excited for her and her amazing accomplishment. Her boyfriend Trey, Michael,  Mom and Dad went to cheer her on during the race. There were so many tiny details that God put together. 
Steph is an incredible runner {clearly- she qualified for Boston!!}  She had asked Michael to run a couple miles with her in the middle of the race to keep her motivated. Michael jumped in at Heartbreak hill,  mile 17, and noticed she was really struggling. Her stomach hurt and she felt like she sprained her ankle at mile 10. One of Michael's spiritual gifts is definitely encouragement and he spent those few miles encouraging her. He decided to go ahead and run the rest of the race with her and left the course around mile 25 to go find her at the finish line. My parents  had been at mile 22ish to watch them run by and then were getting on the subway to  head over to the finish line. Stephanie finished the race and did amazing!! I was SO proud when I got the text notification that she finished the Boston Marathon!!! 
Shortly after, Michael called and said to call my parents and tell them he's safe at the hotel. He had been at the friends and family meeting area when the bombs went off. At that time he didn't know what had happened, but he knew it wasn't right, so he took off for the hotel. I got a hold of my dad and the first thing he said was he, mom, Steph and Trey were safe, but there were 2 bombings at the finish line. I could hear complete chaos on the other end and it was terrifying. Melony had been staying with me and the kids so we turned on the news and watched in complete shock and awe for the next few hours.
We all spent a lot of time thinking about the little details that happened to keep the family safe.Trey had been standing at the finish line waiting for Steph, leaning up against the building that was bombed right up until she crossed. He tried to get her to come stand over with him after she crossed, but she was so tired he ended up meeting her past the finish line. Thank you, Lord! Michael ended up running much further than expected, encouraging Stephanie to run faster, letting her finish when she did. If she had slowed up more, she could have been crossing when it happened. Thank you, Lord! And even if she had still been running, all the rest of the family would have still been at the finish line. My parents were making their way to the finish line, but their train had been slow and were actually just walking up to the finish line when the bombs went off. They felt the ground shake and saw the smoke and took off running the other way looking for the rest of the family. Thank you, Lord! 

{she's in the middle, in all orange :) }

You, Lord, will keep the needy safe and will protect us forever from the wicked.  Psalm 12:7

They were all leaving the following day, on different flights. Mom and Dad left first. Shortly after, Michael called to say his flight was delayed due to computer problems. He finally made it out, but had a layover in Chicago, so we were still waiting to get him home. It turned out that all of American Airline's computers were completely shut down all over the country. Stephanie and Trey's flight was delayed several hours. Mom and Dads plane got to land at DFW, but had to sit on the runway for hours at a complete stand still. They started letting planes leave Chicago, but were so backed up, they ended up canceling Michael's flight :(

He was set to leave the next morning, but his flight was delayed yet again due to terrible storms. It cleared up a bit and they were off!! He made it home later that afternoon and we were SO happy to have Daddy back at home with us!!

This morning, I got an email from my aunt saying the Chicago got over 5'' of rain and much of the city is flooded. We are so thankful he got out when he did!!

God is so faithful.
Thank you, Lord, for the details. 

Friday, April 12, 2013

My first still a baby??

Bryson has found a new excitement with all his old baby things!!

He really has adapted extraordinarily well to the change in our family. He loves "teaching" his sisters how to use the toys and he gets such a kick out of acting like a baby himself. :)

I didn't get a picture of it, but he even tried to get into his old infant car seat!! It can accommodate up to 35 pounds, and since he is so stinkin' tiny, he can legally still ride in it for another 4pounds or so. How crazy is that!??

But no, he is most definitely not a baby anymore. I can't quite believe how big he is seeming to me these days. Especially in his recent school pictures. Holy Moly. I feel like he's going to be starting kindergarten before I know it. 

And plus, babies can't use power tools to fix the train tracks ;)

Monday, April 8, 2013


We had such a fun Easter!
As soon as we got up and ready, Bryson ran to see what the Easter Bunny left for him.

He loved LOVED the basketball piggy bank! That bunny sure does know him well!!

Yeah, he totally had Jellybeans for breakfast. ;)

We took the girls to church for the first time, too! It was actually my first time to be at church in months and it was so nice! I could actually walk up the stairs without being in awful pain.

I love these littles :)

My little man

Daddy helping Bryson put on his blazer
(a rare occurance-letting us help him with clothes, especially buttons. That is his territory!)

My handsome boys!!

We spent a lot of time talking to Bryson about the real meaning of Easter this year. I read the Easter story from his toddler Bible almost every day for weeks leading up to Sunday. Bryson has such a sensitive heart; whenever I said Jesus loved us so much, he died on the cross for us, he would get so sad and tell me "NO! he didn't died! He's in heaven. Jesus is not dead!" 
We were talking about Jesus' "cave" being empty and Michael kept repeating, "He is risen!!" and I answered "He is risen indeed!!"  So as soon as we got to my parent's house, he ran in exclaiming, "He is risen!!" to every single person he saw, waiting for their response. :) I loved hearing his pure excitement!

Family picture after church! 

Ray and Alicia came over for lunch again this year. I'm kicking myself  for not getting pictures of everyone!
John and Melony came over for a while after lunch. It was fun having everyone together. Bryson was in Heaven having both sets of grandparents in the same place :)

Grandma and Mimi hid eggs for the Easter egg hunt. 

I had a killer headache all day, so after one of the girls' feedings, I was going to go lay down for a few minutes. I ended up sleeping almost 2 hours!! Oops! 

Headache and all, it was such a nice Easter and so wonderful spending time with all our family!!

Saturday, April 6, 2013


I treasure my relationship with my sisters. We fought just like any other sisters, but we've all grown up being very close and are the best of friends now. 

I pray our kids will grow up knowing that their sister and brother will always be there for them and will have a strong, loving relationship and grow up to be best friends for life :)