Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Busyness

I am an extrovert so I love people. I love going and doing. I have always loved being busy. Most of our married life on most nights we have had something going on. And we have loved every minute.  I've always known that our lives would have to slow down once kids came along. So we took advantage of being able to be out most nights and then cherished even more our free nights at home because they were rare. Busyness just happened. Sports, church events, family/friend gatherings.... by no means has our busyness been bad things. We have loved all of it, but it's kept us busy.

Now that the babies are here, we still have busy weeks. We still play sports. We still attend and lead church events. And we still participate in family and friend gatherings. However, God has been greatly working in my life in the area of "busyness." 

I remember Dr. Roger saying, "If the devil can't make you bad, He'll make you busy." Busyness can be a bad thing. When we are too busy to take the time to invest in people, to maintain our homes and other important responsibilities, and of course when our relationship with the Lord is suffering even if we are doing "His work..." busyness has become bad.

The other day I blogged about some things that God had used from a study I was doing to challenge me. I have not been able to get this one out of my mind:

"We so easily get caught in the captivity of activity. God never meant for us to live frenzied lives. We should find rest in His will and do those things well."

God has given me a specific purpose in this season of life. He has made clear my current responsibilities. If I neglect these things because I say yes to lots of other good things... even church things... then I am allowing busyness to rule my life. 

I have learned its ok to say No. Though its not easy for my people pleasing self, I am learning there is peace, joy and contentment in resting and doing only those things God has called me to. By saying no to other things, I am able to give myself fully to the things that are important instead of giving half an effort and doing a mediocre job.

I am still very much learning this lesson. So together let's not allow busyness to rule our lives. Let's rest in the freedom of doing what God has called us to and let's do those things well.

Wednesday, April 2, 2014

A little coffee and a lot of Jesus

I saw a quote and I feel like it's fitting for any stage of life, but as a new momma it rings truer than ever.

"I need a little coffee and a lot of Jesus." 

The babies are great. I have to constantly remind myself how blessed we are to have good babies. I run into people all the time who talk about their babies not sleeping through the night or tell me their babies cried all the time. My babies certainly are not perfect, but if we keep their tummies full and bottoms clean they're pretty happy. 

But momma still needs her coffee and a lot more of Jesus! I love having twins. They are so fun. I obviously can't imagine just having 1. The challenge of 2 babies is not always easy though but I like a good challenge so it makes life fun. I think me preparing myself for the worst makes having good babies seem effortless at times... at times. Not always. This was probably the best strategy I had in preparation for multiples. Not to mention my morning coffee helps get me going. 

Morning coffee. check.
Feed babies. check.

Then comes the most crucial part of my day. I lay my sweet full tummied babies on a pillow in front of me. I talk and sing to them (enjoying so much their sweet smiles and coos!) until they drift back off to sleep. Then out comes my bible and beth moore devo. I am currently going through her Whisper of Hope with a friend. I was skeptical. It was my friends idea to go through this book, but she seemed excited about it and I love Beth Moore so I agreed. It has been such a great encouragement to me. There are devos that make me dig into scripture and then her own commentary followed by journaling out our prayers. (praise, repentence, acknowledgement, interecession, supplication for self, equipping) I have been greatly challenged to pray intentionally and to pray boldy. 

I am constantly reminded of how much I need Jesus. My lack of patience, love, faith, mercy etc... I could go on and on. Here are some of the things that have greatly challenged me during this study.

*We usually think of rebellion as an alternate life style, drugs, etc. Scripture makes it clear that rebellion is simply refusing God's counsel. How many times do I neglect the freedom that I have to bring my peteitions to him? To refuse his counsel and attempt to do things on my own #1 is dumb and #2 its a form of rebellion.

*We so easily get caught in the captivity of activity. God never meant for us to live frenzied lives. We should find rest in His will and do those things well.

*Our faith is founded on fact. Christ erased all doubt. His followers didn't give their lives for a hope. Had they doubted, they would have given in under pressure, but they confidently died for Christ's sake becaue they didn't just believe He was who He said He was but they knew.

*Christ lived for one purpose: to do the will of the Father. If our heart's desire is to do God's will then we will wait for His timing even when the pause is long and uncomfortable. Faith affects our attitude about timing.

*Many of us stand on the word of God but rarely get off of it and open it. We claim to believe what we know little about.

*Moses didn't want victory if it meant leaving God's presence. He didn't want good results. He wanted God. How would you feel if God promised you success and victory without His presence? Would we know the difference?

*We shouldn't just seek Him, but earnesty seek Him. That's where true joy, peace and contentment are found.  

*People who constantly speak out in bitterness, complain, or are just negative all the time are really trapped in bondage. Rather than trying to avoid them at all cost, we should pray for their release and pray that God would give us mercy and help us respond positively in their presence.

*Our faith should not rest in God's activity but in His identity. That way when you don't know what God is doing you can find stability in who He is.

Because we live in a fallen world, have busy lives, and people can be annoying, I am constantly reminded how much I need a little coffee and a lot more of Jesus.


Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Jude and Luke 3 months



These sweet chunks are growing and growing. We think they weigh around 12lbs now. They are sweet, happy babies that smile and laugh generously. We are enjoying every bit of this fun stage! Diaper changing isn't so bad when you have a sweet face smiling up and cooing at you.

They are sleeping from 10:30ish to anywhere between 5-7a.m. We have yet to move them into their room because Jude gets squirmy around 3 sometimes and I'm too lazy to walk across the hall. So when he gets that out of his system then we'll transition them in there.

They are drinking 4-5oz of milk at each feeding which varies from every 3-4 hours. They are drinking breast milk and we are still supplimenting with formula as well. They are taking both like champs. 

They have a love/hate relationship with tummy time. Sometimes they love it and sometimes they hate it. And sometimes they just fall asleep. 

Being their mom just gets sweeter and sweeter. Life is by no mean perfect and I definitely haven't mastered this new role, but I am loving every minute.










Happy 3 months to my sweet chunks!














Saturday, March 15, 2014

Smiley Boys

The boys are not only growing and fattening up but they are developing little personalities. My favorite new milestone is their sweet intentional smiles and laughs. They are truely good, happy babies. I am so thankful. They pretty much only cry when they are hungry or have poop in their pants. And I can't say I blame them.




























Monday, March 3, 2014

Wonderful World of Disney

This past week D and I flew to Orlando to meet up with the Jerkins crew. When I agreed to this trip pre babies, I obviously had no idea what to expect. I figured though no matter what kind of babies I had, it would be a nice chance to get out and enjoy some new scenery... even if that meant staying in our room bc the babies were so bad. Thankfully we have very good babies and the trip was a lot of fun and so much easier than I imagined. 

Here are some things I learned and benefitted from while experiencing Disney travel with 2 month old twins:

1. Be prepared. I have learned this is a valuable piece of advice no matter who you are or what you're doing but now that Im a mom, especially to twins, I've realized how much easier my life is if I make this a priority. For example: make sure the diaper bag is ready to go ahead of time, if an outfit change is necessary before you leave, make sure the baby clothes are laid out including the diapering items. 

2. Get up early. I'm one who loves my sleep, but if I snooze too many times when I know we have somewhere to be early then my morning is rushed, I become overwlemed and the chances of us being on time are slim to none. My rule of thumb has become whatever amount of time I think I'll need... add 30 min to that. So far it has worked beautifully. I don't feel rushed, I can recheck to make sure we have everything and I can enjoy my babies and husband during the getting ready process instead of being impatient and bossy.

3. Pack lightly... or as light as possible. I have always been an over packer. Now that I'm packing for 2 more people I've realized that simplifying can be so freeing. Now you always need to be prepared with extras, but it is possible. Now I should tell you that we did have to buy more formula and diapers while we were there but we were able to only check1 bag (d and I packed together), the boys' stuff was in a small rolling suitcase we used as a carry on, then I had a backpack which was my purse/diaper bag, and d had a backpack that contained important information and my breast pump. On top of that we had their car seats and stroller frame that the car seats set in. So even packling lightly still entailed a lot of stuff! 

4. Baby care centers are fabulous. I had no idea that disney parks had these but they do! These are designated areas for nursing/pumping moms. They also had community rooms for families for feeding little ones or just a place to come cool off and watch a movie. They had changing tables and supplies and most importanly nursing rooms with outlets for pumping. I so enjoyed escaping to these areas to take care of my babies and pump. I can not say enough good things about these!

I'm also thankful for daniel's sister, Julie. She not only organized this whole trip, but wrangled her 4 kids as well. I learned several important things from this well seasoned mom:

1. Always have snacks and water. Low blood sugar can make people of all ages cranky. 
2. Always have sleeping items on hand. When kids miss naps, it can make for an interesting time. When her small children got tired they got their lovies and blankets, reclined in their stroller and rested or went to sleep. 
3. Pack a variety. We had a couple of cool/overcast days that included some rain. Packing pants and jackets even if its one item that can be worn over and over will help keep those babies warm in case the weather changes. 
4. Panchos are life savors. Investing in some panchos, even if you don't need them, is a handy thing. A couple of years ago when we were at Disney it started pouring without much warning. We were stranded on the far end of the park without a pancho and there were no stores close by to purchase them. Having them on hand gives great piece of mind and limits wetness.

I can confidently say that traveling with these babies was not only easy but fun. Getting through security was the only hairy part. That was due to taking off our own stuff, taking apart strollers, sending bags through, testing breast milk and holding babies... then we had to put it all back on or back together. But... it was very do-able. Now we'll see if its as easy once they're a bit older. I may not be so confident then!

And now for tons of pictures...

Boys were perfect on the planes. Here's their "first flight" photo.




Our view: That glowing thing is the castle at magic kingdom

Day 1: Hollywood Studios

Breakfast with Disney Jr. characters

Before Tower of Terror

Stretching at the baby center
  


This pic is the best. First Maggie did not want to ride this but we convinced her. The take off is super fast and clearly captures the look of sheer terror on her face. Second, Papa John felt his hat fly off. Well as you can tell my nose found it. 

Day 2: Magic Kingdom

We had lunch in Belle's castle.

Mid ride smiles


Baby center

Day 3: Animal Kingdom

The boys were so over the matching outfits... so much so that Luke puked on his.


Day 4: Epcot/Coming home



On the plane home...


So we needed just a couple more diapers to make it home. No problem... right? I'll just buy some at epcot or the hotel. The smallest anyone had were 3's! 


But they did the trick and kept us all dry!

Thank you grammy and papa for a magical vacation! The boys may not remember this trip but we have lots of pics and memories to ensure they know all about it!
This was our luau dinner at The Polynesian Resort.


Disney is fun but exhausting!






























Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Jude and Luke 2 Months

I can't believe my boys are officially 2 months old as of yesterday. This is probably a phrase I will repeat 1,000 more times as they get older and just replace their new age in there, but its true. When they were born, I could have seriously cried thinking about them growing up... it may or may not have been the hormones b/c I pretty much could have cried at anything! For example, that dumb old spice commercial about turning her boy into a man... got me every.stinking.time.... and its a really dumb commercial. 

My tiny new borns are like real babies now. They are awake and alert more often and they no longer feel so tiny that they might break. And I'm loving it. I'm loving the long stretches of sleep through the night, the way they track us with their eyes and best of all the sweet intentional smiles. However I may or may not be bitter that my granny gets more from them than we do. They love her.

Also, my tiny babies are no longer tiny and are finally higher than a 3% on the charts. They are fattening up thanks to Dr. Williams and Dr. Feliz at LeBonheur for fixing their tummies.

Here are some pictures from our doctor's visit yesterday for their 2 month check up.

Jude weighed 10lbs 2oz

Luke weighed 9lbs 8oz

2 month check up also meant shots. :( I tried to prepare myself for it. I mean both of my babies have had surgery so I've watched them get IV's and get rolled away to be cut open, but still when they cry in pain I just can't help but cry too. I know its good for them. I know its necessary. I wouldn't opt for not having immunizations but still it hurts my heart. They did great though and I tried. They of course screamed as our sweet nurse Brandy gave them the shots but as soon as we picked them up they were fine.

Before:



During:


Gah! It hurts me again just looking at these pictures!

After:

At 2 months they have....
-gone to a couple of Memphis basketball games

-gone on outings to friends and family homes, to a few restaurants and to a sunday night service at church


-had a gazillion pics taken of them







-they love this thing

-been working on tummy time


-gotten carried by my double decker carrying method countless times

-they are on their last leg of sleeping in our room. Here are their beds we use in here. We have loved these rock and plays. At night we alternate, one is on my side and the other is on D's. So we each have a baby. This man to man defense we've got going on works beautifully! Then when he leaves for work he brings the other to my side like this and I'm back to my own zone defense. 

-The boys received the sweetest gift in the mail last week. However we don't know who sent it. And sadly Luke's name is spelled wrong. I love these overalls and they're mud pie so I know they weren't cheap. There was no card or note and the return address is a corporation in Glennville, GA. If you sent them or know who did please let me know b/c I'd love to get Luke's name fixed and send a thank you card!
Also, if I can't find out who sent them, is it possible to fix his name without ruining the overalls?

-Sneak peek of a photo shoot we had yesterday before the dr with Momma Goose Photogrpahy. I snapped this with my phone. I can't wait to see the finished products.

-preparing for disney! I figured they needed practice sleeping in their pack in play so when they have to at disney it will make for smooth sleep filled nights.

Those things on their chests are called "Freddie the Frog." LeBonheur uses them to help babies sleep. They are filled with what feels like sand so it applies a tad bit of pressure to make them feel good and secure. Our boys love them! And we do too because it does help them sleep and it holds their pacis in place. Thank you once again LeBonheur! 

Happy 2 months Jude and Luke!

(You're welcome for all the pics BeBe, Grammy, and Mrs. Melinda :))