October 31, 2009

Happy Halloween!

Be prepared...we're a little picture happy today!

Our Halloween certainly started strange...when we walked into the babies' room in the morning Allie had started crawling out of her clothes! The zipper was still completely up, so I have absolutely no clue how she managed to get her arm out...and it was cold so it must have been out for a little while. Crazy girl!

The big event for the day was going to visit one of our favorite nurses from the NICU. We had been trying to coordinate a time to visit when we knew she was there, and Halloween seemed like the perfect day. While we were visiting we witnessed another family leaving with their baby! Joyful memories! It was so great to see Stacy again. She spent more time initially with our babies than we were able to, and it started to feel a little like she was family! We also stopped to visit the floor where I had "lived" during the weeks I was in the hospital on bedrest (32 days total). Not only did I get to see a few of the nurses I had, but one of my absolute favorite nurses - the nurse who had been on duty the night they took me to L&D & who helped me figure out if I was indeed leaking fluid (I was, which was why that ended up being the night they induced) - was there today! I hadn't had a chance to see her before I left, and I had been so bummed, so it was very exciting to see her and have her meet the babies! It was so good to be back under different circumstances!

Ryan & the girls!

We got home and the whole family took a much needed nap (woohoo), and then we got the twins dressed again. They had taken a really late nap (they woke up at 5!) and the weather was BEAUTIFUL, so we decided to take them to a few of the neighbors since they didn't have to go to bed for a while.

Unfortunately, only 1 neighbor was home. Since they still had a while before they needed to go to bed we decided to trick-or-treat at the houses of a couple of church friends.

Our first stop was JK's where Allie was quick to go diving for candy (twice - m&m's both times!). She held onto her candy as if her life depended on it (and cried when Lucas eventually took it away).

We also let Ryan go diving for candy - he needed a little more encouragement. He picked a 3 Musketeers (probably the shiny, silver wrapper), but quickly threw it to the ground.

Then we stopped by Chris & Kim's (and the other Chris & Kim also happened to be there!). Ryan picked a blow pop - and once again tossed it pretty quickly.
Allie once again picked m&m's (after going through the candy a little). She seems to favor the little chocolate candies!

2 babies, 2 Chris's, 2 Kims!

It was such a full, and wonderful day! We hope you all had a similarly wonderful Halloween!

October 30, 2009

Oh, What a Night!

My head is still reeling from the craziness that was bedtime this evening...around 5:45 the babies started melting down so I threw a pizza in the oven (to be ready when bedtime was over - roughly 20 minutes) and took the babies to their room to start getting ready for bed. I noticed Ryan was a little smelly, and expected to find a nasty little present in his diaper - but I found SO much more! I took his shirt off an as I was dropping it in the laundry basket I noticed that it felt a little wet and mushy...a quick look at his shirt (and then his back) confirmed my fears. See, Ryan has a particular gift for blowing out the back of his diaper...and this one was a doozy. Not realizing the full spectrum of the mess, I had spread it even farther while taking off his shirt - it was now on his arms, in his hair, and on my t-shirt! I quickly realized we were beyond wet wipes, and with a glance at Allie (to make sure she was safely sitting on the floor in her boppy because I couldn't set him down to move her elsewhere) I took him to the bathroom sink to wash him off.

I stripped him down and just before I put him in the sink I glanced again at Allie (still sitting and playing happily) and then I dove in. He screamed the entire time of course, but after a little scrubbing (with the towel I had grabbed in my hectic rush - and then realized, as I was washing him, was on of my best handtowels...) and rinsing I felt he was clean enough. I wrap him up and turn around...and Allie is gone! I race through the doorway to discover she has scooted herself backwards, half under Ryan's crib. She is safe, but cranky because she is backed up against a rubbermaid storage tub and cannot move any farther. Ryan is crying, Allie is crying, mommy is thinking about crying. I get Ryan dressed, set him on the floor, and rescue Allie to get her ready for bed. Both babies are still crying. I start to sing the ABC's (our latest never-fail, stop-the-crying song) - and it works!

I grab both babies, cuddle them on my lap, and give them their bottles. All is silent, all is calm. I breath a sigh of relief. Then I hear familar grunts and feel familiar pushes from Allie. Pretty soon I smell the smell. No problem. This can't be as bad as his. As I'm setting him on the floor so I can change Allie, I realize that there is another funny smell. Suddenly I remember the pizza! It was supposed to cook 18-22 minutes, but that was almost 30 minutes ago! I race to the kitchen and turn off the oven (just in time - which is good because the last thing I needed at that point was for the fire dept. to show up!). I change Allie (did I mention both overtired babies are crying again - the ABC's did NOT work this time), and we settle back in for bedtime.

Thankfully there was no more excitement. Thankfully they are sleeping happily and soundly at this point. Life with babies is certainly never boring!


Ok all, big news...yesterday morning I walked into the babies' room and found Allie in her crib on her hands & knees! She's been scooting (backwards) pretty decent distances for about a week, but overnight (literally) she mastered getting onto all fours and rocking back & forth (it looks like she's getting ready to propel herself across the crib). Ry guy is not as interested in moving (he just grabs the toys his sister brings near on her way past him and he's happy!), but he has started scooting around (also mostly backwards) and is covering a lot of ground doing that as well. I think I might have crawlers soon...my days are about to get so much more exhausting!

Also, now that the twins are sitting up we have started doing bathtime together (we couldn't fit both of them in the tub with the bath sling, but both fit fine sitting up). Unfortunately, this doesn't mean that I can do bathnight alone. With 1 hand holding onto Ryan (who likes to go bobbing for bath toys) and 1 hand holding onto Allie (who prefers laying down and tries to lay back every time she gets a toy) - there aren't any hands left to clean babies! It does mean that they finish bathtime at the same time and we no longer have 1 baby with a finished bottle trying to drift off to dreamland while the other is getting wrestled into pajamas and screaming for their bottle (the 2nd baby used to be fed up and ready for a bottle by the end of bathtime - we have much less of that now that we can do them at the same time!). Mostly, I thought I would share this because I couldn't resist the adorable photo op of the babies in their tubby!

October 27, 2009

Pumpkin Fun

I LOVE pumpkins. Anything pumpkin related actually. Pumpkin pie, pumpkin seeds, pumpkin carving, pumpkin spice candles...my dad has always called me pumpkin (since the day I was born...not because I love pumpkins), I worked on a pumpkin farm a few falls in high school, my favorite activity this time of year was carving pumpkins with the residents (and letting them squish around in the goop), I even love the smell when you first open up a pumpkin (lots of people don't like it, but I think it's heavenly). I just really like pumpkins.

The babies in their "My 1st Halloween" outfits.

And so, I felt very strongly that I wanted the twins to have their own pumpkins this Halloween (as mentioned in a previous post). The only problem, once we had them, was what to do with them? The twins obviously cannot participate in carving them (except maybe playing in the goop...but I'm a little worried about the mulitple choking hazards...), and it isn't so incredibly fun for us to carve that we wanted to just carve pumpkins for them (ok, so I would have, but Lucas felt like it was a little much). So, I decided to paint the pumpkins! I love a fun art project (I'm not legitimately crafty, but I love making a mess and having something creative come out of it)!

At first Allie just wanted to eat hers...

My next problem was what to paint on the pumpkins...I'm not a fabulous artist, so it had to be easy. I had no great inspiration. I figured I could paint their names with cute designs, but even then I had no inkling about what cute things to do. Finally, I decided to go in the theme of their costumes and paint their names in the animal that they are.

My pumpkins & their pumpkins!

In the end, they turned out ok. Not perfect (like I'd imagined...I always imagine my artistic ability better than it is...), but good enough. AND, since you haven't seen their costumes, and I've only left clues, perhaps now you will know what they are. If you don't...well then you will just have to wait in suspense until Saturday!

A classic case of "I want what she has!"

And if you want to carve a pumpkin, but don't want to deal with the hassle of getting one and the mess of the actual carving, click on the title of this post to carve a virtual pumpkin. I have to confess that I've already carved about 10 myself! Or go to http://monkeys-on-the-bed.blogspot.com/ for a great tutorial on how to carve pumpkins (I seriously got some great tips - like putting the hole in the bottom so you have a clean looking top. Genius!).

It wasn't long before the photo shoot fell apart!

October 24, 2009

Oh, My Aching Arms!

Fall Family Adventure #3 was today, and tonight I type with VERY sore arms! Today we went to where I worked before the babies for their annual Halloween Open House. Seeing as I was part of the creating of this event, I've done the flyers and mailing for this event every previous year, and last year I was in charge of coordinating this whole event - I have a HUGE place in my heart for this event and so wanted to be there. I also wanted to show off my adorable babies!

Allie & friend Sharon who was here from Atlanta!

As we drove in I realized that even though it has been 10 months since I worked my last day, it felt like I hadn't been gone at all (except once I was inside a lot had changed - new codes, new staff, new residents...). Unfortunately, we were not there long. We were tried to find the best time to sneak in (since the 2 hours of the Open House were directly over their usual naptime...and it's 45 min. away!), and decided to go a little early, stay a little past their naptime, and let them sleep in the van on the way home. Normally, I'm super rigid about naptimes (a well-rested baby is a happy baby, and I like happy babies!), but I made an exception today. We assumed it would be sleepy babies that would dictate the length of our visit, but we were wrong! Their costumes are (somewhat awesomely) designed to keep little kiddos warm without needing to be covered with coats...and the Assisted Living was kept warm enough there is no need for more than a t-shirt. So, they started to overheat pretty quickly, and we ended up making a quick retreat (without any pictures!). It was so wonderful to see so many friends and dear, familiar faces. We had a great time while we were there!

Ryan was eyeing her hair & glasses - his 2 favorite things to grab!

As we were leaving we made a somewhat random call to a friend from seminary who lives locally, and discovered that some other friends from seminary (who live in the Atlanta area) were here visiting! So we made an unexpected detour to visit them. Unfortunately, the drive was not long enough to give the babies the nap they needed (although they got a small snooze), and shortly after our arrival there the babies had a bit of a meltdown which resulted in all three of the girls bouncing and swaying babies/toddlers - our Atlanta friends have an almost 2 year old who wanted in on the cuddling! It was so good to see them for a very brief, but treasured visit!

Doing the Bounce & sway

Not to drag out the suspense, but can you tell their costumes by the bottom halfs in this picture?

So, why do my arms ache? We thought it would be a good idea not to bring a stroller in for the Open House, but to carry the babies the entire time...30 or so minutes worth. Then, I was standing and holding a baby almost the entire time we were visiting our friends (roughly an hour until we finally sat down). Finally, I had VERY cranky babies at bedtime (especially Ry guy, who is extremely sensitive to any change in his sleeping routine - sorry, buddy)...and in the end I swayed and rocked Ryan for roughly another half an hour after he cried inconsolably and refused to go to sleep on his own (the irony - my rocking didn't put him to sleep either, and it wasn't until I gave up and put him down that he was finally able to fall asleep. Silly little guy!). While I am used to having 1 (or 2!) babies in my arms throughout the day, I am not used to such extended periods of time. I guess it's a fair price to pay for another day of Fall Family Adventures!

October 23, 2009

I ♥ Boston...Especially in the Fall!

I will confess, we listen to a fair amount of Veggie Tunes. The confession isn't so much that we listen to Veggie Tunes, but that we listen because I like it, not just the twins! I know every word to every song, and I enjoy singing along. You cannot imagine how thrilled I was to finally have kids to legitimize my ownership of the cd's...and videos...and a few stuffed characters!

Allie was much more into the photo shoot than she was the pumpkin patch!

We listen to Veggie Tunes and we hear the Song "The Pirates Who Don't Do Anything" and they end each verse singing, "I've/we've never been to Boston in the fall!" I would hear that and say, "Babies, you will be in Boston in the fall." But the more we sang it, the more I wanted proof. So, I found a dear friend from church who is not a professional, but who takes many fabulous pictures, and asked her if she would be willing to get pictures of us in Boston in the Fall. And she was!

Our photographer Jen & her adorable assistant Elizabeth (on the duck)!

Another motive behind the photography session is that I love Boston - and any excuse to go into the city. As a small town girl from Nebraska, I never would have thought a city could have captured my heart, but Boston really has. And it's not just because it's the only city I've ever been to. I've been to NYC, and I felt hounded by all of the advertisements everywhere. It seemed like every building had a giant advertisement on it. And the buildings were SO tall - they made this country girl a little claustrophobic. Boston's historical buildings are much shorter (in general), so the city feels open, not like it's closing in on you or hovering over you. And there is just something that feels so homey about Boston. I can't put my finger on what it is exactly, but being in Boston makes my heart happy.

The twins were super into the pigeons!

I woke up so excited this morning (like Christmas!) because today was the day that we were going into the city (I make it sound far away, but it's not. We can see the skyline from several nearby streets & it only takes us 15 minutes to get to the heart of the city). Unfortunately, yesterday was perfect - 70 degrees, beautiful sun, beautiful colors. Today was not so much - 51 degrees, cloudy, shockingly less vivid colors (in the Common at least). But we bundled the babies & headed to the Common to see if we could get some good pics.

We finally found some color!

We started with a view of Park Street Church & some City Skyline behind us. Then the State House. We ended up moving to the Public Gardens ( to see if we could find some better fall colors - the Common was mostly green!) & we were richly rewarded by the move. We got some great pics in colorful leaves & with the pond behind us (where the Swan Boats operate when the weather is warmer). The Grand Finale was the Make Way for Ducklings Statue (which is now our blog's profile pic). All in all it was a fabulous "Fall in Boston" experience.

They loved the ducks! Cannot wait for them to love the book!

The babies seemed to enjoy the time as well. They couldn't stop looking around, trying to take in all the new sights, smells, and sounds. They were in exceptionally good humor, and only broke at the end of lunch (which we ate after we took pictures) when it was past their normal naptime. They've handled the first few of their Fall Adventures very well - which is good because we have another one tomorrow!!

Our Family

October 22, 2009

I ♥ Fall!

Fall is my favorite season. I love the weather (the temperature isn't too cold, but I can wear my cozy clothes and the air is so crisp!). I love the food (soup, squash, apples, apple cider, pumpkin anything...I could go on and on!). I LOVE the colors. And so one of my absolute favorite things in the world is fall in New England. Honestly, I think that is part of the reason God brought me here - because He knew I would so wholeheartedly enjoy the magnificent colors of His creation.

Our First Fall Family Adventure - too bad Ryan's hood slipped down!

And even though they are too young to remember, I want my babies to enjoy fall - especially fall in New England. So today we went on our First Fall Adventure (we might have done a few earlier, but they were sick, so we stayed in for the most part). We went to get pumpkins!!!

Daddy couldn't get both babies to face the same way for this picture!

Note how happy Allie is at this point.

I did my research of various pumpkin farms & decided that the 1)most economical 2) most rational with 2 babies way to go was a roadside stand of some sort. While a hayride to a field to pick our own pumpkin sounded like fun - I had a feeling the babies wouldn't hold out and we would be stuck with screaming children in a hayfield somewhere with only a slow-moving tractor to get us back (and we would have had to pay for that stressful experience). Lucas and I set out as we have on our most memorable adventures - with no specific destination. We figured we'd find someplace with pumpkins eventually.

When we first set them down, Allie leaned over to touch a pumpkin and fell over. She was fine again for about 4 seconds...

We headed toward Concord (because we had an errand to run there), past Walden Pond, past the Louisa May Alcott House, and near all sorts of historical hotspots like the Minute Man Bridge - the close proximity to all of these fabulous places is another reason I love living here. And then we found the roadside stand where we decided to stop. I wish I would have taken more pictures of the stand (the variety of gourds & the way they were displayed was seriously breathtaking! And there was a greenhouse that was once covered with plastic, but the plastic was all torn & dirty, and it sounds ugly, but it was oddly beautiful and absolutely perfect). I discovered, however, that holding a baby and two mini-pumpkins leaves few hands for photography...

...and then she screamed!

We got 2 little pumpkins (1 for each baby...I always remember having 1 for each kid when we were growing up, so I felt like I should follow the tradition) and 1 big pumpkin (the daddy pumpkin - since mommy is going to decorate the baby ones). I could have spent ALL day looking over the veggies - especially to find some yummy ones to make into baby food - but we had errands to run and more adventure to experience.

So Ryan had to chill on his own because Sis wouldn't go near the pumpkins!

See, we wanted to get Halloween costumes for the kiddos. Originally we weren't going to get costumes (because why spend all that money on something they will wear once when they aren't going trick-or-treating), but then we decided to go to Brooksby for their annual Halloween Open House (to see the residents & introduce them to my babies)...and then we decided to go to visit the NICU on Halloween (to see one of our favorite nurses). And we felt like with all of this going out, they should probably have costumes.

So, we went to the Mall...and didn't find what we were looking for at all. But we did find Chick-Fil-A!!! And we had an absolutely wonderful lunch that was reminiscent of fabulous Tuesday nights in seminary. Then we went in search of what we wanted (I was a little bit of a mommy on a mission). In the end, I didn't find exactly what I wanted, but was happy with what I found (you will see it later...I have to build a little suspense!). And we had a fabulous First Fall Adventure!!!

October 19, 2009

Our favorite Things: Updated

Here are some of the most recent favorite things:

- Whatever the other one is playing with. Seriously, they will eye the toy that the other one has, and when I finally switch them (because no one is playing), they will look at the toy that I just gave to the other one (the one they JUST had), and suddenly that's the only one they want!

- But when mommy makes it clear they must play with whatever toy they have:

Allie - VTech Learn & Discover Driver - she really gets that thing going!

Ryan - Little Tikes Busy Cube - he'll spend 20 minutes on just 1 side!

Both - Football (we seriously need 2!)


with Mommy - Rock-a-bye Baby (they are big into the "down will come baby" where I hold them in my arms and drop them down)

with daddy - Way up in the Air (where he either zooms them way up in the air, or holds them way up in the air and zooms them down. May it be noted that mommy is not a fan)

Our Huskers or Michigan outfits!! Go Big Red! Go Big Blue!

NOTE: They have Huskers outfits EXACTLY like the Michigan ones pictured here, but since my Facebook features the Husker pictures, I figured I could represent Michigan here...

Anything we can eat with our fingers (we've started adding small, mushed up pieces of banana, and that is a huge hit as well!). And we are getting really good at actually getting the food into our mouths!

Sounds to Make:

Ryan - throaty gurgle in various tones. He sounds like a wookiee.

Allie - High pitched trill. She sounds like an exotic bird.

Thing that makes us giggle:

Mommy's hair in our face (Don't ask me why, but it works every time. Probably tickles...).

Thing to do when we're giggling:

Pull mommy's hair (it makes us giggle even more when she hollers!).

Thing to do that we are not supposed to do:

Pull things out of the diaper basket on the changing table while mommy is getting us dressed. Not that pulling the things out is necessarily wrong, it's trying to chew on them that stresses mommy out because usually the things in there were not meant to be chewed.

October 18, 2009

Monumental Moments

There are some moments in parenting that are monumental. They melt your heart so quickly, and stay branded in your memory forever. These are the moments that make every bad moment (such as the dozens of poopy diapers I've changed over the last few days, and the lack of sleep from several weeks of sick babies) totally and completely worth it. Some examples of these moments include their first smile, their first giggle, the first time you hear "mama" or "dada" - whether or not they are actually saying it in reference to you!

I have been dreaming of the day when my babies would reach out their arms to me. When I would pick them up not just because I needed to get them to do something, but because they showed me they wanted me to pick them up. Every time I get them from their cribs I try to get them to reach for me - but all to no avail. They reach (eagerly) for their bottles, they reach for their toys, why wouldn't they reach for me?

Then, 2 days ago, we were on the floor playing when suddenly Ryan turned and reached his arms out to me. My heart stopped. Was this the moment I had been waiting for? I couldn't help but think that maybe it was a fluke - he did the right thing, but without necessarily meaning to. But the next day (when Lucas was there playing with us) he did the same thing! In fact, he has now reached out to me several times, and Allie followed suit this morning!!! Unfortunately, I still cannot get them to reach out to me when I go to get them from their crib - apparently holding onto their blankies is still more appealing than mommy. But now I at least have hope that the day is coming soon!

Oh, a cuddle is more sweet when your baby has reached out and asked you to pull them close and cuddle them. I love it!

October 17, 2009

Rapid Change

It always seems to me that I'm waiting forever for a milestone to be reached, and then all of the sudden they reach a dozen at once and I am overwhelmed by the rapid change. That has been the case since the wedding.

"No! It's Mine! Gimme, gimme!"
It's amazing how young they learn the concept of "mine." Already the twins are very possessive of their toys...and desperate to take those of the other. The other day daddy was watching the babies and I was in another room. They had just finished eating and were playing in their booster seats with toys that we had attached to their buckle (after picking them up 50 million times, we finally got smart enough to use the links to attach them...). Lucas let me know that he needed to use the bathroom, but knowing that they are usually fine for short times, I didn't rush in. That is until I hear Ryan let out a piercing scream. I went skidding into the room - expecting (based on his scream) to see him hanging halfway out of the seat, or blood everywhere. Instead I saw him in a death-grip battle with Allie to keep the toy his sister was trying to take away from him. I pulled their chairs far enough apart so they couldn't reach each other, but every mealtime since Allie strains at her seat to try to grab Ryan's toys...

Finger Licking Good

I was holding off trying finger foods with the babies. While other moms reassured me that they were probably ready for cheerios or small bits of soft foods, I just couldn't believe that it was possible that my babies were old enough. Then I was feeding the babies sweet potatoes and Allie spit a small chunk onto her tray. I watched as she reached out, picked it up, and popped it back into her mouth. I was astonished. She was amused by my surprise. So, I got some Gerber puffs (recommended to me by an OT who works with feeding issues in preemie babies), and they have become a regular part of our daily meals. Although they don't get all of them in their mouth every time, they usually at least get them close!

Baby Music Time

The babies had been on a 3 nap a day schedule for a while. I know it sounds crazy, but I couldn't get them to stay awake long enough between naps to lengthen the day to a reasonable bedtime without a third nap. While we were in MI for the wedding, they started to show that they could go longer, and so we started a 2 nap schedule once we returned home. They've done very well, but there was one day that they weren't feeling well, and had woke up early from their morning nap. They started to get fussy and so, thinking it would be a 3 nap day, I laid them down. Amazingly, both of them played quietly (and happily) in their cribs. When I went in to get them (after it was apparent they were NOT falling asleep) they were refreshed and happily stayed up until their normal naptime (1 1/2 hrs. later!). Now, my dear friend Kim does what they call "Baby Music Time" with her 2 kids. Every day, for 15 minutes or so, they go to a quiet place (for our babies it is in pack n plays in separate rooms), they get a few quiet toys and books, you turn on soothing music (we use praise baby cds), and you leave them alone to play. I have watched it have amazing results with her kids throughout the years, and knew I would do it with Ryan & Allie at some point, but hadn't decided when. This seemed like an obvious sign that perhaps it was time. The babies love it and an added bonus is that they get all of the toys to themselves! They absolutely LOVE any time where they can play without the stress of guarding/hoarding the toys around them.

They are growing up so fast. As we approach the holidays I am very aware of how quickly the next few months always fly...and once we've entered into the new year there is not much time before the twins turn 1 - something that I cannot fathom being so close. While I love each new phase, I can't help but mourn the one they've outgrown...Based on how much I cried when we put their bouncy seats in storage, Lucas is starting to stock up on tissues now for their first day of school!!

October 16, 2009

Loralee's Wedding: Part 4

I know as the bridesmaids were lining up there was a feeling of anxiety and excitement. Anxiety as we worried that we would trip walking down the aisle, excitement as we looked at Loralee (who was absolutely glowing, she was so happy) getting ready to walk down the aisle. It was one of those moments in life that happen in slow motion...just before someone hits the fast forward button.

Loralee getting ready.

All of the sudden we were walking down the aisle, and then we turned and watched Loralee. I must confess that I usually don't cry at weddings, but I struggled to hold back tears as I saw Loralee coming down the aisle. Partly because I was so ridiculously happy for my dear sister-friend. But also because I suddenly imagined Lucas walking down the aisle with Allie, and while she is a tiny baby now, I know it will feel like we blink and we will be there.

The girls of the family.

The wedding was absolutely beautiful, but I must take a moment to totally brag about my husband (even though the wedding was not about him...). It was his first wedding, and it was his sister's wedding, and he carefully prepared his first wedding homily. If I may say so myself, it was fantastic. He talked about the various models of love for a marriage - the "me" (what's in it for me), the "we" (we do it all 50/50), and the "he/she" (sacrificing self to make the other happy) - and how all of them ultimately fail. When you're in it for yourself you will always be disappointed (and that isn't really love anyways). When you try to do everything 50/50 there are always going to be times it doesn't work...and you're always going to feel like you're doing more than your fair share. And when you try to do 100% for the other, you will eventually burn out and feel bitter. Ultimately, the only way to love is "THEE." Loving God with your whole heart and self, and loving your spouse with God's love that flows through you.

Grandma & Aunt Minnie - seeing them dance, I'd swear they're younger than I!

I couldn't help but think, as my husband was talking, that this talk was so much more suited to couples married for a while...with children...like us. Because, as I listened to him I saw in myself how I have loved in all three models in the recent past. It was such a good reminder to remember the miraculous grace that God has for me, and to model that in my love to my husband (knowing that I am far from perfect myself...I forget that a lot). And while I don't usually cry at weddings, I couldn't hold back the tears as I listened to Lucas talk because I was so incredibly convicted by my husbands words, so fabulously proud of his well-delivered, insightful message, and so completely in love with him.

The Chicken Dance - classic.

For me, after the wedding was a blur. My main focus was seeing my babies (who I hadn't seen all day - I thought the night of the rehearsal was hard!), and then getting them back and to bed (my parents took them). After that we ate, we danced, we quickly went around to say hello to as many people as we could, and then we went home and collapsed into bed. It was such a fabulous wedding and reception.

Congratulations Grant & Loralee!!

Loralee's Wedding: Part 3

Rehearsing the moment he's been waiting for since he heard "It's a girl."

Weddings are all about the anticipation - you hear they're engaged (YAY!), you wait for the date to be set, you hear the various plans, you go to the showers (not me, I was too far away - tear), you wait for the date to arrive and time moves so slowly - until the last few days. The last few days go by in such a blur that suddenly you're wondering what happened and how it is possible the wedding is over.
The bridesmaids (with me behind the camera & Rosey - Maid of Honor - still coming down the aisle)

Mindy, Loralee, & me

Thursday was a blur of people arriving. As I mentioned earlier, family started to pour in that day, as well as all the bridesmaids. It was the beginning of a million joyful hugs (which should be the title of any gathering of family & friends...). Friday seemed relaxed until the last few hours before the rehearsal when there was a flurry of people getting ready (ok, so it was mostly the women who were flurrying). I was especially flustered as I prepared to leave my babies for the evening (yes, I left them in the capable hands of my parents - but I haven't left them much, so it was still a little hard).

Lucas rehearses marrying his sister...

The rehearsal was surreal. At the rehearsal you were suddenly struck with the feeling that the much anticipated event was actually here. Lucas was officiating the wedding. It was his first wedding, and as such this was his first rehearsal. He learned a few things - if there is a runner, always have the people who will unroll the runner practice at the rehearsal & no matter how many times the mothers successfully light their candles before the wedding, they will have trouble with the candles during the wedding (I think it is a law of physics or something). Important lessons.

The moms practice lighting the stubborn candles.

We woke up bright and early the morning of the wedding and the girls all got ready to go and get their hair done. The mood was festive & fun at the salon - lots of stories and laughing. I must confess I thoroughly enjoyed the girl time - away from the babies. The mood started to turn a little worried as time started to pass. The guys who were doing our hair were perfectionists...which meant that they spent a lot of time on each girl's hair. By the time they got to the last bridesmaid, it was an hour after we were supposed to be at the church...and about 30 minutes after we were supposed to have started pictures. The good news is that these things happen, and everything always works out (which it did). Ultimately, I think we all enjoyed the pre-party.

Mama Miller & her girls.

The bridesmaids get in touch with their wild side.

Rosey gets her groove on at the salon.

And then there was the final rush before the wedding - those last few hours where everyone is putting on dresses, taking pictures, touching up makeup (obviously I spent my time with the girls, not the guys...). And then it was time to line up for THE WEDDING!!!

All she needs now is the dress!