Baby Pets

After Cailey had run back and fourth 5 million times, tripping all over herself and carrying a fake bottle and ramming me in the head every time she flew into my arms, I got a gigantic whif of recycled food. “Did you poop”… SHE GRABBED HER DIAPER. Slowly, in a creepy way, but she understood! I’m not quite sure why but sometimes I forget they are human beings- not JUST my little baby pets.

They ARE baby pets! You get together with friends, run into a stranger, or type on a blog about how freaking cute your baby(s) are and LOOK WHAT THEY CAN DO!!!!! They do THIS THIS THIS THIS and THIS and OMG THISSSSSSSSSSSSS! You talk people’s faces off about your kids’ tricks- with so much excitement that spit is flying onto your chin and IT DOESN’T EVEN ITCH! SHE WAS LYING ON THE FLOOR AND…wait for it…SHE TRACKED ME WITH HER EYES!

Kids are so cool. Mine are weird and incredible. Molly runs like a hunchback, neck forward and arms up like a dinosaur as she trots with excitement to her destination… which is usually where she doesn’t intend to go yet ends up… side of the couch, closet, corner of the wall, back of the chair. She doesn’t talk much- she points.
Cailey whispers “who’s that, what’s that, who’s that… be be blom blom BOP… be be BOP… BOP” as she RUNS off the side of the couch and thankfully lands on the mat face first JUST missing smashing her head on the floor.
What’s funny about this is they are stone faced when we go in public. “OH THEY ARE SO CUTE”… baby dagger eyes burn holes in the old lady smiling two inches from their face… stone faces they are.

There is SO much to tell you about. I am constantly reaching for my phone to record & take pictures… do you know how much time that takes! By the time I am ready with the camera they have finished their milestone or hilarious act and have spotted the camera and are full force running, shoving each other, slapping like cats and pulling hair to be the first to get to me… If I had the ability to record our lives I have NO DOUBT you would be addicted- the Lord has definitely blessed us with a life of laughter with these two blessings.

It took me almost a year to slow down. You are going constantly and I was getting WAY ahead of myself. I was obsessively cleaning the kitchen, or worrying about dinner. Sometimes I would get so tired from worrying that I couldn’t do anything.

ENJOY YOUR CHILDREN. Every morning I now sit on the floor and just watch my kids. They run to me, they lay on me, they crawl on me, they fight over me… I had been missing SO much by flying around in the kitchen! They are SO FUN to watch. They bring me books, I read and they turn the pages and pinch my hands between them. They stir imaginary food in their play pots with their spoons and spatulas and shove them into my eyes, nose or mouth with painful force. They test me when I tell them they have to sit if they’re on the couch by looking at each other and laughing as they ignore me. They run back and fourth between the living room and their room and I can hear their little elephant feet slapping the floor, usually followed by a crash and a cry. They sit on their giraffe with wheels or rocking zebra and flying around and get pissed when they run into a wall, they then turn purple with anger and kiss the floor. Molly mimics Cailey just for something to do. The fresh morning scent of poop fills the house, mixed with coffee and bad breath. Then they take a nap. YES!

I love my baby pets.

I also love reading Veggie Tales: Bob & Larry’s book of prayers with them. They lick and kiss the vegetables on the pages while I read. I read the verse and they slap the page. I read the prayer and they giggle and spill their milk. I give them kisses and they scream with excitement. They show me their bellybutton, then they look for mine and shove their hand into it…

Enjoy your babies today. Let God speak to you through their laughter and cries.
Enjoy that changing table, where you will make memories beyond memories as they stare into your eyes, or kick you and cry- you still get cuddles in and butterfly kisses and an occasional sneeze into your mouth.

Your babies trust you. Trust that God will give you the strength, endurance, wisdom and grace to play, raise and discipline as he so desires.

Thank you Jesus for the giggles coming from down the hall… thank you for trusting ME with your precious children. Amen to the joy they bring.

Emergency Room Romance

So we got sent to the ER with Cailey last week (all is well!).

Marc met me there.

We had one baby, the other was home asleep with Grandma.

Marc wasn’t on his phone… I wasn’t on mine.

We were a team, passing Cailey back and fourth. She was exhausted and it was WAY past bed time.

I love my husband. And now, after that evening/early morning, I love him more.

We were engaged, laughing, joking, goofing around, enjoying one of our daughters. Marc had brought me back a brownie from the cafeteria and requested that I leave some for him. As I shoved the last bit into my mouth I suddenly remembered I was supposed to save him some… I slowly and sheepishly looked over at him- he had been watching me. With brownie pieces and drool flying out of my mouth I asked him if he still wanted some… no response.

We laughed- together. We always laugh, but for some reason this was different.

Of course I love my husband… but when was the last time I LIKED him? (this is a little something something I learned from a Love & Respect conference we went to when we were first married).

I had forgotten what it was like to enjoy my husband the way I was this evening. I think he had forgotten how to enjoy me too (my weirdness may be a little difficult to get past at times).

Since I was sick and what I had was pretty contagious, we hadn’t been able to smoochie-smooch for a week. As we were escorted to the valet parking lot to go home with our healthy baby- he kissed me. So crazy, but it was so awesome. This was my MAN, my baby daddy, my better half! He works SO hard for his family, and he works SO hard to capture my heart.

We played chess that next evening- he had made me a BEAUTIFUL glass chess board encased in a wood-stained frame with LED lights for Christmas in 2011. I think this was the second time we’ve played on it since then…

When was the last time you and your husband sat down and faced each other…

When was the last time you made sure your love was this:

Love is patient, love is kind.

  • even when you don’t feel kind, there will be a better outcome with kindness- such as a softened heart 🙂

It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud.

It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs.

  • ohhhh, we are SO good at keeping records of wrongs, aren’t we ladies! I’ve heard women complaining about their husbands, calling them names or tearing them down… that’s dishonor, you’re seeking self-fulfillment by complaining- talk to him about it! You will stay angry if you’re passive- forgiving someone doesn’t take the pain away, but it sure helps you to move on. If you think you’ve forgiven someone, but you still are angry with them- re evaluate YOUR heart, not theirs.

Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth.

It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.

  • If you’re not feeling this in your marriage- seek it from God, get a taste 🙂

Love never fails… “-1 Corinthians 13:4-8 NIV

 

My marriage is not spotless.
We’ve worked hard to get where we are.
There was a point where God was, literally, our energy, our joy, our smiles, our muscles and our bones- because there is a point in every marriage where there isn’t happiness- that’s where we found God and got to see, FIRST HAND, his supernatural powers.

If we didn’t trust God, if we refused to surrender our marriage- I would have never gotten to see the amazing man God has molded my husband to be, and our hearts would have never been changed and brought to Christ… in a deeper more romantic way.
If we would have given up, stopped praying together, stopped believing He could heal- I would have never experienced God’s overwhelming love when I didn’t FEEL loved by Marc, or when I didn’t want to love him back- and we wouldn’t be able to hold on to that incredible feeling of God’s love and have it reflect in our marriage when we are just too hurt to WANT to show love.

My prayer for you today is that you put down your phone, turn off the t.v., shut the book,  get your butts in the same room and remember why you got together in the first place. If you’re going through a divorce or have been betrayed, my heart goes out to you. I have some book references if you are in need- I can e-mail them to you. I will share with you.

I’ve been there. Marc’s been there. We’ve all had a broken heart in some way.

 

“The Lord is close to the brokenhearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit” – Psalm 34:18 NIV

Being a good steward.

(just to make it known, on the “resource” page I have provided the budget sheet & the ledger we use. We’ve been successful, I recommend you take a look)

I am happy and blessed to be able to say that the only debt we have is student loans (boo) and our mortgage.

We follow the concept taught by Dave Ramsey.  ( A great friend and mentor of mine also taught me what I know first, luckily her teaching met with what Ramsey teaches, so it was easy for me to catch on, thank  you Amy!)

“If you will live like no one else, later you can live like no one else”- this man has GREAT quotes- I recommend you check them out —> Dave Ramsey Quotes

We are doing just that- we are living like no one else! AMEN! No credit cards (I will admit, I got sucked in to Younkers and got a card so I could ge 20% off my purchase… she also told me i’d get 20% off every time I used the card… NOT TRUE, there is ALWAYS a catch! Cutting it up NOW!). We pay cash, if we don’t have the cash it we don’t buy it, we budget and we know where everything is going, when it’s going, how it’s going and why it’s going. (when I say cash, I don’t literally mean CASH, we use a debit card). We have an emergency fund- and when we run low, we use that. And when we use the emergency fund to get back on our feet, any savings left over from the month we put back into the fund to build it back up. When we are back to a full emergency fund we move on! I’m on my 3rd car (well, it’s a van and we LOVE it) since we got married, and we paid cash each time. Let me tell you- that emergency fund has been and is our saving grace! There are steps to take and an order to do them in according to Dave Ramsey.

IT WORKS.

—Our Story—

(you can also catch up by reading the “livin’ on the edge” page and learn about what we’ve been through!)

We were in an apartment for almost 2 years- it was getting more expensive every year (what a waste of money) so we were looking for somewhere else. We moved in with Marc’s parents, intending to only stay a few weeks. That turned into a year. IT WAS AWESOME! I loved living with them 🙂

We saved a ton of money, I got preggo and BAM we needed a house A SAP! Our great friend & Realtor Andy Richterwas helping us find a home. After a long time coming we found it! DEFINITELY NOT our DREAM HOME- it was a foreclosure, with pee stains, pee walls, awful paint, rotting decks, and college-kid-cooties all over it. BUT it has a gigantic kitchen, tons of storage, a finished basement, CENTRAL AIR, trees surrounding it and 4 bedrooms- now THAT is a dream for a preggo with twins! We had it inspected, foundation was great, got a new roof put on along with city water hook up and TADA! Our home 🙂

PLEASE- I wish it was that easy. It took 5 months to close on this pain in the butt. The people we were dealing with were not honest people. Oh Lord, bless Andy and his sweet wife Erika for dealing with this for 5 months! It was a headache and I wouldn’t have been surprised if Marc showed up on this guys doorstep and showed him what his Marine-self was made of.

Needless to say- a million signatures, 3 failed closings and 5 months later- we didn’t put any money down (glory of a VA loan!), got a 5,000 first-time-home-buyer veteran credit, got $80 paid to US at closing and the scum bag that was in charge of selling the house (foreclosure, so he didn’t give a crap) ended up putting HIS money in OUR escrow because we said we weren’t (rightfully so!). After the credit, we paid what we offered for the house in the first place. God is ON OUR SIDE- and we won. We were confident our hearts were right and we surrendered to God. A, a, amen for His faithfulness! He works in our favor- acknowledge that.

We moved in the weekend before we had the girls- moved in Saturday (with the help of our awesome family and friends, thank you!!!), cleaned Sunday, carpet laid & stove delivered Monday, went to hospital Monday night… talk about stressful! I was on bedrest and couldn’t help with the house. What do I have to say to that? sd;foih)*@#&$ojashf;ljgh! I sat in a chair, ate the guys food and drank their pop as I watched my body swell… THEN when we got home from the hospital, it had been a week… ONE WEEK. The pipe burst in the bathroom and we had our first flood. Bye bye new wood floors… hello 1am, really loud humidifiers, strange men in my home, months without a floor, dealing with insurance, two week old twins, un-needed added stress… I almost started to cry and Marc told me “now is not the time”. Okay baby love, lets do this! I tackled the bathroom and Marc tackled the rainforest in the basement. Want to know the blessings? The water didn’t damage anything that couldn’t be replaced. We did some work ourselves and saved insurance money to re-do the basement and put the wood onto our stairs. The girls slept through the whole ordeal, loud vacuum and all! We got them up, fed them, put them back down, and as we laid our heads on our pillows, my God fearing husband said something like this “good will come out of this, God’s got something for us”, and we went to bed with joy.  Eat that satan- I’m not even going to capitalize your “s” because YOU SUCK!

Marc didn’t have a full time job with benefits until a few months before the girls came. THEN they closed down in January 2014… I worked 2 days a week… The Lord gave me a TON of hours while Marc was out of work! God provided, now Marc is in school a few weeks a month, and started a CAREER on Monday, in a field he LOVES… AND he can work from the couch 🙂  Now THAT’S favor.

“May the favor of the Lord our God rest on us; establish the work of our hands for us- yes, establish the work of our hands.” – Psalm 90:17 NIV

Back to Dave!

When we got engaged my in-laws offered this class to us. My father-in-law was actually teaching and has done so for a few sessions. They are DEBT FREE! The cool thing is the first time you take the class, you are able to take all the other classes for free (if it is new material you will need to purchase the new book/workbook etc. or you can just sit in and listen).

IT IS THE BEST THING THAT WE COULD HAVE EVER DONE!

I can proudly say that disagreements about money are very minimal in our marriage- then again, our marriage isn’t your typical marriage 😉

Dave Ramsey talks about a “free spirit” and a “nerd”. Well, I was the “nerd” and Marc was the “free spirit”. This was very difficult for me at first- isn’t it the man’s job to be the head of the finances? After all, he’s the head of everything else! Spiritual head, head of making decisions, head of the home… The Lord put me in my place and I didn’t accept that at first. I’m good with numbers, I’m SUPER anal about money, I’m organized (post-pregnancy organized is a bit different than pre-pregnancy organized!) and it is a gift the Lord has laid upon me and I was PISSED about it! Pride.

“Each of you should use whatever gift you have received to serve others, as faithful stewards of God’s grace in its various forms.” – 1 Peter 4:10

Well, that put me in my place. I needed to give this ugly part of my pride to God, and let Him change my heart.

It. was. not. easy.

Being the “nerd” meant doing the math, and for a while I felt as though I was alone in this part of our marriage. I kind of was- but some very close friends (Andy & Erika, AGAIN, geez you’ve blessed us so much!) helped to open our eyes, and a few years later here we are at a much better understanding of one another, of the purpose of doing finances together and of our role in the budget. USUALLY- I balance (DOWN TO THE PENNY! Haven’t lost track of a cent since 2010, check out the “resources” page for the budget sheets I use!!) and place spending into the budget sheet. We are SUPPOSED to sit down together and go over bills, monthly spending, blah blah blah, but that hasn’t happened in a while. Right now we are just trying to make it- and so far we’ve found MASSIVE amounts of favor with the Lord and have made it through since January when Marc’s workplace shut down. I still do the majority of the budget- and although I would rather not, it has taken me a few years to realize that Marc fills my weak spots and I fill his. Where he’s talented, I’m not! What if he were to say “so, I know I’m really great at being the husband buuuuut, I think I’d rather you do it because I don’t think it’s fair to have to lay down my life for you”… Think about that next time you don’t think something is “fair”. Men have a HIGH calling- respect them, even if they’re falling short. They need you.

GOSH, I love that man! Sweet, sexy, tall, musician of mine… t-hehehe

We fought with unemployment from February until now, and just in the end of May we FINALLY received back pay from 4 MONTHS! It got so bad that Marc contacted a State Representative- THAT is how we got payed- NOT because unemployment paid us, but because we fought for what we knew we deserved and prayed our way through the financial storm.

The point of all of this?

Money sucks. It ruins relationships, takes our joy and sucks our energy. Budget, budget, budget. Know where your money is going. Tithe your 10% and watch your life change ( for a better understanding of tithing, check this out “focus on the family”, also a great site for other matters!). I know this post went from budget, to me and my life, to budget, to God and back. But seriously- I wanted you to see what we went through and how we GOT through. We followed God’s word- and I hope that, to you, our life is proof of His faithfulness.

God WANTS to bless you.

Let Him.

Yuck!

You WILL get what ever your cute little cubby legged baby comes down with…

I’m sorry- you are HEALED, in Jesus’ name…

but FOR REAL- prepare yourself people, because it. will. happen…

This week we have been dealing with Coxsackie A6 Virus.

It started with one of my babes sitting in the crib as cute as can be with puke chunks placed so lovely in her hair and a gigantic vomit blob consisting of strawberries & chicken nuggets waiting for me. Poor girl didn’t know what hit her, was a little disoriented with a fever of almost 1o3… I thought the other one took a major dump when I took a sniff as I walked in…. I was wrong…

Motrin and a warm bath later, sweet cheeks was a nut case flying all over the house and yelling “MA…MA…MAMA…BA…AHHHHHHHHH” while carrying her play bottle and using her little bowed legs to bobble around all whilst the other one is responding periodically… “AHH….AHH…AHH”.

It was short lived.

Next day- the OTHER baby had it. AHHHHH! JESUSSSSSSSSSS- heal this home!!! These blisters are so creepy looking!

My pediatrician said it is NOT Hand Foot & Mouth (coxsackie A16 is hfm- learn something new every day!) but looks like it and appears in different places such as the back of the knees and at the bend of the arms… yup, right where one of my little angels’ lovely blisters began. Know where you can get it?! In your MOUTH. SICK!!!! And painful.

I did not have ANY signs until the Doc said I could get it… then KABAMM my throat was on fire and I felt nauseated, exhausted & sweaty (all while at the mall and having to pee REALLY bad, but I just HAD to check out the picture frames first and kept running my SEMI of a stroller into the 2 foot wide aisles). I’ve caught ONE cold from them out of 500, and even when the stomach flu was going around I swear I could roll in someones infected vomit and not get it… With this I had two days of seriously feeling as if I was going to wilt away into the land of the dying. I almost thought about just trying on one of the girls’ diapers and laying on the floor for hours…

If these girls feel anything like I do then it’s going to be bananas, melon and bread for the next few days… Although I did just eat super spicy white chicken chili… and no bake cookies… burning the throat… burrrrrning the throat…

Every itch or bump I feel I run to the sink and wash my hands…

WASH YOUR HANDS FRIENDS- that is my suggestion if you are dealing with this. I learned from the doctor that comfort is all you can offer- we are flying through Motrin & Tylenol, also a 1:1 Maalox & Benadryl mix for their poor throats.

For me? Tylenol and expensively stupid analgesic throat lozenges that only work for 5 min and taste like cherry and dead grass.

I would like to add that I am NOT a doctor and I am NOT telling anyone to do what I did- I am telling you what worked for us, the advice we were given and how we went about it. I also am not going to diagnose ANYONE.  If you tell me signs and symptoms I will tell you to consult your pediatrician. If you are worried, it NEVER hurts to call a doc, call the phone nurses, call call call. I understand! As a new mom (and still) I call about EVERYTHING (and I work there and see stuff all the time!). When it comes to your child, don’t diagnose off the internet, PLEASE. Just take them in! (as if I never google like a mad woman and think it’s the worse possible disease)…

TIME TO GO DEEP!

My father-in-law made a great point last night as I told him about the sickness in our home… when blessings are raining down, the enemy tries his HARDEST to sweep the home with disease and take our joy. “The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full”- John 10:10 NIV.

Stupid devil- doesn’t he know who reigns in this home! We speak health and healing over our girls multiple times a day. “You are healed baby girl, in Jesus’ name!”, “God knit you together in my womb beautiful girl, he knows what every cell is up to and he is healing you!”, “We command all sickness and disease to leave your body and this home, and you, my healthy gift from God, you are healed in Jesus’ name!”.

I can not express how important it is to pray over your children. Speak LIFE in to those little bodies! And for goodness sakes, speak highly of them outloud (although you may be thinking something different as they smack you across the face) And do not stop, ever. If it takes years, DO. NOT. STOP.

Our God will never fail us.

 

 

 

 

 

What’s this about?

Every parent’s day is hard, draining and exhausting. I cry. I weep. I FRRRREAK OUT!

The purpose of this isn’t to tell you what to do or to say that i’m amazing because I have twins and you don’t… it is to tell you what the Lord has revealed to me, who he put me in contact with, how he blesses those in need and how to feel love and joy for your littles when you want to drive to the palm trees and never return.

I don’t want to tell you how I am a “perfect” parent, or that the way I do this is “right”.

I want to tell you how I made it. How I’m surviving. This is because I know I am not alone. I know there are other parents out there who are stretching their penny, need diapers, need sleep, need hope… need a shower. For the love of the half baked brownies I want to cram in my face, and the can of frosting I want to make me thin… some of us just need to feel like ourselves again.

I want to share with you my “secrets”… not really secrets, but how to make your hair look like it’s clean… WHEN IT’S NOT! Or, how to disguise a muffin top! OOOOOORRRR, how to afford a family of 4 when your husband’s workplace shuts down and you only work 2 days a week… when you’re swollen, on bedrest and miserable and it’s taking 5 months to close on a foreclosure that needs the pee walls and pee carpet and pee everything REMOVED… when you’re going in to pop out some babies and your carpet is being laid and the stove is being installed… when you arrive home with newborn twins and your sink decides to EXPLODE and floods your BRAND NEW WOOD FLOOR… when you feel like life is NEVER going to get better… when you just.can’t.catch.a.break…. when tears are flooding while you pray because you just want to sleep… when you’re looking for resources because you need diapers… when unemployment doesn’t pay you for 3.5 months and you’re living off your part-time paycheck…

What are you in need of? Prayer? Scripture? Biggby? Ohhhh some Biggby sounds incredible…

Let me share with you who I called, what i’d do different, how I remembered to brush my teeth, how I kept my head above the water, how to afford formula, food, your favorite hairspray, how to eat right when you just don’t want to, how to get out of bed when you just don’t want to… this isn’t advice- you can do what you want with it. But me… I believe I’m supposed to share this with you. If you go to the top of the blog and click “Contact” it will bring you to my contact info. Please, contact me with your need, or YOUR tips, or how YOU are making it through! I’m hoping that my posts will be based on comments, feedback, wants and needs.

 

COMPLETE surrender… that. is. how. i’m. surviving.

These lyrics speak truth… “your love will, surely come find us”.

Let me end with this:

Nothing is too big for God. Do you know what that means for you? With God,  NOTHING is too big for you.

That’s good news.

Want to know something else?

He. Loves. You.