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catching up and some changes…

 

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The last couple of months have been absolutely insane!  Between the twins’ birthday party and turning one, a vacation to California and launching a new business, our life has been completely chaotic.  We’re finally back home and trying to get settled back into a routine, but pretty much everything is still disorganized and behind schedule.

So, this week is going to be all about getting things back in order, one thing at a time.  And today, I decided to start with the blog.  I recognize that my blog has really gone by the wayside in the past year.  While it has been super important to me to document Linc and Viv’s first year of life. blogging about food has definitely not been a priority.  Especially considering that eating well and exercising have unfortunately taken a bit of a backseat to everything else (i.e. 2 babies) for the past year.  And in all honestly, while I do want to bring back those things as a priority in my life, it will probably be awhile before blogging about them is a priority.

As I look back over my life since I started blogging (I started with a blog called Brand New Sidewalk), I have had so many changes take places.  I’ve started new jobs, left jobs, bought a house, sold a house, built a house, moved about ten times, been through challenges great than anything previous in my life, had babies…and many other things.  Through all of these things I have changed so much.  I’m still the same person, but as expected my interests have changed and different things have assumed priority in my life.  And I’m happy with that.  I’m more settled now than I’ve ever been, and I have such a peace about what I’m spending my time on and where my priorities are.

If you still stop by here, I’m sure you’ve noticed these changes.  And I’m sure there are many who don’t really stop by any more because of the changes, and I don’t blame you a bit.  Some blogs that I read, I read because the subject matter is pertinent to my life, some because I feel inspired by the author, and some because I feel like I’ve gotten to know the person behind the blog and regardless of what they’re writing about, I want to keep in touch.  So many of you have continued to read over the past year and a half, even as my content has ebbed and flowed.  And all of you over the last few years since I started ChiaSeedMe have been such an encouragement to me by reading and commenting, and I appreciate it so much!  My hope is that you will continue to follow along as more changes take place and the focus of this blog continues to shift because I would really love to stay connected.

I’ll be back with a few posts to catch up from the last couple of months as well as more news about the new direction of ChiaSeedMe and where I’m going from here.  For me, change is hard and it takes time to get used to, but ultimately it is good.  It keeps me on my toes and makes life interesting. With it I find that I push myself more to experience and accomplish new things, which is something I value highly in life.  So, I’ll see you soon and hopefully more in the coming weeks:)

 

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two weeks later…

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     Two weeks ago today, I celebrated my very first Mother’s Day.  Even though I spent most of the day sick in bed, I still savored every moment from nursing Linc and Viv separately in the morning, spending just a little longer holding each of them in bed…to rocking them to sleep before laying them in their cribs that night.

I spent so many long days and months praying and hoping to become a mom.  I remember feeling the deepest desire to have a baby to love. Yet even that longing didn’t prepare me for how it would feel to love my babies.  The love I feel is oftentimes overwhelming because I just don’t feel like I have the capacity to be what they deserve in a mama.  It’s like I can’t possibly show them how much love my heart has for them. I’m slowly learning that I can spend every day trying to convey to them through my words and actions what a treasure they are…but I also have to give them up to the Lord every single day because I truly don’t have the capacity to be what they need on my own.

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I try at times to control everything in life in an effort to protect them.  I feel so vulnerable having them out in the world, at risk of something bad happening to them.  It’s terrifying, and if I allow myself to dwell on it, it can be crippling to me.  For several weeks now, I have felt pushed in different ways to leave Linc and Viv in the nursery at church, but I’ve avoided it every time because I just don’t trust anyone.  I feel this crazy intense need to be with them every moment so that I can protect them from any harm that might come their way.  But I know that I have to begin to let them go in some ways.  Baby steps.  So I left them Sunday morning.   With tears filling my eyes I walked away and prayed myself through the service to stay strong.  And when I went back I found Vivian crying, tears running down her face as she lay in the nursery bed.  And it tore my heart to pieces.  I felt like I had deserted her with strangers.  And to think that she might have wondered if I was coming back was almost more than I could handle.

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I had written this post in my head two Saturdays ago, knowing just what I would say about how on Mother’s Day I took a necessary step of every mother – letting her babies go just a little bit – and how it worked out just fine and how I celebrated later.  Instead I feel like I’ve been set back about ten steps.  Honestly, I’m dreading taking them to the nursery again.  But I know I will.  And I know it will be fine.  I guess this is still all part of this journey of motherhood.  Learning to love my babies with open hands, holding them up to the Father and trusting that He’s protecting them and that He has a distinct plan for their lives.

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I also celebrated my own mother from afar last week.  We were with Jon’s mom for the weekend, but I did get to meet up with mom and spend a few minutes with her.  Celebrating her came from a new perspective for me this year.  I’ve always appreciated and thanked her for everything she gave up for me and all the ways she took care of me as a little girl and as I’ve grown.  But this year I, for the first time, understood the complexity and depth of love she has had for me.  The kind of love that keeps you up at night, hoping and praying your babies are safe and okay.  The kind of love that consumes you because you literally feel like your heart is walking around outside your body.  And I’m so grateful to have been loved with that kind of love.  What a special and unique thing being a mother is.  It’s incomparable to anything else, and I feel so blessed to have that kind of love from my own mother and to be able to pour out that kind of love to my sweet babies.  It’s the best thing in the world.

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Throughout the day my thoughts also kept drifiting to all the women out there waiting to be a mother.  I remember like it was yesterday the emptiness that comes from not being able to fill the desire for a baby.  That pain is something one cannot forget.  Now that I’m on the other side of it, it only brings more intensity to the gratefulness I feel everyday to be able to touch my babies faces and kiss their heads.  I think about it often…in the hard times when I’m exhausted and I’ve changed a million diapers and I just want to lay down and go to sleep…it jolts me back to reality and showers me with patience, understanding and a full heart.  I wouldn’t wish infertility on anyone.  But in the end I can honestly say the journey we had to walk to have our Linc and Viv has only made life that much sweeter now that we’re on the other side.  So for those women I pray for peace, comfort and hope.

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from Friday….

This morning, the 10 month birthday of our sweet Linc and Viv, I’ve been glued to the TV watching the coverage of the hunt for the Boston bomber.  My heart is a heavy weight in my chest.  I’ve spent this week on edge, praying for God to give me peace despite the unrest and tension that I’m sure most other people are feeling as well, given the events of this week.  From the marathon bombing, the explosion in West, Texas, the letters sent to the President and senator, and to now today, the anniversary of the Oklahoma City bombing and the search for the bombing suspect, it just feels like the world is so full of evil.  Since having the twins there has been a whole extra element added where it seems like danger for them is lurking around every corner, and I feel like fear is constantly trying to suck me in.  I hear a noise in the house during the day, and I look over my shoulder expecting the worst….I hear Linc holler from the living room and race in there with a sinking feeling in my stomach, convinced that something terrible has happened.  Among these and other things in the day-to-day, I fear for my babies future and for what they will have to face as they grow up in this world.  It envelopes me in thankfulness for my hope in Christ and my knowledge that life on this earth is only temporary because without that hope I think I would feel so terrified.  I’m clinging to it right now and trying to rest in the peace that comes with it.

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Not only am I meditating on my hope in Christ when I start to feel suffocated by all the bad, I also am consumed with urgency to try and do something to change it.  Sadly, there is nothing that can erase the evil things of this world, so I come to the conclusion that I have to do everything I can to counteract it.  I am realizing more the older I get that I’m responsible for putting as much good out into the world as I can.  And now I’m not only responsible for myself, but also for my babies.   It is Jon and I’s privilege to instill in Linc and Viv an accurate perspective of the world – how big it is, how people are so very different from us (yet so very much the same) and how not everyone was born into a life in which they have all their needs met.  Jon and I have always been passionate about other cultures and traveling because it opens our minds to the fact that not everybody in the world lives like us.  Since we even began to think about kids, we have had long talks about how we can instill a heart of compassion and a realistic world view in them as they get older.  We know that it will take intentionality.  We live in the suburbs of Oklahoma City where where it is easy to become so absorbed in the comfortable, safe life that we live and forget that not everyone lives the same.  How will they ever know any different unless we show them?

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All of these feelings and desires have converged recently as Jon and I have been working on a project that floods my heart with passion.  The evil that has been so much in our faces these last couple of weeks has fueled our excitement over what we feel is a small way we can try to project good out into the world, as well as build into our life a way to instill in our babies compassion and desire to love well and make a difference in the lives of others.  Having been a public school teacher, I’m so familiar with the attitude and perspective of our society’s kids as a whole (there are exceptions), and our hope is that not only will we be able to strive for this in our own home, but for other kids as well.  There have been a lot of sleepless nights lately – working in the office late into the night, me laying in bed awake because of noises in the house, watching Linc and Viv through the monitor as I strain to see that their little backs are rising and falling, and me consumed with passion for this new venture so that I can’t stop the wheels in my brain from spinning.

I wasn’t able to finish this post on Friday, and now as I finish it up this morning I feel energized and hopeful for a new day and a new week.  A new opportunity to not let the negativity bring me down, but to use it as motivation to work harder and love stronger.

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Easter weekend

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By far the best Easter I can remember in a long time, this weekend was full of family, food, and an absurd amount of time spent listening to our babies laugh (they love their grandparents, aunts and cousins).  On Saturday we packed up and headed to my mom and step-dad’s house where we hung out with them and my sister for the day.  We laid in the floor forever watching Linc and Viv soak in time with Grandma and Aunt Cristen.  It was a super relaxing day, and we topped it off with some mexican food for dinner and hanging out in the kitchen making food to take to my grandparent’s on Sunday.

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It was a late night, and I didn’t sleep well once we finally went to bed.  But Sunday morning came early anyway, and it was hard to feel tired once we pulled the babies from their pack-n-plays and cuddled up in the big bed together.  Our family of four.

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The babies were fed and they experienced their first Easter morning – baskets and all.  Of course their favorite part was the basket, the grass and the eggs.  They could have cared less about what was inside them.  Eventually they went down for a short nap before church while the rest of us bustled around getting ready for the service.  We joined my grandparents at their church, which doesn’t happen often enough.  A small, southern Baptist church with a hymnal at every seat, it felt like the perfect place to be on Easter morning.

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I held my sweet baby girl while worshipping our Savior, and I was overcome with thankfulness for all that He has done for me.   I deserve death because of my sinfulness, and not only has He given me life, but also two precious babies, a husband who fits me perfectly and family all around.  I couldn’t ask for more.

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Sunday was a beautiful day, and we spent the afternoon at my grandparent’s house.  A fantastic lunch was had before we gathered around the house catching up…then an epic egg hunt planned by my mom and sister later in the afternoon.  Unfortunately for Vivian, she got paired with her mama, who ended up only snagging two eggs the entire time.  Next year somebody remind that girl to avoid her mama when it comes to egg hunting time.

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All in all, this Easter will go down in the books not only as the twins’ first, but also as the one where I stood in my grandma and grandpa’s kitchen and got all choked up over His awe inspiring love.  I see it now in a different way than I used to.  Not a better way, just different.  The life He has given is so so good.

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dear linc and viv

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Dear Linc and Viv,

Yesterday was your first Valentine’s Day, and your daddy and I had so much fun loving on you extra much all day long.  You are the sweetest little parts of our lives, and we feel like the luckiest people alive to get to be your mama and daddy.

In the same way that we hope you feel loved beyond measure by us, we also always want you to know how much we adore each other too.  A long, long time ago before we even knew you would someday exist, I fell head over heels in love with your daddy.  I still remember the first time I ever met him and how I thought he was the cutest and funniest guy I had ever known.  It wasn’t long before I realized that he wasn’t just cute and funny, but also thoughtful, loyal, humble, sensitive and just plain cool.  It took him a little while to realize how amazing I was, but eventually he did;)  From that point on we knew that we never wanted to live without each other again.

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To celebrate your first Valentine’s Day with you, we all went out for a family lunch at Whole Foods, and then once daddy got home we spent the evening cuddling with your new zebra and tiger and feeding you lots of good food like sweet potatoes and avocado!IMG_7671

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Then after you went to bed, Daddy and I had our own little celebration.  We ate homemade pizza and cupcakes.  I gave daddy a new record and a print for the wall, and he gave me a new wallet and some fun polka dot shoes.  There was also lots of relaxing on the couch together and talking about how darn lucky we are to have each other and you.

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 In the past we might have gone out to a nice dinner or even stayed overnight at a hotel to celebrate, but this year was sheer perfection even though we never stepped out of the house.  The day you two were born, we discovered love for each other that we couldn’t even have imagined existed, all because we’re in awe of the fact that we created you together.

So, thank you sweet babies, for all the sweetness and depth you’ve brought by taking our family from 2 to 4.

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There’s a lullaby I’ve been singing to you lately….when we cuddle during the day or when I rock you to sleep at night.  I hope it will always help you remember how deep our love is for you.

I love you a bushel and a peck
A bushel and a peck and a hug around the neck
A hug around the neck and a barrel and a heap
A barrel and a heap and I’m talkin’ in my sleep
About you, about you
‘Cause I love you a bushel and a peck
You bet your purdy neck I do

Love, Mama (and daddy too)

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