Aug 22, 2014

Finally Friday

These past two week. They have literally tried to kill me. In fact, here are what conversations between Casey and I have been looking like.

 

This season of life is one without much sleep. James is clearly going through a growth spurt and eating CONSTANTLY. And the twins. Well. Tripp and Davy are going through something. It's been a string of really bad nights and short naps. I'm 99% sure they are both getting molars (lots of mouth holding, ear tugging, nose running, and mucus) but I can't see that anything has broken through. And it's been two weeks of not sleeping through the night. Not impressed.

But, this is just a season and before I know it they will all be older and bigger and I will miss these days. Actually, I doubt I ever miss this week. But I will miss my tiny baby. And the toddlers are just so fun right now! So, for Friday Favorites this week I am highlighting some favorite moments from the week. Actually, from the past two weeks. Because I haven't posted much lately! I need to remember that even in the exhaustion and even with all the toddler tears and the hourly nursing sessions, things are good and I am so dang blessed! I am where I belong (Read this post. Seriously. Read.) and things are good.

 

{---} James tried out his newborn cloth diapers this week. We are out of newborn disposables and back into cloth diapering. Moving beyond the (adorable) diaper, I am just in love with that squishy little face. I'm not in love with adding in cloth diaper laundry to my routine. I know that it wasn't that hard with the twins and we will find a rhythm and get back into it, but at the moment I'm not excited. (Our bank account is though! Our cloth stash is completely paid for!) The twins are also back in cloth and I'm not sure they like them. Davy seemed concerned by the bulk of a nighttime diaper. We're hoping the twins get used to it again!

 

{---} James is getting so much more interactive and so much more fun! Lots of good times around here!

Tripp stealing J's playmat.
Playtime!
6w5d - transitioned out of his newborn clothes
My very demanding boss! #squishyboss
 

{---} Awesome play dates. I'm trying to get the big boys out of the house somewhat regularly. They really like getting in the car (and some mornings ask for it! "car car car") so we're going places. But, going places where I can keep up with both toddlers and keep James safe isn't easy. We have to be careful about time becau their aren't many places I can safely nurse while watching them. We also need to choose fairly enclosed locations so the boys can't run off. We met up with a few neighborhood moms last week at JumpStreet which was great. The boys LOVED the trampolines and the bounce house and just had so much fun! I can't wait to take them back! We also did a twin mom play date at one of the moms houses. I get so much out of meeting with other twin moms. At this age play dates can be hard and I sometimes feel ostracized/shunned/judged by the moms with their perfectly behaved singleton. Being around other moms with rough and tumble twins is refreshing! Also - they have the same need for enclosed locations so any twin mama play date is safe for them!

Photo from June. But this is the group we played with!
 

{---} This week we met with my sister and her kids and played in the mall playspace. The boys loved seeing their cousins and I loved having other people chase them! The mall we went to (Collin Creek for all y'all locals) has a great play area but it's a pretty much abandoned mall. Stores are leaving and being replaced by things I've never heard of. Even the Dillard's went out of business recently. But. But. One of those abandoned stores opened up as a place called Those Animals. I've never heard of it before, but I'm impressed. They are (fake) animals you rent and drive around the mall. I paid for the kids to ride for a bit and it was so much fun! Confession: I'm a bit jealous I didn't rent one for myself!

 

{---} Casey and I went on a date. Sort of. We brought along a third wheel. But it was nice getting out of the house and meeting up with friends to celebrate Christine's 30th on Saturday! The twins stayed home with their Nano, Papa, and cousins and had a blast!

 

{---} I'm not sure my heart will ever be ever to handle my rough and tumble boys! Davy is climbing onto and out of everything. Sometimes it gets him in trouble.

 

{---} We found an amazing deal on a PBK Carolina table on Craigslist and the boys are loving it. And loving the Oreos I let them eat at the table. They've never had cookies for snack time before! And Oreos are dairy free!

 

{---} It's almost football season!! Our tickets arrived last week!!

 

{---} And just because it's cute...

 

 

 

Aug 21, 2014

where I belong

 

In this life, it is sometimes hard to find contentment and peace. We are surrounded by images of someone's perfectly dressed children on Instagram. We look on Facebook and see someone just checked in at a fabulous resort in the Caribbean. We get on Twitter and read a tweet that someone else just achieved our dream. Everywhere we look, someone else seems to have more and do it better. Even "in real life" the competition is fierce. We are inundated by advertising saying we aren't enough unless we have better skin or longer eyelashes or the right boots for fall. It makes it easy to feel on hold. We can't enjoy life and be truly at peace because we are striving for that next thing. We are rushing towards the next phase of life instead of appreciating where we are.

I know that I struggle with this. I have had many seasons that I spent looking to the next stage and hoping for the next thing. The big glaring example is our years of infertility that I spent feeling on hold as we waited for a child. I wasn't content. I wasn't at peace. I wasn't happy. I was in a desert. I have done the same thing in my graduate program as I checked the boxes of my required classes and focused on the goal of the PhD so e days at the expense of the process. I'm going to rat out poor Casey on the blog here too. I have seen him struggle with this in terms of his job and have watched him waste away Monday through Friday as he waited for the weekend, the time he could be content.

But wouldn't it be nice to be content on a Monday? To feel at peace in your darkest desert? To be present for the process instead of checking off the boxes towards the goal?

I've prayed so many times and so many ways for God to work in my heart for this. And I can honestly say that lately I have been lingering in every moment. I don't want them to end. My heart is full. Things are good. I am full of love for my husband who is my partner and my rock. He selflessly does more than his share for our family, going to work everyday and helping with dinner and bedtime and dishes every night. My heart is full of love for the twins who are at the most adorable, infuriating, fun, frustrating, loving stage. Even in the midst of a tantrum, their joy and love of life shines through. I am full of love for BabyJ who fits so perfectly into our family, like the missing piece of a puzzle we didn't know we were solving.

My cup runneth over.
I haven't felt well rested in nearly three years and don't remember the last time I slept all night (maybe Novemberish?). I want to pull my hair out as I witness yet another twin tantrum. (You haven't seen a tantrum until you've seen simultaneous falling to the ground with feet kicking and floor punching.) I am beyond stressed about finishing my dissertation this semester and what (fingers crossed!) being Dr. Cass means for my future and our family.

And yet.

And yet, these are the best times of my life. I have wanted to be a mom for years. I dreamed of staying home with our babies. I feel that I am answering God's call in my life by being home with my three boys. I feel content. I feel at peace. I feel happy. I am so close to achieving a lifelong goal of having my PhD. I am nearing the finish line. I feel content. I feel happy. I'm working on the at peace.

My Father in Heaven has so blessed me with these people and these circumstances and this time. I am so humbled that God chose me to raise Tripp. He is my spirited firecracker. He knows exactly what he wants and exactly how things should be. He is always ready to be held and snuggled and loved on. God chose me to be Davis' mom. He is my tender hearted boy. He is quick to give hugs and hand over favorite toys. He is also determined and stubborn (he had to have some of his mama right?). And God blessed me with a third little surprise who needs nothing more in the world to be held close (and never put down!). God chose this timing for us. God placed me in this timing to finish my PhD and has plans beyond what I can imagine for me.

God listened to the cries of my heart and made me mama. Even in my darkest times, He knew where my story was going. And I am so thankful because HIS STORY, this story that has me raising these three perfect creations alongside my best friend is the RIGHT STORY. God knew it was the right story for me even when I couldn't see the path. THIS is where I belong. I belong here with these boys who don't dress like Instagram models and who wear hand me down clothes (for which our budget says hallelujah!). I belong here with these boys and not jet setting on fabulous vacations. I don't need more things. I don't need more money. I don't need better skin. I don't need longer eyelashes (although I did order Younique mascara to try. I'm a sucker for marketing!). I don't need any of that.

I just need to linger. I need to linger in these moments. I need to linger in this season.

 

Because here is where I belong.

My boys.
 

Aug 20, 2014

return

I posted this already. But it applies again this week!
 

I can't believe it has been a week since I posted! No Friday Faborites even though I had some really great pictures and beautiful moments to share. No weekend update to share our fabulous craigslist find. No thoughts from my heart and I've had a lot recently, including some about the direction I want his blog to go. I have started a few posts, but before anything gets finished the boys wake up from their nap or the baby needs nursed. Life is once again not being kind to the blog. And that is the season I am in. I don't blog or have the iPad out when the toddlers are awake. I focus on them. (Confession: If they are happily playing independently I will scroll through Instagram or Facebook on my phone but I can't write a blog post on the little phone screen.) So, bear with me. I'll get the hang of this mom of three thing. I'll find my rhythm. And I'll start blogging more regularly again.




Two reasons the blog has suffered. Cute aren't they?
 

Until the time I can write a full blog post, I need to share what is on my heart in condensed "quick before the boys wake up" form:

  • I am registered graduate student again! I haven't registered for class hours or been an "official" student in a few semesters. I don't need any classes or hours to graduate so paying tuition to be a student while I worked at home on my dissertation seemed silly. But, this semester I registered. I have to be a student to defend my dissertation and by paying that big tuition check, I have committed. I am finishing this semester. I am going to graduate. Soon. I'm nervous. I'm overwhelmed. I'm excited. I'm feeling the pressure!
  • To help towards that goal, I believe we have found a nanny. She is going to do a trial run for us on Monday and we will see if she is a good fit for our family. Fingers crossed! I have a few other people to contact, but finding a part time nanny has truly been a challenge. I can't believe how much they get paid! Most of the nannies I have spoken to want $18-20/hr to care for my brood!
  • I poured my heart out this morning during my quiet time and plan to turn it into a blog post. I want my blog to go back to being a faith based place of inspiration. Funny that I wrote more encouraging Godly posts during our infertility journey when I felt so far from God than I do now. I want that to change. I want to get back to sharing my soul with y'all and I think sharing my quiet time musings is a good start. Be on the lookout tomorrow for a post on "where I belong" (which might just make an awesome post title!).
  • I have an abundance of great pictures and cute moments I want to share from the last week and a half. Some of them are on Instagram (follow me @lexyjill if you aren't already!) but most of them are still living on my phone. I might need to stop doing the Friday Favorites linkup and start doing Photo Friday so I can document it all!
It's a bit before the boys should start stirring, so I am going to keep writing and link up with some sweet girls and "finish this." I love this linkup and these prompts because they really allow me to share my heart with other bloggers and connect in a more meaningful way.

I feel stupid when... I am around new people. I don't do well in new social settings. I second guess and replay in my head the silly things I say. I feel stupid for the comments I make and wish I had stayed quite. In new situations, quiet is the safe move! Sadly, my problems with new people aren't because I'm shy, but because I feel insecure. It's that time of year when MOPS and bible study will be starting up again so I will have to face new folks. Nervous doesn't even begin to describe how I'm feeling!

I hope I never... pass on my insecurities to my boys. I want them to be confident and self assured. I want them to be well spoken and feel they can thrive in any situation. I don't want my social insecurities to rub off on them. I also hope I never contribute to anyone else's insecurities in a social situation. I want to be welcoming and affirming to others. I want to be a warm smile and a kind word when someone needs it.

My one piece of advice to the world... is to just be you. I am in love with the MOPS theme for this year: Be you, bravely. I think that sums up what I need to work on! Leave the insecurities behind. Don't worry about others. If I am true to myself and who I am and put God first, the rest will follow. A full post on MOPS and what it has meant to me is on my heart right now and I hope to find time soon to put it all into words and hopefully encourage other mamas to find a group near them. The time of fellowship and encouragement and prayer and community uplift my soul and make this mama heart happy.l

 

Join in the fun and "Finish This," by finishing the above prompts and linking up your post with the hosts of this party: Nicole {Three 31} Lisa {Coastlined}, and Becky {The Java Mama}.

 

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