Sunday, December 30, 2007

New Year Thoughts..


I can already tell you that this post is going to be short but I wanted to take advantage of internet access and write something. Today is my father-in-law's birthday- Happy Birthday Daddy Mike! tomorrow is my dad's birthday- Happy Birthday Dad! And the next day is New Year's when we'll be driving back to PA.

I was talking with my friend Laura today and she got me thinking... We were talking about the New Year and she was saying that this next year, 2008, would be same-old same-old. She then laughed and said, "but not for you!" I guess next year will be anything but "same-old". My children are doubling. Mike and I are planning on moving back to VA. This is a kind of wild thing. We realize though with potential bed-rest and hospitalizations that I will be needing some help with the kids and a lot of support. I thought about making a statement for people to sign... Those that say they'll help.... let's just get it in writing, Ha ha.

I was reading from The Multiples Manual about bed-rest. They were talking about the importance of resting every day, several times a day after reaching 20 weeks even if you're not prescribed bed-rest. I had to resist laughing....um, I'll keep that in mind as I chase Samuel and Libby around. I think there's a lot of assumptions that if you're pregnant with multiples (twins, triplets, etc.) that this is your first and last pregnancy. Gulp. What about when it's your third?

The book has a lot of great advice and tips though in it... I'll probably be spouting it off soon. So if I go on bed-rest I'm collecting ideas of what I can do to kill time. Reading. Knitting. Watching movies. Painting my nails. E-mailing. Blogging. Sleeping. Um, yeah. That's nice the first two days.... I almost croaked being on bedrest for 5 weeks...Well, at least this go around I have a blog so I can whine at all of you nice people. And hey, let's believe the best... I might not even need bed rest!

I think my life is about to get really small. By that I mean, I'm wondering if I'll ever leave the house after the kids are born. I know I will eventually but am I going to go crazy? For those who know me you would understand that I'm a mite bit social and can get stir crazy in the house. My goal in moving to Va is to nest like crazy and create this wonderful haven that I want to be in.... and visitors are welcome! I can't guarantee how awake or lively I'll be but I'll be there.

I am a crazy girl sometimes. I have all these fantastic expectations for myself. Like all the Christmas cards/letters I wanted to send out. We don't even have a family picture.... yikes. So should I wait and send out baby announcements instead? I mean, it's a lot of postage! Not that you're all not worth it! Why is it that we expect so much out of ourselves? Why do I think that I need to create the most beautiful home, make the most delicious nutritious meals, and look fabulous... Micah 6:8 says, " He has told you, O man, what is good; and what does the Lord require of you but to do justice, and to love kindness, and to walk humbly with your God?" So why do I get hung up on what doesn't matter? Not that it's bad to make a lovely home and feed my family well, but God is wanting something more and something better!

Most people wouldn't think of me as an over-achiever and I think that's evidence of God's grace because left to myself I sure as heck would be! God has been stripping me of letting me do things that let me feel like I have control and putting me in a place of continual dependence on Him! It's a beautiful thing really. He's letting me know Him more and seek Him more instead of being self-reliant and striving in my own efforts. God in His kindness is drawing me to Him and helping me to find contentment in Him. My heart can truly sing that "All of You, is more than enough for all of me! For every thirst and every need, You satisfy me with your love, And all I have in you is more than enough."

My prayer for this year is that I would continue to find my peace and contentment in Him. That I would remember that it is well with my soul. That I would draw my strength from Him. 2 Corinthians 12:9-10, " But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly of my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may rest upon me. For the sake of Christ, then, I am content with weaknesses, insults, hardships, persecutions, and calamities. For when I am weak, then I am strong." These past 6 years of my life have been full of dramatic changes and circumstances but God has shown Himself faithful again and again! Praise the Lord, for He is good and His love endures forever. Praise the Lord that He is continuing to refine me. He is continuing to melt the dross and make me like a pure metal. He is molding me into His likeness. Apparently there is much that is needed to be stripped of me so that I can be more like Him. Thank you God that you are using all these things for good.

I say this with boldness and strength... I say it when it's easy and the kids are getting watched by their Uncle John and I'm resting on the Napier's cozy couch... I pray though that I can say it again when I am in the dark of night with screaming babes, when the tears fall down my cheeks, when I don't know how things are going to work out, when I face sleep deprivation or cranky toddlers or all that is to come my way. This year may I know Christ more and cling to Him.

And to you dear friends may you know Him more. May you find joy and peace in Him. May you taste the blessings He has for you. May your bellies be full, your hearts and hands be warm and may love fill you, especially the love of Christ. Happy New Year!


so much for the short post :)

Saturday, December 22, 2007

Happy Winter!

Mike crawled in bed with me this morning at 4 a.m. Wow... what a guy. He had only 3 hours of sleep the previous night and has finished his two papers and drove, the whole way, with his brother John from PA to VA. I think I've been too excited to sleep after that. I feel like a kid on Christmas morning. I got up at 5 to check on Samuel and he was sleeping peacefully. Laid on the couch for another hour and a half and listened to the clock chime....

I'm sitting here on this peaceful winter morning watching the sun rise and listening to Roostie, my dad's rooster. It's bizarre to hear the sound of a rooster crow and then I remember where I am. I'm on the "farm" so to speak. My dad has an assortment of chickens and one rooster. They have fish and dogs and birds and a huge pond. You can sit in the oversized plush rocker and watch out the huge bay window and see the trees swaying, the frost on the ground and the birds flying by.

I can hear Samuel upstairs periodically coughing but other than that all I can hear is the tick of the clock and its intermittent (sp?-sleep deprivation, people!) quarterly chime.

I have been craving things I liked as a child. This morning I had a bowl of honey graham Oh's. a cereal that brings me back to the times when my mom would on occasion let us have a "sugary" cereal.

The pressures of life haven't seized me this day and I'm enjoying drinking in the morning quiet. The solitude and peace that wraps me like the fuzzy blanket on my lap.

I think I am ready for Christmas now. Not because I have a lot of gifts... and the ones i have aren't even all wrapped, but I have my husband snoring softly upstairs, my babies sleeping peacefully above me, and the two little ones moving; although I'm not quite sure which one is moving.

Today is my mother-in-law, whom I affectionately call Faf/Fafa's birthday. Happy Birthday, Faf! I am looking forward to giving her present which I made and spending time with her and the chickadees.

Like I mentioned earlier John is back from London. He flew in on thursday afternoon and he and Mike have had a little time together (between the papers).... John- Thank you for proofreading; Mike said you were a huge blessing, you might put me out of a job :)

It will be fun to be with all the Napiers together. The kids are so excited to be around both sets of grandparents.

Libby is looking forward to a tractor ride and seeing the chickens. As always she does her faithful Roostie impression, quite endearing really.

National Treasure 2 is out. Would love to see that sometime. I love adventure movies. It's in my blood. And who doesn't like a good old fashioned treasure hunt? I am a huge mystery buff. From the time I was 12 I would read Nancy Drew mysteries by the score and I have read all of Dorothy Sayers, Lord Peter Wimsey mysteries (which I HIGHLY recommend.)

There's Roostie again. Sometimes when I hear him I keep thinking of Libby's wooden puzzle that would make animal sounds. At times it would go off on it's own and scare the snot out of someone walking around at night. Nothing like being greeted by the sound of a horse or a rooster on your way to the bathroom at midnight.

the sun is up fully now and I think I might bundle up and take a walk around the lake, I mean pond. It's really quite beautiful.

On sunday Mike and I are going to our friend's home for a special dinner and on Monday morning I'm making cookies with my Grandma.

I think tomorrow my sleep deprivation of the past 3 or 4 days is going to come and bite me in the butt... well, at least there's family around and I have the excuse of being pregnant to take a nap.

I hope you're feeling God's presence and nearness to you. Enjoy the morning and your day. Take time to love on those around you. Hope your Christmas is peaceful...

Thursday, December 20, 2007

Tears.


I'm sitting in my aunt's car outside of Panera, using their internet, typing and crying. Norah Jones is singing "Come Away With Me". This was my sister's song at her wedding. I can still see her and Mike dancing to this song. Damn near breaks my heart. Only a month later I danced with my future husband to this song....the night he proposed. he's still in Philly and I miss him so much.

I've had a wonderful time at the Williams. They've been so helpful with the kids. Feeding us, changing diapers, and letting me get out. The kids love to play with Alexis, Courtney, and Thomas. They're quite entertained!

Why so sentimental you might wonder? I just finished reading my article on Ungrind. You can check it out at www.ungrind.org The article is called Birthdays with Jesus. I guess i'm just feeling it today. Feeling the brokeness of this world. Aware of things that aren't right.... the things inside me (attitudes, emotions, prejudices, etc.) and the things that are wrong in the world. I guess more or less, "the wrongs done to us and the wrongs we have done".

So if I'm being a bit too drama queen just realize that I've spent almost a week without my honey. Mike is such a rock for me. He gives me fresh perspective. He is logical and compassionate. Thank God I will see him soon! There will be balance soon.

When I'm in VA everything comes back so fresh... the joys, the sorrows, the gains and losses... the friendships that have been broken, the ones that have mended, the ones that have become more distant and the ones that continue to grow in my heart. Such a mixed place.

Libby saw me crying recently and asked me why I was crying. she started to cry too. I told her it's okay, that mommy is sad, but it's okay to be sad. I also talked to her about Jesus being our comforter when we're sad. She wiped the "rainbows" from mommy's eyes and gave a big squeeze. Children are so healing.

Well, off to go get some medicine for another infection.... oh yuck. My body gets so weird when I'm pregnant!

Hope you're well! Take time to relax and spend time with family. Mike and I will be driving the kids to the beach at some point to look at the lights....


"Tears help wash our souls so we can see Jesus better." - Jennifer Napier

Thursday, December 13, 2007

Before I fall asleep...


It's LATE! Okay, it's not late for all the people in the world but 11:30 is seriously pushing it for me. I'm not really packed but I'm too exhausted to do more. Samuel is coughing over the monitor. It's horrible to hear him like this. He saw the doctor today and she said that he doesn't need to be in the hospital but he doesn't sound as good as he could. I'm feeling stressed about remembering to pack everything we need. All his breathing treatment stuff and such.

I wrote and submitted my article for Ungrind today. it's pretty raw but I'm glad the Lord put it on my heart to share. Look forward to sharing it with you all soon. Also if you haven't you should check out Ungrind. Go to www.ungrind.org One of the editors is my dear friend Ashleigh. I love this webzine. It's encouraging and refreshing and real.

Feeling nauseous, having heartburn. I don't know what it is but I feel like my belly just popped. It feels a lot bigger suddenly. I look in the mirror and I'm like, "Whoa! Look out for the pregnant mama." Crazy. I think because of the twins I'm going to get a lot of sympathetic looks a lot quicker... you know the ones... the oh-she-looks-so-uncomfortable kind of look. I've given them myself.

Fun thing today: Samuel's doctor is so pysched that I'm pregnant and went into shock when I told her we're having twins. She turned to Mike and me and said we were the luckiest people in the world. At the end of the appointment she encouraged me to rest, rest, rest, and slow down. I'm laughing and thinking I wish.

Well, maybe in Va I'll get pampered a little bit and catch some extra Z's or watch others chase the kids around :)

We leave tomorrow at noon directly after Mike's final. I don't know if I'll be able to get it all done. There's a lot to unpack in the car (from moving) and a lot to pack up. Sigh. It always feels crazy coming down for the holidays. I need to keep reminding myself that Mike is coming down a week later and can bring stuff then too. He's so amazing. He's out right now studying for his last final. He'll then be working his butt off for the next week to get these papers in. Poor guy... as if moving, sickness, and twins weren't enough... 2 HUGE papers and work. Well, hopefully he'll be undistracted and get it done.

I'm thankful that the papers will be done BEFORE the holidays. That way he can relax and enjoy himself.

i realized I need to buy a planner. I've already made 3 appointments for January and have not put them on a calendar... I must do that. Well, it wil serve me to do that.

It's been interesting seeing Libby express herself. She's extremely talkative, imaginative and expressive. Lately she tells me when she's frustrated and she actually uses the word frustrated. It's been good for her to communicate her feelings so we can talk about it.

Well, really, I do need some sleep. Blessings on you all. I don't know how much I will get to post being out of town. May this time be peaceful and refreshing!

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Ballet.

 
 
 
This is a couple of shots from her "performance". I wish I could have caught all the times she waved at us and smiled. It was precious.
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Barnes & Noble.

 
 
About a month or so ago Libby's school had a fundraiser at Barnes and Noble and she performed. It was so cute watching her sing songs.
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Good Morning.


Well, it's late morning and here I write sitting perched on my bed. My children are freshly bathed and I'm actually wearing make-up and perfume this morning. No jewelry but I got 2 out of 3 today. One of my goals before the babies come is to start taking care of myself. Things like brushing my hair and wearing make-up. I'm hoping if I make some kind of routine of this that it will be more natural when the twins grace us with their presence.

A lot of people have been asking me (with some trepidation) if I'm okay with having twins. I am more than okay. I am ecstatic. I am also a planner and I like to think way ahead. Like I was thinking about the fact that at some point in my life (God-willing) I will have two 13 year olds, a 14 year old and a 15 year old. Is that crazy or what? I'm also imagining next year at Christmas time with a freshly turned 4 year old, 2 year (almost 3)old, and two 6 or 7 month olds.

I have begged Mike that if we're havinga boy and a girl could I pretty pretty please also get a pink Graco baby car seat. I already have a blue one. Wouldn't that be too cute? It would also help keep people straight :) But who knows maybe we're having two boys or two girls.... although I'm ruling otu the latter because one of the babes during the ultrasound was flashing and it didn't look like female anatomy.

Samuel and Libby are alternatingly munching on honey nut cheerios and wrestling. I'm thinking the kids and I might head back to VA early. Either we'll leave Friday or Monday.

Our home group has been amazing in caring for us and has provided so many meals... and not just mac n'cheese.... last night we were given a fully roasted chicken with potatoes, caesar salad, and a delicious dessert.

Mike and I took a break last night and watched Harry Potter: Order of the Phoenix... I was a might bit disappointed. The movies have tended to follow the books but this last movie deviated from the book a lot. cool effects yes... but it lost some of the great parts of the story. Afterwards I was coughing pretty hard. This has been pretty normal for me. I went to the bathroom to use some tissues.... and ended up getting violently ill.... thankfully Mike came to the rescue and held my hair back as I lost dinner and dessert...he helped me into bed and got me a cold cloth and was extremely doting.

I'm feeling fine today but boy, was last night yucky.

Thank God for wonderful husbands!

Well, Libby just bit her finger and Samuel is roaming away. Duty calls. Just a brief update. BTW- Samuel got out of the hospital on Monday afternoon and just finished his steroids last night. he has a follow-up with his doctor tomorrow.

He's so cute.

 
 
 
This is the munchkin before he lost his curls. I just love these pictures. He started crawling around after Libby. Don't you want to bite his cheeks!
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Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Tea with Friends.

 
 
 
One of the highlights for me on my trip to CA in August was having tea with Kelsey and her younger sister Shannon. We went to a superposh teahouse which was seriously overpriced but it was so fun to get to take Shannon out for a proper tea. I enjoyed the flair with which the place was decorated and the little extras like flowers on our sandwich tray. I love going to tea! Let me also mention how absolutely ecstatic I am that I'm going to have Kelsey for a week to myself. She's coming up Jan. 5th and leaves on the 12th. I can't wait to see you Kels!
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Quick update.

Samuel is home! We came home Monday afternoon. I'm tired and exhausted as I was up with him at 4 a.m. His cough is still something fierce but the junkiness is gone. Still has a little retraction and a slight wheeze. We follow up with the doctors on Wed. or Thurs. Trying to decide if the kids and I will go back early to VA. Might be nice to see friends and family for a bit and maybe get some R&R. If you didn't get the opportunity check out my china doll listed below the post on the twins. I posted it after the twins but wanted to make sure people got the news...

Friday, December 07, 2007

Birthdays with Jesus.


Well, today wasn't anything of what I expected. All my plans and good attentions went down the drain when Samuel was up coughing all night. We were debating whether or not to take him to CHOP (Children's Hospital of Philadelphia). So this morning, we rushed and dropped off Libby at a friends (Sonya). Mike took me to my specialist appointment and dropped me off and then headed down to take Samuel to the doctor's to get checked out.

I waited almost 2 hours before I saw the ultrasound technician. Mike was finished with Samuel and waiting in the car outside while I was waiting to be seen. Mike said Samuel needed an x-ray at the hospital and was to be checked for pneumonia. I got called back for my ultrasound.

i told the technician that one of the things we were trying to do was to make sure there was just one baby. She asked me how I would feel if I had twins... I told her it would be exciting but my hands are so full with two little ones as it is. She then proceeded. It was quiet and I was straining to see the screen. I thought, "hmm, just one." And then she said it...

"YOU'RE HAVING TWINS!!!!!"

I started to cry. All the emotions of the day poured in. It felt like a gift from the Lord to find out today on my sister's birthday. It was like a comforting response to know that God did love me and have good plans for us. I called Mike and told him the news. The appointment finished, I ran downstairs and hopped in the car. We drove to CHOP.

We waited in the E.R. for a little bit and then were given a triage room. Soon after Mike started throwing up. Our friend David came and picked him up and took him back to his house so Mike could sleep. Mike came back at 7:30 that night. We stayed in triage until 8:30p.m. and Samuel was admitted into the hospital. Mike and I left an hour later to get dinner and pick up Libby and head back to the house. Mike is staying the night with Samuel and I'm staying at home with Libby.

I thought today would have been a time to reflect on my sister and to grieve and to thank God for her. I didn't know what this day would hold. I thought I would have some time to myself or at least eat some icecream or watch a sad movie or something. Instead my whole little family is sick and I just found out instead of 2 children, I'm going to have four! We are a family of 6! Crazy.

Well, I know Libby is spending her birthday with Jesus. I can only imagine the kind of party she is having. I'm sure she's blowing kisses at me and giving big hugs. She is definitely not lacking anything and I bet she's getting the best chocolate and the best ice-cream up there. Hopefully she'll save me a big piece for the day that I get to spend a birthday in Heaven.

Thursday, December 06, 2007

My China Doll.

 
 
 
 
Libby was given a dress from her "Auntie Michelle" in China. I love when she wears it. It's such a beautiful color and the silk is so soft. I especially love the picture of her whispering/kissing Mike. I hope someday we can go and make a trip to China. I would love for my family to experience what I have.
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Wednesday, December 05, 2007

The good and bad.

The good things about today:

My doctors appointment went really well. They even called me to come in earlier than expected. I loved the mid-wife I saw and she was gracious and sympathetic and actually angry that the scheduler didn't get me in sooner. I heard the baby's heartbeat quickly and strongly. My blood pressure was perfect and I've actually lost more weight. I am being sent to a perinatal specialist on Friday where they will do an ultrasound as well as evaluate my high-risk situation. It's for a couple purposes for the ultrasound but one of the reasons is to make sure I'm not having twins.

Libby got to go and be with her teacher today and her kids. she had a good time playing and came home with a peppermint candy cane which she practically inhaled.

I got to talk to my friend Sara from Sweden this afternoon. Good lengthy chat.

My friend Sonya made the most delicious dinner. Chicken with seasonings of some sort, green bean casserole, stuffing, and home-made rosemary bread (the best ever!) and chocolate cookies... delish.

The rough things:

Feel absolutely horrible.

Had several tearful break-downs.

If someone tells me to rest again I'm going to shove the kids at them and say, okay, now I can rest.

OBGYN thinks I have upper respiratory infection.

Kids still sick, yelling, and difficult.

Mike has finals. We are so stressed and edgy with each other. I think I could die from the stress but am afraid I won't.

I haven't died and I'm not with Jesus.


So there it is the good and bad things. Hope you enjoyed my little summary.

Tuesday, December 04, 2007

Yes friends, the sky is falling.


Well we moved. It happened. We are finished with Penrose and the place was sparkling when we left. I am exhausted and sick and the kids have the croup. Saturday night there was literally only space to walk to our bedroom and to the kids room. a small narrow path...kind of what I imagine the path of righteousness to look like. That narrow. The gap has expanded now and it is more manageable due to a little help by me and a lot by my beloved. The stress is on. Mike has finals this week and next. I took the kids to the doctors yesterday and I head to my OBGYN tomorrow. So yes, finally I will be at the doctors...I must confess a temptation to fear. I'm worried that something is wrong... a very normal fear I am sure. Yet, I'm also worried they won't even know if anything is wrong for another 4 weeks or so (the next appointment) when I actually get an ultrasound.

I'm tired and feel like crap, crap, crap. My throat is sore. I'm sniffly and all I want is to be waited on hand and foot... okay, I'd settle for just being allowed to take a nap. Instead I get to wait hand and foot on my two bambinos... not that its' not a joy but when you feel like throwing up and your head's pounding and you can barely breathe you start to become afraid that you'll snap at the next, "Mommy!" or "Waaaaaahhhhh!"

This too shall pass.

Christmas is coming up and I'm feeling a sense of sadness... Why you might be asking... Well, it's hard when everywhwere you turn people are shopping or talking about gifts or buying trees. The bills have piled. I'm hoping that we'll be able to pay them and rent. I'm hoping that we can just make it. It's been so tough to always be BARELY getting by. To hope that there will be enough for gas or food or rent. Can't I just wave a wand? I am reminded though continuously that my provision comes from the Lord and that I am dependent on His faithfulness and goodness and mercy and that He WILL come through.

Seminary is not for forever but that doesn't mean that the trials and stresses and struggles go away when it's over. There is also the struggle of having plenty... right now that is not are burden... but I am thankful though that God has continued to provide... continued to sustain us and provide more than enough...

So fatigue, hormones, and downright yucky sickness are mine to bear for today. But not for always. This too shall pass. someday I'll be at the end of my life, looking back, and smile with fondness at these times, these years. So, I'll just enjoy where I am, surely my boundaries have fallen in pleasant places. So here's a smile for you and while you're at it can you pass me a tissue? We're all out :)