Sunday, December 30, 2012


Last weekend my brother and his girlfriend Leslie got engaged! We could not be more excited for them. There were Christmas lights, a campfire, hot chocolate, s'mores, a gorgeous diamond ring, 16 degree night, a nervous boy and one very surprised girl. My dad, brenner and cousin Tim helped set the stage and then hid in the bushes. My mom and I joined them too after the proposal for s'mores. So fun!! We love you Chris and Leslie!

Thursday, December 27, 2012

Monday, December 24, 2012

Christmas Eve.

It is Christmas Eve and the kids are all sleeping. We went to church for the Christmas Eve service and I left the party early to put the kids to bed. This resulted in my missing the Christmas Eve dinner at Brenner's uncle's house. I wanted to stop at subway but they were closed. good for you, subway. bad for me. I stopped at 7-11 since they usually have some deli choices (it was slim pickings, folks). Apparently I shopped at the worst 7-11 ever. They had nothing good....except slurpees. So, yes, I got a Christmas slurpee. Now, with my angels sleeping, I am going through my photos and counting my blessings. I am looking forward to Christmas tomorrow to spend time with family, to laugh, to eat yummy food and too much sugar (although that is nothing new), to read Luke 2 as a family, to blow out candles on Jesus's birthday cake ( or pumpkin pie in this case) and to spend the day celebrating the life of my savior. I am thankful for my family to spend this special day with.

Saturday, December 22, 2012

what christmas means to us.

my perspective of christmas has changed this year.  
it wasn't until this year that i have really taken the time to think about how i want to teach my kids about christmas, i guess since cole is getting older.  but in the past year, i have changed so much. 
been a student of the Lord and grown so much. 
and as a result, my perspective on many things in life, including christmas, has changed and been formed.  

last week i went to a cookie exchange and came home with lots of yummy cookies.  
sorry, no pictures, we were too busy eating cookies.  
but we did have some good discussion about christmas and its true meaning.  we were all going around sharing some of our christmas traditions and i shared about our advent calendar that we started this year and our daily scripture devotional to go with it.  i was able to share how our focus is on Jesus.  
i think a lot of the ladies were surprised to hear that we don't take the kids to see santa, that cole has in fact never been to see santa. 

in fact, we don’t play up santa at all and actually don’t even talk to cole about getting presents 
(don’t worry, he will get some presents).  
but he doesn’t know that he is “supposed” to get some.  he knows that santa is the man in a red suit and a beard, but has no idea that santa brings toys.  he doesn't know he is supposed to ask santa for anything. he doesn't have a wish list.   
and ya know what?  
i like it that way.  
i like that when you ask cole about christmas, he tells you about a manger in bethlehem and how mary and joseph had to ride a camel to the hotel because they didn’t have a car (he’s 3, cut him some slack).  i love that he looks forward to doing our advent calendar each morning and being able to put the special ornaments on the tree himself.  
we read about our devotional each day from our advent calendar and talk about jesus and that this is the reason we celebrate christmas.  

and i am not anti-santa.  i have santa ornaments and the clara has santa pajamas and as a fictional character he is fun.  but i am just don't like the idea of teaching my kids about something that isn't true.  especially when it takes away from teaching them about christ.  

don't get me wrong, we still love christmas and do lots of christmas things.  we have a christmas tree, hang ornaments, bake christmas cookies, and watch a couple of christmas movies.   
but that is not our focus.  
we don't spend our time teaching cole or talking to him about santa, elves, or having to be good to earn presents.

this year, we did not really buy cole any presents.  there were two things that i bought him last year that he really was not that interested in because he was a little young and so we are re-giving them to him this year.  and the girls really don'd need much so we got them one larger toy to share that i found a consignment sale and some new bloomers.  
plus each year we give the kids one ornament that represents them and what they are interested in.  this is a tradition that we had with my family growing up and we are continuing to do it with our kids.   obviously with the girls, they are getting their babies' first christmas ornaments.  cole is actually getting a set of two ornaments, a dump truck and a concrete mixer. 

(and brenner and i will be getting things too from family, i am sure. but we don't buy gifts for each other.  instead we decided years ago to take that money and put it towards the missionary organizations that our church supports.  and this year we also chose not to do christmas cards but to put that money towards operation christmas child, which was hard for me because i love christmas cards!)     

why no emphasis on gifts? 
because we have enough. 
 i know that there are a thousand things that cole would love and enjoy playing with and get lots of use out of at the toy store.  
but we don't need it.  
we have much, actually.
one of the things that i have been so convicted about over the last couple of years is needs versus wants.  
i used to think that i needed things.
things to impress others.   
things to make me look good.
things to fit in. 
things to make my home like the ones in magazines and on pinterest.
but the desires of my heart are constantly being purified and changed as i spend more time in The Word and less time on myself.  
and this is the best time of year to put into practice what He is teaching me. 

so my kid doesn't get lots of new toys?  
so what?  
will he love me less? 
will i look bad as a mom for not buying him the latest and greatest?  
will he not have what all the other kids have?
i don't care.  

everyday, cole exclaims, 'mommy, lets play together!!!' several times.  
some days are easier than others to stop what i am doing and say yes.  (because moms always have lots to do!!!) 
but the greatest gift that i can give him is time with me.  time with brenner.  time with his sisters. 
time where we laugh and play and be silly.  we go for walks and bake cupcakes and paint and get messy in the dirt. 

this year, and i hope every year, i am choosing to say no to the need for things.

and things will surely get harder in the future as he gets older and wants more things.  but starting this way now, we hope to teach him early what is and is not important about christmas.

i know that i am probably ruffling a lot of feathers here.  
actually, i am sure of it.
i know so many wonderful people who promote the idea of santa and magic and the north pole and the nice and naughty list.  and who do all this while also teaching their children about jesus's birth. 
but i am saddened to hear of the hours that are spent shopping, waiting in line to see santa, setting up stunts for the elf and many of the other things that we can get consumed with during this season.  
hours that could be spent with your family, reading and talking and learning about the only real gift that we need, god's grace. 

 like i said, i know that many, maybe most or all of you, will think that we are crazy.  you totally disagree with us.  and that is just fine.  i am not judging my friends for what they are and are not doing for christmas.  but we have been convicted to really look closely about what we are teaching our children daily and that includes christmas and giving up some of the worldly things so that we can strive to be more like christ.  
and in this month of december, where we have been exposed to the horrors of our sinful world and watched innocent children die, where the world was supposedly coming to an end, and where, through tragedy of friends, i am reminded that i am to hold onto things of this world loosely and i am not guaranteed another day with my family, i am reminded why christ came.  
he was born to die for me, for my sins, for the sins of this fallen world.  
and i will celebrate that, and only that, to the fullest this christmas.

Sunday, December 16, 2012

10 months and taking off.

these sweet sisters are 10 months old!
 they have changed so much in the last month.
 they both have 2 teeth, have started sleeping better, are eating more solids, and are walking. 
they still crawl more than walk, but they are officially walking now and are getting better each day. 
help me, rhonda.
aren't twins supposed to be delayed?  why did they start walking at 9 months?
i am not sure i am ready for this.
we keep pushing them down, but they just keep standing up again.
here are my babies in action!

(photo shoots are also definitely getting harder each month.  clara thought is was hilarious to dive bomb off the chair throughout the entire time.  i kept catching her by her face.  
yes, you read that correctly.  
and elise refused to wear her bow.  
and they kept tackling each other.  
clearly they have been around cole too much.  
but hey, at least i got a few cute pictures!)

Thursday, December 13, 2012

turning a corner.

it seems we have turned a corner, my friends. 
i thought that the day would never come but it seems we have finally arrived at the day where I can say that things are getting easier.  the girls have started sleeping through the night.  
can I get an amen?  
actually, can I get a double amen?  
they slept through the night for the first time 2 weeks ago and they are consistently sleeping through most nights.  and when i say sleep through the night, i mean about from about 8pm-4am.  then i feed them and they go back to sleep until about 7-7:30.  
but about 8 hours straight?  
that is basically through the night.  i will drop their middle of the night feeding at closer to a year.  since they are so small still, i don’t mind feeding them one extra time for a little while longer.  
but once they started sleeping through the night, i decided it was time to stop pumping in the middle of the night too.  see, for 7 months i woke up in the night to pump at about 1:30-2am.  it allowed me to really store up a lot of milk in the freezer and it was totally worth it.  
but I am done.  
after months of every night getting up to pump, feed the girls and put the pacifiers back in their mouths several times a night, i am getting my sleep on these days and I am loving it!  

the girls are also playing more independently these days.  
they like to play with their toys a lot and are entertained more easily.  they love to play with cole too!  the three of them will take turns screaming and laughing at each other, which is hysterical and too cute!  but their ability to play by themselves has freed me up so much.  i no longer have to do everything with a baby (or two!) in my arms, on my hip or in a carrier. 

and since they are crawling everywhere, and taking their 1st steps (hold me), they are able to get their own toys, follow me and Brenner around, follow cole, and find their own pacifiers, all of which is actually helpful.   i think that with them being more active all day long and moving so much is helping them sleep better too!  people keep telling me that once they start moving things will get crazy, and i know what they mean in a way, but for right now, it is helping a lot.

as hard as it is to think about leaving the first year behind, that sweet precious first year of life, the closer we get to that landmark the easier things are getting.
i feel like I can breathe a little bit more these days.  
with a little bit more sleep and more independence for all, we have turned a corner.  
and here is my favorite new photo that completely sums up my life right now.  laughing, playing, tackling, naked hineys.  
life is good.

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

race time.

Over the weekend I ran in the Dallas half marathon with a friend. I love running and love spending time with friends so I feel so blessed to be able to have such a great friend for a running buddy. I enjoy our long runs because it means more time to talk! I didn't get a picture of us though! I did get a quick photo with my little man though after the race. And I felt so bad that brenner got all the kids up and out to see me cross the finish line and somehow they missed me! Cole keeps talking about it saying with his sad face, mom, I didn't see you at your race because you went too fast. Next time I will have to wear something neon so I will be easier to see!

Tuesday, December 4, 2012


I love clean babies. I love striped pajamas. I love reading stories as a family and lots of kisses. I love teaching cole about the bible and saying goodnight prayers. I love being in the room with my most precious gifts and saying, thank you Lord, for another day with them.

Monday, December 3, 2012


as seems to be my pattern lately, i did not get very many pictures over the thanksgiving weekend when my family was in town.  
but we had a great time, although colds were circulating among many of us, and the day after thanksgiving we went to a local fair at a community called homestead heritage.  
here is uncle adam and brenner with cole in the petting zoo area.

cole was carrying the puppy around the exact way that he carries his sisters!  

after this photo he turned to me and said, mama i want a bunny!
sorry man, you got two sisters instead that you get to smother with your love. 
we also had some good play time with aunt jenna!
and we got some awkward photos.  
it is all about making memories, right? 
akward photo number 1.   
 clara is giving us some tongue action.
 these girls love forced photo sessions!
 this happens a lot....trying to beat sister to the punch. 
or to mama in this case.
 elise is not happy.

 they seriously love cole's cars.  
it was great to have our family come to us this year.   
what a blessing it is to have such great family!

Sunday, December 2, 2012


our weekend kicked off a little early on Thursday when we went over to Baylor for their annual Christmas on 5th Street celebration. I had with me a husband who despises lines and a VERY excited 3 year old so we did not get a family picture in front of the giant red ornament ball like I wanted. 
Bummer.  Maybe next year. 
 But I got these two shots, although they are quite random.
the christmas camel in the live nativity scene.
cole is not so thrilled to stop running around for a quick picture. 
On Friday I went to an ornament exchange/advent kick off party doing A Meaningful Christmas. It was so much fun and I am so excited to be doing this for advent this year! I also took all three kids to the store for a few items to make THIS and we tried another new configuration with cole sitting up front with a baby. Overall it went well, with only one teeny threat of a spanking.  
and we put up lights in cole's room!  he loves them! 
a table full of ornaments.  
i will blog more about this after the advent season so i can show you all the pictures of the ornaments.  

Saturday brought the Baylor football and basketball games where we sported our green and gold proudly! Cole loves to cheer Baylor on and kept chanting B-A-Y Baylor bears fight! He keeps for getting the L-O-R every time. 
 Clearly we have work to do.
cole doing sic 'em bears after a touchdown!
little bear.
We also gave the girls their Christmas present early. Basically they are at the developmental stage where it is perfect and we didn't want to wait another few weeks. They love it! (And so does cole so we have had numerous 'lessons' on sharing new toys with sisters on this one.