Thursday, December 16, 2010


late reporting, but we have a brand new addition to the family...

brecken emmaline lane was born december 2nd at 10:33 am.  she weighed 6 lbs 6 ozs and was 19 1/4 inches long.  i miraculously made it to my scheduled c-section, and was 39 weeks, 4 days.  she was (and still is) a little peanut to be full-term, but is perfectly healthy.  she actually seems huge to us because she's the biggest baby we've ever had...twice as big as blakely was.

kennedy and blakely LOVE their new baby sister, but we've tried to keep them away for the most part.  we keep her in our bedroom most of the time since she sleeps so much anyway.  we want to get through her first month and get a little weight on her before we let the germs k and b bring home from preschool come on full-force.  we know we can't hide her forever, but with newborns being susceptible to rsv, we're trying to hold off for a few weeks.  it makes me sad because they both keeping making comments that "they're not big sisters" because they're not getting to hold her and change her diaper and feed her like they thought.  in time...
life with 3 is crazy busy for now, but we sure love our 3 little girls.

Sunday, November 21, 2010


goodness, it's been weeks since i've updated.  you'd think bedrest would mean hours and hours to sit on my computer, but a.) bedrest is a relative term, b.) i somehow find stuff to fill those hours and hours, and c.) shortly after bedrest began, kennedy spilled water on my computer and we had to take it to brett's computer guys who had to basically erase everything on it.  luckily, all of our pictures were backed up on a hard drive, but it's taken me forever to get around to pulling them off of that to post here.  a little updating...

- i'm still pregnant, and definitely feeling like that is quite a miracle.  i'm 38 weeks now and my c-section is scheduled for a week from this thursday, and if i make it all the way that will be just crazy, but i'm so thankful she's been able to stay in and grow.  i'm ready to not be nauseous anymore and to meet her and see that she is (lord willing) healthy, but i'm a little nervous about recovering from a c-section and figuring out life with 3 kids.  people do it every day, so i know i'll survive, but it's going to be a change for sure.

- humongous (hyoo-mong-guhs) - adjective: my belly.
i have no idea how it will stretch out any more than this.  i think my skin might rip.  i know it's this way for everybody, but i somehow forgot how uncomfortable the end is.

- lots of scenes like this around our house, and i'm sure many more to come.  we're guessing they might start taking a paci once the little one makes her appearance.  i know they're used to sharing the attention since there's 2 of them, but not so sure how they'll do with a 3rd kid entering the picture:

- still no nursery, but we've made progress.  the walls are painted (for the 2nd time because the first time didn't turn out quite as planned) and we're using one of kennedy and blakely's cribs, so the main thing left to do is pick out bedding, but i'm having a dilemma.  i hate pre-made sets and i don't want anything to look like it's supposed to go together, i've looked everywhere i know to look, and i can't find anything i like.  luckily, my mom can make anything, so all i have to do is find fabric, but i have a fabric i'm obsessed with and can't find it anywhere.  it's a random neckroll pillow that i bought at pottery barn outlet a few years ago because i loved it and it was like $5.  the problem is, i've never seen fabric i like better than this for the nursery, so everything i see i compare to it.  i called pottery barn headquarters because i was so desperate to know the pattern name, read a number on the tag to the lady i talked to, and she said "oh, that's the annabelle neckroll pillow" without typing in the number.  weird.  problem is that's all she knew, and she didn't know anything else about other possibilities in the collection.  i was so excited and made a mad dash to google to find that the annabelle i typed in was a different annabelle.  not sure why they would name multiple patterns the same thing, but apparently they do.  i went to ebay and typed in the same thing, and the only thing that came up was the same dang neckroll pillow.  now i'm wondering if they only used that fabric for a neckroll pillow, but who uses neckroll pillows and why would you waste an amazing fabric on one?  anyway, if anyone can help i will be ever so grateful.  the walls are painted horizontal stripes with restoration hardware pale silver (a really light gray) and a white semi-gloss, so the fabric would be so perfect.  here's the listing on ebay so you can see a picture of it, but it doesn't do it justice because you can't see the pattern very well:

i would buy like 20 of them and cut them up to make a bumper pad and crib skirt, but that would get kind of expensive and she probably doesn't have that many anyway.

- halloween: i'm really behind since it's almost thanksgiving now, but kennedy and blakely were brides and brett dressed as a groom to take them trick-or-treating.  they were quite the talk of the adorable little trio, if i do say so myself.  you may remember these "costumes" from their birthday party (gifts from papa and grammy).  we capitalize on the fact that our kids don't know it's an option to go out and get something new to wear for halloween, and we'll use their naivety as long as we can.

we carved pumpkins and they were pretty hilarious.  we let k and b draw the face and brett carved them.  here's kennedy's:



and the finished product (notice jay leno on the right):

- coach retired and i'm kind of sad: 

we haven't gotten to go to that many dacula football games between college, then living in orlando, then having 2 kids, but i loved the option of knowing i could always go re-live high school on a friday night.  he's been at dacula since i was in 6th grade, so it will be weird for him to not be a part of the program anymore.

k and b cheering for grandcoach with riley and ansley:

 - we went to a meeting 2 weeks ago regarding k and b's kindergarten for next year and yes, my heart has been ripped out of my chest just thinking about it.  the school we're 95% sure they'll go to is not much different than the pre-school program they're in now because it's only monday through thursday 8:30-12, but there's something about the word "kindergarten" that makes me panic and wonder where the heck time goes.  i know they're ready academically and will love it, but i feel like it's the first step in them going away forever.  dramatic i know, but i want to keep them 4 forever.

- at my current rate, next time i get on to blog, i'm pretty sure i'll have a baby, and in the spirit of keeping it real, my anxiety has been through the roof the past 5 weeks.  any big life change i go through throws me for a loop...not the change itself necessarily, but the unknown of what the change will look like.  i seriously get nervous about vacation because i don't know what it will be like.  i know babies are a blessing, and i mean it when i say i'm beyond grateful that god has granted me the privilege of carrying life, but i don't mentally smooth sail through much, and this is no exception.  the good news is i have a lot of new sermon recommendations that have gotten me through the past month for those of you with time to listen to them.

1.)  for the first week or so of bedrest, i about went crazy when forced to sit still.  i was fine when i was shopping online or watching TV or doing something to fill the time, but i hated that when i tried to quiet my heart all i could do was think about everything else i should be doing, and the irony is when you're on bedrest you're commanded to be still, so i had one be still.  that was it and i hated it.  so many people will tell you you're lucky and that they would love to be put on bedrest, but have you ever tried to sit still with your thoughts and not "medicate" your way through stillness with TV or internet or magazines?  even after church this morning, brett and i talked about how we wanted to begin instilling the discipline of sitting still in our kids after we watched high schoolers who couldn't be in church an hour without talking to each other or playing on their phones (wow, i sound old).  we live in a world where we never have to be bored.  i can't even sit at a red light anymore without picking up my phone and looking on facebook and i hate my discontent with being still.  one of the really good things that has come out of these past few weeks has been coming face-to-face with why my heart and mind are so busy, and this series met me where i am:

click on the series "slow"

i know i've talked about gary before on here.  he was the head of the ministry i was involved with in college, and i still go on and listen to most of his sermons.  i love every week of his teaching because of his ability to speak to my heart and point me to the hope of the gospel and not a list of "to-dos".  this next series is from his church too:

it's the current series "the journey"

i know there are a lot of sermons so far in this series, and i can't remember which ones have been best.  they've all been good, but i think my favorites so far have been "the journey of thirst" and "the journey of idolatry".  i've shared before about my struggle with medicating my way through life by running to things that don't seem that bad in action, but that are my way of trying to find life in things outside of christ: TV, shopping, being a good mom and homemaker, keeping a good reputation among people, you name it.  substitute the word "idol" for what i've called "medication", and this series speaks to the heart issue behind my fight to find life in sources other than the living god.

3.) tim keller's the prodigal god series:


steve brown's "the dark knight of the soul".  i don't know if "knight" is a typo or not but the sermon is really kindof goes along with the above series from northshore ("the journey") and he talks about the importance of not running from dark and hard times in your life.

i don't think there's a whole lot more that has gone on with us the past month.  our christmas tree is up and all gifts are bought, wrapped, and ready, and our closets are stocked with diapers and all other baby essentials, so now it's just a waiting game.  i know we'll have a busy month ahead as we welcome a new family member, and i'll try to stay more updated on the first weeks of her life.  hope you've had a good weekend (actually month...ha!).

Monday, October 25, 2010

school pictures

i just got a link to kennedy and blakely's school pictures and laughed so hard i cried.  in all of the craziness of last weekend's hospital visit, i totally forgot that last monday was picture day.  i remembered after brett had already gotten them ready and taken them to school, and yes, when daddy dresses them, among all of the little boys' sweater vests and little girls' pretty dresses, my kids definitely have on 2 year old faded gray "life is good" t-shirts.  k and b aren't the most photogenic kids in the world anyway.  i mean, i love them and think they're adorable, but they're cuter in person than in pictures, so they could have atleast used a hairdo and outfit.  i e-mailed their teacher to apologize that their hair looked like a bird had built a nest in it and she said "well, we did brush it a little".  regardless, kennedy's looks like cotton candy blowing in the wind and blakely's doesn't look much better.  not the most flattering pictures they've ever taken, but i kind of want to buy them to remember a funny story.  i wish i could copy and paste them here, but i guess you have to buy the digitals or something.  if this link works, you can check them out here (blakely) and here (kennedy).

Monday, October 18, 2010


we have been beyond blessed during this time to have an outpouring of offers to help.  receiving is beyond awkward for brett and i both, but we're kind of at one of those places where we don't have a choice, so we couldn't be more grateful.  it makes me feel a little dramatic because it's not like i'm sick or anything, so it's humbling to sit on a couch and watch other people do things that you should be doing yourself.  my sweet husband hasn't sat down since saturday.  it's a tough job to run a household and own a business.  i have no idea how single or working moms do it all! 

brett's brother and his wife took kennedy and blakely to a fall festival saturday night and they had fun with riley and ansley...

brett's mom spent her weekend doing all of our laundry (and it was no small add to the chaos, our dryer has been broken for a week and we've been waiting on a new motor to come in for it, so a week of backed up laundry for a family of 4 is a bit ridiculous) and making us dinner and other treats.

my dad is taking k and b tomorrow, my mom is coming thursday to spend the day with us, and several friends are coming throughout the week to visit and have their kids play with k and b.  my kids aren't kids who will play while i'm sitting on the couch.  if i'm sitting, they want to be sitting right on top of me, which means i get to watch mickey mouse clubhouse because i don't trust much else on TV for my kids to see (and i feel guilty that they're sedentary for 6 hours straight).  we've had a million calls and e-mails from friends and other family offering to help, that i'm sure we'll be taking them up on soon, and we really do feel so blessed to be surrounded by people who love us.

Saturday, October 16, 2010

baby update

well, i'm going to have a lot of time on my hands to blog, so i can start with an update as to why!  brett and i spent last night at northside because i was having contractions every 3 minutes, and the doctor determined that i had started pre-term labor.  everything is fine and i got to go home early this afternoon, but my cervix is starting to thin, and i have to take medicine every 6 hours to stop the contractions, and i'm on strict bedrest for the rest of the pregnancy...lovely with 2 kids (actually, lovely in's so depressing!).  the good news is i'm 33 weeks tomorrow, so they really just want me to make it to 36 weeks, which means i'm really only looking at 3 weeks of this.  still, i'm nervous about her coming early because a.) she was measuring a week behind already, so i know she's not developed enough (enough to survive, but there is obviously risk of other complications if she comes soon), b.) i'm not ready for a baby (not that i would be in 2 months either, but i thought i had some more time to mentally prepare!), and c.) we still have a ton to do...she doesn't have a nursery, clothes, bottles, anything, and we haven't finished all of our "before baby" projects.  it's a little weird to go from life being normal and thinking we had almost 2 months left to realizing my hands are tied for the rest of the pregnancy and that we could have a baby any day now....a huge test for my need for control.  i'm probably being a little dramatic right now, but i thought this pregnancy was going to be different...apparently my body didn't get the memo that babies take 40 weeks to make!  i asked the nurse why i can't seem to carry to term and she said that the baby may just not have any room left (i'm 5'4" and 5 feet of that is legs, so it's true that i have no torso space, but i fit 2 in there before)!  we're really not sure what's going on, but please pray that she can hang on a little longer and develop fully!  we so want this time around to be different, with a full term baby and no time in the NICU.  i'll update when i know more.  have a good rest of the weekend!

Thursday, October 7, 2010

field trip

well, i didn't have jury yesterday, so got to tag along with k and b on their first field trip (i've been asked a lot since my last post why it was a wednesday...i guess fulton county does it a day at a time instead of a week?  not sure, but the recording on the phone said since i was on standby and didn't have to report "my service has been completed" so i'll take it).  we journeyed to a farm in gainesville that had pumpkins and goats and christmas trees.  some pictures from the adventure...

getting ready to go:

blakely asking kennedy why she smiles this way for pictures:

we don't know how to break it to her that it's a little fake because she thinks it's so beautiful:

with their friend kendall:

learning about magnolia trees and what they need to grow:

planting the tree:

blakely taking it all in:

kennedy getting ready for her turn to dig:

with their friend jane.  she was their stand-in triplet for the day:

class picture.  they were saying "hayride":

k and b and jane thought that was hilarious:

feeding goats:

getting ready for the hayride:

pretty scenery on the hayride:

feeding fish:

happy fall!

Thursday, September 30, 2010

daddy's day

kennedy and blakely had dad's day today at school.  they were so excited to have their daddy come to school with them for baseball themed crafts, popcorn, and cookies.  i worked one of the craft stations so got to watch all of the action.

speaking of school, their first field trip is next week.  what are the chances that the very first time i've ever had jury duty would be the very same day as the first field trip of their entire lives?!?  i'm so sad and praying that i won't have to go.  it's one of those where you call in the night before, and i don't know what i'll do if i have to miss watching them pet goats and learn about pumpkins and christmas trees.  i like to see their first everything, but i don't think fulton county cares about a mama's sentiments, so it's very possible that brett may be tagging along with all of the women. 

Monday, September 27, 2010

weekend re-cap

not much excitement around our house this weekend, but that's become the way i like it.  i used to feel like a loser when we didn't have plans, but the more i've accepted the fact that i'm a homebody at heart, the more i delight in a weekend with nothing to do.  it was so uneventful that i can't remember what we did friday night, but i know it involved k and b in bed at 7 and me in bed at 9.  saturday night one of our couple friends came over for a (bad) night of football.  the little cheerleaders involved brought us no luck...

and sunday was my favorite kind of day of all...the kind where you realize there's nothing more fun in the world than living with your 3 favorite people and spending the day hanging out and enjoying each other.  we turned our living room into a giant pallet, ate junk for dinner, and rented "alice and the chickmunks".  we were trying to find a movie that was kid-friendly but that brett and i wouldn't be miserable watching, and this seemed to fit the bill.  brett seemed a little more entertained by it than i was (and maybe than k and b were), but i had so much fun watching kennedy and blakely that they were entertainment enough.  they LOVE family time, and i soak it up because i know there will come a day they think we're dorks, and i love that it's their favorite thing in the world right now.  kennedy would laugh so big at things that weren't even funny just because she was so happy to be having a "slumber party", and blakely kept rolling over and hugging me as tight as she could, saying "you love me five thousand and twenty one (the biggest number she could think of).  you love me long as the cottage (how long it takes us to get to st. simons...her version of eternity)".  such sweet little girls.  of course the movie had a lot of singing and dancing, so this tapped into their love of the stage and we ended the night with all of the lights off and the flashlight out so they could have a spotlight on them as they performed for brett and i.  and one little side note...i realized they may be embarrassed by this baby in my belly and i had no idea.  at one point, blakely stopped the performance to say "ladies and gentlemen, my mommy only has a big tummy 'cause it has a baby in it".  random.

Thursday, September 23, 2010

family pictures

we got our family pictures back from my sweet friend katie!  they were meant to be maternity pictures, but i think there's nothing more awkward than posing by yourself, so we included the whole family in most of them.  here are a few of them (and does anyone know why these are huge and the ones from my camera are small?  we have the same camera).  thanks katie!  we love them! (and fyi, katie is offering her mini-sessions again in october, so if you need a picture for christmas cards, check out the info here )

Monday, September 20, 2010

grace upon grace

warning: don't read this post if you find it inappropriate for people to share too much information with people they might not know.  this is not a pretty part of the "life of the lanes", but a part of it just as well...

my depth of thought kind of took a hiatus over the summer.  i've enjoyed mothering kennedy and blakely, and enjoyed being brett's wife, and really relished my roles in this season, and sometimes when things are good, there's just not as much of a felt need to process life and go beyond get up, live the day, go to bed and do it again.  not that this is bad and we should walk around cornering people into deep conversations and being unable to relate to the world at large because we're in a bubble that a lot of people think is just weird.  happy seasons are that...happy.  and from a gracious god.  the past 4 years i might have had more of a chicken-little-the-sky-is-falling attitude about life because it just wasn't easy, and i'm thankful for a season that has felt good and restful...especially with our new little addition coming soon.  but for me, i become complacent easily...both with my relationship with the lord and with people.  i'm thankful to be thinking again because it makes me feel alive, but sometimes i unfortunately learn best through pain.

this summer, in general, i've found it easier than normal to be "good."  i know "good" is a relative term because different people have different struggles, but for me, it means not blowing up easily.  i just sat here for awhile trying to think of a prettier way to put it, but there's really not another way to say it.  i've struggled with anger my whole life.  it's a masculine struggle, and i would much rather say that the thorn in my flesh is materialism or something normal to girls, and while i go through seasons where things like that are more of a struggle than others, i think the biggest thing that keeps me seeing my need for a savior...not just to get me to heaven, but to continually rescue me from anger.  i don't go around getting in bar fights or even giving people dirty looks on the highway.  i care way too much what people think to let the world see that side of me. and it doesn't flare up every day or even every week.  my anger is much more dangerous because it's reserved for those in my very own house and they never know when it's coming.  and it makes me sick.

this weekend brett was out of town camping for a bachelor party.  i really hate being away from him more than i hate most things.  maybe i have weird attachment issues.  it's not that he never gets on my nerves, and it's most definitely not that we never fight, and there are times he might be happy to be gone so i don't tell him AGAIN to pick his freakin stuff up off the floor, but i don't like him being away, even for a weekend.  he's never away from me and k and b except to work (i swear i'm not a slave driver who traps him at our house...he likes us too and likes to be home.  i think :)) so i was really happy for him to get a chance to get away, especially doing something he loves.  i had a baby shower to go to saturday, so i knew i was taking the girls to stay with my mom and coach, then going back there to spend the night saturday night, but i wanted to make the most of friday night.  like i said, this summer has been sortof dry for me spiritually, and over the past 2 weeks, i've been learning a lot and thinking about a lot that i wanted to process.  so i decided that friday night would be a good chance to put kennedy and blakely to bed at 7 and have a few hours to spend reading and journaling.  so back to the anger.

like i said before, this summer was good.  no major life changes (i mean, yeah i'm pregnant, but she hasn't come out yet so she doesn't affect family dynamics), discipline with our kids has proven to work after 4 years of feeling like it might never, brett's business is going well, and i've not really had many low days (meaning feeling depressed).  there has been maybe a hard week here and there over the past few months, but nothing outside of what is probably normal for most people.  since life has been good, and my emotional state has been good, i've managed my sin well on the surface.  for me, anger is exposed during times of stress, which means i was angry with no means to pretend i wasn't for about the first 3 years of kennedy and blakely's lives.  it's well-known to my cyber friends by now that i didn't have the best first few years as a mom.  and anytime i feel out of control, since control is an idol i hold onto so tightly, it brings out anger in me.  on top of not settling well into being a mom, i've dealt with insomnia for 4 1/2 years now.  i need sleep about as much as a newborn.  seriously.  i never had a bedtime when i was little because i put myself to bed, and i was infamous in high school and college to pass out at 10 no matter how much fun everybody else was having.  i like sleep and i need a lot of it, but now without medicine, i can only sleep 3 hours a night.  well, as much as i hate taking medicine, i've found what works, and am able to sleep atleast 8 hours most nights.  i kind of have a formula that i know works for me to be emotionally healthy: adequate sleep, a healthy diet, daily exercise, and a good balance of time with my family, friends, the lord, and alone (i think some might call me high maintenance).  for the majority of the past 4 years, that balance was off, as i'm sure it is for most moms.  actually, most people for that matter.  well, the past few months, i've struck it pretty well, so i've begun to feel pretty self-sufficent (i.e. not much felt need for dependence on the lord).

i was feeling good about my plan to have a mini-retreat friday night.  i think i will earn more of god's love when i'm spending time with him.  no, i haven't fallen into bad theology.  i know in truth that nothing about that statement is true, but there is a felt belief in me as a recovering legalist that i will earn god's favor through working hard for him.  forget the cross and what it's already earned us as heirs, right?  the day was actually pretty good.  kennedy and blakely had school, so i went to my favorite class at the gym, had coffee with a friend before picking them up, came home and did a few loads of laundry and cleaned while they watched cartoons, took them to the pool that afternoon, then came back home so the 3 of us could have a girls' night sitting on the couch, watching hannah montana, and drinking hot chocolate (their favorite evening ritual).  while we were watching tv, they decided they wanted to write on their dry erase boards that my grandmother had just given them the day before.  they brought them to the sofa and i let them (key piece of information).  after all, it's hideous from all the times they puked on it as babies (don't worry if you've sat on it...we've cleaned and sanitized it a million times.  it's just really stained), so i'm not that picky with it, and we figure we'll get a new one when our kids are older, but let our house be lived in while they're little.  anyway, i went to the laundry room to put another load of laundry in, and blakely came in and said "mommy, i accidentally wrote on the couch a little."  and do you know why she was honest with me?  because the me she has seen over the past few months (because the poor kid seriously spills everything) has continually thanked her for being honest and assured her that it was an accident and i knew she didn't mean to, and that it was just stuff anyway.  the me of friday night blew up at her and told her she ruins everything.  she ran away crying and the saddest thing of all is that i didn't care at the time.  all of a sudden, my anger was tapped into and i could justify at the time that someone else had caused the anger in me; not that it was there, and someone living with me would naturally bring it out, but that my sin was okay because someone else made me do it.  and a 4 year old at that.  even as i write this, i can't get over the harshness of my words and the way she cried and the way i didn't care.  instead of comforting her in her tears like you would expect a mother to do for her child, i sent her to her room so she could further feel the weight of how she had screwed up.  i had been wronged and i wanted somebody to pay.  forget the couch is so gross the marker would just add character, or that we could flip the cushions.  it came down to the fact that there was sin in my heart and it was bound to be exposed.  how can my anger be so severe that i can break the heart of someone i would honestly stand in front of a train for?  after i cooled down, i went up to her room and talked to her about the way i had wrongly cast my wrath on her.  i told her that i was frustrated that she wrote on the sofa, but that she was not the one who made me angry...the anger was there and her negligence just brought it out.  when i told her it wasn't her fault and it was mine and i love her more than anyone in this world does we cried together...she with relief that i wasn't mad at her, and me over the ugliness of my sin.  i held her and let her cry and she let me cry and i told her how hopeless i am without god's grace.  it's always sweet to reconcile with my kids, whether it's my sin or theirs that causes the rift.  but every time it's my sin, i just keep thinking over and over "when is their grace going to run out?"  because before i put blakely to bed, i asked her if she forgave me, and her response was "of course mommy."  but how many times do i have to have this talk with my kids about my sin and the way it affects them and the way it shows me my need for a savior before they say "enough with this gospel and grace thing?"  so that's where i am.  i wish i had a pretty bow to put on it to say i learned my lesson and will never snap at my kids again and that they're sharing the gospel with others because of these talks.  but even with the endless well of god's grace for his children, sin still has consequences and still hurts those we love.  i'm still trying to figure all of it out.

so the night ended not with me self-righteously giving my time to the lord, but sitting before a god who knows the depth of the sins hidden in my heart (even when i'm doing well managing them), weeping over the hurt my sin caused my little girl, and receiving forgiveness that is completely undeserved.  yes, i learned a lesson about my constant need for dependence on the lord for anything good to come out of me, but i remembered too that there's a good chance my anger will well up again this coming week, either towards brett or kennedy or blakely.  and god knows it, and he still loves and forgives me...not because i'm good or did good asking for forgiveness this time or felt sorry enough for it...but because the fit coming up was nailed to the cross along with our savior, just like the last one.  i'm just praying to remember that and feel that because the pain of knowing how i hurt blakely and how there was a window of time i didn't care is still fresh and hard to let go of.

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

to brettlee

once upon a time, you were a georgia frat boy and i liked your old school royal blue new balances and jacked up tahoe.

i liked the surface, but wasn't easily charmed by your type.

we met, and something in me was drawn to you beyond normal outward attraction.

you dug into the depths of my heart and showed me what was there. you fought through the confusion, anger, and messiness even when i pushed you away and tried to make you run.

i knew you were unlike any other guy i'd ever met.

eight years ago today you asked me to be your wife, and a little over seven years ago we entered into an amazing (and difficult) covenant.

marriage is hard. it hasn't been all bliss by any means, and some days have been harder than others (remember that time we had twins and they cried for a year?).

but all these years later, you continue to wade through the muck of my heart. you've truly loved me in a redeeming way, and i can say without a doubt that it's been the best years of my life.

Monday, September 13, 2010

pregnancy sickness diet plan

i've been meaning to post this for quite awhile now, but just haven't gotten around to writing it all out.  for those of you who have never been pregnant, just remember it because although you may get by with never being sick, there's a good chance you will, and it's miserable.  i have so many pregnant friends right now that i can't really keep count, and i've told many of them i would pass this along.  i've been nowhere nearly as sick this time as with my twin pregnancy, so i don't know if it would do much for you poor souls who throw up multiple times a day, but it may be worth a try.  i lived on french fries and mcdonalds coke when i was pregnant with kennedy and blakely because i couldn't think of eating anything else, so i feel blessed that i've been able to branch out and focus more on nutrition this time.  it's a vital part of pregnancy, and i'm convinced that malnourishment from not being able to keep anything down is part of the reason i developed preeclampsia during my last pregnancy.

the internet is my favorite invention ever because i'm a researcher and am probably on google about 8 times a day to type in random questions: what can i use to clean hardwood floors, what's a good substitute for capers in a recipe, what disease do you have if your neck is stiff?  you name it, i've probably asked google about it, and i love learning new stuff in my quest for information.  anyway, about 2 years ago, i was diagnosed with pre-diabetes and high cholesterol...strange when i'm somewhat of a health freak, but i have a horrible family history.  i think vanity, which originally drove me to eat healthy and begin exercising nearly 10 years ago, ended up saving my health.  i would be way worse off if i hadn't of changed my lifestyle. after my diagnosis, i spent some time researching ways to naturally manage blood sugar issues so i will hopefully never develop diabetes or have to go on medicine.  after becoming pregnant this time, i began to research the causes of nausea in pregnancy, and according to my research, it's a combination of blood sugar swings and hormonal changes.  hormones are obviously inevitable in pregnancy, but my belief was that if i could manage swings in blood sugar, i could manage the nausea, so i combined the two periods of research to come up with a pretty effective plan.  i haven't gotten by with no nausea at all (and it's still here as i mentioned in my last post), but i only threw up on days i got lazy and didn't follow a plan similar to the one outlined below.  the main idea behind it is to eat small high-protein and high-fiber combinations, and to eat atleast every 2 hours.  i know that sounds crazy, and it is SO hard to force food down when you feel like you're about to puke, but i promise if you just push through it and make sure you keep the protein and fiber coming, you will be much better off.  again, for those of you who are keeping nothing down, it may not work.  i don't know if it would have worked for me with a twin pregnancy, but for those of you with nausea and occasional vomiting, it's worth a try.  it's a lot of food and a lot of calories so you're going to gain weight, but that's an important part of pregnancy...not fun but worth protecting a growing fetus.  and the amazing thing is that research has shown that protein is the key factor in preeclampsia prevention, so fighting nausea and toxemia seem to go hand-in-hand.  i'm still dealing with nausea, but i can tell a huge difference in days when my diet is stable and high in protein and fiber.  below is a sample includes plenty of protein, fruits and vegetables (heavier on fruits than veggies because that's so much easier for me to get down), and dairy.  i'm not sure about calories, but in my opinion, as long as you're not getting too many calories from junk while you're pregnant, you need whatever you can get down.  i've worked out pretty hard so far, so i may have needed a little more than normal (not to mention, i think i just require more food than the average girl), and you may need to adjust a little if you're not exercising:

7am: plain greek yogurt mixed with 1 chopped banana and 1/2 cup chopped strawberries

9am: kashi granola bar (i like the crunchy ones), 1 cup chocolate milk (i'm sure regular would be better but it has grossed me out the past 7 months)

11am:  2 hard boiled eggs, 1 kiwi

1pm: salad with 2 cups romaine or spinach, 1/2 cup chickpeas, 1/2 cup corn, 1/2 cup cherry tomatoes, 3 ozs. turkey or chicken, whatever dressing you can handle (i think everything tastes weird when i'm pregnant, so i usually have to do some type of simple oil and vinegar)

3pm: handful of almonds, 1/2 mango

5pm: string cheese, apple

7pm: i could give good suggestions...grilled chicken or fish, a baked sweet potato, and steamed vegetables or a salad, but dinner in the beginning was always whatever brett's mom had made us to keep in the freezer or whatever he picked up on his way home from work.  by this time every night i was on the couch.  now it's whatever i cook, which is different every night and usually whatever i know brett likes (and he's a meat and potatoes kind of guy)

9pm: 1 cup chocolate milk, 1/2 cup grapes, 1/2 cup cantaloupe

middle of the night: in the beginning, if i woke up in the middle of the night, i would eat half of a protein bar (i like zone or balance bars because they're free of fake sugars) so i wouldn't wake up as sick.

i know this sounds like a lot of work, but i just try and take one day every week to chop up all of my fruits and vegetables and boil a bunch of eggs.  this makes grabbing food quick and easy, and i'm much more likely to make healthy choices when it's right in front of me and ready.  plus, i've always got healthy stuff ready for kennedy and blakely's breakfast, lunch, or snacks (and i know i'm lucky that they'll eat whatever i do, but most kids will atleast eat fruit).  i had a lot of damage to un-do in them after those first few weeks of pregnancy when they lived on processed food and taco bell.  and obviously, this diet is me being an idealist, but i most definitely haven't followed it perfectly every's just a place to start if you know nothing about nutrition or haven't entertained the idea of trying to manage nausea with diet.  if you don't like any of the foods i wrote out, choose your own; just try and get in atleast 9 fruit and vegetable servings, 2 eggs, 3 servings of dairy, and 100 grams of total protein (all recommendations of the brewer diet for preeclampsia prevention).  also, as long as you're nourishing well, i'm of the school of thought that anything else is game.  i had an aversion to sweets in the beginning, but now a day doesn't go by where i don't eat cheesecake or ice cream or something because that's just part of the fun of pregnancy (i just try to manage portions because knowing you've got to lose the weight doesn't make it as fun to gain).

hope this helps!

Sunday, September 12, 2010

design change

the blog obviously has a new look, and will hopefully make it where everyone can read now.  i've had several people tell me over the past few weeks that they can't read our blog anymore...that it just comes up blank where posts should be and everything else is moved around to weird places...and after doing some research on the template i used, it seems to be a common complaint.  for some reason, the glitch just randomly occurred, and it only affects those using internet explorer 6.0.  anyway, maybe i'll get a custom look going one day, but i built one using blogger's basic template designer for now, so hopefully this one won't mess up.  hope you've had a good weekend!

Thursday, September 9, 2010

my babies are old

guess who started school yesterday? well, maybe not real school, but 4 year old preschool. they'll be going 3 days a week, and though i'm excited for some alone time, something in me was a little sad that they won't be with me every day. not sad enough to not be ready for school to start, but sad. they're just so sweet and funny and i have loved spending every day with them this summer. it's so fun for them to be at the age where dinner conversation last night revolved around them filling brett and i in on their day...what they did, who they played with, what everyone brought for lunch. they really have turned into little people.

k has perfected her fake smile

b shrunk 6 inches for this picture?

i went and got a much-needed hair cut and i'm still trying to get used to it. he kept the length, but wanted to cut it for a center part. i've had the same part since i was 15, so it's a little weird for me. not to mention, my hair grows forward (weird i know, and the reason it's usually in a ponytail), which means a huge swoop good for side-swept bangs but hard for anything else. i know center parts are celebrity-esque, but i'm not exactly a celebrity so unless it gets trained fast, it's moving back.

baby #3 is doing well, but i must say i'm over the nausea. it let up around 18 weeks, but for some reason it's back and here all day long. i do love all of the kicking though. she moves more than kennedy and blakely did from what i can remember, and since there was 2 of them i think she's going to be an active little thing. i scheduled my c-section for december 2nd. our due date is the 5th, and my doctor wanted me to schedule for between 39 and 40 weeks, so we picked the 2nd because it's k and b's half birthday. with my birthday obsession, i also celebrate half birthdays (mine happens to be brett's birthday eve), so it seemed perfect. part of the fear i had in having another girl was that she'll never be part of kennedy and blakely's connection. with a 4 1/2 year age gap i'm sure they'll love and adore her, and she them, but no one can get in on their little world. i thought since they'll always have the same birthday and be celebrated on june 2nd, we could atleast celebrate 3's half birthday so she's not totally left out. now it's just a matter of making it to almost 40 weeks, which i really can't imagine. we had k and b at 34 weeks, so it adds another month and a half to the pregnancy. we reeeeaaaallly don't want another preemie though, so hoping to make it all the way.

hopefully life will slow down enough where i can get back to regular blogging. i've missed writing down memories to share with family and friends and look back on. more updates to come soon (hopefully)!

Thursday, September 2, 2010

cfa gift card

if you didn't sign up for their e-mails when i posted about the trader joe's gift card, plum district has one today for chick-fil-a: $5 for a $10 gift card (again, atlanta area only). not trying to start a deal blog...just wanted to pass it along because it seems to be a fairly new website, but i've already seen gift cards to target, trader joes, and chick-fil-a, so it's worth keeping in the loop on what they have to offer.

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

a couple of deals

here are a couple of good online deals today. i know these are listed on other websites, but i wanted to pass them along in case you didn't come across them since they're time-sensitive. the first is today's groupon for orange county, which can be bought by anyone since it's an online deal. i know brett and i love going to movies, but it gets a little ridiculous that it's over $20 for us to go, on top of dinner and babysitting, so i'm excited for $4 movie tickets:

as i write this, almost 33,000 have been sold. i think the inventors of groupon have officially been successful.

the next deal is on a site i had actually never heard of, but it sounds sortof like groupon or living social or any of the other sites like that. today's deal is for atlanta readers only, and only one "per purchaser" (i'm trying to figure out if that means brett could buy one too? i don't know if i should chance it since they're mailing them and could match addresses), but it's a $10 trader joes gift card for $5. i know $10 doesn't go very far, but it's something:

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

more free art finds!

seeing as how i'm looking to do 2 kid/baby rooms on a budget, i'm really excited about this website i just came across! i'm looking for both the nursery and k and b's rooms to flow with the rest of our house...which means no baby look and nothing too matchy. i want a fresh, vintage look for both rooms, using pieces that can grow with them (or that i can use in other rooms of our house if they decide they want a new spin on their rooms when they're older with more of an opinion). anyway, that means the bulk of our investment will be on pieces such as pretty fabrics and light fixtures; not accessories. so i'm thinking for me, or any of you who love vintage (for a nursery or not), this is the perfect solution...

it's a free art project, put together by a girl looking for an antidote to the depressing state of our economy. when asked "why are you doing this?", she says:

"Well, I love art and I know you do too. I also know that when people start to tighten up the purse strings they tend not spend money on things that aren’t necessary for survival, things like books, magazines and art. But, art is important for your soul. It helps rejuvenate, it’s thought-provoking, offers inspiration and can generally brighten an otherwise dreary day among other things. In addition to helping brighten your day and put a little spring in your step, I want to help promote some of my favorite artists."

rest assured you'll be seeing the result of her hard work in the majority of my upstairs rooms!

Monday, August 16, 2010

10 random happenings

1. nevermind on the clock idea from my last post. it didn't work very well. shortly after we tried out our new plan, i slept one morning until 8:30, which NEVER happens. if i don't set an alarm to get up and have some alone time before k and b get up, they're my alarm clocks, so i usually see early mornings. i felt bad that they had probably been awake for 2 hours so i jumped out of bed and called upstairs for them to come down. they asked me why morning took so long to get here and i told them that they could have gotten up an hour ago, but missed 7:30. "well mom," blakely said. "when mommies and daddies put clocks in their little kids' rooms, their little kids don't know how to read them." oh, i see. thanks for the parenting tip, b. guess we'll try that again in another year or 2.

2. we have more house projects going on than we know what to do with. i think i can most definitely say i'm officially nesting. we are in the process of:

- re-doing our backyard (which i think we can safely say is on hold right now. we started the project, then found out we were pregnant, so it's on hold for the sake of the inside for now. i'll post pictures of its hideousness later).

- wallpapering our half bath. i'll post pictures when we're done.

- doing the nursery (the ideas are all in place thanks to my very talented friend kelly, who also deserves props for designing our half bath and k and b's we've just got to buy all of the stuff, paint, hang new light fixtures, and get everything in place.)

- re-doing kennedy and blakely's room. you might remember that this (along with wallpapering the half bath and re-doing our backyard) was on my new years' list. we still haven't done anything to it, and we don't want to do the nursery before their room and them wonder why this new baby who is invading their life gets a prettier room than they do. so now we have to paint their walls, re-finish their beds and nightstand, hang a new light fixture, and get everything up on the walls BEFORE we do all of the above mentioned work on the nursery.

3. did i mention we have approximately 14 more saturdays before our baby is here and all of the above projects (with the exception of the back yard) have to be done?! and many of those will involve georgia football so we won't want to be working? and we're not rich so we need to get creative to fit it all in the budget? ahhhhh!

4. i have started christmas shopping. our goal is to have all of our gifts bought and wrapped by november. we will probably have a scheduled c-section mid- to late-november, so if it's not done by then, chances are someone else will have to play santa this year.

5. i'm 24 weeks pregnant and starting to freak out about pre-eclampsia again. i'm not having any signs, but i know my chances of developing it again are higher since i had it last pregnancy, so i'm stuffing my face with protein every chance i get. and it's miserable. i hate eating when i'm pregnant, and could most definitely live off of fruit. i feel full all of the time already, so eating is only out of necessity right now. i wish it could be that way all of the time. why is it when i'm supposed to gain weight i hate to eat, but when it's time to lose the baby weight i'll have to work out 2 hours a day to off-set my love relationship with food?

6. we had family pictures taken again this weekend, and blakely proved her decision to be good starting when she was 4. she was an angel and posed for every picture. k was a bit of a pill, but you know one has to be off.

7. brett and i will celebrate 7 years of marriage this coming sunday.

8. k and b start school in a few weeks, and i think i'm ready. i had fun with them this summer and didn't think i would be, but i think summer's been long enough.

9. school aside, i'm just SOOOOOOO ready for summer to be over!!! i've been going through the starbucks drive-thru and ordering hot chocolate so i could pretend like it's fall. the first few sips make me happy every time and take my mind on a little retreat to the mountains. i can't wait for the weather change and football and comfort food and pumpkins and pretty leaves.

10. kennedy and blakely started gymnastics. i'll post pictures when i upload them. they're obsessed with learning it all and i'm obsessed with watching them. call it sad if you want to, but it's the highlight of my week.

hopefully i'll get some pictures posted of all of our random happenings soon!

Thursday, July 29, 2010

ramblings and a clock

i think i've had writer's block for the past 4 months. i always want to think of some clever way to update you on our lives, but nothing comes to me. i'm 30 now. sounds like big news, but it's really not. it's been a fun month of celebrating so i might go through withdrawals now, but i felt loved and special, and i like my new decade. i know i've said it before, but i didn't love my 20s. a lot of great things happened...i mean i met, dated, and married brett, lived in 2 states, had 2 kids, and got pregnant with another...but to me, atleast in my experience, there's not much that's more refining than marriage or parenting, so the good things came with a lot of growing pains. besides, more than circumstances has just been this awkward decade of figuring myself out. looking back on it, i had no idea who i was at 20 and before. i didn't know what i was thinking or feeling. i hated those personality tests where you had to answer questions about yourself. i always answered them based on who i wanted to be. i remember doing one in high school, and i answered all the questions that i knew would diagnose me as "orange"...the fun, outgoing life of the party, because that's who i wanted to be. i knew it would be dorky when blue won and showed my ridiculous need for order and organization and deep relationships and alone time. i like being 30 because i know that's who i am and i know who god made me has been the basis for the way my life has shaken out. i know without a doubt i married the man more perfect for me than anybody in the world, and i know the way god made me is what drew him to me. i know the friends that i've walked through these past few hard years with are the ones i've connected with because of my make-up. i don't always love my personality make-up on paper, and i hate that when there's silence in a conversation i say dumb stuff to fill the space because i hate the awkwardness of it, and i hate that even if i saw one of my very best friends at the grocery store i would act awkward because it wasn't a planned meeting, and i hate how moody i am. but i do like that with age i start to care a whole lot less about trying to change my personality to be cool. i'm way more comfortable being dorky, and it's so much more fun that way.

really there's not much more depth to offer about my thoughts on life lately. i know i come out with random speeches every once in awhile about my latest revelations on life, but those usually happen when i'm not doing so well because that's when i'm forced into deep introspection and times of growth. pretty obvious why we're to count trials as blessings, huh? but right now, life is just good. i hesitate to even write those words because i know in 4 months, when our new little butterbean is here, i could be a psychopath. you know i didn't have the best experience with newborns before, so i'd be lying if i said i wasn't a nervous wreck. i've been fine up until now and could kind of pretend i'd never really have to take care of this baby outside of her living in me, but something changed when we found out the sex. i started to feel her move about the same time, and she became real and i remembered that she was going to actually come out, and i think i forgot how to take care of babies. i'm in a groove now with kennedy and blakely, and it's safe to say it's easy and fun and there are not many days anymore where i want to pull my hair out. there are some, but not many. as you know, blakely has been our difficult one most of these 4 years, but something has happened to that kid. she told me when she was 3 and horrible that she would start being sweet when she turned 4 and she did. she wasn't lying. we have had very few problems out of her since her 4th birthday. it just had to be her idea. we've had more problems out of kennedy, but i think that's been her adjusting to how to function when her role wasn't "the good one" anymore. we've tried lately to give her more attention so she can start seeing her value in other ways than good performance. i think it's going to be a lot of years of figuring out their dynamics as they get older and trying to parent them as individuals accordingly, but for now, i think i'm just in a honeymoon phase. i love to watch my kids talk and play with each other and can't believe there was a day i didn't like them. maybe it feels so good because the first 3 years were so hard, but i'm just in a sweet spot right now. not only are k and b sweet and fun, but pregnancy is good. i never understood people who said they liked being pregnant, but it's got to be because of this 20ish week mark. the nausea ended about 3 weeks ago and i only get sick now if i go longer than 3 hours without eating. zits, heartburn, and the uncomfortable hugeness aren't here yet, so i'm in that good in-between spot where i can still work out hard and do pretty much whatever i want to do, and sometimes i forget i'm pregnant. i'm trying to soak it up right now because believe me, i know what's to come and i DREAD it! i've never known misery like the heartburn i had at the end of my first pregnancy, then once the baby's here, i know it's no sleep for awhile, and then i get to create a new rug for my bathroom floor when the baby is 3 months old (for those of you who've never had a baby, or who's baby is less than 3 months old, get ready. the clumps of hair that fall out everytime you touch your hair are ridiculous. my hair's really thick and i really think i had a receding hairline). anyway, kind of like all of the lessons learned in my 20s, i know it's all for good and i'm excited for this new little life, but i know i better enjoy the bliss of these next 2 months before the hard times come. then again, maybe it was twins and won't be as bad as i think, but i like to prepare myself for the worst so i can be pleasantly surprised when it's better. for now, i'm just enjoying life as it is.

onto lighter things...we put a clock in kennedy and blakely's room yesterday. they're crazy early risers. they wake up at 6 or 6:30 most mornings, and they don't wake up and read books quietly in their bed. whoever wakes up first wakes the other up, then it's time for one of their concerts. they get on the stairs and sing, or come downstairs and talk reeeaaaallly loud. i guess they missed each other while they slept and have a lot to catch up on. it hasn't been a problem so far, but we realized that it's not going to fly when our new little one is here. i don't know yet what kind of sleep schedule she'll be on, but it will obviously be different than theirs and we're trying to start teaching them to be quiet and respectful while others are sleeping. anyway, brett showed them what 7:30 looks like on their clock, and told them that's when they get to come downstairs, and until then, they are to play in their room. they don't like this new idea. this morning i was sitting on the couch drinking my coffee and was entertained by their conversations revolving around their new clock. i think 7:30 is the only number they recognize so they were scared to death to miss it in case it passed without them seeing it. they must not have taken their eyes off of it because i heard one of them say something about "seven thirty" every 45 seconds, and every 50 seconds kennedy yelled out "i'm 'hongry'". when it was finally time for them to come down, blakely informed me that she wanted to come down at "that different o'clock. not that thirty o'clock. it took too long". i kindof like our new system and am excited about quiet and peaceful mornings.

have a good rest of the week and weekend!

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

it's official...

...the next 20 years are going to be full of drama and crazy emotions! it's definitely a little girl. she looks just like kennedy and blakely did in their ultrasound, button nose and all, and believe it or not, it made me excited for another wild little girl to follow her sisters around (and maybe be different and calm, but that would just be too weird in our house). brett already says he can't get a word in between me and k and b, so can you imagine!? now it's time to dig out the few clothes i have left over from k and b. i gave most of them away because i swore when i had 2 screaming babies for 7 months that i would never go through this again, so she may spend the first 6 months in a diaper, but that's how we roll with our babes anyway. as i write this, blakely is running circles around the house with nothing but her "hair" on, and just came in to tell me "guess what i just did? i stood up on the toilet to tee tee" and now kennedy just ran in naked and stood up on my bed to demonstrate what blakely just did. this little girl has no idea what she's in for!

Thursday, July 15, 2010

perspective check

i was just reading a blog that i keep up with {fly through our window} and came across this post and video (scroll to the post from july 11 and the video is at the bottom). i don't know this family, but you've got to click on the video of hannah grace's princess party. i could compose myself while the video showed other people or details of the party, but there's no seeing her tired little face and not sobbing like you know her. and to think that she is k and b's age and to know the energy and life of a 4 year old. i just can't imagine how painful it is for these parents to watch their little girl suffer. it's the hardest i've cried in quite awhile, but a much-needed perspective check and reminder to soak up the time we have with the little lives we take for granted.


today wraps up kennedy and blakely's last day of vacation bible school at mimi and gdaddy's church. we had a parents' night open house last night where we went through the "worship rally" they do and got to watch them jam to all of the little songs they've learned this week.

they have come home every day talking about this dog. they loved him! shocking given their repulsion to the chick-fil-a cow and monkey joe and chuck e. cheese...

i love when they have a new experience like this because it gives them weeks of new material to spark their imaginations. ever since i picked them up today they've been performing their "yee haw" song and making name tags with sharpies and masking tape to put on all of the fake kids they seem to see. they went to another vbs a few weeks ago and they're still having fun performing all of the songs. we had some people over a few nights ago to do some survey stuff and as soon as these strange men walked in our house, they threw on their "hair", climbed on the fireplace, and started performing. they seriously still think everyone that comes in our house has been invited to their performances. definitely no confidence issues with these girls.

Monday, July 12, 2010

lots of updates

gosh, it's been forever since i've updated on our lives. summer has been way busier than i expected. i was afraid of getting bored, but no time for that. i'm trying to soak up my last few months with 2 kids. i have a feeling life with 3 is going to be a little crazier.

first of all, i went to the doctor a few weeks ago for my 16 week check-up. i was supposed to just hear the heartbeat, but the doctor couldn't find it because i had to pee. seriously, my bladder was too full. i had to wait forever, just like every other time i go to that place, but i'm afraid to leave the waiting room in case they call me and can't find me, so my bladder was about to explode when i finally got back to see the doctor. brett didn't come to this appointment, so when the doctor told me they were going to have to get me in for an ultrasound right away, i was excited at the thought of finding out the gender 4 weeks earlier than expected, but sad that brett wasn't there. not to worry though. we have yet another stubborn kid on the way. baby wouldn't cooperate, despite the ultrasound tech beating on my belly with that gadget they rub on you. i think i stopped breathing for about 3 minutes, half hoping it would help, half not able to from my nerves, but the umbilical cord was between its legs. she looked and looked, then announced that she "thinks it's a girl". she said she "wouldn't go out and buy anything", but she's so frickin conservative that she wouldn't even guess at our last appointment because it can be wrong, so i'm kind of trusting her on this one. i will admit that i was a little sad the rest of the day. everything in this pregnancy points to a boy, and we've asked god for a boy, but that might just not be his will for us right now (or ever, but i have a hard time saying that). selfishly, i wanted "permission" to never be pregnant again, but we would love to have one of each, so i guess we're keeping our options open now, and i'll possibly get to have the stomach flu for another 3 months :) of course, the tech could have been wrong, and it could still be a boy, but i can honestly say, not because it's the socially correct thing to say, but because i really mean it, that i'm totally happy with either. it's not the script we would have written, but neither was having twins, and nothing in this world brings me greater joy than watching my sweet little girls grow up together. besides, when i watch them, i wonder how on earth i could ever not want another one. i love little girls, and i'm sure i would love a little boy too, but we've just got to trust that god knows what he's doing. not that i'd be sad if we go back in a week and she was wrong...

on another note, our kids have switched personalites for the 49th time in their 4 short years. blakely is an angel now and kennedy is a rebel. i'll never figure these kids out, but i wish they would have a meeting and decide to both be sweet for a few days on the same day. i sure do love them though. have i told you lately how much i love 4 year olds? life is so fun right now, every day of it, and i'm trying to take it all in before it's time to figure out life as a family of 5.

onto other fun things going on, brett's countdown of my 30 days til 30 has begun. yep, the end of this month i'll enter the next decade. i could do without the "fine lines" that have decided to find their way to my face since having kids, but i'm excited about my 30s. i think the 20s are hard and confusing and 10 years of trying to figure out who you are, and i've learned more than i ever thought i would, but i wouldn't want to do it over again for anything. i LOVE birthdays, and everyone who knows me knows that includes my own, and my sweet husband never fails to celebrate it well. he says it's his favorite holiday (sweet, right?...probably not true, but sweet words and i'll believe they're true if i want to), and he's the best gift giver/surpriser i've ever known, so this year was no exception. his plan was to give me a gift every day for the 30 days leading up to my birthday, but he started the countdown off with this... i'm thinking the gifts will go downhill from here :) and how adorable is the little bow on this humongous car (and you can't see but it says "happy birthday")? needless to say, it was a fun surprise, and my other tahoe didn't have a third row or dvd player, so this one will make hauling 3 kids around soooo much easier. he called this my "birth month" gift, then made a good observation about months...this means i've seen 30 julys. if you're 30, doesn't it seem like you've seen july so much more than 30 times? such a random thought he came up with, but i thought it was true and it made me giggle, so i thought i'd share.

and finally, another reason i've been out of touch is we spent the last week and a half in st. simons. the first week we were there with my mom and coach, aunt and uncle, brother and sister-in-law, and cousin and his friend, then brett's dad and stepmom came down for the weekend. k and b hate the beach, and i'm secretly glad. the beach is great if you can take a chair, book, and cooler and spend the day there, but with kids, by the time you load everything up, haul it to the beach, and sunscreen them up, it's time to go back in for lunch and naps. they hate the sand getting them dirty and brett and i are right there with them, so we spent most of our days at the pool. good news is k and b pretty much learned to swim. i wouldn't throw them in the deep end or anything, but they do pretty well if they're in the shallow end and can touch when they want to. brett had to work some, but he was able to spend a good chunk of most days with us. some pictures from our trip...

heading to the pool in the jeep

in a silly face phase

with gabby at bubba garcias

wiped out

gabby and grandcoach

k at the playground

b at the playground

b dramatically telling one of her intense stories


b. and yes, i think they look adorable in pigtails, but they won't leave them in for anything.

we have another appointment in a week and a half to find out gender for sure, so i'll update soon! happy july!