my normal these days.

I love having twins.  Honestly, I wouldn't trade it for the world!  It's an adventure of a lifetime.  I know I am so, so blessed.  And, I know that so many people would kill to be in my shoes.  It has stretched me in more ways than I ever imagined.  It has unified Jordan and I so much.  We had to learn to work together in everything.  How to support each other, work through being frustrated with each other and raise tiny humans together!

But, y'all.  It.is.hard.

I thought we had survived the extremely difficult phase.  We made it through breast feeding and pumping (my pump - i.e. my third child...) every three hours, getting them to gain weight, figuring out sleeping and schedules, how to travel with two babies and how to conquer Costco and Hobby Lobby.  

Things honestly started getting easier.  The breast feeding moved into kids meals from Chickfila, we figured out the best way to go places, duties started being divvied up without having to discuss who was going to do what, and we learned what to expect.

Except, now?  It's getting hard again.  I'm not discrediting the difficulties in the beginning because they were seriously hard.  And this isn't harder...but it feels like I'm entering Round 2.  

I read this article yesterday and it is so accurate of what it looks like to have twins.  It describes my life. Seriously.  It's funny.  But so true!

And, if you don't believe me, how about a story from yesterday?

It started with a tough morning - nothing huge, just overall it was difficult.  Which resulted in my father-in-law taking me to pick up my car (the oil was getting changed) while I cried the whole way there.  Poor guy.  He handled it really well.  As I sat beside him silently, trying to pull it together.  But really, let's not get into all that, just needed to set the scene for you...to let you know where my nerves were.  SHOT.  At 10 a.m.

After getting my car, the boys and I ran to the post office to send some Moxie Made packages (I've got something exciting in the works!  Eeeekkk!).  I get both of them out, hold their hands through the parking lot - with my packages under one arm and my clutch under the other arm.  We get inside and they proceed to run around in circles in the small area - trying to pull every box and envelope off the display racks.  Thankfully, our post office is not super busy and all the mail workers are incredibly sweet.  We finally get the packages shipped and head out to the car.  

I was putting Tate in the car first, so I looked down at Crews and asked him to stand in the pocket between my legs and the car door, thinking he couldn't get around me.  Just as I sat Tate in his car seat, Crews bolted around my legs and out behind my car where other cars were pulling in and out.  It sent me into a panic.  So, I turned to grab Crews.  As I grabbed him, I heard Tate cry out.  I turned around to see Tate falling head first out of the side of my tahoe (only important because it's up off the ground quite a bit!).  Thankfully I caught him just before his head hit the asphalt.

So yeah...

We drove straight to McDonalds for a sweet tea.

project 52.47


fearless.


I figured out while we were at the beach that y'all are absolutely fearless.  You run straight to the "mine" (the word both of you use for water - so strange but sweet :)).  You take off sprinting as soon as your feet hit the sand and once you hit the water, you keep on running.  You don't want to hold someone's hand.  You don't want to be stopped.  

And honestly?  It was exhausting because it meant someone had to be right on your heels every second.   And it was even scary at times because if I took my eyes off you for one second, you were headed into the water.  

But, even more than both of those things, it was amazing.  
To see your eyes light up when you took off running.
To hear your squeals of delight when your feet touched the cold water.  
To watch you laugh when the waves came crashing towards you. 
It.was.pure.joy.

It is so representative of how I want life to be with y'all.  I am so, so glad that you are fearless.  God did not create His people to be timid and worried.  And I am so thankful that already you are embracing this life that you've been given.  For you (and for me) it is going to be exhausting at times.  And scary.  Just like it was at the beach.  But, so much more than that, it's going to be pure joy.  

I want to embrace this life fearlessly with you.  
Not holding you back by worry or fear.  
But instead, encouraging you and watching you live.

A Parent's Checklist

I attend a bible study every week called Bible Study Fellowship (BSF).  It's a phenomenal program that is worldwide.  One of the coolest things about it being a worldwide program is that people all over the world are studying the same chapter of the same book of the bible each week.  They operate under a 4-fold approach.  There are notes that you take home to read, a lesson you complete each week, a small group that you meet with and then a lecture that you hear as one big group.  The lectures are so, so good.  They also have an unbelievable children's program.  Even as young as Crews and Tate.  It's not just babysitting for the hour and a half.  It's structured time of singing hymns, telling a bible story, and interacting with the kids.  I can't speak enough about how awesome the children's portion of BSF is.  If you are looking for a bible study to get involved in, you should really check this out.  You can go to their website to learn more about the study as well as finding a class near you.  Most classes meet at local churches who are gracious enough to offer their facilities for hundreds of women and children to come each week and study the bible.

Sorry for the long intro.  This was not my purpose in coming here this morning.  But, I just felt like I should give you a little background info.  

So, one of the things that you can pick up each week in addition to your lesson is a Home Training Lesson (the yellow sheets that they offer out in the lobby).  There are typically some great ideas of how to parent you kids.  Offering thoughts on how to interact, discipline, encourage them, etc.  I don't always make the time to read mine because, let's be honest, some weeks I'm doing good to get the lesson done and the notes read.  But, this week someone in our small group mentioned it.  She picked if up before classes started and happened to skim over it.  There was a checklist on the back that she said was fabulous.  So, I grabbed one after lecture and quickly realized that she was right!  The list is so good.  It's a checklist of things parents should be doing every day.  

Now, before I post it I want to say something.  As soon as I skimmed it, I started picking out all the things that I am not doing consistently enough or well enough.  But I quickly realized, this should be an encouragement to me!  Not something to beat me up about what I'm not doing well.  I should be spurred on to add to the things that I'm already doing.  And I should find comfort and encouragement knowing that God is honoring the things I am doing because he specifically tells us to do these things (there are verses that support each item on the checklist).  How awesome!  Some days when the days are long and I don't have enough patience or energy left, I am encouraged to know that the work I am doing is not in vain.  I am training up young men of God.  Providing them with the tools to live a life worthy of their calling.  So, I am encouraged!  Knowing that there are additional things that I can do to impact their lives and wanting to stretch and grow in order to bless them and honor God in this thing called motherhood.

So, wow.  Enough talking.  Here's the list:

A Parent’s Checklist

o  Hugged my child and told him, “I love you” (Luke 15:20)
o  Prayed specifically for my child (1 Chronicles 29:19a)
o  Listened carefully when my child wanted to talk (Mathew 18:5)
o  Read to my child (Proverbs 4:1-4)
o  Discussed God with my child (Deuteronomy 4:9-10)
o  Expected obedience from my child (1 Timothy 3:4)
o  Exhibited patience with my child (1 Corinthians 13:4)
o  Sang or listened to music with my child (Psalm 8:2)
o  Spoke about his father/mother with loving respect (Colossians 3:18-19)
o  Did not expect behavior beyond his or her age capabilities (1 Corinthians 13:11)
o  Trained him or her with appropriate boundaries and consequences (Genesis 2:16-17)
o  Punished disobedience with appropriate measures (Jeremiah 17:10)
o  Helped my child learn something new (Luke 2:52)
o  Encouraged my child to do something for someone else (Galatians 6:10)
o  Took action to shield my child from evil and harmful influences (1 Corinthians 13:6-7)
o  Challenged and helped my child to do something he though he could no do (1 Thessalonians 5:14)
o  Avoided punishing my child when I was angry (Psalm 103:8-14)
o  Exhibited good manners for my child to model (Matthew 7:9-12)
o  Commended my child for a valuable character quality (Galatians 5:22-23)
o  Read the Bible to my child (2 Timothy 3:15)
o  Prayed with my child (Matthew 18:19-20)
o  Modeled only those attributes I want my child to emulate (1 Corinthians 4:16)
o  Laughed with, not at, my child (Romans 12:15)
o  Thanked my child for something he did (1 Thessalonians 5:18)
o  Gave my child some responsibility (Titus 3:14)
o  Did not talk negatively about my child in his presence (Proverbs 12:18)
o  Praised and thanked my child more than I criticized him (Proverbs 16:24)
o  Asked my child’s forgiveness when I was wrong (James 4:6)
o  Forgave my child immediately (2 Corinthians 2:7-8)
o  Made time to be alone with my child (Deuteronomy 6:7)
o  Did not make a promise to my child that I cannot keep (Ecclesiastes 5:5)




Now, I know that it's a lot.  But, there are probably many on this list that you already do.  Intentionally or maybe even unintentionally (which, how cool is that, that God can use even things that we unintentionally do to impact our kids! - encouraging and convicting :))

So, here's my plan.  I printed a few of these on a smaller piece of paper (to fit inside my planner) and have I plan to use them for the next week or so.  For the first few days I plan to check off these items at the end of the day.  Not referring to the list constantly to see what I still need to do for the day (I'm afraid that would end up looking a little something like this:  "Okay, Crews and Tate - now we're going to sing...ready?  This little light of mine...laalaalaa until the song is finished - and by the way, I was supposed to give you some responsibility - so how about you put this book away.  Oh and let's have a tickle fight right quick so I can check off the laughter one. -- All within five minutes...I'm thinking that's not the point of this list :)) .  

After the first few days I'm hoping to choose a couple that consistently haven't been checked off and be intentional to add that into my day.  Over time I am hoping to make a habit of the majority of these.  They are really phenomenal ideas.  And really?  This motherhood thing is a priority.  A top priority.  So I should some time figuring out how to be best at this job.  

I guess we can consider this "professional development"  :)