six seven eight nine ten

I wrote this post on our five year anniversary. I was pregnant with our first, we were fresh off a babymoon to Florida and getting ready to meet my parents up in Maine in the upcoming weeks.

Ten years ago we were riding around in a stretch hummer.

Today we toodled around in our minivan, I went to the doctor for my 35 week appointment while Wes took the kids to the nearest park. We then did some family grocery shopping at Trader Joe’s, always a highlight with the bumper carts and had a nice family dinner at the pizza place with the empty patio.

It’s probably not what I ever anticipated 10 years looking like. But I’m super grateful for it. For the lovely place we call home, for the wonderful little people who fill it, and for the guy who pledged to walk with me those ten years ago. Honestly. I just can’t wait to hug him. (If you think it was saints who invented the side hug, it wasn’t. It was pregnant ladies. hahahaha).

But really. Yes, I can’t wait to meet these babies. But I am so ready to jump back into life with my best friend. He’s been an incredible support partner not just in these past few months but these past years. Looking back, it’s kind of boggling. haha.

And so. Onward and forward. Cheers to ten years.

Looking fresh as daisies. haha. NOT! I wrote him a card today and on the front it said ‘live life in full bloom’ (who has time to shop for romantic anniversary cards? whoops.) And I was like, ‘dear wes, hello from your wilting, drooping flower.’ haha.

Oh real life. Such a blessing.

Hugs and love.

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back to the twins.

I never quite got to finish all my stories about the twins.

So. Who knew telling people you were expecting two babies was so funny? And fun?

Honestly, when I found out I was pregnant with our fourth, I didn’t really want to tell anyone. I just pictured people rolling their eyes and saying, ‘same song, different verse,’ or other like minded things. And then we found out there was two, and I was like, ‘well, this is definitely a modulation’ (or key change, if you will).

So, if you watched the video of the kids, you probably got to hear my dad. That, of course was hilarious. My mom did exactly what I did and held her face in her hands and said, ‘oh my gosh’ one hundred times. My mother in law is a twin herself and when Ev came inside her kitchen exploding with the news, I think she just stood at the sink saying, ‘no!’ over and over with an ‘are you SERIOUS?!’ sprinkled in.

I can’t remember what my father in law did but my other three favorite reactions included the response of horror, hysterics, and perhaps you would call it spazzing? (do you know who you are?)

Hahaha. I tried to facetime as many people as I could and then show them the ultrasound and just watch as their faces went from a smiling congratulations to a second look, to seeing the second baby to…much hilarity.

If I’m ever by myself in town I often get, ‘Oh! Is this your first?!’. And I smile/grimace and say, ‘no, this is four and five.’ If they find out the ages of my other children I often get a whispered, ‘Lord have mercy,’ or some variation.

hahaha.

Indeed. Summer’s plugging away, I have around seven weeks left and I’m pretty much praying the same thing. Everything and everyone (well, the babies) look great for which I am incredibly thankful. And now I’m just trying to seize the moments, put my feet up, get stuff done, and pray that I can somewhat gracefully make it through.

Thankful for so many of you backing me up.

Hugs and love.

(date night at 25 weeks. More bump to come. Haha.)

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my life in a nutshell.

Dad and Wes were getting all dolled up to take headshots of each other. I told Dad he needed to comb his hair and that Wes had some 12 year old gel upstairs if he needed it.

I was in the kitchen doing my thing when Dad came thundering down the stairs and into the kitchen with an, ‘FCOL! I just went through every single drawer and cabinet in your bathroom and could not find one brush or comb! Do you guys not brush your hair?!!’.

I’m not sure what it was, his expression, my fatigue, pregnancy, or that fact that it was all truth, but I fell into the counter as I started shaking with laugher, wiping away tears as I tried to get out, ‘No, no we don’t brush our hair,’ (wheeze, snort, gale of laughter), ‘In fact, I’m always super delighted when we get in the car to go someplace and there’s a brush sitting there,’ (wipe away tears, try to take another breath), ‘Like, awesome! I can run a brush through my hair before we go to ….’.

At this point Mom came down and was like, ‘I told him he would not find a brush in there,’ and Dad went thundering outside to try to find a brush in my car, only to realize my car was gone and came in muttering about how helpful that was and how I was just like Grama and off I went again.

Luckily, Mom had everything he ever needed in her purse.

And happily, Ev found a brush the next day and we did our grooming thing our way.

And maybe, in five years or so, Dad will be able to find a brush in my drawer. But I kinda doubt it. hahahaa.

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the five

So yes. These are the pictures of the five of us. But I’m also 10 weeks pregnant here. With twins. Which equals five children.

And I have to remind myself to take it a day at a time. Because if I start to think about sleep..or carrying two infants down our stairs..or three littles under 2 or…whatever I start to space out and think oh. em. gee.

I didn’t know there was two at this time. We came home from California and a couple days later I went to the doctor to check out this newest addition. Twins are always on my brain until that first ultrasound because they are sprinkled around our families. And Wesley was definitely mentioning it more. Like, ‘yeah, we’ll do that…unless it’s two.’

However, I informed him as I left for the dr, ‘I think we’re good. I think there’s just one lime in here. I just feel like I’d be bigger if there was two.’

Famous last words.

So off I went and for the first time, the doctor couldn’t find a heartbeat. I wasn’t too concerned as I’d just thrown up that morning and was feeling very pregnant. So he went and got his little ultrasound scanner and started scanning…And then was like, ‘well. I have a bit of a surprise for you.’

And I popped up like a jack in the box and said, ‘Surprise! There’s the baby!’. And he was like ‘no…there’s two!’. (This is my favorite doctor who has very dry humor and doesn’t react over much.). And so I proceeded to say you’re kidding me for the next minute. And when he finally said, ‘I’m not sh!tt!ing you!’, I switched to ‘oh my gosh!’ for the next few minutes.

I got food poisoning or something on the way home and was pulling over in parking lots to throw up and on into the middle of the night and was just like, ‘oh my gosh am I going into shock? what’s happening to me?!’. But somewhere in there handed the ultrasound pictures to Wes.

He studied the picture of the two babies and was like, ‘it’s one right?’. To which I responded, ‘look again my friend.’.

And he laughed the rest of the night.

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Two days later, I finally felt recovered enough to tell the kids and so we all got on the bed and thankfully recorded the conversation. Because it’s pretty precious. And there’s nothing more contagious than the excitement and joy of a four year old.

And so now you know why I really made each kid their own book. Because I feel like crazy town is coming. And in the hustle and bustle of the next year (years? life?), I want them to see just how adored and special and loved they are.

My prayer? I hardly know what it is. I pray for healthy babies. I pray that Jesus will really let me feel him, and that he’ll help me lean on him.

And I give much thanks. For this home we’ve been given to fill. For that laughing husband who is calm when I am less than. And who is such a wonderful father to our children. And for a God who will give me everything I need for this day. Every day.

All praise to him.

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the third

Oh Ivy Mae.

I have to remind myself you are probably your father’s daughter. haha.

If there is a sweeter age than the fifteen months pictured below, I’m not sure I know it. This little butter ball is truly sweeter than strawberry pie and becoming spunkier than… a hot pepper? I was flipping through a baby name book and saw, ‘unlike the more demure Lily and Rose, Ivy is vigorous and self assured,’ and I was like, can I get an amen?

She often melts me, surprises me, causes me to snort and shake my head and squishes me. I do believe that she will take independence to a new level around here. But at the same time, she’s still a very be-by-you child who wants to be held much of the time and will find me when I’m sitting in my chair and climb up to honk noses together and laugh and just sit.

She adores her siblings, gives free hugs and kisses,  and is already getting the baby bounce rhythm down. She’s very communicative, be it with words, gestures, or some serious facial expressions (this is where we snort and shake our head, or hide our faces in our hands so she can’t see us die laughing).

As of now, she is our spark plug. And we love the spunk she brings to our family.

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Ivy Mae. These pictures melt me. I made a book of them for you so that you can look back and see when you were the baby of the family. I hope you see how we adore you and I pray that no matter what life throws you, you keep that spunk. I love you baby girl.

(Photos by the one and only Lisa Maksoudian).

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the second

I have to remind myself that he’s not my 90 year old Grandpa. haha. Not really, but Jack can truly be a chip off the old block, with his looks, dress (Jack prefers long pants and button ups; it takes 20 minutes to convince him to try shorts these days), mannerisms (he’s got grandpa’s hand flip) and thoughtfulness (although that might come from his father as well).

I’m always amazed at Jack’s patience and kindness to his sisters. Food is truly a hot commodity around here and he’s always willing to share with the little one who’s hopping around, freaking out about where her food is. And if Jack is given a treat, he always has to make sure he gets two more to give away.

He’s such a little helper, empties the dishwasher like a champ every morning and works very hard in the garden with his Mimi.  He harvests, then cleans, then spins, then bags up his produce, and then proudly holds his bag on the way home.

And my heart immediately fills whenever I look out the window and see him trekking around after Wes, picking up sticks in yard, mowing, spreading straw, you name it. I’ve probably already shared this but one of my favorite memories was going outside around 9:00 at night in November and asking Jack if he wanted to come inside for a bath but nope. He had to finish ‘help dad in the yard.’ I’m grateful for their relationship.

Jack literally has a heart of gold 90% of the time. And that other 10%…haha.. can be a bit loud. And so we work and teach and love watching him grow. I tell him how proud I am of him when he handles something well and literally watch him glow. And at night when I’m tucking him in, he’ll sometimes say, ‘mom, are you pwoud of me for…x,y,z.’ And I’ll tell him yes and he beams and my heart overflows that he is in my life.

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Jackie boy. I tell you, ‘Mama loves you…’ and then you finish, ‘Daddy woves me, ev woves me, Ivy woves me, Jesus woves me, God woves me.’ Sometimes we go down the whole family tree of all the people who love you. We talk about all that love that is heaped on you and how we can love others. I pray you always know how loved you are, that God made you and he called you LOVED.

I love you Jackie. I made a book for you of all these pictures so if you doubt, all you have to do is look and see.

(Photos by the one and only Lisa Maksoudian).

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the first

I have to remind myself that she’s not me. Her emotions, her reactions, her firstborn traits very rarely surprise me. And I have to tell myself to prepare to one day be surprised because..she’s not me. However, she is extremely relatable. I adore her.

She’s quite the passionate young lady; gives thanks for all the pregnant people, prays for sun on rainy days, weeps while running through the garden because she lost her giant radish, rejoices because she got to hold a baby bird.

She’s four and when she’s asked about school by various strangers she tells them she’s already in school..because we practice letters together and she sometimes goes to school on Sunday. This always makes me chuckle but she is very serious about her studies.

She’s full of joy and she finds much to rejoice in and I love this about her.

I came upstairs the other day and walked into my room to see that the bed had been made, with the comforter and sheets pulled back just so and all the pillows carefully lined up and I wanted to weep at the sweetest act of thoughtfulness.

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So much sunshine and roses from this one. I am so grateful for these 4 years with her.

Ev, I made you a book with all these pictures in them to remind you, if you ever forget, how treasured and adored you are. Jesus made that ocean you are frolicking in and he made you. And you are his delight. I pray that you always know how loved you are and that his joy continues to bubble up in you so that you can splash onto others.

I love you.

(Pictures by the one and only Lisa Maksoudian.)

 

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