my life is making sense.

How do I know this?

Because I baked muffins on Sunday, cookies on Monday, and a quiche on Wednesday. All extracurricular food that we did not need for survival, which points to the fact that life must be developing a rhythm.

And I do believe it is, all the praise!

Instead of the postpartum ponderings, which I tend to partake of after each baby arrives wherein I plot and replot the course of my life and wonder at its purpose, my brain has let go. I think, in general, I’m back to living in my lane, which has opened me back to discover all sorts of mind blowing new things. You guys. SABBATH. How did I not know about this? I’ve thought several times about yakking about it on my IG stories but haven’t worked up the proper energy yet to do so. If you are on a sabbath journey or want to know what the heck I’m talking about, please get a hold of me so I can overflow to someone besides my parents and my two friends who are probably tired of me texting them about sabbath. haha.

I’m moving! Not very fast but this week I ran the FARTHEST I have ever run in my life. Drumroll please. Two point two miles. I was so happy I could have cried. I’ve really been working on this since the end of last year and to actually see and notice and feel progress is amazing. I was like, close to passing out just walking up killer hill behind us in January and this week I ran up 2/3s of it. I put Chris Tomlin in my pocket, praise God for the ability to move my body and then, towards the end, petition Jesus to keep me moving. I’m not sure where the Holy Spirit fits in here but I’m sure it does. Feel free to point out.

The twins. JJ Heller recently penned a new song with the lines, ‘Big magic in the mundane, big picture in a small frame. Everything is sacred when you take time to notice, big love happens in the small moments. And I’m saying it over and over to myself as I watch the babies on their bellies staring at each other or holding hands. Or see the big kids ‘climb’ their stuffed animals in a tree or, you name it. We’re in this brief and beautiful moment where Ivy is pretty much keeping up with Jack and Ev and the twins are not mobile and pretty content to just lay on a rug with some toys to roll over on.

Spring is here, we’ve had days upon days of sunshine and it’s filling me up.

Hallelujah.

Love and hugs.

P.S. Just for perspective sake. This was written an hour before Jack woke up the three littles screaming about a bunny and Ev took Ivy downstairs and got her some applesauce and Ivy didn’t like being told by Ev to carry it carefully to the table and then threw the bowl of applesauce at her sister. Just in case the sunshine and roses mentioned above were too much for you. haha. And for those who watched my IG stories, yes, Ev cleaned up the mess, but I put Ivy back in her bed to dwell on decisions, not Ev. haha.

Ok. Peace.

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do we think we’re crazy?

It takes us a minute to get there.

But generally we find out that yes, we do think we’re crazy, when I tell Wes that someone is expecting a baby and they have twins Ivy’s age. And he’s like, ‘what?! wow!’. And I’m like Wes. They’re just now expecting, we’ve already had two since then. And then we pause and say, ‘oh.’

Or. On Halloween, we were popping popcorn out on the front porch for all the neighbors and I was talking to this mom who’s little girl had just plopped herself down on the porch with Ivy and Jack. I referenced it later to Wes and he said, ‘yeah, doesn’t she have like four kids?’.

‘Nope,’ I said, ‘she has five.’

‘FIVE?!’

‘Wes. We have five kids.’

‘Oh. Yeah.’

hahaha.

Generally, we’re so focused doing our thing that we don’t notice how crazy our house is.

And then. There are the days that we do. And we crawl in bed after finally whacking all the moles and look at each other like holy cow. What the heck just happened?

hahaha.

Oh my gosh these are some days people!

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when my family swept in.

I’m not quite sure if I knew how desperately I was needing a break. And then they were here and I was like, ‘ahhhhhh’.

Mom was on it and let my brother know before arrival that they were not coming here to  rest and relax but to RESCUE! ‘Don’t get your R’s confused! Never just walk by a dishwasher! Always load or unload! Do not sit down unless you’re reading a child a book or rocking a baby!’. haha. Not really but sorta.

And so for seven heaven sent days, I barely held the babies unless I was nursing them. My family cooked some amazing meals, mom braved all the kids a couple times so I could go out for a long walk with dad. Wes tried to convince us that the short way up and down Old Rag was only 4.5 miles and so off we hiked. (Newsflash, the mileage was greatly underestimated).

I always forget how funny Davey is and how intriguing our family discussions can be. He and Jennifer stayed with Wesley’s parents and I think that’s when he let them know he couldn’t believe that I was relatively sane with all the children happening over here. haha. Thanks for the shout out Dave.

I also became aware that as I have endeavored to morph into type B, Davey has been morphing into the type A I left behind. This became more apparent on our hike down old rag where he was quizzing me on the exact steps I was going to take to ensure my running goals were met. And I was like, ‘I’m just going to keep running farther.’ ‘But what measurable steps are you taking to make that feasible?’.

haha.

It was truly wonderful. And gave me such a boost that even when they were all gone and everyone was a little melancholy I was like, ‘Ok, I can do this.’.

hahaha. Oh my gosh I’m so thankful for them all. Thank you family dear for sweeping in to the rescue!!!!

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is it fun?

Some dear soul asked me this when the girls were seven weeks old.

I may have looked at them like they had lost their brain.

haha. No. It’s not fun. There is sweetness and joy as they started to respond to us and smile but mostly its just a blur of continual work.

People used to say, ‘wow, you must be busy with your two/three littles’. And I rarely felt like I was. I pretty much just sat on the floor for months at a time, occasionally sneaking away to do dishes or fold laundry. And then the kids would get old enough and we’d move outside and I would get a little bit of a life back.

Now? I’m busy. I plan out my walk from putting a baby down to the bathroom…ok, pick those three things up, throw that in the trash and wipe down the table on the way. Come out of the bathroom, throw the dishes in the washer, pick up five more things and run upstairs because the washer just stopped.

Discover the mess Ivy just made (I could spend paragraphs and paragraphs on this dear child and maybe will soon. She is hilarious, adorable and such a mess), and then try to spend quality time with Ev and Jack except there sounds off a twin.

My brother asked me who was getting neglected. Thanks Dave. I told him the kids were. Just in general. Hours upon hours are spent nursing, bottling and rocking babies. One baby in particular has a cry you cannot ignore and will send the whole family in to orbit if not addressed quickly. The other baby sounds like a little kitten.

I know it’ll get fun. At some point they will sit up and that will be life changing. They’ll have more of an established pattern and be easier to anticipate. Maybe I’ll leave the house by myself to take them all to a park. What a novel thought. Maybe, just maybe, they’re figure out the two naps a day thing and I won’t go up and down my stairs 31 times a day. (I tried to keep track the other day, and that’s what I guesstimated. Maybe that’s why my legs are so sore.)

And until then, we live on their sweet little smiles and the hours of sleep they give us at night. Even if they’re not exactly fun right now, they truly are a marvel to me. I’ll catch sight of them kicking each other around on the couch and be amazed all over again that there’s two of them. What a miracle.

NOTE: This was written weeks ago. They just turned four months and I think things might be getting more manageable?! 😉 Violet just started giggling and thats a huge plus.

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thank you.

When I was telling everyone I was pregnant with twins, a mother of twins told me, ‘it’s not as hard as everyone says.’

I was grateful for the positive outlook. It comforted me and made me feel like maybe we’ll all be ok!

And we are ok! But I’m here to tell you that it’s every bit as difficult as you can imagine. haha.

In August, a lovely group of ladies showered me with diapers and wipes etc and I was giving a little monologue and told them I was planning on surviving from September to December and then hopefully thriving come January. I’ve never been more excited to welcome a new year.

We probably have done a little bit better than survive and if we have, it’s thanks to you. We have been carried into this year on the backs of so many dear people. So many people. It overwhelms me and humbles me and when I look at the names I’ve written down of all the people who have brought meals or come by to help or sent something special I’m really just in awe. And because I doubt I will ever be able to properly thank each individual, I’m going to do it here.

So. In no particular order.

Dear Gaye, Mike and Katy, Jill, Brenda, Duane and Amy, Robert and Jill, Linds, Kristy, Rus and Em, Taylor and Emily, Jeremy and Joni, Phillip and Ronda, Malcom and Audrey, Lauren, Uncle Warren and Aunt Kristy, Uncle Dave and Aunt Stacy, Grampa and Grama, Gram, Ryan and Linda, Jim, Whitney, Brianna, Dad and Mom, Davey and Jennifer, Jana, Dana, Dianna, David and Janelle, Granddaddy and Grandmommy, Earl and Linda, Judy, Rachael, Aunt Laura, Laura, Bethany, Melissa and Tara, Ashley, Leah, Trey and Rachelle, Laurie, Ned and Sarah and Tucker and Riley, Jennifer and Nia, Cindy, Abel, Barbara and Trinity, Wade and Amy, Troy and Karen, Amy, Shuana, Natalie, Elisabeth, Ashleigh, John and Debbie,

Wow. Thank you so much. For bringing me food. I’ve never consumed so much food in my life nor had so little time to prepare it. Thank you for letting me hold you hostage and shuffling babies with you so I could devour dinner. Thank you for reading books to my kids and shining your light on them and making them feel seen and noticed and loved. Thank you for the incredible castle blocks and the rocket stomper. And the diapers. So many diapers. We’ve estimated that we’ve changed about 1800 diapers in the past three plus months. Thank you for the quilt and the sleepers. We don’t get out much so they live in them. Thank you for the adorable bibs, (perfect timing, they just started drooling), and the socks and the toys for the kids. Thank you for letting me shower and then trying to have an adult conversation with me. Those feel rare at times. Thank you for folding my laundry and cleaning my bathrooms. Thank you for the protein balls and the oat cakes. I have consumed record amounts of oat cakes and quiches. Some of you apologize for not coming by sooner. You have come at exactly the right time. I sometimes try to line up helper bees on Sunday nights for my week and then get too tired to text. And you call or text at just the right time and I believe it’s all orchestrated from up above. You have carried us these last few months and we are so incredibly grateful.

I sometimes feel overwhelmed at the amount of love you have poured on us. Like, God, where am I supposed to put all this love? How can I possibly give back what has been given to me? And He told me to start by receiving it and filling my kids up with it.

So thank you. The power a simple meal holds is amazing. Thank you for sharing it with me.

Much much love,

kels marie.

 

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and we become a family.

The first time I saw Wes after the delivery, he told me he was pretty sure the baby still in the nursery was Hazel because she seemed pretty aggressive. He was right. And so our third little girl was named Violet (5.11) and our fourth Hazel (5.14).

Our kids came the next day and to no ones surprise, Evelyn and Ivy were pretty possessive of their new sisters. Jack was happy to see the babies and hold them for the time his sisters allowed but he was also absolutely thrilled with his very own tube of toothpaste given to him by his father and the tractor work happening outside.

Dad ubered in from the airport and we had a nice little family gathering. I was on such a high and it continued for at least a week; so wonderful as it got me through that hazy transition to home and newborn exhaustion.

img_7462

And thus began three of the more challenging months of my life.

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hazel wren and violet rhea. the birth story.

I somehow managed to get two birds in their names. Impressive eh?

The girls were breech and transverse the entire time. Which honestly made it easy on my brain. The doctors weren’t keen on anything other than a cesarean but told me if the stars aligned, they’d let me go for a VBAC. The chances of the stars aligning seemed pretty slim and I wasn’t sure if I was keen on a VBAC anyways. However, the memory of my recovery after Jack’s birth sure made it tempting.

But it wasn’t an option so I didn’t really think about it. And then I went in for my pre-op 3 days before my cesarean and the doctor peeked at them with his flip phone ultrasound and they both appeared head down.

And I was like what?! Cue the head spinning.

I went in the next day for a real ultrasound and they were back to breech and transverse. Cue the emotions and confusion and soaring blood pressure.

And so we went ahead with our plan and the next day, we left a little love note to our kiddos and drove to the hospital for the birth of my two perfect girlies.

They came into the world as Shane and Shane sang Psalms 139 and I think I spent most of the next few hours weeping. First in absolute relief. They were here and they were perfect and healthy and they were ok. Such incredible relief.

They were taken to the nursery and I was moved to a recovery room where I started bleeding too much..they gave me additional meds to stop the bleeding which caused my blood pressure to soar to 190 over 110 so they gave me additional meds to calm that down and in the middle of this they gave me one baby and then an alarm went off and all the nurses ran to the OR.

And so I began weeping again for the mother and the baby being born in the OR and praying to God that everything would be ok, and weeping that it could have been me and my babies but they were here and we were ok and weeping some more.

Then the nurses all came back and were like ‘oh no whats wrong?!’ and I stuttered out my prayer and they were like ‘oh sweet girl its all ok!’

And then they moved me to a quiet room where I wept more at the pain of moving from one bed to another and the nurse (who had been with me when I delivered Evelyn and was such a comfort) said, ‘get this girl her husband and her other baby.’

And in they came. And I wept more at the comfort of Wesley and the wonder of my two babies laying beside each other.

Such incredible wonder.

 

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