Thursday, October 23, 2014

"what are we going to do?"

"...all of us... we're falling apart!"

this is what my sweet sister-in-law lindsey asked me tonight after she spent over an hour trying to calm her one-month-old baby boy. calvin is her first baby, and she is very much "in the trenches."

but so am i. and she was referring to both of us. even though jason and i have done the whole "baby thing" twice before, the fact that we're doing it with two at the same time now, changes things. and let's face it, do the newborn/baby's-first-year (or five) days ever reeeeally get easy? or even "un-hard?" 

(in case you're unsure of the answer to either of those questions and still mulling it over, i can tell you the answer is "no. no they most absolutely do not." babies are just hard. whether it's your first, second or fourth-with-a-twin.)

we've had a particularly rough past few weeks with our kids. sickness that just won't leave, sleepless nights, chaos. all of the things that make parenting hard. and because i'm still in the thick of "the hard," but past this stage with my older two girls (who are 8 and 4), i felt like i could answer this question. 

after a particularly hard day, i called a friend who has kids a stage or two ahead of my children, and she's also got four kiddos, so when she says she understands, she's telling the truth. she is so good at putting things into perspective and helping me look at the big picture; to when things aren't this hard anymore. 

and that, coupled with some things that have been on my heart lately as the twins get closer and closer to their first birthday, helped me form these words to express to lindsey. she told me to share them on my blog, so i am... i'll probably need to re-read them someday soon (tomorrow), anyway. 


"what are we going to do??!?... we're all falling apart!"

what we're going to do is this:

we will survive.

this part is really exhausting and draining and seems like forever, but we will get through it. and then one day, we'll be done with this stage, and they won't be babies anymore. they'll be 2. just like that. because "the days are long, but the years are short." and then, we'll say, "remember when they were babies? so tiny? i miss that... i want that back!" 

and then we'll have big kids. and then teenagers. and they'll have so much fun growing up together. and then, just like that they'll be all grown up, [and have grown up problems and grown up hurts]. and we'll wish with everything in us they'd let us hold them when they cried, like they did when they were babies. 

i'm so "done" [with the "hardness" of this stage], too. but sometimes, only because i'm on the other side with emma and (almost) rylie, i see how fast it goes. i'm actually freaking out a bit because i feel like the twins' baby days are coming to an end so fast. like this time is closing in on me. and so soon, it'll be gone. just gone. and as tired as i am, that makes me so so sad because i'll never get that back again. 

it's SO hard to believe now because it SUCKS, but i just tell myself, "someday. someday i'll miss THIS." 

and then try to, like, breathe in their skin or hair or something to make me feel a little more fondly toward the thing that has been screaming in my arms for the last hour. :)


if you're a new momma, hang in there. it DOES get better. your feelings are valid, and mostly normal. :) find a momma who can walk with you, through it. that's the way we mommas should be. it's the only way i (or my kids, somedays) have survived: knowing that not only am i not alone, but someone else has done this, i'm not a bad mom AND someone is praying for me and my family. :) 

Saturday, July 21, 2012

fun family fourth :: 4th of july.

july 4th fell on a wednesday this year, and since jason was off, it was a very welcomed break in the middle of the week. we decided to take advantage of the free day and pack up the explorer to head to the fort worth zoo. the fort worth zoo happens to have 1/2 price admission days on wednesdays, so it was a perfect treat! ;)

our original plan was to head out early so we could make it to the zoo when it opened to beat the heat. but, as is usual for our little family, that didn't happen. we had a nice morning and didn't rush, which was nice and stress-free. :) my mom got the girls some precious 4th of july outfits from gymboree, including sweet stars & stripes dresses and matching red cowgirl hats & boots! {the girls haven't taken them off yet!}

we stopped at chili's on our way for lunch, where the girls got lots of attention for their unbelievable cuteness. :) it was at chili's that i made a life-changing discovery... emma kate asked for broccoli as her side dish for lunch. broccoli. apparently, my 5-year-old has a love for something super green and healthy! (i'd like to say it's because i'm mom of the year and serve her broccoli all the time, but i'm actually not really sure where this came from... maybe her veggie-love will rub off on her daddy...)

the zoo was relatively busy, but not crazy. we really enjoyed all the exhibits. i especially loved watching the chimpanzees! they're such amazing creatures... really move around and behave like furry humans. :) there was a momma chimp with a new baby, and it was so neat to see how the mother-child relationship is so universal across not only cultures, but also species! i know it's small, but i tried to capture some of our moments with the chimps in this video:

i tried really hard to get some sweet pictures of the girls in their outfits, but none of them really turned out as great as i'd hoped. :) here are some pics from our day at the zoo:

rylie girl before leaving
{please excuse my messy bedroom floor}

our pretty cool ride. :) 

heading into the zoo
rylie already needs a nap. awesome. 

silly & sleepy

checking out the rhino

rylie was so interested in all the animals :)

me & my girl

me & my baby girl {still sleepy}

big daddy gorilla

looking at the gorillas

more interested in the gorillas than in
taking pictures for mommy :)

sign of a fun day :)

love this picture. and this girl. :)

once we got home from the zoo {very hot & very tired} we all took nice long naps. it took some convincing, but jason finally agreed to join us for fireworks at night. (i know it's crazy, but my husband sadly does not get excited about any holiday or the traditional festivities that most people enjoy... so i had to remind him of all the amazing memories he'd be giving to our girls. luckily, he's a really good daddy, so he tagged along!) :) i wanted to join the masses for mckinney's red white & boom in craig ranch, but my husband is {sometimes} smarter than me, so we parked a few miles away, where we could still see the show, but had a quick route out so we wouldn't get stuck in traffic. this was the first year we did fireworks with rylie, and she was really excited. a local radio station was playing music synchronized to the fireworks show, so we turned that up and tailgated in our explorer with lots of other {smart} mckinney residents.

my sweet family waiting for fireworks
{jason, as you can see, is thrilled.}

there is just something about fireworks celebrating our nation that i love. maybe its the tradition... the idea that americans have been gathering every year in july to watch fire and lights in the sky for hundreds of years. that in that moment, we are gathered together, and we are one... all celebrating and being thankful for the same freedom. it's beautiful. it's something i am proud to be a part of. thankful to be a part of. this freedom we are so blessed to have... freedom as americans, and freedom in Christ. i pray my children will grow to understand the price paid for both of these freedoms, and to be eternal grateful and thankful enough to live full in that Freedom.

happy fourth. :)

may you live each day, fully in the Freedom that has been given to you.

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

emma words.

the other day emma and i were sitting in the living room, just enjoying each other. she was deep in thought.

emma: "mommy?... when people die, is that when we get ham?"

me: "ham? when people die??"

emma: "yeah, you know... ham... like we eat on sandwiches? do we get that when people die?"

me: {completely bewildered & trying to keep composure} "what do you mean, baby?"

emma: "well, because... don't we have ham inside our bodies?"

me: {oh. my. gosh. trying to keep it together & explain the difference between our muscles and lunchmeat.}

oh, how i love that little girl. :)

Wednesday, July 4, 2012


i just got around to organizing about a year's worth of pictures in my iPhoto, so my hope is to do lots of posting over the next few weeks to share some highlights of our last year.

i got all snuggled in bed with my laptop ready to do just that, but jason told me i have to go to bed, because "we've got an early morning tomorrow," and i "need to go to bed like a normal person." :) he's kinda right. i've been staying up way too late! my body clock is going to be so screwed up come august 21st...

anyway, we're hitting up the fort worth zoo tomorrow with the girls for half-price wednesday & fourth of july. :) we are very excited. we'll take lots of pictures, so stay tuned for an upcoming post. :)

for now... goodnight! happy fourth tomorrow! ;)

Thursday, June 28, 2012

birthday tradition.

this time, last year, i began a new birthday tradition for my girls.

i guess it really began with emma's 2nd birthday in 2008, when i ordered her a birthday shirt with a big, cute "2" on it. i did the same for her 3rd birthday, and then her 4th, and it was when i received that shirt that i realized i was completely capable of making one just as cute!

when rylie's 1st birthday came around 8 months later, i got to work on a super cute "1" shirt that tied in with the "pinwheels & sunshine" theme i had going for her party. i equipped myself with some fabric scraps from hobby lobby, a white t-shirt from target, an embroidery hoop, needles & embroidery floss and got to work... not sure exactly what would come of my endeavor.

i was extremely excited when several hours of cutting fabric and hand stitching turned into this:

rylie's "sunshine & pinwheels" 1st birthday shirt

emma was so tickled by the shirt, that she asked me to make her one for HER birthday (as if i wasn't already planning exactly that)! :)

so, when october rolled around, i stayed up 'til 4am on a school night so my sweet girl would have her very own birthday shirt to wear to school on the day she turned 5 years old. :) i came up with something to match the "alice in wonderland"/"mad-hatter" tea party theme.

emma's "mad-hatter tea party" 5th birthday shirt

my sweet girl on her 5th birthday
{can we pause on 5-years-old? please?}
i decided on that day, that i would make a birthday shirt for my girls every. single. year. {until they beg me to stop!} my hope is to one day combine each numbered birthday shirt to make a t-shirt quilt for each of my daughters... so they'll have a snuggly reminder of all the love and hard work i hand-stitched each year for their fun special-day memories. :)

and, of course, last week, i stayed up until 5am on the 2nd birthday of my youngest little. rylie is in love with elmo at the moment, so her party was all girly elmo fun... and her birthday shirt had to match! :)

rylie's "girlie elmo" 2nd birthday shirt
{in progress}

"all done!" rylie would say :)
everything is handstitched... i guess the
small imperfections give it character, right? :)

rylie was super excited about her "mo-mo" shirt, and looked super cute in it all day long on her 2nd birthday. the best part? when we were leaving her nonna's house, after cake & presents, i told rylie to lift her arms so i could take off her shirt and get her jammies on. she very emphatically told me, "no, mama!! no! want mo-mo shirt!" 

she didn't want to take it off. :) and who am i to argue with the birthday girl?? 

so she slept in it. 

sweet "baby" girl... all birthday-ed out. :)

she has no idea how happy that made my heart. i absolutely love that my girls enjoy the things i make for them. hopefully one day they'll understand how much love went into the creativity and labor behind the making of those special things. :) until then, this mommy will continue to create and hand-stitch and craft and paint and bake and whatever-else lovely things that i think my littles will enjoy, just to show them how much i love them. :) 

but this tradition... i think it'll be one of my faves. i hope my girls will adore it as much as i do. :)

Monday, June 18, 2012


happy summer! :)

i've just begun my second summer as a teacher, and would LOVE to keep up with my blog more. i've pretty much had to cut any "extra-curricular activities" out of my life during the school year so far... but i'd love to instill some balance on that front. i'd love to figure out how to continue to do the things i love & enjoy... the things that refresh me.

things like crafting. and printing. and designing. and expressive writing (i.e. this blog). :)

we shall see.

so in an effort to do just that, i updated my blog that features my little paper design "business." emma kate designs has been barely up and running for most of its existence. basically, i design and create digital & paper elements for my own family's parties... :) but, once in a blue moon, i get the chance to do something for a friend, or maybe even a stranger who just happened across my work via "the internets." :)

i added some projects that hadn't been featured yet, and also changed the layout, background, colors, etc. of the blog itself. AND... i made-over the logo! it's quite a possibility that it's a work in progress at the moment, but i like the new look... it's fresh, whimsical & modern. not so stuffy and formal.

here's the new logo:

what do you think??

you are more than welcome to show yourself on over to ekd's site. feel free to peruse the pretties that i've posted in the past, and treat yourself to a little sneak peek of a certain "baby" girl's 2nd birthday celebration. :)

here's to a crafty summer vacation! {hopefully.}

Thursday, December 22, 2011

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