Random Thoughts


My fingers are still numb from running this morning in the freezing cold, but I couldn’t help taking advantage of all the family in our home to help with the kids and get out for an hour of peace, and now some quiet to share what’s on my heart. I felt all sorts of feelings on my run as I reflected on the past year and where we were a year ago. I took in our sweet new neighborhood, the beautiful fall leaves and the crisp air and felt an overwhelming sense of thankfulness.

I’ll talk a little about our home in another post, but for a little background, we moved to our current home a year ago when I was about 8 months pregnant with Charles. Every single day that goes by Charlie and I say to each other something we are grateful about with our new house.  God was so faithful through the entire process and we are forever thankful for all that God has done for us in this past year, our family expanding, and the people we’ve been able to have in our home, our lives feel so enriched.

Since moving, our house has been slowly filling with furniture and we are forever adding things to our to do list. If we’re being honest, we kind of feel underwater with our to do list and very little time (or energy) to do any of it.

Yesterday, the day before Thanksgiving, Charlie and I were bustling around the house cleaning and doing last minute preparations before our family arrived. We both were a little stressed. Our entire house was littered with toys and dirty laundry. It was 1 pm and I still hadn’t cleaned the kitchen from breakfast. I wasn’t being the nicest mom (or daughter-sorry mom) either. The girls asked me every 3 minutes when their grandparents would be there and every response I gave them was a little less kind than the last. In addition, I was growing bitter cleaning up the house on my own while they simultaneously made it messier.

I’m always telling the girls when they’re grumpy that they need to go upstairs and have an attitude adjustment and come back downstairs when they can be sweet to their family again. So once my inlaws arrived, I did just that…I went upstairs and took a nap. Lord have mercy I needed that nap. God used that time to completely shift my perspective. Something hit me, my kids will not remember what the house looked like, if the turkey was dry or if dinner was “on time”. They will remember the mood, and something I’ve learned is that momma’s mood tends to dictate everyone’s mood. The last thing I want our kids to remember about the holidays is that mom was stressed out, paying no attention to the kids or sitting down to enjoy our family, but that was exactly the track I was on yesterday. Thank you God for stopping that train.

Moms and dads, enjoy days of rest, especially today. Don’t let your to do list or idea of perfection take the joy out of the holiday season. Even if your home is not perfectly decorated, you burned dinner (did that last night…), or your kids are having temper tantrums every hour, what matters is the time spent with loved ones because you never get that time back. Use it wisely, tell them why you’re thankful for them. Or if that’s awkward (I know that can be awkward) write it down for them to read later. Give yourself grace every day and always remember to be grateful for His faithfulness.

I hope you have a blessed Thanksgiving!

Random Thoughts

Twins: When does it get easier?

A few weeks ago, I was shopping ALL BY MYSELF (thank you in laws!) when I saw a mom pushing a double stroller with two infant car seats, a backpack diaper bag and Starbucks in hand and my mind flooded with memories.

I wanted to run to her and say “I have twins too! They’re almost 4! I used to have the same stroller!” And she’d probably meet my eyes with a nice smile and say “great, have a good day.” OR, oooooorrrrrrrrrr she could have responded with the same level excitement and we’d talk back and forth with the usual questions between moms of twins and 5 minutes later we’d know everything about each other and become best friends. Honestly, the latter is more likely because that’s just how twin moms roll. And even moms with 30 year old twins approach me with that level of excitement.  It’s this amazing, community where we’re the only ones who get each other, and I thank God for the moms I met when the girls were babies and are still amazing, encouraging friends today.

Faith & June at about 4 months

I never caught up with the stranger, it would have required me running across the parking lot and that would have been just weird, so we’ll never know the outcome of that conversation; but I imagine that somewhere along the line she’d ask me when does it get easier? I’d have to respond honestly, through bags under my eyes, “I’m still wondering the same thing almost 4 years later.” Granted, my sleep deprivation is not from the twins, but from my super busy, teething 9 month old, nevertheless, the twins exhaust me more than anything I’ve ever experienced. I don’t think anything has gotten easier, things just change along the way.

Instead of worrying about whether or not to wake up the other twin when one wakes up in the middle of the night, I’m just trying to get them to stop jumping around like monkeys and go to sleep (isn’t it always about sleep? Someone please tell me when it stops being all about sleep) after a long day of  talking over each other asking “why” EVERY SINGLE MOMENT ABOUT EVERY SINGLE THING ALL DAY LONG.

Instead of two crying, cranky babies, I’m breaking up yet another argument between them and patching hurt feelings.

Instead of managing two babies into EVERYTHING and saying “no” 4738920789542 times a day, I’m managing different learning styles and teaching two completely opposite kids the same thing at the same time. I’m constantly amazed how God designed these girls with the same DNA to be so different in so many ways.

At the end of a long day recently, my husband and I finally got them into bed, crying (them and me), but they were laying down and looking like they’d soon be sleeping. We looked at each other exhausted and I said “How do we do this? What are we doing wrong?” He responded, “nothing, they’re twins, it’s always going to be harder than anything else.”

James 1:2-4 says, “Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance. Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything.”

I told you guys I just love the book of James…

During that conversation with my husband, we started talking about how having kids has changed us, for better and worse, but it got me thinking about why God gave us twins; why did He think WE are capable of raising them? We often wonder that after having really rough days, but I find comfort in that He has an amazing plan for us and our family. There is nothing easy about raising children, twins or not, I’ve learned that in the past 4 years. But something I’m learning now is that God is using those hard days, those trials, to shape us as parents, individuals, and children of God. Leaning on Him and persevering through trials is imperative if we want to “receive the crown of life”.

So I don’t know when it gets easier, all I know is that every older parent I’ve ever met says it goes by so fast. And now the second time around with our little Charles, I’m seeing that and not taking it for granted. I’m trying to embrace every stage, every question, and every challenge because one day we’ll miss this. And I’m finally realizing that I need to celebrate (yes, celebrate) all the challenges motherhood brings me because it’s really shaping and maturing me for His use.

Random Thoughts

My Instagramed Life

It was 6:06 am and I heard the baby stirring in his crib. My alarm went off at 5:30 so I could drink a cup of coffee, spend time reading my Bible and get a few things done before the baby wakes and ESPECIALLY before Miss June comes downstairs. She wakes up like a rocket every day and I need to prepare myself daily for her zest for life. The baby usually wakes at 6 but I just realized I had done nothing for the past 30 minutes except for drank (inhaled?) my coffee and stared at our fireplace that I’ve been wanting to redo since we moved in 9 months ago.

I quickly opened my Bible to James because I knew I needed to read something before I started the day and I just love the book of James. The entire book is highlighted, written in, underlined, and circled (including that little “box circle” that you do when you underline something but that’s not enough, it needs a circle too…just me?). This is part of what I read:

“But if you harbor bitter envy and selfish ambition in your hearts, do not boast about it or deny the truth. Such “wisdom” does not come down from heaven but is earthly, unspiritual, demonic. For where you have envy and selfish ambition, there you find disorder and every evil practice.” James 3: 14-16

Y’all. I had been very disobedient to God, which is ironic because I’ve been preaching obedience to our girls all day, every day. After reading this, I immediately picked up my cell phone, found the Instagram app and deleted it. I put my phone down and walked away from it.

I had an unhealthy relationship with Instagram and I had been denying the truth. Before kids, I deleted Facebook. Like deleted, deleted, not just deactivate or hide it. When I decide something, it’s done and I can be extreme. I have a very sweet husband, by the way, who is oh so patient with me and my rashness. Anyway… I got so fed up with the lack of quality time with people in my life. We all know what everyone’s up to via Facebook so why is it necessary to actually meet up or talk or have a face to face relationship? I wanted to focus on quality over quantity. I think it helped, but then I became a mom and most group communication and events are on Facebook so I’ve since rejoined for that reason keeping limits on my time and use as much as possible.

So then my relationship with Instagram began. I loved the pictures, the single, beautiful snapshots instead of an entire album, which seemed very overwhelming to me. I loved sharing small glimpses of our lives, a perfectly filtered and cropped picture that is not a completely true, accurate look at our entire day to day, maybe just one good moment, but its fun right? I loved following people that I knew, didn’t know, inspired me, encouraged me, just to remind me that there is life and things happening somewhere outside our four walls.

But who was I following? I followed interior designers sharing their portfolios for “inspiration” for my professional career as a decorator. I followed runners who motivated me to go out and run faster and longer than last time. I followed friends of mine, some I see on a regular basis, most I don’t. I followed moms who seem to have it together that encouraged me to do better every day. I followed inspirational people who had a seemingly daily quote that made me think.

But what affect did these posts really have on me? Was it providing me wisdom or just noise? And am I capable of accurately discerning that every time I open Instagram?

  • The interior designers’ pictures just exposed all the dissatisfaction I have with our current (new) house that I don’t have time or unlimited budget to decorate instead of being grateful for this amazing home God provided. Let’s be real, if I need design inspiration for a client or my own home, I’ll have no problem finding it online somewhere, in magazines, in stores, etc.
  • The runners made me feel guilty and mad at myself that I didn’t run that morning or make the time to run as much as I once did. Giving myself zero grace that I have a nursing baby and 3 year old twins that require seemingly all of my attention for 12+ hours a day.
  • The friends and family I followed made me feel like I should also be on an amazing vacation or dress my kids in cute coordinating clothes, or go do that fun outing with my family. They’re real people, not celebrities, so why not me? I envied them instead of enjoying every moment my family and I have together, whatever we’re doing, while covered in sweat, dirt, spit up and could all probably benefit from a glance in the mirror before leaving the house or at least a shower.
  • The moms I followed made me feel terrible that I don’t have it together like they do, have a clean house, perfectly behaved kids, and throw a magazine worthy party for every occasion. Following them made me doubt that I have what it takes to raise these kids and especially homeschool.
  • The motivational speakers and leaders are great, but really, shouldn’t I be looking primarily to the Bible for advice and truths instead of a human being?

Gulp. No, I don’t have the ability to filter the noise, and it was affecting me big time.

So why was I even wasting the very little alone time I have doing this to myself several times a day? What good was it doing to me? It was stealing my joy, and it certainly was not making me content. The Bible is very clear on this topic.

And then, what if I was adding to someone else’s discontent in their own life? I honestly had never thought of this until that day and I feel horrible that I had been that self-centered. What if posting pictures of my kids made a childless woman feel envy? What if pictures of the one corner of my home that is clean and decorated made another mom feel incapable like I do when I look at those pictures? This thought breaks my heart. I’m so sorry if this is you, from the bottom of my heart.

So why am I sharing this struggle with you? Why be so open and honest with the world about this personal issue I’ve had? I’ve asked myself the same thing many times and have gone back and forth about sharing. But I know I’m not the only one who has struggled with this so my hope is that if there is someone out there who can relate to this, please know that you’re not alone and maybe a step back from these platforms is necessary as it has been for me.

I’m not saying social media is terrible, or even Instagram specifically. In fact you’re probably reading this blog via social media (thank you for taking the time, by the way). There are very healthy ways to use it, I’m just being honest saying that maybe it wasn’t healthy for me. Since I became a mom, I’ve been re-evaluating how I spend my time and asking if it’s really adding value to my life or the life of our family. Sure we need downtime and outlets, but what is our life purpose as Christ followers? Being disciples of Christ and expanding the Kingdom of Heaven. And social media was affecting that in a bad way. It tore me down, which I know is not what God wants for us. And what kind of Christ follower, wife, mom, daughter, friend, and sister can I be if I’m not feeling the full peace, joy and contentment that God so freely gives us as His children?

“But the wisdom that comes from heaven is first of all pure; then peace-loving, considerate, submissive, full of mercy and good fruit, impartial and sincere.” James 3:17

I highly encourage you to read all of James 3 and 4, I can’t say it any better myself. I’m just so happy that God spoke those words to me when I needed them the most.

By the way…. If you need further proof that I most definitely do not have it together as I’m sure I attempted to prove on Instagram at some time… While writing this, I could hear the girls downstairs playing so nicely together. I finished writing and went down to find them having a picnic on the carpet with real cups and real water that I’m positive came from the toilet. The verdict is still out whether the water was ingested. Sadly, it wouldn’t have been the first time. At least I cleaned the toilets this week?

Adventures in Parenting

On Grace

Giving myself and others grace is something I have to continually work on. Recently my husband Charlie and I had a free morning on Saturday, no plans, which is a very rare occurrence. Either he’s working or we have something going on so naturally we decided to get things done around the house.

Our kids did not get that memo, however. They fussed and whined because we have a free Saturday, so when you’re young, that means mom and dad play with you non stop, all day long.  We were on separate wavelengths which made everyone in a bad mood. So I did what any good mother would do and just ignored them and sent them to their room…the girls, not the baby. Charlie and I chatted downstairs while the girls screamed from upstairs; we were frustrated about why we couldn’t get anything done and why no matter what we did that day, someone was fussing at us.

It was a rough day, a day I wanted to just write off, start over. I gave myself zero grace that day. I deemed myself a bad mom, a bad wife; it was only 1pm and I told myself I wasted an entire Saturday that we had together complaining and feeling defeated.

I have this verse hanging on our wall. Thanks to Hobby Lobby clearance section, you can now read yourself through our entire house…

22 Because of the Lord’s great love we are not consumed,
    for his compassions never fail.
23 They are new every morning;
    great is your faithfulness.

    -Lamentations 3:22-23


So momma, when you burn the meal and feed your family cold cereal for dinner, give yourself grace.

When your kids don’t sleep at night and you haven’t showered in 3 days, give yourself grace.

When you just yelled at the top of your lungs at your children, the ones you love and adore more than anything, give yourself grace.

When you can’t remember the last time you mopped your kitchen floor, give yourself grace.

When you haven’t exercised in a month, give yourself grace.

When your clothes are covered in spit up, sweat, and unidentified stains, give yourself grace.

When you just CAN’T, and you turn on the 10th Daniel Tiger for the day just so you don’t have to answer any more questions, give yourself grace.

Thank you God that tomorrow is a new day! Thank you God for the grace you give us and for so many chances to try again. Thank you God for the tough days that help mold us into the person You created us to be. Thank you for your gentle reminders that we can’t do life on our own and we need Your strength daily.

Who can have a bad day with this smile?

While we’re on the subject of grace, I once attempted to (apparently unsuccessfully) explain to the girls what grace is and that they really needed to give mommy some grace that day. June replies without hesitation, “but mommy, where IS the grace? I can’t find it!”

I love 3 year olds and how they simplify our over complicated minds. They also make the toughest days hilarious when they need to be.


Adventures in Parenting

The Day I was Super Mom

Do you ever have those days when you’re just killing it? As a mom, they don’t happen often. I’m a planner and kids are unpredictable so in my eyes, everything is always out of control. I’ve learned in the past few years to loosely plan, otherwise I’m setting myself up for disappointment. Sidenote: my twin girls are 3 and have started using the word “otherwise” correctly in a sentence and it’s absolutely hilarious. 

One day, I planned to go to the grocery store with the kids, which should be considered an Olympic sport. I actually consider it my exercise for the day and don’t plan anything else that day because I know it will completely wear me out. I literally race through the store pushing 60+ lbs of kids, plus groceries, in an extra long cart (that you should need a separate license for) with a 20 lb baby strapped to my chest. Oh and then I have to use my brain at the same time…

The kids actually really like grocery shopping most of the time, and I try to make the most of our grocery trips, making it an opportunity to not only practice obedience, but teach them about food, where it comes from, why we’re buying what we’re buying, staying on budget (needs vs. wants), etc. EVERYTHING is a teaching opportunity when they’re at this curious, asking questions stage so I capitalize on it most of the time, unless I’m just DONE and then I tell them mommy has a headache and I need quiet (many days) and “no, for the fifth time, you may not have jelly beans”. Charles just laughs and smiles at everyone no matter what we’re doing. Gosh, I love that kid.

Not pictured: smiley, happy baby snuggling in his carrier

This particular day, I did not have high hopes for our trip. I don’t know if you’ve shopped at Wholefoods, we do occasionally, but it’s not the most family friendly grocery store; they have ONE cart that will SOMEWHAT fit all of my children, and the food to feed them. The last time we walked into Wholefoods, an employee actually commented to me inside the store “oh, you actually made it inside”. I guess he saw the all out meltdown by one of the twins at the entrance about who got to sit in what seat… “Yes, we still need food, sorry for hurting your ears.” So I braced myself this time.

This trip was amazing, the kids were so patient and kind, an employee offered them an apple (washed, peeled and cut for them…I sometimes love you Wholefoods). I smiled, the kids smiled, strangers smiled, we all had it together, people probably thought I was super mom, I surely did.

We got to the car, unloaded the groceries, the girls buckled themselves into their seats without me even asking (cue the choir singing). I pulled the baby out of the carrier and he’s covered in poop. I mean covered. I’m covered. It’s a mess. I lay him down to clean him up and I have no wipes. I grab a couple of napkins and a bottle of water, do what I can, and put him back in his seat and buckle him in. More poop. Apparently this mess occurred BEFORE we went in the store because it’s all over his seat. I take off his clothes again, change his diaper, I have no change of clothes for me so here I am driving us home in a poopy car that had been basking in the hot sun, covered in poop myself, wondering how many of those kind smiles from strangers were really laughing at me and my baby covered in poop? Also, how did I not notice it?

God has a really funny way of humbling us sometimes doesn’t He? That day was a kind reminder that I do not have it together even when sometimes I like to tell myself I do.


Random Thoughts

Just Sit Down

Y’all, I love a good heart to heart. You know, those conversations that occur in a nice cozy setting, with hot tea, and nothing else to distract you. The kind of conversations where both parties share their heart, get to the bottom of their feelings and you come out of the conversation feeling like your relationship has really grown. That’s not always how it goes, in fact, usually those conversations can’t be planned nor do they occur in that setting. It’s usually in the kitchen in midst of a disagreement, or on the phone while a bunch of other distractions are happening on both ends of the line, or in my case recently, at the top of the stairs.

Let me back up. Me and the kids had just arrived home from a weekend at my parents house while Charlie had to stay back and work. We were all tired from swimming, playing and just the usual exhaustion from a trip with kids. All 3 of the kids were screaming when we unloaded from the car. The baby was hungry, Faith wanted to paint before she even got out of the car and needed to do it immediately, while I was trying to unload everyone and everything before a huge storm came in. Who knew what was going on with June. She walked in the house and fell on the floor in a fit of rage, completely unable to communicate with me.

Our June is a fiery one. We had this impression of her before she was even born just by the way she was inside of me. Our impression was true and has been consistent for her 3 and a half years of life so far. She always keeps us on our toes, always challenges us, always questions, and always has a plan. She’s hard to keep up with; she definitely has a mind of her own and I’m told that this type of personality will change the world one day if we just hold on tight and guide her through these years.

This particular day I was just DONE and didn’t feel like having patience or grace (though I had been listening to a podcast the entire drive home specifically about this and here I was with a perfect opportunity to practice it). So I sent her to her room to calm herself down since she wouldn’t communicate with me and was just thrashing all over the place.

Thirty minutes later, the baby was fed, Faith was painting at the kitchen table, and June was still screaming. She was inching herself out into the hallway to the top of the stairs still throwing a fit, but losing steam and probably forgot why she was crying in the first place. I was still unpacking and determined to finish before figuring out dinner from the 4 things we had in the pantry, but I made myself sit down in the hallway next to her. Instead of asking her “what’s wrong”, which would have just reminded her that she’s mad and prolonged this entire thing, I attempted to “fix” things and asked her what we could do so she could feel happy again. Her broken response through tears was “you can give me a kiss.” She crawled in my lap and I did just that.

Most of the time, that is where our children need us, on the floor in the hallway, when we’re doing a million other things. I had to actively tell myself to JUST SIT DOWN. That’s all they need, for us to be down at their level so they can crawl into our lap and receive unconditional love.

What’s so amazing is that we have the best example of this in God. He is the perfect parent, never too busy for His children, and always waiting for us to crawl in His lap and say, “I’ve tried it my way, and it’s not working, please just love me and make things better.” Isn’t that the definition of grace?

I wish I could say that my children never misbehave or throw fits, and I also wish I could say I never lose my temper when they do. But if that were the case, if everything was perfect and we were in constant control, we’d never be reminded how much we need God’s grace and mercy. He is constantly pruning us, and it’s no fun, but you can’t grow without the pain.

I learned a huge lesson that day to just sit down. My children need to experience grace, learn to extend it to others, and they need to know they can always crawl into the lap of our Heavenly Father. It’s our job as parents to teach them that, but isn’t it funny that in that process we end up learning the same lessons as well?