double the love

babiesinheartThis is the girls’ first Valentine’s Day and I am over the moon about celebrating with them. Everything is so much more exciting with babies … double that excitement with twins! We had this mini photoshoot and while I’m very proud of the pictures I took, the garland I made, and how everything came together, I also see looooots of room for improvement.
And, the way my hobbies are set up – I’m going to get a lot of practice!

… and, don’t judge the paci’s. (smile.)

moving on…

During our struggles with infertility, what made me the saddest was the idea that I would never be able to experience all of the things I’d envisioned doing with my kids and family, that I wouldn’t be able share the things that I love with them and vice versa…. that I wouldn’t be able to experience the joy that children bring to your home. So, now that these sweethearts have graced my life, I want to celebrate them and play and share and experience and teach and learn and grow with them as much as possible.

One of the things I want to teach them most is how to love like Christ loves us. I mean, He’s going to teach them…. but I just wanna play TA, and be the example. Kinda like a class pet. I want to be one of the ones called on to show and lead and to help.vday1

A friend’s Insta post caused me to really think about how our culture loves and responds to certain behaviors….. very “He did this so i’m not cooking… or doing that” and “I’m not going home because she’s nagging.”  So, I got to thinking about how our behaviors are so rooted in fear and pride that we can’t love like Jesus. Jesus could love the Pharisees and Judas (of all people) because his behavior was based on their crowd approval or their day to day choices. Jesus treated people the way he did because of His love for God and seeking his approval only. Christ teaches us to serve as unto God…. not until we get what we want, not when we feel like it, it, and not quitting if someone does something we don’t like or when our feelings get hurt. Jesus knew that people are just people. We aren’t perfect. We make stupid mistakes, we make emotional decisions, we get tired, we yell, we get frustrated and we SIN. We do some very opposite of awesome things and say some very opposite of loving things because we are fallible. But, not unlovable. Not unworthy of a second or millionth chance. In desperate need grace and mercy.

This kind of love is completely countercultural and down right difficult at times. It requires humility and a heart for God. It requires constant prayer and sacrifice of ego. This kind of love is invaluable. It can’t be measured. And, it teaches others to love in a way that lasts.

*** What it isn’t is an invitation to be a doormat… it takes a mighty strength to love another this way, a strength that won’t allow you to be treated any kind of way, and a strength that will let you communicate that in the best way. lol. get me?
(I’m learning, too!! Boundaries aren’t always easy to establish!)
Jesus didn’t play. You don’t have to either. lol***vday2

Even if relationships end or change, even if you have to walk away from a toxic situation….. loving like this will never be a waste. It leaves the door open for a reconciliation of friendship and relationship (even if it’s on a different level). Loving like this will heal and strengthen. It’s accepting when you fail and encouraging when you’re vulnerable. It’s a love that doesn’t humiliate or tear down. A love that softens hard conversations and is open and inviting. It’s courageous.

This is love.
The kind of love I’m learning and becoming excellent at. A love I am constantly praying for. The kind that is the standard for my behavior, it shows me where I’m failing miserably at. Because I’m a person. It’s the love that forgives me and gives me grace. That gives me twelve hundred more tries. The one that comforts me in my brokenness and celebrates in my success.
This love is Jesus.

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gender reveal!!!

Today, we celebrated.
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For going on four years, Thomas and I have struggled through infertility and adoption with high hopes and broken hearts. I had given up on the possibility of becoming pregnant at all and made peace with that. I was able to move forward with adoption and building our family in a way that so clearly displayed the Gospel and would allow us to live that out loud.
I feel in love with adoption – with the concept, the work that went into it, the families and women who’ve adopted and were so passionate about such a sacrificial, selfless, and loving act.
But, ultimately that is not the way God chose to allow us to expand our family.
And, we accepted that knowing that God had a beautiful plan for our lives, that He would give us the desires of our hearts, and that He is sovereign and loved us deeply.
We moved forward choosing to enjoy the summer and revisit expansion (lol) in August.

Turns out, God blessed us in a way that I never, ever saw coming.
A way that would blow my mind, but would make so many around us laugh as they knew God would do something spectacular in our lives.

I knew to expect the unimaginable, but never thought to expect that in May I would find out we were expecting and then in June learn that we’re expecting twins.

So, today.
We celebrated the journey and our babies with a  small gender reveal.
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I thought it would be super cute to frame a few of our ultrasound pictures… I wanted each gender to be a surprise so I chose to envelope Baby A and Baby B’s genders and box them with a bow…. each guest with their own box.
gr2gr1We knew the genders of both babies…. And, I had to hardest time keeping it to myself because every.one wanted to know! lol.

I couldn’t even get through thanking everyone for coming, but thankfully Thomas stepped in and took over explaining a bit of our journey, thanking everyone, and giving little tidbits about each of the babies. He also went around taking a poll of what everyone’s thoughts about the genders!
I jumped in to lead everyone through opening their boxes; we opened each enveloped together which was really fun and exciting!

And, the envelopes held the genders of each baby…
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YAY!
TWO GIRLS!!!
Although, I was hoping for a combo pack…. a girl and a boy…. I am so grateful and thankful to prepare for two girls!!

Once we came home, although completely exhausted, utterly/uncomfortably full, I took our weekly photos and got to relish opening a box and enjoying the envelopes myself!
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 We’ve had a long and tiring yet beautiful and eventful day.
Next up…. the baby shower!

Time is winding down and I’m sure the day we are to meet our girls will be here before we know it!!!
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And, for all of you who have been rooting for us, journeying with us, praying for us, and encouraging us for any length of time:
Thank you. Thank you. Thank you.
You have no idea what your support means to us, what your emails, comments, texts, and messages touch us.. touch me.
I am so grateful for you and your excitement, love, and joy for our daughters and this new chapter in our lives is nothing short of breathtaking and surreal.
Thank you.

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… fourth

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Happy Fourth!!!!!

BBQ. Fireworks. Sun. Shorts. Pools. Baseball. Picnics. Lake. Boats. Parties!

However you spent your holiday – I hope it was fantastic!

I’m so happy we had an opportunity to spend time with the girls for the Fourth!

Both my brother and sister live out of state so to have everyone in one space, at one time has been pretty fun!

We had such a great time popping fireworks and caught some pretty amazing pictures that I can’t wait to comb through and edit!
They’ll definitely be added to our adoption file and framed around the house!

Loved it!!!!!

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More pictures to come soon….. Can’t wait to share!

Minor Tidbit- over the past couple of weeks, during my morning quiet time, I’ve been asking God to show me who He wants me to be that day. How I can show the fruits of the Spirit that He is definitely pruning me to bear and how I could be a bit more thoughtful of others.

It’s amazing how just focusing your morning on who God wants you to be – how being relationship oriented versus task oriented can change your day.
What a great lesson I learned a few weeks ago at Bible study!!

How our worlds could change if we were more concerned about our fellow brothers and sisters than our tasks or ourselves.

I’m continuing to pray on that. Live and believe that God’s character and His promises will change lives.

…. Have a great PEOPLE focused weekend, friends!!!

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