sixteen weeks

photo 4.PNGHow are we feeling??!?!?!
Pretty good…. I had a random bout with vomit for a day; I was terrified that MS made a U-turn and made it’s presence known again. Thankfully, I haven’t had any signs since. My feet have started swelling just a tad, so I’m going to have to be extra careful to follow the suggestions in my When You’re Expecting Twins, Triplets, & Quads book. They suggest sitting as much as possible, transferring weight often, and using a step stool to rest one foot on if you must stand a lot. I’m also going to consider having a barstool in my classroom. LOL. We’ll see how it works.

What’s going on with the bump?!?!
I love it so much. I have an abnormal obsession with it. To watch it grow and change shape is really fun. LOL. The questions of what I would like at a certain point in my pregnancy or what I would look like pregnant are slowly but surely being 3

So, how are you feeling?!
Emotional. Very, very, very emotional. We were able to see our babes this past week and I cannot believe the reality of the gifts we’ve been given. I’m falling in love with them more and more everyday. I literally just sit and rub my belly at times, I feel that I’m at a loss of words when I think about them. I just thank God over and over and over again. We’re trying to settle on names so I’ll say the name and use it in different scenarios… wonder how they’ll sound as they’re learning to talk and say each other’s name. Wondering if they’ll have nicknames or if their names will match their personalities. I’m just in awe. Complete and utter awe. At this point, I have no idea how we’ll function once they get here because I don’t think I’ll be able to do much but hold and stare at them. (Feeding and diapering will be thrown in there, too, of course!)But, I just cannot believe it. We’re closer to the halfway point which is scary and funny and exciting. I’m just so thankful.

I had a rough day yesterday….. struggling with not feeling well, swollen/swelling feet, hot flashes, and all of the not so fun things that come along with pregnancy. The best part of twin pregnancies is that everything comes sooner and it’s all more intense. Yay, right? Later that day, I walked past a mirror and saw my belly and that alone put so much into perspective. While it didn’t make me FEEL better, it made everything a bit more tolerable. Let’s hope each day, week, and month that passes I find something to outweigh the sucky parts of this experience!

Anything else?
I’m actually gaining weight which is exciting and it all seems to be going to my belly which is even more fun!!! lol. I had my first “Are you pregnant?” whispered to me a few days ago and it was fun to be able to say “Yes…. with my first two!” That last little bit always throws people for a loop and their body language and facial expressions are hilarious!!

Actually getting dressed (versus throwing on something quick) makes me so happy! lol… I LOVE my maternity dresses and tops; it’s so fun! I look forward to wearing my favorite pieces…. while it’s true that beautiful clothing can make you feel just wonderfully, theres nothing like a beautiful maternity dress!!! photo 1.PNG-2

From mommy….
I love you guys so much. I think I’m going to start reading to you and playing music for you. I know you hear my voice all day everyday, but I think it will be fun to just have some “us” time…. after talking to everyone else all day, certainly it would be fun to just talk to you, ya know? Part of me is so afraid to welcome you into this big world. It’s as wonderful as it is scary and as cruel and it is kind. I hope to teach you to understand, expect, and accept that bad things will happen to you intentionally and unintentionally and how to move past it with grace without allowing it to alter your character or personality. We are working to prepare for you in every way possible. There’s so much to do on so many levels in so many different areas. So much that won’t be “fixed” or made perfect by the time you arrive, but we believe in a sovereign God who loves us and does what’s best for us so we believe that all things will be fine. I can’t wait for you to be a part of our growth, of our family, and of the lives of the people you who have prayed for you, who are waiting for you, and love you already. Keep growing strong, be kind to each other. We love you.
– mommy


oh, hell yes.

One big hell yes to the turban life!
photo 1-2If you’re not obsessed with my face…………… I hope you understand that I am and I’m not sorry for the extra large photo! lol.

I’m 31. I have a nose ring. A tattoo. And, natural hair. Three major “milestone” markers in my life that have occurred over the last three years that I believe have completed me. And, I love them. I’ve never felt more confident, more myself, and more “okay” with who I am.
I have a coworker who brought up the fact that for the past three years, I’ve done “something” to myself every year…. My husband wonders “what’s next?” probably in fear because I’ve become so uncharacteriscally liberal in my appearance, as I used to be very conservative and straight laced. I just laugh with a “who knows….” because I literally don’t. lol.

I love the freedom that comes with accepting, loving, and being who you are.
Not being so consumed with rejection that you don’t say how you feel or what you want.
So concerned with the crowd that you do things you feel in your gut is stupid.
And, so concerned with being right or popular or liked that you sell yourself out.

The fact that I chopped all of my hair off a year and a half ago is something I never thought I would do. I never thought I would wear my hair in it’s natural state. I never thought I could “pull off” big hair, and turbans. Styles I loved on other people, but just didn’t think were “me”. Nose rings? I “can’t” wear that? A tattoo? Uh-uh.

But, why? Who was I listening to? Who was telling me I COULDN’T do these things that are so a part of who I am today, things that are so very real and true to my personality.

The older I get, the more I adjust to this new phase in life and what it comes with, the more and more I grasp who I am. The more confident I am in what I believe and want, what I will accept and why. I’m much more comfortable in my own skin.

Comfortably & confidently living in my own skin will definitely impact the next phases of life and I’m glad that I’m right where I am right now. I’m hoping to be able to pass down and teach confidence in self regardless of who is standing next to you. I’d like to believe that my best qualities are being honed while the not so fantastic pieces of myself are malleable enough to be redeemed and given another chance to be seen in a more brilliant light. That when I’m brave my best and worst can be used equally to empower, strengthen, mature, and develop those watching and coming after me. That my transparency makes me real and that much more lovable and loving.

lolas turbann2I’ve been back and forth about another tattoo that is so near to my heart…. the only reason I hadn’t gotten it is because my first tattoo’s ink bled, and I’d literally die from heartbreak if this one bled, as well.

It’s inked on my soul and I think that’s good enough for now….. a portion of it says “be brave“. Be incredibly brave.

Brave when you’re loving the unlovable, brave when you’re loving the broken, the hurting, the hungry, the arrogant, the mean ones, and the amazing. Be brave with who you are, what you want, and what you believe. Be brave when following your dreams, experiencing new adventures, and taking chances. Brave when you’re hurting and losing.

Be brave when you forgive and when you love. When you start over and push though the tough stuff. Be brave when you’re broken and sad. Be brave when you’ve failed and rejected.

Be brave when following Jesus. When going where he leads you, when doing the things he calls you to do.

Be brave without allowing life’s ebbs and flows to completely destroy who you are, your belief system, and your outlook on life.

Every time I do something new, try something outside of my comfort zone, and speak my truth in uncomfortable situations, I become more and more I become who I am.  And, it feels really good.

What has being brave taught you???



three year wait

lola It literally blows my mind that I have been blogging about through our “Mayes expansion project” for three years now. THREE ENTIRE YEARS.

I remember so much about “the news” and what came soon after, but had forgotten so much as well.

This week, we’re having Field Day at school… Three years ago this time, I was recovering from my endoscopy and laparoscopy.

I’d just learned that I had so much scar tissue from my Stage 2 endometriosis covering one of my ovaries that it looked like a cast and enough covering my fallopian tubes to prevent them from doing their job.  There was nothing happening down there at all! I had scar tissue below my “hostile environment” of a uterus right above my pelvis. Yes, a hostile environment… that’s how the doctor (lovingly & kindly) described my situation. lol. And, gave us a 2-4% chance of getting pregnant on our own during any given month…. while most couples have a 20-25% chance. (Isn’t it crazy that there are so many people on this earth, so many of our friends pregnant with seemingly low odds??!) Most of those details I’d forgotten aside from where my scar tissue was. I also didn’t forget that the scar tissue would grow back and if we were to try again after some time, I’d have to have surgery again. Y a y.

I’d completely forgotten that Thomas was interested in adoption long before I was. I was selfishly focused on children that would be “mine”…. who would look like me…. who would sound like me. How funny is it that God opens your eyes and heart to the very things you balked at? Humbling, right?

I had no idea what I was in for when I titled this space Unashamed Growth…. I had no idea the insanely phenomenal women I would meet, the amazing opportunities that would come from such an idea that I wasn’t even sure about in the first place.
I had no idea how we would be shaped and reshaped over the course of the next few years.

But, I’m grateful.
I would have missed so much. I would have missed God in so many places, wouldn’t have seen Him ALIVE in so many people. I wouldn’t be who I am if it wasn’t for my inability to have my own children.

lola2I’m reading Nehemiah along a billion other women over at She Reads Truth…. and, last week we saw how we each have a work to do, a specific and very important job that is meant to benefit the body of Christ. No matter how seemingly small and insignificant; trusting & obeying God with your efforts, your motives, your passions, your everything will impact the community and will be for your good & God’s glory. We also saw how great a motivator and team player Nehemiah was. He was a leader that heard his people and responded. How many of us truly take time to hear our girlfriends and address their needs or ease their burdens when they need us to?

Small tokens of gratitude, words of encouragement, smiles, watching a friend’s kids while they have a nap or run to the grocery store without four or six other hands pulling at them or items off a shelf HELPS the body. It strengthens us. Those moments of love in action matter. We never know how the enormity of a word or action that feels or seems small to us, can change the trajectory of another person’s day – both good and bad.

This journey is painful, but humbling at the same time.
We’re hoping that this portion of our story will be over soon and that we’ll be growing and experiencing God in our roles as forever parents one day.

But, until then…. we’re content with where we are, learning more and more everyday that the grace of God is more than enough. That HE, alone, is what our hearts yearn for the most.

Thank you for standing in the yuck and pain with us. Your presence and words have mattered a great deal!

*** photo cred: Trent Williams of Memorable Reflections ***
He asked me to model Lola (my hair, yes. she has a name & an insta! – @lo.lah) for a natural hair project, Hair Like Mine, he’s working on for his magazine. I was pretty freaking excited to do this for him & can’t wait to see the finished product!!!