weekly round-up • peaches, fair, coffee & getting minimal

weekly round-up • peaches, fair, coffee & getting minimal

Weekly round-up!

This week I had no daycare kids. I missed them but it was nice to regroup, straighten the house, plan my fall ideas and have time with Tommy.

I went to my mom’s and she graciously taught me how to properly can peaches- amazing. Now I want to can all the things. She always uses the canning peaches method by Practical Self Reliance– her recipe is super simple to follow. We used the extra light syrup variation. Guys, I always canning was too hard but it’s not, it was actually super relaxing. Do you can? Do you love it? Teach me your ways.

We also went to The Great Frederick Fair this weekend, Tom had to work, I went to help him and Tommy went to try to convince Daddy to buy him a cow– it might have worked.

Back to the peaches. My mom bought 1/2 bushel of peaches from Pryor’s Orchard for $20 plus she bought me the canning jars (she’s so nice) which are the smooth sided quart jars, a 12 count for $10.34 which bumps the price to $3.71/jar (each jar is $0.86 and we used 7 jars).

A store bought jar runs about $1.76 for 15 oz so, $3.84 for the same amount and while it’s more work to do it yourself, two hours from set-up until we were finished these TASTE SO MUCH BETTER, I am calling it a win.

So I finally sat down to edit video about the babies. We’ve been documenting everything but holding on to it for– I don’t know why.

I have a youtube channel and this week I posted our twin gender reveal video and pregnancy update videos. Tom’s head totally got cut-off in the gender reveal but that’s what happens when you film it yourself. We did have a friend help us (thank you Ken) but he was manning another camera with our family’s reaction– turns out his card didn’t take– so I am thankful for the footage we do have.  Do you guys believe in gender reveals– I think any reason to celebrate a new baby is a good reason and I am so glad we got it on film.

This coming week I am going to post a ‘Baby Names We Love but Won’t be Using’ video and we’ll be sharing our twins’ names in a name reveal video.  I am just so grateful for this pregnancy and want to remember it. Should I tell you Tom thinks it’s our last pregnancy? Eeekk. I’m not sure about that.

 

I started drinking coffee again. I gave it up when I was newly pregnant. My doctor said I could only have 60 mg a day– does that sound right? I feel like she meant 150 mg. Anyways, I pour 1/4 cup  of regular brew coffee in a small mason jar, stick it in the freezer, then add milk, a cup of ice + a tiny bit of heavy whipping cream. Heavy cream makes all the difference. Man I missed it.

We have been on a path to minimalism for– years now. I made so much progress this week. Basically we’ve gotten rid of all the things (okay, I have, Tom just goes along with it–for the most part). Do you guys konmari? I do and now I want to minimize everything.  This week I finished basically the WHOLE HOUSE. I only took a picture of our bedroom but I’ll take more soon.

That’s it for this week. Except for a mom moment I had. Yesterday, I realized I hate being away from Tommy. HATE it. I know that sounds either obvious or obnoxious depending how you look at it but for the first three years of his life I worked every week day, (and lots of weekends). It was nothing for me to be gone from him for 12 hours at a time. Tommy went to Tom’s parents house for a the day while I worked the fair for Tom’s work and I hated not having him with me. It felt so weird. He’s my doctor appointment buddy, my work buddy, my cleaning buddy, my errands buddy, my library buddy– all of it. I feel like the luckiest person to stay home with him. My parenting confidence has sky rocketed since I quit my job three months ago. I just had to share because there was a time where I liked being away from him, having time to myself– don’t get me wrong I still do, but not for twelve hours!

That’s all guys! Weekly round-ups are my favorite thing to write because they help me remember all of the things. Hope you had a blessed week.

Always grateful, always thankful,

Emily

Thoughts on Having Twins After Losing Twins

Thoughts on Having Twins After Losing Twins

twins after loss

Hi friends,

I have lots of thoughts about carrying twins after losing twins and most of it centers around– wow and— how. The rest of the world seems to think this is completely normal, people are excited for us, they say ‘you’re so lucky’ and ‘awe, how sweet’. I am the only one who is completely undone by God’s grace for us in this. And I am. Completely undone. There is a level of surrender I need to reach, the level that allows you to go about a day and not be completely unraveled by the miracles growing inside of me but I’m not there yet. And maybe I don’t want to be. I want it to be January so I can see these babies. It’s all I want. I know part of that is wrapped up in grief and disbelief. Last pregnancy God said, trust me. This time God hasn’t said anything. Just two healthy babies, two heart beats, beating at every appointment. An easy pregnancy. How could that be? Having twins after losing twins is– surreal. In a way it doesn’t make any sense. Medically, one egg split last time, two eggs were fertilized this time but– to my broken heart–two babies this time means, everything.

Friends, I will never make sense of this but to say that God loves us. He’s there in our sorrow and in our joy. He gives us the desires of our hearts and more abundantly. More abundantly so.

If you are praying for something, keep praying. The bible tells us, “Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us..” Ephesians 3:20-21

Immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine. I am growing two babies that are proof.

Thank you for praying for us! I am fully convinced someone (or lots of you) were praying we would have twins for a second time and  God answers prayers.

Always thankful, always grateful,

Emily

When it Comes To Fathers

When it Comes To Fathers

When it comes to fathers, I found the best.

I’ve told Tom the best part of being married is watching him be a dad. Or if I haven’t told him, I should.

The truth is, I give him a hard time; he’ll say all of the time, I say some of the time. Like this weekend, we were celebrating Father’s day with crabs (the best!), I ask Tom to get Tommy food. I was thinking a hot dog, watermelon, maybe coleslaw and a drink- on a plate, with a fork. Tom had his dad get Tommy a hot dog and that was it; no fruit, no vegetable, no plate, no fork. #dadlife.

Things like that baffle me. Or putting Tommy to bed without pajamas- like what? Or not putting him to bed at all and letting him stay up to watch tv. He’s two! I probably have a list but that’s okay. Apparently we aren’t the only ones who parent differently. Dads are special.

When it comes to fathers, they are kind of the best. And truthfully, maybe more fun than mothers. Maybe a lot more fun. Just saying.

When it comes to fathers I know the best: Tom, my own dad and Tom’s dad are some of the sweetest, laid back (in a good way) most fun people I know.

It must be a dad thing.

#HappyFathersDay

What are the funny things that your husband/dad does that you never would? I have a whole lot more but like I said, he is kind of the best.

-Emily

Our second and third baby

Our second and third baby

Hi guys,

There is something I’ve been meaning to tell you.

In January, Tom and I found out we are expecting another baby.

In February we found out we are expecting twins.

In March we found out our babies had several abnormalities and were deemed incompatible with life. Specifically, both of our twins have limb body wall complex.

Now it’s May and I am 21 weeks pregnant with these sweet babies.

twin pregnancy limb body wall

At 12 weeks our ultrasound technician left the room quietly to get our doctor. I told Tom she looked upset. We already knew we were having twins, we already knew there was a chance they could be conjoined.

My OB sent us to a maternal fetal medicine doctor the same day. The doctor came in and the quietest voice, told us that our babies were incompatible with life. She listed off several abnormalities and showed us each one.

She explained that none of it added up to be any one defect or any one cause. She said they could also be conjoined at the liver, we just don’t know.

She asked if I had any questions. I looked at the screen, where I just saw two hearts beating and asked: “but they are still alive…so why are they still alive”?

She quietly said, “I don’t know”.

She got up to leave and told us to take as much time as we needed which sounded ridiculous.

Then, I looked at Tom and sobbed like I have never sobbed before. Good thing Tom was there to hold me because it was 20 minutes before I could walk again. As we cried, we both cried out to Jesus. The presence of the Holy Spirit became so thick in the room we could tangibly feel God all around us. We both walked out with a peace we still can’t explain. Except we can.

God goes before us, He is always with us, He never forsakes us. God was already there.

And the same God who I walked into that exam room with, is the same God I left with.

His promises are real. And even in this I have joy.

God is bigger than all of my fear.

Our faith tells us God can heal these babies completely. And we know they are already whole and complete in Jesus. No matter how long we have them, we are their parents- stewards of their souls. If we lose them, we know that Jesus conquered death. So we have no fear. We only have joy.

I plan to post about our journey. Even the hard parts. Already, I have gained so much from reading from other parents who faced a similar diagnosis. Already God has shown up for us in ways we can’t explain but will try to witness too.

Will you pray our sweet babies and for us- believe with us for a miracle and trust God to do a work in us either way? We so covet your prayers. Thank you sweet friends.

Cherishing all of your prayers and forever thankful for these babies,

-Emily

Tommy’s Two Year Update

Tommy’s Two Year Update

Our Tommy-man is two years old.

And he is just so funny. Whoever calls twos terrible, well I just don’t know but it’s pretty terrific.

Two Year Update

Two-year-old Tommy is a total goofball. Everything is funny, everything is fun except when he doesn’t get the snack he wants. Then maybe I do get it. #toddlerlife

Two Year Update

Really, Tommy is still sweet natured (just like his dad) but maybe a touch stubborn (like his mama) and now he comes up with the funniest things. Like how he saw the dog eating grass in the backyard and tells everyone Kiptyn eats poop and then laughs about it like it is the funniest thing he’s ever heard.

I love watching his imagination lately- it is out there (not the dog eating poop thing, that’s probably true).

Watching him grow into a two-year-old, he is more confident with most everything. He is not timid about anything and will let you know what he wants. Like cookies and donuts and playing outside.

Lately he has turned into a chatterbox, literally repeating everything we say. (Like that one time he told his dad to chill out.) His favorite word might be no, but I’ve heard it’s a toddler thing. He says a lot of other things the funniest being heavy- which he says with a weird accent- heeeavvvy. It’s the best.

He outgrew his dance to all rap music stage but I am sure it will come back right?

A big milestone for us is now at two he may have outgrown his dairy allergy. Hallelujah. Tommy had a whole piece of pizza the other day and did just fine so fingers crossed.

I just realized I have no idea how much he weighs or how tall he is so maybe I should get on that but he is in 3T clothes and I’ buying bigger shoes every week.

Here are some more of two year old Tommy’s favorite things.

favorite food : shrimp lo-mein (just like me)
favorite color : orange, he thinks everything is orange or pink
favorite book : Everyone Poops (I mean, it’s a classic so..)
favorite thing to do : be outside
favorite toy : toy shotgun
favorite sport : baseball
favorite tv show : PJ Masks on repeat (make it stop! jk)
favorite place : the farm
favorite animal : dogs
favorite dog : Ripken, his aunt Val’s yellow lab
loves : all things animals, balls and sports, guns
most used phrase : “what happened? or what is that?”

That’s all about Tommy for his two year update. I’ve got to say I love raising a two-year old. Especially this two-year old.

The luckiest,

Emily

We Bought a Minivan, for Real.

We bought a minivan and it is a total God thing. Do you believe God loves us enough to care that we have a car to drive? We do because we’ve lived it.

Ever since we dated, Tom and I have struggled with our vehicle situation. I almost wouldn’t go out with him because he didn’t have a car for the longest time. It drove me crazy and was probably the number one point of contention in our relationship- him not having a car and my truck always breaking down. See Tom went to school to be a mechanic so I thought that meant he would have a car that ran. It was a struggle that continued into our marriage even though we had two vehicles that ran, most of the time. To his credit, Tom has never not been able to fix our cars, it’s just that our cars just needed a lot of fixing.

Before we we even thought about having a baby we for sure knew we needed to buy a vehicle- basically anything newer than the ’93 Honda and ’97 Ford pick-up we had. But that didn’t happen. So one day last week I was driving our Honda and smoke started pouring out of the hood. Our baby was asleep in the back seat. I panicked, pulled the baby out of the car, ran into a Roy Rogers and waited for the car to explode. It never did and we were perfectly safe.

Tom came two hours later, fixed a hose and drove the car home. The baby slept the whole time.

So our friend Josh has a car lot with his dad (shout out Josh) and literally one week before the car broke down Josh told Tom about a 2006 Town & Chrysler minivan they had for sale. Tom was transfixed for some reason and would not stop talking about this minivan. I ignored him because we didn’t have the money. Plus don’t you need to have like five kids to buy a minivan? Tom went ahead and applied for a car loan- bad credit score and all.

We bought it a few days later.

Luck? Not at all. Just the fact that our ghetto Honda didn’t catch on fire is proof that God loves us. And us buying a car newer than twenty years old? Oh man this is a big deal. We prayed and prayed about our vehicle situation and when I was sitting in that Roy Rogers I prayed even harder. God answers prayer. And this is proof. For real.

See neither of us wanted a minivan- we were those people, thought we were too cool and didn’t have enough kids. At least that’s what I thought, I have no idea why Tom didn’t want one. But then I had a dream that we bought this exact van and Tom for some reason just would not stop talking about it. It was like God saying hey get over what you think you need, I know exactly what you need and here it is- oh and it’s going to be so much better than you ever expected. Because it is. Vans are like the coolest cars out there, so much room. We could have a party in the back. A dog and baby party.

So that’s our story. We bought a minivan and it is a total a God thing. The timing, the price, the mileage, the fact that we were able to get a low super interest rate, the fact that we bought a car that runs- God is so good. And minivans are awesome.

What is God blessing you with this week?

xoxo,
Emily

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