A Letter to my First

The funny thing about this letter is that as I have mulled it over in my head the last weeks is that it feels like a goodbye letter. I suppose, in a way, it is, but I want it to be more like a segue into a new chapter in our life. This letter will go into the last book that I make for Maddie this year, the last of the singleton books as we move into family yearbooks.

I want her to have this letter as a way to remember through my words and my pictures. She may start to remember some things at this point, but she won't remember much before it. Now, it'll always be in writing.


For this child I prayed... {1 Samuel 1:27}

My sweet Maddie,

You are about to a big sister to two wiggly, little boys. I know you have no idea how life is about to change, and we don't really either, but we know it will be a big change.

For the last 3 1/2 years, it's just been us. You've been my little shadow. I toted you around everywhere, and you were so good at just going along wherever we happened to be going. We spent the first year of your life snuggling and nursing. You were the cuddliest, most affectionate little thing I'd ever seen. And could you be any cuter?! Nothing much was accomplished from 0 to 1, but that was just fine with me. I spent that whole year nursing, snuggling, and napping with you.

It has been so amazing to watch you grow from a squishy, chubby little baby into a smart, fearless, hilarious little kid. You understood funny at a very early age, and loved to be the center of attention. Hearing your baby sounds in the morning were some of my favorites. I loved walking into your room in the morning, you standing up in your crib with a huge smile on your face, ready for me to lift you out and spend the day together. Now...it'll be you & I going in to see your baby brothers every morning and all of us spending the day together.

Once you hit 1 year, you were Miss Independent. You were walking and babbling endlessly. You had so much to say. You were into everything. And happy. Oh, so happy. We call you Little Miss Sunshine. You burst into a room, and it is instantly brighter. You are pure joy. Listening to your squeals, your giggles, your chubby feet running down the hallway is what I always wanted to hear in my home. You were the one who brought all those things into our home: belly laughs, toys everywhere, baby smells, and everything else in between.

It's just been the 3 of us for so long that adding new people will be weird. It'll seem like they've always been there at some point. I know it'll be tough for you at times, but we're all going to learn and change together. I know you're going to be an amazing big sister to these little boys. You'll teach them to be silly, and goofy, and maybe even a little OCD. You know how to have fun with the best of them, and I know that they will get so much of that from you, little one. You were made to be a big sister to little boys. You are rough & tumble, and are unphased by most things. You roll with it. 

The next chapter of our lives is going to be different, but the only thing that will change is that we will have 2 new littles to love. You are the little that made me a Mama. You are the little who changed how I view the world. You and I will always have a special bond because you are my first. Even at 30 years old, I still call Nani everyday for comfort, advice or just to touch base. I will always be that for you. Forever. You can yell for me across the hall or come lay down in our room, and I will always make time for you. I'll even rub your back until you fall asleep if that's all you need. 

I'm so glad you were our first. Don't be scared about the future with these boys because pretty soon you won't even remember life without them.

I love you, little one.
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25 weeks | 2nd Trimester

Uneventful week. Starting to move towards getting the nursery set up in time for the shower. Their new, DARLING dresser gets moved in this week, computer desk will get moved out at some point, and then the cribs will go up. I even started washing baby boy clothes today, which felt really bizarre. I'm clearly in nesting mode. 

I had a moment of panic today after talking with my girlfriends about all of the things that I failed to add to my registry. I had totally forgotten about things that you need for babies. I'm out of practice. A quick trip to Target with their scanner gun fixed that in no time, and I'm feeling better. Although, NOW, I'm feeling anxious about getting everything we need. It's a lot. I'm having twins. Holy. Have I mentioned it's twins?!


How many of you were cheering Andi on last night as she ripped JUAN PABLO a new one?! It was awesome! How is it humanly possible that she is the only person who can see through this guy? We all knew it immediately, and we're not even "dating" the guy! I guess if Nikki and Clare can't see it, then they are well-suited for Pabs. Ridiculous. 

Can this man do nothing other than find a different body of water to make out with these chicks? Nikki was the ocean, Clare was the hot tub, and Andi was the waterfall. The interesting part was when he and Andi actually had a meaningful conversation about something she had said...and let's stop there! He was upset by the fact that she wanted to fall in love...ummm, ok. What normal human being doesn't, Pabs? Relax, muchacho. So, he starts getting uncomfortable because she is fronting off his stupidity, and his saying that she was there "by default." That's what turned him off? Ick. What happens when your precious Clare argues with you? You walk out because it irritates you that she doesn't swoon over you and gets sick of your dirty socks ON TOP of the hamper and not in it? Oh my. ABC, you really missed the boat this season. I mean, not many of these contestants are stellar, but good grief. Worst.Ever.

Eeets ok.

How far along? 25 weeks
Babies are the size of a? Head of Cauliflower
Total weight gain? 23 lbs.
Maternity clothes? Obviously.
Stretch marks? Not yet, but I have been slathering on the Cocoa Butter a ton.
Sleep? Hit & miss, I suppose. Sometimes I sleep like the dead, other nights I'm wide awake. My hips are throbbing from sleeping on my sides.
Miss Anything? Too many to list.
Movement? Oh yes. Usually when I'm winding down for the night or in the wee hours of the morning when I'm still sleeping.
Food cravings? Sweets!
Belly Button In or Out? In. Slowly losing it though...
Rings on or off? On.
Symptoms? A new one this week. Spider angiomas. Little red spots on my skin. I hate it. Luckily, they go away after pregnancy and are caused by an increase in estrogen in your body. I'd say I have a lot of that pumping through my veins at this point.
Anything making you queasy or sick? Laying on my back for longer than 5 minutes. I almost passed out at my ultrasound last week. I went from, "Oh, I need to throw up!" to "Oh, I'm going to pass out!" in about 10 seconds. No more ultrasounds on my back!
Labor Signs? Nothin'.
Happy or Moody most of the time? It's moment to moment at this point. 
Looking forward to? My shower!

From 1 to 3

I have a few friends who have twins. I'd like to say that their advice and counsel has calmed me. At times, I suppose, it has. However, I look at these women and think, "But I'm no _______. She's way better at this than I could ever hope to be." Therein, lies my problem, I suppose: comparison. Some comparison isn't necessarily bad, but the self-loathing, I'm-going-to-eat-my-weight-in-Oreos kind of comparison is probably best left untouched.

During an overly dramatic, hormonal sob fest yesterday afternoon, I really let myself get as stupid as humanly possible. I thought about all of the kick-a** women in my life who make me look like Darth Vader. I mean, come on. A lot of us know Ellie Mae, and that chick is a killer mom and she looks like a supermodel doing it. That woman hasn't perfected the top knot look like I have because she is always perfectly quaffed. I need whatever she's on.

I will be the first to tell you that I am 100% totally freaking terrified to have twins. I never planned on being a twin mom. Obviously. I think I'm making it just fine as a mom to the one I have. The inevitably that I will have multiple children that I have to bring home from the hospital and keep alive is terrifying. On top of the outrageous amount of hormones rushing through my body at any given second, I know that that part will end, but when it ends, it means that I have TWO infants to care for and feed from my body. (Typing that sentence just made me need to take a deep breath.)

I wish I could tell you that I am blissfully headed out for a #dailyTargetrun, smiling as I grab baby boy clothes and fill my cart, but in the cold, dark reality, I am skerred. Like, more scared than I have ever been in my life. I was scared when I had Maddie, but I was also blissfully unaware of all that goes into keeping those wee ones alive (Josh tells me this isn't true - he says we were both totally scared. I guess time has a way of making those feelings fuzzy). Most days, I really think God picked the wrong girl to have these boys. I could list 10 other women in my life that would be killer at this, no problem, hands down. I have a thing about shaving my legs everyday. I'm guessing smooth, shaved legs will be much farther down on the list of priorities once the twinks are here.

Maybe I will look back on this post in 5 years and laugh at the naive girl who sat in her dark bedroom in sweats while pouring out her scared little heart. I hope so. I hope I can look back and think, "Well, gosh, it just wasn't as bad as I thought it would be." Inevitably, I'm betting on that. Beneath the THICK layer of fear and uncertainty is the voice that says, "This is your job. You're going to do it, you're going to do it well, and you're going to look really hot doing it." My mom and mother-in-law both inspire me because this was them. My mom had to raise two girls in the midst of grieving the death of her brother. She got up everyday and had to decide to be a really good mom. My mother-in-law raised two boys on her own. No help at all, but she got up every morning and was a really good mom. I can't even claim either of these two scenarios. I'm just a mom, having twins, in a fairly normal family. I'm just scared. I'm outnumbered. And what if they're all smarter than I am? Then, I'm super screwed.

Is this a pity party? Nah. I'm sure many will judge me for not being so self-assured and farting rainbows, but that's just not my reality. My world is about to change in every sense of the word. It'll be a good change, and at some point, I won't be able to imagine my life without these two boys (just like it is with Maddie).

24 weeks | 2nd Trimester

This was not my week, folks. However, it's almost over. Maddie was sick for 10 days, I was sick for 6 & then developed a lovely sinus infection. You should be immune from getting sick ON TOP of being pregnant with twins who think your bladder is a squeeze toy.

I got to get dressed up like a girl the other night & go celebrate my birthday with my BFFs. I haven't laughed that hard in ages. It was nice to be out, sitting the entire time of course (except for the 48973497 bathroom breaks), and to feel pretty again. 

 Beaujo's for dinner with our hilarious waiter, Dick.

Melting Pot for dessert where I learned things about my friends that I never really needed to know.

Hello! Someone's friends know her well!

Got to see the boys today for the most brief, maddening, irritating appointment I have had to date. Needless to say, I won't be heading back to Denver for more follow-ups. The best part was that the boys are both measuring perfectly, and they are growing right on schedule. Can't complain about that! We got to see Baby A's profile, & he looks like his sister! And we all know how cute that kid is! Did I get ANY photos to take home? NO! I hardly got to see them today. :( Next one will be better. They are healthy & that's really all that matters.

Side note: how awful is this season of The Bachelor?? All that guy does is make out with these "girls," as he calls them - over the age of 20, let's call them women, JUAN PABLO. Literally, no depth to this guy or this season. My mother is going to be so horrified that HER daughter is watching trashy reality TV. Sorry, Mom. 

I watch it every week to see the train wreck that ensues, and I am never disappointed. Charlene was nuts & needed to go. Nikki is a bad word. Clare is a little too attached. Chelsie hasn't got a shot. And Renee is the only one with some serious class & depth, which means he won't pick her. UGH! Why do I watch this smut!?

How far along? 24 weeks
Babies are the size of a? Cantaloupe - that sounds giant (They are each 1lb, 6oz!)
Total weight gain? 22 lbs.
Maternity clothes? Yes, currently trying to find a cute, spring maxi for my shower. They conveniently have bikinis out 
IN THE DEAD OF WINTER, but no dresses.
Stretch marks? Not yet.
Sleep? Sleeping like the dead because I've been sick. Sickness then turned into a sinus infection. I'm OVER winter.
Miss Anything? Breathing normally.
Movement? A lot. They wake up just as I go to bed...
Food cravings? Nothing really this week.
Belly Button In or Out? In. Slowly losing it though...
Rings on or off? On.
Symptoms? Just the constant movement.
Anything making you queasy or sick? Laying on my back for longer than 5 minutes. Almost hit the deck today during the ultrasound. They are sitting firmly on that nerve!
Labor Signs? Nothin'.
Happy or Moody most of the time? Happy, but not happy about so much sickness. 
Looking forward to? My shower!

23 weeks | 2nd Trimester

I turned 30 this week! No, I don't feel different. I feel rounder, but that's not surprising since this belly is growing at an astronomical rate.

Maddie and I have been sick all week, so this hasn't been my favorite week of pregnancy. Day 8 of sickness for her, and day 5 of sickness for me. I'm over it. It's miserable for both of us, but she's had it way worse. I'm ready to be well and for some warm weather to gush in through our windows. Something about spring makes me think of being healthy - maybe it's all the Vitamin D we are soaking in. 

Spring is around the corner! I can taste it! Shower invites go out Tuesday, so be sure to RSVP! So looking forward to seeing all of you in a couple of weeks!

Forgive the blur. Some photographer, eh?
How far along? 23+ weeks
Babies are the size of a? Grapefruit
Total weight gain? 21 lbs.
Maternity clothes? Of course. I had to go buy some new stuff last week just to cover the belly. It's actually a little difficult to find the right size right now. 
Stretch marks? Not yet.
Sleep? Sleeping better this week. We've been sick all week, but in spite of that, I've been able to sleep pretty well. My body is just tired from being sick, so I knock out fast every night.
Miss Anything? Breathing normally.
Movement? All the time. They are pushing their way out as much as they can. They are clearly running out of room and are trying to stretch me out beyond what I thought humanly possible. 
Food cravings? I mean, do I need to keep saying it?
Belly Button In or Out? In.
Rings on or off? On.
Symptoms? Pain from the stretching and growing boys!
Anything making you queasy or sick? nah.
Labor Signs? More Braxton Hicks contractions the other night, but they were short lived, thankfully.
Happy or Moody most of the time? Happier, but not feeling great, so that doesn't make me terribly happy.
Looking forward to? My shower in FOUR weeks!!!

On turning thirty.

**Written Monday evening, but I was too tired to find all the pictures I wanted, so I just now found them all.


On the eve of my thirtieth birthday, I thought it appropriate to do a more reflective post, even if it is laced with sarcasm. My mother-in-law asked me the other day how I was feeling about turning 30. My response was, "meh. I don't feel any different." I told my Mom later that day that I felt like a mature 20-year-old and an immature 30-year-old. My mom seemed more mature when she was 30 (from what I could gather from pictures and stories, I suppose), but perhaps my aunts will scoff at that statement.

More events, life changes, and breathtaking moments happened in my twenties than in the twenty years before. (Maybe that means my thirties will settle a wee bit.) I went to college (dropped out), went to beauty school (dropped out), moved to another state to live with roommates (moved out), got my own apartment, watched my brother-in-law have massive brain surgery, got engaged, got married, bought a house, got a dog, had a kid, watched my mother-in-law gasping for oxygen as she was in heart failure just before major heart surgery, watched my father-in-law get terribly sick, said goodbye to three grandparents, and now, I sit here with two wiggling boys in my belly. When I look at that list (and these are only the bullet points), it's just no-freaking-wonder that there were tears, and anxiety attacks, and moments of confusion. Sooo much good happened. So much hard stuff happened. But hey, I survived. There were moments that I thought I wouldn't make it out, but I did. I guess that means I'm stronger than I thought I was.

The interesting part of this post is that I came here to write the things I learned in my twenties, but at this moment in my life, I can honestly say that I have become disappointed in myself. I expect more of myself; I have high expectations. I want to be better, smarter, wiser, more confident. I am my own worst critic, hardly ever giving credit to myself where credit is definitely due. Yes, I am on bed rest and relying very much on my husband, in-laws, and friends to help out, but DUDE! I'M GROWING TWO FREAKING HUMAN BEINGS AT ONE TIME!

I have a list of things I'd like to learn and MASTER in my thirties, but those can be written in another post. Today is about sharing what I have learned in the last 10 years.

20 Things I Learned in my Twenties
1. I learned to say I love you every single day, as much as possible.
2. I'd rather drink Chai tea than eat anything.

20 years old

3. It is possible to think your spouse is hilarious even when he's being a butthead.
4. Having a child is the most amazing thing I could ever do.

21 years old

5. Having close girlfriends who know how insane you are is a must-have.
6. I like beer.

22 years old

7. I learned that you still need your Mom even when you're just shy of 30.
8. Burberry is my signature scent.

23 years old

9. Singing at the top of my lungs in the car with my best friend makes me giddy.
10. Anxiety disorder is just part of my makeup. I am not broken because of it - it is part of my story and that's ok. (Also, still working on this one).

24 years old

11. I am worse at math than should be humanly possible.
12. I don't like watching dramas because they make me sad.

25 years old

13. It's ok to re-read Harry Potter and The Hunger Games as much as I want.
14. I'd rather stay home with my little family than do much else.

26 years old

15. I learned to embrace the country in me, and am a full-blown country music fan, complete with some seriously amazing new boots from my Mom.
16. I learned how to drive a stick (And no, MOM, Josh did not laugh until he couldn't breathe!)

27 years old

17. God maybe isn't as scary as I once believed.
18. My body is incredible: 90lb weight loss, 5 miscarriages, 1 birth, twin pregnancy.

28 years old

19. I am pretty good at taking photos of people.
20. Family is everything, even if part of that family is far away, or if family isn't necessarily related.

29 years old

I'm thankful for the close friends and family in my life. You have made the last 10 years funny, hard, silly, stupid, and worth it. Happy 30th to me!

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22 weeks | 2nd Trimester

Y'all, it was not a good week. However, instead of whining & complaining MORE than I already have, I will share just the highlights. Some very good people helped me through a crappy, hormonal, anxiety-ridden week, but I'm feeling so much more like myself the last couple of days.

Just before the snow hit, we spent one glorious afternoon outside with our girl. She squealed & giggled & gathered rocks to carry in her Radio Flyer trike for a while, and we enjoyed the sunshine for just a little bit. Highlight of my week. My little family, some Vitamin D, and my camera. I miss taking photos outside, but I bet I'll be really good at taking indoor photos when this is all over. 

*If you haven't already seen it, friends on my Facebook got an invite to my shower. Go RSVP so my BFF can start working on some goodies to make for you all to eat! Formal invites were ordered & will be sent out in the next couple weeks.

How far along? 22 weeks (measured 29 at my appt on Tuesday & about died!)
Babies are the size of a? Papaya
Total weight gain? 20 lbs.
Maternity clothes? Yes, with some non-maternity. 
Stretch marks? Not yet.
Sleep? I had a stretch of insomnia that lasted 5 days, but have had 2 nights of great sleep. We spent the night at my in-laws the other night.  It was, apparently, all I needed to get me into a peaceful state & I slept like a baby while listening to rain sounds (thanks, YouTube) all night. 
Miss Anything? Everything.
Movement? Yep. One of them flipped the other night and I was unable to get comfortable. By the following morning, I had an internal bruise. 
Food cravings? Nothing this week. I don't have much of an appetite actually.
Belly Button In or Out? In.
Rings on or off? On.
Symptoms? I think I have all of them except nausea.
Anything making you queasy or sick? nah.
Labor Signs? Nope
Happy or Moody most of the time? Sooo moody. Oh, moody.
Looking forward to? A massage after these boys are born! I told Josh last night that that's what I want as soon as all is well. My body is so achy!
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