We Can't Fail

30 June 2015



"They are perfect, they are beautiful, God bless them."

I was quickly changing diapers in the back of my SUV in Target's parking lot. As I looked over my shoulder I saw a man smiling at our double stroller. He peeked over at my boys who lay down on a mat cooing at each other. The words rolled of the tongue of an absolute stranger and were filled with so much love. I beamed with pride agreeing with everything he'd spoken, while politely saying thank you.

I'll admit, in the hours after giving birth and discovering I now had two sons I panicked for a moment. You see, black men have always had it hard. And most recently 2012-2015 have been tumultuous for the black people as a whole, but especially for our men. Black men are being slain left and right whether they were wrong or right - innocent or not and the slain innocent receive no justice. These men are being senselessly killed and the courts have proven that their lives have little to no value. Most of the times I watch these cases and I feel hurt for the victims. Now becoming a mother my heartaches more for their families as I couldn't imagine what it would feel like to live without my children. It's even more awful to know that people would treat them poorly because of their skin. Right now they receive so much love as babies even though they are black, so what changes as they become black men?

My boys mean the world to me. Like the stranger who could see beyond their skin, I too think they are perfect and beautiful. I just wish I could assure that the rest of the world would see them that way. It's my prayer that their character would proceed their skin in everything they do. I've vowed to raise them as men who love God and his people. I've done my best to build a relationship with a man who God has called to be their father and we are already brainstorming on the best ways to raise our black sons.

We don't want them to fit societies view of a black man, we will remind them everyday that they were made in the image of God. We want them to know that family is important and that men have a huge responsibility for the women they marry and the children they create. We want them to know that they don't have to please people they just need to please God. We want to raise them to know that the standard is not money, women, and cars - the standard is faith, hope, and charity. This is quite a task and the hardest one at that, no other race of mothers or fathers have to worry about their child being jailed or killed simply because of their skin.

I know this isn't going to be easy and I fully expect some challenges on the way. However when I look at the state of the world I know that we MUST raise well rounded young men. We MUST educate our sons about the realities they face. We cannot fail, in this world failure is not an option. Until the days come where we are gently leading them to Christ I'm going to enjoy these purely innocent snuggles and endlessly wet kisses. I'm going to soak up the love they receive from strangers and pray that as they grow society would see Christ in them. 

xo


Wounded Warrior Project + A Giveaway

19 May 2015



We are closing in on yet another Memorial Day celebration. I think its really easy to get caught up with BBQs, beach days, and just having the day off work. I live very close to an Airforce base so my community is filled with the men and women who serve our country. I also have friends who served and lost their lives and many who are still serving us now.  Aside from all the celebrating I think its really good to sit back and reflect on what Memorial Day is really about and how many soldiers have given their lives, limbs and hearts for our freedom. I think its important to find ways to give back to those who have so freely given so much to us.

I have the opportunity to spotlight a wonderful story about our own American Sniper Chris Kyle, who lost his life in 2013. His story made it the big screen and as of today the Clint Eastwood directed movie is available for purchase on DVD. Warner Brothers is doing a really great thing in the community, for each DVD that is purchased they will be donated one dollar to the Wounded Warrior Project. They will be donated for each sale whether digital or physical until the last day of the year.

The Wounded Warrior Project helps those that were injured while serving our country. They also raise the awareness of the public about the service men and women that need our aide. If you are interested in learning more about the Wounded Warrior Project be sure to check out the link above.

Along with sharing the news of this DVD release and The Wounded Warrior Project I also have  opportunity to giveaway a copy of the DVD to one of my readers and a friend. I've already given one copy to my best friends husband who is also a Sniper. If you would like a copy of the DVD comment below and on my post on Instagram telling me what your plans are for this Memorial Day.


Because....

15 May 2015


I love them because their existence seemed so impossible.

I love them because it was a journey to get them here.

I love them because they are the fulfillment of a promise and a dream made real.

I love them because they represent the best parts of my husband and I. 

I love them because they make me a better me.

I love them because they teach me patience, forgiveness, and humility.

I love them because they remind me that God hears.

I love them because innocence is attractive. 

I love them because they are both my biggest blessing and challenge.

I love them because they are here and they belong to me.

Quiet

10 May 2015

It's been quiet here on my blog, but this space is currently no reflection of my life and the beautiful chaos it includes.  I'm a mother now. I am still on the hunt for the balance between being a wife, mother, and myself.

As I type this now my sweet husband has agreed to give me a little space and put our littlest bear to sleep. He's currently fighting it and I'm torn between abandoning this post to wrap my arms around him or to continue enjoying a little time to myself. Motherhood, its a constant battle of choices.

It's hard for me to put into words the way I felt about Mother's Day for the last 7 or so years, mainly because I just hid from the day and pretended it didn't exist. Last year around this time I was newly pregnant, hardly anyone could tell but I boasted about it because I was so thrilled to be closing in on my dreams. This year I have been a mother to twin boys for 5 months. This holiday can bring so much pain in the world that I have escaped from. Even with giggling babes on my lap I am still finding it hard to love a day that hurts so many. Yes it'll be nice to celebrate but I hurt for all those that ache to be mothers. I hold on to the dream that sweet friends of mine will soon have babes in their arms and know the joy of parenting their very own little ones - whether by birth, adoption, or any other means God has in mind. Until then I pray for each one of them, that God will soothe their broken hearts and that they would feel his love on them each and everyday. I have not forgotten you, I think of and pray for you often.

Happy Mother's Day to all you Mommies out there, including the Mommies at heart.


Work.

08 May 2015


All of a sudden everything about our whimsical boy meets girl romance seems hard. A single conversation, cuddle session, or movie night seems like a real impossibility. Our twosome is now a foursome, seemingly overnight. We are both still learning how to adapt to our new roles of Mommy + Daddy without abandoning our roles of Husband + Wife.

I just finished mulling over an article a fellow twin mama sent me. It talked about how parents of multiples experienced divorce, financial pain, and child abuse at a higher rate. The word DIVORCE stood out to me as I pondered how such a beautiful experience could lead to such an ugly demise. Child abuse is also horrendous but that's not on my radar.

My husband and I are never getting a divorce, but I can see how it could happen. Having twins has been the greatest experience in our lives but it's quite the challenge as it comes with both joys and stressors. Today I found myself craving alone time when my husband and I had nearly two hours to ourselves . I felt like I needed to decompress and at the same time the Holy Spirit whispered to me to hang out with him. Instead I hurried towards the door insistent on a little me time at Starbucks. We could have watched a movie, taken a walk, or just spent time chatting with one another but I put my needs first. While I understand that sometimes that might be necessary it wasn't today.

Everything just seems harder now after five months of accidentally neglecting our marriage. I was tired, I'm in pain, the babies need me, are all the ways of putting ourselves before our most precious possession, our marriage. We both know we are overdue for a date night and we've discussed the logistics of planning one but we still haven't taken the plung. Reading that article tonight makes me wonder how many of these couples unintentionally neglected their relationships, and how many actually planned and went through with date nights? I don't want to be one of those couples. We've survived and thrived through so many different things that have come our way. In just two short months we will celebrate our 10th wedding anniversary and I want it to be meaningful and magical. I still remember all the reasons why we got married and all the reasons why my husband and I are best friends. We just need a reconnection. One of my dear friends talked about being intentional in the relationship and that's exactly the key. The same way I am intentional about getting out of the house for myself I need to do the same for my marriage.

My husband has persued dates with me for a few weeks now. I've set things up to have the babes taken care of, so here is to hoping I can report back about having a wonderful date this weekend. Please pray it works out for us!

Motherhood

25 April 2015


It's changing me, I can feel it. I've wanted this for so long but I'm having a hard time saying goodbye to my former self. When I look in the mirror these days I hardly recognize who I've become. Who is this woman up at 3am cuddling babies without a single complaint? Who is this woman that isn't grossed out by projectile spit up or poo? Who is this woman that finds being touched delightful? Who is this woman?! I don't know her yet there is so much about her that I admire.

I'm working hard to understand this new role. I've never liked to be touched yet four tiny hands probe me all day. God knew physical touch wasn't my love language so he made me a mother. I get it, through touching unspoken words flow. Little baby hands touch me to say " I love you, Mommy" - while little baby heads lay on my shoulder to say "I need you.". It's all so overwhelming it makes my heart swell. Patience was never my strong suit yet it glows from within while holding a crying babe. Its changing me, motherhood is changing me at the core.

And I'm eternally grateful.

Nurslings

18 March 2015


As I write this its 1am and I'm deeply immersed in a baby sandwich. If you're not familiar, that's when you're in the middle with one baby to your right and the other to your left. Tonight's baby sandwich is equivalent to a PJ sandwich because both babies are asleep and getting out of bed would put me in a sticky situation. Thankfully my bladder is empty and I may get an hour or two of sleep before they wake to nurse. Being the only one to provide these babes with nourishment is a badge of honor I wear proudly. But I won't lie, it's been hard.

Our start was even harder. Chauncey didn't latch well for weeks and Oliver was in the NICU only taking bottles of expressed milk. Before my milk came in I was guilted into giving him formula which he spat up regularly. I don't regret my choice to make sure he ate but I do wish they hadn't pressured me to give him something he didn't need. We've recently discovered he has an issue with digesting soy which has left this vegan mama with worry on how to overhaul her diet sans soy. Once Oliver came home I secretly nursed him at night and gave him the bottle in the day time. I was afraid of having my family watch me try and fail. His preference for nursing became apparent as he gagged each time his Father or my Mother offered him a bottle. Finally feeling confident I told them, he wants to nurse. My little nursing champ refuses bottles and I'm not sure if that's a victory or something I'll cry about after while.

Since I had more than 1000 ounces of milk frozen in my freezer I was close to calling myself an "exclusive pumper" but my sanity was shot and I wasn't sure how long I could keep it up. With one babe jumping on the nursing wagon I decided to seek help for Chauncey's latch issues. Although it was suggested that he have his frenulum clipped my Mama Bear instinct told me he just needed more practice. So at home I asked that neither baby be given a bottle so they could become familiar with the breast. After a few weeks it was clear that Chauncey had all the practice he needed. Once he realized he was getting milk directly from the source he never looked back. He is a vigorous nurser and can empty and engorged breast without a single burp. Though he happily spits up afterward, having ate himself silly. Oliver on the other hand prefers to snack, while lying on his side cuddled with his Mommy. I have to say our time together is a favorite of mine too.

With each nursling being familiar to the breast I can confidently say we have been at this for 13 weeks and have met our first goal of three months. I would like to nurse these babes as long as they will let me but I consider each day as a victory for us. I am now feeding them on demand at least 8 times a day. I haven't pumped in a week and it feels great. Exclusively pumping was the most exhausting yet gratifying thing I have ever done. I loved watching my breast fill bottle after bottle with milk but I'm glad to have moved from spending more time with my pump to more time with my twins. I know many moms who exclusively pump with twins and they are much stronger than I. Im so grateful that this part of our journey is turning around. I love nursing and the freedom that comes with giving my babies the food made specifically for them.

Our next goal?! Three more months. The boys are getting more curious each day so I know this will be quite the adventure.
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