31 days

It is finally October 1st, 2018. What a year it has been so far. I look forward to the arrival of October every year and this year is no different. We officially have 31 days until we meet Baby A and Baby B. We are so excited for what lies ahead but have plans to make the most of our last month as three. 

Claire asks almost every day if it is time for the babies to "come out". She calls them by first and middle name. She has everything assigned to one baby or the other if something doesn't match exactly. She spends a great deal of time in their room and constantly asks to get in the cribs or look at tiny baby clothes. I'm so excited to watch her grow into her role as big sister. We think she is going to be very helpful and very loving to her little sisters. 

It is still hard to believe that there will be one new baby living at our house let alone TWO babies! People often tell us how crazy that seems and we completely agree. I think at first, we were so unsure of what this adventure would be like but now we are so sure that it is going to be fantastic! We don't know how it will work but we know we can do it. We know it will be hard, but we also know we have enough love for all of these sweet girls that God chose to bless us with.

We have been doing weekly checkups for almost two months now. I have been having some issues with my blood sugar and so the doctor has been monitoring me closely. Earlier today, we went in for a checkup and full sonogram scan. We were so happy to be updated on how the babies are growing now that we are 33 weeks. Baby A measured 32 weeks and 6 days and Baby B measured 33 weeks and 2 days. The tech's estimate is that each baby is 4 and a half pounds each. We were shocked to hear that I am already carrying around 9 pounds of baby! I have been guessing that each girl will be around 6 pounds each. Claire was exactly 6 pounds and 1 ounce so I think they will both be pretty close to that. 

Only 4 more weeks to go! 


Claire Grace: 2 years old

Our girl is two! She has been so sweet and laid back lately. The last few months have been hard for her and she has handled all of the transition so well. I think that she is glad that we finally live at the farm and just have one place to call home. She gets to go with Grandad every evening to feed all of the animals and she is actually a good helper! I think she looks forward to that all day because she asks almost every day when we get home if it is time to feed. I love that this girl gets to spend so much time with all of grandparents every day. I think that is such a special gift.

Recently, we went with Judson to a conference in Nashville. We stopped in Memphis on the way and stayed at the Peabody Hotel downtown. Claire is ruined for life as far as hotel living goes. She now thinks that all hotels have (or should have) ducks living in them. This was such a great stop even if we had only timed it to see the ducks march but it was also a fun one night stay for Claire! We moved from the Peabody to Opryland in Nashville. There is plenty to see and do there as well. We got to have leisurely mornings while Judson was in sessions. Claire has continued talking about staying in hotels ever since we arrived home. I like that she is such a good traveler and I hope she continues to have an adventurous state of mind as she grows.

This year Claire had a farm themed birthday because she loves ALL the animals! It was a small gathering with just family and cousins and she was so excited to finally celebrate her birthday!

Things I hope to remember about Claire at two are:
-Her love for all of God's creatures
-How she randomly tells me "I love you, momma"
-How she gives kisses on your arm every once in a while
-That she LOVES broccoli
-That she still sleeps all night long even in her own bed
-Her sense of humor
-Her excitement over the twins
-Her love/excitement for her shoes
-Her favorite color is pink
-She knows several songs
-She loves Lonesome Dove

To Claire: I pray that you are always strong, sweet, and smart. I hope you always have compassion for God's creations and follow in his word. I hope you are not afraid to see the good in the world and strive to make the most of every season. You are so very loved and I am so glad that God picked me to be your mom.


Goodbye Hickory Street

I'm writing this to remember...

To remember all of the memories that were made here. To remember the love that grew and grew. To remember where we first came home as a couple and then as three. This is where we really became a family and even though we are so excited about our new adventure, we are also a little sad to say goodbye to the house on Hickory Street.

J.D. has lived in this house for five years longer than the rest of us. He bought this house in his twenties and has so much pride for all of the quaint charm that it holds. He provided me with this house after we were married and 10 months later we brought Claire home. After spending eight weeks on maternity leave I truly fell in love with this little house. It is my home. I know that it will take some adjusting once we move for the new house to feel like home but it will be perfect because we will be there together.

I love all of the little things about this home and will very much miss the beautiful wood floors and divided rooms. I love the way that all of the ivy is grown up around the backyard and we have a sort of secret garden because you can't see much beyond the fence because of the plants. I will miss Claire's beautiful nursery and J.D.'s marron study. There rooms were bare when I moved in and they have turned in to my favorite rooms in the whole house. We have grown in our design style and blended our possessions and treasures. I think we are both much more fond of the others design taste than we were at first. I have no before pictures but our home was very bare and manly in the beginning. A definite bachelors house. Now it has pictures everywhere and art hung. It is a cozy organized place that we will truly miss.

I'm so happy to share this home for the last time and have these photos to keep and show Claire where she lived first.


Surprise! It's twins!

Judson and I agree that we tried to plan what our life would be like with two children. We thought that would be the perfect number and we could easily manage a transition from one to two. God had other plans. We found out this week that we are going to have two babies this fall. I think we are still walking around with bugged out eyes and trying to wrap our head around this new idea of what our family is going to be.

I think there is a part of me that always felt or sensed there would be three kids in my life. We don't have all of this figured or out or planned any more. We have completely changed our state of mind to "we will figure it out" with a side a freak out and lots of questions pretty frequently. I think that once we have more time to get over the shock of it all we won't be quite so worried. Our main focus right now is that God had different plans for us and it is going to be a unique adventure. I feel very blessed that God picked me for this not so common gift of being a mother of twins. My heart feels overwhelmed in so many good ways.

I'm looking forward to knowing them and seeing Claire as a big sister.


Claire Grace: 18 months

Claire Grace is one spunky little girl. She amazes us every single day. We never know what she is going to come up with and truly can't believe she is already 18 months old. We are constantly telling her to "get down" because she is always climbing. This has turned into her telling cats, whether in real life or on tv, to "dit down" over and over. We think she's cute and she knows it! Speaking of cats, Claire loves them. All of them! She loves real cats, cats on her socks, her cat necklace, stuffed cats, and animated cats. She talks about her Yaya's cats and asks everyday to watch "cats" (Aristocats). Her favorite part of that movie is when its time for Thomas O'Malley Alley Cat song. She only sings the part about "alley cat" but it is cute and we sing it a lot. We also sing Jesus Loves Me, Up on the House Top, You are my Sunshine, Little Bunny Foo Foo, and the Itsy Bitsy Spider. She knows little parts here and there in each song but I think Judson and I would both agree its the cutest when she asks for the "Mitsubishi spider". We have a hard time not laughing every time she makes that request! We catch her singing all the time. Sometimes it is with music but she also sings all on her own.


This girl knows so many words! She has started putting words together to get what she wants or tell her story. We are always impressed.  I think my favorite phrase is "bess you" when I sneeze. I got this on video once and I could easily watch it on repeat all day long. People often try to talk to her or get her to talk to them but she isn't really into it yet. She is real shy and I kind of love that about her. Her favorite way to stall bedtime is by asking for different songs or asking about every single person she knows. Our constant response is "they went night night" and she continues naming names just to be sure no one is still awake. It is fun to listen to her list off all of her grandparents, cousins, uncles, and all of the animals she knows. Luckily, once we get her to sleep she pretty much stays that way until morning. She still sleeps about half the time in her crib and half the time right between mom and dad. My most recent favorite sleeping habit is when she randomly shouts out words in her sleep like cat and Minnie.




She loves Minnie Mouse. Give her all the Minnie Mouse things and she will match them with her cat things! Mickey Mouse Clubhouse has been something that she watched from pretty early on and she still enjoys it. She can count to ten! We are amazed by this again and again. Claire frequently asks to "callow!" Usually when she decides it is time to color its because she's seen someone else writing or coloring. Her request is loud and persistent. She loves animals. Her Grandad has a baby lamb that is being bottle fed and Claire thinks that she needs to be the one to feed that baby every afternoon. She says "milk bady" over and over and sometimes cries when we can't go because it is too cold. She loves the baby lamb and I love that she calls it "bady". She's honestly getting really good at holding the bottle and the little lamb likes to follow Claire around. They have a really sweet bond. She also loves her puppy Pearl so much and lovingly refers to her as Pearl Girl.

We can't get enough of all of the sweet random kisses and cute ways that Claire mispronounces words. I write them down so I can always remember this time in our life. Sometimes it is complete chaos around our house but I wouldn't have it any other way! My goal for 2018 is to spend as much time as possible with Claire, even if that means holding her during naps or playing in her room while I should be cleaning. She is the sweetest little girl and I am so glad that God gave her to us.


Goodbye, October

Oh, October, you are my favorite month. The kickoff of the festive exciting months. The time when there is a touch of crispness in the air. The month when no one can judge you any longer for all of those pumpkins on your porch or baking pumpkin pie. October is the month we get to celebrate our life together! The third was our second wedding anniversary. It's hard to believe that is has only been two years because I have a hard time remembering life before this little family of mine.

This October was a little different because in the mix of chaos with work events, a new puppy (Pearl), and wrangling Claire; Wise County was the host of NACo RAC Symposium 2017. We had elected officials from all over the United States visiting our county to discuss rural issues. It was truly a wonderful event! I'm so proud of my husband and all of the outstanding work he does for our community. He makes me strive to be a better public servant. To know him is special but to be his wife is the greatest blessing.

We have officially had Pearl for a whole month. She may end up being the death of me. She wreaks havoc on my house constantly but then she will come snuggle down in my blanket and I love her all over again. I think eventually I will probably be crazy over her but right now she just makes me crazy!

The Peach, where do I begin? This girl of ours is so smart. She counts to THREE already! She says so many words. She is constantly getting into trouble or trying to get Pearl in trouble. She is the sweetest little lady. I'm always waiting for a sweet kiss or a mischievous grin. Claire Grace is all girl! She loves wearing all of her bracelets and necklaces. She loves animals. She loves listing off all her cousin's names. Claire is 15 months old. She LOVED Halloween. She would walk up and say "treat"! She walked right up to houses not scared at all. This year her costume was the fox and the hound. She was a whimsical little fox with a wild hound dog as her sidekick. We went for a homemade costume this year and I couldn't be more proud of how well it turned out. She is still a great eater and weighed 21 pounds at her last checkup. She is a skinny little think, still wearing clothes from 6 to 12 months sizing. She still sleeps all night and loves her bath time. Claire Grace is our greatest treasure. I can't wait to hug her every afternoon.



It's officially the holidays and I sure love it! We have some busy work weeks ahead but I'm looking forward to getting some extra quality time with my sweet family.


August Life

How has it already been a whole month since my baby turned 1?! Also, how is it so quickly nearing the end of August and summer? I long for fall days all year long. I have already brought out all things fall at home and I don't regret it a bit. It makes the hot Texas days seem cooler somehow. The rain has helped me feel more inspired and less lethargic. We are drowning in our calendars and to do lists. So much is going on in our lives right now and we are trying to enjoy the rainy afternoons by hanging out at home just the three of us. So, here is a recap of what we have been up to lately...

Claire's birthday party was a success! We are so grateful to all of the family and friends that came to make her day so special. I think that she loved having all of her people around. She was surprisingly very interested in all of her birthday gifts. She kept saying "ooohh" every time we pulled the tissue out of the gift bags.

Claire loves all of the animals but she was a little overwhelmed by her trip to meet some cows.
She shows everyone her belly button all of the time. She has finished her first set of 100 books for her journey to 1000 books before kindergarten at the Decatur Public Library. She is constantly bringing books for us to read to her. She still loves her babies and ALL of her stuffed animals. It is usually a different animal every day. She still loves to eat fish best. She recently discovered that she really really loves cocktail sauce. We try to take her swimming at least once a week because she enjoys it so much.

We have been working really hard on our house renovation. Fingers crossed we can still move in around early November. It has been much slower than we had though but we are about to get the plumbing work finished. We are hoping to get the electric done in the next month then the fun stuff can start! I feel so overwhelmed with inspirartion and decorating ideas for this house. I try so hard not to buy anything except what we need to do renovations right now. I can see what it is going to look like and I just can't wait for everyone else to be able to see it!! Our goal was to have the whole house finished before we move but we are so excited about this adventure that I don't know if we will be able to hold out that long.

We are loving these crazy August rainstorms. We are  happy, healthy and looking forward to a few new adventures in September! Come on fall!!