Getting everyone to smile simultaneously and in the same direction, without tantrums and other kiddie chaos, is tough. Very tough. When I have uncooperative subjects - their names are Paige and Taylor - I resort to bribes - who wants a lollipop after pictures?, who wants a sticker?, who wants ice cream?, etc. or whatever I need to do to try and get smiles on the faces for family portraits - tickling, telling funny/silly jokes, etc. Whatever it takes. Our recent family pictures in front of the Christmas tree lasted for all of 10-15 minutes probably, but we must've said "Cheeeese. Cheeeese. Cheeeese." at least a dozen times for each shot that was taken. Eventually I think we all had the robotic, glazed-eye smile by the time those 15 minutes were up. Each time the self-timer of our digital camera would take a shot, we'd all try to hold a pose, smile, look in the same direction, and of the 20-30+ pictures that we snapped, can you believe it, we got only a few that captured us looking at the camera at the same time, in the same direction, and for the most part smiling too. Everyone tried to look their best for this year's family pictures, but when you throw kids into the mix, well, sometimes the picture-taking gets hairy. Good thing we didn't try to add our puppy into the mix. Trying to get kids AND a puppy to look at the camera at the same time in the same direction, well, it would probably never happen....
Prior to this blog, prior to marriage and prior to the twinsanity that I now call my life, life was quite different for me. When you visit this blog, you won’t find me writing much about my life pre-twins – I hope that’s okay. Why? You ask. Because life with twins changes everything and my life pre-multiples is now just a dizzy, distant memory. And while it’s true that life years ago may have been a little more glamorous, the life I live now is a whole lot more rewarding and I wouldn’t trade it for anything.
I’m glad you’ve stopped by...there’s a really strong chance that I won’t offer anything extraordinary here, but by the same token there is also the possibility that you will experience a taste of the adventures, challenges and many joys that come with my life with twins. Hopefully that will be enough to bring you back here again.
Tuesday, November 30, 2010
This year, my mom, dad, older brother and his wife and kids joined us for Thanksgiving. I enjoyed our time together. It was great to have Paige and Taylor's little cousins here with us as well. There were even some Norman Rockwell-esque moments when we sat around the dinner table together as a family...granted that didn't last too too long because after all, Thanksgiving Day was also when the Dallas Cowboys game against the New Orleans Saints played. And, we've got serious Cowboys fans in this family, so dinner ceased when the 'Are You Ready For Some Football?' shout-out rang out over the television airways. And, that was just right too...scattering from the table to the family room to enjoy a game of football together!
With all this reflection upon Thanksgiving this year at our house, I'd be remiss if I didn't take a moment to reflect upon the fact that the holidays can be a tough time of year for many people and families. In fact, the holidays can be far from ideal for those friends and families who have had a death in the family this year, or if someone is in the military serving abroad, and so on. You can't turn those holidays into fantasies, but hopefully, even in spite of the difficult circumstances many are facing this year and during this holiday season, blessings can still be counted and found no matter what the circumstances of life may bring...and, may God bless us all.
Below are a few pictures taken from our Thanksgiving this year. Enjoy!
Left to right: Paige, Courtney, Brandon, Taylor
Momo and Poppa from VA with Paige and Taylor
The 4 of Us - Thanksgiving Day
My Sweet Girls
Aunt Kim with Paige and Taylor
With My Mom and Sister-in-Law Kim
Take One: Sweet Potatoe Casserole - Yes, I Burned the Marshmallow Topping! I've Made This Recipe for Years, And This Is A First. That's What I Get For Talking Too Much, and Forgetting All About What I'm Doing...
Take Two: Sweet Success! Thank Goodness for Do-Overs! And, The 2nd Time Around, I Did Less Talking and More Watching of The Sweet Potatoe Casserole. Ha, ha!
Dinner at The 'Big People' Table for Thanksigiving
The Post-Dinner Crash and Food Coma on the Couch & !!YES!! Some Cowboys Football
Post-Thanksiving Dinner Soccer Matches for The Kids with Mike
Sunday, November 7, 2010
Two weeks ago, I made a long - correction, very long - road trip with Paige and Taylor (and their grandma from VA) from the West Coast to the East Coast. On a fine Saturday morning, we loaded up the car and began our departure from California. Six days later, we arrived in Virgnia. It was a vacation. It was a mission. It was an adventure. It was memory-making. It was the first mommy-and-me excursion cross-country with the twins, and I loved every minute of it. Well, almost every minute of it. The days were long, averaging 10-12 hours per day in the car, and by the end of each day, my back was pretty sore as was my moms who occasionally alternated driving with me to allow me a quick nap as we rode along mile after mile.
Some of my friends had given me such a hard time, teasing me, telling me I was crazy to want to travel across the country with toddlers. Maybe so. But we were doing it. And, I'm so glad that we did. We saw so many spectacular sights and attractions along the way, and the drive especially through California, Nevada, Arizona as well as Kentucky and West Virginia were especially beautiful!
And, the girls? Well, they were nothing short of AMAZING travelers! They'd watch movies on their DVD player in the backseat, and when they were not watching movies, we'd all play the "I Spy Something _____" game as we rode along. We'd talk about the large semi-trucks driving down the roads, and would imagine where they were going and what they were delivering. We'd talk about the adventures of our vacation each day - our visit to the Grand Canyon, our tour of the city lights of Vegas at night, our afternoon at a Texas Roadhouse where the girls told me they wanted cowgirl hats, our trek through the St. Louis Riverfront and the tour of the St. Louis Arch and so much more. And, lastly, a backpack filled with small toys, books and puzzles made the trip go more quickly for the kids too. I also purchased some "surprises" to hand out at set places in our trip to give the girls a little something to look forward to as we drove from state to state.
And, while I'd be lying to say that there weren't times when the days were extremely long and tiring, I will always cherish that cross-country road trip with the twins. We travelled more than 3,000 miles over the course of 6 days and we made some pretty fantastic memories along the way! I might even be brave enough (or crazy enough) to want to do it again someday...
P.S. Be sure to check out the slide show above for a few of the pictures taken during our road trip.
Monday, September 27, 2010
Thursday, September 23, 2010
I'm soon going to be making an exodus out of California, driving across the country to start a new life on the "slightly less crazy coast" as some of my friends like to say.
Some things in this state I know that I will miss. For example, I'm really going to miss In 'n Out Burger and El Pollo Loco. And, from my home, I can either ride my mountain bike or run along the most beautiful trails for miles and miles. My home is also only about an hour-and-a-half drive from Lake Tahoe, San Francisco and Napa Valley Wine Country which are arguably the 3 most extraordinary places to visit in Northern California. I have lived in Sacramento, California for the past 8 years where many of the homes fly our country's flag proudly, where hometown parades and historic traditions of the California "pioneering spirit" still thrive and are celebrated. In Sacramento, there also are not as many of the "lifestyle" parades or the in-your-face politics. In fact, the suburbs of Sacramento, where I live could really be just about anywhere - Oregon, Washington, South Carolina, Texas, Illinois. And, then there's the weather. I will definitely miss the California weather. I will also miss the Sierra Nevadas and the scenic route along Great Highway 1. As I reflect on the last 8 years of living here, I have enjoyed California for many reasons - for the same reasons some of my family and friends love it here.
As I said, some things in this state I'll miss a lot. But, then again, a lot of things in this state, I won't. The crowded conditions from Sacramento to the Mexican border, the Demo-Publican politics and the resultant high taxes, its crumbling infrastructure, environuts, political correctness, sanctuary cities for illegals, poor air quality, dirty beaches, gangs, and rising crime have spoiled it for me after 8 years. Those are reasons enough for me to be excited about my exodus from California.
Looking ahead, I'm thankful for my years in California, but my upcoming move to North Carolina with its clean air, clean beaches, lower taxes, wide open (and smooth) freeways, plus getting twice the house at a quarter of the cost in North Carolina where wages will go farther...well...what can I say, these are the reasons that make leaving California easy for me! And then there's the North Carolina-style (vinegar based) BBQ and real *sweet* tea. Enough said.
Saturday, May 22, 2010
Happy birthday to you, happy birthday to you,
Happy birthday dear Momo, happy birthday to you!!!!
Happy birthday, Momo, we love you so much. Thanks for being such an awesome grandma to Paige and Taylor, and for raising a great son too. Hope you have a wonderful day filled with many memories and much love.