Thursday, May 30, 2013


Lots of people have been asking how I'm feeling so far this pregnancy. 

And I have to say, pretty darn good considering the circumstances.

Naps have been essential on a daily basis as I kissed my energy goodbye in the early weeks of this first trimester, but overall I feel really good. Actually, of my 3 pregnancies thus far...I've been the least sick this time. Which is super weird b/c everything I read about twins says double everything. You should expect to be doubly tired, doubly hungry and TWICE as sick. I can attest to being extra tired and constantly famished, but my lack of nausea is almost strange, right? I was actually worried that something might be wrong, but my doc has reassured me it's normal, and I might just be extra lucky. Granted, I was never "throw-up" sick with either of my previous babies, but I definitely remember more times of feeling yucky.

My other theory for not feeling queasy is this: around the same time I found out I was preggo, I also started visiting a chiropractor regularly. Nothing majorly wrong with me. I have always had some tightness in my neck and lower back that seemed to constantly flare up and couldn't be relieved by massage alone. In fact, with bablies #1 and #2 I remember battling some lower back/ sciatica pain. I have a lot of friends who have shared how much a chiropractor has helped them for various reasons, so I figured I'd finally try one out. After doing some more research, I found that pregnant women can especially benefit from seeing a chiropractor regularly. It keeps your hips in line, making labor and delivery easier. Relieves muscle spasms lessening the pain of contractions and that dreaded sciatica issue, and (get this) can relieve or eliminate nausea in your first trimester! So maybe that's why I'm feeling so great.? Either way, I'm super thankful!

But back to feeling hungry all the time....

I literally cannot make it more than two hours without eating something. In fact I recall a particular Saturday morning a few weeks ago. I had breakfast with the kids around 8:30 like normal. Around 10:30 I went to change Mason's diaper. A normal changing session turned into a wrestling match b/c he was feeling extra disobedient that day. All of a sudden I broke out into a hot sweat and felt light headed. I tore off my hoodie to cool off and headed straight for the kitchen. Three large glasses of orange juice and a half box of crackers later, and my blood sugar level finally returned to normal. 

I've always been good about packing snacks in my bag when we run errands. I now pack mini meals with lots of protein and a gallon of water to make sure I always have something quick to eat and drink if we're away from home.

No major aversions to food either. Everything looks good, ALL the time.

Here's what I've been eating lately...

I know my husband is appreciating all the yummy meals lately too! I'm not always great about cooking regular dinners. This pregnancy is definitely boosting our menus around here.


I'll be 12 weeks on Sunday, and can't wait for my next check-up appointment next week to see how the little guys are growing in there!

Hey, "guys" rhymes with "fries".

I'm hungry.

Peace out.


Tuesday, May 28, 2013

A trip by myself...

On May 13, 2013 my sweet Grandpa Woody passed away. 

He was a fighter pilot in WWII, successfully completing numerous missions while nearly losing his life.

Nearly all of my extended family lives in CA, so I haven't had many opportunities to visit them. Being in MI makes that a little tricky. 

The last time I saw my Grandpa was over Thanksgiving 2011, when we celebrated his 90th birthday.

Me with Grandma Bebe and Grandpa Woody. Aren't they dashing?

So with hearing the news of his passing, I decided I would travel alone to southern California to spend time with my family while celebrating Grandpa's life. 

I'm so glad I was able to go.

Cruising in my bro's 1966 vintage red Volvo.
Left to right (Me. Cousin Seann. Sister Gretchen. Brother Ryan.)

There's something about your own family that just makes you feel "home" no matter where you go. I met some cousins for the first time, and while it was strange at first, you could just tell that we are all family. I had some wonderful conversations with relatives I hadn't seen in a number of years. 

And I always love staying with Aunt Gwen and Uncle Rick.

I joked every night while my Aunt made dinner, that it was time for the "Cooking with Gwen" show! She would tell me everything she was adding to the pan, and we chatted about our favorite recipes. 

Some seriously amazing food though...

I can still taste this one in my mouth!

And as I boarded my plane to fly back home, I was filled with a mixture of emotions. 

Even though losing my Grandpa was sad, the family that came together as a result was a true testimony to the  bond of a family. People move away. Life changes. You don't see people as often as you'd like. But having a family reunion like this was just what my soul needed. To feel part of something bigger. To remind me that every life matters, and every family has a story. And it's up to us, what we want our story to be when we die.

And while I would have loved to have my husband and kids there with me, it was such a treat to travel by myself. To feel completely free of responsibility. To nap when I wanted to nap. To eat whenever I wanted to eat. To dive into deep conversations with people without being interrupted by my own little people. Not to mention traveling alone. It was bittersweet coming home. I couldn't wait to wrap my arms around my husband and kids. But I was also cherishing the last few moments of me-time. 

Because let's be honest, once our sweet twins are born, I may not get this chance for a Loooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooong time. 

So I soaked up every minute.


Monday, May 20, 2013

It's about to get crazy 'round here!

So I've been keeping a little secret from you all. Are you ready for it?

Cuz' I'm not sure if I'm totally ready.

But ready or not, here we go!

Ummm yeah. We're having twins!

This pregnancy was a total surprise from the beginning. We weren't looking to try again for another 6 months to a year. But God had other plans.

So because we weren't "trying" I was not keeping track of my cycles or anything. When I called to make my first appointment they went ahead and scheduled an ultrasound in order to get a more accurate due date. 

And that's when we discovered I was 7 weeks along and not just pregnant with one baby....

...but TWO.

Shock. Awe. Disbelief. Amazement. Out of body experience. 

That's pretty much what our first reactions were. Thankfully Greg was there, so we both just looked at each other with wide eyes and then looked at the screen, 

"Are you sure????"
(pretty sure Greg's hands were shaking a little at this point)

Then the ultrasound tech asked her two routine questions. 

"Were you guys using any fertility?"

Uh no.

"Do twins run in either of your families?"


So there you have it.


My official due date is December 15th but twins arrive about a month early, so I'm thinking around Thanksgiving they will be here. (One less month being pregnant, I say!)

9 weeks on Mother's Day. Greg and I took a little getaway to Chicago for the weekend.
Another post on that later...

Okay, now for a more heartfelt reaction...

Honestly, I could not be more thrilled! If you recall THIS POST (seriously, I still laugh that I posted this just 2 short weeks before we apparently conceived)...anyway, you know then that I've always thought it would be fun to have twins. Both fun and somewhat convenient. Early on in our marriage, Greg and I were pretty much set on having four kids. Well, that combined with the fact that I have major leg vein problems, AND the fact that I carry freakishly LARGE babies (Kensie weighed 9.7 lbs and she was 3 days early, and Mason weighted 10 lbs and he was 4 days early), basically I did not want to be pregnant TWO more times. So twins sounded very appealing to me. I knew it would be pretty rough there for a while, but a great two for one deal, know what I mean?

Well, God sure has a funny way of answering prayers. 

What I wasn't expecting was to have our next pregnancy so close to Mason. You see, Kensie and Mason are exactly 18 months and 2 days apart. So a larger gap for the next one was the plan. And here's where it gets interesting...

By the time these sweet twins are born, we will have FOUR kids ages FOUR and under. Umm yeah. Kensie will turn 4 in September, and Mason will be 2 and a half. I mean, how am I going to survive an entire day?? How am I going to feed everyone, and bathe everyone, and settle fights between the two older ones, and make sure everyone's alive by the end of the day while my husband works extra long days/ weekends during the busiest time of the year??

That's the part that terrifies me a little, not gonna lie. 

But, I know God is totally in control and he will provide for us in unbelievable ways. I mean he already has hasn't he?

Let the adventure begin!


I'm currently at 10 weeks and I'm anxious to get to my 12 week appointment to hear those precious heartbeats again. I'll be sure to keep the blog updated!

Saturday, May 18, 2013

Baby boy shower for my sis

Here's a quick snapshot of the baby shower I threw today for my sweet sister Lauren...

The invites I purchased from on etsy. They came in a PDF file within 24 hours and I simply printed them at a local print store. So easy!

 One of the coordinating options was this fun BINGO baby shower game.

Everything I already had on hand. I was so excited my lilac bushes in the front yard were in perfect bloom to use for some simple but lovely smelling centerpieces.


Veggie platter with ranch dip

Crackers and cheese ball

Fresh fruit salad 
(pears, magos, bananas, sprinkled with some OJ to help the fruit not to yummy!)

Homemade cinnamon roll cake and store bought raspberry danishes

Turkey, spinach and cheese roll-ups toasted in the oven

Green colored orange juice (OJ mixed with one packed blue Kool-aid)

We will hopefully meet baby boy Hill a month from today!

Monday, May 6, 2013

Still here!

What's up my friends?

I've been hanging around, just not much on here lately. Looks like it's been 3 weeks since my last post. So I'm popping in to give you some updates...

I turned 30 about two weeks ago. Feeling quite happy about it, actually. My twenties were some very difficult years for me. Lots of trials, depression, a major self-identity crisis, and just some not-so-fun memories. I'm grateful for all that God taught me during those ten years and I'm so thankful for the rock-solid husband that stood by me through it all, but I'm just happy to be in a new decade. I love who I am right now.

Speaking of my handsome man, he turned 30 today! So he can stop teasing me about being in a different decade than him. Unfortunately, he had an extra long day at work today, swung by to change quick, then went straight to softball practice, stopped home for dinner and a shower, and then back to work. It's 10:23pm. He's still there.

We (the hubs and I) will be escaping at some point to celebrate both our birthdays. Thirty is kind of a big deal, so we wanted to do something extra fun. We're planning to take the train to Chicago, stay one night in a fancy hotel, walk the busy downtown streets, window shop, and perhaps be entertained at a comedy club. I like vacations. Even mini ones. And I quite like him. It's been busy around here. I'm looking forward to a weekend getaway without children. God bless those kids, but I need a break.

This was our last trip without kids. Last December.

Speaking of those little blessings, Kensie and Mason are both sick right now. It's absolutely gorgeous weather outside too. Seventy degrees every day. Tulips and daffodils blooming everywhere. Our little town has a festival every year called "Tulip Time" and it's going on RIGHT NOW. And my kids have streaming noses and can barely breath at night. I'm just praying this is our last round of the yuckies for this season.

Nobody's looking at the camera. What else is new?

So that's the latest!

You're welcome.

Sunday, April 14, 2013

A few things...

{1} Mason had his 2 year check-up last week. Technically his appointment was over a month after he turned two, but who's counting?

Two year stats:

Weight: 36 lbs (99%)

Height: 36.5 in. (85%)

Head circumference: 51.5 cm (90%)

He officially weighs more than Kensie (by 2 lbs.) and I recently bought both of them some summer shoes in the same size (10). The SAME SIZE people. They are eighteen months apart. Craziness. 

{2}The ladies from the women's ministry team at our church are putting together a cookbook. I just finished designing the cover and chapter pages. (I used my go-to editing site).

What do you think?

{3} It's April 14th and there are snowflakes the size of quarters falling right outside our living room window!! The weather lately is just so gloomy and dark and cold, cold COLD! My car said 35* on the way to church this morning. Depressing. I've been mentally wishing I was here...

{4} I'm turning 30 years old a week from today. And to be honest, I've never been more excited for a birthday. Strange, right? I'll have to do another post on my feelings, but I am so thrilled to be leaving my twenties. There are just a lot of hard transitions in life during that decade that no one really prepares you for. No one. I'm ready for a new and fresh decade.

{5} I'm really cherishing our schedule-free mornings without having to rush off to school right now. Generally, we sleep 'til about 8:00, breakfast at 8:30 and don't get dressed until 10:00am sometimes. But it won't last forever, I know. We are looking into signing Kensie up for preschool next fall. It seems crazy to think that school days are just around the corner. But she is a kid that will totally THRIVE in school. She is constantly asking me for "math problems", loves to pack her backpack, take a walk around the living room and pretend to "go to school". I'm just not looking forward to waking up earlier to get her there. I'm totally going to be the disheveled looking mom who pulls up to school at the last minute with messy hair and still in sweatpants.

Oh well. I'm really okay with it. I'm just not that peppy, morning, pulled-together-at-7:30am type of person.

{6} We have been researching kitchen counter tops and sinks for a while now. I think I've made up my mind. We're going with laminate b/c it's the most affordable. But don't worry, this is not your grandma's laminate. Here's the counter top I want...

Wilsonart's Mardura Pearl Pattern

And that's what is happening around here these days!


Monday, April 8, 2013

Cedine 2013 {What I learned}

"Cedine Ministries is a Christian Bible CampRetreat, and Conference Center located in eastern Tennessee along the Watts Bar Lake section of the Tennessee River. Cedine is a ministry to youth, adults, and families with an outreach ministry that includes Bible quizzing, Bible correspondence courses, and devotional guides.
Cedine Ministries exists to honor God and His Word by partnering with the Church in evangelism and discipleship training through quality camp, conference, and outreach ministries, with emphasis on the African American community."
{All above information is from the camp's website located HERE.} 

Our church travels down to Cedine every year over spring break to help work around the camp doing whatever projects are needed that year. Our family has gone three out of the past four years. It's been pretty challenging with little ones but it's one of the few missions-type trips we can all go on together, so we really enjoy getting down there over spring break.


I will say first off, this year went much smoother than last year. There were definitely melt-downs throughout the week and we dealt with them accordingly. But overall, it was much MUCH easier. It's amazing what a year can do. Last year, we had a one year old who was still drinking bottles, transitioning from baby food to table food, had just taken his first steps but unable to walk without help and was napping twice a day.....AND a two and a half year old who was still in diapers full time. This year had other challenges like resolving sibling fights (which I expected) but the kids could generally do the same things, eat the same foods, and run around together.

So in hopes of giving you an adequate recap, I will share with you all what I learned this year....

We spent most of Easter Sunday in the car, driving.

I learned that praying and talking about expectations with your spouse before a trip like this relieves SO much stress.

Thank goodness for DVD's!

I learned that kids can spot water towers from miles away. This became a fun game as they shouted them out while driving.

The winding road leading up to camp.

I learned that winding roads still make my stomach feel yucky.

I learned that Mason's favorite car activity is reading or sleeping and that Kensie's favorite activity is coloring or brushing her Barbie's hair.

The swings just never get old with these two.

Greg and a couple other guys worked hard all week laying these steps down to the canoe launch. Didn't they turn out great?

I learned that people really open up and are willing to listen when you work alongside each other for a whole week. I was so thankful to get to know some new people in our church!

Other projects around camp included chopping some trees down. Mason loved watching the "worker guys".

Alex and Mason. These two are more alike then you want to know. They got into all kinds of trouble together.

Kensie smiling even bigger this year!

I learned that Kensie still loves riding horses, while Mason wanted absolutely nothing to do with it.

This girl kills me sometimes.

Mason went to "work" with daddy most mornings and loved getting dirty.

I learned that Mason reminds me of his daddy more and more everyday. They were quite the pair this week. Working together. Eating together. Wrestling together. So sweet to watch them.


Many a meals were eaten in this place. None of which I had to cook!

Watching the talent show.

I learned that Mason will start strumming his air guitar every time he sees someone else playing one.

We have some very talented young people in our group!

Leaving camp early in the morning.

I learned that NO amount of coffee will ever make me a morning person.

We stopped at the Adventure Science Center in Nashville for a couple of hours.

Mason did not venture very far from the tool table.

Kensie did not venture very far from the train table.

Lunch with our sweet friends, Todd and Julianne.

I learned that Gatti's Pizza buffet let's kids ages six and under eat for FREE. Four adults and four kids in this group. You do the math.

Mason and Jay roaming the green hills of Tennessee.

I learned that families grow quickly, children are precious, and moments spent with friends we rarely get to see are priceless.

Jay with his week old baby sister, Carrington Joy (I just LOVE her name!)


I learned that if we put the pack n' play too close to any piece of furniture in the hotel room, Mason can and will climb out.

I learned that while sleeping in hotels can be fun, it's nice to hear your oldest say, "Mama, are we going home tomorrow? I miss my bed."

Taking a much needed nap at the hotel.

I learned that sometimes, you just need some warm chocolate chip cookies from McDonalds to feel like you can drive just a little bit longer.