Wednesday, February 25, 2009


I finally captured the excitement that goes on around here when Anne and Vera come for a visit (which is pretty regularly, which makes their excitement even more endearing). Then a bit of them eating a snack together in the Learning Tower. I walked around the corner to find Sam and Vera standing there munching on my chips I had left out at lunch:) So adorable, these three.


I caught this moment a few weeks back with Sammy cleaning up after Melia. Just thought you might like to see it in action:)

P.S. I just looooove hearing my voice on video. Love it. :( :(

Sunday, February 22, 2009

Thursday, February 19, 2009

You would have thought it had been a week....

Last night, deep in the night, Sam awoke and would not go back down without a fight (actually a terrified scream). This is rare for our little sound sleeper and so I brought him into our bed thinking he may just need some comfort and I'd put him back in bed after he fell asleep. Ahem. Hours of restless flip flopping later the sun finally came up and we called it a night. Sleep disturbances are nothing new around here and so I didn't write to tell you this. I wrote to tell you about when his "ti-ter" woke up. We heard her little noises and babbles and Sam's eyes immediately widened and he said, "Ti-ter!" He ran to their bedroom door and started pounding on it and was squealing, "Hi! Hi! Hi! Hi!" before I even managed to get the door fully opened. He ran to her bed and they giggled and grabbed hands and then he tried to climb in there with her. I helped him and he then tackled her and tried to start tickling her. She didn't appreciate that very much, but it was very obvious that they were both very happy to be reunited. Right now they are playing in the living room together, totally oblivious that I am in another room.

What a sweet way to start the day after a long, restless night.


Monday, February 16, 2009

Some moments in our recent days that, for various reasons, just made my heart stand still...

Sometimes it is the smallest things that just stop me in my tracks. A brother taking a good, hard look at his sister. A daddy holding his sick little girl tight and then sharing in her fearless joy as she pets a horsie at the farm. A little guy relishing in sticks and puddles. These are the things our days are made of. I don't want to miss them, these little joys. So, I do my best to capture them as the moments fly by and I do my best to be present in the every day. To be present in the every day, that is the key I think. That is the prayer of my heart this night,

Saturday, February 14, 2009

Celebrating Quiet...

Continuing on in my summary of the book, Seven Times the Sun, this post will focus on Chapter 5: "Listen to the Quiet."

Like Celebrating play, appreciating quiet comes pretty naturally for me. I thrive in quiet, peaceful atmospheres. Library nooks, an open field, a mountain lake, conversation with a friend or a small group. Crowded, loud places often overwhelm me completely. When I used to walk into a gym for a basketball game, pep rally, or anything really, I would immediately get a horrible feeling in my stomach and have to go to the bathroom and do a back bend in order for the crampy feeling to go away. Super strange and random, I know. The point is, is that when I saw the title of this chapter, I thought, "Oh, thats me. Mrs. Celebrates Quiet." But once I really dug into it, I realized it will take a lot of effort to allow our children to "listen to the quiet" and I may not celebrate it quite as much as I thought I did.

In her introduction to the chapter the author writes, " How many of us come to quiet moments as a child fighting sleep? Reluctant to release the world of sound. Non-stop conversation, the TV, the radio, the Walkman...What are we trying to drown with all this noise? The alternative must be frightening to us: to hear each other, our own spirit, and silence, unknown silence."

It's true, isn't it? Even I, who professes a love of quiet moments, drown myself in endless noise. When I choose to end my day with a mindless show or tune out my thoughts with music, or constantly pepper the babes with comments and questions while we are outside...these are moments when I choose noise over quiet. I'm not saying these are bad things in and of themselves (well, mindless TV watching is pretty meaningless) but it's just that I think I miss opportunities for reflection, for wonder, and for tuning into life sometimes when I choose noise.

So, a few of the simple rituals she gives to help our children Celebrate Quiet:

A pause a day: Create a quiet time each day when your child can nap or partake in a quiet activity. She suggests special songs or a story before nap time, or a reading time for older children. Other activities older children might enjoy that she suggests are finger knitting, basket weaving or beading a necklace. She suggests that younger children can use that same focused energy in tasks like carding wool fleece, stringing large wooden beads, or separating marbles or beads by color.

Walking on the Wild Side
Take a silent nature walk around your neighborhood or nearby parks or trails. When you return home discuss all of the different sounds that you hear. I am continually amazed at how in tune Sam and Amelia are to the world around us when we are outside. They hear dogs, planes, babies crying, birds chirping, sirens loooong before I do. I think it must be that their little inner world is much less cluttered than ours. They are tuned in and I want to help them stay that way!

She concludes the chapter by asking us to notice how much we as parents talk. She reminds her readers that children live most fully in the physical and feelings realm. So she encourages us to make sure there are quiet pauses in our conversation to allow us to simply be together. Also, to turn some of our questions into clear, brief statements without an expectation of return on their part.

My favorite song from this chapter is a simple tune with the words:

"Quiet! Quiet! Make note any noise! Listen, listen to the Holy Voice! Wonder is coming near, as we still ourselves to hear. Quiet! Quiet! Make not any noise!"

It reminds me so much of the verse in the Bible that says, "Be still and know that I am God."

It sounds like such an easy thing to do, but in this day and in this culture, being still in our hearts and minds is counter to everything around us. We are missing out on so much that He has to show us though if we would just "listen to the quiet". Ahhhh. I like the sound of that:)


Friday, February 13, 2009


Happy Valentines Day from our little sweethearts to you...
And a Happy, happy birthday to the most loving mama on earth!

To see the rest of our little photo shoot, click here...
Valentines Day 2009

* P.S. Their pants are a treat I splurged on from Speesees. I just love that company and have almost bought something so many times and finally decided to just do it! I'm so glad I did. They look so adorable I just want to gobble them up. Speesees pants also have very roomy tushies that perfect for cloth diapers. You can get 15% off your order with a coupon code from my friend Anne. Read all about it here.

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

I was going to title this post, "Throw up throw up everywhere, throw up throw up in my hair!" But that would be so gross, so of course I didn't!

So, Sammy was feeling a bit better today, Amelia a bit worse, and I was about the same. With Sam's boost of energy he obviously was ready to run around and have some fun. Unfortunately his little lungs were not ready for that and after running around he would cough so hard that he would throw up. And throw up. Oh was it sad. And yucky. After changing all three of our shirts several times, I just stripped them down and tried to find calmer activities to lessen the unpleasentness of our day:)

A new favorite is painting with water:

An old favorite (at least with Sammers) is "putting away the groceries". He takes all of the pasta/beans/potatoes out of the cabinet, puts them into grocery bags and then takes them all out and puts them away. Repeat. I don't really know what Amelia's role in the process is. Every time I looked she was bending over with her head in the bag. She was probably just trying to look busy:)

They scooped and stirred dry noodles...

And took a long, warm bath. Did I mention that they decided that napping was not on the agenda? So, bedtime at 6pm it was. I think they were out before I even left the room. Now, this mama is going to chat with my Joelie and then get some rest, or watch more America's Next Top Model on you tube. Just kidding, who would do that when they should be resting or reading one of the many books on their bedside table? Certainly not me:)

More soon, Jen

Monday, February 09, 2009

Fuzzy days...

You know how sick days are just kind of hazy? That was today. I couldn't for the life of me remember what day it was. It felt like Sunday because we didn't go to church yesterday and I didn't meal plan or get ready for the Museum, so it must be Sunday today. Then I remembered that Joel did go to church yesterday and it was his birthday, so today must be Monday. "Oh no!" I would think to myself in foggy, slow moving thoughts. "Do I need to call someone to cancel something? What do we do on Mondays?" "We just go to the Museum in the morning and stay home in the afternoon." Oh good.

There was some Little Bear watching, lots of book reading. Sam would attempt to play and then come and lay his head in my lap and close his eyes for a while. Poor, pitiful Sam. Wheezing, coughing, feverish boy. We think it's probably RSV::( The dreaded RSV. He seems to slowly be getting better. We have the humidifier going strong, his fever was pretty level today, lots of water. Amelia is coughing and snotty but not yet feverish. I just feel like I am in a head cold cloud and so far Joel is okay. He got away into those mountains today for some snowshoeing with a friend, so his spirits are high.

For those phone calls that I didn't answer today, I'll try and call you back tomorrow. Hopefully it'll be a little less fuzzy.
Hope you all are well and thanks for all of the birthday wishes for Joelie:)

Saturday, February 07, 2009

32 things I love about him.

I love that he is...

1. Fun--You know those people who you see coming to join your group at some gathering and you are so happy because you know it will be much more fun because they are there? That's Joel for me. It is always more fun when he is there.

2. Conversational--Joel could talk to ANYONE and find things they are both interested in discussing for long periods of time. Sometimes when we are at church or something and I am trying to wrangle to children while he is chatting away, I'm not so fond of the trait, but most of the time I love and admire it:) All of the stereotypes about how men and women communicate? We break many of those stereotypes.

3. Adventurous-- Do I need to elaborate? I think not.

4. Kind-- Have you looked at his eyes lately? They are big and brown and kind.

5. Loyal--You'll never meet a more loyal friend than joelie.

6. Rugged-- Mountains are where he comes alive.

7. Well-rounded-- He has been a bank teller, vet tech, surgery tech, ranch hand, trail ride leader, soldier, construction worker, college student, graduate student, and Physician Assistant.

8. Well-traveled-- He has visited many of the U.S. states, Mexico, Honduras, Columbia, Ethiopia, Ghana, and Thailand.

9. Well-read-- A prolific reader, I stand in awe of how many books Joel makes the time to read while he rides the bus, waits at the bus stop or at appointments, has a day off, or is on the toilet. More impressive is how much he digests and remembers!!

10. Oh, so handsome.

I love it that he...

11. Calls my Papa and they talk and talk and talk and talk about the weather and politics and the babies....

12. Is so observant and notices and can articulate so many quirks and traits about me and the babes that I don't notice.

13. Loves God and seeks Truth.

14. Loves people. LOVES people.

15. Is rarely sarcastic.

16. Lives his life purposefully.

17. Is a dreamer AND a doer.

18. Isn't intimidated by the logistics of taking two toddlers out and about. He takes them out for a special breakfast, to run errands, on walks, to the park. Yay!!!

19. Sends me texts when I am taking some time out by myself to tell me to take my time and enjoy myself and that they are having a blast, etc. It melts my heart every time.

20. Waited for over an hour for his Thai food tonight at this teeny place by where we used to live. I asked him if he was super frustrated b/c his birthday was a dud this year with sick babies, no present yet, and then to have to wait so long for his food!! He said, "Yeah, it was frustrating but I was excited for them too to be doing so well now." Do you see why I love him so?

I really adore the way he...

21. Gets EVERYTHING ready for work the night before. I'm talking his bowl, spoon, cereal box, lunch is really adorable.

22. Laughs until he cries most every day. He finds humor everywhere.

23. Is much more interested in experiences than entertainment.

24. Says, "Jenny, I love ya. I want to marry ya. "

25. Appreciates the beauty in nature--really appreciates it.

26. He looks in his dark green and blue sweaters. And in scrubs.

27. He looks at me when he is really listening. Sometimes it shocks me how intensely he listens.

28. Walks to the store late at night to get my little whims. Usually that means a caffeine free diet coke. Sad, but true.

29. Can imitate accents hysterically and very well. I always wanted to be able to do that, but at least my soul mate can:)

30. Can swaddle and wear a baby with the best of 'em...

So, happy birthday to my Mr. Joel J Hunt. You are...

31. Undeniably my favorite person on earth.

32. Truly loved by many.

With all of my heart,

It's my Red Apple Sale.

I remember my Granny and Aunt going to the Red Apple Sale at Foley's every year and finding these amazing deals on shoes and blouses such. I remember imagining a long line of anxious women lining up outside the doors waiting, waiting, waiting. This image probably came from advertising commercials, come to think of it. Anyway, as I stood in line at the Friends of the Library one day only book sale this morning , I realized that these sales are indeed my own Red Apple Sale. I get there early and am near the front of the line. I look around at others with big Rubbermaid totes to carry their loot and worry that my little canvas bag is not nearly large enough. I get butterflies in my stomach and then tell myself how ridiculous that is...I'm not even looking for anything in particular! I am getting better though. Last time I found myself flushed and sweating, having fun and yet getting caught up in the "I better get a LOT of books since they are such great deals and look at every one else loading up boxes and I may regret it later" only to put back 50% of the things I picked up. So, today I made myself relax and walk casually to the children's section. I was the only one there and took good long looks at each and every shelf. I found a few goodies and then moved on to the family/parenting section then biographies and then children's videos. I'll update this post with a few pictures of my loot later.

For now, I must attend to my little sick brood. I am so thankful we've had such a healthy winter thus far, it is just our turn I guess.

All for now,

P.S. Thank you for your kind, kind words about the last post. I so enjoyed getting your comments and e-mails. Each one is truly like food for my soul.

Tuesday, February 03, 2009

Mid morning sunshine....

We woke up late today, those babes and I. We woke up late and ate eggs with black beans and cheese on top, a favorite for all. We pulled up the shade and saw the sun shining and bundled up quickly for a trip outdoors. I, once again, lay flat on the ground looking up at the sky while Sam and Amelia ran around gathering sticks and crunching in the snow. After a while I got out our little sled and asked if they wanted a ride around the backyard first. It is a sled made for one and so as I piled Sam on top of Amelia's lap I thought she may revolt but instead she gave him a kiss on his head and said, "awwww". Then as I tugged them forward she wrapped her arms around him and as we circled the yard she kept patting his little chest.

After a few laps I decided to take them on a walk around the block and we headed out. We walked at a snail's pace, stopping for Sam to examine all of the "TUCK!" s and to watch the birds chirping around our neighbors feeders. I lured them home with the promise of a snack and tucked them in for a nap soon after.

Like I read another twin mom write about on her blog this morning, my beginning as a mama was far from perfect. My dream of a natural birth went down in flames. The instant bonding that every mother hopes for did not happen. It took weeks and even months for true bonding and healing to begin for us all. Once they came home from the NICU, having two infants meant that holding one and just staring at them and soaking them in almost never happened. At the end of the day, I often felt inadequate and like there was simply no way to love and care for them in the way I desired. Things didn't look the way I imagined they would. At all. When people would see us out and tell me that they dreamed of having twins I thought, "If only you knew the reality of it lady!" You see, I never dreamed of having twins. Quite the opposite.I wanted the luxuray of pouring love into my babies one at a time! So, when I would see a friend/aquaintence who was able to parent their babe with the attachment that I had planned on for so long, my heart would feel a tug. When babies much younger than the twins would reach (and still do) milestones before them, it put a little knick in my motherly pride. It's hard to admit that. So, though I feel like I have sought and found the joy of every day with the babies pretty consistently, there definitely have been days that I mourn the "loss" of a bit more simplicity that comes with starting your mothering career with one babe instead of two.

Just lately, though, the tide is turning in my heart. When I see Amelia rub Sam's back or kiss his little head, or when he sees her in time out and rushes to her aid...when they march out of the room together looking behind at me like ,"See you later mom" and then run back in moments later giggling...I think, "Thank you Lord, for this gift of two." I know I have written about appreciating their twinness before so that may not sound like a big deal, but I honestly don't think I have ever had a thankful heart towards the Lord for twins (as madly as I love them both individually). I know there will be hard days ahead. I can't even imagine how complex things will be adding another little soul into the family one day, but God is an intentional God. He often gives gifts that refine us I think. Having two has humbled me as a mama, it has forced me to be far more laid back then I would have been with one and at the same time have a bit more structure in my life, it has caused me to be adaptable (I almost never go to playgrounds alone with two mobile toddlers, but the museum and library and gardens, etc. are doable--I could look at it as limiting or just adapt and find things that are a fit for us), it has stretched me and grown me, caused me to ask for help, admit my limitations, pulled me out of my often lethargic ways and so, so much more.

And so today, as we walked in the mid morning sun, I thanked Him. I acknowledged once again that these little hands that held mine were indeed blessings, individually and as a duo. I hope that I will continue to remember that in the days to come when the sun may not shine so brightly as we walk together.

All for now,

The sentimental journey towards the second birthday continues....

Monday, February 02, 2009

As I was watching Sam and Amelia play today I was thinking about all of their toddlerish behavior. I was thinking that before I know it this phase and all of those little quirks will change into new phases and new quirks and I just want to bottle it up. The way Amelia dances like a little hippy dippy free spirit, the way sam squats and concentrates on his work for long periods of time, the way they zoom around on their "bikes" and load up their trucks and grocery cart with all of the stuffed animals and push them around. Their evening chase fest, calling Joel "dadoo", loving lotion and carrying things to the "tash". Their love affair with their Richard Scary book ("Mouse! Uh oh! Tuck! Bear! Dog! Uh oh! Bug! Bug! Bug! Uh oh!" The way Sam has started saying his friend "Wera"'s name:) The way he is trying not to smile when he smiles sometimes. Oh, the list goes on and on. Of course, there are tantrums and boundry testing in the midst of it all, but I have a feeling those things aren't going anywhere. So, for now, I'll just try and savor what it joyful and unique about this "almost two" (!?!) set of toddler goodness. And there's a lot of it.

View this montage created at One True Media
It's a big world baby...

and a little montage with the same song that I made last year when they had just turned 1. I can't believe they are so close to 2 (sniff, sniff) !
View this montage created at One True Media
It's a big world baby...

Funny how some things are so different and yet so many things are the same (snacking on Veggie booty, hanging out with Anne and Vera, playing with lots of the same toys, wearing some of the same clothes). Looking so forward to seeing what changes the next year holds, and what remains comfortingly the same:) Jen