7 Years Together

This weekend will be 7 years since Luke and I were married on a sunny, yet cool day in Chicago.

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To be honest, before we got married, I had a lot of anxiety. It was such a big decision and I didn’t want to screw it up! I knew in my heart Luke would be a great husband, but it was still scary.

You hear so many stories of couples who divorce, or worse live life together unhappy. I heard the saying “marriage is hard work!!” a lot and honestly, felt like I needed to steel myself for it to be difficult. I wasn’t exactly sure I wanted to step into a “hard” situation.

Of course I got over this fear and am SO glad I did!

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I know our marriage is still young, but after seven years (10 together total) I can honestly say being married to Luke has never once felt like “hard work.” It’s difficult for me to imagine a situation where it will in the future too.

We’ve been through cross-country moves, stressful jobs, raising three young children and the doozies – miscarriage and infertility. None of these things were easy, but they were made easier having Luke by my side. Situations that could have driven us a part only made us cling to each other more.

Throughout these seven years, we’ve evolved and grown. Both as individuals and as a couple. We’ve learned to communicate like pros, give support when the other needs it and serve up some tough love when it’s due.

One of the things I love and admire most about Luke is his desire to be a true partner to me. There really aren’t many fixed “roles” in our house. He carries his share of the childcare, housework, yard work, errands and more while working a stressful job. He is in tune with my needs and never makes me feel guilty when I need a break or time away to recharge.

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When we do have an argument, it’s typically over in 5-10 minutes. Neither of us like to be at odds, so both of us are eager to talk it through, come to an understanding and move on. I think it’s just that we both agree that nothing is worth damaging our relationship over.

I often tell Luke that I really feel like our souls are linked. When he has to travel for work, I feel restless and unable to relax. I sleep poorly and just feel like something is missing. My life is always, always better when Luke is near to me. Thank God he works from home and is with us most days!

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When I started this blog, Luke and I had just gotten engaged. The posts were filled with my love for him and my excitement for the future. Three kids later, my posts have shifted to stories about motherhood, but make no mistake, Luke is still the most important and cherished person in my life.

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These seven years have flown by too. Sometimes I still feel like a love-sick 20-something who just met a tall, strong man named “Batman.” I hope someday when we’re old and have lived a good life together, that feeling will still be there giving me butterflies.

Luke, I love you so much! Thank you for being my person. I can’t wait to see what adventures this life brings us! XOXO forever.

 

 

 

 

Life In the Fast Lane

Oh me, oh my. It’s been far too long since I’ve sat down to blog. It seems life is moving so quickly and each moment of my day is filled to the brim with caring for babies, giving Lila my attention, working, exercising and trying my best to be a present wife, friend, daughter and sister.

Sadly, time for blogging has been hard to come by.

Beyond being busy busy, life has been really good lately. Our boys are now nine months old (!!!) and getting cuter and cuter by the day. They’re crawling all over the house, eating solids like bottomless pits and letting their personalities show.

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Davis may win the award for World’s Happiest Baby. The dude seriously just smiles all day long, giggles when you just look in his direction and seems to absolutely love life.

A great example of how chill Davis is happened today. We drove 3 hours home from visiting Luke’s parents and unbeknowngst to any of us, Davis was sitting on top of five of Lila’s mini, plastic My Little Ponies the whole time. You never would have known little plastic toys were digging into his back based on how quiet and happy he was!

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Whitaker in contrast is a little beef ball. If he does not like something, he will LET YOU KNOW IT! He exudes personality and goes from giggling, to yelling, to crying and back to giggling all within minutes. He’s very physical and is usually crawling into every nook and cranny of our first floor just checking things out.

Whit is a serious little baby and you can tell he’s thinking, thinking, thinking constantly. He’s also very vocal and is always blabbering to us. He is judicious with his smiles, so when you get one, you know it’s really special.

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The boys are starting to show that special twin bond. Just recently they’ve started smiling and giggling at each other. They still mostly play next to each other, but occasionally I’ll see them playing together – usually in the form of crawling on top of each other, pulling each other’s hair, or stealing a toy.

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Lila seems to be maturing so much these days. She’s morphing into a little girl and I couldn’t be prouder of her.

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I was worried how things would go once the boys were here and my time was split into thirds when she was used to having it all for 3.5 years. If anything, I think this change has been very positive for her.

She’s learned to entertain herself, be more patient if I’m busy and become very self-sufficient. The other day I was so impressed when she saw I was busy with the boys and got her art cart out to do art on her own for an hour.

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She’s gotten really into playing make believe and every day for our “play time together” we play barbies. I’m usually the little girl and she’s the mommy or babysitter. We play out little storylines that usually seem to intersect with what’s actually happening in her life. It’s a special time for the two of us and I love getting a glimpse into how she perceives her world.

We’ve been fortunate enough to find two great babysitters who watch the kids two afternoons a week while I work, and for date nights. Those first six months with the twins were all-consuming, so it feels good to get some time away to focus on my career and time with my main squeeze.

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I’m not going to lie, there are times when I feel like our life is so hectic and chaotic I’m not sure how we get through the day. On the good days, when everything goes according to plan, I catch myself thinking “twins are not so hard!”

But when one gets sick, or Luke has to travel, or things get out of whack, I can feel like a chicken with it’s head cut off. Like I’m just running around attending to someone’s needs every minute of the day. On those days I’ve found some good ice cream and talking with Luke about our life brings my perspective back in line.

Life certainly is an adventure with these kids. It’s hilarious, frustrating, joyous, difficult, unrelenting and satisfying all at once. Through the ups, downs and very full days, I take solace knowing that being their mother is exactly what I’m meant to be.

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Disney on Ice – Passport to Adventure | Win Four Free Tickets!

Congrats to Ashli who was randomly picked to win the tickets. Thanks to all who entered!

 

I love the holidays! There are so many fun things to do with the kids. One of my favorite, which we go to every year, is Disney on Ice. She loves the music, dancing and of course her favorite Disney characters (Ariel because she loves swimming and Aurora because her dress is pink).

This year, Disney on Ice is coming to Toledo, Ohio at the Huntington Center on December 8 – 11 for their new show Passport to Adventure. They were kind enough to offer one of my readers four free tickets for their family to attend opening night on December 8 at 7pm!

Here’s a bit more about the show:

You and your family will explore the African Pride Lands with Simba, Timon and Pumbaa, voyage deep under the sea to Ariel’s mystical underwater kingdom and tour London with Peter Pan and Wendy before flying to Neverland to meet up with Tinker Bell. You’ll also be whisked away to Arendelle for an extraordinary adventure with sisters Anna and Elsa, rugged mountain man Kristoff and everyone’s favorite, huggable snowman Olaf, as they journey to discover that true love is the most magical power of all.

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Show times are: Thursday, Dec. 8, 7 p.m.; Friday, Dec. 9, 7 p.m.; Saturday, Dec. 10, 11 a.m., 3 p.m. and 7 p.m.; and Sunday, Dec. 11, 1 p.m. and 5 p.m. 

Tickets are on sale now at www.ticketmaster.com.

This year’s show features an international team of award-winning figure skaters, high-energy choreography and a colorful set that captures all four unique worlds. These people are seriously talented and impress me just as much as Lila!

To enter to win four free tickets to opening night on Dec. 8, answer these easy trivia questions in the comments. I’ll choose one winner at random (you don’t have to have correct answers to the questions) on December 6! 

1. Who is ‘the boy who never grew up’?

2. In Lion King, where do Mufasa, Simba and his family live?

3. Who does King Triton instruct to keep constant supervision over his daughter Ariel?

4. In Frozen, who likes “warm hugs”?

Follow @DisneyonIce on Instagram or www.facebook.com/DisneyOnIce to see more photos and video from the show. We’ll be there on opening night, so look for us!

Disclaimer: I was given free tickets to give away on my blog and free tickets for my family to attend opening night, but we genuinely love Disney on Ice! 

We Survived 6 Months!

When I was pregnant and met other twin moms, they mostly said the same thing, “Get through the first six months and it gets much easier.” Well I’m excited to say that the boys are officially six months old and we’re all still kicking!

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These past six months have been some of the craziest I’ve ever experienced. It started with a hospital stay for me due to preeclampsia, the boys being born six weeks premature and a month long NICU stay. Flash forward to today, and we have two healthy, thriving boys, a content and curious almost-four-year-old and a lot more sleep all around.

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Here are some six month stats for the boys:

Whitaker has always been the bigger of the two, and now weighs in at 15 lbs 2 oz or 14th percentile. He is 26.7 inches tall or 58th percentile. For a preemie, it’s great that he’s even on the scale, let alone above 50th percentile. He eats a TON. The boy will put down 7-8 ounces like it’s nothing. He just started eating solid food and is loving it so far.

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His play routine involves:

1. playing with a toy on his back for a few minutes

2. Rolling to his stomach

3. Realizing he still cannot figure out how to roll back

4. Screaming in frustration until I put him in “baby time out,” which is his rock n play with a toy

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When he’s not locked into this routine, Whit tends to be a very happy, smiley and grunty baby. Yes, grunty. This boy is always sniffing and snuffing and generally making monster-like noises. He’s our little meatball.

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Davis is our small guy. He’s just 13 lbs 4 oz or 1st percentile for weight. For height he is 25.3 inches or 8th percentile. If he was my first baby I may be worried about his size, but Lila was exactly the same. In fact, even being a full term baby, Lila weighed less than a pound more than Davis at six months. Now she’s 97th percentile for height! Besides, they say preemies typically don’t “catch up” to the scale until age 2.

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Davis continues to be going for the world record for the World’s Easiest Baby. This boy is all sweetness and happiness and ease. He flashes me the biggest smiles and full on belly laughs at just about anything – especially his sister.

Davis thinks his big sister is HILARIOUS! #davisray #lilakate #siblinglove

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Davis rolls both ways, likes playing with toys and going for walks. Mostly this guy likes just about anything you throw at him. The only times he gets upset is when his brother rolls on top of him, or his bottle gets temporarily “borrowed” to calm his hungry (loud) brother first. :)

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One the biggest challenges and victories for me these past six months has been my journey breastfeeding twins. Since the boys were in the NICU at first, they were exclusively on bottles. I started off exclusively pumping and thankfully had a great supply.

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I worked my butt off those first 12 weeks to transition the boys from bottles to nursing. It took a lot of practice, five trips to a lactation consultant, lip tie revision for both boys, a bout of mastitis and a LOT of frustration, but we finally got there. I had a lot of support from my sister who pushed me to keep trying in the early days when I wanted to give up.

Now both boys do a mixture of bottle feeding and nursing depending on the day. They have been exclusively on my breastmilk since they were three days old. Producing enough milk for twins (60 ounces a day!) is a pretty crazy undertaking for my body, so I’m proud to have accomplished this goal. I couldn’t have done it without the support of Luke who always helped me make it a priority to pump or nurse.

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The boys are both sleeping from about 8pm – 6:45 am, which has drastically improved the quality of our lives. I don’t do well being sleep deprived. It took my body quite awhile to learn how to sleep longer than a few hours at a time once they slept through, but I’m finally starting to know what feeling rested is like again.

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People often ask me if having twins is totally crazy. I tell them yes, and no. There are moments where everything is chaos and I feel like we live in the circus, but there are also moments where I feel like we manage very well and that having twins isn’t THAT much more work than having one baby. It helps a lot to have a very involved partner and supportive friends and family.

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At the end of the day I wouldn’t have life any other way. Raising twins is such a unique experience and a total blessing. These boys are the perfect complement to our family.

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