Tuesday, February 28, 2017

February Life Lately

Today I'm recapping our February, which went by in a blink! With the girls' "birthday"being on the 2nd, it's easy to just look back on an entire calendar month for our month in review and for their month by month recap. 

Here we go! 

The girls were due for their 4 month well visit on the 2nd. Amelia (right) weighed 11 lbs 1 oz and Mae Parker was 12 lbs 2 oz. We definitely get all the oohs and ahhs from the waiting room and office staff when we go for their appointments. There's just something fascinating and special about twins.


 On the 3rd, we celebrated my Dad's birthday along with his retirement! I posted a few days later about this BIG day here. My dad and I both work at the hospital, and every day for almost 7 years he'd stop in my office in the mornings to chat. Almost a month later, I miss seeing him every day. He was a moment of calm and happiness in the middle of a hectic, stressful day. 


My dad did auditing work for the Surgery department. The Surgery staff and HR threw him a nice reception. I wish I would've taken more pics later on to show how full the room was with people dropping by to celebrate, but I was too busy making sure the girls were ok....


I mean of course they were ok...we had several family members who came by and lended a hand in the babysitting duties. 


With the latest iOS update, we gained several new emojis. Have you noticed? Anyway, my 10 year old nephew thought it appropriate to share the clown face emoji with me. NOT funny. #ihateclowns #andflippyfloppymen (ya know, those windsock people things.....ugh.)


We soaked up alot of time at home with our little ladies. We tried to convince them on Sunday afternoon that Staffords take naps on Sundays...they think that's pretty lame and weren't buying it.


Amelia continued to be a ray of sunshine in the wee morning hours even though the poor little thing has been a SICK girl this month. (more on that on Thursday)


We got a jumper for Mae Parker to try. She sways...no jumping yet. Of course it could be that she's still just a tad too small for it. 


I had the best Bunko night with some great friends. We may or may not have called the game early just because we were enjoying talking more than actually playing that night. #cookiecakesmakeeverythingbetter


We enjoyed our Valentine's Day decorations and I shared a little home tour here


We celebrated February's fun holiday with special dresses...


a fancy Sunday lunch at Stephen's grandparents' house...


with our best friends...


followed by a SUNDAY nap... #success


a few little Valentine treats...


special shirts...


a new rosegold cuff for my favorite Lenny & Eva sentiment...


AND flowers delivered at work (then returned to the florist and exchanged for grocery store flowers..read the whole story here).


February '17 will be remembered as "that month that Amelia was sick". I'll share more later this week, but this puny little gal is a tough one!


We started giving Amelia yogurt this month per Dr's orders and well, she loves it!


Mae Parker was the star of the show at church one Sunday while sister stayed home not feeling well. 


When your hands get a little too full with two fussy babies, you call in the reserves and say a prayer thanking God you bought a home two minutes away from your grandparents' house. 


We bought a used baby carrier from a friend on a whim just to try one out. And naturally, we now love it. Mae Parker falls asleep within minutes of being carried around.


And Amelia...well, she's just Amelia. She's just happy. 


Stephen's brother built the girls their first swings and was busting at the seams to come over, hang them up and try them out. We didn't stay out that day but for about 10 minutes, but it was easy to tell that we're going to be spending alot of time outside swinging this Spring and Summer!




One proud uncle!

If you're familiar at all with health care, and I say "it's a Joint Commission year for us." You immediately probably just went, "ooooh nooo!" 

Joint Commission is a governing body over accredited hospitals. Hospitals are typically surveyed every three years. You know the general time frame they'll be there, but the exact dates, you don't know until literally they just show up one morning. The size of the hospital determines the amount of surveyors that come as well as the length of time they're on-site. 


For us, they'll be here for 3 days with probably 4 surveyors. 1 of those 4 people will be solely with our department for 2 entire days of those 3 days. A HUGE part of my job is Joint Commission readiness. We've been through two surveys now that I've been responsible for the books they nit pick with a fine tooth comb and both times they've found ZERO deficiencies. To say that I'm particular about these books and protective of them is an understatement. 

These surveys are huge. They can shut a hospital down on the spot if a threatening enough deficiency is found. It's a pretty serious ordeal. So they're coming this year, we expect them sometime from July - September if we were placing bets. My focus at work these days is primarily Joint Commission prep and nothing else. I'll be able to take a deep breath when they come and go, but until then...it's a pins and needles kind of feeling. 

I snapped these pics of the girls on Sunday morning before church. These were the same dresses they wore on Christmas Day, but we were so rushed I never made their pics that morning, and also two months later they just fit better. 



Love my girls in red plaid! 

We're wrapping up our month with insurance agents, adjusters, service repairmen and contractors for what has quickly turned out to be a major home repair / remodel. SO. Short story, there was a pinhole in the water line to our refrigerator. It's been leaking for quite a while, but we've just found it this weekend. Initial estimate of repairs needed include: flooring replacement in the kitchen and possibly living room and hallway depending on what the insurance company says, possible kitchen cabinet replacements, work under the house in the crawl space, front bathroom vanity replacement, bathroom floor replacement, toilet replacement, and possible laundry room flooring replacement. I mean, I guess my advice is pull out your refrigerator now and then just for fun to see if it's leaking into the floor underneath it?? Had we not been in our crawl space Saturday morning, we would've never known and THEN I can't imagine the amount of damage if it had kept going. I mean, this has probably been going on for months and we've had no clue or no signs except for the slight water leak in the crawl space, and really, how often do you go into your crawl space?! START GOING INTO YOUR CRAWL SPACE!! 

(P.S. We're also having our traditional Mardi Gras dinner party tonight!! Laissez les bons temps rouler!)


Thursday, February 23, 2017

Thursday Confessions: Bates, Tulips, & Denial

Well friends, it's time for me to drop some of my latest confessions. It's a favorite past-time around here! 

|one|

I've long been a fan of the Duggar family and 19 Kids and Counting. Years ago, an episode featured their friends, the Bates family and I remember saying then that they needed their own. Fast forward and they have their own show on the channel, UP! Only of the 947 channels we pay an obscene amount for each month, we don't get UP!! Womp womp. 

But who does have UP? Amazon Prime Video. We've recently binged watched The Night Manager (thanks Sarah) and have started watching Sneaky Pete. But..my guilty pleasure is watching Bringing Up Bates on my tablet at night while I feed a baby and rock her to sleep. Just me, our recliner, a dark living room, ear buds, tablet, a sleeping babe and the Bates family..its my perfect ending to any night. 

Image result for BRINGING UP BATES

So I LOVE. LOVE. LOVE this family. It's an addtional $5 a month for this channel on your Amazon account, but if you're like me, you can easily binge watch the 4 seasons on there so far in 1 month, then get rid of the $5 upcharge. It may be the best $5 I've ever spent. Literally. I enjoyed the Duggars' shows, but I LOOOOVE the Bates. They're hilarious. 

|two|

For as long as I've worked at my current job (7 years next month) we've had Pepsi products. Much to 2,000 plus employees delights, they've finally recently switched over to Coke products. WHICH MEANS...WE HAVE DR. PEPPER NOW!! And in the fountain dispensers!! 


|three|

Before I came back from work from my maternity leave, I made a huge list of blog post ideas and searched around other blogs for fun topic ideas, linkups, brainstorming, etc. I'm welcome to any and all suggestions for future blog posts. I was afraid I'd get in a blog rut once I started working and raising twin babies or that I wouldn't have a good blogging routine in place. I feel like I post more than I anticipated but there isn't really a "routine" there....if you're a loyal reader, thanks for sticking with me and I hope you understand and don't mind that one week I may have 3 or 4 posts then not show back up for 2 weeks. It's life with babies. But if you have any post inspiration to share, please send it my way, I'm all ears!


|four|

Stephen had flower delivered to me at work on Valentine's Day. I brought them home that afternoon because tulips don't last long especially without natural light. He helped me unload my car and proceeded to turn right back around with them, back to the car and back to the florist. Turns out, they were NOTHING like he had ordered and he paid an ungodly amount for what I got. The florist was overly apologetic and agreed they weren't the best quality. He got a full refund, turned around went to Kroger and came home with MORE tulips than the high dollar delivery ones for a fraction of the cost. So, yeah, my Valentine's flowers got returned. Who knew that was a thing?


|five|

Certain antibiotics and a baby's belly don't mix. #diaperdisaster


|six|

I admit I am in denial of two things. 

1. Jack Pearson on This is Us cannot and is not going to die. 
2. Rachel has to win this season. This "news" of her being the next Bachelorette just HAS to be a hoax, right...


or just verrrrry good marketing measures from our Bachelor franchise producer friends to lure us into the coming season.

|seven|

A year ago this week, we were in the middle of fertility drugs, testing, ultrasounds, calendar counting, pill popping, blood drawings....it consumed our life. A year ago this week we were told there was "one favorable follicle this month" it wasn't promising so appointments for the next month were scheduled and prescription meds for the next month were called in. God had different plans for that "one favorable follicle". Anyone reading this longing to be a parent yourself, do NOT give up and do NOT stop praying. God is faithful in His own time. I will never be able to say that enough. We are so so blessed.


Thanks for stopping by friends, happy Thursday!


Tuesday, February 21, 2017

What We're Eating

At the first of the year, I made a big list in my planner of blog topics, linkups, ideas, etc for things I wanted to write about this year. Sharing more of our recipes, meal planning, prepping, tips etc was on that list...multiple times. I LOVE reading posts like this on other's blogs, but haven't ever done one myself. When I saw Shelby post her's earlier this week and then went and looked up Katie's that she mentioned in her post, I knew it was the perfect time to get my "What We're Eating" post out there! 

Life B.C. (before children, haha) I typically went to the grocery store either after work on Friday or Monday. Now, I make a mad dash to get everything I need any free moment that I get when the girls are calm, cool and collected at home long enough without the hubs losing his ever loving mind. Because let's face it, shopping carts aren't meant for holding 2 carseats. 

The last 2 times I've been to the grocery store in the past three weeks, somehow I've had just one baby with me and thought, eh why not get this done? 



Ok, on to the good stuff...here's what's on our dinner menu this week and next week!

Monday 2/20: Cheeseburger Gnocchi, Salad, Garlic Bread (I'll be sharing this new recipe soon!)

Tuesday 2/21: Marinated Pork Tenderloin with polenta, roasted sweet potatoes & asparagus

Wednesday 2/22: Frozen Pizza (Wednesdays are typically our quick / no cook nights, and always have been with it being a church night. We've skipped out on Wednesday night church since the girls have been born. It's flu season, they're preemies, their immune systems are lower, bedtime routine starts at 8p..it's just not the best time for us right now. BUT...SPRING...glorious Spring is just around the corner!!)

Thursday 2/23: Dinner @ Mom and Dad's...Thursday night is family night around here! 

Friday 2/24: I've promised Stephen a Date Night if he'd round up a babysitter...or two. We're pretty excited! Our first (and only) date night after having the girls, ended abruptly after dinner when I had to get back to my babies. I just couldn't stay gone long. I am however making dinner Friday night for some friends of ours who just had a baby themselves. I'll be taking them my "famous" Chicken Spinach Lasagna Rolls, Salad, Bread and a dessert. I'll get everything together Thursday night, then pop it in the oven Friday afternoon before we go visit with them!

Saturday 2/25: Parmesan Crusted Tilapia, Baked Potatoes and Roasted Broccoli 

Sunday's are for lunch with Stephen's family and leftovers for dinner....always. The end. 

Monday 2/27: Chicken Casserole and Veggie Casserole (I've got pans of these in the freezer from a while back, and with our Tuesday plans...these will come in super handy for Monday night!) 

Tuesday 2/28: MARDI GRAS! We've been celebrating this fun "holiday" for some years now and we're hosting a couple friends over this year. Basically, Stephen's going to be the only guy in the middle of a girls dinner party. I've been friends with these girls for ages...I can't wait for the story swapping and laughs! OH! What I'm making...Chicken, Sausage and Shrimp Gumbo in the crockpot, white rice, some kind of crusty bread and of course, King Cake! 

That's a week and a half planned...and if I'm super ambitious one of these days, I'll get to planning a month at at time. (I'm not holding my breath...the fact that I'm doing a week and a half is about blowing my mind!) 

Linking up with Erika today! 



Thursday, February 16, 2017

Currently


Letting Go...

of our household bill paying. I've always taken care of all our bills. Every single one. Just recently Stephen said he wanted to take over for a while to give me a break. Which don't get me wrong...voluntary household help is my LOVE language, but it's been a bit hard to just let this "responsibility" go. I'm getting better and God love him, he's been super patient with me these past few weeks and my thousand times asking "Did you pay the electric bill yet?" "Did the car insurance auto draft ok this month?" 

Pinning...

LOTS of baby food recipes, tips and ideas. The girls will be ready for baby food sooner rather than later and I think we're going to attempt to make most of their baby food ourselves. We may change our story a week into it, but for now, we want to give it a whirl. 

Starting...

to think about the girls first birthday. Yes, I know that they're not even 5 months old yet, but time flies and I'm a planner. 

Ignoring...

Instagram posts from my favorite local boutique store. She has the cutest clothes but only gets 2 of each size, when they're gone they're gone. Basically if you see something you love, you need to message or call ASAP to hold it until you can get there to pickup later that day or next day. I mean I really think my closet is now 75ish% from her store. 

Trying...

a couple of new recipes in the coming days. We were in a recipe rut for a while and  are still adjusting to our new schedules and routines now that I'm back at work full time. I need dinners to be quick to throw together with little clean up so I can spend as much time with our little darlings as possible. If these turn out good, I'll be sharing them in a monthly recipe link up a couple of my blogger friends host!

Happy Thursday friends! 



Wednesday, February 15, 2017

Meet My Loves...



I'm a day late to Andrea's Show & Tell Tuesday linkup...but these days 1 day late isn't that bad around here. We're quickly finding out that life with twins is BUSY. The girls are good babies, but we're out of that newborn phase, which means they're awake more, they're more playful, they need attention more...our hands are just a bit more full now. And, it's the best feeling ever!

Stephen


Stephen and I met many years ago through a church youth group. Neither of us were members at this particular church, but both attended separate smaller churches with our families and then visited with our friends at a particular larger church and became involved in their youth program and then eventually their college ministry. We were never close or even really friends, we just knew each other. And to be honest, Stephen was a bit "rough around the edges" back then. 

SEVERAL years passed and we ran into each other at a t-ball field where I was watching my oldest nephew play and he was watching his cousin play. We started talking and catching up and one thing led to another, led to another. 


We were married on September 28, 2013 which was literally the most beautiful day ever. We are TOTAL opposites in so many ways but somehow balance each other well. 

He can be impatient, hot-headed, and procrastinate like nobody else I've ever seen. BUT, he loves me so well and unconditionally. He's an avid movie fan, history buff and soccer fan. We are obsessed with the Olympics every two years whether it's winter or summer, we love good food and downtime at  home. We are probably the most boring couple you've ever met, but we like it that way. We love to spend time with our families and friends, but we also love to stay in just as much!


He's the biggest thorn in my side and the one who makes me laugh the hardest. I can't imagine our day to day without him. 

Amelia


Amelia is the spunkiest little thing you've ever seen. The nurses during her two + week stay in the hospital called her "fiesty"...it's still an accurate description. She makes us laugh and smile all the time. She has a high pitch jabber that will ring your ears and a dimple that will make you melt. She'll nuzzle right up on your chest and bury her head into your neck...it's her happy place. She wakes up ready for whatever comes her way with a smile on her face! She's a morning person like her mama! She's active, observant and independent. 

Mae Parker 


Mae Parker is the sweetest. She is so much like her daddy in looks and personality that it's becoming scary. She loves being around people and being held or talked to. She fights sleep HARD, unless it's bath night and she's out like a light. She needs almost constant attention, the moments that she is calm on her own we take full advantage of to get a few odd jobs and chores in around the house. She likes to sleep in late like her daddy and is a slow goer in the mornings. She has the best belly laugh, and often jabbers to herself for a loooong time. She loves to cuddle and is preferential to certain positions with certain people. 

These are the loves of my life and the pieces of my heart. I adore our little family!! 




Tuesday, February 14, 2017

Our Love-ly Home

Happy Valentine's Day!! If you've been around here for any amount of time, you know that I L-O-V-E a fun holiday! Valentine's and St. Patrick's Day are my jam! I love all things red, pink, fun and sparkly!! Today, I'm sharing my Valentines' home decor...

Normally, I end with our mantel, but I thought I'd switch it up and share it first this year! I am still in love with this garland that I made a couple of years ago! It's held up so well and brings everything together perfectly!



My new piece this year, may be my favorite ever...


Stephen's mom and great aunt made a fun little project with the girls and gifted it to me. It's the sweetest!


Our little centerpiece on the coffee table is about the same as last year with a small white cake stand, heart garland and a chunky white candle. I have a feeling that this maaaay not make the cut next year with 2 mobile girls rummaging through the house. 




I decorated our entry table the same as last year, but doesn't it look ten times better with our new canvas photos on the wall?!!



I found this metal LOVE banner at Hobby Lobby last year and knew it would work perfect at our kitchen window while leaving up our Christmas curtains! I loved it last year, and I still love this look now!


Fabric rag wreaths may be my favorite ever. They're just so festive! 


And new this year, I gave a few small touches to the girls' nursery. Growing up, my mom always gave me little decorative things along the way and would let me decorate my room for holidays. This bear and Mickey & Minnie tin were some of those pieces that I used to decorate my room as a little girl. I thought of no better place to use them in now! 


I posted about this felt heart shaped garland that I found at Kirklands  a few weeks ago on my Instagram story feed. It's seriously the cutest thing. It goes PERFECTLY with the girls' room "mix and match" theme. I can't wait to use this over and over again!!


This year, the girls won't care that our house is festive and sparkling with reds and pinks, but one day soon they will. My mom always paid extra attention to small extra touches that I looked forward to every year growing up. I am beyond excited to get to do the same for our daughters. Let the memories begin!