Monday, December 31, 2012

family picture sneak peak!

my friend lindsay (of lindsay hagblom photography) was so patient with our crazy family and wild evie and spent hours and hours to get all the shots i wanted. i cannot wait to see the rest!

christmas at the cabin, 2012.

Every year we go to the Olsen family cabin for a few days after Christmas. This year, with all the craziness that comes with twin newborns, we assumed we shouldn't go and planned to stay home for the weekend instead. However somewhere along the way Greg changed his mind and informed me we'd be going at about 10am on Saturday morning as he scrambled Evie's egg. I responding by texting him the list I keep on my phone of everything that's required to leave the house for more than 3 hours with 3 children under 2 and let him have at it (the list is AT LEAST 20 items long. I figured it would knock some sense into him, but he was feeling ambitious and I was feeling bored). 2.5 hours later we were on our way.

It was so nice to spend some time under a different roof and have help with the babies for a full 24 hours--Jennie and Margaret barely even let me hold them! I can't believe what a difference just one more person makes when it comes to managing my children. Maybe I'm just not good at it yet, but we're talking the difference between life and death. Sanity and suicide. I kid. But, it's huge.
It was a freezing, beautiful weekend at the cabin spent chatting by the Christmas tree and bundling up the kids to "play" in the snow (It was Evie's first time. She mostly cried). I'm finding I should never say never when it comes to what I will and won't do with 3 tiny kids in tow. We keep telling our families we won't be coming to this and that and then we get bored, get caffeinated and somehow show up after all. Sometimes I think my life might not actually be over. (wink)

I have taken this exact picture of Ty & Greg at least 10 times. I should compile all of them to prove it. They keep asking me to take it. You guys look SO COOL.

These babies. I am so in love. They are so worth it.

Friday, December 28, 2012

all i wanted for christmas.

1 sleepless night with Will & Nora who both had gassy tummies on Christmas Eve.
3 hours it took us on Christmas morning to feed, burp, change, bathe, dress, swaddle, soothe, pack, pump, dress, pack the car and get out the door.
9 presents Santa left for the kids under the tree
0 presents for Mom and Dad
2 houses to visit on Christmas day
3 exhausted Christmas kids
1 rockstar energy drink consumed by the husband
4 Diet Cokes consumed by the wife
1 Mother who passed out on her parents bed Christmas afternoon and could have slept FOREVER.
6 cousins Evie loved playing with all day.
4 Grandparents who spoiled and loved and made the day great.
3 perfect children all under one roof
10 million times I felt like the luckiest girl in the world.

This year for Christmas I didn't get a thing and yet, I got it all. I am married to my love, a guy who is patient and kind and devoted--who wakes up with me night after night to feed a baby while I feed the other. We live in a darling little house on a tree-lined street and my husband wakes up each morning and drives himself downtown to a great job that allows me to stay home and be a full time Mother. We are happy and healthy and safe and EXHAUSTED. Taking care of 3 little children under 2 is the hardest thing I have ever done. It is challenging and tiring and, at times, it feels completely impossible. And yet, I know it's for me.

This year for Christmas I had 3 perfect little children all under one roof. My little children; Evie and Nora and Will. I am so overwhelmed by how much I love them. I am equally overwhelmed by the number of diapers they all burn through in the course of a day.

I am so grateful for Christmas and for the opportunity I have to celebrate the birth and life of my Savior. I am grateful for the knowledge that He lives, He's aware of me, He loves me, He listens when I pray to Him and He gives me the strength I need to do hard things. Sometimes to even to do really hard things well.

That's what I'm aiming for. I'm trying to do this really hard thing well. And I am so grateful for the chance to try. For this little family that's all mine.

They are IT. They are the present. I have everything I've ever wanted.

**Nora came home the the Saturday before Christmas Eve! I wish I could personally hug and thank each and every one of you who prayed for her and thought of her and sent us your faith and love. I know it made all the difference. Thank you, thank you, we are so grateful to everyone who got us through.

Thursday, December 6, 2012

nora hattie.

This post should come AFTER one announcing the birth of my sweet twins. There is a timeline defining the month of November and many posts I should have written, but was too tired to write. That timeline would look something like this: Birth (joy), NICU (sadness), Nora comes home (elation), William does not (pain, guilt, exhaustion), Will comes home (ELATION!), Jess becomes an official full time mama to 3 little ones at home (joy, exhaustion and relief).

That is where the roller coaster should have ended. That is where I wanted to get off. I could have never anticipated another rise and fall like I have experienced since bringing my two babies home. Since that time we have fallen--and we have fallen hard and deep.

There is a song I love to listen to at Christmastime. It is beautiful and soothing and therapeutic. Today as I drove up to Primary Children's Medical Center to visit Nora I listened to it on repeat, held my husband's hand, and cried into the ice cold car window. Car rides are reserved for crying and home is reserved for Evie and Will and trying to be a good mother.

As I listened to the familiar lyrics I realized, perhaps for the first time, that the song I love so much is actually quite sad. Like so many of the trials I have faced in my life--it is beautiful and it is tragic. And it describes how I feel right now exactly.

This is my winter song to you.
The storm is coming soon,
it rolls in from the sea

My voice; a beacon in the night.
My words will be your light,
to carry you to me.

Is love alive?
Is love alive?
Is love

They say that things just cannot grow
beneath the winter snow,
or so I have been told.

They say were buried far,
just like a distant star
I simply cannot hold.

Is love alive?
Is love alive?
Is love alive?

This is my winter song.
December never felt so wrong,
cause you're not where you belong;
inside my arms.

I still believe in summer days.
The seasons always change
and life will find a way.

Ill be your harvester of light
and send it out tonight
so we can start again.

Is love alive?
Is love alive?
Is love alive?

This is my winter song.
December never felt so wrong,
cause you're not where you belong;
inside my arms.

This is my winter song to you.
The storm is coming soon
it rolls in from the sea.

My love a beacon in the night.
My words will be your light
to carry you to me.

That is my prayer and my hope for my sweet baby Nora. I hope my faith will be a beacon in the night, I hope it will reach her and surround her and comfort her when she is in pain. I hope it will carry her back to me and back into my arms, where she belongs. I have had her home with me already, I know what it is to love her and care for her and wake up at 3am to the sound of her perfect cries. As her Mama, that is all I want to do. I have so so much, I am so blessed, and yet, I am empty without her.

This post should have come after one announcing her birth, and Will's birth, and really this post just shouldn't have ever come at all.

I am learning that it is a hard thing to be a Mother and to love someone so much. At times it feels like my heart is not inside my body. Certainly right now, it is not. Tonight my heart resides up at Primary Children's Nicu with a sick and sweet and perfect little girl named Nora.

**I know this post is vague and doesn't explain exactly what we are facing right now (Nora's diagnosis is NEC), but since this is my blog and my outlet, I decided to write what I want to write instead of what I feel obligated to write and tonight I just wanted to write about what I am going through. It is tiring to talk about Nora's condition and to explain her treatment and her suffering. Talking about it is difficult for me and it makes me incredibly sad. I know that most of you who read my blog already know what is going on with her and are praying for her. If you don't, feel free to email or call me or get in touch with someone in my family. Thank you for your prayers, from the bottom of my heart.

PS. Wintersong here.