Saturday, October 31, 2015

Happy Halloween!

Happy Halloween from The Mountain Millers...

and our Little Honeybee!

Wish you and your family a safe and enjoyable Happy Halloween!

Thursday, October 29, 2015

Favorite Things

The longer I am in our new home, the more favorite things I have about it.  
Some of them are:
  • The view from our bedroom
  • The size of our bedroom... and the fact we have our own bathroom
  • Our front door -- especially with our pumpkins on the stoop
  • The view from our street as we drive down the hill to downtown
  • The fact our laundry room has a linoleum floor -- not a dirty, spidery, concrete floor (like our old place)
  • Tracey Ann's sweet little room with her big girl bed and a FULL closet to hang her little clothes
  • The twins' sweet little room... that still needs to be set up, but we at least know which room is theirs and their two little sets of outfits from friends are hanging in their closet
  • Our backyard shed
  • Our fireplace... which we haven't used yet, but we know it works and we're excited to use it when we can
  • Our HUGE bathtub in our master bath -- it is amazing!!

Tuesday, October 27, 2015

Preggers II -- Twins: 26 Weeks

How far along?  26 weeks

How I am feeling?  Pretty well, but very prone to heartburn... and, of course, physically tired each day.

How big are babies?  The size of heads of lettuce... between 1.5 to 2.5 pounds and 13.6 to 14.8 inches long

Sleep:  I sleep pretty well as long as I take heartburn tablets before bed... and as long as Tracey Ann and Hubby sleep through the nights

Boy/Girl, Boy/Boy, Girl/Girl Predictions: Maybe boy/girl?

Babies Nicknames:  Babies, or Twins
Weight Gain/Loss:  Let's just say, from here on out, there is weight gain... and we're done with this question

Best moment this week:  Taking time Saturday and Sunday to get outside with Hubby and Tracey Ann to a Halloween pumpkin patch and around fall foliage.  We dressed her in her little Honeybee outfit and chose pumpkins.  It was so much fun, but chasing her around is getting harder and harder.

Food cravings:  I'm not sure... I guess just food in general.

Missing:  The speed needed to keep up with Tracey Ann
Movements:  Yes, I love them

Labor Signs:  No, thankfully.
Comparison:  Here I am carrying Tracey Ann at 26 weeks
26 Weeks with the twins -- apparently we need more light in this room if we're going to keep taking pictures here...

General Attitude: Feeling very grateful for all our blessings, including these two little babies growing

 What I am looking forward to this week:  Just being home with Hubby... we still have our crazy schedules, but starting next week Hubby will be off hunting, at conferences, and then hunting again, so I am cherishing this last week of our being home together.

Milestones: I have officially had many strangers ask me "How much longer?" about my pregnancy... because it looks like I'm nearing the end... and, of course, I tell them, "Three months."

Monday, October 26, 2015

Halloween Comparison

Last year Tracey Ann was 9 months old around Halloween, and we took her to a pumpkin patch, sat her down, and took some cute pictures.

Halloween 2014 

This year, Tracey Ann is 21 months and we took her out around some beautiful foliage, and to a pumpkin patch which has some fun activities for kids, and we could hardly keep up with her.  She is the absolute joy of our lives.

More pictures to come, but these begin to offer a comparison of the two years...

Sunday, October 25, 2015

Fully Appreciated

I have never fully appreciated my dishwasher before.  In fact, I think I've made a habit of under-valuing this modern, first-world appliance.

When I was single, I lived for a few years without a dishwasher, which was no big deal, and I adopted a philosophy at that time, that I would rather do without a dishwasher than laundry appliances.  In fairness to me, I adopted this philosophy in my mid-twenties and I really did mean it at the time, which meant, I foolishly thought this remained my philosophy for the past few years.  No dishwasher?  No biggie -- as long as I have laundry appliances.

This week I learned that I have been under-valuing the wonderful contraption known as a dishwasher.

The amount of dishes we generate as a family is so much more than I realized until I have had to do without a dishwasher for the past two weeks.  We moved in and didn't realize our dishwasher wasn't working until we had been here a few days... and then, I ran the (full) broken dishwasher four separate times thinking that the problem was me... I just didn't know how to work the thing before Hubby and I finally realized it was broken.

After washing dishes by hand (and switching to paper plates) for the past ten days, we finally had a working dishwasher last night, and I couldn't BELIEVE how MANY dishes fit into the dish washer -- after I have been washing sink-full after sink-full since we moved in.

Oh, Sweet Dishwasher, I have not appreciated you.

I still love my laundry appliances, and definitely appreciate not having to go to a laundromat... but, Oh, Sweet Dishwasher, I apologize for my apathy up until this point.

Saturday, October 24, 2015

Motherhood and Guilt

Motherhood is full of many many personal decisions, and I think every woman needs to take everything in her life, and her child's life into consideration and then make the best choice for her family. (period).

Having said that, I don't buy into some of these mother pride campaigns on facebook -- like there is no right way to feed a baby to support women who don't breastfeed, or Cesarean birth is birth too.  Why do these women need the approval of social media for their decisions as mothers?  Frankly, if they do not feel confident in the decisions they made on their own, maybe they didn't make the best choice for their family.  If they did make the best choice for their family, that's all the approval they should need.

Motherhood Decisions of Which I am Proud:
  • I am proud that I breastfed Tracey Ann for over a year (fifteen months)
  • I was very comfortable that Tracey Ann stopped breastfeeding when she did and I feel no guilt about her not nursing until 18- or 24 months
  • I am proud that I did not have any anesthesia for Tracey Ann's labor and delivery
  • I am proud that we use clothe diapers some times -- we don't use them exclusively, but we do use clothe diapers when we can
  • I am proud that my daughter is happy and healthy
One reason I can confidently and fully admit how proud I am of those decisions I made as a mother is because every day I make decisions that I feel so guilt about as a mother -- and I'm not waging any facebook campaign to make myself feel better about them, I'm simply living with the guilt and trying to do better tomorrow.

Motherhood Decisions for Which I Regularly Feel Guilty:
  • Our daughter has her pacifier in her mouth too often 
  • The television is on in our home too often
  • Our dog does not get as much exercise as he should
  • Now that its getting cold I'm realizing that our daughter doesn't have any pants long enough reach down to her ankles -- she basically wears skirts with capris underneath until I can get to Once Upon a Child to buy her some longer pants
  • Since I've had the added project of packing, moving, and unpacking, Tracey Ann has been allowed and encourage to watch way too many cartoons and spend time playing on the ipad
  • The larger I grow and the more physically uncomfortable I become in my pregnancy, the shorter my temper in almost every situation
  • We've been in our new home for two weeks and Tracey Ann's clothes still are not unpacked and in drawers in her room
  • Tracey Ann eats way too much mac and cheese
  • I'm working outside the home and Tracey Ann spends time with a nanny
  • Tracey Ann is with baby-sitters one night a week when I'm teaching at the local college because Hubby, inevitably has work responsibilities those same nights I am teaching
The truth is, every mother, if she is a good mother, feels guilty about decisions she has made, or circumstances she cannot control.  I don't think the way to be a better mother is to find other mothers who feel guilty and form a group about how we shouldn't feel guilty.  I think the best a mother can do is make the best choices she can, every day and try her best to do better tomorrow.

Friday, October 23, 2015

Getting Ready...

Tracey Ann is getting ready for life as a big sister by practicing sharing her water with Elmo... as you can see, Elmo wasn't quite ready to take the bottle, so she had to physically open his mouth for him and insert the bottle to encourage him to cooperate.

Oh, Lord, please help protect these twins from their well-meaning big sister.

Thursday, October 22, 2015

What Makes a Home?

As I've made an effort to organize boxes and boxes of belongings and unpack some, thus far, I've found myself wondering what make a home... and, specifically, what will make this house our home.

What I'm discovering, little by little, is that, in our incredibly blessed life of abundance, home is made by the superfluous, sentimental additions to each room.  Within a few days, Hubby and I had located most of the belongings that we needed to survive as a family in this new space... but that didn't mean we were home.  If anything, we were camping, or on vacation, living out of boxes and suitcase -- and yes, we had what we needed, but we were not home.

For me, home is made, not by the items required to live our daily lives, but the items that are extra and unnecessary to our daily lives.

Last night I found the box that contained the manicure set that I keep in my bedside table, and what a sigh of relief I exhaled.  I use that manicure set all the time, FINALLY it will be where it belongs, in the drawer next to my side of the bed.  The manicure set is helping to make this place home.

Last night, I hung white Christmas lights in our bedroom, probably an incredibly immature habit I developed in college -- but I think one strand of Christmas lights -- either white or colored is the perfect amount of relaxing light to have illuminating my bedroom in the hours before bedtime.  When I was younger, I would always have a strand of colored lights, but since getting married, I like white lights -- I think they are more romantic.  These lights are helping to make this place home.

Tracey Ann has sort of been in-between two bedrooms for the past week.  We chose her bedroom and moved clothes and furniture into that room.  Then, we began the process of moving her to a big girl bed... and the bed was set up in another room.  She has now been sleeping at night, and for nap-time in her big girl bed for over a week, and so Hubby and I had to decide which room would be Tracey Ann's -- the one with all of her clothes, or the one with her big girl bed.  Yesterday a decision was made, and last night I made big strides toward making the "big girl bed" room HER room, and the room with the crib, the twins' room.  Knowing that I'm creating specific rooms for my children is helping to make this place a home.

As I am unpacking, I am definitely learning how many meaningless belongings my little family has... but I am also learning that some belongings are anything but meaningless, and they really do help to make a house a home.

There is a reason many women, myself included, devote their lives to the position of Homemaker -- a house does not become a home simply when a family moves in.  A house becomes a home first by loved ones who fill the space, and then, in time, each person in the family feeling safe, secure and loved in that space.

Tuesday, October 20, 2015

Adjusting Expectations

This past week has been an exercise in adjusting expectations.  I'm not sure why, but I really had the impression that the stressful part of moving was packing up and moving out... never did I even remotely think that the process of unpacking and settling in would be equally long and stressful.

I have moved many times before in my life and unpacking was always so much fun -- settling into a new place, hanging pictures, organizing my room -- it was awesome.

It turns out moving is much different with a husband, toddler, and when pregnant with twins.  First of all, we have so much more belongings as a family than I ever had a single woman, and we're moving into an entire house, as a family, instead of my just having a room with other roommates.

The truth is, it has never taken me more than about a week to settle into a new place -- even when Hubby and I were first married, I think it took me maybe two weeks for us to settle in and figure out how we would make a home together.

Now, specifically this week, I have had to adjust my expectations as to how long it will take us, as a family, to settle in to this wonderful, big home, as a family -- its going to take some time... certainly longer than a week.

My new goal, is to be settled in our home, and ready for the twins in our home, before the twins arrive -- and to remain healthy and active and able to remain up and on my feet until we are settled in our home and ready for the twins.

That goal might be met by the middle of November, or the middle of December... hopefully not much after that.

Our home is wonderful, and we will settle in, in time, I just have to work on adjusting my expectations of the time frame.

Monday, October 19, 2015

Preggers II -- Twins: 25 Weeks

How far along?  25 weeks

How I am feeling?  Better and learning my limits in settling into our new home.  We are so far from settled, but I'm now thinking that my goal has to be to settle in before the twins are born... a few months from now (Lord Willing) 

How big are babies?  The size of cauliflowers... between 1.5 to 2.5 pounds and 13.6 to 14.8 inches long (but we had an ultrasound last Wednesday, so I can say that last Wednesday, the doctor measured the twins and they were 1 pound 12 ounces and 1 pound 13 ounces.

Sleep:  I sleep pretty well as long as I take heartburn tablets before bed

Boy/Girl, Boy/Boy, Girl/Girl Predictions: Either boy/girl or boy/boy... maybe

Babies Nicknames:  Babies, or Twins
Weight Gain/Loss:  Probably gained weight... but I still haven't found out scale

Best moment this week:  Spending Saturday and Sunday with Hubby and Tracey Ann.  Hubby and I have been going in a million different directions since before we closed on the house and finally we had a few days to work together and enjoy our new home as a family.

Food cravings:  Not so much this week... we don't have much food in the house yet

Missing:  The ability to pick up items off the floor without grunting and groaning and squashing my stomach
Movements:  Yes, I love them

Labor Signs:  No, thankfully.
Comparison:  Here I am carrying Tracey Ann at 25 weeks
25 Weeks with the twins

General Attitude: Trying to take one day at a time and have a longer time frame for myself with our unpacking

 What I am looking forward to this week:  Hubby and I will be home most evenings this week, which rarely happens and I am excited about it.

Milestones:  I'm not sure... some of my maternity clothes are starting to get snug and my belly is starting to poke out the bottom

Sunday, October 18, 2015

Gameday Signs

So, Michigan lost to Michigan State yesterday in a HORRIBLE blunder in the last ten seconds of the game.

Michigan fans were left stunned and speechless.

In an effort to move on, I wanted to share my favorite two College Gameday signs thus far this season:


Saturday, October 17, 2015


Michigan football is BACK and this season has been SO exciting.

Today is not only the Michigan State v. Michigan game, but both teams are ranked in the top 15, and College Gameday is broadcasting living from Ann Arbor.

This will be a VERY exciting game.


Friday, October 16, 2015


Right now, Hubby and I are so incredibly blessed.  There is no two ways about it, there is no debate, we are 100% blessed by everything in our life right now.

We have a home, a healthy daughter, a loving marriage, wonderful animals, fulfilling jobs, a church community, a growing family, and extended family that would do anything for us at a moment's notice.

That being said, I needed this reminder today.  It is really hard to try to settle into a new home while working, raising a toddler, and growing two babies.


Wednesday, October 14, 2015

Moving Pictures

Here are some pictures from our busy moving days...

Officially homeowners!

 Tracey Ann learned the realities of moving... mismatched clothes, wet hair, and pizza for breakfast.

Rays of sunshine in our new yard.

Helping us shop at Home Depot

Daddy's little helper with home projects

She found Mama's fancy shoes in a box and played dress-up -- she walks in the heels better than I do

Tuesday, October 13, 2015

Preggers II -- Twins: 24 Weeks

Oh my goodness, I have not blogged in forever, which is TOTALLY not like me.  I missed a few days before we closed on our house... and then we moved and our internet was supposed to be on as of last Friday, but it didn't actually turn on until Monday, so there were a quiet few days there.  I will write all about our move soon, but I totally missed a pregnancy post for 23 weeks, and I will be 25 weeks on Thursday, so I don't want to delay my 24 week post any more lest it might not happen either.
How far along?  24 weeks

How I am feeling?  Well, exhausted because of our move, but very excited to be settling into our new home -- our FIRST home that Hubby and I have ever purchased.

How big are babies?  The size of cantaloupes (oh my!)... between 1- to 1.5 pounds and 10.5- to 11.5 inches long

Sleep:  Not as well yet in our new house.  I'm still getting the hang of this new place and we're definitely still settling in.

Boy/Girl, Boy/Boy, Girl/Girl Predictions: Oh, I have no idea... frankly this has been the last thing on my mind this week.  I'm just excited that I feel both babies moving at the end of our long days when I finally get off my feet.

Babies Nicknames:  Babies, or Twins
Weight Gain/Loss:  Probably gained weight... but I'm not sure where our scale is at the moment.

Best moment this week:  Spending Saturday night in our home.  We slept in our house Friday night too... but by Saturday night EVERYTHING had been moved out of our old house, and Hubby and I knew we were going to sleep in on Sunday and we poured sparkling fruit juice in Tiffany champagne glasses, and we cherished the fact that we now own our very own home.

Food cravings:  Diet coke, which is horrible, but I have been craving it (and drinking a few)

Missing:  Endurance... at the end of the two moving days I felt like my body was put together wrong, and each day that I'm unpacking, I can tell when my body is spent for the day and I have to stop.
Movements:  Yes, I love them

Labor Signs:  No, thankfully.
Comparison:  Here I am carrying Tracey Ann at 23 and 24 weeks, since I missed last week:
23 Weeks Tracey Ann

24 Weeks Tracey Ann

And here I am with the twins at 23 and 24 weeks:
23 weeks Twins

24 Weeks Twins -- at our new home!!

General Attitude:  So happy that our move is over... we still have to unpack and settle in, but we have officially moved -- that is such a relief!

 What I am looking forward to this week:  Well, settling in to our new home... but also we have another doctor's appointment this week to check and make sure the twins did well with our move

Milestones:  Well, my engagement and wedding rings fit last Thursday, and they did not fit by Sunday.  Also, my feet had grown several sizes by Sunday.  Both of these milestones, I expected in the course of this pregnancy, but I think the move definitely expedited both of these milestones and was physical evidence that the move took its toll on my body.

Wednesday, October 7, 2015

So Funny

This video made me laugh so hard... I am so glad my Hubby puts up with driving with me.

Tuesday, October 6, 2015

Those Weeks

This is one of those weeks.  Today is Tuesday, and I know this is one of THOSE weeks.

Frankly, this week will be amazing, without a doubt.  This week is the culmination of one of the biggest blessings of Hubby and my life, and our life together -- this is the week we will, Lord Willing, close on our first home and move in.

It is also a week when we still have both of our very busy jobs, plus my extra college job, Hubby and the middle school will host a huge football game, we have a wonderful toddler who is not quite to an age where she could understand "Sweetheart, we are packing, could you please entertain yourself for awhile, and please do not get into any trouble?"  Furthermore, it is another week of twin pregnancy, and a week where every spare minute is spent packing...

I have never moved during the school year, and now I understand why.  I also have never moved while pregnant, and I also, now, understand why.

If I were not pregnant, I would be up packing and loading boxes until midnight at least every night without regard for food or sleep -- I can sleep and eat at the new house.  The fact I am pregnant -- and with twins, means I cannot ignore rest, food, or general aches and pains of my body.  I cannot pack and load boxes for 8 hours every night.

The plan as of now is to close on the house on Friday and pack, load, and unload all small boxes and items on Friday.  Then, wake up Saturday morning and move all large items in order to have a completely previous home by the end of the day.  Then, Sunday, we have people coming to clean the previous home from top to bottom so that new renters can move in on Monday.

One week from now, we will be settled in the new home and I will be unpacking every evening, but without a rushed time frame to the unpacking project.

This is a hard week, but it is such a blessed week and I know God will provide all the strength, time management, endurance, and help we need.

Monday, October 5, 2015

Denver Trip

Chris' sister and brother-in-law and our niece came to Denver last week for a conference and we were able to snag Friday and Saturday to go down and see them.

Tracey Ann and her cousin Zivah are 7 months a part, and the two girls had a blast!