Seven years and seven months ago, I had a total deer-in-the-headlights feeling when a midwife wielding an ultrasound wand told me she saw 2 heartbeats - I was already completely overwhelmed with three tiny kids and felt like I was "stepping out into the darkness and reaching out for the hand of the Lord" in accepting the strong prompting that we needed to go for a fourth child. It was one of those surreal moments that will forever be crystalized in my mind when the midwife turned the screen towards me and pointed out those two blinking kidney beans. And when I managed to somehow drive my shocked self home to where Jared was watching the kids so I could go to the doctor, he just about passed out when I showed him the ultrasound pictures.
And then, after getting so excited about the two little boys who'd be joining our family and trusting that it would all work out somehow, I'll never forget the afternoon when I was about 5 months pregnant and was having lunch with friends and quite suddenly, there was blood - quite a lot of it. I rushed into the doctor, leaving the kids with the friends I'd been with at lunch. I sat there for what seemed like forever until they could get someone to do an ultrasound. Oh what joy when two little hearts were still beating in there! What a beautiful crystal moment! But the placenta was inexplicably tearing away from the uterine wall and I had to go on modified bedrest - not that easy with my three tiny kids and no family nearby and a husband who needed to be on the other side of the world for work quite a bit. But friends and members of my congregation pitched in and we taught baby Eliza how to climb into her high chair and crib and carseat by herself since I couldn't lift her and we were as careful and prayerful as can be. Those little hearts kept beating strong at each doctor visit until the placenta finally healed itself.
And then there was that crazy night exactly 7 years ago when our two babies were born. After going through a quick but intense natural labor, I rejoiced as I held precious Oliver in my arms, and felt wonderful adrenaline and joy as I got ready to push his brother out. But Silas was stuck. It was pretty sad news to hear that there'd be no more triumphant pushing but instead, a scary emergency C-section. That night is full of more poignant and blazing memories - the most beautiful of which involved finally holding my two babies in my arms, drugged and groggy and in intense pain, but so very very grateful to have both babies delivered safe and sound.
I've had plenty of other crazy, sweet, hard and crystalized moments since the birth of my little guys. Oh, the messes and scary moments and general chaos that they've brought into our lives! There were the many many many sleepless nights with two newborns. Then there was the time a stranger showed up at our door holding a dirty little Silas. "Is this yours? I found this baby crawling in the street." Great moment there. Jared had inadvertently left the door slightly ajar when he got back from work and Silas must have somehow slipped out the door while I was focused on feeding Oliver and the other kids were gleefully greeting Jared after work. All it took was about 3 minutes.
There was the day they smeared vaseline all over the new carpet and new Pottery Barn bedding I'd saved up so carefully to buy while I was cleaning up a potted plant they'd upturned in another room (and nope, vaseline doesn't come out - I tried everything). And there was the time they figured out how to open a 25 pound bag of pinto beans in the pantry - wow, those beans sure roll everywhere!
Then there was the time they both split their chins open in the very same spot just a few days apart from each other - one tripped and fell onto a sharpish edge on our eliptical machine and the other one slipped while doing a spontaneous dance in a restaurant when he hit a wet spot on the floor - identical scars.
And there was the time last summer at Bear Lake when the twins and one of their little cousins were playing on the old tractor we use to launch the boat and ended up accidentally starting that thing while the rest of us were busily and noisily making dinner and didn't notice. After a joyride/scared-to-death ride involving somehow making three loops around an empty lot without hitting anything or getting killed, they steered the tractor up a sandy hill and luckily that caused the engine to stall and stop. Not knowing exactly how to explain what happened, they headed into the cabin to eat dinner and the story didn't come out until their cousin let it slip and we found the tracks and the tell-tale tractor stuck in the sand. Lots of big talks on that one.
Never a dull moment when Oliver and Silas are around! And I could go on and on but you get the idea. If one smart, busy, curious little boy can get into a lot of things, just imagine how much more craziness can happen when two identical smart, busy and curious little boys put their heads together!
But the sweetness and laughs and beauty they've brought into our lives is vastly more important. They are the most loving, funny, sweet, smart, fun, enthusiastic little boys and I love them so very very much. They shower kisses and hugs and "I love you's" on me every single day (especially on the hard days - they seem to be so in tune with what I need) and never cease to make me smile. They're the best serendipity of my life.
Seven years ago, these were my little guys.
4 years ago, these were my little guys.
2 years ago, these were my little guys. (The big kids think this one should be featured on America's funniest home videos - but it might just be extra funny to us - see what you think. They've attributed some pretty interesting stuff to Micheal Jackson.)
And here they are a couple months ago.
Yes, I'm biased, but aren't they pretty darn cute?
I'm blessed beyond measure to have these sweet boys and I'm so grateful for all the crystal moments they're always bringing to my life - both the crazy times and the beautiful times - and the times that have been crazy and beautiful simultaneously.
Here are a few photos of today's festivities for their birthday. Ashton did a fabulous magic show for 10 mesmerized little kids, we did pinatas in the backyard on a perfect sunny afternoon, we did a family trip to Kangaroo Zoo (the twins have been begging to go there forever and it did not disappoint) and we topped it all off with a pizza party with my parents. What a day we had!
|Opening presents after their chosen birthday breakfast - egg burritos|
|Good times at our family party at Kangaroo Zoo|
|coming down the slide in a train|
|The friend birthday party started with a great magic show by Ashton|
|ready for cake and ice cream (they asked for banana cake and I found a super|
good recipe for banana chocolate chip cake with cream cheese frosting - yum!)
|pinatas in the back yard on a perfect sunny afternoon|
(thanks dad and mom for the random pinatas found while cleaning out your house - they were perfect!
|Waiting in line to hit the pinatas|
|grabbing the loot - we stuffed them with popcorn packets, hot cocoa packets, granola bars, fruit snack packs - |
fills them up faster and makes for slightly more surprising and healthy loot
|pizza party to end the day with Grammie and Grandfather|