Monday, December 30, 2013

New Year's Eve Eve

That's right. That wasn't a typo. My question for you today is: what are you doing New Year's Eve Eve?

Five years ago, the Man and I teasingly enjoyed asking about the other's New Year's Eve plans. And five years ago, on New Year's Eve, we said vows before God and man, I got cake shoved up my nose, and we started a new life together. This year, on New Year's Eve Eve (well, technically New Year's Eve Eve Day--but now we're just getting confused), we're hoping to add two more lives to the world: a beautiful end to what has been, though challenging, a beautiful year.

So my question for you (other than, "Will you please pray for us?") is: what are you doing on the second to last day of the year? Will you be brave and challenge yourself alongside me to bring new life into the world? I don't know what that will look like for you: perhaps it is taking the time to be purposeful in a relationship that is dying, perhaps it is using your creativity to make something new and beautiful, perhaps it is slowing down to rest at the end of a busy season so that you have the strength to go on another day. But as the year is dying, would you join me in thinking about how we can create new life in the following days?

Thank you so much for all the encouragement, love, and support you have provided for our family over the last months. We are grateful for you. I hope to be back soon with photographic evidence that I didn't just spent the last 9 months eating an obscene amount of bean burritos. Happy New Year!

This was the beginning of today.

Sunday, December 29, 2013

One Last Reading Suggestion

So do you remember back in the day when this used to be a book blog? You know, when I would write about books and only occasionally the family or something of potential spiritual significance and things around here were literary and intellectual (oh, I made a joke!) and oh-so-inspiriational? Then the twins hijacked things and suddenly I'm posting massively pregnant selfies and we're all making bets about how long the twins will stay in (and how big my belly can get).

But today, in the spirit of the New Year, we're going to momentarily get back on track because I want to share with you one of my favourite books of all time.

Drumroll, please.

The Hawk and the Dove by Penelope Wilcock.

Admittedly, it's not so much just one book as an entire series, and I've only read the first three books (I've heard 4-6 are excellent as well), but if I had one set of books I would encourage you to read in 2014, I think this would be it. I read them growing up and asked my parents to give them to me this year for my birthday (because nothing screams 27 and pregnant like the monastic life), and they have made my December meditative, laughter filled, and encouraging. The story line revolves around a Benedictine monastery in the fourteenth century as a group of monks learns what it truly means to love each other and be loved by God in the midst of brokenness. I'll even admit to you that I finished rereading The Hawk and the Dove trilogy a couple weeks ago, and I still haven't moved it from my night stand to my bookshelf, because I don't want to forget what my soul learned from reading it.

This last month as I've prepared for the birth of the twins with my husband halfway around the world and my two boys showing obvious evidence of stress, I've needed the reminder that "love has no defences, and you only know it's love when it hurts." I've needed the Christ who wept in Gethsemane. I've needed the Lord of the wounded and broken. And that is the Jesus that Penelope Wilcock so gently and skillfully writes about. Pick up these books this year. You can read a chapter at a time, a story at a time, really, in between the busyness of your life, and maybe Christ will come to you as well and let you touch the wounds in his hands and side like he did for me and remind you that you are not alone.

Monday, December 23, 2013

A Christmas Poem

Twas two days before Christmas
And beyond any doubt
Not a twin child was stirring
To try to come out.
The induction is scheduled
For Monday at eight
(unless things get rolling
on some other date).
So I'll open up presents
While heavy with twins
And hope after Christmas
Active labour begins.

Happy 38 weeks, everybody!

Once upon a time, I could see the bottom of my belly.
Once upon a time, there wasn't a bottom to my belly...
From all our family to yours: Merry Christmas. And from Tiny, of course: God bless us, everyone!

{Constant induction date changes are not purposefully mean on our part--just a Christmas present from us to everyone else so that you don't get bored waiting for the New Year to come in.}

Sunday, December 15, 2013

I'm Dreaming of a Non-Pregnant Christmas...

I hereby confess that I'm "so over" being pregnant, because at some point, well, we all need to call it a day. The stats tell us that the average twin pregnancy draws to a close during week 35. I'm closing out week 36. I've been stuck at 4cm for 2 weeks now with the twins in go position after 6 weeks of contractions, and So let's talk about this without whining or dramatics.

Just kidding.

Let's have LOTS of fun whining and dramatics! Specially accompanied by bullet points! (Only because I love you.)

So here it is. My complete list entitled: How You Know You're Over Your Twinancy.
  • Your best friend in sarcasm makes a joke and you totally and completely miss it. For the record, yes, the full moon does affect the tides. And yes, pregnancy does take away any ability to use your brain.
  • You are stopped at Walmart by wide eyed gawkers who affirm that they have never before seen anyone that big. Ever! You ruefully agree.
  • There are more stretch marks than skin on your belly.
  • Your doctor looks surprised when you show up for your regularly scheduled appointment.
  • Your nephew maintains that "Aunt Marian's belly is TOO full!" and your oldest son likens you to a whale. I can't make this stuff up, people.
  • When you go for a stroll around the block, you hold hands with your one-year old and sometimes think he's walking too fast.
  • There is no way to sit without your legs being assaulted by your boxing twins. In fact, there's a decidedly misshapen lump at the bottom of your belly where Baby B's head is. It's awkward. Sitting modestly in public: also awkward.
  • You purposefully tempt fate by going out in public and hoping your water will break. Walmart! The post office! Church! Sit down restaurants! I've tried them all!
  • Your To Do Before the Twins Arrive List is completely finished, and the fact that there's nothing left to do is driving you crazy. You have consequently begun to drive everyone else crazy. At the very least, the Man has a nice Christmas package on the way complete with the most awesome craft Tiny has ever created in his very short and creative two years. I'm a little disappointed in myself for not taking a picture of it before I sent it halfway around the world.
  • Snuggling with your post-utero children involves a lot of, "Ouch! Please don't put your elbow in Mommy's belly!" and "No! Do not sit on the twins!" and "I love you so much but if you poke me in the stomach one more time…"
  • You're so uncomfortable and tired that you want the twins to arrive even though you know you're going to be uncomfortable and tired in all new ways once they finally do. It's not about logic. It's about the all new level of pregnancy crazy into which you have descended.
  • You find yourself doing squats in the bathroom right before bed because making yourself go into labour at 10 o'clock at night is a brilliant idea.
Anyway, I just thought I would share. I will also share the below picture of my massive, almost 37 weeks twin-nant belly. Hope it won't break your computer screen.

Friday, December 6, 2013

A Little Snowy Book Blog

Because today is a snow day, and because today begins the Mersmas celebrations (if you don't know what Mersmas is, I pity you), and because I'm getting complaints about my lack of blogging verbosity this month, here I am. And may I just say: seriously? I blogged every day in October. I really thought you guys would want a bit more of a break from me. Let's be honest, after six weeks of bed rest, I want a break from me.

Anyway, I'm not going to update you on any of my exciting bed rest stories today. I am, however, going to present a couple awesome books for your holiday reading and make one completely snarky comment about the books my children have been exposing me to while I'm stuck on bed rest and unable to protect myself from their literary demands. I will go ahead and be completely honest and say that I have not finished either of the books I am recommending to you, and I rarely suggest books I haven't finished, but since the twins could show up any day now, I didn't want to miss out on the chance to write about them on here. So if they turn out REALLY awful at the end (the books, not the twins), I will come back here and eat my words, but I seriously doubt that's going to happen because they are both by writers that I trust. To make sure my bases are covered, I'm including the original book trailers below so you can decide if you're interested regardless of my half-read conclusions.

First up, A Million Little Ways by Emily P. Freeman. I can't tell you how much I'm learning from this book. My emails to the Man are peppered with quotations from it, as I consider with Emily Freeman how to make art in my life. I will be completely honest and say that some of the things she writes about have hit a little close to home. There have been some teary moments for me reading her words as I've faced fears and confessed sin, and this has been good. And yes, before you tell me that I'm just hormonal, I will reiterate that the book is just that well-written and thought provoking. Otherwise why would I risk telling you about it when I haven't even finished it?

Second, I am thoroughly enjoying Ann Voskamp's Advent book, The Greatest Gift. My mom-in-love sent it for an early Mersmas present, and it is making my December so much more lovely. It takes only a few minutes of my day and brings me to a place of worship that keeps me focused on the true gift of Christmas: Christ. The boys helped me cut out the printable Jesse Tree ornaments that went along with it, and then we added some off center holes (hole punching is fun!) and some twine, and they're being added to our already wonderfully mismatched tree.

Lastly, and completely frivolously, I spend a lot of time reading train and tractor and airplane and car books. That's fine. It's one of those things about having boys (I am, however, pretty psyched about reading warrior princess books to the Baby Girl Twin). But let the record show: I do not approve of this  excessive personification of motorized vehicles. Machines do not have faces or feelings or the need to sleep. Sorry. I have no problem with talking, emoting animals, but there's a line, people, there's a line. And if I have to read one more book about a talking machine with feelings and bodily functions…well…it's not going to be pretty.

Anyway, a couple books to add to your Christmas wish list and a deep thought for all children's book writers out there to ponder. Merry Mersmas, everyone!