Friday, February 26, 2010

She's Sugar And Spice, Everything Nice

...(sometimes ;) ... but always Daddy's Little Girl.

Here are a few pictures of Kirsten and Brian (along with her friend Kalee and Dad Dean) getting ready to go to the Girl Scout Father Daughter Dance. So sweet.

The girls... dressed up for their dates. I guess polka dots and white shrugs are in style :)

The girls and their handsome dates :)

And the "true to life" behind the scenes (or unedited) photo.

Love that Brian is bouncing our little monkey Matt through his formal pictures. So cute. Not quite as cute when the boys pitched a fit in the front yard that they didn't get to go with "Daddy and Sissy Love". Those boys hate to miss a good time ;)

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Tea For Two

As a new member of The Junior League of St. Petersburg, I was very involved in planning the fundraisers for our new member project. Our key fundraiser was an Alice in Wonderland themed tea party. It was a great event. We enjoyed everything from the ballet performance to the candy bar and I even won one of the raffles! (A beautiful necklace, bracelet, and gift certificate to Carabba's! SCORE!) We raised over $4,000 for PARC's Discovery Learning Center and I got to spend a Sunday with my daughter and my mom, what could be better?

I Worry...

...These guys don't.

I LOVE these laid back guys :) Brian and Matt chillin' at the ophthalmologist's office... dilated eyes are just a new reason to look cool.

(No more retina checks needed for our little preemies :) and no glasses needed! (yet) .)

Sunday, February 21, 2010

It Might Be Easier To Tell Them Apart From Now On...

Since the twins were infants, people have been asking us how we tell them apart. Brian's standing joke is "They're Taylor boys... they'll have scars soon. That's how we'll tell them apart". ...Not so funny today.

On a very sad side note, Brian was in Illinois for his grandfather's funeral this weekend. His passing was not unexpected, but it was still very sad. I felt terrible not being there but it was just impossible. I didn't feel like I could make the trip with, or leave the children behind right now. So, Brian was returning from a very long, and what had to be difficult, weekend trip.

I was putting some things into the van and talking to my mom on the phone. Danny came barreling toward me (we always joke about how he runs head first... again, less funny right now). He tripped and took a header. He hit the van door hard. I knew he was hurt right away, dropped the phone, and picked him up. Then I saw the blood. I was yelling, "Oh my God! Oh my God!" My mom heard this and (she and my dad say) started yelling "Oh my God!" (My dad asked what was wrong and my tearful mom said she had no idea but that's what I was yelling... You may need to really know us to see this play out, but it was ridiculous and very sweet... the way we operate.)

I grabbed Danny and ran upstairs for ice and something to put pressure on his wound. My parents both arrived in less than 2 minutes. (LOVE living so close to my parents, LOVE how I didn't need o ask them to come, LOVE them in general.) My dad and I knew right away he needed stitches (since we were pretty much looking at his skull... Seriously, there was white. Sorry to gross you out, but it's true). So we got him into a car seat and my mom got into the front of my van to drive us to the ER (while I applied pressure to his little FACE). In a moment's time it had been decided that my dad would take Brian's van, pack up Matt, pick up Kirsten from church (CCD), and pick up Brian at the airport. I love my parents. What would I do without them??

Mom, Danny, and I headed to All Children's ER. It was as positive experience as it could have possibly been. We were in the waiting room less then 10 minutes. Danny played a video game (yes, a video game for a 2 year old... He thought it was awesome). We were triaged and in a room right away. A happy, private little ER room. We had excellent nurses (who Danny immediately wrapped around his little finger) and a great doctor.

The wound was cleaned, Child Life experts visited with toys, and a nice, numb Danny played and played.

(I have very adorable videos of Danny singing Nursery Rhymes in our room... We had to really work to keep him somewhat calm once he was numb! ...I'll try to add them to this post eventually but that never seems to work for me...)

He was SO brave. He really didn't cry much at all until being stitched up. It took 4 of us to hold him down. Man, that little guy is strong! At one point I asked him if it hurt or if he was scared. After that he kept crying and yelling "I scared!" It was heartbreaking. But, I desperately tried to help hold him down. I did not want him to be sedated after the trauma of holding him down! (He and Matt both had a hard time coming out of the sedation after their surgeries. not medically, that went fine, but I thought it was hard on them.)

Four stitches and a band aid later, it may become easier to tell the boys apart. We are going to do everything we can to minimize the scarring, time will tell... The power of a cool band aid is amazing (and the ice cream Mimi bought didn't hurt the healing process either!)

My sweet, brave boy, I love you... and I wish I didn't somehow let you get hurt every time Daddy leaves town!

(On another side note... look at me doing the "sad" part! No passing out, no throwing up... I don't know about you, but I'm pretty impressed with myself ;)

Saturday, February 20, 2010

Shine On

2010 was to be the year of no resolutions. I've never actually been able to keep a resolution and I read about an idea I liked much more instead. One Word. At the beginning of January some of my favorite bloggers (like this one and this one) were writing about an idea that's been gaining a lot of popularity. You are supposed to chose one word to define the upcoming year for yourself. Something to focus on, help you to make your life more purposeful, something easy to bring to your mind in a moment of chaos. I just loved this idea. I spent weeks trying to decide on my word. I read about lots of other people's choices for inspiration. I wanted to make sure that my word was going to help me make decisions, make me a better mom and a better person, keep me calm and centered. (That's a lot to demand of one word!)

After much thought and deliberation I decided on the word shine. It was perfect. If I was going to shine I would be the best version of myself. What could be better than letting the best part of me shine through in every situation? I was very excited. 2010... my year to shine.

...Then it started. Let's just say, thus far, 2010 and I aren't getting along so well. There has been a lot of stress and anxiety. I've been worried about one of my children and unsure what to do about it. January was the kind of month where it seemed that every single decision I made was the wrong one... and the stakes are too high for mistakes (or, at least, that's how it seems).

So, in my state of utter panic, I have felt less than shiny. I've been distracted and impatient. I haven't been present or sleeping. It hasn't been pretty. (It's a shame that for once I did not resolve to lose weight. I may have actually kept that resolution this year... the "anxiety diet" is proving very effective.) Through all this I did keep going back to my one word. However, instead of inspiring me it was mocking me.

When I chose this word I was inspired by scripture "Let your works so shine before men, that they may see your good works..." (Matthew 5:16) and famous leaders "When you let your own light shine, you unconsciously give others permission to do the same..." (Nelson Mandela). Truly inspiring. Let me tell you, I have not let others see my good works, or inspired anyone to do anything.

Then last week, things suddenly became clear to me. Fearing something I have no control over is never going to solve a problem. BUT facing fears, head on, and dealing with whatever situation God puts in front of me might be exactly what my child needs me to do.

Kirsten cries her eyes out during movies (all movies. We've had to leave the theatre more times then I can count). I always tell her "there has to be a sad part to make the happy part happier". Last week I reminded myself of these wise words. How liberating. I can't tell you how freeing it was to stop trying to find a bright side... stop trying to fix everything. I accepted that what we were going through was one of the "sad parts". I have complete faith that the happy part is coming. I really do... so what is there to worry about? As soon as I came to terms with this I found myself more present and focused on being the mother my child needs me to be right now... shiny or not.

Ironically I also heard the song "Shine On" by Eric Bibb last week. It's amazing what we hear when we are listening sometimes isn't it? This is my new favorite song. I love the lyrics. LOVE THEM. The idea behind the song is that when you think the task in front of you is insurmountable that is exactly when you need to "shine on".

"Keep your eyes on the mountaintop. One step at a time don't ever, ever stop"

The lyric "You're a diamond to me" actually brings tears to my eyes. Who else do want to shine for? My children (and family in general) are my world. Aren't they the one's I want to shine for? Isn't that the kind of mother I want to be? The kind I am (if I admit it to myself)? I will never quit trying to help my children. I will never, ever give up. I will never, ever stop. So maybe that's how I shine. Maybe doing the hard stuff is shining on... maybe this is the ultimate gift, that I get to be this person (this "diamond") for my child...

2010 is looking better already.

(On a technical note, I have spent almost 2 hours trying to load the song "Shine On" to this site... I am a little frustrated at the moment but I'm going to let it go :) I highly suggest you google "Shine On" by Eric Bibb... or comment if you have tips on how to add it to my playlist ** I've already bought it through Amazon and Itunes... UGH!)

Saturday, February 13, 2010

Fishy Face Photos!!

My friend Tiffany is an amazing photographer. She took beautiful photos of my boys while they were still in the Special Care Unit a few days after they were born. Then she took more beautiful pictures when we brought our babies home. After years of taking beautiful photos for friends and family she is finally launching her business! Fishy Face Photography is going to be wildly successful. Book her while you can! Seriously. Her rates are ridiculous right now, so take advantage of my wonderful friend and get some stunning pictures of your family!

Here are a few of my favorites from our January photo shoot (yes, I'm still very behind with the blog!)

(Disclaimer: There are a lot of pictures below. I planned on posting 2 or 3 to highlight Fishy Face but my kids are too cute and Tiffany's photography is too good! It just wasn't possible... and I did restrain myself there are lots more beautiful photos on my cd!!)

Danny W. (Baby Blue Eyes)

Matty D. (My Other Baby Bue Eyes)

Matthew's sweet baby face (Yes. He is still a baby. Don't argue with me... I'll win. He'll still be my baby when he gradutes college!)

Love Matt's dimples :)

Love Matt's wonder and curiosity!

Love Matt's adorable serious face... and his precious brother

...YOU try keeping up with these guys! It's not easy :)

Happy Danny

I love, love, love this one. I love Matt's real laugh. I love remembering how Danny was giggling. I love that the photo is focused on one of the boys but it's still very clear that his best buddy is never far away. LOVE IT.

"Choo! Choo!"


"I love you, man!"

Best Buddies forever

Thanks Tiffany! I will treasure these for years!!!