So it is summer, and I am finally home, spending time with my husband & boys.
And still, worry plagues me.
Where is my joy?
It should be in this boy.

 Or this boy.

In these boys.

I am just feeling lethargic... tired... exhausted all the time.  I am not motivated to get anything but the bare essentials done.  I told my mom about my lack of project completion (you know, the list you have going that constantly weighs on your mind), and she said, "Honey, you are taking care of twins. Twins!?! I did it during the school year while you worked, and I was exhausted every night!"  
This made me feel so much better.  They are hard work.  And she also reminded me that my idea of "bare essentials" is much higher than some people.  She asked, "Do your beds all have clean sheets? And is your sink empty and dishwasher loaded? Do you have laundry going? Is the living room vacuumed?" Yes. Yes. Yes. Yes. 
The woman had a point...
Then this morning I was reading one of my all time favorite blogs and she had some words that spoke right to me.  She was writing last night about our one wild & precious life, and it was so inspirational.
After I read it, I hopped right on here and started this very post.  She talked a little bit about everything. From taking away binkies (her little one found a lone bink after the binky fair had already come & taken them!!!) to enjoying moments, to how parenting has shown her a side or depth to God that she had never known.
And I have to say that when I stop and really see those two glowing, blond heads; let it register that they are mine and mine alone, I am blown away.  I am blown away by the utter miracle that their gestation & birth was; I am blown away by how God was in all the details -from bedrest to crib returns- and I am blown away by the little people they are becoming: people who say "bless you" when you sneeze or cough hard; people who say "I love you, Daddy" when it's nap time; little people who (when the night has been rough & daddy has taken morning duty) say, "Mommy, wake up!" as a greeting when I stumble into the hallway like a girl with a hangover.
I made a new friend recently (whom I will post all about later) and I was talking with her about church & religion, and I told her I have never (even at the height of my involvement in church, when I was going to church camp all summer & on mission trips to New Mexico) ever, in my life, felt this close to the Lord.
I don't go to church anymore. (That's a whole different post) But that doesn't mean that I don't have a sanctuary. That doesn't mean that I don't see God- all the time. And that doesn't mean that I take for granted the amazing blessings he has bestowed on me. 
 In fact, I am closer to God now than I ever thought possible.  The boys' room is my sanctuary. The place I retreat to, the place where I can pray, and beg, and thank the Lord. The place where I can go to cry tears of joy, or tears of sorrow.  And as for communicating with the Lord, I have never been one to pray everyday. And now I feel like my whole life is one big conversation with God. Give, and take.  Requests, and gratitude.
I have, in my care, two exquisite creatures, and I don't always feel that I am the best woman for the job. And when I find myself feeling that way, I turn to Him.  He knew what He was doing when He chose to bless me with the boys. He knew I would be their best mother, and Josh would be their best father. Knowing that, believing that, is what gets me through. And also knowing that He will always be there behind me, looking out for the boys' interest as well.
A friend of mine posted this on Facebook recently (it was part a longer video on being a mother) and I wrote it in my journal:
"The very fact that you've been given such a responsibility is everlasting evidence of the trust your Father in heaven has in you.  He is blessing you and He will bless you.  Even- no, especially- when your days and your nights may be the most challenging. Rely on Him. Rely on Him heavily."
What a sound advice.
She said, on her blog, that her faith has ripened to something bigger. What an eloquent way to put it.  My faith has ripened as well.  It is now deeper, more colorful, and sweeter.
Life, in general, is sweeter.
Everyday offers the opportunity to impact, as well as learn from these little guys. To teach them kindness, sharing & manners; and to witness these ideas taking hold. Tonight in the bath tub they took turns playing with the faucet like old pro's. They just sat back while brother had his turn; no pushing or fighting. Just patience.
And two days ago when Jack threw a toy and hit me, he said, "Sorry, Mommy" and hugged me- without being told.  This parenting gig is hard work, but with rewards like that, I will gladly put forth the effort.
Even if all I get done each day is to hug & kiss my boys, and throw in a load of laundry, 
I am going to say, "That is enough." 
Because I am doing God's work here, with these boys.  
And they are what truly matters. 
Not that ever-growing to-do list.  
And not how clean my house is.
Let me close with what started Kelle's blog:

Tell me, what is it you plan to do with your one wild and precious life?
~Mary Oliver



As an early anniversary present, last weekend Josh got his mom to watch the boys overnight so we could get away.  The location was a secret and all I knew was that we'd be back Saturday afternoon/evening.

The drive was gorgeous, and we enjoyed catching up & visiting without the constant interruptions that we are used to dealing with.

We listened to music, talked about the future and how thankful we are to still be happy together after so long.

The secret destination ended up being Astoria, which I had been wanting to stay in since our last trip to the beach.  It is just such a beautiful town.

What surprised me more than the destination was the hotel.

There was a huge jacuzzi tub, which I LOVED!

 And there was a gas fireplace!

But the best part, by far, was the view.

It was incredible.

We did some shopping at the Outlets, watched some cable TV (we don't have cable, so this was pretty exciting!) and we saw Inception with Leonardo DiCaprio... Oh man, that was an awesome movie. I LOVED it. Like, edge-of-my-seat, can't-stop-thinking-about-it, kind-of-want-to-see-it-again, GOOD!

 Then we slept. SLEEP! Remember? That thing you used to have every night to help you wake up refreshed & ready to face another day? I had forgotten! It was lovely! I woke up the next morning when I was ready to wake up, and not because the two year olds the room next door were knocking and calling, "Mommy? Where are you?"

The view the second day was just as breathtaking as it had been the day before.

We packed up & headed to the coast, hoping to spend the afternoon lying on the beach reading.

Unfortunately the marine layer did not burn off, so the beach was foggy, windy & cool. Not my kind of beach weather. So we decided we would just head home to hug our babes, whom we had missed.

My oh my, does absence make the heart grow fonder!
Jack gave me the best hug of my life when I walked in the door at home. He wrapped his chubby arms around my neck & held on for dear life.  He had his sad lip out, too, just to let me know that leaving him like that was NOT appreciated. 

As much fun as we had, Josh & I agreed that it felt right to get back home to our sweethearts.


Puddle Jumpers

My sister offered at the start of the summer to let the boys, Josh & I swim in her apartment pool. We recently bought the boys "puddle jumpers" (these cool Coast Guard Approved life vests that I think will help the boys swimming skills) and took her up on her offer on Wednesday.  The weather wasn't HOT, but it was decent.
Logan & Daddy jumped right in!

It was the boys' first time swimming with their life vests. 
Logan was comfortable immediately.

Jack & I took a little longer to acclimate to the water!

He was just happy to see "Boxanne", as he calls her.

He was helping me adjust to the water.  By splashing me.

Jack & Mommy
(That's his "cheese!" face)

Josh let Logan go and he swam around, kicking his legs and saying "reach! reach!"

I felt so proud of him!

He's our little fish!

Jack was more hesitant about my letting go, but I think with a little more practice, he'll get there.

Jack, Mommy, Daddy & Logan
"Thank you, Roxanne! We had so much fun!"

just wanted to say...

I love these boys.
They are so much fun.
They are so beautiful.
And they are so very loved.

my boys

He thought hanging off here was the coolest thing!

So then his brother wanted to do it.

My sweetheart, Logan


My Jack 

 And here's a daily dose of SUNSHINE for you: