The Rookies: Grace

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This post was written for Westminster Presbyterian Church's blog.

 (Editor's Note: This post is a day late, which when you have finished reading, will make all the sense in the world! Sarah is the principal author on this post, and J will add his thoughts in italics.)

I've been thinking about grace a lot lately. When I look at the giant pile of laundry or the suitcase that I still haven't put away from vacation...in August. When it's lunch time (or dinner time) and the boys are still in their pajamas. When dinner time comes and I have no idea what we're going to eat. All of these things make me think about grace because all of these things make me feel like I'm failing as a mom.

I've struggled with perfectionism for as long as I can remember, and now I struggle with it in motherhood. I feel I should have everything together for our boys. They should always be perfectly dressed in our perfectly clean house eating perfectly crafted meals. The reality for a part-time working mom of twin babies (who also likes to sleep at night) is that's not going to happen.

Let’s face it: anyone who knows me at all knows that Sarah didn’t stand a chance at achieving perfection! Perfectly clean house? Clothes without stains on them? Formal attire? I doubt it severely.

Continue reading here!

Son of a Beach

Post by Sarah. Title by Jason.  

  We are actually at the beach here...in SPF shirts...in a tent... We're pretty pale.  

We are actually at the beach here...in SPF shirts...in a tent... We're pretty pale.  

We just got back from our yearly vacation to visit family in the small beach town of Breezy Point, NY. Jason and I have gone every summer for over a decade, and we always looked forward to the trip as a happy oasis in the middle of the year. We relax, laugh with family, explore a bit in NYC, and of course eat lots of good New York food (For as much as I love Pittsbugh, we just can't make pizza and bagels like they do in NY!). We knew this year would be different because we were taking our almost 9-month old boys, but we were not expecting it to be end up being compared to National Lampoon's Vacation.

  Julian and Joshua were not impressed by the swings.

Julian and Joshua were not impressed by the swings.

We decided to drive over night hoping that our little dudes would sleep most of the way. Our travels went relatively well except they left us very tired when we arrived in Breezy. Jason had done most of the driving and felt like he was getting a cold, so he took a nap while I played with the boys. One of the boys needed a diaper change so I picked him up and while walking somehow smashed my little toe into an ottoman. I have no idea what happened! I didn't trip. I didn't fall. I didn't even curse! But while I was changing the diaper I realized that my toe hurt. A lot. And as time passed it kept hurting. A lot. I took an ibuprofen and kept playing. A while later Aunt/Nurse Dee came in the room and I asked her to look at my toe, which was now swollen and several shades of purple. Verdict: fractured. Doctors don't do much for broken toes, so Dee taped it for me and I hobbled along for the rest of the week.

By Monday Jason had a full blown cold. Then Joshua got it. Then Julian and I did. Then an aunt and uncle got it. A family that sneezes/wheezes/coughs together stays together? Thankfully that must be true because our dear family didn't kick us to the curb after we took over their house with our germs and screaming babies.

Yes our our sweet babies did a lot of screaming and crying. They were so tired but could not (would not?) go to sleep. They were sick, and in a new place, and their travel cribs can't be as comfortable as their real cribs, oh and poor Julian also started cutting a new tooth, so he had that pain to deal with too. And when they don't sleep well, we don't sleep well either.

  Teething Julian

Teething Julian

So we finally decided to go home a day early. Once again we traveled overnight. Somewhere while we were driving on a highway in New Jersey Joshua woke up and pooped. And then screamed. And screamed. And screamed. I mean, can you blame him? The problem was that even once we got off at an exit that had signs from or gas stations and fast food restaurants, nothing was open. It was 10pm on Saturday night, which isn't early, but how could everything be closed?! Eventually we found a tiny gas station that was open, but the line for the bathroom was long, so I changed the poor baby in the parking lot while Jason watched Julian and tried to ignore the chain smoking pregnant woman standing nearby. We got out of there as fast as we could and kept driving towards home. Then on the PA turnpike, Joshua woke up and pooped again. Just after we had passed a rest stop. So he screamed. And screamed. And screamed. Twenty miles later we took both boys into a rest stop and changed their diapers. Those places are empty at 3 in the morning! Empty but for a smiling man leaving with a big cup of coffee who told me he had sleeping 4 year old twins in the car and that we were going to make it.

  "Who, me?" 

"Who, me?" 

Finally we got home. And we are healing.  

It was easy for me to be grumpy during our trip, but I was trying very hard not to be by looking for as much good as I could. I broke my toe...but during the summer so I can wear sandals while it heals. We all got sick...but not the more serious illnesses we had over the winter. We had a rough drive home...but a kind stranger shared words of encouragement. Our vacation was not what we expected it to be...but we got to feel the ocean air on our faces and spend time with family we don't get to see nearly enough. And we ate bagels. And pizza. And got to see these smiles.  

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Twinsanity

 

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Hello! This is Sarah, Jason's wife. He set up this page through his blog for us to share a bit about raising our twin boys. I will do most of the writing on this page, but he will chime in sometimes too. 

 

To those of you who don't know me, here's a short canned bio: I am a curious bibliophile. I like to laugh. I am a public librarian and love connecting to my community through the library and my church. I like to craft and create. I organize and research things for fun. I am easily awed by little things. I like to spend time with my husband, our twin boys, and our two slightly crazy dogs. I believe that “we need to be the change we wish to see in the world” (Ghandi).

 

After a long road trying to have children (which I wrote about here), we were blessed with healthy twin boys in November 2015. Joshua David and Julian Daniel are almost 9 months old. Raising them is a ton of work, but they also bring a ton of joy. They are sweet, funny, curious, determined little boys, and I'm sure Jason and I will have many adventures raising them. 

 

I wanted to start writing about our boys as a creative outlet for me. If you enjoy reading this, that's a bonus! 

 

Grace and peace, 

Sarah