Saturday, September 22, 2012


Eli woke up this morning and said, "I want to see the airplanes."

He remembered that we mentioned we might go to the local airport for their airplane days. He was less than pleased when I told him I first had to go to work for a few hours, but when I came home 4 hours later, he reminded me again, "I'm not crying, I want to see the airplanes."

Eli is fascinated by most mechanical things in the world. Actually, he's just kind of fascinated by the world. He's quiet, and he likes to study things to try and figure out how they work. Often he'll see something and simply tell Marcus and I, "I'm going to watch" and then he'll fold his hand in front of him and do just that taking it all in.

They had the local Fire department there as well. So they were excited to see the truck up close.

Eli even had the chance to sit in the drivers sit (Emerson didn't want to).

They were able to explore all different parts of the truck. As a side note Emerson picks out her own clothes. That's a battle I don't really want to take on. She picked out her former Christmas dress, we had so many comments from people about how over dressed she was for the event haha. The outfit was completed with a pink sparkly hair clip.

For some reason Emmy loved being in the back of the police car. 

Eli also got to sit in an airplane. He really really wanted to go up in the air, but pretending to drive was fun too.

The pilot told Eli to do thumbs up. Eli doesn't know what that means apparently and put his arms up instead haha.

My cute co-pilots.

NASA was also hanging out today. Eli became an astronaut. 

And so did Emmy...

And me too. (Marcus wouldn't play haha)

Then we looked at some 3D images of mars

Fun stuff

Some other NASA things. Eli was pretty sure that this one was something he could fly since it was his size.

Standing in front of a plane for sale. Eli said, "I want to buy this plane" so I asked if he had any money. He seemed sad that he didn't haha.

There were a few animal friends out visiting the airport today too. Eli wanted nothing to do with them, but Emmy loved them. So it turned out there was a little something for everyone.

Eli got a police badge that he's been wearing all day and even took to bed with him, and a tattoo of some aviation wings. He's pretty ecstatic about the whole thing.

Friday, September 21, 2012

"I'm 28 Praise Jesus"...

I turned 28 today. Emerson at point in the day shouted, "You're 28 Praise Jesus!" She cracks me up. It was a low key day. A day off and it was so nice just to be at home. I slept in Marcus and Eli & Emmy brought me cinnamon roles in bed. Marcus took them shopping and they made cupcakes. 
Eli & Emerson waited so long to have some cake. We asked what they wanted for dinner. Their response, "Cake!"

Me and my Emmy baby. All day they both kept saying, "It's your Happy Birthday Mommy"

They helped me blow out my candles too.

It's a good thing I have help since there are so many candles these days. 28 seems especially old for some reason haha 

On Wednesday of this week the church and the preschool surprised me with a small birthday celebration at work. 

Eli and Emmy held the sign and they were so excited. They both kept saying, "We surprised you"

My cake and flowers at work

Eli & Emmy each picked out a present by themselves. Emerson handed me my wrapped present and said, "It's a bracelet" haha I love 3 year olds.

Emerson did in fact by me a pink sparkly bracelet and Eli bought me some new "leaf earrings". He kept saying "look they're leaves" 

A nice relaxing, low key 28th birthday.

These pictures are out of order but I'm too tired to fix it. 

Thursday, September 20, 2012

I'm Part of the 47%...

A few days ago a video of presidential candidate Mitt Romney was released with some rather shocking statements including:

"...there are 47 percent who are with him, who are dependent upon government, who believe that they are victims, who believe that government has a responsibility to care for them, who believe that they are entitled to health care, to food, to housing, to you name it. That that's an entitlement...These are people who pay no income tax....I'll never convince them that they should take personal responsibility and care for their lives"
More than anything I was saddened by these comments and I thought I would share my own journey in the 47%. My husband and I are both college educated. He has a bachelor of science degree and I have a masters degree from an Ivy League University.

We supported ourselves through college and are the first in each of our respective immediate families to complete college degrees. We graduated with an immense amount of student loans, but as we took those out to complete our educations we weren't worried. We had a plan in place which would allow us to pay them back and we were confident in our ability to manage our money long term. We were obtaining education a promise to a brighter future right?

However, when we graduated in 2010, with one year old twins, reality sunk in. The economy was at an all time low, and we finished our educations with no job prospects in sight. We spent the next several months applying for positions all over the country, and I found a full-time job paying $30,000 which utilized my degrees and would be a stepping stone in my career. I jumped at the chance.

In addition to my full-time job I also took a part time job tutoring low income kids to bring in some extra money so we could afford the basics we needed to survive. 

Marcus, continued his search for a job in his field, even pursuing an extra certification to make him more competitive in the job field. However, a job did not come despite the many, many  applications he submitted.

In the meantime we had to do something about insurance for Eli & Emerson. Eli and Emerson were premature and in their early years had several medical, occupational, and physical therapy concerns that needed to be evaluated and treated.

With no other option we enrolled Eli & Emerson in medicaid, and thank goodness we did as both Eli & Emerson were in the E.R. that year with Emerson being admitted to the hospital for 3 nights for RSV and Pneumonia. Without medcaid those bills would have been impossible for us to pay.

During this first year post-college Marcus went without insurance and we prayed that we would avoid calamity, which aside from a visit to urgent care (my church generously paid this bill) we did. 

At the end of the year, I was delighted to learn that I would be given my first pastoral appointment in church. The down-side was this was only a part-time position, but since we were being provided housing we thought that though tight we would be able to continue to manage. We also hoped a new state and a new area might yield better job options for Marcus.

Our optimism was quickly shattered when we learned that we simply could not survive on the income I was being paid. Marcus continued his persistent and never ending job hunt, and finally settled for a a part-time job as a tire technician making less than minimum wage.

Despite this, we still could not make ends meet, and we realized that by the time our basic bills were paid, we were putting our groceries on our credit card.

So I enrolled in WIC, this too was not enough and I finally told Marcus that we had no choice but to apply for food stamps. We could not make ends meet, and despite his protests I did just that.

Our health insurance situation continued to be difficult. Due to a number of pre-existing conditions I could not purchase health insurance (despite my employers willingness to pay for it). I finally found a HIPAA plan with such a high deductible it was as though I had no insurance at all. This then created another hardship related to the medication I use for my Crohn's disease which costs $700 a month.

Eli and Emerson were thankfully still covered under medi-cal but at this point in our lives, despite doing everything we could we were on medi-cal, WIC, and foodstamps, not to mention the tax credits that go along with being a low income family. All programs Romney suggest are an "entitlement"

In July I was given yet another appointment and I finally have a full time job that allows us some more flexibility and freedom. Marcus continues his quest for full time employment using his degree and yet over 2 years past his graduation date has not been able to do so. The emotional and psychological effects of this frustration and constant rejection are taking their toll. He is coaching cross-country at a local high school for a very minimum sum. 

I am once again covered under a decent insurance plan through my employer, however Eli and Emerson are still covered under Medi-cal because, at the age of 3 they too have pre- existing conditions which precludes purchasing a plan (at least until 2014 when President Obama's no denial for pre- existing conditions goes into effect).

I'm part of the 47%, despite my education, despite my very best efforts, but I continue to recognize that I'm still among the privileged in our society. 

I'm educated, my employment provides housing so despite our income we will never be homeless, and I'm a pastor so I'm blessed with the knowledge and the presence to see and encounter those on a daily basis who are not as lucky as I am. I see that as frustrating as my own realities I'm wealthy compared to much of the world.

Mr. Romney, I am entitled to food, housing, and health care as is every American. Not only do I believe this is true on a societal level, but my faith tradition calls me to feed the hungry, clothe the poor, and find for justice for those on the margin of society.

In many ways my own necessity of partaking in social aid programs better equips me to help those who come through the doors of my church because I have an intimate knowledge of how the system works. Of the need to have access to computers, phones, copy machines, documents to prove income, status, etc.

Are there those who abuse the system? Of course, but I'm not really interested in that, there are dishonest people at every soci-economic level. What I'm more interested in is allowing people to live in our country without worrying that one hospital bill will bankrupt them. I'm interested in living in a society that allows people to purchase food without going into more debt, or causing them to worry how they'll pay some other basic bill, I'm interested in a society that cares about one another on a deep level.

A society full of people that as Michelle Obama said, "When [they] walk through the door of opportunity [they] don't slam it behind [them]-- [they] reach back."

I'm part of the 47% and I'm devoted my life to a calling that expects me to be among and help those in the 47% recognizing that if Jesus were here today that's exactly who he would be ministering too and with.

Never mind the government, on a basic human level, we should all desire to help one another live.

I'm part of the 47%...

I really love 3 year olds...

or maybe I just really love my 3 year olds but they're so fun right now.

They can talk pretty well, they have such funny personalities, they make jokes, tell stories.

It's amazing to me to see how they're personalities develop, and actually how they continue to develop in ways that have been who they were since the womb.

Last night Emerson got out of bed 3 times to use the bathroom. Well, both she and Piggy needed to use the potty. I know it's a stalling technique but what am I going to do tell her she can't use the bathroom.

But then each time I went and tucked her back in bed and she wrapped her arms around me and said, "Good night mommy, I love you."

I think I would let her get up a 100 times just to hear those words.

This is also not to say that we don't have our moments of trials, but over-all being 3 isn't so bad.

Plus, I'm not sure anything can ever be worse than their newborn months.

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Washington, Football, and Roadtrips...

we were in the car for 14.5 hours coming home from our trip to Washington. Eli and Emerson were so amazing on the trip. They're good little travelers and watched about a million movies but whatever gets them through the long hours.

About 12 hours into the trip we stopped for dinner. Eli & Emerson have been really into telling stories lately and they wanted to share one.

Eli's story went like this: "Once upon a time, GO HOME!" Silly boy.

It was a good trip even if it was a long drive for such a short stay. I'm at a point in life where I think making an extra effort to spend time with family is important. Eli & Emmy spent some time with two sets of Great-Grandparents and any time they get with them is just a gift.

Eli & Emmy watching their Great Grandpa fill the bird feeder
They liked their great grandparents Buddha statue. 

While we were at a football game their Gram took them to their first movie. Nemo in 3D. 
Eli's re-telling of the event. "I saw fishies, it was too dark, I had candy"

Before the movie

Emmy loved it. She wore her 3d glasses the entire time and ate her popcorn. 
Her re-telling including mentioning that she drank juice and had popcorn.

Feeding some geese at the park.
Eli & emmy with their great grandparents. GG and Papa
Marcus, Emmy & piggy
They had some fun with Halloween stickers

Part of the reason for the trip was to see the Dallas vs. Seahawks game. Marcus has been a Dallas fan forever and his grandparents love the Seahawks so as a gift to us they bought us tickets to the game back in April or May.

They had a sign posted when we arrived that said, "Seahawks Rule" in the dark of the night Marcus fixed the sign to say, "Seahawks suck" Eli & Emmy seem to know that the Cowboys are the way to go.

This was my first NFL game and I had a great time

Marcus grandparents are funny. We're at a point in our lives where I think we're just extra worried about our grandparents and their health. However, our grandparents still see us as little kids.

We took a bus down to the stadium and as we were about to get on Marcus Grandma said, "Now when we get on the bus we might not get to sit by each other but we'll wait for you when we get off."

Haha they were so cute. They were worried about us and we were worried about them. The walking, heat, stairs etc.

Aren't we cute? haha I have to tell you, that wearing the opposing team's jersey in the home stadium of the winning team makes for some interesting experiences.  Boos and taunts by the winning team. Hugs from fellow cowboys fans. It was hilarious.
The seahawks stadium is one of the loudest stadiums and thus the fans are know as the 12th man. I have to say it was incredibly loud in there. My ears were ringing.

We had a good time, but today it was back to work and school. Eli and Emmy did not want to go this morning. Emmy was crying and saying, "I can't go to school my nose is sick. I have to stay home"

I thought we started the "I'm sick" excuse later in life. They did fine for the most part once they were there, and had their much needed nap at school. They were well rested and hyper by the end of the day.

Friday, September 14, 2012

I am blessed...

We drove 14.5 hours yesterday to Washington State to visit Marcus' grandparents. Eli & Emerson are a dream in the car and they're just overall really good kids.

Today I watched as they hugged their great aunt and uncle, loved their great-grandparents and played and laughed with each other.

Eli & Emerson are wonderful amazing kids.

Having twins was not how I envisioned my life, but what a blessing they both are.

Now hopefully I'm going to sleep.

Thursday, September 6, 2012


Yesterday, I went to a meeting with the senior pastor and a parishioner from the church. He mentioned triplet grandchildren and when I inquired a little more I learned their story.

His son and daughter-in-law couldn't have children and in 1990 IVF wasn't as common or widespread as it is now, but Yale was doing the procedure. They did IVF and his triplet grandchildren were conceived, born, and nurtured in the same clinic, hospital, and NICU as Eli & Emerson 19 years apart.

I love hearing other IF success stories.

(Apparently at the time of the IVF the procedures were different and 5 embryos were transferred. At the first ultrasound upon finding out it was triplets the mom apparently said, "Thank goodness it's only 3 haha).

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

My poor blog has been neglected...

It's sad really. I have so much I need to catch up on but I just don't have the energy to do it. I started my new full time job on July 1st and I love it, the downside however is that I'm beyond exhausted.

This is an exhaustion that can't be helped merely with sleep, it's just part of my daily struggles given my Crohn's and fibro. Around 3pm every day I reach a point where I have a hard time functioning. If I could work a nap into my day that would be golden.

Before Marcus started coaching I used to be able to go home at 4 and nap for a bit, but now that he's occupied I have to get the kids home and continue to function. Which leaves very little energy for much of any things else.

This is a problem and I'm really not sure what to do about. I've struggled with constant and persistent fatigue since I was a senior in high school. Naps are my best friend and before kids it was so much easier to work a nap into the routine. Now, with Marcus working, I'm working, 3 year old twins, life, laundry, friends, dinner etc. etc. It just doesn't happen.

No doctor has ever been able to offer me any sound advice, but I think I'm going to need to do something different. Being this exhausted consistently is no fun, plus it leaves no time for anything fun, or even working out (which results in weight gain eek).

So, in part my absence is because I physically haven't been able to find the strength to do much beyond the necessities of my job and home life.

I'm going to keep on keeping on. If only I could go nap with Eli & Emerson at their preschool haha