January 31, 2012

Thank You & a Hiatus

As most of you probably know, my dear sweet MIL passed away yesterday. She fought long and hard but in the end, her body just couldn’t keep up. We already miss her terribly and I hope and pray that we can find a way to carry on without her. We do, however, take comfort in knowing that she is with Jesus in Heaven chatting it up with loved ones who went before her. I want to thank everyone for your kind words, prayers & support since the accident back in November. I know a lot of you were pulling for her just as much as we were.

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I know I haven’t been around much lately anyway but with this sad news, I have decided to take a break at least one more week from Twitter and blogging to grieve with my family. If you need to reach me during this time, you can still email me and I will respond as time allows. (heatherleighmills[at]gmail[dot]com)

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January 26, 2012

We don’t know what Normal is anymore

I’ve been missing from the blogging world the last week. Ever since we thought we were losing James’s mom, things have been a little hectic. It’s been rough. One minute she’s good and improving, the next minute she’s coding. We are all on an extreme emotional roller coaster. As a SAHM, having one day where you are off schedule just throws everything off.  You know how when you are working at a job/career and you take a vacation and when you come back you spend days playing catch up. Yeah, that. We’re having a lot of those days lately but we are coping and adjusting. We are just extremely glad and blessed that my MIL is still with us.

This morning, while the cable guy was going through the house changing out cable boxes, me & the girls stayed out of the way & played in their play area off the living room.

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Can you tell they hadn’t been awake very long? :)  They had breakfast & napped shortly after this little photo shoot.

If you’ve been praying for us, we really appreciate it…and if you would, please continue to pray for our family as we ride this emotional roller coaster.

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January 19, 2012

God Can Move Mountains

Here it is 12:30am and I am just getting into bed. We had a very long day that started with an early phone call from my heart broken father-in-law telling James to get to the hospital.

Back tracking a bit...
For those of you who may not know, my mother-in-law was in a car accident in November of last year. She was in ICU for about two weeks and has been hospitalized & recovering from her injuries for the last 2 months. It's been tough...for her...and for our family.

Last week she insisted they let her go home so they sent her home with some equipment and a private nurse. This past Sunday, she was having trouble breathing & started vomiting blood so back to the hospital she went. They admitted her to the ICU.

Last night...actually, this morning at 3:30am, she went into cardiac arrest. They were able to revive her and she was stable for about 3 hours until she went into cardiac arrest again at 6:30am. They worked on her until 7:20am when they finally got a pulse. This is when we got the phone call.

After making some arrangements for someone to come watch the girls (thank you Amanda, Mom, Dad, & Aunt DeeAnn!) we started the longest 30 mile drive to the hospital. When we got to the hospital, we were told there wasn't much hope. Her blood pressure was EXTREMELY low, she wasn't responsive & had to be intubated. We were devastated. I started calling, texting & twittering all my prayer warriors to pray. We waited.

All day family trickled in & out. Pastors & church members would come to comfort & pray. All day we waited. There were no changes. We had lost hope & were preparing ourselves for the worst. And then there was a glimmer of hope.

As James, his brother and myself were surrounding my MIL this evening, thinking about saying good-bye, James started talking to his mom and she turned her head toward him tried to open her eyes, and lifted her arm! James looked at me and me at him and I said, "Did she just move?!" "Yes!" he replied. We told the nurse & after some reflex tests, she decided that yes, she was indeed being responsive. After a quick call to the doctor, it was decided that she would be given a different medicine to get her blood pressure back up & hopefully her kidneys functioning again.

After the new medicine was administered, her BP immediately shot up and she continued to be responsive. At one point, she opened her eyes & signed that she was hurting!

After that, I left James at the hospital & came home to relieve family that was watching the girls. At last check, which was right before I began writing this post, my MIL's BP has continued to rise & she has started squeezing my FIL's hand.

This morning, when we got that phone call, I didn't have that feeling of doom. But after getting to the hospital & seeing her & my FIL, I started to panic. I temporarily lost sight of my faith. But He reminded me that God can move mountains.

We are being cautiously optimistic but God has a plan and whatever that plan is, I know he'll be right there with us every step of the way.


January 16, 2012

Manic Monday

Whew! This weekend was exhausting! I’m playing catch up on this oddly warm January day. It’s pretty windy but our high is 73 degrees today!

This weekend….

My grandpa (the girls ‘great great’) came up on Friday (he lives down at Lake Texoma) and wanted to have dinner with his family (most of us live in OKC). Afterwards, we went to my Aunt’s house just to visit. The girls were up way past their bed time but they did pretty good and slept really good that night.
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And this was only half of us!
Saturday was a pretty laid back day. We stayed home…well I did…James left briefly to help is brother move a couch then he came home and worked outside for a bit. I stayed in with the girls, played with them and then had a 2 hour fight with them over nap time. If they only knew that there will be a time when they would give anything for a nap…
Yesterday we got up and actually made it to Church in time to go to the worship service (we usually only make it to Sunday School). I also shot my first event yesterday. I had a lot of fun but boy it totally wore me out! Who knew running around a room taking pictures would make you so tired?! Now I have over 300 pictures to sort through and edit. Oy.
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After the photog gig, we went to my parents for dinner. My mom made lasagna, YUM! I might have had 2 servings…and then I might have also had a chocolate malt for dessert…I’m not looking forward to logging THAT into My Fitness Pal…I was so full. The girls got a bath in Mimi’s kitchen sink. They loved it! Once again we were out way past their bed time but thankfully I had jammies for them this time so they fell asleep on the way home and we were able to just put them straight to bed without waking up. Whew! We went to bed shortly after that.

Playing catch up today…

I am so glad I was in bed and asleep before 11pm because the girls woke me up at 6am and they were HUNGRY.
I worked on my couponing while the girls were sleeping after that 6am bottle. If you don’t coupon, you really should! If there’s a grocery store in your area that doubles coupons, it’s totally worth it. If you shop their sales, you can often get things for pennies if not for free! I cut our grocery bill in half since I started couponing.
I got a Shutterfly credit I need to use before Wednesday. I think I’m going to just get some prints to frame and maybe scrapbook…if I ever find the time to do that again.
I’m letting my ascrappydesign.com website go so that means I’m going to lose my email address. I’ll be setting up a new one today…I’m so not looking forward to having to change my email on all my sign in accounts, sites, etc…I think I’ll use gmail. What do you think? Do you prefer Yahoo or Gmail?
There are lots of little things around here that need to be done like entering my Huggies reward codes, filing away the coupons I printed & clipped this morning, cleaning the kitchen, making some baby food, finishing the girls laundry, and cleaning off my bed…there is a pile of clean clothes at the end of it that needs to be folded.
How was your weekend? Are you playing catch up like I am today?
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January 13, 2012

Friday Photo

Another busy Friday for us over here so I’m just gonna share my favorite pic from this week. It captures who my girls are perfectly!

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Hope everyone has a great weekend!

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January 12, 2012

My Fitness Pal

If you know me, you know I don’t like to diet and I only like to exercise when it doesn’t feel like exercising. Well, after having two babies two minutes apart, your body seems to have a mind of its own. Now that I’m 6 months post-partum, I decided it was time to make some changes.

I have downloaded several apps in the past but this time I gave in to the Twitter peer pressure talk and decided to download My Fitness Pal. So far I’m loving it…I love that I can search for any food and find it! I also love that I can count carrying my octopus adorable babies around and that it has Wii Fit activities in it’s list of Cardio exercises. Logging what you consume is a great way to keep you mindful of what you eat. I’m a little more hesitant to give into my after dinner sweet tooth and I am determined make better choices at lunch time. I also like that exercising reduces your calories consumed so if I do want to indulge in my after dinner sweet tooth, I know that I need to get in a little more exercise. There is so much in this app I have yet to discover I’m sure but I am excited to do so!

MyFitnessPal - Free Calorie Counter

Are you on My Fitness Pal? If so, look me up so we can be buddies! My user name is HLMills

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January 11, 2012

Random Wednesday

Feels like it’s been longer than a week since my last Random post. Oh well, here it goes…

I still haven’t taken down our Christmas decorations. I have had the intention to for the last week or so but other things have taken priority.

I started making my own baby food for the girls this past weekend. I made green beans, peas and squash. Green beans are HARD to puree, just FYI. The girls had their first taste of it last night…I mixed it with fruit so it went well. Neither one spit it out, thank goodness!

I had some Captain Crunch with berries cereal the other night and it made me long for summer so I could have a Captain Crunch Frapp from Starbucks. What? You’ve never heard of it? Here’s what you order: A Strawberries & Cream frapp with a shot of toffee nut. Trust me. If you like Captain Crunch, you’ll love this because it tastes EXACTLY like the cereal minus the gunk that sticks to the top of your mouth. So Yummy!!

I’m almost out of my Donut Shoppe K-cups which makes me very sad because K-cups are not good for my grocery budget. So instead, I’ll make due with the “make your own” k-cup option and use that “other” donut shop coffee for now. If you see any REALLY GOOD sales or coupons on k-cups, please let me know.

The girls are no longer sleeping to the recording of our Dyson. It wasn’t not working we just got sick of hearing it through the monitor. We are now using and old iPhone with a white noise app and it’s working wonderfully! We have it set on Heavy Rain…it works on the girls and us!

I think I’ve decided on the theme of the girls 1st birthday (I’ll share later…once I start gathering things for it). I know it seems kinda early to start planning but with the way time gets away from me these days, I think it’s justified.

I finally listed a couple of printables for Valentine’s day in my Etsy shop. I also have a couple of custom orders I’m working on. I love that I’m getting to use my creative brain again.

I got my first paying photography gig! I’m excited and nervous. My biggest fear is not getting any good pictures and ruining the memories of the family. It’s why I am hesitant to ever agree to do a wedding. Is this normal?

Some of my best girlfriends are coming into OKC in a couple of weeks. I’m so excited for them to meet the girls. This picture was taken at my baby shower back in May. I was about 7 months pregnant at the time. In college we were known as the Chips & Salsa girls because we would stay up late eating….wait for it…..Chips & Salsa! haha!
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Hope your week is going good so far!

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January 10, 2012

6 Months!

Ok, so I’m a little late posting TnT’s 6 month update since they were 6 months on Saturday! We celebrated their half birthday with dinner at one of our favorite BBQ restaurants with my mom, dad, sister & her family. Ok, so the dinner might have been more for us but whatever ha!

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I took the girls to Target for their 6 month shoot. I know, GASP! but you’re a “photographer”. I just thought maybe, just maybe, someone else could get the girls to cooperate better. Wrong! I actually think I could have done better (I just need to buy some backdrops & props). Anyway, we could not get Tensley to smile. Not even a little bit. She was so serious, lol. We did get a few good shots and I did go ahead and order a few prints (above is one of them).

The girls 6 month WCC isn’t until later this month so I don’t have their stats yet but I will post them once I have them.

On to the update….

Tillie

Sweet Pea Tillie,
You are sweet and patient and have the cutest little giggle. It’s pretty easy to get you to smile. You love to play with your toys…you will grab them and shake them up and down with a big smile on your cute little face. You are quiet and very observant. You like to just sit and watch every thing that’s going on. You are also a mommy’s girl. If I’m in the room, you rarely take your eyes off of me…especially if someone else is in the room. You love your sissy very much. If you are in separate rooms and you hear her, you start looking around for her.

You have been a good little sleeper lately. You will moan & babble when you are tired. You fight bed time a little bit but once you are asleep, you sleep most of the night. Sometimes you will wake up between 5-6am to eat but then you go right back to sleep. You have started taking regular naps in the morning and afternoon.

You have started rolling over both ways but most of the time you are content just the way I put you down. You have recently started moving around in your crib. Sometimes I find you on your tummy and sometimes you will be sideways with your legs propped up on your bumper. I think you have started acting interested in crawling because when you are on your tummy and you want a toy that is too far away, you kick your legs like you are trying to scoot to where you want to go. There are still signs of your torticollis (you still prefer to look & lay with your head to your right) but Ashley, your physical therapist, says you are getting stronger every week.

You still enjoy your baby food. When I put you in your high chair you get excited because you know what that means. You’ve had green beans, peas, carrots, sweet potatoes, squash, peaches, prunes, pears, bananas and applesauce and you like pretty much all of it although I think carrots and bananas are your favorite.

You can still fit into some 3-6 month clothes but really you will probably have to start wearing your 6-9 month clothes. You are currently wearing size 2 diapers but I think the next bag of diapers I buy will be size 3.

 

Tensley

Sassy Pants Tensley,
You are just that…sassy. But in a cute, make mommy & daddy laugh kinda way. Even your expressions often look sassy. lol You are sweet and a little impatient at times. You love your sissy so much. Any time she is fussy or crying you reach out for her. On the flip side, you also like to pester her by pulling her hair and resting your feet on her. You “talk” pretty much non-stop. You like your toys but lose interest pretty fast and start to wander off the blanket.

You are still a good sleeper. Sometimes you fight us at bed time but you typically fall asleep pretty fast and will sleep all night. In fact, I often have to wake you up in the mornings if Tillie hasn’t already. You are also taking regular naps in the morning and afternoon.

As I mentioned above, you are getting around just fine. When I put you down for tummy time, you often roll your way off the blanket and sometimes you get pretty far before I notice. We had taken your bumper out of your crib because you kept scooting into the corner but we have put it back because you kept getting your arms and legs “stuck” between the slats and would scream until we “rescued” you. I think you’ll be crawling soon. You can also sit up for a few seconds at a time without assistance. On Saturday, your 6 month birthday, you reached for me for the first time.

You love your baby food. You’ve have green beans, peas, carrots, sweet potatoes, squash, peaches, pears, applesauce, prunes, and bananas and you like all of it. You don’t seem to have a favorite but I have noticed you get a little more excited with bananas.

You’re a tiny little thing. You still wear 3-6 month clothes and can wear some 6-9 months but they are usually a little baggy. You are still wearing size 1 diapers but I think once those are gone, size 2 will fit you just fine.

 

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January 6, 2012

Flashback Friday

We have a busy day today so this is going to be a quick post. My girlies, AKA TnT, AKA Sweet Pea and Sassy Pants, AKA Tillie and Tensley will be 6 months old tomorrow. 6 MONTHS! How did that happen?? It’s gone by so fast! Anyway, I thought I’d post a picture of how far they have come since their birthday….

Then & Now

I’ll try to have their 6 month post up this weekend if not tomorrow.

Hope every one has a great weekend!

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January 5, 2012

What’s New in 2012

So with a new year, we are adjusting to our new lives with the twinsies…yes, I know it’s been 6 months…it’s taken us me that long to get out of the new baby(ies) fog. Now that we are a family of four, we need to make some changes.

The first order of business was a budget. We I still kinda had the mentality that we still had 2 incomes. Well, around Christmas, that mentality was quickly crushed. Our spending had caught up with us enough to take a step back and say, “whoa, somethings gotta give”. So, this weekend I spent a billion 3 hours (what? I suck at math so it takes that long. Give me a break.) getting our budget all fixed up and printed out on a nice little spreadsheet. I have to admit, it was a little painful….there may have even been some tears but now that it’s done I’m pretty happy we have one. It kinda feels like a challenge to me….to save money. The best part about it….I didn’t have to factor in an enormous grocery budget thanks to my couponing.

Another thing we I will be working on is purging. How do 2 people acquire so much crap in 11 years…we had a restart in 1999 when we lost pretty much everything in a tornado and finished and moved into our current house in 2000. I have walk-in closets that are full to the max, a craft room that is full of things I’ll never use…I admit, I’m a craft supply hoarder, and cabinets & drawers that act as catch-alls for things that don’t have a proper place. I need to make room for these babies of ours and the possibility of more babies. I just need. to. organize.

Last but not least, I want to build my businesses. I told James when I quit my corporate job to become a SAHM that I still want to “work” to bring in a little extra income. I’ve had my Etsy shops, A Scrappy Design and {embellish*ology} for a while now but I’d like to really focus on them…specifically {embellish*ology} since I’m transitioning that shop to printables. I also want to build HeatherLeighMills Photography which by the way I likely have my first paying gig this month because it has been my passion in the last few years…especially now that I have my own babies to photograph :)

So, there you have it. I think these goals are pretty attainable for this year. What are your goals for 2012?

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January 4, 2012

Random Wednesday: This is Me

I’m doing a special edition of Random Wednesday this week. This is random things about me you might not know.

I’m a simple girl. I don’t get up and get ready every morning unless of course, I’m going somewhere and even then I'm probably wearing jeans, a t-shirt and vest or hoodie. Any make up I would wear would be mascara & some lip gloss. If you were to ring my doorbell on any given day, I’d most likely answer the door in my yoga pants and a t-shirt. I wouldn’t have any make up on and my hair would probably be in a pony tail.

This is me

I’m pretty laid back but have control issues (is that what they call an oxymoron?). I’m one of those people who will go behind you and redo what you’ve done if it wasn’t done my way. I know, I’m working on it…I’m a work in progress.

I love Jesus with all my heart. Without Him, I would not be where I am today.

I rarely curse and if I do I never, ever, ever use the “F” word. I hate that word and I cringe when I hear it.

I LOVE carbs. I don’t eat them as often as some may think but I probably have more than I should.

I love having my house clean but it’s rarely ever all clean at once. If I had the time I’d be scrubbing my house from top to bottom every couple of weeks. If I had the money, I’d pay someone else to do it. I don’t have either so whatcha gonna do?

My favorite color is red. Hence the red Kitchen Aid mixer and red Keurig you might have seen me post here and there.

I am a creative soul. When I’m not able to use my creativity in some way, I go mad…kinda like the Mad Hatter.

I refuse to watch tear jerker movies (I still haven’t seen The Notebook) because I not only cry at the drop of a hat but I ugly cry. It’s so bad that I usually have very swollen eyes the next day.

I love music. It heals my soul. It makes me happy. It gets me through tough times.

I love party planning but am not so good at the hostessing part.

At 27 I was diagnosed with Hashimoto’s Thyroid disease. I had my thyroid ablated about a year later. I now have to take a pill every day for the rest of my life.

I love the thought of organization. I good at planning but am not so good with the follow through. (Except for one kitchen cabinet…it has stayed organized since the day I organized it).

I am a huge procrastinator…even for things I want to do, I procrastinate. Related: I work best under pressure…I need deadlines.

I love Mexican food.

I enjoy cooking & baking but hate cleaning up the mess.

I love Tim Burton movies (thanks to Beetlejuice).

I am a very forgiving person.

I love my family and friends more than they know…almost to a fault.

So, did you learn anything new? Were you surprised by anything? I’m a pretty open person so if there is anything you would like to know about me, leave a comment, email me or track me down on twitter.

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January 3, 2012

Good Bye 2011

Happy New Year!

Two of us

I’m a little late on this post but I thought I’d go ahead and do a recap of 2011. I started this blog in September of 2010 because I was sick of people telling me, “just wait til you have kids”. Well, after just one post, it quickly turned into documenting our journey to becoming parents.

In January, I got everyone caught up on my very emotional first trimester including the announcement that we were having twins! I also wondered why no one told me what to expect at my first OB appointment.

In February I posted my first belly pic and after seeing all you girls on twitter with your new baby bumps, I now know that I was already HUGE at 15 weeks…I should have known I would have ended up looking like the marshmallow man by the end of my pregnancy. This was also the month that I announced the genders of our twinsies.

By March my energy level was very low so I only had one post with a recap of my second trimester.

Blogging in April was non-existent. Carrying twins was just plain exhausting. Add in a full time job and I did nothing, notta, zippo when I was home.

I finally had the nursery done in May and shared it with everyone along with a mini pregnancy update.

I put myself on bed rest in June and had the girls on July 7th…just two days after my 35th birthday. As you can probably guess, with two babies life got pretty hectic and if I wasn’t up with babies I was sleeping so again, I failed to blog.

I finally started blogging again in August where I posted part one of TnT’s Birthday and in September things seemed to get a little easier with the girls because I really picked up on blogging.

I started September with part two of TnT’s Birthday and the paparazzi. I also got everyone caught up on the girls First Month and then I was finally caught up when I posted their Two Month update. Then I posted my realizations about being a SAHM and bragged a little about what a good hubsy James is when I have my little meltdowns.

October was a little random but I sent out cries for help with my No Nap Babies and then updated everyone with a Three Month update on TnT. I ended the month with a post about some Changes that I wanted to make (which looking back now, they didn’t really stick except for the bedtime routine).

November included a Four Month update on the girls, reflecting back to November the year before, and my new job as a SAHM.

And finally, December was a busy month that started out with a 5 month update on the girls. We also made an attempt to do our own family photos and I posted embarrassing pictures of my post partum body. Our month ended with a trip to Santa and our Christmas celebration.

Trouble

My blogging last year was a little sporadic and I hope to be more consistent this year. I didn’t post a lot about it but last year was a really hard year for our family. We had a lot of losses in our family last year and the only good thing about the year was the birth of our precious baby girls. My hope and prayer is that 2012 is a great year with lots of positives.

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