Tuesday, October 30, 2018

Our First Hike in Hong Kong



To our delight, my husband was off this weekend. It was so nice to have Jon home with us and taking a break from his training. We’re so thankful for the time we get to have with Jon when he’s home.

Saturday morning, I mentioned to Jon that we should all go for a walk. What I failed to communicate was that I just wanted to go to the park that is a 15 minute walk from our house. 

Oops...my bad!!

Before moving to Hong Kong, I pictured this country to be like a big city. Parts of Hong Kong are what I pictured in my mind. However, what people don’t know is that the majority of Hong Kong is wilderness. We live on Lantau Island there are both big buildings and beautiful mountains!! There are also easy access to the South China Sea. As a result, Lantau has some incredible hiking trails. Ever since we moved to Hong Kong, we have wanted to go hiking, but haven’t had the chance to go.



On Saturday, Jon did some research and decided to take us on our first family hike. In total our hike ended up being over 7 miles round trip. Jon and I each had a baby, while our three big girls walked. The oldest girls did great!! However, out of everyone Matilda struggled the most. We took breaks along the way. I also turned on music, so we would have something fun to listen to while we walked.

The trail was paved which made it easy to walk on. Some parts of our hike were very steep and I wasn’t sure if I was going to make it up the hill, let alone the children. We worked as a family to encourage each other and wait if someone needed a rest.

As soon as we got home, we were exhausted. Everyone needed water and something to eat. Needless to say, we spent the rest of the day relaxing and recovering from our overly ambitious hike.

It was a challenging task, but the best part was we did it together!!

We did it!!

Sunday, October 28, 2018

My Ten Year Anniversary with Weight Watchers

10 years later

On Sunday, October 28th, I celebrated my 10 year anniversary with Weight Watchers!! I cannot believe that 10 years ago, I began to learn how to take care of myself and get healthy. It has been quite a journey!! Some of the highlights from the past 10 years include...

Highlights from the Past 10 Years
- I am now a Mommy to 5 beautiful girls.
- I reached my goal and Lifetime with Weight Watchers.
- I ran half marathon and other 5Ks.
- We moved to Hong Kong.
- I worked at Weight Watchers for 7 years as a leader and receptionist.
- I went on mission trips to Mexico and Costa Rica.      
- I became a homeschool Mom.

There are so many other things that have happened since I joined Weight Watchers and these highlights barely scratch the surface for what the past 10 years have been like for me. Please don't misunderstand me, life has had its fair share of ups and downs. However, no matter what life has looked like, I am so thankful that God has given me the strength to endure.

Honestly, I thought the hardest part of my weight loss journey was when I lost my initial 90 pounds on Weight Watchers. What I didn't know was that I was learning to take care of myself, to help me be healthy throughout each one of my pregnancies. My weight loss wasn't just about me, but about taking care of my girls too.

the loves of my life

It has been hard, because I gave birth to 5 babies in less than 6 years. This meant I needed to lose my weight again and again, following each new baby that joined our family. The baby weight has been stubborn to come off at times. Like when, I nursed Matilda for one whole year and during that time I didn't lose weight. It wasn't until I stopped nursing that my body finally decided to let go of the excess weight. Each baby has been different.

God's timing was truly perfect and He knew that Weight Watchers was exactly what I needed to help jump start my weight loss journey. I am so thankful that God helped me learn how to take care of myself before I started having babies, so that when I needed to lose the baby weight I would know how to do it.

I'm thankful to share that 10 years later, I am in my healthy weight range. I still haven't seen my goal weight since before I had Olivia, but I'm not worried. Just trying to be patient with my body, because it has been through a lot the past 6 years, including a twin pregnancy (which was no joke). I am also thankful for my husband's love and support throughout this whole process, because he remains my biggest cheerleader. I could not do this without him!! Finally, I am so thankful to all of you who read my blog and are a constant source of encouragement to me, even when I am feeling down your kind words have means everything to me. Thank you!!

No matter where you are in your weight loss journey, don't give up!! Just take it one day at a time, one meal at a time!! Commit to doing this for yourself, no matter how long it takes, because in the end it will all be worth!! Lean on God and ask Him to give you the strength you need each day!!



Click the links below to read more about my weight loss journey.


Friday, October 26, 2018

My Mom has Breast Cancer


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My Mom is the greatest woman I know and it’s devastating to tell you that on August 2nd, she was diagnosed with stage three breast cancer.

Honestly, until just a few month ago, I did not know very much about breast cancer. When Mom told us the bad news, it was hard to understand the seriousness of the situation, because I didn’t know very much about this disease or the details about the long battle my Mom would have to endure. I spent many nights on Google reading about breast cancer and trying to learn all that I could. I learned about the different stages of breast cancer and how my Mom has a bad kind of cancer which is very aggressive.

Gradually, I began to understand the weight of the situation.

During this time, I cried a lot as I thought about possibly losing my Mom to such an awful disease. Honestly, I can’t imagine a world without my Mom, because she’s always been here. I’m just not quite ready to let her go. I also began to praise the Lord that my Mom found her lump early!! I am also thankful that the doctors diagnosed Mom quickly and began her treatment right away.

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On the morning of October 24th, my Mom will begin her 4th round of chemotherapy. The hardest part for me has been being so far away in Hong Kong. Most days, I feel helpless, because I want to be there to help my Mom. Recently, God has shown me that even though I am far away, there are lots of different ways that I can help my Mom.

If you are able, there are lots of ways you can help our Mom. Below are some immediate needs. We will continue to keep you posted as she is on this journey and other needs arise. Thank you for keeping our family in your prayers.

Here are some ways we can all help my Mom.
  • Pray for my Mom and that God would be a constant source of peace and strength to her during this time. Pray for complete healing from this disease.
  • Send my Mom encouragement through text message or by phone.
  • Bring my Mom a meal, especially if you’re in the area. You can even bring something that she can easily put in her freezer and heat up when she’s hungry
  • Order groceries from Safeway and had them delivered to my Mom’s house.
  • Send my Mom a card to let her know you were thinking of her.
  • Donate to Mom’s GoFund Me she has a lot of extra expenses right now and it would be a blessing if you could help relieve some of that burden for her right now.


Ladies, don’t forget… 

Do your self breast exams! Get your mammograms! Be proactive! Save the TATAS!

Tuesday, October 23, 2018

Evelyn Rose and Zoey Faith's Home Birth Story


If you couldn't already tell, I love birth stories. From a very early age, I remember my Mom recounting the events of our individual birth stories. Even if it wasn’t my birthday, I would beg my Mom to share my birth story… just one more time. I loved hearing about how my Mom had peas and macaroni & cheese the night before she went into labor with me, along with other details I know by heart. Honestly, at this point in time, I could probably tell my birth story just as good as my Mom.

My birth story is so important to me, so why am I been avoiding writing the twins birth story? My twin pregnancy, labor, and delivery was such an epic event that I am not sure I can do this birth story justice. However, I am going to try.
As it is with all my birth stories, I want to start by giving credit where credit is due. I want all the glory to go to God, because without Him none of this would have been possible. God sustained me through the most challenging pregnancy I’ve ever had. He gave me the strength I needed throughout my labor and delivery of my twins at home. None of this would had been possible without Him.
The Beginning
From the moment I found out I was pregnant, my plan had always been to have a home birth. I was able to successfully have Matilda at home and I could see no reason why I couldn’t have my next baby at home as well. In December 2017, I began to meet with my midwife Lincey. I had been out of town for a while and decided not to do an early ultrasound. Honestly, I didn’t think that I needed one.

On January 19th, 2018, we got the surprise of our lives!! Our entire family drove to Dallas, for my prenatal appointment and gender ultrasound. Olivia, Sophie, and Matilda were so excited to see the baby and find out whether we were going to have a boy or a girl. At my prenatal appointment I explained to Lincey that I could already feel the baby move and asked if that was normal for a fourth pregnancy. Lincey explained that it could be the baby or it could also mean that I might be pregnant with twins, just like my sister, Bobbi.
Honestly, I didn’t think it was possible for two sets of twins, born in the same family, within the same year. What are the odds!? Even though it was a possibility, I put those thoughts out of my mind, because it all seemed too crazy!!
As Jeff began the ultrasound, I looked at the screen and immediately saw that there were TWO BABIES IN MY BELLY!! What!? How could this be!? My mind was racing and all I could think was, “No way! No. No. No.” Everyone was in just as much shock as I was when Jeff explained to us that there we were having twins.
Wow!!
Even as I’m writing this, it feels like only yesterday, as feelings of joy, excitement, shock, and terror overwhelm me again.

As soon as our ultrasound was finished, Lincey stayed to answer questions about my twin pregnancy. Lincey explained that if I could take care of myself and make it to 37 weeks, that I could have a home birth. This was wonderful news, because I longed to give birth to my babies at home.
For the next 4 or 5 months, my health became our #1 priority. Lincey put me on a big protein diet with lots a fluids. Any kind of dehydration could result in contractions and we didn’t want that, at least not until 37 weeks.
Things Get Hard
With Jon’s help, I was able to make healthy food choices and take care of myself and the twins. Throughout my 2nd trimester, I felt great!! We would go walking. Overall, I had very few complaints.

However, when I reached 30 weeks, my midwife put me on “modified bedrest”. This was simply out of precaution and a way to make sure that I didn’t overdo it. Lincey didn’t want me to do anything that might send me into labor before 37 weeks. I am not going to lie, bedrest was torture.
Night after night, I would sit around waiting to see if I would go into labor too soon. Every cramp and every twinge, had me wondering if this was it. Was this real labor? Or just a signs that my body was getting tired and worn out from begin pregnant with twins?
I hate to admit it. However, during this time, fear got he best. I have successful delivered three beautiful girls, yet I began to wonder if I could handle the pain of labor and delivery for two babies, one right after the other. Sometimes I wished that I would go into labor early, so that I could just have a c-section, because it felt easier than waiting for the babies to come on their own. Obviously, bedrest meant I had too much time on my hands to think about what might go wrong.
So, I did the only thing I know to do…cling to God’s word. I wrote out Bible verses on 3×5 cards and took them with me everywhere! Whenever I would feel afraid, I would take out my notecards and read God’s word, hoping and praying for comfort when I was feeling overwhelmed. It’s easy for me to say that I trust God. However, it’s a whole different ballgame to put my words into action and live out the things I know to be true in scripture.
Modified Bedrest
When I reached 30 weeks with Evelyn and Zoey, my midwife, Lincey, put me on “modified” bedrest. She explained that I would need to be intentional to rest throughout the day. She asked that I get off my feet every 1 – 2 hours for at least a half hour, that I wouldn’t be able to talk long walks, and that I would need help. I could not believe what Lincey was saying!! Didn’t she know that I have three other kids to take care of and a husband who is gone for many days at a time as he works in Dallas or Houston!? How on Earth was I supposed to do this?


I was so discouraged.
On top of that, as soon as I reached 30 weeks, I started having a lot of Braxton Hicks. One Wednesday morning, while I was at Bible Study Fellowship (BSF) I noticed that my Braxton Hicks were coming every 10 minutes. As soon as I got home from BSF, I text Lincey and my mother-in-law, Lisa, who is my doula, to let them know what was going on. They told me I needed to relax as much as I could to help my body calm down. Calming down while Jon’s gone seems nearly impossible, but I’m tried. As a result, I began drinking CALM, a magnesium supplement to help relax my muscles, twice a day. Lisa also researched ways to help keep the Braxton Hicks at bay: things like staying hydrated and drinking Gatorade. I also talked to Evelyn and Zoey reminding them it was not time for them to come yet.
The nights when Jon was gone were the hardest. After the big girls went to bed, I was alone worrying about every twinge in my body and praying that I wouldn’t go into labor.
During this time, God continued to pour out His love on me as my dear friends provided meals for us, cleaned my house, watched the big girls, had me over for dinner, and even did my laundry. What a blessing this was to me and I will never forget their kindness and love. Even my husband spent his free time making me meals and putting them in the freezer, so that I wouldn’t have to be up on my feet too much to feed Olivia, Sophie, and Matilda.
Our mission was to help me reach 37 weeks, so that I could have a chance to give birth to my twins at home. Before 37 weeks, the girls would be too small and would need to be delivered in the hospital.
37 Weeks and Beyond
To my delight, with God’s help, I reached my 37 weeks!! On top of that, during my ultrasound at 37 or 38 weeks it showed that Evelyn and Zoey were each weighing well over 6 pounds!! What a praise!! Jon’s parents arrived, as well as my home birth kit, so I began to tell the twins that they could come anytime now. We were all ready for them!! However, as soon as I hit 37 weeks, my Braxton Hicks contractions stopped.

Normally, I have Braxton Hicks contractions all throughout my 3rd trimester until my baby is born. However, with the twins it wasn’t this way. I had contractions throughout my pregnancy until 37 weeks and then they stopped. I didn’t have more contractions until the morning that I was actually in labor. Honestly, for months I prayed that God would help me to know when I was in labor and I believe that God answered this prayer for me in a huge way. At 37 weeks, He helped my body relax until I was truly in labor. I’m so thankful that I didn’t have false alarms.
Jon’s sister Eva (who is a midwife) and her husband Stephen came to visit us during the home stretch of my pregnancy. We all thought that I would have the babies early, because normally twins come early. So, Eva and Stephen were there to help me and if I went into labor Eva would be on our team of midwifes there to help. I appreciated their help so much and it was fun to visit with them. However, God had different plans for the twins. My plan was 37 weeks, but God’s plan was to show off and take me to term and then some!!
I had been uncomfortable for a while, so in the homestretch my of my symptoms just got worse. I had swollen feet, a disappearing belly button, a lopsided belly, it was hard to roll over, and a huge belly that only continued to get bigger the more the twins grew.
On, Friday, June 15th, 2018, my sister Bobbi had her twins, Violet Marie and Avery Britt!! Violet is 19 3/4 inches and 6lbs 12 oz. Avery is 19 1/4 inches and 6 lbs 4 oz. I was so thankful, both of Bobbi’s girls were healthy and that my sister was doing well after her csection.
As we waited for the twins to come, we tried to keep busy doing fun things. We played games, made blankets, went bowling (yes I went bowling at 39 weeks pregnant!), went for walks, the big girls attended two different Vacation Bible Schools, ate delicious food, went to the movies, and so much more!!!
Evelyn and Zoey at 40 weeks!!
On Wednesday, June 20th, 2018, I reached 40 weeks!! For months every Wednesday morning, I checked “The Bump” pregnancy app to see how big the twins are getting. Each week, Sophie would ask me when the twins would be the size of a watermelon. Back then it seemed it would take forever the girls to grow. However, now they were both so big that together they were bigger than a watermelon.
I’m so thankful for God’s faithfulness to me throughout this pregnancy and how He has kept the three of us healthy for the past 40 weeks. We’re trusting that He’s going to continue to take care of us as you’re both born.
My midwife, Lincey lives in the Dallas area. Back in 2015, my labor and delivery with Matilda took less than 2 hours and as a result, Lincey missed it. My mother-in-law, Lisa, delivered Matilda by herself on my couch. 

Fast forward to June 2018, Lincey still lives in the Dallas area and now Jon works there too. This meant that if I went into labor while Jon and Lincey were gone, they would each have to drive over two hours from Dallas, TX to Longview, TX. As you might have guess, this quickly became my number one concern regarding my homebirth with the twins. Would Jon, Lincey, and her team of midwives make it to would house in time to deliver the babies? We went around and around considering lots of different options, but in the end, I just wanted to have my babies at home.  

For months, I prayed that God would orchestra the details, in a way that only He can, and allow Jon, Lisa, Lincey, and her team of midwives enough time to get to my house before I was ready to deliver Evelyn and Zoey. With Lincey’s wisdom and guidance, we all decided that if the twins hadn’t come on their own by June 21st, that we were going to try some different things to get my labor and delivery going. 

Friday, June 22, 2018
Still no babies. 

Thankfully, Jon was off from work, so Lincey drove out from Dallas to strip my membranes and try a bunch of different things to start my labor. I was so nervous about this, because I’ve never had my membranes stripped before and I didn’t know what to expect. For so long, our goal was to keep the babies in, that when it was hard to shift my mindset and just let them come.

My father-in-law, David, and sister-in-law, Hannah, took the three big girls, so that I could have the house to myself. We were trying to give my body a chance to relax just enough that it would go into labor.

Around lunchtime, Lincey arrived at my house ready to do what we could to get Evelyn & Zoey to come. First, she stripped my membranes and checked me. Lincey discovered that I was already a 4 almost a 5!! Then, she explained that she didn’t know how I wasn’t already in labor. I am so thankful that God answered my prayers and kept the twins from coming too soon.

We spent the rest of the afternoon, trying all different kinds of things to get my labor going. We went for a walk around LeTourneau University. I also tried walking on the stairs. We tried some homeopathic remedies. After we got back to the house, I tried to bounce on the birth ball and I even tried using the breast pump. However, no matter what we tried, my body wouldn’t go into labor. 

I was so tired from all of our efforts, that Lincey said I should get some rest and wait to see what happened. Thankfully, Lincey was not leaving town!! She had a hotel room right down the street from my house. She explained that if I needed anything or if anything changed, I needed to call her right away.

So Lincey left. 

We also decided that my mother in law, Lisa, and my sister-in-law, Hannah would stay at my house that night just in case I went into labor. I also wanted my big girls home, so Hannah brought the girls back so that I could spend time with them. Weeks ago, Lisa showed me videos of ladies dancing throughout the labor! They’re amazing. As a result, I thought it would be fun to have a dance party with my big girls, so that they could be involved and help me try to go into labor. As soon as my girls got home, even though it was way past their bedtime. Jon cranked the music and we all started to dancing. We danced for a long time. 

What precious memories I have of our final night as a family of 5.

After getting the girls to bed, I finally got myself ready for bed. It was probably around midnight, before I even got in bed. However, regardless of all our efforts, I still was not having contractions and my body was still not in labor.

Friday, June 23rd, 2018
The twins were both so big, that I found myself getting up every hour to go to the bathroom. Each time I woke up to pee, I wondered whether or not I was in labor. However, every time I woke up, I still wasn’t having any contractions. As a result, I assumed that Evelyn & Zoey wouldn’t be born in the foreseeable future, because nothing was happening.   

However, at 4:30am everything changed.

I had to pee and I began to have some faint “period like” cramping. Honestly, at first it was hard to tell if these cramps were the result of labor or being sore from our late-night dance party. So, I decided to try to sleep a little bit more, to see if they would go away. Over the next half hour, my cramping started coming about every 15 minutes. 

By 5:00am, I had to pee again and my cramping was not backing down. So, I text Lincey and let her know that I was starting to have some cramping which hurt in my hips, that I couldn’t sleep through. After a series of questions, Lincey finally asked, “Do you feel like this is the start of labor? Anything feeling different?”

At 5:25am I text her, “The cramping is really making my hips hurt a lot, more than just being sore. I wouldn’t be surprised if this was labor.”

 Lincey tried to encourage me to rest and see if there was a rhythm to my cramping. However, I just couldn’t sleep and asked her to come over, so that she could evaluate for herself what was going on. In addition, Lincey text her team of midwives and explained that I was in labor and they needed to come right away. After talking with Lincey, I had Jon go wake up Lisa and Hannah to let them know that I was in labor. 

Around 6:00am, Lincey arrived at my house and I told her that my cramping wasn’t going away. I told her about our dance party the night before and how I never thought I would really go into labor. Lincey listened to Evelyn & Zoey’s heartbeats and took my vitals to see how we were doing. All three of us, were doing just fine!! My labor wasn’t super intense yet, so Lincey, Lisa, and Hannah began to prepare for the twins impending arrival. 

As my contractions, became more pronounced, I decided to labor on the birth ball in the living room. This ended up being my favorite position!! While I was in the living room, laboring with Jon and Lisa, Lincey got everything ready in my room, so that when the twins decided to come, we would be ready.

At 7:00am, Olivia woke up to find me in the living room in labor. She gave me some hugs and kisses and then went with Hannah to the office to watch a movie, so that I could continue to labor in living room. Over the next hour, Sophie and Matilda would wake up too and give me sweet kisses, before going to hang out with Hannah.

We had also asked my friend, Becky to come and take pictures throughout my labor and delivery. I don’t remember what time it was when Becky arrived at my house. However, I was in the middle of a contraction. Becky quietly slipped into my house and began to take pictures for us. I cherish these pictures so much and I’m so thankful to Becky for being there for my home birth.

My Dream Team

 Throughout my labor I could see God’s kindness and goodness, every step along the way. Yes, I was in labor and in pain, but my house was so peaceful. The blinds were drawn and the living room was still pretty dark even though the sun was already up.

Over the next hour, I labored with Jon, Lincey, and Lisa. Lincey continued to take our vitals to make sure that the three of us were healthy. As my contractions became more intense, I had to focus on my breathing in order to manage the pain. I didn’t like laboring standing up, because I felt so much pressure. Needless to say, I spent most of my labor on the birthing ball. With each contraction, my hips hurt so much!! All I wanted was for Jon and Lisa to rub my hips. Even after the contraction was over, my hips were still hurting. If I had my choice, I would have had someone rubbing my hips non-stop until I was ready to push.

Around 8:30am Lincey’s team of midwives showed up at my house. Again, they quietly made their way into my house and began to prepare for the twins. I was introduced to each one of them, but couldn’t remember their names, because I was a bit pre-occupied. When Lincey checked my vitals again, she told me that I was going a great job. Lincey said she was so proud of me and told me that everyone was here, so the twins could finally come. She also told me that if I felt any pressure to let her know.

What a huge relief!! 

For months and months, I did everything I could to keep Evelyn & Zoey from coming too early. I was eating right and taking care of myself. Praying that God would be my strength when I didn’t have any. I couldn’t believe that it was finally time to let the twins come and trust Lincey and her midwives to help me bring the twins into this world. Even now as I write this I am overwhelmed with emotions, because the weight of responsibility that comes from being pregnant with twins was at times so overwhelming and I just felt like giving up. 

At some point, Hannah left with my three big girls. She met up with my brother-in-law, Josh, and they took the girls out for breakfast and then on to the park while they waiting for news of the twins arrival.

Shortly after the girls left, I had to pee again. Jon and Lisa helped me get to the bathroom. As I walked down the hall, I walked past Lincey. Later I learned, that Lincey had gone to get her gloves on, because she was afraid that as soon as I went to the bathroom I would begin to feel pressure. She was right!!

As soon as I sat down on the toilet, I felt lots of pressure. For the first time all morning, I screamed. 

I yelled, “pressure!!” Then, motioned for Jon to help me stand up. As I stood up, I crossed my legs hoping that it would keep the babies from being born in the bathroom!! As quickly as I could, I made my way to my bed where everything was ready for me to deliver me precious babies.

We tried a few different pushing positions, but ultimately, I just wanted lay down on my back. We got situated and then Lincey said that I could push whenever I was ready. 

Lisa helping me breathe through contractions

I continued to breathe through the next few contractions not entirely sure about when or how I was supposed to start pushing. I’m so thankful that Lincey never rushed me, she just waited until I was ready. Finally, I told Lincey that no one has ever told me to just push like this before, because in the past people have been telling me not to push and to just wait. This was new for me and I needed Lincey to guide me through this pushing process. 

With the next contraction, Lincey told me to push. Evelyn was almost here!!

The plan was for Jon to catch Evelyn and Zoey. As a result, Jon let go of my hand and went to be by Lincey to wait for Evelyn to be born. Thankfully, Lisa was right by my side, reminding me to breathe through each contraction. 

Evelyn Rose born 9:23am

As the next contraction came, I began to push again and before I knew it, Evelyn Rose was born at 9:23am!! Lincey put Evelyn on my chest and I just started crying. Lincey worked quickly to get Evelyn’s cord cut, because we didn’t know how long it would be before Zoey was born.

Lincey had prepared me in advance and said it could take 30 or 40 minutes before Zoey decided to come. Our plan was to enjoy our time with Evelyn while we waited for Zoey. Little did we know, Zoey had other plans.

With the next contraction, I told Lincey that Zoey was coming!! Lisa told me not to push so that Jon could have a chance to catch Zoey. I told her that I wasn’t doing anything, but Zoey was coming anyway!!

Zoey Faith born 9:27am

 While Evelyn Rose snuggled on my chest. Zoey Faith was born at 9:27am!! 

Jon said Zoey shot out like a bullet and barely had a chance to catch her, because she was coming whether or not we were ready.

Jon and his girls

TWO BABIES!! TWO HEALTHY BABIES!! These precious girls lay on my chest and I just wept. So thankful for every answered prayer. God’s grace and kindness throughout this whole process was overwhelming. He kept us healthy and allowed me to give birth to my twins at 40 weeks and 2 days at home. God is so good.

In the hours that followed, we spent time celebrating this double miracle that God had performed right before our eyes. We loved on Evelyn and Zoey, just marveling at how different they are from each other. The big girls even came home and got to meet their baby sisters. Olivia helped weigh and measure Evelyn and Sophie and Matilda helped weigh and measure Zoey. We also had family and friends stop by to meet the two newest additions to our family.

This was truly a day I will never forget!!

Our family of 7!!





Sunday, October 21, 2018

Motherhood Series: Battle Playroom

For the past few weeks, I’ve been working hard to get our house in order. It has been our priority to get the house set up as soon as possible to help the girls adjust and begin to call Hong Kong home.

Our house is truly a gift from God!!

One of my favorite rooms in our house is the bonus space on the 2nd floor that we decided to use as a playroom. Most of the year, Hong Kong gets hot and humid, so I was excited that we would have a space for the girls to play inside on days when it is hot or too stormy to go out. I began scrolling through Pinterest to find fun ideas for our new playroom. Visions of perfectly organized, adorable playrooms filled my mind. Little did I know, my expectations would be very different than reality.

As soon as we moved into our new house, we set up the playroom and let the girls play to their hearts content. I expected them to have so much fun in their new playroom. I thought they would clean up after themselves and not leave a mess. However, I was very wrong!! They played to their hearts content and on more than one occasion the girls pulled out every single toy, just to leave them on the floor.

I’ve been so mad, frustrated, and getting angry at them for not picking up after themselves in the playroom. I realize they have never had a playroom before, but I still expected them to clean up after themselves. It has felt like a losing battle.

Last week, things came to a head, when once again the playroom was a disaster!! I yelled and said that I wasn’t sure if they were ready to be responsible for a playroom. Then I just stopped talking and helped them pick up the books and toys for the hundredth time.

By God’s grace, He intervened and gave me a wonderful idea for the playroom.

Once everything was cleaned up I sat down the three big girls and began to have a civilized conversation about the playroom. I gave them three options of what we could do with the playroom. 

Option #1: Mommy ends up yelling and screaming, because the playroom is destroyed.
Option #2: Mommy takes away the playroom and uses it as her own craft room.
Option #3: The girls learn to respect the rules and take care of the playroom.

My girls chose option #3, which will involve them learning to respect the playroom rules. Together, we talked through our four playroom rules and why they’re important to remember. We ever made a sign with the rules, so the girls can clearly see what I expect of them. Then, I thought it would be easier for them to clean up if they knew where the toys are supposed to go. The girls helped me label the containers and now know how they can help to do their part to clean up after themselves.

I know that things won’t be perfect and they will still make messes. However, I was proud of myself for not just yelling and screaming at them, but talking to them and brainstorming a solution. I hope and pray that this will help them to take ownership of the playroom and learn to take care of their things.

If you have a playroom, I would love to hear your feedback and any ideas I could try if this doesn’t work.

2018 Life Update

To put it plainly, this year has been overwhelming!! 

I have been pregnant with and gave birth to twin girls in June 2018. During part of my pregnancy, I was even place on modified bedrest as a precaution to make sure that I did not go into labor too soon. In addition to twins, my husband got a new job and our entire family is now living in Hong Kong. As a result, I am no longer working for Weight Watchers. On top of everything else, my Mom was diagnosed with stage 3 breast cancer. It hard been a year of changes and challenges. 

I haven't had much time for writing or blogging. The blogging that I have done has been on my own personal family blog, My Newsham Family. I miss blogging and being in community with all of you. 

For those of you who are interested, here are some of the highlights...


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MY TWIN GIRLS
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Evelyn Rose (left) was born at home at 9:23am on June 23, weighing 7lbs 5 oz and 20 inches long. Zoey Faith (right) was born at home at 9:27an on June 23, weighing 7lbs 6oz and 19 3/4 inches long. We are praising God for two healthy babies, our incredible midwife Lincey and her team of midwives, our doula/mother-in-law Lisa, other family and friends, and so much answered prayer!! God is good!!


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HONG KONG

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My husband was hired as a commercial airline pilot and he will be based out of Hong Kong. As a result, our entire family packed up and moved to Hong Kong. By God's grace, on August 31st, 4 adults, 3 children, 2 newborns, and over 40 pieces of luggage arrived safely at Hong Kong International Airport. We had a few hiccups along the way, which leant that we flew out a day later that we had planned. However, God was with us for each and every step. We are still praising God for His goodness to us during this time!! 

To date, we've almost been in Hong Kong for 2 whole months!!


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MY MOM

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On August 2nd, my Mom was diagnosed with stage 3 breast cancer. The hardest part for me has been being so far away in Hong Kong. Most days, I feel helpless, because I was to be there to help my Mom. 

If you have a desire to help, please donate to my Mom's Go Fund Me, she has a lot of extra expenses right now and it would be a blessing if you could relieve some of that burden for her right now.

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