Thursday, March 9, 2017

My twin is my win.

I have basically been stalking the Avera Twin Registry since the first of the year. We had initially been told our results from our twin study last summer would be available in the fall of 2016, and then early 2017. As the days in February ticked away, I checked the mail with high hopes in anticipation of the results letter. As the end of the month neared, I called to find out how things were coming and talked to the coordinator of the study. She said we should have the result within the month and then I explained to her that our birthday was coming up and would love to use the results some how to surprise Maggie at our birthday party. And then I waited again. Much to my delight, she called on Friday morning (3/3) and told me the results were at the front dest and I could come to pick them up anytime. I was so excited and felt like I was going to burst! But I couldn't call Maggie, my usual first phone call for these sorts of things, ugh!!

Dave and I devised a plan of putting balloons into a large balloon and having the color combos reveal the results. All white balloons meant we were identical, a combo of black and grey meant we were fraternal. Dave made the phone call to put in the balloon order so I could be surprised with Maggie, and then I waited again, for 48 more hours before finding out the results, no big deal ;).

So, the big questions:

"Do the results really matter?" I've been asked this numerous times. It seems like a logical question, but the answer is so complicated. No, the results don't really matter, but in the pit of my stomach, I sure hope we are identical. We are so close; our looks, personality, hearts, voices, and our taste in most things. We are just so similar. We are constantly in conversation. Wether it is via txt or a phone call if there is too much to txt. I'd be ok with fraternal, too, I don't have a choice. Would I be let down? Maybe. But it will still be fun to finally know.

"Is there even a question? You have to be identical!" This a really common one. Another version is, "you have to be, I'm 99.9% certain you are." That's exactly how I feel! But, we have never officially been told that we are, so that .1% poses a huge question, not necessarily in a bad way, it just keeps me guessing.

I've always been so proud of our story. My mom had pregnancy complications early in their marriage. My parents always planned on adopting, so they got that ball rolling, and started our family with Alex, Sam, and Liz.  And then the surprise twin pregnancy with two placentas vs one which is why her doctors determined we were fraternal. But our similarities were so uncanny which caused us to question that label. Now that's a good story! A unique story for a unique family. I have to give my efficient mom props. Five kids with one pregnancy, now that is one way to achieve the big family she always wanted.

So our story is changing a little bit, Ive already told some people the new version of our old story and the best part is that the new version is even cooler than the old (fore site not intended).

The results:

After a family bowling party we gathered at Maggie's for pizza and cake. I brought the balloon out and told Maggie what the balloon held. She was quiet, almost speechless, and the one in charge of popping the balloon. We did a quick survey of our family (we were happy to have 100% attendance, including my parents via FaceTime), and all of them thought that with no question, we were identical. It was finally time to pop!

Posing with the balloon. 
"One, two, THREE!"
The best photo! IDENTICAL! 
The aftermath.
A quick chat with our parents.
My mom's initial reaction "That was the most beautiful thing I've ever seen!"
And here is the live version:

There you have it...identical! 

So, does it change things? I don't think so, but what it did for me was make me feel an even closer bond to Maggie. Kind of like our relationship was recharged. I read the letter the following morning and it states 'you and your twin are genetically the same.' Seriously, how amazing is that? Its no doubt we have our differences, but we are literally one egg that split. Oh, and not to mention our kids! They are genetically half siblings. How wild is that?

Maggie and I with our kids. 
More photo fun. 
Oh yes, the cake with 37 candles.
I can't think of a more special way to turn 37 on 3/7.

The official letters.
So there you have it. The story of our very own journey. Im so thankful to have Maggie as my best friend and to know she is literally my other half. 

Tuesday, March 7, 2017

The daily grind and 'An Enchanted Afternoon.'

We are well into March and Dave hasn't had any sort of vacation from work since January, so I've officially been the primary parent for the daily routines. Im happy to report that I've settled in quite well. Loading up all three is so much easier than it once was. I've even ventured out and taken the girls for hot chocolate and treats while Sully is in school (although that won't ever happen again, why must retailers put so many temptations on low shelves, grrr). Since I finally have some routines down, its no surprise that summer is just around the corner (and we cannot wait for warm weather, seriously).

We had an event on Sunday at the Washington Pavilion. It was 'An Enchanted Afternoon' which is 100% geared for kids, it is a fund raiser for the Community Learning Center, which is part of Sully's preschool program. It is so fun. The kids get to dress up and eat kid friendly food and play all sorts of games and activities. Maggie and Anna also joined us, which made the afternoon even more special. Every year gets easier and more fun as the kids are more independent and interested. Enjoy some photos below. 

Oh, also, TODAY is Maggie and my birthday. Stay tuned for a fun blog post of what I pulled off to make turning 37 on 3/7 super duper special.

Cake pops at 10am with wild hair. 
Greta gets a taste and falls in love. 
Bedtime giggles, and all three in jimmies. Major win these days. 
Super excited about our new costumes.
Bat Squad:
Bat Boy, Bat Girl and Bat Baby. 
Our late night sneak in snuggler.
This girl loves books, or 'bas' as she calls them.
Costumes, parties, and cotton candy. Major win. 
The crew. 
A sweet pic of Maggie and Anna. 
Twin pic fun.
Piper was obsessed with the backdrop. 
Family photo. 

Monday, February 27, 2017

Fun before the flu.

Ok, so not technically the flu, but darn near. Fortunately we all got our flu shots cause if I had to be any more sick than I have been for the last week, Im certain we would have been in trouble.

But...before the flu, there was loads of fun for everyone. My biggest news is that I managed to take all three kids to The Children's Museum in Brookings all by myself. Huge feat as I knew if it was successful, I would be capable of doing all sorts of things on my own while Dave works. Im happy to report that it was a hit. There were a few moments, but overall, it went really well. I was so proud of Sully and Greta for being good listeners and for being good buddies. They play so well together when we get out of the house. I need to keep reminding myself of that. The amazing week of weather also helped as the fresh air does everybody good.

Dave and I also had a couple of really fun nights out. Maggie and Jeff joined us for a night of dinner and the SD Symphony Orchestra, a first for all of us. It was REALLY fun. Ben Folds headlined and used the orchestra as their band and it was amazing. I had goosebumps and was overwhelmed with how it all fits together. It is such an art. We also had dinner with a few of neighbors on Valentine's Day before being a musical at the Pavilion, the company didn't disappoint, although the show was lack luster :/. We celebrated Grandma Helen's birthday a couple of days later at her place with much of the family present. It is always such a fun gathering, and fun to shower Helen with love. We rounded out the outings with a dinner with a couple of Dave's partners. So much socializing and so much fun. No wonder we all ended up sick around here.

Im glad to report the illness was only really bad for about 2-3 days (for me), Piper and Greta are finally getting over colds, and unfortunately Dave is just getting it. Here's to hoping it makes a speedy exit. We are so ready for spring.
Ben Folds with the SDSO.
Go Bayern Munich! 
The usual bedtime routine. 
A peaceful hot shower ;).
Sleepover in Greta's bed! (haha, this lasted 5 minutes)
Heading to school. Best buddies. 
Sister fun, right after Piper said 'Teta' (Greta) and my heart melted. 
It's all under control.
Greta fun. 
A peaceful lunch. 
Piper in the pumpkin patch.
Sully fun. 
Cornfield chaos. 
Bubble guppies in their new Brookings t shirts.
Grandma Helen's party with cousin Maddie. 
Impromptu photo session. 
Story time fun. 
Black and white for the win. 
6 people, 18 wine glasses! Haha. 
Fun with daddy. 

Friday, February 17, 2017

Showering Lauren and baby girl Fey.

I was so honored to cohost Lauren's baby shower with Jana Thompson and Kirsten Biondi. Ever since I have been a part of Dave's family, I had attended showers with these women as hosts and they have done such an exceptional job. They were best friends of Lauren's mom, Julie and have gone the extra mile to celebrate milestones in Sarah (Lauren's sister) and Lauren's life. When I got the invitation to join them in throwing Lauren's baby shower, I was thrilled, my mind went into overdrive as to how to make it extra extra special. We shared fun planning coffees and funny group txt messages with thoughts and progress.

We hosted the shower at Vance Thompson Vision, it was lit up with pink lights and was full of pink baby goodness. From balloons to flowers to pink champagne and heart accessorized kabob skewers to go along with heart shaped pizzas, nothing was missed. Everything that was done was picked up a notch with details (including heart shaped salami on the antipasto kabobs (gahhhh!). I joked with Kirsten and Jana that they are my detail soul sisters, although there is actually a lot of truth in that. I had fun hand crafting paper flowers and paper flower wreaths, who knew the power of paper (and time ;)).

Lauren was the most beautiful and gracious guest of honor. No doubt she has a lot of emotions regarding her first baby and the absence of her mom. She shows such appreciation and love for everyone in her life. I always love to be in her presence.

We are so excited to meet baby girl Fey in March, Lauren! I can't wait to love on you both, and to field questions, even if they come at 3am :).

I was getting ready for the evening and Greta (lower right)
said "mama, you're so silly, you look just like one of those
trolls!" Love that girl. 
Vance Thompson Vision in pink! 
The decor.
Dessert table with a paper frame around Lauren, Julie, and Grandma Helen. 
The spread. 
Cohosts + guest of honor.
Jana, Kirsten, Lauren, and I.
Loving on baby girl Fey. 
Lauren and Sarah. 
Gift opening fun.