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Checking In: Summer Awaits

Reading: With the additional sunlight in the mornings, my favorite part of Summer has returned: reading in the morning sun. When I can, I take my morning tea and my latest book to my blue adirondack chair. Even if its for 10 minutes. I’ve been reading Gloria Steinem’s My Life on the Road. Gloria’s book is not only her sharing her amazing life on the road as a journalist covering the feminist movement of the 60’s 70’s and unto today, (A career I secretly want to do 😉 I love the idea of someone giving you an assignment and off you go!) but how she saw the world. How she found herself in ground breaking meetings and community gatherings. How she was part of history and even in her 80’s she still wants to bring women and men together. Last fall I saw her speak at the university I work for, Dominican University of CA. In her book and in person, she reminds us you just never know where life is going to take you and where you will be needed.

I finished Elizabeth Gilbert’s latest novel Big Magic back in April and loved it too! I have found some really great stuff lately. A while back, I mention wanting to read Hillary Rodham Clinton’s book Hard Choices. With her winning the Democratic Party’s nomination,  yay, it’s next on my list to pick up.

Listening to: The quietness of our home. Its the one moment in the week where I’ve got the place to myself. Everyone is off and I’ll be off soon but until then I enjoy the silence.

Watching: How we are all calling for love. Over Social Media, through the news, even a rainbow flag waving on someone’s car. What has happen in Orlando, Florida touches all of us. My thoughts and prayers for the families and friends of those lost and hurt, and for all of us as we move forward to choose love over hate. Choose love over hate, always. 

Looking forward to: This Summer, I’m looking forward to Sam learning to swim, to our girls no longer needing diapers, and Summer Sundays. You know how when the warm weather arrives and all you want to do is lay out in the Summer sun, BBQ, be near water, visit with friends and family. That’s what our Sundays turn into and I love it.

Sam Update: Last week, Sam finished Kindergarten. I asked him what his favorite part was, he said having a big buddy. When I asked him what he was most looking forward to in 1st grade he said Math. His big buddy let him know there is lots of Math in first grade. On his last day, I got emotional thinking about this past year. How I loved that they made us come to his classroom door and pick him up. It gave me the chance to see his classroom weekly, get to know his teacher Mr. Cannon, and to slow down. I keep reminding myself, you have your whole life to work. I loved that I had two amazing mom friends to share the year with. We helped each other stay on top of spirit days, homework, and made sure to get our Moms Night Out. But most of all, I loved that Sam learn to be passion about learning new things, laughing with friends, and having a big buddy. Now he wants to be a big buddy. :) Cheers Sam!!

Twin Update: I feel like I need a sign up that reads “Gone twinning.” From sunrise to sun down, we are on the go! Playing, painting, running, singing, dancing, eating. Even, right when its time for bed, they got to get in one more “jumping on the bed”. They are teaching me big time that what I used to do, was awesome, but sometimes we can’t keep doing what we did. Sometimes we need to change it up. Make it happen in new ways. Adapt to what life needs today. I feel like the biggest difference between raising one child and having twins has to be coming to the conclusion, “you’ve gone fishing”.

Friends and family might wonder where you’ve been or why you haven’t been able to call this week or meet up this month. Or if you are okay. The truth is you “got your hands full”. Period. Even more full than you thought you could be. If you are back to work or even home with three year olds. This stage means lots of running around. Lots of moving. Lots of hugs. Lots of playing. I recently got a Fit Bit for Mother’s Day. After the first week tracking my steps with my new Fit Bit, and watching me hit my 10,000 steps not even 3, my husband finally got it when I say,  yeah, the kids keep me going!

Marriage After Kids: Lesson #2 Make time for each other every day. The campus where I work at is located in a beautiful residential area. At the end of the day, when I’m walking back to my car I see the same couple pushing their orange twin bob stroller. A husband and wife. They even have two dogs with them. Their twins have to be just over a year, maybe a year and a 1/2. Every time I see them I want to scream out “from one twin parent to another, keep taking those evening walks!”

It reminds me to make time with my husband. This past year, it has not been easy. Our work schedules are not the same for dinners or even breakfasts. He needs his rest in the morning and kids eat before he gets home. So we are left with a tiny window of 9pm to 10pm. It’s small but its ours. One night he even said, “I won’t go back to working until we’ve sat together.”

But its when I see that twin couple, every day, together, it reminds me you can’t take your relationship for granted. You need each other. Especially when you are raising twins. Two babies. Two toddlers. Its a lot. At the same time. Then you add in the oldest, and the house, the laundry and on and on and its the Never Ending Story. You are surviving until the waters calm and you can stand on both feet. So whatever you do, make time for each other. Even if its for a cup of tea over Skype or Chef Ramsey’s latest show. And be okay with what you can do right now. Life always gets better because you two get better.

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Checking in: Spring Forward

Reading: This month, I joined my first book club. It’s part of my twin club which is really nice. Life has been so full, I haven’t had much chance to visit with fellow twin moms. We’ve picked Susan Mallery’s The Friends We Keep. I finished Elizabeth Egan’s debut novel A Window Opens. Loved it. Loved how I could relate to her story so well. Her novel is about a mom of three returning to work. Being a mom of three myself, who recently to work this past fall, her book fit perfectly with what I was going through. I’m also reading Elizabeth Gilbert’s latest novel Big Magic. It’s full of short inspirational chapters that have been a great read at bedtime. Thank you Liz!

Watching: Sam playing T-Ball. Awesome!!

Listening to: San Fransisco’s KFOG Live from the Archives Volume 22. The one song that has stays with me the most is David Gray’s “Back to the World (Live on KFOG)”

Looking forward to: Taking better care of myself. In January I kicked off the new year with a yoga membership and to do whatever I can to get more sleep. Proud to say I’ve kept my promise to go every weekend. I’m very impressed and grateful to have found Sukha Yoga of Novato. Getting back on my mat, I’m mean really getting back on my mat, has transformed my sleep and my spirit. These past few months have been difficult. I’m looking forward with the intention that if I’m not healthy then I can’t be the person I truly want to be.

Sam Update: Sam is a math wiz! He loves math. He continues to love building lego sets and is super excited that his best friends Jack and Francisco are on his T-Ball team. Go South Novato Little League Nationals!

Twin Update: “Knock, Knock? Who’s there? Banana! Banana who? Banana in your face!” Lol! AND “No! I want to do it!” The biggest change in the twins is how much they are talking! They are telling us everything they know, what they want, how they want it, where things are, who they are friends with a school and that you look pretty mom :0) The Knock Knock joke is our favorite game to play with Sam and anyone who visits.

(New to my check in) Marriage After Kids: Lesson #1 “Take care of yourself AND take care of each other” With Spring officially here and winter moving on, I find it fitting to change my last check in subject from “Meaning of Home” to “Marriage After Kids”. As I mention before, this past winter has been difficult. Work and family stress has become the norm in our house which has led to sleepless nights, hard talks and self reflection. We know now that how you take care of yourself effects everything and everyone. And if you stop taking care of yourself, then you can’t truly do all you want to do, you can’t fully enjoy the fruits of your labor, and you stop laughing. When you stop laughing, you stop enjoying. And joy is what we are here for.

The hardest part for my husband and I is that we take care of ourselves differently. We can only be ourselves… And that’s okay. But we’ve learned that real partnership truly happens when you know what your partner needs to do to refuel and you support that. “I’ll watch the kids, take that hike.” “The early yoga class works best for me, have fun! Love you in those yoga pants :)” It’s for sure one way to truly be there for each other.

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Checking In With a Review of 2015

For this season’s Checking In I went with a Year in Review of 2015. Looks like we have a family Christmas newsletter after all! 

Reading: As I gathered my books for my “2015 In Reading” photo, I found that I only own half of the books that I read! Judging by my past check-ins, I spent the winter and spring borrowing books from the library.

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My year of past and future reading

From what I could tell, I finished a book every month! I kicked off the year by finishing Kristen Gillibrand’s Off the Sidelines, then dove right into my 2014 Christmas gift Wherever You Go, There You Are by Jon Kabat-Zinn. His book was a big part of how I got into the practice of Mindfulness. Throughout the year I read different stories that were good for an entertaining read but it wasn’t until Labor Day weekend, at Powells’ Book in Portland Oregon, that I picked up Steps Out of Time – One Women’s Journey on the Camino by Katherine B. Soper and really cherished my bedtime again.

Gloria Steinam rolled into town in early fall for a speech and I was able to see her and pick up her latest book My Life on the Road for free. I haven’t finished it yet but I know when the time is right, I will be glad I did: so far her writing and storytelling take me right back to those intense significant times in American Women’s History. Last month, I entered an Instagram contest and won a signed copy of Big Magic by Elizabeth Gilbert thanks to Barnes and Noble College. It became my lunch read before I went on Christmas break, but I haven’t finished it yet, either, because…

Ironically, with multiple novels going, appearing I can’t say no to books nothing has grabbed my attention more and made me seek out warm reading spots than my husband’s Christmas gift: Shonda Rhimes’s Year of Yes – How to Dance It Out, Stand in the Sun and Be Your Own Person. I keep telling people that this book feels like reading monologues from Meredith Grey or Christina Yang of Grey’s Anatomy (my ALL TIME favorite show on television). I’m in heaven! And what better way to end my 2015 year of reading than with the humor and grace of writer Shonda Rhimes.

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Sam at his first practice for team Galactic Empire

I have no worries about what to read after I’m done. Christmas also brought me Elizabeth Egan’s debut novel A Window OpensCheryl Strayed’s Brave Enough and Dintv W. Moore The Mindful Writer. 2016 is already looking up.

Watching: 2015 was the year where I watched my kids become the most active they’ve ever been: the twins were doing gymnastics, Sam played soccer for the first time and the kids were running through water puddles any chance they got. (In hot pink rain boots of course!)

For my husband and I, 9pm became the time in the day we both got to slow down and watch our favorite t.v.shows. We got hooked on The Royals and Master Chef. When Silicon Valley returned for a second season, we were right there on opening night, ready for anything. Through it all we had our constant shows of Hell’s KitchenThe Big Bang Theory, American’s Next Top Model – and my Grey’s Anatomy, which never disappointed.

Listening to: As I write this post, I hear our birds Max and Pete talking away, who have been with us for (I think!) 8 years. If you asked them what they mostly heard in our house last year, they would probably mention that crazy kids show Caillou, and The Chicka Show, along with Sprout‘s awesome new shows Nina’s World and Maya the Bee. When the TV was off, YouTube was streaming Maroon 5’s Sugar and everyone was dancing! Hey that sounds about right!

Looking forward to: So far, 2016 looks steady and calm. I’m imagining a year in which my husband’s game Mafia 3 finds its way to the masses and doesn’t disappoint. My son Sam finishes kindergarten ready for the world of reading. My daughters have said goodbye to diapers forever – and hello to a new independence. And I am still writing all about it and more! There is a wedding planned in the spring on my side of the family, my in-laws will be returning in the summer, and my dad will be celebrating his 70th birthday on Labor Day weekend. Looking forward to another great year!

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Sam’s favorite new Skylander: Spyro

Sam Update: 2015 was the year Sam went from preschool to kindergarten. We went from watching him like hawks outside the house to letting him roam through the neighborhood with his friends. 2015 was the year Sam discovered Skylanders and Lego Ninjago. He got this first jobs around the house like making his bed to setting and clearing the dining table. As the year comes to a close, he continues to make us proud. This past week, between building Lego sets and finishing Skylander video game levels with his dad, his saw his first Star Wars film, The Force Awakens. He did pretty well for not being quite 6 yet! There were some scary parts but I think what he loved the most was being out with his mom and dad.

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Twins on their first day of preschool

Twin Update: The twins started the year running through the gymnastics halls, and finished the year running through the halls of preschool. They filled our walls with their love of colors and drawing. They blessed us with so many hugs and so many kisses, I’m amazed more and more every day that we are raising twin daughters. Lily, my artist and Ellie my dancer remind me every day how much I love my life now more than ever. They also remind me that taking care of them is a daily job that can only be truly recognized and appreciated when I also take care of myself.

Meaning of home: This year I added a section on the meaning of home to my Check-In posts. Looking back over these posts, I talked about finding that favorite spot in your house or how there is a difference to be made each day, both inside and out in the world. I discovered that regardless of whether you live by yourself, with friends or family, you’ve got to be there for each other and yourself. Home is your place in this big world to feel safe, loved, and be at peace. Some days that will feel harder and further out of reach than others.

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From my collection of #blackboardquotes

On other days it will be right there like water in the ocean, ready to fuel you. 2015 taught me that when it comes to the meaning of home, the most important thing is to have no fear when you leave the house and to always bring the best of you back home.

Cheers to 2015

It’s amazing to think that in 2015, between doing the Leadership Novato program, taking three kids to the library/Target/local parks and getting my twins to nap at the same time, I still found time to write. Writing became my time. I continued to write for the national twin website twiniversity.com, Multiplicity magazine, and for my own blog Cafevic.com. When I had a deadline, I noticed that writing gave me a reason to ask for help. And without writing, I wouldn’t have taken a break from my kids! The one piece that I am most proud of was Stay-at-Home Parenting, A Vocation Worth Receiving, an interview with seven local stay-at-home parents. It received more blog visits than any other post I’ve ever written and showed others what it’s truly like to be a stay-at-home parent in 2015.

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Me at Marta and Dan Le’s wedding in Getaria, Spain

I started 2015 with one personal goal: to make it to Spain for my closest friend’s wedding in June. In May I had almost lost faith: I wasn’t getting hired and I didn’t know how I was going to afford the plane ticket. Then, right at the last moment, a new friend made the ticket happen and my in-laws agreed to watch our kids for me.

For this mom-of-twins-plus-one, having that chance to travel by myself for a week not only gave me the break that I needed; to this day it still fuels my soul and made me a better mom and partner. My husband and I celebrated 8 years of marriage and continued to learn that through it all, it is important to give each other space while finding time together, both with and without our children.

As we say good bye to 2015, I can’t help but think back to how the year started. My closet friend was living across the pond in Cambridge. New neighbors had just moved in across the street. I was in full swing of being a stay-at-home parent, taking my twins to gymnastics with my neighbor. I remember how in January I was applying for jobs in student life at the local community college, thinking that a job interview was surely on the horizon and that I would be back to work by March. Instead, I discovered, that it would not be until mid October that I would return to work – not in student life but in academic advising at a private liberal arts university known as Dominican University of CA. Which is an area of student development that I’ve always wanted to try!

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With my husband Matthias at Relief Reservoir – 7600 feet high at the end of a horseback ride from Kennedy Meadows (near the Pacific Crest Trail).

I end this Check In with one of my favorite moments of the year: our good friends Anne and Thomas decided to make their annual summer desert trip a Bachelor/Bachelorette party. We were only able to join them for the first night, but those 24 hours away from the kids made all difference. It also was our first time camping as a couple. Best advice in relationships:try new things together.

Thank you 2015 – for all you gave and taught me, my family and our friends. Danke. 

 

 

 

 

 

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Checking In As Fall Arrives

Today, the wind is cool and you notice the leaves more on the ground than in the trees. A sweet reminder, Fall is upon us.

Reading: I recently went back and finished The Secret of Happy Ever After by Lucy Dillon. Loved how she ended it. Before that I was able to finish The Cake Therapist by Judith Fertig and passed it on to a friend who bakes cakes. Now I’ve dived into Steps Out of Time One Women’s Journey on the Camino by Katherine B. Soper, and I’m at peace. Over Labor Day weekend, I got to visit Powell’s Independent Books in Portland, Oregon and found her book on display. I must still have Spain on the mind. Camino pilgrimage stories to me are great ways to remind yourself to carry only what you need and to believe things always have a way of working themselves out.

Watching: Sam play soccer. It’s the first time he is playing for a local team. Love it!

Listening to: Five A.M. latest album Broken /// Beautiful

Looking forward to: Decorating the house with pumpkins :) One of my favorite times.

Sam Update: Sam has been in kindergarten for over a month now and you can see a huge change in him. I think its because everyone in his class gets their own desk. He now comes home and tells me what he is learning about. How important it is we prepare for an earthquake (last week’s lesson). And he wants to write more. It’s amazing.

Twin Update: The twins started attending preschool. They go twice a week and the biggest lesson they are learning is they too can be away from mom. Today, I could tell Lily was trying to hold back the tears but they came and it was okay. I gave her a big hug and she smiled, and started playing with the letter blocks.

Meaning of home: I live in Northern California and over the weekend, a fast moving fire took a small town just less than two hours north from me. Us Californians have been used to forest fires all summer, but now it is getting even more serious. The drought is very real and fire is now finding its way to peoples’ homes. Losing your home has to be one of the hardest things to experience. My thoughts and prayers go out to the families who lost their homes and to all the firefighters fighting fires across our state. Thank you.

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Checking In. It is Summer! Outside! Outside!

Wow! I haven’t checked in since April?! It has been too long. Will have to say, its Summer in California which means great weather and all I’m hearing from my twins is “Outside!” “Outside”. Plus, pencil in those mini vacations and time flies by.

Reading:  Airport find: The Cake Therapist by Judith Fertig. Picked it up on my way to San Sebastian, Spain. Coming soon a blog post inspired from my trip :)

Watching: Speaking of cake, Chef Gordon Ramsay has hooked us again with Master Chef.

Listening to: Two men meet. Right now, I’m at my local Peet’s Coffee and two men are having a business meeting that I’m pretty much part of because I can hear everything they are saying. Next time, I need to remember to bring my headphones :)

Looking forward to: Writing, hiking and water play! Any chance we get.

Sam Update: In 6 weeks, he will officially be in Kindergarten. I’m so proud because he is ready. Ready to spell. Ready to learn how to read. Ready to be at the big kids school. So proud.

Twin Update: Art, art, art everywhere! Can’t keep up :) Oh and amen for Washable Markers!

Meaning of home: Remembering it is home.

As a writer and stay at home parent, I’ve have been more and more aware of how important it is that I get out of the house before I start my day. I want our home to be home. That even though my work right now is raising our children full time, in our home, it is still home. Home is not meant to be a place a work. Home is home. Home is where you come back to relax, refuel.

It is so easy to wake up when you are raising kids and and feel like, bam, your on! When your work is outside the home, there is a break you experience. You leave and then you come back. I probably have written about this before, but I’m going to keep writing about it because it’s a working progress. Remember, home is home. My husband and I are gifted that we have offices that are built into our garage so we can physically leave the “house” part and go into our office. For those who don’t have that. Finding that break between your home and your work is always a working progress until you figure out what works for you. If you haven’t found it. Find it! :)

Two new things that have worked for me: walking/running in my neighbor before my husband goes to work and making sure I take time for myself on Saturday mornings.

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Checking In with Chicka and Ninjago

Reading:  Finished The Confidence Code The Science and Art of Self-Assurance–What Women Should Know by Katty Kay and Claire Shipman. It was the book of choice for the Women in Student Affairs Spring Twitter book chat. Loved it! Highly recommend it. You find it is a fast read, great data and stories, and leaves you looking at confidence in a whole new light. Next book: when I’m in and out of books, I always go back to The Secret of Happy Ever After by Lucy Dillon. For those who love dogs, you will love this story.

Watching: The sun shining through the morning fog.

Listening to: The kids watching Sprout. They love the Chicka show!

Looking forward to: The beach.

Sam Update: He currently loves Lego’s Ninjago. Building them, watching the show, and bedtime stories are now us reading the comic books of Ninjago.

Twin Update: They are almost two. Two! I still can’t believe it. They are great eaters, repeating words and love books! Lily, big on talking to you. Face to face. She even makes sure you are looking at her. Ellie, is all about sharing. Making sure everyone has a toy to play with, something to eat, however whatever you do don’t change the channel when she is watching something. I think she gets that from her mom 😉

Meaning of home: After months and months of crayons drawings all over our walls, my husband repainted. Just in time for his parents visit. There are still a few spots you can see the girls circles and lines. There is something about letting your kids imagine go. Makes me want to create a drawing station and a place to hang their art. It also reminds me that “there is a difference to made today”, every day. In our home and out in about. Raising kids, in our home, daily, makes the meaning of home even more valuable.

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Checking In

Reading:  This is the Story of a Happy Marriage by Ann Patchett. Was at the library and did a quick check on new arrivals and found her book. I remember how much I enjoyed her NPR interview. Looking forward to the book.

Watching: The Big Bang Theory. I’m so proud of my husband and I. Through work deadlines, raising twins and now a five year old. We could easily just crash, but thanks to our love of Big Bang, we made couch time happen. Which meant we got some us time. Yay!

Listening to: right now, nothing. Sweet silence before the twins wake from their nap. Only the sound of the washer going in the garage.

Looking forward to: the weekends. I stopped doing laundry on the weekends. I know I will be home during the week. Now, I fill more and more like a break happens. Where before, I couldn’t tell the difference between a Monday and a Saturday. The photo above is from one of our weekend road trips. The ripples were made by twin Ellie, throwing a rock into the water.

Sam Update: he’s officially 5. So close to taking those training wheels off and even more and more amazing to know, thanks to his love of telling us what’s he now knows.

Twin Update: help! 21 month toddlers times 2! Running, climbing, happy, sad, frustrated, loving sometimes at the same time, sometimes not. Wow!

Meaning of home: Most nights, I read this book to the girls called Our Tree Named Steve by Alan Zweibel. Lily loves it because she gets to say the word “Steve”. Towards the end of the book, there is this great sentence that sums up the meaning of home for me: “Through the years Mom and I have tried to show you, in a world filled with strangers, the peace that comes having things you can count on and a safe place to return to after a hard day or a long trip.” Wishing that feeling for everyone.

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Checking In at the start of 2015

Reading:  The Secret of Happy Ever After by Lucy Dillon and Wherever You Go There You Are Mindfulness Meditation in Everyday life by Jon Kabat-Zinn.

Watching: My twins dance. This great stage of a year and half is amazing to watch. They explore. They sit and enjoy. They laugh. They run. To them, life is good.

Listening to: Pandora radio stations David Gray, Coldplay and Death Cab for Cutie.

Looking forward to: The next time I send off a piece to twiniversity.com.

Sam Update: Santa brought Sam the Skylanders game and a three wheel scooter. Two things he can’t live without and are giving him lots to talk about!

Twin Update: This week was their first gymnastics class and they loved it! The girls wanted to try everything. Run. Jump. Climb. I’m so grateful my neighbor can come with me or I wouldn’t be able to do it with them.

Meaning of home: Ask yourself, When you are home how do you relax? I have to be honest, some days I don’t know how to relax in my own home while being a stay at home mom. My home has become my place of work and the line between working and relaxing blurs naturally. It takes my husband reminding me that he needs to relax when he comes home for work for me to relax.

So I carve in time at my favorite corner chair in the morning drinking hot water with lemon. On my yoga mat before I make breakfast for the kids. At my computer mid day when I get a chance to write. And at my night stand with my mindfulness meditation book. That’s pretty good for a mom of three under 5. Wishing you a favorite place in your home to relax and enjoy this amazing thing called living.

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Checking In- NaNoWriMo

November is often known as NaNoWriMo-National Novel Writing Month. This is my first time participating so, I’ve taken a little twist on the theme and will aim to write or photograph writing themes every day this month. I noticed that in October, I didn’t publish a piece on my blog. Behind the scenes, I had joined Instagram and participated in the NASPA Region 6 Photo A Day Career in Student Affairs Month campaign. Keeping up with a photo a day takes a lot of work. I was super happy to find Cafevic was still available on Instagram.  I noticed too that instead of publishing, I was rewriting pieces for twiniversity.com and my blog. As I writer, I’m discovering it takes a lot of extra energy and time to edit and really make a piece work for your audience.  I understand now how important it is to take the time but it is also important to keep them returning to your work. To refocus my writing and keep my blog active, I share my November’s Check In. Thank you for taking the time to check in with me.

Reading:  U.S. Senator Kristen Gillibrand’s Off the Sidelines and loving it. So far, she shares amazing behind the scenes info on how she was elected to Congress. I’m hooked. I Finished Driving Lessons, a novel by Zoe Fishman, while on quick get a way without the kids. It was a fun read. She did a nice job writing a story showing how we each handle changes in our lives, especially when it comes to motherhood.  I liked the how she connected it to driving.

Watching: Mysteries of Laura on NBCDebra Messing (Grace from Will and Grace) plays a twin mom who is a police detective in NVC with a super real attitude on life AND is funny and honest. Love it! It’s my new “me time” show.

Listening to: Country Music. I watched CMA Awards last night, and I’ll telling you, there are some really good country artists on the radio right now. I was impressed with all the performances and would totally buy a CD recording of all of it.

Looking forward to: Daily writing and photographing. With it being National Novel Writing Month, I started a #30daysofwriting photo campaign on Instagram to motivate me to really look at where my writing comes from, and what inspires me to be a writer.

Sam Update: Teaching Sam to Cook. A few nights ago I showed him how to make a cheese burger and he ate it! He has always been a picky eater. I’m hoping if he learns how to cook, he might be more likely to eat variety of more food.

Twin Update: Ready to talk. On any given day, my girls are ready to tell you what’s on their mind. It is so cute. It even happen at 2am a few nights ago. The best part is that they even talk differently and their voices do not sound the same. Two individuals who travel together.

Meaning of home: Play First. Clean Second. Some days your house will be clean and some days it will be messy. That’s life. Take it strive. I have to remind yourself, that if one night we let the dishes go it’s okay. Or if not every toy is picked up, it’s fine. What’s most important is did I play today? I started to set a timer on my phone for 6pm. When it goes off, I stop what I’m doing and play Hide and Seek with my kids. It gives me the extra fuel I need to make it to bath and bedtime. Plus, it leaves with a sweet memory for me when it is my turn to head to bed.

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Checking In-Twins at Sweet Sixteen Months

Reading:  Driving Lessons, a novel by Zoe Fishman

Watching: The twins go everywhere! I don’t think an hour goes by where you don’t hear my husband or myself say, “Where’s the other one?”

Listening to: Praise. Earlier today, I was at my local Starbucks getting some Me/writing time in. Near me was a teenage being tutored. I happen to hear her say to her tutor that she never thought she could be tutored or really enjoy it. Now she does.

Looking forward to: Every day. It kind of goes with my black board quote photo: “Endless Possibilities”. Each day offers us something new to learn. To experience. To love. If you get the chance, every day offers something to look forward to. If you think about it, children bring you endless possibilities because you never know where they will take you, where they will want to go, or what they will be become. At the same time, you too have endless possibilities. I never thought I would have twins or would marry a man from Germany and be able to travel there! We set the sails but it is the wind that takes us.

Sam Update: Joined his first club. Drum role..it’s the Lego Club! He even has the Lego Club schedule flyer handing on his wall above his bed. He also loves to tell me his plans. He likes to tell me what is suppose to happen tomorrow, the upcoming weekend, what we need to do, who will be there, etc. Like mother, like son.

Twin Update: Sweet Sixteen Months. This month the girls turned the Sweet Sixteen Months and it has been living up to its name. The girls are so sweet, funny, and caring. They love to eat. They love to hold their stuff animal while they explore the backyard. They love to dance, play with water, and play together. They also love to take things from each other. When they are both hungry or thirsty, they both love coming at me, pulling at me, trying to tell me what they want. Then once I give them something to eat or drink, they calm down, laugh and run off to play. It reminds me of the endless things I can and need to teach them while I’m still home with them.

Meaning of home: Decorative Pillows. Do you have that one thing you do that adds something to your home? That brightens up a room or makes a chair or couch come alive? OR maybe it is a new piece of art or new flower out front? For me it is a new decorative pillow. It seems so small, yet it makes a huge difference to me and to our home. There is something about being able to go to a place in your home and relax. Or for your kids to climb and play. This week, I added a couple new pillows to our couch and before I knew it,  I was watching the kids have the time of their life throwing themselves on the pillows. For me, as I snuggled in for my evening T.V. watching, I lean my head back on the pillows and knew I was home :)