Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Solemn Obligation.

Monday morning:

Woke up next to the man I plan to spend the rest of my life with. Moments later, the house began to fill with the sounds of 3 small children waking for the day. Malakai, much like every other morning, came busting through our bedroom door asking to watch television or go in a say good morning to his sisters. 

Michael was off of work for the day which was quite a welcome difference from most Monday mornings. He made the kids breakfast while I lazed in bed for a bit longer. (He's such a good catch.) 

Michael & I headed off for a meeting & stopped by the grocery to grab a few things for the bbq we were attending later in the day. After I returned home, Michael headed out to run some errands and I stayed back to make deviled eggs...yum! 

Around 3 we loaded up the kiddos & headed over to the bbq. We enjoyed a really beautiful (albeit HOT) afternoon/evening with tons of friendly faces and super tasty food. BTW- if you need someone to come grill it up for ya, Mike Cain is your man :) He had a blast on that grill/smoker! The girl talk was good. The night was peaceful. It was such a refreshing time. 

We headed home- way to late. Got the kids in bed and followed behind not too long after. As I laid in bed reflecting on the day and evening, I asked Michael if he'd thanked a certain friend of our's for his service. He said, no- he hadn't even thought about it. I said, me either. And then felt like a jerk.

The End.

Okay, not really The End. 

It hit me - when I was still thinking about my lack of thoughtfulness on Tuesday morning and seeing all the wonderful tributes to our troops & their families for the sacrifices they have made- I realized, that is sort of the POINT! We didn't have to think.

THANKS to our troops, we can wake up to the beautiful sounds of our babies- with no fear. We can drive down the road unafraid of being blown up. We are free to talk about what we want. Think what we want. Do what we want. Thanks to those men & women that have sacrificed everything. The everyday-mundane, is kept safe by their willingness to put themselves on the line so we don't have to. For over 200 years, men & women have been sacrificing their lives for you & me.

While I may be a few days behind the rest of social media-and still kind of feeling like a jerk, my gratitude is certainly no less. Let me encourage you today: 

If you come across a soldier or a veteran, say Thank you. It will be appreciated. It is deserved. Let them know how blessed you feel that they would (or quite possibly have) willingly place their life on the line for your freedom.

Unfortunately, there is no adequate way to thank the ones that have made the ultimate sacrifice. Each one is someone's son or daughter. Possibly a brother, sister, husband, wife, daddy, mommy.


Young men. 
Young women.
With birthdays.
And babies.
And cars.
Death Certificates.

If you ever go to DC- take some time. Stop at some memorials and read the names.
Like, don't just scan the walls.
Look at it as if you were looking for your son. 
Or your brother. Or your Daddy that you never met.
I promise, you won't leave the same.

Rest assured, they are not forgotten. 
Rest assured my heart aches & is ever grateful. 

These few words are inadequate and thus, 


Gone but not forgotten. Thank you, Soldiers.

Saturday, May 26, 2012


Haven't really done one of these little "monthly" updates for quite some time... 

18 months in & we're living life fuller than ever! 
What doesn't kill you, makes you stronger, right?

By all indications, they are growing, healthy, intelligent little 1.5 year olds.

They walk. Run. CLIMB like MONKEYS!
Seriously, they are all over everything & anyone! 
I'm glad they are strong & healthy
I'm just waiting for a big spill off the couch...
tv stand, bookshelf... FRIDGE?! (let's hope not)
There really is no telling how capable these girls are...

Where do I even begin?
They tell their brother to, STOP IT!
Both of them boss some but Ava is my bossy-pants.
Lilly is goofy. She will argue, 
yes/no, yes/no, yes/no
(being silly)
She also will tell you, funny. 
(As is, "I'm funny")
They will pretty much say/copy anything. 

My favorite addition to their vocab?
UGH! One conversation with my 3 yr old will reveal the source of this.
Thank you, son for making my soul die a little faster.

Regular things around the Cain house...
Not fighting.
Just for fun 
It never ends. 
All 3 just feed off of one another.
Sometimes I just have to walk away.
Or dig my eardrums out.

They are both working on k-9's
Ava, as usual is a little ahead of Lils in this game.

Lots o laughter round this joint.


They are still in the beginning stages of potty training. They will go when asked but do not practice much control or tell me they need to go. I'm okay with it, we'll just keep pressing forward :)

Generally, Lilly won't leave a ponytail in her hair. I don't know if they just bother her or what but after a few minutes she is pulling at it. She will, however, leave a headband in so that's what we've been doing to keep her ever growing hair out of her eyes :) [so along with differentiating them by color (pink A & purple L), you can add headband usually means Lilly]

Pretty much our lives are busy and incredibly amazing.
I am still in awe that the Lord chose to give us this double portion!
Ava & Lilly bring so much joy to our home- I really cannot imagine life without them.

Here are the stats from their appointment:

L: Lillian R: Ava

Friday, May 25, 2012

A Choice.


But in a good way.

Yesterday I made a choice. I knew we'd be hosting community group in the evening. As you can imagine, with a husband that's been away for a few days, things were less than in order. I knew I wanted to mop my floors but there was so much everyday stuff to get done as well. I knew that even if I had the house cleaned up the night before, my 3 littles are more like 3 tonados when it comes to spreading things all over my house. I had planned to make chicken noodle soup with a roasted chicken. OH! and I had a Dr. appointment scheduled @3 for Ava due to a mysterious, spreading rash that was now covering her from head to toe. There was just a lot. 

Embracing my jealous Ava twin. Really irritated that her sister dares to sit on my lap & leave her no room.

So about that choice. When my girls laid down for their morning nap (my first quiet moment of the day), I sat down to read the Word. I know this is where strength comes from. I know this is where peace and rest originate. This is how I am able to battle against the thoughts that leave me feeling defeated. As I sat there, ready to read, anxiousness filled my mind. 

I have soooo much to do!
Should I really be sitting here reading?
I can try to fit it in later after I've gotten some of these chores done. 

What in the world? How is she THIS adorable???

Instead of choosing to walk away, I prayed.
(Disclaimer- this is an evidence of grace in my life because sadly, I far too many times choose chores, tv, social media or whatever else, over time with the Lord)
Lord, show me your favor. Bless this time spent with you. Help my day be extra productive. The chores can wait- for now. Help me to get abundantly more accomplished.

My day didn't seem to be cooperating. I began to just think, Lord, if I don't get it all done, help me to be able to look over it all. Blind me, maybe? Just for a couple of hours while everyone is here.  There was still a small glimmer of hope that it would be ok- I mean at least the floors were mopped and smelled good :) Oh, and the chicken was baked.

Then it was just about 3pm, I realized, I needed to try to find a sitter for the kids because I had let my son fall asleep for his nap just as I needed to be leaving the house. I sent a text. I waited as long as I could but ultimately had to wake Malakai. He was NOT a happy camper. Just as I was walking out the door, saving grace swooped in and I was able to take off with Ava and got to the pediatrician's office by 3:09p. Not bad considering the circumstances!

"The Rash"

Unfortunately, I was gone for 2 hours. TWO HOURS. Basically, Ava (most likely) has eczema but apparently needs something stronger than hydrocortisone cream to get it under control. This means a ridiculous amount of time waiting for the pharmacy to fill our prescription for a steroid cream. Annoying!

Ask me why I woke up feeling completely, utterly, totally blessed this morning? Ask me how I know the Lord cares for me. Even the smallest request. He loves me! He wants to bless me! Ask me how I know that... (I'm gonna tell ya anyway... ) Stop reading if you don't want to know :)

So when I returned home from our adventure to the pharmacy, my house was clean! Rooms I hadn't planned on touching, were straightened. It was welcoming and my friend had even finished up the meal. It wasn't the soup I had planned but it was hot and edible and ready. Btw- 3 children & 5 adults ate off of that chicken & I still had enough today to make soup! What a blessing! Last night, I didn't realize what an answer to prayer this was. Jesus said, yes. Yes, I will help you make your home welcoming.

Today, I am thankful for Jesus. Jesus who cares for me.

Humble yourselves therefore, under the mighty hand of God, so that tat the proper time, he may exalt you, casting your anxieties on him, because he cares for you. 

1 Peter five:six&seven

Embracing my Ava that made my 2 hour outing possible which gave opportunity for unexpected blessings.

I also wanted to throw this out there... if you would jump over to my friend Amanda's blog, Rambo's Rampages, read what's going on in her life right now & pray for her family, and maybe while you're visiting her blog, leave her some love... I know she would be blessed. Little Rambo is pretty sick and in the hospital right now.

So, are you ready to embrace the camera?
here's the nitty gritty:
1.  take a picture with you and your kids/spouse/family member/friend/whatever.
2.  blog about that picture and include a link to our blog, or grab our button.
3.  link your blog post up on the link tool here (@ the anderson crew).
4.  visit the other embracers...give each other lots of compliments about how good we look with our greasy hair andsweatpants velour jogging suits on.  cause yah, we need a little boost when it's been days since our last shower.
5.  have fun!

Linking up again w/ Brown Eyed Bell(e) this week :)

Tuesday, May 22, 2012


Me, all put together- freshly showered. Lilly attempting to pull her brother in the wagon- she was actually somewhat successful... <3

Giving up on the

mama-with-3-kids-has-it-all-together image.

Seriously though, if you know me, you know I can't pull that off.

Especially when I try.

It doesn't mean I don't try though.

Giving up on daily showers.

Let's be real. That isn't a choice. 

3 yr old boy & Twin toddlers.
(need I say more)

Also, I've never had a habit of taking daily showers.

Honestly, these two things go hand in hand for this mama.

Today I took 3 children to the grocery. 
(sympathy cards can be mailed to...)

3 day old, greasy hair. 
(I should have taken a picture- it was seriously grody)

As you can imagine, by the time I reached the check out line...

Eggs had been dumped out of their carton and into my cart.
(I seriously wish I was making this part up)

my hair was falling out.

I was wishing for Gadget arms...

 and super glue to seal my daughters butts to their seats.


I had changed my name to 


Oddly enough...

It was exhausting & empowering.

My children don't have to starve another day.
(I kid.) 
(Or do I?)

For reals though...

I enjoyed my littles. 

Malakai never stopped talking.

Ava & Lilly smiled at every stranger.

People told me how beautiful my babies are.
(never tire of hearing those compliments.)

No temper tantrums.

No bloody noses 
(no doubt, he saved that for later in the afternoon)

So who cares if the lady at the register thought I was insane?
(She was actually SUPER nice & patient)

It's maybe a little true.
(or a lot true)

My life certainly isn't boring.

Who cares if people pity me?
(awwww. Bless her heart, her hands are so full, she can't even shower)

My hands are full.

Full of the greatest blessings I could have never asked for.

At moments they feel more full.

But this is good.

This is real good.


Showers are overrated.

Just sayin.

Have no doubt...
It doesn't mean I wasn't also happy for their bed time.

That first picture was real. So is this. And I'm okay with that.
A good life... of which I am so undeserving.

Linked up w/ Naptime Diaries for her series: Giving Up Good.


Thursday, May 17, 2012

Thankful Thursday

Computer stuff was put on "pause" while I obtained a new external hard drive and cleared off some photos & whatnot. All's well now. No more,
"Your hard drive is extremely full. DELETE SOME CRAP!"

Today is about the little things...

Last night, a friend came by and offered to watch our chillins so we could go to a meeting that just so happens to be next week. Since she was offering though, we asked if she'd mind hanging with little man (girls were in bed) so we could run to Wal-Mart- told you, my 2nd home. Ever so kindly, she agreed. Date night acheived! Look people, we take what we can get :)  She may never fully understand how wonderful that short time was for us! We had a fabulous night! 

Not to mention this beautitful sunset that met us as we walked out of wally world.

SO thankful for a husband I still like to date.
Thankful for our friends & family that make those dates possible.
Super blessed by a God that is a creative artist.

This morning, I captured a cute little moment

Malakai has made friends with 2 girls from the neighborhood. It is so funny to listen to the 3 of them interact. They bicker and tattle but yet love to play together. The girls bring him snacks and they play with his toys. This morning they all wanted to sit in chairs outside to enjoy their snacks. I certainly can't blame them... the weather is divine.

Malakai had to apologize for pretending to put a worm in her hair. 
He said, "Sorry that big huge worm bit you." Not quite, son. Not quite. 

Thankful for friends.
Incredibly thankful for my son's sense of humor.

Linking up again w/ Brown Eyed Bell(e) this week :)

Small note, in an effort to get my blog out there, in hopes of encouraging and blessing other mamas, I have joined a network called Top Mommy Blogs. If you wouldn't mind just clicking the link to vote for us and get me closer to the top, I'd really appreciate it. (you can vote once every 24 hours) You don't have to join anything- just clicking the link equals 1 vote :) Thanks so much!

Just Click To Send A Vote For Us @ Top Mommy Blogs

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Potty Training Twin Files: D-Day Edition

What have I gotten myself into?

Today began Day 1 of potty training twins. Never thought I'd have twins. Certainly never considered potty training 2 kids at the same time. Alas, I have twins and I will be training them at the same time. They are walking, talking and can follow instructions. Both girls receive praise really well so I think they are ready enough to begin.


Ava, on 2 accounts, removed her (pee-pee) diaper during nap & made 1 attempt to remove a poopy diaper during nap. Thankfully, the mess has been minimal but those instances were enough to motivate me to begin this seemingly daunting process.

We already had begun introducing the idea after baths a few weeks ago. Ava showed the most interest and surprised me by the fact that she could actually "make" herself go. She has even pooped on the potty twice. They seemed to respond to the praise much more than Malakai ever did. Lillian really didn't want to sit. She would sit down for about 5 seconds before begging to, "Dit down. Peeese dit down!" Honestly, I was afraid I'd have to potty train them seperately- BOO! I was willing but not thrilled with this idea.

So last night, when I was at Wally World to buy wipes (I swear that place is my 2nd home), I decided to make the leap and purchase a 2nd potty. Turns out, I decided upon a cushion to fit our big potty since we'd just been sitting them up there and holding them so they wouldn't fall in anyway. I realized I may end up having to get a 2nd potty chair for the sake of competition but figured I'd try this first. Lilly likes the little potty better anyway so I thought it might just work out better this way.

Came w/ the hook to hang on the wall!

Our set up... :)

Commence D-DAY:

Woke up feeling much less motivated but pushed through and dressed the girls in little dresses and nakey bottoms. I had planned to just start with Ava today but Lilly came in the bathroom acting very  interested so she joined in the fun.

Started the day out with putting them both on the potty right away- both girls peed!!! YAY! Praise was great. At this point, they got diapers on so I could sit them at the table for breakfast. Following meal time, they were stripped down and plopped on the pot again. SUCCESS! 2 peed in potties. YAY!

At this point, I set a timer for 10 mins and tried to keep an eye on them. Next thing I know, with 1 minute left, Ava comes to announce that she peed on the floor. (At least she let me know) So, I went ahead and took them both potty. Ava, not to my surprise had nothing left to give but Lilly went. Repeated that exact scenario once more and decided the next round to set the timer for 8 minutes. Finally, I seemed to have found their groove.  We proceeded to follow that pattern a couple more rounds and then in was morning nap time.

Nap time was lame as neither of them slept. I had a couple of friends coming over and one has a 16 month old so I decided to forgo the potty training until after they left.

Around 1, they'd already eaten lunch, the little guy was gone and it was working on afternoon nap time. I decided to let both girls sit on the potty before laying them down. Both girls POOPED on the potty!!! YAY! I was so proud.

They are sleeping now, so we'll see what the afternoon holds.

It would seem, a diaperless life is in my not so distant future :) This makes for one very, very happy mama.

Feel free to email me with any tricks or tips you have found useful in your potty training ventures!

Small note, in an effort to get my blog out there, in hopes of encouraging and blessing other mamas, I have joined a network called Top Mommy Blogs. If you wouldn't mind just clicking the link to give me votes and get me closer to the top, I'd really appreciate it. (you can vote once every 24 hours) You don't have to join anything- just click the link :) Thanks so much!

Just Click To Send A Vote For Us @ Top Mommy Blogs

Friday, May 11, 2012



Today, I'm giving a shout out to the Top Bridesmaids of 2007!!!

I would not be the person I am today without these ladies in my life!

(and here's a crappy poem for y'all :))


Some are given to you.
Without a choice.
But for your joy and sanctification.
Built in best friends.
You don't get to pick 'em
but you wouldn't trade 'em.

Some are given to you.
You may have chosen them.
They may have chosen you.
Through thick 'n thin.
You'd pick 'em again.
and again. and again.

Girls, you mean the world to me! I love you all forever and ever!


Happy Friday!

Thursday, May 10, 2012

Embrace the Camera: 3 little piggies

Embracing all 3 today :)

This week has graced us with beautiful weather to enjoy! 

I took the opportunity to attempt to snag at least one shot with each of my kiddos...


It was a pleasant surprise to find that Malakai had actually smiled for this photo :) 

I was so proud!

Our KY fans will appreciate this...
We had lunch at Chipotle the other day. A guy stopped to tell us that our 18 month old daughter had dropped food on the floor... Thanks, guy. Anyway, since he stopped, Malakai felt the need to share with him that he, "likes Kentucky." Guy's response? "Oh, I don't like Kentucky." Malakai was left thoroughly confused. Way to crush a young boy's heart, Guy.

Thankful for True Blue Blood :)

Ava was much less compliant than her sibs.
Playing was far more important of a task.

She has really become my "little mama."
Sunday, she was walking around saying, 
"Ni-Ni Naaaay!"
(translated, Lillian Renee')
She has since made this a regular habit 
especially when there is a need for bossing.

She also yells,
"Ki Kewan"
(Malakai McEwan)
Usually this is only with prompting,
she prefers Kal-Kai

Thankful for her nurturing spirit.

This little photos is so presh 
Lilly has taken to very intentionally,
avoiding the camera at all cost. 

She is super silly and is loving to draw.
I bought a new little doodler toy today bc the Thomas one was in shambles.
She brings it to me when she needs it erased and says,

Thankful for create minds.

BTW- I was freshly showered for these photos... WINNING!

Definitely thankful for showers!

Who are you thankful for in those you are embracing today?

This is the day the LORD has made. Let us rejoice & be glad in it!

Happy Thursday!!!

So, are you ready to embrace the camera?
here's the nitty gritty:
1.  take a picture with you and your kids/spouse/family member/friend/whatever.
2.  blog about that picture and include a link to our blog, or grab our button.
3.  link your blog post up on the link tool here (@ the anderson crew).
4.  visit the other embracers...give each other lots of compliments about how good we look with our greasy hair andsweatpants velour jogging suits on.  cause yah, we need a little boost when it's been days since our last shower.
5.  have fun!

Linking up again w/ Brown Eyed Bell(e) this week :)

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Wordless-ISH Wednesday

My favorite little man...

This is the face I get when he'd pretty much rather be doing anything else... :)

Trying to comply and give mama a smile, haha

I mean could he be any more adorable???!!! Love it...

So, this looks like an out-take but this is Malakai just being plain old bossy pants. Hilar!

Yep, he's that cool.

I love this little face. I could smooch it all day long. 
I also love that there's a little food on his face. 
This is real life people.

Speaking of real life...

Wanna see the mountain top I had to pound out today?

Not exactly the kind of mountains I was referring to yesterday.
At least we now have some clean clothes around this joint ;)

Happy Wednesday!

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Happy Birthday to ME!

I turned 28 a couple of days ago. Every year I realize just how fleeting time is. How small of a not-even-speck I am in eternity. But here I am.

I was blessed on Saturday by this verse I read in Ecclesiastes...

What gain has the worker from his toil? I have seen the business that God has given to the children of man to be busy with. He has made everything beautiful in its time. Also, he has put eternity into man's heart, yet so that he cannot find out what God has done from the beginning to the end. I perceived that there is nothing better for them than to be joyful and to do good as long as they live; also that everyone should eat and drink and take pleasure in all his toil—this is God's gift to man.
(Ecclesiastes 3:9-13 ESV)

28 years is not very long. In the scheme of things, it is smaller than a grain of sand and that is okay. God has made everything beautiful in its time. This is my time. Today, right now, he is making me beautiful. Through my husband, children and all the wonderful people he has placed in my life.

Sunday, I was given an extra dose of encouragement. A friend of mine had a beautiful idea to give me a card basket. Sunday morning I was graced with a basket filled with words from some of the people closest to me. In addition to that, a few other beautiful souls gave me a couple more cards and gifts. Their words and actions showed a care that is truly beyond words. As a mama it is easy to get lost in the necessary day to day. Allowing yourself to begin to believe the lie that your impact doesn't matter or even exist. 

"You is kind. You is smart. You is important." 
-Abiliene from The Help

Some of us need that little reminder. We are made for the valleys. Mountain tops are good but we are made for the valleys & most of our lives are spent there. (Thank you, Amanda & Ashley for inspiring this encouragement) If it weren't for all the day2day, mundane, forgotten moments, we would never reach the mountain tops. All the times I tell my girls, "You are beautiful." and remind their brother to, "BE KIND!" Leading up to quite possibly the best birthday moment I had all day when my son squeezed my neck really tight while tucking him and whispering in my ear, 
"You're pretty, Mama." 

(Another highlight would have to be when I called my mom and sang happy birthday to myself. Yep, that was pretty wonderful as well, haha!)

The mountain tops are good- really good... but it truly is all about the climb.  Many times valleys are talked about like a deep dark alley that you should stay far, far away from. In reality, they are beautiful creations and without them, the peaks wouldn't stand out. They wouldn't be special. 

Sometimes, they are deep. Sometimes it seems like you'll never get anywhere. I would encourage you to look around at all your valley moments. Embrace them. Each one is a stepping stone to the top.

This next year, I determine to enjoy my life. Take pleasure in everything, big & small. Rest in his good & perfect plan. Look to Him for my peace. Find JOY in the valleys and bask on the mountain tops!

Mamas reading this. 
Daughters, sisters, friends. 
Dads, sons, husbands.

You IS kind! You IS smart! You IS important!
(and for those that the grammar is just gonna drive you mad)

You ARE kind! You ARE smart! You ARE important!

Happy Tuesday!!!