Where did Christmas go? Is December really almost over? I know I am to the brink of losing my mind, but December flew by like a gust of wind leaving me spinning around like the Tasmanian Devil. Between juggling our days in NICU, caring for the girls, preparing for Christmas with family, and everything in between I probably should have taken my own advice to slow down and embrace the day with gladness and gratitude. Instead, my to-do list has became my best friend. Over the past few weeks, I became consumed at the amount of things I had to get done, and in the blink of an eye Christmas was over– just like that. And today, I woke up and it is already New Year’s Eve? Seriously, time needs to slow down and allow me to catch up! I am still spinning around in circles!
We had a wonderful first Christmas as husband and wife and new parents! Andrew and I traveled to Wallace on Christmas Eve and it was so special to be back at my home church for the Christmas Eve service. It is hard to believe that the last time Andrew and I were in that sanctuary we became husband and wife! We spent Christmas Eve night gathered at my Mam-mas’s home snacking on Christmas goodies and exchanging presents. On Christmas morning, we were thrown a surprise “baby shower” at Nana’s Christmas with the Carlton clan! After leaving Wallace, Andrew and I went to Chapel Hill to see our girls. As we held them, we both shared in the excitement of what next Christmas will bring. We ended our Christmas day with Andrew’s family in Raleigh!
Santa Claus came to visit the girls in the NICU!
Amelia Grace on Christmas Eve! Thank you, Mrs. Dawn for our The Night Before Christmas books!
Leah Katherine on Christmas Eve
Sweet Christmas morning in Wallace!
Can I get a Praise the Lord for Nana Shirley’s grits? They are the best part of Christmas morning and a highlight for the entire year. Seriously. They are that good!
It was great to be back in Wallace for Christmas!
But, Chapel Hill is where our heart was for Christmas this year. It felt so good to get my hands on my babies Christmas Day!
Upon reflecting on this past December, I can truly say that this Christmas season brought to life a new perspective of what Christmas is all about. Even though I (guilty as charged) was amongst the frantic shoppers before Christmas, all of the running around like a crazy person and rushing to get everything done is not what Christmas is all about. While this Christmas was different and a little chaotic for our family, I have seen it as the biggest blessing. To all of those that blessed us this Christmas season, THANK YOU. Your blessings made our first Christmas as a family so incredibly special. Thank you to everyone who prayed for us, encouraged us, and thought of us during this season. I am like Buddy the Elf– I LOVE Christmas. One of the things I adore about Christmas is that is the season of giving. I am so excited that next year I will have the opportunity to give back and bless others as our family has been blessed. Andrew and I sincerely thank everyone who has given so generously and blessed our family this Christmas. Also, did you know that the Maready family grew not only by two, but by three this year? Welcome to the family Brooks!
NEW YEAR’S EVE. HELLO 2014!
Two years ago today, I went to a beautiful wedding with a handsome date. This handsome date asked me to be his girlfriend on New Year’s Eve. One year ago today, my handsome date (now fiancé) and I spent NYE in Nashville, TN, as we celebrated his last appearance as “Mr. Wuf” at the Music City Bowl. And tonight, my handsome date (now husband) will be rounding up end-of-month at Chick-fil-A and then we will be spending it with our twin girls in the NICU. 2013, you have been entertaining to say the least.
In 2013, I became a college graduate, a wife, and a mother to identical twin girls. No biggie! New Year’s Eve allows all of us to stop and reflect on the year that has gone by. As we ring in the New Year tonight, I am overjoyed at every adventure 2014 has in store for the White family! While Andrew and I did not foresee this is how we would be ringing in 2014 together, I could not be more humbled at where God has us in this new beginning. Over the past few weeks, the girls have been making amazing progress. Amelia is now 5 pounds and 4.5 ounces, and Leah is right behind her at 5 pounds and 4 ounces. They are growing, growing, growing and are maintaining awesome progress with their growth on the charts! Leah has passed her “apnea countdown” because she went eight days without having an A/B episode in which her heart rate drops and she has to be stimulated to breathe. Amelia is still in the progress of passing her countdown, and her countdown ends on Saturday. So, we are praying that she does not have any apnea episodes in the next few days! In the occurrence of another apnea episode, the eight-day countdown is restarted. So we are praying that both of our girls surpass this challenge and are growing out of these apnea spells! Slowly but surely we are checking off requirements for the girls to come home!! Can I get a hallelujah?! We are in open-air cribs, past 5 lbs., we are almost completed with the countdown, and so we are only waiting for the girls to not require any feeding assistance. We want those feeding tubes OUT! If the girls continue to progress in feeding, we are anticipating they will be home next week. Please join us in praying for both the girls and myself that we accomplish this challenge! Andrew and I are so excited for what this weekend will bring: a sleep over with our girls! Andrew and I will staying in one of the sleep/ parent rooms in the NICU with the girls on Saturday and Sunday. Doctors encourage parents to stay with their child/ren in the NICU before they are discharged. This helps in learning the child/ren, and have the nurses and doctors near by in case of any emergent needs or questions. We are anxious to finally be alone with Leah and Amelia, and enjoy the time together we will have as a family. Since the girls have been born, Andrew and I have never had the opportunity to truly be alone with our daughters. Even though we may not get an ounce of sleep due to excitement, anxiousness, and two newborn infants– we are thrilled at this opportunity! What a great start to our NEW YEAR!
TO 2013- tonight, I bid you adieu. As I recollect, I truly can say that you have surpassed all expectations of one year’s excitement. What an incredible year of challenges, growth, and immense blessings. In January, you saw me begin my final semester at UNCG and start planning a wedding. In February, you saw Andrew take me hiking at Hanging Rock (I’m sure you laughed) and find my wedding dress. In March, you saw me wrangle ACC mascots during March Madness and turn 22! In April, you saw me take my last test ever. Oh, thank you so much for that glorious day! In May, you saw me walk across a stage and graduate. In June, you saw Andrew and I embrace the news we were expecting parents of identical twins. In July, you saw me leave a city that had been home for four years. In August, you saw me walk down the aisle to the love of my life. In September, you saw Andrew and I building our life together in Raleigh (and at Char-Grill a lot– well, you still see us at Char-Grill a lot!) In October, you saw me to Chapel Hill. In November, you saw me become a mother to two beautiful girls. And in December, well let’s face it– you saw a lot of me and every emotion possible in December. In December, you saw me strong and weak, tired and restless, humbled, broken-hearted, blessed, overjoyed, spirit-filled, and saved. Farewell 2013, your challenges have made me stronger and your blessings have filled my heart with overwhelming joy. Thank you for being so simply divine.
Happy New Year Everybody! See you in 2014!