Friday, December 28, 2012

Warp Speed

How is it the end of the year already???


The days just fly by anymore, at least when I look at a calendar.  In the moment, not so much. 

What's that saying? The days are long, but the years are short? 

I totally understand that.

So, 2013 is just around the corner.  Crazy.

The last few months of 2012 just flew by me. 


I'm happy to say that I'm still running. 

It still shocks me.

To think that in August, I couldn't run for more than 5 minutes at a time without being out of breath, and tomorrow I'll run my second 5k race.

In the cold & snow.  With at least a foot of snow on the ground.


At the end of my running class, I was surprised to find myself 15 pounds lighter and 14 inches smaller.  I'll take it.  I do feel better, and I have gotten a chance to wear a couple of pre-twin jeans. I call it a win!


Christmas was wonderful here.

My favorite moment was Christmas morning, when Miss O. joined us all upstairs, in our bed.  She whispered to M. and I, "Oh, there are 2 big things down under the tree....I think the babies are going to LOVE them!"  She could hardly contain her excitement for them.  It made my heart just jump for joy!

She is such a special little girl, and loves her brother & sister so much!

I hope your holiday celebrations were awesome, as well.


This is most likely my final post for 2012.

I didn't get a chance to sit down and type much this year, but I often thought of blog posts in my head.  That's where they'll remain, I'm sure, but perhaps I can start carving out some more time to post.

I hope so.

I miss being part of the community that offered me so much love while I was struggling to add to my family.

So, here's to hoping in 2013 that I can get my "blog" back on!

Monday, December 24, 2012

Christmas 2012

Flourished Elegance Christmas Card
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Friday, November 30, 2012

Fragments for Friday

I've been meaning to blog at least 3 times this week, but haven't had a chance to sit down and type it out.

Thank goodness for Fragments for Friday!

It's a great way to quickly jot down what's been going on in your life.  My friend, Suzy, over at Not a Fertile Myrtle offers you the chance to link up and share your Fragments for Friday.

 Here we go...

  • On Thanksgiving, I ran my first 5K race.  The Gobble Wobble was a ton of fun and I didn't walk once!  It was an amazing feeling to cross that finish line!
  • This week has be crazy busy, and with the time of year, I know it's only going to get worse.  All good things to be busy with, like MOPS, friends, and my Tastefully Simple business but I'm exhausted.
  • The twins have kept me on my toes this week.  First, they decided to empty my wallet on Wednesday, while I was in the bathroom.  It needed done, and boy, were they proud! Lucky for me nothing was lost.
  • It's official, I can no longer take a shower, if I'm home alone!  Big Boy made his point yesterday, when he pulled down the gate to the kitchen, opened the fridge, removed a dozen eggs, and proceeded to place them in a large glass vase.  At least I think that's what happened...I was in the shower!
At least they weren't all over the floor!
  • If you're looking to get some holiday shopping done, you should head over to Suzy's adoption website.  She's holding a Fund Our Family auction and all the proceeds go towards their adoption fund.  I donated a yummy item...check it out!
That's all for now.  I know I'm missing some things, but I'm outta time to type!

So, what's going on with you? 

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Honored To Be Giving Thanks

For the past several years, my friend Julie Arduini, has turned her blog over to her readers in November.

The reason is two fold, she gets a chance to share others stories of thankfulness AND she can focus on completing her NaNoWriMo project for the year.

I always look forward to reading the posts she has selected, as I enjoy seeing what others are thankful for.  Every year, I think, "I should really submit my story...", but I never seem to do so.

That changed this year.

Once the call went out for submissions in September, I carved out a small window to sit down and write why I was thankful.  After writing it, editing, and re-reading it numerous times...I finally got the guts up to hit the send button on the email.

I thought I was going to puke.

Within a few hours, I had an email back from Julie, thanking me for my story.

I am honored to have been selected to be 1 of 30 people giving thanks publicly on her blog this month.

My post is being featured today, and I'd love for you to check it out!  You'll find it here.

Monday, November 12, 2012

Halloween Fun

Halloween was delayed, thanks to super storm Sandy, although we didn't have anything but a little wind and rain. 

It didn't deter the kiddos, though, and they had great fun in November running from house to house and yelling, "Trick or Treat!"

Ok, ok, so the twins didn't really yell it out, but Miss O. did. 

It was the first year that the young ones did understand it.  We would get to the end of someone's driveway and Pretty Girl would yell, "Treeeeeeaaaat!".  I couldn't get her to say a word once we were on a doorstep, but it was cute. Since it was an abbreviated Halloween, we only did the street that my in-laws live on, so we let the twins walk this year, instead of riding in a wagon.

My Rapunzel, Lady Bug, and Spider came home with way too much candy, but were all smiles!

Friday, November 9, 2012

Fragments for Friday

Suzy over at Not A Fertile Myrtle has joined up with Lexy at God Uses Every Tear to create Fragments for Friday.  The idea is that sometimes you want to share some things on your blog, but they just don't seem like a full post.

That's where Fragments for Friday comes in! 

  • I reside in what was considered a swing state for the election.  I can not tell you how happy I am that my home phone has not rang once since Tuesday afternoon!  The calls were riduculous.  All hours of the day, at least 10 a day for the last month. Can you say overkill???
  • For the life of me, I can not keep up with the dishes in this house anymore!  I think it's because we've made a concious decision to eat at home more, but it's crazy.  If I don't run the dishwasher once a day, I can't find my sink the next morning!
  • Nights have been a little stressful.  After 3 consecutive mornings of having Big Boy scare me to death by climbing out of his crib, we decided it was time to convert the twins' cribs to daybeds.  Big Boy is sleeping like a champ, but Pretty Girl is still getting up at least once a night.  At least it's 50% of a success, right?
  • This week has been busy!  It's one of my 2 weeks a month for my work from home gig, but I also had an event for my Tastefully Simple business, too.  Never heard of Tastefully Simple?  Oh, man...such good stuff.  And everything takes only 1 or 2 ingredients from your pantry.  Check it out, here.  Yum!
  • Best part of the week was tonight.  Miss O.'s school had a Mother-Daughter event at a local roller rink.  The theme was 80's and we had so much fun!  I picked up some fake neon hair extensions, some leg warmers, and some hair scrunchies for us.  Miss O. let me do her hair and makeup and we had 2 hours of just girl time.  Pictures to come ;)
Do you have some fragments to share?  Link up with Suzy or Lexy.  The link stays open through Sunday!

Thursday, November 8, 2012

I Might Be A Runner, Kinda...

Growing up I was very active.  I loved participating in sports. 

Three sports a year active all the way through high school.

Swimming competitively was my favorite, but I enjoyed softball and soccer, as well.

One thing I tried but hated?  Track.

I always joked that I wasn't a runner...that I would only run if I was being chased.

Truth is, I didn't like to run because I had asthma and running aggravated it.

Thankfully, I grew out of my asthma eventually.

I graduated from college and started working. 

Exercise fell to the wayside.

I met M., fell in love, and accepted his proposal.  We got married,  had Miss O. and continued to try and expand our family.  Exercise wasn't important, because I could always say, "Oh, well, I'll be pregnant soon".

Except, I kept getting pregnant, but losing my babies way too soon.

It's really hard to want to exercise, to be healthy, when you can't get past the pain your body is putting you through.

BUT, I did get through secondary infertility hell. With the birth of the twins, I made it to the other side.

Now that they are two, I decided it was time to get healthy. 

Time for a change.

Like I mentioned a few weeks ago, I started taking a running class at our local Y.  I've been surprised that I'm actually enjoying it.  I haven't wanted to quit, either.

You guys, tonight I ran for 27 minutes!

Granted, it was walk 1 minute, run for 9 minutes...repeat two more times....but I did it!

And it felt good...I might just be a runner after all.

Thursday, October 25, 2012

Finding Rhythm

Tapping your foot along to a catchy song on the radio.

Clapping your hands together as you sing Pat-A-Cake with a child.

Feeling your heart begin to race as you prepare to speak in front of a group.

Life is all about rhythm.

When things are going good, a life rhythm is smooth and continuous, you might not even think about it. Things just click and work like they should.

On the opposite end, when things are hard in life, you feel clunky, like something just isn't fitting into gear.

The weird thing about life's rhythm is that you can often feel like it's smooth in one area, and super bumpy in another.

For most of the last two years, I've felt like my rhythm was like riding down a pot hole covered road.

The twins arrival was a dream come true, something that I had hoped for, wished for and prayed for.  That doesn't mean it's been all sunshine and unicorns around here. 

Any mom of a new baby will tell you, the first couple of months are just about survival.

I can tell you, that when raising twins, the first year is all about survival.  I'm so thankful that I took lots of pictures, since I don't have a lot of memories from the day to day doings that year. The second year was better, and I see glimpses of good things in this year ahead of me, before they turn three.

The problem with feeling like things are going well?  I've started to feel like I can be active outside of the house.  I'm involved with my MOPS group, on the steering team, I'm recording secretary of the local twins club, I'm attending a weekly Community Bible Study.

All good things.  Things that make my heart happy, give me a chance to interact with and support others.

I'm just struggling with finding my rhythm from adding new tasks and obligations to my daily schedule.  Add in Miss O.'s extra curriculars and we're a mess. For the first time, M. and I have moved from a paper calendar to go.ogle calendar.  It was needed, as it's getting too hard to keep what everyone is doing or where we need to be and when straight.

I know it will come, but I'm impatient on how long it's taking for me to feel like we've hit our rhythm again.

If you haven't noticed, I'm struggling with trying to get back into the routine of blogging, as well.  I miss coming to this space, and typing out my thoughts, feelings.  It seems like I have so much to say, but when I actually carve out some time to sit down and write, I end up starting and stopping, worrying that what I have to say isn't making sense or isn't good enough to publish.  As I mentioned to some friends today, I miss the days where I could just write, and not feel like I have a filter between my heart and my brain. 

So, how is your rhythm today?

Friday, October 19, 2012

Catching Up ~ Bullet Style

It's sad, really.

I get a whole new look for this place, and it's over a month before I post again. 

Something's got to give.

So, here's a quick update to how things are at Not The Path I Chose.

  • I just started Week 6 of the Run to Lose class. I'm shocked that I haven't quit yet.
  • The twins are busy, busy, busy.  I can't take my eyes off them.
  • Miss O. has an activity everyday after school Mon. thru Thurs., this makes the weeks fly!
  • Halloween is coming up, and for once I have all the kids costumes ready early.
  • Both Big Boy & Pretty Girl were tested for speech delays. They both qualified for speech classes, but my insurance won't pay for any until January 1st.  Grrr.
  • We had professional pictures taken at the end of September.  I can't wait for them to come in.
  • M. about had a heart attack at the price of said professional pictures.
  • I'm getting ready to host a Mystery Host Open House for my Tastefully Simple business, which means I need to really de-clutter the house!
  • Corn maze on the calendar for Sunday, can't wait!
That's a quick recap on what's been going on here.  Hopefully, I'll be able to sit down and post a little more often.

Tell me, what's going on with you?


Sunday, September 16, 2012

New Beginnings

I love Fall.

The air turns crisper, the leaves change colors and fall from the trees, school & activities start up's all good in my book.

There is something about this time of year that just feels right for changing things up, for starting something new.

Many "new" things around here, starting with my awesome blog makeover compliments of Blog Sites By Suzy!  

If you're reading me in a reader, click over and check my new look, I promise you won't be disappointed.  Before, it was really quite dingy around here...brown on brown, with a brown header that was created within the first few months of me starting to blog. I like to write, but I don't pretend to know much about how to make a blog look nice.  Suzy was wonderful to work with and I think she did a great job making this space look much more like ME!

Oh, and you'll probably notice my snazzy signature line she designed as well.  In case you don't really know me, my name is Amy.  When I started blogging 4 years ago, (has it really been that long!?!), I didn't know what I was going to fill this space with and decided to be kind of anonymous, or at least try to be.  It just feels like it's time to let the "Photogrl" persona go.  It fit when I began this journey, but doesn't really fit anymore.

In other "new" news, Miss O. is about two weeks into a new school year.

Third grade is tough, but she's enjoying it.  On the other hand, I'm struggling with her budding independence.  I know that I have to start letting her do some things by herself, but it's a balancing act between watching her grow and not wanting to see her fail.

I often wonder if it's even harder because I'm raising 2 two year olds at the same time.  Sometimes I feel like I need a reminder that Miss O. is not a baby! 

Finally, in the "new" news of this Fall, I decided to join a new class at the local Y called, "Run to Lose". 

I've tried running in the past, trying the Couch to 5K plan, only falling off the wagon about 2 weeks every time I've tried because of getting sick, a child getting sick, or life just getting in the way.  I don't like to run, but I have too many friends that absolutely love it and keep telling me to give it a try.

The class seems to be like a Couch to 5K, only in a group setting, along with some nutrition information.  I'm excited and hopeful that this will ignite a passion for running in me...and if not, maybe I can at least lose a few inches and pounds!

So, that's what's new around here....what's new with you?


Thursday, August 30, 2012

Peanuts, Get Your Peanuts....NOT!

The summer is quickly wrapping up, and I honestly can't wait for Fall to come.

We packed the last few months full with lots of fun stuff and family time, starting with our Disn.ey trip and ending with a week spent with family in Savannah.  I think we're all tired, happy, and ready for a little structure around here.

At least this mommy is!

Miss O. starts third grade on Tuesday.  I really don't understand how this is possible!?! Third grade?  She's excited to go back to school, see her friends, and read.  Secretly, I think she's ready for a break from the twins 24-7.  From her viewpoint, it has to be hard to constantly compete with 2 two year old's for Mommy's attention all day long, as well as having to do certain things because they are little.

The twins are doing well.  Acting like typical two year old's, showing independence, pitching fits, giving hugs & kisses to anyone who will take them.


Over the summer, we found out that our little peanut, Pretty Girl, is allergic to peanuts.

Very allergic.

Like, we have to carry an Epi.Pen, allergic.

Cue Mommy freak out moment.

I wasn't super surprised that she was allergic, I just didn't expect it to be that bad.

In May, M. had given her a tiny bit of peanut butter on the tip of a spoon while I was working at my Twins Club yard sale.  He called me, panicked, because even though she had spit it out immediately, her entire face had broken out in hives almost immediately! I told him to give her Ben.edryl and watch her closely, and it seemed to work and she was fine a few hours later.

Obviously, we called the doctor on the following Monday, explained what happened and was told to just keep peanuts away until her 2 year old appointment.  Once that came in July, Pretty Girl had blood drawn, and we found out how severe her allergy is.

I have plenty of allergies, myself, but no food allergies.

She'll never enjoy a package of peanut butter cups, my no-bake cookies, or a PB&J sandwich. 

It's been a real learning experience for us.  Pretty Girl needs to avoid peanuts and all tree nuts, just to be safe.  I never realized how many things may or may not have nuts in them.

We've found that even if someone has eaten a forbidden food and touches or kisses her, she will react.

It's scary.

And because she's two, and I've spent the last 2 years teaching her and Big Boy to share EVERYTHING with each other, Big Boy has to be peanut-free, too.

I just can't trust that they wouldn't share with each other, at least until they are much older.

It's a big adjustment...just yesterday we had lunch at a friend's house, bologna sandwiches, watermelon, and pretzels.  Should be fine, right?

Yeah, not so much.

About 10 minutes into lunch, I noticed that Pretty Girl was starting to break out around her mouth.  Crap.  Grabbed the bag with the pretzels in it, and looked at the label.  There it was..."made in a facility that uses nuts"...I hadn't even thought to look at it, it was a bag of pretzels!

That's just it, it seems that I need to scour EVERY processed food label, in order to make sure it's safe for her.

It's a learning process, but one I want to learn quickly, that's for sure!


Do you or a family member struggle with a peanut allergy?  Food allergies in general?  How do you handle it? I'd love to hear how others deal with this... Photobucket

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Taking the Plunge

Last week, I had the opportunity to step way outside of my comfort zone.

Way outside.

After a lot of prayer, discussion, and arrangement of child care, I made a decision.  I was going to "plunge" in, step outside of what's comfortable to me, and take some risks. 

Last Wednesday night, I left my husband and three children at home and ventured out with two relatively new friends to Texas.

Texas, y'all!

Our little group flew to Grapevine, Texas, which is over 1,200 miles from home, for the 2012 MOPS International Convention.

I had no idea what to expect.  I haven't left the twins alone for more than one night at a time. I knew the two girls from my MOPS group, but didn't really know them, you know?

To say that I was scared, excited, and utterly overwhelmed would be an understatement.

The convention was held at an absolutely amazingly beautiful resort.  I had the opportunity to hear from some incredible speakers, enjoy some beautiful worship time with Christy Nockels, and had some time for relaxation and introspect.

The theme of the convention was "Plunge", based on scripture from 1 Peter.

"Love as if your life depended on it."
~ 1 Peter 4:8

Over my days away, I heard why we as moms should love ourselves, love our family, love the world, and love other moms.  I spent hours with my new friends and found that we all had much in common, including infertility. 

Now, don't get me wrong...I was homesick.  I missed M. and the kids, but I knew they were all being taken care of.  I kept seeing things that I knew Miss O. would enjoy and my heart would tug, but I just reminded myself that it was okay to be enjoying myself.

It was really hard to make the decision to step away from real life for a few days, travel with near strangers, to step outside of my comfort zone.

But I am so thankful that I did.

Tuesday, July 31, 2012

2nd Birthday Party; Mickey & Minnie Style

About three weeks before the twins were going to turn 2, I finally just looked at M. and said, "Well, are we having a party, or not?". 

For months we had been going back and forth on what to do.  Their 1st birthday was a cinch, no doubt, we were celebrating, and we were celebrating big!  Over the last year, though, with me staying home, our finances have gotten a lot tighter.  In March, for Miss O.'s birthday, she had her first "friends" party, and we didn't do the big family party this year.  Plus, we went to Dis.ney Wo.rld in June, and we all know visiting the mouse doesn't come cheap!

So, back to asking M. about whether or not to have a party...

We decided yes, we'd keep it low key and just rent a tent for the backyard, and have family and a few close friends.  Once I decided on a theme,  M. created some adorable invitations for me, and I went to town planning!

Thank goodness we got the tent, as it rained off and on throughout the party!  Otherwise it was a fun day, and the twins were showered with love and attention.

And you can't do a birthday post without including some pictures...

All the food was "Clubhouse" themed.  We had make your own club sandwiches, hot diggity dog hot dogs, Minnie's Bow Tie Pasta salad....I could go on and on.  Yes, I'm a dork ;)

Cupcakes, instead of cake!


Each treat bag included a handmade mouse rice krispy treat!


My favorite shot of the day!

Friday, July 13, 2012

Birthday Wishes for the Twins

It's Friday the 13th, AND it is the twins' 2nd birthday!

How can that possibly be???

M. and I stayed up late last night, talking about their birth day.  I'm still blown away every time I look at them that they are here and they are mine. The day that they joined our little family of 3 and made it a "party" of 5 was filled with great anticipation and excitement. 


July 2010

Two years.

Thousands of diapers, tears, kisses and hugs.

The first year was survival.  

The second has been a little more fun.  

I enjoy watching them grow independent, yet still look for me and each other. 

Can't wait to see what the next year brings!

DSC_0600, C&N's 2nd birthday

July 2012

Happy birthday, Big Boy & Pretty Girl!

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Packing, Packing, Packing

Whine, whine, whine.

I feel like that's all I ever do when I try to post around here.

A million blog posts run through my head, and yet, I never find the time to sit down and type any out.

And when I do?  I always feel like I have to apologize for not posting.

It's weird.  I know that.

Oh, well.

I'm going crazy this week.

We leave on Friday for our very first family vacation that involves transportation other than a minivan. 

I'm desperately trying to pack for 5 people into 3 suitcases and 2 carry on's.

It is near impossible.

Especially when 2 of those people are under two and may or may not need multiple outfits a day.

And diapers.  Oh, the diapers!

I figure I better plan on 5 to 8 diapers a day/per twin.  We'll be gone for 6 days.  So, I need to bring at least 96 diapers, not counting swim diapers.

It's enough to make your head explode.

If that isn't enough, Big Boy started running a fever Friday night.  By Monday morning, he wasn't eating, drinking, or moving much.  Off to the doctor we went, and came home with the diagnosis of an ear infection and a script for an antibiotic.

Praying that the ear will be mostly healed before we take off Friday afternoon.

Other than the craziness of trying to make everything fit & worrying about sick children, I'm getting really excited for the trip.  It's the first time our little family of 5 will be going somewhere on vacation where it's just us! No family or friends to help out, just M. and I.

Not only that, but we're going to the happiest place on Earth, the Land of the Mouse! ;)

It was a birthday gift for Miss O. and she's done really well waiting since March without constantly saying, "How much longer until we go on vacation?".

We might be going crazy, but at least we'll have fun getting there!

Any tips on packing?  Navigating a big place with a double stroller?

Wish us luck!

Wednesday, May 16, 2012


I might not post often anymore, but I'll always hold close the friendships blogging has created and never forget the support I have received.  I've been fortunate to meet some of my bloggy friends IRL, in fact just a few weeks ago, I enjoyed breakfast with Andrea from Are You Listening? .  This weekend she shared some unimaginable, tragic news of a friend.
Andrea explained, "On Saturday, my friend Jennifer Knepper, lost her 16 month old daughter after a lifelong battle in the NICU.  I will always remember her goofy grin and the joy she gave to her family, and by extension to all of us. 
Tonight, from 5-8pm, the Knepper family will be having a memorial service for Ainsley.  During that time, I will not be posting anywhere on the Internet, but instead be honoring her too short life by spending time with my own family and thinking of them.  Bubbles will also be blown to show Ainsley (and her twin sister Evelyn) our love for them. 
I encourage anyone who can to honor Ainsley and her family Wednesday evening in a similar fashion. No one should have to lose a child.  Losing two in less than two years is unimaginable.  Hug your loved ones and remember that life is fragile and tomorrow is never a guarantee."
My heart is just breaking for this beautiful family.  We'll be blowing bubbles tonight in memory of their beautiful girls, and I encourage you to do the same.
If you want to read more about the Knepper family, you can find their blog here
If you want to do something else to help them, there are many things in the works. Please email for more information.

Thursday, April 26, 2012

Day to Day

As I stare at the cursor blinking at me, it never fails, my mind goes blank.

All through the day, every day, I find myself thinking, "I need to blog about that!"

Thinking about, yet finding time to actually sit down and do so, are two very different things.

My days are busy, as you would expect for someone watching over two 21 month old children.

21 months?!

How did that happen?

Pretty Girl and Big Boy are doing great.  They make me laugh everyday and cry, too.  Big Boy is super busy and a climber.  Pretty Girl can be the sweetest little thing, but she has a temper.

I don't ever remember Miss O. throwing fits like Pretty Girl does!  I think M. and I are in trouble...

Speaking of Miss O., she turned 8 in March.  For her birthday, as part of her gift, she unwrapped a big box full of balloons with puzzle pieces attached to them.  After putting the puzzle together, she realized that her "big" gift was a trip to Dis.ney Wo.rld!

We are set to head to the House of Mo.use in just 43 days.

Before we get to relax, we have to get through the rest of the school year, a ballet recital, and the every day hum drums. 

So, that's what's been going on here at Not The Path I Chose for the last few months.

What's up with you?

Monday, April 23, 2012

A Dull Ache; {NIAW}


Making people talk.

Facts vs. Fiction.

There are so many "awareness" weeks for so many causes out there. Practically every week during the year is attached to some sort of cause, or rememberance.

I might have three children now, but NIAW, or National Infertility Awareness Week, is one that will never fade out of my view.

For me, infertility is not that raw, gaping, open wound that is was for so many years. When we were in the depths of our secondary infertility, I was consumed by it. Everything I did revolved around where I was in my cycle. I made decisions depending on whether or not I *might* be pregnant or have a newborn. It touched every single part of my life.

It's more like a dull ache now.

Everyday, multiple times a day, I look at the twins and think, "I am so lucky".

For me, infertility will always be a part of me. I'm not cured because I have the twins, I'm just even more thankful for them.

This year, I took a deep breath, and actually spoke to my MOPS group about infertility. It was scary, but I'm glad I did it. I don't want anyone to ever feel as alone as I did while we were struggling.

I put a face to infertility, and I hope I helped someone by doing so.