Greetings friends and family,
We are back home now after a fun-filled weekend and were ecstatic to sleep in our own bed again even though the house and bed and surrounding of Payson were incredible.
I may as well get the bad news out of the way first because it's weighing so heavy on my mind. My brother, BJ, didn't get his adopted baby as he and his wife were hoping. The birth mom changed her mind and decided to keep the baby. I can't put into words the disappointment and hurt I feel and can only imagine what my brother is going through. It's hard in some ways for me to blog about my twins and the difficulties that come with it, knowing that my brother would give anything in the world to experience the good AND the bad. I feel very ungrateful for what I have considering how hard it must be for BJ to carry such a strong desire to be a father. Yeah, it's been a hassle to deal with disappearing socks, early morning wake ups, messy bodily functions, IVF processes, and the intense demands of having twins (or any baby for that matter). However, hearing about my brother's difficult path to becoming a father leads me to feel extremely fortunate and blessed. I believe my brother will be a father. The word "believe" in that sentence isn't one of possibility or hope, but a statement of truth and absolute confidence it will happen for him.
There are so many situations going on with other people's babies right now that I don't even have time to write it all. Along with my brother's disappointment, I heard last week that one of my Thursday night poker buddies lost his 3 month old baby to SIDS. That's scary and sad and incomprehensible for me to think about losing a baby like that. Seeing someone else lose a child makes me appreciate my twins even more.
As for the happy news, Kendra's good friend Megan had a healthy baby girl on Saturday. Megan was Kendra's bride's maid and long, long time friend who she keeps in touch with regularly. This is Megan's first baby and we are excited to see her new family when we visit Sacramento in August. Speaking of August... we hope to spend a few weeks in Sacramento this August and look forward to getting out of the heat here in Phoenix to spend some quality time with friends and Kendra's family for an extended stay.
OK, so about this past weekend... I can't believe it's been this many days since I posted and there has been so much happen since then that I barely know where to start. The drive up to Payson was long because of an accident that shut down the freeway. So Kendra had to sing the "horsey, horsey" song about 50 times through to keep Easton and Layla entertained as we sat motionless on the freeway. Other than that we had a great time watching the scenery and enjoying the ride. Arriving there we were blown away by how amazing Judi and Roger's house is. It is more complete and furnished than OUR house! The back porch is huge and looks out into a section of trees and woods. very, very peaceful and exactly what we needed. The most incredible enlightenment about the whole trip was how much STUFF we had to take to accommodate the twins! unbelievable... Our honda pilot was packed like a sardine can with bumbos and diapers squirting out of the windows. After we were settled Kendra thought it would be fun to give Layla and Easton their FIRST solid food... Avocado??? I just shrugged my shoulders and said, "ok, you're the expert at this". Here's a picture of Layla that captures the general dislike, indifference, and cluelessness she and Easton displayed when given the chance to try avocado.
and here's a humorous video clip of the event. It's obviously both of them were clueless about what to do with the mushy green stuff in their mouth.
Oma and Opa Burgess drove up with their good friends Christy and Doyle from Washington. Having all of us together was perfect and I'm so glad they were all able to join us for the weekend. We found out over the weekend that Easton LOVES cold cups and gumming the bottom of them. He's teething (we think) and that must feel good to have the cold, wet feeling along with the hard plastic to gnaw on. Doyle is showing how Easton reaches for the cup and makes noises as if to say, "give me that. I want the cup!"
Layla enjoys "whapping", which is the best word I can think of to describe what she does. She flails her arms down and beats on whatever toy or object is in front of her as if she's hammering a nail with her arm. We are not looking forward to her demonstrating this new-found power on Easton. :)
Easton has a permanent smile all day, every day and everyone who looks at him returns the favor with an equally big grin. Oma made up for being gone a whole week on her cruise by spending plenty of quality time with the twins. Here's a good picture of our good looking boy showing off for the camera with Oma.
We left Kendra at home where she caught up on a few hours of much needed sleep. Everyone else took a 20 minute drive to go see the Tonto natural bridge, which is the largest natural travertine bridge in the world and a very worthwhile wonder of nature to behold.
We did some serious hiking and brought along the Chariot, which performed like a champ carrying the twins along the bumpy path. It is very hard to tell from the angle of this picture, but the trail was very steep.
Here's a picture of Oma and Opa Burgess with Doyle and Christy. The Tonto natural bridge is a pathway across that huge hole behind them in the background. I took a few scenic pictures of it and will post them in the future sometime instead of clogging up this post with too many pictures that don't have the twins in them. After jostling along the trails in the hot AZ sun for an hour, I took this picture of Easton and Layla. It shows how Easton is the happy-go-lucky man of the world and Layla was glad the trip was over so she could get out of the sun and into the air conditioned car. She's such a dainty, little princess...
Overall we are glad we took the trip up North and everyone had tons of fun. My favorite part of the trip was watching Doyle and Opa Burgess pitch horseshoes. I sat in a chair and did absolutely nothing productive. What a concept. The next best thing was sitting in the living room with everyone just talking and playing with Easton and Layla. Kendra planned the whole trip and cooked several delicious meals, which cut down the costs and made the trip a huge success.
Today was an excellent day off work for me except for the part where I had to do work for a couple of hours... so much for a vacation day! Oh well, I have several vacation days left this year and look forward to taking every last one of them. We did have a good time today in the pool and out shopping at Costco.
If you're still reading the blog this far below any cute pictures of Easton and Layla then you must have an obscene amount of free time or a genuine interest in our lives. Either way, I'll share with you a precursor to the next blog for tomorrow. Kendra and I spent a few hours alone in the Payson house after the babies went to sleep. It was the first time in a long time that we were able to talk and open up without a million other things directing our conversations about babies and errands and survival of the 4 webbs. During that time I was able to talk through my feelings and our relationship took a turn for the better. We talked. We cried. We held each other. I got exactly what I hoped for from the mini get-away... a new start. There is a wider opening in the line of communication between Kendra and I so every day is a chance to do better... to talk more and be more honest.
Every day I wake up to Layla and Easton laughing or crying or playing or babbling and think: I can't believe we have twins!?!? and every day I find more appreciation for the babies, Kendra, and the life I have. Even with the ups and downs and joys and pains, I can't imagine any other life than the one we have. Kendra has her hands full every day and here's a visual representation of what that really means. :)
See you tomorrow!