Back to the Beginning

I have too much to do today. I got the kids to school as early as is allowed so I could rush home and get to my long to-do list before we leave town tomorrow. But, I can’t help but stop to ponder and cry. A friend of my sister’s had quads last night at 26 weeks. They are doing okay- not great. Seeing the pictures takes me back to 5 ½ years ago. And, today I pack for our first family ski trip with the kids. God, You have been so faithful. So many times my heart and my mind bounce back and forth from the present and the miracle that is our day to day and how far we have come….just to then go back in my mind to those early days of survival for all seven of us.

These precious quads just born yesterday- and still so fragile, fighting to survive. This jolts me from my busyness and my lists and makes me look straight into the face of God and His reflection in my children. To go from those early days of streaming prayers for their breathing and eating to intermittent prayers now of thanks and seemingly less important supplications. When did I stop being so aware of this personal miracle I have received? Two years ago I wrote my last blog entry- has it been two whole years since truly stopping to sit and reflect?

Like most moms, I so desire to live in each day, in each moment… being truly present as my babies become little people and the noises of my house change from crawling knees and hungry cries to make-believe animals and soldiers; little mommies taking care of their own babies. But, still, so many nights, when I pray over their sleeping beings, I wish I hadn’t rushed the day. It sounds so trite, wanting to be present and enjoying the moments, but it must not be, because it’s what we all long for.

The pictures of these new quads, their bodies as big as the doctor’s hands…it takes my breath away and it all floods over me again. Holding all four little bodies at one time and the frightening privilege of accepting God’s gift to us. There is nothing I can write to truly describe this new life we received with Grey, Mimi, Mac, Yates and Fitz. New life also in the transcendence of our marriage-as we became the only two in our world who could understand the way things were- a beautiful loneliness.

Thank you, Lord, for placing me back at the beginning. This has seemed to be a year of “arriving”…of feeling like we have arrived to a new and better season with the kids. All five in school and sports and the terrible years of intense discipline starting to show a little bit of pay-off. This ski trip that begins tomorrow is truly a significant marker in my mind of how far we have come.   But, the gratitude for the present is only completely understood in looking at the beginning and the journey of these past 6 years. Lord, it is your grace, your faithfulness and your love that truly takes me breathe away and I know these gifts from you are the over and under, the beginning and the end of this journey.

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the trip of the year

posted by Kiersten

Ah, it feels like curling up in my pjs with a glass of wine to write here. Oh wait, that’s what I’m currently doing =)… This is good space with goooooooood people.

I moved to St. Louis almost 3 years ago to go to grad school at Covenant Seminary…when the quads were 21 months and Grey was 3 1/2. It was a big move…and one I never thought I would make. I landed in St. Louis and have mostly loved being here, though it has been hard.

Before moving, I got to spend some time with Megan (Mae Mae), and I’m so thankful for the friendship that has developed out of the shared “space” of caring for this unique family. It has been sweet (in the best way, not the syrupy southern way) to get updates on the kiddos from her and to find that we have so much in common even beyond the kids. I’ve seen the kids every 4-6 months and occasionally talked with them on face time.

This past year has been a hard one. Good things have happened, but it’s also probably been one of the loneliest times in my life. I’ve been teaching preschool, and I had a week off for Spring Break. It was particularly lonely as several of my friends were out of town. One day in the midst of that week, I got this text message from Mae Mae:

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It gave me a burst of energy and something to be excited about, to look forward to.

Well, this was the weekend, and we had so much fun! Mae Mae brought Mimi and Yates to visit, and it was nothing short of a gift from the Lord. I love having people visit me, and the kids were a DELIGHT. On Friday, we took the metro downtown to see the arch and ate dinner at Bailey’s Range. We walked probably 2-3 miles total, and the kids were such troopers! They did not miss a beat. We had great conversations (both kids are so verbal and love to talk about life). At dinner, I was talking to Megan, and Yates leaned across the table, gently touched my arm, and said, “KK, what did you do over Spring Break?” I told him, and then asked him what he did. We talked about his travels and adventures. I love that he knew the social cue to get someone’s attention.

Waiting for the train

Waiting for the train

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The kids both slept on crib mattresses on the floor in my room. When they were being tucked in, Yates said, “Mimi, I like being in St. Louis with KK, don’t you?” Mimi said, “KK, you have very comfortable beds.” That was probably the best compliment I could have received. I want people to feel comfortable in my home, and my friends can attest to the fact that I am a HUGE proponent of comfy beds. I especially want children to feel comfortable in my home. I’m so glad that Mimi and Yates felt that way!

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On Saturday morning, Yates helped me make breakfast. He hopped right up onto the counter (so sweet and reminiscent of cooking in the Wilson’s home with Grey on the counter) and helped pop frozen waffles into the toaster (I make sure to fix fancy breakfasts for guests). After breakfast, we went to the City Museum. Last summer, Megan came to visit me by herself, and we went to the City Museum. We both talked about how much we wanted to take the kids there, but I never actually thought it would happen! I loved watching the kids play and laugh and interact with each other, and the City Museum was a fun place for Megan and me to get to play with them. We survived with only a couple of scrapes and several bruises, and brought home some artwork.

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The weather was stormy most of the afternoon and evening, so we took a trip to the mall. When we got back to my house, we had chicken pot pie for dinner (Yates’ request via a face time conversation months ago), got cleaned up and cozy and played a game before bed. (As an aside, the screen door on the front door of my house is basically worthless. It has a personality of its own, is falling apart, slams on us and cuts our fingers and basically it needs to be taken off the hinges. Most of the time we just leave it propped open. Last night when we were playing this hoot owl game, the wind blew the door and it creaked LOUDLY, and we all froze. I told everyone it was just my crazy front door blowing in the wind and Yates said, “Oh my gosh I thought that was a robber!” We all had a good laugh. Yates is convinced that St. Louis is a perfect city and has no robbers. He is also convinced that if ever a robber DID enter his house, he could beat them up and protect his sisters. Love that boy.)

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Mae Mae, thank you a thousand times over for taking this trip. It is so fun to get to be with a friend who thinks so similarly and enjoys being with kids as much as I do. Thank you for being up for all of the adventures this weekend and making the drive!! You are a blessing to me and to the kids. I’m so SO thankful God saw fit to cross our paths in life, and I’m looking forward to many years to come.

Mimi, you are such a blessing to be around! I love your zest for life, your smile, your laugh, and your hugs. When I moved to St. Louis, I remember writing a note for your baby book and telling you that I hoped one day you would call me and want to go get coffee. I think that really might happen! I love you sweet girl. The way you care about your brothers and love all of those around you is amazing. Last night at dinner you were talking and Yates interrupted you. You said, “YATES! You’re interrupting me!!” He got quiet and you finished your story. I was so proud of you for speaking up. Keep using your voice, girl.

Yates, you are a DELIGHT! I love hearing you think out loud. I love the way you think, and you can express what you are thinking and feeling so well. Keep it up, dude! Even if some people don’t want to listen, I hope you’ll find people who do, and I hope you’ll keep sharing your thoughts with the world. God gave you such a great mind. When I used to put you down for a nap or for bed, I would say, “Yates, KK loves you so much, but Jesus loves you so much more.” This weekend, I told you I loved you and asked you who loves you the most. You said God. I’m so glad you know that.

I told Megan this, and I want to be sure to tell all of you: I love the Wilsons. I love how Libby and McLean are always up for an adventure, how that has challenged me and changed the way I look at life (seriously), and how they have passed that love on to all of their kids. I love that Libby thought to let 2 of the kids come to St. Louis with Megan to visit me. And I love that the trip will probably happen again. I love that the kids can sit at the table and have a real conversation with adults and each other, that they want to talk about their highs and lows of the day, and that they want to hear about your highs and lows. I love getting to sing and pray with them, read stories, play games, and hear them laugh. I love laughing with them (and boy did we laugh…deep laughs that make your stomach hurt)! I love how they ask good questions. I’ve been thinking lately about how when parents share their kids with other people, they are sharing a piece of themselves. Libby and McLean couldn’t come to St. Louis this weekend, but they sent an extension of themselves here, and they blessed me in doing that. I don’t want to over-spiritualize it, but I think this is very true: it’s a picture of what we do as Christians when we interact with each other. We are the hands and feet and ears of Jesus, and when we love people, Jesus is sharing his heart of love for those people through us. Megan and the kids were not just an extension of the Wilson family this weekend, they were an extension of the love of Jesus.

In a conversation about good-byes, my dad told me that saying good-bye is hard because it is like a small death. We weren’t built to have to die, to have to say good-bye. I was so sad to tell Megan, Mimi, and Yates good-bye today. I am so thankful for the time I get with them because I don’t know when it will happen again. But I really am confident that we will always have a sweet connection, and if it doesn’t happen again on this earth, we will be together with Jesus for all of eternity. But ya’ll, COME AGAIN, and come soon!! Much love.

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Child like love

posted by: “Mae Mae”

This situation happened a while back but its probably one of those moments in my life the Lord will use for the rest of my life.  As we read through scripture Jesus talks about having faith like a child is key.  That we are to trust the Lord as our Father, who is who he says he is, that he will never leave us or forsake us, who is always endless steps ahead of us, who is making things possible that in our little minds seem impossible, who loves us unconditionally, who rejoices over us with singing, who has created us for his own glory and who graciously forgives every single time.

One of the boys was having a hard day and just falling apart over every little thing that did not go his way.  Earlier that day Sister asked what was wrong with him and I said ” I have no idea, he is just a mess today” and right then I thought “Well I’m a mess too. Thank you Lord for loving me in my mess”.   So that afternoon two of the boys and I were playing outside and he fell apart cause he didn’t get what he wanted right when he wanted it.  So I had him sit aside to take a break. He screamed for a good 10+ minutes and when I went to talk with him, sweet boy was covered with tears, drool and snot.  Not just all over his face but his whole chest and stomach was covered.  While he was still whining I walked in the house to grab him tissue to wipe him up after he was done.

We finally got the chance to talk through what just happened and his sweet brother came over to check on him.  I told him he had to say he was sorry to his brother and give him a hug.  Both boys didn’t have a shirt on and before I had the chance to clean him up his brother went in to give him a hug… I thought oh goodness he just got his brothers snot, drool and tears all over him.

Then the most beautiful picture happened… his brother stepped back and looked down at his stomach with a face of disgust but instead of worrying about himself he turned to me grabbed the tissue from my hands and started wiping his brother up.  As he was cleaning his brothers stomach they both started laughing and then I started laughing.  He said he was sorry and they were back at it, playing together like nothing ever happened.  No explanations needed.  Not only did his sweet brother forgive him, he cleaned him up!

I want to love like that.  I desire to be loved like that.  That is how God loves us!  May we love our brothers and sisters in Christ like this and may Jesus shine through our mess!

I love you sweet boys!!

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Wonder

Posted by Libby

One of my favorite times of day is when I check on each of the children before I go to sleep at night.  No matter what the day has been like, I fall in love all over again as I watch each one of them sleep so peacefully.  I love that I can even see their little personalities in the way they sleep.  I have been struck with wonder many times these past weeks and these moments make me want to live in wonder and awe each day.  As I pray over my sleeping children I have such a sense of wonder at how these little ones were knit inside me, given to me and McLean as a gift-what a profound honor we feel in raising them.  With this quiet awe there also comes with the waking hours a hilarious wonder at the things my little people do and say.  I wonder where Mimi heard the expression “so bad” and laugh at how she uses it with every sentence..”I go night night so bad”  “Mommy go tee-tee so bad”  “See the mailman so bad”.  Then there is this wonder that I am learning from them in how I want to live my life.  I am learning to wonder as I watch them wonder at life.  This morning Fitz was laughing in the driveway just squatting down low, watching as the water dripped out of the gutter into a puddle it was making in the dirt.  Their awe at life and the living- the things I rush by, always in a hurry to get something done.  As I was getting Grey ready for some quiet time last week, she looked up at me and said. “Mommy, why do you do everything so fast?”  I couldn’t think of a good answer, an answer that truly meant anything to my four year old or even an answer that I was happy to explain.  So, I am trying to slow down and am praying that God would open my eyes more and more to the wonders he reveals both in and through Grey, Mimi, Mac, Yates and Fitz.

this right here. this inspires wonder.

this right here. this inspires wonder.

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Grey and I had time just us last week.  We played side by side the whole time and I loved being a kid again.

Spending hours alone at a playground with your four year old…great wonder and joy at being a kid again.

Our life makes people wonder how we do it.  Here's how.

Our life makes people wonder how we do it. Here’s how.

Fitz is hilarious and makes it easy for me to find wonder in many things

Fitz is hilarious and makes it easy for me to find wonder in many things

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We often wonder what Yates is thinking…

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Daily I am in awe of what a BOY Mac is…notice his knocked out teeth

I wonder at how God has given me so much!

I wonder at how God has given me so much!

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What’s amazing is that it isn’t a wonder to them. It’s just life.

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Small wonders.

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I pray she will always be in awe of his love but never wonder.

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Pure delight, when embraced, leads us to wonder.

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Humbled

Dear Grey, Mimi, Mac, Yates and Fitz, I can’t believe I’ve been able to spend time with ya’ll everyday for the past 4 months and this is my first post to tell you how much I just LOVE getting to know each of you.  I’m so thankful and humbled that the Lord would interweave our lives so perfectly together and choose me to be apart of the party.  Though it has only been a few months since I started helping your mom and dad, I feel like we have become friends quickly.  I love walking into the house every day and hearing “Mae Mae! Mae Mae! Mae Mae!” Something that is so fun about being with ya’ll is that all five of you are created so different.  Though you are different there is a unique bond that is sweet to see played out.  That even though you are created different ya’ll accept and love each other.  Yates today you knew Mac likes a certain book and even though it was your turn to play with it you selflessly gave it back to him.  Mac yesterday you woke up from nap and were so excited to go check and see if Fitz was here(Fitz was in Nashville for a couple days).  Grey you some how can sense when someone needs some time away from the group and you take them to play in your room.  Fitz you enjoy being with the boys and when someone is upset you are the one to make them laugh.  Mimi you are a nurture and you make sure everyone is okay (even if I sneeze you will ask me if I’m okay).  That is a true gift that the Lord has given each of ya’ll and as each year passes I pray that you will appreciate each other more and more.   I pray that each of you will see that you are important and needed in the Wilson Family and even more to God’s kingdom. One thing that I enjoy doing is taking ya’lls picture any chance I get and though there are times you are sick of saying cheese you all have become good sports about stoping for a second so I can capture a moment.

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Grey I love all our little dates together. You bring joy to my heart and make me laugh. Through you the Lord teaches me how to encourage and think of others. You are quick to give compliments to others and it means so much when you stop to ask me how my day was.

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Mac-attack, you are such a little builder. You sat at this table for about 20 mins just creating towers. I love seeing what you come up with and I can’t wait to see how the Lord uses this gift He has given you. Mac through you the Lord teaches me simplicity. You enjoy the small things, simply having a few blocks in hand you will play with those blocks and figure out how many different ways they can be put together. You are happy with just a few books or just getting to have some one on one time. I want to enjoy life like you do with just a few things in hand and enjoy the people around me.

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oh the places you will go Mimi…You sweet girl are a joy to be with and I melt when I get the chance to snuggle with you. Through you the Lord teaches me compassion. You have such a compassionate heart and love for people. When we go get muffins on wednesday mornings you are usually the first to say Hi to our friends there and give a sweet smile. You also hang just fine with the boys, making your voice heard and standing firm in what you believe.

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Yatesy! You are really fun to take pictures of, you put up with Mae Mae and always give a sweet smile or grin. Through you the Lord teaches me passion. You sweet boy are full of passion and I am praying that the Lord will use your passion to proclaim His name! You get excited over life, the little things and the big. I want to live like you do, excited for the adventure for the day and passionately pursuing the Lord.

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Fitzy… boy you are the life of the party. You are hilarious and we never know what you are going to do next. Though you are a character you have one of the most tender hearted spirits. From you the Lord has taught me compassion, sympathy and laughter. I am realizing that its okay to laugh at myself and not take life so seriously and to stop with compassion for the people around. Thank you Fitsy for teaching me so much!

You all have taught me so much and I can’t forget your parents.  You five have some amazing parents that I am truly honored to get to know.  Your mommy and daddy are the most encouraging, thoughtful, gracious, humble, God honoring people I know, Thank you Libby and Mclean for letting me live life with ya’ll and getting to be apart of the party.  I’m excited for what 2013 has in store for the Wilson crew!!   xo Maemae

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Living life loud, messy, crazy fun

Posted by Libby

The volume in our house seems to get turned up a little more each day.  A lot of times it’s sounds that I love- laughter, squealing, dance parties, bare feet running, singing…but, just as often it’s those annoying draining sounds of whining, crying, arguing, chairs being pushed around, pots thrown on the floor, potty being unnecessarily flushed, toys being dumped all over the floor…(this list may be longer, so it’s best to stop here).  The mess in the house is increasing as well, with the most common cause being food fights or Mac’s tornado furry around the house.   Amidst the crazy, we are trying to take pictures to capture life these days so we won’t forget and the children will have the story to remember.  I must say, that five under five is really fun.  It feels on the edge of out of control a lot of times, but God is gracious to keep us just within the lines and laughing all the way (with plenty of other noises mixed in).

Keeping the story going…

The boys finishing up dinner- be sure to notice the floor

Mac didn’t even know the spoon was in his hair. This is why we designate yogurt to just Fridays.

Yates can be a bit dramatic

Meal time doesn’t always have to be crazy

Grey making donuts with daddy-less mess for sure

getting to school..always a triumph

big kids

Morning routine-saying goodbye to daddy

can you hear the whining?

as loud as we want!

movie time..good time

just crazy fun

keeping it under control

laughter

can’t get enough of this one

Sweet G

boys will be boys…right?

hiking at the lake

fishing buddies

Mama’s buddies

long board inside=could be a problem

it’s a zoo for sure

thumbs up!

my favorite story ever.  loud and messy, crazy and fun.  has it all.

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Happy Birthdays

Posted by Libby

10/24/2012

Quite a lot has happened in these past four years.  On October 9th we celebrated Grey on her fourth birthday and just ten days before that we celebrated the quads turning two.  We love celebrating and Grey loves any excuse to make and eat cupcakes, so the mood has been very merry around here.  Mimi, Mac, Yates and Fitz are entering the twos with new tricycles and among the pile of everything pink for Grey, the pink scooter has emerged as her new side kick.

Amidst the celebrating, my favorite gift has been the time to reflect and rejoice in God’s incredible faithfulness.  We’ve come a long way, babies.

just born, just one, just two! FOUR BIG GIFTS!

“..let them eat cake!”

In this photo they are trying to show you their “2” fingers while holding onto their birthday donut breakfast!

“Mae Mae” helped celebrate early on Friday- we praise God for her!!

The Andersons came for the weekend to celebrate the quads…Central BBQ style

Heading over to Honey and Papa’s to celebrate some more..

We found Fitz ready to celebrate a little too much

We had a princess party for Grey with her buddies back in August- notice the Ariel costume..

Grey’s actual birthday with scooter to boot. More cupcakes!

Big 4 Year Old!

Grey’s birthday night out to see Disney Princesses on Ice with McLean&me

I can’t wait to see what this year holds!! Happy Birthday team!

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