Monday, November 28, 2011


I don't know about you, but I think these girls are pretty cute and look pretty identical to me! :)

Maya-L, Makenna-R

Friday, November 25, 2011

Capturing Conversations

Kaden: "Mom, you're beautiful. My sisters are beautiful, too.... and, Mom? God made Daddy handsome. And Jesus made me handsome, too."

Thankful: On my knees

My Thanksgiving Babes

I realize this is a day late, but when you have screaming babies to deal with all night on Thanksgiving, sometimes the things you hope to get done, just don't get done. So, here it is, my blog of gratitude.

When I reflect on what I'm thankful for, I'm sure I could, like the rest of you, come up with an extremely long list. I could have listed what I was thankful for every day in November on Facebook like the rest of the world, but that seems so trivial to me. It's not that I don't appreciate things like family, food, friends, a warm house, etc. However, on Thanksgiving I want to take the time to really reflect on what it is that I'm thankful for. What, over the past year, still sticks with me as something so great and wonderful that it can only come from God? The things that stick out to me this year are 2 things that literally brought me to my knees before God.

5 years ago, I found myself on my knees praying for healing for my mom. She had been on a long journey battling cancer for many years, and it seemed as though the last resort was a stem-cell transplant. We prayed for it to work, knowing this was the only option we had left to help stop the cancer. I found myself on my knees before God many, many times asking for healing for my mom. Promising to do anything he wanted me to do if he would just heal her. Praying for a successful stem-cell transplant. I remember after she had it, the doctors said that if she could make it 3 years cancer-free after the transplant, things were looking good. If she could make it 5 years, she would be considered cured from cancer. It seemed like that was so far away and unheard of at the time. Well, this past week marked the 5-year anniversary of her transplant. She is still cancer free today. God is good, and this Thanksgiving I'm thanking God for healing her. I know that many people find themselves on their knees before God, asking for healing, asking for just about anything in times of desperation. I know that God doesn't always answer our prayers in the way that we intend, but instead in the way that he intends. I know that he brought me to my knees before him, and I trusted him no matter what the outcome. I know that our God is greater, that our God is higher than any other. Now that's a blessing.

Aren't those 3 blessings in the picture adorable? I know I'm biased, but on Thanksgiving, I can't help but be overwhelmed with thankfulness for these blessings. This brings me to my 2nd reason for Thankfulness this year. Soon after we found out we were pregnant with twins, we were told we were going to have mono-mono twins. This means that there was no membrane separating the girls and that there was an extremely high risk for myself, but mostly the girls. They could strangle themselves in their cords, and the pregnancy would require lots of time in the hospital on bedrest and a lot of worry and risks. After finding this out, I too, found myself on my knees before God. I struggled and fought with God, wondering how this could be a blessing. We prayed for our family to grow, and then this?!? I came to God on my knees asking him to protect those babies, praying for a miracle, praying that the doctors made a mistake, praying that everything would be okay in the end. To make a long story short, we found out several weeks later that there was in fact a membrane separating the girls. We cried when we saw the membrane. Those tears represented God's power to do anything and his provision over us. Not too long after that, the doctors found some developmental concerns with the girls on their ultrasounds. Once again, we found ourselves on our knees before God. Wondering what his plan was, wondering how we'd handle what we were given, wondering how we'd make it to the end, how we'd deal with potential problems. By the 25th week of our pregnancy, we got the clearance that everything was indeed okay with our twin girls. We knew that we wouldn't completely stop worrying until they were born, but a huge burden had been lifted. On September 29, 2011, God brought 2 PERFECT, HEALTHY, BEAUTIFUL identical twin girls into our family. Maya Grace and Makenna Anne are two precious gifts from above. God IS GOOD.

So, what am I thankful for this Thanksgiving? I'm thankful that life isn't always perfect. It seems crazy to say it, but it's true. I'm thankful that God uses difficult situations to bring us closer to him, and at the end of the journey (sometimes) we can see his plan. We might go through things and never see his plan, but we have to trust that he has it under control. When we fall upon our knees and trust God, he will bless us through the storms of life. Thank you, God, for your amazing blessings. I'm overwhelmed with gratitude.

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Taking pictures

Okay, you all know that I LOVE taking pictures. We have a really nice camera, I've taken a camera class, I read photography ideas online, and even edit some of my pictures as time allows with Photoshop Elements on my computer. I've taken tons of pictures of Kaden, and I have photos all over my house. There's nothing better than a picture of someone you love hanging around your house.

Well, I'm sure none of you will be surprised to read that it's hard to find time to take pictures of your kids as you move from one child to multiple children. It seems like days go by and I realize I haven't taken any pictures.  And, as you can see, trying to get everyone to cooperate is impossible.

Monday, November 21, 2011

4 generations

We had 4 generations all under the same roof a couple of weekends ago. Both sets of my grandparents were in town for my brother's wedding, and it was priceless being able to share our special girls with them. Even though we didn't get a photo of all of the generations (hopefully at Christmas!), we were thankful that God has given us the blessing of enjoying 4 generations. What a special gift!

My Grandma Van Der Heide with Makenna and Kaden

My Grandma and Grandpa Borduin with Kaden, Maya, and Makenna

Sunday, November 20, 2011


We had a loss in our family this past week. We lost one of our goldfish. Kaden got 3 goldfish for his 2nd birthday, and one died soon after that. These other two have lasted for a year and a half. My family is notorious for raising goldfish for a long time- I think my brother's goldfish lived for about 13 years before he died! On Thursday morning I noticed that one of the fish was swimming on its side... not a good sign. When I went to put Kaden down for his nap, I said outloud, "uh oh" when I saw this: (I'm pretty sure fish aren't supposed to float upside down at the bottom of the tank)

Kaden of course asked me what was the matter and I told him bluntly, "your fish died, buddy." He immediately wanted to see it. He was quiet and then jumped on his bed and threw his blanket over his head. Then he started bawling. Not just a little fake cry or a sad whimper. Bawling. Sobbing. He was SO sad. My heart just broke for my little man. I never knew he had such an attachment to his fish, considering he doesn't really pay attention to them much and I end up feeding them (when I remember.... oops! I promise they were fed that day, though! :) He started asking a lot of questions about his fish- how he died (to which I responded that he was old and sick). Of course each question I answered led to more questions about why he was sick, and why goldfish sometimes die. Kaden wanted to call Andy at work to tell him, and when Andy didn't answer his phone, Kaden left a message that went something like this: "Dad, it's Kaden. My fish died. Call me back." Adorable. Daddy called back soon after and the two of them arranged to go to Meijer that night to buy a new fish, which seemed to cheer him up. Kaden ended up crying himself to sleep for a nap that day and fell asleep with his blanket on his head- I promise I checked to make sure he could still breathe.
At night Andy and Kaden went to get a new fish at Meijer for a whopping 19 cents. Andy cleaned the tank and put the new fish in there. We thought we had solved this tragedy. 5 minutes after he went to bed, we heard Kaden crying in his room. Andy went in there and I could hear Kaden saying, "I don't want Frankie (name of the new fish), Daddy. I want the other fish that matches (the other 2 goldfish looked more alike in size and color)." He then just started sobbing and sobbing again. I got all choked up again when I heard him say that. It killed me to know that my child was so saddened by something. He eventually fell asleep after Andy sat in there with him for awhile.

Going through this whole experience made me think about how kids deal with grief. Even with the small loss of a goldfish, they process the absence of something they loved, and feel genuine sadness as a result. A small scale of what we as adults may experience when we lose someone we love. While we might chuckle someday about the loss of his little goldfish, right now I'm choosing to let this experience teach me a lesson. Enjoy the small moments with your children when they show genuine, innocent emotion. These moments show us that they are real people inside those little bodies.

Friday, November 11, 2011

Wedding weekend

My brother got married!!  We are so excited for Steve and Kelly as they begin their lives together!  We're thankful that God has brought Kelly into our family, and that He brought the two of them together in His perfect timing.  Kelly's sister, Stephanie and I like to think that we had something to do with it since we helped set them up a couple of years ago!

The wedding weekend was pretty busy, mostly because the girls are still so little.  Kaden was a ringbearer and did an awesome job!  Andy and I got the privilege of standing up in the wedding, and we're thankful we could all share in this happy day! :)

We were also thankful that our family could come out from NJ to celebrate this special occasion, and that so many people could meet the girls while they were here.  It was a busy, but very fun and blessed weekend!!

Our family
Handsome ring bearer
No visit with Grandma VDH would be complete without a few games of Rummikub :)
Grandma holding her great-grandaughter!
Kaden "sanding" Great-Grandma's hair- haha!
Doing a puzzle together

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Monkey See, Monkey Do

The other day Kaden told me that he had to feed his bear. He jumped right up on the chair and assumed the position. I guess he does pay attention to what he sees around this place lately! :) I'm impressed that he even got the boppy pillow all set up for the feeding. I'm sure he'll be pretty embarrassed by these pictures someday, but they were too funny not to share.

He also had to show me how he gave the bear a pacifier.

Superhero Kaden

I think someone makes a pretty cute superhero if you ask me. I especially love the glasses and the rain boots as part of his gear. Oh, and the poses just make it even more hilarious.

Monday, November 7, 2011

Uncle Steve gets married!

We are SO excited to welcome Aunt Kelly to the family, and SO happy to celebrate with my brother, Steve. We were honored to be a part of the celebration!!

I must say, this little man made quite the ringbearer.

Look at that awesome family!

Our little family

Tuesday, November 1, 2011


We've had quite a few Halloween festivities around here lately! Last weekend Kaden went to a pumpkin carving party at Andy's co-worker's house and at night we celebrated with friends from church. Yesterday (Halloween) Kaden got to trick-or-treat at Daddy's work, and then he went out at night with Daddy and Grandma Rysdam. The girls enjoyed passing out candy at home with Mommy and Grandma Van Der Heide and being pushed in the stroller at Daddy's work. Kaden loved being a MI football player and saying "Go Blue" to everyone he saw. He also loved coming home early from trick-or-treating to pass out candy to the neighborhood kids. It's interesting to see him learn more about what holidays are about, and process everything he sees- while asking hundreds of questions of course. Yesterday he asked me if fake people were going to scare him and if there would be witches when he trick-or-treated. We talked with him about how Halloween is fake and we don't believe in witches (nor dress up like them), nor do we have decorations with skulls, witches, etc., in our house. Instead, Halloween is a time for us to dress up in a fun costume (not a scary one), celebrate fall and trick-or-treat for a little candy. Hopefully he'll remember these things as he gets older!

Halloween party with friends from church

Playing games at the Halloween party

MI football player!

2 little pumpkins and a MI football player

"Why aren't any kids coming, Mom?"

We got such a laugh out of Kaden's set-up by the door. He just set up shop and waited patiently for kids to come. He also kept running to check the window to see if any kids were coming. So cute.

Pumpkin girls in their "My First Halloween" outfits. Too bad you can't see the adorable pumpkin on their bottoms.