we’ve got some news…

{thanks to our dear friend Brian Patnode for once again lending his amazing video skills!}

More to come… 🙂


the best job.

I know this video is going around, but in case you haven’t seen it…

Oh, it gets me.  Clearly – because I am (a) a mom, and (b) admittedly an Olympics fanatic (I will be glued to the TV this summer).

Being a mom is the most challenging, frustrating, rewarding, amazing job.  I’m blessed and humbled that I get to raise these little men.  And if they grow up to be Olympians, well then that’ll just be some icing on the cake. 😉  juuuust kidding.

Jeff turned 30.

We had such a great time celebrating our favorite guy turning 30! Leading up to the weekend I’d told him I had made plans for the weekend but he didn’t know what they were. On Friday afternoon my parents took the boys and we got to go camping & golfing for the weekend. We used to camp together all the time before the boys, but we hadn’t been since they were born. We had a great time together at Lake Norman State Park.

On Saturday, I’d asked my dad to help me find a good place for Jeff to go golfing. He found an awesome course about a half hour from where we went camping called Rock Barn. It was an absolutely gorgeous course, and a gorgeous day. He hit the range & the putting green, we had a nice lunch together overlooking the course, and then it was time to tee off. It was so fun to ride with him in the golf cart while he played. It was a wonderful day – thanks dad for your help!

We came back on Sunday & spent some time with L & C. His actual birthday was Monday & I somehow managed to surprise him which was SO fun. He thought we were just having a birthday dinner with the Wilders & Patnodes, and then more friends started showing up. After dinner, the guys stuck around while more came to join them to hang out all night. The weather was perfect for grilling out & hanging out in the backyard. What a fun night. (Thanks to Ashley for snapping some pics for us while we partied!)

Jeff – you are so very loved & I know you usually downplay your birthdays… couldn’t let that happen for this one! Hope you felt loved, by me and so many others. Here’s to the next 30 years! And thanks to everyone who helped make the weekend possible. We love you.


s'mores while camping-obviously


beautiful day for 18 holes

Party time! Supposed to be a block O... oh well, go buckeyes.

posing for a pic... or keeping them from digging right in?

hopefully wishing well

I *think* they liked the cake...

The bday boy & our Clara girl!

The infamous Mr. Theo made his first party guest appearance... we're honored!

Happy birthday Daddy

Grillin & chillin

This is the year of the 30… so many of our wonderful friends turning the big 3-0. Can’t wait for the next celebration!

“Moose a muffin”

So Cullen’s favorite book right now is If You Give a Moose a Muffin (Tina, do you remember giving this to me when we were in college to help start my teaching library? :)) which they both call “Moose a muffin.”  He’s memorized the entire story and loves to “read” it to us.  I keep trying to get a video of him reading the whole thing straight through–but he’s too distracted when the camera comes on.  So yesterday I got this video… which I think is kind of even better because it’s just so “him.”  They both ask me constantly to do the activities we read about in books (you know the old teacher in me loves that!), and his little voice right now just makes me smile so hard.

Enjoy this little snippet of Cullen Wayne Pyles at two & a half…

We have had so much fun that we have all the other books in the series on hold at the library.  My inner educator is coming out– we’re doing an author/series study apparently?! Can’t help it, I am loving having little preschoolers!

The Big 3-0

Jeff is 30 today!

Happy birthday to my best friend.

In your honor, 30 (of the thousands of) things I love about you:

  1. You love the Lord and lead your family to love Him more.
  2. You make me (and others) laugh so hard, and you laugh at me too.  Laughter is such a big part of our relationship.
  3. You’re a great cook, and like to cook with me. If I don’t feel like cooking-you’re on it & do an amazing job.
  4. You’ll eat absolutely anything (except a raw tomato) and love to try new things with me–it’s easy & fun to cook for you.
  5. You love your family–ours and extended–and let them know it.
  6. You’re not afraid to be sensitive & express how you’re feeling.  I am SO thankful you’re so open & honest in communicating with me.
  7. Your duckbill platypus face makes any kid I’ve ever met burst out laughing.
  8. Your curly hair.  You know I love when it gets crazy curly & out of control (yes I’m a stick-straight hair girl with curl envy)
  9. You are so easy to respect–and you are respected by so many.
  10. You take care of me so well–truly, you spoil me.
  11. You are a strong leader.
  12. You make darn good homemade pizza once a week.  Soooo good…
  13. You love our boys more than I can describe, and you show them that.  I love a man who’s affectionate with his kids.
  14. You’re an awesome friend to many, and you agree that we both need girl time/guy time to keep our marriage strong.
  15. You’re handsome.  (Had to say it!)
  16. You let me be 100% myself and you are 100% yourself–as weird, silly, goofy, and odd as that may be.
  17. You’re always trying to improve yourself and grow.
  18. You work SO hard.  I’m so thankful for the privilege to stay at home with our boys–and I don’t take it for granted that your’e the reason why I get to do that.
  19. You support & encourage me to pursue things that you think I’m good at.  You give me confidence to take risks.
  20. You know exactly what kind of chocolate I like, and buy it for me often. 😉
  21. You never ask me to drive, even on an endless car trip, because you know how much I hate driving!
  22. You tell me I’m a good mom on the days where I feel like an absolute failure–and bring home wine and flowers.
  23. You fit into my family better than I ever could’ve asked for.  I’m so grateful for how much they love you, and how much you love them.
  24. You are truly my best friend, my confidant, my companion–the one I WANT to share everything with.
  25. You’re as competitive and stubborn as I am, so neither of us feels too bad about it–we just don’t play on opposite teams 🙂
  26. You are an amazing dad–I love watching my three boys together!
  27. You make me feel beautiful, loved, cared for, and secure.
  28. You aren’t afraid to admit you’ve made a mistake.
  29. You always share your entrees with me when we’re out to eat–because you know I can never decide between two that I want, and we usually like the same two.
  30. You are so loyal, dedicated, and committed–to me, to our boys, to your friends, to the Lord.

That’s just 30 off the top of my head–I can think of SO many more.  Happy birthday to an amazing man!  I love you–and no worries, 30 looks pretty darn good on you.

Easter 2012

Well, this Easter didn’t turn out quite like we expected… but I guess that’s what happens when you all come down with a cold/flu bug.  Cullen started it (Lane ended up only having a little cough, he got off easy), but we thought he was better by the time we were leaving to travel to Ohio.  I had it BAD when we left but was trying to tough it out, hoping I’d feel better soon.  Well, that didn’t work out very well.  We (well, at least I) arrived in Ohio a hot mess.  I spent most of the weekend getting taken care of… I’m sorry and thank you to my sister-in-law & mother-in-law for taking care of me/us! {special thanks to Aunt Kristen’s traveling medicine cabinet and Jeff & my new BFF, hydrocodone cough syrup–we never could’ve made it without you}

Jeff fought through it as well.  We both ended up not even sitting in the Easter service because we were coughing so much.  So… it didn’t really feel like Easter but oh well.  We survived!  We got to see family, and the boys had a good time at least–they got to enjoy two Easter egg hunts, crafts & activities at Grammie & Grandpa’s church, and lots of tractor rides.  They also got to spend time with their great grandparents and some other friends & family.

C started acting sick again on the ride home–turns out he had a double ear infection & conjunctivitis in both eyes as a nice little parting gift from the flu bug.  I am happy to report that after some meds he is now a new boy, and we are all doing MUCH better.

Happy Easter?!

Regardless, we celebrate that our Lord is risen… He is risen indeed!

birth order and twins.

Birth order has always fascinated me – I’ve read The Birth Order Book by Dr. Kevin Leman multiple times (I come by it honestly–my book is an old, worn copy of my grandma’s) and I think my mom and I have discussed how it affects marriages & children more often than I can count. And then I had twins.


The old Birth Order Book doesn’t say much about multiples – are they both firstborns? (I’m the oldest in my family–and I fit the bill completely. Stereotypical firstborn right here.) Does Cullen get that honor because he was pulled out one minute earlier? I mean really, either one could have been born first, depending on how the c-section went!

And yet, my children “fit”–Cullen truly does act like a firstborn, and Lane acts like our baby. Cullen is a perfectionist, he’s orderly, a little bossy (my little sister better not even comment on this trait in me 😉 ), and a strong-willed leader. He’s more dominant. Lane is more laidback, go with the flow, likes to be babied, & is a peacemaker. Not so dominant. It’s really uncanny the ways they act like a firstborn & youngest (well, youngest for now). However, had Lane come out first… would that necessarily make him act more like a typical “oldest” child? I kind of doubt it. And I can’t really see C-bug any other way–to be honest, I don’t want to! I love them both exactly the way they are.


I’ve heard of twin parents who refuse to tell their children who was born first. I don’t totally understand this, as it doesn’t seem like that big of a deal for me, but I know that often they don’t want the children to just assume birth order. Now, L & C are TWO. They don’t really know who’s older–but they sure act like it! Is there anything wrong with that?

I’ve read some articles & blogs on this–here’s some interesting (at least to twin moms) things I found–

However, Cliff Isaacson, author of The Birth Order Effect as well as the website Birth Order Plus, further believes that birth order traits in twins are also impacted by their status as twins. He explains, “The organization seems to result from one of the twins being dominant, resulting in that one having the older Birth Order. It does not seem to have much relevance to the order in which they were actually born. The Birth Order personalities of twins are often more intense than in normal Birth Order. Because they are the same age and capability, the dominant one has to work harder at being dominant thus reinforcing the Birth Order personalities of both.”

This article has a lot of similarities to our situation.

There’s so much more if you get to Googling… {nerd alert!}

It will be interesting to see how our boys respond whenever we add another member to our family. For now, we’ll just be grateful for the two of them (did you know that the chance of having spontaneous twins is about 2-3%? And that supposedly only about 18-19% of twin pregnancies actually result in a twin birth? Thank you, Jesus, for our two miracles!). We’ll love them individually and uniquely. We’ll appreciate them and their own special strengths and weaknesses. However, I still think it’s pretty cool that they ARE twins – AND brothers. Both of these relationships are special–and both of these boys are special on their own as well.


By the way—if you ask my sons if they are twins, they’ll often get a really confused look on their face. Usually, if someone asks them if the other is their twin, they’ll say “no, that’s my bro-bro!” So I’m pretty sure it’s not affecting them too much yet… 😉

So what do you think? If you have twins, do you tell them their birth order (or plan to)? Do they fit the birth order stereotypes or not? If you are a twin, how has this affected you, or does it? Just coming from an interested twin mama…