Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Twin A: A Letter...

Dear Ty,

My eldest by two whole minutes… my golden haired, blue eyed baby boy, you have made our lives so much more entertaining and fun. I can’t believe my boys are 6 today!!

I know every person in the world has their quirks, but I think God gave you a few extra ;) You are the most pure spirit I have ever met. You do not have an ounce of sneakiness or rebellion in you, and you hate getting in trouble. You always ask mom and dad for permission, and you keep an eye on your brothers for us. 

You are so sweet. If anyone needs help with anything, like folding clothes or washing dishes or cooking, you jump right in. Some days I think I would go crazy if it weren’t for you. :) You even love enameling at the shop- never thought a kid would have the patience to do it, but you do! 


You love playing with your brothers and you are getting more social… But, you are still very independent. You have never cared what anyone thinks about you or about acting “cool.” I adore that about you baby, and I hope you never, ever lose that quality. 

You are great at math and music is your world. Every time we get in the truck if I don’t turn on music you pitch a fit. You pick out the instruments in every song and are constantly playing the air drums or keyboard with your hands. I can imagine you being a great musician one day.

You are neat and clean, and a Bilsland through and through. You are extremely scheduled just like your daddy, and you get very frustrated at me when I change the plan (which happens often, sorry buddy). You make sure everything is in its place and you never forget anything! You remember everyone’s birthday and what type of car they drive. 

You are patient, kind-hearted, and your laugh is one of the best sounds I have ever heard. 

I cannot wait to see what God has in store for you. I know it will be something interesting and fantastic! 

I love you so much, and no matter how old you get, 
you will always be My Ty.



Twin B: A Letter

Dear Nolan, 

My tallest, most ambitious little boy… oh, how I have enjoyed watching you grow. 

Grandma always says that we are born with our personalities intact, and I definitely believe that to be true. Almost from the moment you were born you were raring to go. You hardly ever relaxed, you did everything from rolling over, walking, and talking early, and you always wanted to win. 


At 6 years old, you haven’t changed a bit. You are ambitious and athletic, and your competitive spirit will get you far… as long as you learn how to be a gracious loser on those rare, dramatic occasions when you don’t come in first. ;) 

You are my little clone, and along with your mommy’s competitiveness and chubby cheeks, you also inherited the tendency to set really high goals for yourself. You are extremely disappointed if you are not the “best”. I know it takes a while to learn honey, but we cannot be the best at everything. One day, you will find something that you love and put all that beautiful energy into it. There is no limit to how far you’ll go. :)

You are obsessed with video and computer games. Obsessed!! You eat like your daddy (meaning you eat everything!) You always finish your plate, and tell me that you are going to be really tall and strong because you eat all your veggies (so far you are really tall for your age, so maybe it is working). 

You are my social butterfly… the kid that runs to the playground and immediately has 5 new friends. You easily adapt and jump at the chance to try new things. You have always acted much older than you are; understanding concepts far beyond your years. 

You love hanging out with the big kids, but when you are around younger kids you can be mischievous and sneaky. You have always loved picking on your twin brother...

and often get Reese to do your dirty work (aka- sneaky cookies, etc.). But you love your family so much, and you are a fantastic brother and friend. 


Nolan Mark, you are my long-haired, fun-loving big kid, and I feel so, so blessed to be your mama. 


I love you more, 


Friday, December 16, 2011

What NOT to wear.

So I have to go to Goose's company Christmas party tonight... 

I've managed to get out of this event the past
3 years, but I have finally run out of excuses. It's at the aquarium, and it will probably be really nice and everything... but small-talking all night with a bunch of computer nerds people I hardly know is not my idea of a good time. I am quite sure my social anxiety will kick in and I'll spend most of the night totally awkward and uncomfortable, but whatevs...

It's once a year... I'll suck it up and 
schmooze with the best of them ;) 

Next Dilemma: What to Wear

I have my "little black dress" ready to go, but after pulling out the same dress for every semi-formal event I've went to in the past 3 years, I'm pretty much over it.

So I am going shopping today. 

Pinterest has been a great help in getting me to drool over fantastical dresses that I have neither the bod or the budget to pull off... but in my imagination I will definitely be looking like this tonight (minus the drugged out eyes):

or this:

Or this:


But I'll probably end up looking like this:

I have been running from my attraction to the completely mismatched, book-nerd style my whole life, but I think it's about time I embrace it.

So wish me luck... I'm sure I'll have some terribly embarrassing moments to talk about on Monday. ;) 

Saturday, December 3, 2011

2 Years- I miss you sweet Evie.

She was no longer wrestling with the grief, but could sit down with it as a lasting companion and make it a sharer in her thoughts. 
~George Eliot

I miss her tonight.  

I miss her often, but of course the anniversary will always be a harder day. It is amazing how sometimes your heart starts hurting even before your mind realizes what is wrong. The past few weeks I've been feeling... heavy.

Then, as I drove past the cemetery on the way to work last week and burst into tears, I realized I was feeling the ache again. the hurt. the emptiness. 

This time of year used to be all about Thanksgiving, turkey, gearing up for Christmas... 

Now the week is wrapped up with Evie dates. The Tuesday my family and friends threw me a beautiful baby shower and I watched Evie on the 3D ultrasound. The next Tuesday when I missed my doctor appt. and had to reschedule. The Wednesday I felt like something was wrong and did kick counts all afternoon.. and the Thursday when the doctor told us her heart had stopped beating and she was gone.

David and I were talking on the way home tonight about Evie, and what we went through two years ago... how time stopped suddenly and then fast forwarded, pausing on pointed moments that are like little video snippets that can be replayed in perfect detail in our heads. We talked about these moments and some were the same and some were different between us.  

I remember David's mom coming up and hugging me after we found out about all the complications at our 20 week appointment. She was teary-eyed and said, "we just love her so much." 

I remember explaining Evie's diagnosis to my sisters, and us all praying together on the park bench next to the playground, not caring if people thought we were crazy.

David said he remembers calling his dad to tell him that Evie was gone... listening to your parent's heart break is something you don't easily forget. 

I remember sitting in the hospital room praying with our pastor and my mom and uncle Jay before I went in to have the c-section. My mom was devastated. She is one of the most unemotional women I know, but in that moment she was so heartbroken that she was sobbing, and her whole body was shaking. 

We remember holding Evie in the hospital room as family and friends stopped in... how incredibly hard that visit must have been for each of them... but they came anyway. 

I will never forget my Uncle Greg walking over and kissing sweet Evie's little forehead- such a big, serious guy taking a moment to say hello and good-bye to my daughter. A small gesture, but it meant so much.

Even before she was born, she was loved by so many... and for that I am thankful.

I try to remember: that day it wasn't just us losing a baby... it was our parents losing a granddaughter, our siblings and aunts and uncles losing a niece, cousins losing a cousin... in the darkest moments you realize just how strong those bonds are. 

We have lighthearted and laid-back families, but I know now without a doubt that when it comes to something serious... even something uncomfortable and painful, we are here for each other, to pray, and to care for each other no matter what.

I will never, ever take that precious love for granted again.
Time does heal, but no amount of time makes us forget the definitive moments that are permanently penned into our storyline. These pages can never be erased, and as I go back and reread them I realize that they were part of something so important. Not just losing Evie and the experience itself, but all the lessons I learned through it.

I don't have it all figured out, but I know that over the past few years my views on life have changed so dramatically that I feel like a completely different person. 

My perspective, how I view people and situations, has changed. My faith and thoughts have changed... while I still mess up and still get frustrated... I am much less likely to dwell on things that don't matter- things that were so stressful before don't seem like such a big deal. 

I love more, feel more, and give more. I turn to Him for guidance first, and I know now without a doubt that He will be there every step of the way.

Evie did that for me... 

And I am thankful.


Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Brainstorming: Posts and Pinterest

1. I have about 32 unpublished blog posts 90% written that may or may not ever get posted... just in case you were wondering, I do not have writer's block, I have hittingthepublishbutton anxiety. 

 Why? who knows... I'm a weirdo.

2. I would really like to have a big birthday party for the twins this year... like with friends and everything. We usually just have family (because that ends up being like 50 people by itself).

 It is just hard in December... you never know if it is going to be 15 degrees or 75- it is hard to plan for games and all that.
But, maybe we can pull it off. TBD. 

BTW- if you are one of those "planner-types" who is thinking about having a baby, I would recommend NOT having kids in December if you can help it ;) 

 3. Thanksgiving was all around awesome this year. I am so thankful for both of our families. I think the older I get, the more sentimental I am about spending time with our parents, grandparents, etc. I love that my kids are growing up with so many people who care about them :)  

4 . My new niece Palmer Lynn was born early Wed morning, 10 lbs. 3 oz.!!  

   Beautiful mama!

Awwww! Smoooshy face ;)

Aunt LaLa loves you!! 

I think Goose is ready for another one! ha!

I know the boys want one- they looooove babies (especially Ty).

5. We are finally redecorating the house. I have completed THREE Pinteresting projects this week and we are almost done with the bathroom. The house looks like a tornado hit, but it will be oh so glorious when we are finished... Don't worry, I am documenting it all- soooooo excited.

Here is an "in progress" pic of the boys/guest bathroom:

I really hope this turns out as fun as it is in my mind ;)

Sunday, November 13, 2011

MM: He Lost It!!!

1. The Artist Within

Being around Sailor Studio all the time, my boys have started letting out their creative side... Ty will spend an hour on one picture, and then spend another hour telling you about all the little details of his artwork.

Nolan kinda rushes through the drawing part... He's more focused on the selling.

A customer came in the other day and smiling, said, "So which artist did this piece?"


It took me a second to figure out which one she was talking about...

Not only did Nolan tack it on the wall under my grandmother's paintings, he also made sure people knew it was for sale. 

I guess 4 and 17 cents is the going price for a Nolan Mark original ;)

Speaking of fun at work- the boys looooooove going to my aunt and uncle's cabinet shop.  Since it is mostly family working- there are always interesting things going on in the warehouse:

Like box RVs driven by a scooter ....

Held together by a piece of painter's tape...

and destroyed 3 seconds later... ;)


My eldest (by two minutes) lost his first tooth this week!! 


How do I have kids old enough to be losing teeth??? 

Do you know what this means?

No more cutie pie baby face... This marks the beginning of that gawky, (hilarious) big kid stage. Before I know it their voices will be cracking and they'll be studying for their learner's permit... ugh. 

Nolan, not to be outdone by Ty, decided he would be a big kid too this week and took his training wheels off his bike (actually... one kinda fell off and he realized hey, I don't need these things).

It took him literally 5 minutes without them before he was riding full speed down the driveway on his own... didn't surprise me a bit. 

When that boy decides he wants to do something- he does it.  
So proud of him... Tear :') 

3. Sunday Snapshots:

Church,  football, 

strongest dude contest,


world's longest fries,

(Okay seriously... this has to be some kind of record.)

and cousins making memories :)

Never a dull moment around here!

Happy Monday y'all!

Miscellany Monday @
lowercase letters

Monday, November 7, 2011

MM: Xmen and Pinterest

Miscellany Monday @
lowercase letters


I do not have a knack for decorating... my house has looked the same since we moved in almost 5 years ago. Case in point, the boys/guest bathroom still has these hanging up:

The twins are almost 6... and oh yeah, we do have another child that is already 3. Sorry Reese! 

I went to FOUR stores yesterday looking for some kind of new decor for the boys bathroom. I came home with 2 packs of ornaments and a red decorative plate???

... told you, the worst.

So anyway, we are planning on having the twin's bday party at our house again this year, so we have a deadline to get this house updated. We already rearranged some furniture- now for the decor. 

These prints I bought at an art show by John R. Duke will be my inspiration for the living room:

 Love the colors! (and with red couches there is only so much we can do ;)

Horrible waste of space....

I am searching for cool mantle ideas- getting rid of my sorry attempt at abstract ;)

And I need something new for these shelves:

We rearranged our bedroom and need something for over the headboard... I won't even tell you the husband's ideas- let's just say there were some creative slogans thrown around ;)

So all this dreaded decorating stuff has lead me to this:

2: Pinteresting

Pinterest did not appeal to me at first... like I really need another thing to do online. But, since I started looking for decorating inspiration, I am loving it. All these pictures are in one place instead of a folder on my computer that I have to search for... awesome.

I don't have a lot of stuff, but here are my boards so far 
(if you're into that sorta thing)

3. XMEN- Bilsland Style

Playing dress up and pretend is one of the boys' favorite games, so I look at Halloween as an extension of that... they just get to play dress up with a million other kids.

Reese LOVED his costume. He got to wear it 3 days in a row, and he was still upset when he had to take it off.  Goose and I haven't dressed up in about 4 years, but thanks to my friend Jessie's costume party, we had an excuse ;)

My little Pyro, Ice Man, and Beast:

 With Mama Storm and Daddy Wolverine :) 

(and I finally got some pics with my new camera- LOVE!)

 4. Palmer

My new niece will be here any day... Praying for a smooth and healthy delivery! Can't wait to meet her!  :)

Happy Monday y'all!!

Friday, October 28, 2011

FFT: "You're Mine Fravorite"

Homeschooling is quickly becoming one of my favorite things.


Because I get to listen to silly breakfast and 

lunch conversations between brothers...


where they discuss hard hitting issues like how 

many goldfish they could eat or which

imaginary friends are celebrating birthdays that day.
(did I mention they are up to 7 now?)

  I get to watch their eyes light up when they finally "get" it!

When they work so hard on a picture and want 
 to explain every detail,

I am right there to listen.

Nolan tried several times to draw a fish and he was so proud when he finally got it to look right.
He kinda takes after goose when
it comes to art, meaning it isn't exactly one of his favorite things ;)

I get to teach them about Jesus and other life lessons along

with their school work, and I get to reward them when they are 

doing their best...

(I guess Nolan decided he deserved an extra sticker that day ;)  

...and sometimes in those rare moments when no one is looking,

I catch the boys being kind and helping one another learn,

then congratulating each other on a job well done.

And after lessons are finished, if they are cranky and

feeling cooped-up, I can give them a break.


I can watch them race down the driveway, laugh and play, 

and just enjoy being kids.

I have become more grateful for the gift of these moments.


I know home-schooling isn't for everyone, and I was sooo 
nervous at first, but I really feel like we made the right decision for our family. I am looking forward to the rest of the year! :)

Oh, and this!

Future Favorites:

I am looking forward to my new camera becoming one of my favorite things!

 Can not tell you how excited I am!! 

 After my old camera died, I have been using my phone camera which is notsogood (you can tell I'm sure, my blog has seriously suffered).

We just bought the Nikon D3100 (after going back and forth between Canon and Nikon for months). It finally came down to price, and Costco had this camera with an added zoom lens and case on sale for $150 less than the Canon Rebel T2i.  The reviews say they are about the same, quality-wise, so we went with the best deal. I think it counts as my next 5 Christmas and birthday presents, but it's worth it to me.

Haven't really tested it out yet, but my goal is to learn how to use this camera the right way (ya know, reading the manual and everything ;) So if you know of any great web tutorials or photo blogs, feel free to share! 

friday favorite things | finding joy