Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Twins on Tour 2012: Surprise Edition!

So I didn't tell the full story in the last few posts. When we went to the neonatologist a few weeks ago, she told us that the girls would be ready for a road trip whenever we were, as long as we stopped periodically to get the girls out of their car seats. With that info in mind, we decided to plan a Memphis trip as soon as possible! With my dear friend Carissa's big baby shower on Saturday the 28th, we decided we could postpone our trip no longer. Plus, that way, we could go out and celebrate Chris's birthday with some free babysitting services compliments of the babies' grandparents. All in all, it seemed like a fabulous idea, and it turned out to be just what we needed! We returned last night to Louisville feeling refreshed and very much loved... and also very exhausted, of course! :)

(Out-of-order picture alert: This was Evie at Tamsie's urology appointment last week. I kept trying to find this for the last post but couldn't. Isn't she so sweet?)

Chris had a few meetings at work on Friday morning, but once he got home, we packed the girls up, along with TONS of baby paraphernalia, and hit the road. The girls pretty much looked like Tamsie does in this picture the whole way:
 or else like Evie, trying to figure out what in the world was going on and why they were in their car seats for so long:
At one point, Evie got pretty annoyed and made a hilarious face. But try as I may to capture it, this was the best I was able to do. I kept laughing too hard to hold my hands steady, and the road was too bumpy to get it any clearer than this:
On the whole, however, they stayed pretty content (and very sleepy). The trip did take quite a bit longer than usual with all the stops. What is normally a 6-hour trip for us turned into 8 hours easily! When we got to town, we went straight to one of our favorite restaurants ever, Memphis Pizza Cafe, where we met up with my parents and Chris's sister Jennifer and her boyfriend Tyler. Jennifer was very excited to see the girls, whom she hadn't seen since Thanksgiving - back when they were both in the NICU and Evie was in an isolette. Here she is with Tamsie (sorry for the socially awkward light situation - I have no idea what was going on):

 and here is a nice impromptu snapshot of the Vaf and Tyler:
 Mom was also thrilled to get to have time with her granddaughters. In fact, she had a hard time putting them down so she could eat!
 By the way, I should note that Memphis Pizza Cafe has completely spoiled us. We have a really hard time finding pizza we like in the 'Ville, because none of it remotely compares to MPC!! Memphians, you don't know how good you have it! (This is why we end up hitting up MPC basically every time we go home! We spend our lives up here being pizza-deprived!)

Saturday morning, our good friend Mrs. Donna came by my parents' house to meet the girls. She threw me my Memphis shower back in July, which was the last time we were able to get home to Memphis. She has been praying for the girls from the start, and I was so glad she was able to come spend time with them.
 After that, Chris, Mom, and I went to Grandma's house, where Grandma was able to meet the girls for the very first time! We had such a good time, in fact, that I totally failed to take any pictures. Chris's mom Mrs. DeeDee, her husband Herbie, and Chris's brother Noah came and met us there too. Then Mom and I went and picked up Melissa to head over to Carissa's baby shower in Millington. Now a few weeks ago, Carissa texted me to ask if I could come to the shower, but I told her I highly doubted the doctor would let us take a road trip so soon. At the time, I thought that was the case. Once I learned otherwise, though, I did not mention it to her, because I wanted to surprise her - and she was VERY surprised!! :)
Mom and Melissa walked in while I hid in the entryway. Melissa asked if Carissa minded if she brought a friend, and out I popped!! It was so fun to get to surprise Carissa like that. She was, of course, totally not expecting me!! :) Melissa, who was in on the secret, was also playing up the whole thing for the past week. She would say, "Isn't it a shame Shelby can't make it to the shower?" just to get Carissa all sad.
Carissa's shower was so much fun and so perfectly planned. I texted her on the way to tell her I was so sad I couldn't make it, and she wrote back that it was like "a baby boy wonderland" - which it totally was! We all had a blast. Here are the three amigas:
 and Carissa and me with our moms:
 After the shower, I went back to my parents' house, where a bunch of friends were able to drop by and meet the girls. Gigi came, and so did Sara (on the left), who is in her third trimester with the twins' future BFF, McKenzie! JT (on the right) and her husband Brian also came to visit. She is pregnant with a sweet boy named Dalen! It was such a blessing (and so exciting!) to get to see my precious friends in their prego state before their little ones arrive.
Melissa also came back with us after the shower, and her mom Mrs. Kathy was able to be there too. Mrs. DeeDee, Herbie, Jennifer, and Tyler were also there. It was such a joy to get to be with them too! The twins never get enough time with their sweet YaYa, and they loved getting to see her again.
 I was so glad to get to see this girl, and I can't wait to get to meet McKenzie!! I reminded Sara she's already far more pregnant than I ever was, since she has made it further along! :)
 Later on, a third prego visitor showed up: Carissa! Her mom Mrs. Betty was able to come too. We were all laughing about how so many of our visitors that night were pregnant! :) Mom and I were talking about how neat it is that all these girls used to come hang out with me at my parents' house back in our single days, and now all of us are having babies around the same time!
 I had to get a picture with JT and Dalen before they left!
 Carissa loved holding the girls, and they seemed right at home in their aunt's arms, too!
Once company cleared out, Chris, Mrs. DeeDee, Herbie, Jennifer, Tyler, and I all went to Sekisui for Chris's birthday while Mom and Dad watched the girls. I ordered Chris a carrot cake from La Baguette, just like his groom's cake (minus all the White Sox fun) from back in the day, as a birthday surprise, and we had it for dessert.
 Sunday morning, the girls finally made their debut at our home church, Ellendale Baptist. Bro. Tommy announced that they were able to make it, and we had a really special time getting to introduce them to so many dear friends from church who had been praying for them all this time. After church, we went to Grandma's for Christmas dinner. You see, back when I broke the news of the pregnancy to Grandma, I asked her if we could celebrate Christmas sometime after the new year. The hilarious part of the story is that she immediately said yes, without even asking why! So I had to ask, "Would you like to know why I'm asking this?" When she said yes, I told her it was because I was expecting a baby sometime around Christmas Eve! (Back then, who knew it was twins?!) And so I finally took her up on her offer, and we enjoyed a fabulous Christmas meal. I also had some bonus time with Melissa, who came to take the girls' pictures in some precious headbands:
 Tamsie wore a pearl headband, and Evie wore a rose headband - quite fitting, considering their middle names! ;) Grandma (their Great-Grandma) also was able to spend a good bit more time with them.
 We tried to take a four-generation picture, too (although my hair was becoming rather cone-shaped at this point in the day):
kind of like this one from back in the 80s, featuring Grandma Pearl (my great-grandma):
Uncle Myron, Aunt Lauren, and my cousin Chris stopped by too, which was nothing short of miraculous considering the heavy load of homework Chris had that weekend, being the MUS Owl that he is. We were originally planning on heading out after Christmas dinner on Sunday, but then we wondered what in the world we were thinking! We wouldn't have even gotten back to Louisville until way late, so we decided to stay one more day. Monday morning, we shipped out. Evie was having too much fun and wasn't ready to leave yet:
 And when we got back, she still wasn't sure about it:
 We truly had a fabulous trip!! It was very much-needed, and it felt great to get to see so many friends. If you're a Memphis-area friend who we missed seeing this time, never fear - we'll be back! It was truly a whirlwind trip, made even more whirl-windy(?) by the fact that we brought babies with us for the first time. I was very sad that Ava Bird didn't wind up making the trip, but it was probably for the best this time.

Tonight I am continuing my streak of busy-ness by heading out to our first Koinonia event of the semester at school, and I can't wait! It should be really good.

I will leave you with a teaser from Melissa's photo shoot on Sunday with the girls:


  1. Love this!! I like that I'm not even taking the girls' picture in that shot, I'm just busy adoring them. When your mom handed me Evie, she snuggled me so nicely that I was like, "Well, I'm gonna have a bit of trouble putting you down, sister..."

    Seems pretty clear from those last two shots that Evie is a Memphis partisan.

  2. Thanks Shelby! I loved re-living the weekend through your blog. I can imagine the girls thinking exactly what you said. They have such cute personalities. Each day will be full of surprises with them:)