I remember throughout my pregnancy, when people would learn that we were having twins, they would tell us to be sure to accept the help of our close friends and family, because, "it takes a village." And, you know what? They were right! Let me just say, what a village we have!
The generosity and kindness began way before the twins even arrived, including a very generous shower thrown by our closest friends, where we received so many useful necessities that we couldn't even walk into the nursery once the day was over.
|Part of Austin & Makayla's bedroom after the baby shower|
But the generosity didn't end there. I first realized just how lucky we were when the babies were first born, and still in the NICU. Joey had already returned to work, so that he could spend his time off when the babies got home, and I was spending my days at the hospital, coming home only to eat and shower. Christmas was two weeks away, and with our babies in the NICU, we had no Christmas spirit, and no time to fake it. But, one evening, about three days before the babies made it home (although, we didn't know they were coming home at the time), I came home from the hospital a little early to find that our friends had been sneaking into our home to decorate for Christmas for us. Not only that, Santa's elves had brought us a tree and gifts for us and the babies, including stuffed stockings for their first Christmas!
|Me & Joey, with Santa's elves, Leah, Katie, Gil, Aubrey & Billy, on the night of the break-in.|
Once the babies were home, Nicole and her talented hubby, Ryman, came to our home to make sure tha in all the madness that follows bringing two babies home from the NICU, that we didn't miss the oppurtunity to take those once in a lifetime newborn baby photos.
|Austin & Makayla by Ryman Tolentino|
Shortly after the babies came home, Joey's sister came up for Christmas, and to meet the babies. She spent her time here making sure I got showers and naps during the days and that we got dinners in the evening. Not only did she come bearing lots of gifts, she took me shopping to make sure we got all those things you don't realize you can't live without until the babies are already here.
Over the next months, our friends, and my dad, took turns making us, and bringing us dinners, and taking over the evening feedings to make sure we had time to eat. They teamed up to watch the babies so that Joey and I could get out for a date night or two, and Gil came over on his week days off to make sure I got some gym time.
In February, when we learned that I would be having surgery to remove my gallbladder, my in-laws where packing their bags, and on their way up to stay with us before Joey could even hang up the phone. They stayed with us for a week, while I recovered.
When we learned that Makayla may have some vision problems, our friends and family lent us shoulders to cry on and words of encouragement. Most generously, Denae even offered to take time off work to take care of Austin while we take Makayla to all her doctor's appointments.
And again this last week I was reminded just how lucky we were, when I went back to the hospital for more gallbladder related stuff, and our friends and family stepped up to support Joey while I was away for four days. My dad, Aubrey and Denae, all taking "work from home" days to work from our home so that Joey could keep working and not have to take more time off from his still relatively new job. Other friends, making trips to and from the hospital, and helping with the babies when Joey was home since Makayla was going through a difficult time eating. All the while, Joey's parents and sister were ready to come up at a moments notice in case my stay at the hospital got lengthy.
Almost daily, Joey and I talk about how lucky we are to have so many close friends and family near by and that they are willing to help out at a moments notice. We try to brainstorm just how we can show our gratitude for all their generosity. There are not enough words, or enough gifts to express just how grateful we are. It's not much, but this is my way of saying thank you. Thank you so very much. We'd be lost without you. From the bottom of our hearts, we are so very lucky to have you all in our lives, now and always. Thank you and we love you.