The Exhibits

In my zoo, you'll find :

Jack (Preschooler Destructivicus Adorableus)

Addie (Twinnius Melloweous Sweeticus)

Jordan (Twinnius Spunkeous Loveableia)

Peyton (Infantia Smileous Squishablius)

Justin (Husbandeous Awesomeia Fathericus)

I love them all.

Jack is our firstborn... He is funny and sweet and loving.  He's my Mama's Boy and Justin's Little Man.  He plays hard and sleeps hard and learns hard and loves ferociously.  As a big brother he's protective and nurturing but places just as much importance on being able to make his little sisters laugh.  Through the upheaval and changes we've undergone as a family, Jack has sailed smoothly and daily shocks me with his resilience and strength.  He delights in laughter and offers affection freely.  Trains, cars, airplanes, bugs, football, stars, Legos, crayons and books of all kinds keep him occupied when he isn't running at full speed and playing pretend games.  This child has at times been my rock, my inspiration, my best friend and my confidant.  He is 4 years old and I cannot imagine this world without Jack, nor would I want to.  He has so much to offer so many... I am in awe of everything that he is.

Addie is our first daughter.  Older by 9 minutes, Twin A is part of a package that I never in my wildest dreams expected as a gift.  From the very first ultrasound at 11 weeks, I knew this little girl.  She is calm and sweet, quiet and observant.  She is bright and cheerful but mellow and gentle.  From her small 5lbs 6oz at birth, she gained weight before we left the hospital and has been growing strong and fast ever since.  Her eyes reveal her wisdom and her open, gentle and trusting nature.  Addie will only ever make one demand of those near her: Love me.  And she will reward that love with unwavering loyalty and affection.  Even at her young age, I admire her beauty and patience and find myself striving to learn from her grace so that I may be a better woman.  Daily I whisper in her ear that I could not do this without her personality.

Jordan is the "younger" twin.  Sassy and opinionated were the first words we used to describe our little Twin B, from early in the pregnancy.  She was in perpetual motion in my belly, always wiggling around and seemingly impatient to join the world around her, and we have ultrasound image after image of her face, eyes wide open and searching expectantly for something.  Jordan laughs easily and melts the coldest of souls with her huge bright eyes and sweet dimples.  She demands attention and interaction and responds with exuberance and enthusiasm that is contagious and rewarding.  I cannot fathom the depths of her energy.  She makes me smile no matter how much I may not feel like doing so, and her antics bring levity to even the most stressful days.  I look forward each day to the opportunity to scoop her out of the crib and I dream at night of the years of fun and beautiful laughter we have ahead of us.

Our little Peyton was a surprise - a true gift from God, given, I believe, because our hearts are open to His love... how could they not be, with so much already coursing through our family?  Though not planned by us, she is an incredible blessing and we are daily thankful for her presence.  Most likely our last child, we are taking every opportunity to relish and savor each sensation as every new day unfolds - even sleepless nights or infinite clothing changes from spit-up bring me peace and a deep reverence for the entire experience.  As each page turns, I know I am closer to closing the chapter of my reproductive life - which leaves me thrilled, but sad.  So far, Peyton has shown us that her personality is light-hearted and happy, smiling often from ear-to-ear and answering our voices with belly laughter and seemingly  endless babbling.  She is a chubby, squishy, sweet delight who loves nothing more than being held and watching her older siblings.  Addie and Jack share special relationships with her - Addie is nurturing and watchful over her, and Jack delights in eliciting giggles as often as possible.  Jordan just thinks she's icky.  But more than anything, Peyton is a joy - to us and to anyone with whom she has contact.

I married my best friend.  He is my soul mate and the most incredible father a family could ever ask for.  Justin is far and away the most amazing human I have ever met in my life.  His good humor, his intelligence, integrity, work ethic, and the sweet affection he doles out every day make me wonder if he's too good to be true.  Then I realize the garbage can is overflowing and I can smile to myself and be confident that he is real and I'm not dreaming.  To be providing for a family of 6 at a young age and tackling the responsibilities of his job while maintaining his cheerful demeanor and keeping the tone light and playful takes an unimaginable amount of patience and strength.  He leaves me speechless and I can't help wondering what I did right in a past life to have found the man of my dreams, and not just found him, but created a life with him.  I am blessed.

So these animals make up my zoo.  I tend it lovingly and proudly as they are the most precious breeds in the world.  So stay awhile and check them out in their natural habitat...

The Zookeeper


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