Almost ten years ago, my sweet husband began to knock me off my feet.  We started dating my senior year of high school and the whole year we wondered if we would be able to continue dating when I went off to college and he stayed in Dothan to start his final year of high school.  That year, he truly did everything he could to convince me that it was possible for us to continue dating in a long distance relationship.  One night, about this time of the year, he surprised me with a very romantic date.  He picked me up in his green Explorer and told me that he had a surprise for me.  I believe I had to cover my eyes with a bandanna as he drove so I wouldn't know where we were going in our very familiar town.  As we zipped and turned around the corners, I had no idea what he had up his sleeve or where we were going.  Finally, I was able to remove the bandanna from my eyes and to my confusion we were at the local soccer complex.  I looked at Raleigh Price with a bewildered eye because surely he didn't expect me to play soccer in my sundress?!?  He gave me a smile and told me that tonight we would not be playing soccer but we would need to go out on the field for me to get my surprise.  Hand in hand, we walked to the center of the field and there before me he had laid out a blanket, c.d. player, food, and a box.  As we sat down on the blanket, he told me to open up the box for my first surprise.  Anxiously, I unwrapped the box and inside I found a star-gazing kit.  After opening up the kit, we laid on our backs and tried to figure out which constellations we were looking at.  After gazing for a bit, Raleigh told me to look for one particular star and after finding it, he looked at me and told me that was my star.  He had bought a star just for me!  I was shocked and in love all at the same time!!!!

The night did not end with that surprise.  After giving him a kiss and a hug, he turned on the c.d. player and asked me to dance.  I was a bit nervous because cars were driving by heading to the late-night baseball games but I took his hand anyways and we danced to the song, "Dancing in the Moonlight."  It was very "A Walk to Remember" but I didn't care....he had me smitten by the end of the evening.  Afterwards, I called my best friend and told her all about our romantic evening.  For days, my heart was so full I really felt like I was floating.

On Saturday, I got that same feeling all over again looking down at my sweet baby girls.  It is a feeling that is indescribable yet so gratifying to know that these little people were created from the love shared by their parents.  Raleigh and I both agreed that the kisses we got to plant on their foreheads were by far the best kiss of the day! :)

I knew from the moment I started dating Raleigh that he was a guy that I could have in my life for a very long time.  We always knew each other through playing soccer and mutual friends, but we didn't really hang out until one Friday night the beginning of my senior year.  From that moment on, our personalities just clicked and he became one of my best friends.  We have gotten to share so much of our lives with each other already and I am so thankful that we are sharing this experience together. A week before the babies were born, my Esther's Women bible study met at our house and we each received a gift and a scripture verse.  My gift was a deer antler and the verse that accompanied it was Psalm 91:1-2, "He who dwells in the shelter of the Most High will rest in the shadow of the Almighty.  I will say of the Lord, "He is my refuge and fortress, my God in whom I trust."  

When we started discussing the gift and the scripture, I shared that the antlers were a visual image to me of control.  As I have mentioned before, I am very Type A and I like to plan and have control of my days.  Since I have stopped working, I have really had to have a personality of submittance to my husband and let him have more control over our family life, finances, etc.  At first, I struggled with that loss of control because I felt like my days weren't as worthwhile as they used to be even though I was staying very busy and disciplined while at home.  It was not a coincidence that the verse that correlated with the antlers was about having a shelter (aka a "home") and trusting in the Lord.  As a constant student, I once again learned that evening that I need to put my home and our family in the hands of our Most High.

"Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer."  We have gone back to that verse many times over the past three years but it certainly rings true during this time of affliction.  I had to patiently wait seven years to accept Raleigh as my husband and now the Lord is teaching me patience as our girls grow each day.

Friends, thank you so much for your prayers and for sharing with us in our joys and sorrows.  Please continue to keep our family in your prayers.  The girls have been doing so well the past couple of days and today we started to hit a dip on this roller coaster.  To our amazement, both girls are breathing completely on their own so that is a huge accomplishment.  Now, our giants to conquer are feeding and infections.  Maralee might have a new infection so they started her on a new medicine.  Since she is still having to take another medication for her yeast infection, she has to have two different I.V.'s in her body.  Because of her being premature, her little veins can only handle so much and the nurses are having to constantly re-stick her so the I.V's can function right.  Also, today we found out that both girls have stopped taking breast milk because their little tummies weren't digesting it properly.  I had to give them a fresh sample of my milk so they can culture it for bacteria.  If bacteria shows up, they will have to take formula.  This was hard for me to hear because we are firm believers in the power of mamma's milk and it made me feel like I was giving them sour milk.  In the end, what matters most is that they get what they need to start packing on the pounds but I was just hoping it would be breast milk.

Maralee showing off her baby blues

Adeline getting some tummy time

This is quite a journey but Christ is quite the Savior.  I am so thankful for his love and for him giving me a family to love.  I pray that each of you take time out of your day to soak up his love for you.

Till next time, let your light shine!

Blessings, christen

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