I hope everyone is having a great Fourth of July weekend. I finally have a moment to share some of my Birthday with everyone. After my birthday, I was cramming for my test which was last Thursday. Thank you all for the prayers. They are always tough test and you never come out feeling good, but I have been especially nervous since I could be done with them if I passed this one. To be honest I have been living in fear a little bit these past few days. It has been such a long road taking these test and the fear of failing the last one and having to study for it again in six months after the girls are home is eating me up. Yesterday, I needed a little wake up call. We had a great day getting things ready for the girls, then we sat outside and relaxed a good while. Eventually we came inside; as we sat there Christen said, "It's so great to not have you studying!" only to turn around and see that I wasn't studying, but I was looking over the material again to check myself. This is where the wake up call came in. Christen reminded me what was the point of all of that studying, hard work, and prayer if I wasn't going to move on afterwards. By dwelling on it, I am handing over control of my life to fear, and once you begin this, it's like quicksand-you just work yourself into a bigger mess. I prepared for that test, I honestly put every bit of free time I had into studying for it, and I shared with the Lord the desires in my heart and the need to glorify His name. The results can take anywhere from a week to two months. So from today on, I am moving forward. If it wasn't meant to be and there is still more to learn in this particular area-then I will see that test again around Christmas. Regardless, I won't be letting my fears stand between the blessings God has so abundantly given me. Speaking of those blessings, why don't we move on to them; they are a lot more fun!

Well, first, when we went to see the girls on my birthday they had put together a little surprise for me (with some help from their Mom). They had decorated the room for the big event. The nurses even helped them sign a card for me.

An even bigger surprise was in store when I actually looked at the girls. Adeline's incubator was empty. They had moved her over to cuddle in Maralee's incubator.

I tell you, I have always known that I have twins of course, but they really have felt like "two girls". When you put them in the same crib and watch them lay in the exact positions, the amazing truth that these girls are an identical reflection of each other will blow your mind. They crack me up because they are just so sweet, they would just lay there with their eyes open and just stare right at the other one. Their legs kept getting all tangled, but they liked it. So far they love to be close. Often preemie twins don't like each other at first because they just accidentally hit each other so much but honestly they seem to calm each other down when they are placed together.

Their lives truly are a blessing and an amazing experience for Christen and I.

Now, I'm sure none of you have forgotten that Christen set out to make me a homemade Birthday Cake! Let me just say that she did an amazing job! Not only did it look great, but it tasted amazing as well. The recipe comes from my Nan-Nan, who made everyone of my Birthday Cakes until I went to college. She would always decorate them with superheroes and cartoon characters that I was into at the time; so Christen's goal was to do the same-she suprised me with our dog Obi on the cake. She won't tell you this, but she stayed up till 12:30 the night before finishing the icing. For Christen, that is extremely late! She may tell you different later, but I think she really enjoyed it as tough as it was. She said she has so much respect for people that makes cakes like that all the time. Now, you can't taste it of course so you will have to take my word that it was delicious but you can see the results yourself!

Again, she did an amazing job and I had a wonderful birthday!

-Raleigh

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