God continues to answer my prayers.  He continually provides for my family and shows us that He is totally in control of our lives.  He hears my pleas and He shows me His ways for the health of our girls.  I am in awe of His timing and His plans for our future.  This past Friday we received an excellent report from our pediatrician.  After eight weeks, he gave us permission to cautiously start taking the girls out in public.  We need to avoid crowds and nurseries but now we have more free-will to take them out.  Hearing that news made me feel like a normal person!  The past couple of weeks have felt like captivity and now we have some freedom to go around town.  I will continue to run my errands on days that I have help, but knowing that our family can go to church together or go to an early dinner is so relieving.  Also, he suggested that we start transitioning towards cutting out the 2 a.m. feed and letting the girls go to about 4:30 a.m.  That was great news to hear because we have been waking up in the middle of the night for five months now so we are excited to get a couple more hours of sleep.  Since we started this, the girls have been waking up around 3:30 a.m. so we are making progress!

Raleigh, Adeline, Maralee & Christen
First Family Sunday at church!
Sunday, September 19th, Covenant
The Prices
 The Ridley's

Another thing that we discussed was their weight.  Currently, they both weigh 7.5 pounds.  While that is progress, it is still not quite where it should be so we talked about giving them more formula and starting to ween from direct breastfeeding.  Making that decision was tough, but I know it is in the best interest of the girls and myself.  I have loved the bond that we got to share, but the truth is they are receiving most of their milk from the follow-up bottle.  We still have frozen breast milk that we will continue to use during the day but I am going to stop direct breastfeeding.  I'm sure a lot of moms out there can relate to the emotional side of this decision but I am staying positive because cutting this will allow for the girls to get their food faster and not burn too many calories.

Gaining weight so we can be Auburn Tigers! 
Adeline in orange & Maralee in blue

Friends, since my last post about bitterness, I have really done a lot of thinking about our situation.  Yes, the girls need to gain weight and they are developmentally behind but I need to start looking at things from another point of view....God's point of view.  I need to see them through His eyes.  What He sees are two precious little girls that He saved from death.  He brought them out of the valley of darkness and into the light of His love.  He carried them through the muck and the mire and has landed them on high ground.  These girls are a miracle and I should see them for who they are and not compare them to other children.  We will forever be unique and I need to follow God's plan for their future and not what is "normal."  My mom sat me down last week and told me how thankful I should be that I got to leave the hospital with my babies.  So many moms suffer the hardship of miscarriage or their child not surviving the NICU but God chose our girls to live for a reason.  He has big plans for these little preemies and I need to do my best to raise them to be followers of Christ.  When I let sadness and bitterness take root, I am hindering them from their purpose in life.  My attitude just has to change.

Our little sweet potatoes!
Maralee & Adeline
20 weeks

Every day I see the girls making progress.  Both girls can roll over from their stomach to their backs.  They love to pump their little legs and hold their heads up.  It is so cute to see how full of wonder they have become.  As I stare at my little girls, I know that God is developing them just as they should be.  I am so proud to be their mom and I want them to grow up knowing how special they truly are to this world.  Adeline and Maralee are little miracles and I thank my God for them.

Till next time, let your light shine!

Blessings, christen