Visiting the LSU Museum of Natural Science

Finally I’m “settled-in” enough after the move from NC to LA to take Patrick on fun adventures. Before this week, we’ve spent our mom-and-son time doing projects around the house, grocery shopping, furniture shopping, etc. With the exception of weekly story time at the library, we haven’t done a lot of fun toddler enrichment together. Until now! We loved our trip to the LSU Museum of Natural Science on Monday.

Monday was great for a stroll through LSU’s beautiful campus. Even for a pregnant space-heater like me, Baton Rouge’s weather finally felt comfortable. I enjoyed telling Patrick about his  Continue reading

Posted in family, field trip | Tagged | 1 Comment

Introducing our names for the twins

We did it. It wasn’t easy, but we’ve decided on names for the twins! I would like to “introduce” our babies…

Claire Elizabeth Balhoff

Claire is in memory of our dear friend, Marjorie Claire McAnelly, and in honor of Continue reading

Posted in family | Tagged , | 2 Comments

Best wishes, Kate and Paul!

Friday night was the beautiful wedding of my life-long friend/sorority sister/college roommate, Kate Brady, and her new husband Paul Prejean. The wedding ceremony and reception on Friday were the grand finale of a week of joyous wedding festivities, and it was an honor to be a bridesmaid with my girlfriends and stand with the elegant bride!

Kate & Paul wedding collage(Click on any photo collage to see many more wedding photos.)

The bridesmaids kicked off the week with a bachelorette “scavenger hunt”, leading the bride to various locations around town to Continue reading

Posted in friends | Tagged , , , | 6 Comments

Presenting the new house… to Jim!

We found out about the twins and decided to move to Baton Rouge on a really short schedule of 9 weeks. We didn’t have a lot of time to search for a house. In fact, we put an offer on a house without Jim ever seeing it. When he arrived from his 2-day drive from North Carolina today, it was the first time he had seen the house we bought! I knew it was a great house for us, but I really wanted him to like it too. So this is what I did to ensure that the house made a great first impression:

  1. Buy a great house in a wonderful neighborhoodhouse
  2. Invite Jim’s family Continue reading
Posted in family | 1 Comment

Twins: Revealed

Jim and I had our 17-week anatomy scan for the twins today. We were thrilled to see two healthy babies! We’ve been counting down to today, waiting to find out the sexes of twins. The timing is perfect… my parents arrived at the airport this afternoon to help us pack for the move to Baton Rouge, Louisiana, next week. I loved telling them *in person* about their grandbaby twins.

Here’s a video of Patrick and me finding Honey and Pops at the airport Continue reading

Posted in family | Tagged | 8 Comments

Remembering a beautiful friend

Today is a day that Jim and my grade school friends and I reminisce about the beautiful person were we fortunate to call our best friend. Marjorie Claire was a true gem in our lives.

K and MC

Kristen and Marjorie Claire

It’s hard to believe that she’s been gone for fourteen years today. While packing our house to move from North Carolina back to Louisiana, I came across the eulogy I read, with Blakeney at my side, at her funeral to a church packed to full capacity. She was so well loved! For those of you who were there, for those of you who knew her, and for my “newer” friends who never got a chance to meet her, I’d like to share my 1998 eulogy with you now.

Marjorie Claire McAnelly

September 17, 1977 – July 26, 1998

Marjorie Claire was (among other things) the queen of scrapbooks. She was never far from her camera, and she has every trip, every convention, every happy moment Continue reading

Posted in family | 4 Comments

Patrick names the twins

Patrick is excited about becoming a big brother to twins. He talks about “two babies” often and likes to tell everyone the big news. Since we won’t know the babies’ sexes until August, we like to make guesses and talk about what they might be. After hanging out with a friend who is going to have a baby sister soon, he decided that the babies are two girls. He even came up with two girl names. His ideas were so sweet! I recorded a video of his girl names and put him on the spot to come up with boy names too. It’s good to cover all the bases.

These aren’t necessarily our names for the babies, but I love to see how he thinks:

To explain how sweet his name choices are, you need to know Continue reading

Posted in family | Tagged , | Leave a comment

Twin pregnancy: week 13 ultrasound

I love seeing our twins via ultrasound and hearing their heartbeats! I saw them at 8 weeks (when we discovered there are two babies), at 10 weeks (when they could still fit together on one screen), and again today at 13 weeks. Our babies amaze me every time.

Today the twins both measure at 13 weeks and 3 days, which is exactly on target. Jim and I enjoyed watching them kick their cute little legs and move their tiny arms. I can’t feel them moving yet, so it’s neat to see them in action. Everything looks great!

Here’s Baby A – crown to rump, head to the right, facing down, at 13 weeks:

Baby A – crown to rump, head to the right, at 13 weeks

Baby A let us get a peek Continue reading

Posted in family | Tagged , | 1 Comment

My Twin Pregnancy: FAQ

In case you missed the announcement about our twins, read Really Big News! We found out at my 1st OB appointment on June 1st and have received many questions about my pregnancy since then. I’ll try to answer some of them:

Q1. Do you know if the twins are identical or fraternal?

A1. No, we don’t know yet. It’s more likely that they are fraternal because identical twins are rarer and because of how my twins are separated on the ultrasound.


My twins at 8 (LMP) weeks

Q2. Do twins run in the family?

A2. No. Not really. If the twins are identical, then it happened by chance Continue reading

Posted in family | Tagged | 3 Comments

Really Big News

This is a post full of big news, and it all started with a single photo. Let me show you the photo that changed everything for our little North Carolina family.

The Big Brother

Excited to become a big brother

Patrick’s going to be a BIG BROTHER! We’re thrilled to announce that we are adding on to the family at the end of the year. Patrick will be three years old (or close) when he becomes a big brother, and he loves to hear a story about it every night at bedtime. This photo of Patrick in his new tshirt is not the photo that changed everything. (Although I do think he is adorable!)

House in BRLA

House we’re buying in Baton Rouge, Louisiana

We’re moving to Baton Rouge, Louisiana! We are under contract to buy the house in the picture above. Once everything goes as planned, we’ll be settled into our new home in August. We are very sad to leave all of our friends and our wonderful life in North Carolina, but we feel very fortunate to have the opportunity to move both of our jobs to be closer to our families and hometown friends. (By the way… anyone want to buy a house in Morrisville, NC, in a few weeks?!) After thirteen wonderful years in North Carolina, that photo is also really big news, but it’s not the photo you’ve been waiting for.

THIS is this biggest news of all…


We’re having TWINS!

It’s the most amazing ultrasound picture I’ve ever seen. Of course I’m biased, because it’s MY ultrasound picture. But really… it is incredible. As you can see, we are expecting TWINS! What a wonderful surprise! We’re having *two babies* sometime around mid-December. We are thrilled! Overwhelmed… but also thrilled that we get to meet two more awesome people like their big brother Patrick.

Twin pregnancy. This changes everything 😉

Posted in family | Tagged , , | 7 Comments