talking about twins round the table

dining room

Yes, that’s right, we’re having twins! It seems to be the most talked about topic around our kitchen these days.  Enjoy the home pics as I share the top 10 questions we have been asked ;).

1. How far along are you & when is your due date?
This week we hit 23 weeks.  Yes, I know, it looks like I could deliver any day now…but we’re merely half way.  Officially due the 1st week of March.  (Thank goodness for the Holidays!  Best time to be pregnant in my book!)

2. Do you know if they are boys & girls, & are they identical?

This was our biggest surprise, I thought for sure they would be a boy & girl or maybe 2 girls, but there they are: two boys, fraternal (so no, they probably won’t look alike), in their own respected sac & eating from their own placenta (no wonder I’m so big, lol!), we couldn’t be happier!

bertazzoni oven range

3. Are the kiddos excited?
They sure are.  The dancer was a little sad after we told them (she’s been fervently praying for a sister for about 3 years), but after lots of love & consoling, the next morning, she announced that she simply loves babies & it will be ok. ;)

4. Where will you put them, do you need to add on to your new home already?
We’ll be cozy & just right ;).  Our home has 4 bedrooms.  The twins will be with us for a while, & when the time comes we’ll have a bunk room waiting for all 4 boys.  I had the framers leave out a wall between two of the rooms, (not knowing of course), but it will be perfect for our 4 boys.  The dancer will move into the guest room, soon, we think.  And can always bunk with us or the boys when guests come.

salvage cafeteria prep island

5. Did you have any idea there are more than one?
This pregnancy has been so different from the very first few weeks.  While pregnant with our 1st 3 kiddos I was sick, had way too many food allergies, & struggled with other health issues as well.  After the explorer was born we decided it was imperative that I healed before getting pregnant again.  Over a couple years I found great help & healing & we felt confident & began trying.  6 miscarriages & 3 years later, here we are. ;)  Timing is so important, we’ve learned.   I was feeling so healthy & thought this would be my easiest pregnancy yet…couldn’t be further from the truth, lol!  And yet, I’m filled with gratitude as truly, this is the best chance I can give these sweet boys. So I’ve been sick times 2 & uncomfortable from the get-go with breathing & circulation challenges I’d not faced before.  In quiet moments I kept telling the designer things were different, that there might be more than one, but he would laugh & sweetly remind me that I am getting older & may have forgotten what it feels like.  ;)  We’ve made adjustments & now that we know it is different for a reason, are embarking this untraveled adventure openly.

writing art center

6. Why didn’t you find out before 20 weeks?
We were holding out on the ultrasound.  The last time I had one they told us the baby was no longer thriving.  And we thought it would be fun to wait to discover the gender till birth.  Had I known the great difference between carrying multiples before, I definitely would have gotten one sooner.  At 16 weeks I was measuring 2 weeks ahead which I’ve never done but is not out of the ordinary.   My midwives checked for two heartbeats with separate dopplers but they couldn’t hear more than one heartbeat.   I was told it was a possibility, but to not “fixate” on the idea of twins…that we’d know more at the next appointment.   So I tried my best to let the crazy thoughts go for a few days…then I’d feel kicking on both sides of my belly at the same time.  It was a viscous cycle of feeling crazy & “not fixating” for a month. ;)  Then my 20 week appointment came…this time I measured 4 weeks ahead & was displaying other signs of multiples.   Again, the dopplers failed to capture more than one heartbeat.   My midwife calmly gave me a book on twins (just in case) & asked me to get an ultrasound – that day if possible ;).

pie safe

7. Do twins run in your family?
When feeling so different & crazy I found solace in researching all about twins.   The more I learned, the more I realized it was a possibility.   I’d always heard that twins are determined by the father.   This can be  true for identical twins.  But with fraternal twins it has everything to do with the mother:  it so happens that my mother’s only sibling, (my aunt Buffie) has fraternal boy girl twins (TJ & Sara) & my dad’s cousins, (sisters Gretchie luv & Ali) each have a set of fraternal girls.   So yes, I guess they do run in the family ;).  Though we like to simply call them blessings. :)

restaurant sink

8. Will you be having these babies at home also?
Yes, midwives have great success with healthy twins. We’ve loved our birth experiences & look forward to another quiet welcome for these sweet boys.

9. What if something goes wrong?

By all means, as we planned with our previous births, we’ll happily head to the hospital if there are any complications.  After all, that’s what hospitals & doctors are there for right?! :)

reading nook in kitchen

10. How do you feel about having twins?
From the moment the technician placed his probe on my belly, the designer & I could see 2 heads…we held our breath until the technician confirmed what our eyes were telling us.   I burst out laughing in relief & joy.  The designer was in utter shock.  The shock has had it’s time to sink in & we couldn’t be more happy.   He was mostly worried about names.  We have a boy & girl name picked out, but usually never more than one.   On the way home that night we solidified middle names for each & I saw him breathe a sigh of relief.   It will be a lot of work for a while, but we are so excited!

Please leave your experience, best advice, & questions in the comments below.  Now that I’m done puking all day (& sometimes night) & no longer worried about miscarriage, I’ll be writing regularly, documenting our wild adventure! xo – katrina

hallway to kitchen

portland headlight {an original oil}

portland headlight by katrina berg, 11×14 oil on canvas, SOLD {inquire for giclée print}

Nance and I took a trip back East January of 2000 to check out grad schools.  The Boston wind cut right through our “thought-we-were-prepared” coats and gloves that we were used to wearing in the Wasatch Mountains at BYU.  Getting on the “T” was a sight for regular riders.  We had no tokens, passes, nor correct fare.  A heaven-sent lady of kindness gave us the needed fare and we were off on our adventure.

Boston proved to be a memorable stop and the scholarly environment unforgettable.  I loved it there.

Days later we made a our way up the coast, past the many tolls and finally found ourselves in Maine.

Nance, I said, look at the ocean, and look at the lighthouses!

I was charmed.

While Nance checked out the art program, I hung out and took in the Maine air, relaxing by the local lighthouse.

Afterwards we had a wonderful dinner at an Indian restaurant downtown…which was amazing.  When we came out of the restaurant, we found that our lil’ rental car had been boxed in.  My So. Cal driving and parking experience was no match for the situation.  As I patiently and meticulously inched back and forth for about 10 minutes, we noticed some guys laughing at us in the neighboring town park.  I jumped out and challenged them to help us instead of laughing at our predicament.

All of a sudden, there was Nance, still in the car, way above my head.  Two of those boys had picked it up and moved it to the middle of the street.

Well there you have it.  I’m glad I paid for insurance on the rental car that trip for there really must have been little to it.  :)

The trip was a success.  We found individual answers for each of us as to our next 4 or five years, we tested some traveling/self-reliant skills, and I renewed my love affair with the East Coast.

The designer’s younger brother {one of his best friends}, lives in Maine, not far from Portland and it’s headlight.  His mother and sister went out this past Summer and enjoyed their family and the beautiful state.  They spent some time touring the headlight and have made memories of their own in this charming part of the world.

The painting was a Christmas gift for them…to remember their time with loved ones in Maine.  Who knows where they will be over the next few years, but hopefully, this painting will remind them of their family’s “early years”.

above it all – an original oil

above it all by katrina berg, 11×14 oil on cradled masonite, SOLD

Freshman year away at BYU was an unforgettable year.  I met amazing friends that have stayed close through the years.  One of those special friends was Phil Jimenez.  He still manages to flawlessly keep tabs on everyone.  That year, we managed to play several pranks on our guy friends and of course received some good retaliation.  Too many good stories to mention here, but Phil single-handedly got Nance convinced that she had an admirer.  The prank went on for weeks and I shamelessly assisted all that I could.  Of course Nance was a wonderful sport and Phil and I became fast friends.

That year I had a crazy mattress that completely sunk in the middle.  After a couple sleepless nights, a terrible back ache, and vainless appeals to our headmistress, I gave up and spent the rest of the year sleeping on the floor.  My roomie Amos was the real trooper allowing me to sleep in the only vacant floor space between our two beds.  This however turned out to be a quite gratuitous as we had a “guest bed”.  Whenever any of our friends had younger sisters in town, they got to stay in “the guest bed”.

And that’s how I met Phil’s sister Lisa.  Lisa is one of those creative, positive, and beautiful people that simply make you smile.  She is quick and witty and a whole lotta fun.  Whenever I’d run into her on campus, she’d have something exciting up her sleeve.  Today it is no different.  She is involved with an amazing dance group who bring beauty wherever they go.  Lisa commissioned this painting for her husband’s Christmas gift.  It is his beautiful cabin in Timberlakes {above Heber City}.   I’ve put off posting this for fear of spoiling a Christmas surprise.  Nothing is secret these days!  Hope it reminds you both of many wonderful memories spent above it all! ~ katrina

nativity {crèche} thoughts

The designer and I enjoyed hosting again at the Midway crèche exhibit last weekend.  Though it shouldn’t, it still surprises me each year, how a building we frequent each week can become so transformed that you feel it upon entering it’s doors.  That special feeling is a wonderful way to begin the season. {And a fabulous date night to share}.

The following evening we took the kiddos to the crèche exhibit and the other events within the Midway Christmas…though we spent so much time at the crèche that there really wasn’t much time for the others…perhaps the way it should be though right?  :)

On the way to the exhibit, we went over appropriate behavior and what they should expect.  During the first half of the exhibit, the explorer kept us all in line, “shush-ing”us dutifully as we would talk about a piece.

There was quite a wait to dress up in nativity costumes for a portrait and the designer was all about moving on…but something within the builder so desired to be a part: he was so happy to be a king, the dancer an angel, and the explorer a “bad guy.”

Another week has passed, the gifts are done {yes, I’ve been painting…gifts, mostly, and will post them after the big day as not to ruin any surprises}, Christmas cards nearly finished, and just a few more things to check off the list.

And yet, I’m so grateful for Sunday to recommit to the Spirit of the Season.

Sharolyn gave a beautiful lesson on the Gift of the Holy Ghost in Relief Society yesterday. {Thx Sharolyn!} While watching Luke 2, I couldn’t help but think of Mary, in labor, jostled upon a donkey and just hoping for a peaceful place to welcome the Savior of the World.

After several stops at full to-the-brink inns, loud, boisterous travelers and visitors, the couple-in-need was offered a stable on the edge of Bethlehem.

Yes, we talk and celebrate that our King was born in a lowly stable. A humbling example to be sure.

And yet, if I had been in Mary’s shoes, {or sandals}, I would have welcomed the stable. Birthing a child is the most exquisite event of which I have been taken part, and I appreciated the simple, the few attendants, and quiet moments involved with each welcoming.

A loud and bustling inn would not have been my first pick.

Would it have been more difficult for the shepherds to come and celebrate, welcome our King in an overcrowded inn? Would they have still come? Would there have been room for visitors?

More importantly, as we know, our Father in Heaven has meaning in all things. Obviously the stable was hand-picked to be the birthing place of our Lord. I contemplate the simplicity, the serene scene where the Holy Ghost could so easily accompany the event and welcome those awaiting the birth of the Savior.

In those first moments of our Savior’s life, we are given an example of the way, His way. That apart from the world…from the hustle and bustle, we can invite the Holy Ghost to dwell with us, with our loved ones.

Many events in our lives, simple or great, that will offer most meaning will most likely occur in the walls of our own homes, out in nature, places of peace and serenity. Places where the Sprit may accompany us, bring us light and truth, comfort, guidance, love of our Heavenly Father.

Not in the clubs, most likely not in the grocery store or market. Away from the world, from worldliness, those simple and beautiful moments will occur where there is peace and love.

That is where we will find Him still.

This Christmas, I see the Nativity a little clearer.

I’m not sure where the cattle and oxen would lie, but if it brought our lil’ family closer to the Savior by continually welcoming the Holy Ghost into our home, than it would be well worth their stay.

Click here to watch the Luke II version of the Nativity with Amy Grant’s Breath of Heaven that Sharolyn shared yesterday. xoxo ~ katrina

and then there were prints :)

I’m so happy to announce that I now have giclée prints in my etsy shop!  There are a couple open-edition prints, a limited edition print {run of 36}, and they are all done on high quality matte finish, watercolor-type, cotton rag paper (Epsom Somerset Velvet to be exact).

So if you’re looking for something special and affordable this holiday season, check them out!  xoxo ~ katrina

orange rolls for thanksgiving: 3 versions of the classic recipe

Gosh I love holiday cooking and holiday eating!  A first this year, we’re practicing Thanksgiving.  After all, why do we only have to eat Thanksgiving goodness once a year?  So today, the kiddos helped me alter Mom’s Orange Roll recipe creating a whole wheat & honey version.

I called her this morning to verify a few measurements and told her we were practicing today.  When I asked about rising times, she surprisingly exclaimed, you’re not going to refrigerate the rolls over night?  No, I responded, because we want to eat them today. :)

You see, my Mom is a recipe follower and bless her soul we had many good meals thanks to her exactness and honor for the recipe goddess.  But seriously, sometimes the rules need to be broken right?  :)

As we began altering the ingredients, Annie and Carla arrived to visit and shared with us a fabulous thought on President Uchtdorf’s talk, Of Things that Matter Most.  {on a little side note, I’m so grateful for inspired friends…I was thinking this past week that I needed to reread that talk and here was another reminder}.

Strength comes not from frantic activity but from being settled on a firm foundation of truth and light…It comes from paying attention to the divine things that matter most.

Let us simplify our lives a little. Let us make the changes necessary to refocus our lives on the sublime beauty of the simple, humble path of Christian discipleship—the path that leads always toward a life of meaning, gladness, and peace.

After they left, and the kiddos had raced off for the moment to “climb a mountain” {We read Listen to the Wind this morning during preschool…you know: in gratitude for friendship, learning, etc.}, I finished prepping the rolls and thought about that first Thanksgiving Dinner.

A celebration of journey and safe arrival.  That we eat and gather with those we love most each year in gratitude for courage, for religion, for freedom, and for friendship.  I twisted and turned each roll, thinking about President Monson’s reminder in Finding Joy the Journey.

Thanksgiving can be so busy.  Frenzies of cooking, cleaning, preparing and, yes, let’s admit it, stress, oh…and more cleaning. :)

But this next week, this Thanksgiving, I want to find joy in the journey.  To take the time to share this special tradition of orange roll making with the kiddos.  To talk more with them about traditions, celebrations, and why we do them.

I’m wondering if the best way to celebrate that wondrous journey so long ago is to truly find joy in our own journey, and to recommit to focusing on those things that really matter most.

A merriest of Thanksgiving and Life Journeys to us all, may you find yourselves surrounded by those that you love and may your journey, though turbulent at times, find safety, peace and joy!  xoxo ~ katrina

Orange Rolls 3 ways:

{I asked mom where she got it, and she said, her bff Susan Sessions, who she thinks found it in the Lion House Cookbook.  Yes, you could simply buy a box from most Utah grocery establishments, but if you want some real and true rolls, here are a few versions to try out…}

Orange Rolls (Mom’s recipe)

Ingredients
2 pkg yeast {4 1/2 tsp}
1 1/2 cups warm water
1/2 cup melted butter
1/2 cup sugar
1 1/2 tsp salt
3 well beaten eggs
4 1/2 cups flour

Orange Butter
1/3 cup melted butter
1/2 cup sugar
1 grated orange rind

  1. First dissolve yeast in warm water.  Then mix all ingredients (except orange butter) until smooth.  Let rise one hour.
  2. Refrigerate covered, over night.
  3. In the morning or a couple hours before the dinner, divide dough into thirds.  Roll out dough and paint on orange butter.  Cut dough into strips.
  4. Fold and roll and twist strips of dough and place on a greased cookie sheet or muffin tin.  {My mom also paints a little extra orange butter on the top after we form them…she usually makes another batch of orange butter to do this}
  5. Let rise one hour.
  6. Bake at 400 degrees for 4-6 minutes {my mom always does 6 min. in So. California}

makes about 4 dozen rolls

our whole wheat & honey version
{I halved it for our practice version}

ingredients
2  1/4 tsp yeast
3/4 cups warm water
1/2 cup melted butter
1 tbs raw honey
3/4 tsp salt
2 well beaten eggs
2 1/4 cups whole wheat flour

Orange Butter
2 1/2 tbs melted butter
1/4 cup raw sugar
1 grated orange rind

  1. Mix all ingredients (except orange butter) until smooth.
  2. Roll out dough onto a greased cookie sheet.  {I greased the sheets and muffin tins with coconut oil}.  Paint on orange butter and cut dough into strips or any other shape you desire.
  3. Fold and roll and twist strips of dough and place on a greased cookie sheet or muffin tin.  {paint more orange butter on top of your creations…you may need another batch of orange butter}
  4. Cover and let rise one hour at room temperature.
  5. Bake at 400 degrees for 4-6 minutes {6 minutes was perfect for us in the Wasatch Mountains}

Our practice recipe made 2 dozen delicious and I mean, amazing orange rolls.

Gluten-Free Orange Rolls:

Follow the above recipes using a gluten-free mix for your flour.

Here’s one of my favorites:

3 c brown rice flour
1 1/2 c sweet rice flour
1 1/3 c tapioca starch
2/3 c cornstarch
1/2 c navy bean flour (i used garbanzo bean)
1/2 c almond flour (meal)
1/2 c sorghum flour
1/2 c potato starch (not flour)

(the mix makes 8 1/2 cups of gluten free flours, Simply take what you need and save the rest for another baking adventure)

They probably won’t rise, so I don’t think you need to worry about that.  Roll them out, make some fun shapes and bake them.  Let me know what you think!