One particular two-story house in the 200 block of NW 17 has two sets of porch steps.
They call it “The Twin House.”
Who calls it that? The last three families to live there.
These families either moved into the house with twins, found out they were expecting twins while living there, or found out and had twins born while living at 209 NW 17.
All three sets were boy/girl twins.
Chelsea Smith and husband, Brady, were about to take the bar exam in the summer of 2011.
To relax a little, they decided to attend a neighborhood cocktail party given for people who moved in that year.
A woman Chelsea had never met, Jennifer Gaines, walked up to her and Brady.
Jennifer and husband, Patrick, were the first of the three couples.
“The first thing I said to them was ‘Make sure your birth control is good, if you are not ready to have kids, because the last two (couples) in that house had boy/girl twins,'” Gaines said.
“Chelsea and her husband were taken aback, laughed a little, and probably ran away from us as fast as they could.”
Chelsea said she walked away thinking, “That was weird.” But Jennifer told people the Smiths lived in their old house. So others started coming up saying, “Oh, the twin house.”
“I thought it was crazy,” Chelsea said. “I thought, ‘Well a house doesn't make you have twins.'
“I was like, ‘Have you heard that house had twins in it?' and Brady was like, ‘No.'
And, I said ‘How strange.'”
They brushed it off and went on.
Chelsea first thought she might be pregnant on New Year's Day 2012.
She had an ultrasound done a short while later.
The person giving the ultrasound said, “Oh Chelsea you're going to freak out.”
Chelsea told her she was prepared, no big deal.
Then the woman said, “No, there's two.”
She wasn't prepared.
“I don't really think I could even verbalize it for probably 24 hours,” Chelsea said.
“I didn't even say anything when she said there were two. We're like, ‘You've got to be kidding me.'”
Then, the comments at the cocktail party came to mind.
“Immediately,” said Brady, who was with Chelsea for the ultrasound.
On Aug. 16, Chelsea gave birth to girl/boy twins, Vivian Elaine Smith and Elliot Lowry Smith.
Not long after finding out that twins were on the way, the Smiths saw some neighbors at an event. Chelsea mentioned it, and the neighbor said, “I'm texting Jennifer right now.”
Not a surprise
Patrick and Jennifer Gaines were married in June 2000 and moved into the house in April 2002. The twins, daughter Cooper Christian Gaines and son Patrick Byrne Gaines Jr., were 4 months old when the Gaineses moved into the house.
Jennifer said they had used in vitro fertilization, so the twins were not a surprise to her.
Jonathon Storment and Tina Sawtelle would be next.
They lived in the house for a period of time while married.
“We had met Jonathon in the political world, and then they bought our house,” Jennifer Gaines said.
“I am sure we joked with them about twins. But when we found out they were expecting, there was a lot of ‘Wouldn't it be cool if you had twins, too?'”
Jonathon and Tina found out Jan. 28, 2010, they were going to have twins.
“I always told my friends, ‘I'm going to have twins, a boy and a girl, then I'm done,'” Sawtelle said.
They moved to Texas in February.
Their daughter, Jemma Chelle, and son, Jaxon Cash, were born April 14, 2010.
When Jennifer Gaines learned Chelsea Smith was expecting twins, she offered to come over and help prepare.
Jennifer said, “It was fun getting to decorate the same nursery my kids had, for her kids.”
‘A lot of joy'
“Someone told us before we had them that having a child is a lot of joy, and they said, ‘Yours will be twice as much,'” Chelsea said.
However, they told her that if she never has any more children, she will only get to experience this once.
“I've thought about that almost every day, because it's true, we probably won't have more kids, because I'm scared of more twins,” Chelsea said.
“Not that it would be bad, but four kids is a lot. Two is no big deal. That's true. They really are a joy, and I am kind of sad that we only get to go through it one time.
“It's hard, some days, but totally worth it.”
Brady said it's fun with twins.
He also kind of likes the idea of going through it only once — the diapers, the getting up at night and so on.
Although the twin streak can be tied to three straight families to live in the home, Chelsea said there may have been more. She had a friend who thought she grew up playing in that house with a girl who had siblings, including twins.
The Smiths, who are both attorneys, were asked if they would disclose the unusual track record of twins if or when they sold the house.
“I would absolutely disclose it,” Chelsea said.
And Brady said, “Maybe we could sell it to someone looking for twins.”
However, there are those who are not looking to be parents of twins. Patrick Gaines knows some of those individuals.
“I have buddies that won't even drive down that block anymore,” Gaines said.