Wednesday, July 30, 2008


Here's mama's little helper pushing his Great Grandma Nana in her wheelchair. He felt very important!

I'm looking forward to spending time with my boys in the presence of people with all different needs and abilities. I hope the Special Olympics are in our town again so we can go volunteer. I'd also like to do an intergenerational or inter-ability music group someday. We all need each other, and life can't be normal if we're not surrounded by all kinds of people.

Big Brother and Little Brother were quite the celebrities in the nursing home, especially since at 21 months old BB knows half of the alphabet! What a smarty-pants!

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Styx! Woohoo!

My mom and I took the boys to a Styx concert. We ran into our friend Denise and her brother Craig there. You know, because we follow the concert circuit and all that.

It was the boys' first concert. We had a great time, and they wore their pajamas so we could put them right to bed when we got home - which we did. Mission accomplished. Here are my pics!

Monday, July 21, 2008

20 years

Are you where you thought you'd be 20 or more years out of Gymnasium?

Am I?

I guess. I was never one who knew what she wanted to be straight out of high school (or college for that matter, or graduate school, you get the picture), so it's not like I'd planned to be a medical doctor right now and missed the mark or anything. I suppose I assumed I'd be married and have 2 children and live in a house with an attached garage, and that I am.

I'll tell you what I did not expect. I did not expect to have been divorced, which I was in 2000. I did not expect 4 years of infertility, which I experienced in my second-time's-a-charm marriage. I did not expect to have a child by adoption and talk on the phone with the woman who gave him birth, call her "family", and look forward to the day when my son can spend the night at her house so that they can get to know each other better.

I did not expect to find myself trusting Jesus Christ as my Lord and Savior at age 26 and begin following Him, reading God's word regularly, attending a Baptist church, Bible study and blogging about my love for Him and His love for me (and you). I didn't expect to love going to church, sing in the choir, and enjoy seeing my fellow believers lift their hands to Jesus in worship. (Yes, even in a Baptist church some people do that!) Yet this is where I find myself, and I find my greatest fulfillment.

So are you where you thought you'd be? If not, does it matter? If so, does it live up to your expectations? I believe that my expectations have been exceeded abundantly. What I've learned is that it's better not to be married at all than to be married to someone with whom you are incompatible. It's also unbelievably wonderful to be married to someone as caring, considerate, and helpful as my spouse. I've learned that it is not always biology that makes a family. I've learned that what I do does not define who I am, but for me, God does. In His eyes I am perfect and wonderfully made, because His son sacrificed himself on a cross to pay for my sins once and for all, and when He looks at me he sees Jesus rather than mistake-making me. Peace doesn't come from a job or an income or a marriage.

Do I sound overly prophetic here? I find that my brain is slowly seeping back into my head after getting through 2 years of infants and a pregnancy. Therefore you'll have to listen to me go on and on about some things rather than look at a million pictures of my cute children all the time. But never fear, Grandmas, I'll keep posting those too.

If this post causes you to evaluate your current life, I'd love to hear about it!


Sunday, July 20, 2008

I wasn't always like this, you know.

Did you ever see "What's Eating Gilbert Grape?" It stars Juliette Lewis and Leonardo diCaprio. Leo played a boy with developmental disabilities and Juliette Lewis ended up being a family friend. Leo's mom was extremely obese and very embarrassed by it. She rarely left the house. When she met Lewis's character she told her, "I wasn't always like this." Lewis's character said, "I wasn't always like this either." I found it to be a very touching moment.

When we go out these days with our two little boys, I wonder if we cause pain to people who see us who are experiencing infertility and/or loss. Here we are with two very little children, appearing as fertile as can be, when really it took several years to add children to our family. I always try to be cautious about my attitude and disposition when I'm out in public.

There was nothing worse as an infertile woman to hear other people say, "You can have my children," or "What I wouldn't do to be single again and be able to (x, y, z)." I wouldn't want another woman to see me tell my kid to shut up (oh yes, I do have my moments) or look stressed when one is crying or needy. I know that's a lot of pressure to put on myself (not refraining from "shut ups," because I think that's just good parenting, but to look pleased and even-tempered every minute when out in public), but actually I really do enjoy my beautiful children most of the time. I think they're hilarious, adorable, and fun.

Anyhow, I think I've posted about this before, but I hope people realize when they see happy couples or happy families things aren't always as they appear. You never know who has suffered loss, who is putting on a show in public, or who is actually watching someone else's children and is about to go home and cry themselves to sleep because they long for children of their own. We need to extend grace to each other, even when we see someone who is parenting a different way than we are.

That's it. Putting away the soapbox. Thanks for playing.

Four generations.

Here are the boys with their Great Grandma Nana! She's quite amazing and enjoys her 2 children, 6 grandchildren, and 5 great-grandsons. Big Brother located all of the "E's" in the exit signs in the nursing home, which GGN appreciated as a faithful doer of the newspaper's word scrambles. I'm not going to take her on!


I LOVE my ring sling. I really wanted to use it when Big Brother was a smaller baby, and interestingly I really tied it to my grief about not having been able to bear biological children. Somewhere deep inside I felt like if I could be a successful babywearer I would really be a mom. Isn't that silly? I never got the hang of it with BB. I did wear him around some when I was pregnant with Little Bro, but that is as easy as it sounds - not!

Now with 2 small kiddos, I use it all the time. All, all, all the time. This picture is one of the reasons why. If LB needs a catnap at the end of the day he will usually fall asleep in this and I can feed his big brother and sometimes even myself. I can also play Word Challenge while he sleeps. Pretty nifty, eh? It is also tremendously helpful for travel. On our way to Colorado earlier in the month he slept in it on the plane and I actually got to read my People magazine.

So here is a very comfortable baby in a Zolowear ring sling. See for where to buy. You can even see my beautiful friend Tiffany wearing her third baby. She's the fourth one in from the left and the second one in from the right on the first row. There's also a lady on there wearing twins - one on each side. Talk about necessity being the mother of invention!

Saturday, July 12, 2008

Wendi's right! And Nik, too.

TOY STORY? Can you believe it? Nice language! I know that's not too bad, but for a kid's movie, I'm kind of shocked. Nemo says "shut up" too, but not like this. Nemo also says, "What the.......?" which I can't stand to hear children say. I wondered where the kids got this, and now I guess I know. Rats.

Friday, July 11, 2008

Movie quote

Can you name this movie? The quote is, "Shut up! Shut up, you idiot!" If you can name the movie, I'll be really impressed and ooh and aaaahh over you. What do you think? Expect the unexpected.

Tuesday, July 08, 2008

My Daddy.

Here are some things I love about my dad. I meant to do this for Father's Day, but what can I say, I didn't get to it. We recently returned from a trip with my super fun, amazing family and it reminded me. I think I'll start out with my dad and do this for my whole fam! I tried to do a "top 10" list, but it turns out I can't rank them. So I added an 11 and went ahead and counted down.

11. When I ask him what he did at work that day he ALWAYS starts out by saying, "Well, I talked to some people...."
10. He scoops ice cream in an "ice cream hat."
9. When I am hurt he makes a big fuss and says, "Oooh!" and "Owwwwww!"
8. He's really smart and his hair sticks up like Albert Einstein.
7. He likes to say, "Mell smells" because he remembers that in college my friend Mell and I used to say that everyone "smells."
6. He can laugh at himself.
5. He gives personal, creative gifts.
4. He wrestles like a 20-year-old with his grandsons and he's about to be 67 years old.
3. You can sit with him without saying a word and every once in awhile he looks up and winks at you.
2. He gives great hugs and always has a twinkle in his eye.
1. When Big Brother throws a bunch of stuff in his toilet he says, "What in the world?" and then smiles like this:

I love you, Dad, you're super cool even though you don't let me win at checkers. (Just kidding, we don't play checkers.)

Saturday, July 05, 2008

Happy 5th of July!

Just a few pics from our fun July 4th holiday!