Bailey Paige

In a short few months, we will be grandparents and get to meet precious Bailey Paige. Throwing their gender reveal was fun. Only I knew the gender, which if you know me when it comes to exciting news, it is hard for me to keep. But I did even with some folks who are very good at extracting information.IMG_2799I also have had the privilege to go to all of our eldest daughter’s OB appointments. Seeing her in the ultrasounds and hearing her heartbeat is so special.

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This Christmas

IMG_2887We had our traditional Bible reading of the birth of Jesus before presents.

IMG_2888Before Christmas, we told the kids that instead of gifts we were going to do an adventure, a family event. We had them write things, places they’d like to do and go down. Some of their ideas were big, but most were local and rather small. BUT none were going to Durango, Co to ride the Polar Express!! They were SUPER excited!

IMG_2903Not knowing what all they’d get I printed up “tickets” and got them “Believe” ornaments.

IMG_2917IMG_2918Waiting for the show to begin. It was cold, cold.

IMG_2921Metting and talking to the Hobo Ghost character. (We forgot The General’s jacket in the vehicle, but he didn’t complain.)

IMG_2924On the train, getting ready for it to start. So hard to get a good photo of the gang.

IMG_2925The real tickets, stamped with letters too.

IMG_2935As soon as Santa came onto our train The General said to me “I told you Santa is real!!” Santa was asking our oldest son if he was trying to take his job…the beard.

IMG_2938Santa and his helper handed out bells too. This little guy was beyond excited. But you know what his favorite thing about it was The hot chocolate…”Hot, Hot, Hot, we got it!!”

We headed home the next day after doing some shopping with our Christmas money and eating delicious food. Durango has some of thee best food around. You have to go Grass Burger, cannot beat grass-fed beef and the Fired Up Pizzeria, besides their pizzas they make the yummiest basil lemonade.

My Absence

Yikes!

It has been WAY too long since I last wrote and I really wish I had a meaningful excuse.

When it comes down to it, it is really a combination of a bunch of things that have kept me from the computer and from writing, kept the inspiration low or non-existent.

  • The holidays. Between, extra school and church activities, out-of-state family visiting, the kids being home, there wasn’t much time for blogging.
  • Appointments!! I ended the year by logging in 167 appointments! That is just doctors and behavioral appointments. I was so hoping for a decrease this year, but I already have 12 this month. Now some of these have been nice appointments like going to see our grandbaby in the ultrasounds.
  • Cleaning. Before and after the holidays always includes extra cleaning, doesn’t it?
  • My mother-in-love. We have my hubby’s 85-year-old mom living in town for part of the year. While for most of her life she has been very healthy and needed practically no care, things have changed. Anyone who has cared for an elderly parent knows what I mean. Life just turns it’s focus a bit. Knowing that our time with her may be shorter than we’d like, I want to cherish her and that time more. Not rush through it all.
  • Refocus. Speaking of focusing. I have really been spiritually refocusing on God and my relationship with Him more. Getting back to the basics, my foundation, my first love.
  • The media fast. Okay, I believe this really led to the shift in my blogging. The time away from the computer and media did shift the way I view my time. I have always tried to be me, to be real on my blogs, yet fell into the trap of getting just the right photo or just the right event to write about. True life is not just right and while I have been open about those areas as well, I really want to enjoy life and my time with my kids and not think “Oh, this would make a great blog post.” I want to and want my family to think, “This is a good time, a good memory.” It has been too easy for me to start structuring my life around my blog and not my blog around my life.

So, for now, I may write less often. But I will try to keep it worth your while to continue to visit my section of the blogosphere. Please excuse post that are more photos than word content. Please, say hi and leave a comment to let me know you are still there reading. Have a wonderful day!

​Just a Mom

First, I’d like to welcome my new readers! So nice to have you here.

A few weeks ago I was listening to a podcast called “Why I Write”. While introducing the guest author, the host listed a very long list of awards and credentials that accompanied this guest author. He then followed it up by saying let me read what she wrote in her bio herself.

It made me pause and think, what are my credentials, my titles? What would my bio be if I took away the wife and mom title? Who am I when I am not fulfilling those roles?

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I know I am a born again Christain, who has been saved and forgiven by grace. I am a sister to two, a half sister to three, a stepsister to two, a sister-in-law to many. I am a daughter, a friend, a lover. I have been a teacher, a nurse, a manager, a pet owner, an honor roll student, a dancer, a child from a broken home. I have loved and lost. I have tried and failed. I am not good at sports and am completely happy watching others play while cheering from the crowd. I have been in a band, worked fast food, even acted in church skits. I have been a makeup artist, a short-lived runner, and have traveled to about ten different states, and a few countries. I have been a domestic diva, a hobbyist writer, DIYer, an experimental gardener, a digital scrapbooker, and designer. I have planned and hosted many parties, showers, and even a wedding reception. I once was a military wife, a latch-key-kid, and a school bus rider. I have worn more used clothes than new, drank more tea than coffee, probably more sweets than veggies. I have wanted to be a fashion designer, architect, criminal investigator, judge, social worker, a speech pathologist, a writer when I grow up. I like to cook and bake. Being alone refreshes me. I am somewhere in between an introvert and well, a social introvert. I love to read and learn new things. Meeting new people both excites me and makes me feel very vulnerable. I can love for a very long time, yet put up walls when there is too much pain. I love working with people/kids with special needs and am raising two or three now. My heart can be much bigger than my reality. I like to be outside, just not in the sun or the wind or the heat or the freezing cold, or pouring rain. I am steady, faithful and honest. I try to hide my feelings but usually fail. I find it hard to be patient with people who have a lot of drama. I have been sick and healthy. I have gotten lost more than I care to admit. I sometimes wish I could sing and draw, paint much better than I can. I have cleaned more poopy underwear than I ever thought I was capable of. I have mothered children with health and behavioral issues I thought I was too weak to handle. I have also mothered children who have shown me just how weak I am.

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I am all of these things, have done all of these things and more. Yet, when it comes down to it who I am IS really a Christain, a wife, and a mom. All of the rest is just extra. I am completely fine with being “just” a mom!

 

Reminders

As I am finally coming out of a bad cold, (It more or less knocked all energy out from under me for a few days.) my mind is able to piece together some recent reminders of where were still are.

Tomorrow is our adoption day…two years tomorrow! Sometimes it feels like yesterday others it feels like a lifetime ago.

Making our youngest’s freshly laundered bed tonight, I see the remnants of the use and abuse 12-14 weeks of leg casts did on his poor fitted sheet. I really need to buy him a new one. I am reminded of a hard mountain we climbed and conquered. The tests that were taken, the fears that were calmed, the friends we made.

In moments like the extremely ROUGH 30 minutes of yesterday morning, (Tears, tantrums, yelling, more tears, kicking, desperation, utter helplessness, complete silence, some of which was done on the way to the therapist’s office.) I am reminded of the damage done to our kiddos way before “us”. That we are not yet done with the healing process. That this may take longer than we’d like and we are in it for the long haul. Trying not to sit and stew a bitter stew with what the bio parents left for us to handle, to make do with, the chaos that is sometimes our life, the brokenness that comes screaming through an otherwise normal day.

Take our pee stained toilet that no one wants to clean. You have lots of boys you say. To us, it’s a reminder of the filth our kids grew up in that we are struggling to remove from their DNA.

These are powerful, sometimes little, sometimes halting and consuming reminders of not only where we are but how far we’ve come in just shy of three years together. Thankfully, these reminders are getting fewer and fewer. God has helped us tremendously. Honestly, while I can live without most of the reminders, I hope to never forget how far we’ve come. Never to lose sight of the deep valleys we have scratched our way out of. Never to lose the revelation of God’s ever giving grace to our lives.

Random Musings

  • When you’re way too busy to even sit down at your computer, or each time you actually attempt to write a blog post you are needed elsewhere. When life moves at such a pace that you can only make mental recordings. Such has been the times.
  • You know when things land heavy in your heart from time to time but you just have to wait for the right door to open at the right time? Those very doors may be opening here soon. Things are starting to line up just right.
  • The song, “How Far I’ll Go” from Moana sung by a five-year-old boy goes “No One Cares…” song from the middle of your vehicle at just the right time.
  • Your bible, one of the best places for your tears to land.
  • You’ve been telling your kids to “Look at me” for years but strangely after seeing Studio C’s “I Am the Captain Now” on YouTube you cannot say this to your kids ever again with a straight face and without almost breaking into an accent.
  • Mommies judging other mommies, not good. Imagine if we were to strengthen each other instead.
  • The value of your five-year-old saying, “I think I should try and go to the bathroom before we go.” And then using the restroom! Anyone with a child or two who have had bathroom issues knows the exact weight of this.
  • How rare being quiet and polite are.
  • What sorting through a huge pile of Legos that your oldest son brought home from his work can do for a child and an adult.
  • The hope one has in Jesus for that person who is lost and doesn’t know it.
  • The relief in finding the bullet point icon/button just in time to write a post like this.
  • God opening doors you thought were closed.
  • Good shoes…no need to say more.

Sticks and Stones

The other night I was reminded of the glaring differences between our family and families not affected by trauma.

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You can buy this adorable print here.

There are many things “regular” (what is regular anymore anyway?) folks joke about and/or just throw out in conversation that no one thinks twice about. Unless you are my family. Maybe I am hypersensitive to certain topics. Maybe I can overreact. But this is where we are for now.

Take the game of cops and robbers. The old-school game of pretend where the “good” kids-the cops protect citizens from the “bad” kids-the robbers. Now imagine it on steroids. Where gang members are involved, along with the robbers. Your kids found chains somewhere and have their sibling’s hands bound in those said chains. No more cops and robbers. Then we have hide and seek. Again a simple innocent child’s game. When things look a bit suspicious you start checking things out and see signs that are more fitting for a horror story than a child’s game posted all over your yard. No more hide and seek. Lots of teaching going on here. You get pulled over for going a bit too fast and the child with you has a look of complete fear on his face. The police officer has to calm your child and let him know he is not taking you to jail. Simply, Mom was driving a bit too fast. Raise kids whose birth parents were in and out of jail so many times that it’s just a way of life. Going to jail is such a huge topic of discussion to our younger kids. It’s like it’s no big deal. You get caught, go to jail and get out. No biggie. Let’s rethink this okay?

Joking about race…really SO many of us do it. Let’s be honest. Yet, when one of your children is drawn to parts of their culture that aren’t the greatest, one tries to steer that child down a safer road. Not everything about each of our cultures needs to be embraced.

Make a joking comment to two of my kids about food and eating and they simply cannot brush it off and enjoy a laugh with you. Going without food and eating rotten food for so long make certain things much less funny. Comedians-need not apply.

Now I am not one of those people who is offended by every little thing everyone says or does but when you have a child with special needs certain words become hurtful. When your child is a different race than you, you become more aware of your own probable racism and of those around you. When your child has been through certain types of trauma and you are living out the effects of that you become more protective of what your child hears and sees.

For the most part, when those around us are made aware that certain words or topics affect us and our children differently they are more than willing to change and are apologetic about it. For that, I am grateful and have been fortunate. Sometimes it just takes a few moments to explain why those things are not appropriate to help someone see things differently and make our world better. Sticks and stones do break bones, but contrary to the old child’s saying, words do hurt, sometimes pretty bad.