Tuesday, November 30, 2010

my kid is smarter than your kid.

or at least a little more... uh... creative?... my first grader wrote this at school... check out her illustrations, too :).



("be sure to bring a grown-up with you. Bring the right materials.")
("bring lots of food and water")
("do not use dynamite it will hurt the cave").
("never go alone. stick together. leave the creatures alone.")

I love first graders :).


Sunday, November 28, 2010

truth.

(Carolyn is a Champion among adoptive parents. Check her out in this week's People Magazine (the one with the almost-princess Kate Middleton on the cover. Carolyn's story is in the center of the magazine).

Saturday, November 27, 2010

Black What?

"black friday"... might be fun if you have money. I'm not really sure. I've never really had money to spend, and I hate crowds/malls/crap, so we had our own adventure with my wee little family plus my dad and two of my younger sisters. We hiked up stone mountain (north carolina)! Everyone did so well... very strenuous at first, and then the rest was a nice walk (a little hilly but perfect). The kids hiked 4.5 miles!!! Hiking rock stars, they are...





Despite Zach's huge, white, scary legs frightening all the deer away, we had a fantastic time! We got great exercise and enjoyed beautiful views :). We highly recommend this kind of "black friday." Hope you all had a wonderful Thanksgiving! Off to put up the Christmas tree... cheers!

Thursday, November 25, 2010

hope

Hope begins in the dark, the stubborn hope that if you just show up and try to do the right thing, the dawn will come. ~Anne Lamott


Some years it's quite easy to give thanks, and other years it's a bit harder. I'm settled and happy this year... despite this (at times) gut-wrenching waiting period that will determine our future.

I've got it good right now. But so many others don't. Enter: Hope.

I have two dear friends who are suffering today. Their reality is deep grief. One grieves the death of her mother. The other grieves the death of a dream. But in both cases hope lingers around the corner. For my friend who lost her mommy, mourning will turn to joyful memories. Grief will not fade, but the thick ink she has to swim through over the next few days will begin to thin out and clear up and hope will burst through with new life. For my friend who lost her dream... the dream will simply take another form. The original dream morphs into a new path, and new beginning, new hope in how a family will be formed. Hope always exists and always prevails. Even when it isn't apparent, for awhile.

I'm thankful to be on this journey with so many of you. Real life. It's messy, no? But worth the strife.
{also, to be honest, I'm thankful to be staying home for thanksgiving this year. Sorry in-laws, but sometimes the sanity of a mother of three children (to ensure their health and safety) trumps your desire to see us on this holiday, and is quite worth the offense that may occur. I'm so, so happy to be HOME!}

Happy Thanksgiving, friends!

Gratitude unlocks the fullness of life. It turns what we have into enough, and more. It turns denial into acceptance, chaos into order, confusion into clarity.... It turns problems into gifts, failures into success, the unexpected into perfect timing, and mistakes into important events. Gratitude makes sense of our past, brings peace for today and creates a vision for tomorrow. Melodie Beattie

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

reality bites

How is it possible to feel so incredibly happy and pissed off at the same time?
I'll tell you how.
Raising children. Damn.
Love it.
And
Sometimes
feels like being pecked to death by chickens.
Kids playing happily in the playroom
apparently
oh wait, it's too quiet
and somehow my cake pan has made its way to the playroom and is now filled to the brim with
glue.
wouldn't trade it for the world. (but wouldn't mind them growing out of the glue phase).
:).

Also, you may be interested to know that I'm considering selling my soul to the devil just to get a trader joe's here. {dark chocolate covered peppermint joe joe's. are you kidding me.}

And, I think the target commercials right now are the funniest thing ever. Either you'll think I'm hilarious or an idiot based on that statement. But seriously. That actress cracks me up!

I'll be making pumpkin pies for the first time ever. wish me luck (and many thanks to Libby's pie filling... just add eggs and evaporated milk. I can do this.)

Monday, November 22, 2010

Preparing

We're in a time of waiting at our house. We're waiting to hear if my husband got into dental school, and sincerely hope to hear sometime on December 1st. We've sacrificed a lot to make this change in our lives. During the academic year of '09/10, Zach was a full time student while working for his company full time. He needed the required prerequisite courses completed in order to apply to dental school. It was a hard year... he barely slept and I was basically a single mom. We've spent the last 2 years preparing and working hard towards this goal. It was been very hard and very good for us, too. We love showing our kids that with hard work and determination, you can and should follow your dreams.

I love this time of waiting, as strange as that sounds. I know that, soon, we'll have an answer. But for now, it's completely unknown. Will he get in? If so, where? Where will we move? Not knowing the answers really forces us to simply appreciate today. Just today. No expectations. So we wait, wait to prepare.

I am a Christian (although, for the record, I do struggle with that word and all that it entails. I've actually even tried not to believe, but I do.). So, that being said, I love and was raised listening to and singing the song "O Holy Night." There is a line in the song that says "A weary world rejoices"... and another that says "His law is love and His gospel is peace." I feel like those words encompass our lives in this moment. Sara Groves is one of my favorite singer/songwriters, and she re-wrote the music (not the lyrics though) to O Holy Night. This is what has been coursing through my brain as we wait to prepare for our big news. It is comforting. And yes, we're listening to Christmas music already :). Enjoy!

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Surrounded

We're surrounded by beauty here... I want to remember it!


(our front and back yards)

Glorious are the woods in their latest gold and crimson,
Yet our full-leaved willows are in the freshest green.
Such a kindly autumn, so mercifully dealing
With the growths of summer, I never yet have seen.
William Cullen Bryant
The Third of November.

Friday, November 19, 2010

She Shines...



I remember finding out that I was pregnant with a girl. I was all at once ecstatic and frightened. This world isn't made for women to thrive. Of course, we've remolded it to be for us. Because we have a lot of power, a lot of good in us. (at the deepest part of my soul, I am, first and foremost, a fierce feminist).

As I reflect, I realize I was too young to become a mother, but a mother I became, regardless of my fears. The biggest indication that I was too young? I didn't pray for the health of my child. I didn't pray for her to be strong and perfect.

Nope. I prayed for her eyelashes.

I have no eyelashes. I mean, I have some, but not really. They are wimpy and weak. Not at all the kind a girl dreams of. But my husband? He has eyelashes that women would die to have. They are gorgeous and perfect and were wasted on a man. A MAN! Oh, the cruelty of life.

My daughter was born strong and healthy, on her due date. So apparently I was forgiven for my immature eyelash prayer.
But it worked nonetheless... she has INCREDIBLE eyelashes. She got her daddy's eyelashes!

I'm realizing that my desire for her eyelashes represents so much more of what I want(ed) for her. I want her to be better than me. Stronger than me. Braver than me. Smarter than me. More beautiful than I ever could be. More compassionate, more gracious.... more more more.

And she is. I'm so proud of her.
(and, she got her ears pierced on Monday... she was brave! Can you see those lashes? amazing...)

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

New Beginning

Welcome to our new family blog!

Many of you know that I've been blogging for about three years in different locations. Our old family blog was a beautiful testament to how our family grew. It evolved, I evolved, things changed. The stories and challenges of those years molded me in many ways. Assumptions and opinions, both my own and from others, started to feel like a heavy weight on my shoulders. I couldn't break free and just be myself without feeling confined by the past. So hey, why not start fresh? Giving the other blog a break allowed me to dream of this new space, and I'm excited to have everything, including the Goddess Mission dream, here in one place. I wanted to combine it all. Yippee!

Our children have sped through the baby phase, and soon we'll be off and traveling to new places as my husband starts graduate school. Early next year we'll put our house on the market, move to a new city, start a life on loans and a prayer, and, I'm certain, experience loads of grace and mercy along the way. And I want to chronicle it all here. Welcome to our new gypsy life... scroll to the bottom to become a follower... journey with us! We'll be travelers for the next decade and beyond... an adventure for sure!