January 31, 2010

My Sweats are Categorized


I am having one of those days where I'd like to call in sick for my mommy gig. My kids are even being good- so I can't figure it out. It's one of those days where I think if I hear: "Mom. Mom. Moooooommmmmmm!" one more time I may just blow a gasket. I have considered changing my name to djsaifdjdsi or some other thing that the kids can't pronounce and thus repeat a million times a day, but I don't think the idea would catch on. It's one of those days where I look at the pile of laundry that needs to be folded and put away and it just makes me want to puke. One of those days where I've already run the dishwasher twice and there are still dirty dishes in the sink. One of those days where I opened up the washing machine and realized that I washed a pull-up and 3 popsicle sticks. One of those days where hubby thinks that Sunday is perfect for sitting around and watching sports while I frantically play catch-up!

Don't get me wrong- I LOVE being a mom- but dude- some days I just get all the way burned out. Like somebody smoked me all the way down to the filter. Yep- I realize how blessed I am to be able to be a stay-at-home mom. This is not intended to be a working mom-vs- stay-at-home mom rant. Because, oh my gosh, I've tried both and they are both hard in very different ways. And they are both great! To each his own. I think at the heart of it, every mom just needs to do what feels right for her family. No matter which way you go, moms are heroes, blah, blah, blah.

But last night, I reached a new low in my mommy hood. We've been doing some painting projects. I have been trying to hurry up and get lots of home projects done before baby boy comes home. My dad said last night that it was kind of silly because Miles isn't going to realize if the house has a new coat of paint or not. I totally know this- but my thinking is that there were tons of things to be done and it's easier to do it now before I have another baby attached to my hip.

So anyway- I had just gone to Lowe's to get another gallon of paint. I went in my baseball cap and sweats and just said a prayer as I walked across the parking lot that I wouldn't run into anybody that I knew (PLEASE God- is that too much to ask?!) When I got home and got ready to paint, the following thought ran across my mind:

"I guess before I paint I need to take off my nice sweat pants and put on my gross sweat pants."

OH NO! I have become one of those women who has classifications of sweat pants! When did this happen to me? How can I fix it? Maybe the easiest fix would be to own more than one pair of jeans. Or go with the ever popular yoga pants(even though God knows it's been a loooong time since I've done actual yoga.) And then I took a good long look at myself in the mirror and realized that my eyebrows haven't been plucked in a coon's age and now look like woolly worms attached to my forehead. And I found 3 gray hairs last week. And those 20 pounds I've been meaning to lose are still hanging out on my thighs. And things that used to not droop are now resting somewhere around my belly button! And the bags under my eyes are so bad I look like I have on Halloween makeup. I'm sure it's nothing a little sleep, some wax and a shower can't cure, but OMG- it scared the bejeezus out of me!!

Either way- this new low in self image has me in a mommy funk today. Maybe there needs to be a little margarita therapy in my future? Or a nap? Or a hot bath? Or a chocolate cake? Or an hour of solitude? Or...

January 30, 2010

Saturday Snapshot





It's been almost 3 weeks since the "Pants on the Ground" phenomenon swept the country. I have found myself singing the tune of it all the time, but with different words. Like:
Jump in the tub,
Jump in the tub.
Scrub up your body when you
Jump in the tub.
-or-
Eat all your food
Eat all your food
You get big and strong when you
Eat all your food.
-or
Clean up your mess
Clean up your mess
Mom's gonna go nuts if you don't
Clean up your mess.


I just can't seem to stop! The nerdiness just keeps on rolling right out of me! If you have no idea what I'm talking about- here's the link to the original American Idol clip:


Happy Weekend!

January 28, 2010

Winner Winner Winner!!!!

Okay- so I am so untechnical. My first day with a webcam was not such a success! I am pretty sure that the whole broadcast had no audio. And I think we made everyone nautious. Sorry. Ughh. However...you can see how we did it all. And the winner is...

STORI SULLIVAN!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


Stori probably wet her pants just now! WooHoo! We backup recorded the whole thing on our regular video camera, so if I can figure out how, I'll put that video up.

Congrats Stori and thank you to everyone who donated. With the original $1500 we raised plus the $3560 from the raffle, you all helped us raise $5060 for Haiti and the DRC. I have already made the donation to Heartline via the internet. Our organization in DRC prefers a check, so I'll send that out tomorrow.

Special thanks to Veronica Caldwell who donated the condo. She was so inspired by how well the raffle was going that she has offered to give $25 to Heartline and OFA from any bookings she happens to get from this. How awesome is that!!! Just mention that you found her on our blog and she'll keep the giving going. Here are the links to her properties again.

http://www.vacationrentals.com/vacation-rentals/38065.html
http://www.vacationrentals.com/vacation-rentals/536.html
http://www.vacationrentals.com/vacation-rentals/2569.html

Again- from the bottom of my heart, thank you. Every single one of you. Thank you for caring. Thank you for donating. Thank you for linking us. Just thanks! You all are wonderful!!!!

And since we made it to the goal...be on the lookout for a thank you giveaway in the coming days...

Last Call!!!

Last call for tickets! (Each ticket is a $10 dollar donation) The raffle will end at 7:00 pm EST. The winner will be drawn live at 8:00 pm EST (If I can figure out how to make this work!) Gotta love technology! Check back at 8:00 to see if my kiddos draw your name. Good luck!

P.S. I am in total crunch mode, so I can't email out confirmations today. If you have bought tickets in the last 36 hours- I have them all done with bonus tickets entered. You're good! You're in! Thanks!

January 27, 2010

How do I love thee?

Let me count the ways...

My heart does a little flutter every single time a new donation comes in!

Your generosity tells me two things. ONE- y'all really want to go to the beach, AND TWO- y'all really care about the orphans in DRC and the people of Haiti. ( I think my international readers just scratched their heads and thought, who is this "y'all" she speaks of?)

I have so much love for every single one of you who have donated. In about 30 little hours I'll get to turn all that money over to the great organizations we've designated. Which means that you only have ONE MORE DAY to get in on the action!!!!

If you are a little new here- right before the raffle we did a campaign to raise money for the orphans I'll encounter in DRC- and $1500 was raised! Once the raffle started, the money started rolling in! (See, I knew you would LOVE the chance to go to Florida!) As of this minute, the raffle has brought in $2940! Add it all together and in about 3 weeks you all have managed to raise a whopping $4440!!!!!!!!! Oh my goodness! I have one last little challenge for you. Can we get to $5000? I think we can do it. That is just 56 more tickets to go!!!! If we can get to $5000 (the chip-in will have to read $3500) I swear- I'll do a really awesome giveaway when I recuperate from the raffle stress!

On a side note, is it wrong of me to have a little tinge of revenge for all those companies who wouldn't hire me out of college to do corporate fundraising? I'd like to call and tell every one of them to never EVER underestimate a mama who has passion for what she's doing! I also got turned down by lots of newspapers, too, but such is life!

In case you need a reminder of the bliss you could win, here's another picture of that beautiful Destin Beach...(and no- the kids don't come with the trip. Actually...on second thought...)


Sadie and Noah in Destin- Fall 2009

January 26, 2010

Yes- I am scared

Aside from the "when are you leaving" question (17 days!!!!!!!!!) the next question I always get is "are you scared". I think that most people mean this in the context that I'll be traveling without my hubby. And the answer is complicated. In some ways, no- I am not scared at all, and in other ways I am scared to death.

For some reason, this doesn't scare me.


But this is haunting my dreams.


The Congo is at war. And the war is raging. Soldiers are kidnapping children and brainwashing them and turning them into killing machines. Women are being raped and left to pick up the pieces without any resources and hearts full of shame. AIDS is used as a weapon here. Villages are in utter destruction, and the law is useless. But that doesn't scare me. I have no fear marching right into it. What terrifies me is leaving it. I am not sure how I will be able to leave all those suffering people. All those suffering children. In a way, I feel like what we are doing is so inadequate. I can't tell you how many people have approached us and told us how lucky little Miles is. That is not what this has been about for us. In every way possible, that child has saved us. We are the lucky ones. His very existence has stirred something in us. He has stirred something in our church. He has stirred something in our community. And if nothing else, those in our circle now know that the Congo exists. They know that children there are starving. They know that children there are dying of AIDS and malaria. They know that women are treated as property. In every sense of the word we are the lucky ones.

My heart has been broken for the Congo in the deepest way possible. So, no- going to a warring country stricken with unimaginable poverty doesn't make me flinch. That is just the physical. What scares me to death and keeps me awake at night is the fear that I won't be able to recover from what I'll see. How do you internalize such need? How do you look at those children in the orphanages and know that some of them won't be alive by the end of the week? My visit there will be just a snippet in time. The Congolese people will live like that long after I am gone. How do I take that in? How do I look at those hungry children and know that the statistics say that over half of them won't make it to their fifth birthday? How do I come back to my big house and 2 cars after seeing need and suffering like that? How do I look at my life and feel anything but guilt for my blessings? My prayer in this journey was that God would break me for what breaks him, because I believe that is the only way to follow his path. I am so grateful that this is what he has chosen to break me for. I know that because this is the path HE has chosen for me, that he will give me the strength to endure it. But I also know that sustaining strength won't shield me from what exists. It won't make the need go away. I can only pray that when Miles is home that the journey won't end for us. This is only the beginning and that is what has me terrified.

January 24, 2010

The joys of motherhood

A few anecdotes from the week:

Despite the fact that Noah always has a ball in the church nursery, he always grumbles about going to church. He was questioning why we had to go to church so I launched into this big speech about how we get to go to church to meet with and worship Jesus. That kid's eyes lit up! He said, "Wait! You mean Jesus goes to our church?!?! Sadie! Did you know that Jesus goes to our church?"

******
Sadie is continually drawing pictures of our family. I have been trying for a long time to get her to include Miles in one of her pictures and for some reason she never does. She always says that she'll put him in the pictures when he gets home to us. So imagine my surprise when I saw this on the kitchen table yesterday:

I was telling her how much I loved the picture she drew of herself and Baby Miles. She looked at me funny for a second and then said, "Mom- that is a picture of me and daddy." Um...really?

******

And then there is the fact that at Penn Station today, Noah came up behind me while I was checking out and pulled my dress up over my butt. Sometimes I wonder if I am a mother or a zookeeper!

January 22, 2010

For what it's worth

Is it worth your $10 donation to dream about winning a week here? Probably.





Is it worth your $10 donation to be able to do something about this? Absolutely.




Photo from Getty Images

Dear self...

10 years ago today, I met my husband. It was a totally chance encounter. Any little thing that happened that day could have completely derailed our meeting. The night I met him, there were a million things swimming around in my mind. I wondered at the time how it would "all turn out". I wished so badly, that I could have seen into the future to see if this guy (my Kamron) was worth all the fuss. My future self would have loved to have been able to write a letter to my then self. It would probably have sounded a little something like this...

Dear 18 year old self,

Good morning. It is January 22, 2000. Today is going to be a changing day in your life. Do not under any circumstances deviate from this plan or your entire life will turn out differently. Your roommate is getting ready to leave for a rare visit home, so it will be just you in the dorm tonight. Do not get mad at her when she says, "Oh yeah... I promised (insert friend's name here) that we would come to his birthday party tonight. Only, I can't go. So you're on your own." You will think and probably say out loud something like, "Crap! That is soooo not what I wanted to do." Since you are the only freshman in college whose parents will not let her have a car on campus, you will spend the day trying to secure a ride with someone to the party. Then you will get dressed. When you stand in front of the mirror, do not be disgusted with yourself. 120 pounds is not fat, dammit! Girl- you have no idea how bad that body is going to look once it has popped out 2 kids, so flaunt those perky assets to the best of your ability while there is still time. Go ahead and wear that skin tight red shirt. Someone you will meet tonight will notice you because you are wearing that skin tight shirt that you are pretty sure makes you look a little slutty (despite the fact that it is a turtleneck for God's sakes!) Also- even though in 10 years that shirt won't go over stomach rolls number 1,2 and 3- save it. Every time you pull it out of the box in the basement it will make you smile.

When your ride to the party starts saying that tonight she plans on losing her virginity- totally go with it. Her decision to be a tiny bit reckless is key to the whole picture. Heck- maybe you should even encourage this debauchery.

I know that you do not in any way want to be at this party, but darling, this is essential to your life's happiness. Do not sit there and grumble. Choose a seat facing the door. Because as soon as your food comes, a very beautiful hunk of man (and your future husband) will come walking through that door. You will know which one he is because he has on a blue sweater and a baseball hat and eyelashes that go for miles. You do not know it yet- but he does not want to be at this party either. He just didn't want to be sitting at home on a Saturday night. He will sit just about as far away as possible from you, but it's okay. You can feel free to turn around in your chair and stare at him a bit if you want. He'll later tell you that he spent a good bit of time staring at you, too.

When the party decides to move from the restaurant where you had the birthday dinner to a bar, just go with that, too. Do not for one second think that you should just try to get a ride back to the dorm. Go to the bar!!! When everyone starts leaving the restaurant, do not panic when you look around and can not find your ride. She left with her boyfriend to go and lose said virginity. Stay calm- this is part of the plan. Birthday boy will arrange for you to ride to the after party with that gorgeous hunk of man that you have yet to speak to. Do not worry about what your mother would think of you riding around with a total man stranger. She would be super mad. Later in life you can remind her that if she would have let you have a car on campus, the whole thing could have been avoided. (Sorry, mom!)

Don't be ashamed that the first conversation you strike up with this boy is in a bar. Lots of trashy wonderful couples meet in bars. And later, it will all make a good story. You will have a great time talking all night with this guy. Even though he is trying to be all Joe Cool, he has a good heart (and a great butt)

At the end of the night, even though you have a boyfriend, give this boy your phone number. He will hand you a tiny blue piece of paper to write it on. You will agonize for a split second about whether or not this is the right thing to do. It is not the right thing to do, but do it anyway. And when you breakup with the boyfriend- be nicer. Be honest. Take responsibility on this one and do not try to save face. You won't get a do-over on this one and you'll regret it later that you handled that boy's heart so recklessly.

Go ahead and get good and mad, when 4 days later that boy from the bar hasn't called. I mean, the nerve of him will totally put you on edge. You will want to rip his face off, and that is okay. On the fifth day after meeting him, you will somehow manage to run into him leaving a class. That in itself is a miracle, considering there are 24,000 students on campus. The thought about kicking him in the nuts will enter your mind, but don't do it. You will make eye contact. You will say "hi". He will say "hi". You will say, "You never called." And he will mumble some incoherent statement about trying not to appear needy, blah, blah, blah. He'll tell you that he was planning on calling you that very night. Even though it is a crock of poo, go on and believe him. He will ask you to go and have lunch at the student center. You will accept the invitation and go to lunch with him and you will have meaningless conversation about how greasy the food is at Long John Silver's. He will also talk about himself for an entire hour. You will be totally turned off by this. You will think to yourself, " I can't stand this guy! He is a total jerk!" Not calling= strike one. Blabbing on and on about his band for an hour without once asking anything about you= strike two. Somehow though, there will be something about this guy that draws you in like a magnet. When he asks to take you to a movie, go against your better judgement and go. That night at the movie will be the beginning of something amazing. That night at the movie, you will start to fall in love with that boy. You will discover that he is wonderful and sweet and kind and smart and compassionate. However, 10 years from now, do not be surprised if he still talks about his band all the time. Some habits die hard.

Against all odds, he will be your soul mate. You will marry him and he will be your rock. He will be the father of your children. He will be the absolute love of your life. Treasure him. Love him. Honor him. Because the next 10 years will not be easy. You all will face hard times. For most of those 10 years you will be flat broke. But it will be a beautiful ride, every last minute of it. All because you went to a party you never wanted to go to in the first place...

January 21, 2010

Self-Created Chaos

The countdown is on until I leave for Africa to go pick up our Baby Miles! I am in full on panic- warp speed preparation mode. Maybe I am just nesting. Maybe I am losing my mind. Maybe I just need to s-l-o-w down and take a breath. It's just that when preparing for a trip and preparing for a new baby to come home there isn't time to s-l-o-w down. There are baby clothes to wash (and I don't even know what size baby boy is!) There are bags to pack. There are schedules to make. There are high chairs, and car seats and exersaucers to bring up from the basement and scrub down. I only own an embarrassing small amount of undergarments, so I'm pretty sure I'll need to schedule an underwear and bra buying trip in there somewhere. (Because the number one rule of traveling to third world countries is A) Bring diarrhea medication and B) have plenty of undies!) And there is the overwhelming fear that somehow my husband might forget to feed the children while I'm gone (not really- but the mom in me thinks it might be a slight possibility)

Which brings me to this...After months of agonizing about it- I've we've decided that I will go to Africa to pick up Miles and Kamron will stay home and hold down the fort. We would have loved to have gone together, but dude, it is EXPENSIVE to travel to the DRC. And our kiddos are little and rotating them around to relatives for 10 days would create a lot of upheaval for them at an already chaotic time. I think mostly how it happened is that I bullied Kamron into this agreement. As a mom, I can't not go (I hear my old English teacher, EJ, sighing BIG time at that double negative!) Kamron has a lot of concerns about me traveling without him. In the midst of all of this pre-trip chaos, I can't help but feel a little worried for him and his peace of mind.

Somehow in the middle of this upheaval, I decided that we need to paint and redo our bedroom. When we moved into this house 3 years ago, the master bedroom was red. I like red, but this red is intense to say the least. Sometimes when I go in there I feel myself tense up. And the red makes me think of blood and I really don't like thinking about blood while I am trying to go to sleep. I didn't hate the red bad enough to paint over it immediately, so it all got put on the back burner. And 3 years later I am still looking at those ketchup walls. I think that I had complained about it for far too long, because for Christmas, Kamron bought me a new bedspread set that doesn't at all match the red (yippee!) so I am forced to paint! I don't think that I've mentioned before that I also only own 1 set of sheets. Not one set of sheets that match, mind you, just one set of sheets. Which means that often times I have found myself ready to go to bed, only to find that I forgot to put the sheets in the dryer and have to wait a good 30 minutes for them to dry before I go to bed. So with the new comforter set came a new set of sheets!!!!!! It really is the small things in life. Owning 2 sets of sheet makes me feel like I've arrived! Anyway- I decided that with a third child coming I really need a tranquil bedroom space, so that is on my agenda for today and tomorrow.

Also on my agenda- FILLING OUT RAFFLE TICKETS!!!! (See the post below if you have been under a rock for the last few days) This raffle is consuming my life, but I am all caught up. If you have purchased a ticket- I have it already filled out and in the raffle box. So if you have yet to get a confirmation from me- consider this your confirmation- it is all taken care of! You all are awesome! Thanks for purchasing so many tickets. But seriously- we are talking a WHOLE week in Florida, folks, so keep buying!! And I'd love nothing more that to make a TON of money for Haiti and the DRC. You might be asking yourself...aside from having the most beautiful beaches in the United States, what else does Destin have to offer? I could go on for days and days about this, so maybe I'll highlight a different Destin hot spot every day, just to keep you in the raffle ticket buying vacation state of mind.

Destin has a gulfarium. Not an aquarium, because there is not tank after tank of fish, but a gulfarium. As in, all the animals you'll see in the gulf. Like dolphins! They have lots of dolphins. And they do tricks! And the kids will freaking love it and beg you to go every day of your vacation. And you will say yes because those dolphins are entirely too cool! And they have alligators and sea lions (who also do tricks) and warm weather penguins, oh my! Here is a picture of my kids' favorite thing to see at the gulfarium taken on our last vacation to Destin.


Wanna go? I thought so. So buy a ticket. Already bought one? Buy another one. I wouldn't beg you so much, except that the organizations that we'll be donating the money to are in desperate need. Eight days after the earthquake in Haiti, people are still being dug out of the rubble. There are children in orphanages who have still not received any aid. There are people with serious wounds who have not yet had any medical attention. The organizations on the ground are doing all they can with what they have. But think about what a much better job they could do if they had all the tools they needed. This is where you come in. Your ten dollar ticket will buy fuel and medical supplies in Haiti. As you watch the heartbreak unfold on the news, turn your sorrow into action. Click the button to the left and donate your money. I've made the action super easy for you -and given you an opportunity to win a fabulous vacation in the process. Win/win for everyone involved. I know that the economy is tight, but YOU do have $10 to spare. Can you give up your big mac meal and brown bag it next week? Can you resist a few impulse buys at the Target One Spot? Can you drink your morning coffee at home and forgo the morning coffee run? Can you go without a few little things so that people in Haiti and the Congo can have hope? Sure you can. Please buy a ticket.

"If anyone has material possessions and sees his brother in need but has no pity on him, how can the love of God be in him? Dear children, let us not love with words or tongue but with actions and in truth." 1 John 3:17-18

January 18, 2010

Beach Vacation Raffle Benefitting Haiti and DRC!!!!

Who wants to spend a week at the beach? (Me! Me!) Who wants to help the earthquake victims in Haiti? (Me! Me) Who wants to help the children in orphanages in the Democratic Republic of Congo? (Me! Me!)

If these apply to you, then you are in luck!!! We are hosting a beach vacation raffle to aid Haitian earthquake relief and orphans in the warring country of the Democratic Republic of Congo (where our son is adopted from).

Up for grabs is a FULL WEEK at this gorgeous 2 bedroom, 2 bathroom condo in DESTIN, FLORIDA!!! The condo is in the conveniently located Ciboney complex in east Destin. The beach condo sleeps a family of 8 (no more that 6 adults) You can step out on your balcony and see the Gulf of Mexico! If you have never been to Destin, you have really been missing out- sugary, white sand beaches, crystal clear emerald waters, beautiful sunshine. Ahhhh...heaven!




This condo is perfect for families. Can't you just see your family making wonderful memories here?




And your little monkeys will sleep so well in their cute bedroom (plus there is an extra bunk room w/ a set of bunk beds):




If you're lucky you might get a few minutes of relaxation in here:





And lots of time here:



The condo has a fully equipped kitchen- if you are like me, you know that cooking a few meals on vacation can make a trip cheap! All of the details of this Ciboney Beach Condo can be found at http://www.vacationrentals.com/vacation-rentals/38065.htmlNow that you are just dying to go to the beach, all you have to do is purchase a raffle ticket for your chance to win a full week at this awesome beach condo! Each raffle ticket costs $10.

WHERE WILL THE MONEY GO?
Because this beach condo was completely donated, this raffle has absolutely NO overhead. This means that 100% of the money raised will go to help people in need. All money raised from this raffle will be split equally between Haiti earthquake relief and the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC).

In Haiti: money raised will be donated to Heartline Ministries in Haiti. Heartline has been on the ground in Haiti for more than 20 years. They have an incredible staff and have been orchestrating amazing programs in Haiti for a long time. In the aftermath of the earthquake, they are conducting emergency clinics, providing emergency housing and humanitarian relief. They are currently in desperate need of money to purchase diesel, and medical supplies.

In DRC: money will go to various orphanages to meet the direct needs of the children there, including food, water, formula, school supplies, clothing. Money will be distributed through Our Family Adoptions who cares for the needs of children throughout the Congo.

HOW TO ENTER:
Raffle tickets are $10 each. 1 ticket will give you 1 chance at winning the week long stay at the Ciboney condo in Destin, FL. . $20= 2 entries, $30= 3 entries and so on.
THE RULES: (because you know there have to be a few.)
1. You may earn a bonus entry (1 ticket) into the raffle by blogging about it or linking us on your Facebook page. You must leave a comment on this post telling me that you linked this raffle.

2. The winner of the raffle will be announced LIVE (because I'm fancy like that!) on Thursday, January 28th at 8:00pm EST.

3. If you donated to our previous campaign to raise money to feed the Congolese orphans I AM CONVERTING YOUR DONATIONS INTO RAFFLE TICKETS!!!! Those of you who were so kind to donate when you had nothing to gain restored my faith. I will send you an email confirmation in the coming days of how many tickets you earned. If you donated an odd amount like $25, feel free to add in the extra $5 to purchase that third ticket! Every dime of the original $1500 you raised will still go directly to the DRC to purchase food for the orphans.

4. If you are the winner of the raffle- you will have 48 hours to contact me to claim your prize. After 48 hours, if you have not contacted me, you forfeit your prize and a new name will be drawn.

5. Winner of the raffle must take the week long rental during the 2010 calendar year. Trip may not be taken from June 1- July 31.

BEST OF LUCK! REMEMBER- THE REAL WINNERS OF THIS RAFFLE WILL BE THE EARTHQUAKE VICTIMS AND ORPHANS. PLEASE GIVE GENEROUSLY KNOWING THAT THE MONEY YOU GIVE WILL MAKE A HUGE DIFFERENCE IN THE LIVES OF PEOPLE IN NEED.

***And lastly- I don't know about you guys, but I LOVE to do business with people who are trying to make a difference in the world. The woman who so graciously donated this condo (her name is Veronica), did so without expecting to receive anything in return. She just wanted to help. If you are planning a vacation- why not go to Destin, FL and stay in one of her 3 beautiful properties? She has the most reasonable rates I've seen in Destin. Here are the links to all of her vacation condos.
http://www.vacationrentals.com/vacation-rentals/38065.html
http://www.vacationrentals.com/vacation-rentals/536.html
http://www.vacationrentals.com/vacation-rentals/2569.html

Thank you. Good Luck and God Bless! -Megan

We did it!!!

We've met the goal!!!!!!!!! You all have donated enough money to feed 100 hungry children in the Congo for 2 whole months!!!!!!!! I can't thank you enough. I can't tell you enough how much this will impact the children in the Congo. I can't possibly express to you how much your generosity and your kindness have meant to me. You all have championed this cause. You've blogged about it. You've talked about it. You've slipped me 20 dollar bills across the table in Sunday School. You've dropped formula off at my doorstep. You've sent a loud and clear message that the children in the Congo matter. For that I am grateful- for you I am grateful. Thank you. Thank you. Thank you.

P.S. Check back tomorrow night for a HUGE announcement!

January 16, 2010

Heartbreak

I have waited so long to write about Haiti because I simply can not wrap my mind around the devastation. We have been supporting Heartline Ministries in Haiti for a little while now because I think the work that they have been doing is amazing. I have even tossed around the idea in my head that if we ever adopted again, it might be from Haiti. We've become blog friends with tons of adoptive families from Haiti. So when I heard about the magnitude of the earthquake in Haiti, my heart just broke.

I have sheltered myself from the news for the last week. I have been keeping up with what is going on purely by the internet, because I knew that I couldn't handle seeing the images of the devastation. I know what deep, dark destitute, poverty looks like. I know what hurting people look like. I know what sick and starving babies look like. I know the statistics about orphans. So I thought that if I could just read about it, I could shield myself. Yesterday, however, I thought that I was prepared to finally turn the TV back on. I turned on Good Morning America. I thought that the kids were occupied and that I might just have a minute alone to see the coverage and grieve. About that time Sadie walked in and saw the TV. The images were of rows and rows of little brown babies, lying on the ground, covered in cuts. They were all crying. Sadie came in and sat beside me and snuggled her head into me. She said, "Mom, is that where our baby Miles is? Is he hurt?" I think the images reminded her of pictures she has seen of the orphanages in Kinshasa. I told her that our baby Miles was safe, but there were lots of babies who were hurt and sick in Haiti who were not safe.

Every one of those little babies is somebody's baby. All of the suffering people in Haiti are someone's mother, brother, father, sister. And they were suffering long before the earthquake changed the face of Haiti forever. If anything positive can come of this state of chaos, it is that now the world knows. The world knows that the people of Haiti need help.

Hearing the derogatory comments of some people in the media about Haiti, reminds me of just how ignorant and biggoted people can be. We have heard the same things in regard to Africa. We have heard the comments that if we just left "Africans to themselves" they would eventually just "go away." The same has been said of Haitians. But I think that as Americans, we just don't understand. When I say that we have nothing to eat in our house, I really mean that there is nothing that I want to eat, yet my cupboards are still full. When I get mad about a costly car repair, I forget that just having a car makes me in the elite 5% of people in the world. When I get inconvenienced during a storm because the electricity is knocked out for a couple of hours, I forget that there are millions and millions who have no power on a daily basis. We look on the news and see looting and crime in impoverished nations and we think about how uncivilized their societies are. But I can guarantee that if my children were hungry, I would resort to anything I could to make sure they had food. We don't stop to put ourselves in their shoes, because their world is one that we can't even fathom. When all we've ever understood is privilege, we can't picture anything different. We live such blessed lives that we take for granted every single day.

Having a child that lives in the second poorest country in the world (only behind Zimbabwe) has opened my eyes to so much. Once your eyes have been opened, you can't pretend that you don't know. You can't pretend that there aren't desperate people everywhere. You can't hide from the overwhelming need.

By now, most of you have probably already donated to aid in the earthquake relief. But there are still things that you can do. So many families are in the middle of processing adoptions in Haiti. You can write your senators and ask that these adoptions be expedited and that these precious children be granted emergency entrance into the US. Every baby that can make it to their forever home, will free up resources for the babies in Haiti who have to stay. Here is the link to find and email your senator.
http://www.senate.gov/general/contact_information/senators_cfm.cfm

Tons of blogs are donating money for every comment that gets left on their blogs. My friend Corey, who has adopted 5 children from Haiti, has compiled a list of these on her blog. http://watchingthewaters.wordpress.com/ Take a minute to click around and comment on these blogs so that more money can pour into Haiti.

And lastly, and most importantly, pray. Pray for the hurting people. Pray for the Haitian Americans who can not find their friends and families in their home country. Pray for the families who are digging their loved ones out of the rubble. Pray that our eyes would be opened to suffering in the world. Pray that Haiti will be resilient to such tragedy. Pray that in the coming weeks, as Haiti fades out of the news media, that WE will still remember to pray for and support the nation of Haiti.

So many times we focus of how different things are in places like Haiti and the Congo. But deep down, though our lives are very different- we are all just people.

Their lives may be different from yours,
And their words may be very different from yours.
But inside their hearts are just like yours.
Whoever they are,
Wherever they are,
All over the world.

Their smile is like yours,
And they laugh just like you.
Their hurts are like yours,
And they cry like you, too.
Whoever they are,
Wherever they are,
All over the world.

Joys are the same,
And love is the same.
Pain is the same,
And blood is the same.
Smiles are the same,
And hearts are the same-
Whoever they are,
Wherever you are,
Wherever we are,
All over the world.

-From Whoever You Are, by Mem Fox

January 15, 2010

New Digs

Today we put up the crib! It's really happening! I'm sure that your next question is the inevitable "when are you traveling?" And while I'd LOVE to share all that's going on with our travel plans, I'm just not at liberty to do so. Sorry, loves. In due time.

When our Noah Bear moved out of his crib, we bought bunk beds for his room. We knew that during this adoption process we were going to request to be matched with a boy. We also said that we'd take a child up to age 3. We thought that we'd just put our 2 toddler boys in the same room and all would be wonderful. We just assumed that we'd be matched with a toddler, since they are harder to match and we were more than happy to have a toddler. Imagine our surprise when we were matched with a teeny tiny! So there we were with the bunk beds and we'd be needing a crib! We didn't have the beds actually bunked because we have weird ceilings and it just didn't seem practical. Sadie and Noah have been wanting to sleep together for months now so having the 2 beds in the same room was handy. The first month they each took a bed in the same room. Lately, though, the scene has looked like this:

They sleep sideways for some reason and Sadie's legs stick off a good foot and a half, but they seem to like it. {My little brother and I did the same thing until we were in high school. (same room- not the same bed because that would have been too gross.) Then I wanted to be on the phone til midnight every night and I gave him the boot.} We didn't want to split up Sadie and Noah and I didn't really want to put Miles in Sadie's pink room, so it appears that all 3 kids will now be sharing a room. This is what they want to do, so I'm just going with it. Yeah- the furniture doesn't match, but for some reason I just don't care. I think that this 3rd kid is mellowing me out! (Hallelujah!) So after some configuring and some fantastic eBay finds, here's the new digs.






Noah and his Aunt Kennethia decorated the door a few weeks ago with some Bendaroos. I LOVE it! If you are a mom and you have young kids you have got to get some Bendaroos. They are too much fun. (They say you can only buy them on TV but you can get them at Walgreen's.)
Sadie loves to get on the computer and look at the pictures I put on here. If she saw that I put up Noah's room without putting up hers, she would be upset. She's just sensitive like that. So here's Sadie's room that no one sleeps in!


Now- if we could only get a cute, little, snuggly baby to put in that crib we'd be all set!

January 14, 2010

Odds and Ends

I think that I have become one of those people who wouldn't function well as a single person. Kamron had a seminar tonight at work and he wasn't home for dinner. Even when he has band stuff- he's still always home for dinner. So when he's not- look out! When it is just me and the kids- I don't cook. We all fend for ourselves. Sadie had pizza rolls in the microwave. I had a bowl (or two) of Lucky Charms. And Noah had 100 calorie hostess cupcakes, which he ate in the nude. I justified this by reminding myself that yesterday Noah ate an entire 1-lb bag of baby carrots by himself. It took him about 4 hours to do it- but he ate the whole bag. That should be enough nutrition to carry him through a dinner of cupcakes. Lord help us if circumstances ever made me have to be a single mom!

Today we got to go to the Louisville Science Center with our friends the Sullivan's, who adopted two little boys from the Congo. Those boys are adorable! And so little and snuggly. It was great to sit with Stori (isn't that the coolest name ever!?) and pick her brain about traveling to the DRC and about adjusting to her new little ones. Noah was feeling extremely anti-social today, so I could barely get all of our boys in a shot together. Here are my best attempts:





There are so few of us in the US who have children adopted from DRC. We are just insanely lucky that the Sullivans live relatively close to us. Within a 2 1/2 hour radius from us, there are 4 Congo families. We adore all of the families and are looking forward to many years of get togethers and reunions.

I have my appointment to get some more travel vaccinations tomorrow. I went to the international travel clinic last week. They assured me that the only shot that was required to travel to DRC was yellow fever, so that is what I got. Evidently they were wrong! The application for a visa in DRC requires lots of other shots, so I am off for round two tomorrow. I am wondering if I can fake some sort of vaccine side effect to weasel a backrub or some sympathy from my husband? Just kidding!

The chip-in meter has still been steadily rising. We are now only $200 away from reaching our goal of feeding the entire orphanage for 2 whole months. You all just continue to amaze me! Don't forget that by becoming a follower of this blog, I'll donate a dollar in your honor. Blog following is just one way to help us get the word out about our mission and raise awareness about the desperate need in the Congo. Thanks!

Here A Chick, There A Chick...

Happy Birthday, Chicken John- aka Papaw Johnny!




My dad has been telling Sadie for almost 2 years that he was going to get some chickens to raise on his little farm. Last week he said he was finally ready to bite the bullet and get a "few" chickens. Tonight at his birthday dinner, he informed us that he ordered 130 chickens! Now that is quite a bit more than "a few". (I was thinking he meant 7 or 8?!) And guess how one acquires chickens? Through the US postal service, of course. How cool is that? We can't wait to go and pick up 130 day-old chicks from the post office. It's all happening at the end of March. Aside from Miles' homecoming it's going to be the most highly anticipated event of the spring. So it's out with Papaw Johnny and in with Chicken John! Happy Birthday, Dad! We love you!

January 12, 2010

New Picture of Miles!!!

Adoptive mamas...what's better than a million dollars??? That's right! It's new pictures!!! Actually it is picture in the singular, but I am SO grateful to have it. A facebook friend of mine works to send in supplies to the Congo through the United Methodist conference that sponsors Miles' orphanage. I heard a rumor that new pictures of the Jamaa Letu (Miles' orphanage) kids might be circulating. So I thought I'd just shoot him a message and see if he could dig through his photos for a picture of our little guy! And he had one!!!!! (Can you tell how excited I am from all the exclamation points?) And here he is: (We think this picture was taken on New Year's Day- so it is only 11 days old!)


It is just so good to see his little face (even if he is doing something kinda weird with his eye.) His hair looks like it has grown a little bit, but he looks smaller to me- like maybe he's lost a little weight. I don't know- it's so hard to tell from a picture. I can't wait to finally see that boy smile! Not too much longer.

So I asked (practically begged) for a picture and it happened. Now if I beg you to make that chip-in meter (on the left) move will you do it? It hasn't moved all day!

January 11, 2010

Noahisms

The world according to a three year old is a fun one. Here are a few of Noah's latest ramblings:

***While shopping in Kroger last week (which was PACKED because of the snow advisory) Noah sat in the front of the cart yelling to all the people in the aisles to "Look out! A boogie trap is about to get you! Run!" Old ladies fighting each other for milk and bread did not find this amusing. I'm pretty sure he meant boobie trap.

***While trying to get Noah to spread his fingers to put on his gloves: "I can't do it! It's dark inside my gloves and my fingers are too scared!"

***While telling Noah to "push, push, push" his feet into his snow boots: "I'm trying to push but I'm afraid I'm gonna lay an egg!"

***Screaming from the bathroom: "Mom- come look at this! I pooped in Chinese!" Still not sure what this means, but he sure was proud of himself!

***"Mom, what does coffee taste like? Hot, mint or sour?"

And by the way... do you remember the great deal we got on the black Cabbage Patch doll last week? Sadie has named her Tootie (and no, she's never watched the Facts of Life.)

Let it snow!









January 09, 2010

Holy Cow! (And a new challenge!)

You all have blown me away! Do you see that meter on the left? Take a look at it. This morning the goal was to raise $750. You blew that out of the water. You all raised enough money to feed an entire orphanage for a whole month! And you did this in less than 2 days. I can't thank you enough. Sincerely, from the bottom of my heart. I am rejoicing for all of the children who will go to bed with full tummies because of what you have done. I am writing this through tears because I am so overwhelmed with your generosity and the enormity of it all.

But, somehow, I just can't seem to think that we are done. I'm raising the bar. Let's feed the entire orphanage for 2 months! I know that it is a lofty goal, but I know that together we can do it! Now the chip-in meter will have a goal of $1500. We have one month to do it. I KNOW you all will come through! I'm throwin' down the gauntlet. If you have thought about giving and haven't- it's not too late. If you've been thinking about giving and haven't because you can only spare a dollar- know that your dollar will feed a child for 4 days and that is HUGE! I can't tell you how much of an impact every single dollar makes. Please click the "chip-in" button and give what you can.

I have been so humbled at the people who have given money to help. Family have donated. Friends have donated. Complete strangers have donated. Families in the middle of their own adoptions have donated. Some have been big, some have been small. Every single dollar matters. I know that if people traveling to the orphanages before me hadn't done this exact same thing, that my son, my sweet precious baby would be hungry right now. My mother's heart can hardly stand to think about it. But hunger is a reality that 5 million orphans live with every single day.

When you think of 5 million orphans, it is daunting. But, you all, ONE of those children is mine. ONE of those children is my friend Jodi's. ONE of those children is my friend Chantal's. ONE of those children is my friend Jamey's. ONE of those children is my friend Amanda's. ONE of those children is my friend Debbie's. I could go on like this for pages and pages. The point is this: every single one of those children matters. They all deserve love. They all deserve a family. They all deserve to eat. They all deserve a chance.

Please keep helping. Please keep giving. Please keep sharing this challenge with friends in any way that you can. In changing the life of a child, you can change an entire family. And when you change an entire family, you can change an entire village. And when you change and entire village, you can change an entire country. Every single one of us has the power to do something amazing here. Will you do it? Will you help? I hope that you will.

January 07, 2010

I NEED YOUR HELP!!!

I talked to our attorney last night about how our adoption is proceeding. We are waiting on the Consulate in DRC to make an appointment to see us face to face. I learned yesterday that the Consulate took the entire month of December off, and is a little back logged and is not really making any effort to schedule us in. So it looks like instead of traveling at the end of this month like we had hoped, we'll be going in early February, if all goes as planned.

We are also having a little trouble getting Miles a passport. The DRC recently went digital in creating passports. Woo Hoo for technology. However, in the DRC they only have one machine they use to create these digital passports. And that machine happens to be just about as far away from Miles as is geographically possible. So we are not sure how to get him to the machine. None of our options seem very good or cost effective, so we are all trying to brainstorm. So now your job is to pray, pray, pray that the consulate will man up and make us an appointment, and also that we can figure out a way for Miles to get a passport. We've had absolutely smooth sailing thus far so I suppose that we were due to have a few bumps in the road. Let's just pray that these things remain bumps and don't become mountains. I'd like to be snuggling my little boy in less than 30 days!

I intend to use this minor delay to my advantage. Since we may only have approximately 30 days until I travel to Africa, I am beginning to get things in order for the trip. So many of you all have asked me how you can help. So I am going to go out on a limb here and give you the opportunity to help in a very real way. The orphanages that our agency uses need formula and food desperately. There is not a lot of formula available in Congo, and what is available is not always the best at helping the babies gain weight. So our hope is to collect as much formula as we can to take with us to distribute. If you are someone that knows us personally, or goes to church with us- you can help us by donating cans of powdered infant formula. Any kind is fine. Good old American formula really helps these babies get the nourishment they need and helps them gain weight. So that is one way you can help us. Also- if you need me to come and pick up a formula donation from you, please email me and I'll be HAPPY to pick it up!

I also know that lots of people who read this blog are friends from all over the US and around the world. You all can really help us, too. I have set up a chip-in meter on the top left. You can click on that to donate money securely to our cause. Every dime of this money will be used to buy rice and beans for the orphanage. Not one penny will be used to cover costs of our adoption. Everything that you donate will go directly to feed the hungry kids in the Congo. If you're like me, you probably don't have a whole lot of extra money rolling around. But every dollar makes a huge difference. The world food program is estimating that right now it cost 23 cents to feed a child for a day. So your dollar will feed four kids for a day. $7 would feed those same 4 kids for a week. If we could raise $750- we could feed 100 kids for an entire month! You guys- we can totally do this!!!! Donate a buck, or 5 bucks or 10 bucks or 50. It all adds up! I am setting a goal of $750, but would love to just blow that out of the water!!!

While we get to bring Miles home with us, there are thousands of orphans we'll have to leave behind. I'd love to be able to feed as many of them as you all will help me feed. Please- I am begging you to help. Donate! I'd love to watch that chip-in meter rise at warp speed. I'd love to leave church every Sunday absolutely loaded down with cans of formula. This is YOUR chance to make an impact!

And to help jumpstart the fundraising effort, I am going to donate $1 for each of my blog followers. Today there are 44 followers. So that's $44. That feeds 178 kids for a day! You all- I'd love to be able to write a check for $100 by the time I go to Africa. Become a follower and I'll make a donation in your honor! When you click the button to follow this blog (on the left) or by clicking HERE, readers will be able to find their way to this blog from any other blogs you follow. And by finding this blog, they could feel led to help the orphans of the Congo, too. It could generate a whole snowball effect of giving! And that's what it's all about. So please click to become a follower. Please link me on facebook. Please blog about this. If every reader that read this blog everyday donated just $1 and became a follower- we could shatter that $750 goal in about 5 days. But I can't do it without your help. PLEASE! The children in the Congo need YOU! Please give.

January 06, 2010

Bagels, Boots and Black Babies

Sadie is blissfully back in school now that Christmas break is over, so today I had some great one on one time with Noah. He is such a different kid when you have him alone. They are calling for 5 inches of snow in Kentucky tomorrow. That is a HUGE deal around here. That much snow will shut down our city for at least 3 days. So Noah and I went consignmenting (is that a word?) to find snow boots for him and Sadie. Last year, we got about 5 inches of snow. I knew it was coming but I refused to buy snow boots for the kids. Around these parts, you may only get to wear them once and it just seemed like a big waste of money. If you know how cheap I am this will not surprise you. So I decked out my kids in my outgrown snowsuits from the 80's and tied plastic grocery bags around their tennis shoes to try to keep their shoes dry. They were the most ghetto looking kids I've ever seen. First of all, I made Sadie wear a size 4 snowsuit. Last winter she was a size 6. So a good 4 inches of leg was showing at the bottom. Add the plastic bags over the shoes and basically I just created a holding tank for the snow that seeped into their shoes. When we came in for a break my poor kids had drenched socks and purple feet. Not good. So this year I decided I should bite the bullet and get them some snow boots. We went to the store and they happened to have one pair left in Noah's size but it appeared that they didn't have any big enough for Sadie's feet. We walked around the store and came back to the shoes and evidently, someone had put back the most perfect snow boots of all times- because there they were- in all their size 1 glory: Leopard print snow boots all decked out with hot pink trim. Girlfriend is going to flip out when she sees them! I can't wait to give them to her. And all for the bargain price of $8!!!

Plus, while we were there, we picked up the most adorable black Cabbage Patch kid. She was $4.50. However, her white counterpart that was sitting right next to her was $10. And the white baby doll even had marker all over her arms. This devaluation of "blackness" just bugs me to death! I have noticed several times at Wal-Mart that the black baby dolls are much cheaper than the white dolls. And while I'm on this little soap box- did you know that it costs less to adopt black babies? Seriously. What does this say about equality and the value we place on skin color? That's just a tid- bit for you. But I'll probably just save this issue for another post, because, believe me- I have a LOT more to say about it.

So- back to my date with Noah... we had lunch out at Panera Bread, which is always our go to place when the 2 or us get to have a date. We load up on cinnamon crunch bagels and iced tea. We were joined on this lunch by Noah's imaginary friends. He refers to them in a generic collective by just calling them "my friends". They have no individual names. At home he will start screaming that his friends are coming and will make us open the door to let them in. Today, the "friends" had been bad and Noah wouldn't let them eat any lunch. We were talking away about any number of topics and all of a sudden Noah threw himself under the booth and onto the floor. I told him that he needed to get up off the floor and sit in his seat. He said that he couldn't do it because his friends were kicking him in the collarbone and he had to hide from them. Sadie's imaginary friends used to be mean to her too. She would just start crying uncontrollably and when we'd ask her what was wrong she would say that her imaginary friends were calling her names and they wouldn't let her play with them. I'm not sure what that says about me as a mother- that my children create these mean spirited alter egos, but somehow I just can't reason with them that they can just "pretend" that their imaginary friends are nice. It just doesn't occur to them that they have complete control over this! (For a previous post about the kids' imaginary friends, click HERE)

It was just freezing out today and we did a lot of getting in and out of the car. Once when we got into the store we were going to, Noah said, "I'm so freezing cold! Can we move into the nursing home? It's nice and toasty in there!" Instead of moving him into the nursing home (some days I'd like to!), I just bought a new portable heater for the kid's room. They each have their own rooms, but a few months ago, they decided that they wanted to start sleeping together in Noah's room. Now those 2 kids are sleeping in a tiny twin bed together. Basically, Noah talks Sadie's head off at night until she falls asleep. Then I suppose he gets bored and finally gives up and falls asleep, too.

In case you need a little humor today, here's a replay of a conversation I had with Noah in the car a couple of days ago.
Me: Noah, you sure are talking a lot today.
Noah: Yep, I guess my mouth just feels like dancing!

He's so cute it just kills me! Happy hump day!

January 05, 2010

Renewal

I think that I have been living life in a fog for a while. One of those fogs where you just spin your wheels as fast as they can go for days and days on end and still can't find the clearing. Only I think that I've been spinning for months and in the last 2 weeks it has all crashed down on me. Sadness, grief, stress, longing, worry... they've all had me in their grip. And the grip was hard. And it wouldn't let go. It held on to me so tight sometimes I felt like I just couldn't breath because I was surrounded. It sucked the joy right out of me. I am not a person who battles with depression or anything. But I am prone to letting "life" build up to the point where it breaks me.

And boy have I been broken. Dealing with a death. Having a child so far away. The need in the world is go great, it physically hurts me, sometimes. It sits on me like a boulder. This waiting game we've been playing in almost every aspect of our lives had just taken over and exhausted me.

So I spun my wheels trying to break free. I thought if I could only spin fast enough, I could somehow just work through it. But I couldn't outrun it. I couldn't busy my mind to the point where I could get all the monkeys off my back. All the busyness just served to exhaust me more and I fell deeper in. It's been a vicious cycle. Today my heart screamed out for rest. So that's what I did. I took Noah to school and spent a few hours alone for the first time in almost a month. I had been looking forward to this little mini-retreat for days. I had it all planned. I was going to do all the Christmas gift returning. So I loaded up the car with all the returns. But then at the last minute, I decided to grab a CD to listen to in the car. Sometimes when I just need to mellow out, music really helps me. I popped in the CD and before I got to the end of the street, I was crying uncontrollably. With my grandfather's death, I've done a lot of crying lately. But this crying was completely different. This was the kind of crying that pours out in search of renewal. I stopped at the stop sign and just sat there for a few minutes to compose myself.

I think that sometimes when our hearts and minds are heavy and need to rest, that that is the time you need to let everything else take a break and let your soul do the running. My soul has been depleted lately. I've tried. I've done a lot of praying. I've done a lot of bargaining with God. I've gotten mad at him a few times. I searched for him, but couldn't focus long enough to find him. But I haven't just flat out cried out to him in a long time. So that's what I did. I sat there at that stop sign and just cried out. Then, I did what my soul has been craving for so long- I stopped. I sat still. I sat there with God and listened and felt and just finally shut up long enough to feel the things he's been wanting me to feel.

And it was great. To get back in control, I finally just had to be still long enough to surrender it all. I had to let go of the control and just admit that I can't do it all. Faith is a tricky thing like that. I was teaching my Sunday School class a couple of weeks ago about the kind of faith we're called to have. I was thinking about the Christmas story from Luke, when it gets to the part at the end of the story that says, "And Mary pondered all of these things in her heart." I tried desperately to put myself in Mary's position and just couldn't do it. She was only a human, yet she gave birth to a son who would rule the Earth, that she would ultimately have to give up to save a fallen world. As a mom- I think the enormity of it all hit me. How much faith does it take to say, "Okay God- I love this little baby you gave me, and here he is. I'll give him back to you so he can die." I know that if I had been in Mary's position I could never do what she did. If God came to me, and said he needed Sadie, or Noah, or Miles- I couldn't do it. No way. I can't wrap my head around it, much less my heart. But really- that's the kind of faith that we are called to live. The kind of blind faith that says, "Lord, I don't see the big picture here, but I trust you with it." I know that I don't always have that kind of faith and sometimes it makes me mad that I don't. Sometimes I am there, but it always seems fleeting. Then life gets in the way and I lose sight of it. But I guess the whole point of it all is to never stop striving.

And sometimes striving means standing still and resting in the fact that sometimes God will say, "Take a break. Rest. I've got this. Just breathe." So today I'm going to just breathe. Because some days all you can do is breathe in and out and rest in Him. And wait for renewal. And, oh my gosh, the renewal is magnificent!

January 02, 2010

Megan 101

I noticed today that my last post was my 100th post. That calls for a celebration! Aside from my husband, I have never stuck with anything this long. However, if I don't blog for a couple of days, my phone rings off the hook with relatives calling to see if I am incapacitated. So- after 100 posts (this makes number 101), over ten thousand blog hits and readers in 7 countries (how cool is that!)I have come to realize that I blog about my kids, adoption, world issues, random idiocies, lather- rinse-repeat without ever really blogging about myself. I am pretty sure I do that on purpose, because- well, it's hard to write about yourself. So today I am stepping out of my comfort zone and blogging 101 things about myself in honor of blog post 101. Settle in folks- it's gonna be a long one. And to be quite honest, I am pretty boring. So no guarantees on this one. Welcome to Megan 101- here goes:

1. I'm 28, but sometimes I feel like I live the life of a 45 year old.
2. When I was a kid I wanted to be a marine biologist- little did I know I would be terrified of getting in the ocean as an adult.
3. My favorite job I've ever had was when I worked in a bookstore in college. Actually- that's the only job I've ever had that I actually liked.
4. I can not speak in public without crying or making everyone around me cry.
5. I have tried every single diet known to man. And they all work- but only for 6 weeks.
6. I graduated from college in only 3 1/2 years. (I figured I could "beat the man" by taking 21 credit hours at a time since they only charge you for 15 hours)
7. I was a competitive swimmer for 9 years and while I love the discipline it taught me, I would NEVER ever do it again.
8. I hate to compete. I will gladly let you win at anything because winning doesn't matter to me a bit.
9. Some of my favorite books are Gone With The Wind, Jane Eyre, The Poisonwood Bible, A Million Little Pieces and Beach Music.
10. I got a varsity letter in college for being on the rowing team. Boats, that is. And it was really fun!
11. I met my husband in a bar.
12. When I had Sadie I did it all natural. I lost my insurance when I was 4 months preggers and the hospital wanted to charge me $1000 cash to have an epidural. All through labor I was ticking off the hours like dollar bills. Every hour that went by I patted myself on the back for saving a hundred bucks.
13. The second time I had a baby, I had insurance. And there was no way in hell I wasn't going to get an epidural!
14. My mom, my daughter and I all have a mole on our butt on the exact same place. (Sorry for sharing that mom. When you have to come up with 101 things, you have to stretch!)
15. I started coloring my hair when I was 15 and it took me until I was 27 to figure out how to get my hair back to my natural color.
16. I am a sucker for novelty rap. The raunchier the better.
17. I was an English major for 2 years in college until I realized that I probably couldn't make a career out of reading good books. Then I became a broadcast journalism major for a short while, but the thought of having to be on camera made me want to throw up. So I finally ended up with a communications/marketing degree, but I still have no idea what I want to be when I grow up.
18. My favorite passage in the Bible is Psalms 139.
19. I teach Sunday School for teenagers. I love teenagers. I am like a magnet for the really screwed up ones. The more dark and twisty they are- the more I love them.
20. I talk a lot (shocker!) but I don't really like talking on the phone- despite the fact that I talk to my mom at least 3 times a day and check in with my dad at least once.
21. I am obsessed with checking my email.
22. I love to write thank you notes. Actually- I should make that broader and just say that I like to write.
23. My favorite of all the household chores is washing the dishes. There is just something about having my hands in warm water that makes me feel calm.
24. I hate to cook but love to bake.
25. I am really bad at telling jokes. I always screw up the punchline.
26. I have a terrible addiction to diet Pepsi. There are days when I drink up to 5. *gasp*
27. I used to lie about what I made on my ACT because all of my friends did better than me and all of my cousins are freaking geniuses who made near perfect scores. I totally rocked the English portion, but since I can barely add, my math score might well have set a record for the lowest math ACT score in history. Which brings me to...
28. I barely passed college algebra. I only passed by one point. That could also be because I think math is so stupid that I only went to class maybe 3 times the whole semester.
29. As a baby, I had Kawasaki's disease which was recently in the media with the death of John Travolta's son.
30. I totally wear Spanx under my jeans.
31. I prefer to write in pencil or in blue ink. Never on a notebook with spiral edges. And I always print. I can not stand to write in cursive.
32. I am hyper organized and when I get stressed out or pissed off with my husband, I clean. Then I complain about how no one helps me clean. I know that it is totally passive-aggressive but I do it anyway.
33. I cry every time I hear the national anthem. When my brother was serving in Iraq I bawled like a baby every time I heard it.
34. Since I became a mom- I will also expand the list of song that make me cry to include The Little Drummer Boy. Kamron makes fun of me about this, but for Pete's sakes, that little boy just wanted to play his best for Jesus.
35. I like problem solving. There is just something satisfying about making a plan to get from point A to point B.
36. I think that after Miles gets home, I'd also like to eventually adopt a little girl from the DRC. Or maybe Haiti. Maybe in late 2011? Since Kamron rarely reads this blog, I don't have to worry about this information giving him a panic attack.
37. I am a mini-van mom. I fought this tooth and nail, but now that I've got all that space I could never go back. Plus my car has butt warmers and that makes me really happy.
38. It is not Christmas for me until I hear "Oh Holy Night" sung at the Christmas Eve Church Service.
39. Some jobs that I have had include: magazine writer, ad sales, retail, server, welfare to work trainer, office manager. And that was in a span of about 2 years. See- I told you I can't stick with anything.
40. I get a lot of big ideas but get stuck on the follow through.
41. I think if my extended family would all pack up and go with me, I'd go and be a missionary.
42. When my parents got divorced, I moved 9 times in 2 years. I think I finally at one point just stopped unpacking.
43. I am really close to my family. I mean really close. Like as in- we are all up in each other's business way too much. But I wouldn't have it any other way.
44. In the 8th grade I wore sandals every single day for a year (even in the snow) to win a $25 dollar bet.
45. I think that bras and pantyhose were created by Satan himself.
46. Some of my favorite TV shows are Grey's Anatomy, How I Met Your Mother, Glee, The Office and reruns of Friends.
47. As much as I hate to admit it, I have my DVR set to record "Keeping Up With the Kardashians" because for some reason those skanky Kardashian girls are captivating.
48. In 2007 I ran a mini marathon. It is one of my proudest accomplishments. I started training after Noah was born because I had to do something to get away from him and his year long screaming tirade.
49. I try not to get too political, but I tend to lean toward the right.
50. BUT- I think that all people should have equal rights and I extend this toward gay marriage. I may be opening a whole can of worms here, but I just think that everyone should be able to get married if they want to.
51. I go to a church where the only black person is our dear friend that keeps the nursery. This makes me angry at our lack of diversity every time I think about it.
52. I love my small town. I tried big city living for a couple of years when we got married and it just stressed me all the way out.
53. I never cuss in front of my kids, but when I get really mad and let one rip, I always crack up a little bit that I said those things. Somehow though, when we're in St. Louis visiting family and I talk to my sister-in-law about my mother-in-law's crazy irrationalities, I can let lots of 'em fly. Imagine that.
54. Blogging is my number one addiction. I could read other people's blogs til the cows come home. And some of the bloggers I've "met" are some of my dearest friends.
55. One of my favorite parts about blogging is that every few weeks I get a private email from someone who is thinking about adopting asking for advice on adoption stuff. I am no expert, but boy, do I love talking to prospective families about adopting.
56. Twice I have gotten addicted to Afrin. I swear that stuff is like crack for me. It would maybe be more accurate to say that I am addicted to breathing clearly.
57. I am completely OCD about washing my hands. If I touch anything, I have to wash my hands.
58. My parents thought about naming me Jillian instead of Megan when I was born. Even though about 73% of the baby girls born circa 1980 share my name, I still think they made the right choice.
59. I am not really big on other people's kids. I know that this is about the biggest anomaly with the whole heart for orphans thing, but other people's kids are always bad when I'm around them.
60. Pizza is my favorite food in the wide world and I could eat it for every meal and never get tired of it. My favorite pizza topping is pineapple.
61. The healthiest I have ever felt in my life is when I went vegetarian for 9 months. Then I wanted a slice of Thanksgiving turkey and it was all over from there. But I do think that one of these days I'll go back to being a veggie chick.
62. I hate bad grammar and spelling mistakes, but I do it all the time on here. My old English teachers would beat me senseless for the sheer number of times I blog a sentence starting with "and".
63. I recycle. We have all of our family recycling with us. They give us all of their cans and a few times a year Kamron takes them to the recycling center and puts all of the "can money" in the kid's college accounts. This is where the afore mentioned diet Pepsi addiction pays off.
64. I most look up to my Mamaw Daisy and my Granny Sadie.
65. I will only let my kids drink organic milk and eat organic meat because animal hormones and preservatives freak me out. Somehow though, I have no problem letting them eat cheetos (nothing that orange can be natural!) and all other varieties of junk food. Oh the irony.
66. For years, I have wanted to ride in a kangaroo pouch across the outback. I totally know that this isn't possible, but it would be sooooo fun!
67. Both of my grandmothers have had breast cancer and I am terrified of getting it. I am hyper vigilant and would just chop these suckers off if I could figure out a way to do it.
68. If I could have a celebrity rendezvous with 5 celebrities, I would choose Tommy Lee, Sting, Bear Grylls (from Man-vs-wild) Dave Matthews and Bono. Evidently I like rockers and men who eat elephant poop.
69. My favorite colors are pink and yellow.
70. I am fascinated by the summer Olympics. My life just stops for 2 weeks while I watch those athletes achieve their dreams.
71. I read at least one book a week. Sometimes 2... or 3. I can read at the speed of lightning.
72. I broke my elbow in the 3rd grade and it got me out of filling in all those stupid bubbles on the end of the year standardized tests.
73. I love looking at old black and white photographs.
74. I want to buy everything I see an infomercial for. This is why I do not let myself watch infomercials.
75. I don't like ice cream.
76. I love the beach and once my children are grown I want to have a big vacation home on the beach and have the grandchildren come and spend weeks at a time with me there.
77. I love my husband but on Monday mornings it is time for him to go back to work.
78. I have been lucky enough to have fallen in love a few times in my life, but I am so glad that I chose the one I did to spend the rest of my life with.
79. I love the smell of new babies, new cars, old books, clean laundry and soap.
80. I was the prom queen. There. I said it.
81. I graduated from high school and college with honors.
82. I was the vice president of my elementary school. It was just a fancy title for "person who makes the morning announcements over the loud speaker".
83. I think that maybe when my kids are in school all day that I'll go back to college and get my MS in social work. Not sure what I'll do with that, but that seems to be the next step for a lot of ideas I have swimming in my head.
84. One summer I had an apartment all by myself. It backed up to a graveyard. I had to fall asleep every single night with the TV on because I was too scared to turn it off.
85. As a kid I had a recurring dream that I lived in a house that was crooked. In the dream I would fall out of my tilted bed, roll right out the door into a creek full of mean hippos.
86. I am not really an animal person. I think it's because I'm so OCD about hand washing. If I am around animals I always feel like I can't touch them because then I'll need to wash my hands. Evidently this compulsion is so bad that I feel I need to also wash my hands after picking up Sadie's Zhu Zhu pet.
87. In writing this, I've discovered that I probably need a therapist.
88. Maybe I should be a therapist. See what I mean- lots of ideas, no follow through.
89. When I was pregnant with Noah I threw up at least 3 times a day every day for nine months.
90. I got married when I was just 21. I wanted to wait until I was 21 to get married so that I could drink champagne at my wedding. That seems like really stupid logic now.
91. I met Kamron when I was 18. He was in a band and wore leather pants and played music in bars every weekend. Since I was underage, He would make me sneak in the clubs by loading me down with gear to the point where you couldn't even see my face. I think maybe he just liked the cheap labor. Yep- I was totally a groupie.
92. I drive out of town to go to Wal-Mart so that I can wear my sweatpants without running into anyone I know.
93. I like to sit in the bathtub until my fingers get pruney.
94. I am a sympathy crier and puker. If I see you cry or puke I will follow suit.
95. I love 80's power ballads.
96. I pierced my belly button when I was 16. At the time I did not have the foresight to think about how gross that would look after being stretched out on a pregnant belly. Big mistake.
97. I only like cold weather if it is accompanied by snow.
98. I am Sadie's homeroom mother, which basically means that I spend a lot of time cutting out things that have been laminated.
99. I am the rare woman who doesn't like jewelry. Most of the time I don't even wear my wedding ring because it feels weird on my finger.
100. I am desperate to leave a mark on the world in some way. I just haven't figured out the best way to do that.
101. I love the feeling that comes with the completion of a task!!!!

And now that I've spilled it all- do you still want to be friends?

January 01, 2010

It is well with my soul

We laid my Grandaddy Willard to rest yesterday. I know that most of you all who read this don't know him personally. You have really missed out. There are lots of good men out there in the world, but Grandaddy was a great man. He was the kind of man that made you want to up your game when you were around him. He lived out his faith, not just talked about it.


From his later years, he ruled the roost from his big, oversized recliner next to the woodstove. I'm afraid of what I might find if I looked in the crack where the seat meets the armrest on that recliner. For years, we've been in on a conspiracy with Grandaddy. My Granny is a health nut. If it has fat in it, or salt or butter, or any of those other things that make food taste so good, then it didn't come in her house. But Grandaddy had a sweet tooth like nobody I'd ever seen. The whole family would sneak him candy and goodies any time we could and more than once, I'd see him shove the candy down the crack of his chair to keep Granny from finding it. If anybody ever went to the beach, you better believe that Grandaddy would need a box of salt water taffy. And on holidays, you better believe that we kept Grandaddy stocked in chocolate covered cherries. And he'd just chew and chew on candy and when Granny would walk in the room, he'd sit there, cheeks puffed out on both sides, full of sugar, with the most guilty smile on his face. My Granny always called my Grandaddy "Lover". When I was little it would embarrass me to death, but I love that that is what she called him. She'd walk in the room and see those full cheeks and that big grin on his face and she'd say, "Lover! What've you got over there?" And he'd say, "What?" all innocent, like he had no idea what she was talking about. Then he'd give a little chuckle and be satisfied with himself that he'd pulled one over on old Granny.

Grandaddy was a quiet and softspoken man. Maybe that's because my Granny is a chatterbox. They were a great compliment to one another. Married 54 years. Blows my mind. There are few things that Grandaddy needed in life to be happy: his Bible (which he read everyday), good books, a well stocked pond and a fishing pole, sports (especially University of KY) on TV and his family. And his family loved him. And respected him. And treasured him. And will forever.

I am so sad that Grandaddy will never get to meet Miles. My brother and I are sad that our sons won't be able to know and remember him and know him for the wonderful man that he was. I do know now, though, that Miles has an angel looking over him, keeping him safe until we can bring him home.

While it is so hard to let go, it is comforting knowing that my Grandaddy Willard has a new body that does what he wants it to do. That he no longer has any pain. I bet that he's probably made some great plays in some heavenly football games and has probably taken Jesus on a few fishing trips already. He may even be able to show the master fisherman a thing or two. Because if there is anything that I've learned from my Grandaddy, it's that there is no problem so big that can't be cured with a little prayer and some quiet time at the pond.

Love you, Grandaddy! You will be so missed.

When peace, like a river, attendeth my way,
When sorrows like sea billows roll;
Whatever my lot, Thou has taught me to say,
It is well, it is well, with my soul.

My sin, oh, the bliss of this glorious thought!
My sin, not in part but the whole,
Is nailed to the cross, and I bear it no more,
Praise the Lord, praise the Lord, O my soul!

For me, be it Christ, be it Christ hence to live:
If Jordan above me shall roll,
No pang shall be mine, for in death as in life
Thou wilt whisper Thy peace to my soul.
Related Posts with Thumbnails