Currently

How’s this for a random blog post? (Idea stolen from here).

Reading: A few things – The Gospel Centered Woman (I love this!), The Explosive Child (enough said), Charlie & the Chocolate Factory (The boys are loving this and it makes me soooo happy)

Searching for online: Christmas decorations (mostly on Pinterest). I unpacked my stuff this year and was underwhelmed. In reality, I think I’m going to have to pick up some stuff after the holidays on clearance so I don’t find myself in this spot again next year.

Eating: Poorly. I was great in September and October. I don’t know what happened. January is a good time to start this.

Watching: My favorite shows this fall has by far been The Good Wife (even over my beloved Parenthood) and Parks & Recreation. I really don’t think enough people are watching TGW. D and I love it and this season has not disappointed me a bit. And P&R just keeps getting better and better each season. I had no hope for that show when it started but I think it is amazing now. Oooo and The Sing-Off. The Sing-Off just makes me happy!

Wearing: The Sweetheart Skinny Jeans in Black. I cannot believe I like a pair of Old Navy jeans this much but they are a perfect fit.

Wishing: I didn’t have to spend so much time cleaning my kitchen. Not a real problem, I know.

Drinking: Trader Joe’s Wake Up Blend made with my Aeropress

Cooking: We’re in eat down mode. Money seems to be flying out the window. I’m not into grocery shopping right now. So, we’re eating what is currently in the pantry and fridge.

Making: Rainbow Loom bracelets. A is obsessed with this thing and, I must admit, it is strangely addictive. I’m mostly starting and finishing bracelets that he is making for friends.

Smiling: At my funny kids. Best line recently from A: “I never see my butt.” Said with genuine disappointment

Hoping: To get some time to pull together a special gift we are planning for the boys.

Enjoying: The fact that the Spartans are headed to the Rose Bowl and that, in a house of Go Blue fans, my team is victorious.

Listening: Lord, I Need You and All the Poor and Powerless on repeat.

Doing: Advent readings with the kids from The Jesus Storybook Bible. I don’t think I’ll ever get sick of this book.

Planning: Mostly just in my mind right now, but a going-away party for friends moving out of state 🙁

Obsessing: Aztec print. I can’t get enough of it. Really wishing I would have snagged this sweater before it disappeared.

Welcome!

My friends Ross & Heather were kind enough to walk me through the process of getting a real URL for the blog. I’ll be back tomorrow with a post about turning 30 and hope to write more in the future in this new space.

Back to Blogging (Maybe)

The other day, I found myself leaving a comment on people.com. Obviously, this is not a good sign. It is not an place of reason. I had an opinion and I needed to get it out of my head. Sometimes I just need to write.

I changed the header and title of this blog (not the URL because, well, I don’t know how to do that). I stole the new title from a Rosie Thomas song that makes me cry. It is about all that can happen in just a year. For us, it was about 14 months. It has been amazing and crazy and some days it does not seem like there is much left of my brain.

But, whatever is left, may just end up here from now on. I’m realizing I need to a place to remember what life is like right now as we raise these three young children. If I don’t write it down, I’ll soon forget. So, I’m officially back to inconsistent, random blogging.

Reading Material

I really do want to write. I can’t decide if I want people to read it or not. And I also have a hard time getting a coherent thought out without being interrupted by someone who needs to be hugged, fed or clothed. So, for now, I’ll share some of what I’ve been reading…

The Trouble with Dave Ramsey from Shannan at Flower Patch Farmgirl

We resisted what we believed in the pit of our stomachs to be true. We thought we could serve them both. We thought maybe we could be that one rich couple who has a lot of money so that they can give more away. We wanted a piece of the blessing of God’s promise, but we hoped it could be without sacrifice. We didn’t want the “living like no one else” to be for nothing.

Six things adoption has taught me by Shaun Groves at Simple Mom

In 2007, I visited an Ethiopian orphanage, trying not to make eye contact with any of the little ones around me in need of a father. I’ve always found avoidance to be the surest way to never feel bad about saying “no.” My brother-in-law, who was adopting from Ethiopia, was there with me. “Maybe we’ve made it too complicated,” he said. (I knew by “we” he meant “me.”) “What if God’s will for our life is found wherever someone’s need and our ability intersect?”

From By His Wounds You Are Healed: How the Message of Ephesians Transforms a Woman’s Identity by Wendy Horger Alsup

I was taken back a bit when I first read the definition of the Greek term translated humility. It means a deep sense of your littleness, especially your moral littleness. Unlike our culture’s watered down version of this term, humility does not mean that you are simply nice, polite, or diplomatic. It means that you have a correct understanding of your salvation as Paul outlined in Ephesians 2. You understand that you were dead in your sins, you were born a child deserving of God’s judgement, and God saved you by his grace and not by your own works. You understand your moral littleness. Then you respond to others in light of this understanding. A humble person does not stand in judgment against others from a point of righteous indignation. You and I have completely missed the entire message of Ephesian 1 and 2 if we think we have any moral high ground over anyone else. This is the core of the gospel.

And, lastly, this verse has shown up to me through various people and places over and over in the last month.

I have told you these things, so that in me you you may have peace. In this world, you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world. (John 16:33, NIV)

My 3 Favorite Blogs (Right Now)

I know I haven’t written a post in a while. But I have been reading other blogs. Here are my three favorites reads right now (they are all over the map topic-wise).

1. House Tweaking: The Millers are fixing up a mid-century ranch after downsizing. They have two sons and just had a little girl (I might be a bit biased). I love Dana’s style and all the information they share. I love seeing their new house come together. 

2. Mama Pop: Snarky, sarcastic coverage of pop-culture written by parents. I have a little dream of writing for this blog someday. 

3. Practical Theology for Women: I’m honestly not adding this in just so you won’t judge me for loving the pop-culture blog so much. Wendy Horger Alsup writes this blog (titled the same as her book). She says the blog is a “lecture to herself” but I am so glad I get to listen in. When I see a new post in my reader, I know I have to save it for when I can really pay attention because there is so much to take in.

Random Snippets

The whole blogging thing is going to be sporadic for a while. Here are a few snippets from the past few weeks…

  • A few weeks ago, we took a full-day birthing class. Honestly, I found the whole thing fascinating and really enjoyed it as well as meeting other couples who were due around the same time. I think D enjoyed the class a lot too. The two doulas who taught the class were funny and kept things moving so it didn’t get too boring. And, the graphic videos and images, were kept to a minimum. This past Friday, we have a private “bonus” class with one of the doulas to get some additional information and I am feeling pretty prepared now. I’ve read a few books but I’ve always learned better by what I hear and see so these classes were a great preparation for me and D. Just before Thanksgiving, we toured the birth center so now we actually know where to go at the hospital when the time comes (four weeks to go)!
  • The woman who taught our class has a six-year-old son and mentioned that she got him the Lego Police Station for Christmas. As soon as she said that, I couldn’t help but think about how much our boys would love something like that. I made the mistake of looking up the police station and fire station on Amazon. In total, they are over 1300 pieces of Legos. After talking to D, we decided to go for it and make this the boys “big” present for Christmas (the storage system might be a gift more for me though).

  • As usual, I’ve done most of my Christmas shopping so far online. I ordered the cutest dress-up police costume for our nephew, Shay. It arrived today and D opened the box. As soon as I could see what was in it, I said, “Don’t show that to AIB.” However, he was right there and really wanted to know. We prefaced letting him look by saying this was a gift for his cousin, not for him. And then we talked about how we need to think about others and how important it is to give gifts to those we love. He shook his head and we let him look inside. Immediately, I could tell what he was thinking. We asked him to pretend like he was Shay opening the gift and told him that if he was really nice to Shay and was a good gift-giver, that sometime Shay would probably share it with him. We have a long way to go on teaching the boys to be generous and self-less.
  • We are getting the house ready to add our fifth family member and it seems like there is no end to the work. I’m trying to make peace with the idea that it might not all be done by the time she arrives. But one thing that is the top of my list is to record a new podcast. We have seriously slacked on this and have lots to share about the boys, our “family-versary” and how they are doing. I have a drafted outline and I am hoping by putting this out there that it will get us motivated to sit down and record an episode ASAP.

That is my quick, not-too-exciting update on life.

Fall Pinterest Challenge

The Pinterest Challenge is back from some of my favorite bloggers. The whole goal is to actually make something that you have pinned. I have my eye on one of these two DIY mobiles.

Now I just need to decide which one.

Quick Update from our house…

Baby Update: Baby Girl is good and we have just nine weeks to go (maybe ten, but hopefully not eleven).  Her butt is right up at the bottom of my ribs where it is supposed to be according to my midwife. This is a fact that makes both boys giggle.

DIB Update: The good news is he is learning and getting better writing his name and letter sounds. The bad news is that he is very easily distracted by the things around him (specifically 25 other classmates) making it hard to demonstrate his skills. I’m very thankful for his teacher right now who is on top of things, loves him and is helping us figure out some stuff together.

AIB Update: The kid still loves school. He loves going and playing with the other kids and he is a delight to his teachers. Something he doesn’t love? Eating anything with nutritional value. Mealtimes are no fun right now.

D & K Update: We have a new goal to accomplish one task/project per night. Some are big and some are small. Last night we went through the chaos that is the basement/toy room and got rid of a lot and organized what remained. I am happy to say that Mr. Potato Head, his friends and all their parts are in two plastic bins now rather than dispersed around the floor of the basement.

FAQ #20: Can you share pictures of the kids now?

We are allowed, now that the boys are adopted, to share pictures of them. However, for their safety and privacy, we probably won’t be doing that on the blog. There are a few places online where I have privacy settings set up so I can share pictures with people we know in real life. T & W just did a great episode on privacy & security with foster kids.

So, for now, I’ll continue to post faceless pictures of them. But, I promise you, they are terribly cute!

Reading Material

I’ve been under the weather and it has slowed me down big time. Here is some great reading material I’ve found this this week.

This post is long but so great if you are a transracial family (from Claudia at My Fascinating Life).

Even though people are mostly well meaning and positive, we do get asked a lot of questions, and sometimes this wears me down. I get frustrated that I’ve gently educated on the same topic again and again and again and that makes me impatient with the next person who asks. But this new person hasn’t actually asked me before, and there’s very little transracial adoption in this country so it’s likely we’re the first transracial adoptive family they’ve met. And why should people know about adoption stuff, why should they be educated about a topic that they haven’t had any prior exposure to? Nothing is really a dumb question if you’re starting from zero. Even when the question itself isn’t appropriate, I’ve been really impressed by how graciously individuals tend to back off when I’ve explained this. Being aggressive about it, or getting offended doesn’t really do anybody any good. Not me, not the stranger, not my kids. Once upon a time, I didn’t know those questions were intrusive, and people took the trouble to educate me. I’m sure I wasn’t the first person they educated; I’m sure I wasn’t the last. And now it’s my turn.

After all, there is no such person as The Public. Telling one person doesn’t make a blind bit of difference to the next. The public only find things out one person at a time. That’s slow and frustrating for me, but that’s just the way it works. Expecting the guy I meet today to know something because I talked to someone else about it yesterday? Unreasonable. I might have been educating people for two years, but this particular guy has been learning for about ten seconds.

The Livesays are a family I met briefly at Together for Adoption. D and I both feel really encouraged and blessed by keeping up with their ministry through their blog. This is a post Tara wrote in regards to an abandoned child with special needs that they are currently caring for.
I don’t feel beautiful, I feel overwhelmed and uncertain. I feel inadequate and and short-tempered.  I feel weak and stressed. I feel very protective of Paige. I don’t know what the right thing to do is and I feel guilty that I don’t really want our family to be a long-term solution for Moses  – yet at the same time I don’t feel good about not being his long-term solution. I want him to go away and I want him to stay safe here. I tell myself not to get emotionally involved. It doesn’t work. At times I feel resentful at the weight of responsibility he represents — yet I  feel possessive ownership when it comes time to hand him off to someone kindly offering to help.  None of it makes sense. I hate learning I am capable of resenting a handicapped two year old. I hate that the world is full of this brokenness and loss. I hate my own brokenness. 

From the Blog World

I love the internet. I could be embarrassed about the number of blogs I read but I’m not.  Here is what has jumped out to me through my blog reader and/or social networking in the past week.

Kristen talked about the relationships formed through the blogging and social networking world. It is 2011, people, this happens. In fact, it was the catalyst for us becoming foster parents. Which leads me to my next link.

An exciting post from my newest online friend…

Did you know you could miss someone you’ve never met? I long for them to fill this lovely room with their energy and joy. I, just like my Father, look forward to revealing this beautiful room to my future children. I long to see the delight on their faces when they discover what has already been created specifically for them, a place that no one can take from them, a place that’s safe and bright, a mix of past and present, a place to grow.

Jodi shares about the joys and struggles of being married to someone in ministry…

Every pastor’s wife I’ve ever met (and I’ve met a lot) has struggled with the dual nature of the pastor’s wife role. It’s simultaneously exciting and fulfilling and really, really hard.

Yesterday, I lost my patience with my kids more time than I really want to admit. Sometimes, I think, “Where is that nurturing gene I was so sure I had before kids?” I apologized to both of them before bed time and we prayed and asked God to help each of us be kinder and more patient with each other. I appreciated these simple tips from Elizabeth Esther on being a nurturing mother.

One that I would add to her list that I find is an issue for me is making sure to eat well. It is easy for me to feed my kids and make sure they get protein,  fruits and veggies (specifically, using this method). However, I notice that I rarely feed myself as well as I feed them. There are too many days when noon rolls around and all I’ve had is several cups of coffee. Hunger gives me a headache and also makes me way less patient than I’m capable of being.  I’ll feed them lunch, get them to rest/nap time and then eat something that is quick and easy and probably without any protein or good nutritional value. Even five years into being gluten-free, I’m still figuring out what is quick and easy and healthy. What I really  need to do is plan ahead to make sure I have options in the house for me. Anyone else have this problem or something similar?