Thursday, June 30, 2011

Silas Walks


Yesterday was a difficult day. A day of surprising grief. Nine years ago we lost Erika. Or, I should say they lost her. They being her family. Her friends. I had lost her a month before, when my relationship with her brother ended. Or should have ended. Started to end? When a relationship ends, so do the day dreams. I had to accept after the breakup that she would never be my sister after all. We would never plan weddings or raise babies or travel the world. And then she was gone and those things would not happen with anyone. It was an awkward time. My grief was real, but misplaced. I sat for hours on end trying to hide in corners the week before her funeral at her parents house. I tried to be helpful, but really I just wanted to be close. Looking back, I probably should have stayed away, but no one around me was grieving her so it was hard. It was a summer of grieving. For me and my husband who had only a few weeks before lost his niece and almost lost his sister in a horrible car accident. We, my husband and I, met moments before the grieving began in Italy on a summer tour with our choir. We met in the most romantic country on earth, but the grief was what began to knit us together. Our darkest days. My dark summer of fear and loss and betrayal and insanity. I started making choices. Desperate choices. Choices that nearly lost me many friends and choices that eventually led to a pregnancy. Isn't God just like that? He uses our darkest days to bring about His greatest light. Ayden. His name means fire. He was a spark of life, of joy, of light. Necessary to my survival. Nine years ago. Her nephew. I long to see her delight in him. For him to know her smile, hear her laugh. Loss. Yesterday was hard.   We got up and went to the library. The boys are gathering prizes each week for reading, or being read to. They love the silly prizes. I wanted to grab myself a couple of books, but the baby knows when I need him to be quiet and cries. Loudly. I had a plan. We would go to the kids area, Ayden would select his books and I would grab some for Balin. Then on the way to the checkout I would grab a couple books off the "New books" display for growups. It caught me off guard to see there in a very prominent position a book that several friends have been recommending. One Thousand Gifts. by Ann Voskamp. They said I should read it. People like Heather and Melissa, wife of the pastor of our favorite church ever. So I grabbed it, not expecting much. I usually can read faith based non fiction books for about 20 minutes max. They normally drive me nuts. Just sayin. You can be literate and love Jesus people. I'm learning how to find those books slowly. This my friends is a book true to the quotes on the back. " This book will mess with you.."  Two hours later as I begrudgingly put it down I realized I had been messed with... in the most Holy of ways. The entire first chapter deals with loss, and the resulting "soul holes" that remain. As redeemed as my relationship with Aydens father is. As beautifully as God has given both of us spouses who love their step child as their own. As lovely as it is that we are much more than civil to one another and have, if not a friendship, a peacefull co-parenting existence.. as much as all of that. There are still holes. I was 21. I never again had friendships like before. I never again was my own person. My music, my art was set aside so I could focus on this little person. Figure out how God would have me feed him. clothe him. As much as my husband was a true friend there are gaps. Spaces where I don't see myself anymore. To grieve Erika is to me, to grieve my twenty year old self as well. To grieve life before that summer. I am more than those losses. I am more than the failures that plague me. This amazing little book is already teaching me so much. Gods blessings abound. This is my story. The Story He has given me, and as the author of perfection. I wouldn't have it any other way. So bring it Mexico South Texas. God brought me here and he will see us through. One Gift at a time. I'm a a few days late, but I'm starting here...
 A multitude of gifts....
1. One Thousand gifts by Ann Voscamp
2. Grief that surprises
3. day dream sisters
4.Sons given as interventions

Friday, June 17, 2011

Happy Adoptions/ fundraising missionairies

I am super excited to share that there are babies/children headed into the arms of three of my adoption link families right now!  They could all possibly have their families together about the same time this year. I am so happy for every one of them. Go see their blogs sidebar) (listed in my to read more about their stories. Congratulations to all of you!

Also I encourage you to visit the links to my missionary family links. There are BIG things happening in their work. They are both on sabbatical right now and would love for you for you to visit their blogs and learn more about their work and ways you can help out  the people of Haiti and Niger. Bother families have amazing hearts for mamas and children. I am learning so much from them.. hope you will go learn something too!

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

The Squinchy Face

Silas makes a face that cracks us up. We think it stems from his impression of the face that we have made at him his entire life when he reaches up to grab our glasses or stick his fingers up our nose. So without further adiu.. I present to you.... the Squinchy Face

The Squinchy Face is always accompanied by giggled and a bounce. Often he bounces several times with his arms in the air and then pushes off into our arms. I love the Squinchy Face... and the happy baby it is attached to.

Sunday, June 12, 2011

I believe in Miracles

Yesterday we had an amazing spontaneous family near-cation day. As in we drove two hours and spent the night in a hotel and then all day Saturday playing tourist in a town NEAR by. I have lots to share about that, but first our miracle. Sometimes I doubt stories that people share about miracles. I'm a keep my feet firmly planted on the ground kinda gal and tend to think (wrongly) that God is busy doing his heavy duty work elsewhere. Yesterday he saved my baby. I need to share.

We spent all day doing fun tourist vacationy things. A morning at the aquarium followed by a movie and then of course a visit to the mall to do some tourist shopping. The boys were exhausted. Beyond exhausted actually but determined to play on the sea themed toddler playground. This is one of those squishy playgrounds where all the structures are made of that hard foam stuff that you find in malls.  Everything was great. Silas was loving it. He crawled all over the place and was so. happy. We played for about 20 minutes and then decided it was time to go get dinner and head home. Lucas and I had been sitting in the floor the entire time staying close to Silas and watching for big kids or danger. In the center of the playground was a sand castle themed slide with a tunnel underneath. Silas LOVED the tunnel. Especially with Mommy on one side and Daddy on the other. As we were getting ready to leave we decided to let him go through one last time. Lucas went to one side while I stayed on the other with my sweet baby.  He crawled through and came out on the other side. Just as he cleared the tunnel I noticed quick movement above me at the top of the slide and then -in what felt like slow motion- saw a pair of feet come down right on my baby. right down on him.  I got to him fast. So fast Lucas had not even had time to pick him up. I scooped him up before he could even catch his breath to cry. Lucas pointed out that the next time one of my children have a giant being or object dropped on their back I might not want to rush to pick them up. When he did cry it was his big cry. At about this time I register the giant child standing in front of me asking if Silas is ok. The kid had to be as tall as my 8 year old, but was was wider.  Probably weighed 80-90 pounds. At least. We went into crisis mode, stepping out of the playground to get a better grasp on what was happening. He was breathing. His eyes were okay. He wasn't bleeding. He was moving his legs. There were no external markings except for a big red area. We had him stand, he stood, went into crawling position... and took off giggling.   No kidding. He was absolutely fine. Lucas saw this happen too. I didn't imagine it. There was a group sized gasp when it happened from every other adult in the playground. The giant child jumped off a 5 foot play structure. Landed on my baby's back... and Silas was just fine. Granted~ the playground has that squishy flooring and Silas was on his knees so his knees probably took the brunt of the force into the squishy floor, but still. I know God had his hand on that one. The kid who jumped by the way was impressive. He was genuinely concerned about Silas. Not because he was afraid he would get in trouble, but because he knew as well that the baby should have been injured. He wanted to make sure Silas was ok. We had a little chat. I made sure he knew Silas was okay, but gently reminded him that this was why there are rules that big kids can not play on the playground. I pointed out the rules at the door and asked him to wait patiently like my own big kid had to. I then made sure that he was ok. I didn't want the kid going home with nightmares about squashing babies.
 I've had moments of panic as a mother, but strangely this was not one of them. Not after the initial check of his sweet little being. He was okay. By God's sweet grace he was ok. He's got the itty bitty baby in his hands, he's got the itty bitty baby in his hands, he's got the itty bitty baby in his hands, he's got the whole world in his hands...

Thursday, June 9, 2011

Simply Reads :: {Summer books}

I stole some time this past week and read a couple books my Mama gave me. I loved them both for very different reasons.

                                  The first one is Secret Daughter by Shilpi Somaya Gowda
Secret Daughter: A Novel
A book for mothers and daughters. A book for adoption lovers. I was in tears in several places. This is a work of fiction, but Gowda does an excellent job working through the emotions from all sides of international adoption. It made my heart long for that daughter I have dreamt of. The one I won't grow inside me. The one who will be waiting. I recommend not starting this novel unless you know you have no plans the next day. I guarantee you will not be sleeping until you finish it!

My second recommended  read  is Mothers and other Liars by Amy Bourett
Mothers and Other Liars
Again, this novel centers around a non conventional mother daughter relationship and examines just how far a mothers love for her daughter would take her. With a little legal drama, suspense, and arts and crafts lit thrown in this is a perfect summer read that goes beyond gossip and bikinis at the pool. I loved it and will be sending it on to my mother in law soon!

Thursday, June 2, 2011

Boy in the Roses

My mommy had two boys and wanted a baby girl. She got me.

 And while she wouldn't trade me for anything and has fallen head over heels in love with my all boy bruiser personality she still has the tendency to

                                                  try to take my picture next to flowers.


I guess they are kind of interesting

But next time Mom, could you at least let me get my feet muddy?

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Blueberry Festival 2011

I love traditions. I love having activities that we can look forward to every year that foster memories. I also love to eat, and love finding good deals. These combined make for one of my favorite weekends of the year. Blueberry fest! When we lived in Shreveport there were blueberry farms all over the place. We had one less than ten minutes from our house so we self picked berries several times during the summer. Now that we live in Mexico South Texas the closest we have found is about three hours away. Lucky for us it is only a few minutes from my parents. So this past Friday afternoon we packed up the car, loaded the kids and set off on our way to Conroe for the weekend. I was super excited when my parents decided to come with us to Mooreheads blueberry farm. In total we bought 25 pounds of berries between our two families. Most got bagged and frozen, but we did eat our faces full of the warm fresh juicy pieces of heaven. Here is our morning in photos.

he's my future heartbreaker

my little sister and Ayden

My parents and sister

Blueberry Family!

the men and the bounty

my beautiful Mama and my tuckered out babe

the parking lot.. there were so many people, but plenty of berries!