Tuesday, July 31, 2007

Are you a lurker???

So, I have a lot of blogs that I read on a regular basis (at least once daily if not more often!). I used to just read and not comment much, but as of late, I have been working on trying to leave comments at least once or twice a week, if not more often.

I thoroughly LOVE reading peoples blogs. I don't know why, but I do. I am addicted, to say the least. I love receiving comments on my blog. So, I figure if I love them, others must love them too (when they are authentic, that is)!

So, if you are a lurker...you are welcome here! But I have just one favor to ask. Will you please consider leaving a comment on this post, so I at least know you have been here.

According to SiteMeter, the last 10 people to visit my blog were from the following locations:
Montvale, NJ; Reston, VA; Evansville, IN; Big Lake, MN; Monticello, MN; Monroe, VA; Sioux Center, IA; Russellville, AR; Davenport, IA; Welcome, NC

If you are one of these "mystery" visitors...say "hi" in the comments section! Oh, and it is very nice to 'meet' you! :)

Monday, July 30, 2007

You must watch this!

A 6 year-old that made Simon Cowell smile
(I'm betting you will smile too!)

Sunday, July 29, 2007

Worship Sunday

You Are My King (Amazing Love)

You Are My King (Amazing Love)
I’m forgiven because You were forsaken
I’m accepted, You were condemned
I’m alive and well, Your Spirit is within me
Because You died and rose again

I’m forgiven because You were forsaken
I’m accepted, You were condemned
I’m alive and well, Your Spirit is within me
Because You died and rose again

Amazing love, how can it be
That You, my King, would die for me?
Amazing love, I know it’s true
It’s my joy to honor You
In all I do, To honor You

I’m forgiven because You were forsaken
I’m accepted, You were condemned
I’m alive and well, Your Spirit is within me
Because You died and rose again

Amazing love, how can it be
That You, my King, should die for me?
Amazing love, I know it’s true
It’s my joy to honor You
In all I do, To honor You
In all I do, To honor You

You are my King
You are my King
Jesus, You are my King
You are my King

Amazing love, how can it be
That You, my King, should die for me?
Amazing love, I know it’s true
It’s my joy to honor You

Amazing love, how can it be
That You, my King, should die for me?
Amazing love, I know it’s true
It’s my joy to honor You
In all I do, To honor You

In all I do, To honor You,
In all I do, To honor You,
In all I do, Let me honor You.

Friday, July 27, 2007

Giggles...music to my ears

In this video clip The Designer and Lil Bug are playing around. They are in the room that will soon be Lil Bugs new "big girl" room. Make sure you have the volume turned up to enjoy this one!

Lil Bug's Prayer

Thursday, July 26, 2007

Shoes...not every girl's best friend

Most women love shoes. Until Lil Bug joined the family, I had no issues with shoes. Now, I despise shoes.

When Lil Bug was a baby I was able to put some "regular" shoes on her. She didn't get orthotics (braces) until she was about 9 months old. That is when it got crazy.

Until she was almost 2 years old, we could find now ordinary shoes to fit over her braces. The braces add so much bulk that her feet are just too thick for shoes. The hospital that she gets her braces from ordered her a pair of tennis shoes made especially for braces and she wore them for a while. They aren't ugly, but they certainly aren't cute. They were bulky.

One day, while my best friend was visiting, we went to the mall. I was determined to find some shoes that were cute to buy for Lil Bug. We looked in all of the shoe stores. By the end of our experience I was overwhelmed and frustrated. I couldn't find one pair that would work. My friend, in her innocence, simply said, "you'll find something eventually" (or something like that) and I lost it. I started getting teary eyed and my face got red. I just want my daughter to be normal like everyone elses kids...why should the everyday ordinary, like buying shoes, be so difficult for us? It wasn't fair! I felt like we could overcome so many of the big issues and then the small ones sort of just smacked me in the face. Kind of a cruel, "ha! she will always be a little different." It hurt. My friend felt bad for saying anything and I felt bad for my reaction.

Not long after that I decided to try again and found that at Stride Rite, the insides come out easily, so I was able to try them on at the store. After working diligently with the lady at the Stride Rite store, we were able to find ONE pair (that's right folks, we tried on over 10 pair) that Lil Bug's braces fit into. Here's the kicker...we bought them and then 2 weeks later she was fitted for new braces, so they didn't fit anymore! Fortunately she hadn't worn them outside, so we went back and exchanged and the new ones worked for her new braces. So, $50 later, we have a pair of shoes for Lil Bug.

So, you can see that shoe shopping is one of the last things I like to do with Lil Bug. I always imagined my little girl with all sorts of cute shoes for all sorts of cute outfits, but she is forced to wear pink/white tennis shoes with jeans, skirts, shorts, dresses and everything in between. They almost never match, but she has shoes!

At Christmas I just couldn't accept the idea of her wearing those little shoes with her beautiful Christmas dress, so I went to a specialty shoe store (Mieras') in town (just learned about them a week before) and found out that they will help to make shoes custom fit orthotics (braces). I found a cute little pair of patent leather Mary Janes and then they customized them to make the strap long enough to go over her braces. They were so cute. She wore them only with her Christmas dress and to one wedding this summer. I sure hope they fit over her newest pair of braces for this Christmas season.

A couple of days ago I received a notice in the mail saying that Mieras' was having a tent sale with up to 75% off their shoes. It began yesterday. I took Lil Bug last night, half hopeful that I would find something, anything that would fit over her braces (or close, so they could customize). I didn't want to get my hopes up. I have never been able to walk into a store and find anything easily. So, we walk into the tent and straight to the children's shoes and guess what?!?!?! We found not one, but two pairs of shoes for Lil Bug on our first go through. I was ecstatic! No customization even needed...NONE! And here is the kicker...they were on super sale, so each pair of shoes was only $9.90...for a grand total of about $20.00.

Thank you God, for making this my first shoe shopping experience with no tears shed.

The smell of rain

I am not a huge fan of rain. Sure, I like the "free" water. I love that my garden and flowers look happier after a good rain. I like that alot. However, when it rains, it is usually gloomy and I don't like that. Something about it puts a damper on my mood. Also, I hate getting wet (outside). Ok, use an umbrella, right? But I can't very easily when trying to tote Grace around, her diaper bag, her walker, my purse...is there a hand left for an umbrella?

But, BUT I love the smell of rain. That is one huge redeeming factor about rain. It smells great! And after a rain, the air smells cleaner...yep, I love the smell of rain!

Wednesday, July 25, 2007

It's all a whirlwind right now

I don't know how this blog post will turn out, but things are spinning around my head and I feel the need to purge, so here goes...

I am more than thrilled about our pending adoption. I think about it many, many times a day. I dream about what Lil Princess will look like. In my head I predict the day she will be born and how big she will be. In many regards, it feels so much like when I was pregnant with Lil Bug...the excitement, the anticipation! There is just one small detail that is different...I'M NOT PREGNANT. It hurts! It really does.

I am not grieving IF, because if the truth be told, there is a chance that we would be able to conceive a child again with treatments. This was a decision made based on what we felt God directing us to do and our personal circumstances. I carry some amount of guilt with me over that, but I suppose that is another blog post for another day.

I know that many people believe that pregnant women considering adoption shouldn't see and/or select prospective adoptive parents until just before or maybe even after the baby is born. I'm not going to lie about this, it would have been a lot easier on us in the short run if we got a call saying, "your baby was born. Show up tomorrow to pick him/her up." For whatever reason that wasn't God's plan for us thus far. The very first match we had, the emom was 2 months out from her due date. She changed her mind before we met her. The second match we had, we had a 2.5 month wait until baby was born. Baby was 3 weeks old when mom decided to parent. This time we have a 4 month match. FOUR MONTHS!!! That is a long time!

My argument to those that believe pbmoms shouldn't choose so early is this...what if they do? Am I suppose to politely say "no thank you" because I don't want them to feel coerced based on a long match? Chances are, if they are not matched with us, they will select someone else and then would that family be as supportive of her as we have been? Believe me, from the selfish aspect, we talked about declining this match due to the amount of time we would be "wrapped" up in it. The Designer's gut reaction was "NO!" to it because he didn't want to invest that amount of time in one person, have our profile taken "off the market" and then have her change her mind. We prayed about it and he had a change of heart and here we are.

Another concern many have is the amount of contact between pbmoms and p-afamilies. I have such mixed emotions about this. One part of me agrees that there should be limited contact. I wouldn't want to inadvertently convince someone to give us their child because she knows us, knows Lil Bug, knows our family. I would be devastated to find that out. At the same time, if that is HER desire, and I have allowed her the opportunity to change her mind, who am I to refuse her of that? If I were to pretend to know what is better for her than she does, that could definitely harm our relationship now and down the road. I don't want that to happen either.

N has asked us to attend previous doctors appointments. She has asked us to be present at the birth of Lil Princess. Of course I am ecstatic! Seriously, through the roof! If Lil Princess is surely going to be my daughter, I want to be there when she takes her first breath. However, not at N's expense. If she were against it, not comfortable, etc. I would totally understand and respect that. No questions asked. I ask her occasionally if she wants to change her mind and she always says no. If I were to follow what some others believe, I would decline the opportunity to be there, but N said that she wants us there for Lil Princess...not for N, not for us, FOR. LIL. PRINCESS! She wants Princess to know that we were a team. We all welcomed her into the world. Am I wrong for allowing her that?

I talk to N daily using IM. I enjoy my conversations with her. The vast majority of our conversations have nothing to do with Lil Princess. However, once in a while she comes up. We have NEVER spoken on the phone. If I speak to anyone on the phone, it is her mom. That is rare, but it does happen on occasion. She prefers to talk via IM. I am good with that. She has commented recently that I won't have time to talk much with her after Princess is with us because I will be too busy. I told her that I would make time for her. She is my friend. She is not just the future birthmother of my future daughter, but she is truly my friend. I enjoy her company. We are a lot alike. We really get along well. I don't want to lose that after Princess is home with us. I tell her that, but I don't know if she believes me. It is true! If I only have 5 minutes, I will still make sure to jump on and say hi to her.

Here's the thing about talking after placement. She will be going back to school. She will be busy. She will have friends to hang out with. She will have homework to do. She will have classes to attend. So, will she have time for me? If not, I am okay with that. I will miss our daily conversations, but I want her to resume a "normal" life, whatever that looks like after placement. I hope she never stays away from me for MY sake. I respect it if she wants her space, but I hope she doesn't assume I want mine. I have many birthmom friends whom I have heard say things like, "I don't want to intrude on their family." I hope N doesn't feel that way, but it is likely that she will. That makes me sad.

One thing that I did beginning last Saturday is give up sweets and ice cream (yes, ice cream is a sweet, but so yummy it needed a category of its own!) The purpose? Well, it started out for one thing, but has morphed into something else. Ultimately, whenever I want to eat sweets or ice cream I refrain and instead I pray for N, L (her mom), Princess, The Designer, Lil Bug, Me, the labor and delivery and whatever is on my heart at the moment. It is remarkably easy to give up something to focus more on my relationship with God. I am glad I felt the need to do this. It has helped me to stop and pray even more often than I was before.

Anyway, those are a hodge-podge of random thoughts going through my head at the moment. It helps to get them out in writing! I will keep you updated as we approach Princess' due date, which, by the way, is only 27 days away. Oh, and at her dr. appt yesterday she was measuring at 39 weeks, but she is only 36 weeks pg...does that mean an early arrival or simply a large baby? Time will tell.

Monday, July 23, 2007

HP- should I or shouldn't I???

I have never been one to conform with ANYTHING. Honestly. I hate going with the crowd just because. But, the more I hear about how wonderful Harry Potter is, the more I find myself wondering if I should FINALLY jump on the HP wagon and start reading it (from the beginning). So, what do you think? Should I or shouldn't I?

How I became The Professor

Ok, per Mindy's request, I will give some background information about ME!

Hmmmm, where do I begin?

Well, I will start with the fact that I will be 31 years old in just a couple of weeks. I didn't have a hard time when I turned 30, but I had a VERY hard time when I turned 25. Weird, huh? Being in my 30's has been refreshing. My life seems so full now. When I was in my 20's I had a GREAT time, but there was always something I was trying to accomplish. Not the case anymore.

When I was 10 my baby sister was born. I loved having her for a sister, but she helped me "mature" a lot faster than I should have. Due to my parents work schedule I had a lot of responsibility. By the time I was 17, I was more than ready to be out on my own. I have always been an adventure seeker and very independent, so it worked out great when I was ready to leave the nest.

I was graduated and working as an office administrative assistant when I was 17. I didn't really like my job, but seriously, I had no idea what I wanted to be when I grew up. I was planning on going out of state for college, but all that changed when I met The Designer because he was a year behind me in school and I didn't want to leave him behind. So, I enrolled in the community college. What a joke! It was just as bad as high school, seriously. So, after one semester of that, I decided to go to a private business college. Well, that was a great idea, except I didn't really want to major in business. So, what was I doing there? Those were the only two local colleges and so I felt I didn't have much of a choice. Because it was private, it was very expensive, but I worked full time, went to school full time and so my college education began.

The first degree I received was an Associates in Business Management. I then continued at that same college and received a Bachelors of Business Administration. The second half of that degree was accomplished online because we had moved from Michigan to Colorado, but I didn't want to start over or repeat classes. Online classes were a relatively new thing at the time and I enjoyed them. Working at my own pace was great!

When I moved to Colorado I took a job working in an insurance company's call center. I worked my way up fast and it wasn't long before I was asked to help with the new corporate training program they were implementing. That was my first taste at education and I thoroughly enjoyed it. I had been told most of my life that I should become a teacher, but I resisted because "teachers are under paid and not respected in the community." After running the training for a while, I was asked to move into a new position with the company. They were opening a new line of products and wanted me to be project manager. It meant better pay and higher "status" so I was enticed away from training and into this new position. I started the position in January, and I must say, I hated it! It took me all of a week or two to despise it so much that I would cry every day on my way to work just thinking about what I had to do. I missed training and I hated my new job. The two combined meant that I needed to evaluate what I wanted in my life and make the appropriate changes.

One night I was watching the news and they mentioned that Denver had a shortage of educators. They were doing something called, "The Denver Teacher Project" in which they were asking members from within the world of corporate work to consider becoming a teacher for the inner city school. I had considered it, but didn't think I had what it took, so I put it off. But, God had other plans. The very last day they were accepting applications I quickly threw something together (the application was INTENSE) and sent it in, not expecting to hear anything.

Several weeks later I received a letter in the mail asking me to join them for a group interview. I was shocked. The media was reporting that they received thousands of applications and they were looking to hire less than 100 people, so my odds of getting the job were slim. However, I was motivated because I hated my new position.

I attended the group interview, which was the hardest interview I have ever had. We had to teach a lesson to the rest of the group, so it was like we were being evaluated by the interviewers as well as the other 12 interviewees. Then we had a round table discussion amongst the interviewers in which we had to discuss education in the inner city schools. The interviewers didn't say a word, just observed and took notes. Then for the hard part...the one-on-one portion of the interview. The lady that interviewed me was "the mean lady." She was crusty! She asked me some tough questions and then asked me what I perceived to be an easy one..."what level are you interested in teaching?" Oh, this was simple..."definitely high school." Apparently that was the WRONG answer! I was only 23 at the time, but looked about 18. She let into me about how the high school students wouldn't respect me because I look too much like them and that if that is what I want to teach, maybe this isn't going to work. I gave it right back to her by saying, "well, you can hire me or not. The choice is yours. I KNOW I would make an excellent high school teacher. I know this is the area God has led me. You can agree or disagree, there is nothing I can do about it." or something to that effect. She was stunned that I stood up for myself and gave a smile. I left and heard nothing for what seemed like forever, but was probably more like a month or two.

I got THE CALL! They wanted me. They really, really, wanted me! I was shocked. I couldn't believe it! I wasn't going to be making as much money as I was currently making, but this was my opportunity to get out of my current situation and give teaching a try. There was only one small problem. I had NO training on how to be a high school teacher and they weren't going to give me any because school was to start soon. So, my very first day of teaching I walked into the classroom with no clue and thanks be to God, it worked! I loved it. The students loved me. They learned a lot.

My first year of teaching was awesome. I taught at an inner city school were many of the students were at a high risk of dropping out. Many of my students attended sporadically, to say the least. But, as the semester went by, they showed up to my class more and more. Ok, so there were a few weird things that happened. For one, I was asked to prom by more than one student...SERIOUSLY! My response to them: I don't think my hubby would appreciate that! I had to report one student to the police for sexual harassment. I couldn't believe a student would be so bold as to literally harass me, but it happened and it still makes me feel yucky to think about. The irony of that one: his dad was the police chief. Hmmmm???? The other thing that happened that year was the 9/11 attacks. Yep, that happened about my 3rd week of class. I had no idea what to do. I was scared to. I was 1200 miles away from home. But, God gave me the words. He filled me with the right actions. It all worked out.

(During my first year of teaching, I obtained my teaching certificate so I was legal to teach anywhere. Yay!)

So, after one great year of teaching at the inner city school district, I was convinced that teaching was DEFINITELY what God created me to do. I didn't want to leave the school, but the 45 min (on a good day) commute one way was old, especially since I had to drive through Denver during rush hour traffic. So, I applied for a school that was in the school district I lived in. I only applied for that one school. I got the job. The school was a newer high school. It had only been around for 2 years before I started teaching there. It was great!

(Somewhere in there I decided to go back to school for a graduate degree in School Administration. I received the degree and I also have my license to be a school principal.)

I was still teaching in the business department, but at the new school I had a lot of say on what we offered, how we taught, etc. I was one of the few who shaped that department and I loved it. The school administration really respected my opinions. In fact, they were really gearing me up to take on an administrative position by having me fill in for the school disciplinarian whenever he was out. They would hire a sub for me and have me fill in for him. It was kind of hard balancing both positions. The students saw me in two different roles, but it was great experience.

I was so involved in the "extras" of this school. I sponsored the Ski Club, so I took a group of about 50 students to Winter Park a few times a month during the winter months. I sponsored the scrapbooking club, so students would come get creative there. I also sponsored the FBLA (Future Business Leaders of America) in which we would compete for state and national championships. In addition to those responsibilities I was on several different committees. And then, of course, I taught, which was the part that I loved the most. Even though I was in the business department, I taught more computers than business. I did start a new program in which students were able to intern for a semester in a career field of their choice. I had some vets, dr.'s, newspaper reporters...it was awesome. The one student that wanted to be OB/GYN was able to "assist" in the delivery of 3 babies. The twins that were newspaper reporters were actually hired to report in the Denver Post. In fact, they were offered full ride scholarships to college and asked to return to them after college was done. I had so many great experiences from that program. I taught web design, basic computer courses, certification courses. I taught business management occasionally as well. Gosh, I just LOVED that job!!!

When we decided to move back to Michigan, I was very sad that I would be leaving this job. I LOVED this job (Have I said that enough?). I mean, it was my passion, for sure! I didn't like the idea of leaving it for the unknown. But I did. My administrator actually cried when I told her I was leaving.

Lil Bug was born and I knew that due to her disabilities, I would be a SAHM. It took me a LONG time to adjust to that position. In fact, at first I really didn't like it nor was I good at it. I was driving The Designer nutty. For my entire life I was defined by my career and suddenly I didn't have one and I was lost. I was depressed (thanks in part to the baby blues too, I'm sure).

The first year of Lil Bugs life I was lost. I loved being her mom. I couldn't have asked for a better experience, but at the same time, I was lost. I couldn't figure out what pleased me. I couldn't find the passion in me any more. I did figure it out eventually, but not until I decided to get back into the classroom again.

Finding teaching jobs around here is like pulling teeth. There just aren't any. So, the idea of teaching part time was definitely out of the question...especially in the business department. So, I considered teaching college. I didn't know if I had the skills to teach college, but I was desperate to get some identity back (and surrounding myself with adults if even for a couple hours a week sounded good too!) I applied for an adjunct business teaching job and surprisingly, I was offered the job. I have been teaching one or two classes a semester ever since.

I enjoy my job because it works great with my schedule, but it is definitely NOT my passion. I miss high school students (so ironic, since I hated high school myself). I miss having my "own" classroom. I miss the connections and relationships. I miss the administrative responsibilities. But, I teach college. I am actually trying to determine right now whether I will return to high school when my kids are in school full time or stay at the college level. Why would I worry about that now, when I have at least 6 years before Lil Princess will be in school full time? Well, because if I stay at the college level, I will have to get my doctorate degree if I want to go full time. So, that means more classes for me. Am I up for that challenge?

My entire adult life, God has blessed my career. Seriously, nearly ever interview I have ever had, I have been offered the job. I have taken some, declined others. That is why I am spending time in prayer now about the direction of my career. I suspect that if I go for it, I will achieve it (thanks be to God!) and I don't want to obtain another degree if that isn't necessary. So, here I am wondering....what does my future hold? Fortunately, right now I am content being mommy and part-time professor!

Sunday, July 22, 2007

Worship Sunday

Beautiful One

Beautiful One - Chris Tomlin
Wonderful so wonderful is your unfailing love
Your cross is spoken mercy over me
No eye has seen, no ear has heard, no heart can fully know
How glorious, how beautiful you are

Beautiful one I love
Beautiful one I adore
Beautiful one my soul must sing

Powerful so powerful your glory fills the skies
Your mighty works displayed for all to see
The beauty of your majesty awakes my heart to sing
How marvelous, how wonderful you are


You opened my eyes to your wonders anew
You captured my heart with this love
‘Cause nothing on earth is as beautiful as you


You opened my eyes to your wonders anew
You captured my heart with this love
‘Cause nothing on earth is as beautiful as you


My soul, My soul must sing (x3)
Beautiful one (x2)

Saturday, July 21, 2007

My dilemma: blog topics

I want to blog. I really, really do! I think of so many great blog topics throughout the day while I am away from my computer. Then, when I finally settle in behind the keyboard, I can't remember what those wonderful topics are.

I have a friend (you know you are are!) that wants me to blog more. My dilemma is, what do I blog about? I believe my life is extraordinary, however, I think that others must see me as so boring because I play all day, attend appointments, cook, and sleep.

So, during a recent conversation with my friend, I was inspired to write some quirky blog posts. I will be getting around to them in the next few days. Hopefully you will find some amount of amusement in them.

By the way, if you have some great blog topic ideas, please leave me a comment. I will consider writing about just about anything!

Thursday, July 19, 2007

Adoption stereotypes

My dear friend, Sherri, had a great post about adoption stereotypes. Go read it!!! http://missednote.blogspot.com/2007/07/stereotypes-not-just-for-outside-world.html

Wednesday, July 18, 2007

A list for God...

We have an ongoing joke around here about the list of questions we plan to ask God when we meet him face-to-face. It seems like when something is odd, complicated, funny, miserable, etc. we say, "Add that to the list of things to ask God." Well, of course, we know that when we meet God, we are going to immediately forget "the list" and worship him, but "the list" is a popular topic around here.

So, after talking to my dear friend, Sherri, today, I wonder two things. Do you have a figurative "list" and if so, what is on it?

I will start with a couple of things on my list...

1) Did you really have to make it all Eve's fault?
2) Why did you make The Designer and I so different and then intend for us to be married? (Please don't read into that one too much, I adore my husband and wouldn't want it any other way, but we are like night and day different)
3) Do you really care what people wear to church (I think I know the answer to this, but thought I might get confirmation from the Source)

The list goes on and on.

So, tell me...(1) do you have one and (2) what's on it?

New friends and a visit to the zoo...

Lil Bug and I met someone on the BCS board last week and set up a playdate for this morning. We met T and her two adorable boys, D (age 3) and J (age 11 months) at the zoo. We had a great time.

I love meeting new people. The Designer thinks I am strange. I have met several BCS people in real life now. I am not afraid of meeting new people. I find it very enjoyable. Everyone I have met in person has been friendly. Lil Bug and I have made some great friends this way.

Here are some pics from our adventures this morning. Hope you enjoy...

Tuesday, July 17, 2007

What a CROC!!!!!!!!!

Ok, you know what Crocs are. EVERYONE does! When they first hit the scene a while back I thought they were the ugliest things ever. Everyone told me how comfy they are and apparently they are right, because I am sure every other person in our country has at least one pair. Regardless of their comfort, the plastic shoe did nothing for me!

So, what is the big deal? They come in an abundance of colors (their most popular "beach" style has 31 color options to be exact). They come in an abundance of styles (who knew? Take a look at www.crocs.com to see). They are waterproof. They are comfy. Other that that, so what?

Well, here is where it becomes a problem for me. I am beginning to like these things. I actually found myself looking at a knockoff pair at the store the other day. I actually came home and told The Designer that I needed to find a store that sells the real deal. He laughed.

So, now I am on a mission. First, to find a store so I can view and try these things in person. Second, to decide upon a color.


Sunday, July 15, 2007

Worship Sunday

How Great is Our God

How Great is Our God

The splendor of the King,
Clothed in majesty
Let all the earth rejoice,
All the earth rejoice
He wraps himself in light,
And darkness tries to hide
And trembles at his voice,
And trembles at his voice

How great is our God,
sing with me
How great is our God,
and all will see
How great,
How greatIs our God

Age to age he stands
And time is in His Hands
Beginning and the End,
Beginning and the End
The Godhead,
Three in oneFather, Spirit, Son
The Lion and the Lamb,
The Lion and the Lamb

How great is our God,
sing with me
How great is our God,
all will see
How great, How great
Is our God

Name above all names
You are Worthy of our praise
and My heart will sing how great
Is our God

How great is our God,
sing with me
How great is our God,
all will see
How great, How great
Is our God

Now they know

Well, today was an eventful day! Today was the day we chose to tell our parents about N and our match. It was a fun day.

First, I have to say that N is an amazing person. She is courageous and fun. I honestly don't recall how this plan even started, but somehow it came about that N would go with us to my parents house and the Designer's parents house to let them know that she is carrying Lil Princess.

I was concerned about N. I didn't want it to be overwhelming for her. I didn't want her to feel pressured. I didn't want her to feel like she couldn't say no. So, multiple times I gave her the opportunity to back out and multiple times she assured me that she was excited and wanted to be involved in telling them.

I talked with N about how to tell them. Her suggestion was to introduce her first and then introduce her belly as Lil Princess. So, that was the plan.

Today we picked up N after church. We drove straight to my moms house to pick up Lil Bug because she spent the night there last night. Before we left home, I called my mom and told her that a friend I had met through Bethany might be coming along. Bringing a friend from Bethany wasn't odd to her because she knows that I have met in person many off the wonderful people I have met online. So, she didn't think twice. The funniest thing about these pics is that she is in scrubs and just got out of the shower, so she had wet-head. She is going to be so mad if she ever finds out I put these pics on the blog!!!!

We arrived at my moms house. We walked into the house and I introduced N to my mom. My mom made no notice of N's belly and welcomed her like she would anyone. My mom truly is wonderful! Shortly thereafter I said, "Mom, I would like to introduce you to your newest granddaughter, Lil Princess!" My mom's immediate response: "No! Are you serious?" Immediately she hugged N and asked if she could touch her belly. N said yes and so it began. My mom cried, she laughed, she hugged, she smiled. It was wonderful!!!

We loaded up the car with all of Lil Bugs things and hit the road towards home. We were a couple of minutes away and N asked if we were going to go to The Designer's moms house. We didn't want to overdo anything, so we weren't going to do that today as well, but since she was excited and wanted to, we did it.

We called The Designer's mom to make sure her and Bumpa were going to be home. Bumpa was actually gone, but she was there. She found it odd we wanted to come over, but was glad we did. I didn't warn her that we had a friend with us. We walked into her house and she immediately greeted us. I blurted out, "Meet my friend Nicole and your future granddaughter Lil Princess!" She began to cry. Pretty much the same scene as with my mom happened with his mom.

The Designer was armed with the camera and got some fabulous photos that I have included for your viewing pleasure. We had such a fun day today!

Friday, July 13, 2007

He's doing ok

My dad went in for his heart cath today. The doctors were surprised to find that his previous stents were still looking great! His heart is so weak, but they said that it is strong enough to put a new defibrillator in, which is a good thing. Not sure of the date for that, but I will note it in here so we can solicite more prayers as that date approaches! Thank you so much for your prayers for today.

Thursday, July 12, 2007

Lil Bug and Lil Princess

So, Lil Bug is getting VERY excited about Lil Princess' pending arrival. She talks about her every day. She askes about N every day too. She doesn't fully comprehend the whole situation, but she does know that N plans to place the baby in her belly with us so Lil Bug will have a baby sister. She loves the idea!

Today she was playing VERY quietly in her room. She doesn't play all alone very often, so I didn't want to interrupt her, but I peaked in on her a few times (you know how scary it is when there is silence, right? It usually means trouble is lurking!). Anyway, she was in there taking the backing off all of the foam alphabet stickers she has and stacking them up on her belly. After about 30 minutes, she crawled out of her room with her belly full of stickers, hidden nicely under her shirt. She gets all the way across the living room and says to me, "Mommy, look, Lil Princess is in my belly!" She had a grin from ear-to-ear. I smiled and said, "So cute!" and off she went.

Later today she was wandering around the house and she saw a storage bin full of clothes that are awaiting Lil Princess' arrival. She started taking them out and saying thinks like, "oh, this one is SO cute!" and "Lil Princess is going to wear this, right momma?" She tells me regularly that her room is going to be Lil Princess' room soon and that she is moving to a big girl room. When we get in the car, she tells me that she is going to hold Lil' Princess' hand when she rides in the backseat with her.
What those little scenarios tell me is that Lil Princess is on her mind A LOT! That makes me excited and it makes me nervous. When we had our failed placement in Feb. Lil Bug struggled for a little while, but she didn't really get what was happening. This time she gets it for the most part. I firmly believe that this match will work out, but the protective mommy in me makes me worry for Lil Bug in the remote chance that it doesn't. This is the part where I let go and let God! That is all I can do.

Tuesday, July 10, 2007

Please pray for my dad

My dad is an interesting character. His birthday is August 17, 1945. That means in a bit over a month he will be 62 years old. He has 3 daughters and 1 son, ranging in ages from 20-43. He is the youngest child of 8. He was very spoiled growing up and as a result, tends to be a little self-centered, but overall, he is a good hearted man.

My mom met my dad when I was about 4 years old. I don't really remember him ever not being a part of my life. But, it is true. There was a time when he wasn't my dad. My mom and dad met while she was working at a bar/restaurant. My dad was a wild thing, back in the day. But, he saw something in my mom that he was interested in. Most men who have been divorced and living alone would not be interested in dating a lady with a 4 year old child, but that didn't seem to bother him at all. In fact, he adored me and I adored him. I longed to have a father figure in my life. He was up for the challenge. A couple of years later he and my mom married and almost immediately after they married, he adopted me. They divorced 10 years later. When they divorced, that didn't make him any less my dad.

My dad was a cross country truck driver. He would be on the road for 1-2 weeks at a time. Before I was in school and over summer vacation, I would ride along with him. My mom would come along to. I got to see the country when I was very young thanks to him! I remember one time we went to Florida for his "job." We were in Orlando, so we got to go to Disney World. We were supposed to catch a shuttle, but we were running a little late and we missed it. We only had the semi truck and to most, you wouldn't consider going to Disney in a semi, however, my dad thought that was a fantastic idea, so we loaded up and off we went. There were no other semi trucks in the parking lot! I had a blast.

As a trucker, he had many bad habits. The worst of them were smoking and eating a very unhealthy diet. Those bad habits have haunted him for nearly 1/2 of his life. When he was just 38 years old, he had his first massive heart attack. I clearly recall seeing him hooked up to all of the machines. It was a scary time to me. I FINALLY had a dad in my life and here he was, extremely sick. I worried he would die. The doctors didn't promise that he wouldn't. He was in the hospital for what seemed like forever, but was probably a week or two.

Ever since that first heart attack, he has had several more (actually, more than I can remember). His heart is very weak and only functions at some ridiculously low percentage. At one point he was on the heart transplant list, but was taken off because his heart functioned at 1% over the cut off rate. He has had bypass surgery, stints put in (a few times), catheters into his heart, and a defibrillator placed a few years ago.

He spends a bit over 1/2 of the year in Texas, where it is nicer weather so he can get outside and exercise. He is in Michigan for about 5 months each summer. He sees heart specialists in both locations. He went for a routine checkup last week and he was informed that his heart is looking very weak again. His defibrillator is working way too much, meaning it is shocking his heart back into rhythm. He is scheduled for a procedure on Friday. That procedure could lead to surgery on the spot and if it s major enough, he will be have to more surgery in the days to follow.

He is worried and rightly so, I suppose. The past 3 or 4 times he has had heart problems, the doctors have given him less than 40% chance of survival. The percentage gets lower and lower each time. Some how, through God's grace, he always makes it. But I wonder, how many more times will that happen? He cannot be sedated unless it is absolutely necessary as his heart can't handle it. They are planning to sedate him on Friday.

I am sad. Sad to think that this man, who I have been honored to call my dad for 26 years, is so sick. Sad to think that he doesn't have his life right with God. Sad to think that my Lil Bug might not have her Papa Dale around forever. I am just plain sad. I pray that everything will go well on Friday. I pray that he will have a miracle healing. I pray that my dad will be around for another 20-30 more years.

Will you pray for him? Will you pray for my family?

Sunday, July 8, 2007

Worship Sunday

AT THE CROSS - live version by Hillsong

At The Cross
by Darlene Zschech, Reuben Morgan

Oh Lord You’ve searched me
You know my way
Even when I fail You
I know You love me

Your holy presence
Surrounding me
In every season
I know You love me
I know You love me

At the cross I bow my knee
Where Your blood was shed for me
There’s no greater love than this
You have overcome the grave
Your glory fills the highest place
What can separate me now

You go before me
You shield my way
Your hand upholds me
I know You love me

You tore the veil
You made a way
When You said that it is done

And when the earth fades
Falls from my eyes
And You stand before me
I know You love me
I know You love me

Thursday, July 5, 2007

What is a friend?

What is a friend?

Webster defines "friend" as a favored companion.

Our adoption journey has been long and full of challenges. There have been periods of time during our journey where I felt more alone than at any other point in my life. The loneliest point was immediately following our failed placement in February. I felt like no one in my family nor any of my friends understood my mixed bag of emotions and honestly, how could they? I would never want ANYONE to understand my emotions because for them to truly get it, they would have had to experience it as well.

So, when I was feeling all alone I did something that I often do to make myself feel better. I turned to the internet searching for others who understood. I stumbled upon the Bethany Christian Services Adoption Forum one day. It was a blessing and curse simultaneously.

The blessings seemed to appear immediately. First, I found other people had experienced failed placements, so suddenly I was alone no longer. Second, I met some of the most incredible people ever on that forum (more on that in a minute). Third, I have learned a lot about the adoption process, even though I had already been waiting for a placement for nearly a year when I found the forum.

The curses sort of crept in quietly. First, my computer became attached to my hip. I couldn't go anywhere or do anything without first checking the BCS boards. It was like I was addicted to the people who actually could relate to some of my feelings. Second, the amount of arguing and bickering from other BCS posters has really weighed me down. I read it and leave the boards feeling exhausted sometimes, which has begun to outweigh the benefits I have received from the board.

Ok, back to the original intent of this post, which is discussing my friends. I have made many, many friends through the BCS boards. Some I chat with on occassion, others I have chatted with in depth. Some I have spoken to on the phone. Others I have met in person.

I am going to tell you about just a few of my friends I have met through BCS.

My friend, Beth, lives just about 45 minutes north of me. I have gone to her house and she has been here a few times. She is great. I have learned a lot from her. She is a birthmom/firstmom/natural mom (whatever the pc is these days). She helps me to see the other side of this whole adoption triad. She loves Lil Bug and Lil Bug loves her.

My friend, Sherri, is also a first mom. She has been a great person to share some of my deepest concerns and greatest joys with. She is so gentle with her teachings. Never does she shout something at you. I am hoping to meet her in August. She is trying to make arrangements to fly out to visit Lil Bug and I then. I am so excited about her possible visit.

My friend, Nusha, is fantastic! She doesn't use the BCS boards much any more, but we still talk through IM and on the phone. She lives about 2 1/2 hours north of me. The first time we spoke on the phone, we talked for nearly 3 hours! The time flew. It was like we had known each other for our entire lives. She feels like a long lost sister to me. We hope to meet face-to-face real soon.

My friend, Anita, is incredible! When I first met her on the board, she was going through a very difficult time. My heart hurt for her. I knew from the beginning we would be great friends. I couldn't believe it, but just a few days ago, she drove over 7 hours to come visit Lil Bug and I. Yep, she did! We had a GREAT visit. She is a beautiful person on the inside and out.

I have always believed that people come in and go out of our lives for various reasons. Some stay for a season, others stay for a few seasons, and still others stay for a lifetime. None of these women have experienced a failed placement, but they have all experienced loss and I have learned so much from each one of them. I thank God for these friends! I hope they are a part of my life for a lifetime, not just a season.


As I mentioned above, Anita came to visit me earlier this week. This wouldn't be a complete "friend" post without a recap and some pictures of our great time spent together.

I thought nothing of it when Anita and I first discussed meeting in person. I have developed a great relationship with her and it seemed like the next natural thing to do. We made the plans and within a couple of weeks, it was executed. She arrived on a Sunday night and left on the following Tuesday at noon, so her visit was short, but it was worth it.

She arrived bearing gifts. She crocheted beautiful blankets. Yep, that is right, plural...she made two blankets. One was for Lil Bug. It was the cutest thing watching her open it. She was so excited and shouted, "COOL!" She LOVES her blanket. She sleeps with it every night. The other is for our future daughter. It was so thoughtful of her!!!

On Monday we went to Grand Haven, which is the town I grew up in. It is a beautiful touristy town right on Lake Michigan. There is a wonderful boardwalk there. We walked along theboardwalk and down the pier. We played on the beach and we talked. The weather was great (sorry about the sun burn, Anita!). We were tired out at the end of the day.

On Tuesday we just visited. I had to take Lil Bug to the hospital for some scheduled tests at 7:15am, so Anita stayed home. We were back before 9 and we just visited until about noon when she left for home.

The Designer thought the whole idea of having a stranger come to our house was a little insane, but he never asked me to cancel the plans. He doesn't understand how I could meet someone online and establish a relationship with them intimate enough to invite them to our house. To me, my internet friends are just as "real" as my face-to-face friends. I have exchanged very personal information with them. I trust them. I value their opinions, quirks, personalities and so much more. I don't see any reason why online friends can't cross the threshhold and become face-to-face friends.

My definition of friend is the same as Webster's....a favored companion. The ladies discussed above and so many others I have met are just that...my favored companions! Thanks for being there for me ladies!!!!

Sunday, July 1, 2007

Digital Scrapbooking

I am an avid scrapbooker. I love the creativity behind it. I love the stories my albums tell. I like the time away with my friends. Overall I just really enjoy scrapbooking.

However, I don't have enough time do it much any more! I am way behind on Lil Bugs album. She is quickly approaching the ripe old age of 3 and I am working on her first year of life still. That is a bummer! I don't know if/when I will ever get caught up. With Lil Princess arriving next month, I honestly can't imagine it.

So, I have decided that once Lil Bugs 1st year is done I will switch to digital scrapbooking. Before I made that decision I tried it out. I really like it. I think it will go a LOT faster. I will post a couple of the "sample" pages I did in a matter of minutes in a later post.

I found a great site called Digital Express. For anyone interested in checking it out, you can get 1 month free access for downloads. If you do check that site out, use this link: http://www.DigitaleXpressClub.com?promoID=13027 (hmmm, not sure why this isn't an active link, but you can copy and paste it while I work on making the link active) For anyone that signs up for a free trial using that link, I will receive credits to use as well!!!

Worship Sunday

Your Grace Is Enough
Chris Tomlin live at EO youthday, June 9th 2007, Holland.

Thank you, Lord God, for your grace!!!