Monday, October 31, 2011

My Christmas List: Mom, This One's for YOU

My mom has been {persistently} asking for my Christmas list for a while now...
Is it just me or does Christmas seem to be coming this year with the force of a herd of raging bulls?

Anyway, typically when my mom asks for my Christmas list, I give her one or two things. However, this year, I want to be surprised. So, I've put together a longer list. Mom, feel free to pick and choose as you see fit. Note: this will also serve as my birthday list, which is no doubt be the next thing my mom asks for seeing as how my birthday is a mere two weeks after Christmas (Jan. 7 to be exact).

Let's start with one of these:

I like the pretty blue one in front. I'd put it in our bedroom. So classic, yes?
You can order one here.

This shirt:

While it may seem silly that I'm asking for t-shirts, for the first time in a LONG time I actually am short on supply, seeing as how almost all of my college shirts have now officially bit the dust. And I love this one because a.) the proceeds help fund an adoption b.) it's v-neck, making it more than just a t-shirt, c.) it combines an awesome scheme of colors  d.) all of the above. You can order your very own here.

And in the name of gifts that give back, check this out:

I think it's so stinkin' cute. And I don't have a single hat to wear on days when the hair and I just aren't seeing eye-to-eye. It also gives me an excuse to talk about Africa when I wear it. I see this as a win-win. These cuties can be ordered here.

Speaking of the hair, it's a rare occurrence for me to not totally hate my hair these days...or any days. Ever.
I've heard great things about this product:

It can be ordered at the Redken site or bought in a number of salons, mine just doesn't happen to be one of them.

Next on the list:

It's a cake ball maker! As a mom who believes in the power of a good birthday party and loves to make treats for my girls and their classmates, I think this would be so much fun. Totally not something I need, but I think I'd use the heck out of it. It can be ordered here.

I am also lovin' this dress:

Winter dresses are in short supply at my house. By this I mean I have about two. This one is super cute. It can be found here.

The biggest item on my list:

It's a Shark vac. and steamer combo. With all hardwood and tile in my new house, this will certainly make my daily life easier. My mom also happens to have a Shark, and she LOVES it. They can be purchased here.

So you know how some women hoard shoes and purses?
Well, I'm a jacket girl.
And this one is so my style:

It can be found here and would be great seeing as how my other blue jean jacket has seen better days.

Last but certainly not least:

After walking five miles about five times a week all summer, my current tennis shoes are about as supportive now as a pair of cheap flip flops. I think they need to be replaced with a pair of these:

Cute, yes? They can be found here.

What's on YOUR Christmas list this year?
I'd love to know.

Also, Happy Halloween to you and you and you.
I LOVE Halloween, and this morning the cutest Dorothy I've ever seen left our house headed for school.
Pictures to come. However, just a heads up:
my precious Hollyn has the nastiest cold I've ever seen right now.  She will not be trick-or-treating. Boo on this, and here's hoping my precious girl feels like her old silly self soon.

Saturday, October 29, 2011

Whatcha Gonna Do With All That Junk-- Bathroom Edition

We moved this summer.
Remember that?

Well, while I LOVE my new house, storage is not its forte', so to speak.

This is especially problematic in the 'master' bath.
I use that term lightly because it's not actually connected to the bedroom, but it's the one Lee and I use while the girls share the other one.

And when we moved it, the only storage in this bathroom was one cabinet under the sink.
Boo on that.

So, here's what I did.

I went to Dirt Cheap.
Can I just say I LOVE Dirt Cheap?
I especially love ours because almost everything in it is from Target.
And while I'm all for second hand stores, all of Dirt Cheap's merchandise is brand spankin' new.

And I found this little beauty:

It's from Target, and usually sells for $69.99.

I however, paid $11.99 for mine, fresh in the box and in perfect condition.

I then paired it with some of these:

I found them at Hobby Lobby on sale and paid less than $20 for all four.

So, for under $35, which is essentially less than half of what the shelf alone should have cost,
I have this:

I love how MUCH stuff I cram into it....
and I love how we use this bucket on top for towel storage.

The shelves are all different sizes, which is great.
And the shelves are really tall, which is nice for bigger items.

And just in case you're wondering, here's a breakdown of my baskets:

What are some of your storage ideas?
I'd love to see where you keep all your goodies....

Here's hoping your weekend is wonderful.
Mine is being filled with finishing Libby's reading fair project with her and taking up her Halloween costume.
More to come on both of these projects next week.

Wherever you are, I hope there's candy corn and good company.

Happy weekend to you and you and you.

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Is My Dog the Only One.....

If I didn't know better, I'd swear he wakes up every day and asks himself,

"Hmmmm.....what can I chew up today?"

He barks... a lot....
....drinks straight from the toilet while his water bowl sits untouched.....
....he hogs the couch......

....and while he sometimes drive us t-totally crazy....

...he really is kinda cute.....

...and a big ole' wuss at the heart of him.

Here's hoping you've had an amazing week.
Mine has been busy, busy, busy.

And next week will probably be the same if not worse.

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

The Girl Really Gets It

When I got home from work yesterday, there was a package waiting at my doorstep.
Last week I ordered two copies of Kisses From Katie, the book about the life of Katie Davis, who gave up her life in America and traded it for a life serving orphans in Uganda.

While I'm not quite finished with the book, the one thing I can say for sure is
 In her book, Katie talks very clearly about living for God and how nothing on Earth is more important than serving him; I'd say that Katie's one very smart cookie.

And while there are MANY inspiring passages,
the first one that reallyhit home with me was this (pgs. 6-7):

I can't explain in words the love I felt for these children or why I felt it. I think many people would have looked at them and seen only their filthy clothes, the ringworm on their heads, or the mucus that ended up in a crust around their nostrils. They would have looked around at the dormitories of the orphanage with its smooth, hard cement floor where rats and cockroaches made themselves at home and been a bit disgusted. By the grace of God, though, I didn't see these things.

The truth is, I saw myself in those little faces. I looked at them and felt this love that was unimaginable and knew that this is the way God sees me. The children would run to me with gifts of stones or dirt and I saw myself, filthy and broken, offering my life to the God of the universe and begging Him to make it into something beautiful.

I can't explain the joy that the messages in these pages is bringing to my heart. I can simply encourage you to see for yourself how God has used Katie to make a difference and how she so willing accepted.

And while I'd love to stay and chat, I've been itching all day to finish it.

**Are you reading it too? If so, I'd LOVE to hear which lines have spoken to you....**

Friday, October 21, 2011

Girls Night.....In

Here's hoping......

.....your Friday night.... as tasty as ours.

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

It's the Little Things

Today I was home sick.
Yuck, yuck, yuck.
And when I got out to pick up Libby from school, even though I felt t-totally crummy, I picked up two peppermint hot chocolates before meeting her to celebrate the first day of cold.
To me, it's moments such as this that being a part of a family is all about. It's taking something little, something ordinary and making it special that makes the best kind of memory.

What sorts of memory making have you been doing lately?
Note: This picture was taken with my cell phone. Not too shabby if I do say so myself.

Here's hoping you don't ache from head to toe and that you are staying nice and toasty.

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

As Happy As Hollyn in Her Minnie Mouse Shirt

Seriously, my kid LOVES Minnie Mouse. While I don't get into characters all that much, there's no way I could deny the look on her face when she sees her beloved Minne. Oh. my. word. We're talking true L-O-V-E here, folks.

Here are some things that are attempting to make me as happy lately as Hollyn's Minnie Mouse shirt makes her:

*Last week was homecoming, and Libby was one cute rockstar.

*Friday night's football game was fun for all but mostly for Hollyn, whose fence stance had me laughing like no other.

* 'Kisses From Katie' has finally been released, and I CANNOT WAIT to get my hands on a copy.

* Nutella Snack Packs-- Love, Love, Love.

*The fact that Christmas will be here before we know it...and I've already bought five presents!

* The fact that this is my screen decor at work. It just makes me smile, you know?

What's making you extra happy this week?

Here's hoping your Tuesday was t-totally awesome.

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

The Low Down on Blogging and a Call for Questions

I don't know about you, but I don't know many bloggers in real life. Sad, I know.  In fact, most of my close friends can't imagine ever starting a blog and don't know what they could possibly have to say and how they'd possibly find time to post. (Which by the way is pish posh in my opinion.) And when I was first starting out in the blog world, I had no one to go to with questions or for advice concerning blogging.
While I am by no means a professional blogger, I have learned a thing or two about how this whole blog thing works, and today I wanted to take a minute to answer some of the questions that I continually get asked about blogging.

1. Is it time consuming?

It depends entirely on you. Writing and coming up with ideas is very easy for me, so to me no, it's not time consuming to write and upload my posts; 90% of the time I am just writing about and documenting the life I am already living.  However, it can be awfully tempting to browse other people's blogs and spend hours oooh-ing and ahhh-ing over their newest craft or latest recipe or oober cute children. Just like anything else, you make time for what it important to you, and if blogging is something you desire to try, I think it's safe to say that in the time you spend watching one TV show each night, you could have written a post. The choice is yours.

2. How do you find things to say?

Well, in case you've noticed, I talk about lots of different things here on my blog, from my family to food, activities, etc. In order to blog about your life, you have to be out living it. But I believe that everyone has a story to tell; it's just about being comfortable and confident enough to do so.

3. What does it mean to follow a blog?

Following is a very nice way to show the writer of the blog that you like what he or she has to say. If you read a blog daily or even a few times a week, you should follow it. The more followers a blog has, the more likely it is to get to offer giveaways, grow to gain sponsorship, etc, and the better the writer will feel because when someone follows your blog, it's safe to assume they like what they see.

4. Do I have to have a blog in order to follow?

Of course not! You can follow via e-mail or feed subscription to places like Google Reader. If you DO have a blog, then any blog you follow will automatically show up on your homepage when it's updating, putting all your favorite blogs in one place. You can choose to follow publicly (where people can see you're following) or privately (where people can't see you're following).

5. Should I leave comments on blogs?

That's up to you, but I will say that it's always nice to hear someone likes something you have done or relates to something you have said. Comments are like compliments, and who doesn't enjoy a nice pat on the back every now and then? And if you're trying to grow your blog, commenting is often a nice way to get followers, as many people will often follow you back if you take time to comment on their blog.

6. Have you ever received a nasty or rude comment?

Thankfully, no. All of my comments have been positive and nice thus far; however, I'm sure it's bound to happen eventually, and I know some bloggers have lots of trouble with this. However, as a blogger you have the option of accepting or not accepting comments from anonymous readers. While I do accept comments from anonymous readers (this allows people without a blog to comment more easily), I do have to approve all comments before they appear on my blog. This is not because I fear the all-dreaded negative comment, but rather because certain information such as my last name and the city in which I live is not something I put on my blog, and if a friend accidentally mentions one of those things in a comment, I can catch it before it's made public knowledge.

Plus, my take on negative comments is this:
We all each entitled to our own opinions. Do I always agree with everything other bloggers say? No. Therefore, it's foolish for me to assume that everyone will agree with everything I say.

7. Do all bloggers make money, and can you make money as a blogger?

Yes, it is entirely possible to make money as a blogger. However, it's rare that family blogs (which is what I consider my blog to be for the most part) gain sponsorship in that they usually only apply to a certain market of readers. While I would love for my blog to bring in some extra dinero each month, I realize that not everyone is interested in reading about my kiddos and what I crafted or listened to or watched or read last week. But some blogs do make it big in the blog world, specifically those blogs which target mass audiences, and I could not be happier for them.

8. What is some advice you'd give to new bloggers?

Well, if you do your research you'll hear the same few tips repeated in a variety of ways:

-try to post often, as readers will get bored if you keep them waiting too long between posts.

-try to include pictures whenever possible, as people like something pretty to look at while reading.

-the more professional your blog looks, the more seriously your readers will take you. If you're only blogging for your mom and family, then you will probably be perfectly content with a free template that you can download. However, if blogging is going to be a serious hobby for you, you may want to look into getting your background custom made so that it has a more personal feel.

- choose a catchy title or name for your blog, specifically one that represents what you plan to talk about on your blog. This is something I wish people had told me before I chose mine-- what happens if we ever have a son? Lee, Me, and the Girls won't really apply anymore, you know?
-don't be afraid to be real and honest. I find that the blogs I most enjoy are the ones where the author is real and writes in such a way that I feel I can personally connect with him or her.

9. What's the point/ why do you enjoy it so much?

I think there are many reasons why people blog. For me, it started as a way to document the adventures of my growing family and has since grown into the hobby I most enjoy. I love having an avenue where I can express myself, an excuse to write, and a place where I can share thoughts and ideas. I often find myself referring to my blog for recipes we love or what we were doing this time last year. I don't keep a journal; I do blog, and I love, love, love it.

10. How many hits do you usually get each day?

Well, usually I average about 750-1200, but lately it's been more like 2500-3200. Thanks for the boost, Pinterest. :)
I hope this has helped answer any questions you may have....if not, please ask. I'll answer any questions I get via comments in the comment section, so if you ask a question please check back soon for a response. Or, you can always e-mail questions to me at Speaking of questions, is there anything you want to know or see more of? Any questions about me or my family? Anything you want more details on? Send those my way too, and I'll see what I can.

Here's hoping your Wednesday doesn't feel like a Monday, like mine has all. day. long.
On that note, here's a picture of me and Rachel (aka El Ray Ray).
 It makes me happy, and today calls for something happy. 

Don't be jealous of our 'staches, mkay?

Monday, October 10, 2011

Chicken a dip

This past week, one of my classes and I celebrated the completion of a big project with a potluck lunch.
And the pressure was on; they expected me to bring something fabulous.
So, here's what I came up with:

Here lately I've been craving wing sauce. No clue why, and no, this has never happened before...I don't even really like wings...or spicy food.....and NO, I'm not preggars.
Anyway, here's what I did (for real this time):

-1 pkg cream cheese (I used fat free.)
-1 small carton sour cream (also fat free)
-2 cups of sliced cheddar cheese
-8 oz wing sauce (whatever kind you prefer)
-8 oz ranch dressing (you could use a little more here if you want to cut down on the spice)
-3-4 cooked and shredded chicken breasts (you could sub. canned chicken here if you wanted to...)
-onion powder

First I cooked and shredded the chicken breasts.
Then I melted the cream cheese so that I could mix it with the other ingredients.
Then I mixed the cream cheese, sour cream, chicken, wing sauce, ranch, and cheese with a dash or two of onion powder.

Once all the ingredients were mixed together, I cooked it at 350 for about twenty minutes.

It was delish. The kiddos gave their complete and utter sign of approval.
I like this dip because it's completely different from what I normally make, and sometimes branching out is a good thing, yes?

I hope your weekend was as wonderful as ours.
We headed out of town to see some friends and eat some froyo.


Oh, and if you didn't notice, I posted a link on my sidebar for you to sign up to receive my blog posts via e-mail if you so choose.

And, if you blog and don't use Pinterest, you should.
Someone posted my cake batter dip that I made for Lib's birthday,
and just last week that one post had over 1500 hits.
Thanks, Pinterest for introducing the world to the joy that is cake batter dip.

Here's hoping your Monday is scrumptious.

Saturday, October 8, 2011

I Am That Mom: Edi

Hi! I'm Edi from I'm Mama Y'all! Thanks McCall for letting me guest post today!

I'm always thinking about what kind of mom I might be.
If I told you everything I thought about what kind of mom I think I am, you would think I'm crazy.
So instead I'll just give you a little insight into my life as a mommy.
 This is absolutely enough for you to judge me!

I am that mom who could count on one hand the number of times I held a baby under 6 months old before I had my own.

I am that mom that didn't know if I wanted kids, but when these two kiddos got here....
I couldn't imagine my life without kids...and now I want 2 more...maybe....if I can get past the being pregnant part.

I am that mom, who, only 6 and a half months into being a new mom with zero knowledge of how to even change a diaper, found out I was pregnant with baby #2. With tears in my eyes I told my sweet husband. He was so excited. I was scared. I mean, I didn't even know what I was doing with the first one...what in the world were we going to do with 2. Now it is just second nature.

I am that mom who is not a germaphobe. I didn't sanitize or wash my hands every 30 seconds (or make anyone else do it) with our newborns. I didn't wash the pacifier off when it hit the ground. It would be lucky to get a rub off on my pants. We eat food after it hits the floor. Haven't you ever heard of the 5 second rule? Surprisingly enough my kids are rarely sick.

Ironically, I am that mom who was completely obsessed with having a clean house (maybe neat is a better word). I finally figured out that I need to be less concerned with having a clean house and clean babies and more concerned with having fun with my babies playing with play dough and crayons and toys...and worry about the mess later.

I am that mom that lets my kids eat cookies and chocolate and suckers and drink coke and sprite and chocolate milk. Because they eat fruits and veggies and drink milk at lunch and supper...and you only get to be a kid once.

As a result, I am that mom who is not beneath bribing my girls with candy or cookies...or stickers.

I am that mom who feels guilty about not staying home with my kids, but I feel like I'm a better mom because I work. Reason...I don't have the heart of a teacher. My girls have learned so much since we started daycare. They have learned so much that I couldn't have taught them. It also helps with my patience with them....patience is something I've had to really work on. I get aggravated way too easy and way too often.

I am that mom who wants my girls to have a solid foundation in the Word. I want them to love the Lord Jesus Christ with all their heart, soul, and mind. I want them to love God so much that when they start looking for a husband is their motto.

I want to help them get to this point. I want to be an example of a Proverbs 31 and a Titus 2 woman so they will know what God expects of them as a woman of God. I want my girls to meet a man that loves them only second to their Lord and Savior.

I am that mom who is terrified of my girls growing up. I want them to stay little forever. I want them to want to hug mommy and "mooch" mommy and be innocent. I don't want them to experience the pains of the life. I want them not have to worry about anything except who is playing with that toy. But I know that it is going to happen, so I am trying to prepare myself for it.

I am that mom who checks on my girls 4 or 5 times before I go to bed at night.
I really just want to see them sleeping.
It is the sweetest thing.

I am that mom who has dance parties with my girls and we dance around the den to all kinds of music like crazy people. We also all sing and dance in the car. We really like to shake the sillies out.

I am that mom that will play just about anything with my girls, but I refuse to play with play dough. I didn't like it when I was a kid and I don't like it now. I'll be happy to watch. Thank you.

I am that mom who thinks birthdays are super important. I think that one day is the day that is all about my baby. I will not, however, succomb to the over the top birthday parties. I don't have enough time in my day to make my decorations and I'm not going to spend a fortune on trying to outdo someone else. I don't believe in trying to keep up with the Joneses. I do however buy good presents and always an awesome cake.

I am that mom who makes sure to let my girls know just how much I love

Thanks so much for sharing, Edi!
 If you want to hear more about Edi and her precious kiddos, you can check her out at I love her blog because she is funny and honest, always.

I hope you're having a great weekend. And, according to Libby (who said this in giggle because that little stinker knew it wasn't true), Columbus sailed the ocean blue in 2004.
Here's to you, Chris, and your oh-so-recent voyage.

One of the most comforting things to me as I attempt to find my way through this journey as a Mom
 is the advice and insight of other moms.

So I ask, what's the BEST mothering advice you've ever received?

Friday, October 7, 2011

I Am That Mom: Heather

McCall once described me as being this mom:

"She will be the kind of mom who lets her kids finger paint....on the carpet.....twice. She'll make the finger paint herself, from Earth-friendly ingredients and natural dyes, and then sit back and watch while her kids paint everything in sight, smiling the whole time. And then, when they eat the paint (trust me- they ALWAYS eat the paint), Heather won't get mad or frustrated. She'll just say, "Well, what does yellow taste like?"
She was spot on. I'm that mom. I choose my battles - and much to my husband's chagrin - most of the ones I choose involve him, not the kids. I would prefer my house be neater, tidier, cleaner...but I'm ok with the temporary chaos in trade for giggles, grins, and mashed up messes of toddlers. Becoming ok with such has admittedly been a long road. But between sheer exhaustion, loving my babies as if they are some sort of wildly addictive narcotic and wanting to be near and focused on family always...the physical perfection of my surroundings will simply have to wait.

We moved to our house over a year ago. We still have boxes in various dark corners, I have not put pictures on the walls - BUT we have a functioning kitchen, and a beautiful patio garden lining a little play ground. Our hall upstairs is pretty much empty specifically to allow space for the kids to ride their toys fast and furious on a rainy day. We have rooms with nothing but toys in them - one upstairs and one downstairs. I keep anything I would mind getting broken packed and put away to be viewed and excitedly displayed at a later date. In short, our house is kid friendly - and that cuts down on the upsets, the fusses, and the stress around here.

I'm that mom: I was nervous about the kids sneaking a taste of the flowers while my back was turned...I solved that worry by planting only non-toxic edible plants around their area.

My kids are climbers: we have a "sleep room" for them that contains low sling book shelves and a mattress on the floor big enough for all of us to snuggle to sleep on...when Mary Louise and David actually sleep that is - in 2.5 years, they have slept "through the night" a grand total of 5 times. Yep - we're pretty tired over here. But when I do sleep, I rest peacefully knowing that everything in Mary Louise and David's room is under 3 feet preventing a mid-night fall.

I am spoiled. I stopped working as an adult health nurse to stay at home with our 2 babies and am lucky enough to be 2 months pregnant with number 4...yes, number 4...

When I was younger (I mean like 3...) I learned about pregnancy, I learned about breastfeeding, I learned about natural parenting and allowing time and space for personal expression. I learned to embrace difference, allow chaos, and generally appreciate the ebb and flow of life. My mother was pregnant with number 3, head of the local LLL chapter, and let me sift the pancake ingredients every morning then do art projects (like Batik and tie die) on the kitchen counters. We were allowed to bring "our exciting treasures" in the house to show her anytime. These included, but were not limited to: random leaves, chunks of dirt, rolly pollies galore, lizards, toads, our pet rabbits, stray kittens...seriously, nothing seemed to phase this woman. Though I am about 10 times as uptight and high strung as my dear mom, her zest and core zeal for life is what I have in my heart - no matter how I try to disguise it...

Bits of my childhood experience naturally became a huge part of my identity as a woman: specifically, the perfect pregnancy and natural delivery part...

I didn't just want this, I expected it. I knew I had this as an option just as I knew I had a nose on my face. It was that literal - I was going to one day be a mother and have a totally typical pregnancy and birth experience...and I would breastfeed - maybe not for as long as my mom, but about a year, I'd decided - because it is in undeniable fact the best thing for a baby. This would happen, it would be my choice, and nothing could stop it...

I'm that mom: I had triplets at 24 weeks and 5 days gestation.

On their birthday:

Mary Louise

Kuylen Stafford

David Oliver

Before even trying to get pregnant, my husband and I had full physicals. I insisted on in depth blood work as my father - who was very fit and ran at least 5 miles daily - died of asymptomatic heart disease at age 57. I needed to know that my body was in the best shape ever so that I could support a baby, work, exercise like a fanatic, and and dote on my husband (ok - I don't dote - if he's reading this, you should hear very loud scoffing 'round the world right now). I spent over an hour in the gym 5 to 6 days per week. I did multiple yoga classes on my days off. I was in shape. I ate fish but otherwise followed a vegetarian diet. We were took over 2 years.

I spent a month in the hospital on bed rest diagnosed with severe pre-eclampsia - yep, all that working out and getting in shape and I got what people naively assume only fat chicks get (no insensitivity implied). Lab work was done at least weekly: The results of which would determine whether or not I would be "allowed" to stay pregnant another second. I remember the day I turned 24 weeks gestation: the nurses all congratulated me. That day, the babies were considered "patients" too - before, I was apparently carrying fetuses and should I have been delivered, I would have been allowed to cradle them in my arms as their hearts stopped beating. My babies, my children, my family...

I actually loved bed rest. Seriously, if you've ever tried to grow 3 babies, it's exhausting and ordered sleep and laziness is very welcome. I spent so many hours just focused on the kicks and bumps - getting to know each of my babies so well. I wanted to memorize their rhythms. Regardless of the outcome, they were there, at that moment - we all were - and that moment was the only thing that mattered.

At 24 weeks and 3 days, we found our smallest had some major problems with the blood flow in his umbilical cord. He was not expected to survive, but for the sake of the other 2, the pregnancy was continued. Things went downhill very quickly after that...

I am so thankful for a number of things: I met my first born son. I spent 5 days watching him cling to life in an incubator and was able to touch his tiny hand, cradle him and tell him how proud we were to be his parents and how much we loved him as he died in my arms. I smiled - he did too - he looked so peaceful and I knew instantly that the decisions we were forced to make were not only right for him, but out of our hands anyhow - this was simply life at one of it's most poignant and beautiful moments. I can still trace his angelic face in my mind...

My daughter and son lived in the NICU for 92 and 99 days. I pumped furiously - it was my job. That 12 month goal? It was modified to include exclusive pumping. Neither ever became effective nursers. But, as I'm still pumping today, at 30 months, I feel my goal has been more than accomplished - and the benefits, more than realized.

This summer:

It has taken many many MANY months for me to make peace with the guilt, the self-blame...for me to forgive my feeble body for betraying me in such a way. It has also taken a lifetime for me to even begin to understand that I have been given these gifts, these experiences and being angry about them is non-productive and futile. Enjoy the moment, each moment...and as trite and it sounds - absolutely nothing is guaranteed.

I wish I wasn't such a procrastinator, I wish I was more organized, I wish I had the energy to get my appearance together on a daily basis. I wish I didn't have frequent outbursts and upsets over things that really don't matter- as if a wet sponge left in the sink is the end of the world. I have my days - weeks - often - too often for my over all taste and pleasure...but we are all a work in progress aren't we? Awareness is the first step...and in my soul I know what matters.

I spend my time ensuring the health and happiness of my children and my family. We tell each other countless times per day we love each other. My house is a mess, but it's warm and inviting. I take the time to watch my babies learn and grow - they are my mustard seeds and as they blossom and flourish, I bask in their endless shade. This is right where I am supposed to be...



Seriously, that made me cry.
You can read more about Heather
and follow her along with pregnancy #4 at

Tonight there will be spaghetti and football for our family and tomorrow visiting with good friends.
Here's hoping that whatever you do makes you laugh until your sides hurt.

Thursday, October 6, 2011

I Am That Mom: Kim

Hi, it's Kim from Let It Snow.  I am so thankful to my friend McCall for this opportunity.

Jeff, Jake and me
What kind of Mommie am I? 
 How long do you have? 
My life is not conventional at all...chaos just seems to find me and my life never happens as planned.
  This has carried over into me being Jake's Mommie.
  I would love to be June Cleaver but sadly I fall short in a lot of ways!

One of my favorite pictures of me and Jake
I am blessed with Jake through the awesome gift of adoption. 
 That is right, Jake is adopted! 
 My life has been blessed and improved in so many ways because of adoption. 
 But I think I put more pressure on myself because of it. 
 We waited a long time and had several BIG heart breaks before Jake came along and I was his life to be perfect. 
 Is it? 
Well of course not! 
 But I try everyday to make sure he knows that he is loved beyond measure, is the apple of my eye, and I would give life and limb for him.  I also want Jake to know and others to see that families are not just made through births.  Jake is Gods gift to us and we are a family.  We are normal, we do things just like everyone else.  I want our family and our love for each other to always be a positive reflection for adoption.

The first time I saw him....
 A nurse in the OR room brought a picture of Jake out to us as soon as he was delivered.

This was that picture.  What a doll!

I am so proud to be "Jake's Mommie".  It is what I have waited a lifetime to be. 
 Nothing is sweeter than being introduced as Jake's Mommie".
Here are some of the things that I think are most important in being Jake's Mommie..........

I am the Mommie that says "I love you" every time I think about it even if that means in the middle of "time out" when that fake wailing Jake is doing is breaking my heart.
I am the Mommie that is consumed with guilt. 
 I want to provide Jake with a life like no other.
  I want him to have everything his little heart desires and I hate to say no or punish him BUT I know that he is my responsibility and I am accountable for the person he turns out to be so I do correct him, punish him, and guide him but sometimes it hurts Mommie the most.
I am the Mommie that believes that you have to make memories. 
Therefore is is very important that we have HUGE birthday parties, spend the holidays with extended family, go to family reunions every year, rock and sing in the same chair that my Grandfather rocked me in, and look at pictures of loved ones that have passed away and talk about them so that Jake knows them.
I am the Mommie that believes it is my responsibility to teach Jake as much about his birth family and they area they are from as possible.
  I want him to know his heritage and I want his adoption to be a blessing to
 him just like it has been for me and Jeff. 
I am the Mommie that believes that it is my responsibility to raise Jake in a godly home,
teach him to pray, teach him right from wrong.
  But I also want him to know that we are not perfect and we fall short in a lot of ways
 but God's love for us is greater than anything we can comprehend.

I am the Mommie that beleives even though Jake is adopted he is right where God planned for him to be. 
 I have always favored my Dad's side of the family most, I have a few facial features from my Mom's family but for the most part I don't really look like that side.  BUT Jake on the other hand.....he is a clone.  Look at the following picture and tell me that is not a "God thing".  He is with my cousins children...his third cousins (yes in the south we can keep up with the degrees of cousins) and they could be siblings.  Everywhere we go people are amazed that Jake looks so much like my Momma's family.  That is definitely a blessing and lets me know that Jake is right where God had planned for him.  There may not be a genetic connection BUT there is a LOVE connection and that is what matters in the end.

Jane Claire, Jake and Ben 
Look at that....simply amazing!  God is a GOOOOOOD God!
I am the Mommie that has broken all of the rules I set for myself. 
Yep, Jake sleeps in the bed with us, and I LOVE IT! 
 I would not take anything  for the snuggles and kisses we share and the laughs we share after we lay down at night or before we get up in the morning. 
I let him chew gum, drink diet coke, drink chocolate milk instead of white milk, eat chicken strips way to much, and on and on.  But hey, it works for us and he is way past healthy....and I do good stuff too!
I am the Mommie that thinks my little man is the cutest little fella I have ever seen.  He is funny, sweet, adorable, can be a stinker, has a temper like no other, loves to laugh, and loves his Mommie.  I am totally and completely in love with this little man and I want the world to know that I think he is perfect!

Don't you agree...he is a DOLL!!

I could go on and on..... Not that I am a great Mommie but I do try my very best everyday. 
I just pray  that Jake will look back and say "my Mommie rocked". 
I hope that I am half the Mommie to Jake that my Momma is to me.

Me and my Momma at her birthday party
Check out Let It Snow and get to know us better.
  You can read more about our adoption journey there also. 
 We would love to have you follow us and become friends. 
Thanks for taking a look into my world!

Cute, cute, cute!

Thanks, Kim for sharing your sweet, sweet story with us.
I hope your week has been top notch and filled with all the loveliness that fall has to offer. For me, this means candy corn....lots and lots of candy corn.

Happy Thursday to you and you and you.