Thursday, March 28, 2013

"Choose Me!"

I've done my fair share of crying for this boy.

He is Dennis - and his home is Carter's former orphanage.

When we were in process for Carter, we were debating about adding another child, and bringing home a sibling for Carter at the same time.

Well, you know how that turned out :)

But about a month into the process, we got an email with several new Reece's Rainbow babies from Carter's orphanage.  We could choose one of them, and if we weren't interested, Reece's Rainbow would list them.

Dennis was in that group.

Of that group, all of them have been adopted.  All of them have gone home to their forever families.  All of them have been chosen - and are now loved, cherished, adored, and cared for every moment of their day.

Except Dennis.

He still waits to be chosen.

Break my little heart.  It's just not right.

Of all the families that have been to Carter's orphanage to adopt their own treasures, none have ever spotted Dennis (to my knowledge).  I've even started to wonder if he was adopted, or if something happened to him.

Well, guess what?

He's still waiting.  How do I know?

Watch.  This is Carter's orphanage - his director is the man with the white coat behind the desk.

And the little boy with the striped green shirt?  That's Dennis.

He's still waiting to be chosen.  Maybe his Mama will see this, and have the same 'oh-my-word-that-is-my-SON' reaction that I did when I first saw Carter.

I pray so.

Want more information about Dennis' orphanage & city?  Email me - I'd love-love-LOVE to share!

One Thing I Know For Sure: Sweet Dennis - where is your mama?

Sunday, March 24, 2013

Well, Hi!

Hi there - me again!  Miss you, friend.  How are things?  Good.

Well, unless things are bad.  Then, I'm sorry.

Grab your hot cup and cozy down in your chair.  It's time we catch up.


Anybody else experiencing serious cabin fever?  This time last year, we were wearing shorts and tshirts.  Carters chubby toes were being squished into sandals.

Not this year.  We're still piling on layers each morning, and praying each night that spring comes quickly.

It's been hard keeping these two busy.

Pinterest has provided lots of fun activities.  Well, some are fun.  Some are total bombs.  I know it's a bomb when Haleigh looks at me and says "can we do somethin' fun now...?".  Love her honesty.

So we've been slicing our afternoons in half - half spent upstairs in Carter's room, half spent downstairs.  We fill the bathtub with colored water and splash around.  We paint.  We color.  We have snacks and watch movies.

And pray for spring.  Because I'm almost out of ideas.


I knew that one day, I'd be glad I took this photo.  At the time, it seemed so wrong to take a freeze-frame of this sad little face.

But today, I can look at it and know that putting this furry boy to sleep was absolutely the right thing to do.  Look at his heavy, weary eyes.  Break my heart.

Moses has been gone for a little over two months.  I still hear him, sometimes - barking in the middle of the night, or licking his floppy lips, or clickity-clacking across the kitchen floor.

Losing a pet...stinks.  A whole lot.


Remember that long & detailed post I did about potty training?  Carter was doing great with all of it - and then we turned his life upside-down and went on vacation.

He did okay with potty training on vacation, but the minute his little feet hit Wisconsin soil again, he was like a leaky faucet.  Frustrated doesn't even begin to describe how I was feeling.

Especially since I wrote that post about how great he was doing :)

Well...I'm happy to say that Carter is back on track.  I'd love to write another post about all the creative things we did to fix the faucet...but, the truth is - Carter worked it out himself.  Last Sunday, he just woke up in the morning and decided he was done with the whole 'accident' thing.  Because accidents are soooo 'January'.

And the little stinker hasn't had an accident since.


Have you ever wanted something so badly, and tried with all your might to work it out?  And it doesn't work out?  And you get frustrated?  And then eventually, you just give up?

"Okay, Lord - fine.  FINE.  Just, have your way!"

Then, when you're finally content where you are, He comes in and gives you the desires of your heart? In His timing?

I've got a fun story to share.  But not yet.  Stay tuned :)


That's all I've got for now.  Be blessed, friend.

One Thing I Know For Sure: Love a good catch-up!

Sunday, March 10, 2013

Family Vacay.

Sometimes, things don't work out like we had hoped.  Let me explain.

In January, Jake and I decided that we were ready to take our first little family vacation to Florida, to visit Jake's grandparents.  We went back & forth with the dates for this trip, and eventually chose a week in February.  Just as Jake went to book the tickets, the tickets for that particular week doubled in price.  Even though it wasn't what we had planned - we choose the next week for the cheaper price.  

Fast forward to February.  My dad passed away on February 14th, and we were scheduled to fly out on the 20th.  At first, I thought the timing was horrible.  There's no way we could go on vacation just a few days after my dads funeral...

...until I started telling people.  And everyone said how perfect the timing was, and that we should go on vacation and relax.  

And then I realized that the original week we chose - the week with double-priced tickets - was the week that my dad died.  

Sometimes, things don't work out like we had hoped -  but in the end, you realize they worked out just perfectly.  


So the three of us escaped to Florida for a week.  Let's just not talk about the flight there, and how Carter screamed for most of it.  Let's also not talk about the way Carter played a game called 'scream like I'm being tortured' anytime he didn't get his way (in a pool full of strangers, in a busy restaurant, anywhere, really...).  

Let's just talk about this:

Because the part about being a family and running free and the salty breeze and lunch at that little beach restaurant and sand between our toes and the ocean sunset...well, that part was oh-so-good.

Carter loved-loved-loved the beach.  He was made for this life.  The sand.  The waves.  The sun.  The shells.  This is Carter's 'place'.  He loved every bit of it.

Except the birds.  Let's not talk about the birds.

Jake and I are not beach people.  We are pool people.  But this week?  We spent more time at the beach  during this week than all of our other vacations combined.  Because that's what little boy wanted.

And I'll be darned if we try to sit at the pool for one more minute while our 'sweet little Carter' screamed like a wild animal.

Yes, really.

The scream.  See?  Not lying.

So - to the beach we went.

I'm so glad we trekked here - it's a quiet, small, private beach, perfect for 'non-beach goers' like us.  

It's good to sit on the shore, and look out at the vastness of the ocean.  It's good to feel infinitely small.  It's good to be reminded of a God who knows each grain of sand, each hair on my head, every hurt, every tear, and equally - every joy.

Our little getaway is over, and we've been thrown back into real-life.  Which looks quite a bit different than our 'pre-vacation' real-life.  Meetings with attorneys and realtors, cleaning out my childhood home, preparing for an estate transfer.  But it's okay - and we'll grow through it, together.

One Thing I Know For Sure: Turns out, home is where it's at...and I'm glad to be back.

Wednesday, March 06, 2013

The Post I've Been Trying To Avoid.

I've been avoiding this place.

Some things are hard to say.  But they require saying.  So - all eloquence aside...

My dad passed away unexpectedly on Valentine's Day.  Hence, my absence here.


I spoke at the funeral service, and I talked about a childhood memory.

My dad banked his coins.  Every night after he came home, he'd empty his pockets of change (Remember the days of having change in your pockets?  Pre-debit cards?).  He'd toss the pennies into a big jar, and when the jar was full it would go on the top shelf of the closet.  Once he had several jars full, he'd cash them in.

Never say a penny isn't worth anything :)

To me, each of those pennies represented something.  A family meal.  A hard day at work.  A day on the boat or in the tree stand.  There were good days, and bad days.

Each day, he'd toss those pennies into his jar, and I wonder if he's satisfied with how they were spent.  I couldn't help but think about my New Years Eve post from 2011.  (read it - it's much more put-together  than this...).

And it makes me sit down - pull out the ledger - and review.  How have I been spending my pennies?

Here's what I know.  Forget about looking back at the end of my life.  I want to look back at the end of this week (and the next - and the next - and the next) and be satisfied with how I've spent my pennies.  When today is gone, it's gone.  We don't get do-overs.

The scrubbing of floors.  The wiping of noses.  The friendly phone call.   The way we do life is important.  Whether you know it or not - you're spending pennies all throughout your day.

Spend wisely, my friend.  Spend wisely.


I'm all out of words.  I've been putting this post off for 2 weeks, and now it's done - and at least this part of my life can take a big breath and move on.  

The other parts of my life - well, they're on hold for now. 

Those of you who have reached out to me - thank you.  People I've never laid eyes on - never wrapped my arms around.  Thank you.  You don't even know.  

One Thing I Know For Sure: Deep breath.  Moving on.

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