Saturday, August 30, 2008

7:00 a.m. and I'm Already Ticked

I just heard the idiot anchor on Good Morning America (a man, BTW... and did I mention idiot already?) asking one of McCain's people (or some guy from the Republican party... I wasn't really listening at first) if the fact that Sarah Palin has an infant with "special needs" (he has Down's) will make a difference. What he was getting at was it will either affect her ability to be an effective VP, or being VP will affect her ability to mother a child with Down's. The guy being interviewed seemed a little flustered by the question, almost as if he wasn't sure he understood what was being asked of him. He ended up responding with a "No, I don't think it will."

I think most moms agree that working outside the house can and does affect family life, and family life often affects the job. BUT...

That question would NEVER, EVER be asked of a male candidate. NEVER. A male candidate with a lot on his plate at home, whether it's a large family, young kids, a child with special needs, a kid who has been in trouble, a drug-addled, alcoholic brother, WHATEVER, wouldn't be asked if those things would distract him from his job. Nor would he be asked if his job is going to affect his abilities as a dad. NEVER, EVER, EVER.

And so, it begins... all the double-standard, sexist crap that we'll be hearing for the next few months.

And this is neither here nor there, but I'm thrilled with McCain's choice, by the way. I love her. This year, unfortunately, my vote is not going to be as much for one candidate, as it is against the other- but having her on the ticket will make me feel much better about my choice. I'm veering off into politics, which I know is a huge mistake, because pretty soon I'll feel compelled to tell you exactly what I think of that other guy running and his choice for VP and I will offend someone. I better shut it. I'll switch topics.

Let's see... safe topics... Oh- Weather! That's always safe. It's stormy here today and it's supposed to continue, so there won't be much outdoor fun this weekend. We didn't really have any big plans anyway, so no biggie. I know some of you live in the areas where Gustav is supposed to hit and I hope you'll all be OK. I'll be thinking of you and lifting you up in prayer.

One more thing before I go: Thank you, thank you, thank you for the sweet comments on yesterday's post. You guys are just awesome in every way!

Friday, August 29, 2008

This is it

This is the post I've been dreading and hoped I wouldn't have to write. Our Vietnam adoption has officially come to an end. For those who may only check this blog infrequently and don't understand what I'm saying... you're coming into this story a little late. I won't go through the whole thing again from the beginning right now. The quick version is: A lot of bad stuff happened in Vietnam. Adoptions between the US and VN are closing on Monday. We're not getting our baby... At least not from there. There you go- you are now up to speed. This has not caught us by surprise. We've known for a while now we wouldn't get a referral in time, and slowly started to accept the truth that's been staring us in the faces.

My thoughts are with the children still in Vietnam orphanages who may not be placed in a home now and get to know the love of a family. I'm thinking of all the families whose adoption hopes have been dashed today along with mine. My heart is heavy for all of us. You are all in my thoughts, and I pray your dreams of completing your families will be fulfilled. My hope is that all the turmoil and sadness of the past several months will eventually pay off in the form of a new agreement between the US and Vietnam, and that the VN adoption process will be transformed into an ethical, transparent one that puts the babies and birth mothers first.

I am so happy for the families who received their referrals in time and will still be able to travel to Vietnam, and for those who have already brought their little ones home. These past few months have seen a lot of excitement in adoption land- a lot of families have been born or have expanded. It's been a pleasure following your stories, and seeing your beautiful babies. Cherish those gorgeous little ones! They grow up so, so fast!!

To my Christian family members and friends, I would ask that you please keep us in your prayers as we seek God's direction and try to discern what we should do next, if anything. We might have a Plan B in the works (I hope, I hope, oh please, God)- one that I feel very excited about, but I'm not going to reveal any details until we know for sure. You'll have to stay tuned for that one.

As for me, I'm doing so-so. The bar is fully stocked, so to speak- the M&M's are on my left and the Ben & Jerry's is on my right. I say, if you absolutely must emerge from your Cocoon of Denial, make sure there's plenty of chocolate waiting for you at the exit. I think the hopes of Plan B are helping me keep it together, too- otherwise, I probably would have been a total mess all week.

I would also like to make a request and issue a gentle warning. Please do not tell me how I should just be grateful for the children I already have or that I am so much better off than couples who can't have any kids at all. I already know that. I am deeply grateful. I know I am incredibly blessed. It doesn't erase the fact that I wanted this child with all my heart. Please do not tell me this is probably for the best, since we already have our hands full enough, or any other thing that belittles the feelings I'm having right now and shows me you really don't get it. I will probably momentarily forget my religion and call you a thoughtless horse's butt right to your face. If you can't feel any empathy or compassion for me, or for other families in the same position- fine. No problem. Then don't say anything at all. Please.

I'm looking forward to seeing what's around the corner for us because I still believe God has one more baby in our future. I'll keep you all posted on Plan B- it's just too soon to have anything juicy to tell you.

Have a great Labor Day weekend, guys. Stay safe!

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Belated Birthday Wishes

Yesterday was such a hectic day that I didn't get to do a birthday post for Tucker. He turned 10 yesterday and I think he really had a fun day. I just wanted to take a second to say Happy Birthday, Tucky Bear. You're a great kid and I love you with all my heart!

Saturday, August 23, 2008

How Does a Grown Woman Chase Away the Blues?

She puts her son's underwear on the dog, then takes pictures of it, and posts them on the internet. You might think it's weird, but have you ever tried it? ...Then don't judge me.

Here's a few other shots I've taken with the new camera. I'm loving it. I don't know what I'm doing yet, but I feel a new obsession coming on.

My Sweetie Pie

Is this not the most gorgeous face?

Beginning to play around with Photoshop... Ev's beautiful eyes.

Obviously, I don't know what I'm doing yet, but it will be fun to learn.

I married the most wonderful man. He took all the kids out for the day, so I have a WHOLE DAY to myself. Which begs the question... Why am I wasting it on the computer? I'm outta here! Have a great weekend!

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Pretending to Feel Better

Okay, so did everyone enjoy my little pity party yesterday? Me neither. Sorry. My attitude is still pretty frappy, but no one likes a complainer, so I'll try to keep a lid on it. How 'bout if I come up with at least one positive thing to say today to balance it out?

*I'll start with the fact that my hub is awesome. He gave me a Nikon D40 for our anniversary. I don't think I've mentioned that here yet, and I should have. He also took me out for a really nice dinner and we saw a movie. What a sweetie! And it wasn't even because of the sappy, gloppy, embarrassingly goofy post I wrote about him. He bought the camera before I published that, so he gets extra points. Now, I just need to figure out how to work it, and become a talented photographer. I'll post some pictures as soon as I get a chance to take some- hopefully this weekend.

*Speaking of this weekend, our grandson Braden is coming to stay with us and we're all really excited about that!

*We're taking Tucker out on Saturday to celebrate his birthday. We'll probably do the pizza-arcade-movie circuit. He's bringing one of his buddies and Braden will be with us, so I'm sure it will be fun. He wants to wait until his actual birthday next Tuesday to have his cake and open presents. Have you ever heard of a kid who chooses to wait for presents? He says his birthday will seem boring and disappointing if he opens them all early.

There. That was three things. Let the good times roll.

Thank you for the encouraging comments yesterday. Keep the prayers coming, please. When it comes to homeschool, I know exactly what my problem is, but I just don't know how to fix it. I'm a one-track-mind kind of girl. When I'm trying to totally dedicate myself to a task and do it well, I can't seem to accomplish anything else except that one thing. If I'm focusing on school, my house suffers. I can't seem to keep an orderly home and remain devoted to school all at the same time. I just don't know how to juggle it all. Not a good multi-tasker, is what I'm saying. And when my house suffers- when the laundry is backed up and everything is out of order (or just plain filthy), and nothing is like it should be, I'm overwhelmed and miserable. When I'm overwhelmed and miserable, I seem to just shut-down altogether. I can't think straight and prioritize. I can't figure out where or how to jump in and get started, so I just do nothing. You guys have heard all this whining before... Blah, blah, blaaaahhhh.

It really does seem my feelings of security and well-being, and even my whole sense of purpose and self-worth, are all tied to having a clean and orderly house. Sucks to be me, I guess, because my family does not seem to have the same affliction. Uh-oh. There I go again with the word "sucks." Sorry. When I look around at all the able-bodied people sharing my living quarters who do not seem to be bothered by the disorder, or by the fact that I am miserable about it and clearly need help, or by the fact that they all contribute to the state of our disorder, the wallowing begins. Add to that the fact that I haven't been feeling good (physically speaking) lately, and I come down with a pretty mean case of Martyr Syndrome. And that, my dear friends, is what you call the makings for one totally awesome blow-out of a pity party with balloons and streamers. It appears that they all believe none of the disorder around here is their fault or their problem, while I constantly believe it is all my fault and always my problem and I am one gigantic, whopping lazy loser for not being able to keep up. I don't know if I've mentioned this before, but sometimes I can be a tiny bit hard on myself.

Anyhoo... How do you guys do it? How do you juggle all the different aspects of your life and keep up? And why can't I? I feel like a failure.

Reminding myself that nobody likes a complainer, so... Moving on.

We called the school yesterday about that scary kid in Evan's class. Ev didn't want us to do anything about it at all, which I understood. #ONE- He's the new guy at school and doesn't want to establish a bad rep right off the bat for running home to mommy and daddy to tattle. #TWO- I suspect he also feels a little intimidated by the kid (I would) and doesn't want him finding out he's the one who said something. #THREE- He believes the kid isn't serious, he's just saying those things for attention and it's probably "no big deal." Maybe so, but that's an awfully big chance to take, in my opinion, and even if the kid is just trying to get attention, he sounds like he really needs some help. Happy, well-adjusted kids don't say things like that just to get attention. So... we called. The VP called Evan into his office to question him about the kid, so Evan isn't too happy with us now. I think he understands why we felt we needed to call, and I'm sure he realizes it really was the right thing to do, but he's still not thrilled.

Other than the Classmate From Hades, I think Evan is adjusting to school pretty well so far. I don't think he really likes it, but he doesn't hate it either. I hope he can make a few decent friends soon. Let's hope he doesn't wind up becoming friends with Psycho Ricky. That would be an unpleasant twist, wouldn't it?

Alex started his classes and already knows he doesn't like Biology. He's also in the process of trying to find a job that will fit around his school hours. I hope he finds one SOON- something to fill his spare time before he finds another girl. I've had it with his love life. How I wound up with such a Rico Suave for a son, I'll never understand.

(Just in case you're too young to understand the Rico Suave reference, here you go...)
My kid doesn't speak Spanish, but you get the general idea.

Other than that, I'm just watching the timer ticking away toward the Vietnam shut down, which I'm sure, is adding to my depression. I knew it wasn't reasonable to believe we'd get a referral, but still... You guys know I was hoping. It's so hard to believe it's really going to be over.

That being positive thing worked out pretty well, didn't it?

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Care for some bad attitude?

I was informed the other day by one of my teenagers (who thinks they didn't have cuss words or vulgar language back in my day... hee, hee... Boy-oh-boy, could I teach him a thing or two) that saying, "That blows," is nasty and I shouldn't say it.

His exact words were, "Um, Mom? I'm not sure you know what that means. You probably don't want to say that. That has another meaning, and you're actually saying something kinda bad."


I personally don't see the difference between saying "blows," and "sucks." Either one could have a crude connotation, if that's where you want your mind to go, could they not?

I don't like using either word when I'm in polite circles, but I'm rarely in polite circles, and this is my blog, so today, I say... School Blows. If you're offended, I'm sorry. I'll change it to, "School Sucks," if you prefer. Those are the only two terms that appropriately describe the kick-off of our first week of homeschool. Nothing's going right. I'm struggling to find a schedule that works for everyone, as usual. I'm struggling to get myself motivated and inspired. I'm struggling to remember the long-term goal and why I started doing this in the first place. I want to give up, but I sure as heck don't want to put the kids in public school. I just want to go back to bed. I want to run away. I want to... get a job at Burger King. Anything. I don't care. I just don't want to be here, sucking at this job God has dumped in my lap, and failing miserably at everything I attempt to do. I want to wake up from this dream and be on a beautiful beach somewhere, with a 24" toned waist, only one chin, and boobs that actually sit on my chest, where no one is reminding me of my failures. No one is waiting for me, expecting from me, needing something from me... But then of course, if that was really possible, I wouldn't be a mom. And that would suck even worse.

My homeschooling friend, Lanie, has put her youngest child in high school this year and gone back to working outside her home. She has abandoned me. So she, too, blows. I have no other homeschooling buddies. There are just a few families in town who homeschool, and we have a tiny homeschool group for meetings and field trips, etc., but I don't have any other local buddies like Lanie. So life sucks, and I'm all alone in the suckitude.

Not only does homeschool suck (and/or blow- your choice), but Evan comes home from school yesterday to tell me some psycho kid who sits behind him in two of his classes is constantly talking to himself, saying things like, "Pretty soon everyone's gonna be dead, and I'm gonna be dead." Then he rams his desk into Evan's back. Welcome to public school, Evan!!! Obviously, I'm calling the school today (I'll go on record as saying the kid's name is Ricky Something. In case something happens, I would suggest Psycho Ricky be questioned first).

So, how's your week going? Lunch is over. I gotta get back to school.

Sunday, August 17, 2008

What it means to be an adult

Having the pleasure of knowing several Eighteen Year Old Adults (and having the pleasure of being one way back when) has taught me many, many important things about adulthood. Here are just a few precious gems of wisdom I've acquired...

Being an adult means coming and going as you please. You no longer have to ask anyone's permission. Curfews are for children. Being "considerate" is something you heard from your mom. Forget it. You don't have to tell anyone you're leaving, where you're going, or when you might return. So what if you're laying dead in a ditch somewhere and no one knows where you are? So what if someone reschedules their plans to accommodate you, or made dinner for you and had no idea you wouldn't be there to eat it? If they are also adults, they will understand. Your days of having to answer to other people are DONE. You are a Grown-Up.

Being an adult means no one can tell you what to do. Listening to the advice of others... What, are you nuts? Make your own decisions. In fact, if someone gives you advice, do the opposite. That will show 'em. You are a Grown-Up.

Being an adult means spending your hard-earned money as you choose. Real grown-ups never have to be told how their money will be spent. If you're smart, you will find rent-free housing where the utilities are paid, and you'll have it made. This way, your cash can go towards the important things in life that every adult deserves: Clothes, Movies, Music, Dates. You know... The necessities. Don't worry about saving any of it. If you need gas in your car, and can't afford it because you just bought yourself the coolest, limited-edition, one-of-a-kind, something-or-other, just borrow a Twenty from your dad. You and Dad are equals now. Adults borrow from each other all the time, so he will understand. Heck, chances are he paid for the car and the insurance anyway. Why not the gas? You are a Grown-Up.

Being an adult means never having to volunteer for something you don't want to do. Household chores? You've got to be kidding. Why bother to clean a bathroom or do a load of laundry? So what if you helped make the mess? Think about it... Living in a rent-free and utility-free environment should also mean maintenance-free, you dufus! It's not your house, so it's not your problem! Otherwise, what's the point of staying there? Tell you brother to do it- he's not an adult. Better yet, just blow it off and your mom will do it. You have places to go, people to see... You are a Grown-Up.

Being an adult means you now get to expose yourself to anything and everything, regardless of your religious or moral up-bringing. Now is your chance to see every movie, try every experience and illegal substance, say every filthy word, visit every website, and listen to the nastiest music possible. Why shouldn't you? Who's gonna stop you? What's it gonna hurt? You are a Grown-Up.

Being an adult means never having to say you're sorry. I'm pretty sure one of those wise philosopher dudes said this and it is so true. You don't owe anybody any apologies or explanations for your actions. You are a Grown-Up.

Being an adult means expecting others to listen to you and do what you want. And if they don't? Well, then being an adult means you have the right to be angry with anyone and everyone who doesn't cater to you. After all, they should be able to see you deserve respect. You are a Grown-Up.

Most importantly, being an adult means reminding everyone around you of that fact as often as possible. Memorize the phrase, "I am Eighteen , you know!" And don't be afraid to use it repeatedly. If you feel it's getting stale, throw in a variation now and then to keep it fresh, like: "You can't tell me what to do- I'm EIGHTEEN. " Note: These phrases are examples. If you are not 18, you should insert your own age. Don't say you're 18 if you're really 19 or 20. But you probably already figured that out. You are a Grown-Up.

Of course, once you get Old, you'll realize there's always someone you'll have to answer to- your spouse, your kids, your government, your creditors, your employer, and (hopefully) your God. There will always be bills and taxes to pay, deadlines to meet, laws and rules to obey, people to please, commitments to keep, apologies to make, involuntary hardships to endure, and convictions to uphold. You will have life-changing, conscience-altering experiences of all kinds, including some that will be more painful than what you believe you can handle. Those experiences will teach your heart to love and will cause it to break. They will make you value Love, Family, Integrity, and even something as goofy as Being Considerate, like you never imagined you would. But you don't have to worry about any of that right now. You are a Grown-Up.

Saturday, August 16, 2008

Something Funny...

With my ticker from H**l up there telling me there's only 16 days left until the shutdown, I need plenty of reasons to laugh. This did the trick! Stolen from Jeff's blog. Thanks, Jeff!

Kids, this is what happens when you take drugs... Just say NO.

Friday, August 15, 2008

Mindless Diversions

Something to do if you get bored and have 15 minutes to spare, or just want to take your mind off the rapidly approaching Doom Day of Sept. 1st for a few minutes...

Go to: and take the 50 States in 10 Minutes quiz.

You have 10 minutes to name and correctly spell all 50 States, which is harder than it sounds. I tried it a couple times- because I'm an anal, obsessive, perfectionist nutjob- and I got 47 or 48 in the first 5-6 minutes, then I sat there staring at the ticking timer like an idiot, trying to come up with those last few for the remainder of my time. When I decided to make myself slow down and think of the states in alphabetical order instead of whatever randomly came into my thick head, I got it with no problem in 2:58. It's fun (if you're kinda nerdy, like me). If you do it, leave me a comment on this post with your score and time! We'll be nerdy together. This is also a great way to be a mean mom (and who doesn't want that?). Make your kids do this to help them in school.

Your other time-killing assignment for the day is to help me unlock one of the great mysteries of the universe by answering this question: Why does "Law and Order" seem to be on at almost any hour of the day, especially on the USA network? I am thoroughly stumped by this. Does the USA network feel a steady diet of child rapes and murders will help us become better people? Is it really necessary to air a solid 4 hour block of shows, then repeat the exact same episodes later on in the evening? Are Mariska Hargitay, Ice T, or Vincent D'Onofrio really all that big of a deal that we should be subjected to them non-stop? I just don't get it. I really don't. Solve this one for me and you win!

See? I warned you the other day that I've run out of things to blog about. Clearly, I need help. Got any ideas?

***A comment on my last post (about the petition for Yang Peiyi) mentioned having some computer issues after visiting that website (pop-ups and such). I got the information about the petition from a source I trusted, but have no personal knowledge of the website. I hope I haven't steered you toward a bad site. Please let me know if you had issues with this site and I'll remove the link. I haven't noticed any problems on my own computer, and my spyware scanner didn't find anything, but you never know.

Thursday, August 14, 2008

Petition for Yang Peiyi to sing at the closing ceremonies

I just signed a petition, available here on HULIQ , asking that Yang Peiyi (the real voice of the Olympic Opening Ceremony, who was not allowed to appear on stage because she wasn't "cute enough") should be allowed to sing at the closing ceremony. There is information available to read, and you may also leave a comment when signing the petition.

Personally, I was disgusted when I heard about this and think it's a terrible thing to do to an adorable 7 yr. old little girl. Different culture, different ideas- I guess. Hopefully, they will get the message and do the right (and kind) thing.

Please take a second to sign it and give this cutie a chance to show her stuff! Thanks!

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Out of Ideas

It's a sad, sad day when a wanna-be blogger realizes she has nothing to say. I mean nothing. No interesting life events. No funny stories. No cute kid quotes. NUH-THING. I'm out of blogging ideas. I feel exactly like Elaine at Looking For George was feeling the other day ("...Meh.").

I guess I'm in one of my little House Frau Funks again. I could tell you about my plans to organize our school books and materials today, since homeschool starts next Monday, but... Who cares? That's boring. My life is boring. I'm boring.

However, it's all I've got so...

Guess what guys? Today, I'm hoping to accomplish getting our school materials organized. When Darrell was building the addition (new kitchen, dining room, and mud room), he put a closet in the dining room for me (since that's where we do most of our school stuff) that is full of shelves. You slide back the door and it's like... VOILA... a mini-library in there, complete with shelves labeled by subject. It's awesome. Every anal homeschool mom's dream. But toward the end of last April, as the hope of Summer Break approached, things started getting tossed in there willy-nilly. So now there are English materials crammed onto the Math shelf. Science books laying next to, and even on top of, Handwriting workbooks. It's obscene- a regular Sodom and Gomorrah of books. We can't have that.

If I'm up for any more excitement after that's finished, I really need to get my bathroom clean. It's covered in drywall dust, because we're remodeling in there. Next, I'll be making snacks for a parents' planning meeting we have to go to tonight for our homeschool group.

So that's it. That's my day. Can you stand it? I can't.

Other, equally non-exciting news:

In addition to remodeling my bathroom, we are also finally (read that word with a giddy, high-pitched voice to get the full effect, please) finishing the fifth bedroom, which has been on my list of "Top Five Things to Make Darrell Finish" for about two years now. This is kind of a bittersweet project for me. I'm so glad to be getting it done finally (go for a dramatic tone of frustration this time), BUT... This room was going to be Tucker and Sam's bedroom. Since we haven't got our referral yet and it appears, at least for now, that an adoption may not happen in our near future, we are letting Mike have the room. It just made more sense to let the two oldest boys have their own rooms, especially since Alex is staying put for the time being (the two girls share a room, Evan and Tucker are together, and Mike and Alex have been sharing the other).

Mike wanted to paint his walls a really dark, dark color... as in black. We said En-to-the-Oh on that one, and compromised with a sorta dark, steely blue/gray color. It doesn't look too bad. The room is so small, that going as dark as he wanted would make it look like a cave. Plus- and this is the biggie- it would be ugly. He bought a cheap hammock in Mexico last year that he wants to hang in there and use as his bed. A hammock that is already frayed and no one has ever even been in it yet. I give it two weeks, tops, before he falls right through the stupid thing onto the hard floor in the middle of the night. I did not just laugh out loud. ...No, I didn't. ...Okay, yeah. Maybe I did. Just a little.

Anyway... I'm glad it's almost done, but it breaks my heart looking in that room at those gray walls and envisioning how it was supposed to look with Sam's little crib, covered with his handmade quilt with the cute little jungle animals, and Tuck's bunkbed in there.

Alex should be coming back home today after being away for almost two weeks working in Arkansas with his uncle. Mike and Evan are quite disappointed he has to return. They've mentioned several times how nice it is around here with him gone. Ah... The loving bond between brothers. It gets ya right here, doesn't it? College classes start on Monday the 18th, so he has to come back. I'm not sure I've ever mentioned it here, but Alex is not going away to school now. He decided to pass on the football scholarship to the school that was four hours away and stay here to go to a local community college for the first two years. That way, he can work while going to school and save a little money. He got a couple small scholarships he can use at this school too, so that's good. His heart just wasn't in football- at least not enough to go four hours away where he doesn't know anyone. Fine with us. We're glad he'll be closer to home anyway.

Evan starts school tomorrow. After being homeschooled their whole lives, that first day of high school is extra daunting. He's nervous, but excited. Mike starts school on Thursday, since tomorrow is just for freshman orientation. I think it's good that they give the freshman a day to get used to the school without the upper grades there. I won't have to worry about my baby getting his head slammed in a locker by some horrible, mean senior until Thursday. That's nice.

As I said, the little ones start school on the 18th, so my summer break is effectively over. I've got 2nd, 3rd, and 4th graders this year. Do you detect the jubilant eagerness in my voice? No??? Could it be because it's not there? I've been burned out on homeschooling for a couple years now. I still believe it's best for our family and it's what I should be doing, it's just not what I really want to be doing. I keep hoping I'll get a fresh burst of inspiration and really feel dedicated to it again, but so far... It's not happening. When we lived in Kansas City, I used to attend the big homeschool conference up there each year. Since we've been down here, I've gone to only a couple. It always seems like such an effort to get up there for it, or it's on an inconvenient weekend, but I think not going is part of my problem. Going to those conferences- seeing all the new school materials, and hearing the great speakers, always seemed to give me a second wind, or reignite my passion, or something. Now, I'm just running on fumes. I'm out of fresh ideas when it comes to school. I'm out of fresh ideas when it comes to blogging. I'm just altogether out of it. Period.

Monday, August 11, 2008

Happy Anniversary!

Today is my best friend's 19th wedding anniversary, so I just have to take a minute to say...
Happy Anniversary

Nineteen years- WOW! That's quite an accomplishment- something to celebrate! So many things have come up in those 19 years that would have sent many (no-MOST) couples screaming for divorce court and yet you're still here rockin' the marriage thing almost 2 decades later!

You have been my best friend for over half of my life now, and I can't imagine having to go through this life without you- even on the days I think I can barely stand one more second of you and your flaws (and let's be honest... there are "several")!

What a blessing that God has given me a best friend who is:

...The one who can make me laugh harder than anyone else, often at myself. Thank you for helping me not to take myself so seriously, and for making life more fun. Your sense of humor has gotten me through many difficult circumstances.

...The one who can clearly see that I'm a gorgeous, sexy beast when everyone else (especially me) just sees a beast. You are one of the few people I know who can tell me I'm beautiful and make me feel like it's true. It's as if you see Gisele Bundchen when you look at me. Thank you for treating me like the most beautiful woman on earth, and for being my source of confidence when all my confidence is gone.

...The father of my precious, precious babies. Thank you for each one of them! The depth of love you have for these kids is a living reminder of how much our Heavenly Father loves us. Your compassion and your ability to forgive, even when your heart has been crushed, just blows me away. Thank you for what you do for our family. It may appear at times like your efforts go unnoticed by all of us (especially me), but they don't.

...My faithful husband. Thank you for sticking with me!

I spent my whole life feeling disconnected from everyone and never quite fitting in with anyone. I've never felt I belonged to anyone. But I fit with you. I belong with you and to you. You are my family. You are my history.

We've seen other marriages go under over things nowhere near as intense as some of the stuff we've weathered together. There were times (days, weeks, months) I felt ready to quit. I couldn't imagine ever liking you again, let alone loving you. I thought we were in the deepest, darkest place we could be, and there was no way it would ever turn around and get better. I'm sure you did, too- but oh, what we would have missed out on if we would have given up. Thank God we didn't. We are living proof that any marriage can be saved with reliance on God. He's been so unbelievably good to us. But, even though He gets the credit for our success, I'm still proud of us. And I'm proud of you. You don't hear that very often, but I am. If only you could admit that everything that ever goes wrong is all your fault and work a little harder to get along with me, you'd be perfect.

Do you remember that crappy little apartment I had when we were dating? The one with no couch? Remember the times we'd hang out there and listen to this?
It was in that pathetic apartment that I first knew I loved you. I remember looking at you and thinking, This is it. This is the man I'm going to love for the rest of my life... So far, it looks like I was right.

I love you, Darrell. Happy Anniversary! Are you up for two more decades?

Friday, August 8, 2008

This is how it should be done!

I'm sure many of you in the adoption community already read and love Tracy's blog. For the few who may not, you really need to click over to "My Minivan Rocks!" and read the last three posts, "Meeting Colin's Birth Mom"- Parts One, Two, and Three.

As an adoptee, it blesses my heart so much to hear stories like theirs. This is such a good example of an adoption done "right." Even though I don't personally know Tracy and Christian, I found myself feeling proud of them for the way they chose to respond to their son's birth mother and was very touched by their story. Go read it!