Wednesday, June 30, 2010


Things have been going on. Things big enough to take my energy, my thoughts, my emotions for weeks now. It's various things relating to both our jobs. So unfortunately I can't really go into it here like I'd like to. Writing is so therapeutic to me, it's hard to not be able to type things out and even harder not to get your thoughts and suggestions on the situations. But I guess I'll continue to bore and drive my family and friends crazy.

The other thing sucking any other life out of me is infant sleep habits. Or the lack thereof. Owen is...not sleeping well. At least not consistently. I am actually a very tolerant, rational, patient person (it's all relative), but Sunday I hit my breaking point. By Monday morning I was in tears dropping him off at school and his teacher was rubbing my shoulder telling me we'd figure it out.

We've made small changes to his routine: putting him in bed earlier rather than letting him swing in the living room until John goes to bed, we swaddle his tummy and legs but leave his arms out, and daycare is working on making sure he gets good naps. Last couple of nights have been better and I hope it stays that way. He's still sleeping in the bouncy seat, still having two feedings between 8:30pm and 7:00am but we're getting there.

This weekend we're looking forward to swimming and fireworks and running around with fireflies. But for now, I'm signing off because "Toddlers and Tiaras" is on and it's my weekly dose of feeling better about myself by watching crazy people. Night!

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Life is messy

After Colt was born, John and I would shake our heads in amazement at the adoption experience we'd gone through. So few bumps and bruises. I can remember this night very clearly. My heart races even re-reading that post. And I can also remember this day that happened at the peak of my exhaustion with a newborn. I know it was nothing compared to what his birthmother was going through, but it was terrifying and scary for us and it's all we knew at the time.

Then this day happened, then this day, and finally this amazing day! And our journey was complete. And John and I have a wonderful feeling about adoption, it's warm and fuzzy and we couldn't be happier with our experience. But I DO remember those days when Colt wasn't ours. I DO remember hoping he was our son, but knowing he wasn't yet.

When Owen was born, I noticed so many differences in the way I felt right away. Not in how I felt about Owen versus how I felt about Colt in those early hours and days. But how much more relaxed I was. How I could laugh and sleep and enjoy every second. With Colt, those first few weeks were a dream and he was wonderful...but every time the phone rang my heart would stop. I would stop breathing until I saw the caller ID of who was calling. As each court day came up, my stomach would churn. I loved him long before I met him, and I just had to pray that he would stay with us.

The past several months, I've been thinking of and praying for two families that are so dear to us. They are parents to beautiful, amazing children through adoption. Both families have very open adoptions, and are so close with their children's birthparents. I look to them as examples. Both families have again become waiting families with our agency. And both families have recently lost a placement.

My heart aches for them. They are strong and faithful and know that what truly matters is that those babies they lost are happy and healthy and with the RIGHT parents. Neither of these families have animosity or bitterness about their experience. They ache, oh how they ache, but they also know that the sunshine will come after the rain. And both are still in contact with the families that decided to raise their children. I am in awe of their attitude, in awe of their spirits, and in awe of what God is doing in their lives.

I highly encourage you to visit the Shockley's blog and the Satterfield's blog. They are families that have experienced the ups AND downs of adoption. They have a heart for children, and a heart for the first families out there that make such a difficult decision. I appreciate that they are so open about their's important to know that adoption is NEVER easy. It's just not. It's an amazing process, but one filled with pain. Whether birth families or adoptive can be messy. But isn't life messy? No matter how our children come into our lives, things are never how we plan. Life is always messy. These amazing families just find the strength and pray for the knowledge to get through it with grace.

We love you, Shockley's and Satterfield's. We're praying for you, your children, and the children you are blessed to know that stayed with their first families. God has big plans for your families!

Monday, June 21, 2010

Marriage (the reflective anniversary edition)

Today is our 7th wedding anniversary. 7 years is so close to 10...and people who have been married for 10 years are just OLD, ya know?!

John is a great husband. He is a provider, he is responsible with our money, he carefully considers next steps for our family. He has given me two beautiful, amazing children. He parents them in a way that is full of love and strength. We have a cozy home, awesome friends, and a pretty good life. He cooks when there is cooking to be done. He fixes things around the house and cars.

Last week was a tough week for us for some personal reasons (not relating to marriage). It made me realize how often we get bogged down by little, everyday frustrations. In fact, when I look back over our married years and name the "biggest" fights we've had, almost all of them have been over small things. When it comes to money, jobs, children, we come out pretty strong. Those are not the things we fight over. Last week was a rotten week, but I was really proud of how we pulled together and supported each other 100%. We spent hours breaking down the issues and how we were going to face it. We encouraged each other. We didn't fight.

Each year I think about how I WANT to be a better wife, I WANT to try and curb my impatience and frustration. I want to build up, not tear down. Just like marriage, those desires are a daily decision. I will struggle for those goals every single day for the rest of my life. But there's no one I'd rather be fighting for than John.

A few years ago I saw the movie "Fireproof". And while it didn't win any Academy Awards, it sure holds a special place in my heart. It was an eye-opener. All those little, every day frustrations that we fight about - those are what add up to the BIG things. If we're not careful and determined, we could easily fall into a pattern of resentment. We could easily get caught up in miscommunication (or no communication) and lose this marriage. Lose US.

I have become more and more aware and concerned about the state of marriage in this country today. It's not political. It's simply looking at how easily we allow ourselves in and out of marriage. And the long-lasting effects that this attitude has on children born in those marriages. Whether or not you are religious, it is clear that marriage was designed as a COMMITMENT. It's a commitment to work through things when it's hard, to respect the person you choose, to be loyal to the person you choose, to carefully and prayerfully consider who this person will be. It's a commitment that should last the rest of your life. And, yes, there are times when this just can't happen...there are always exceptions, there always have been. But I live in a state that's in the Bible belt where marriages have a 50% failure rate...that is WAY more than just the exceptions, way more than the marriages that are toxic and unhealthy to all parties involved.

That, my friends, is a result of people taking marriage far too lightly.

So what do I do about it? I'm not sure. Still thinking and praying about what I can do. However, I know that I have to make a daily effort to keep my marriage alive and flourishing. Every exhausting day of my life spent working away from home for 8 hours, parenting 2 tiny children, keeping friendships alive, supporting our family, cleaning the house, managing insurance, paying bills, e-mail, praying...every exhausting day still requires me to put marriage first. It's a humbling realization, one that I often fail to do but refuse to give up.

I attended a funeral this weekend of a man I so greatly respect, admire, and love. He was like a grandparent to me. He was married for over 60 years to his bride, they are one of the classiest and most loving couples I've ever met. I am nowhere near having that kind of marriage! I hope to have all those years to get there. But among all the things this man imprinted on my heart, the greatest would have to be love of his family and of his bride. There is wisdom, peace, comfort in that.

Below is a song from the "Fireproof" soundtrack that I fell in love with the moment I heard it. It's really beautiful. Truly. I love the idea of praying for my marriage, praying that if either of us EVER wants out, that God will send angels to guard the door. Praying that He won't let us out. And I love the idea of praying that same prayer for my friends and family.

John, I love you. And I'm IN this. For good. Forever. I may not be the best at expressing it, I may be quick to anger at the worst times. I may complain, and I am more often selfish than not. But what you've given me, what we have together is my everything. You'll always be worth fighting for. Happy Anniversary!

Friday, June 11, 2010

A Cardinals fan and the many faces of his brother

Owen is a smiling machine these days. A giggler, too. So fun! What makes him laugh? Pretty much ME! Smiling, kissing, talking, looking at him. He also likes the star friend on his play gym...just like his big brother did. He is a CHUB-BO!!

Notice Colt's shoes in the photos below. They also have STL on them...he was a full head-to-toe Cardinals fan that day!

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Brain Fried

My kids. Sick. A lot.

Owen on his third antibiotic to treat his third ear infection in 3 weeks. 333. It's the new 666.

Will typing 666 bring a lot of crazies to my blog? Here goes nothing.

Colt just got done with his second bout of strep in the last 2 months. He was sick as a dog last weekend, all weekend. Which meant a second weekend in a row of NONSTOP PHINEAS AND FERB. Do your kids watch "Phineas and Ferb"? It is skewed a little older (in fact it's shown in the evenings on Disney near Hannah Montana). But John likes it. Yes, John likes the theme song and it technically is a pretty funny show so HE started watching it. And then Colt got into it. And so we traveled for Memorial Day weekend and he watched lots of episodes in the car. And then he was so sick and just wanted to cuddle and veg so we let him watch all the DVR'd versions we had. Over and over. And I'm so SICK of Phineas and Ferb and their annoying sister Candace's voice. Where's my sweet Mickey Mouse Clubhouse?!

This has also turned my darling 17-month-old into a total TV head. He now walks in the door and hands us the TV remote and smiles very big and says "peas peas" while signing please in sign language. My exhaustion from 3 urgent care trips, 2 pediatrician trips, and 5 trips to the pharmacy in 3 weeks leave me vulnerable. Vulnerable as a complete and total pushover.

" asked nicely and used your manners. Please zone out for 30 minutes and fry your brain sweet boy!"

So...soon we're staging a toddler intervention. But maybe tomorrow. I'm too tired tonight. But I get a date night alone with my husband, unlimited rolls with cinnamon butter, and steak tonight. Heaven.

Sometime soon I'll tell the tale of my tailbone. It's a tale that needs to be told. If anyone has suggestions other then chiropractors for how to fix a painful tailbone after childbirth please share.

Checking out.

Thursday, June 03, 2010


So, um,'s been almost a month and that halfway boring/depressing post has been up! I promise I'm not THAT upset about ever being pregnant again! Ok, maybe I would be, but I just haven't posted for many other reasons.

Busy, busy, busy. So let me bring you back up to speed (hello bullet points!)...
  • My dad was finally able to visit from Virginia and meet Owen. His trip was cut short by travel delays, but he spent some good time just hanging at the house with us. I appreciated him being willing to just hang out...he's kind of a go-getter and likes to be out doing things. Well, as you can imagine toddlers and infants make it hard to do too much! So we hung out, went to the neighborhood park, went out to lunch, and he did a lot of playing with Colt and holding Owen. Hopefully he can come again sooner rather than later.
  • Mother's Day week was pretty awesome. John went above and beyond by making it all about me for a whole week. Each day he surprised me with a small gift: one day it was flowers, another was lunch t my favorite restaurant that he doesn't love, another day a gift card to my usual breakfast stop, cards every day from him and the boys. Loved it. Which was a pretty good thing considering the actual Mother's Day was pretty hectic and left little time for celebrating!
  • I traveled to my first overnight business trip since Owen's birth. I really did ok, it was a busy couple of days and I didn't feel like I was missing too much. It was in Chicago so I had to fly to O'Hare which was really the worst part of the two days. Also, I texted back and forth to the traveling Ms. J as well and that helped a lot!
  • We went to see Conan O'Brien's show when he came to Tulsa. This was by far the best night I've had in a LONG time. We went with our very best friends, and we took a girl's car and a boy's car for the 90-minute ride there and back. Do you know how much I needed that? We ate at a fabulous local restaurant I'd never been there that had amazing mac n cheese. We laughed so hard my stomach and cheeks hurt after the show (seriously, SO FUNNY). And on the way home we stopped at our favorite convenience store Quick Trip and got donuts. Then, the girl's car jammed to N*Sync the rest of the way home. I can assure you it was one of the best night's ever. (Sigh...I'm such an old lady mom now!)
  • We had family pictures taken. It went about as well as taking pictures in 90% humidity in a park covered in red dirt with a toddler, infant, and hot-natured and annoyed husband could possible go! Actually, everyone was fine and we ended up with some great shots. I color-coordinated everyone to my necklace. So when I post the shots, make sure to notice, ok?
  • With mixed emotions I watched the final episode of "LOST" a couple of weeks ago. To protect the not-so-innocent, I won't go into the disastrous night of the actual viewing. But I did have a wonderful time obsessing over the episode for the entire week after. Reading theories, bouncing off ideas with other people, watching interviews with the cast. Loved that show and the way it made me think about it and after almost 2 weeks since the airing I can declare I loved the ending and feel closure. Yes, I took it that seriously.
  • Spent the weekend in Missouri with my grandparents and favorite aunt. The kids were PHENOMENAL. I mean, really, I have no complaints about them. They were just divine for being away from their home and toys and bed. Colt was as ornery as the day is long, but all in a good way. Owen ended up with a raging ear infection and very high fever so we spent our last morning in Missouri at Urgent Care...but he is much better now. The real highlight of the trip was the shopping. I decided to embrace the size I am now (as Clinton and Stacy on "What Not To Wear" would advise) instead of longing for pre-pregnancy size. That's a whole other post, but I will say I got quite a few jeans, shirts, underthings, and a bathing suit and my whole attitude this week has been changed. I feel SO much better about myself, which I'm hoping is translating to my family.
So, those are the BIG things in the past month. More to come, I'm sure!