Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Conversations with my kid

Em as a brunette

Hello Kitty lip stick

Self portrait

Post princess tea party picture

Yes, that is all of the picture that I will post of me in my junior prom dress and Em's fairy wings and crown. Full length photo unavailable. Em actually wanted me to wear my wedding gown to her little friend Zoe's fairy princess birthday tea party, but that is where I drew the line! Why do I still have that hideous dress you ask? Oh, because I thought one day I'd have a little girl who would want to dress up in my fru fru dresses. I was right... Actually, Em tried on my poofy 1993 heavy silk, did I say "Poofy" wedding dress one day while we were packing up our old house. She said, "Mommy, this is the most beautiful dress! Can I wear it when I get married?!" I said, out loud, "Yes, sweetie, of course you can wear it!" I said, in my head, "Seriously, kid, you don't know what you are asking! You are NOT going to want to wear this in 20 years when you get married, and just so you know, I won't be offended!" There are just some eras that were cool, and some that weren't.

Here's another thing she said that had me rolling. We were spending the night at a friend's house who had double bunks in their guest room. She said she wanted to sleep up top, so she started the night there but called daddy after about an hour and hopped in the middle of us. The next morning I said, "Em, what's up with you jumping in with us last night? I thought you wanted to sleep in the top bunk." She looks at me quite seriously and says, "Mom. Heights. I'm not a mountain goat!"

Finally, the other day we were driving around town and had this conversation:
Me: Em, what would you think about having another brother or sister some day?
Em: I think that would be great! I'd love that, Mom!
Me: Would you want one from my belly or to adopt one?
Em: Either would be fine with me...(silence)...Although I've never had an adopted one so maybe we could try that this time.
Me: Me neither. I'm open to whatever God has in mind for our family.
Em: Yeah, because either way, we're going to love that kid.
Me: Yep, either way.

People have asked, and to make it quite clear, I have absolutely no emptiness that I feel I need to fill because Noah isn't here with me physically. There are days that I'd be up for another kid and there are days when I just want to hang with Em. There are days when I feel overwhelmed with the reality that there are orphans ALL OVER THE WORLD and want to adopt them all and there are days when I think about physically bringing another child into the world. I'm obviously no where ready to make any decisions, so meanwhile, I'm simply loving the one I've got...

Monday, February 18, 2008

My show and tell

For my birthday in January Jason and Em wrote me a letter from Noah that said I got to pick out a special bracelet with his name on it. I searched but could not find anything that would do justice to the imprint Noah left on my heart. I am a very visual person, so I did a search on line for "sterling photo jewelry" and a site came up that is right here in the greater Denver area. It's called Kimbra Studios. Here's the link: http://www.kimbrastudios.com/ Being technically challenged, I couldn't just send the pictures I wanted via email. Em and I drove over to the store, with my computer in hand, and worked with the ladies to make the amazing bracelet you see above in the pictures. It is even waterproof, though there's no way that will be on while I swim! Anyway, I just wanted to share my show and tell. The bracelet has already started conversations where God's name was glorified and Noah's story shared.

The bracelet was completed two days before I left for Mexico. I was very grateful because I had been experiencing a time in my grief that I did not enjoy or treasure at all. For over a month Noah hadn't even seemed like a memory. The thought of him wasn't real anymore. I know that sounds strange, but I kept asking God if he really had existed in our lives. The memories of life physically with Noah seemed as if they were trapped in time and I hated each day that felt that way.

My breaking point came the first day we were laying on the beach in Punta de Mita. I had my Zune and was listening to 'Third Day's' song 'Offering'. My ears were pooling salt water but it wasn't from the ocean! I was mad that God hadn't taken me up on my offer of taking me instead of Noah. I was jealous that He was hanging out with our kid and not me! Thoughts of how noble it is that I wanted God to take me instead of Noah flooded my mind...how a child should never be buried by a parent but a child should always outlast their parent on earth...how sweet and beautiful and yummy my boy was...if I could just have a few more minutes with him...
And then the thought hit me like a whale jumping out of the ocean...It wasn't noble of me to want God to take me instead of Noah...it was selfish. Now don't get offended! I don't know of any parent who wouldn't die for their child. That is the part about parenting that is mind boggling! One day you are walking along, pregnant with a total stranger in your belly or anticipating the arrival of your very own adoptive child. You literally know your next door neighbor or the teller at the bank better than your own offspring. And then, WHAMMO! Suddenly you are in love with your kid, this little crinkly creature that poops and cries, and you know even though God says, "Do not kill", that you might consider disobeying this particular commandment, just this once...and every other opportunity that arises thereafter.

No. It's the heaven part I'm talking about here. As I laid on the beach, sobbing and missing my guy, listening to this song about offering our lives to the Lord, God showed me that it wasn't that He didn't want me, that I wasn't a good enough offering, but that His timing has more to do with life here on earth than my 10% can comprehend. By His grace, He also allowed me to see that when I continue to change my perspective to think outside the box, wanting Noah to out live me here on earth is good and noble and genuine and everything, but death in Christ is not death at all, but eternal life, and that Noah truly is living abundantly. It doesn't make me miss him less, but it's the peace that guards my heart from the enemies attempts on it.

I used to fear death. I used to think that it was the worst thing that could ever happen...then Jesus Christ's death on the cross and resurrection from the grave became a reality in my life and set my heart free.

Friday, February 15, 2008

Catching up, canned food, and dead fish

Dead eel
Feliz Cumpleanos a ti, Robyn! Rachel, Nancy, Robyn, Connie y yo
Mom's gone wild in Mexico headed back to the aeropuerto
Downtown Pto. Vallarta
Jesu Cristo en la arena
The downright cutest dead blowfish I've ever seen
yo a la playa
la playa
a dead red snapper on Robyn's plate that stared at me during dinner

God's sunsets in Mexico are right up there with the ones in SD

It's not ugly, the view we had each morning...

"Mom's gone wild in Mexico"...just kidding! But it was great! We were there 2 full days with travel on either side. I had never been to that state of Mexico, near Puerto Vallarta. I would love to return and take Jason and Em. I told Jason's mom last night that if her son weren't so hot and wonderful and her granddaughter not the best kid ever, I never would have returned. You think I'm kidding? I love the Spanish language, the quiet life and laid back ways of Latin America. (I know it's North America, I'm talking about culture...where else do they mandate naps for everyone? Siesta.)

We stayed in a beautiful home, walked the beach each day, sat in the sun and ate lots of chips and guacamole. The boogie boarding was great, and, I did need a total body exfoliation so, when I got washed up onto the beach, it was a mixed blessing...We could see whales jumping from where we were laying on the beach. There were shooting stars each night in the star saturated skies. We found a quaint town one night, north of where we stayed called Sayulita. If for some reason you never hear from me one day, DON'T send a search party there...

It was wonderful to be surrounded with women who love life, love being wives and moms, and desire to walk closely with the Lord. We laughed and cried. It was good to get away. It was good to come home.

Upon returning, as anyone knows who has ever left their home for an extended amount of time (sometimes even 5 minutes!!!), there was a lot of catching up to do. The grocery store was one of those necessary errands, so I headed to my favorite store. (BTW, I don't dread the grocery getting experience anymore...I rather look forward to it. Thank You, Lord!) This was after I got to hang out with one of my favorite friends for a short visit. We were catching up as she had just returned from a wedding and we were talking about labels, or names. She was sharing her heart about how when people hear a specific name there is an immediate association and often assumption or expectation that goes along with it...FAST FORWARD to the grocery store where I was buying cannellini beans in a can. I thought about how the recycling companies want us to remove labels when we throw our bottles and cans in the bin and I thought about how that relates to us as people. We walk up to the shelf in the store and expect that the can that says "Organic Garbanzo Beans" is really what it says it is. But what if it weren't. What if when you got it home it were pickled herring?! Or, what if the grocers never came up with labels and we were expected to guess what was in each can on the shelf? "Mystery meat" would no longer be a joke in cafeterias.

But seriously, have you ever bought a can of something that was mislabeled? When you opened the can, you saw what was inside for the very first time. The true ingredients.

As a lover of God because of the grace of Christ, I try diligently not to 'read' the labels others have placed on people. I don't expect humans to be perfect. I'm not shocked when my selfishness surfaces. I'm not flabbergasted at human error, when churches aren't perfect, when the name on the outside doesn't match the ingredients. Our labels should read: Child of God; Created in God's image; Earth dweller, so slight imperfections...but forgiven, so handle with care. Store in a cool place.

Instead, I enjoy the ingredients. I like opening the can from my pantry and seeing that what was inside was what it was supposed to be, no weird additives that I cannot pronounce and that shouldn't be there in the first place, but plain and simple 'beans'. Humans add the fillers and preservatives. God made the beans just beans. We are the ones that add the fillers, preservatives and labels to our lives and to the lives of people around us.

We are all sinners. We all have the potential of receiving God's forgiveness if we ask Him. And, though some don't want to be opened, as cans the majority of us want to be known for our true ingredients. So, today, take the time to see what's really on the inside of someone's heart. Unless you are the president of 'Campbell's', you really don't need to worry about labels...

Saturday, February 09, 2008

Going to Mexico...

Mom's weekend with friends...will post later...have a good weekend.

Tuesday, February 05, 2008

"No Ordinary Child"

I am reading a book that I don't recommend for several reasons. I am definitely going to finish the book and undoubtedly going to read it again, but I don't recommend it to anyone else if you fall into any of the following categories:
  • If you are interested in raising simply nice Christian kids with good manners.
  • If you only enjoy light reading that is fluffy.
  • If you are offended by hard core truth.
  • If your goal as a parent is just to be cool and fit in with your kids and their friends.
  • If your goals for your children are for them to fit into society and look like everyone else, only different since they have Jesus in their hearts...
  • If you are not interested in your child changing the world around him or her or doing something that could potentially be radical for God.
  • If you are more interested in being politically correct than obedient to God's call on your life.
  • If you live in a bubble and never desire for it to be popped.
  • If you still look at your kids as your own, not God's beautiful children that He has trusted you to train up for His glory and purposes.
  • If you don't feel like doing hard work, ie, prayer, saying 'NO', disciplining, teaching your child what is right and wrong, allowing yourself to be taught by God, being willing to be wrong and learn.
  • If you think training, teaching, and developing the leadership potential within your children is overrated.
  • If you always have to be right.


  • If you have already raised your children perfectly.

No, I wouldn't recommend No Ordinary Child by Denise Mira unless you don't fit into any of the above categories. Everyone else, get ready for a read that will kick your butt, draw you to your knees, and open your eyes to see your children like you have never seen them. I'd say, "Enjoy!" and believe me, I can't put it down, but not because it's fluffy. I just love hard core truth, especially when it kicks my butt, so reading this is enjoyable to me. Anyone who knows me knows that I don't like having 'sunshine blown at me', so when someone has the guts to speak God's love and truth boldly, I always gravitate towards it. It's like tearing a bandage off quickly...it hurts at first, but the pain fades and the healing can continue to take place.