Thursday, December 30, 2010

Chicken Nuggets

This is when I start to miss shopping at the bulk food store. This bag of nuggets would not meet the needs of just one meal.

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Cracking Eggs

A Christmas Tree

A Doctor's Office


Baby Head

Have you ever thought about how when a baby passes gas it's cute but when an adult does it, it's no longer cute?  There are lots of things kids can get away with that adults can't.  Sometimes it would be nice to just go back to being a kid.  I see my own kids growing up so fast, and while it's fun and exciting to see them learn new things and to watch them turn into such amazing people, I wish for their sake, that sometimes I could freeze time.  And some days I wish I could rewind time. 

Monday, December 20, 2010


God is cool.  I mean, really, really, really cool.  My aunt brought my youngest a Bible.  And tonight, after dealing with particularity difficult behaviors, I walked into my daughters room and found the Bible opened up to Psalm 86 through Psalm 89.  Psalm 86 had distinct 4yr old finger crinkles in them.  If you feel inclined, take a look at 86 and 88.  I read through all 4 of the chapters tonight with my mom, aunt and stepdad.  With 86 (at my Aunt's wise request) I substituted Alyssa's name for all of the "me" references.  And then I cried my way through 88, because I think it was meant for me to read.  So yeah... God is cool :)

Sunday, December 19, 2010


There are a lot of misconceptions about me.  One in particular I really want to set straight.  I am thin.  I know this, my mom knows it, my husband knows it, my doctors know it, and for sure the Lord knows it.  Anyone who has sight knows it.  But being thin doesn't automatically equate to an eating disorder.  For the record, I eat.  I eat well.  And if you know me, you know how much I love food.  Here are two things I do not like: starving, and puking.

I've often wondered why it's ok for people to tell me I need to eat more, or explain to me just how thin I am.  Growing up I had complete strangers walk up to me and tell me if I came to their house they would fatten me right up.  What they were in fact saying was that they didn't think my mom was doing a good enough job.  Kids in middle school called me horrible names.  The comments and teasing I got about my weight growing up really messed with my self image.  And I carry much of it with me to this day.

Unfortunately because of a current medical issue, I have lost a significant amount of weight in the last few weeks.  So, I look skinnier then I usually do.  But don't fret, I am on it.

I guess my whole point in blogging about my weight is that I felt the need to try and quash some of the concerns, and just put it out there that what you say means something to others.  Don't assume that because someone isn't overweight that comments about their weight don't matter - because I promise you, they do.

How did what others say about you when you were young impact how you see yourself today?

Saturday, December 18, 2010

A Haircut

*photo may have been altered...

Pop quiz.  What should you assume is happening when you realize your highly impulsive child is quiet?
  1. She is playing nicely in her room with her dolls and toys.  She probably has also cleaned her room and made her bed.  For an extra treat she washed and folded her own laundry.
  2. She is writing a proposal for how she can end world hunger and has even begun listing the steps that need to be taken to push the agenda.
  3. She has taken a break from drawing her surprise mural on the wall and is now hidden under her brothers bed with the scissors he took without permission and is giving herself a mullet.
Clearly, because this is my house, it was the third option.  As you can see from the picture my youngest decided to give herself a bang trim.  When I asked her why she did it, she said she wanted to make her hair look like it did when we were in the mountains.  For those who have no idea what that means, shes referring to a very memorable family trip we took up to a water park in the Poconos a few years back.  What is important to understand about this trip is that it's one she talks about often.  It may not mean much to anyone that she talks about it, or remembers it, but it's actually quite significant.  It was the first time in her life that she didn't have to go visit people she was afraid of.  She was allowed, just for a short time, during a very traumatic time in her life, to be a part of just our family.  And to this day she brings it up... and wants so badly to hold onto the memory that she found it important to try and replicate the hairdo.  Was I mad about the hair?  At first, yeah.  I then did my best to hide a laugh, and then I tried to figure out how best I could fix it... and then, I just let it go.  Because you know what?  It'll grow out eventually.  And in the meantime, it's a reminder to me that locked inside that little brain is a scared little girl who just wants to hold onto our family.

Do you have any memories that mean so much to you that you wish you could go back to that time, to that place?

Friday, December 17, 2010


It's almost midnight and about 20 minutes ago I realized I hadn't yet taken a picture today, or even thought about posting a blog.  I've been wrapped up in a few personal things.  In trying to figure out what picture I should post I went through a few ideas... I was going to post a youtube video or an old picture and add some words as to why I can justify it not being a picture from today.  But then I figured if I did that then it was sort of negating the whole point of the 365 idea.  So now we are left with the above shot.  I feel like I need to point out that my lips are not that thin.  I was actually biting on my lip.  When I took the picture I wanted to specifically capture what I've been doing over the last few days... which is reading.  I have had to do some fact finding and learning about two specific topics which are taking some concentration (which is hard to come by these days).  And, evidently, this is how I look when I am reading intently.  So... there...  Now go read something of importance, other then this blog, and take a picture of yourself.

Thursday, December 16, 2010

A Girl Eating, and a Cat in a Lampshade

I understand that I was remiss in posting yesterday... but in all fairness all but one or two of you didn't even notice or care.  And I did happen to take the first picture yesterday and had every intention of blogging.  So today, I make up with it with another two for one.

I love to eat.  I love food.  I love being served food I didn't have to cook.  Clearly, my middle child does too.  Have you ever taken the time to think about your relationship with food?  Have you thought about how your early influences affected what you eat today?  It's intriguing to think about what I have grown to love over the years that I swore I would never touch, and what things I used to eat that I will never again, and which things I have never had a taste for.


This isn't the first time I have caught an image of my cat with her head up under the lampshade.  I don't know why she does it.  It's not cold in the house, but she finds herself drawn to the lightbulb.  I'm pretty sure I smelled some burning fur a little bit ago.  I used to think that me and my cat were the only people in the house that didn't have issues.  I'm starting to wonder...

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Mac and Cheese

It's funny how sometimes something as simple as mac and cheese can be what helps build a relationship, and make one feel safe and loved.

Sometimes you can't be there how you want to be.  But you can be there how you need to be.

Sunday, December 12, 2010

A Child and a Shelf

Another Two for One Day....

 It's so hard to see your child hurting.  To not be able to help fix the hurts.  As a parent it's our job to keep our kids away from danger, to protect them from anything that could cause them to feel anything other then love and security.  Here is the thing though... we can't.

This last year has taught me a lot of things.  But the number one thing I have realized is this: God knows.  That may sound cliche to some, but  it's what gets me through the day. The hard part is understanding that God knows, but accepting that it doesn't mean things will change.  Patience is a big part of it.  God will make good out of bad.  But it will be in His time, and I've yet to be disappointed in the results of His timing.


There is a shelf in my youngest daughters room that holds momentos from her adoption, and pictures that reference important moments in time.  Every so often I stop to look, and remember how hard fought the battle to keep, and save her was.  There are amazing things in store for her, I have no doubt.


Friday, December 10, 2010


Snowflakes are kisses from heaven.  ~Author Unknown

Thursday, December 9, 2010

A Heart

“God sends children to enlarge our hearts, and to make us unselfish and full of kindly sympathies and affections.” -Mary Howitt

I've typed up atleast 5 different blogs tonight.  I've erased each one.  I keep restarting thinking that maybe if I use a different word, or focus on a different aspect that it will make more sense, that maybe others will better understand what it is I am trying to say.  But I'm not sure there is any perfect string of words and letters that can adequately state what it means to love a child.  And amazingly, however deep the emotions go, my heavenly Father loves infinitely more.  And for that I am eternally grateful, and in that lies my hope.

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

3 Wicks

"It's better to light a candle than to curse the darkness."  ~Eleanor Roosevelt

Tuesday, December 7, 2010


How is it possible, to be on a road full of cars, but feel as if you are out there all alone?  
How is it that you can be surrounded by others, and still feel as if you are the only one standing there?
I've had my fair share of trials. I'm not going to sit here and list them, or attempt to profess that anything I have gone through must make me much more knowledgeable and capable then anyone else.  Because in reality, it doesn't.  In the end, when you strip experience away, we are all left with the same basic shell.  I often wonder why that commonality isn't enough to unite us all - to give us a feeling of togetherness.  Why does my worth as a person, as a friend, have to be determined by the battle scars and trophies that sit on the shelves of my soul?

I can't tell you how many times I feel like I am on the outside of this great big wall with no door to get in.  Like there is some secret password that hasn't been whispered into my ear yet. Most of the time it doesn't bother me, I don't have an expectation to be made a part of everything that's going on, and because I have an inborn need to hermit every so often, I don't require it.  But sometimes, sometimes it hurts.  And sometimes, even when we tell ourselves it's ok that we are on the outside, our heart aches to know what it must feel like to be on the other side.  To know what it feels like to have kids who don't have special needs, or a family that didn't have problems.  To, just for a minute, feel whatever it is we think everyone else does.  But then I consider, maybe everyone else feels just like me.  Even Jesus.  I wonder how many times he wept in private.  I think about how even though He had a direct link to God, how sometimes He felt really lonely, and frustrated at that which He couldn't control. How He was surrounded by people who adored Him, yet abandoned Him.  This life we live, the feelings we have, we aren't really as different as we think we are.  Yet we still occasionally find ourselves on a road, surrounded by others, but somehow, alone.

Monday, December 6, 2010

Truu Confessions

I've been visiting a website lately that allows you to post anonymous confessions.  Things you wouldn't want those who know you to be aware of, but feel you need to get off your chest and put out into the universe.  I find the confessions incredibly interesting.  I'm continually amazed at the things people are afraid to tell those they love, and I wonder about how healthy it really is to the relationship to keep certain things private.  There are of course silly confessions, things that would only hurt, and those that are not helpful and I don't begrudge anyone the need to let those out instead of shouting them to the people for which they are intended. When leaving a confession you are given the option of allowing others to comment on your secret.  This is where it gets fascinating.  It's quite amazing what assumptions are made about the posters based solely on a few sentences from an unidentified source.  The opinions are made without knowing anything other then how the person reacted to a specific frustration.

     Here is my point in discussing the confessional board.  I have been judged many, many times based on nothing more then other people's assumptions of what they think they know (did you catch that? what they THINK they know).  Sometimes the rumors I hear are funny, (like when it got back to me that old classmates heard I had dropped out of college to move away to NJ to live with some man I didn't know) and some are hurtful (like when I found out people were questioning the sanctity of my marriage because I have male friends).  At both ends of the spectrum truth was absent because those who declared the inaccuracies didn't take the time to get to know me well enough to know what God was doing in my life, or to know who I was as a person, or to even just ask instead of spread.  It's so easy to judge what we don't know, it's much harder to take the time to get to know what is going on in someones life that would cause them to act or think or speak a certain way.  As I have gotten older, I've learned that real friendships aren't found in surface talk, but in the willingness to go beyond, into that place that holds the truth.  And I, for one, am thankful for those who kept hammering away until they found the real me.   

Sunday, December 5, 2010


I spent a while being really angry at God.  I didn't think He was upholding His side of the plan.  You see, from the time I was a little girl I knew I would be a mama.  And when I got married God told me I would have three children.  My first pregnancy was riddled with complications which resulted in bedrest starting at 5 months.  Then 4 months post partum I ended up pregnant with my second child.  That pregnancy wasn't easy either, and 3 months in I found myself again on bedrest.  When all was said and done I was told that more pregnancies were out of the question for me.  It just wasn't safe.  This sent me into a really long and hard depression.  I was sure God had slighted me, that He hadn't held true to his promise.  Then I found myself in the position to adopt a child.  God hadn't failed me.

Three towels... three coats...three stocking... three kids.  Three reminders that God keeps His word.

Saturday, December 4, 2010

Doll Family

It was so much easier when the only family we were responsible for was made of plastic.  We could bend them into whatever position we desired at any given time, and they would say and do whatever we wanted - whenever we wanted.  There was a sense of order, of balance, of control.  It's not as easy when you get older and find yourself in a major decision making role, one which affects the real lives of others, who aren't quite capable of making the right choices.  Parenting is the hardest thing I have ever done.  Add the uniqueness of all of my children and it adds interesting, often tiring, sometimes funny, challenges.  I wouldn't trade any of it, or any of my kids for anything... even if the reality of who they are isn't everything I planned it to be.

Friday, December 3, 2010

Two for One

I'm going to cheat today and add two pictures.  I figure eventually it will even out when I forget to post one day.

The first picture I actually took yesterday...

The fireplace, for me, is the most cherished decorating spot.  Not because it looks fantastic, but because it's where dreams and warmth and family meet.  This year my youngest decided she needed to write Santa a very detailed list of what she desires.  See all of those pieces of paper? That's her message to Santa.  I, of course, can't read them.  But I know that in the end it doesn't really matter what they say, that in the end what matters is that the little hand that penned them hasn't lost her sense of wonder.  That inside that soul that has aged so much faster then her body, there remains a little girl who still gets to be little.

This next picture, I took today...

I can't tell you how many times this happens.  I don't intend for it to happen, but chances are, if I have groceries in my car, something is going to fall out.  I left the bag there so I could take inside what I already had in my hands.  When I came back to get it I noticed the butter was missing.  It had been snatched by a very opportunistic dog.  I wish I had had my camera when I looked over and saw the dog with a huge block of butter in her mouth.  Maybe she was just trying to help me clean up.  Life is funny like this though.  We pack everything in, prepare for a smooth ride, ensure that we are doing EVERYTHING we can to keep everything in it's place, and then a door opens and something falls out.  Sometimes we are able to pick up everything before anyone notices, sometimes part of whatever fell out of us is stolen and we have to fight hard to have it returned, and then other times what falls out is broken so badly that we have to replace it with something else.  It's our willingness to do the work to get everything cleaned up (and to throw out and replace the things that are damaged beyond repair) that make the difference.  And it's important too, that we let ourselves laugh when the dog runs away with the butter.

Thursday, December 2, 2010


It's the simple things sometimes.  Those moments that you cherish because they are brief glimpses of hope. 
"For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future." ~ Jer. 29:11


Maybe it's because there is a lot I can't blog about, maybe it's because there just isn't time to sit and create like I want, or maybe it's just because I am a perfectionist and write and erase so much that it never gets posted.  Whatever the reason I did indeed stall with the blog.  But I am going to try something new.  It may work, it may not - but the concept is intriguing enough to me that I want to try it.

So... I am going to take the 365 Photo Challenge.  I am going to attempt to post a picture a day for the next year.  Sometimes there will be a story or a quote or a quip attached to the photo, and sometimes the photo will speak for itself.  Here's to something new :)

Thursday, October 7, 2010

The Big Picture

Here is a hard fact I have learned.  If God ain't ready, ain't nobody ready.  You get that?  If God is not ready to change the situation, then it's not going to change.  Ok you say, what about my wife's drinking, my children's health,or my friend's abusive husband?  Let me tell you a little secret.  GOD KNOWS ABOUT THAT.. and whether you realize it or not, He's on it. The problem is that we tend to like things to happen yesterday.  We live in a world where we can have pretty much anything we want, and right away.  It's hard to wait in a culture where delayed gratification is a concept but not a reality.  God doesn't work like that though.  He sees a much bigger picture, something that we aren't privy to, and truth be told I am thankful for that.

I'll tell you something about myself.  I am a mom to three kids.  Each of those children is special needs in their own right.  My oldest is Autistic, my middle child is gifted, and my youngest suffers from the mistakes of her birth parents.  You can't even imagine the things in their lives I wish could be changed, or different.  As their mom I don't want them to suffer, or have pain, or experience any of the stuff that makes life hurt.  And I have fought hard to keep them safe and sound.  But they also have a Heavenly Father who loves them SO much more then I ever could.  He never makes mistakes and He fights for them with intense passion.  I've seen how each of my childrens' hard times have shaped them, and the people around them.  I've seen light shine from darkness.  And even though there have been some things I've had to experience with them that have rocked me to my core, I trust in God's promise that He will deliver them, that He will guide them, and that He will make good from bad.  And when He is ready to put everything into place, what results is so much more amazing then you could ever dream.

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Let's Just Hope the Engine Doesn't Stall

It's 1am.  I have a cat laying across my chest and my husband is next to me blissfully snoring away.  I should be asleep.  In about 6 hours I will be prompted to wake up by my alarm (or earlier by one of the kids), and I will wish I had closed my eyes at 11 when I had the chance.  But.... here I am.... finding myself writing a blog.  I've started and restarted this blog about 3 times over the last few years.  I won't go into how many other blogs I have started but left stagnant out there in space.  I don't know why I do this to myself.  I am way too anal and ocd to have a blog.  But... we will see what happens this time.  I'm not quite sure yet what I will write about.  I am sure most of it will be about my kids, and husband, and the life we live.  I'm not going to claim it will be the most interesting thing you will ever read, but I do hope that maybe something I say will spark something in you.

For right now though I need to take advantage of the fact that the snoring stopped and try to get some sleep myself.