Wednesday, September 30, 2009


Dear Matthew,

Seven months old. Are you off your rocker? You seriously have to be kidding me. Not one. Not two. Not even five or six. You are seven months old. And who cares that the average baby crawls at eight months. You decided to do it just after six months and have mastered it. Last weekend you went from crawling to sitting to crawling again and now my life is over because, well, you're completely mobile.
You spent a good portion of last month in San Diego and, to be completely honest, you went totally berserk. If I tried to put you down you went ballistic. And by ballistic I mean that you would shriek these ridiculous guttural cries where your tongue would wag and your throat would make gurgling crazy sounds. It was charming. I really shouldn't complain though because you were an angel for all the really important stuff. You were perfect at your uncle's wedding and amazing during the retreat weekend. So, from the bottom of my heart, thank you.

Getting to San Diego this time meant flying on a plane and you were a smiling little angel. You conked right out after take off which caused passengers on their way to the restroom to stop and oohhh over your cherubic face. The flight back was not quite as pleasant but it wasn't terrible. You were a little fussy but it could it have been a whole lot worse.

While we were out in California, we saw your birth father and your birth mother. The meeting with your birth father didn't go quite as well as when he came out to Utah but you were perfectly happy. Considering that the meeting came at the end of an extremely long day, involving three hours of traffic just to go 30 miles, that was pretty impressive. The next day we saw your birth mother, who you hadn't seen since you were two days old. You were happy and content that day, too and I took the sweetest picture of you asleep on her shoulder.

You haven't cut any teeth yet but, what with all the gnawing and tenderizing you've been doing on my fingers, I think they are on their way. I haven't seen too many smiles that are bigger than yours and I'm enjoying these last few moments of your toothless grin.

I love you. I love you. I love you. Even crawling all over the place and riding the dog and getting into absolutely everything. I love you. Happy seven months, dear one.
And really, I just wanted to show off that picture because seriously, can it get cuter than that? He always sucks on his lower lip. It's his trademark. I also don't think there's a better picture of a chubby little baby hand that's ever been taken. Ever. The end.

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Two Weeks In Pictures

Matthew's first plane ride was uneventful. He fell asleep right after take off, woke up for a bottle and then we landed.

We took both boys to visit my dad at his office. Yeah, his office is pretty much a helicopter.The next day my mom and I took the boys to The Wild Animal Park. They had a blast and met a lion. Well, alright, so they didn't actually meet her. She just sat behind the glass and roared.
Then we had a rehearsal, rehearsal dinner and drove a couple hours. We spent the night in a hotel, had a court appointed psychological evaluation, had a meeting with Matthew's birth father and then with his birth mother.
Then my brother got married.
Matthew was there too but I didn't get a family picture on my camera. My sister-in-law got a good one and I'll try to post it later. Garrett was perfect. He trailed a flower girl down the aisle. He stopped when she stopped. He went when she went. He was awesome. Of course, my brother and his wife were pretty impressive as well. I've never seen my brother smile bigger than he did that day.
On Monday I spent time with my good friends Michelle and Kelli. We had lunch (thanks Kelli!) and then took the boys to a park to play. It was great catching up with them and Garrett fell in love with "Karsie's Mom". Kelli, I'm sure he loved you too it's just that he's obsessed with Karsie.
On Tuesday we took my big man to Disneyland. (Thank you so much Maritza for the tickets and Sabrina for the gift card!) He had a blast. He rode the rockets four times, Pirates of the Carribbean three times, and a slew of other rides once. He met Mickey and he totally thought he was meeting the mouse he watches on television. It was adorable. He also met Pluto and insisted on kissing his nose.
This was taken on Pirates--before I saw the sign that flash photography is forbidden. Oops. Sorry, Disneyland. I totally didn't mean to break the rules. I'm posting it because have you ever seen bigger green eyes in your whole life? I didn't think so.
Here we have Garrett and his Papa driving Autopia cars.
We came home and I totally vegged for two days, preparing for the retreat that was coming. On Friday my mom, Matthew and I headed up to a campground in Julian. I spoke four times. On Saturday two of my aunts, my cousin and my grandma came up to hear me.

Garrett and Matthew also got to see their Grandpa Gary while we were in San Diego because he flew in for my brother's wedding. They also spent some time playing with their cousins. It was an extremely busy half of a month but it was fantastic.

Monday, September 28, 2009

Boo For Top Cat Limousine Service

Uhhggg. Or however you spell a deep sigh of disappointment. I'm back in Utah and I'm all ready to tell you about the retreat, Disneyland, the Wild Animal Park, and my brother's wedding. But uhhggg because I can't. Not yet. Because I have to blog about something else instead.

My brother's wedding was lovely. I'm entirely certain that isn't the word he'd use to describe it but, well, from a girl's viewpoint that's exactly what it was. Everything went perfectly until Top Cat Limousine didn't show up. They were supposed to be there at 9:30. At 10:30, when they still weren't there, the photographer (who lives in Thousand Oaks) offered to drive my brother and his bride to their hotel way up by LAX. Jon and Heather were disappointed but weren't letting the no show limo--which my brother called to confirm two days prior to his wedding--ruin their magical day. They headed off into the night in the photographer's vehicle.

My parents didn't want to wait until they returned from their honeymoon to take care of the missing limo. Today, a week after they started trying to get an answer from the company, they are no closer. They asked for the card to be credited and they asked for some kind of compensation--this was their wedding night for crying out loud. I assume that the card, by now, has been credited although it hadn't been as of this morning. As for why they weren't there, no explanation or apology has been offered. Antonio, the person my parents have been dealing with, said that they contract out and, therefore, it wasn't Top Cat's fault. Really? Then why is their name the one on the top of the bill? My parent's asked them to pick Jon and Heather up at LAX tomorrow, when they get home. They aren't going to do that and, when my parent's explained that they would tell family and friends not to use the company, that it would be put on facebook and blogged about, Top Cat Limousine didn't seem to care. They seemed, in fact, indifferent. It was, almost, as if they thought they were untouchable.

People make mistakes. Jon and Heather are certainly not people to hold a grudge. But when a mistake is made, good companies apologize and try to make it right. Good companies don't pretend they didn't make a mistake. Good companies pick up the bride and groom--who they stood up on their wedding night--and try to fix the colossal blunder they made.

Since Top Cat Limousine has proven themselves not to be a good company, I urge anyone in the San Diego area to use a different limo service. There are plenty to choose from and maybe if they lost some business they would be forced to get back to the basics of customer service. If anyone would be willing to spread the word on their facebook accounts, through email and twitter, or by linking back to this post on your own blog, I would really appreciate it.

I called to let them know that I wouldn't be using their company in the future because of what they had done and I received the snotty reply, "Oh. Okay. That's no problem." If anyone else would like to call and let them know that they've lost your business...well, I probably wouldn't try to stop you. Even if you don't live in the San Diego area. I mean, how do you know that you'll never, ever, need to rent a limo in southern California?

Sunday, September 27, 2009

The Weekend

It's over. I didn't get tomatoes thrown at me--although, to be fair, we were camping so it would have been acorns. In any case...the women survived my pontificating. I'll be back in Salt Lake tomorrow. More to come...

Friday, September 25, 2009


The retreat starts today! Please pray that the Lord would speak through me.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Papa Has A What?

The Rock Star cannot pronounce his S's at the beginning of words. He uses an "H" instead. This has led to the hilarious phrase, "I want to ho you humping." Instead of, well, I want to show you something. The other day my dad had a sore throat. We were getting ready to stay in a hotel on the night of my brother's wedding. The following conversation took place.

G: Papa has a whore.
Me: He does?
G: Yeah.
Me: (laughing) Oh. Okay.
G: Papa doesn't have a whore at home. Papa has a whore at the hotel.
Me: Dad, did you hear that?
My dad: Yes. What are you teaching that kid?

My dad is an upstanding Christian man. He serves as an elder at the church. He doesn't have a whore. Now, a sore throat, that he had. But, wow, how the meaning changes when a three-year-old can't say his S's.

Monday, September 21, 2009

Crazy Week

I know it's been forever since we've talked. I know you're probably breaking up with me now. Please reconsider. I've been busy.

-We flew in and then visited my dad at his work.
-We went to The Wild Animal Park.
-We picked up daddy from the airport on Wednesday.
-We had the rehearsal and rehearsal dinner on Thursday.
-We drove to another place in southern California and stayed in a hotel.
-We had the Friday from h-e-double hockey sticks. (I'll tell that story sometime.)
-We saw Jennifer and drove back to San Diego on Saturday.
-The boys and I went and hung out with family that had come in for the wedding. Troy went to the rock climbing and dinner eating bachelor party.
-Yesterday, my brother--who is somehow 25 even though I, myself, am not getting any older--got married.
-Today I took Troy back to the airport and then saw my friends and college roommates, Kelli and Michelle.

See. It's not you. It's me. I'm outta control busy.

Congrats to the beautiful bride and her groom.

Sunday, September 13, 2009


I'll try to blog occasionally while I'm in San Diego a look at my schedule.

Monday: Fly in.
Tuesday: Free day. We'll probably use our passes to go to the Zoo or something.
Wednesday: Troy arrives. Pick him up at the airport. Possibly family pictures.
Thursday: Pedicures (for my mom and me, not for the boys). Rehearsal. Rehearsal dinner. Drive to another place in Southern California.
Friday: 9:00 am meeting with psychologist for court ordered evaluation. 2:00 pm meeting with the birth father.
Saturday: 9:00 am meeting with the birth mother. Return to San Diego area.
Sunday: My brother's wedding!
Monday: Take Troy to the airport. Visit with college friends.
Tuesday: Disneyland!
Wednesday: Free Day/Prepare for retreat
Thursday: Free Day/Prepare for retreat
Friday: Retreat
Saturday: Retreat
Sunday: Retreat
Monday: Fly back to SLC.

It's gonna be busy. And, obviously, there are a gillion things you can pray for. Take your pick. I'd appreciate prayer on all of it, really. So I'll try to check in and let you know how things are going. In any case, I will be back in two weeks and I will definitely fill you then. Adios.

Saturday, September 12, 2009

More Blessing!

It's been nearly three months since I wrote about God being in control. It's been roughly six weeks since I wrote about the amazing ways God was providing for our family. And boy did that post cause a real stir. The approximate amount of donations that came to us in 2 weeks was $595 plus a toddler bed and mattress. That's an incredible amount of money and we were blown away by what the Lord was doing through our family and friends.

A typical month, if a day in court is involved, runs us about $2500 dollars. This is an insane amount of money for us. I-N-S-A-N-E. If we don't go to court it's about $500 dollars. Yesterday we were at the state fair and I saw an offer for a spa and a beautiful wooden tent structure to go over the gorgeous spa. It was just under 10,000 dollars for the combination. I looked at Troy and said, "Wow. We could have almost three of those for the price of this adoption so far." And while I would never, ever trade my son for three spas and three gazebo thingies--because, honestly, who needs three spas--I was just saying, was all, that this thing has turned into a boatload of money. I used to cry when we got the bills. Now I just say, "Add it to the tab." We are seriously a Mastercard commercial.

Listing fee for adoption organization: $2,500
Homestudy fee for the state of Utah: $2,500
Legal fees for three different lawyers: $22,000
Loving our son every day for the past six and a half months: Priceless
There are some things money can't buy. For everything else, there's Mastercard.

I'm speaking at a retreat in two weeks (AHHHHH!) and one of the passages that I am referencing is from Matthew chapter 6. "Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more important than food, and the body more important than clothes? Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they? Who of you by worrying can add a single hour to his life?"

The past six weeks have been PROOF of the promise that the heavenly Father "feeds" us. I kid you not. If you don't believe in a mighty God, come live in my house for a couple days. Come stand with me as I open the mailbox on my sidewalk or the mailbox on my computer. Then see what you think about God. He is our Provider.

1. It started with my friend who defended me as a stay at home mom and then wanted to put her money where her mouth is. She donated 25 dollars through paypal.

2. There was a 50 dollar paypal donation...

3. and another 25 dollar donation.

4. My dad painted part of my grandparents' house or something or other and they insisted on paying him $100 dollars. He gave it to us.

5. An amazing friend of mine sent us $200 in the mail.

6. Another dear friend sent $75.

7. My in laws sent $100

8. An anonymous donor from our church mailed us a money order for $1,000 (no, that's not a typo)!

9. This afternoon I got a phone call from friends of ours from the church. Jeremy said, "Hey, are you going to be around tonight? Christy and I need to talk to you guys." I said yes, hung up the phone and freaked out. What do they need? What's wrong? What are they upset about? Why was he so vague? It must be really bad. They showed up at six and handed me an envelope. As it turns out, our church had a secret yard sale. They'd been planning it for weeks and Troy and I hadn't heard a single word about it. No one slipped. The proceeds would go toward our adoption expenses. The yard sale was held today and they made $711 dollars. A huge thank you to all who donated items and time! I may not have been overwhelmed by the number. I'm overwhelmed by the generosity of people in our church. I'm overwhelmed by the sacrifice of time and goods. I'm humbled that people would love us enough to do that. But I'm not overwhelmed by the number.

Because that's what my God has been doing. This is how he's been providing. In 25 dollar donations. In 1000 dollar donations. In $711 dollars being raised at a yard sale! Money has come in. The amazing donations continue to lift our spirits and remind us that He has called us to fight for Matthew's future. And, of course, as always, nothing has meant more to us than your prayers.

Oh, and one more thing. My parents and I are taking The Rock Star to Disneyland during our stay in San Diego. Garrett and I both saved our birthday money and I was going to use it to buy our tickets. A reader emailed me-without knowing of my plans to head to The Happiest Place on Earth--and offered me two tickets to Disneyland if I wanted to try to go while we were in Southern California. Coincidence? Some would call it that. But I believe that God is working even down to the littlest detail...even down to providing a day of entertainment for my worried three-year-old and me. And now we can use that birthday money when we need new clothes or something else that we might not otherwise be able to afford at the moment.

Total donations in the last six weeks: $2186 plus two tickets to Disneyland. I almost don't believe it when I see it and I've been here watching it all come in. God is good. Amen?


Thursday, September 10, 2009


I'm quite sorry to have left you with only an appetizer yesterday. I had something entirely different in mind.

Yesterday I picked up The Rock Star from preschool. He's now on a two weeks hiatus because on Monday we leave for San Diego! Anyway, we frequented WalMart because I was completely out of laundry soap. Who does that? Who runs completely out of laundry detergent midload? Me. That's who. I digress.

I had to pick up more formula and, when I was strolling through the baby section--okay, fair enough, I was alternating between replacing a fussy baby's pacifier and reprimanding my older son for standing in the front of a moving cart--I saw a rack that said $1. There were tons of basketball shorts and matching tank tops. It was pretty picked over but I managed to find a 4T and a 12 months that were matching. And yes, Matthew will be closer to 18 months next summer but it looks big and he's little. So, for a total of two dollars, I bought them. Then I brought them home, took them out of the bag, and hung them over the chair. That's when it hit me.

Folks, not a day goes by without me thinking about trials, courts, custody battles, birth fathers, and legal fees. Not a day goes by without me being accutely aware of April looming in the not so distant future. How, then, did I snatch up a shirt, buy it and get it home before realizing that there is the possibility that Matthew will never wear it? Was it hope? Was it perseverance?

1 Corinthians 13:4-7 says, "Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It is not rude, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres."

I was reading these verses several nights ago and I paused at verse 7. I read it over and over and over again. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. No. Matter. What. I love Matthew. I love him as unconditionally as if he grew inside my own womb for nine months. I will do anything to protect him. It is because of that love--and the unconditional love of my Maker--that I hope. It is because of that hope that I persevere.

And some days I really hate it. When I watch my boys being brothers, when I watch my husband being a daddy, when I watch Little Buddy being happy and well-adjusted, I hate the nagging thought that it might all shatter. But I love like I'll never have to let go.

The chapter goes on to say (in verse 13) "And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love." Faith. Hope. Love. And the greatest of these is love. If nothing else, parenting has certainly taught me that much.

And But Because

Allow me to explain. I wasn't actually begging for 53 comment to be left on my previous post. While 53 comments would be stupendous and I would feel deeply loved, I was only trying to make the point that if I were to write about beef, my readers mom would stare blankly at the screen, decide that we must have survived a day without body fluid being somewhere it isn't supposed to be, and move right along. I would get zero comments on a post about beef. I think it must have less to do with the subject matter and more to do with the writer. Julie Powell, I have nothing on you. In case you were worried. I thought I should just clarify that in case any of you were thinking that my mental health was riding on whether or not yesterday's post received a certain number of responses.

Before I move on to the actual beef of today's post (Yes, as a matter of fact, I do crack myself up. It's a real party in here. You should come check it out.) I'd like to respond to a comment. It's true. I start a whole darn lot of sentences with conjunctions. In my world the conversation goes a little something like this.

School House Rock: Conjunction Junction, what's your function?
Me: Why, to start sentences with, of course.

Wrong. Oh, so, very wrong. I know it. You know it. We all know it. But (muahahahaha!) I spent all of my life following the rules of grammar, catering to English teachers and professors, and following the strict commands of the modern language association. In high school, my teachers all wanted something different in terms of style. I gave them what they wanted and I got 5's. Translation: A. It was easy for me to conform. I'm not knocking my English teachers, they remain some of my favorite people in all the world. I love them for what they taught me and I love them for who they are as people...but their styles were different and I conformed. When I graduated from college, three courses short of a degree in English Education, I knew how to write. But I was only beginning to find my voice. When I started this blog a couple of years ago, I vowed to write the way that I speak. I promised to write from my heart and not my head. I swore I'd start sentences with and and but and because. Because I felt like it.

Don't take lessons from me. I do not write the way I was taught. My blog is an editor's nightmare. On occasion, when I read back through, I find the English teacher wannabe in me shaking her head in disbelief. I am not a credit to those who taught me. For that I am sorry. As for my voice, well, I'm not sorry at all. I'm glad she's out of the closet.

As for today's beef, I think I've gone on long enough. Perhaps tomorrow I will deliver some meat. And some carrots and onions. It'll be like a giant pot of beouf bourguignon. I bet you can hardly wait.

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Beouf Bourguignon

Yesterday was a good birthday. It was much like the day I was born in that I couldn't speak. It was less like my original birthday in that I also could not scream, squawk or make much sound at all. My voice vacated my body as a result of whatever the heck it is I'm fighting. Today, the doctor said he thought it was allergies and so then I'm all, "Stupid Utah. First my eyes are allergic to you and now it's my voice." But then I started thinking, this really doesn't explain the fevers.

But yesterday was a good day. Last year my birthday was completely ruined--through no fault of my own family who tried desperately to keep it on life support--so receiving nothing more than a pile of dog poo would have been a step in the right direction. In the afternoon, my husband stayed home with the boys and I went to see Julie & Julia with several women from the church. In my head I thought, Oh Meryl, on several occasions because that woman is just the quintessential actress, the embodiment of "in character", she's like the bread and butter all in one, the great...well, you get the idea. She's good. Really good. All the time. And, okay, so there was this one moment where Amy Adams was totally Giselle but the rest of the movie she was all Julie Powell. Maybe. I mean, I don't actually know Julie Powell personally--the woman boned a duck for goodness sake. But who knew that writing about boeuf bourguignon could earn you 53 comments on a blog (eventually many more, I'm sure) and an article in the The New York Times. I mean, I'll start writing about boeuf borguignon if that's what it takes.

I have fans followers the occasional reader my mom--but heck if she's going to sit here and leave 53 comments. That's just crazy talk. But I wish I could write about baby spit up and potty training and the fact that there is some animal living in one of our walls--more on that later--and get 53 comments the way that boeuf borguignon got 53 comments. In case you're curious, I just like writing boeuf borguignon. Boeuf borguignon. Boeuf borguignon. Oh, my speller checker is going to love me. Anyway. I do need to point out that after watching Julie & Julia for two hours, I desperately wanted to uproot my family and move to a flat above a pizza parlor in Queens. Then I remembered that I don't actually want my kitchen to be three feet by two feet, I don't actually want to use metal garage shelving as a closet, and I don't actually want my bed to be four feet away from the dinner table. Not to mention the fact that I don't actually want two kids, two furry friends, and one husband living in 900 square feet that likely would smell, perpetually, like pepperoni. But for a moment the artist in me forgot all that. The artist in me was deciding which borough I actually wanted to live in.

Anyway, after the movie was over my family took me to dinner at Sweet Tomatoes (no giant tomato this time, folks. Although my son was peering around with wide eyes just waiting for it to jump out and kidnap him.) courtesy of a two for one coupon and a gift card (thanks Sabrina!). Back at home I opened a few presents and had cupcakes (thanks Holly!). It should be noted that, when my son eats a cupcake, he picks all the sprinkles off first. Then he eats the frosting off the top. But he doesn't lick it off. No. That would be uncivilized. Instead, he uses his thumb and his forefinger to form a sort of finger chopstick. Then he drops a teeny amount of frosting into his mouth and begins the process all over again. I'm sure that's how the French do it. It's probably in Julia Child's cookbook.

And that was that. A lovely birthday culminated in the watching of my son getting chocolate frosting all over his fingers. My heart was happy. It was many steps above dog poo, even. And you know what would make it even better? No. Not boeuf borguignon. 53 comments, that's what.

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

All Grown Up

Today I am 28.

Today I am the mother of a preschooler.

Yes, it's true, my first baby--who I am quite certain was born yesterday--is now in preschool. We chose a music based school and, four hours a week, he will learn through song and play. We had orientation last Thursday and he was so excited for today to get here.

He wore new shirts from his Damma and, lemme tell you, he did not understand why we were putting two shirts on him. He thought we had lost our marbles for sure. Of course he could have worn one or the other but he just looks like such a little stud in both.
Here is his "I just ate eggs and toast and I'm ready to head off to my institution for higher learning--what? It's just preschool? Mama say what?" face.
He very much loves this pirate boat. I wouldn't be at all surprised if he came walking out to me with it shoved up his shirt.
I don't have a clue how I'm old enough to have a preschooler. I also don't have a clue why there were mothers standing in the hallway, looking through the two-way mirror at their children, sobbing. Hysterically. And by hysterically I mean that these women had mascara running off the tips of their noses. I was thinking to myself, "Really? It's for two hours. Have you never left your kid for two hours?" But then, maybe I'm just an insensitive loser of a mom. I love me some Garrett. I really, really do. Watching that boy is like watching everything good about me flitting from one toy to the next. But I can leave him for two hours. I'm about to go pick him up and I am confident that he will still be in one piece. Plus, I haven't gotten a call suggesting otherwise.

So, no, I didn't have a huge problem leaving him at preschool. Sure, it tore my heartstrings a little to realize he is actually big enough to be there. But it tore them even more when I realized that I'm only two years away from 30. Shredded 'em right in half when I thought about that happy little tidbit.

I guess we're both all grown up now. He's three. I'm 28. There's no looking back now...

Monday, September 7, 2009

Facts, Conversation & A Little Something For Your Viewing Pleasure

Happy Labor Day. Mom, I'm sorry that 28 years ago you were actually in labor. Geez. That had to hurt. Especially since it was all 23 hours long and stuff. Or something like that. I don't actually remember. I was really little. Like, you know, negative one day. But then I came out, the next day, on September 8th. And I was a girl. Who knew that 28 years later my son would be so disappointed in that fact...

G: Mom, do you have a penis?
Me: No.
G: Why not?
Me: Because I'm a girl.
G: How do we make you into a boy?
Me: We don't.
G: Why?
Me: Because God made me a girl.
G: I want you to be a boy.
Me: Well, if I was boy, I wouldn't be mommy.
G: We could bring another girl in here to be mommy.
Me: Oh. Am I that easily replaceable?
G: (crawling up next to me on the couch and grabbing a fistful of my hair) First we have to get rid of all this girly hair.
Me: Garrett, stop, don't mess up my hair. I don't like that.
G: But it's the only way to make you a boy.

I would leave you with only that little gem of a conversation but you might be left wanting. So, here's a question. Hey, Mom, what would you do if Jon and I busted this out at his reception?

Or, more importantly, Heather, would you ask for an immediate annulment?

Sunday, September 6, 2009

Almost Famous...Or Not

So I was reading my friend Jessica's blog the other day and it was both flattering and hysterical. To me, that is. The post is about our high school reunion and, at one point, she wrote:

I did get to chit-chat with Lori and I managed to act like a total starstruck idiot. Just so you know, Lori, you're kind of like a celebrity to me and I was having issues with the entire situation. Plus I feel like I talk to you every day with your hilarious blog.

First of all, any hilarity that my blog produces is a direct result of my hilarious children so I owe it all to them.

Second, she so did not act like a starstruck idiot. However, the idea of anyone even thinking they were acting like a starstruck idiot because I'm a kind of celebrity to them is just awesome. On so many levels.

Saturday, September 5, 2009


You know, the infertile in me just has a hard time handling The Duggars. These people are going to have, I don't know, like 27 kids before this woman goes through menopause. I'm certainly not going to sit here and say how many is too many because I can't make that decision for someone else but jeesh...NINETEEN!

And sure, having children by the quiverfull is a biblical principle. (Although how many arrows can a quiver actually hold? Some only a few, some a dozen, and others up over 20.) But if you're going to say that you think you should have 20+ biological kids because it's biblical, shouldn't you also be adopting because adoption is also a biblical principle?

I'm not judging the Duggars because, well, talk about a well oiled machine. It just makes my uterus cry out in anguish to think about. And, in the article I linked to, Michelle stated, "We are so thrilled. We just couldn't believe it is happening." What? Really? This woman has been pregnant over 140 MONTHS of her life. How can she not believe it's happening? It's always happening. To her, that is, not to me.

Anyway, I don't know why I feel surprised at number 19 when I didn't feel surprised by number 18. It's just that, if I even start thinking about a third child (which at this point is a resounding no!) my head starts to throb because I'd have to go through expensive infertility or adopt again and I should probably try to wrap up this adoption first. Plus we'd have to get a new car, someone would have to ride alone at Disneyland, someone would have to sleep on the floor in a hotel, and I'd have one more child than I have hands which seems like a problem to me. Although, in fairness, I could probably put a leash on one of them and hold it in my teeth. But 19! I guess you just need the one car...and a 15 passenger van. And Disneyland wouldn't be a problem because you'd just take up the entire train on Thunder Mountain. You'd just get a whole floor at a hotel so no one would have to sleep on the floor. And as for hands, well, she still has enough fingers...and toes, I suppose. For now.

Friday, September 4, 2009

The Tantrum

Okay. So. We've been having some, uh, issues with our three-year-old. He is extremely perceptive and hasn't missed a moment of the stress we've been buried under for the last six months. He adores his brother and, at times, is almost desperate not to lose him. Each day we reassure him that Little Buddy isn't leaving today. Each day we tell The Rock Star that even if his brother has to leave, which is up to God and Jesus, he isn't going anywhere. Six months of wondering if his brother is permanent or temporary has really taken its tole on our three-year-old. Add to that the fact that most preschoolers enjoy attempting to assert their independence anyway and you have a recipe for humiliation and disaster.

Lately, his fear of being separated from us and his desire to get his own way have collided in a few unfortunate situations. There was the fact that after two swimming lessons, he refused to get back in because I wasn't with him. We continued going but no amount of bribery would get that kid back in the water. We sat on the deck and practiced everything on dry land. Later, I would return to the pool with him and he would complete every task, as long as I was his instructor. Then there was the day where he flipped out in Sunday school because I went in to change Matthew and he refused to let me leave the room without him. Believe me, I am not prone to letting my little man get his own way but when he has these meltdowns, something snaps in his brain and he gets a glazed look in his eyes that suggests there is no small amount of terror twisting around inside his body. I mentioned this to the doctor yesterday at his physical.

She said it was normal behavior and the situations were isolated and she wasn't really concerned. The Rock Star was happily interacting with her. He was asking for raisins. He was climbing on the exam table. He was being a totally normal snapshot of himself. "Okay. I'm going to check your eyes and ears now." The nurse practitioner explained. Suddenly and completely without warning, Garrett flung himself under the chair with lightening speed. She had to take Matthew so that I could pry his brother out from under his fort. The more I tried to yank him, the more his temper flared, the more his eyes glazed over, the more insane his behavior got. I'm not kidding when I say he looked like he needed a straight jacket and a sedative. We had to give Matthew to the nurse.

It took both of my hands and one of hers to hold him down as she attempted to examine him with her other hand. He screamed and writhed and threw the weight of his head into my sternum. (And that thing weighs a lot. He has an enormous noggin.) I used my chin to secure his head against my body. When he realized that his upper body was constrained, he began to kick furiously. The recipient of his blows was none other than the wonderfully nice and extremely patient NP. She finally got him calmed down by having him "blow out" her light. But, as soon as she attempted to use the light to look in his ears, he flipped his body over like a fish out of water and tore at my clothing. Apparently, he undid several buttons on my shirt without my knowledge because, several minutes later, when I glanced down, I realized that I was modeling my bra. "Oh great, Garrett, you undressed me. Perfect." I'd said.

And she'd laughed as if to say, "And a mighty fine bra it is."

At one point, when I was starting to think about homicide, she smiled and said, "Deep breath, mom." I apologized profusely for his behavior. She replied with some lie about how she'd seen much worse. I have no idea how it could have been worse. Worse would have been The Rock Star wielding a gun and taking the whole office hostage. When she finished her five minute exam that I swear took twenty, Garrett was sweaty and beet red. I was disheveled and only partly dressed. But, somehow, the NP looked just as she had when she came in the room. I have no idea how she did not become a causality of war. Then, just as quickly as it started, Garrett flipped the switch and he was all sweetness and light.

"Is this normal three-year-old behavior?" I implored.


"" She replied.

Then we had a long discussion about how often it was happening, how he is sleeping, how he is developing and how long we're going to let this go on. We are going to continue disciplining the actions and not letting him get his way. We are going to continue telling him how much we love him and how safe he is. But the bottom line is that he's stressed. He's completely terrified of losing his brother. His world is swaying. He's terrified of "strangers" touching him and making him do things he doesn't want to do. And he's smart. He knows that we know that he's stressed and, to a degree, he's playing on our sympathy. We're going back in a month anyway because Matthew isn't growing. He's eating and developing but he's only gained a pound and grown just under an inch in two months. She's not terribly concerned about him at the moment but she wants to recheck him in a month. So we'll talk about Garrett at the same time.

He apologized to her for being so terribly naughty and, as she examined Matthew, the two of them returned to their preexisting state of friendship. He was fine.

Needless to say, I left with literature on anxiety.

Thursday, September 3, 2009

'Til Death Do You Part

I've been sitting here vacillating between a post about my son's incredible outburst at the doctor's this morning and a post dedicated to my brother and my future sister-in-law. In the end I decided the details of the doctor's appointment can wait. Much to my chagrin, all of that pediatric magic will still have happened if I wait until tomorrow. The Rock Star will still have kicked the nurse practitioner. My shirt will have still come unbuttoned as he clawed at it. My bra will still have stared at her for a good five minutes before I realized that my son had undressed me. And Matthew will still be having a follow up appointment next month because of the fact that he's in the 4% for length and the 10% for weight and we might have to start worrying about why the heck he's itty bitty.

For now: Marriage.

Dear Jon & Heather,

I don't know much. It's only been six years and, as someone told me lately, six years is nothing. Six years is barely married. I've got a long, long way to go before I've got anything really figured out. I'm not a marriage counselor. I'm not perfect. Neither, surprisingly, is Troy. But we've never been divorced so I guess that's something. In seventeen days you will be married. You'll be no more or less married if your wedding sails perfectly into the coastal air than you will be if everything goes wrong. You'll still wake up on September 21 as kid brother man and wife. You'll wake up with bad breath and bobby pins sticking out of the top of your head (Heather, not Jon...I hope.) and smeared mascara and maybe even stinky armpits. But you'll wake up wearing wedding bands and that's what matters. Then you will go off on your honeymoon and the world will sing harmonious songs of love and perfection and nothing will ever come between you and that floating on air feeling you'll have pulsing through your being.

But then he'll leave the toilet seat up in the middle of the night and she'll fall in at 5:15 am and badly bruise her hip and I am not talking from experience at all. I'm just saying that, hypothetically, something like that might happen. And her hair will clog the drain and he'll leave shaved off facial hair in the sink and one day, in the not so distant future, someone will storm into another room and away from the argument at hand.

I know you know that marriage is work. There will be disagreements. There will be fights both petty and serious. But through all of that, there will be a phenomenal love that grows incredibly with time. Not with every passing day, but with every sorrow and every joy that you experience as one. And if you work really hard at it, six years from now you will sit across from each other and almost be able to know what the other is thinking. And if you work really hard at it, six years from now you'll love each other in a way you can't even imagine right now--at this moment in time.

Jon- Love her. Tell her every day how wonderfully exquisite she is. Don't just read Ephesians 5:25-33, live it. And don't just live it, live it well. Be her protector. Be her best friend. Be her knight in shining armor. Do not sweat the small stuff. And it is true, a lot of it is small stuff.

Heather- Love him. Respect him. Honor him. Don't just read Proverbs 31:10-12, live it. And don't just live it, live it well. Be his partner. Be his best friend. Be his princess. Allow him to be your knight in shining armor. Do not sweat the small stuff. And it is true, a lot of it is small stuff.

Pray. Even when you know you're right. Pray anyway. Follow each other to the ends of the earth. Talk everything out. Beat a dead horse if you have to. Love each other but love the Lord first. Grow in Him and you will grow together. Dance in the living room, love without limits, share your heart and your souls from day one until the very end. Expect growing pains but know that those pains make you bigger, better and stronger.

I can't wait to stand with you on your very special day. (I sincerely hope my three-year-old doesn't kick anyone on his way down the aisle.) I am so excited for your wedding but I am even more thrilled about what the future holds. May God bless your union.


Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Six Months


Six months. Half a year. It is, without a doubt, impossible that you have been here for that long. You barrelled into your seventh month of life in southern California. Apparently, I've already been out of high school for ten years--at least, that's what they keep telling me--and we decided to attend my reunion. We drove down to San Diego and, once again, you proved to be a magnificent traveler. Since the drive was over three hours shorter than the trip to Oregon that we took in June, you were happy the entire time. All twelve hours and fifty minutes of the ride. Of course, we did break it up over two days which meant that you got to play with Auntie and Uncle Ronnie in Hurricane. You adore them, but then, who doesn't?

There's something I've been meaning to talk to you about. See, your brother refused to crawl and I was all, What's wrong with you, kid? Are you never going to move? Are you going to be stationary your entire life? And then, at 8.5 months, he took off crawling fast enough to slaughter the competition in a diaper derby, if I'd ever entered him in one. He was into everything and I was left to wonder why I'd ever wished mobility upon him. Being that you're number two, I have not been in a hurry for you to reach any major milestones. Oh sure, it's exciting when you learn how to move and develop but, honestly, you can lay on the floor like an adorable little blob of immobility for several months for all I care. You've slept through the night for four months and that's all I really care about. So why, pray tell, are you crawling? Why, at six months and four days, did you get up on all fours and scoot forward in what can only be referred to as rudimentary crawling? Slow down! I'm not planning on having any more babies and I don't want you to grow up too fast.
This month you met your birth father for the first time. Well, alright, so technically I guess that half of you is rather well acquainted with him but it's the first time you met with, like, all 46 of your chromosomes. The meeting went better than we could have ever expected and I was left with the feeling that you are a very lucky little boy. I know that there will be days when you feel confused and angry and wonder, perhaps, why all of this happened to you. But I hope that you realize, one day, how immeasurably you are loved by so many people. Your mother loved you so much that she gave you to our keeping. Hers was not an easy sacrifice and I know that she misses you tremendously. Her amazing love for you has kept you here, in our home. Your father loves you so much that he can't imagine his future without you and he was so proud of you and the amazing little baby you've grown into. And your daddy, brother, extended adopted family and I have loved you with all that we are since the moment we found out you existed. Truly, the love we have for you cannot be qualified. You are ours in every way that matters.
You still have wildly insane temper tantrums but, thankfully, they are less frequent. Your new found mobility has made you much happier. We are incredibly glad that the more mobile you get the less you throw psychotic fits. The fact that you adore your jumper and would spend hours a day in it if I'd let you has also reduced your tantrum throwing.

You've started burying your head in my chest, on occasion, and snuggling in for a cuddle. I'd be lying if I said it wasn't one of my most favorite things about you right now. Some of my other favorite things include your incessant giggle when we tickle you, the fact that you'll sit with your brother and play toys like a big boy, your love for the dog and the smile you get on your face when you can grab his feet or ears, and, as always, your adoration of Garrett.

Every day. Every single day you smile at him like this. And every single day he smiles like that at you. If the devastating should happen and we should lose you, I hope that, one day, you come to understand how very much Garrett loved you. I hope that you know that yours truly was the bond of brothers. Separated by biology. Separated by race. Bound by a love that I've rarely seen between a three-year-old and a six-month-old. Matthew, you are his best friend.

You belong to all of us and none of us. You are God's. Your life is in His hands. I am so thankful for the last six months of kissing your delicious skin, snuggling your chubby body, and loving you like crazy. It blows my mind that you're half a year old. Not so fast, son. There's just no need to grow up quite so fast...
I love you. Always. Forever. No matter what.

Tuesday, September 1, 2009


So it was H-O-T (hot!) in Paradise.

And then we went to my reunion and you could see the ocean from the venue and it was still H-O-T (hot!) and all these girls women who had spent like eleven billion hours getting ready were sweating all over the place and it was incredibly charming, I'm sure. But it was a total trip--complete with a DJ who played music from my high school years all night. We had to wear name tags that sported our senior pictures which meant that late 90's bangs were taking over the strap on my dress and yeah, I wasn't the only one who had them and yeah, they were in style or whatever but I still didn't really want them plastered all over my clavicle.

Some people were bigger. Some were smaller. Some had full facial hair. Some were balding. Some were completely inappropriately dressed. And by inappropriately dressed I mean that I saw cut off shorts and a tank top. I probably shouldn't have been surprised since there was beer chugging in the back of a pickup truck because several people were too cheap to buy an 8 dollar drink. Don't get me wrong, I am also too cheap to buy an 8 dollar drink and not a single beverage was provided. I bought two water bottles, one for each of us, and it cost me $5.50 so I had to refill it in the bathroom sink because we live on a pastor's salary and pay legal fees on what can only be described as an imaginary champagne budget. So I get not wanting to spend 8 bucks on a pathetic bottle of beer (plus, let's just say it now. Beer=EW!) but I also don't think I would have hung out in the back of a pick up truck drinking my store bought variety. I mean, even if I'd done it in high school--which I didn't--I think I might have chosen to use the last ten years attempting to grow up but, whatever, to each his own.

(The $2.75 A PIECE bottles of water. I had to take a picture because I'm always thinking about my loyal readers. I knew you'd want to see them. Do you see that they are made of gold? What? You don't? Yeah, me neither.)

Most people looked quite like they used to and they were wearing clothing that suggested that the last decade has been kind to them. I had a great time hanging out with people I haven't seen in ten years or, in some cases, people I've only seen occasionally since graduation. The highlight of my night occurred when a guy who said a total of five words to me in high school and threw a rock at my head in middle school causing my forehead to bleed somewhat profusely earning me a trip to the nurse's office did a double take, mouthed the word wow, and, when he realized I saw him do it, looked me in the eye and said, "I. Just. Wow." At least I think he was the one who threw a rock at my head. Honestly though, it was twelve years ago and I just can't be expected to remember that far back. And alright so I'm a pastor's wife and the highlight of my evening should not have been the fact that someone thought I aged well--especially because this particular someone was pretty drunk by the end of the night and may very well have been on his way when he Ijustwowed me. But it was flattering nonetheless. Especially because someone else seconded his opinion later in the evening.

Several months after graduation The L.O.O.P.S. Time Capsule was sealed. It contained pieces of memorabilia as well as predictions for the future lives of the members. Of the five LOOPS, four of us contributed our best guesses as to where everyone would be in ten years. One member just never sent hers in and we had to seal the capsule without her predictions. Two of us who contributed to the capsule were there and its decade old secrets were unlocked.

(The capsule, in all its glory. I love that when it was finally popped open, Jenni and I took a deep whiff of the air from 1999. It smelled a little funky and I declared, "1999 stunk.")

(Jenni and me with the capsule. Not pictured: Audrey, Veronica and Marissa. Marissa attended the reunion but happened to be the one who was absent from making predictions. Jenni is super cute and pregnant with LOOP offspring number 4.)

Other than the predictions, my favorite thing that was included was a picture of the five of us on the day we ditched school (with parental permission) to go to Disneyland during our senior year. It had hung in Audrey's locker. Although, I also really liked the random fact that Veronica included a credit card that did not expire until the following year.

All in all, I am glad that I took the time to go. I got to talk to so many old friends. It was hot. The beverage selection was pitiful. By the end, my feet were killing me. But, just like high school, the reunion is something that now only lives in my memories. I'm glad it lives there. I'm glad I was able to pop open that capsule and I'm glad I got to share a few laughs over ridiculously priced bottles of water.

(I love this guy. I love that I married him four years after high school was over. I love that we attended his 20 year reunion before we attended my 10. I love that he robbed the cradle. Love it. Please note that my hair started out looking fine and dandy. You will notice that it gets worse and worse as the insanely bizarre La Jolla humidity melted it.)

(Well, okay, so my hair is hiding here. It's ashamed. This is me with Marissa, Jenni and Tamara. Apparently, everyone else was looking at the "right" camera and I was looking at my own. This is the only reason I'm not a famous actress. Every director in Hollywood knows that I would stare directly into the "wrong" camera while delivering my lines. I'd be all, "Hey, camera. Here's looking at you, kid." And the director would be all, "What is wrong with you? Don't you know anything?")

(Here it is. Bad humidity. Bad! Look what you've done to my hair. But I love this picture because these are dear friends of mine. Jason was my boyfriend during my freshman year of high school. Then we were good friends. He sang at my wedding and then married his beautiful wife, Heather. So I love this picture. Except my hair. It has fallen and can't get up. Freakish boiling hot coastal weather!)