May the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be pleasing in Your sight, Oh Lord, my Rock and my Redeemer.
Psalm 19:14

Saturday, July 17, 2010

Dear Baby,

We are ready to meet you Sweet One. I know it is hot but we will do our best to keep
you cool. Grammy is here now and very anxious to hold you so you can come any time.

We have completed several lists the last couple days so really any time will work now. Your Grammy is a doer so we have tacked several things around the house.

We washed some windows that desperately needed to be washed.
I did get some extra food made and in the freezer. Jonathan was a big help.
The hand soap dispensers are all full!
I should vaccum again but it will be okay if I don't get to that.
I wrote a few thank you notes and I finally wrote a letter to Jonathan. I had been wanting to
do so since his birthday but just never got it done.
We did Jonathan's school shopping tonight. Sorry but I thought it would be easier without you!

If we wait much longer, I will create another to do list and then will feel a need to get more
things done before you come.

I am packed. Grammy is here to love on Jonathan while we are meeting you.

I am nervous. I am nervous about the birth and about the lack of sleep and about
how this will change things for Jonathan. I am nervous about being responsible for a new life.
I am nervous about teaching and training another precious child. But I am so thankful God is giving us another miracle to love.
So when you are ready, we are waiting to love you and care for you and hug and kiss you and hold you and sing to you(sorry ahead of time about that one!) and introduce you to an incredible big brother and a family who will love you so much and we are ready to protect you and show you the world and laugh you with and be amazed by you.

We love you so much Precious One. See you soon!

Monday, July 12, 2010

8 years

Tomorrow is our anniversary. Eight years.
There is just no way of knowing what life will bring when you say "I do."
Perhaps it is best that way!

I am not a confident person but I actually had the audacity to believe I would be good
at being a wife. I thought I could love well. And then I gave it a try. and I kept
needing to compromise and submit and consider someone else. It wasn't so easy
to just simply love. I found I am a VERY selfish person. And I am married to a selfish
person. Makes for some not so pretty moments!!

Our first year of marriage was ROUGH! We actually did save some of our cake and as
we ate it on our first anniversary (it was still really good!) I think we both shed a few tears
thinking back over the year and all that we had been through. We moved twice, Ashley moving
to a whole new state. (I know much better now how much of a change that was for him!) Ashley
started a new business. His mother died 6 months after we got married. We had a long distance relationship and engagement so we were not only getting used to living together we were getting used to being around each other on a daily basis. That is much different than seeing each other over a weekend. We tried to find a church we both liked which proved to be a really really tough thing.

It is crazy to think about all we have experienced together in eight years. It is sad to think of issues we still have not worked out in all that time. It gives me hope to think of ways we have grown in those years. There have most certainly been days or weeks when it was that promise made July 13, 2002 that kept us together. That and our belief in the Lord and seeking to obey Him. It was not that I liked Ashley (and I am certain this goes both ways!!) during those times or that I felt in love with him. It wasn't because I was feeling cherished by him or appreciated. It wasn't that I felt like submitting to him or trying to work things out. I shock myself sometimes with how rebellious my heart can be and how unwilling I can feel to act on trying to make things better. There have been hopeless feelings of "neither of us is leaving but is it really going to be this miserable for the rest of our lives?"

Eight years ago I didn't think about his snoring affecting my sleep or why can't he just put his shoes away or will he eat that last bit of ice cream or what Honduras trip will come up next?
And he didn't think about his place in my heart compared to my family or if I would be ready in time for church or if I would ever handle a gun or if I can ever learn to just laugh rather than take things too seriously. At that time we both thought the other was pretty great. And we still do!! But life has happened. There have been disappointments and let downs. There has been the stress of a new baby and the short tempers that come with lack of sleep. We have seen the best and the worst in each other. We know the other one's buttons and sadly sometimes we chose to push those. We have experienced the better and the worse, the richer and poorer and the sickness and health. And God willing we will experience much more of it!

A couple in the church we have been attending just got married this past weekend. They were giddy with love and excitement as the day approached. It was sweet to see but a part of me, a jaded part, thinks they are naive. They have day to day life to experience yet.

But truly maybe it is day to day life stuff that makes the love even richer. It is difficult most definately. It requires daily choices to forgive and love and try again. It requires a daily choice to attempt to deny self. It means accepting good and bad of someone who can drive you crazy!

But he comes home every night. He makes me laugh. I trust him. I trust his leadership. He loves our son and is an incredible daddy. He made me feel warm and safe and loved after our miscarriage before Jonathan. I know the soft heart that exists behind the tough exterior he often puts on. I see how he agonizes over big decisions affecting our family. I know the heart that reaches out to help people. He still reaches for my hand. I see the sleep, time, energy, money that he gives up for the people of Honduras and know that he would do even more if possible. He gets mad at a movie or show where a child gets hurt or sick. He lets me take sips of his Dr Pepper and Root Beer. He requires Jonathan to be respectful to me. He compliments my cooking. He promised to never leave me.

And I love him. Even eight years later. Knowing what I know now.
Happy Anniversary Ashley. Thanks for chosing me.

Sunday, July 11, 2010


I should not complain.
I should expect this.
But I am so uncomfortable!!!
I can not stop sweating. Day or night.
Nothing seems to fit anymore. Jonathan just does not fit on my lap.
I can't figure out a comfortable way to sleep. It is an ugly process to lean over
and pick something up off the floor. I have been having some painful, wake-me-up
cramps in my leg. They stop fairly quickly but they hurt like crazy!
I am tired of people's comments of "when" and "how soon" and guesses of gender
based on how I am carrying the baby and of how big/not big/ready I look. They are
all with such good intentions and encouragement. It just has always amazed me how
pregnancy seems to mean it is perfectly fine to analyze another person's body.

Perhaps it is because it has been five years or because I am five years older or because
God allows women to forget some details, but I just do not remember being so uncomfortable
and achy and hot with Jonathan. Maybe it is living in this insanely humid state!!
Ok, enough complaining. I feel a little better just purging for a bit.

I am thankful for airconditioning and fans and ice. I think I have been working our
ice maker over time. I am thankful for the occasional breezes that blow around here.
I am thankful for a full term baby. Due date is Thursday. Mom comes on Tuesday so
I am hoping so much the baby waits until at least Tuesday night or after so Mom can be
here with Jonathan. I am thankful to have had hand-me-down maternity clothes that have
saved us money and worked great. Just the last few days it feels like nothing fits!
I am thankful to have felt really pretty good for the last nine months. I know I am so
lucky not to be bothered be morning sickness so I should not complain about
a little discomfort. I am thankful for the chance to feel a life inside of me. That has
been the one part of pregnancy I like. I am thankful we get to love another miracle.

So I will sweat and wait and toss and turn. Really there is nothing close to tossing!
And soon we will meet this next miracle!

Saturday, July 3, 2010

Kansas Guests

Yesterday brought us a huge treat from Kansas. Friends from our church were driving through TN on their way to a vacation in North Carolina and they made my day by calling to ask if they could stop by to say hi. It was such a delight to spend time with the Morrison family. Before they got here Jonathan said they should stay for 15 days and that we would do their laundry if they did not bring enough clothes. It was fun to catch up on their lives a bit and on life in Moundridge. It was a gift to me for them to take the time to stop and see us. It felt so good to be with someone who talked like me, who knew me, and who I respect as a Christian and a person and a friend. It was good to be with a safe person and someone who I already have good memories and an established relationship. Making new friends is hard for me and scary!!
So thank you Diane for feeding my heart!

I totally cracked up when Ashley was telling them about shooting a turtle while mowing that day. He made the comment that he or Jonathan probably shoot something every day (like snakes or turtles in the pond or targets or skunks). The Morrisons, very understandably, all looked at him with quite a look of shock and disbelief. It was hilarious to see this response which is how I would normally respond and my family would and most normal people! However, where we are now and how Ashley grew up, the typical response if he said he shot a turtle would be "how big was it?" or "what gun were you using?" or "did you eat it?" It is just really a different culture in many ways!

Hope you have a wonderful vacation Morrisons! Thank you so much for including us in your trip. Come back any time and stay longer!!

Pictures finally!

Jonathan lost his first two teeth. Daddy aided in both by pulling them. Jonathan was willing on the first one and quite brave. The second one took a little more convincing to do. He was still very brave when he finally consented to Ashley pulling it a week or so later.
The moment of the first pull. I think they were both a little surprised that it actually came out. There was very little blood which helped I think. We had been in the mode of cutting the corn off the cob for him and slicing apples. He looks quite cute with the bottom front two teeth missing.

Our garden is growing! Growing many weeds for sure! But also most of the plants are still alive. It is such fun to find produce with Jonathan. Such a celebration! Here is our first eggplant. No idea when to pick it or how to fix it but great fun to watch it grow!!

Trying to show off the missing teeth. Didnt work out but I still liked the picture. Except he looks so grown up!

Ashley had a class in Nashville last week so we went along and swam at the hotel and tried to find fun things to do out of the horrendous heat. Eating ice cream was a necessity! I even decided we would go to the big Orpy Land mall which is strange for me to decide to do and really strange to do with Jonathan but the heat mandates crazy things. And the mall had some cool stores I thought even Jonathan would like such as Bass Pro. However the whole thing and the huge Orpy Land Hotel near it was shut down because of all the flooding in May.
He and I did go eat at Cracker Barrel because we had a gift card and Ashley does not like this restraunt so it was perfect timing. Jonathan was so excited about his meal. It is a fun memory.
Here Jonathan is holding the gorgeous lilies he picked for me and was so excited to show me where they were all growing.

At the tractor pull enjoying a slushie thing. His mouth and teeth and tongue turned blue! The ear protection was necessary! We were good redneck parents.
Swimming at the hotel. We had a great time. Still long ways from really swimming but seeing progress. We sure missed the good Wellness Center lessons. It was fun to see him getting more confident in the water. And I was glad we were basically the only ones there since a pregnant women is not lovely in a swimsuit!!

Jonathan and I picked some delicious strawberries! We had wanted to for quite some time but with the spider bite incident and just life it kept getting put off. The day we actually went they had already closed the patch and a person could pick what they could find for free. It started to thunder and rain or we would have picked more and we were leaving the next day or we may have gone back. I love free!! Jonathan was great help for awhile and then got hot and bored and ready to go. The berries were yummy! And are disappearing way too quickly from the freezer. Jonathan's favorite bedtime snack lately is yogurt with blueberries and strawberries. He LOVES frozen blueberries. Ashley and I enjoy the snack too except for I just do not really like blueberries. I wish I did. They are so good for you but I just do not like them much.
The other day Jonathan totally cracked me up as I was going through some hand me down baby clothes. I was looking for some nongender specific ones to wash and have ready. He was hilarious with his comments. A lot of "too much pink!" Then he found a neat, soft tag blanket Grammy had made for him. He remembered it and snatched it right up and then wrapped up one of the kitties in it. That one may require extra washing now!

Thursday, July 1, 2010

One year ago

We were making preparations for a new arrival to our family. These preparations were very different from those we are currently making and the new addition would have looked very different than what we are expecting now. Isaias is the Honduran boy in the wheelchair we were hoping to add to our family. Jonathan was thrilled with the idea of having an older brother to wrestle with. This time last year we took a trip to the ISCS offices in Kansas City to turn in our final adoption paper work and do our fingerprinting. We had finally completed our homestudy, written the big checks, received the multitudes of paperwork we had to compile. And all this after months and years of praying about the best decision for our family. Isaias was aware of our intentions and was excited, at least to the extent that he could understand all the changes he would face. We had the insurance in place which would allow us to help him with his legs. We had begun construction, or mainly demolishing, in our basement to make needed changes for him. So this trip was the final step and then we waited.
In time we were made aware of some situations that caused us to question if this was the best thing for our family and for Isaias. And then God closed the door himself so we had no choice in the decision to bring him home or not. We questioned and grieved this loss and felt a lot of guilt about not being able to help him more. We still hope and pray to find some way to help Isaias.
Certain moments will make me think about Isaias. Jonathan will mention him from time to time. We include him in our prayers. His birthday, April 1st. He turned 14. This was actually a healing day. Our friend Anel from Honduras was visiting us on the 1st and I mentioned that date while we were eating. Anel was so thoughtful about it. He hesitantly said he knew it was sad for us that things did not work out but he felt it was for the best. He said because of Isaias age and background, it would have been a very hard change for him coming here and he would have worried about the influence Isaias would have been on Jonathan. Since Anel is a native Honduran and understands the culture way more than we ever will, his words meant so much. The final outcome was out of our control yet I still felt this guilt about it all not working out. Part of me had felt some relief about it not happening. It would have been such a big change for all of us and SO incredibly hard. Anel saying it was really what was best for Isaias and for us was such a gift of healing. We will continue to look for ways to help him and pray for him and love him. And maybe Anel will find us a sweet baby or toddler girl or boy who needs our family! We trust God will open or close these doors as is best for us.


The first time I held Jonathan. Dr. Marla placed him on my chest and he was so perfect and whole and finally here. And felt heavier than I expected!

The first time I felt Jonathan move for sure. It was in the morning and Ashley was there with me. We were both so excited.

The first time Ashley kissed me. Cheesy I know but it was magical!

Seeing my mom fall from our attic to the garage floor. It was horrifying.

The first time I held my first nephew Corbin. It was the first time I experienced this overwhelming love and this deep feeling of a willingness to do anything to protect this life I would always love.

A phone call at 1am from my mom telling us my dad had a heartattack. We were in TN because Ashley's dad was very sick and KS and my family felt very far away.

Seeing the "I love you" Ashley wrote on his foot when we washed each others' feet in our wedding ceremony.

Seeing blood which was the first sign of the miscarriage I had before we had Jonathan.

Winning substate basketball in high school.

The first longer sleep after Jonathan was born. I chose sleep over food so I was definately tired!!

Watching my sister and her new husband drive off on their way to live in Maryland for a time. Even more than at their wedding, I knew things would never be the same.

Riding on a boat in the Fjords in Norway. The water was like silk, the hot chocolate was delicious, the friends were treasured. It was a moment of such peace.

An electricity black out in Honduras. One of many but this night my friend and roommate was gone for the night. I was so alone. I could hear other people outside their apartments playing and laughing but I could not understand their language. It was so dark and I felt so alone.

Watching a mouse run across the top of the back seat of the car while in the Credit Union drive through with Jonathan strapped in his car seat. It heightened my already phobic level fear of these hideous creatures. I was traumatized for nearly a year and still think of this crisis way too often.

Laying on the bathroom floor in Honduras so sick and so badly wanting to be home and have my mommy take care of me and be near not scary hospitals.

All sorts of memories stick with me. Some scary, some funny, some precious, some heartbreaking. I am thankful God gave us memories.


14 days until due date!

2 squash picked and eaten from our garden tonight.

2 teeth lost by Jonathan. He looks mighty cute!

11 plus hours to drive home to KS. Worth every minute, cramp, "are we almost there?" to get to see family, play with cousins, be a little part of wheat harvest, get spoiled by Mom and enjoy some less humid weather!!

0 cribs or bassinets set up for baby arrival.

3-5 times I get up during the night to go to the bathroom and to try to figure out some way to sweat less!

1 name chosen for a girl.

1 name chosen for a boy.

19 items on to do list for Ashley before Baby. He asked for the list!! To be completely honest, several items have nothing to do with a baby but are things that have been needing to be done for months!

10 unpolished toenails. Tried to convince Ashley to paint them for me. I think I could but not sure how good they would look.

1 bottle of Dreft ready to wash some little clothes and burp rags and diapers.

2 kittens and one loyal puppy that bring my sweet boy so much delight.

8 year anniversary approaching in a couple weeks.

1 incredible mother willing to make the long drive and give up summer days to help with the arrival of the 8th grandchild. We can not wait to see her! Jonathan is so thrilled that Grammy is coming. He decided she needs to stay for three weeks. I totally agree!!

1 boy whom I adore getting ready to face some major changes in his life.

1 God who has all my worries and fears in His hands.