Thanks for stopping by! We were a family of three, until we added one more (cat, that is), making us a family of four. In 2012, we added four husband, two girls, and a dog. We have a full plate as a party of eight!

Adoption, blended families, pets, school,'s all here. Pull up a chair and read a while. After you do, please leave a little comment love! It makes me happy...and y'all know...if Momma is happy, then everyone is least at our house!

Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Winning the Lottery

This all started a few months ago...

I said:  I think I want to run in a marathon.
He said:  WHAT?!?!?

And I left it at that for a little while.

Then a few weeks later..
I said:  I really think I want to run in a marathon.
He said:  Let's wait.  Let's run a variety of races this year.  Maybe a few more half marathons.
I said:  I want to do it this year.
He said:  Let's wait until 2016.  Let's make it a goal for next year.
I didn't say anything.

Then a few weeks later...
I said:  Let's find a marathon that is not too far from home and is good for a beginner.  Why don't you ask that running group you are in on Facebook.
He said:  Why go somewhere for it?  Let's stay close to home.

(I thought:  Ooooo...I'm making progress!)

I suggested one that is in town.
He said:  I have zero interest in that one.
I said:  Then what suggestions do you have?
He said:  I still think we should wait until next year.

I said:  My friend Tara is doing the LA Marathon.
He said:  I think we can track her progress.

And we did.  Sorry Tara.  We might have stalked your marathon progress just a wee little bit...

That experience tipped the scales in my favor a little more.

Then...Last Thursday 4:02 p.m. to be exact...
He texted me..."Hmmm.  Marine Corps Marathon is Oct. 25.  Lottery closes March 23."
(Note:  Last Thursday was March 19th.  Just five days before the lottery was to close.)

Later on,
I said:  But that just sounds so TOUGH and MANLY and, and, and.  The name scares me!
He said:  But it's the Marines!  It's Washington DC.  You love DC and have said running a race there is on your bucket list.
I said:  It needs another name.

(So at our house, MCM stands for "Merrill Came for the Monuments")

Anyone notice the role reversal here?

I said:  But what if one of us gets in and the other one doesn't?  You know that would be our luck.
He said:  There are ways around that.  Fundraising groups.  Transfers.  We would cross that bridge if we came to it.  

So on Sunday, we both registered for the lottery.
The lottery closed on Monday at noon.
And then we waited.

And it hit me...
Oh my goodness.  We registered for a MARATHON lottery!!
We registered for a MARATHON lottery???

Email notifications were due to begin after midnight on the 25th.
And we both grabbed our phones shortly after the alarm went off this morning.

Instead of "Good morning,"
He said:  Did you get an email?
I said: Did YOU get an email?

And y'all...we BOTH had emails...and we BOTH were reading "Congratulations.  The MCM Lottery has been conducted and you have reason to celebrate as one of the officially registered participants in the 40th Marine Corps Marathon..."

We both said:  Oh. My. Goodness! (and maybe a few other things in that moment of stunned awakening..)

We're going to DC.
For a marathon.
The 40th Marine Corps Marathon.

Say WHAT???

And if you want to read HIS perspective, go check it out on his 1,560 Miles for Mayan Families page...just click here.  Because he puts it a little more eloquently than I do.

Wednesday, March 4, 2015

Eleven Years Ago

Eleven years ago this morning, we had an early flight out of Guatemala City.

Eleven years ago this morning, we landed in Houston and then flew on towards home.

Eleven years ago this afternoon, we landed at CLT and it hit me...all the things I had read...all the things "they" had told me...all the things I had brushed aside...all the things you don't truly *get* until you live it...

I realized what it was like to be surrounded by people yet be so completely alone.  No one in the airport knew how excited I was...that my dream was finally coming true as I wheeled that umbrella stroller that had developed an obnoxious squeak through the airport terminal towards baggage claim.

I realized that you will dig your last $5 out of the bottom of your purse to tip the skycap after he wheels your suitcases to your car after he spied you standing at baggage claim in a quandary..."Just how am I going to get this stuff to my car?" (That might have been the first time I actually envied an octopus!)

I realized that I should have held onto that baggie of Cheerios that I let my mom eat in the Houston airport after I got stuck in rush hour traffic and the usual 20-25 minute drive home from the airport turned into almost an hour and a half.  Thank goodness for the last few "wagon wheels" in the diaper bag!

I realized that despite all of that...this child arrived home like this...
(And I realize now that the above pictured car seat should have probably been rear-facing.)

Eleven years ago this evening, I sat on my living room floor, amazed that my daughter was finally here too.

And I realized that this was no longer MY living room floor, MY house...
I realized that it was OUR living room floor, OUR home.

Eleven years ago this evening, I was so happy when Beth and Kelly came over...just so I could go to the bathroom and then get the suitcases out of the car...because I couldn't leave this little one...not even for a second.

Eleven years ago tonight, I put my sweet Gloria to bed in her crib for the very first time...and then stared at her for such a long time...marveling at her very being.

And in the morning, woke up to find this quiet little girl just lying there, not making a sound, just waiting to see what new, strange thing would happen next.

Eleven years ago, I became fully entrenched in the role of "Momma," as she still calls me.

Being Gloria's Momma has changed me.
Being Gloria's Momma has stretched me.
Being Gloria's Momma has challenged me.
Being Gloria's Momma has worn me thin at times.
Being Gloria's Momma has lifted me up.
Being Gloria's Momma has enlightened me.

I think she would say the same things about being Momma's Gloria.