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 more...one husband, two girls, and a dog. We have a full plate as a party of eight!

Adoption, blended families, pets, school, running...it'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 happy...at least at our house!

Wednesday, July 13, 2016

Bye Bye Braces!

Today was a big day in the life of the resident teen-ager.

She got her braces off!

Here is a "then and now" to show the progression of the change in her teeth...

About two weeks before she got her braces.
Notice the "fangs."

The day she got her braces put on.
November, 2014

This morning, in the elevator on the way up to the orthodontist's office.
Rubber bands, braces, and straight teeth.

And...VOILA!!!

Momma made a goody bag full of many of the forbidden treats of the last 20 months...

"Yes!  Twizzlers!"

"I LOVE Tootsie Rolls!"
(And after eating one..."I forgot how long it takes to chew one of these!)

"Real caramel I can CHEW!?!"  
"I don't have to stick to the caramel sauce when we get frozen yougurt!!!"

"You got me REAL bubble gum too?!?  Yes, yes, yes!"

"Starburst and Skittles too!
This is the BEST.  Day.  Ever!"

 And then lunch at her favorite restaurant for her favorite meal.

I've got a pretty happy teen-ager on my hands right now.
And that makes for a pretty happy Momma right now.

Tuesday, July 12, 2016

Fear, Hope, and Faith

As I watched the events of last week unfold, I experienced a range of emotions...

Sadness
Anger
Disbelief

Sadness, anger, and disbelief that these things--the violence, the hatred, the murder--were taking place.

And then there is the feeling of fear.

Yes, fear.

Not fear for myself.
And I don't mean that in the arrogant "It won't happen to me" sense.

But fear for my daughter and what she is facing as she continues to grow up in this world. because of the color of her skin...her beautiful brown skin.

Because sadly, assumptions will be made about her...because of the color of her skin.

Things like
She's "Mexican."  
But she's not.  She is Guatemalan born.

Things like
She's "illegal."
She's not.  She has been a citizen since that day (March 4, 2004, to be exact) that we landed in Houston and came through immigration.  And we have all the necessary "proof"...adoption decrees from Guatemala and North Carolina, birth certificates, her Certificate of Citizenship, a US passport.

Things like
She doesn't speak English.
She does.  In fact, she has a vocabulary that far outshines many adults I know.

She is wicked smart, passionate, sensitive, talented, musical, funny, loyal, dedicated.

But those things are not visible.
What is visible is her brown skin, her black hair, her dark eyes.
And she will be judged, categorized, stereotyped, and labeled based on her outward, visible appearance.

So yes, I carry that fear with me.

And yet,
I have hope.

And yet...
I.  Have.  Hope.

Because I have faith.

Hebrews 11:1 tells us "Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen."

I hope for the day that we all see each other as equal.
That is the way that we were created...as equal.
Male and female...
The many tones and colors of skin that make up the human race...
We were created as equal.

And as I listen to and watch my daughter and her friends from school, and church, and choir...
My hope is strengthened.
My faith is strengthened.
Because these young people treat each other with respect and caring and compassion and love the way all of God's people were intended to do.

I find myself turning to my prayer book more often these days than ever before. I find hope, and strength, and comfort in the many prayers contained in that book.

In particular, I find myself praying the prayer "For Young Persons" on a daily basis because they are growing up in challenging, difficult times and will face a challenging, difficult future.

God our Father, you see your children growing up in an unsteady and confusing world:  Show them that your ways give more life than the ways of the world, and that following you is better than chasing after selfish goals.  Help them to take failure, not as a measure of their worth, but as a chance for a new start.  Give them strength to hold their faith in you, and to keep alive their joy in your creation; through Jesus Christ our Lord.  Amen. (BCP, p. 829)

And I have also added the prayer "For the Human Family" after we prayed it together in church this past Sunday.

O God, you made us in your own image and redeemed us through Jesus your Son:  Look with compassion on the whole human family; take away the arrogance and hatred which infect our hearts; break down the walls that separate us; unite us in bonds of love; and work through our struggle and confusion to accomplish your purposes on earth; that, in your good time, all nations and races may serve you in harmony around your heavenly throne; through Jesus Christ our Lord.  Amen (BCP, p. 815)

Tuesday, July 5, 2016

Swimming

I grew up swimming.

We had a pool in our backyard for almost for ever.
Pool #1 on Lake Elbert
Pool #2 on Lowell Road
Pool #3 in Auburndale

Most of my friends had pools in their backyards too.

Summers were for pool hopping.
(And bike riding around and around and around our neighborhoods...
but that's a different post for a different day.)

Swimming lessons were a given, and I was a pretty good swimmer.
Races back and forth across the pool...
Endless games of "Marco Polo"...
Swim "shows"...
Made up games...
Raft races...
Swimming piggy back rides...
How could one NOT be a good swimmer?
I even had some kind of personal rescue certification at one point from camp.

And then...
I went to college.
Beyond a water exercise class I took for a PE credit, I didn't swim much any more.

And then...
I became an "adult."
I hated putting on a bathing suit.
And when I did, "swimming" meant hanging out by the pool, hoping not to get sunburned...
Not actually moving through the water with any purpose.
And when I was in the water, certainly not moving with any "real" swim stroke.
I still did an occasional water exercise class at the Y.

And then...
Even that stopped.

And then...
At age 33 1/2, I became Momma to my sweet baby (now teen aged) girl.
And swimming changed again.
Swimming meant bouncing around in the pool with a splashing, squealing toddler.
Or pushing her around in her yellow floaty boat.
After she learned to swim on her own, swimming meant standing a few feet from the wall with my arms outstretched to scoop her up after "swim to Momma," before turning her around to swim back to the wall.

And then...
She was older,
a better swimmer,
and had friends at the pool.
My place was sitting on the side of the pool,
feet dangling in the water,
watching.
But not swimming.

Over the years,
My brain remembered how to swim.
But my body has forgotten.

Over the years,
I have developed a deep dislike for getting my face wet
(even in the shower).

Over the years,
I have developed a "fear" of swimming in any kind of open water.

And now...
Well...
We joined the aquatic center a few weeks ago.
"It's good cross training for running," we said.
My first swim...
I kept my head up the entire time I was "swimming" laps...in a way that Gloria says made me look like a frog.

So I bought some goggles.
And I went swimming again.
And I STILL kept my head above the water.
And I STILL looked like a frog.

And then...
I screwed up my courage and forced myself to put my face in the water...
And promptly closed my eyes...WITH MY GOGGLES ON!
It took several tries to actually keep my eyes open while putting my face in the water.

And then...
I resorted to holding my nose.
Did you know that it's kinda hard to swim and hold your nose at the same time?

So now, I want a nose holder thingamabob.

Or maybe some swimming lessons.

Or maybe both.