Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Cutest Rainbows

For a few years I've carried around a dream in my heart. After Jameson was born, I found out about a charity called Reece's Rainbows. And I wished I was rich. I wished I had a million dollars to give to them. If we were to win to lotto, I would write big, fat check to this charity and also adopt as many kids as Hubs would let me.

We aren't in a place right now where we can give much money and we certainly can't adopt a beautiful child right now, but there are other ways I can help. And one of them is to share Reece's Rainbows with you. Maybe you are in a position to write them a big, fat check. Or maybe God is calling you to adopt one of these sweet angels. Or maybe, like me, you are able to share about and pray for this organization.

Reece's Rainbows helps find adoptive families for international orphans with Down syndrome. You can find a child to adopt or donate money towards the cost of an adoption so someone who wants to bring a child home but can't afford the staggering costs of international adoption can make it happen.

When our Jameson died, we asked donations to be made to a sweet little Russian boy named Jamison. He is also three and cute as a button. And if we were in a position to take him home today, I would be on the next flight to Russia. But we can't. Not now. He had nothing in adoption fund when we started in December. And now he has over $2,600.00 in there. The average cost of an international adoption is $25,000+.

I know.

We have a long ways to go to help Jamison find a family.

Today I am asking you to consider giving to Reece's Rainbows. If you want to give right to Jamison, follow this link.

If you want to find out more about Reece's Rainbows and adopting a child with Down syndrome, click here.

Every child deserves to have a family, deserves to be wanted and loved. Please consider helping to save little Jamison.

Friday, April 22, 2011


"My Father, if it is possible, may this cup be taken from me. Yet not as I will, but as you will." Matthew 26:39

Jesus didn't want to suffer and die. He didn't ask for the betrayal, arrest, desertion, condemnation, beating, mockery, and finally, crucifixion.

And yet, He had the power to stop it. At any point in time, He could have asked His Daddy to save Him. He could have stopped it all. But He didn't. He willingly took the pain and suffering on Himself in order to fulfill His Father's will.

He did it to save us.

Jesus died and I am saved daily. His death and resurrection have saved us. He died to save you. He died to save J. He died for anyone who is willing to reach out and take the gift He offers so freely.

Today, on this Good Friday, I am so thankful that Our Lord was willing to die, willing to put God's will over His own. It means more to me this year than it ever has before. His sacrifice saves me every day from the despair and grief of losing my J; it is only in knowing that we will be together again that I can make it through the weeks, days, hours. Without Jesus, without salvation, there is nothing.

"For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in his shall not perish but have eternal life. For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him." John 3:16-17

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

The Dreaded Question

I've been out and about a lot more now that that weather is nicer. (Ha! Not today; today we have snow and freezing rain.) When the sun is shining and the breeze is warm, people are not only outside more, but out of their shells a little more too, it seems. Have you noticed it? People are much friendlier when the weather is nice!

It is a nice thing. I enjoy small talk with other moms at the park, random strangers in line at the grocery store, mumbling to the dentist between fillings(I had two, ugghhh). But there is always that one question that everyone always asks. "How many kids do you have?" It seems like such a safe and normal thing to inquire. And I suppose it is, for most people. But it always catches me off guard and I never know quite how to answer.

I love talking about my family and I really do like talking about Jameson. It hurts regardless, but at least remembering him and sharing him with other people is a nice thing. But sometimes I really don't feel like getting into it. I don't want to get into the gory details in line at the grocery with a stranger I'll probably never see again. I don't mind the heartbreaking story- I've already lived through it and it can't get worse. But there is just no way to avoid the horror and then abashed pity that flashes across the eyes when I answer the question honestly. And sometimes I just don't want to get into it. I don't want to be pitied. I don't want to see my anguish in another's eyes.

So the whole truth is usually out; instead I tend to use some half-truths. I really don't want to be dishonest, but being the Debbie Downer all of the time gets really old, too. Sometimes I just say I have one son. And I think that answer is worse than telling the truth. The injustice of not mentioning Jameson, not acknowledging his life cuts into my heart so deeply and I regret it at once. He already seems so much like a dream some of the time; to make him less real is unbearable. Sometimes I say I have two boys and just don't mention that one of them is in heaven. And it feels so wrong, this lie. At least he is real in this answer. But there is always that dread that if the conversation continues or if this person someday meets me again, will I be left foolishly trying to explain away my untruth?

And both of those answers bother me terribly because they leave out the baby. And even though I was only 7 weeks pregnant, it is my baby. And that baby is real, despite what some people may think. He or she was a life and that baby is now in heaven and someday Jameson will introduce me to his sibling and I cannot wait. But it is hard to place value on a baby when so many scoff at the idea of life before birth really mattering all that much. It is hard to make that baby real when all I know of him is the dream, when there is no face to place, no name to state, no gender to use. How do I even make him real to myself, let alone to anyone else?

I've spent a lot of time this week trying to think of a good, stock answer to give out all summer during T-ball practices, soccer games, swim lessons, beach trips, park playdates, etc. Hopefully, that way I am not waiting in panic for someone to ask me if I have other children. I'm tossing a few things around, but it is just so tough. I think I want to keep it short and sweet(possible!?) so I don't have to go into it unless they ask. Something like "I have three children and two youngest are in heaven." And maybe I'll just start looking up when I say it. Focus on the kids instead of the faces here.

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Adventures In The Kitchen

Cooking makes me happy so I've been in the kitchen a lot this past week. And I've been adventurous! All the spring and summer veggies and gardening catalogs are inspiring me to get out of the winter rut; although, I can't say I'm sick of baking. Thanks to my best kitchen buddy, Zo, I will bake bread all summer long.

Meet Zo:

I love Zo.

I love bread. We buy our flour and yeast in bulk and never feel like we are on a budget when the timer beeps and we get to eat fresh, hot bread. It feels more like a gourmet splurge. Even after 2 years I don't think it will ever get tiresome, that yeasty smell of rising dough and then the overwhelming and entirely mouthwatering scent of bread baking. We are like Pavlov's dogs waiting for the beep.

France is on my bucket list...not for an extended trip -even just a day would do. I dream of sitting in a cafe and eating crusty bread and exquisite cheese and drinking good wine. Someday. But I don't need France to enjoy bread and wine. My kitchen can be a bistro anytime I want. Thanks, Zo!

Yes, that is an apron. I love being a domestic goddess; plus, I'm a messy chef. It makes the laundry easier, less stains.

We tried a few new things this week. This is Baked General Tso's Chicken and Unfried Rice. It was awesome.

It was cheaper than the House of Wong down the street and we didn't get sick from eating all of the grease! Plus, it was fairly easy to make. I don't think I'll ever get Chinese take-out ever again.

I also tried some homemade fish tacos last night. Well, semi-homemade. Hubs came home from the grocery store with this the other night.

I laughed at him. He said they were on sale. I reminded him that we don't even buy frozen fries and wondered how in the world I was going to cook them.

Fish tacos!

So, while the fish sticks were baking, I made a quick pico de gallo slaw and a green chili tartar sauce.

And in 25 minutes we had delish fish tacos!

When I asked Hubs how he liked them, he casually mentioned that they would be much better with blackened fish. Go figure.

Friday, April 8, 2011

Sunny Day

My boy is sleeping in today so I thought I'd share a sunny day with you all before he wakes up. And some food. We've been enjoying summer fare lately- loads of veggies in everything.

Roasted Peppers for pizzas.

Roasted veggies, wheat berries and feta with a balsamic sauce. I had never cooked wheat berries before and they were surprisingly delish.

Asteroid Soup and Starship Biscuits, aka turkey and wild rice meatball soup with brussels sprouts and whole wheat buttermilk biscuits.

My attempt in getting Little Man excited about brussels sprouts didn't go over quite as well as planned, but at least the "black hole" did try them.

Last night we finished off a perfect day with veggies in a spicy curry coconut sauce over cilantro rice.

And for dessert we used the leftover starship biscuits to make strawberry shortcake.

Mmmmm, whipped cream.

Everyone was happy yesterday.

We started digging up ground for the veggie garden yesterday.

We ate lunch outside.   We planted seeds.

We watered plants, played, walked around the lake...and Little Man got sunburned. Oops! Time to pull the sunscreen out from the back of the closet. Thank you, Lord, for sun and sunscreen!

I hope you all have a wonderful, sunny weekend!

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Walk In The Woods

Saturday we went to a local State Park and hiked for a short while. It was a lovely day. The sun was shining. The birds were singing. The sky was a brilliant blue. The melting snow sparkled as if studded with millions of diamonds.

And all around there were signs of life beginning to show.

The wild (wild is used loosely here- it is just a local state park) renews my spirit in a way nothing else does. Even just a short walk on a public trail fuels my soul and brings me closer to my Maker. Maybe because I am quieter. Maybe because I am more contemplative. Maybe because I am more thankful. Maybe because I am willing to see. Probably all of the above. The end result being that I feel somewhat rejuvenated and happy and I still believe that each day is a gift waiting to be opened.

"i thank you God for this most amazing day, for the leaping greenly spirits of trees, and for the blue dream of sky and for everything which is natural, which is infinite, which is yes. "
-e. e. cummings

Friday, April 1, 2011

The M Word

Miscarriage. There it is. Miscarriage.

I lost a baby this week. And I am so sad about it. We have been dreaming on and wanting this baby for an awfully long time now and we already loved him/her so much. My heart is still so raw and fragile from losing my sweet Jameson and it is broken all over again. Yes, this is different. No, it is not as difficult. Except it happened so very soon after J died; the scabs on my heart have been entirely ripped off and now the loss is multiplied. I can’t help but wonder how much one person can really take and still survive. How can a pulverized heart continue to beat?

Maybe that is the miracle. I keep praying for miracles. With Jameson, I hoped and prayed and begged and pleaded for the miracle until the very end and even then I still asked again. Can’t he be a Lazarus? And this time when things just didn’t feel right and I couldn’t ignore that nagging feeling that maybe, just maybe I need to call the doctor, I prayed again and hoped again. And even after the lab results and pain, I still hoped beyond hope for the miracle. But the miracle isn’t for my babies. The miracle is for me. It is nothing short of a miracle that my pulverized heart is still beating. That I am able to get out of bed each and every morning and still see an abundance of beauty, love and grace.

I am a broken woman. I am battered and bruised and my soul aches with loss and lost dreams. But I am also a saved woman. It is only through this amazing grace that saves me again and again and again that I can continue to live and love with courage and confidence.

Do not fear, for I have redeemed you; I have called you by name, you are mine. When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and through the rivers, they shall not overwhelm you; when you walk through fire you shall not be burned, and the flame shall not consume you. For I am the Lord your God, the Holy One of Israel, your Savior. -Isaiah 43:1b-3a