Wednesday, January 22, 2014

A poignant anniversary

Many people in our culture would say my kids were never meant to exist.

Each of my kids was conceived in less-than-ideal circumstances. Strike one. Each was a fourth child. Strike two.

Each birthmother was advised by at least one person in her life to take the "easy" way out. Strike three.

And yet, they are both here. Praise God!

There are two women out there who made a very difficult decision to give life to these kids and then let them go. Each woman loves the child who shares her DNA and, in an ideal world, would have chosen to parent that child. The absence of that child from her daily life causes her to suffer.

Both women have said, unprompted and in her own words, that her suffering would be immeasurably greater if her child did not exist.

One day, we will take our kids to the March for Life. In the meantime, we will pray for all of those women who face the same tough decision that my kids' birthmothers faced. It cannot be easy to give birth in spite of all of the forces fighting against that decision in our culture.

We are praying today for all women in crisis, for post-abortive women, and for those children who never saw the light of day.


Jan 22, 1973-Jan 22, 2014

Thursday, January 16, 2014

Some things about me

 I'm participating in the CDP exchange. As a participant, I am supposed to answer some questions to help my CDP match get to know me better. I already answered the standard questions in an email to the organizer of these lovely exchanges, but I wanted to add a few. These are random, and probably not all that helpful in retrospect. Alas.

1. What is your middle name?: Elizabeth, which is funny because my first name is a derivation of my middle name. So I got the same name twice. Funny story. I was a first child, and my Mom's doctor kept telling her I was a boy. (No ultrasound evidence or anything, just a hunch.) So my parents had only chosen boy names. When I was born (and obviously NOT a boy), they had to think fast and came up with their favorite popular (at the time) name and added Mom's middle name to it. No one thought of the connection until later.
2. What is your favorite drink?: I drink mostly water, but coffee or tea rank a close second because when I am drinking a hot beverage, I always feel like I am pampering myself. Especially when I can drink the whole thing before it gets cold. (This never happens.)
3. What is your favorite food?: I like things flavored lightly with garlic. So, Italian ranks up there. But I don't like pasta. Mostly Italian-flavored veggie dishes and pizza with a garlic-sauce base (no marinara).
4. Favorite Holiday?: I am not sure I can pick a favorite. I like to have things to anticipate, so all holidays rank up there. I also like liturgical seasons, like Advent and Lent, because of the anticipation. I probably like Lent best, though, because the anticipation ends in a joyous holiday but also leads progressively to nicer weather. I am not a fan of winter. Lent gets me through.
5. Have you ever been out of the country?: In college, I spent a semester at Harlaxton. During that time I visited various places in England, Wales, Scotland and Ireland. I also got to go to Italy. Rome, Florence, Venice. Florence was my favorite. I have been to Canada a couple of times and Mexico once, but only to Cozumel, so I don't know if that counts.
6. How many siblings do you have?: Three brothers, one sister, all younger.
7. When was the last time you cried?: Ugh. Last weekend when I dropped Joe off at the airport for a week-long business trip to far-far-away. I had to immediately find gasoline (8 miles left on the tank) and got off at a sketchy intersection and couldn't figure out my maps app on my phone. The kids were in the car. I was facing a week of single parenting, alone with kids in an unfamiliar part of a city without any gasoline. It was just too overwhelming. (As it turned out, I was less than a quarter mile from a station.)
8. Favorite Movie?: Currently, Frozen. I am not usually a fan of Disney animated films. This one had a great message about sacrificial love and left enough details to the imagination to make it fun and interesting for adults. Great music too.
9. Favorite TV show?: The Big Bang Theory. Also falls under "guilty pleasure". Themes are not really family-friendly, but the writers are comedic geniuses.
10. What are you currently reading?: The Secret Garden. It was a free Kindle download and I had never read it. I'm all about free. And classics. And also free.
11. If you could spend a day with any living person, who would it be?: Pope Francis, hands down. Actually, I would ask him if I could bring my kids over to play with him awhile because I think he would totally do that! And how awesome would that be?
12. About which topics can you speak passionately? Natural Family Planning, adoption, God's providence, unexpected blessings, infertility, marriage

Friday, January 10, 2014

Excruciatingly late birthday party photos

I was scrolling down through the last few posts and realized that *GASP* I didn't follow-up on Olivia's pre-birthday post way back in NOVEMBER to post photos from her birthday party. The party was pretty low-key this year, so maybe that was why. Or maybe it's general neglect of this blog. Probably that. Anyway, here they are.
Birthday cake, gap-toothed 6-year-old

Playing in her birthday tent from Grammy and Grampy.
All of the rest of the photos have other kids in them who do not belong to me and in keeping with my policy not to post pictures of kids who are not mine, that's all you get.

Oh, and this one, taken a couple of weekends later on a family day out.
Silly kids

Wednesday, January 8, 2014

Well, hello there, 2014! You kind of snuck up on us.

  • Whoa. December was busy. And there were snow days and sick days (the whole week of Christmas, ack) and it was just a blur. Is anyone else ready to fast-forward to spring?
  • Aside from the many days playing nursemaid to Olivia during/after her stomach bug, Christmas was good. We visited with people and wore out the kids. We have a bunch of tiny rubber bands all over the house (thank you rainbow loom). The tree is stashed back in the attic and the nativity set is still out. Pretty run-of-the-mill, as Christmas holidays go.
  • Snow. I am over it. I am really REALLY over the cold. Snow days are not my forte. However, we did accomplish this on our second snow day in 2014 (yesterday).
    That is Olivia's 100th day project for school, creatively displaying 100 pennies as shingles on this church roof. We are pretty proud of it and hope to someday actually reach the 100th day so we can display it at school. (Dang snow days.)
  • Olivia is back in school today. After four consecutive days at home and four consecutive great nights of sleep, she had an absolutely horrendous night last night, leaving us with a tired kid and two tired parents. I hope she is behaving well at school today despite her lack of proper sleep, but honestly I'm just glad that she is there and not here for a few hours. So many days at home together when we are housebound are hard, hard, hard. 
  • Martin just had pineapple and milk for lunch. It is getting harder and harder to get him to eat anything but fruit and cookies. He is very opinionated about what makes good food (must be sweet). 
  • Random cute kid photos, just to remind me/you of how much I/we love these little trouble makers...even when we are housebound.
    Feverish and hair straightened over Christmas break

    Just as happy as can be, also over Christmas break