Giggle Giggle Toot Roar

Striving to answer the call to motherhood and wifeyhood with joy, Jesus, and crazy dancing.


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Parenting Advice from my Lawn Mower

Man alive, I had a rough week last week with my recently turned 3 year old twin boys! They went from my sweet boys to what people call “three-nagers” overnight! I was pretty desperate to find some mommy inspiration anywhere I could this week and it turns out that inspiration came while mowing the lawn.

I’ve only mowed the lawn a handful of times in my life. It isn’t that I refuse to do it, it’s just that I’ve been scarred since I was a teenager when I tried to surprise my dad by mowing the lawn and ended up giving it a professional scalp job instead! Since then I’ve mowed the lawn a few times since I’ve been married and my husband (and neighbors) lovingly laugh at me while pointing out the very neat triangle patches of grass I seem to miss every time. Oh well, I tried! It really is funny; last time I even stopped the lawn mower and walked all over the yard inspecting my work. Perfect! Then, later that night, I realized I missed a whole side! Seriously, it probably just grew really fast right?!

Anyway, here’s what I learned about motherhood while mowing the lawn…

Parenting Advice from my Lawn Mower1.
Mowing the Lawn:
The perfect straight lines are lovely, but it gets cut even if you zig-zag.
Motherhood: Quit trying to be perfect, they are growing up to be wonderful kids even with your imperfections.

2.
Mowing the Lawn: You kind of want to do it for the tan and the exercise.
Motherhood: You kind of want to do it to make sure you’ve got someone to take care of you when you’re old. (Come on, I kid.)

3.
Mowing the Lawn: You plow over the weeds and they disappear…until they come back bigger and badder. (Please just let “badder” be a word today.)
Motherhood: You can only cover up bad behaviors in yourself and your kids for so long until they turn into real problems.

4.
Mowing the Lawn: You have to stop for an occasional water break.
Motherhood: You have to stop for occasionally often coffee breaks.

5.
Mowing the Lawn: On hot days, you sweat a gallon of sweat.
Motherhood: On most days, you sweat worrying about them, even though you’re trying your best not to be a mommy-hovercraft.

6.
Mowing the Lawn: Sometimes despite your best efforts, you miss a patch of grass.
Motherhood: You try to do everything, be everything, teach them everything, give them every opportunity; you can’t do it all, but you’re doing your best.

7.
Mowing the Lawn: Sometimes you get blisters on your hands and your upper body goes numb from the lawn mower vibrations.
Motherhood: Sometimes you feel beat up and numb from exhaustion, but you’ve got to fight back against the negativity your ego is trying to feed you, because you’re a great parent!

8.
Mowing the Lawn: You just keep pushing even when you’re exhausted, because you just want to finish the entire lawn.
Motherhood: You just keep pushing even when you’re exhausted, because you have little miracles that need you!

9.
Mowing the Lawn: Sometimes you run out of gas or need to change the oil. When that happens, I call my hubby to help.
Motherhood: Sometimes you run out of gas and need to immediately schedule a massage and a date with a good girlfriend.

10.
Mowing the Lawn: There are always obstacles in your way, but it’s kind of fun to run circles around the trees.
Motherhood: There are always obstacles that pop up, but rather than stressing that things didn’t go according to your plans, choose a positive attitude and make it fun!

11.
Mowing the Lawn: You get in a groove, like you’re on auto-pilot.
Motherhood: When you get in a groove, you are quickly shaken back to reality, because the “norm” doesn’t stay the norm for long. Seriously, how can they love Goldfish one week and hate them the next?! And how can 12:30pm be the naptime sweet spot for 3 weeks, but then they don’t want to sleep until 2pm the next week?!?

12.
Mowing the Lawn: When you’re finished, you have an awesome sense of accomplishment.
Motherhood: You’re never finished, but they’re always yours and you’re so proud of them!

Have a great week! Let’s keep in touch! Please connect via Facebook or Twitter.

Natasha

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Whips, Chains, and Water Features

I had a really interesting encounter today. I swear, I am a magnet for these things.

The boys and I decided to walk around downtown and enjoy the sunshine-y morning after the gym. We made a quick stop at a coffee shop where mommy fueled up with some java and we shared a lemon-blueberry “cookie” scone (really just a scone, but I called it a cookie hoping they’d be satisfied with it instead of the real cookie they were begging for…50% of them were). Anyway, we continued on our walk to the center of the downtown, which houses a large grassy area where we could run around a bit.

Once we arrived, the first things that got the boys’ attention were the large water fountains spraying water into the air. I never really got these specific water features. Sure, they are “cute” and add something to the downtown, but are they for ascetics only or are kids supposed to play in them or are you just supposed sit down on one of the benches fixed directly around them and take in their understated glory? It’s no Bellagio show! Seriously, where are the “rules”?

Whips, Chains, Water FeaturesAnyway, the first thing that caught my attention was the twenty-something couple that entered the park and proceeded to lay down together in the center on the cement. The woman had what appeared to be a short chain-linked dog leash around her neck and the man was leading her around on it.

Enter my internal conversation: Huh, I must have just seen that wrong. right? I bet that was just a long necklace. Huh, nope, nope, he really is walking her around like a dog. That’s normal, right? Nope, nope, not normal.

The conversation in my head continued with my plan to keep the boys’ backs to the couple, because I really wasn’t in the mood to A.) explain to my toddlers why we shouldn’t walk another human being around like a dog or B.) see my toddlers inevitably walking each other around like dogs later that day.

Well, my plan worked. It worked until the couple came right over by us and the water features. One of my little boys was in the process of working up the courage to touch the top of one of the smaller water features. The other of my little boys was 10 feet away screaming at the lunacy of getting wet in the water feature.

Dog leash lady came over to us, shaved head and neck full of chrome, and asked my son, “Do you want to see something fun?”

My response while taking a few steps back was, “Like fun-fun or fun-terrifying?”

Her response: To rip off her coat (don’t worry she had a tank top on) and run back and forth through the fountains until she was completely drenched. I’m talking water-logged drenched.

One child looked on with utter delight and one watched in confused terror.

When she stopped running through the fountains, she came back over to us and while I pretended to act like this was all cool and normal, I said something to my appalled child like, “See honey, she had no fear!”

What I was saying inside was: “What the beep is going on and how do I get the beep outta here. And how does this weird stuff always happen to me?!”

Me looking at her completely drenched clothes: “Wow, I hope you don’t have to be anywhere anytime soon; your clothes are soaked!”

Her: “I just wanted to do something to cheer him up!” she said while pointing at my little guy who had been screaming. “I like to do anything to make children happy!”

Her Boyfriend: “Well, we do have that meeting with my boss in 45 minutes.”

We talked for a few more minutes and I learned that they were currently staying at the Salvation Army and that they have a four month old son in foster care that they are trying to get back. And that he works for a friend, who was “pretty cool” and probably wouldn’t mind if his girlfriend shows up to the meeting completely soaked.

I couldn’t help but ask about that dog leash though….

Me: “So, what’s with the dog leash?”

Her: “It’s an inside joke between friends, because I get lost easily. So, he has to lead me around.”

Me: “Oh, well, can I tell you what my honest first impression of it was?”

Her: “Sure!”

Me: “Well, honestly all I could think of was how it was so objectifying to women; I mean you are letting him lead you around on a leash!”

Her: With sincere surprise in her eyes like she had really never thought of that, “No, no.”

Him: “I didn’t like the idea of it at first either.”

Me: “Anyway, just thought I’d tell you my honest opinion. So…good luck with your little one and at the meeting with your boss. Thanks for trying to make my kids smile. My parking meter is almost up, so…..bye!”

And at that very moment my water loving child ran face first into the water feature and came running back to me shivering and smiling with delight.

I’m not going to lie, I judged the pants off these people and I tried to avoid them. Given everything scary that continues to happen in our world, in normal public places, in large cities and in small communities, I suppose my initial response wasn’t really that crazy.

It wasn’t until she told me that they were living at the Salvation Army that I felt something soften slightly in me and I felt my demeanor towards them change. It was that instance that I realized I was talking to Jesus’ people.

Maybe the woman who allows someone to walk her around on a leash and the man that “leads” her around are the tax collectors and prostitutes of today. Those were Jesus’ people then and these are Jesus’ people now.

I was pretty emotional actually on my drive home thinking about my interaction with these people. I felt like I not only interacted with Jesus’ people, but also with Jesus himself.

Was I kind to Jesus?

Did I care enough about Jesus?

Did I judge Jesus unfairly?

Did I cloth Him or feed Him?

Did I listen to Him?

Did I love Him?

You just never know when you’ll meet Him. Well, actually, you know exactly when you’ll meet Him…the next time you meet or interact with ANYONE. It’s just so hard to remember that sometimes.

Keep running through waterfalls,

Natasha

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50 Things I Never Want to Forget About My TWO Year Olds

People are always sharing this quote, especially when they find out you have young children: “The days move slowly, but the years fly by.” I couldn’t agree more. There are so many days that I look at the clock in shock that it is only 10am. How is that possible? We’ve eaten breakfast, read books, played outside, had a snack, watched Veggie Tales, had a bath…how is it only 10am! And how am I going to make it 3 more hours until naptime?

The “years fly by” part has never been more real to me than now as my boys are nearing the two and a half years mark. There are just so many signs now that they are growing up. Communication and language are huge parts of this as they say new words and longer sentences every day. It seems like yesterday they were pointing at their dresser drawer and today they are picking out a shirt saying, “Yellow shirt on Mommy.” It seems like yesterday they were dancing as I sang the ABC song and now they try to sing along and can identify A, B, C, G, O, and S. Wasn’t it just yesterday that I was reading them books and now today they can identify every kind of truck in their truck book (I’m talking complicated trucks like big rig, airport fire truck, giant excavator, combine harvester, concrete mixer!)?

Of course we are so proud of our kids as they learn and grow and we know it is necessary, but there is a teensy bitter sweetness that leaves us grasping for their childhood like sand through our fingertips. These days I find myself stealing as many hugs and full on (usually snotty) mouth kisses as I can. I let my lips linger a few extra seconds on their delicate foreheads as I say a quick prayer for their protection. I force myself to slow down and enjoy the gentle grasp of their tiny hands as I help them down the stairs. I know these tender moments won’t last forever, but I just don’t want to forget them!

So, I decided to write down a few things that I never want to forget about my sweet two year olds. You don’t have to read them all, but I thought it might be a nice reminder for you to write down some of your favorites!

What do you absolutely not want to forget about whatever stage your little ones are at currently?

PicsArt_141574237063950 Things I Never Want to Forget About My TWO Year Olds

1.) Riding your bikes around the driveway, your little legs pumping so fast.

2.) Roo asking mommy for help, “A-Bu-Gee Mommy” (Help me please mommy).

3.) Tigger climbing into my chair when I’m not looking and then smiling that sneaky smile when I come back to sit down.

4.) Reading books together, both of you in my lap.

5.) When you put your arms around my neck for a “hard hug” .

6.) Kisses on the mouth.

7.) Tigger’s love of all things blue, Blue Thing (stuffed animal), blue socks, blue hat, etc.

8.) Your Shrek and Frozen movie obsessions.

9.) Roo’s fixation with Legos, a green block you call your phone, and a certain pink piece of plastic.

10.) Driving tractors with trailers up and down the hallway and all around the house with Daddy.

11.) You shoving your faces into deep into the corner during timeouts.

12.) The first time you said each other’s names.

13.) Tigger’s love of all things fire truck/fire fighter related.

14.) Roo and Baxter our dog = best bugs, Roo giving Baxter hugs.

15.) Feeding Baxter, one scoop each. And the time you nearly decapitated the dog by shutting the sliding door on him prematurely.

16.) You “helping” Daddy do dishes.

17.) You “helping” Daddy stir the pancake batter every Saturday.

18.) You both finding “Jesus crosses” everywhere.

19.) When you ask for Grammie and Grandpa, especially when mommy says no to something, “Grandpa!!!”

20.) Over and over, asking for your cousins, “Abby and Hannah, Abby and Hannah,” again, usually when you are mad at mommy.

21.) Running all over the house 15 minutes before bedtime, every night.

22.) Your preference for “blue jeans”

23.) Tigger, when you wake up to a potty accident and say, “Diaper all wet”

24.) Giving you one fruit snack after one lap around the driveway, for a whole pack of fruit snacks.

25.) Enjoying our grocery shopping trips together thanks to the huge free cookies from the bakery.

26.) Your first time trick or treating as a Chicken and a Duck.

27.) Roo’s obsession with all thing garage door, “garage door up,” “garage door down,” “garage door Mommy!”

30.) When missing daddy, “More Daddy go home,” “Daddy home”

31.) Hill running at Grammie and Grandpa’s house.

32.) “Helping” fold clean laundry. Mommy gave you one sock at a time to run to daddy in another room, daddy made the pairs, you ran the pairs back to mommy.

33.) The new winter Olympic sport you created: Olympic Snow Tricycle Riding

34.) Tigger being able to name all of the trucks in the big truck book.

35.) Helping us set the table.

36.) Sprinting to the bathroom in excitement when it’s time to brush teeth.

37.) Roo helping Daddy put your tricycle together.

38.) “Daddy up” & “Mommy up”

39.) Magically appearing in a room out of thin air, “Ello Mommy” (terrifying at times!)

40.) The magic of redirection.

41.) Packing your “valuable” toys in Mommy’s gym bag, so I can protect them.

42.) You using your mattresses as trampolines every morning. Happiest way to wake up ever!

43.) Squirting each other with water from plastic toys in the bathtub.

44.) Putting your “supplies” in the back of your tricycle baskets before you ride around.

45.) Tigger trying to carry two jeeps, two fire trucks, and two Legos around everywhere and insisting on bringing them all along when we leave the house.

46.) Roo’s love of oranges, “More ooonge please”

47.) Little butts in the air sleeping style.

48.) Tigger’s need to have TWO blankets for bed.

49.) When we tried to sneak out of church early and Tigger yelled, “Bye Jesus” (Mommy did the same when I was little!).

50.) When you try to put your winter hats on yourselves and they are all crazy with your little ears sticking out every which way.

It’s the small stuff right!?

Here’s to remembering what’s important.

What do you want to remember???

Love,

Natasha


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Blue Thing, Lego Snuggles, & Protecting Your Relationship with Him

Blue Thing, Lego Snuggles, and Protecting your relationship with HimSome toddlers build a bond with snuggly things like their special blanket or favorite stuffed animal. They drag it all over the house and yard, bring it along on outings, and snuggle it close during nap time and bedtime. One of my little guys has a favorite stuffed animal named “Blue Thing.” Blue Thing was once a giraffe, but in a fit of new motherhood, I snipped off the giraffe’s horns (I left the ears) for fear my son might bite them off and choke on them. Because Blue Thing is so loved, we secretly have four of them that get rotated on a cleaning schedule. Two of them were purchased a few months further into my motherhood than the first two; they both still have their horns.

My other little guy, despite my best efforts, prefers to cuddle with hard plastic objects, usually Legos. The Lego color depends on the day, but it always has to be the one with eight bumps. He also enjoys snuggling with a small toy ambulance and one night when I went in to rock him back to sleep, he was clutching his small blue plastic drill.

The other obsession at the moment is anything that looks like a cross. They loudly and enthusiastically yell out, “Gigi cross!” (Jesus cross) anytime they see anything that remotely resembles a cross. It could be the medical cross on the side of a clinic, two popsicle sticks that happened to fall just right across each other, and even the letter T (which I thought was quite profound for two year olds; St. Francis would be smiling).

So, can you imagine how crazy it got here today when mommy started to build crosses out of…wait for it…Legos?! (Oh, I know, your skin is just tingling.)

I built my little Lego snuggler a Gigi cross out of Legos and he immediately put it safely in the basket of his tricycle. My boys just started actually using the pedals of their bikes last week and I’m amazed at how fast those tiny little legs can pump those bikes to warp speeds. We’ve had a few tumbles, many brotherly crashes, and they’ve ended up stuck in the rocks or grass more than once. They haven’t quite mastered the slowing down bit yet.

So, the Lego snuggler has his Lego Gigi cross in his bike basket. He’s zooming around, lovin’ life, and then I look up from a sip of coffee and he’s totally flattened out face first under his bike. From a far, it looks like quite a crash, so I’m expecting some scratches. I move the bike off of him, give him a hug (no blood), and he pops up and with his most concerned voice, yells, “Giiiigiiii!!!” He runs to the wreckage to find his Lego Gigi cross broken into three pieces. I quickly pop the Legos back into place, he grabs the Gigi cross, puts it back into his bike basket, and is back on his merry way.

I was of course very happy my little boy wasn’t hurt and impressed he got back up and tried again (“sometimes we fall down, but we always get back up”). As I thought about the incident more, I was struck by something else.

What if when we fall down in life, our primary, most urgent concern was Jesus and our relationship with Him? 

My soul clings fast to youWhen difficult things happen in life, we run to God, we pray, and we might even beg for His help. We struggle, we cry, at times we might even doubt His presence. Things aren’t going how we wanted them to go. We might get angry with God for not listening to us, for not answering our prayers. We have clearly clung to God, but it’s been all about us.

What if in our adversity, we instead chose to cling to God just to cling to God?

What if we screamed “Jesus!” at the top of our lungs?

What if our first concern was to protect our precious relationship with Him?

What if instead of begging and making deals, we just demanded to stay close?

When we fall down, let’s lovingly cling to Him. Let’s warmly call out to Him and make sure we do everything we can to pop back together any broken pieces of our relationship. Let’s protect our relationship in the bike basket of our hearts.

We will still travel through difficult times, but with a renewed faith and fortified relationship with God.

“My soul clings fast to you; your right hand upholds me.” Psalm 64:9 

Love,

Natasha


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Book Worm Wednesday: Carried in Our Hearts by Dr. Jane Aronson

The author, Dr. Jane Aronson is a pediatrician specializing in adoption medicine. In this book, she has woven together a beautiful and unique compilation of adoption journeys. The stories shared are mostly about international adoptions and largely from families on the East coast (some from well-known people). There are wonderful things to soak in from each family’s experience.

Book Worm Wednesday: Carried in Our Hearts
By Dr. Jane Aronson

1.) “The world is a better place because he’s in it,” said Lynne Deluca about the baby, now young man she adopted many years ago; her son has AIDS.
What a beautiful way to think about our children. The world is a better place because you are in it my sons. What would happen if we all consciously thought about our children in this way each day? What would happen if we thought of every child in this way…the ones yet to be born, the ones on the other side of the world, the ones in our backyards?

2.) “It turns out that she gives me so much more than I could ever give her,” said Kristin Davis about her daughter, who she adopted as a single parent.
When you adopt, you may frequently hear people singing your praises and telling you what a huge heart you have, because you have “saved those children and provided them with a better life.” Who knew adopting meant automatic sainthood?! Anyone that has grown their family through adoption knows the secret…that anything we give our children is nothing close to the gift they are to us. They are the little saints.

3.) “We should send up a prayer to her parents…Maybe she was just conceived,” said Picoult as he and his wife were anxiously waiting for their little one.
It was the Christmas before we received the call in July that our sons had been born. I remember lying in bed and suddenly having an overwhelming feeling that my child was alive. It turns out that feeling was right, well, almost right…my SONS (as in twins) were alive and cozy in their birth mother’s belly. Without your child’s birth parents, you wouldn’t have your child. Why not pray for the people that gave your gift life.

4.) “Surrender, Shonda. Just…surrender. One birth mother I knew and one I didn’t. One was middle class, one was poor. One was in her thirties and one was barely in her twenties. But the situations were, oddly, exactly the same. There were babies growing in bellies and it didn’t have a thing to do with me. They weren’t my babies yet. I loved them and I loved their birth mothers and I decorated nurseries and bought baby clothes and came up with names, and all the while, running through my mind in a continuous loop, was the reminder that anything could happen. That I needed to surrender to the process.” 
Shonda Rhimes had it right when she said the above; you really have little control over the adoption process; trying to control it will drive you crazy and make the wait worse. Have no fear fellow Type A’s, you at least have control over all of the paperwork. You determine how fast or slow you complete and submit it, you can make copies and organize it in a pretty binder, you can even slap priority mail stickers on it and track the paperwork’s trip back to your agency. But after that you wait. You surrender, knowing you’ve done your part of the process for now.

Carried in our Hearts 5.) “She arrived without tears but also without a smile. I found myself waiting yet again. And the minutes became hours and the hours became days. No smile. I remember on day three when I was even funnier than usual, she looked up at me for less than a second started to smile, then quickly looked away with that almost but not quite smile following her gaze, then fading away. She wanted to smile but intentionally held back. In that moment, I understood that she had to make sure that this was for real. She had to be cautious and that caution was probably one of the early instincts she learned to survive,” said Elini Coffinas of the little girl they adopted from China.
Sometimes it’s “love at first site” and sometimes it takes longer. Patience parents. Our little ones have been through a lot. Babies miss the mommy they had for nine months and they may have met many new caretakers since their birth. Older children may have seen their mommy die or know she choose something else over them or know she desperately wanted to keep them but couldn’t; they may have lived in dozens of homes and met dozens of parent figures all prior to meeting you. Trust may take time. Patience.

6.) “What we have learned about adoption thus far is that a child on the other side of the world whom you may have yet to meet, who doesn’t look like you, and who may not even speak your language, can bless and inform your life in immeasurable ways.  -Meredith Kendall Valdez
So. True.

7.) “…each of these children is real and individual, not part of a critical mass too sizable to serve and protect.  Each has a little face that smiles and cries, little hands that grasp and pray, and a little heart that feels and needs.” -Meredith Kendall Valdez
Heart-wrenchingly powerful.

8.) Paperwork
The mountains of paperwork to complete during the adoption process was a common theme in the adoption journeys in the book and I’m sure in your own adoption journey. You might be so excited to fill out all of the paperwork immediately! You might procrastinate and burry it with dread at the bottom of your to do pile. You might start and then get overwhelmed. You might have to redo certain pieces, because your agency lost it (make copies!). Know that you are not alone! If you adopt, you do paperwork. It’s part of the journey. Not the most fun part, but part. Remember, the longer you take to finish your paperwork, the longer it will take to actually officially start the wait.

9.) ‘When the time is right and the children are ready, it will all fall into place and not before,’ an adoption agency worker told June Inderwies during her wait.
Your baby is your baby! It will all make sense once she is finally in your arms.

10.) “The Children Left Behind” is the title of the final chapter of Aronson’s book.
For all of the children lovingly adopted, how many more are left alone? The title of the final chapter, really saddened my heart. There are so many children waiting. Just waiting because they are a little too old, have a disability or illness, have psychological issues from all they’ve been through, or just because there are so many. For those sweet children I pray.

 

Thanks for reading and I hope you’ve enjoyed my favorite ten tidbits from this book!

Love, Natasha


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“My People”: Who’s Around Your Campfire?

We took the twins (2 year old boys) camping last weekend; this was their third time. We went swimming in the pool, splashed in the lake, bonded with Grammie and Grandpa, and ate mysterious and magnificent foods that they don’t usually get the pleasure of eating.

Despite the occasional glass shattering, nails on the chalkboard, I think my eardrums are bleeding SCREAMING; the boys are becoming quite the little camping pros.  There was that one morning they woke up at 6:20am (an hour and half before quiet hours were over); my husband and I brought them over to our pop-out bed and were excited for a family cuddle session.  HA!

The cuddling lasted barely a minute and we then started a desperate and grueling 15 minutes of trying to keep them quiet…”Look here’s a ball. Want some Cherrios? Can you find something red? Pet the puppy.  Share with your brother.  Let’s change your diaper.  Want to wear this shirt?  Should we make some toast?  Excited to see Grammie and Grandpa?  Here’s your car.  Want a banana?”

All of that got us maybe 15 minutes.  So, daddy took them for a walk around the sleeping and very quiet campground.  I ran to the bathroom and started the coffee.  A few minutes later, as clear as if he were right next to my ear, but knowing he was rows and rows away from our campsite, I hear that award-winning SCREECH.  Wow, GOOD MORNING CAMPERS!  I know dear one, it is so difficult to take turns walking the puppy.  Ah, two year olds.

All in all though, we had a blast on our camp-tastic weekend!

campfireI love the hustle and bustle of the campground and walking around people watching.  However, my absolute FAVORITE time is when the campground is sleeping.  This happens twice in a day.  One, when you run to the restroom very late at night and two, in the very early morning before everyone is awake.

If you walk around the campground during those peaceful times, you’ll find campsites still fully assembled, but quietly abandoned.  Campers leave everything out in the open when they go to bed…bikes neatly lined up next to the camper, a small fortune of grilling and cooking utensils on the picnic table, and chairs circled around the campfire pit.

There were dozens of campsites, each one with a set of unique chairs huddled around the silent fire pit.  The visual really hit me and I couldn’t help but think of how the chairs around the campfire represent “my people.” 

Everyone’s set of “people” is unique.  “Your people” are the ones you want gathered around your campfire.

  • They are the people who have your back as you sneak through the woods in search of kindling and that perfect marshmallow roasting stick.
  • They are the people you’d want to share a blanket with when the night gets chilly.  
  • They are the people you’d want to laugh with under the stars.  
  • They are the people you’d want to enjoy silent moments with as you all stare into the orangey blue flames.  
  • They are the people you’d pick for your s’mores assembly line team.
  • They are the people you’d want to spend hours reminiscing with as the fire crackles between each memory.

“My people” are precious.  “Your people” are precious.

Yet, how often do we find ourselves being
a little nicer to people that do not know us
than to those who know us best?

 

We do not need to cross oceans or even streets to find people to care for.  We each have people, “our people” that need us.  “My people” include my hubby, my boys, my parents, siblings and their families, my two grandmas and one grandma who we have adopted, and close friends.  “Your people” may be similar or different.  You may have more people or fewer.

Who are your people? 

 

  • It is admirable to make donations to charitable organizations, but don’t forget the pregnant friend that could use a delivered meal.
  • Please do offer smiles and hold doors for perfect strangers, but don’t forget gentleness and thoughtfulness in your words when speaking to your spouse.
  • By all means, volunteer your time and attend those committee meetings, but don’t forget to drop all the nonsense to hug or tickle-fest your little one.
  • Pour yourself into your work if you must, but don’t forget to visit those grandmas and plan those family get-togethers.


The people you’d want huddled around your campfire; those are your people!

 

Please join me in taking better care of “OUR people” FIRST.

Love,

Natasha


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The Adoption Call: One Call and I Was a Mommy

phone mommyI wanted to share the special story of receiving our adoption call for a few reasons, 1.) I just love to tell the story!, 2.) to share a wish that it brings hope to forever families waiting for their little ones, and 3.) to send a prayer to couples struggling with infertility and a gentle reminder that adoption is a beautiful option.

So, here is the story…
The story of how one call made us parents in an instant!

It was a normal day.  I was doing some last minute shopping, picking up candy and door prizes for my sister’s baby shower that my mother and I were hosting the following day.  My baby sister was pregnant, extremely pregnant…with twin boys.

I almost didn’t pick up the phone as I was in a hurry, but I saw the area code was from Alabama, the state of our adoption agency.  Generally, you don’t receive a call from your adoption agency unless something is up.  So, my heart was fluttering hard when I picked up the call.

It was Susan from our agency.  She asked what I was up to and I told her I was shopping.  Then she said she was calling about the list of “things to bring when you get the call,” I had asked for.  I was kind of annoyed!  I thought, “seriously, that’s why you are calling me, I asked for that weeks ago?!”

She asked if I had a few minutes to talk and I told her maybe tomorrow.  Then she said the words that I had waited for, the words that changed my life, and the words that instantly made me a mother.

She said, “Well, I better catch you now then….I have your baby boys and they are waiting for you to pick them up.”

Me: “What? What! WHAT?!”

Susan: “I have your boys, they are twins and healthy little miracles.”

Me: Sobs, cries, uncontrollable joyful tearful babble that she couldn’t understand.

Then I sat down on the bottom shelf in the middle of the candy aisle in Shopko. I grabbed a pen and scrap of paper from my purse and frantically wrote down everything Susan was telling me about my sons.  MY SONS!

I was in happy shock, shaking, crying, smiling!  Sweet ladies kept driving by me with their shopping carts, slowing to give the crazy person (me) a sympathetic, slightly worried smile.

Susan and I wrapped up our conversation and I asked her, “What do I do now?!”  She said, “Well, you’re going to want to call your husband!”

I left that store like Santa spreading Christmas cheer through a village, “I’m a mom!  I just got the call from adoption agency!”

My husband!  My husband was on his way out of town for a weekend of camping to celebrate a buddy’s bachelor party (he was the best man).  He was driving when I called him.  Here’s how I remember the conversation:

Me: Can you pull over?

Him: No, I’m on the highway.

Me: Okay, I’ll have to tell you then.  You’re a dadblabladaddyblah (insert uncontrollable sobs).

Him: What?  What’s wrong?

Me: You’re a dablahsobsobsobdaddy

Him: What?  What?  Okay, I’m pulled over.  What’s wrong?

Me: You’re a father….

Him: No way, no way!

Me: ….to twin boys!

Him: NO WAY! No way, no way!

And just like that we were parents.  I made plans to attend the baby shower the next day and he spent a sleepless night camping.  I was up packing and dipping marshmallows on sticks in chocolate and sprinkles for the shower until midnight.  That night I dreamt of finally holding my sons in my arms and exactly two days later….it happened.

My sister had her healthy twin boys about a month later.

Two sisters.  Two mothers.

Two sets of twin boys.  4 cousins born a month a part.

One mother lovingly carried them inside of her for 9 months.

One mother lovingly carried them in her heart for 5 years.

4 boys so loved.  2 mothers so blessed.

And that my friends, is “God stuff!”

Love,

Natasha