Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Just Nuthin

Oh man. You know how you want to write, and you know if you think about it really hard then an idea will come, but then nothing comes, and so you think, well, if I just go about and do my thing, the ideas will come like lightening bolts into my brains, but they don't.  Days pass and the ideas just don't come?

I mean sometimes ideas do just **magically* come.  But maybe it is just so much about what comes out when you are there working on it.

So saying that up there, ⬆︎ makes me think of this other thing. I was talking to a friend who was telling me about this Puritan doctrine called the "Prepared Heart."And Honestly I was trying so hard to look like I was listening to what she was saying, that I pretty much missed what she was saying, BUT I really love the words having a "prepared heart," and that has stuck with me.

(ps I do know that it is scripture- I am not that far gone :))

So that ☝︎☝︎☝︎☝︎ brings me to this other thing which was an article I was reading in Mom's hooky Mother Earth mag (which I secretly love) about Mindfulness.  I enjoyed the read right up until the point that it started talking about yoga and shwarma. And then apparently I was done in the bathroom.

⇧ That right there sort of got me to listen to a book by a journalist about mindfulness. The book was mostly terrible, and the guy who wrote seems like a class A jerk, no offense, but it did teach me that if a guy, who seemed like the most obnoxious egocentric guy you ever didn't know because he thought he was so much better than you, could try meditation and get some insight and benefit from it, than maybe I could too.

Medicinal Meditation Mediation.

All these thoughts ↖︎↑⤴︎ have been brewing and I have been realizing just how focused I have always been on producing. All my quiet thoughts have been focused on needs or wants. I have what could be described as anxiety. It is like there is a Giant BAll of YARN and I have to KEEP KNITTING AND KNITTING AND KNITTING AND KNITTING...

I also know this is true because I have a giant ball of yarn and cannot stop knitting it.

Repetitive Productive tasks sooth me because I feel that they can control the unknown that is going to happen to me and by extention my kids. By far my main objection to meditation is "who has the time for that anyway", which stresses me out.

BUT what if I can just accept that I can't control any of it? What if taking time to just sit with my eyes closed and not think about anything but my toe knuckles is the answer? Maybe all the churning anxiety is a weird product of itself that can dissipate if I just let go of the balloon.
Is that the answer to being in the moment? 

I have a great life, but what is the point of that if I am not appreciating it every second, or at least sometimes.

ah geez. i don't know anything from a hill of beans. isn't it funny how these thoughts come and sit and stew and try to be friends.

Thursday, October 30, 2014

Data Collection

In an effort to understand what motivates Maddie and to know if we are making progress in certain goals we (her therapists and me) "track data" constantly. How did she sleep, eat, poop? What percentage of times does she look at me when I say her name? How often does she look for my attention? What happened just before this tantrum that might have caused it? Etc. The data, oh the data. It is interesting, though, the conclusions that you derive from the data vs. what my perspective is on the situation. Through this data collection we have come to understand all kinds of patterns that I would never have noticed on my own. It has also made me doubt my own perceptions, but kind of in a good way. It's easy to become such a tyrant as a parent, assuming you understand what life is like from their perspective, that you know who they are (or who they should be) and that you know the best way to handle any situation. And I think a lot of the time we do have the right instincts but I think having a gentle dose of wariness is healthy--and not being offended if your child is fundamentally different than you are--is even more so.

Through this data collection I've learned that Maddie is not nearly as prone to constipation as I thought (she's actually quite regular FYI :), she loves circular shaped things, she eats when she's bored (don't we all) and that though her tantrums may begin because of frustration--once she starts hitting herself it is primarily to get attention. There's plenty more to add to the list, but I just think it's so interesting what is revealed beyond our own fuzzy observations. I knew she hit herself out of frustration--but I didn't see that there was another reason. I knew she loved slinky's and bracelets and coins--but I didn't put together the circular part. I thought she had a mammoth appetite-- and while she can still pound some serious food, there are plenty of times she comes around the kitchen because she's under-stimulated. Maybe it's just me--because although I consider myself smart, I can also be a total airhead (like how Teddy gets great reading comprehension scores if he remembers to take the tests)

As part of Maddie's therapy, they are actually doing some training with me. Phase 1 is tracking me making "attending" statements to Maddie for 5 minutes. Attending statements are just observations--not requests or demands or suggestions. It's just me sitting in the background of her play making comments like "you put the horse in the barn," "you are holding a brown horse." You would NOT want to say "put the horse over here," or "what does the horsey say?". I'm just a narrator. I am not supposed to interfere, guide or play with her unless she invites me. This is surprisingly hard to do. And this is kind of what I'm talking about with the parenting thing--you do a lot of teaching by suggesting, guiding, and requesting your children to do things...so much so, that it's surprisingly hard to just be with them no strings attached.

I know I mentioned this book I've been reading called The Child Whisperer. It's has some pretty interesting insights, I'm not sure if I buy all of her energy flow stuff, and I think she could have condensed the book somewhat--but anyway. She categorizes children (and all people) into different types. I heard about this book from a girl who posted on Instagram that she never thought she would understand her daughter and that this book had changed their relationship. I bought the book with Elsie specifically in mind. And I have to say it's been very eye-opening. Her theory is that every time you fight against your child's true you actually increase the tendency for the very problem you want to avoid. This book has helped me see ways that she and I are different and even ways we are the same. And for the areas where we are different--she's helped me see the value in those attributes that Elsie has that I quite frankly just didn't get! And now that I have this different perspective I see things in Elise that I didn't before, how much she wants others to be happy and how fun-loving she is. W

It's just weird to have things made plain before you that you feel like you should have seen--kind of a 6th sense 'I see dead people' sort of feeling. I'll have you know I also have an app on my phone that tracks my sleeping patterns and I've learned that I sleep SOOO much better if I wear socks (yes, grandpa thi-thi) and if I go to sleep between 9 and 10. Its not just the amount of time, the quality of my sleep is better too, regardless of when I wake up. Weird, huh? It's weirdly empowering though to analyze this data and these personality types. At the same time that these studies emphasize how much I'm not able to just organically understand the world and/or the people around me and/or my own daughters--deep down I already knew that. I feel like existing without that pretense and putting forth some effort is ironically very freeing. It doesn't seem like it should be, but it is. Like living on a budget, or exercising, or getting up early--it's not that I really enjoy it--but actually doing it--you have to admit everything goes better and feels better when you do.

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Within the last week...

Well honestly the very thought of writing anything makes me tired! I'm so bored even thinking about writing anything about myself! 

I'm obsessed with the weather right now. The trees are rocking my world. Sweatshirts, boots, leggings and cool weather! "Amaze"! (As Katie jo would say) I am going to bore you with some pictures from my favorite spot lately. It just happens to be the kids fav too. I feel like I am discovering Utah for the first time. Everything is so beautiful and breathtaking! Like the clouds and the colors of the mountains it's just hypnotizing. 

Macy was complaining about her tooth hurting so we took her in for a check up... Her first dentist appointment ever and she is four years old. Mother of the year!! A few hours later she was in surgery getting four baby root canals and a cavity fixed! I was prepared to take a doped up sleeping Macy home, like all the other kids that checked out during our wait. Instead I got Macy on freakin' roids or something. She was all hulked out! Screaming so freaking loud, irate, kicking, hitting and yes I was thoroughly traumatized! Talk about Anger! She was crazy! You know it's bad when the dentist says "Ahhh, this can be normal?" Really? The whole way home people were staring at us. It was really fun.

So besides forcing gross medicine on my kids, surgery on Macy's mouth, potty training, Avery's diaper rash, the nurse accidentally giving Avery the wrong immunization, temper tantrums, my freaking UTI that won't go away, trying to finish getting moved in, Avery's pink eye, and trying to catch a flying squirrel in the house this morning, not a whole lot is going on… Things are great and super easy. In all seriousness though things are good. They really are I am just trying to justify not posting for a while.

The other day we went to Jakers pumpkin patch. It was really fun! We have the best family ever!

Oh…. and yes I do want your sandals, I was going to say shoes but I wanted to specify that I do not want your jacked up boots. Just the sandals :)

Tuesday, October 7, 2014

and ACTION! bonus blog + boot DIY

Just to example how much I get what you are saying, Heidi (see previous post):

I have a great many things to do right now. Things that you might say are weighing on me. Have been for the last few days.  Alex was out of town, I  had a 2 day long migraine are two things that have been in my way, but really... today I haven't had much excuse.

Evan is sick downstairs and wanted some chicken noodle soup and scones earlier, just to add one more to the load of nobler acts that I could have/should have been doing. House is a pit, we have no food in our house, I have work I really need to do, plus various social things that I have been avoiding.

Sometimes I like to chop things with scissors, which sounds creepier than it is.

 don't do it

um i think i just ruined a really nice pair of boots.

also I think I just did this blog entry as a way to procrastinate further. And feel good about it.
Heidi, you nailed it.

Katie, before I destroy any other shoes :) do you maybe want those sandals you tried on earlier this summer? Do you remember?

Monday, October 6, 2014

Simplicity and Action

I recently received a text from a friend that explained why she hadn't returned my phone call...she'd had a pretty dramatic run of bad luck. It was a pretty emotional text and my reaction was heartfelt--so much so that simply responding by text didn't seem enough...no, no. This woman needed a phone call, no..no..cookies! She needed cookies...after thinking about it a minute it seemed like dinner AND cookies would be even better. Something delicious and brilliant, delivered in a super cute basket too..yep, that would be the best way to respond. Along with a beautifully written, well thought out card. And some flowers.
In short, she got no response from me-no text, no call, no meal..no nothing. Having myself been the beneficiary of many acts of kindness, I have wondered how and why this happens to me. It happens in many different forms...constantly. This cunning form of procrastination has infiltrated my life and my personality. It tricks me because as I add more and more scaffolding to the idea--it gives me the illusion that I'm accomplishing something...when in reality I'm just setting myself up for less and less opportunities to accomplish anything. The cycle seems to occur as follows: I am presented with a need or call to action, I respond by way over complicating it or assuming this task will be 100 times easier to accomplish at another time... And then..big fat nothing. You could even argue I entertain this exact cycle with this blog! I remember I need to do it but decide that tomorrow I will be much more creative. When in reality these finished products that I either desire to do or at least complete don't fall like manna from heaven--and the ideas don't get substantially better by procrastinating--they simply just need to be done.
Netflix will always be there tomorrow, and will be much more enjoyable without the wet blanket of self-loathing.
I'm a little tired tonight. I love you guys.

Friday, September 26, 2014


Today I woke up with the thought, "Today I am going to be a good person."

I think you might already see where this is going. 

I muscled past kids not getting out of bed and bickering with each other, with the perfect if not very sincere note of "now now children do not fight, look at the beautiful day la la." I navigated a mine field of spilt milk and people being late and running out of milk and bread. I noticed how Alex had done the dishes. I stepped outside and the garbage, which we had been gathering the night before had not been put out, so it had not been collected. So I flipped out.

It wasn't anybodies fault really. I just didn't know what to do. Alex suggested that I take it to a neighborhood that hadn't had the garbage picked up and then I really lost it. So he ended up taking the kids to school and putting out the garbage in a different neighborhood.

I was going to be a good person today. It just hasn't really gone according to my plan so far.

I have been nasty sick this week, so I have less than my usual reserves of grace, confidence and human kindness. The mornings have been rough. The crappy thing is though, that I have been trying. What people never see is that when you are trying the hardest to just be a decent person it sometimes looks the very worst on the outside. It is easy to be nice when everything is fine.

I don't do well with a change of plan. I can't actually do that. It is not in my programming. Like taking garbage to another neighborhood is just full of all these unknowns. Where? People might see me, or think I am some kid of crazy loser who can't figure out the way the rules are supposed to work. It is actually hard to explain what is so scary about this, it just IS.

People make such a freaking big deal of "thinking outside the box." What is so wrong with thinking inside the box? It is quite cozy and I am very good at that.

I almost always have a perfect image in my mind of a situation. For example:

A mother making muffins for her children, perfectly dressed, with sunlight streaming in on a clean and well-designed dining room.

I will send my mother a get-well package for her post-surgery, full of hand written letters and licorice nibs and thoughtful pressies all wrapped in cute tissues and papers.

A house that is 100% clean, not one hair out of place, complete with cute pillows and colorful wood- not-plastic toys that are perfectly arranged on a shelf in a an aesthetically pleasing way.

These images might just be a way to torture myself, because they are never the reality. I compare myself to them all the time. Once I imagine the way things should be in any situation, I feel like it really has to be that way. NO deviation!

The only devaition is putting stricter more unattainable demands on it. In fact if I come close to attaining a goal, I will sometimes throw on a "go the extra mile," just to make sure the perfect vision stays well out of reach and can stay feeling inadequate. Shooting myself in the foot.

So here it is. The question I am aiming at: What is perfection?

Ok, right, it is something that exists without fault. And I think it is safe to say that in one way or another, we all want it. Some people are straight up in their pursuit. Some try to drown it or their failure at it with different addictions.  Even if you are judgmental of other's pursuit of perfection, you are still at heart striving for it by setting yourself apart and saying "I am more perfect because I am not trying to be perfect".

All those images that I have in my head, those perfect images, are not moving. They are frozen. Like golden statues. I think I personally equate perfection with control, like having control of people and situations. They are one moment in time that I can decorate and add on to and speak all the voices like Barbies in a DREAM HOUSE.

Here is the flip side:

You know that I love a museum. And museum's are full of these so-called frozen moments. But, when I am standing in front of a painting or a statue, it is the imperfections that make it interesting. It is the curious "why did they do that?" or "why use that color? or put that brush stroke in?" It is the flaws that speak and tell stories. Perfection says nothing, because it is boring. It is the messy and the broken that I go to see.

Crap is going to happen that I can't control. I am going to have to clean it up. And keep on trucking.

 That is what I have to bring to the table today.  No hot muffins- I can't eat wheat anyway. Just my little slice of heavenly angst.

Saturday, September 20, 2014

Change is good

I remember mom telling me that before they left on their mission about seven years ago or so. I was struggling so much with change in my life at that time that I actually put the phrase in vinyl lettering and sealed it to my wall. Obviously, a lot of time has past since then. The phrase still pops up in my head from time to time. It helps me feel strong, brave, that I can look straight ahead and deal with the change.
Recently it feels like a lot of change has happened. We downsized, we moved in with my parents, Macy started preschool on a whim, Troy's going to finish up school, implementing a budget and the hardest of all, we gave up our beloved Sadie Dog. It was one of the hardest decisions we have ever made. It still feels like I got punched in the gut whenever I think about it. The kids talk about her daily. We made the right decision I know, but it doesn't mean it's not hard. "Change is good" I have to keep telling myself. It might not be good right away but it will work out for the best. I have flashbacks of her as a puppy. Sleeping with me in my bed. Teaching her tricks which never really worked. In her mind "Shake" meant try to hit you owner in the face by really exaggerating lifting your arm and then jab... Oh and it helps if you have dagger claws. The worst and best is thinking about having my miscarriages. She would lay on my feet in the bathroom as I sat on the toily and sobbed and sobbed. The pain was emotional and physical. She knew I was sad and she took care of me, loved me. Laying her head on my knee. She was my baby before I could have babies. Sadie is a good girl and now she gets to bless another family with her quirkiness. Thank you Heavenly Father for letting us have the perfect dog for our family.
Please watch over her and help her to be loved and happy. 
Now onto the never ending saga of motherhood. This week I feel like we hit a new high and an all new low. It's just amazing to me how much the emotions can range within a day! I feel like things are great like the kids are doing great we're all happy I couldn't ask for anything better. Macy is thriving in school! She loves it and looks forward to seeing everyone and learning. It's  just awesome!  I have so much fun with Avery. Having one on one time is really amazing! We do nails, work on projects and run errands. To contrast those great feelings, within a split second the kids are yelling, biting, chasing, hitting and just total chaos. I think "what in the hell am I doing?" "Why am I a mom?" "My kids deserve someone so much better than me someone whose more patient or more soft-spoken." I feel guilty for feeling that way because I know I shouldn't but I hate feeling like a failure whenever I am in a "mood". I know I can be hard on myself, I guess we all are. 
I've been really trying to figure out where these feelings are coming from.  I have decided that it's the contrast from trying so hard and so long to have kids and not being able to. To my life now with two little girls that are so lively and full of energy and the change is just drastic! I can't even count how many times I prayed to heavenly father that I would be or try to be the best mom that I could every day. Most the time I feel like that's true. I remember promising heavenly father that I would never be mad never be frustrated with my kids. Realistically that's not going to happen. I can't beat myself up about it. "Each day is new with no mistakes in it." (Anne of Green Gables keepin' it real)

President Hinckley says it perfectly here... "To the woman of the church, Many of you think you are failures. You feel you cannot do well, that with all of your effort it is not sufficient.

We all feel that way. I feel that way as I speak to you tonight. I long for, I pray for the power and the capacity to lift you, to inspire you, to thank you, to praise you, and to bring a measure of gladness into your hearts.

We all worry about our performance. We all wish we could do better. But unfortunately we do not realize, we do not often see the results that come of what we do. 

To you young women with small children, yours is a tremendous challenge. So often there is not enough money. You must scrimp and save. You must be wise and careful in your expenditures. You must be strong and bold and brave and march forward with gladness in your eye and love in your heart. How blessed you are, my dear young mothers. You have children who will be yours forever. I hope that you have been sealed in the house of the Lord and that your family will be an everlasting family in the kingdom of our Father.

Now, my dear sisters, that is the way with you. You are doing the best you can, and that best results in good to yourself and to others. Do not nag yourself with a sense of failure. Get on your knees and ask for the blessings of the Lord; then stand on your feet and do what you are asked to do. Then leave the matter in the hands of the Lord. You will discover that you have accomplished something beyond price."

So anyway life is good. It sup and down and all over the place but it's good. I'm doing what I feel like I should be doing. It's a good life.

Sent from my iPhone

Monday, September 15, 2014

Meal planning, dead bunnies, and the longest, most boring story you've ever heard

So there is this part in Bridget Jones' Diary where she is making dinner for company and as she's working away she starts to have 'a sneaking suspicion she's somewhat of a genius in the kitchen"--so she's feeling good, basically. This is about 20 minutes before her soup turns blue. Since school has started I have turned into some sort of machine--cranking out lists, budget plans, schedules. It feels really good, especially surrounded by the crisp new school supplies...but I'm thinking maybe check back with me in 2 weeks when I'm sitting on the kitchen floor in a pile of spilled Mac n cheese with a wad of gum in my hair.  I'm feeling super optimistic about the future, can't you tell? I have to say meal planning has always seemed so cumbersome and more often than not a total waste of time and money...I've always hated it until I realized meal planning has everything to do with your schedule, the food is almost beside then point. Anyway it feels good to be finally be figuring this crap out.

We have had a pretty regular babysitter over the last few years, her name is Brianna. The kids adore her and anyway she broke up with her boyfriend about a month ago. As a result of this breakup she was given back her pet bunny, he just dropped it off on her porch one day. She told me about it one night after she watched her kids.."I guess I'm going to take it to a shelter because my dad says 'NO MORE PETS." "Oh.." I said. Take a wild guess what I said next. So 3 days later Nugget came to live with us. 41 hours later he was dead. So...bunnies apparently are like super super sensitive to heat and we essentially cooked him to death in our backyard. It was horrifying, in case you are wondering, to say "come on Maddie! Let's go see the bunny!!..." Only to find Nugget sprawled out--dead as a doornail. I was just trying to buy some time for her grilled cheese sandwich to cool down. Anyhow, we have bunny blood on our hands and I could NOT explain another death to our kids so now my secret has become yours. For your information, Nugget had a brother and sister who were adopted by a farmer who just so happens to live by the Sequoia National Forest. When this farmer found out that Nugget was looking for a new home he got in touch with us, and we just couldn't say no. I've always found that a lot of details can make-up a weak lie stronger. The good news is, though, and I suppose "good" is a relative and context-sensitive term here, that we did get another bunny who was originally named "Angel" by Elsie who was then promptly overruled by Teddy and renamed "Mystery".  The don't know it, of course, but they are both correct.

My kids are changing so quickly it's crazy. Overnight Teddy, who is still handsome and charming and wonderful, has reached the stage where he tells and re-tells the most overly-detailed, long and horrifically boring stories you have ever heard in your whole dang life. He repeats punch-lines like 15 times at least. He's that kid, can you believe it?? So crazy. It more than balances out though..I use the list of family songs that Katie posted to let the kids to choose a song for bedtime. They both sleep in Elsie's queen bed together, so I squeeze right in the middle. Tonight Teddy chose 'Here comes the sun," they weren't sure they knew the song until I started singing it and then Elsie said, "Hey, I know this song.." And Teddy sang the last verse with me. He's never chipped in on any song before ever....they don't really know who the Beatles are but if they can respond like that to my favorite song--there's a good chance they know, despite all the other noise, that they are my favorite little people. It's kind of a relief, you know?

Monday, August 25, 2014

10,000 miles

10,000 miles...
      ...will give you such a crick in the neck.

(awww poor Robin Williams)

First of all, I need to get the guilt out of the way. I know you all know me and that you know that I will feel more comfortable if I can just say sorry. Sorry I took so long to write this AND sorry that I kept saying that I was going to do it tomorrow. Sometimes I wonder if I have just a little Bernie Madoff con-man in me. By which I mean, you always hear about people like Bernie doing what they do only because they want to please people so bad that they are willing to lie to people including themselves to please everyone. OK that is a little harsh, but I really thought for three weeks that I was going to do the blog tomorrow, every day. Let me be clear that I love the blog and it wasn't a chore I was avoiding, there was just so much going on I just didn't have time. So, the kids went back to school today, and I miss them SO much, I do, but I felt like today was the first time I have had a moment to think in about forever.

side note: I took Juniper school clothes shopping, just the two of us, which was so fun. We talked about what kind of style she liked and, this just tickles me, but she likes "French style" like what mimes wear. So we went with it and she picked out a couple of black and white outfits. I just never saw it coming. Juniper + french mime. shrug? They are so funny, kids, with they're ideas about stuff.

 So here is a a little update since I saw you all last:

We went to Yellowstone, the Black Hills of South Dakota (awww poor Rocky), the Badlands, Michigan and staying with Teri during which we went to Chicago and I had Huevos Rancheros that might have changed my life, Michigan again -this time at Lake Michigan with old Michigan friends , back to Peter and Teri's where they gave me a ukulele that might have changed my life and that I played in the car all the way back home to Pennsylvania.  We got back a week ago, and I have been sort of insane since then.

At first I was too overwhelmed to even unpack. There isn't really anything worse than leaving that too long, but I guess I just needed to process the last two months. Finally I picked up my boot straps and got to a cleaning and purging rampage that hasn't really finished yet.  I guess the only thing I can figure is that it felt like we had downsized our possesions to a minivan size for 2 months and it honestly doesn't feel like we need more than that. Really, I can hardly even keep track of that amount. So when I walked in the house the STUFF kind of overwhelmed me. The CLUTTER. holy crap.

At the same time I am at war in my head with all of that plus the idea that I want a mansion. I even love that word.  A huge beautiful house with a zillion rooms perfectly furnished in the a kind of classy chic grown up way that makes my futon want to cry. I want to redo my kitchen and add on to the second floor and get new appliances and also everything.


I sometimes just want both things.

Speaking of mileage, I am turning 40.  I will probably get over it.

I love my ukulele so much. And because you are my sisters and mother you must humor me.  I don't know how else to force you to listen to me play since I doubt that you are going to go on a 10,000 mile car ride with me anytime soon. I am doing this just for you guys. xoxo


As long as I am being totally disorganized about what I am writing, I will also say two other things.

1. We went on a walk in the woods last weekend. We were in a place we have been  a million times. At one point Alex and the kids wanted to climb up some rocks and I chose to go around them and meet them on the other side.  As I was walking I stepped on a snake and it spooked me so I fell and landed next to another snake. There were snakes everywhere I looked.  I stood there and just shook violently. I could hardly even move my legs. I checked out mentally for about 5 minutes.

So these snakes are called copperheads. Whatever, they look like rattlesnakes to me. POISONOUS.  They are so camouflaged that I really couldn't see them at first, but they were everywhere. everywhere. Like "Oh there are a lot of sticks around me, wait, THOSE AREN"T STICKS!!!AHHHHH!!!" Indiana Jones.
         I do not scare easily. I do not cry easily. I like spiders. I don't get upset about mice, or bats or anything. 
              Secondly, I was useless. Thank goodness theses snakes were conserving their energy and decided not to rip my throat out. All I could do was just stand there and shake. Later with everyone, I saw another snake and before I could even register it, I had thrown my water bottle as hard as I could at the snake and started crying, (I missed the snake by about a mile), but I threw the water bottle so hard I broke it. I do not advocate the killing of snakes,(although they are delicious). That snake didn't do anything to me, so I should be grateful, right? 
 So I guess I am sceered of snakes. oh, and sharks.

2. I had a dream that I was watching a soap opera in Japan and Aunt Julie was in it. She was pretty good, too. I was telling everyone that she was my mom's twin sister. no one believed me.

Wednesday, August 6, 2014


So my sisters are gone now. It was really fun having them here. It's such a blessing to have them in my life! Even if they don't live here, they effect me, who I am and their opinions are important to me. I value them as sisters but at this stage of my life we are just as good of friends. I love it when they are here! I hate it when they go! Its fun to pretend for a few weeks out of the year that this is my reality. My kids have tons of cousins around daily. I have people that want to see me every day and are excited to see me. They understand (mostly) me and my fears, my emotions, the things that consume me, my worries, my hurt, my sense of humor. All of it. Our relationships differ, but they are solid. I just love and miss them. We make jokes about having a "Barrett overload" and to some people I'm sure it is. It's not to me. It's trying to live a year of conversations and experiences in a few weeks, sometimes less than that. What I am so grateful for is that they have husbands that support them, in every way. I'm sure it's not easy for them but they do it and they do it happily. 
It's amazing the bond you have with a sister from the get go. I see it with my girls. Sure they battle and compete, but they also take care of each other. I just want to make an effort to record special moments, even if they are short or whatever. Macy just had her 4th birthday. The day after her bday, Macy wanted to open her frozen princess Anna from the packaging. Instantly a brawl began, who would play with it first?" Crying, scratching, hitting and yelling  the girls were furious. Their screams are so high pitch that sometimes I seriously wonder if my ear drum has been ruptured. It was a little intense to say the least. Avery had a fever all morning. Randomly through out the morning she would go climb up in bed by herself, close her eyes and rest for a bit. As I was trying to rip open the packing to this doll, Avery decided once again she was too tiered and went to lay down. Avery is not one to give in so ya know she's got to be sick for her to bail. As soon as Anna was liberated from the packaging, Macy swooped her yet to be played with doll up and ran to Avery. Leaning over and whispering "Aves, you can cuddle Anna if you want. It can help you feel better." She nestled Anna in her covers right up close to Avery's hot body. "Aves.... Do you want me to cuddle you too?" Avery nodded yes. Macy laid down beside her and began singing the flower song and softly playing with her hair (The song is one my sisters and I would sing together on road trips or to help us get to sleep) Avery closed her eyes and Macy kissed her forehead. Macy eyes started welling up. "But mama, when Avery is sad it makes my heart sad". Avery grinned at Macy and then they both jumped out of bed and ran around all crazy. Reality set back in. Fighting broke out about 2 seconds later. I would like to say "and they both fell asleep and dreamt of leaping on fluffy clouds with fists full of lollipops." I know that's kind of a specific thought but ya know what I mean! Hey, they had a moment and it was sweet and tender. It happened even if it was short lived. The whole thing was like an out of body experience. My kids are young. Sometimes I wonder how bad I'm screwing them up. Then a moment like that happens and you just feel hopeful. Your kids feel empathy or love or whatever it may be. Despite all my flaws they are good sweet girls. With tender spirits and I'm grateful.
Troy and I have got a lot of big decisions to make and it's a little overwhelming if I am honest. School, work, moving, another kid, getting out of debt, where to move to?.... To name a few. I just want to do things right. I want to be supportive and I want Troy to be happy with his career and education. I want to get to a more settled, happy place. I realize that to get there we probably need to make some significant sacrifices. 
I find my self dreaming and fantasizing about down sizing. Purging all the stupid stuff you just accumulate. Instead of counting sheep I count label makers, organizing bins, and other miscellaneous office supplies. So in hopes of making my dreams a reality, I have started making runs to D.I. and the dump. It feels so good! Now we just need to decide when and where to move. Ha!

Monday, August 4, 2014

Holding Space

Since my last blog post we have been to Lake Powell, Provo, Irvine for a weekend to see Tori, home for 3 days and then back to Irvine for Bill's wedding. Todd and Ashton are staying with us this week and I feel SO lucky that they are here, it is a fun distraction and a great motivator to stay positive as we wrestle with a host of new realities.

#1) The reality of having a new mother-in-law sleeping in Christy's bedroom, eating dinner in Christy's place at the table, living in a house filled with Christy's hand-picked decorations and furniture, using a refrigerator and pantry that still hold items that Christy purchased that haven't hit their expiration date yet. The night they got married was like an out of body experience. When I am anxious my natural instinct is to become a joker, but considering I was battling back some serious angst-ridden emotions I felt like my personality came across somewhere between hysteria and mania. I had no ability to even feel my own feelings and I felt like every person there had a different set of expectations for how I should be dealing with this situation. Dawn's friends kept saying that this marriage was "an answer to prayers," which I thought was just a fantastically insensitive thing to say. So they all thought that we should be super happy because Dawn is fabulous, assuring us that this was ok--everything would be ok. It was all very irritating and patronizing--I barely made out it out of there without snapping "that is something I should be saying to you, NOT the other way around." No guest at that wedding has to live this change in our family like we do, so they can all take their counsel and advice and rub it in their hair and shove it up their butts. Then there was a handful of people so dialed in to the strangeness of the event I felt like they expected me to be super somber and grief-stricken. And then there was Will and Audra who were furious and I felt like they needed us to share that with them too. In reality I felt a flood of emotion so intense that night, I didn't even know my own name. Everything probably will be ok, Ben and I are trying to be positive without forcing or expecting ourselves to outrun our grief. It is what it is and we will do what we can to make the best of it.

#2) The reality that I am now the mother of a special needs child, and that this effects everything we do, everywhere we go, the way we parent, the way we talk, our finances, our free time and everything in between. And that this is our life for the foreseeable future--possibly forever. I've had therapists tell me they think she will be mainstreamed by kindergarten and I've had therapists tell me I need to get my head right about this because I will have to be her advocate for the rest of her life.

#3) Get comfortable holding space. I think my need for things to be ok makes me cope with things at a fairly slow pace. I drag out each phase by adding a thick coat of denial--just gut out this part and then things will be ok/go back to normal. It's hard for me to absorb things in their totality, it's piece by piece, by dimension. I thought a lot about Bill getting married and about what holidays or trips would be like, I never thought about her living in Christy's house until the morning after. I've thought a lot about what Maddie needs now, but meeting a 13-year old autistic girl made it settle in on a whole new level. It's very much a 3-steps forward then 5 steps steps back sort of process that can leave me feeling very defeated and unmotivated sometimes. Brenee Brown uses this phrase "holding space" and I love this idea, it makes me think of someone protectively stretching their arms out around someone--not touching them just holding space for them. I would love to develop this more, provide this protection for myself and others. Find ways to allow for feelings of all kinds--allow and give permission for everyone to feel what they need to feel and be who they need to be. And I know providing this--again, for myself and others, would in turn inspire kinder, more amicable, more forgiving feelings because isn't most frustrations and angst born from feeling misunderstood, unheard or denied?

Anyway, just some thoughts. I miss you both so much it hurts.

Thursday, July 3, 2014

like gas through a funnel, like eggs through a hen.

We made it here. But I still haven't seen either of you. I gotta say that I have ants in my pants to see both of you.  Today? Today I will see one of you...I can't wait.
The drive we just went on was so long. I think mentally it was twice as long as it was in real miles. Thing is: we are only half way there.

I am kind of stunned by seeing the country. Alex and I definitely both have a wanderlust.( I guess it would really suck for only one of us to have it).  I think we both get a charge from seeing and eating new things.

I am sort of tempted to make everyone watch a slide show of the whole trip. I know that is the worst thing though, Ha! Like hearing someone else's dream.  It can go on and on and on, and there is never really a clue as to when it will stop. I still want to though so:

Maine omigosh beautiful ocean, rocks, lighthouses, family, attacked by a seagull, ate lobster, Emily got married, fixed the car, car broke down, fixed the car, anniversary, pretty New Hampshire, Montreal, yummy french fries, wandering around a cool city at night with kids, market salami, Michigan always familiar, see family, IOwaaaaaaaaaaaa, Nebraska, I am trying to repress memory of just how neverending this part was, bathroom breaks and subway sandwiches, bathroom breaks and subway sandwiches, bathroom breaks and subway sandwiches, bathroom breaks and subway sandwiches, Cottonwood trees,  Colorado, Car over heating, Denver it felt so good to see those mountains totally listening to John Denver, Best ice cream in the country, Busted radiator, worst restroom in about 3000 miles of road across the country, Highest point elevation 11,300ft....That is realy high, Camped under the most amazing starry sky, Dinosaur Bones, Petroglyphs, Almost there, almost there, Duschene, Strawberry resevoir, Heber, Back of Timp, Provo Canyon, power station, farmer brown's, Foothill, there it is. home.

Picture that with slides

I don't really want to talk about all the car trouble we had. It was just really dumb. I feel like we really lucked out and broke down in civilization rather that middle of nowheres. There were real middle of nowheres and I don't ever want to be stuck in them.

I actually love Pennsylvania. I love our life there. Sometimes I just get so lonesome for the west.  I don't think anywhere else will feel like home in the same way.  There were a lot of miles to talk and think and look. I am lucky to have a guy like Alex. We have been married for 17 years. It hardly seems like that. I remember the morning I got married saying goodbye to the family, i just hadn't fully taken in that that was going to happen.  Being the first one to leave. That was hard. I know we have all had to do that in some way, but that first step away from the car (I got dropped off) was really hard. One of those moments when what you are physically is also what you are doing mentally and emotionally. But what an amazing life I have had. I owe every little bit of it to Alex. I love him.

But I love you all too. Wendy had to grow up. But she has a little bit of everyone of her family in her heart all the time.

Monday, June 30, 2014

Proceed with Caution Random Thoughts Ahead

I have put it off long enough. Totally sorry I have not been on top of the blog stuff at all. My head is so full of thoughts I don't really know where to begin or finish really. Its amazing how much writing on this blog once a week kind of keeps my thoughts straight. First off, we just got back form Park City. I had a really good time. Our family is not complete without the siblings that couldn't make it. I lost my voice and it was probably a HUGE relief to everyone because I wasn't able to talk as much as usual. Its really quite interesting to observe others and keep your thoughts to yourself. I mean you know me I tend to say what is on my mind or if I feel like something NEEDS to be said I will say it. I am kind of annoying that way. I like to speak my mind. I feel like that is why Grandma and I always had kind of an odd relationship. I didn't always agree. Most of the time I will just argue the opposite opinion because I hate when people make blanket statements about anything.  This used to drive my Grandma crazy, but she also loved it about me. Its what made me different from everyone else. I never told her just what she wanted to hear I told her the truth, as I saw it.
I miss doing her hair and painting her nails. I just miss her. I know she is happier where she is now. I don't feel devastated that she is gone. I am happy for her. Although she never approved much of me or the fact that I didn't pursue photography, or art, or floral arrangements. I guess I miss her disproval? I think her disproval made me feel like I was doing something right. Always trying to go against the grain, be the opposite of everyone else. I would talk to my Grandpa for hours about my game or sports. My Grandma would chime in but don't you love to read? I would reply something like nope, I hate reading. Then continue on with my conversation. I have actually wondered why things were this way? It's not just my Grandma though, I am this way with most things. My parents, Politics, Religion, Everything and pretty much everyone. I do wonder why I am this way?
I guess my Grandma is on my mind because we had a Barrett Reunion the week we were in Park City. Grandpa came, with no Faye by his side. Its just weird. I am not used to it at all. I can see them holding hands everywhere they walk. Grandpa always opening the door for her.  Almost waiting on her, always there to help her with whatever she needed. 
I have been thinking about this lady that spoke in church on Sunday. We are taught from the time that we are very young that we should love everyone. Obviously some people are easier to love than others. This woman mentioned that when she was younger she volunteered at an orphanage. I want to say that it was out of the country. (Side note, I miss big gaps in talks from potty breaks, spilling crayons everywhere or smashing goldfish into the carpet. So I realize I might not be totally accurate on her version. However, whether the message I walked away with was something I needed to hear.) Anyway, back to the story, She worked in this orphanage. She took care of these babies. Rocked them to sleep, nurtured them. She LOVED them. “These sweet children were easy to love”. It’s the people that are hard to love or may be more challenging that we have to work at loving. Obviously this isn’t anything new. It just touched me. Sometimes doing the easy thing isn’t enough. I feel like I have come upon a time in my life where I don’t really want to do anything difficult, I guess I have allowed myself to just stick with the easy stuff. It’s not enough. Like being a mom. I love my kids they are easy to love. What’s hard is trying to not snap when they test me or yell at everyone because my house is a disaster and I want to runaway. This is the challenge. I need to push myself to do the harder stuff. Like being happy….. all day…… no matter what. Deciding to be positive before something crappy happens and remaining positive.  Not letting other people effect my mood. Or eating whatever I want too as opposed to teaching my kids to be healthy because eating and doing what I want is easier and more convenient. There are people in my life that make it hard. They are always testing the relationship or causing drama. I will never understand why? I guess its not my job to understand. I just need to accept things as they are and love them inspire of it. I want to be a happy and loving person. The only way I am going to get there is if I don't let other peoples attitudes and hang ups effect my everyday life and relationships. All I can do is all I can do. 
Well, I know I am officially random. I actually started writing a few different times and never got anywhere. So I combined them together. Happy reading:)

Sunday, June 22, 2014

You can stuff your sorries in a sack mister

But really I am sorry that's it's taken me this long. It was madness getting ready for girls camp and I didn't quite realize I would have zero reception out there. It was awesome though! I can't tell you how strange it is that for these girls--I am their Diane Blackhurst. Not to sound super cheesy but even though it is a huge responsibility and time commitment--I don't know how I could face the trials I am facing in my personal life without the blessings of this calling. These girls are truly extraordinary and it's odd how much this calling has forced me to face up to and embrace my teenage self. Which has been yucky and liberating all at the same time. Because I am close with these girls and they want to know what I was like--and I have to be honest--I mean I'm at church, I can't lie for Pete's sake. And so I find myself confessing the truth about the SUPER insecure, awkward, angst-ridden teenager that I was, and it's ok. It's ok because while it's true, it's not the truth anymore, while pictures remain unforgiving (thank you Katie)--I have evolved and I still maintain a person's sense of humor is directly proportional to the length of their ugly phase, or at least it ought to be if there is any justice in this world.

And so, while I am working through some teenage shame issues that have manifested--let memove directly into the parenting shame issues I am now starting to face. In the past several weeks while in the midst of Maddie breakdowns ranging from the mild to the nuclear, I have received comments and unasked for advice from people who clearly think that I am a terrible parent. On the one hand I want to explain her issues and on the other hand I want to kick them in the junk. I have always been terrified and driven by what people think, but Maddie is becoming increasingly hard to manage. And I wonder/fear what this will do to my personality over time.

And speaking of weird mind games, I am in such a weird place with "my trials." If people ask me, I think I generally try to be really positive--that is how I feel a lot of the time. But then if people interpret that as a minimization of my problems--that really bothers me. Nothing is as bad as it could be, but it's still something. I'd prefer to think of myself as bravely struggling than making a bid deal out of nothing or like I have a terrible life! One of Maddie's therapists told me I had a great attitude about Maddie's diagnosis and then she said "you're probably still in shock." Oh, ok. Thanks? But then if you sympathize too much it freaks me out, like when another therapist asked me (while Maddie was wigging out)..
"so she bites herself when she's upset?"
Me: "yes."
"And hits her head on the ground I see, does she do that a lot?"
Me: "yes"
"I'm sorry, that's so hard to see your child hurt herself."

This made me cry for like 30 minutes, and I think about that exchange constantly. It is the emotional equivalent of pushing on a bruise and I don't know why I do it.

So stream of consciousness as it is, here's my entry. Our Utah plans have changed because of all this crud we have to work out with Maddie, the regional center and the school district. We will be there July 15 and stay for a couple weeks. I wish it was sooner and longer, but this is my life now. I love you guys and seriously cannot cannot wait to be together!!!

Thursday, June 12, 2014

Train Song

Whew! well it has been a little nutsy around here.It has taken me a little while to post.

I sincerely love the summer and having my kids home all day. I love that there is time again. There is time for  breathing and being.

but also

2. We are going on a massive  cross country trip in less than a week and I have been scrambling around trying to finish my work and get our house ready for people to stay in it, and roofers to roof on it, and other fun stuff.

3. I also have a movie recommend - Nebraska. It was such a great movie and it reminded me quite a bit of Grandpa's family. It is funny and beautiful and poignant.

Dear author of the movie Nebraska,

Next time consider a different title. Movie's with a title that is a state name sound depressing as Hell.  Example: Idaho, Alabama, Nevada. Plus Nebraska is a really long boring state that never ends. Some people might hear a title like that and assume that the movie might also have those qualities.

Loved the movie, though
(my husband made me watch it)


5. I really love that train song. I love songs about going somewhere. If they are songs about going somewhere on a train, even better!

Monday, June 9, 2014

Just Accept & Embrace

I haven't read the book but I have seen the movie. The Fault in our Stars was amazing! Some people found the book/movie depressing. Although, it was definitely sad at times I walked away feeling grateful. So very grateful! Not that I am such a positive person that I always take everything and spin it into something meaningful or anything, because I would not consider myself that type of person. I actually avoid movies and books with a whole lot of real feelings or emotions involved. They affect me WAY too much. Life is hard enough as it is. I don’t need other pretend people making me feel like I can’t get out of bed or like my heart has been smashed. Guess what I have experienced loss and heartache. As far as I am concerned “check”, that’s done don’t need to experience it again. Sorry about the tangent. I do that a lot.

I don't know about you but it's easy for me to get sucked into my own world. Wake up, figure out breakfast, entertain the kids, figure out lunch, and try to do something active, figure out dinner, bath time and bedtime. I can set my clock by it. My life is predictable and I don’t mind it too much. I understand it is a phase of my life. I try so hard to remember that I just need to accept and enjoy. Easier said than done (sneer). Not that I don't naturally enjoy my life because I do most of the time. If you know me you know my heart started beating when I had my first baby girl. Being a mother has softened me. It’s morphed me into a different person. I worry, I cry, I am anxious, I have a hard time sleeping. None of that used to happen really at all. I guess I have “hormones” and “feelings” and all that crap.

       (outdated picture but I love it)

I guess that's partly why the movie was so touching. I don't feel the movie how I think a teenager would. Or a wife that was so desperate to have a child for so long. I am a mother now. I have two baby girls that rock my world daily. I know what it’s like to be so in love with someone. To feel so vulnerable to love and can't imagine what my life would be like without Troy or my girls. I see it through a mothers eyes and it’s terrifying. As they say in the move “That’s the thing about pain…it demands to be felt.” Sucky, but yet oh so true.

While watching the movie I tried to not think about the people I have lost in my life. I tried to fight the memories but they started coming up and echoing in my head. That call you get when you know something is wrong. Before you even pick up the phone. You just feel the punch in your gut. The movie shows this perfectly. One of my best friends who is also my husbands cousin received such a call when her little brother overdosed. As soon as I heard I called her. Her one year old answered the phone by accident. I heard Amber’s screams and cries. I literally heard her heart breaking. Her genuine emotion unguarded, uncensored, and it was horrible. I don’t think I ever told her that. I hung up the phone. I felt like a peeping tom or something. I should not have heard it. I try to forget it but can’t. My dear friend lost her baby brother. No matter how you look at it it’s just sad. He is missed. Why is it that everyone who dies has the most dynamic, larger than life personalities? I don’t think it's us glamorizing the person at all. I am rambling. Anyway, I guess I am just thankful. Thank you Heavenly Father for my life. For my experiences good and bad. Just Thanks.

Saturday, June 7, 2014

Sing Songs

I really want to make a list of songs that our family likes. ANY song you like or that we have sung together. I get these coupons for free or discounted photo books and I would really like to do one with songs and lyrics. Just add ones you can think of to the list… Porfavor:)

Here Comes The Sun
Candy Hearts and Paper Flowers
Ghost Riders
The Rainbow Song
I Feel My Saviors Love
Because I Have Been Given Much
Stay Awake
Dream A Little Dream Of Me
Baby Mine
Journey to Tomorrow
Wouldn't it be Lovely
The M.T.A
The Fox, 
Froggie Went a Courtin
Lavendar Blue Dilly Dilly
The Big Rock Candy Mountain
Big Iron
El Paso
When it's Springtime in the Rockies Sweet Baby James
Sunshine On My Shoulders
It's not easy
Winkin Blinkin and Nod
Puff the Magic Dragon
Muskrat Love
16 Tons
I often go walking
The searchers theme song "what makes a man to wander"
cool water
Country roads
The carpenters
Rag time cowboy joe
Feelin' groovy
Brothers four "try to remember," stewball was a race horse 
Blowing in the Wind
Rainbow Connection
Hold On for one more day
I'd like to make it with you

Swiper, no swiping

Warning: this will be random. Probably just like every other thing I will write on this blog. But if I fiddle with it until I'm happy with it or convinced it makes sense, it will never happen. When I used to envision being a writer...I pictured a quiet, sun-filled room, time to think, a breeze, lots of space and light. Today I am sitting at my kitchen table Teddy is screaming and playing video games upstairs, we have 3 extra kids in the house, I can hear Elsie DUMPING out every toy bucket in the playroom (and also seems to be filling things up with water in the bathroom)...my arm is resting on a sticky syrup spot from breakfast--and I am wearing a crown that is pinching my enormous, odd shaped head...I don't blame it for pinching me. It's just hanging on for dear life. Maddie is sitting the corner of the kitchen yelling "swiper, no swiping" at nobody in particular. These two visions of writing conditions couldn't be more different obviously, but the former seems so self-indulgent by comparison. What would you even write about under such easy conditions...

It's not that I do better with pressure--it's that I only do anything at all when pressure is applied, and I do even better with limited resources. I don't really like what this says about me so I'd rather not think about it too hard.

There are millions of trite phrases that center around the cliche that "trials reveal who you are." I thought this had largely to do with courage and a will to fight--but now I think it has more to do with consistency of character. For example, several years ago I noticed how hollow my apologies to Ben sound when they are always followed with a"it's just that.." as if external circumstances can excuse any behavior. Anybody can be happy and patient and kind when things are going your way. When kids cooperate, the house is clean, you feel well, you're not hungry/tired/stressed etc. It is how you behave precisely when the s#$% hits the fan that proves who you actually are. Don't we ALWAYS have a choice? Admit it. Of course we need to be forgiving of ourselves, but we shouldn't give our emotional cycles free reign over our personalities either. Watching Christy work through her diagnosis and treatments was awe-inspiring. I am someone who struggles to keep it together when I am hungry--and she was able to manage incredible physical and emotional pain without taking it out on other people. In fact, she became more serving and more loving. Her patience and grace was so consistent and continuous--I didn't doubt it was genuine. But in the last week of her life she was so heavily medicated it would have literally been impossible to keep up an act--if that's what it had been. But instead we got an interesting, sometimes random and sometimes funny, peek into her subconscious as she talked and acted things out in a semi-lucid state. She was not aware of our presence as we watched her pray out loud, bare her testimony, pantomime making sandwiches for her family and making quilts for the Young Women. Her faith, her love for her family and helping or taking care of others was what manifested at a time when all her filters, all the mental control of her behaviors were gone.

I want to be a person I am proud of, I want to have less guilty apologies to make and more triumphs over obstacles. I want to be self-aware enough that I can communicate my emotions clearly, navigate situations better so that I can give myself opportunities to do better and be better instead of pushing myself so hard all I do is give myself more rope to hang myself. If in go-go-going all the time, I push myself until I snap and then on top of fatigue I have to add feeling like a failure--how can I ever stay motivated to be better? I can't control my circumstances, and yet I let them control me. Grief, Cancer, Autism, loneliness, depression, mother-guilt, financial stress, my dirty house: step-off. Swiper, no swiping.

Thursday, June 5, 2014

Summer's here and the time is right.


The weather is so beautiful right now. And I have something to say:

I am a runner.

If you saw me on the street in the morning you might not think that. You might think that I was a wogger, or a jalker, or just challenged in some way.

Well guess what? You can kiss my grits.

I don't care if I am really slow, it makes me feel so good. It didn't always make me feel good. For the entire month of April it made me feel tired and like I was fighting my body the whole time. But now baby, it is on! (JINX)(KNOCK ON WOOD).

If you saw me on the street in the morning, you might also think "Holy crap! Is that lady, full on, singing her brains out to Adele?" or "Is that lady "running" and doing air guitar at the same time?"

I might be, or I might be just lipsyncing a little.

It is probably not a seizure or  speaking in tongues or something

I love it. Here is the thing about music: It possesses my body. I don't care if it is Marty Robbins in the Grocery store or Linda Ronstandt at the gas station, Flo Rida in the mall, or any tune that they pipe through the speakers at Disneyland.  Don't even get me started on Erasure or A-HA. If I hear a song that I know it is like I am in a musical and I gotta sing and dance my way down the cereal aisle. I realize this might be embarrassing for anyone near me when this happens, but it isn't anything I can help. If you try talking to me during one of these episodes, I probably wouldn't even be able to hear your voice.

so summer is here and they are playing my song. And I am singin it with my whole heart.

Wednesday, June 4, 2014


As an adoptive parent, I’m so crazy passionate about it. I just wanted to share a little of what I  feel about my daughter’s birth mom.

Infertility is hard! Like really hard!

But, when we decided to move forward with adoption, I felt like the dark clouds had parted! We both did! I felt so incredibly grateful that we got this opportunity to adopt our family!!

We felt like that was God’s  plan all along! And now that we have Jade, we KNOW it was his plan all along!

After 5 1/2 years of fertility treatments, and adoption papers.. We got the call, we had a birth mom that chose us… I can’t explain that feeling… We sobbed… We got to meet her 9 days before she gave birth. Maybe the most amazing moments of our lives ever! She told the case worker she was nervous to meet us because she thought we wouldn’t likeher! She had no idea that for the last two years we were specifically praying for her! For her life, health, and well being.  We didn’t know her yet, but we knew we loved her! And meeting her confirmed that! I couldn’t stop hugging her… She was so pretty, hysterically funny, and has deep dimples just like me.  While we were together she handed me some ultrasound pictures and looked me straight in the eyes, she told me that this was our little girl, and she knew that it was ours from the beginning. She invited us to be in the delivery room for her c-section, to watch our baby girl be born.

Nine days later, we were ushered into the delivery room to witness the birth of our baby girl.  The nurse had 3 hospital bands, one for our birth mom, one for me, and one for our baby.  I felt immensely honored to have the name of my birth mom around my wrist, we got to share a piece of heaven that was about to arrive. I held her hand as the doctor held up our new precious baby girl,  She was perfect!

Our adoption with Jade is what they call a “high risk adoption” which means that there is a possibility that there could be some hiccups in finalization down the road.

Within one week we ran into those “hiccups” our birth mom was asked to endure some enormous hurdles over the next few months to ensure that Jade could stay with us. Without question, she stayed by our side. She testified at six different hearings in our behalf, and in the end, we were able to finalize, an be sealed to our baby girl.  I know how much she loves jade. I’m so excited to tell jade all about how amazing her birth mommy is! And how very much she loved her. Without her, out lives would be incomplete.

I love her! She is our real live angel! She is the strongest, most courageous person I know, and I will always be indebted to her for the gift she gave me. She made me a mama!

Written by John & Bonnie Barrett. Posted with their permission. Check out more adoption stories at smallfryblog.com