Category Archives: parenting

Aaron Judge and the other side of the coin

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I love the coverage the media is giving to Aaron Judge’s adoption story. As an adoptive parent, it is a beautiful moment to show my son that adoption IS a beautiful thing and there are others like him. As a parent, it gives me hope that adopted children can be grounded, well rounded and content with not knowing all their bological roots-and happy with their childhood despite not knowing all the details. I know all adoption stories are different, but this one gives me hope.

But I must share, on the other side of the coin, is a biological mother that gets no name, photo or acknowledgement for her gift of life. She carried him 40 weeks to create a plan for his future. She chose opportunities for him that she could not provide and God blessed the mess.

I remember waiting those 48 hours, unsure of our future, but trusting in God’s plan for creating our family. So here is a shout out to the birthmother that gifted Aaron to all of us and turned 9 months into a lifetime. Dear birtmother, your selfless sacrifice made history.

I hope stories like these shine the light on the beauty of adoption and how much God loves creating families in all kinds of unique and magnificent ways.

He took off from work!

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He took off! My hard working but borderline workaholic husband took off from work. Like the whole day. He hardly even checked his email…it was a miracle and a great day! We went to the zoo, went out for dinner, fed the animals and parented as a team on Spring Break.

Callen’s smile says it all. I am happy to parent alone on school holidays and breaks. I know how much we need his work and income, but man it is nice when we do the fun stuff together.

No clue when it will happen again, but for that day…we felt so loved!

Grateful to be a Girl

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I have several solid groups of girl friends. Girls connected in different ways. Moms of kids the same age, baseball moms, teacher friends, church friends, high school friends…women with things in common that get together and breathe.

My husband says this is harder to find in the man world. Maybe it is just him…who knows, but I am grateful. Grateful I can be vulnerable. Grateful we can vent or celebrate together. Just Grateful we can drink, dance, and let loose in our sweatpants and sweatshirts with hair pulled up and no make up.

If you are fortunate to find those friends then keep them and make time for them.

It is worth it.

Alone Time

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Came to my parents to hang out for an hour before my Camp Gladiator workout. They were on their way out the door to get to Luby’s by four (yum)! Was I upset because they left me there all alone?

Ummmm….no!!

It was magical! I was alone! No kid, dog, dishes to do…it was like being at a hotel. Made my day and made me realize I am old when being alone excited me because it never happens.

Tracking the Memories

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I count having my first child in my mid-thirties a blessing because I had a lot of time to think about cool things I wanted to do as a parent. One cool thing is dressing a baby up like a man.

That hat was my grandfather’s so that look is extra special to my heart.

Another fave thing was taking the month to month pics the first year. This process was super hard and only got harder each month but love looking at the 12 months all together.

Poor kid endured big dress ups on every holiday! Here are some faves:

But two more cool things that I only do because I had lots of time to think about kids is….1. I have a Dr Seuss book that each of his teachers sign and I will give it to him at graduation. It is a great reminder of all the teachers that poured into him each year. I keep a school picture from each year so we can see how he grows. 2. Keep a frame with those school pictures as art on the wall.

I want this to be a daily reminder the time goes fast so make the memories and track them for the future. Thankfully I started these early so I have the keepsakes needed.

I am sure there are so many other ways to track the memories. Do you have any special ones you do?

Killing it as a Snow Mom

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No one prepares you to mom in cold weather. Texas women do not get much guidance in handling kids during freezing weather and snow in an area that’s climate is just straight up hot. Exhibit A: Ridiculous Clothing

We don’t ski…enough said. Exhibit B: cooked from the pantry.

Pardon his booger nose…we blew it shortly after the pic was taken. We ate whatever we found in the pantry: tacos, mac and cheese, bootleg dumplings minus the chicken, chili with missing ingredients and lots of breakfast foods and frozen foods.

Who kept that fire going while dad worked all week? This girl!

Who got a workout in while all the whole house watched and tried to wave to the camera? Me again!

Who splurged with some snow ice cream and played outside every day in temps in the single digits? Me.Me.Me!

Hopefully you can agree that moms do what moms do to keep their children happy despite being stuck inside for 6 days straight. We made memories, had fun, learned a little and relaxed a lot! Looking forward to getting out tomorrow, but celebrating we made it today!

Adopting in a Pandemic

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As we restart our adoption journey, but this time through foster care, one major difference is all the courses available online. We lose the community…we loved our adoption community and still keep in touch with those families…but learning in your pajamas is pretty awesome too. In fact, doing the courses online is one of the big reasons the fire was lit to start. I learned today even CPR was online so that is pretty amazing also! I say all this to say if you have been praying about adoption then now is the time!

On another note, Happy Law Enforcement Day!

The biggest reason my husband got out of police work, is we adopted our son. Now we had a baby to care for and working nights, weekends, holidays just would not work anymore. He struggled that he was missing all the good stuff needing to sleep so he could go to work. He also realized the reality that he could be hurt or killed while on the job and there were other things he could do…so he resigned and started a new career.

Staying married while doing that job was hard, so I will always have respect for those that serve others and risk their lives for strangers.

Adoption is not Easy

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I have some friends going through the adoption process and I hate to say it, but when they ask how it is my first words are “really hard”. It takes a lot of time, paperwork, classes, background checks, videos, meetings and so many questions!! I think what makes it harder is you know you are doing a good thing so why so many obstacles? Also compared to giving birth, you have to prove yourself as a parent. Even 8 years later, the thing I remember most is how hard it ended up being.

The thing is you have no control. The timing, the person, the process…it is out of your hands. A lot of praying and trusting that others are looking out for you. But in the end…it is so worth it! When you meet your child and it all makes sense…adoption is the best gift from God!

One of our best blessings is our adoption is open! I posted this pic today and the first person to like it was his birth mom. Love we can keep up in this way and she can share in these moments with me. If God has put on your heart to adopt…go for it! No one I have met has ever regretted it!

Word of the Year

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Last year leading into 2020 I posted that the good Lord put a word of the year on my heart that I hated. This word confused me, angered me and I was embarrassed to share it.

The word was vulnerable.

I remember sharing it with others and saying…I do not get it, but this is the word. Flash forward to the end of 2020 and this word has been all over the place! Definitely a Covid 19 word. God prepared the way for my heart with this word.

I grew vulnerable with my students and how I learn to love them. Vulnerable in my marriage with sharing my concerns. Vulnerable with my child that he will not always be perfect and that is okay. Vulnerable with hugs and touch and phone calls that I normally do not like. It also led me to start the foster care process to love the vulnerable that need to know they are loved.

This word led me to the writing and documentary of Brene Brown and her insight and wisdom. This word changed me. This word grew me. God used it in big ways and continues to challenge me with the truth.

Vulnerable started out as an insult but has become a sign of God’s sovereignty.

Left the Mess to Relieve the Stress

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This is how my kitchen looked all day yesterday. I should have been cleaning, wrapping presents, maybe baking a yummy dish but instead this was me all.day.long.

I binge watched Hallmark and Lifetime Christmas movies. The trick to doing this is neglecting your child by letting him play all day and making sure your husband stays at work. It was a huge success and I feel ready to conquer the holidays. In the midst of the hustle, follow God’s lead and rest, be still and choose joy with the people God has placed in your path.

If you are experiencing grief this season, know you are not alone and covered in prayer. Merry Christmas!