Sunday, May 26, 2013

Special boys!

Being an aunt is one of my favorite things! How could it not be with these 2 special boys as my nephews?

Thursday, May 23, 2013

Happy Birthday to a Very Special Friend!

Have you had a "best friend"?

You know...the friend that has been a part of your life for so long, you almost can't remember her not being there.

I have to take the time today to wish my best friend a happy birthday (it is a milestone birthday!). This friend has been a significant part of my life since the first days of Junior High, when she came and introduced herself to my sister and me and wondered if we could walk to school together since we only lived a block away from each other. That was it...just a little gesture of friendship that began a lifetime of relationship.

She has been there through first boyfriends and first breakups, smiles and tears, good days and hard days, celebrations and losses.

My twin sister and I were bridesmaids in her wedding, we were both bridesmaids in my sister's wedding, and then they were both bridesmaids in my wedding...all within a year (I got married exactly 1 day less than 1 year after her wedding, and my sister was married almost exactly right in between! Sorry mom and dad...)

There were periods of our life that we spent more hours of the day together than apart, and periods where we hardly have seen each other at all due to distance, the busyness of life, and just all the things that fill up our time.

We could stay up all night talking about nothing (you remember being a teen-ager, right?), and now we still could stay up all night talking, but don't have that luxury very often anymore. We have learned to share our hearts in phone calls, or visits that are always too short.

No matter how much time has passed, when we pick up the phone, or get a rare chance to visit in person, it is like no time has passed. Have you ever had a friend like that? If so, you are blessed like I am. If not, I pray you get one some day.

She was the 3rd Musketeer with my sister and I through much of our lives (and I think we still kind of think of ourselves that way). She was the "filling" of the Oreo (literally...that was our Halloween costume one year in high school!).

The Oreo! Thanks to whoever posted this on was perfect!
Note the great "90's" hair!
She is someone who I always know I can turn to. She has shared more of my life than probably anyone other than my family, and that makes her part of my family (my parents do claim her proudly!).

Happy Birthday, Angie! You mean more to me than you can know. Thank you for that small act of friendship nearly 30 years ago. I know I speak for my sister as well! We love you!

Friday, May 17, 2013

A brave new world!

Taking a first peek out at the big world

This girl

This girl with these freckles and this cute turned-up nose and that sweet smile...

really melts my heart!

Wednesday, May 15, 2013


I should have taken pictures, but I didn't think of it at the time.

It is FINALLY really Spring here in Wisconsin!

I have green buds coming on my trees and bushes.

Green sprouts coming up from the ground.

Green leaves of flowers beginning to appear.

Our animals are LOVING playing outside in the beautiful weather.

Our kids are also loving playing outside in the beautiful weather...

but they have already started complaining that it is too hot.


We had snow flurries just 4 days ago (really!), and now my kids are complaining that it is too hot.

It could be a long summer.

I hope it is a long summer.

That means I don't have to go back to work for a long time ;)

My semester officially ended on Friday, but I have still been working every day and probably will until the kids are done with school.

Always lots to get prepared and ready for the next year when you are a teacher.

I have 4 weeks until my kids are done for the summer, and I really hope I can get most of my work done by then!

Can you tell I have been thinking for way too long today and my brain is just rambling?

Thanks for sticking with me to the end of this post.

It is FINALLY done.

Monday, May 13, 2013


You know that great picture I posted of my kids and me yesterday? Here was the picture right before that one. I think I like this one even better. Really tells more about the reality of life.

Can you just hear the kids complaining that the sun is too bright and they don't want to take another picture. Can you just hear me saying "just one more guys...Mike, I want this one cropped really close and at an angle would be awesome"

Life is these less than picture-perfect moments.

I think I might need to get this one framed!

Sunday, May 12, 2013


This Mother's Day, I am very thankful.

I have 2 beautiful children, and they are miracles.

There was a time when I didn't think I would ever be a mom.

After we had been married for about 5 years, we were both finally done with college and it seemed like the time was "right" to start a family. But we waited, and waited, and waited, and our dreams didn't come true.

We visited doctors, had lots of tests, took lots of medications, and had lots of procedures and our dreams still didn't come true.

We started pursuing adoption. We took the classes, completed the home inspections, and made a "portfolio" of our life. But we waited, and waited, and waited, and our dreams still didn't come true.

There were many hard Mother's Days.

Days that I didn't want to be around anyone because everyone was so happy, and it seemed like everyone else was getting the family that I so desperately wanted. Everyone was having babies, adding to their families. Everyone I knew was getting to be a mom, or at least that is what it felt like.

We prayed, and prayed, and prayed for a family. And still we waited, and waited, and waited.

And then one day, we heard about a little boy that needed a family. He was 4 years old. We made a plan to meet him and some of his birth family.

Now I have to take a step back a bit...

After the years of trying to have a baby, we knew it would take a miracle for that to happen. In fact, Mike had said on multiple occasions that it would be like Jesus raising Lazarus from the dead...a complete miracle bringing life where there was no chance of life.

We had come to the point of deciding that our next "procedure" was going to be the last one. Period. We just couldn't keep going through the heartache of disappointment month after month. We couldn't afford to keep continuing with treatments. We just needed to be "done".

And so,  back to the story:

We made a plan to meet a little boy that needed a permanent home. The meeting would take place 2 weeks later.

The week in between finding out about this little boy and meeting him, early one morning I took a pregnancy test following our final "procedure. It was too early to know according to the medical professionals, but I just had to see...

So, I took the test, and the test was positive. Wait a minute, I didn't have positive pregnancy tests...ever...and I had taken lots of them.

The test was positive.

In tears I went to tell Mike, and could barely get the words out. "The test is positive." We both were in awe of this possibility. We didn't even know how to process that information.

Somehow, we pulled ourselves together. Mike headed off to work, and I sat down to eat some breakfast and read my daily devotion (part of being a type-A person...if I missed a day, it meant I would need to read twice as much the next day). I was going through a plan that involved reading through the Bible in 3 years. I opened my Bible and looked up the passage for that day. In stunned awe, I realized that the passage was the story of Jesus raising Lazarus from the dead.

Jesus raising Lazarus from the dead. This was our miracle. God was clearly showing us that He was able to do great things. Miraculous things.

I called Mike on the phone and shared this unbelievable confirmation of our miracle. I was crying so hard I could hardly speak. Mike was sure something was wrong rather than the truth that things were very "right".

So...a week after that miracle, we went to meet that little boy. He was 4, with blonde hair and blue eyes, and bright eager smile, and boundless energy. He was captivating.

We realized after that meeting that if we had had a child when we first started "trying", the child would be exactly the age of this little boy. He was our second miracle in the period of 1 week.

We had prayed for 5 years for a child, and within 1 week, it seemed that God had given us 2.

The little boy came to live with us. We jumped right into parenting with a child that moved through life in a sprint.

I gave birth to our beautiful daughter. Now we had an almost 5-year-old and a newborn. It was exactly what we had prayed for. But it was hard. That little boy had lived a hard life in his short 5 years. He had experienced things that no one should experience, let alone a small child. He had a very hard time being able to trust.

Now I questioned why God would have given us a situation that was so hard. It was what we had prayed for, but now it wasn't what I wanted. I wanted to be able to parent one child. I didn't want parenting to be so hard.

God had a different plan for us though. He had given us 2 basically the same time...and He expected us to trust Him. We had to trust Him to give us the strength for each day to parent the children He had given us. Our miracles.

Many years have gone by now (8 years to be exact). Life has changed a lot. We have been through many hard times and many joyous times. Now I can say that the joy has greatly outweighed the "hard", but there were times that I didn't think that was possible.

God gave us 2 miracles, and He has been faithful to help us to parent them and raise them up to hopefully be people that seek after Him throughout their lives.

I realize what gifts I have been given, and I am so thankful. I now can truly say that today I had a very happy Mother's Day!

Thursday, May 2, 2013


This is my Father's world...and He has a great sense of humor!