Perfect in Weakness

World Vision Zimbabwe 2014-5

Several months before I went to Zimbabwe, I started praying daily that God would use my life for his purpose. For something, anything to happen to me that didn’t end in heartache.

The Sunday before I heard from World Vision, Sam and I were at church. We hadn’t gone in a while and of course the Sunday we decided to was missionary day. So I sat and listened to couple after couple talk about their lives in the mission field, giving it all up for Christ and changing their world.

It was August. Our second adoption had fallen through with over 2k paid out in living expenses we’d never see again. Things were not good, our money strained, Kaden’s first birthday had passed, the one year of his death was coming up…

I sat there, so envious and confused. My heart just ached to do what they were doing. I was so angry at God that I bowed my head slightly and let my thoughts roll as we all prayed:

Not everyone has the desire to adopt. Not everyone wants to go to a foreign country and serve. I’m not asking for fame or fortune but it would be really, really great if something that you’ve placed on my heart since I was a little girl actually worked out for me. Why bother making me with all these passions if you won’t do anything? You take adoption away, you take my babies away, my life is such a mess. What are you doing? DO SOMETHING.

And then we all stood up and filed out.

That following Friday evening I sat down to check my email after Bella was in bed and saw a message from World Vision. I wrote about it in detail here, but in short – one of their staff had put together a team headed to Zimbabwe in a few months for a Vision Trip and after reading my story, wondered if I might want to go too? We would be learning about infant and maternal health there.

World Vision Zimbabwe 2014-4

I cried so hard I could barely tell Sam what had just happened.

After that, things didn’t go smooth. My passport had just expired and WV needed it in 3 weeks to get me into their system. Sam couldn’t take the nearly 2 weeks off work I’d need to go, and my mom wasn’t sure if she’d be able to come out. I tossed around the idea of going to them with Bella, but knew that jet lag would KILL me on the way back – trying to fly or drive home from Colorado to Texas after. (So glad I didn’t try to do that.)

I couldn’t find a doctor to give me the right vaccinations, I couldn’t remember what I’d already had when I went to India – the list went on and on. Several times I thought, “Maybe I just shouldn’t go, because if I should – wouldn’t this be smoother?”

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Sometimes

Bella at the zoo

There are some days lately – as I start to become less sick, less tired, a little more hopeful – that I look at all we’ve gone through in the past three years and all we are both facing and looking forward to in the upcoming months…

And I feel happy again.

Little bits. Tiny moments of joy where Bella sits next to me chatting, I knit, Sam and I talk, Charlie is on his bed at our feet, the cats are probably somewhere barfing. It all spins together and I feel just so fiercely proud and protective of what we have. Our memories, our hurts, our ability to come back together time and again. Sometimes I feel like we could face anything at this point.

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Chomping Down on Goldfish® Crackers

Between the three of us, we’ve eaten so many Pepperidge Farm® Goldfish® crackers over the years that I’m sure someone at Pepperidge Farm has a new car on us. Sam and Bella love them, and they seem to be the perfect snack for nearly any situation – especially something quick on a car trip. Bella attends an hourly class on our military post a few days a week, and by the time we get out the door, we’ve usually missed their morning snack. They have an early lunch, but this doesn’t seem to help much when she decides she’s hungry. I’ve started packing a snack for her, both something that will help for on the way there, and last until I pick her up in the early afternoon and she’s hungry again. Goldfish crackers for the win. Goldfish Crackers Snack Ideas for Kids Most of you know she adores (ADORES) dinosaurs. Everything she has is somehow worked into a dinosaur or for a dinosaur. Pottery Barn dollhouse? Dinosaur romping spot. Teepee? Dino sleeping area. My bed? Perfect to make into small volcanoes. So when it comes to her snack, I had a little time on my hands one morning and a fun idea while she was getting ready for the day. Goldfish Crackers Snack Ideas This is super easy to do. It took me about 8-10 minutes total. I’m not a “fun snack” mom, because I forget until after Bella eats that something cute could have been made from it, but we do have days where I remember and she has a lot of fun when I show her something I did. Goldfish Crackers Snack Ideas 1 So for this snack, I created a little dino (also can be a dragon/alligator) to chomp on the Goldfish crackers butterfly. You’ll need: (seriously, this is so easy)

  1. Goldfish crackers
  2. Another dry snack or sturdy fruit (I picked orange slices)
  3. A sandwich sized ziploc bag (snack is too small)
  4. A clothespin
  5. Paper/markers/googly eyes/pipe cleaner

Fill the bag with crackers and dry snacks. Separate evenly and twist 2-3 times. Use pipe cleaner to wind around middle and keep it from coming undone. Cut small triangles for the teeth. Glue on. Use googly eyes (or draw your own). Cut out a small row of spikes from colored paper or color your own. Glue on. Let dry for a minute. Chomp that right onto the middle of the bag. Goldfish Crackers Snack Ideas 2 And there you have it! The great part of this is the clothespin can be used again and again. Except if you’re Bella. And you take the clothespin off and play with it and forget about the snack you couldn’t live without five minutes before. :) Goldfish Crackers Snack Ideas 4

See other Goldfish Tales at GoldfishSmiles.com, and upload your own Goldfish Tale for a chance to win an awesome trip to the US location of your choice!

What’s your favorite way to snack on Goldfish crackers? Tell me in the comments to enter for a chance to win a $100 VISA gift card!

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I’m Tired.

It’s 2:00. I’m alone in a cafe, having spent the past two hours in a intense therapy session. I took an additional two hours after with Bella at her hourly care so I can work.

It’s my last week of my current term of school. Lots to do there.

I haven’t written here in a while. Several in drafts.

I have calls to make. Appointments to check.

And here I sit. Scrolling through pages mindlessly as I avoid this. Writing.

Because I feel like I should be ok. My writing should be about me healing. I’m healing y’all! Expecting a surprise baby and I’m just healing away over here. 

I’m pregnant. It’s a girl. Things are good so far. Sunday was Preston and Julian’s birthday – 3 years. And we spent a quiet day at home together.

And yet.  [Read more…]

About a Girl

I look down at my growing stomach (4th pregnancy isn’t joking around y’all) and it’s so odd after two pregnancies and three boys and six boy names to know this one is a girl.

I’m excited for Bella to have a sister, and I’m honestly really excited to do girl stuff all over again. I saved many of Bella’s things. Hauled it through all our moves. Stored it in the closets. When I was toward the end of my pregnancy with Kaden, Sam and I talked about having one more.

I’d had a feeling pretty early on that this baby might be a girl, since my morning sickness pattern was so close to being pregnant with Bella. I didn’t take any medication with her for that until second trimester, so I remembered it really well. And this time, no meds again since we don’t know what triggers a ciHHV-6 activation.

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