Monday, November 23, 2015

Monday Morning Coffee - Seattle Style

Hello from Seattle!

Yep - we made it in last night about 9:30 EST to be greeted by S2! 

This mama's heart is so full to be here with her kiddo's. We haven't seen them since their wedding last spring, Seattle is just too far & I have missed them so!

And then to arrive to their apartment for giant hugs from our D2 and slobbery kisses from our Maci Girl. 

Life is good.

It's 6:30am out here now - making it 9:30 back home, so pardon me for being off schedule today & late in posting, but I'm adjusting to this time change ever so slowly. I believe the older I get, the harder it is to adjust to it. We shall see.

Sweet Maci just came in from her morning duties and had to check to make sure grandma was still on the couch, giving me even more kisses. Love my grand puppy's.

We had our first snow of the season over the weekend, accumulating around 10 inches in many areas. It was a heavy, wet snow and it came down non-stop all day Saturday. But it was beautiful.
I took my Wonder Dog out for a quick shot, as I have a bad cold and Saturday was not a good one. 

But I'm on the upside now & so happy to be here drinking my morning coffee with my son.

We don't have many plans this week, just enjoy our time together. The kid's have to work, so we are free to explore and do and be. One thing on the list though, is to go to the Gum Wall. We saw it about 1 1/2 years ago, on our 1st trip out here. It is absolutely disgusting, but kinda cool at the same time. It is in an alley under the Public Market. It's the wall where people stand in line go to a local theatre and they started to stick their gum on this wall, placing a coin in it. Not sure why or what started it, but it was deemed a Major Tourist Attraction in 1999. They have cleaned it off twice before and finally, about 2 weeks ago, they cleaned it off once again after 20 years of gum contributions. It took them 130 hours to power wash it off and 94 one gallon pails, weighing in at 2,350 pounds of old gum. 

Our flight out was very smooth and pretty uneventful. It was jammed packed though - tight!  We actually landed 25 minutes early!

Remember that sweet Orange Fujiflix I bought a few weeks ago? Well, I pulled it out at the airport in Detroit. There was a little boy sitting behind us and getting a little antsy waiting for the whole boarding process to get started. As we stood to get in line, Dream Boy asked what the little boy's name was. James. So I called his name and he saw the camera and smiled for me. I took his picture and handed it to him. His dad commented on how long it had been since he'd seen a camera like that, but James wasn't impressed when he looked at the picture and it was blank. 

But then, I told him to watch it more closely. Magic was about to happen. As the picture formed in front of him, his eyes got really big and he made a silent "oh" with his sweet little mouth, sucking in a breath of surprise as image became clearer and clearer.

That right there made it so worth buying this new toy!

So as the sun rises on Seattle and Dream Boy & I make our game plan out for the day - I wish you a wonderful week and a very blessed Thanksgiving with whomever you may be gathering.

Don't take this time together for granted. Cherish every sweet moment and create many memories. Be thankful for all that you have, be it much - be it little. Know that it's not what you have, but who you have in your life and in your heart that can make you beyond rich.

Happy Thanksgiving everyone - I am very thankful each & every one of you that stops by and reads about my little corner of the world. 

Saturday, November 21, 2015

Love From The Heart

Apparently today is National Adoption Day.

As I've been reading through a few different posts, I felt the need to share our story as well.

How do you know when you're ready for a baby? In our case, we just knew it was the right time in our married life to start a family. We both agreed we were ready to expand our family & make room for baby.

But it wasn't that easy for us. We went through 5 years of infertility treatments. The endless negative pregnancy tests, the basal temperature charts, the trips to U of M, and the unknown of why I wasn't conceiving.
We began talking about adoption and had starting exploring this option. I was dragging my feet, wanting so badly to carry a child of "my own". But we continued to get nowhere with all the testing and my heart was aching for a child. 

While on a weekend ski trip up north, Dream Boy & I were riding up the lift. I looked down below us into the eyes of a little boy about 4 years old. He had the sweetest smile and the most innocent big brown eyes looking back at me, and at that very moment I knew. 

I looked at Dream Boy and said I was ready to move forward with the adoption process and the next Monday I called the agency.

It wasn't long before we started the home study process and at the end of 9 months, we received our letter on Christmas Eve day from the court stating we were approved as adoptive parents.

Now the waiting began. We knew it could be 6 months, a year or even two, but we were content in knowing that God was working in us and through us to place a child in our home.

We were totally unprepared when just 4 short weeks later I received a call from our social worker. I thought she was calling to tell me about our final adoption fee, as the county we were adopting through had changed their fees recently. She asked if I was sitting down.

"Yes", I said, but all the while thinking, "holy smokes - how much more is this going to cost?"

She proceeded to tell me to get something to write down what she was about to tell me because I would totally forget by the time she was done. I assured her I was taking notes and said a silent prayer that God would provide.

"You have a baby boy", she said. "We need you to be here on Monday morning at 11am to meet him."


She repeated it very slowly again and made sure I understood what she was saying. I asked if this was a mistake? We thought at least 6 months, wasn't there someone else who had been waiting longer for a baby? What about all those on the list ahead of us? Was this fair to them?

"God has a baby for you, you were chosen to be this little boy's parents, by Him and by his birth mother."

She continued to give me all the details and said she would see us on Monday morning. It was Friday night now.

I remember sitting in my office with all my co-workers standing in the doorway in tears, as they had gathered around when they realized who was on the phone with me. I was stunned, shocked and beyond excited all at the same time.

I filled them in and then they all starting laughing and asked, "aren't you going to call your husband?"

Oh, yeah. So I picked up the phone and called him at work. I asked him the same thing - are you sitting down? He stated he was leaning against the wall & wanted to know what was wrong?

"I just received a call from Pat. We need to be at the agency on Monday at 11am. We have a boy.......a son, waiting for us."


"Did you hear me? I said we have a son, you have a hockey player."

Dream Boy responded that this couldn't be right, was I sure? What about all those other people who were on the waiting list? How can this be happening so fast?

I reassured him that this was real and that this was God's choice for us and that the birth mom had chosen us.

The weekend was a whirlwind of getting a nursery ready, telling family & friends of our news and excitement as we prepared to bring home our son.

We met him on Monday morning, spending several hours with him and then setting up meeting times throughout the week to help us all bond before bringing him home permanently.

And now, almost 28 years later, that boy is a man. One that I have loved deeply and fully and completely. Through all his good, all his bad and everything in between - he is our son. 

He has always known he was adopted, we have never hid it from him or anyone else.

But I have always known that he is truly a gift. A gift of sacrifice from a young teenage girl who knew she wasn't ready to raise a child on her own. I can only imagine how hard it must have been for her. We wrote her a letter thanking her for the gift of this child and promised we would raise him in a Christian home and love him unconditionally.

From the moment they placed him in my arms that cold, Monday morning, I fell head over heals in love with him. I actually knew that I had loved him even before then - that he was my son. I can't imagine my life without him. 

God had a plan for us and for him. As for carrying a child of "my own", I knew then and know now, that I carried him in my heart long before he was born. I carried the love for him always and have never thought of him as anything else but "my own". 

Adoption is a beautiful thing, a sacrifice so great, but one made from the deepest love that one could have. 

We have been blessed with 2 amazing sons, both in their own special way. God truly had a plan and truly knew that our lives would be complete with children, but it was His plan, not ours, that brought our family to life.

And God has blessed those boys with 2 amazing girls and our life is beyond blessed.

So in celebration of National Adoption Day - I thank every birth mother and father who have given the ultimate sacrifice. I pray for each of you as your move through the process of giving up your child, but pray for knowledge and peace in your hearts & minds that you have done a beautiful, amazing thing.

Tuesday, November 17, 2015


He speaks quietly to me.

When I'm in my own little world, lost in my own thoughts.

He speaks.

I strain someday's to hear Him, but my heart and soul stir as I listen.  This is not new to me, instead, it is renewed. My mind is filled with the wonder of all He has to say to me.

I've built a bench in my mind - a place to go and be still. This bench travels with me always, whether it be in my classroom, my car, my studio, church or wherever. It is a place to seek Him and hear Him and know that He is beside me always.

Powerful things are happening, but I don't know exactly what. I just feel it, I know it, I hear it. So I sit on my bench and wait. 



I have been studying, reading, absorbing, thinking, and examining. I'm learning to look at my every day activity and try to find the extraordinary! We go through life sometimes on auto-pilot.  Same thing day after day after day after day.

I am feeling the urge to share my thoughts with from these moments. They may not be profound, but I continue to feel led to share them none the less. Whether it be what I have read, what I have seen or what I have felt, I want to share.

So I begin this series called, "Benches", a place to sit and have a conversation with you and share. A place to just pour out these thoughts that I feel stirring deep inside me, a place to "be still". This is meant to be a series of my reflections of wherever I might be at that time - on a quest to seek out a great photo, a quiet time with God, sitting quietly in my classroom at lunchtime journaling or listening to a sermon at church.

Wherever this takes me, I hope you will check back and maybe even sit on my bench with me & take a moment or two to just "be still". 

Monday, November 16, 2015

Monday Morning Coffee

Tis the season!

Or so the calendar is showing, but the weather here in the Mitten has been anything but seasonal!

Not complaining. In fact, Dream Boy & I were commenting on our way to church Sunday morning that we would be okay if our winter was like this all season long. We realized that 60 degrees isn't going to stick around, and we'll pay our dues soon enough, but until then ~ we're gonna love every minute of it!

Our weekend, like most, was filled with lots of time together. We've settled into the empty nester life pretty well & our routine is one of comfort for us. We actually stayed home and cooked all weekend - actually Dream Boy did the cooking, which is okay with me. 

Not gonna lie!

We ventured out Saturday morning though, to watch our local Christmas Parade! It has been years since we've gone to the parade & the weather was just calling us to get out & enjoy it! So we did.
The anticipation of what was coming was evident on so many of the faces in the crowd.

We watched lots and lots of dance studios parade by, we heard a lot of marching bands, including our own local G-A Rams! But I must be absolutely honest with you, when I tell you that my favorite marching band is the one my niece is in.
She's right there in the front - tootin her flute! It was so fun to see her that we ran to the next street to see her a 2nd time!!  So fun!

There was this adorable Elf - wouldn't you like him sitting on your shelf?
Seriously loved the spirit of this guy - he was loving every minute!

I am working on finishing up my editing for the season, but had a bit of a glitch thrown in last Wednesday night while Dream Boy was working on the computer & he yells, "what does it mean when I get a black screen?"

Rut doesn't mean anything good. But thankfully I work with a guy who is an Apple geek, so he did some diagnostics for me and cleaned up a few issues and I'm running smoothly for now. There is nothing worse than having your computer crash, but thankfully my whole photo library is on a separate hard drive and I didn't lose anything.

We are approaching Thanksgiving next week, and I am so excited as we are heading west this year to spend it in Seattle with S&D2! This mama's heart is so happy to see them! It's been way to long.

So for now, it's back to school and getting through the week.

Have a great day everyone!