Monday, October 31, 2011

Happy Halloween

So glad we had some trick-or-treat ers tonight. Not enough to eat all the candy we bought, and sadly I forgot the golden Halloween candy rule of getting candy that you don't like so if it is left over you are not tempted by it...opps. Might have to get J to make it disappear for the sake of my waistline.
Kids in costumes are one of my favourite things, it just makes me smile. And we had the politest children come to our door for candy, so many please and thank yous and no one was greedy. I love that.

It reminded me how much I enjoy where we live. This is a sweet community and on holidays like this it has a really friendly atmosphere.

J is sick, the cold which has been doing the rounds has finally got him and he is in 'man cold' mode. I am really glad that our home visit got moved to Thursday because he would have been out of it and our house would have smelled like sick person. Or at least would have smelled like we hadn't let fresh air in or bad hour out for about 24 hours - Another good thing about the trick or treat ers, forcing us to open the door!!

I am so excited about the interview. I thought I would be nervous, but we love our caseworker and I know she is excited for us, so I know it will go fine.

Hope you are all enjoying the cute costumes and the left over candy - Happy Halloween!

Sunday, October 30, 2011

Little blue thoughts

I have been thinking a lot about babies the past few days. I suppose I have been wondering more than thinking; what will our child look like? Will we be able to comfort him when he cries? What will be be for his first Halloween? Will he like to snuggle? Will he think we're funny?!

These thoughts have been a balm to my spirit. My face is smiling. I can't help it. I am already in love. How is that possible? I don't know, but I know that I am. I am not sure if I would feel this attached if we had not gone through miscarriages and faced the reality of very much having this child with me, but whatever the case, I am completely attached, and in love with our baby. The one that we are yet to hold, but that is very much growing in my heart even if he's not growing in my belly.


It is not an accident that all of my wonderings have a powder blue cloud behind them. I am in love with a baby boy. I believe with my whole heart that the first baby I carried and lost was a boy. I feel as though there is a boy shaped hole in our family, and in my heart.

While we have no guarantees about the gender of the baby we will adopt, I confess it will take some adjustment if we discover we will be having a girl. Don't get me wrong, I would LOVE to have a girl, I cannot wait to read about 'Fancy Nancy' play with crafts and let's be honest, who wouldn't be excited to dress a teeny baby girl?! I can get so excited about all things girly. And I believe one day I will have a daughter, but whenever I start to consider our adoption I always see us bringing home a baby boy. That somehow adoption will complete this circle between us and our son.

Of course our God is a God of mystery and His perfect plan may have us bring home a daughter first, and we would be overwhelmed with gratitude and joy if that were the case, but I just wonder of the little blue thoughts I have been having are not just missing something from the past but also a glimpse of our future? I guess only time will tell.

Honestly, on this grey and gloomy day we have accomplished little. Jeremy is sick and has been on the couch all day poor thing. So I have been catching up on homework and playing nurse maid! I was working on our profile book and we started reminiscing and then talking about the future. Sharing hopes and anticipation about what the year ahead may hold. We both got a little giddy as we imagined our little family growing :)

Lord, I know that you know how this story ends. Please give us endurance as we complete this adoption process and begin our official wait. I feel like we have been waiting forever already. Please help me to be patient and find beauty and joy in the waiting. Prepare our hearts to parent the child you will bring to us, and please be with that child and their birth parents as they journey this hard and courageous road.

Saturday, October 29, 2011

Feeling fit

I haven't discussed weight or fitness on this blog in a while but it has been something I have been being very intentional about in the last couple of months. I had tried over and over to start a work out plan but ultimately after a week or two (if that) I would get discouraged. I wanted to see results but if I am honest, I didn't want to work for it.

So I stopped posting about new regiments I had started and was loving because I felt as though writing it was the beginning of the end of my motivation and I would have to write a follow up post every time I stopped.

That said, as my birthday approached this past September my weight had seemed to take on a life of its own and suddenly 160lbs was not that many pounds away, and there was no way I was going to be within 10lbs of my husband - who is seriously the same weight he was when he graduated high school (jerk) Plus, with a birthday approaching there is always a nagging voice asking if I am aging well! I am sure it's a voice heard by most women especially on a birthday - and I like to stare it in the face and say "yes" but this year I wasn't so sure.

I took a long hard look in the mirror and decided enough was enough. I was taking back control.

I know I feel some motivation to get in shape so that I will feel good about myself when we are potentially meeting with birth parents. I want to feel confident and as I looked in the mirror I could no longer pretend that I was ok with how my body looked. I have good self-esteem usually, and do not spend a lot of time thinking or worrying about the way I look but it had got to the point that my weight was coming to mind more that I was used to and that in itself made me certain that the time to make a change had arrived.

I was talking with a friend who was looking and feeling great having lost over 20lbs (now it's over 30lbs!) She showed me a website (and phone app) called which is a free site where you can track your calorie intake and exercise to keep track of what's coming in and what's going out and keeping to your daily limit. I set myself the goal of 1lb loss a week.

It took some getting used to. Some days have been more successful that others but overall it has changed my consumption because I am so aware of what I am eating and I no longer just snack because it comes out of my daily calories.

I am taking a yoga class at school three times a week and while it is not a class that makes you really sweat it is stretching me and getting me up and at school for the 8am start which I think is helpful to get my system up and going in the morning! Plus the brisk walk to and from school is a great and needed addition to my routine.

I have used the gym at school some too - and after I am fully recovered from this loss, probably in a week or less I will be back to that. The exciting thing is that I already see my body changing shape. Not just because of the weight coming off, but because I am increasing my fitness level. Feels so great.

In six weeks I have lost 7lbs. And it really hasn't been that hard at all. I can still have treats but I have to balance that with the other things I eat and do during the day. I have lost between 1 and 1.5lbs each week, right on target.

I have about seven or so pounds to get where I want to be, but if I continue on this track I will get there before the end of the year. Me thinks a fun shopping spree will be on the cards in the new year! It will also be lovely to have a wider selection of trousers to wear day to day. I have a drawer full but currently I am rocking the only two pairs of jeans that fit!

If you are looking for a tool to help you try and remove those extra lbs, you should try that site out. It may not be the thing for everyone, but it has been great for me. I look forward to celebrating the finished weight drop when I get there!! If you do sign up and want a buddy, send me a message and I will email you my user name so we can be fitness buddies (it only shares when you lose lbs, and never tells your weight just FYI!)

And while I would trade my weight-loss for a healthy pregnancy in a heart beat, I am not sad that physically I beginning to feel like myself again. Now if I can only survive the holiday season!!

Friday, October 28, 2011

God's secrets

Thank you all for your kind words. Today has been fairly normal so far. I did let Jeremy convince me not to go to my early yoga class this morning but I got up and out to attend my pre-test study session and then was able to take my french test. I feel thankful that most of the intense physical stuff took place last night so I have not been that uncomfortable today. While it certainly took effort to focus on conjugating french verbs, it was also a welcome distraction!

I think that being obedient in what God was asking of me in this season has been fruitful in easing us through this; taking classes on campus, moving forward with adoption, making marriage a priority to name a few.

I can see that our previous losses happened when my life was pretty empty. I wasn't feeling like I had much purpose or structure to my days. So getting pregnant, being pregnant and ultimately losing pregnancies became a focus. Everything got a little distorted. I am not saying that I wouldn't have walked through grief if I had been busier but I think it may not have consumed me in the way it did.

I don't want to just forget, or just move on, but I do want to continue to find life in my days. This afternoon I spent time with the family I lived with before I got married and found such comfort from being in the house I called home with the people who were my family. The kids showed me halloween costumes and told stories of their days and I was able to be genuinely thankful and happy to be with them.

We went to the harvest party at church which was insane but so fun, and saw so many friends from many different areas of life plus their kids dressed up in the cutest outfits. And yes, the thought crossed my mind, "what would I dress my son/daughter up as?" but it was answered - no, I am not telling you, wait until the first Halloween we are parents and you'll see for yourself - but then I moved on and caught up with friends, made crafts, watched the kids on the inflatable slides and smelled the glorious fresh kettle corn popping away. Man, kids are so lucky!!

So that was my day, which will end with having dinner with Jeremy's cousin. Fun!

Yes, this pregnancy is over, but our life and our dreams of family are not gone. They are ever more vibrant in fact. We trust that this is truly God's preparation for us and we are right in the center of his will. My devotional this morning included this verse, "The secret things belong to the Lord our God". Deuteronomy 29:29 Beautiful.

Thursday, October 27, 2011

An inconvenient truth

Every experience God give us, every person He puts into our lives, is the perfect preparation for a future only He can see - Corrie ten Boom

I have been thinking hard about that quote today, in light of the reality that our fifth pregnancy is ending in miscarriage as I write.

I stopped charting months ago, and Jeremy was away on business a lot this month so I have no idea how it even happened, but happen it did. I had been feeling a little strange, but written it of as stress or the start of getting a bug or something. But then I felt a twinge and realised it had been a while since my period has shown its face so I took a test. Honestly I took it to get the possibility out of my head, but low and behold two lines appeared. Pregnant.

Now, that wasn't in the plan.

Jeremy and I both took the news like we had found 25 cents in the cushion cover. It's a pleasant surprise but it's not like it's going to change your life or anything. We got on with life, without expectations that this would end differently than any of our other experiences. We would have been thrilled if it had turned out to be different but we were not ready to grab hold of that possibility so soon.

When the waves of cramping and the spotting started I not only wasn't surprised, I felt some sort of comfort from the predictability. I felt inconvenienced because of a french test tomorrow, and other plans which may now have to be postponed while the physical consequences come to pass. I shed a few tears, but they only appeared when I told Jeremy what was going on and I know that they were more about the pain and discomfort coming my way, they were not attached to a life that for a few weeks may have been growing inside me. They were tears for me, so I feel a little fraudulent even posting about this because while in the past this was devastating news to share, this time feels really different. It is a part of our journey, so it's worth mentioning but I doubt I will be logging this date in any journal to remember in the years to come.
I had forgotten what some of this felt like. I had moved away from the world of peeing on sticks and counting cycle days, and on into the world of writing profiles and waiting to be matched. I am so confused.

In the midst of all this we have had our individual interviews for our adoption, and our home study will be happening on Monday. I can't seem to get my mind to be in both places at once. I can be happy for the adoption and be fully in this process, heart and soul and yet, I can't seem to find the grief that I know should come with this loss. Perhaps it won't come. Perhaps this is just our kiddo stopping by to say hi because he missed us. I missed him too, and I suppose that this loss feels more like an "I'll see you later, mum."

We just got back from south Seattle where I had to go for my biometrics for my green card. More fingerprints - just more high tech ones. Now I am home, and my thoughts turn to revising and preparing for the french test mentioned earlier and then to making the house pretty for Monday's visit by our caseworker, and then way down the list, and quite possibly only making the top 5 because of the physical reminder is this miscarriage.

Strange but true.

While I do not for one minute believe that this loss is a part of God's plan for my life, I can trust that because he allowed it to happen it is preparing us for the story he is writing in our future. What a joy to have trust in a heavenly father who loves us, and wants good things for his children.

It is well with my soul.

Friday, October 21, 2011

Open Adoption Round Table - Being Scared

Open Adoption Roundtable # 31

Please go to this link to read more responses to this prompt.

“Write about Open Adoption and Being Scared”

My heart sank a little but when I read this prompt. I spend a lot of time trying to convince myself that "it's all going to be ok" By that I mean that every part of this adoption process scares me.

I am scared that we won't get chosen by a birth mother, and that the waiting will be too much for my marriage. Our desire to have a baby cuts deep.

I am scared that we will get chosen and then the birth mother will change her mind, and I am scared that that will break my heart beyond repair.

I am scared I won't want to hold or bond with our baby for the first few days of its life until he or she is legally ours and that this will affect our attachment forever. I am scared that I will carry regret about that time.

I am scared our child will reject us as a teenager for not being his "real parents".

I am scared that our decision to be open to many different situations will mean that our child will have struggles, and that life won't look the way I dreamed it would and I am scared that I will feel bitter towards my child because of that.

I am scared about each step of this process but I am reminded in the midst of it that my life is not my own and that I am not in this alone. Here on earth I am partnered with J, my soul mate, my love and my best friend. But we are not in this alone either, we are in God's hands. He is the one building our family. He is the one who is holding us up, giving us His strength to do what we cold never do on our own. Our fears can be stilled in the truth that all we are being asked to do is be obedient to His call on our lives.

Some of these fears may be realised in the future, and many of them will not. And while they are good to consider and while it is a good idea to educate ourselves in some areas which may make parenting an adoptive children a little less of a mystery but ultimately we will be entrusted with a little one that God loves more than we ever could, just as loves us. He wants good things for His children and in that my heart can feel some peace from all the fears that can sometimes be screaming loudly.

Wishing us all peace on the journey to our children.

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Over scheduled

I feel as though I have not been writing much of any substance on here recently. I am honestly wondering when I had time to fully process any of this stuff and come out the other end with something coherent to share.

I just walked through the door from a CPR class for school and am falling asleep with a heavy heart, knowing tomorrow I am booked up from am to pm. I feel blessed that in the pm I have scheduled in some girl time with one of my besties, but until that it will be go, go, go as it has been.

And it will continue. I cannot remember what I did before we started this adoption process, Seriously. I am going to have been at the doctors 5 times in two weeks by the time next Tuesday arrives. Different medical requirements, x-rays and blood work to ensure I am healthy. Which I am, thank the Lord, except for a nasty cold reared its head and which I do not have time for!

We also have those interviews, one of which is at our home so it is not going to fly to just run the vacuum around. I actually need to open and empty the dishwasher which is sort of clean, and has been that way for about 2 weeks. J made a final attempt to fix it and ran it, but it didn't really fix it and so the semi clean dishes are in their waiting for someone to rescue them. I am ignoring their cries. actually I am not ignoring them, but the whirring sound I make as I go room to room crossing things off my list drowns them out! ha ha

I guess it is just a season of putting my head down and getting things done. I cannot keep this pace. I have to keep my planner with me at all times because I have so much on the calendar that I cannot forget. Special mention here goes to my appointment to go and get biometrics for my Green card. Yes, more fingerprints, but these are on a machine and they seem to be acceptable. Still no word on the other fingerprints. Prays still appreciated for a miracle in that area. Especially because I have 0 time to get downtown to get another set for about 3 months. Ok, I could squeeze it in the next week or two probably, but I really do not want to have to.

Wow, woe is me huh? Seriously, snap out of it Mrs B. Friends please forgive me for my absence in your life. It is not personal and I look forward to resuming a sense of normality soon. And then I am looking forward to sharing life with you once we get our baby and life gets crazier than we could ever imagine!

It's all worth it. It's all worth it. It's all worth it. Repeat. Eat a cookie and then repeat.

Shoot, just remembered something I did not write down...need to go and write an email before I fall asleep. Wonderful sleep. Goodnight all.

Monday, October 17, 2011

Another step closer

Today I had my physical for our adoption, I have to go back after fasting to get a couple of blood tests but otherwise I guess I am in tiptop shape. Good enough condition to adopt a baby anyhow!

So now it's just a question of waiting for our interviews next week, and the week after to be so close to being done I can almost taste it!

Of course the few bits and pieces we have left are the really important ones. Read, intimidating! We both have to write letters to the prospective birth parents which I know will take some serious thought and prayer. As well as finishing off our profile book which will be a fabulous weight off our shoulders. It was originally a fun sounding project but the realisation hit that this book will be the only opportunity we get to introduce ourselves and are lives to the birth parents, the task became a bit more daunting.

We have also enlisted J's sisters help to make our video to go on our online profile. That should be fun to figure out! I don't even like to hear my voice on a voice-mail, I can imagine it will be a little tortuous to have to sign off on a video which will be posted out on the world wide web - especially one that is supposed to make a birth parent chose us as they make the adoption plan for their child.

Ho hum, the things we do - but it in not in vain. It is a part of our journey. And we are trying to continue to embrace the small victories the lists completed and enjoy the time we have together to learn how to be better spouses, and even to read a book (or seven) about parenting.

We took care of our favourite 13 month old for the afternoon yesterday. He was feeling a little under the weather and extra snuggly but we had some sweet moments with him. We sat on our bed as J was packing for a work trip and Tommy was happily chirping away. J and I shared a look. A look that said, 'It will all be worth it in the end, when these moments get to be a part of our lives day to day'.

I know it will not always be sweet moments, but we can;t wait for the whole package. Each thing crossed off the list is another step closer to our family growing. And that is worth celebrating!

Friday, October 14, 2011

Thankful for marriage

Finally dug my boots out for the season and my feet are cozy. Tonight I wrapped up warm, pulled on my boots
It has not been an easy week in our house. We have let the stress get to us. We have not been the best versions of ourselves. but tonight we shook of the days gone by, dressed up real purty, or at least I did and we went on a date. Out to dinner and then to watch a friend play music in Kirkland.
As we are saving for our adoption, we have cut back on all non-essentials. For me that means no lattes on my walk home from school and being a more conscious grocery shopper and for us it means eating out has become a rarity. Not that we ever ate out often, but if we were out running errands and it was lunchtime or dinner time we didn't think twice about grabbing something to eat. Now we make the choice to come home and use the food we have already bought. All that so say, it has made going out to eat a real treat. Something worthy of fixing my hair and putting on a cute outfit.

We didn't go anywhere fancy, no use scrimping to blow it at the herb garden, but we went to a fun pub with a great atmosphere, a gorgeous view of the water and great food. It felt good to stop.

Be together; talking, laughing, dreaming. Remembering all the things in our lives we have to be thankful for, especially one another!

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Fireplaces on...

It's that time of year. We put it off until we could no longer stand it but tonight we caved and turned on the pilot lights in our fireplaces so we could fire them up. Oh how I have missed them.

It makes the book reports I have to write for the adoption much more enjoyable! Now I am snuggled and warm my fingers are no longer freezing off as I type!

Hot soup and crusty bread filling my belly - soon to be joined by hot apple cider. Head full of dreams about our baby and a smile on my face I can't seem to shake.

Ok, nuff distraction, back to the reports...we're coming baby, we're coming!

Wednesday, October 12, 2011


If you read my post from Tuesday you might have seen a melt down coming. I guess as I re-read my words, I can hear the anxiety and pressure mounting in my own voice. About 20 minutes after I posted it the dam broke and I collapsed into a heap of tears.
The tipping point came when I mentioned our missing paperwork for the tenth time in two minutes and my lovely hubby told me, in a very calm way, "We'll have to just wait and see if it turns up there is nothing we can do about it."

I mean, how dare he try and comfort me. How dare he try and share this burden, what a jerk! He even made dinner for us, seriously what did I do to deserve someone like this?

Ok, kidding over, what did I do to deserve someone like this? He is my true partner in life. I know I am blessed, even when my tired puffy eyes are swollen shut and can't see it.

My new school schedule and especially the added class load were weighing me down. I have to, once again, realise that my school commitments mean I cannot do everything I used to. And admitting I need some help around the house to keep up with laundry and dishes (oh, yes our dishwasher also just died, following behind our fridge - trust me, I KNOW!)

Somewhere in me I feel that because we are not building our family in the conventional way, and have no 'easy' options to have a child we should be cut some slack as we try and make this happen. I know that is not the truth of the Christian life. And I am trying to stay faithful in my thoughts surrounding our adoption and not let fear or sorrow overwhelm me.

It was our monthly foster/adoption meeting at our church last night a (we headed out after my meltdown)The topic we learned about and discussed was the grief and loss surrounding adoption. It couldn't have been timed better as I recognised my melt down was another piece of my own grief. "It shouldn't be like this, we shouldn't have all this stress and paperwork and forms and medicals just to be parents." And that is something I am still grieving.

But this process, including the paperwork is where we are at. This is our story. Some days it is easier to embrace.

I know that my fear over all the "if's" of adoption had been building. In recent months, I know we have felt the Lord guiding our hearts towards adoption but I feel as though my prayers asking for things have lessened. After our losses, I stopped asking for the deepest things of my heart. My prayers had not been answered in the way I wanted, and God's willingness to give us the desires of our heart felt far away.

And then our papers went missing. I was angry, and felt alone. I wanted to ask God to find them, but for days I just worried about them, fingers crossed they'd show up.

Then I caught myself. Why haven't I asked? And suddenly and overwhelming sense of peace came. I just knew the papers would turn up. So I prayed and I asked others to pray and this morning I received an email from our case worker that she had them and everything could go ahead as planned with our interviews. I am so thankful. This answer to prayer was exactly what I needed. We are not alone in this process. We are not alone in our grief, and God is a God of miracles.

If I can see his hand in finding missing a missing envelope, I know we can trust him in our bigger requests; in the situations surrounding and affecting our child.

Thank you for praying with us.

What's for Dinner Wednesday - Hearty Vegetable-Smoked Sausage Soup

Another Cooking Light triumph. Love this.
Continuing to embrace the fall weather and the glory of the crock pot! This soup lives up to its name, it's hearty and full of veggies. So good. It is a day long affair to cook it but coming home to this delicious soup ready to eat makes even the chilliest winds and wettest rains fade into a distant memory.

1 (14-ounce) package low-fat smoked sausage cut into 1/4-inch-think slices
2 3/4C cubed peeled baking potato
1/2 (10 ounce)package angel hair slaw (about 4 Cups)
2 cups chopped onion
1 Cup sliced carrot
1 1/3 cups diced celery
1 C frozen cut green beans
1 (16-ounce) can kidney beans, rinsed and drained
4 (14-ounce) cans less-sodium beef broth
1/4 Cup chopped fresh parsley
1/2 teaspoon dried Thyme
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
3 garlic cloves, minced
1 bay leaf
1 (14.5-ounce) can diced tomatoes with basil, garlic, and oregano, undrained

1. Heat a large nonstick skillet over medium high heat. Add sausage, saute 8 minutes or until lightly browned.
2. Layer potato and next 6 ingredients in the slow cooker. Top vegetable mixture with sausage. Combine beef broth and next 5 ingredients pour over sausage mixture. Cover and cook on LOW for 10 hours or until vegetables are tender. (10 servings of 1 1/2 Cups)

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Prayers please, I am going crazy!

So that 'peace like a river' I keep singing about has been flowing right past me the past few days.
We are having a nightmare trying to return the first couch and ottoman set we bought, the couch that literally snapped when J sat on it. They did come and pick that up the broken couch yesterday afternoon having given me a 6 hour window when they might show up, seriously? But then they wouldn't take the ottomans because they were not defective. Clearly everything was made from cheep materials, and we don't want them - it was bought as a set. So just come and take it back already. I am so fed up, and do not have it in me to nicely explain myself to another customer service rep to get it cleared up. We have been dealing with the company we bought it from, and the vendor who actually made it, and the shipper and that people, is just far too many people to coordinate when everyone is telling you something different!! Aargh. Finally J just said he would deal with it, he can be much more forceful than me, and I pity anyone who tries to get one over on him.

This just adds to the rest of the long list of things to be stressed about.

Most importantly, and you can please pray for us if you think of it, we sent off a lovely envelope of forms and paperwork for the adoption last week. A whole week ago and they have not yet received it. It should have taken a day to get there. I am afraid it got lost, which is bad for two reasons, firstly, it will mean pushing back everything if we have to fill out all that paperwork again, and honestly, I am overwhelmed with my increased school load, and J is out of town a ton in the coming weeks so I have no idea when we would even be able to fill it out again. And secondly, it has a bunch of our personal information on it and I would not want that to be out there for someone to find and use against us, all we need is stolen identities to figure out. Please pray it shows up soon.

And we have interviews scheduled for the adoption scheduled which would be tricky to reschedule with our schedules and we have an appointment soon to go and get biometrics done for my Green card. We have something every day for a few weeks, and the thought is making me crazy.

Please pray that we can find peace in the midst of the crazy, and endurance to get all the necessary t's crossed and i's dotted for this adoption and my immigration, and that we can find some joy in the midst of it - and maybe time to eat and/or sleep too. That would be good. And just in case you forgot please pray for that paperwork to show up.

Sunday, October 9, 2011

Promise of New Life

We have probably all fallen in to the familiarity trap during worship time at church. You know the songs and the message of the words become less powerful with each verse you sing.

I love to sing, I love a time of singing worship to express my heart to the Lord. I am glad that he loves my singing voice, but sadly it is not so appreciated here on earth! I am self conscious of my singing in most other situations but in church when we sing together I can belt it out without any feelings of being watched or judged. Eyes closed, it's just me and Jesus, a daughter singing praise and glory to her heavenly father.

I have written multiple posts about the song 'I surrender' and the place it has in my heart for being used by God to truly allow me to submit to Hid greater plans for my life. Before I was married I could barely choke out the words about giving up my dreams, because I had a fear that God had no plans for me to be married and if I voiced that I had surrendered to Him, I would be accepting my fate as a singleton. If that had been Gods plan for life, I trust he would have changed my heart, or walked very closely with me through life. I believe God used that song to bring to a place of gentle submission. I began to trust his bigger plan, and found peace.

And it was a long few years of continued submission to that grander plan before Jeremy came along. And what a gift. He was totally worth the wait. God's grander plan was best.

In more recent times, I have sung that song pregnant. I have sung that song, surrendering to God's plan, hopeful that that would mean a healthy pregnancy and a baby. I have sung that song during a miscarriage, feeling heave that surrendering to his plans was allowing him the space to bring healing, and overall I felt as though surrendering to His plans was a painful idea of never having a baby.

So as the familiar chords rang out this morning and the words just poured off my tongue I suddenly heard God's voice. "This is my promise to you"

What, Lord?

Then my husband who was leading worship sang out,

"I'm giving you my dreams, I'm laying down my rights
I'm giving up my pride for the promise of new life"

New life. Yes we have new life in Him but today those words held a different meaning. We can lay down our plans, surrendering to God because he has promised us a new life, a child.
It gave me chills. I can not do much more that surrender it all as we enter our adoption process. I cannot control if our fingerprints are accepted, I can only go through the process until they accept me. I have no control over when the rest of our home study stuff will get processed, that;s up to our social worker. I no control or say over how long before we will be chosen by a birth mother, I have no idea who she will be or what her story is, I just have to trust that God is connecting our lives for a reason. But I can trust Him that this path is preparing us for the gift of parenthood and all the joys and challenges that along with that.

The promise of new life. Suddenly, this is my favourite song. No longer associated with grief and loss and pain, but speaking truth about the hope and joyful anticipation for the child we will one day call our own.

In case you don't know the song, or perhaps if you just need to hear it today here is a link to the song, I surrender by Marc James.

Saturday, October 8, 2011

Simple Joys

It's been a great start to the weekend in our house. J had a follow up at the doctors this morning. As part of our adoption home study medical we have to have a TB test, so he had to go ad get the results of his. He's fine of course but now the adoption peeps will know that. Happy to get that crossed off the list.

Then we had to go and pick up our new couch and love seats from the store. This is new couch 2.0 because the first one we bought was really bad quality - about 8 seconds after we had put the last couch together J sat on it and the wooden bottom snapped! It was so funny for about five minutes, and then we realised we would have to return it all and start over again on our couch hunt. Boo. But we ended up with a lovely couch and now it's here we are enjoying having the room put together, and snuggling up on it!

I also got out the fall decorations and the house is slowly becoming a haven for pumpkins everywhere! It was a good day. Nothing particularly grand happened but sometimes a regular day is just what my heart needs. The simple joys of life can sometimes get lost under the busyness, but today they shone brightly through. As I said, it was a good day :)

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

What's for Dinner Wednesday - African Sweet Potato Stew with Red Beans

Fall is well and truly with us, and I for one am a huge fan! This was my first stew of the season, and will be something that will certainly be repeated on the cold wet days ahead.
The warm flavours of the potato and the peppers balanced with the tang of the lime juice and the crunch of the peanuts makes this tasty treat a keeper.
The ease of sticking things in the crock pot and letting them do their thing while you get on with your day is always appealing, and this is a simple and delicious dish to add to your crock pot repertoire. Thank you again, Cooking Light!


2 tsp olive oil
1 1/2 C chopped onion (I just used one medium onion)
1 garlic clove, minced
4 C (1/2 inch) cubed peeled sweet potato (about 1.5 lbs)
1 1/2 C cooked small red beans (I just used one 14.5-oune can of red beans, rinsed)
1 1/2 C vegetable broth
1 C chopped red bell pepper (I just used one small pepper)
1/2 C water
1 teaspoon grated peeled fresh ginger
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp ground cumin
1/4 tsp black pepper
1 (14.5-ounce) can diced tomatoes drained (I just threw the whole can in, juice and all)
1 (4.5-ounce) can chopped green chiles, drained (again I just threw it all in)
3 tablespoons creamy peanut butter
3 tablespoons chopped dry roasted peanuts
6 lime wedges to squeeze on top.


1. Heat oil in a non stick skillet over medium heat. Add onion and garlic, cover and cook 5 minutes or until tender.

2. Place onion mixture in a crock pot. Add sweet potato and the next 10 ingredients (through chiles). Cover and cook on LOW 8 hours or until vegetables are tender.

3. Spoon 1 Cup of cooking liquid from the crock pot into a small bowl. Add the peanut butter and stir well with a whisk or a fork. Stir peanut butter mixture into stew. Serve stew in bowls, (makes 6 servings of 1 1/3 Cups) add 1 1/2 tsp of chopped peanuts to each bowl and squeeze the lime juice on top.

Eat, and oh my goodness you won't be sorry you did!

Tuesday, October 4, 2011


I am overwhelmed. Humbled. So very thankful for the kinds words expressed after yesterdays post. While I truly appreciate your words, please know that they were not solicited. I truly have the most sensitive, sweet pregnant friends an infertile girl could ask for. I was simply sharing my struggle to face some of the ugliness that continues to rise up in me surrounding my own inability to carry a pregnancy.

As autumn comes, and the trees are stripped bare I relate to their nakedness. I feel exposed. I have chosen not to pretend I am all roses and smiley faces. Sometimes its hard, I feel as though God is stripping back my life. Revealing my heart. Exposing those dark places where I refuse to surrender to him, where I hold grudges and where I cannot accept that His plans are better than my own.

In the hard times I remember his grace is sufficient. It covers me. Until I can emerge on the other side, clothes in green leaves of joy and hope and love. I know that time will come. I know that this time of refining is for my own good but it reveals some ugly that's hard to embrace.

This new season also includes Zumba and kickboxing classes. Who knew that was on the cards? New season, new you. Let's hope that's true.

Monday, October 3, 2011

Bear with me

I'm feeling torn. Torn because life isn't simple. Torn because in the midst of all that is good in my life, there continues to be a hole in my heart carved by our lost babies, and a wound that bleeds with tears about the way life 'should' have been.

Days like yesterday are good. At the core of my being I heard the message about being true and present, convicted about embracing the moment and I took it in. I want to change the way I think about my life, but truthfully living in the now does not eliminate the grief, loss and anger about our infertility.

I have to chose to surrender these feelings to God daily. I know that only He can heal my heart, and I imagine that it will be a healing that takes a long time, perhaps it will never fully go away. I am reminded every day of my shortcomings. My inability to fully reflect the joy of Christ to the world. I trust in His words; that God can heal my heart, and be my comfort, "Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies and God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our tribulation” 2 Cor. 1:3-4.

I hope that this healing will begin to transform my heart in the deep places that I try to keep hidden. I am struggling to know how to be good a friend right now, especially struggling to be a good friend to my pregnant friends. At a distance I can send honest congratulations, but hearing about morning sickness and aches and pains of growing bellies hits hard and does not produce the feelings of sympathy and a desire to ease their suffering. I know it 'should' and if I was in a different head or heart space I think it would.

I want to be the friend who genuinely feels compassion for them, but my jealousy, bitterness and deep longing cannot be overthrown that easily. I want to be the friend who offers to take them soup and care for their older children so mama-to-be can get some rest. I want to be that friend, but I am not. Instead of reaching out, I turn inward. I search for those lost feelings of care and love and I pray in earnest for them to come to the surface. I pray that God will transform my heart to look more like his, and for me to have the strength to be the person I was created to be, and love in the way I was created to love.

I do what I can and then I sit and wait. Weak in my own strength, and desperate for the healing touch of the God of all comfort. Searching hard to find the beauty in the confusion. Letting the feeling of being torn make me stronger and not less. Embracing the present, the good, the bad and the ugly. Jumping into the uncomfortable, and hoping I'll find a soft spot to land.

It's a messy life but I trust it will eventually make me a better person, and more importantly a more genuine reflection of Christ. Bear with me friends, there is a lot of work to be done.

Sunday, October 2, 2011

One week down

Phew, week one of school down. Week one of school plus 2lbs. Awesome bonus!

I have started moving more, waking to and from school, it's not even that much but clearly enough to kick start getting rid of these last 10-15lbs that have taken up residence post marriage and cumulatively after the miscarriages.

I am feeling good about the fact that by the end of the year I should be almost there. By the holidays I should at least be feeling more party dress ready, although because of holiday season I will have to be very disciplined o keep that party dress figure!

Fall has arrived in Seattle and the cooler weather and the pumpkins have made me rediscover the joy of being in my kitchen; today my slow cooker is bubbling, cookies are baking, and random other leftovers were converted into something edible and it all happened with a spring in my step. I have been diligently house-wifeing since about noon and am now sitting down feeling very accomplished and eager to reap the benefits of today's hard work in the week ahead.

I am looking forward to Monday. School has continued to be a good balance of stretching and do-able. It is actually quite an adjustment just to have to be somewhere everyday. I know that might sound crazy, but it has literally been years since that has been the case for my schedule. I have kept myself busy in those years and had some consistent commitments but having to be in class every day at a certain time will continue to be an adjustment over the quarter.

The early mornings have also allowed me to keep on track with homework and my online class. But I am realising that I do not have the option to be as social during the day as I have been. I just have to understand that my time is more limited, and that I need to plan less or at least differently if I want to feel as though I am not stretched too thin.

This morning in church our pastor referenced Jim Elliot's quote "wherever you are be all there." This really sums up my mind set right now.

My hearts desire is to be a stay at home mum. I want my day to be full of playdates, and making yummy baby food, and watching our child grow and discover the world. But, and this is a big but I am not there yet. I believe that God will bless our lives with a child and we will get to truly live the dream in that way one day but for now I have an amazing life and I would be missing something wonderful if I day-dreamed it all away. Or if I was looking ahead instead of seeing what was in front of me.

I want to embrace this season, which means less time to see girlfriends during the week while I fully commit to studying and doing my best in school. It means more intentionality and planning to maintain relationships. Perhaps this means more plans in the evening. I like that idea [Sidenote: last night J and I went to friends for dinner and I loved having a reason to change out of sweatpants, put on a nice shirt, makeup and fix my hair, so clearly a little more grown up hanging out would be a welcome addition to my fall schedule!]

In my first week of school I met a few women that I am eager to get to know more over the course of the quarter. I have felt better physically and seen that being out of the house for longer periods of time means that I snack less, and have to be more intentional about making good meals and snacks to eat on the run.

I want to be fully present. I want to be here. Right where God has me. This was not how I would have planned it but I am seeing the beauty of where I am.

As we continue our adoption paperwork we are aware that one day our lives will be turned upside down in a wonderful way. We will be shaken out of this particular season of life and I want to make sure we don't miss anything in the meantime.

So this is me. Seizing the day, eyes open to all it has to offer. If this is where you want me Lord, I look forward to uncovering all you have for me.


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