Tuesday, May 26, 2009

A Close Call

This past weekend something very scary happened to one of my best friends.......to someone who has always given me(us) unwavering/unconditional support & love.......to my biggest cheerleader........to my hero

My Mom was in a horrific automobile accident on her way to a family shower in Burlington, Iowa involving 2 other vehicles. She was traveling Northbound at 55 mph in the right hand lane of a 4 way highway. A truck entered the road right in front of both lanes, causing both my Mom and the car in the left lane to collide head-on with it. The truck failed to stop at the stop sign or even look before proceeding into traffic. We know that he suffered extensive injuries and was life flighted to the nearest trauma hospital in the area. My Mom's car hit near his drivers' side and the impact forced her across the left lane of that side, across the median and through BOTH lanes of oncoming traffic on the opposite side of the road, before she smashed into a deep culvert on the other side. Every single airbag deployed in her vehicle and the reinforced metal held...........

Dazed, battered, bruised and frightened, my Mom stumbled from her vehicle and crept a safe distance from the car. Her fear was that the car would burst into flames. She walked away from that accident on her own two feet...................not without injuries, but she walked away.

While she waited for assistance two woman stopped to offer comfort. One young woman in particular was incredibly supportive. She took the shoes off of my Mom's feet and propped up the leg that was already starting to swell. She retrieved my Mom's purse & car keys from the battered car. Most significantly she sat there with my Mom for a very long time while help was summoned. She sat with my Mom so that she wouldn't be alone during what must have been a terrifying time. While they waited my Mom learned that this stranger had originally been on her way to decorate the grave of her own Mother, whom she had lost.( Deep breath..........)

My Mom was taken to the local hospital and scanned, x-ray ed, checked and rechecked. Miraculously she was released with no major injuries. Scrapes, bruising, contact burns, emotional distress yes...........but NO major injuries, no broken bones.

Our phone rang at just past 8 p.m. Sunday night; we knew immediately a phone call from home past 7 would not be good news. We were still unprepared for this news. My Mom said she delayed calling a bit so that we could get our kiddos down.........she didn't want to disturb our routine. That's just so my Mom........thinking of others during her own terrible ordeal. She recounted the accident as best she could. She humorously added that they are done with Red Camry's for now. She told me that I almost lost my Mom today, but that it must not have been her time. I know the Lord must protect so many, all of the time.............I know HE called home many people on that very day..........but it was not my Mom's time. Selfishly I thank him for sparing her. Her work must still be on this earth. How lucky we are!

The air bags deployed......the reinforced steel protected its precious cargo..........but it was HIS grace that protected her across four lanes of highway traffic and allowed her to walk from the car largely in tact. I know not every family is as fortunate; we still do not know the status of the gentleman driving the truck or the family in the lane next to my Mom. All we can do is pray.

And I know I will never be able to properly thank the young women who came to her aid, but maybe I can follow their example and be more giving.......more selfless.......there truly are angels walking among us..........I know, cuz my Mom met 2 this past Sunday.

And Mom, when you do eventually read this; when you feel well enough again to do so, please know that we rejoice in this miracle. We are so grateful for whatever time we all have together & will never ever take a moment for granted. And Mom.......we love you very very much!

P.S. Please don't be mad....I know you never like your own pictures, but you are beautiful and I need to work through this and share you with my blog community. Its therapy, ya know! You are an amazing Mom and an even more incredible Mimi to our babies!!


Oh my.......BOY is my face red! :) When I first started following blogs & subsequently decided to start my own I knew I would need an alternate email address to make it a bit easier. Soooo, I created 'bloggirl2008' & launched my blog. You all know the rest! But whatcha didn't know was that I have NOT been able to access the email portion of that account for many many months now! Okay, probably since about the beginning.(yikes!) Once upon a time I had tried to fix the issue, but with no luck! Time went by and as I was able to successfully post to my own blog and comment to others' blogs I never resolved the email access problem. Fast forward to this past weekend........time allowed me to finally tackle this pesky problem and 'walla'(!) I found myself with access the email address attached to my blog. LOL I honestly didn't realize and never would have guessed that folks had been sending me email to this account! There are emails that go all the way to last Fall! Some of them are sweet, humorous.......some were requests for references on our agency or the Taiwan adoption process.......some were follow ups to comments I left on other blogs........some were notes of cheer and friendship......ALL of them are appreciated, albeit a bit belatedly!

If you are a blogger/board buddy out there or someone who just happened by our site and left me a note that went ignored to, please accept my apologies! Ack! I absolutely would have responded and am trying to write back to as many as I can now!

I guess this just shows that not all blogs or bloggers are created equally.........computer savvy I am not!!

AND please know that my shingle is now open on this account.......smile

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Simple Pleasures

Our family has been so busy of late that with the arrival of these beautiful almost summer like temperatures we have been taking advantage of simple pleasures. Our days had been hectic with virtually every weekend committed(which we do LOVE) and our weekdays filled with work, school, play dates, outings, errands and just living. An unexpected outcropping of this has been a renewal by both Scott and I to pair down and simply "be". We have been keeping the laptop off for at least 2 weekdays per week and always on Saturdays. Our television has been dark most nights with the exception of the Blackhawks play-offs (Scott) and the finale of Survivor. :) We allow our answering machine to take our calls during mealtimes, story-times and honestly I usually miss most calls anyways during the day as it seems to only ring when I'm showering, have the kiddos in the tub or am putting the baby to sleep! LOL

So our new found time has been better spent with our children.........taking walks after supper.....spontaneous trips to the park on Sundays.......impromptu play dates with friends or neighborhood buddies......exercise.......even tackling the dreaded basement and all the clutter that seems to dominate. Things we always did before, but now find all the sweeter as it seems less rushed or less scheduled.

We are keenly aware of how fleeting time is; we see its incredible power each time we witness one of our babies accomplishing something new......experience another visit from the tooth fairy......as our Kindergartner begins the exciting transition to First Grader ( how did that happen??) and our baby boy says," night night" when we pull his shades down at bedtime and stands up so tall!

Summer pleasures.......simple pleasures.......just today I walked Tyler down the same path I strolled Lauren so many years ago. Some things have changed, but quite a bit was the very same and I smiled as I thought back with sweet nostalgia AND thought forward to joys yet to come. Then I put those musings aside and simply was in the moment......

I hope you enjoy a peek at some of our recent simple pleasures.......

We discovered "Mum Mum" baby crackers and our little cutie LOVES LOVES this snack! Also titled, "have cracker, will travel".

Tyler also adores his new Musical Chair! Our little monkey loves to dance!

He keeps us laughing all day long.......and look at those darling thighs!! What a baby!!

Do any of you remember Bloonies? Lauren was transfixed with this amazing bubble! I'm transfixed by her smile!

Dreaming of road trips yet to come..............

My pretty girl on her Groove-n-Go scooter. I don't remember these being around when I was little!! :)

Taking our walk.......Lexi has walked along with both kiddos over the years, but its not easy to tackle 80 degree temps while wearing a fur coat!

Always keeping watch while we play........our furry guardian girl!

Wishing you all a glorious holiday weekend and plenty of simple pleasures!!

Friday, May 15, 2009

A Belly Laugh and Reality Check!

Here is a little story for you all..........this happened to someone else....yes, that's it, someone else. We will call her "Risa". :)
About a week or so ago, Risa dashed home from running errands and found herself anxious to shed her Mama uniform :) that had seen very hard action on that particular day. Risa's closet, normally a bastion of organization & serenity (yeah, right!) happened to be is disarray on this particular day. Risa, in the interest of hurrying, grabbed something comfy and hurried downstairs to fix dinner for her lovely & famished family.
At some point while preparing a nutritious and almost gourmet-like meal ;) Risa's daughter, "Rauren" happened to glance up and said these magic words: "Oh Mama, you look like your only 28 in that outfit!" OH GLORY BE, thinks Risa with obvious surprise.......with wonderment Risa says to herself, 'she just took a decade off' and smiles with great joy. Risa stands just a little taller in that moment and does what many women do when given a compliment.......brings her hand tentatively to her hair. Its here that Risa's glee begins to evaporate. And this is what she found upon careful scrutiny..........
Hair........(groan) Risa discovers that nary a brush has touched her locks since her early morning hasty do.......yep, same loose knot in the back of the head....... and her bangs? Blown hastily out of her face with an impatient breath, cuz Risa is due for a trim!
Face.......(silent oath, muttered under breath) Risa glumly remembers that her cover stick flew behind the dresser when she was hurrying through her a.m. routine and the only thing standing between her skin and the world is moisturizer with SPF. Well, Risa rationalizes......that's something, right?
Lips......Carmax, applied an hour ago........nothing to write home about......
Shirt......(gasp) Is it really possible, Risa thinks, that she has donned this ancient t-shirt from probably 6 years ago? Its so faded that Risa cannot even remember its original color. AND, is it?? .....could it be?........sigh.....yes, a small hole near the hem? Oh dear......
Nails.......(deep breath) Okay....filed & buffed..... but no clear polish!! Risa remembers with clarity that she was distracted the previous evening by Baby "Dimple's" sweet cry and never returned to her task. Oh yes, there's the polish bottle over there....by the unfolded laundry.
Lounge pants.......(yikes!) Risa ruefully scrutinizes her choice with despair. Over sized flannel pants rolled several times at the waist so they stay up..... & snowflakes in May?? Where did these even come from?, Risa wonders........how puzzling and terribly unattractive.
Feet......(sigh) Oh, saving grace.....upon quick inspection Risa spots a splash of color on her bare feet. Yippee!! .....then....... Ack! Upon closer inspection, Risa glumly spies alternating riots of pink/blue on her piggies and fleetingly remembers her recent appointment at Rauren's Nail Salon & Beauty Shop. Great prices, but spotty service.........
Aghast now, Risa whips her head up just in time to see "Stone" (Risa's husband.......indulge me here folks!) barely suppressing a knowing smile. Yes, Stone has watched this entire spectacle and has seen Risa go from preening peacock(following the compliment from Rauren) to horrified everyday Mom. Risa debates sticking her tongue out at him........but the children are watching now.......drat!!
And just as Risa resigns herself to her fate for this night, lovely and perceptive Rauren streaks over to hug her and whispers, " Oh, Mama, I think you look just like a princess!" And Risa's heart swells......she also idly wonders if Rauren needs an eye appointment........and then Rauren says in a loud clear voice........"sure Mama, don't you remember the story of " The Paperbag Princess."
And what can Risa do?????? Well, she hugs Rauren back and laughs out loud.......a big ole belly laugh........she also decides its time to invest in some new lounge clothes! ;) What else can she do??
P.S. Risa wants you all to know that no flannel pants were harmed in the making of this blog post.......its merely coincidence that a pair of flannels matching that exact description went missing the very next day...........lol
P.S.S. Be back next week with some pics.....I promise!

Wednesday, May 6, 2009


With Mothers' Day quickly approaching I am reminded of not only the many many amazing Moms I know & admire( I love you Mom....you are the very best!!) but also of the road to Motherhood. There was a time when I feared I would never hear a sweet tiny voice call out that most cherished of word.......Mama. And certainly when I think back on my path to Mama hood I understand how great the journey was & continues to be........ how immense both the challenges and rewards are...........

There was a time when I wondered if small arms would ever reach up to me for comfort or in joy. If a diminutive toothless grin would ever greet me in the morning from a cozy crib. If the pitter-patter of footsteps would alight our floors for more than a brief visit. If the Lord would grant my fervent wish. He did. He still does daily.

I believe with all of my heart that we were sent to Kazakhstan to bring home our beautiful daughter all those years ago. I believe just as strongly that we were sent to Taiwan to bring our beautiful baby boy home this past Spring. I could never have fully imagined the joys these two would bring us......the frustrations........ and the incredible laughs and lessons learned/earned along the way.

I am so fortunate to know so many phenomenal Moms both personally and through this media. Weekly I read posts of deep love, humor, devotion and tremendous hope from the blogs I follow along with. I respect and admire all of the Mothers in my life. I pray with all the Mamas still waiting to glimpse their babies faces for the first time(it will happen!!)........or who wait to hold their babes in their arms(agony!). I celebrate with all the new Mamas, whether they be Mamas of one, two, three or more! Just this week 2 Mamas on our board glimpsed their baby's faces for the first time and have been blessed beyond measure( Suzy!). Still another incredible Mama walks the halls at night, comforting her beautiful grieving baby just home from Taiwan.......... still other Mamas are finding their way with adorable toddler boys, home at last! Another Mama's dossier winds its way to Ethiopia...... It really is a dance.....a strange, wonderful and intricate dance, this groove of Motherhood. And how lucky we all are to be in it!

To all of you.......I appreciate each and every one of you. May all of your wishes be heard and granted........thank you for sharing this crazy ride with me!!

Oh, btw, our pesky computer is still not allowing us to download our newer pictures. Ack! So I dug around in the archives and fished out a few of my favorites. The photos of Lauren are from Mother's Day weekend last year. I had to catch my breath a moment when I looked....I mean really looked at 'em. I see in them so much change.....some of it subtle.... but still a reminder of how fleeting time is.

Happy Mama's Day to all the ladies in my life!

P.S. Carrie S.......hey lady, shoot me an email as time allows!! I miss you too!

My sweet girl..............brightening every day. Adding lots of giggles too!
My rare and precious flower.....................my Lauren

AND then he came along.......my goodness, was there ever a time he wasn't in our lives in some way?......in our dreams?...in our hearts and then home forever.

This photo was taken right after we picked up our precious boy in Taiwan. I see so much in those beautiful expressive eyes......and truly I see our circle completed.