Tuesday, May 29, 2012

under construction #2...

As promised, the kitchen renovation update... with never a dull moment.  You know, we can't just sit and twiddle our thumbs while we wait for a birthmommy to come our way...

So from where we left off last time.... hubby was bravely tackling the challenge of widening the entrance to the kitchen... on a load-bearing wall... (eek!)

But Superman came to the rescue.  And my house is still standing.  Much better, eh?

Next up... electrical.  (and pardon the mess-- lemme tell you, it's been real fun to live in this-- sheetrock dust with your meal, anyone??... and it's about to get much worse as this room's getting completely gutted this week...I just cooked my last meal in it for awhile yesterday...)

So my Superman hubby worked for HOURS on end completing the electrical work himself: re-running the old wires from the wall (the wall that's no longer there), installing new switches and outlets on the left wall, AND... (my favorite) adding some recessed lights in the ceiling!

Things were trucking along oh-so-fine, as hubby was just about to finish up the last of everything from up in the attic and we were going to have LIGHT!

And then the dreadful thought crossed his mind to finish squaring away something on our LIVING ROOM recessed lights.  *insert the "duh duh duh" music and foreshadowing music here*

So the scene is... Marc's up in the attic. (he's been up there forever, and we're soooo close to the finish line of finally having some light in this place.)

I'm making lunch here in my total CAVE of a kitchen.

Caroline's playing unsuspectingly in her room.

You with me?

All of a sudden I hear the most unimaginable sound come from over the living room. (you know where this is going, right?)  I run to see what it is.

The first thing I see (not pictured here) was that of my entire living room COVERED in attic insulation.

Like a bomb had just gone off.

And then I look up...

Yes.  My mind quickly takes it all in.  That IS my husband's dear leg dangling from the ceiling from which he has just fallen through.  (And, to my credit, I snapped the picture after I made sure he was okay... :)

And when this happens, it's a weird, surreal moment of silence in a 13 year marriage.

There simply are no words.

One missed step onto the can light (which was hidden in a slot in the floor underneath insulation) now gave Superman another project in a room that wasn't even under construction in the first place.... uuuggghhh.

It also gave him the nastiest bruising and swelling I've ever seen in my life.  (I will spare you the image on that.  Yes, you're welcome.)

So perhaps we should now call this our kitchen/living room renovation?  (groan......)

(to be continued...)
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Saturday, May 26, 2012

bald IS beautiful...

Have you all heard about this?  All because of one woman who started a facebook page.  Who knew there'd be so much support.

So when the founder of this facebook group, "Beautiful and Bald Barbie!  Let's see if we can get it made" made a post about sending out free "dome decorating kits" to children with alopecia, cancer, and other hairloss disorders, I thought, "well I know a little gal who'd LOVE to get a package in the mail."

So sure enough.  Within a week or so, it was here!  (um, can we say excited? ha!)  Caroline thought it was so great that someone wanted to send kids with alopecia a present!

LOTS of fun, girly things... headbands, a hat, temporary tattoos, etc.

... AND her faaaaavorite item (being a pastor's daughter, of course...) was a little "Holy Bible"!!  She carried it around all day with delight.

So this was the picture I sent back to Jane, the founder, to thank her for our kit and all that she's doing to fight the stereotypes against being bald, and with my permission, she posted it on her national facebook page.   Within an hour, there were over 600 "likes" and many, many sweet comments!  I've gotta admit- I felt like I had a mini-celebrity in my house as I'd check in throughout the day and watch that number grow to over 1,900 people "liking" her picture.  Wow!

(My friend said I need to print that page off with everyone's comments & "likes" and show it to Caroline when she's a teenager someday crying about her looks.)

There is NO doubt I've got a very special and beautiful gal.  I know God has his hand upon her and has a special story for her life.  In 4 years, He's already given her quite the story to tell.

Alopecia is hard.  My daughter tells me mean things kids call her or say to her, and even at her age, she just ignores them.

"Why don't you tell them what your name IS?" I ask.
"Because I would say something mean back to them, Mommy.  I don't need to say anything."
(gulp. fight back tears.)

My child is learning some of the toughest lessons in life about loving our enemies, even at 4.  (though with her feisty personality, I wonder how long that will actually last.... ha!)

But alopecia is so beautiful, too.  If it weren't for alopecia, my kid wouldn't necessarily be learning these things.  She knows she's incredibly special and loved so fiercely, and she's more confident in herself without a single hair on top of her head than I am with a whole head of it.

She's an inspiration to me.

Thank you, Beautiful and Bald Movement, for all that you are doing to tell the world and my daughter: bald IS beautiful.
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Tuesday, May 22, 2012

under the water and on top of the world...

We're back from Florida and are returning to "normal" life.  (I use the word "normal" since life feels anything but when you've got a kitchen renovation in progress... another update on that soon...)

Nevertheless, there's a few things worth mentioning from our trip last week....

First, I'm convinced more than ever that my child is ready to be a big sister.  (um, you think?)  This is the scene when small children are around.  She's tickling them, playing with them, entertaining them and watching out for them.

We are praying fervently that God would bring another birthmommy into our life soon, so keep your eyes and ears open for us!

Secondly, we conquered a fear and reached a major milestone this week.

Plug nose.  Deep breath.

Go under!

And come back up.

Under the water...

...and on top of the world.
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Friday, May 18, 2012

night out...

Ah, yes.  The infamous night out at Summer Conference.  It's a tradition.

But first, pics on the beach...

After-dinner dancing...

A little more cowbell, please.

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Thursday, May 17, 2012


...is the word we're hearing the most this week.

While our college students are fully engaged in the conference, the real underworld of Summer Conference is watching all of the RUF kids play together year after year.  These kids' daddies all do the same thing as ours across the country, and since life in campus ministry is anything but normal plus we're spread out all over the country, it's kindof a big deal.

Last year at Summer Conference, Caroline made an instant friend in Abigail (same age).  I think they really hit it off when they realized they both sleep with the same "lovey."  You know... instant bond for a kid.

(Here's a pic of them playing together last year.)

And here they are with their "lovies" this year.

The minute Caroline wakes up in the morning, we hear, "can I go play with Abigail??"  And as she runs out the door, everyone in the courtyard hears, "aaaaabiGail!"

playing ball with Abigail in the courtyard last year

This year we're having "phone" conversations to one another.  :)

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Wednesday, May 16, 2012

a decade...

Just a quick hello from sunny Florida!!  We (& a group of our college students) have joined up with schools from all over the country for RUF's annual summer conference near Panama City, Florida.  As you can imagine, we are having a great time and I am already seeing how this week could be life-transforming for some of our students. 

I consider myself beyond privileged to have had a front-row seat to watch our students grow in grace at summer conference now for the past 10 years!

But I don't know that anyone is having a better time than THIS gal!  (more on this soon...)

Let's see... the beach, the pools, TONS of other RUF families & kids to play with, our sweet students (who love her almost as much as we do)...

This girl's got it made.
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Saturday, May 12, 2012

Thursday, May 10, 2012

we (heart) pizza...

Okay, okay.  The cat's out of the bag.

We love pizza.

Caroilne's preschool class had a special, dress up Mom's Day Tea the other day.

It was very sweet.  The class sang some sweet songs to all the moms.

Then it was time for the teachers to read some things the kids had said about their moms, and it was up to us moms to figure out when it was our child who said it.

Well, let's see... I knew it was MY kid the minute I heard "My mom's favorite thing to do is EAT PIZZA.  The best thing my mom cooks is PIZZA.  My mom's favorite food is PIZZA."

Ummm, you think we like pizza in our house??  YES.WE.DO.

Thankfully there were a few other answers that didn't involve pizza.

"My mom is happiest when I:"  LAUGH.
"My mom and I like to:" PLAY TOGETHER.

But there was one answer that particularly stood out to me.

I loved hearing her answer to this statement: "My mom looks prettiest when she _____"  While all the other kids answered with things like "wears a pretty dress, or wears lipstick, or wears something blue," etc., it was my daughter who answered "when she does something nice."

Way to go, my sweet Caroline!  Even at 4 years old, you are understanding that true beauty is SO much deeper than our outward appearance.  Our character is what makes us beautiful, not our hair or our clothes.  My heart rejoiced when I heard it in her little 4 year old words.  It's little moments like these where I see alopecia as a blessing.

Line up for sugar, kids!  I love how 4 year olds pick up an angel food cake with their hands as if it's a donut.  :)

Caroline had the girls cracking up as she read "Five Little Monkeys" to them.  I don't know why, but I think this is one of my favorite pics ever.

And just because we don't have hair doesn't mean we're not also fascinated by styling it!  These three gals found a willing participant to style and "cut" for a looong time.

And the best answer my sweet daughter gave on that paper, "On Mother's Day, I want to tell my mom:"

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