Monday, December 17, 2012


I want to start by sending my heartfelt condolences to all of the families who lost loved ones last week in Newton, CT.  I do not have the words to express how sorry I am that you are having to live through this.

With that said, I am extremely thankful that my son is only 3, and that we don't watch a lot of broadcast television with him. This weekend was filled with heartbreaking news stories regarding the incident in Newton, Connecticut.  I am thankful that I was spared from explaining these events to my child, because my adult brain can barely process them.  As a mother, I look forward to my child starting school- to reaching that milestone of knowing they would be well cared for and educated.  (My husband and I are supporters of our local school system, it is why we sacrificed to move into the school district we chose.)  I cannot begin to comprehend the overwhelming sadness and grief the parents of all of the children who were killed.  And the guilt.  I am sure they felt they were doing the best thing for their child by sending them to the school they chose, and I am sure many will spend time thinking through all of the "what if's" - if they had just chosen to keep their child home that day, or if they had chosen a different school or different home or chose to home school - the options are endless. I am sure they feel this way because, God forbid I am ever in a similar situation, I would.  I would blame myself. To those parents, and the loved ones and parents of the teachers and staff who were also killed I want to say this:

It was not your fault.  You did not choose to send your loved one to a war zone.  The teachers and staff did not choose to work in a dangerous profession or a dangerous area. You made the best decision you could for your child and family. We live in a broken world, a place where there is mental illness, violence, and guns.  A place where sin and ugliness and hate run rampant. We cannot do anything about this, it is a fact.  The only thing for me that keeps this from being a crushing revelation is the hope and promise that I have in Christ that this is not the end.  This world is not where we end up - that one day all will be made new, and all will be restored.  It is this hope that helps me see past what has happened, and not allow an event like this to cripple me from living my life.  The song "There Will Be A Day" by Jeremy Camp has been running through my head since I heard the news of this story - for those reading who feel hopeless  there is hope.  It is just not this side of heaven.

While we cannot change these events, we can change how we react.   A very wise man once shared with me "Beth, you cannot change what is happening in this place, you can only change how you react to it"  So this is how I am reacting.

I'm angry.  Very angry.   I'm angry that our news outlets are spending more time focusing on the gunman than the victims.  Want to ensure that some other kid with issues who wants attention guns down a school?  Make a big deal about another kid who already did it.  I haven't been a mother long, but I have learned this lesson already.  If there is a behavior in my son I want to eradicate, we don't even acknowledge it, laugh at it, or give it a moment's pause -  we ignore it until it disappears.  So let's ignore the stories about this kid's past, the speculation of who's and why's.  Let's not make him into a victim - let's not even utter his name.  So here is my challenge to you - don't read the stories about him.  Make it a point to skip those links, and send a message to the media at large that we are tired of hearing about what a "victim" kids like him are.  Because if we can all come together to take a stand and make the point that the information shared in those stories doesn't matter, if we can desensationalize stories like this, as a whole we may be able to stop another kid from thinking this is a good idea to get the attention he or she is looking for.  Let me be clear, I do not for a moment believe that this will eradicate senseless violence - but it may stop at least one tragedy from occurring.

Sunday, May 13, 2012

On Joining the Club

For a very, very long time I longed to join the club of women I experienced every day.  They were a diverse group, some older than I, some younger - belonging to a group that I just wanted to be a part of so badly.  There was nothing I could do to meet the initiation requirements of this club - I just had to wait.  That was the hardest, the waiting and not being able to join.

On September 4, 2010 I finally, finally earned my place in their ranks.

At 6:42 p.m. that evening I became a mother.  Suddenly, in the bowels of Detroit International Airport my initiation was complete, and my son was placed in my arms. It was amazing.  It was everything that I had imagined it could be, an more.  I had joined the club.

Today marks my second Mother's Day, the second time I get to celebrate joining this group of women.  My husband and son (and my Mom!) made me feel so special, appreciated and cherished today, even more so than on other days.  We celebrated well today.

In all the joy and celebrating this day now holds for me, I want to be clear that I have not forgotten the sisterhood from which I came.  I have not forgotten the tears and heartbreaking emptiness this day brought for oh-so-long.  While I celebrated today, I also cried for the women for whom it is not yet time for Motherhood.  I cried remembering the feeling of missing someone - some little person I had not even met - and then feeling like I was crazy missing someone I didn't know.  It's not crazy.  It's part of being a mother.

To my sisters in waiting I want to share this.
It's worth it.  It is amazingly, beautifully, worth it.

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Weekly Weigh In - Week 7

I received an e-mail this week that made me feel like some of you reading think I have this all together.

Let me assure you I don't.  If I did, I would no longer have 64 pounds to lose.  (Yep, another week with no loss, but no gain either) I struggle daily, sometimes hourly with this.  As I have looked back over the last almost two months and realized something important.

The weeks I have felt the most in control of this journey, the most aware, and had the best results were the weeks where I was focused not on myself, but on my Creator.  Where I focused more on glorifying God with this journey than on the number on the scale.  Those were my best weeks. I think I need more of those weeks.  

Next up, the promised recipes!  
First up - No Bake Energy Balls

Friday, May 4, 2012

The Ultimate Test

Last year for Christmas (2010) my Father-In-Law gave me a great gift - a Kindle with a light in the cover.  (mostly because I like to read before going to sleep, and Steve isn't thrilled with keeping the light on "Until all hours of the night".)

Let me go back to explain - I love to read.  I love books.  I love to feel the weight of the book in my hands, and feel the pages creak open.  I loved leaving the library with more books than I could carry. I also like to read favorite books over and over again, they are like old friends.  The story doesn't change, and is a comfort in a crazy world.  They are predictable.

I was not thrilled with the idea of electronic books.  I resisted for a long time.  Then I caved.  Then came the gift.  And it was wonderful.  (Just a note, Amazon offers an ever changing list of free books.  Of the 400+ books I have currently on my Kindle I have only paid for maybe three of them)

I was curious how the e-version of my favorites would compare to my paper versions, but too frugal to actually purchase a favorite that I already had in my collection just to test.  Last week I had my chance. One of my favorite, favorite books was offered free on the Kindle Free List.

Finally I could answer my question - which was better.

The answer - they are both pretty darn great.  I enjoyed reading my old friend electronically just as much as reading her in paper format.  Score one for the Kindle.

(In case you are wondering, my book is "Kissing Aidren" by Siri Mitchell.  Her stories are fantastic)

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Weekly Weigh In - Week 6

Over all it was a good week - My husband and my 9th anniversary for starts!  9 Years!  We celebrated by going out to a nice dinner. And boy did we enjoy ourselves!

I didn't loose this week, but I didn't gain.  I am actually losing a little motivation - any tips on that?

Also, the votes were split this week on the recipe - so we will start with the No-Bake Energy Balls, next week will be the Buffalo Chicken Salad and the week after will be the Quiche.
How about you guys - any success stories?

Monday, April 23, 2012

Weekly Weigh In - Week 5

Well - maybe I should whine a bit more about my weight loss, because this week was a big ol' 2 POUNDS! Yep, I get to add an "s" to that.  This would make a grand total of 6 pounds in 5 weeks.  Not too shabby if I say so myself.

Since I didn't hear from any of you on questions you have, or comments on how you are doing I am going to randomly choose a topic to discuss every week.  This week I am going to talk about my diet. I have learned from my past mistakes that trying to follow a strict diet doesn't work long term for me. What does - so far making small, but lasting, changes.  I have pretty much eliminated artificial sweeteners from my diet, and instead use natural options if I need to. I have also severely cut "white" products, like potatoes, bread and pasta.  Instead I am using whole wheat bread and pasta products and if we do have potatoes we have sweet potatoes.  I am also adding a TON of fruits and veggies to my diet.  The thought behind that is that if I am filling up on fruit and vegetable options I am not hungry for "junk". (Does this mean that I always, 100% of the time make these choices - nope. Just most of the time.)

I also allow myself one "treat" a day.  Lately that has been Easter Candy, a cookie, or something like that.  

I do have a couple of new recipes that I have been making, so leave a comment to vote on which one you would like me to feature next!
1.  Buffalo Chicken Salad
2.  No-bake Energy Cookies
3.  Crustless Breakfast Quiche

Until next week!

Thursday, April 19, 2012


For almost a year I have held onto guilt over how I felt about Buddy's Adoption Finalization Day.
In mid April 2011 we were summoned to Probate Court for this event.  I just didn't get that excited about it.  I just couldn't get that excited about it.  I felt terrible about this.  The day came, we went to court, and came home.  It felt like just another day. (in fact, I had written the wrong day on the calendar at one point)

We have had many friends who have gone before us on this journey, and they did this day up big.  A party, at least a cake - something special to signify the event.  Not us. We just got dressed up, went to court, came home.  That's it.

I even had to look back at some records to remember what date court was, because April rolled around this year and I couldn't remember it.

For almost a year, I felt guilty about this - until I realized something.

I can tell you almost every detail from the day Buddy came home - that his flight landed at exactly 6:00 p.m. on September 4th.  That we first heard him crying behind the customs doors at 6:30 and that at 6:42 he was handed into my arms.  I can tell you what I was wearing, what Steve was wearing, what he was wearing.  I can tell you that we arrived home at 11:50 that night.  Without looking back at pictures of the day I can say that we ate at Cracker Barrel and I had chicken strips and fries. I remember holding him so tightly that I didn't want to ever - EVER let go. I remember him looking up into my eyes while he had his first bottle with me.

I remember it all - because that is the day that mattered.  He became my son almost 8 1/2 months earlier when he was placed in my arms.  Not the day in court - that day was just a formality.  It didn't change anything at all.  (well, legally it did, but you know what I mean)

I think I was feeling guilty for nothing...