Sunday, January 29, 2012

Sometimes I Cry at Church

Today was one of those days. It was a beautiful service with a sermon that still has my mind running. But the crying came before the sermon and after all the baptisms.

It came from a song we've sung before that gives me all the more reason to love the God I serve and be so thankful that He led us to the church where he has us.

I lie down and rest, because I work no longer
I breathe in, refreshed, no more soiled in disgrace
I look up at him to whom I am kneeling,
And I see delight there in my Father's face.

I'm a son of God, and love is my freedom
I can ask anything of my Father, the King
I'm an heir, I'm adopted, and my brother is Jesus.
I'm a son of God, and my soul is at peace.

Friday, January 20, 2012

Cheese!

I need a break from thinking about adoption stuff.  Not because I don't like thinking about it, but yesterday was really emotional for me.  And then my amazing husband convicted me of some stuff last night surrounding my own selfishness in the situation.  So I need a break today from thinking about myself and my own desires.  I'm still super excited and can't wait to hear news, but I'm reminded that it's not about me.  It's about a young, vulnerable woman sitting in a hotel room right now making one of the toughest decisions of her life by picking a family for a child she is carrying and loves dearly.  Much bigger than my worries about how we will make last minute travel arrangements if we get picked to be that family.  Much bigger.

I'm taking some time this morning to try to meditate on God's word (tough to do with a sick, teething 1-year-old) and refocus.  While doing this Evelyn asked if she could have some cheese.  Fine, no problem.  There are slices of cheese in the fridge and cheese sticks that she regularly snacks on.  I came downstairs to check on my girlies and found Bella snacking on a sensible slice of cheese.


And Evelyn snacking on this lovely block of cheese.  Oh, Evelyn.  I love you crazy child.


Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Join Me In My Nervous Anxiousness, Will You?

I question how much about our adoption journey to share.  It feels sort of like when you are newly pregnant and debating who to tell because who do you want to have to tell if something goes wrong.  It's a weird limbo, this waiting to be matched business.

At first the plan was to keep quiet until a match happened, but who am I kidding?  I'm horrible at having to keep secrets, and I like to share my joy.

So if you want to hop on board this roller coaster with us, climb on in.  It will be a crazy ride that has already started.

Today we got an email from our consulting agency about a birth mom in Florida who needs to see profiles ASAP.  Once I frantically got a hold of Scott and spoke with the placing agency in Florida to discuss financials (their fees are more $$$ than we could cough up right away or in the near future), we decided to be shown.  Our profile is being over-nighted there as I type.  Why so fast?  Because she is due in 9 DAYS.  Yeah, 9 days. 

Now I have no idea how many profiles she will be looking at, only that the agency didn't have any waiting families open to her situation and timing.  Maybe the call that went out today produced dozens, or maybe she will be picking between us and one other family.  I don't have a clue.  But when it comes down to it I'm very at peace about it.  If this little person (she doesn't know the gender) is supposed to be joining our family, then she will look at our profile and know she's found her child's forever home.  God is big and very much in control.  We rest in that.

If this is going to work out it's going to have to be a God thing.  The money.  The logistics (leaving in 1-3ish weeks for Florida where we would have to stay for at least a couple weeks).  The timing.

The part of me that wants to control things is looking at airline tickets and hotels and trying to figure out how in the world I could spend 2 weeks away from our girls.  The part of Scott that wants to control things is staring blankly at numbers that consistently don't come close to adding up.  Yet, through divine intervention our spirits are at rest, happily knowing that God is in control of each and every detail.    


Thursday, January 12, 2012

Where I Am

I'm sitting here enjoying a cup of chai tea and a couple of caramels.  WHAT?!?! You say.. what about this???

I know, I know.  But before you think I've totally fallen off the wagon, let me explain.

Here's how the sugar fast went:

  • Day 1: Awfulness.  I felt horrible and wanted to eat everything I saw that I wasn't supposed to be eating.
  • Day 2: Repeat Day 1
  • Day 3: Repeat Day 1
  • Day 4: Hmmm, I really want some sugar.  This sucks.
  • Day 5: Hmmm, I guess I can do this.
  • Day 6: Repeat Day 1
  • Day 7: Maybe this isn't soooo bad.
  • Day 8: I don't really like this, but whatever.
  • Day 9: I didn't really care.  Honestly, sugar didn't even really tempt me.
  • Day 10: I can do this all month, not a problem.
  • Day 11: I don't think I can do this anymore, but not because I don't want to.
That's my story.  I really wanted to finish this month out by the time I hit day 9.  For real.  Day 1-6 me would not have believed it either.

But here's the dealio (you are about to know more about my little breastfeeding journey than you may care to know).  I'm trying to build my supply up to tandem nurse Bella at the same time as our adopted baby whenever God graces our family with him/her.  This is A LOT of work.  It means I have to eat about 800 calories more than what I really need a day.  And take herbs.  And pump for about 20 minutes 5-6 times a day while my children destroy the house. 

By day 8 of this journey I had lost almost 5 lbs. and had zero appetite.  I was maybe a little hungry in the morning and at dinner time, but otherwise not at all.  I was force feeding myself.  My milk supply plummeted.  So if you want to drop weight and get better control of your snacking habit, try eating no sugar for a couple weeks and see what happens.  If you are trying to build a milk supply, eat everything in sight.  I just couldn't eat enough.  But, when I have a little sugar, my appetite goes crazy and I happily eat everything I can get my hands on.

So I'm back to eating whatever I feel like eating.  The only thing I'm still fasting from is Pepsi, which when it comes down to it, was a major part of my day pre-this fasting business. 

This was not a decision I entered into lightly.  It happened over a couple days of me doing some serious praying and soul-searching and feeling like God was telling me that I had accomplished what he wanted me to accomplish and now I needed to focus on feeding my babies.  Will do, Lord.

On a super-positive note, the purging of excess is going be-a-utifully.  I have gotten rid of...wait for it...over 500 items!!!  Crazy talk!  And I haven't hardly touched the basement yet which is where a lot of the purging will happen.  Add to this that before we moved I purged a bunch of stuff because I didn't want to pack it, and we are getting much closer to a minimalist life.  My kitchen cupboards aren't stuffed anymore.  The spice drawer is neat and orderly.  Craft supplies and fabric are not exploding from bins.  It feels soooo good. 

Scott and I are still plugging through our study and haven't taken a night off from it yet.  It's so good for our marriage and my soul to have that intentional time with him right now while he's working upwards of 12 hours a day some days. 

Thanks for all the love and support.  Now if you are still delaying... make some goals already!

Monday, January 9, 2012

Let the New House Crafting Begin!

There are several craft projects that I've had in my head for a while now that were just waiting for us to get settled into our home. 

And Ryan Gosling made me do it.






So I busted out my newly acquired chalkboard paint and had some fun.

Project #1: Making a message board for the counter from a cabinet door sample.



I decided the trim on the front would be pointless as a chalkboard, so I taped off the area that I wanted to end up being a chalkboard leaving behind only the trim.


Extend the tape past where you want it and use an xacto knife to make a perfect line.


Make use of the leftover sample paint cans from painting the house.  Bonus of knowing it will match!


Paint your trim.  The center is compliments of my 3-year-old helper.


Peel it off before it's completely dry.  Then tape the outside if you don't want the chalkboard paint to go around the curved edges.


Forget to take pictures of painting with chalkboard paint.  It takes a full day to dry between coats though, so you have to be patient.  Something I'm horrible at.

Voila!  You have a lovely message board.  Right now it's being used to keep track of my decluttering project.  I make tally marks in the center as I get rid of things and then have my new total in the bottom corner.  It's very motivating to have it sitting there staring at you from your counter every day.
Project #2: Meal Planner

I have to remind myself often what my plan was for dinner each night.  And if I don't see a reminder I forget to set things out to thaw, soak, or whatever needs done to accomplish the meal.  Thus, a meal planner that can stick to the side of my fridge in plain sight.


Pick up a cheap-o piece of craft wood from Jo-Anns or wherever sells craft stuff.


Cover in 2 coats of chalkboard paint.


Add some pretty stencils.


Add the days of the week.


Stick to the side of your fridge.  Super easy.  Much more organized than I was.

Friday, January 6, 2012

Starting A New Year

Now that Christmas has taken up three posts and the first week of January, I would like to say a little diddy about the start of the new year for us. 

I don't keep New Year's resolutions, so I don't make them.  But, I have set my mind to a few things that are helping me work through some different areas of my life that need maintenance.  So here's my 3 steps to growth to start my year.  You don't have to copy them, or feel guilted that you aren't doing them.  That's not my intent.  My whole reason for writing them down is that once I put it out there it feels more real.  And when someone asks me, "how's that thing going?", I better have an answer.

ONE: Release my addiction to sugar.  I've slowly over the last year allowed sugar to become a big part of my life again.  I've been thinking about cutting back for health purposes, but that is never generally a big enough motivator for me. 

Then, we were asked to be small group leaders at our church.  Part of that was signing some stuff that said we were living a certain way and committed and such.  Well, on one of the documents I signed it said I was free from addictions.  Hmmmm.  Well, I'm free from non-socially acceptable addictions...does that count?  God spoke to my heart and let me know that the answer for me was no.  So for the month of January I am fasting from processed sugar.  It's been a rough 6 days.  I miss my chai tea, and my Pepsi, and my naptime snacks, and my late night snacks.  But I love Jesus more.  And he loves to use whatever means possible to grab hold of our hearts and hold them for his own.  So for me, he's using sugar right now. 

TWO: I feel like we have too much stuff.  I hold on to things I don't need.  My children are swimming in toys.  My cupboards are packed full.  The basement is full.  It's simply not necessary.  I don't want to live a life of excess and that's what I was starting to feel we were becoming.  So I have decided to throw away, donate, or otherwise dispose ourselves of 2012 items in 2012.  I needed a number goal because it keeps me motivated.  So I have a chalkboard in my kitchen where I mark tallies throughout the day when I throw something out and then when the board is full, I subtract that from my number I have written at the bottom.  So far I've gotten rid of 148 items and I haven't even touched the basement, kitchen, hall closet, master closet...

THREE: Scott and I are reading a devotional book together every night on prayer.  I despise devotionals.  They just always seem so fluffy and the answer to every question is Jesus.  Ok, so Jesus technically is the answer to most of life's questions, but that's not what I mean. 

I love this one though.  It's amazing, thought-provoking, and life changing.  It's here if you want to buy one. 

So now when you see me ask how these things are going.  And set some goals for yourself while you're at it. 

And Continued

Christmas Eve was the traditional Tometich extended family Christmas party.  Way too much food, a gift exchange where everyone brings a $10 gift and the only people that seem pleased with what they end up with are those who manage to leave the evening with a $10 gift card to somewhere, and lots and lots of people.  My dad was one of 6 children who all have at least 2 children, and now those children have children as well.  For some reason I have no pictures of this event.  Not sure what happened there, but if I acquire some I'll add them later.

On Christmas day we headed to Cedar Falls to visit Scott's grandparents.  They hadn't seen Bella since she was a tiny thing. 

Nothing says pictures with grandparents like a screaming baby and a distracted toddler.  Grandma looks great though!



On the 30th the festivities continued with Scott's immediate family and his other set of grandparents. 

Grandma Karen is lots of fun.


Evelyn dug into her large present first before anyone else could even get their gifts.  She was a bit excited.




Scott has beautiful sisters too.


My one and only niece, Kaylin.


Wow, Evelyn.  Really?


This was all followed by watching the Hawkeye bowl game and it's disappointing (even if expected) end. 

Whew.  It was a lot of travel and long week, but honestly it was one of the best Christmases we've had.  We enjoyed our time with family so much and came back to Kansas City refreshed. 

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

And Then Christmas Continued

The day after we celebrated our family Christmas we headed up to Iowa to celebrate with the extended fam. 

This started with festivities on the 23rd which has always been my family's day to celebrate ever since we were tiny.  It made all the kids jealous when I was in elementary school and may be part of the reason that I never really believed in Santa, at least not that I remember anyhow. 

Here's what the day entailed:

Jumping in the bounce house.

Sam, Max, Evelyn

Napping.
Jack (the boy that loves sleep more than any kid I know), Grandma Cindy
 Discussing the end of the world and politics around the globe.  Seriously, that thing comes out regularly when my family gets together.  We're dorks like that.

Melissa, Jon
 Eating way too many goodies.

Scott, Grandpa John
 I have really pretty sisters.

Melissa

Mary
 And a ham for a daughter.

Bella
 A round of pool.

Scott, Ryan, Jon

Beating the living tar out of your cousins.

Max, Sam, Evelyn
 Do you have some pent up aggression to get out there pup?

Max, Evelyn, Sam
 And trying desperately to rest amidst the chaos.

Abby
That's all before the craziness that is opening gifts for 17 people.  Yup, 17.  That's just immediate family, their spouses and children, and a couple international students that have become family. 



Forget the big stuff, lets play with this egg game.


Scott gave lessons on coffee.


Grandma was really impressed.


Opening gifts is all kinds of hilarity.




Then Evil Santa came.  He makes a yearly visit with all kinds of inside jokes and humor.  This year he brought new red cards to play Apples to Apples with.  So, instead of coming using the cards with nouns and such on them that fit the description given, we were matching family memories and jokes with the given word.  This of course meant we stayed up until 2 a.m. playing. 




Monday, January 2, 2012

Taco Turkey and Other Such Christmas Things

Our first Christmas in our new home!  It was also the first time we celebrated our own little family Christmas in Kansas City instead of hauling the presents up to Iowa and back again.  This was definitely a welcome change in routine.  So the 21st brought all things Christmas to our house. 

Helping mommy make ginger snap cut-out cookies. 



Watching Christmas movies with Daddy.


Making Christmas cards for grandparents.


Someone took things a bit seriously.  I mean, you can't have a Christmas tree card that isn't a perfect triangle, right Scott?


Roasting a big turkey that produced A LOT of leftovers because my children decided to boycott food that night.  Or maybe it's because I accidentally made up a batch of taco seasoning for it instead of rotisserie seasoning.  Feliz Navidad family.


See the tears?  Yeah.  Not happy ones.  She was mad that daddy wouldn't let her prop her feet up on the table and only wanted to lick butter and honey off of a roll rather than consume anything of real substance.


See all the food on that plate?  Not much was touched.  I think she was just a bit too excited about presents, and it's Evelyn.  You never know if she will eat anything or not.


All kinds of childhood happiness going on here.






Scott and I weren't going to get each other anything.  We just bought each other a house for goodness sake as well as a nice camera to replace our old point and shoot broken one.  He was naughty though.  This is why Santa brought him nothing.  That's my story and I'm sticking to it.  I technically bought Scott a couple things, but I gave him to them the night I bought them because I was so excited. 

Anyway, here I am opening up the gifts I wasn't supposed to get.  I knew I was getting a book though.  It's a tradition.  I just didn't know that the book would be an iBook to read on my new iPad. 




But there was more.  He was also working behind my back with our adoption consulting agency to get our profile printed and ready and to make us a waiting family with them.  So here's me being excited, and then crying.



The aftermath.


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