Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Awareness, Perspective, & Eagle's Wings for All

In light of last night's post I can't help but emphasize what people go through, much of which most of us will never know. And no, I'm not referring to myself, I'm talking about everyone except myself. Few people I know have blogs and the majority of those that do utilize them as a way to capture and journal everyday life, not to spill their trials. I'm reminded of this quote:

"Be kinder than necessary 
because everyone you meet 
is fighting some kind of battle."

My dear friend/cousin Janna has had this posted under 'About Janna' on her Facebook page for years. I've always admired it. Where most people write about themselves, Janna points outside of herself to others. After a good night's sleep and a little reflection on yesterday's post I can't help but be reminded of Janna's servitude to all those she comes into contact with. It's not just a quote to her, it's her perspective. She's a beaming ray of sunshine to so many people because she's always considering others and looking to give of herself.

Just because I'm unaware of other's realities doesn't give me an out. The comments alone on
Missy's blog post demonstrate a whole group of people facing past and/or current trials. Not only do I have it so, so good, but I need to be more aware, more compassionate, more sympathetic to those around me. There are people that waited nearly 6 years to meet their adopted child. (And I thought our situation was hard.) There are people with unresolved problems, others dealing with disease, others with death.

I woke up today with the gift of perspective. Today I'm counting my many, many blessing and remembering those who need answers, those who need mending, those who need comfort and peace, and those seeking their 'eagle's wings.'
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Monday, July 30, 2012

Still Lost Sometimes

As much as I prefer painting Meganville to be a place where solely happiness is felt, paint doesn't cost a dime, projects never fail, and all is well, there also must be truth. If you visit my blog with the intention of reading fun, lighthearted updates, today's post isn't for you. Go ahead and skip it, it won't hurt my feelings. In fact, I'll never even know. ;)

A couple of years ago I stumbled upon the blog, It's Almost Naptime. I began following because of the adoption emphasis. Never had I so identified with another adoptive mama until today, as I tearfully read her truthful description of life-in-waiting and the ugly that it entails.
As a believer, the process of adopting is so completely intertwined in one's spiritual life. I'm sharing Missy's post because, unlike her, I haven't been able to communicate the spiritual struggle that goes hand-in-hand with the trials of the process. I had chosen to spare you until today, when reading her post ripped the scab off last month's wound and left me confused, sad, and pained all over again. Since our adoption fell through this blog has often served as my voice. Sometimes I find myself realizing things as I type them, and not a moment before. Now is one of those times. Why pretend that the journey is done or "closed" when it has left such a lasting effect throughout our life? Here's the honest truth. I wish I were stronger. I wish I could proclaim from a mountaintop that my faith is unshakable. But that would be a lie. I see God when I watch BamBam moving inside my tummy. Surprisingly, my faith is even strengthened when I notice my body growing and changing because that to me is evidence that God has blessed me. It's proof that this baby is still 'happening.' On the other hand, when I think about our adoption, I can't decipher His plan, no matter how hard I try.

It is such a comfort to know that other Christians struggle with the conflicting knowledge of the head and the emotions and questions of the heart. Like Missy, the writer of It's Almost Naptime, I know that my God is sovereign yet there are days that my sinful heart overpowers the wealth that is my Christian upbringing and what should be a stable and strong relationship with my God. I hate that my sin has the nasty power to make me doubt. I hate that in my weakness I allow life's circumstances to interfere with all that God has given me.
God has blessed me immensely. He has placed a lot of happy in my life. Despite all the good I still find myself lost, but I know to whom I belong. He has promised to renew me. He has promised that I will soar on wings like eagles. (Isaiah 40:31) I am a work in a progress, and not always a pretty one, but I serve an awesome God. His grace is sufficient. His strength is made perfect, perfect(!) in my weakness. (2 Corinthians 12:9) I can't think of a better reason to get out of bed in the morning with a smile on my face and with energy for a new day.

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Monday, July 23, 2012

Painting and Patio Progress

I'm sure everyone remembers that wild day back in January when my mr. came crashing through the ceiling. Well, the hole has been patched and painted for months but as you can see, it just wasn't quite right.
In an original attempt to remedy our big problem I had brought a sample piece of ceiling into the local hardware store to have them match the color. I love to paint but painting ceilings is a horrid task, one I avoid at all costs. Therefore, I stressed over and over to the woman working that it needed to be a perfect match. (I was determined to only paint the patched area.) She acted annoyed, so I very reluctantly let up. I then went home and painted and of course, it didn't match. The color was right but the existing finish was satin and she had sold me an entire gallon of flat paint. SO FRUSTRATING. I spent months in denial, struggling to convince myself that no one would notice. Because I had made our 'situation' so public, people had a tendency to walk through my front door, point, and giggle. I could no longer deny that it was bad when my mom said she'd come down to fix it for me. 
We tackled the project together but her endurance put me to shame. 
She even did an extra room.
(She's crazy-cool that way.)

While we painted, Brian and Dad set the forms for our new patio. The weather was far from cooperative. Here they sit in the garage, taking a quick break during an especially terrific downpour.
Dad leveling the forms...
[Bro-in-law]Brian, Tess, and Kiddos came to help too.
We recently turned a panel of fence on the far side of the house into a gate so we needed to reinforce the posts while we had a truckload of concrete at our dispense.
Sidewalk forms.
Patio Forms.
The guys worked quickly leaving us with time for a quick lunch before the truck arrived.
Polish Sausages, Cheetos, and Grapes it was! I had just bought a huge container of green grapes at Costco. Take a look at this happy guy and you can guess who bought the other lunch ingredients. It wasn't our most nutritious lunch but the kids sure thought it was great. :) 
Shortly after lunch the truck arrived. Sydni and Kolt were allowed to postpone their naps in order to observe the action. This was their reaction. I love their concerned expressions and clutched hands. So cute.
And so it began...

Little Boss Lady Sydni.

Sydni was itching to "accidentally" get dirty.
One foot deep tracks through my yard. No big deal.
Removing the forms that hugged the side of the house in order to finish floating and troweling...

In order for the truck to fit in our backyard we had to cut down one apple tree (too big to transplant) and remove several panels of fence. 

Oh Tess, our Brians and their gooberish entertaining!
Setting the posts for the new gates.
Someday, hopefully sooner rather than later (because Finn is seriously missing his freedom), there will be a walk-through gate over the sidewalk as well as a big double gate into the backyard. This one will be wide enough for a truck or RV to fit through.
Scrubbing the patio furniture...

Way too many large growth trees planted too close to the fence and to one another. 
 The patio in the process of being dug.
 Brian going to town breaking up the concrete pad outside our sliding glass door.
He released a lot of aggression that day. (The facial expressions were quite something!)

(There's still a lot to do.)
Lots of debris clean-up...
Although I've been plugging away on removing trees, there's more to be dug...more grass to plant too.
Windows and doors need washing and a new step needs to be built.
Dirt needs to be filled in along the concrete and grass needs to be planted.
And while my sweet peas have yet to realize that it's no longer June... recently transplanted rhubarb plants are happy as can be! I can hardly wait for my first crop! This rhubarb plant has been growing strong since it belonged to my Great, Great Grandpa Oltman. (My Grandma Jane's grandpa.) He was an avid gardener and had passed a start from his plant onto my Grandpa Al and Grandma Jane, who later gave a start to my parents, who have now given me two starts. Not only delicious, but sentimental too. :)
The patio now looks like this. 
It still lacks a lot of cuteness but I have every intention of loving on it when we return from camping.
A very random collaboration.
My new sidewalk! Things are going to be so much less messy now.

We're looking forward to good times to come in our ever-improving backyard. :)
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Thursday, July 19, 2012

A Glimpse into the Nursery

Things are movin' along in my little nest. It's become cuter, brighter, and more personalized since returning home with my 'mom car' full of shower gifts. 

I went in this morning with the intention of photographing this quilt sewn by my Aunt Janet per her request. (She had forgotten to take a pic herself after finishing it.)
 It's backed with this cute, snuggly animal flannel.

I couldn't help but snap the other details that caught my eye too...

Itsy bitsy adorable booties with a matching hat.
Aunt Barb picked out this perfect green yarn (so Meganish!) and Grandma Jane made them.
Our little library is growing and making me anxious to read to BamBam.
Eclectic hand painted canvas prints from my Soul Friend, Sam. 
My friend Erin called me from Oregon one day when she found this diaper bag on a super sale at Nordstrom's. She thought it looked like me, little did she know this was the very diaper bag I had picked out months prior and added to my registry. Impressive!
The crib is adorned thanks to shower garlands from Auntie Amy and Auntie Tess!
Tess ordered the 'For this child...' vinyl and hand painted the sign, even the chubby owls!
Meet my Podasan. It's a swing chair. (AKA the new, improved, cooler, more hip rocking chair according to me.) It will soon be hung from the ceiling. I can't wait to swing my babe to sleep in style!
Tess, I took this to prove to you that your grey washing skills are in fact perfect. (I love how light it is!) Brian had a bookshelf that fit perfectly into this little nook in the corner of the nursery. With my love for old houses and as part of my constant attempt to add character to our home, I painted it the same cream as the trim. My hope was that it would appear like a built in. When Tess was here helping me organize she adjusted the shelves in a way that was most efficient and then measured the bottom space. She had a plan. Upon returning home she handed the measurements over to her hubs who built this custom toy crate for our babe. It couldn't be a better fit and I love that it won't be one more thing sitting out, taking up floor space. Isn't it perfect?

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