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*pssst hey!*

Hi!  I am thinking about writing again.  We have been through a good season of changes in our lives, all positive, healing and growth, and it was a time I wanted to rest from writing anything.  I liked the break.  Part of me misses the old style of writing on a blog–when I had blogger instead, lol, perhaps I can intentionally go that way.  There are things that can sway me against it.  But here’s where I rest:

  1.  I like writing
  2. I like connecting with people
  3. I think there are some great things in this world to share about

And if that’s my whole list, well that’s wonderful!  We are in a new stage of parenting, cute and growing kids, and it’s been wonderful in so many ways.  Andrew and I have been focused on healthy this past year–healthy eating, healthy emotional relationships and learning what creates them all.  How can we lead our children down a path of healing and healthy-motivated relationships if we don’t know the path?  (Especially crucial for those parenting teens!!  But little ones love learning it all as well)  It’s so interesting learning the secret dances people do behind what’s actually being said and done.

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But…I feel like I’m already ahead of myself…

I have an idea, and I hope that you’d play along.  I would love to ease back into writing by answering some specific questions–more fun, interactive.  I think it would be fun, and a great we to get back connected to those of you wonderful people who read here.  So fun questions, silly questions, catch up questions, anything, I would love to hear them.

In the meantime, I hope you have all been well

 

Love,

Amy

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Mother’s Day Remembrance

Mothers day.

I love being a mom, what an absolute gift–it has been my favorite season of life.  In the week leading up to mother’s day this year, I was thinking about the birth mothers of three of my children.  One of the reasons I love being a mom so much is because of the circumstances I am surrounded with.  The extra time I get with them, the days I get to drink in their goodness, unhurried, with peace in the life that I have.  The ways I get to bless them, and see the light in their eyes, teach them.

That moment I had Finley, 6 years ago, was surreal.  Handing me that perfect boy was one of the best moments of my life.  But what about those three women who couldn’t?

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I don’t know these women but I have reason to believe they are/were beautiful souls with difficult lives.  Lives where they were in danger and hurting, things most of us could never imagine for ourselves.   I know that poverty can happen to anyone, even those most hard-working, and I absolutely know that addiction isn’t a cause of someone who’s ‘bad’ ‘sinful’ ‘naughty’ but oftentimes sensitive souls with deep shame they are trying to burry and numb.  Compulsion born from a learned sense of shame and being unlovable.  A lie I wish no one was forced to believe, but it’s more common than many realize.

Knowing that, I hold them in my heart, and wish that the love, patience and gentleness extended to the child who was once in their womb could have touched them when they were young.   That they could have felt good and loved completely.  That their parents could have loved and provided for them, as we now have the honor to care for the little ones that they couldn’t.  If I could ever not care for Finley when he was born, the only dying wish I would have is that someone would see his soul and love him for it.  And that is the legacy I promise to these three women who have touched our lives.  We will hold your weary bodies, broken souls, tearful eyes, and do the work I know would have been your joy.

We honor these mothers.  Your legacy will live on in ways I wish you each could have experienced, but rest knowing the little one who grew in your womb is loved and free.  Seriously, so very loved by many.  They know their gifts as humans, they are kind, they love God and know they are loved by him.

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We let them each choose a flower in remembrance.

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Daddy helped plant them, and once they were firmly planted, I asked them to take a moment, smell their flower and say a special thank you to their birth mother for giving them life.

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Thoughts and feelings about birth families are important to adopted children.  It’s something we want to weave into their lives, and create an open place for them to come and talk to us about it anytime.  We never want to be those insecure parents who are like, focused only on ourselves, thinking it rude to ever wonder, ever question the origin of it all, no way jose!

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Our garden looks BEAUTIFUL with the new additions.

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We ended the night with a homemade veggie lasagna, it was so good!  I wish I wrote down the recipe.

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And Andrew surprised me with a dairy free, maca chocolate cheese cake, I about died of deliciousness.

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(For the lasagna, I used my mandolin on zucchinis, and made the cheese out of soaked cashews)

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Happy mothers day to all the mothers, soon to be mothers, birth mothers, and everyone on this day.  You are loved more than you ever know.  If you are someone struggling from addiction or in any way, please know there is help for you, and your life is worth getting that help.  You were created to be loved, there is no part of you that is yucky and you are worthy to be loved at all times.

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Camping with Kids

We celebrated Andrew’s birthday over the weekend by going camping.

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The first night was–rough.  There were swirling winds, “Just go to sleep darlings,” I whispered frozenly at the children as Andrew and Maria pumped up air mattresses.  It was about that time, that the rain started to fall and I started dreaming of an uber with a blanket inside of it.  Poppy woke up in the middle of the night (So, like an hour after we fell asleep) crying, I think she was just confused, but then went back to sleep.

I was considering what a nice wife I was a couple times throughout the night when I woke up are various intervals.

In the morning, Andrew was up making a fire, brought me a warm drink, and we sat around the flames.  Maria pulled out the Johnny Tremain book we had reserved from the library, the kids ate instant oatmeal from water boiled over our fire, then strayed off to the trees and bushes to play.  There were no dishes to clean up, no laundry, as we slept in our clothes, now played in them, no streets or dangers for the kids, no toys or messes, we were just outside, together.

I called off the Uber.  I felt very relaxed.

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Andrew and I have spent many years of our adult life working with teenagers.  I know it’s not the most coveted age group to spend time with, but we love them.  We have been able to experience so many different lives over the years, and I think a big way it has effected our parenting to it’s kept the end in mind with our kids.  For us it would be so easy to get lost in the joys of early childhood, or kept swept away with the challenges and be more prone to tune out or avoid and check out due to the trouble of it.  But over the years our experiences have embedded different desires we want to infuse for the kids, some at the top are; a deep sense of self worth, family community, emotional intelligence and addiction prevention.

We approach some of these in such a variety of ways, and many overlap with each other.  Addiction prevention is very intertwined with connection, and being attuned to their inside world with safe connections to share their true feelings and self instead of the, “Stop crying!” or “Big boys don’t cry!” or “You’re OK!” approach, which could cause shame.

I also want my kids to feel the real world.  The smells, the sounds, the stillness to be, as well as the natural space for activity using their bodies.  I think the ability to connect to the natural world around us, to be comfortable with it can far out weigh some other things that tempt anybody.

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Even me, there are times when we are biking outside and I am just shocked at the intensity and beauty of the senses I feel, the peace, the connection, the smells, sounds.  I would love for my kids to know these early, even if it’s not easy to get there, know that it’s worth it.

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Even if I’m way off base in my thinking, just in this moment, these moments together in nature are good, are powerful experiences.

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Because of the rain California has had this year, we were able to find a rushing waterfall.

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As we hiked and explored down the river and falls, Poppy got braver and braver (Should have given her the middle name brave) and she got nabbed by a quick current.  Both Maria and Andrew dove to her at the same moment, fully clothed and grabbed her.  They pulled her out with hearts beating out of their chests, while Poppy was cracking up.  She was thrilled by the fun, and the fact that everyone was now soaking.

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That evening we made another fire and Andrew taught some of the kids how to whittle.  They were locked on and worked diligently on their craft.  After dinner, we played hide and seek and it brought me back to my childhood.  I had been outside for days, I felt free, running with the kids at twilight making my skin feel hot inside, but cool to the touch, without worry about what I was wearing or what would happen or if I had to be somewhere.  The sun had set, but the mountains around us were still glowing orange at their tips.  I crouched with Elijah under a huge bush, grasping each others hands, ready to spring at any moment, our hearts beating, catching each others eye in the joy of it, sage and oak filling the air.

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So, despite that first raining night with tears and wind, I have to say I now love camping.  It did something for me, for my family, for our hearts and mind.  It was not easy to prepare for it (It was a last minute decision) but it paid back 100 fold.

So, where do you recommend camping?  Where should we try to go?  We want to go more often.  Also any life changing camping tips we need to know about?  I’d love to hear!

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