Sunday, January 20, 2013

Feel Better Soon(ish)!

Micah has been trying to get sick for over a week now.  This morning when we got up for church, he was coughing and saying he didn’t feel well and probably needed to stay home.  I happened to mention that I had printed off a coupon for Incredible Pizza, and that if he was too sick for church, he would definitely be too sick for that…and guess what?  Hallelujah, he was healed!  (Okay, that’s a bit of an exaggeration.  What he actually said was, “I think I’m feeling a little better now. *Sniff!”)  

Several hours later, it was apparent that he had not been embellishing his feelings of yuckiness.  By mid-afternoon, he was full-on ill - he felt warm, snotty, and achy (praying it’s not the flu!)  And he was very clingy.

By the time we got home, his temperature was over 101.  So sadly, no Incredible Pizza for us today, coupon or no!

Micah doesn’t get sick very often.  Well, at least that’s been the norm for the last 4 or 5 years.  The first few years were a bit more of a health roller coaster – but two major surgeries, 25 nights in the hospital, plus two sets of tubes in the ears and adenoids removed and voila!  My boy is the picture of health.

It’s rare that he’s sick enough to need to stay home.  And maybe that’s why I feel this way… and this will make me sound like the most terrible mother in the entire world… but when he’s sick… I kind of love it.

Awful, right?

I can’t help it. 

See, normally my little dude is fiercely independent.  He’s been an “I-can-do-it-myself” kiddo as long as I can remember. I mean, sure, he likes to play a board game every now and then, and I always get the “cuddle with me, Mom!” begging at bed time, but for the most part, he has much more important stuff going on in his life than to hang out with me.  (NOTE: Important things include, but are not limited to: Sponge Bob and the Goofy Gooper, various Xbox games, wrestling matches with plastic wrestlers, wrestling matches with his dad, downloading games on his ipod, Diary of a Wimpy Kid).

When Micah is sick though, he only wants me.  When we got home from church, I made him a bubble bath (he’s a shower boy!) and even washed his hair for him (haven’t done that since he was 4!).  Then I wrapped him up in a towel, dried him off, helped him get his pjs on, and got him all settled in bed.  He was sweet and loving and so snuggly – so yeah, I’m gonna get whatever he has!  Luckily we are all off for Martin Luther King Day tomorrow so hopefully, the plague will be on its way by then.

But for a little while longer, I will get to baby my baby.  Love it!

Don't you just want to hug him???

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Such a Precious Gift

8 years ago this month, I met a young woman.  She was 19 years old, hispanic, pretty.  She had dark, kind eyes and a nervous smile.  She was pretty quiet at first, but once she opened up, she was warm and kind of funny.  She was lovely.

A few weeks after meeting me, she made an incredibly selfless decision that I'm sure broke her heart... she gave me her baby.

If you haven't read that entire story, you can start ---> here

I have always treasured the fact that Micah shares so many of the same traits as Jay and me.  He is neurotic, high-strung, and curious (me), and he's rough, loud, and charming (Jay).  I can't help but wonder though, what parts of his silly personality, his quirkiness, his cool-guy charisma, come from his first parents?  We were so lucky to have been able to spend a few dozen hours with them, just enough to get  a sense of who they were, to hear them laugh, to learn their facial expressions. I have never had to argue nurture vs. nature when it comes to my little guy, because when I look at him, I see pieces of all of us... and I love that.

We have a semi-open adoption, which means we are free to keep in contact through the adoption agency.  As was our agreement, a couple of times a year, I send pictures of Micah to her, and I write a letter about what's going on in his life.  I agonize over what to include.  I always want to show the best sides of life, but also want to paint an honest picture of who our boy is - and so I share, just like I share with you.  I don't ever want to seem like I'm rubbing anything in her face, as if to say, "Here's all the things we can give him that you couldn't," so instead, I capture his eyes (that look like her's) and his smile (that hopefully gives her confidence in her decision) and his wackiness (because it's impossible not to love it).

I always invite her to send a letter or pictures if she ever wants to.  I tell her I'll save them for him for "one day."  She did once, several years ago, sending pictures of her older two children, writing a letter sharing the dreams she has to go back to school, to build a life that all three children will be proud of some day.

I wonder a lot about her now.

Did she go back to school and make the life she wanted?

Did she find someone to love her and treat her well?  Did she get married?

Did she have more children?

 I pray for her often, that she will find happiness, that I will live up to the confidence she had in me, that the things that make my life so full don't leave her feeling empty, that she has found peace.

Micah only understands adoption in a seven year old mind, and knows he didn't grow in mom's belly.   He hasn't asked much about the belly he actually did grow in, but he will someday soon, and I pray that I explain it in a way that teaches him to respect and appreciate the woman who gave up everything so that he might have all he needs.

Friday, January 4, 2013

Smells Like Home

As I’m sitting here typing this, my husband is baking chocolate chip cookies (yes, at 11:30 p.m.  That’s how I keep up this body!).  The smell has taken over the whole house.  I was feeling a little stressed about getting the house back in order after the Christmess Eruption, plus catching up on everything from being away, when the comforting smell of fresh baked cookies came wafting through the air and suddenly, I was calm, relaxed… under a spell of some sort.  

            As I have said before, I have an extraordinarily keen sense of smell.  I’ve always heard that smell is the sense that is most connected to your memory, and I know that is true in my experience.  This past week, I was so blessed to be able to go “home” to Kentucky.  We were only there for two and a half days – we left early the day after Christmas so we knew we would need to save a few vacation days at home for Micah to play with his Christmas gifts, and for Jay and me to recuperate a little from a busy season – but I was able to visit a lot of friends and family in that few days.  I don’t know if I was on sensory overload, or just emotional because of the season, but several things brought tears to my eyes… mostly the smells.

            I visited my Grandma Burns.  She brought me into the kitchen to show me that she had a plate of Christmas candy for me…. peanut butter and chocolate fudge, this amazing concoction called Peanuttier, and the crème de le crème, Peanut Butter Balls (or Buckeyes as they’re called in Oklahoma – no clue why).  As soon as she pulled the aluminum foil from the plate and that sweet candy smell swirled around me, I was transported back many years.  Suddenly I was a nine year old, following Grandma around in the kitchen, hoping she might pass me a peanut butter ball before anyone else got one (she always did).  Even as she explained to me in the kitchen how easy it would be to make the candy for myself, I knew that I would never try.  It was her smell. 

            Later, at our family Christmas party, even though it was held at a rented hall, the smells…. I’m not sure if it was the food cooking or the people cooking it… but the smells brought me back to Grannie Annie and Pa’s house (where we used to have Christmas before our family grew so big).  If you closed your eyes, it felt the same.

            And when I hugged my mom goodbye, the smell of her, some mix of her perfume and hairspray, it just absolutely overwhelmed me, and I had a little breakdown right in front of everyone.

            Something about smells.  It’s ineffable.  It brings you back.

            I understand now why my sweet cousin, Casi, hugged me when she saw me and said, “you smell like Jamie.”  Why every year, despite the fact that I have an array of wonderful, pretty expensive perfumes, Jay buys me a cheapo bottle of Navy from Walmart and asks me to wear it just once.  It’s what I wore when we were just kids… young and crazy in love.  That smell brings him back to those days.  Why Micah will hug me tight after I’ve been gone for a while, bury his nose in my neck and say, “I missed your skin, Mom.” 
           What about you?  What smells bring you back home? 

            You think on that.  I have a belly full of warm cookies and am going to go indulge in one of my very favorite smells – my own pillow!


Tuesday, January 1, 2013

525,600 Minutes....Putting 2012 to Bed

Hey there readers!  I hope you've missed me nearly as much as I have missed you.  The Christmas season is extraordinarily busy for me work-wise, so when I was able to grab a few precious minutes here and there, people who live with me expected me to do crazy things like laundry and grocery shopping, so alas, no blogging.

It's a shame too, as if I would have had time to share the excitement of our lives with you, you would have known that my husband bought me some pretty wonderful pre-Christmas gifts to keep my spirit merry and bright.  You would know that Micah named our Thanksgiving turkey Vanna White so we got to say things like, "Vanna should come out of the oven at 1:00," and "Yum, Vanna White is delicious!" You would know how my family had been all but terrorized by Elf on a Shelf.  AND as a follow-up to my previous blog, you'd know how I have made honest attempts at embracing technology (as evidenced by the fact that I'm typing this blog on our handy-dandy new IPAD.  Oh, and pardon the typos.  My fingers have never felt so fat!)

We had a wonderful Christmas, and next year I will plan ahead so I can share some of our family traditions.  Christmas 2012 is gone though, despite the fact that I continue to sing Christmas carols and drive those around me crazy.  So... moving on.

I am doing a little 2012 highlight reel before I embrace 2013 (I know I'm already many hours into 2013 but since I haven't changed out of my PJs, it's not real for me yet!)

January -
* Celebrated NYE with my favorite people, all gussied up at a country club (for the record, I'm aware I'm not a country club gal... everyone else became aware when I walked passed a buffet of smoked salmon and tuna tar tar and exclaimed, "Ooooh, look!  They have egg rolls and chicken fingers!")
* Post NYE pig out, Jay and I gave up sugar, soda, and bread and subsequently lost 20+ pounds each.

February -
* Attempted to give up television for Lent.... failed after 3 weeks. 
* Taught Micah all of the Snow Day rituals (put an orange in the fridge, flush ice cubes down the toilet, wear pjs inside out and backwards, etc).  This was also a miserable failure as all surrounding school districts were out for a snow day, but Micah's school was still in session.
*  Attended a dinner theater with friends.  Quite a memorable date night.
* Pretended to care about the Super Bowl, but really only for the games and snacks.

March -
* Had great fun with my ladies at a scrapbook retreat where I did almost no scrapbooking whatsoever.
* Carbs found us... it was a blessed reunion. 
* Participated in the 30 hour famine (for reasons other than the results of the above reunion!)
* Micah turned seven years old with a carnival birthday party
* We took a family trip to Texas.  We got to be part of a very special wedding, then went to NASA, Sea World, and the hospital where Micah was born.
* I turned 30-something
* On my birthday, I got to see a prayer answered - welcome baby Levi!

April -
* Raved at Youth Councils
* Accepted the fact that I'm too old to rave
* Saw my beloved University of Kentucky Wildcats win their 8th National Championship
* At my little man's leading, I helped Micah pray to ask Jesus into his heart. 

May -
*Dressed like an old lady a lot at Women's Camp
* Danced on stage in terrible clothes to "All the Wrinkled Ladies."  Awful.  and Fun.
* Hosted a murder mystery night.  Good fun.
* Jay got to play golf in honor of a dear, departed friend
* Helped Jay organize the Porn and Pancakes breakfast.  (Yeah, that's what I said)
* Saw Flogging Molly in concert.  Enjoyed the opening band more than the actual band!

June -
* Micah became a jr. soldier (a jr. member of the church).
* We took a family camping trip to Missouri.  Like for a whole week.  With canoeing and cooking on a fire.  (Message me if you'd like to know the address to send my medal!)  It was actually quite fun.
* Started a blog - you're welcome ;)
* Jay turned as old as I am. 

July -
* Went to New York.  Ok, not really.  But pretended to in Vacation Bible School
* Accidentally got a pet - Squeaks Sinatra, the giant rat
* FINALLY applied for a passport.

August -
* Attended NSE in Colorado Springs.  Amazing experience.
* Learned to lay tile for a Habitat for Humanity house
* Family Camp - "Those Were the Days!"
* a new diva was welcomed to the family - baby Jaylynn
* sweated through the hottest summer in history (115 degrees in Tulsa!)

September -
* craft show - flop!
* Rally/ Dessert Reception - success!
* Celebrated Micah's Gotcha Day at Incredible Pizza and Build a Bear Workshop

October -
* Took a little Mexican cruise with my one true love
* Masquerade Restaurant Crawl
* Had a good family day at the pumpkin patch
* church trunk or treat
* celebrated 15 years of marriage, knowing with absolute certainty that I'd do it all again

November -
* Let zombies into my life
* ORU Christmas Concert
* Thanksgiving with my family, my inlaws, and my Wallaces
* Decided to give one thing one more really good try

December -
* Angel tree, Angel tree, Angel tree
* Great fun at the Holiday Parade of Lights with sweet friends and my little elf
* Got surprise tickets to see Bryan Adams.... one of the best nights of my year!
*  Cirque Du Soleil
* Anti-climactic end of the world
* My laptop died.  Just in case you're wondering why I'm not replying to your emails.
* Christmas open house party
* trip to KY, just long enough to hug (almost) everyone I love there.
* NYE.... at home... with my boys... in my pjs.... where I fit in perfectly.

2012 wasn't too bad at all.  2013 seems full of possibilities.  I have a few goals for my year - try to get and stay more organized, adopt a slightly more organic style of living,  read one book that I would describe as "amazing," spend a little more "unplugged" time as a family, dig deeper into God's Word, and make a difference to someone. 

Big plans.  Maybe I should get out of my pajamas?

Nah, I have one more day of vacation!

Happy New Year, y'all!