Monday, January 23, 2012

Who wore it best?

Jeremy, November 2010:

Zachary, January 2012:

This adorable outfit was a gift from my cousin and his family for Jeremy when we adopted the boys, and it has been one of my favorites! Gotta love having two boys! Hand-me-downs are the best! Zachary is currently wearing many of the clothes that Jeremy was wearing this time last year.  It's so fun and amazing to watch them grow!

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Beautiful Brown Skin

Dear Jeremy,

I'm in the process of working on our family photo book for the year 2011, and I just finished a page with the above images. I would entitle it "The Many Faces of Jeremy" because it totally shows what a character you are and how expressive you can be.

Sometimes when I'm putting baby lotion on your skin, I'll say, "Jeremy, what's beautiful?" and you'll enthusiastically reply, "Beautiful skin!" It's become a bit of a ritual, and a little fun thing that we do. You and your brother both have such gorgeous skin, and I hope you'll always embrace it as one of the many wonderful characteristics that God gave you when He made you.

Sadly, you may encounter people in the world who will try to tell you otherwise. One of the things that breaks my heart is the thought that you might (and probably will) encounter people with racial prejudices. They might say hurtful things or act in ways make you feel inferior, less than. I wish I could protect you from all harm, and I hope the world you are growing up in will be a kinder one than generations past.

My only advice to you is to disregard that negativity as much as you possibly can, and remember that you are exactly who God created you to be. You are "fearfully and wonderfully made"! (Psalm 139). I want you to know, also, that our little ritual isn't just my way of trying to build your self-esteem (although I hope it does!). It is the truth. You and Zachary both were born with the most beautiful skin--just look at the photos is just radiant!!!

And what is most beautiful to me (even more than your gorgeous skin!) is your radiant spirit. May it always shine brightly! Thank you for lighting up my world!


Wednesday, January 4, 2012


"May the tenure of our life on earth be characterized by one simple word: Jesus." ~Beth Moore

Dear Jeremy and Zachary,

Dad and I recently spent the better part of a day completing an exercise called "My Life Plan". The workbook we used plainly stated that in order to make a plan for your life, you have to know where it is you want to go. In other words, you must begin at the end and then figure out the steps you want to take to get you there. The idea is to visualize how you would like to be remembered by the important people in your life, and then to make a plan accordingly. The workbook suggested that I take a moment to imagine my funeral, and then to think about how I want to be remembered by God, my husband, my children, my parents, my colleagues, and my friends.

I had no idea what an emotional experience it would be to write down my thoughts about all of this, and I was most moved writing about how I want to be remembered by you, so I thought I would share my thoughts with you here:

I want my children to remember me the way we remembered John (my stepdad) at his funeral: as someone who spoiled us with his love. If my children remember me for nothing else, I want them to remember me as a mommy who loved them so lavishly and fiercely that there is absolutely no doubt in their minds that they were the apple of my eye. I want them to remember me as their champion--that I was on their team, not matter what. That I was their protective Mama Bear when they needed someone to defend them. I want them to remember me as their cheerleader, the president of their fan club, the person who believed in the beauty of their dreams, the person who believed in their ability to achieve their dreams, the person who believed in them. As they become adolescents and adults, I want them to remember me as their dear friend and confidant--the person they could come to with absolutely any thought, any question, any hurt or heartbreak, any joy or triumph, any issue to process. I want them to remember me as someone who gave great hugs. I want them to remember me as being both gentle and fun. I want them to remember me as someone who gave them the gift of my time. I want them to remember me as someone who prayed for them and helped introduce them to Jesus. And even when I'm long gone, and their memories of me begin to fade with time, I want them to remember me when they look in the mirror at themselves--not because we look anything alike, but because the Light that shines in their own eyes and hearts will be the same Light that shone in mine...the Light of Jesus. I want them to feel the love of Christ resonating in their souls when they remember Mama. 

I love you with all my heart,

Sunday, January 1, 2012

So my new year just started off with a moment of sheer panic....But the story ends happily.

Our morning started off as most Sunday mornings do. Brian leaves the house to get to church around 8am (he's a pastor, so he gets there early and stays for the day, just like a regular work day), just as the boys and I are starting to wake up. The boys and I get up and dressed and they sat in their high chairs happily munching on toast as they watched Jeremy's latest favorite movie: Rudolph's Shiny New Year.

For some reason, I thought it would be fun to start the New Year by giving Jeremy the New Year's resolution of potty training! So we kicked things off with a bang and bi-passed the diaper and went straight to "big boy pants". I told him that if he needed to go, just tell Mama. Otherwise, I would set a timer to go off every hour and we would visit the potty then.

The timer went off, and I paused Rudolph to take Jeremy to the potty when he admitted that he already went in his pants. "I'm, sorry. My fault, Mom."  Well, at least the kid knows how to own up! I told him that I wasn't mad, and I changed his pants and left the two boys downstairs to finish watching the movie while I ran upstairs to update my Facebook status.... Yes... Five years ago today, Brian proposed to me!

Just as I updated my status, I realized that things had gotten very quiet downstairs, so I went to check things out, and I could not find the boys. Both the front and back door were still locked, so I knew they hadn't gone outside (plus, we have an alarm that beeps any time the doors open, and I never heard that). But they weren't in any of the rooms. I yelled, "Jeremy!"  Then a slightly more panicked "Jeremy!!!!" as I searched every room and bathroom.  Finally a full-on, sound the alarms "JEREMY!!!" And the house was silent. Not a sound, and it was horrible.

I realized that the one place I still hadn't looked was in the pantry, so I opened the doors, and both boys were sitting down hiding under a ledge. I immediately picked up Zachary and held him as I broke down in sobs of relief. Jeremy ran to us and held my leg, saying, "I'm sorry Mom. We play hide-seek." I hugged and kissed them both and told them that when Mama is calling, they NEED to answer. By that point, I had calmed down enough to wipe away my tears and take a deep breath, and Zachary looks up at me and cheerfully says, "Hi, Mom!" and holds out a half-eaten Oreo, he helped himself to while in the pantry. I giggled at the hilarity of it all, and decided that if ever there were a time to comfort us all with Oreos, the time was now, so the three of us sat on the kitchen floor, clicked our Oreos together as we said "Cheers" and toasted the new year.

Being a Mom makes me feel a lot of things ranging from pure joy to boredom, sheer panic to utter relief, exhaustion to energized...but one thing's for sure, it makes me feel so ALIVE!!!