And we have the prophetic word made more sure. You will do well to pay attention to this as to a lamp shining in a dark place, until the day dawns and the morning star rises in your hearts. (2 Peter 1:19)

Friday, June 5, 2015

An Ode to Home

For the first 4 years of our marriage we moved a total of 5 times. After moving twice more (for a total of 7) I reasonably hope that we are in the home and town that we will die in. This house, which has become so dear to me, is a part of my childhood neighborhood. Growing up I always lived in one home, a house my parents built in the town where my father grew up, and his father (and mother grew up). This house was the home of my childhood playmate. I remember picking mint from the garden here, riding our bikes down the hill, playing in the slip-n-slide in the front yard, and even the time her dog bit me in the back yard. There isn't quite as much woods to trounce in as a few more houses have been built, but that also gives us the pleasure of nice quite cul-de-sac for walking with the little ones.

There is something a bit magical about living as an adult where you grew up. I took my littlest one for a walk the other day, and all the spring smells reminded me of my own childhood. I watch my two older kids ride their bikes, and make neighbor friends exactly where I did the same thing. They play in the wooded lot that was a magical forest to me as a child. They trick or treat at the same houses...a couple of them even owned by the same owners.

It is easy to forget within the day to day grind of the very messy job of being a parent what a magical place the home is. It something of a cliche to say that a location is a character in play/book/movie, but it is so true in my own life. This house, this acre of land, is character in our story. And it is a beautiful home. It's two previous owners took such care of it and added little individualist touches everywhere (like the crown-molding that the original owner made and installed himself). The house (and yard) are taking a beating now as children are continually walking through the landscaping and nicking up the walls, but the house is certainly loved no less. And someday, all too soon, those children will grow up and the house will hopefully be returned to it's former glory.

Within these walls is the main battlefield of our salvation. It is here that Adam and I will spend most of our vocation. Here is the springboard which will launch our children into the world, into their own battlefields, their own vocations. It is a sacred space for our family. It is our holy ground, given to us by God for our use and our care. God the central, yet often elusive character of every story. He gave us this place for a purpose, (and in some form or another He will also take it away). We can't deny him, or turn our back on him or else we miss the whole point.

Friday, May 29, 2015

{SQT} A Re-Intorduction to Blogland

Manticore Mantoan

Well, hello again, blogland; you sure are looking pretty! When I first started our adoption blog back in 2007(!!!) blogs just seemed to be online journals where people chronicled their life.

(me in 2007)

But now! What a difference! All.the.advice.   All.the.beautiful pictures.   All.the.monetizing.   I actually really love it. There are some really wonderfully funny and helpful articles (posts?) out there. But man, what happened with blogs? They used to be simple.

Anyway, I have gotten back into reading some blogs (because who needs books!), and then Adam had to be gone (again) for work tonight [I started writing this last night], so I thought on a whim, "Hey! It's almost Friday! Let's do quick takes!" (Even the staple that is Quick Takes has moved! Now I truly know that for everything there really is a season.)

I was trying to think of what to write next for this take and then I was all, "Oh yeah! I am pregnant!" So, the twins will be 2 the end of July and I am a little over 6 months along. Crazy right? NOTHING for almost a decade and then bam! two surprise pregnancies. We are all excited (except the twins who don't know what is coming). Seven kids in seven years: pretty wild! (Yes, only 1 baby this time...whew!)
It's a boy! We're naming him Frederic after Venerable Frederic Baraga (and Bl. Frederic Ozanam since he happens to be due right by his feast day?)

Speaking of twins...I have found that toddler twins are many buckets full of challenges compared to the teaspoon of challenges that they were as babies. They are into everything. They work together to create chaos and then turn on each other in an instant and start a viscous biting war. It is equal parts hilarious and frustrating. For the record (someone keeps a record, right?) I have a three year old and a four year old that are a mere 8.5 months apart, so I thought I knew a little bit of what I was in for, but those two mischief-makers are nothing compared to the twins. 

Do you have any good blog recommendations? I would love something that focuses on Catholic Social Doctrine lived out in daily life. Or a good podcast on literature? I really enjoy reading about bringing up children and homemaking, but you know, I'm living that, so sometimes at nap time I just want to NOT think about my kids for awhile. 

Here is a recentish family photo:
I call this one "Overexposure/Underexposure: Photography Struggles of the Transracial Family" :)

It is good to be back (even if just for a day). After this I feel like I don't need to talk to anyone for weeks!
it crowd animated GIF

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

One Year Ago

Our little baby buddies were born:

They were 3 and 5 pounds! It is hard to believe they were so small. 

On Year Old Agustin:

One Year Old Thomas:

It has been a very good year! 

We recently had some professional pictures taken of our clan. I am really happy with how they turned out. We had a blast taking them, but we were an unruly group. I am amazed that our photographer got so many beautiful shots! You can take a peak at the video montage of them HERE for a limited time only! :) 
The video really sums up our joy. Our Lord has truly given us "joy to balance our affliction for the years we knew misfortune." (Psalm 90)

Thursday, March 6, 2014

Signing Off

Just a little note to say that I will be signing off for awhile. No need to worry about us, all is well! Life is pretty fantastic, in fact. I am going to be taking the blog down for a bit, because quite frankly, I just can't think of a thing to say!
I'll be seeing you in the comboxes, until next time!

Life is waiting; allons-y!

Thursday, February 20, 2014

"They Don't FEEL Biological"

That is what my husband said to me about the twins a few months after they  were born. I agreed and we both had a good chuckle over it. I mean, of course they feel like our biological children. His point was that they don't feel any more fully ours than our non-biological children.

Having biological children, especially spontaneous fraternal twins, which basically means I got pregnant twice at the same time, has brought us a lot of healing. When I see an article like this, about the superior physcical strength of twin moms, that a fellow twin mom shared, it melts away those years of being medically classified as physically inferior because of my inability to conceive and carry a baby to term. That was an aspect of infertility that was very damaging for me. I don't have the words to describe the cross of not being able to function in the most fundamental role as a woman. Often I felt awkward around pregnant or nursing women. Sometimes it was even painful. I was happy and in love with my children, but I couldn't know for sure if there was something different about having biological children, carrying them, and nursing them. It didn't help that often people would make comments that revealed their opinion that 'you obviously don't love your adopted children in the same way that you would love a biological child.' Of course, no one ever said that directly to me, but one friend did ask if we really thought having a biological child would be a good idea since we might love them more than our other kids. (This was after I told her we weren't using NFP to avoid a pregnancy, but we weren't actively trying to get pregnant either). Another woman also told me that it must be nice to parent adopted children since you aren't overly attached to them so you can make more rational choices about their upbringing. Um. what? There are other examples, but even now, it isn't good for my own heart to dwell on them, so I will leave it at that. Suffice to say, there were times where I felt like people viewed us as a sort of 'second class' family because our children happened to be adopted. And sometimes I wondered if maybe they were right...was there something missing because I didn't get to carry and/or nurse these babies of mine. I knew I loved them, and loved them fiercely, but I didn't know what it was like to have a biological child, so I had nothing to compare it to.

Well, now I do. I have two squirmy, giggly, sweet little baby boys, who I happen to have had the privilege of carrying AND nursing, and let me tell you: It Doesn't Feel Any Different. Either none of them feel like my biological children, or they all do! There are so many parallels between being pregnant and adopting, to nursing and bottle feeding. And wiping a butt is wiping a butt whether that butt shares my DNA or not. I can truly say to those of you only have adopted children, you really really are not missing out. You probably already knew that; I may be the only person in the world who wondered these thoughts! But please, don't let others people thoughtless comments ever make you question it. They don't know what they are talking about. I do. I have the experience of having babies both ways, and let me tell you, the love is the same. They are just as much yours whether your bore them or adopted them, AND ultimately they aren't yours at all, either way! They will grow up, and live a life completely independent of you, and yet you will always be their mommy or daddy, regardless of DNA.

PS People still tend to make comments that make my motherbear instinct flare up...for example, a person told my cousin (who happens to be adopted herself), "I am so happy she (that is, me) got to have her own." I have heard that one a lot...and I get what people are trying to say: I am happy she got to experience pregnancy and all that...and I appreciate that sentiment. But, when I got pregnant I did already have four of my very own children, thankyouverymuch. Sure, they have birth parents who gave them their DNA, birth parents we love, but that does not in any way make them less my my. own. children. And I am their very own mother.

PSS I know sometimes when people adopt older children, or have to foster before adopting a child, the attachment comes slow. I also know people who have had biological children in difficult situations where the attachment has come slow. I don't in anyway think it is 'feeling' that primarly makes one a mother or a father.

Sorry these thoughts are a bit jumbled, but I have been thinking about this and wanting to write about if for awhile now, and I am afraid if I don't just publish what I've got down I will never get it out there.  Please forgive me the typos and lack of clarity. Chesterton said anything worth doing is worth doing poorly, and I am definitely not going to argue with such a smart person! So here is my poorly done little post for you.

Friday, January 31, 2014

Van Review! (With Terrible Videos)

Terrible video number one, alternately titled "Too Dumb to Work the iPhone":

Terrible video number two, alternately titled "No Info and No Useful Visual (unless you count the snow):

As you can see I tried to make a vlog for the van review, and both attempts were utter failures. First I didn't know how to work the phone and then I got weirded out standing in my driveway talking about my van. They are embarrassingly bad, but they are just the sort of thing I like to see on other blogs, so there you have it. I did them and so I am not going to delete them now. 

So the van review. I am sure you are wondering if I am ever going to get to it. Here it is: After test driving a couple options we decided on the 12 passenger Ford and the short story is: we are very happy with it. We live in a hilly town that gets a lot of snow, and I have found that the Ford does no worse than our mini-van. Most days I can drive around just fine in it. One time we did have to have a friend tie a rope to their SUV (with 4 wheel drive) to pull us up a hill out of their driveway, but that was an usually difficult spot. We were parked on the hill, so we had no chance to build up momentum to carry us to the top. The SUV had to pull out the mini-vans, too.

As far as interior space, we are so happy with the set up. We have the twins directly behind us, then the two year olds, and our big kids (5 and 9 years old)  sit in the back row. This means we actually have some privacy to talk on our rides, because the big kids can't hear us. It is almost like a date! :)

We seriously considered the Nissan, as well, but the Ford better met the criteria for our circumstances. One: we could afford the Ford, so there was that. Also, the Nissan would not have fit in our garage. Did you hear that banging noise in the video when I backed out of the garage? That was the antenna hitting the top of the garage door. (Our number three says a big "UH OH!" EVERY TIME I back out of the garage because she thinks I hit something). That being said, the Nissan is awesome, so if you can afford it and have a huge garage (or live in a part of the world where parking your car outside is not biggie) the Nissan is a good choice. I can't speak to how it handles in the snow, though.

I guess that is all I've got to say on that. I thought I would have more to say, but cars kind of bore me. If you have any questions feel free to email me; I can send you a weirdo video to answer your questions. 

Wednesday, January 29, 2014

A Little Madness in the Spring (5 Favorites)

Five Favorites, hosted at MoxieWife.com

I am pining for Spring in this frigid cold. The world will warm again. It will. I keep telling myself it will. Just a couple (few?) more months until...


 Mowing the lawn. There is nothing like looking outside my window and seeing the snow cover to put me in the mood for a good lawn mowing. Our mower is motor-less, so it provides me with my favorite thing: quiet. I can almost smell the fresh cut grass...


The Spring also brings us Spring Break, or Adventure Time, as we like to call it. Last year we visited Dad's old collegiate stomping grounds. This year we have a fancy hotel and a big swimming pool in the works. And a walk or two outside. I almost remember what it is like being outside...


Family running! Last year I was little too pregnant to run the 5K with Dad and our Big Kid, but we had a lot of fun cheering them on. As soon as it is warm enough that Girl and I will be able to go out for runs together. (Is it bad that a nine year old can easily keep up with me?) :)


Just being outside. Lovely, lovely Not In The House. Only coming in to sleep.


Dad working on his golf game. Constantly. Even when we are at my brother's house, as in the photo above. Wherever we go, the golf clubs come with us.

Spring follows winter. Spring follows winter. Spring follows winter. I am sure of it. I think I remember it being so...