February 29, 2012

Sweet Monday Ramblings

The other day I read a great article about hormones (Whole Living Mag.). It talked about our cycle, moods, and what causes all the fluctuations. It showed a neat chart which clarified what happens when during the month. I now have this chart hanging on my fridge for easy reference....for me, and for Greg!

I'm telling you, this article confirmed so many things I've been experiencing, and more. The best thing it has done is allow me the grace during those off weeks. Now that I know that there is true chemistry behind the different things I've been feeling....well, it makes it more tolerable. In fact, I now can prepare and give those hormone fluctuations a good fight. I've been trying to scan the article to share with you, but can't get my scanner to work. I'll be hand writing it in hopes to share soon....I think it's that good.

In fact, y'know how good I think the info is? Good enough to share with a room full of strangers. That's just what I did the other day. Each Monday afternoon we have a set speech therapy appointment for one of our twins. We've been going for a few weeks now so the faces in the waiting room have become very familiar. There's the nanny and Grandma team.....super friendly, I just love chatting with them. Then there is the retired school teacher/ Italian Grandma. She's outspoken, and tells it like it is...in her opinion. The more I get to know her, the more I like her. There is the somewhat quiet, but very sweet mom.....along with 3 other moms. Last week Greg went to the appointment instead of me. It seems he made quite the impression, and gabbed it up with these gals.

As I walked in today, a couple of the women shared that they met my husband and what a good guy he was. He is a good guy. They asked how long we have been married, and then the beautiful 60 something grandma from the Grandma/nanny team shared the sweetest story. For her recent b-day her husband of 39 years gave her a series of sweet surprises. We all commented on how lovely it was to hear such sweet things.....and to hear of a solid 39 year long marriage. She shared about gratitude and how we all need to be aware of being thankful. So true. And then I jumped in......I shared how I realized how easy it is to take things for granted. How we have 2 hands and 2 feet.....things we take for granted, but such blessings {I realized by the looks from a couple of the quiet moms that I probably sounded off my rocker}. Though, the Grandma seemed to understand what I was saying. And then someone said something that somehow led to my hormone cycle speech (thank you Whole Living). I told them about the article and then the next thing I knew we were talking about periods, and menopause, and we were all the same.

Hormones have a way of being the great equalizer, y'know?

Then the room emptied out. It was now just me and the retired teacher. It seems that Greg had shared that we homeschool the boys. For some reason I had not shared that info before. She shared that Greg told her we homeschooled and then she told me about her long teaching career.  This lady was beyond encouraging. As she was leaving the office she gave me the thumbs up and said...."keep doing what you're doing. It's a good thing." It was nice to hear that. We all need encouragement in our lives.....even from strangers.

It was just one of those nice Mondays. On the way home Sweet Caroline by Neil Diamond was playing on the radio. Click that link, it might make you smile. It makes me smile. The boys had to ask me to "please stop singing". Clearly, my hormones are in a good place this week. Clearly it was a sweet Monday. And I'm thankful for that!

*just remembered.....in my high school yearbook printed under my picture are the words "good times never felt so good" from that song. I had forgotten about that.

February 26, 2012


"There is a longing deep inside for more–a homesick heart. Often I do not know what it is I am hungry for, but nevertheless, it is there. We sense there is more in this life–we see a sunset, hear beautiful music that makes our throat feel thick, read a story that touches places in our hearts and brings tears we didn’t know were there." .....Sally Clarkson

I could relate to the words above. I've been so restless. I'm good....we are good.....but just thinking about decisions.Thankful for so much, especially in these crazy days. Trying to enjoy each day, and not look too far out into the future. The worries of today are enough, aren't they? The joys of today are a blessing. The simple things made me smile this weekend......rain boots, a good movie, fried calamari, text messages, discussing hopes and dreams, and decisions with Greg, a good attitude{his, not mine} at the start of a messy day, chocolate....

February 24, 2012

Thoughts-More, or Less

As I learned from my personality profile {LOL} I'm a born analyzer. Actually, I didn't need to read that in my profile, I've always realized this about myself. I'm a thinker....ponder-er....discuss-er.

Greg is very aware of this. Last night, I was sharing something with him and he leans over to me, puts his hand on my face, and said...."you poor INFJ".  We both laughed,but honestly....before he may have said "you are thinking too much about x, y, z." Now, he accepts my quirky thoughts a bit more. Anyway, that's not what this post is about....

Through the years, I've been very careful not to overload our calendar with activities. It was a bit easier when we lived out in the country on our property. We had a gym in the basement, a waterpark in the backyard{or grandma's}, and lots of exploring in the woods{didn't do enough of that}. Now we live in a sort of fast paced area, we don't have a yard, or a basement, and grandma's pool is 300 miles away. We do have a great play ground in our complex, and many possibilities for outings. I've had to make more of an effort to get the boys some "gym time" and various other things. Our fall calendar was filled a bit too much for my taste, this semester is better as I've eliminated things. On days where we have nothing planned for the day we.....

*feel less stress
*get more schoolin' accomplished, in an un-rushed and enjoyable way
*the laundry gets done, house stays tidy, a full dinner gets made
*we seriously smile more

I could probably add to that list, but you get the idea. We love our free and unfilled days. When I was a little girl, we spent our days just playing {days when we didn't have school}. We didn't have after school activities....maybe the occasional intramural soccer {for my brother}. I was asking Greg about what it was like when he was young. He said that he never took sport lessons as a child {or any outside lessons}, he never had enrichment classes. He just played. What I find so interesting about this is that even though he didn't start sport lessons at 4, or various other classes....he went on to accomplish a lot.

*with no prior sport lessons....he played high school football and wrestled. He also played rugby in college, and coached a bit afterward.

*with no prior acting class....during high school he won the lead role in a production of MASH. Do you know who he was up against?

                                                      Philip Seymour Hoffman!
                                                   {he went to Greg's high school}

Greg won the role of Hawkey, and Philip played Radar. They were both asked to go to acting camp in NYC, but Greg declined. He wasn't really interested in acting, just spontaneously tried out for the play to get closer to a girl he was crushing.

I have more stories like that, but I like that one the best. I will often go to Greg and ask "is it ok that the boys are not doing x, y, z?" and he will always say "yes! don't worry". It's hard not to compare when you see your neighbor's child signed up for something different each day. The worries come in, but I'm learning to quickly shove them aside and remember Greg's encouragement. I look at his childhood, and his young adult life  and then see his adulthood. That alone is an encouraging reminder that it's ok to take it slow. Our boys love to play sports, but they don't always want to play competitive sports. Mostly, they just want to play {it could be basketball, baseball, or tag, anything}.

I'm just pondering some things. I'm not saying that extra lessons are wrong....I'm just trying to figure out how I want them to figure into our lives. I want to focus on what's important {to us} and what can wait until the boys are older. I feel like we have been conditioned to think that more of anything is better, but really.....I'm realizing that most of the time, simple is better.

Less IS more.

Just some things I'm pondering.

February 18, 2012


Our dear, sweet, amazing Grandma R (great grandma) had a stroke shortly after Christmas. As soon as we were able, we drove back to Upstate NY to visit her. The drive was about 6 hrs each way, and we only had less than 5 hrs to visit with her, but the trip was....priceless.
Yes, those are rabbit ears......if you know Grandma R, that is just her style. She's such a fun lady. Remember our wheelchair Olympics?
I will treasure this visit with her. Her memory and other things have been poor, but she stayed alert for us during our whole visit. She told me that she hoped that she's been a good grandma. She welcomed me into the family with open arms, and has been the best grandma!!
Sam sat in Grandma's room and said he was going to give his little cousins "story time" from the kindle.

We went back to grandma and papa's house for the night, and woke up to a mega snow storm.

It was one of our quickest trips home ever, but it was definitely worth every minute.

February 17, 2012

My Tiny Soap Box

Please allow me to step up on my box for just a brief moment. I don't do this often as I try not to be super vocal with my particular opinions. But, on this one thing.....I have a big opinion. This has been on my mind for a while, though I've kept quiet. After the email from the boy's birthmom......some things came to mind, and I felt it was time to get something off of my chest. I'll try to be short and sweet.

A few yrs ago I found myself in a place where I was bombarded with the message that children are a direct result of God showing favor to you.  It seems that there are some people who believe that if a woman cannot conceive a child there is something spiritually wrong with her......or she is not being blessed......or she needs to change something before she will conceive. These people also believe that the more children you give birth to, the more you are in favor with the Lord, or the more you are doing things right.

Yeah, kind of crazy, huh? 

This is what I believe.......the Lord has shown favor to me, the Lord has blessed me {doubly}. First of all, it's not because of what I've done.....it's because of who He is. He is not punishing me by my lack of ability to conceive. He has not closed my womb. On the contrary.....I honestly feel special, and chosen. He chose us to be the twin's parents. He brought us together. Because I have (and may have been born with) an issue that doesn't allow me to conceive and regardless of mistakes I've made.....He doubly blessed us with twins. He did this for me....for Greg and I. He did this for the the twins. He brought a wonderful thing out of a hard situation. I feel honored to receive this gift....to be a mom to our twins.  He worked all things together and brought the boys into our life.

The reason I'm sharing this little soap box moment is because it hurts my heart to know that there are certain people{groups} telling women that they are the cause of their infertility.....or have earned their infertility.  It's hard enough when you get little comments {and emails}from these people....when they attach the name of the Lord to this false belief it is a horrible thing.

And now off my box and back to my regular blogging.......

February 12, 2012

February 10, 2012

About Homeschooling

I don't believe I've ever shared the story about our decision to homeschool. It feels so long ago....the details seem very faded. It may, or may not surprise you to know that I originally did not intend to homeschool.

Shortly after I met Greg, his aunt started homeschooling her 3rd grade twins , my dear friend Carla was homeschooling her girls, and a couple other people I knew through my in laws were homeschooling. That's about the extent of my exposure and understanding on the subject. I had a lot of preconceived ideas and stereo types in my head, but really didn't think much about the subject.

              {neat thing, his twin cousins graduated as homeschoolers, and are now preparing }
                                                 to homeschool their kids

Then the amazing adoption of our boys happened....and with it came a whole new set of decisions. Parenting decisions, school decisions.  Because Greg and I held the same faith as my inlaws they started to just assume we would be homeschooling. We all went to the same church, and the majority of the attending families homeschooled. My mother in law would say things like "when you homeschool" or "when the boys are homeschooled" and I wouldn't correct her and say "we aren't planning to homeschool". I honestly became a bit double minded.


As our babies turned into little boys, the decision about school became a big focus for us. When I would get together with my friends we would often talk about the beginning of kindergarten. I would mention homeschooling, but usually end our conversation by saying....."nope, we aren't going to homeschool" or "yep, I'm registering them....I think". Then, when talking to my inlaws....I was all...."oh yeah, we are homeschooling". I just floundered somewhere in the middle without committing to either decision.

Truth is, I didn't know what I wanted. I honestly would change my mind on a daily basis. I sort of felt like I was jumping onto my own little island. It felt sort of lonely. I wanted to be on the big island with my friends. That little island looked a little scary. Let me add that at the time Greg would have been fine with whatever we chose, though he leaned toward homeschooling.

And then the summer before kindergarten came and it was time to register them for school. The days leading up to that decision were not as stressful as I would have thought. Suddenly, the 50/50 scale between homeschool and other school tilted strongly to one side-in favor of homeschooling. I started thinking more and more about it....praying about it..... It almost felt like an out of body experience......my mouth was saying "I want to homeschool" yet inside I was screaming "are you crazy? why? are you sure?".

Each day the desire to homeschool grew stronger and the reality of it grew more real. Greg and I had many discussions on the subject. He wanted me to try homeschooling, but also did not want to push me into the decision. He was a great cheerleader telling me "you can do it. I'll support you". What ultimately led to our decision to homeschool?

The deadline for registration came....and went. My mother in laws assumptions became our reality {thankfully}. We chose to ignore our fears, confront our worries, and go in the direction we felt was right for our family {even if that meant spending a lot of time on our own little solitary island}. We just went with it.

One thing I almost forgot about.....we had been living in our "then house" for about 4 years during our homeschool decision time. One weekend, we were driving out of our neighborhood and saw a garage sale. Greg and the boys stayed in the car while I checked out the sale. I started chatting with the father and met a couple of his kids and soon found out that they were homeschoolers {the mom, and my future dear friend was not there at the time}. The dad shared about a local homeschool sports group, and we exchanged phone numbers. Soon after, we got together for dinner and began a special friendship that continues to this day. Thinking back, I remember feeling so encouraged about homeschooling through that meeting. I felt like it was a little gift from the Lord. I'm pretty sure they may have been our first homeschooling friends?? I'll have to ask Greg about that. 

And then we were homeschoolers. I jumped over to this unknown territory and had no clue where and how to begin. So, as with most things in my life....I just did it, I just began. The first year was rough.  I couldn't relate to my non-homeschooling friends anymore {and they couldn't relate to me}. Actually, that was a very hard situation. We would get together and I would feel like I lived on a different planet. I realize now that it was because of my lack of confidence in our choice. I would usually end our time together in tears{and confusion} on my drive home. During the week, they were all meeting for lunch and I was home schoolin'. There were days that I felt so isolated and envious of the moms who didn't home school. I wondered what it was like in the free world.....the land of uninterrupted cleaning, solo errand trips, and lunch with the girls. At that time, the Internet was a limited source of encouragement and information. I cannot believe how far homeschooling has come in just 5 years.

I'm happy to tell you that though it has taken some time.....I finally feel confident in our decision to homeschool. I'm thankful to be able to stay home with my boys and grow through this experience. Truly, we are learning together. I believe that with any big decision there is a processing time.....a period of adjustment. The first year, or two was hard. If I knew then what I knew now it would have been a much smoother and tear-less process.

I've realized that the days I feel like throwing in the towel are not really about homeschooling. Usually, something else is going on in my heart and homeschooling seems the obvious target. Recognizing this fact has put me in a place of not questioning it anymore {well almost not anymore}. My old girlfriends {still my current girlfriends} are fully supportive of homeschooling now! It's a non issue for our family and friends......when before it was the subject of many debates. Times have certainly changed.

I can honestly say that even though we didn't necessarily choose homeschooling without a second thought....I'm so glad that I overlooked my fear, and worry, and the criticism to give it a try. It's now just a part of our story.

 Maybe next I will share how Greg and I got engaged. It didn't involve bended knee and a surprise proposal. It did involve a mother in law and more of her assumptions ;)

February 7, 2012

Miss Understood

So, yes....I deleted my last post. It wasn't a scandalous post by any means, but it was a post that could be misunderstood, or easily judged. Can I tell you one of my fears?
                                                    Being misunderstood

This isn't a profound or surprising fear...I'm fairly certain that nobody likes to be misunderstood. When we chat on the phone, or even through email there is more control. We can catch most misunderstandings and reverse them. Hopefully. Blogging....that's a whole 'nother thing. When we share our thoughts, happenings, and hopes we leave ourselves vulnerable for judgement or misunderstandings. That's just the way it is, and that's why you will sometimes see me delete a post. Read quickly, friends....you just never know when it will disappear. Ha! Not really. I promise not to be that bad.

So, recently my girlfriend sent me this free Jung/Meyers-Briggs personality test. I found out that I'm an INFJ. Seems I am a protector. Greg took it and found out that he's an ENTJ.... an Executive. We read our profiles to each other and could not believe how accurate they seemed. It actually helped us to understand each other more.....to cut each other a bit more slack because....hey, it's just part of our quirky personality.

Y'know what is interesting? If you read the profile of an INFJ it's pretty clear that I'm just the type who would delete a post for fear of being misunderstood.
 Even my desire to constantly organize yet never feeling organized is characteristic of an INFJ.

Take the test! It was interesting. Let me know what your personality type is. When you find your letters, then go to the personality type page to read your portrait.
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