Category Archives: marriage

Foster Parent Conference 2017

We were able to knock out a ton of training hours this past weekend. Now we have until next June to get one last hour and we can do that online! It’s one less DCS induced stressor that won’t be hanging over my head. (Still need to get the dog’s shot records up-to-date…shh…)

The best thing about the weekend was just getting to be with Chris. He is rarely the only person I need to pay attention to and it’s a luxury when that can happen. We spent 14 hours in training or listening to keynote speakers, so there wasn’t a ton of free time. We did get to hang out with another foster parent couple from our neck of the woods on Saturday night. Sunday we cut out early so we could go visit some family at their church.

I had been holding my breath waiting for September. I needed this trip and I needed for our little foster baby, Pipsqueak, to get some good news about going home to her forever family. Her first birthday is this month. I was wrestling with God trying to push and push and getting frustrated at His lack of compliance. (I’m not sure why the ruler of the universe won’t just do what makes my life easier…but He doesn’t.)

What was making things harder for me, personally, was that every day I was feeling more like I can’t let this human go. If she starts walking, if she starts calling me “mommy”, if she cries when I leave her in the nursery, I’m not going to be able to do it. I felt like I was ready to let her go. And I had accepted her being adopted by her forever family 6 months ago. So she needed to just go NOW. Which is when I like things done.

God is so gracious. Patient with my impatience. He had worked it all out ahead of time and I just needed to trust this is all in His timing. But, man, foster care will take you through the ringer. Two months before we were to leave for the weekend conference, Pipsqueak’s family had planned to come and keep her over the weekend, then hopefully take her home right after her first birthday. Speaking about this and not divulging too much is a fine line. Basically, they live FAR away. They can’t just pop in and get her when they want to, or be here at the drop of a hat for court or visits.

Then just a few days before we were to leave, I get a text from her forever mommy that says that a certain DCS office has still not sent some extremely important paperwork to the licensing office. At that point, I had to just give it to God. I had to accept that His plan was greater than mine. That she would take her first steps with us. That it could be another month or three before they finally got to take her home.

Have you ever had one of those experiences where you wanted something so badly and you are praying and waiting and thinking it’s never going to happen and then you finally let go and it does? That’s what this was like.

Literally 42 hours before we left (I was counting down, don’t judge), I got a text saying that licensing had received the packet and was coming to visit their home 2 hours before they needed to leave their state and head to ours. It was a miracle. THEN the next day, shortly after we arrived at the conference I got a call from Pipsqueak’s caseworker, letting me know that ON HER BIRTHDAY we were going to have her last CFTM (big important meeting) and that she would be placed with her forever family.

You guys, God. I just sit in awe and wonder of His GRACE, MERCY, LOVE.

Because I got that call, I was able to relax and enjoy the time with my husband. And we were able to begin to talk about what it will be like to let our little Pipsqueak go. We were able to start processing together the changes it will make in our family and for the big kids.

God is so good. 21368707_10212821857768999_2279935667135562710_o

I’m 41, he’s 37

I guess we didn’t get any birthday cake with number candles for ourselves this year. We need to do a better job with that in 2018.

We do our best to make each other feel loved and special. With this busy life, we tend to put ourselves and our marriage on the back burner. But we listen to one another. He gets me special chocolate that I love or sends me an Amazon wish list item just because. I try to surprise him with concert tickets and make sure he gets his *gross* sushi.

Most of all, we count ourselves blessed every birthday that we have together. Couples aren’t guaranteed any time together. Our anniversary is March, my birthday April and his is in May. Then we spend the rest of the year focused on everyone else.

I love you sweetheart! You’re my handsome baby-daddy that I love so, so much.

15 years and counting

Since it was our FIFTEENTH wedding anniversary. We decided to skip town for a weekend. It was one of my favorite trips we’ve taken together. It was simple and slow, with a little historical sight-seeing and antique store shopping. A few good meals out. A nice hotel. An amazing concert in a cave. And best of all? Zero children.

12 years ago

It’s the 12th anniversary of 9/11.

I remember reading in my history books about World War 1 and World War 2 and the Civil War and thinking, as a child, that those “stories” were unbelievable.  I’ve always had a hard time realizing that there were actual people, families who were alive then and dealing with all that comes with war.

I never would have thought that I would be changed by war or a national tragedy.  But, the anniversary of September 11th is weaved into our story.

Chris and I had been dating for 9 months. I knew we were supposed to get married and I was 4 years older than him so I was impatient.  I was waiting on the ring, the proposal, the planning (like a majority of 20 something year old females tend to).

The morning of the attacks Chris called me with a frantic tone in his voice. “I’m leaving right now,” he said.  I was watching the news and had seen what happened but it was less than an hour before and I was thinking, “Why is the military flipping out over a plane crashing into a building?”

Chris was headed out to another airbase to offer support.  He said “Will you marry me?” with urgency.  I’ve never been one to panic easily so I just said “Oh no…you aren’t getting off that easy. I want a REAL proposal, with A RING.”

I like to think that when Pearl Harbor was bombed that there was at least one other clueless female out there thinking and saying the same things I did that day. I should have said “YES! Of course! Now go save the day!”

Even though it did feel like it by the end of that day and the end of that week, it wasn’t the end of the world. It was a hard time for America, the beginning of another military and societal struggle.

Except for the 9 months before the attack, Chris and I and our family have been affected by the events of that day. From rushed marriage proposals, to months apart due to military deployments, we feel the effects of 9/11.

So, without realizing it we have become one of those “real” families woven into the fabric of our nation’s history.

I am so thankful that we haven’t had to sacrifice more. That we are all still alive and together.

The Lord foils the plans of the nations; he thwarts the purposes of the peoples.
 But the plans of the Lord stand firm forever,
 the purposes of his heart through all generations.      

Psalm 33: 10-11

top ten things I miss about my husband

Deployments are hard. They are hard on the soldier, the spouse and the kids.

The top ten things I miss about my husband are:

  1. His smiles. Plural. Because you know the one you love has so many different smiles. The smile for the kids when he is eating pretend cake. The smile for me when he says “dinner was great, really.” The genuine smile later when he says “well, it could have used a little more seasoning.” The smile of desire. The smile of teasing. The little smile that gives away his white lie.
  2. His support. No marriage is perfect. No mate without blame or error. He may not always show it but when I need it, I know I have his support.
  3. His sour attitude.  Believe it or not, I miss being able to tease him out of a bad mood. I miss being able help him laugh it off. I miss being able to annoy him until he’s irritated at me instead of the situation that has him down.
  4. His sincerity. I miss his intensity when it comes to things that matter. God, me, his children.
  5. His strength. I can look at pictures of us when we were first dating and I remember those thoughts I had. Thoughts about how strong and tall he was. Eleven years later I know I was right, about his physical strength and his emotional strength. No hug feels like his.
  6. His spiritual leadership. I don’t expect my husband to pave a walkway from me to God. To me that is not what spiritual leadership is. He leads by example, whether it’s raw honesty about spiritual struggles or sharing of joys and triumphs, he shows me his relationship with God is real.
  7. His speaking to our kids. There are times when listening to Foster and his daddy talk about something is like watching a head-on collision. Neither of them are explaining well and neither are understanding the other. Most of the time, though, my husband delivers information to the kids in a way I never would have thought! He can remember and tell them all kind of facts from history, science, math or religion.
  8. His spanking our kids! For some reason (he doesn’t have to give spankings very often) just the thought of one from daddy is enough to straighten you right up. However, saying “we’ll see what daddy has to say about it when he gets home at 5:30” is much more intimidating than “we’ll see what daddy has to say when he gets home from halfway across the world in 144 days.”
  9. His sense of humor. You know how they say that after two people are together for so long they start to look alike? I think that’s true with their sense of humor, too. My husband is my buddy, we like to laugh together. We like to laugh at our kids, our families, sitcoms and ourselves. I just miss laughing with him.
  10. His sharing. When you’re married you share just about everything. I miss sharing the bed with him. I miss sharing stories from our day. I miss sharing our burdens and dreams and hopes. We have email and Skype but it’s not the same. I miss the kind of sharing that happens when you sit with a cup of coffee or drive down the road together.
This post is linked up with Top Ten Tuesday.

The Wall

Marriage is another one of those things that seems perfect and easy when you look at other people’s lives and ugly and hard when you look at yours.  Marriage is security and companionship and intimacy and joy. It’s also challenging, hurtful and constantly evolving. Chris and I have never shied away from seeing a counselor or pastor if we come to an impasse in our relationship. We don’t hesitate to seek help if we see ourselves becoming more destructive than constructive. This is one of those seasons.
 
Sometimes words start to fall on my soul like an unexpected but welcome shower on a spring afternoon. I wanted to share them.
 
 
The Wall
 
It’s there. A wall that feels huge and solid and insurmountable.
It’s there. It feels strong, impossible to penetrate.
Satan strives to keep it, he sends his demons to fortify it moment by moment.
As I long to reach for you in the quiet hours, with a touch or just with words, I come against it.
I have to pray, I have to breathe deep. I have to realize that it feels like it’s there but it’s not.
Jesus has crumbled it, it’s only an invisible pile of rubble. He will take my hand and lead me across.
He comforts and encourages me to reach you. To honor Him by connecting with you.
 
 
If you are struggling in your marriage, get together and find someone to listen to you both. You might have to swallow your pride (or smash it down with a sledge hammer) but your marriage and family are worth it.

10 years

My husband and I have been married for 10 years today! He has been so sweet and gotten me lots of cards and goodies over the last 10 days.  Tonight we’ll just be home with the kids but we will celebrate by having an evening (almost) alone tomorrow night. I am so thankful that God brought us together and that He has kept us together.  It really feels like the best is yet to come!

He loves me…