Showing posts with label faith. Show all posts

Lessons from the Kitchen

Yesterday, my son came to me and asked if he could prepare dinner. Specifically, he wanted to make one of the recipes included in his monthly cooking kit. As he loves to try and cook and he is more than of the age to be comfortable in the kitchen, I agreed to let him do so. The recipe cards are pretty straight forward and I passed them along to him with the guidance that he should take his time and call me if he needed me...It didn't go well.

The recipe card..

Weekend Recap: Soccer Games and Homecoming Rain...

Hello everyone!  I am hoping you had an amazing weekend.  This one was a busy one for us, which I have to admit was a nice change of pace from the lazier days.  (I'm sorry, but I admit that I think I might actually like the more hectic pace (insert smile here)).


Weekend Recap: Jesus! The Stage Play

Hi everyone! Here’s hoping your weekend was amazing. I absolutely enjoyed ours and can’t wait to share with you! This Saturday, S. and I traveled to the Sight & Sound Theater in Lancaster, PA to see the live stage play “JESUS”. Guys, it was beyond amazing and I am not just saying that. I am still trying to figure out why I bothered to put on makeup because I cried it off by the time everything was said and done. It was SO well done and like no play I’d seen before. This is NOT your regular live play production, I PROMISE you that!


A Zika Delay


So, I’ve been super excited for weeks ready for Aunt Flow to arrive so we can get this show on the road, as it were. I’ve been ready to take these little pills and go in for monitoring and getting myself where I need to be. Last night, my cycle began with first full flow started today. I was super excited. I even let out a “YAY!” when she arrived, which is saying something when I used to curl up in a ball and sob upon seeing her. It was going to be a great day! That was before the phone call and this morning’s conversation.

The Day We Me Met Our Honeybee: Our Placement Story

                           

Four years ago today, S. and I walked into a room to sign a mountain of paperwork.  I kept glancing anxiously at the clock wondering how much longer it would take, wondering if she was there yet.  The woman across from us, our amazing social worker, felt my anxiousness and said, “She’s here.  She’s upstairs and after we finish, I’ll take you to her”.  Mountains of paperwork loomed, some asking the same questions as the sheets before it.  It was daunting and reminiscent of when we closed on our first home, but this task so much more important to us.  Task complete, a manila folder with all of the paperwork was handed to us and minutes later my husband and I were walking into a cheerily painted room where a man stood (his wife and son beside him) holding this beautiful, tiny little baby girl.  An amazing and pure blessing.

adoption placement
Meeting our Honeybee for the first time
She was handed to me.  My husband, recording on his tablet, and I started crying.  Huge tears and HUGE praises uttered from my lips.  I thanked God for that moment, for that place, for that time that was created and preordained before I was even a thought.  God is SO great.  I reclined slightly on the couch and stared into her beautiful dark eyes and she stared at mine.  She was quiet, so very tiny, and I was in awe.  I enjoyed that moment, basking in her, allowing her to bask in me.  I passed her to my husband, whose eyes betrayed the tears that were there.  This was a moment that he’d prayed about, that we’d prayed  about together.  It was beautiful and raw and open.

Weekend Recap: Of Winds and Nights Out

Hi everyone.  This weekend was pretty power packed.  All week long, the meteorologists were predicting a pretty serious wind storm.  I was skeptical.  I mean, it wasn't a hurricane.  It was a wind event and really couldn't have been that bad. 





Joy and Sorrow



Yesterday was a day, family. My beautiful, amazing, wonderful, God-fearing, God-woman, Proverbs 31 epitomizing, dynamic, special, loving, and treasure of a mother in love (MIL) transitioned into her eternal resting place. What a beautiful thought that is. And how absolutely heartbreaking is the joy and sorrow it brings.

Midday Musings

"...Looking back now I think God saw that if I went too long without love that it would become increasingly difficult for me to submit to the authority of a husband after being set in my own ways."
-Tiff Hornton

I read this in a post this morning of a young woman in the public eye who is receiving backlash for re-marrying a couple of years after her husband died in a car accident. People were calling into question her love for her first husband and her need to move on. The entire post can be found here. I love the post she wrote, but the line that spoke to me the most was the one that I placed above. I was a single mom for several years. I also grew up in a household where fiercely independent and self-sufficient Godly women were my normal. They did it on their own without husbands in the household. They never threw shade to men, never disrespected the idea of marriage or of men, but they did it by themselves.

When I became pregnant and initially did it solo, I developed a “us against the World” mentality. It was my son and I against everything and everyone else. It became my norm. Everything was he and I. My rising. My fall. My thought process. My motivation. My reason for breathing became him and him alone. He kept me going. Literally. When I didn’t want to get up or move, he was the one who kept me up and running. Eventually it became an evident truth that I didn’t care if I ever got married. I was fine in the time and space that I was in. Yes, I was lonely at times, very lonely at times, but I was focused on raising my son and I couldn’t see any man understanding or making space in that. I mean every move I made was calculated to ensure that he had amazing experiences and an amazing life. It was easy to become stuck in my role of independence. I knew I could do it solo. My mother, grandmother, and great-grandmother all lived without the influence of a husband and raised their children. I felt sure I could too.

Easter Recap 2017

Hello everyone! I hope you all had an amazing Easter holiday. I really enjoyed just spending time with the family and celebration the death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus Christ. On Saturday morning, I woke early to help fill and hide Easter eggs for the church-sponsored hunt. There were so many eggs! We stuffed quite a few, ran out of filling for some, but still had a great time. S. took our eldest with him early that AM to help one of our members move and they were finished early enough to come out, help, and enjoy.

Eggs for days

Good Friday

Today is Good Friday.  I sit here and can't help but think about how so many, many years ago Jesus was beaten and bruised, flogged and scourged when he'd done nothing wrong.  He took it all without a word and He took it for me.  I'm still in awe of that and still well aware that I don't deserve it, but am so thankful for His love and obedience to our Father.

Today, I'm sitting at my desk and I'm thinking of all the things this day represents.  I am also thinking of all those people who look at me crazy because I believe those things.  But I still believe.  I am thankful more than ever about this peace and the love that has been shown to me and my family...even in the darkest and most difficult of times.

My plan isn't to overrun you with scriptures or faith speak.  I only share what as been the pinnacle of my journey with infertility.  My faith in God.  This faith has also sustained me through depression, through low self-esteem, and from abuse.

I am so thankful for the love Christ has shown me and I truly invite you to just try Him.  Earnestly, try Him.  The Bible says that God loved us so much that He allowed His only son, Jesus, to die on the cross for all of our sins so that we might have eternal life with Him forever.  Jesus offers forgiveness, peace, and purpose.

Just my experience.

Happy Good Friday to you all.

-K

Road Trippin' with the Young Adults

Hi everyone! I hope you are all doing wonderful and well. Today’s word of the day is ‘I am TIED’. No, that isn’t a misprint. I wrote “tied” which is the elder folks in NC’s way of saying bone doggone tired. Ya’ll! What a weekend! This past weekend, I was honored to join an opportunity to minister with several young adults from our church’s young adult choir. Our ministry includes young adults aged 18-30 something. In the choir, we minister through song and fellowship. A wonderful opportunity came for us to sing at a couple of services in NC, one of which we’d visited last year. I’d readily agreed remembering the fun and enjoyment of last time. It was just a praise worthy experience. But, ya’ll… I wasn’t pregnant then. I wasn’t HUGE then. I wasn’t occasionally uncomfortable with body images and I didn’t have a bowling ball to sleep on. What was I thinking lol.

We left in the vans at 11:00am on a Saturday morning for a 6 hour drive with two planned stops. I have to be very honest here. I was nervous. I mean really nervous. I hoped I wouldn’t get dehydrated. I hoped the baby wouldn’t become uncomfortable in utero. I worried I would need to ask the driver to stop a couple of times. I was so worried I considered not going. I’m so glad I didn’t do that.

We had a wonderful time! From the time we got on the van(s) until the time we returned, it was a great and wonderful fellowship. I laughed so hard going down to NC that my belly hurt. What a joy it is to travel with people you love and have a genuine friendship with. I’d shared with the trip organizers that I would need to stop at least twice per my doctor’s instructions. It was no problem at all. Our first stop was for lunch at Zaxby’s.

We don’t have a Zaxby’s in our area, so most were really excited to stop here. I’m not much of a chicken eater, but I am so big on cheese curds (don’t judge me lol). So, I ordered one of those for an appetizer and a medium sweet tea. Honey! Yumminess! You hear me?! This particular spot didn’t have enough sitting space for the size of our group, so we politely piled in the van and ate in the parking lot before cleaning the vans and departing (oh and visiting the bathroom once again. I went at least three times in the hour we were there!)

Preggo girl's best friend.  Fried Cheese curds.  Mind you, I'd already indulged before I photographed lol
Lunch done, we continued on the road. I tried to get some sleep as I was exhausted, but it wasn’t that easy. Those vans are the standard 15-passenger church vans without recline or extra cushion. I managed to close my eyes for a little while, but not much. I was a bit sore when we arrived at the hotel.

Maybe not the best way to recline, but since we were stopped and no one was in the seat in front of me for the moment, I indulged a bit.
So! Let me tell you about the hotel. It was just a perfect spot to rest from the trip and prepare for the next day’s services. There was one mar that had nothing to do with the hotel and everything to do with a guest and his ignorance. As our van pulled up, an older teen/early twenty young man was walking away from the hotel. He peered into the church vans as they approached and upon seeing the brown faces proceeded to curse us and use the “N” word. That was our welcome into the town. As a testament to the beautiful hearts that I rode with, we actually laughed it off, prayed for his heart, soul, and ignorance, and continued on our day. Love my church choir!

Some of the most comfy beds ever!
Anyway, we stayed at the SpringHill Suites and seriously, the beds were some of the most comfortable I’ve slept in. This is coming from someone who used to business travel about 3 weeks out every month. The staff was so nice. The rooms were clean. The breakfast was hot and yummy. Not trying to give a review, but seriously, if you are ever in the area and need a stop in place for the evening; I recommend them.


The staff was kind enough to give us restaurant suggestions after the long ride and our group decided to go to The StingRay CafĂ© for seafood. Oh. My. Word. If this wasn’t some of the BEST seafood I’ve ever had. Oh, this is no exaggeration. I’m a crab cake and hushpuppy aficionado and I had to consciously stop myself from inhaling them! They were so yummy. I managed to stop myself to take a picture of the one remaining crabcake as I’d already eaten the other. It was so yummy and FULL of crab. Several of our group kept commenting about how great everything was. We are supposed to be coming back to the area next year. This will definitely be a repeat stop.


                                    
Okay, I'm not used to taking photos of the food.  I'll do better.  BEST crabcakes!

Following dinner, we returned home and I went to my room to watch some March Madness before calling it an evening. Sunday, we woke up with great anticipation. We would be singing two services at two separate churches. We downed a yummy breakfast, dressed, and loaded the vans, made it to the first church and sang unto the Lord. It was a great and wonderful experience. The church was kind enough to give us lunch bags with homemade pulled chicken sandwiches (delicious), homemade oatmeal raisin cookies, and a bottle of water. Seriously, it was the best gesture ever since we would not have had time to stop before our next service. The food was amazing and we felt grateful for their concern.

Fast forward to the next church and it was now much later in the afternoon. This is where my little one started acting up. The baby had wedged under my rib and even though is still pretty small, had somehow caused a wave of heartburn and nausea. I couldn’t eat and I was very uncomfortable. I went to the bathroom a couple of times just hoping to move around a bit, but nothing worked. I finally asked one of the members if I could have a pack of Tums. She found Rolaids and after I had one, I felt loads better, that and the baby moved. The second service was equally moving and our own pastor was guest speaker for the evening. He preached an amazing sermon on how even though things are difficult and may not be progressing as you would like them to, faith should be retained because God will make a way. I thought of our infertility journey and drew parallels immediately. It was such a confirmation to me and I am still so thankful for that Word.

Service over, we made sure to take group photos and change into riding clothes for the evening. Let me tell you. After I removed that African print skirt, my entire body said “thank you” lol. It had elastic, but something about maternity attire just makes things so much better lol. Oh, and the maternity shirt I wore from Motherhood Maternity was perfect!! Matched the attire of our choir and gave me room to breathe. So thankful for it.

We finally packed up and made our way home, safe and sound. I walked through the door at 12:05 a.m. Monday morning. I was in bed about ten minutes later. It was a great and wonderful weekend. I would not have traded it for anything in the world. I’m so glad I got to take the trip with everyone.

If anyone is interested in the attire for our trip or hotel or any of that information, please feel free to look below. I’m not affiliated with these companies in anyway and receive no compensation. I just think the links may be helpful for someone else. Have a blessed day, everyone.

I will talk to you again soon.





-K

Social Media Break, but the Blog is still up

Hello everyone.  Happy New Year!  I apologize for not updating my IG profile. But it is for good reason.  Our church pastor recently announced that he would like the church to join in a corporate Daniel Fast.  This isn't the first time that our church has participated in this Fast.  It is a great journey and a wonderful opportunity to draw closer to Christ.  However, this year, I am blessed to be pregnant.  So, the stringent food restrictions of the fast are off the table for me, but I believe wholeheartedly in spiritual walk that accompanies this kind of fast.  After discussing with S., I decided that I would fast from social media.

I find that I spend a lot of time on my phone on social media sites.  I don't write on the sites a lot.  I usually scroll on my timeline.  But during the time I'm there, I definitely find that I could be spending more time in my Word or even with my family.  So, I'm taking this opportunity to focus on the family, on my relationship with Christ, and on growing healthy baby(ies).

I will continue to blog on this site, but only for any major developments that I think the #TTC community would be interested in.  I plan to return on 22 January 2017.

Until then, have a great new year and I'll see you in 20 days.

-K

We Honor You...



On this day, our family would like to honor those who gave their lives for our freedoms, those who made the ultimate sacrifice so that America may stand tall.  You are appreciated.

To those family members who remain, who shed silent tears in memory and in loss, our prayers are with you.  Thank you for sharing your loved one with us.  

-WinterMommy

Weekend Recap: Tears and Baseball

We made it home.  Our family left on Wednesday afternoon to make the 10 hour trek to Atlanta, GA to bury Fatherwinter's cousin.  It was very sad.  I posted about her briefly here.  Seeing the family gathered for her homegoing was more than a little jarring.  She was so young, so earnest in her faith. Now, she is gone.

After the homegoing services, we were able to come back to our relative's home and spend some time in fellowship with them.  I was also able to see some old pictures of FatherWinter when he was younger.  It's always cute to see your spouse as a little person.

After dinner and fellowship, we hopped in the car and drove then ten hours back to our home.
We made it back in home to drop our luggage, change clothes, and then rush off to Superbug's 1st baseball game of the season.  Yep.  Just in time.




The game wasn't that bad.  The kids fought hard and valiantly.  Unfortunately, Superbug's team lost 5-4. They were disappointed as this is the first time scores are being kept. (New league).  The coach gave them all a "proud of you" speech and then we departed.

We came home, ate some thing, and then we all went to sleep....for hours.  It was about 12ish when we lay down.  It was about 630ish when we woke up lol.  And that has pretty much been our weekend.

Nothing spectacular, nothing amazing.  Just catching up on sleep and remembering loved ones.

We're coming up on a busy week, so I'm sure I'll be checking in again.  But until then, you guys have a great evening.

-WinterMommy

Horrible News....

Last night, while watching TV with my mother in law and children, my husband came downstairs and told me he had something to show me upstairs.  I followed him upstairs and he hit me with worst news I could possibly have received.  One of our dear family members had just passed from a heart attack.  She was only 41 and left behind a toddler and a husband of 15 years.  She wasn't sick.  She just...dropped.

My heart was so hurt.  I loved this woman.  She is my husband's cousin, but she became mine immediately.  The love she showed me was wonderful.  When we were adopting Honeybee and I would become worried about some of the legal things, she was the one who would pray with me over the phone.  She was the one who celebrated with us from afar when she found out that Honeybee was officially ours.  She knew that journey.  It was the same she walked with her own daughter.  And now her daughter is without a mother.  My heart weeps and rejoices at the same time.

I know where she is and that she is happy and blessed, but wow.  I am so shocked.  It's hit me in a scary way.  She wasn't old.  She wasn't sick.  I don't want that to be my journey either.

Ya'll pray for us.

-WinterMommy

Happy Thanksgiving!

From my family to yours, we would like to wish you a very happy Thanksgiving.  We have so much to be thankful for this year, not the least of which is the finalization of our Honeybee's adoption!  We are eternally grateful to God for all that He has done!  May your day be richly and wonderfully blessed in all things good and wonderful.  We will return back to you soon!



Honeybee is officially OUR Honeybee!!!

It’s official! Honeybee’s adoption is final!!! Oh my goodness! The joy that I feel. The love, the humility, the gratitude. GOD IS SO GREAT, SO AWESOME, SO WONDERFUL!

Much like everything else in our Honeybee’s journey to forever, even her finalization had a twist. I was sitting at work when I received an email from Ms. Care, Honeybee’s former social worker (I love typing that). She sent us a notification that the final adoption order had recently been signed BUT our lawyer only received an empty envelope from the court on Saturday. Ms. Care had hoped we’d received something, but we had not. So, we were in a crazy holding pattern of learning whether or not Honeybee’s adoption really was finalized because no one had seen the actual document. Still, I got a bit misty eyed in hope. That evening when I got home, FatherWinter and I discussed it, but decided not to tell anyone it was official until someone had official documentation. Fast forward to the next day when scanned copy of the order was sent to us via email, but even this wasn’t exactly official because it didn’t have the certified seal on the document that would allow the acquisition of new documents. And then, it happened…about two hours later Ms. Care wrote that the official copy had been received in the foster offices, that she could officially declare “Honeybee’s adoption as FINAL”. YAY!!!!

I was so excited. Still, because we didn’t have the document in our possession, so it wasn’t until the agency displayed their forever-family graphic announcing a new forever family had been joined that I finally let the feeling of excitement truly wash over me. It’s funny. Of all the words, scans, and assurances, it was THAT which made me teary eyed. I proceeded to contact FatherWinter and then my mother and send a small email to a couple of family members who have been praying for us since the very beginning. And after this email was sent, I released this simple post…


And I now do the same on this place, this blog space.  Our Honeybee is officially OUR Honeybee.  God be praised for His goodness and mercy. (Please be on the lookout for my follow on post as I write to Honeybee’s birth mother.  It is not lost on me at all that our celebration can still bring a place of pain to her and it should certainly never be taken for granted.)

Weekend Recap: Faith Forward & Family Fellowship

What a great weekend it has been.  Friday evening, our family went to a Young Adult Fellowship where we discussed Gifts of the Spirit.  It was an amazing discussion and tied perfectly with the bible class that I am taking.  After the teaching and discussion, the remaining attendees played Headbandz while the children played in the playroom downstairs.  If you haven't played, please do.  We did a girls against boys and teaming and it was hilarious.  Can I tell you how funny it was seeing grown men try and act out what an aardvark was.  FUNNY!!!   When our eyelids got heavy, we made our way home and put the children to bed.  Then, FatherWinter and I enjoyed a bit of us time discussing the bible study we'd had that evening and family plans for future events.  It was such a great evening.

Saturday morning, after prepping a healthy breakfast for the family, I went to choir rehearsal with the same young adults from Friday evening.  We had an amazing rehearsal and a wonderful fellowship. There is something about 18 to 30-somethings spending time together singing and worshiping God through song.  We are preparing for our church's annual Homecoming.  There will be a lot of familiar faces that we don't usually get to see since everyone has grown and gone off to college or gotten married and started their lives in other places.  I know the feeling from my home church and am really looking forward to this service and day.   It will be a lot of hard work, but a lot of blessed fun.

When I returned to the house after rehearsal, we spent the rest of the day as a family--just enjoying each other's company minus the time we let Superbug ride his bike with his friends.  It was the perfect time for movies and new recipes.   I love my family.  I'm so blessed to have them in my life!

Today, we went to church, had a dynamic fellowship, and took Holy Communion.  There was a fantastic message about what happens when you follow Christ from a distance and was referring to after Jesus was seized and Peter followed Him from the safety of the courtyard, and subsequently denied him three times.  I tell you I really enjoyed the sermon.  After church was over and we said our goodbyes to friends and family, we settled in at home for family discussions, outside play, and catching up on Disney movies.  We allowed Superbug to stay up a bit past his bedtime to catch Sunday night football and afterwards called it a night.

While this weekend didn't seem that eventful for us as a family, it was a great time of fellowship for us.  I am so very blessed to be mother to my two wonderful children and wife to my wonderful husband.  Every day I'm reminded of more and more ways I am blessed just by loving them and being loved in return.  God truly is good and I truly love Him.

Have a good evening.
-WinterMommy

We signed the Adoption Placement Agreement!

Oh my goodness!  We have been so delayed in sharing news because so much has been going on! Recently FatherWinter, Superbug, Honeybee, and I met Mrs. Care in her office to sign the final adoption placement agreement.  It's official.  We are officially on the road to finalization!!

Can I tell you how amazing GOD has been in this journey?  We have had a lot of curve balls thrown at us in this process.  Some of them we dodged or hit with ease.  Others have caused a lot of strain.  But God has been faithful and has seen us to this point.  We are truly thankful for that.

The day before the procedure I have to admit I was on pins and needles.  In the back of my mind I was wondering if I would be receiving another phone call from Mrs. Care as we'd received in August of last year.  (Wow, has it really been that long?).  I found myself wondering if we would hear something at the last moment like we did that awful evening.  Thankfully, no.  Not this time.

This time, I left and with my family walked into the offices to sign the paperwork that would officially start the process for adoption finalization.  There is no more legal risk.  Everything has been cleared. All that remains is our signature and then processing of paperwork.  In a few weeks, this could all be over.

I'm so amazingly excited.  What's even more exciting is pretty soon I'll be able to share some of the family pictures with all of you!  But for now, here's a photo of us from our signing placement day.

We're holding Honeybee, but can't share her just yet!

The charge

Today we buried our family friend.  It was a beautiful homegoing. Everyone had such wonderful and kind things to say about her.  There was a recurring theme all afternoon.  How great and kind and classy a woman she was.  I listened to the words everyone spoke and I agreed wholeheartedly.  She was the epitome of a Christian woman who ideally represented all of Christ's values.  She was quiet and kind, always pleasant.  She let you know what she was thinking, but in a kind and graceful way.

Can I tell you how much she will be missed?  She was perfect.  She was a kind mother, a loving wife, and a beautiful soul overall.  What an amazingly beautiful legacy to leave behind.  It's odd.  So many of us live our lives not really knowing whom we touch or how much we mean to others.  As I listened to the words of all touched by our family friend, I realized that I can only hope to leave so precious a mark.

It has me thinking.  When I pass, I want to be such a person.  I want to remembered for kindness and gratitude, for being a classy young lady.  I did self-evaluation when I left the funeral. I want to take up the charge to do more for God and for God's kingdom.  I try and do those things I believe God has me to do, but I also know that I could do quite a bit more.  I know that when I leave this world, only what I do for Christ will remain.  I want there to be a lot done for Him.

So I'm taking the charge and actively changing.  I vow to continue to do what will make God proud and what would make Mama proud as well. I also promise to strive to be the kind of woman whom my daughter would one day want to emulate.

I vow to do this in honor of the women who have done it before me.  To the family of our beloved, please be comforted in Christ.  We know that we do not grieve as those who have no hope.  I look forward to seeing her again in Heaven one day.

Rest well, Ms. Gwen.

-WinterMommy