Sunday, May 31, 2009

update on post from 5/7/09

I have a potty mouth, but that is a completely different subject for a completely different post. This is regarding something I wrote earlier this month about the painful decision some friends had to make.

J and J2 chose to induce the baby that could not survive outside the womb for a few reasons, the primary being
  1. They are not certain that this is the last child they will have.
  2. She has had three C-sections already (the first was necessary, though I'm not clear on the details, and Bozeman doesn't permit for VBAC), making a fourth risky and a fifth untenable. This baby was at the critical time for J to be able to deliver vaginally... and that window would not last long.
Since she was only twenty-one weeks along, induction now or waiting full term were about the only two options. She went in on the morning of Saturday, May 9th, and Samuel was stillborn late that evening.

I got to spend time with her on the following Monday, and she gave me permission to share their story, both for your sake and for theirs...

On Friday night, J was consumed with fear and worry that she'd go through labor and deliver a perfectly healthy and perfectly formed child. She cried out to God about their decision, her fear, and their son. She wondered if they should choose another name so as not to "waste" Samuel (it was their boy's name, and they've had daughters thus far), then wept at the pain of such thoughts. Unable to sleep, she prayed and opened her Bible at random. In the first and only time a verse has ever jumped from the page to her heart, she read 1 Samuel 2:20,
Before they returned home, Eli would bless Elkanah and his wife [Hannah] and say, "May the Lord give you other children to take the place of this one [Samuel] she gave to the Lord."
Weeping, she told God that she trusted Him and His will and direction, despite the painful path He was leading her down, and she knew that Samuel's name would not be wasted.

However, she and J2 made sure to arrive much earlier than necessary at the hospital to allay their fears. They needed to see with their own eyes what exactly was going on with Samuel so that they could trust their decision. Confessing this to J's OB/GYN, a fellow Christian and the dear man who delivered little Blake, he told them that he'd wrestled with the same doubts and had also come in early to confirm once more that this was the wisest course of action for J's health. He showed them numerous things on the many sonograms that, while terrible, also gave them peace that they were doing the best thing for their family.

Throughout a day that could be described as painful at best, God gave them many many glimpses of His mercy. J told me that she and J2 had felt prayers in a way they'd never experienced before - tangible and real. God was with them in the room and gave them peace and even moments of laughter. Having never been in labor before, J was alarmed at what a contraction felt like and asked the nurses how long they'd continue after Samuel was born. She told me that it was an especially tender birth because it was the only one she and J2 got to experience in such a way - largely private and non-surgical.

Though Samuel was stillborn (which both J and J2 felt was a mercy on all three of them), they were able to gaze at and hold him calmly, despite the extensive malformations of his little body (which I will not detail here). From the waist below, he was a perfect baby boy, and they have dear, tiny copies of his footprints. Also, due to the location of the placenta, they had further confirmation of the wisdom of their choice, as Samuel's movements could easily have caused placenta abruptio, further endangering J's health and life.

Their daughters are processing Samuel's death in the curious ways of small children. The youngest, two, is largely oblivious. The middle, five, is deeply saddened by the loss of a brother she wanted badly. The oldest, eight, is mostly quiet about it, though shows remarkable comprehension when discussing it with friends. J said that she left the hospital in subdued spirits, but that she wasn't feeling any painful physical effects of the labor and delivery. They are not sure if and when they will attempt to conceive again.

Please continue to pray for their family, for healing of grief and for wisdom in navigating their daughters' sorrow. J expressed some concern that people who did not know the full extent of the story would judge them harshly for "aborting a baby that was simply handicapped." She is also struggling with fear for the lives of her husband and children, which infuriates her as an attack from Satan, even while she has a renewed sense of how truly fragile life is.

Psalm 27:13-14
I am still confident of this:
I will see the goodness of the LORD
in the land of the living.

Wait for the LORD;
be strong and take heart
and wait for the LORD.
Psalm 34:1-8, 18
I will extol the LORD at all times;
his praise will always be on my lips.
My soul will boast in the LORD;
let the afflicted hear and rejoice.
Glorify the LORD with me;
let us exalt his name together.

I sought the LORD, and he answered me;
he delivered me from all my fears.
Those who look to him are radiant;
their faces are never covered with shame.
This poor man called, and the LORD heard him;
he saved him out of all his troubles.
The angel of the LORD encamps around those
who fear him, and he delivers them.
Taste and see that the LORD is good;
blessed is the man who takes refuge in him.
The LORD is close to the brokenhearted
and saves those who are crushed in spirit.
I do not like the circumstances that made me a resource for people in pain, but I love that God continues to use those circumstances for His glory. May He always find me a willing tool in His hands. The Lord's ways are a mystery, and life might be hard even when walking with Him... but I shudder to think of what it might be without Him.

Friday, May 29, 2009

Monday, May 25, 2009

getting connected

I have a friend who is traversing Alaska the hard way - via auto. Does anyone have a place for her to stay? Or have friends of friends? Or anything? She's hoping to hit:
  • Anchorage
  • Fairbanks
  • Talkeetna
  • Soldotna
Let me know, I'll get you in touch with her. She's the friend who took me and my sister-in-law whitewater rafting during my time in Spokane this past week. Superchill. I like her a lot.

notes from spokane

Craigslist to the rescue! I am STILL not approved for Freecycle Spokane. Less than 16 hours after posting the two items on Craigslist, both had been picked up from the house. Hurray! Perhaps I'll be able to use Freecycle Spokane next visit, but I'm guessing I'll just throw all the random stuff away because they can suck my big fat toe.

I think God's teaching me forebearance. I don't like it.

*****
Rob and I are reading a budgeting book for young couples by Larry Burkett and it's AWESOME. I must admit that big Blake tried to no end to get me to read this same book. I told him that he could just give me the synopsis since, on paper, the book looks like a total snore. Come on: finances? I took several Finance classes in college, and I can tell you they ARE a total snore. However, Mr. Burkett tosses in enough anecdotes and case studies to make it a compelling read. Also helping is the fact that we're on a shoe-string budget with some major expenses, so we're definitely motivated to get this stuff figured out.

That said, I've been dispensing with budgeting advice right, left, and center. I think I'm kind of bossy.

*****
Rachel and Chris, Rob's sister and her husband, went in today so that Rachel can be induced. We're expecting a baby girl (hope the doctor's right!), and haven't heard from them all day long. We've begun texting them, requesting/demanding updates, because no one here is very patient (see top post regarding forebearance).

*****
The house is almost cleaner than our place in Bozeman, which is saying something for a home built in the 1950s. Bethany and I have touched almost every surface with some sort of cleaning agent or rag, and it looks a world of difference. Rob and I painted three of the four living room walls with one of the colors I picked up (nutty beige), and it looks great. There's still major work to do though:
  • We ripped out the bathroom and haven't replaced it yet.
  • Rob's bedroom is still down to the studs, as it was when we first met.
  • We're knocking a hole in the wall to create a new doorway and closing off another.
  • We're replacing the flooring in one bedroom and the laundry area, plus the demolished bathroom.
  • We have to replace the trim that's been ripped out over the last year.
I have learned that Rob is great at starting projects. He has learned that I am very motivated to finish them. We are both learning that we can't afford to do everything at once. Our next trip up, we'll be joined by my folks (and anyone else who cares to come) to finish the painting, trim, laundry area, and whatever else I can wrangle our sweet fathers to help with. Sweet fathers are kind of amazing.

*****
Rob's folks have a bird, a Wii, and Star Wars Legos (that Rob used to play with). Between the fun inside and all the fun outside, plus one cousin for great adventures, Blake's not been getting much sleep. He's been speaking in multiple exclamation points, has christened Rob's folks "Poppa" and "Nonna," and has taken to kissing me on whatever appendage is closest at the time. And he's just asked me to take somebody's head off because it's not working.

It's a Lego. I'm not afraid.

Friday, May 22, 2009

i thought I had control issues

I'm trying to give away two large items in Spokane. They wouldn't fit in the Dumpster or contain freon, so we couldn't toss them (anyone in the area interested in a working side-by-side refrigerator or a black metal futon frame?). I tried to sign up for the Freecycle network here, and they require approval from an administrator.

Approval requires that I read their extensive list of rules, email back a short Q&A, and wait for their yea or nay. It's been over twenty-four hours since I read the book, completed the open-book quiz, and I'm still waiting!

I don't really understand why a group that only has 1000 more members than my hometown group must take so long to decide to permit me to GIVE THINGS AWAY. For crying out loud...

I think they are running a background check.

Thursday, May 21, 2009

blake walden morstad

He would have been 29 today.

I went whitewater rafting with Bethany and a friend. Smelling the pine, feeling the cold Spokane River, and realizing that the last two times I've been rafting were with Blake W. made it a sweet day. The initial rafting trip was while we were interns at Boeing, and it was the first opportunity we had to get to know each other.

I got rip-roaring drunk and, humiliated and crying, was actually throwing up over the side of my camp chair. Blake W., the gentleman, shooed off the other young men who had been actively feeding me drinks (I have no idea how much I had, but was taken completely by surprise at the amount of my intoxication!), then patted my hand and told me to save my tears for something that mattered. In my bravado of the next day, all I really remember was almost getting tipped out of the raft backwards over a big rapid, having Blake W. sneak up behind me to pull me in the water during a calm stretch, and me swearing more than usual. Good times.

The second time we rafted was the Fourth of July weekend during that same internship summer. We got back to my folks' place, sun burnt and tired, and had a terrifying conversation where I confessed my feelings for him, hopeless in the knowledge that it could only end badly for our friendship. He confessed his feelings for me too, and we agreed, to our mutual fear/awe at what God was doing, that we should start dating. Good times.

And now today. I saw a great blue heron, a raptor of some sort, and though I fell or jumped in three times, I never lost my sunglasses. Good times.

Monday, May 18, 2009

ftw*

Everyone liked my bruschetta (except for B, but that's no surprise), which is great, because if not, whoever hadn't partaken would have been driven from the house by all the garlic breath. It was a great night for bruschetta and a grilled meal out on the patio!

*For The Win - Rob had to explain this to me a number of times. He'd use it while we were chatting, and I would guess at its meaning, usually starting with "how DARE you use that kind of language, even abbreviated, with me?!"

Husband-Approved Bruschetta
  • fresh mozzarella, diced
  • fresh tomatoes, also diced (you want a ratio of about 1:1.5 or 1:2 of cheese to tomato)
  • fresh basil, shredded/torn/snipped
  • garlic powder
  • olive oil
  • balsamic vinaigrette
Mix and serve on toasted baguette. All the quantities are approximate and depend entirely upon your taste and whether you want to be able to eat the bruschetta like soup. I love bruschetta soup... I rub it right on my hips and tummy.

Sunday, May 17, 2009

charming

  • how I feel about my in-laws
  • Muddy Buddies
  • road trips with another adult, especially when that adult is Rob and prefers to drive and is generally wonderful
  • Blake being able to write his name
  • Blake singing to me in sign language about Alice the Camel having five humps, except, oh wait, Alice is a horse
  • the peppery smell of fresh basil (which I plan to make bruschetta with tonight!)
  • getting my first ever bouquet, dandelions, from my son, who could not have been more proud or more affectionate
  • being able to grope my husband in public... in a very sneaky sneaky way, of course
  • thinking that I am sneaky

annoying

  • people who do not care (or notice?) how silly and/or idiotic they sound on Facebook (where I notice it most)
  • excessive exclamation points!!!!! OMG!!!!!!
  • excessive emoticons :( though I once punctuated every sentence with one to annoy a friend :) and I use these enough in email and written correspondence that I annoy myself regularly :P
  • distractions, because they give Rob ample ammo to tease both me and B about.... wait, is that something shiny?!
  • mice in living quarters
  • autocomplete in my word processing software that thinks the word "can" is actually going to be "cannonballs"
  • living too much online, like I tend to do

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

provocation

My parents gave Rob and I a night at a local hotel on our wedding night, since the condo was full of friends who had loaned us their house... and no one wanted us at the house. I can't IMAGINE why.

Because the wedding day was especially busy and full and I was especially busy not freaking out, I asked my good friends K and KT to take our bags and check us into the hotel. In doing so, I warned them that I was trusting them very much and told them the following stories:

A few friends of mine were staying at the bride's (empty) grandmother's house for at least one night post-wedding. This snappy lady tied small bells to the frame and springs of the bed they were staying in, then hung a framed 8x10 photo of herself high on the wall at the foot of the bed. I think this is the best kind of ornery: sweet and funny.

A former co-worker, upon getting married, had asked her grandmother and aunt to check her and her new husband into the hotel the night of their wedding. They arrived at the room to see rose petals on the bed and, when they threw back the (shorted) sheets with eager anticipation of each other, discovered the cornflakes and honey that the thoughtful women had added for "fun."

I think this is horrible and mean, and it would have required a change of rooms or a change of sheets at the very least, which is one of the last things anyone wants to do after a day full (for most brides) of freaking out. I begged K and KT to be kind and not to inspire murderous thoughts in me on the day of my long-awaited wedding. They promised cornflakes, honey, and more.

We arrived to a lovely room and the promised items on the bed, plus two bags of M&Ms:

Saturday, May 9, 2009

ewwwww

I just found out that someone in California got to my blog by searching for the words "stories i eat your poop."

I find this impossibly disturbing, especially after running that same search and seeing what came up. After the first few especially icky pages, it's either about dogs eating their own poo or potty-training stories on mommy blogs (which, I suppose, this one qualifies). I never found my own site, which means California had to click through A LOT of pages to find me.

Except that now, I may have raised my searchability for that particular phrase. Rats.

that's what he said

A: Yeah, I really hate that shit.
B: BAD WORD...
L: (snickering and muttering) Oh, you're in trouble now.
B: ...We don't say 'hate.'

*****
M or S (one of my twin nephews, during nap time): Dada?
...
Mama?
...
Addie?
R: (laughing) Anyone? Anyone? Who will rescue me from my nap?

*****
B: This is good bratwurst, Mom.
A: Thank you!
B: You're a good cooker.

*****
A: How you feeling honey? You feel warm, and the teacher said you complained about your ear today.
B: Yeah. I think I have an ear confection.

Friday, May 8, 2009

book quote

Raising a child is easily the most maddening thing I've ever done. It is, of course, also the most rewarding thing I've ever done. The latter gets a lot of attention - frozen in time and assembled neatly in picture albums, scrapbooks, family stories - while the former, nearly as significant in the big, day-to-day scheme of things, is the subject of only ominous public service announcements and scolding looks from strangers, your parents, and your mate. Everybody gets mad at their kids; nobody likes to talk about it.
...
Here's what I've found that sets me off: disobedience, lying, and rudeness. Each is a form of the previous, building and adding nuance, and each can drive me completely start-raving bonkers.
...
I think the lying bothers me so much not because they're trying to get away with anything - though the sneaky little bastards certainly are - but because I see my own weaknesses and failures in it. Lying is about not having the confidence to defend what you've done. Lying is about weaseling out of the consequences of your actions. I was a liar because it seemed easier. I get angry at my kids for lying now because I know it's not.
...
If disobedience is maddening because it's active and open defiance, and lying is maddening because it's sneaky and covert dismissal, then rudeness is maddening because it's thoughtless and self-satisfied arrogance.
Written down, it seems a small thing, to be polite. But the implications are perhaps more important than anything else I can teach them. On a larger scale, rudeness is a fundamental disregard for the fact that there are other people in the world, and they may have some claim on whatever it is you happen to want at the moment - everything is not exclusively about you.

-excerpted from Peas and Domestic Tranquility by Greg Knauss, who has three young sons between the ages of six and ten.
*****
This is taken from a book of essays about fathers, which I cannot really recommend because it's marginal at best. Still, many of the points of this father's essay resonated with me, not because he wrote from a Christian perspective (he didn't) or because he was wry and funny (he was), but because those same things are maddening to me as well, especially the rudeness. I think the difference between he and I is that, while I will get upset at these traits in my own son, getting mad AT him isn't much of an option. I can dislike his behavior intensely, and there will be consequences for the disobedient behavior, but I'm rarely ever actually angry with little Blake. He can drive me nuts, but the delight that I find in him truly does cover a multitude of parenting sins.

To that end, we're trying a softer, gentler, and not TOO cynical new tack in this, our fourth or fifth try at potty-training. I have low expectations but high hopes.

Thursday, May 7, 2009

vinegar mouth

Even when comforting a friend, I dropped the F-bomb. I'm working on using archaic words ("jeepers," "gadzooks") to express myself, instead of swearing, but when a woman and her husband have to decide whether their twenty-one-weeks-along baby will be born to die now or in a few months, I think the F-bomb is warranted.

Please pray for these sweet friends. Their son has a brain stem, but that is about it. No brain, no skull, no chance outside the womb. Their hearts are breaking, and they have difficult decisions to make. One way or another, they and their three young daughters will be grieving the loss of a baby they love. Pray for wisdom, for comfort, and that God would make Himself known in this painful situation.

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

follow the leader

I have two new followers here because they know me through my job. Because I am managing editor of BackpackingLight, I think they are under the impression that this is one place they'll get good gear tips, trail journals, hiking reports.

Essentially, they are following me because they have no idea.

HAHAHA! Sorry guys!

Monday, May 4, 2009

that's what he said

B: Mom, my penis is tickling me because it's moisturized.

*****
B: (hand on my arm, serious enough that I am concerned) MOM.

The droid is in your bed.

I WILL GO SHOOT HIM!

*****
B: I. SO. EMBARRASSEDED.
A: Why?
B: Because I wreckeded my fort. Not very unpolite for me.

*****
A: (tooting) Excuse me.
B: It wasn't you, it was my dad.
A: I like the way you think!

*****
B: Mom, why isn't Dad sleeping in your room?
A: He's staying at L & A's before the wedding.
B: Well, it's not very nice of you to not let him stay with us. That unpolite of you.
R: I like the way you think!

*****
B: Dad, your spankings don't hurt very much.
R: Oh, really?
B: No, but I have a really strong bottom.

*****
D: How did you end up with THESE guys?
B: (while with the entire Jordan family at the doctor's office) Yeah, so my mom got married to a guy and they went away and didn't tell anybody so I'm living with my friends Stephanie and Chase and this guy (motioning with thumb) lives there too.

"This guy" is my boss/friend/brother-from-another-mother.

*****
After picking him up post mini-moon, where he spent time with three of his favorites: Grammie G & Grampa Kent, the Jordan family, and the Kelly family.

A: Blake, I'm glad to see you. I really missed you this week!
B: Yeah. I missed your face.

Sunday, May 3, 2009

that's what they said

L: (while I was holding her) What's on your feeders?
A: My what?
L: (patting my tatas) Feeders.
A: Oh. My feeders are... (trailing off while trying to think of something appropriate for my friends' - her parents - sake)
L: Big?
A: YES. My feeders are big.

I love two-year-olds. Rob has also decided that "feeders" is his new favorite word.

*****
A: I'm getting caught up on about six blog posts. I'm going to meter them out over the next few days.
R: I married a nerd.
A: SO DID I.

*****
Our pastor's response to our "dress code" for the wedding:
B: I can wear jeans to the wedding? WOOOOOOHOOOOO! Now I'm REALLY excited!

*****
R: You drew a picture of a polar bear following menstrual blood.
A: Wait... WHAT?!!!
R: They did a study. Polar bears are the only bears drawn to...
A: (interrupting) That's enough. I've heard enough. Who are "they" and what kind of bet did they lose?!

*****
C: I've never had edible underwear. What's it, like a Fruit Roll-Up?
R: Yeah, but it's not as moist.

Saturday, May 2, 2009

things i've learned the hard way

  • 2:00 am bedtime = an Addie that's not entirely rational
  • Ok, not at ALL rational
  • Shredded carrot gets EVERYWHERE and turns things pink.
  • With latex gloves, I can clean ALMOST anything.
  • Ok, ANYTHING.
  • God trusts me with pain.
  • Don't give someone brownies on April 20th. It was just a gift from a friend to a friend, but NO. Widely misinterpreted by everyone else present.

ken knight has been FOUND!

Praise God! He walked out on his own (according to Ryan, who led a search) and is on the way to the hospital. Time to party!

Friday, May 1, 2009

tasty recipe

The Bunko girls raved about this, but I didn't have a chance to send it out (two more to follow, for Buttermilk Cake and Caramel Glaze). Original is from Molly, and I love the variety in the flavors.

Black Bean Soup
  • 1 can chicken broth/stock
  • 2 cans black beans, drained (can make this part ahead, but it adds to the overall time)
  • 1 can tomatoes, any style
  • 1/2 onion, diced
  • 1 T oregano
  • 1 clove garlic, pressed or chopped
  • pepper to taste (salt's in the beans!)
  • 1 or 2 chopped jalapenos (optional)
Throw everything into a pot and simmer 20-30 minutes. Spoon over rice and squeeze fresh lime juice over each serving.

Top with sour cream, salsa, grated cheese and avocado. Serve with a tortilla and beer!

march showers

I wanted to share some of the funny and tender moments from the great shower that was thrown for me by the girls and women from church. Mostly, I was blown away by the generosity of spirit shown by these lovely ladies who have joined with me in tears and prayers and laughter over the years. A few had known me married before and had known Blake; many had never known me married; a very very few did not know my story beyond my pending wedding.

After sharing my story to shared tears and shared laughter and shared joy about God's work in my life, a few women prayed for me, little Blake, and Rob. Some of my favorite parts were when my dear friends said very kind things about me - imagine that!

AH: (in prayer) Thank you, God, for making Addie such a forthright and spirited woman. (What a lovely way to describe what can be two of my bigger weaknesses, and I appreciated the choice of words!)

AC: You know how "Isaac" means laughter? I think the female equivalent is "Addie." I love how Addie loves to laugh.

Finally, Catherine's acrostic and teaching tool. I asked the shower organizer to have Catherine do the devotional (we wouldn't be Presbos if we didn't learn something at every event!). She came up with the acrostic "ADDIE'S BLISS." I, of course, noticed all the S's and was loudly excited about them...

for the Submission. Isn't that what all wives look forward to most?

Here's what Catherine came up with. I love her.

A - Ask and give forgiveness
D - Divine intervention
D -Daily Companion
I - Influence
E - Expectations
S - Submission
B - Bending (compromise) (she called this the cheater one, since you have to fudge at least one letter in any acrostic)
L - Laughter
I - Integrity
S - Serving
S - SEX