No Guarantees

I'm in a season in my life where God is teaching me that there are no guarantees. I'm a planner and a security craving woman. I like to know C will come right after A and B.

When my husband's company closed down last November I was devastated. Devastated for Mark because he had a work family not just co-workers. They were more than supportive through infertility (with his ability to get away from the office, kind words, etc). They rode the roller-coaster ride with us when Declan was thought to be ours, then not ours and then ours again. Selfishly, I freaked out because of money and insurance as well. Fortunately, in our craptastic economy, Mark still had several job offers and seamlessly started his new position when his old company closed.

That job seemed okay. Every day I asked him "do you like your new job"? He'd reply: "I can't complain, I do at least have a job." I sensed he didn't like it much but chalked it up to missing everyone from his past company. Out of the blue, 6 weeks after starting this new job, he was terminated. He wasn't a good fit. I won't re-hash the annoying details and lack of reasons given for this firing but it was very unwarranted. My husband was hurt and I wanted to stomp up there and let them know what a big mistake they made. Mark is the kindest, most laid back, smartest and amazing person I know. AND- he turned down 2 other positions for this! UG.

It would be another 7 weeks before he found new employment. In those 7 weeks he had the amazing opportunity to be a stay at home dad and hang out with Decs. I wasn't thrilled about going from 2 days a week at the office to 5 days a week at the office (plus I always work nights and weekends...it's just the nature of the real estate beast). What I observed was priceless- Mark was amazing with Declan. He never complained ONCE if Decs was a crabby monster or didn't nap or woke up too early.

[Hanging my head in shame]

You see, I tend to wear everything on my sleeve and if Declan puts me through the ringer, Mark hears about it. There are days that I can't wait to leave for an appointment. It sounds horrible, but if you knew my spirited son, you'd understand the pure exhaustion he leaves in his path. Let me be clear--that is not always bad, and, for the most part Decs is a joy. It's just those days. Anywho, all that is to say, Mark never complained one bit. He actually loved being home with him. Now, he is now back at work. It's a job that will take some time before we can tell if it's where he needs to be, but it's a job nonetheless.

This gets me back to my point: there are NO guarantees.

I would never have predicted the depths of this "no guarantees" lesson my husband and I are in. But, the lesson would get more tough. This past Thursday I watched a man die. A young man- only 54 years old. He had a heart attack while driving and drove in to my office nearly killing a co-worker of mine who was 1 foot away from where the car flew in to our building.  We called 911 and ran out to try to help. That's when we realized it must have been a heart attack- he was already on his way out. He gasps his last couple of breaths in front of us. There was nothing we could could do. He leaves behind a wife and 3 kids. He was seemingly healthy and played basketball and ran half marathons. Regardless...

...there are no guarantees.

So with this message hitting home more than it ever has, how should it change the way I'm living my life? This is what I'm constantly mulling over in my mind. There are several things that "float to the top" when I think about this.

I want to love people. Simple sounding. Always simple? No way.
I want to be an example to my son of a caring, God-loving, joyful, honest, and patient mama. That last one is my weakest point. 
I want to be a better wife. I love my husband. We are best friends. Am I giving him 100%? No. Life is busy and I have an egocentric toddler (egocentric defines toddler, so I'm not just being a meany) and it's easy to float through life without remembering that my ultimate role is wife. We have a great marriage but it could be even greater.
I want to be a better friend. In the same vein, when life gets crazy it's easy to forget friendships need nurturing. I want to be more thoughtful and intentional. 

There are no guarantees in life, so how does that change the way you're living yours?


The Big One

For some reason I feel like 18 months is such a BIG monthversary. It's the passage of my baby to a true toddler. A few fun facts (so I can later copy this in to his baby book):
...is just over 23 lbs and wearing 18 month shirts and 18-24 month pants. He's still our string bean (with a chubby face).
...is talking constantly- only 25% of it is understandable so there are lots of "oh really?" and "tell me more!!" around our parts. 
...is obsessed with anything that is NOT a toy. He has a special focus on expensive items- our imac, Mark's xbox, our TV. Repeat after me: "redirect, redirect, redirect." 
...is a fabulous sleeper *knocking on wood*. He goes down 9pm-ish and sleeps until 8am-9am. He sleeps 2-3 hours in the afternoon. He goes down easily and rarely awakes (and if he does, it's for a paci).
...is exploding with energy 24/7. This is not new, but just more exhausting as his confidence and curiosity peak.
...is the light of our lives. He is hilarious, expressive, loving, bonkers, happy, emotional, and has us totally wrapped around his tiny finger. 
Deckers, I pray that I could view the world half as vibrantly as you do everyday. You bring us more love than we could have ever known. Happy 18 months, munchkin. Mama is tossing around ideas already for your 2nd birthday bash. 

Beautiful Blogger - awww shucks

I'm thankful to have received a Beautiful Blogger award from three fellow adoptive mamas. Their blogs are some of my favorites to read and keep up on Nora, Charlie and Samuel:

There are a few rules to this reward. 1-Thank the person that gave it to you. 2-Nominate 15 other bloggers that you think are great. 3-Post 7 things about yourself.

7 Things About Me:

1. I love Vegas, but only in small doses. I've never "clubbed" or done anything uber crazy there-- we just love to go to shows, lay out at the pool, eat good food and people watch. 
2. I'm fairly open on my blog but there are definitely untouchable subjects and I do choose to keep specifics about our relationship with Dec's birth parents pretty private. 
3. In the same vein, we've had some interesting job related craziness over here (in addition to the previous company closing my husband endured). I'll blog about it some day. It's great now, so no worries....I've just had no desire to hang it all out on here [yet]. 
4. In general, our house is pretty picked up. BUT- our master bedroom is a different story. I would say it's borderline disastrous. Sigh.
5. On the house front, I'm sooo excited that we decided to stay at our house and not move up last year when we had planned to. Now, we're refinanced to a super low payment and are making big plans to finish the basement and make some other facelifts. Woo hoo!
6. I'm a light sleeper and all elements need to be right (the fan, the covers, the pillow, all noises) for me to sleep well. Oh, the Ambien doesn't hurt either). I'm jealous of those that can fall asleep on the spot.
7. I love love LOVE my photography classes...not just the knowledge but all the interesting people I'm meeting. My teacher is such a character the shared passion for learning among the students is fabulous encouragement to keep moving on though I feel like I have no time!!

{I'm responding to this award pretty late so I'm not going to do any nominating but I love all my beautiful blogger friends!! Your support, stories, laughs, etc are huge to me.}

Window Markers and Such

The jury is out on Declan's new window markers. He expanded their original use to couch-floor-dog markers (all with me standing 1 foot away). Whoops. Regardless, the clean up was worth it to see the happiness on my little boy's face. 
Now that Declan is a big 18 month old (when did that happen?), I'm planning more activities and projects that we can do throughout the day. Though we can only finger paint for 39 seconds at a time, hopefully some day it's an activity he'll love to do. 

[side note- look at that hair!!! mullet or not, we're growing it LONG...
Decs has the swagger to carry it off]


Blue Skies

We've had few blue skies this winter. When the sun came out of hiding last Sunday, I made a dash with my camera (though it was a 5 below wind chill- but the sun was out- thank God!)

Right now I'm dreaming of Spring: warmer temps, green things budding, park weather.

Blue skies, sunshine, melted snow...please, please, PLEASE!


Language Explosion

I'm surround by friends with early talkers. Declan has babbled a bit and said "daddy", "doggie" and a couple other little words for months. Just this weekend, he has a brand new vocabulary. We had the "language explosion" so many have told me about (so I don't worry). Well, now our lives will never be the same because Decs does.not.stop.talking now. I'm loving it!!  His new words/phrases these last few days:
All Done!
Where'd it go?
More, More
Night, Night
Twinkle, Twinkle (he "sings" this song but it's barely recognizable)
Tickle, Tickle



Judging from the glares, I guess I interrupted an important game?!


The Dog Children

Dogs are the best because...
they are always happy
they always forgive
they are easily entertained
they keep life simple
their love is unending 

Boxers are the best because...
they have energy that goes for days
they snooze as hard as they play
they cuddle like they are 10 pound lap dogs
they shake their butt in joy (lima bean)
they keep us young in demanding walks
did i mention they have tons of energy?
they love life