Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Some-ary. (Read: summary)

I know you've been dying to hear how my resolutions ended up. The last I updated was check #7 in September. Here's how they broke down in the 4th quarter:

Check #8: We are paying off one of our little reminders of infertility this month! Yay!

Check #9: Clean basement resource? Well, it's super functional but it's not totally awesome yet. We've made unbelievable progress and served over 60 kids in foster care/adoptive homes but it could use some more work. And some bug spray.

Check #10: Nope. No quilt was made. Not even a tiny bit. Although my MIL bought me one for Christmas. Does that count?

Check #11: While I tried getting my laptop fixed in January of last year, I was met with the judgemental snarls of the Apple world claiming what I was using was "vintage". And then it quit working all together. Our super awesome house-mate Allie lent me hers for most of the year so I could still write. And the happiest part? I got a new laptop for Christmas! I'm back. Like Britney, only more sober.

Check #12: Blurb book of 2012? Um...didn't happen. Although I made an Instagram calendar of 2013 pics. Does that kinda count?

2013 was one of our best years as a family and for me personally. I've started my goals for '14 and once they're critiqued by the lazier me instead of the "worlds-my-oyster" me, I'll post 'em.

Happy New Year, friends! Thanks for playing along...

Thursday, November 21, 2013

Welcome to our frat house.

****Not sure why this posted again!

My posts have felt a little somber lately. The last few posts have been soap-boxy bulletin boards. Time for a quick scrapbook moment for my boys. Ya know, in case Facebook implodes one day and I lose all my documentation of their childhood. I should warn you, I'm a serial facebooker. And Instagrammer. But I'm most embarrassed to say my last kid-themed-status-update-update was July of '12. I'm not going to copy the last year and a half's here but I'll at least give ya the last few months...

****EDITED TO ADD**** I started with just the last couple months but was having so much fun revisiting our crazy that I kept going. Whatever. It's my party and I'll blog if I want to, blog if I want to, blog if I want to. This post is more for Dez and Eliot to revisit in 20 years. All that to say, it's long but if you're bored, have at it.

A few posts:

*E: Mom, I want strong muscles like Michael Phelps, do you?
Me: Yep, that's why I was exercising yesterday.
E: Uh, mom,...it didn't work.

*Every time we get in the car Eliot yells, "My biscuits are burnin'!"

*Nothing says " road trip with a six yr old" like Hey Mom, I bet I can count to 10, 000! 1, 2, 3...

*Russ to E, getting in the car with half an ice cream cone: Eliot, are you really going to finish all of that?
Eliot: Dude, I'm gonna kill it.

*Me: El, for snack do you want a banana?
El: Sure, what kind do you have?

*It might just be easier to put all the kitchen cabinet contents into Dez's toy baskets and his toys into the cabinets.

*Dear teachers, if Eliot's "how I spent my summer vacation" essay includes watching YouTube videos on "how to cornrow" that *might* be my fault.

*Me: Eliot, you need to *blah blah blah*
Eliot: Whatever you say, Mom
Me: Um..what?
Eliot: Whatever you say...is awesome?

*Something I never imagined saying as a parent: "Stop running hot wheels through your brother's fro."

*I know I shouldn't refer to my child as my antagonist but what else do you call someone who constantly follows you around undoing what you just did. And don't say "a toddler" because then I'm forced to reply, "touche!" and I hate saying that.

*"Mom, booty is a noun" #firstgradeFTW

*That moment when you mistakingly reprimand your son for calling you a "cougar" when he actually called you a "cool girl".

*That moment when you find yourself cleaning up diarrhea from two children while listening to The Chipmunks sing Christmas songs in Spanish. Yeah, that moment.

*Every time we ask Eliot to do something he says, "No comprendo." Well played, Guatemalan, well played.

*Something I didn't anticipate with the multi- age classroom: Eliot's sudden interest in third grade girls.

*20 (ish) teeth by 2 years old? It's going to be a long 6 months...#only4teethat18months

*While letting a-very-excited-to-vote Eliot push the buttons on electronic ballot, the next guy in line interrupted us:
Guy: excuse me, mam, can you stop letting your child help you? I'm in a hurry.
Me: I'm sorry sir, what's the problem?
Guy: I'm in a hurry and you're taking too long in letting your kid help you.
Me: Sir, that's not my problem. If you aren't happy with the way I'm voting, there's other booths. This moment is important for my son and frankly, what's taking so long is this conversation.

*Dez trying to throw a fit while also having the hiccups might be the best thing about my day.

*Dez just did something he knew was wrong and immediately put his hand out for Eliot to give him a high five. Help.

*Well, it only took 18 months but the fro got caught in the nose ring. #occupationalhazard

*Eliot asked to go to Thousand Island tonight. It's worth looking into... #mayansknowaboutstuff

*Dear Leapfrog, you know you've done your job well when I ask my 18 month old what a frog says and he responds by trying to sing the ABCs.

*2 Eliot stories for you:
1. "Mom, I had a dream that I played drums that were ON FIRE! But no worries, I was so safe."
2. (Guy on the radio): "he got the punch line wrong."

*Eliot mentioned we only have a half day today. I'm assuming he means at school but consider this your warning if he meant otherwise. #apocalypse

*Free PSA for you and yours this holiday season: if your "Elf" dyed both gallons of milk with food coloring days ago, your toddler's diaper deposits *might* be color themed until previously mentioned milk runs out. No need to call the pediatrician.

*I guess day 4 of the same outfit confirms Eliot likes his new clothes we gave him for Christmas.

*Additional note to self: Desmond's hair should be kept far away from large Velcro strips. #thathurt

*While in the car:
Eliot: Mom! That house has a bright red light in front!
Me: Mmm, yes, it sure does.
Eliot: We should get a bright red light for our house!
Me: Um...no, we probably won't do that.
Eliot: How come?
Me: Um...it's just a little confusing for people...

*My kids have no sledding endurance. #parentfail #globalwarmingfail

*Dez has a bug of some sort and has now started saying "boo boo" whenever he chucks. It's endearing, really.

*Days spent along side a toddler with a stomach bug are like living with a mobile land mine. A land mine who wants to cuddle.

*E just told me you have to lose a tooth before you can go to second grade. Man, the standards are rough these days.

*At 21 months Dez just cut his 4th "one-year molar". That means he should cut his "two-year molars" by the time he's in preschool? Egad.

*Eliot quote of the morning: (walking into the dining room where we're enjoying breakfast) "which one of you slobs is going to get dressed and take me to school?"

*You know your new experiment with the pancakes was successful when Dez insists on calling them "Good Guys" as he devours his fourth...#secretingredient

*Remember that time Dez was sitting on the sled at the top of the stairs? -- Russ Mohr #heartattack

*The swim coach asked all the boys where their favorite place to vacation spot was. One kid said Lake of the Ozarks. Eliot answered "Guatemala." #thatsnormal?

*Eliot just prayed that Jesus would turn his skin black like Dez. When I asked why he said, "I'll bet Dez will be better than me at camouflaging himself in dark places." #ninjas

*Dez: *whine whine*
Me: What, Dez? I can't understand you, use your words, please.
Eliot stands, put hands on hips: REVEAL THE TRUTH, DEZ!

*When I opened the door to Desmond's room this morning he stood, started clapping and yelled "YAY MOM!!!" It's nice feeling like I accomplished something already today.

*E: Mom, can you get the thermometer down for me?
M: Why do you need the thermometer?
E: I want to stick it up my nose and see what temperature my boogers are.

*With the right hair product and some pipe cleaners I could easily make Dez into an Easter bunny... #toofar?

*It's decided. Dez has agreed to turn 3 on his next birthday and skip this whole 2 business.

*When a 9 year old female dinner guest asked what our rules for meal time were, Eliot responded, "You can't say 'penis' at the dinner table."
#houseofboys #awkwardsilence

*Me: Eliot, your t-ball practice was cancelled because of all the rain!
Eliot: You just don't want me to be happy, do you?

*In other news, I *may* have just yelled, "2Pac IS real music!" at my 6 year old.

*Apparently during an intense game of rock, paper, scissors at school today Eliot played "heart." No one knew what to do. Well played, Eliot, well played. #lovewins #arguewithit

*Out of nowhere at dinner tonight Eliot said, "If a lightening bolt comes down and strikes me in the heart it won't matter because the Holy Spirit will BLAST it away. ...And also? I just held my breath for forty minutes. " ?????

*Eliot's making farting noises and singing "Desmond did it" to the tune of Adele's "Rumor has it." #frathouse

*It's worth noting that Dez uses the same word for Jesus as he does for Cheez-its. #cheezitsarehisidol

*"Boys! We do not run over bananas with bicycles inside the house!" #frathouse

*So far this morning I've overheard Eliot in the other room trying to teach Dez how to say "Happy Mother's Day" and then he asked if we could look at pictures of when he was adopted. It's almost enough to forgive him for waking me up an hour early...

*Awwww! I remember reading birthday texts on my mom's phone when I turned seven! Oh wait...

*No matter how much work, time and stress it takes to plan, time away from home and real life, it will ALWAYS BE WORTH IT to see Eliot fall in love with his birth country a little bit more each year.

*Hey Russ, remember that time we took the kids to the circus and the tornado sirens kept going off? #hysteria #somanykidscrying #adultsoverreacting That was a great Gotcha Day.

*Eliot asked to hear the beginning of his adoption story again this morning (his referral and meeting us the first time). Mid way through the story he says, "Aw man! I wish you guys would've named me Michael Jackson instead of Eliot." #hindsight #parentfail?

*Dear Desmond, in 15 years when you're on some sort of singing competition show and they ask you when you started singing you can answer with, "my mom said that from at least 18 months old I was singing all the time. I would even match tones that I heard including the garbage disposal, tornado sirens, and car horns."

*Eliot: "DEZ! Rule #1 in this house is we DO NOT eat someone else's Cheez-its!" #tough #itis? #seemslegit #frathouse

*Dez seems extra squishy on rainy days.

*Instead of praying over our meal, Eliot asked God for girlfriends for himself and Dez. About five minutes later he interrupted a conversation Russ and I were having by saying, "So...lets talk about body hair." #vacationsover

*Whispering from the other room: "Dez, when people ask who your best friend is, you say 'Eliot.'"

Aaaaaaand to balance it out...

"Mom! I taught Dez a new game! It's called Fetch!"

*Gathering our camping gear Eliot picks something up and says, "Is this for making smoothies?"
Me: "No, that's a lantern." #cementbabies #parentfail

*"Mom, how do you say 'privates' in Spanish?" #frathouse #mycommitmenttoyourbilingualnessonlygoessofar

*"Mom! I almost did it!"

"Almost did what?"

"I was almost able to say 'mom' while burping! I was so close!"

#frathouse #everydayeliot

*Dear Dez,
If you're going to try and sneak around out of your bed during naptime, might I suggest playing with something other than a tambourine.

Love, Mom

*In a conversation about having to get new tires for my car:
E: Aw, Mom, I thought you were getting rims, too.
Me: oh! Rims! Right, um...I didn't even think of it!
E: Well, you should put rims on your Christmas list.

*If you missed it, it was Friendly Elderly Lady day at Schnucks. Including one of them chasing me down an aisle, asking her friend on the other end of the phone to wait so she could tell me that my children were the most beautiful she'd ever seen, including her grandchildren. And she has a lot of grandchildren. So if I ever meet them, keep this conversation to myself.

*Dez sure knows how to clear a pool... #grabthebiohazardbag #dailydez #sorryaboutthat

*Making Eliot review math facts while I'm detangling Dez's fro was not the best start to a Monday morning. #trailoftears

*Note to self: making the last week of summer super fun with Cards games, bike rides, sheet forts, and going to the movies is the opposite of what will excite him about going back to school. Next year make it a week of cleaning baseboards, weeding the backyard and alphabetizing our home library, all while playing the quiet game.
*Eliot just put his Ninja Turtles in "the fiery furnace". #Shadrach,MeshachandMichelangelo

*Perhaps it's a sign I'm being overly affectionate with my sensory child when he immediately begins backing up when I say, "I'm just so proud of you..."

*I'm trying to read about Syria while a guy from Charter is fixing our internet and singing Fall Out Boy to me and explaining why it's his jam. Eliot is "teaching Dez numbers" by making him repeat each one after him starting with 1 with plans to finish at 100. # bangingmyheadagainstthewall #its5:00somewhere

*Just walked into the bathroom and found Dez using an electric toothbrush as a back massager. #resourceful #clever #gladitwasntmine #partyDez

*"Mom? Billy Yean is not my yover." -Dez

*"Boys! The playroom is a disaster! Get in here and clean it up!" -Me
"Nana made dat mess!" -Dez

*Dez just rode his bike helter skelter into the kitchen yelling, "GOD IS COMING, GOD IS COMING!" and hid in the cabinet. I always thought this announcement would come from the Mayan. Consider yourself warned. #apocalypse

*"Dez, I'm so proud of you for going potty the last few days!"

"Tank you, Mommy, I so poud of you for givin me M&M's."

*I don't know why I ever ever ever tell Eliot that we can't leave to go somewhere until Dez wakes up. It yields the same result EVERY TIME.

*(Re: the tornado siren test's creepy talking voice)

Dez: "Mom, dat guy say Dez needs fruit snacks."

*In the middle of a sibling argument unrelated to the following zing:
"Well guess what, Dez?! THOMAS ISNT EVEN A FAST ENGINE! Ha!" #jugular

*Got home from Nashville in time to pick Eliot up from school. Climbing in the car he announced, "I'm so proud of you guys for coming home! I missed you faster than a cheetah mixed with a falcon with cool shoes on!"

* (Dez was meowing while playing in another room)
I looked at Eliot: "We have a cat?"
E: "I never agreed to that." #heskillingme

*It's a middle name kinda night at Mohr Manor.

*"Mom, did you guys adopt Dez so I'd have subjects for my kingdom?" #nottheadoptionquestionIexpected


*"This is how Shaun White's mom must have felt all the time." -as I walk into the boys' room and Eliot's cheering Dez on as he successfully rides his tricycle off his bed. Backwards. #Godblessher #frathouse

*Thank you, Daylight Savings Time, for that extra hour with my kids this morning. They used it to practice their arm-fart noises and fight over which train is the best. So, thank you for that. I hope you don't accidentally "fall back" in front of a moving vehicle.

*Before you congratulate us on our new 5 year old named Jackson, know that Eliot has an active imagination. Or Mayan intuition. Not sure which yet...

*Dear Kale and Spinach, if you want me to keep hiding you in foods my kids eat, I'm going to need you to work on your camouflage skills.

"Mom? Why do we have to eat the banana muffins in the dark?"

"Shhhh, honey, and eat another muffin."

*The good news is that while our children failed to follow any directions this morning they were at least disrespectful about it. #mondayfunday #notreally #morecoffeeplease #morepatienceplease

*Pointing to the CD player in his preschool classroom, Dez asked his teacher, "Listen Ice, Ice Baby? Peez?"

*Ah...that part of my day where the introvert (who's been around people all day) and the extrovert (who's been lonely all day) come together in beautiful harmony. And by harmony I mean fighting.#brothers

*It's not only lost on Eliot that I'm singing Adele lyrics to give him a spelling pre-test, but he's also begging me to stop. *sigh* #wastedtalents #pearlsamongswine

*I know he has some language processing issues but telling E he needed to rewind the tape in the VCR at Nana's really threw him. #oldschool

*This morning Eliot couldn't find one of his gloves which I later found out in front of our house. When I showed him I found it he said, "Thank you, mom! I'll bet Jesus kept an eye on it while God distracted the bad guys who wanted to steal it."

*I'm almost convinced that Dez isn't a real person. Pretty sure he's a cartoon. #thiskid

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

The post where I disappoint you? (Foster Care/Adoption Awareness Post)

When a high school student meets with her counselor and announces her desire to become a doctor, the counselor's job is to educate her on what that path entails, to make her aware so as to minimize the surprises. The path to adoption is actually pretty similar: long timeline, expensive costs, tedious paperwork, hard work and sacrifice and not everyone is cut out for it. So, that's what this post is. I'm sitting you down and giving you a chat. Deep breath and an open mind.

Many of you heard sermons a couple weeks ago on Orphan Sunday, you've watched videos of adoptive families, read inspirational articles. You've been moved. Especially those already struggling through infertility or already having talks with your spouse about adding another child to your family. You've felt the tug and adoption could be your answer.

Then you start picturing a child being added to your family through adoption and what that would look like. You picture another car seat, new decorations in a nursery, you even picture the Christmas card you'll send out next year. You have "the talk" with your spouse and he's also on board or at least willing to hear more information. You start getting excited now that the calling has been realized and even confess to a friend, "I have always wanted a black baby".

This is a problem. And I've made it worse by posting pics like these:

My kids? Our stories? They aren't the majority. They were the exception to the rule, especially Dez's adoption. Healthy infants are not the need in the orphan crisis today. When you hear about the "147,000,000 orphans worldwide" it's not referring to rows upon rows of perfectly healthy infants just waiting for a face they can coo at. There are infants who are being placed for adoption but the waiting lines for those babies can be long and the cost is high. (Not counting the private adoptions you hear about where so-n-so's mailman's cousin got pregnant and offered her baby to a family.) You CAN adopt a healthy infant, just be prepared for it to be expensive and the wait to be long. (I really do have the gift of encouragement, I know.) These two elements are not red flags indicating you've misread your calling. They are simply reality.

On one side of the coin we have lists of waiting families. On the other side? Waiting children. And it's not as easy as 1+1=problem solved, unfortunately.

The need is children with special needs, children with medical needs, older children and sibling sets. Those groups comprise the majority of "the orphan crisis." And they need families. But more often than not, that's not what people are signing up for.

I get it. The unknown is SCARY. You've heard stories and seen TV shows about older foster kids. You see a family with a child with special needs and think, "They're amazing, I couldn't do that." And maybe you're right. But maybe you're not. If someone you knew and loved died suddenly in a car crash, leaving their 2 older kids to you, you'd figure it out, right? If you gave birth to a special needs child, you'd learn the ropes. You just would. I know it's not as simple as that, that both of these would be hard, life-changing even. But just because it's something you've never done, doesn't mean it's something you can't do.

These things are not impossible. They are just unknown.

If you're feeling "called" to adoption, I want you to know what you're getting into. I'm okay writing a post that leaves you feeling disappointed and heavy because this is not a decision that should be entered into lightly. There's so many kids coming from hard places, traumatic places, that need homes. We need people that are sober about this decision, people that are willing to get educated about their resources and support. I'm okay bursting your Christmas card bubble to help you get to the real stuff even though I know it's not what you want to hear.

In the name of speaking the truth in love, some of you are simply barking up the wrong tree. Your view is limited. There are treasures whose files come with a little extra paperwork. Files you wouldn't consider because your experience and familiarity is limited. They need families who are radically pursuing and fighting to call them son and daughter. Families that may not yet be equipped but are willing to become equipped.

If you've started the adoption conversations, I'm asking you to broaden those discussions. As always, if you need more input feel free to email me and if I can't offer you wisdom in a specific area, I know people who can.

Saturday, November 2, 2013

But I don't want to adopt! (Foster and Adoption Awareness Month Post)

Listen, people. Especially you christians. Just because it's foster/adoption awareness month DOES NOT MEAN you are called to adopt. It may absolutely not be right for you. Do not take all the articles and memes of sweet faces and bible verses to mean you're supposed to sign right up.

Are some of you supposed to? Yes. And if so, stop avoiding it and at least go to an informational meeting. But this post is not for you. This post is for those who are NOT supposed to adopt or foster.

Here's the thing: even if you're not supposed to be on the front lines, meeting the needs by opening your heart and home, you're still called to orphan care. You're not off the hook just because you don't have a home study. Orphan care is also not reserved for a short term missions trip once a year to an orphanage.

Want some ideas? First think of your giftings. What are your skills? Your resources? Those will be the most effective. I wish I could create an app where you plugged in all your resources and hit "go" and your phone sent you notifications when your skills or resources could be used locally. You'd be shocked how simple it is to help in tremendous ways. Some examples (most of these are practical ideas for people you know. I didn't get into the preventive stuff very much or international orphan care, FYI):

*Are you a photographer? Offer your skills and time to a local agency to see if they need updated pics of children. Offer minisessions to families bringing home new kiddos or to photograph their airport moment.

*Party or event planner? Offer to help an adoptive family with a fundraiser. Those are often outside their skill set and don't make as much money as they could.

*Own a shop or restaurant? Offer to run a fundraiser of your goods/services benefitting someone's adoption.

*Counselor or therapist? Offer your services to agencies who work with questioning birth moms, or children who've experienced trauma (obvs only if you're trained to do so...)

*Are you a handyman? Offer your services to foster homes.

*PT or chiropractor? Offer free adjustments to parents with new placements, carrying around new weight all the time.

*Love shopping? Offer to go shopping for a family with a new placement. For food, for clothes, for furniture, for toilet paper, whatever.

*Have a lawnmower? Offer to cut grass of families from your neighborhood or church who get new placements. Lawn care is the least of their problems when transitioning a new kid in. Or rake their leaves. or weed their garden.

*Mad cooking skills? Make meals for families with new placements. Not a cook? Buy gift cards to take-out places and give those instead.

*Have clothes or babygear your kids have grown out of? Donate to agencies or families adopting or our basement.

*Have lots of space in your basement? Build some shelves and start your own clothing resource. (This thing has taken off! We've given bags of clothes to almost 40 kids since February!)

*Know a family with a new kiddo that already had kids? Offer to take their other kids out for a night of fun. Sometimes the original crew needs a break. (When we had our foster placement, we were so overwhelmed we could barely think straight. My boss took Eliot to Target and out for dinner one night to give him a break. I still get weepy thinking about it, it meant so much to us.)

*Know how to buy gift cards? Families often spend ions of money with each new placement. Some children arrive with absolutely nothing. No one knows how to get the most out of a Target gift card like a foster mom...

*Know where the grocery store is? Offer to shop for the fam or just go buy regular stuff (fruit, snacks, ice cream, papertowels,etc.) and drop it off.

*Have experience with children with special needs? Offer whatever you can to a new mom! My friend Emily offered us a weighted blanket to try with one of our placements.

*Love throwing a party? Offer to host an adoption shower to a family with a new adoptive placement (especially an older child placement)

*Have some extra money? Sponsor a family who's adopting, donate to your church's Abba Fund or adoption fund, give to projects like Village of Hope. Give a family money to pay a sitter for a night out.

*Know a family in process or already have the placement? Offer to babysit. I'm betting they need a night out. If they're not comfortable leaving new kiddos, arrange separate nights out. A girls night for mom (wine bar? chick flick?) and a guys night for dad (sports bar? shooting range?)

*Get certified (super easy process) for respite care and then offer a weekend off to families you know with foster placements.

*Become a CASA volunteer.

*Offer a big brother/big sister type mentoring to a local foster agency for a waiting child.

*Have experience with adoption in the past? Offer to mentor a family starting the process.

This is obviously not an exhaustive list but hopefully it got your brain rolling on something you can offer. If you have any questions, as always, please email. I'm happy to help you brainstorm. Something as small as offering to keep the kids alive so a new mom can take a shower for 15 minutes or dropping off her favorite Starbucks can be just the break they need. Feel free to offer other ideas in the comments section!

Adoption and foster care can be lonely places, for everyone involved. Any way to alleviate the burden and elevate the joy is going to go miles for a family.

Thursday, October 31, 2013

A Scroll Down Social Media Lane.

Our parents generation made sure we valued education, that we surrounded ourselves with good community, that we found a good church. They taught us about finances, healthy living, and how to have a good sense of humor. Our youth pastors, teachers and professors taught us to look at music and movies with a critical eye.

No one taught us how to manage social media. We didn't get our first email address until college and wondered then if the internet thing would even really catch on. (Wait, is it a forward slash or a backslash? This is too high maintenance.") We couldn't learn from our parent's mistakes on this one. There wasn't even an urban legend to consider.

And then it took over. I don't even know what my best friends' handwriting looks like and we write to each other every day.

So here we are. Unchartered territory. Making mistakes with this new responsibility daily. We have no direction ingrained in our upbringing on the hows, whens and whos.

Lots of friends have found the solution in taking breaks. Taking certain apps off their smart phones, etc. Some are being super honest and wise about the effects social media is having on them. I'm not going to get into the deeper stuff on this post, the envy, jealousy, discontentment, etc. I'm just going to hopefully adjust your perspective a bit if you find yourself struggling through these new darts being thrown at you hourly.

1. Memes are not truth.
Look what I made! Memes aren't truth in any shape or form, therefore they don't get authority. They are memes. Literally anyone can create them and if they're pretty or funny or feel-good (or it's a slow news day) they get passed around. The following two were in my Facebook feed in the same day:
This on a day when my 7 year old threw a fit because all he wanted was to play Wii instead of hang out with the family. Because I love him, my job was to make him unhappy. If my only wish was to make my child happy we'd all have a selfish-zilla on our hands. Ya know what would make Dez happy? If Russ stayed home from work every day. But then we'd be homeless, so ya know...Parenting and loving your child involves making a lot of decisions that make them unhappy. And I don't need an emoticon to prove it.
This one is trickier. At first read I thought, "Awww." And then I thought of the many conversations with adoptive moms (and even biological moms) when they admit it took months, sometimes years to fall in love with their kids. Seeing this on the wrong day and giving it authority could cause some serious undue guilt and shame.

All that to say: THEY'RE MEMES. They do not get authority just because they're on your feed.

2. Pinterest is a resource. Not a daily standard of living.

Raise your hand if you know every word in the dictionary and use them daily? *crickets*
This is a screen shot of one of my pinterest pages. However, currently I'm wearing an oversized crusty Cardinal's sweatshirt with old faded sweatpants that smell like pickles (that's what Dez had for a snack.) Do I sometimes wear outfits like the ones pictured? Yes. When I want to and have the time to. Is that my daily? Nope. Ha! Not even close.

Pinterest is like a Christmas wish list or a wedding registry. It's a collection of "I like that." Not, "I'm doing that, cooking that, wearing that, sewing that and reading that all day every day." For me, it's truly like a dictionary. When I'm looking for something specific, it's my go-to. That's it.

3. Facebook is the highlight REEL. Not the highlight REAL.

A few days ago was the last World Series game in St. Louis. By a quick scroll, you'd think everyone I knew was at the game. In reality? Maybe 10 people went to the game, but my newsfeed was full of cool pics. That's less than 1% of my FB friends. But in that split second, it seems EVERYONE was able to swing tickets, EVERYONE got a babysitter, EVERYONE GOT TO HAVE AN UNFORGETTABLE NIGHT WITH THEIR HUSBANDS AND I SMELL LIKE PICKLES IN MY CRUSTY SWEATSHIRT AT HOME ON THE COUCH.

I believed it for a second.

It's best for me to remember that the friend who posts the vacation pic works crazy hard and has 4 kids and, holy crap, deserves a getaway. She's not on vacation every week. To remember the friend who posts the pic of the great meal she made probably made frozen pizza the next night. She's not making amazing meals every night.

And if she is? Good for her! High fives! Super impressive! And guess what? It's okay that someone else is impressive in an area you're not. We all don't have the same giftings. And also? If she's spending that much time on meals that usually means something else is sacrificed. There's only so much time. If you're reading as many blog posts from me as you have been lately, you can bet I'm not inviting you over any time soon. If I'm writing, I'm probably not cleaning. True story.

Facebook is like a local coffee shop keeping me connected with our many circles all at once. It keeps my silly stories and photos of our life all in one place. It's my bulletin board, baby book, class reunion and Christmas letter all year round. I actually view it as a huge blessing.

4. Twitter? Eh, that probably won't catch on.

Friday, October 25, 2013

"I don't like myself anymore."

To date, this is the worst sentence I've heard Eliot utter. I had just asked him how his day at school was, knowing he's been struggling a lot lately.

"I don't like myself anymore. My brain doesn't work like everyone else's. I want to be normal. I'm frustrated all day. I can't make my brain focus."

I almost had to pull the car over.

This self-expression is a trophy of the last 2 years with a language pathologist. And while I was so crazy proud of how well he explained his feelings, I was crushed. There was frustration and a lack of the big picture, there was no grace, only failure.

So after a couple years of testing every accommodation, every intervention, every thing we could think of between ourselves and the teachers, we made the appointment with the doctor. As a teacher, I hated watching my students struggle but watching them on ADD meds was sometimes even worse. Unless the dosage and medicine are the exact right fit, I'd seen a lot of negative effects.

This was our last resort. But after hearing him say that, I picked my heart up off the ground and told him we'd try something new.


Fast forward to yesterday. Dez and I pull Eliot from school right before lunch and zip off west for our appointment. We were there for a sweet forever as the doctor and I went over a bazillion questions. (In all honestly, it probably didn't take that long, but the two boys were creating the loudest circus possible in the room and I realized too late that I should have fed them before the appointment. And gotten a babysitter for Dez. And snuck a box of wine in my bag. And possibly a taser.) The inevitable "No Family Medical History" bright red flag showed up and the doctor voiced her concerns over starting a medicine that can affect heart rates with no knowledge of whether or not that should be a concern. We agreed an EKG gathering base line stats would be our best option.

So instead of taking my anxious 7 year old and overly-tired 2 year old back home (did I mention nap time was several hours ago?), we booked an appointment at the hospital. The office worker asked if I minded waiting 20 or so minutes for the insurance to be cleared and I asked her if she minded me taking my boys to lunch instead. I see your helpfulness and raise you an I'm-getting-them-out-of-here-ASAP.

I let (forced) the boys play at the Chick-fil-a play area while I ate in peace, waiting for the call with the green light from insurance. And by peace I mean, the "What ifs" pulled up a seat at the table. What if the EKG reveals something serious? What if the medicine hurts my son? What if this is the wrong decision? What if my hesitations have been a mother's intuition and I should cling to those?

Once the insurance call came I gathered their leftovers including their unopened chocolate milks and headed to the car. Only once I got them settled (amidst tears of over-tiredness and thirst), I couldn't get their milks open. Like, at all. Sealed tight, not budging. Like the JFK files were hidden inside. The more I struggled, the more they grew impatient.

I thought, "This is it. This is how moms lose it in parking lots, the security camera footage making it onto the local news. They're so preoccupied with worry about some medical thing that chocolate milk becomes their undoing. They've pushed their kids too hard for one day and it's showing and the only solution to everything being okay is getting this chocolate milk open."

Overwhelmed with defeat, I got into the drivers seat asking the boys to please be patient. I tried a couple more times and nothing. The boys were practically dehydrating in front of me.

And then a car pulled up next to me. A young couple got out. I slowly rolled down the window and in desperation said, "Excuse me? This may sound REALLY odd but I can't get my kids' milk open and they're losing it and I'm about to. Would you mind trying for me?"

Please. With all my heart I wished you could have seen her face.

She, of course, was able to open them both. She might as well have given me her kidney for as thankful as I was. I jumped out of the car to give Dez's to him and as I grabbed his door handle, it moved. This might have happened again.

Not sure how, but we safely arrived at the cardiologist in one piece. The sweet nurse attached the wires to Eliot and he was so brave.
Looking at my child attached to all those for the brief few minutes it took to get a reading, it occurred to me. We need to get to his heart.

Medical questions aside, get to his heart. No matter what the test reads, if he reacts to this frustration by not wanting to be himself anymore, I've got to get to his heart. Even if he was just caught up in the moment when he said that, it's fruit of deeper things. He's my absolute treasure and being his mom has been nothing but life changing. What I view as a hiccup, he views as a dead end. Something is broken and it's our job to help him fix it. I could have just said, "Oh honey, don't say that!" which is what I wanted to say. I didn't want to have heard that, I wanted to turn on his favorite music or take him to the park to play, hoping those external things would take it away. But I've got to get to his heart. He let me in to his internal struggle and I'm taking that seriously. When he forgets who he is, or whose he is, it's our job to restore that, our job to clear up the fog. 

I know there will be frustrations along the way, but I also know that "The way we speak to our children becomes their inner voice." I'm thankful for the opportunities to correct wrong perspectives so early on already and don't take that responsibility lightly.

Parenting is by far the hardest thing I've ever done but I thank God every day that He allowed me and trusted me to be this kids' mom.
**By the way, everything came back normal on the EKG and Dez DIDN'T EVEN DRINK HIS CHOCOLATE MILK.

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

What I've Learned From My Adoptive Community

(Pictured: a handful of Guatemamas I got to see this weekend. Not pictured: the rest of our foster/adoptive community here in STL and from Guate.)

* There's no land too far or stay too long, there's only longer tourism visas.

* There's no cost too high, there's only more grants, more fundraisers, more selling stuff you didn't need anyway.

* There's no confusion as to whose child this is, there's only attachment practices and fierce love.

* There's no such thing as re-homing. There's only more therapy, more doctors, more conferences, more reading, more loving. (and more wine.)

* There's no right way, no right answer, there's only prayer and support.

* There's no loneliness, there's only more phone calls, texts, and emails. There's only encouragement and support.

* There's no fake smiles, there's only tears and laughter and hugs.

* There's no judgement, there's only nodding of heads and similar stories and a new day tomorrow.

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Two kids later and I'm still infertile. (National Pregnancy and Infant Loss Day post)

Most days I forget that I've never given birth. Most days I forget that my children didn't come from my genetics. Most days I forget that if I hadn't miscarried, we'd have an 11 year old. Most days I'm so busy being a mom that I forget how I became (and didn't become) a mom.

Other than an excuse for a new wardrobe, being pregnant was never my desire. It's beautiful and no one knows more than me how miraculous it is but my desire was to have biological children and I would tolerate being pregnant to get them. But that never happened. Slowly over time we've grieved this and have settled into our amazing story quite happily.

Grieving didn't happen easily, even with our arms full of the greatest children on the planet. That certainly helped but sorrow sneaks up on me. There's still triggers. I still stifle a urge to punch women in the face who joke about getting pregnant on accident. (Not really...but maybe a little?) I still get sad sometimes seeing little girls with brunette hair and green eyes (what I'd always pictured our little girl to look like). I went ahead and unfriended an acquiantance on Facebook who was pregnant the same time I was. There was no reason to see a constant stream of pics of her son playing baseball or what he made her for Mother's Day. That was just a weird form of infertility torture. Congrats but no thank you.

To be honest? I'm not sure I've said this on here or not, but overall I'm thankful for this part of our story. Not just because the timing led us to our boys but because I can now offer what I so longed for back then. When we were in the thick of shots, ultrasounds, etc the only people that could relate ended up having biological children. Some people were compassionate and gracious but there were still lots of "Hang in there! It'll happen!"s and the like. I had no one to look at and ask, "But what if it doesn't?" And now I can be that for others.

We hosted an event at our church right before Mother's Day this year for couples struggling with infertility, a place to come and ask questions, to be reminded of God's promises not being tied to a positive pregnancy test. A woman asked to speak to me after. She asked if I was okay being infertile still. When I said yes she asked when that happened, going from pursuing something so diligently with every resource you have to feeling peace that it didn't happen, essentially asking when is it okay to say stop.

My answer? You'll know. That's not a cop out. You'll know. When you've opened doors, walked through them and felt unsettled, you'll know. When you're heart has changed to other things, you'll know. When you are "late" and it causes more fear than excitement, you'll really know. And it's okay if you're not ready to stop. It's okay if you're not being called to adoption yet (or ever). It's okay to switch doctors. It's okay to try different treatments. This road is different for everyone. And once you've moved on, it's still okay to get sad about it.

And it's okay. It's okay to move on once you're ready. I struggled with this, thinking it was a sign that I lacked faith that God could still do this. But I misread that. Moving on is another part of grieving, letting the dream be transformed by The Storyteller.

Someone sent this quote to me once and I've held onto it's truth:

"The only way to dispossess the heart of an old affection is through the expulsive power of a new one." Thomas Chalmers. (19th century Scottish dude.)

And by expulsive power I mean->

Unless God pulls a "Sarai", I will always be infertile. It doesn't define me but I've allowed it to help shape me. I won't fight the grief when it sneaks up on me but it no longer makes me angry. If anything, it makes me squeeze my boys harder and love on them a little bit more.

Sunday, October 6, 2013

The couch 2.0 (or would it be 3.0? I dunno.)

There's enough new people in our world that ^ phrase won't make sense. Knowing some of them are lazy clickers I'll explain briefly, but also link in case some want to do their own research.

Cliff notes: On a particularly emotional day I saw a commercial for some cable provider where a family of 6 is all slammed together on a couch with the cliche huge bowl of popcorn watching a movie and it hit me. I wanted a full couch. I was insanely in love with our son but knew we were supposed to be more. (Or Mohr? Either one.) Well, it's that time again. Our couch is squirrelier (new word coming to Webster Dictionary 2014) and fuzzier with the addition of Dez but there's still room...

Since starting the adoption process back in '06 we've never felt peace about returning to the fertility world. We've started to and just known it wasn't for us. (I have thoughts on this that I'll share in another post, lucky you)

We've done international adoption. We've done foster care. We've done private adoption. We've done infant state adoption. So we thought we'd mix it up a bit this time. Not for the sake of mixing it up, but because that's where the need is and what would work best for our family in this season.

The Mohr's are signing up for an older child adoption through the state.

We've already met for an initial house walk through with a social worker, filled out some oh-so-familiar paperwork and are signed up for the adoption classes in November. We're waiting to hear what the next steps will be after that. We know we need to update our home study but not sure passed that. We could be paired with a waiting child soon or it could take awhile, we don't know. We're fine hangin' in the waiting room until a team decides we're the right family for a child.

We'll update as we are able to! Thanks for joining in our journey, as always!

Tuesday, October 1, 2013

Rejected by Dumars!

I grew up near Detroit, during the Pistons beautiful years. My family has always been into sports and they were always on television. Being somewhat close, we even went to a few Tigers and Pistons games. All that to say, sports phrases were common venacular in my house growing up. Whenever anything got knocked down, one of us would yell "Rejected by Dumars!" (Joe Dumars is a 6'3 basketball player from the late 80's/early 90's who was known for great defense and the announcers would yell that at any given moment during a Pistons game.)

(Sporting my Pistons T at summer camp. All the cool kids were doing it.)

I have been putting myself out there a lot lately. I sent my book to a real.live.agent. and wrote an article that I submitted to several very large publications. And so far? Nada. The agent wasn't interested in my manuscript and nothing but crickets on the article. Rejected by Dumars. Dumars being a 6'3 professional literary world this time.

My initial fear is the American Idol syndrome. The people who audition with bold statements of being "The best singer in their entire town!" and then you hear them sing aaaaaaaand....yikes. That internal dialogue of whether or not you're good at something? The rejection confirms your fears, that you're making this up as you go, that you have no formal training doing what you're doing and therefore no business pretending you're a contender.

But then you get an email from someone who read your blog and it helped answer some questions for them. Or helped them realize they wanted to adopt. Or just made them laugh.

From the beginning I've said that this is not our story, we didn't make this happen, that God set all this up and we walked through it. Once I finished the book, I felt very unattached to a fantastic outcome or not. I was very open to whatever happens, happens. But then I got my first rejection and felt like closing the writing chapter of my life's book altogether.

I know there's a bazillion agents and publishers and publications. I know that our story is supposed to get out there, I know that I have only just started this process and need to have as much thick skin as I have patience.

I met with a long-time mentor of mine last night. She's also a big fan but an honest one. She reminded me that I began writing the book 6 years ago. I was a different person back then. I hadn't really written before. I hadn't found my style or my voice yet. The second half was basically written by a different person.

So, in answer to the questions of "So, what's happening with your book now?" My answer is that I'm sharpening my editing pen and/or butchering knives and having a hard look at the original manuscript. I'm taking it from a documentation of an international adoption to a memoir worth reading. And in the meantime I'm going to keep writing articles and putting myself out there.

Look out, Dumars, I'm comin' atcha.

Sunday, September 1, 2013

Ididit,Ididit,Ididit! Check 7/12

It took six years but I finally finished all 230 pages of the first draft of my book. The memoir documenting Eliot's adoption is written.

It needs a serious amount of editing but I'm super happy with it. I've sent it to a small handful of people. Some "yesmen" that I know will give me pats on the back and even a few that I specifically asked for critiques. I'm having to get used to the exposed feeling that comes along with sending this out. I waver between "I think this is actually really well written." and "What am I thinking?!"

I met with a published author/professor this week to talk publishing. He was so encouraging and I'm still processing all that we discussed. He mentioned how my role has switched now from author to salesman, from creating to selling. He asked good questions and helped me sort through some preliminary decisions. I've also received at least 4 very detailed emails from friends offering their knowledge and experience. I don't know why, but this graciousness of the literary world has been a pleasant surprise. I hope I remember this when someone approaches me in the future asking for help.

So, what now? I'm writing a book proposal. I want to pursue traditional publishing before I go to self-publishing. The more I research, the more I'm finding but it all goes back to a book proposal. And an agent. The book proposal is in my control but the agent is not. It seems overwhelming and I'm unsure of where to even begin.

Interestingly enough, it feels like it did starting our international adoption. Big and unfamiliar and unlimited directions it could go.

Tuesday, June 4, 2013

Greed by any other name would still CLING TO HIS TOYS.

Last year while in Guatemala, our family (Russ) was asked to help build bunk beds for a family whose children attend the school we worked with. The day was also spent with a neighbor boy, a squishy cute 3 year old with whom Eliot shared his toys all day. Including a handful of matchbox cars. At the end of the day I asked Eliot if he wanted to give one of his cars to his new little friend. His reaction was to cling, CLING to his backpack full of toys as if it were his oxygen tank.

Startled by his reaction, I reminded him of the basketloads of cars waiting for him at home. It was no consolation. He could only see those within his grasp. As a mom, I didn't love seeing the 6 year old version of selfishness and/or materialism no matter how "developmentally appropriate" it was. At that moment it became clear that he'd learned sharing as a tolerance instead of as generosity.

Fast forward to a couple months ago. As Russ was designing Eliot's amazing birthday party invitations I had an idea, knowing we were headed to Guatemala the day after the party. I ran it by Eliot.

"Hey El, what if instead of your friends bringing you gifts (since you'll be getting plenty of gifts from your family), they bring new matchbox cars for you to give away in Guatemala?" He was *sort of* on board.

(Sidenote: we were inviting his whole class (plus more), of which is pretty diverse socio-economically. We were going to say "No gifts" in case the expectation to bring one would keep anyone away. This party would not have been a gift revenue source either way.)

Upon revisiting the idea multiple times since that first convo, this is what he heard: "Your friends will give you new cars. You'll pick the ones you don't like and give them away." OR "Your friends will give you new cars and you will give away your old cars." We kept reminding him of the original plan.

The invitations went out. The night before the party I asked Sandra (MIL) and Russ if they thought Eliot understood what was going to happen with the cars. The party came. We partied like it was 1999. The party ended. We gathered all the bags in the living room. We held our breath, waiting to see if there would be any tension as Eliot opened 116 brand new cars. 116 brand new cars. He'd never seen a collection that big or shiny ever. And they were all sitting in his living room.

After a lot of "Look at this one, guys!" and "Woah, red is my favorite color!" and of course, "Look at the spoiler on this one!" they were all opened and put into columns.

He looked them all over and said, "I can't wait for the Guatemalans to see these!"

And then I wept.

When Russ asked, "Well Eliot, what do you think?" Eliot asked if he could maybe keep 2. Russ offered to buy two extra before the trip to replace the 2 he wanted and Eliot was content.

And then I wept. Again.

Eliot wheeled his small suitcase through the airport proudly, laughing at the xray machine showing an entire carry-on full of cars. The day came. We headed to Guatemala City and met with a new ministry. We brought out the two bags and told Eliot it was finally time. We started down one walkway and saw a few kids. Eliot carefully chose cars for them. One little girl paused, looked closely at her pink car. Her eyes widened, a smile broke out across her face and she took off running yelling, "MAMA!" Eliot looked at me and smiled.

And then I wept.

It took about .4 seconds for word to spread through the neighborhood that someone was handing out cars. Sweet kids came from every doorway and every alley. Eliot happily passed out every single car and was disappointed when he ran out.

Did this whole experience teach him generosity like we'd hoped? We have no idea. Did he come home and immediately start giving everything away? No. In fact he had get used to sharing with a certain 2 year old again. But our hope is in the seeds planted.

We wanted him to feel it. To feel generous. To wish he had more to give away. To experience joy through sacrifice.

We have no idea what we're doing as parents the majority of the time. I've tried outsourcing the development of my kid's character but no dice. The problem is that "more is caught than taught" so while we work hard to provide experiences like this, it really comes back to what they're seeing is us on a regular basis. I've got some work to do.

Sunday, May 12, 2013

One week overview.

In the last week:

I made dinner. A few times.
I volunteered at E's school.
I tamed the fro.
I helped loosen a tooth.
I yelled.
I read chapter books.
I read board books.
I took pictures.
I made cookies.
I explained to Eliot that the 80s were not about dressing like clowns, it was a style.
I held slugs, rollie pollies, ants and worms.
I broke up fights.
I dreamed of escaping. All by myself.
I grocery shopped.
I wiped noses with my bare hands.

I forced myself to stay in the 'parent section' of the baseball field as I watched my first grader fight back tears after getting out at first.
I watched Cars for the 900th time.
I bought organic food. And also Cheetos.
I argued about homework.
I spent too much time on my phone.
I administered antibiotics.
I wondered about biological children.
I paid a babysitter instead of buying a new top.
I planned two birthday events.
I didn't sew anything. Or do any craft projects.
I packed lunch.
I lost my patience.
I protected.
I made appointments for annual check-ups.
I prayed for birth moms as we approach mothers day and both boys birthdays.
I made both boys cry. A few times. For not giving in to what they want vs. what they need. But also because I was mean.
I hid in the bathroom.
I hid in my car.
I hid in the basement.
I made Eliot try asparagus.
I overreacted. A few times.
I dreamed of adding more children.
I was consistent. Until I was inconsistent.
I cleaned ears and flossed teeth.
I grieved our miscarriage.
I did laundry, dishes and sweeping.
I didn't vacuum.
I cursed the day PowerRangers decided to make a television show.
I dated my husband.
I prayed over them, with them and for them.
I sang to them. And then stopped when Eliot asked me not to.
I took a lot of deep breaths.
I dreaded the day they each realize their loss of their birth families.
I cried.
I tickled.
I laughed.
I hugged.
I consoled.
I thanked God for letting me be their mom. A few times.

Tuesday, May 7, 2013

Check 4/12

There's lots to share about my weekend at Summit9 in Nashville but had to share what happened when I got home!

Upon walking in the house, Eliot asked me to close my eyes and walked me to the living room, where I saw this!

(The sign says "Happy Mothers Day!")

It's worth noting that this is only the second television we've bought in our 17 years together. Also? If you keep up with our Instagrams you've seen screen shots of our last TV and the lack of the full picture...

It's just so fancy I don't know what to do with myself. So I've started drinking tea. (That's what fancy people do. duh.)


Sunday, May 5, 2013

Before Mother's Day...

This year, The Journey – Tower Grove will be rolling out a series of services and resources called “FORM.” Our purpose with FORM is to provide a variety of worship experiences, designed to assist in spiritual formation & personal growth.

Our first FORM event will be held on Thursday, May 9 at 7:00pm at REBER PLACE (formerly the Luminary), and will be a lament service for families experiencing infertility.

For many couples, growing a family can be a long and difficult (sometimes impossible) process. Our hope is to create space within this service to help couples ask hard questions, wrestle with doubts, fears, and brokenness, and ultimately find hope in Christ, who promises to draw near to us in our sufferings.

If you or someone you know are experiencing difficulty having children, we encourage you to attend this service.

Sunday, April 28, 2013

Alert! Eliot milestone!

This week we went to the dentist. Eliot was due for a cleaning and had three adult teeth sneaking in behind his baby teeth, heading toward shark-ism. Most kids his age have between 20-24 teeth. He has 27. Our little overachiever.
Dez kept trying to get into the chair with Eliot, so our hygienist put him up there and took a look! He's behind by 8 teeth...
The dentist set up an appointment for two weeks out to remove those baby teeth but told him to wiggle them as much as possible before then. After we left, I looked at each of them and we decided to focus all our time and energy to one on bottom.

Later that night? This happened.
He kept saying how now he looks like a second grader. Which is accurate. And terrifying.

Wednesday, April 17, 2013


Samuel took a large stone and placed it between the towns of Mizpah and Jeshanah. He named it Ebenezer—"the stone of help"—for he said, "Up to this point the Lord has helped us!" —1 Samuel 7:12

I don't know if people notice this when they come over. I don't think anyone has ever asked. I don't know what made us start it. Not sure where the idea came from, but we have an Ebenezer.

Each rock was picked up at a meaningful location to represent a meaningful time in our marriage/life. Together they sit in a vase on our mantle, a constant reminder of pivotal moments or seasons where the Lord brought us through something.

2003: Three large flat dark gray stones- from a five year anniversary trip to Seattle/Portland. Celebrating "we made it 5 years!" Two young immature selfish people managed life together for five years. Thanks to God.

2007: Large volcanic rock- From Guatemala. Celebrating the completion of Eliot's adoption and the ending of all the trials that came along with that.

2007: Two stones; one small shiny and sweet. The other rough and underwhelming.- In STL, we went through a Marriage Camp with our church. Leading the camp was Deb and all of her wisdom. She used a kids science toy Rock Tumbler as an illustration of what marriage does (or should do).

2008: Small, smooth dark gray-Cancun, Mexico. Ten year anniversary trip! We made it! Ten years! We still like each other!

2011: Large white rock- STL, from Children's Home Society, to celebrate Desmond joining our family!

2012: Another volcanic rock- from fifth Guatemalan mission trip. God proving over and over that He's always doing more than one thing at a time.

2013: Small, round orangey rock- From Augusta, GA spring break trip as a family. Celebrating a season of rest.

We have so much to be grateful for over the last 15 years. God is, and always has been, good.

Here I raise mine Ebenezer;
hither by thy help I'm come;
and I hope, by thy good pleasure,
safely to arrive at home.
Jesus sought me when a stranger,
wandering from the fold of God;
he, to rescue me from danger,
interposed his precious blood.

—Come, Thou Fount of Every Blessing

Monday, April 8, 2013

Check 3/12

Yesterday I ran my 5th half marathon.

Which is impressive because I still don't consider myself a runner. Not sure when that will happen.

I had three realizations from this run: (Four: if you count the classy idea of using my shirt as a kleenex)

First: The oh-so-hilly course took us through St. Louis University campus. Through that part of the course there were tons of college kid spectators, what with their SLU gear, quick metabolisms and Starbucks cups. I thought about college-me and what she would say if I told her that 36-year-old me was completing her FIFTH HALF MARATHON. She was very impressed. We were both pretty proud.

Secondly: Running for Erin and Bob's adoption made me notice what other people were running for. Clean water programs, Leukemia foundations, Cultural Leadership, etc. I really liked running for a purpose. If I ever run another it will be for someone besides myself. While the first four were a great accomplishment, this one meant more.

Thirdly: Our roomie agreed to bring the boys downtown to see me since Russ was at church. This was a big deal to me. We see Russ perform literally every week at church, where Eliot is often seen giving an unabashed thumbs up from the front row. We cheer weekly for Eliot during swim practice, homework completion, reading and t-ball. And, lets be honest, we cheer Dez on for just about everything he does. But yesterday? My boys were all really proud of me. They were cheering me on. Eliot was convinced I ran as fast as a cheetah. Which is totally accurate. If you remove most of the cheetah's legs.

A huge thanks to all my pledgers! My team alone raised almost $250. Still waiting to hear about the other runners fundraising totals!

Monday, April 1, 2013

Its time. For real.

Remember this post? Well, the race is less than a week away. You have FIVE DAYS to get your pledge emailed to me. (You pay after the race.) Here's the details:

You have three options:

1. Pledge $X.XX/mile of the RACE. (13.1 miles) i.e. $1/mile= $13.10, $10/mile would be $131.00 or anything in between or more or less.

2. Pledge a set amount.

3. Pledge nothing but run it yourself on my "team" and gather pledges from your peeps.

Here's where your entertainment comes in:
If I collectively raise:

$200: I'll wear silly socks
$500: I'll wear silly socks and a tutu.
$1000: I'll wear silly socks, a tutu, and something silly on my head
$2000: I'll wear a full costume of the donor's choice (there will be a vote) (appropriate choices only, duh.)

Contact me ASAP to join in the fun! katie l mohr @ g mail.

I hate to break it to you but we're only committed up to silly socks...(I'm only counting my pledges, not anyone on my team...)

I'm also selling these sweet little numbers at $10/each. Every penny you send me for the race or the bracelets GOES TO THE HANSELS ADOPTION!

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Check 2/12.

We did it! We flew south for spring break! Augusta, GA or bust! We spent the week with our dear friends, Bob and Margie who moved last summer. It was the perfect vacation.

I tried not to double up pics from our Instagram feeds and here. Feel free to follow us on IG for a daily snapshot. KatieLMohr and Allpurposecracker.