Wednesday, March 28, 2012

the montage

life is rarely like it is in the movies. man, it would be nice if it was. i guess i can live without the "happy endings" and everything wrapping up in 90-120 minutes. the romance doesn't really make my heart flutter anymore either. i have the love of my life who has seen me without "hair and makeup" and has heard my unscripted words and still loves me. i've used itunes to create my own soundtrack and i like it better than any hollywood one anyway.

the thing i do really wish would somehow translate to reality is the montage. do you know what i mean? the times when some really big project/challenge/ situation arises and it's gonna take a lot of effort/work/time to get to the other side. cue the inspirational music, no dialogue is heard, and snippets of the process are shown fading in and out as the characters eventually achieve the desired outcome. you don't get to really experience how they got there. you just know you feel all mushy inside and there's a grin on your face at the end. if you still don't know what i mean, picture rocky getting into shape and ending with the iconic image of him, arms raised, at the top of the steps.

we all have montage worthy challenges in our lives. the most daunting and long lasting for me at this point is parenting. 18 years and 9 months long to be exact. but there are others as well. weight loss/body health. financial responsibility. time management habits. no one plays music for me. no one compresses the entirety into a few short minutes on a screen. and no one is cheering or starting a whole building full of applause with one clap as i enter the room when it's complete.

the truth is it is just work. plain old hard work. and a lot of it. and not much glory. no moments of comic relief. and you can't see where you are in the real life montage. the music doesn't tell you when you're halfway or nearing the end. you just keep pressing on. plugging away. one foot in front of the other. bore-ing. not something anyone would ever sit down and watch with a bucket of popcorn. but what we're doing in those moments of longsuffering and faithfulness is actually life changing. more profound and lasting than any blockbuster. more emotional and gripping than the best tear jerker.

as the saying goes..."keep on keepin' on". for you never know how close you are to the top of those stairs.

Sunday, March 25, 2012

keep the camera handy

remember this and this?

well, i may need to be reminded of my commitment to grab the camera rather than grabbing my kid and letting them have it for whatever mess they may have created.

now that i have a "toddler" the messes are much more frequent.
there was this jumbo glass mason jar filled with ingredients to make oatmeal cookies.
there was the almost entire box of wet wipes lovingly emptied on the floor

super adorable smile, i know. but what isn't pictured is every single tupperwear, gladware, ziploc container and lid that we own. on the floor.

at this point my "little one" is so clueless and so young that grabbing the camera and resisting the urge to be mad at him is pretty easy. but as the months progress i know it will get more and more difficult as i will start to feel he should have avoided it some how. the truth is even at the age of 34 i still spill. a lot. and i don't want someone to yell at me. and i never do it on purpose.

so as my family and friends i commit to you that when i stumble upon these mini disasters over the next months and years i will strive to reach for my camera before choosing any other reaction. who knows, the pictures could become a weekly (daily....hourly?) feature on this blog!

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

st. patrick

as a fun event for Ari's house at school we hosted a celebration of St. Patrick. most of us know about shamrocks, leprechauns, and pots of gold, but not much about the man that inspired this holiday.
St. Patty's Punch (sprite and lime sherbert)
St. Patrick actually isn't Irish. he was actually captured and brought to Ireland as a slave. even after such a horrible experience he returned after feeling prompted in a dream to bring the gospel to the emerald isle.
green and white fruit skewers

gotta have cupcakes with green filling :)

prizes for St. Patrick's Day bingo
the book we read to learn the true story of St. Patrick

Sunday, March 18, 2012

the end of days

every sunday morning after sunday school the boys know they get to have a doughnut from those leftover after adult class. this is of course a much anticipated event and is never missed.

(a friend relayed this story that transpired after sunday school this morning...)

Ari: miss bonnie, i had five donut holes this morning before church so i don't get to have a donut right now after sunday school
Bonnie: oh, well....aren't you glad there's always next sunday?
Ari: yes, unless of course Jesus comes back to take his church, then there won't by any more sundays.

not only would there be no opportunity for donuts, there would be no sunday school, there would be no sundays. no days, no constraints of time or place.

Lord, may i think more about your return then my next chance to score a donut.

Friday, March 16, 2012

adoption day

it's adoption day!!!

i love adoption. ever since i studied ephesians in college i have felt such a connection to the concept of adoption and such a deep desire to be an adoptive parent in light of the the way God has adopted me. he calls us "sons" and we are his family. we take on his name and are brothers and sisters with his Son. we have all the rights and privileges of a "biological" child and we have a great inheritance that is "legally" ours. wow.

sonny and i were ecstatic when we were told we would FINALLY become the official parents to our baby Noah. it had been a very long and trying 17 months wondering every day if this baby i had loved, changed, rocked, read to, peek-a-booed, and cared for would be mine or if i would drop him off never to see him again. the amount of joy and relief the day it was all final, and legal, and clear cut was palpable.
this child was ours and we were going to celebrate...and celebrate we did! we had professional pictures taken, announcements printed and mailed, invitations to two separate and equally elaborate adoption parties were sent out, one in california and one in oregon. a detailed scrapbook was created, cakes were ordered, food was prepared, and gifts were wrapped. oh what a day. we all smiled, laughed, posed for pictures and saved the pen we signed the documents with. when the judge asked us if this child's name was to be called "noah sonny varela", tears filled my eyes as i said "yes" under oath. he explained that he was required to inform us that this child would now be entitled to any inheritance we would leave. just like i was entitled to the inheritance in heaven.

the years went on and each march 16th we partied. we watched the video of the day in court, we looked at the scrapbook, there were balloons, cake, presents, and so much rejoicing. so thankful that things didn't turn out differently. so glad noah was ours. people always told us how wonderful it was that he got to be in our family and i always responded with how blessed we were to have him. it was all so perfect. rainbows were shooting and unicorns were frolicking.

of course, this is still true. there is much to celebrate. but this year, for the first time, there is much to grieve as well. for this year, my heart finally acknowledged what has been there all along.

adoption is trauma.

all adoptions. under any circumstance. it is a loss. for the adoptee and for those adopting. and when there is loss there is pain. the pain does not negate the joy or drown out the celebration. but to not give it it's due is to not fully love our child. this is part of him and always will be. he is mine because he lost those most dear to him.

today we sang, we danced, we remembered, but we also acknowledged the breaking of bonds, loss of what was supposed to be, and an ache that will never be healed in this life.

we love you noah.

Monday, March 5, 2012


saturdays can be rough at our house. we seem to thrive on routine, and when there's nothing but lazy, unscheduled hours ahead we don't do so well. i've decided that saturday mornings we now do something. anything really. just something. low stress. low commitment. but something.
this week we hit the home depot free project of the month for kids. what a success!

the boys got to glue, hammer, (stick their tongues out) and walk away with a race car they made!
we decided to continue benefiting from the generosity of our local retailers and went to krispy kreme where on saturday mornings kids can hand dip their own chocolate sprinkle doughnut.
no cost. (well to us)
no mess. (well not at my house)
and no fighting. (well, until we turned out of the parking lot)
it was a great morning.