When this space gets quiet for a prolonged period of time you can bet it’s because elsewhere in my life has been anything but that. February has been a flurry of other writing assignments, speaking engagements, and traveling. I thought I’d share some of the fun things we’ve been up to in a quick recap…
We appeared on the Rachael Ray Show!! Remember that post I wrote back in December about my special experience with an employee at Trader Joe’s? Well it went viral and kind of exploded beyond anything I could have ever imagined or expected. Shortly after the Today Show picked up the story I got an email from a producer at the Rachael Ray Show asking us to come to NYC and film a segment for their show. It was a whirlwind trip in January to do the pre-filming and studio taping. The kids were troopers but we were more than ready to get back to our home when it was over. I got to see Joann (the beautiful TJ employee) again and give her a big hug. We exchanged numbers so now we keep in touch and I can’t wait for our next visit. This was such a crazy experience for our little family!! You can watch the segment online here.
The Mighty occasionally throws some questions out on their facebook page for parents or individuals with special needs. When they asked if there was ever a time your significant other said something that helped make a hard day better I knew I wanted to contribute. John is an amazing father and husband and doesn’t get nearly enough credit for how well he loves us. The words in the image to the left are all things he says to me on a regular basis. When he encourages me as a mother it gives me an extra boost of strength to keep going on the tough days. You can find the entire post here with all sorts of quotes from caring partners.
I got to share my heart and my story at Created for Care in Georgia last weekend. I love being a part of the C4C team to put on two annual retreats for adoptive and foster mothers. It’s such a huge need and I leave each weekend feeling encouraged, educated, equipped, and motivated. It’s been an enormous honor to be able to speak at each event over the last few years. I’m thankful for the chance to learn with so many incredible women and to also have the chance to be heard and know that my story, our story, matters.
I contributed a piece for a series about Mothers and Daughters on What Do You Do Dear’s blog. Mary Evelyn recently had a baby girl and as a part of her blog “maternity leave” she asked several writers to share something related to that topic. I chose to write a list of things I want my daughter to know. I could have done on endlessly, but I had to stop somewhere. So my post is 25 things I want Arsema to know deep down in her heart. From how amazing her hair is, to choosing forgiveness… these are the things I want to model for her and have ingrained firmly in her mind and heart at an early age. And, come to think of it, these are all things I want my son to know too! You can read my list here.
Yesterday I had a blast recording a podcast to accompany my friend Sarah Ann’s new book Oh, Take Heart! We chatted for nearly 2 hours, and I think about an hour of it was recorded. Thank goodness for editing, though, because we had several cute interruptions of the four year old variety! Her book releases next week and the podcasts are an audio accompaniment that you can purchase separately or with the book at a bundle rate. It was so special to share about my own dark seasons and what helped me through those, how God worked in my life in the darkness, and what I’ve learned since then. I talk a lot about infertility, loss, and even navigated life after an unexpected diagnosis. Check back at Sarah Ann’s blog next week to pick up the book and the audio!
I contributed an essay to Autism Speaks today after being asked to write something for Valentine’s Day. My essay is about three ways that Mareto teaches me about love, even though I could have written so much more. “Loving Mareto has stretched me in the best possible ways. Loving him has, at times, been sacrificial and selfless, but it has felt very selfish. Because he has loved me back with the most pure, innocent, uninhibited, and beautiful kind of love. Mareto has not taken from my life, he has only added to it. He has taught me about love simply by being himself and loving better than anyone I’ve ever met.” You can read the entire post here.
So that’s where I’ve been for the last few weeks. Thank you so much for coming back here, reading my stories and thoughts, and encouraging me and my family. It’s such a gift to be able to do what I love (write!) and share life with others. Even with different backgrounds, life circumstances, stories, and beliefs — we need each other. If you’re not already part of the growing community on my facebook page, I hope you’ll join us! I give away free things on Saturdays…