Friday, December 31, 2010


A few years ago M and I spent our New Year's Eve reviewing the waning year and looking forward to the fresh one approaching. It made for a very fun and memorable evening.

Having a baby made the last couple of New Year's a bit boring. (Unless you consider slumber thrilling - which we did) Now that we've caught up on our sleep, though, we want to greet the new year with better focus. We got our hands on a list of 31 questions to help us. I won't type all of them (laziness & copyright) but here are a few:

  • What's one thing you could do this year to increase your enjoyment of God?
  • What's the single most important thing you could do to improve the quality of your family life this year?
  • What area of your life most needs simplifying, and what's one way you could simplify in that area?
  • Who do you most want to encourage this year?

Let me know if any of these help change your course for the better.

copyright (c) Elizabeth, Bug's Beef. All rights reserved.

Monday, December 27, 2010

Rum Pum Pum Pum

Merry Christmas!

Our little family of three spent Christmas Eve with my sisters, their families, and my dad. My son was thrilled. He is convinced that his extended family is populated by the coolest people on the planet. His older cousin is tons of fun and has the best toys. His younger cousins are kissable. His uncles wrestle with him and his aunts listen with attentive awe to all his stories. Papi (grandpa) is absolutely the best; he tickles and wrestles and laughs. What fun!

Our schedule looked a bit like this: eat, travel, pick up food, eat, play, nap, eat, play, church, eat, open presents, play, eat, travel, sleep.

Let's hone in on church. We went to the Christmas Eve service at my sister's church. Early into the evening the music leader invited all the kids to come up on stage to listen to a story. So my little boy followed his cousin up the steps to the stage. The tiny detail of sitting and listening to the story fell off his radar when he saw the drum set, though. My child beat a rather determined path to the drums. He pulled his little 2-year-old self up onto the seat. He grabbed the drumsticks. Just as he was getting ready to rock into his career launching solo the music leader was able to grab the drumsticks and lead him back to the group. By the time he rejoined them, he found his daddy waiting. Daddy stayed on stage to help sweet N sit and listen. Also, it gave Daddy's ribs a chance to heal from Mommy's elbows digging into them.

Fortunately we were able to laugh with everyone in the room. It wasn't embarrassing because he wasn't being awful. My baby boy just loves music. And apparently he's comfortable in front of an audience. A number of people approached us after the service to tell us that N made their Christams Eve. I'm so glad he could bring happiness just by being his adventurous self.

I know it's not nearly as funny reading about it. But just try to imagine my son darting to the drums as everyone else sits quietly waiting for a story. It was hilarious!

copyright (c) Elizabeth, Bug's Beef. All rights reserved.

Saturday, December 11, 2010

Not Us

We heard back from our adoption coordinator yesterday. The birthmom of the baby boy chose another family to parent her son. She did love us, though. But what's not to love when this is the first thing you see?

Our Engagement Picture

We're not heartbroken at all, which is fabulous. We truly were not expecting her to chose us. We still have visions of pink dancing through our heads. She was quite blessed by our profile, though. So I am very glad we were able to bring encouragement to a woman in the midst of a difficult situation.

We continue to wait. Praying that God will bring us our child soon.

***And though we will raise whomever You bring us, may we have a girl pretty please?***

copyright (c) Elizabeth, Bug's Beef. All rights reserved.

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Presenting: US!

At 1630 CST (4:30pm for all you civilians) a birthmom will be looking at our family profile. She will be looking at a couple of other families, too. After looking at our profiles she will decide which family she would like to place her baby with.

I'm not the least bit nervous. Perhaps that's because it's still three hours and sixteen minutes away, though. I don't know. I'm confident that God will bring us the child He has for us, though.

My prayers have been directed toward the birthmom. Even if she doesn't chose us. I'm actually assuming she won't. So even though I am pretty confident that she is not the mom of our baby, I am still praying for the young woman. What a difficult decision to make.

I will definitely post more information when I know it. Whatever her decision, my heart is at peace.

copyright (c) Elizabeth, Bug's Beef. All rights reserved.

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

We're Official!

Woo hoo!

There isn't a font cool enough or big enough or bold enough to express my excitement. There aren't enough exclamation points!!!!!!!!

We are officially approved to adopt a baby.


(Can you guess what we're going to say we're thankful for tomorrow?)

Now. . . On to being matched with a birthmom. That could happen next Monday, it could happen in three months. I'm going to assume since tomorrow is Thanksgiving that we won't hear from our Adoption Coordinator until next week. Though babies are born every day, even holidays, I don't want to get my hopes up too high. So once we talk to her more next week I'll post what I know.

Have a fabulous Thanksgiving!

copyright (c) Elizabeth, Bug's Beef. All rights reserved.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Vanity, Vanity

I had a weird hair-day yesterday. It was particularly puffy on top, but then the ends flipped out. Just a bit odd. I tried fixing it a little, but decided I was only making it worse. No problem.

Until I went to the grocery store.

As I was getting ready to check out I saw my hairstylist in the next lane. Oh no! I glanced over a couple of times to make sure he hadn't seen me. Other than that, I found many a reason to keep my head down or my back turned so that he wouldn't recognize me. I'm so glad my son didn't see him, otherwise I'm certain he would have bellowed his name. My weird hair day suddenly became a horrible hair day. There is no way I wanted my hairstylist to see what I had done with my head.

How silly is that?

Am I the only one?

Would you duck your hairstylist on a bad/weird hair day also?

copyright (c) Elizabeth, Bug's Beef. All rights reserved.

Monday, November 22, 2010

Snoopy Snooperton

My husband at times loves, then hates, my intense curiosity. He is pretty sure it's going to get me hurt or pull him into a fight someday. But he also loves the childlike wonder at discovering something new.

Last week police lights danced through our bathroom window during my son's shower. The red, blue and transient purple hues looked festive through our frosty-can't-see-me-naked-semi-opaque window. Once N finished brushing his teeth (aka - chewing his toothbrush) the lights still bounced around cheerfully. So we decided to investigate. It seems the snooping gene is a dominant one. My son and I both dashed for my clear bedroom windows, leaving my husband slowly following, shaking his lovely head.

Ah! Two police cars! (an educational opportunity - counting! See, snooping really does pay off) We got to the window in time to see the police officers doing a pat-down on the driver. That was immediately followed by the police holding something up in front of the man.

What is that? It can't be mace, there's no way he would stand still for pepper spray.

Perhaps it is a breath-alizer?

Oh! I think so. Our suspicions were confirmed when the police officer demonstrated to the driver how to stand in a heel-toe position.

Oh look! He's doing so good! Maybe he's not drunk. He's standing perfectly still.

Yikes! Where's his coat? It's freezing outside and he only has on a t-shirt. Next the driver walked in a heel-toe pattern. Turns out standing is a lot easier than walking. Every wobbly step was met with us groaning or holding our breath for him.

Look at those shoes. Those aren't helping any. I'm pretty sure I couldn't walk in a heel-toe pattern with my clogs on. Oh look, they're letting him take his shoes off.

Never mind. It wasn't the shoes.

Brrrr. Put the shoes back on. And are those shorts? The man is wearing a t-shirt and shorts and it's 40 degrees outside. Hopefully he is drunk so he won't feel the cold so much.

The last straw: the police officer demonstrated how the driver needed to lift one foot off the ground and stay balanced with it extended in front of him. It was ugly. The police helped him stay standing, his balance was so distorted. It was quite heart-breaking, actually. From our second floor bedroom the flashlight gave enough illumination to diagnose his impairment.

Turns out snooping tonight made me sad. Seeing a man surrendering all his dignity; watching as he lost everything, was hard. He was escorted to the back of the warm police car. His car was towed. He went to jail. And that's the way it should have been. He needed to be off the street. Perhaps this arrest will alter his life for the better. But it was still a bit crushing to witness a man declare destruction for himself by wobbling along our cold street in a t-shirt and shorts.

copyright (c) Elizabeth, Bug's Beef. All rights reserved.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Home Visit

We had our home visit this morning. Woo hoo!

We are getting close now, it's so exciting. Our next step will be for M and I to have one-on-one visits next Tuesday with our social worker. After we finish our individual interviews, it will take about 1-2 weeks for us to be approved to adopt, pending background checks coming through.

After we are approved, the wait time until we have our baby is anyone's guess. We could be matched with a birthmom the next day, or in 6 months.

Once we are approved, though, we get to begin another step: fundraising! Ugh. I hate, hate, hate asking people for money. Actually, having to ask people to fill out our reference forms for us was a bit brutal. Turns out I don't like having to ask people to help provide for me. A part of me wants to try to sell a kidney on the black market instead of asking for financial help. This is my child, I should be on the one to provide for him/her.

But we *only* have $15,000 available right now. We need about $10,000 in order to adopt from most agencies. So a-asking we will go. Have I mentioned that I hate, hate, hate it? My stomach churns at the thought. If anyone has any creative, legal, ethical ideas on how to get some more money fast, I'm open to suggestions. (Though I've already researched most of them)

Onto the home visit, for those of you who are curious. It lasted about 2 hours. We sat in the kitchen and talked. Pretty much our social worker, Susan, spent the time getting to know us better. N was a perfect ham. It was nice, went fast, and wasn't stressful. She gave us more information about adoption, the purpose, the process, etc.. We're in good hands.

Thanks for your prayers. Keep 'em coming!

p.s. I've been praying that God will have an anonymous donor send us $10,000. If you think of it, could you pester God with that request, too?

copyright (c) Elizabeth, Bug's Beef. All rights reserved.

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Well-intended, but W-R-O-N-G

That would describe me.

So often when I describe a person as being well-intended it's someone else. My attitude tends to be a wee bit condescending when I say it. But today it is me. So I'm not as arrogant as usual. A small sigh, a little shake of the head. Apparently I'm feeling dramatic as I type, because it's really not that big of a deal.

There are a number of things that I wanted to do as I parent my darling son. My hopes and dreams were well-intended, but boy was I wrong about what life would actually be like.

For instance: I was planning on my child being 17 years old and asking a friend what a french fry was. Seriously. My goal was to have him not eat french fries and never, ever taste soda. Then we went on a road trip. I underestimated the number of snacks we would need. So we stopped to grab a burger and fries. One bite, and my vocal little boy, with an awesome memory, was hooked. Apparently someone in PR should get a bonus. Because my child who is just now beginning to recognize letters can recognize a burger joint from a half mile away. And since he remembers what they house, he yells for burgers on a regular basis. So, he knows what french fries are. And he loves them. He ate some yesterday. At least he hasn't had soda. . .yet.

Other plan smashed to smithereens: never have the TV babysit my child. We watched that goal blow away in the blistering wind today. We went out to play. The weather pushed us back in. My son was devastated. Since the day had already lasted 126 hours, Mommy was out of ideas. So shocking words rolled out of my mouth, "Do you want to watch a show?" Of course, he did.

Yesterday: fries. Today: television. My son is still standing strong, but I'm hoping his brain and body don't turn to complete mush by the weekend.

How very humbling parenting has been already. I wonder what else I will be wrong about in the coming years?

copyright (c) Elizabeth, Bug's Beef. All rights reserved.

Monday, November 1, 2010

Hurry Up and Wait

We got our paperwork done for our homestudy. Woo Hoo!

And we got our paperwork done for our family profile. Double Woo Hoo!

Now we get to wait. . . Ugh. Boo Hoo.

The great news, though, is that our adoption agency has already been working on our first wave of papers. So when the second wave gets there (today or tomorrow,) they will already be rolling. I'm hoping we will have our home visit soon. My ambitious goal, and prayer, is that we have our home study done in the next two weeks. Our fingerprints have already been sent to the KBI, and those take 2-3 weeks to process. Our social worker has already begun digging through our papers, and that takes 4-6 weeks. I have heard from most of our family and friend references. Those that haven't sent their forms yet have plans to send them in the next day or two.

I'm excited! We're excited! We are moving forward! After trying to have a baby for 18 months, we are starting to see light at the end of the tunnel. I know approval does not mean we instantly get a baby, but the approval process is a major step. Once we are approved to adopt a baby, we can begin waiting and looking for a birthmom. Once we hear of a baby we would be willing to adopt, our profile will be presented to the birthmom. If she chooses us, then we can either get our baby or wait for him/her to be born.

We might grow from three to four by the holidays. How awesome would that be? (Very)

copyright (c) Elizabeth, Bug's Beef. All rights reserved.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

A Fun Step


We are up to our ears in photos!

The next step of the adoption process is putting together pictures for our family profile. The family profile is what birth mothers look at when they are deciding which famiy to place their baby in. So it's very important. We are having our agency compile it for us, since they do this all the time. They gave us a list of types of pictures to put together for them. They requested 80-100 pictures to choose from so that they can have options.

Well, I am providing some options! How on earth do you summarize the last 7 years of your life in 100 pictures? I have no idea. Right now my count is closer to 200 and I haven't included our wedding pictures yet.

By the way, I was hoping to find a picture of someone up to their ears in photos to include with this post. (kinda like the one with all the paperwork) So I went to google images and first looked up "pictures" then "photographs." Ugh. Danger. Don't do that. And not in my somewhat-typical sarcastic voice. Seriously, don't do that. There is so much slime out there. I have no idea how some of those images were even classified as pictures or photographs.

So now I'm off to bleach my brain while I wait for the computer to finish uploading the next couple hundred photos.

Ta ta!

copyright (c) Elizabeth, Bug's Beef. All rights reserved.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Ever Disappearing Me

Ok, so the reason why I've been gone from my blog so long this time is because we made it over the bump mentioned in my previous post. So now we have: paperwork!


I'm going to make photocopies of everything, but I'm pretty sure when it is all said and done we will have filled out more than 100 pages of forms. My sweet son and I drove about the metropolitan today getting physicals for our home study and collecting birth certificates. We also swung by a Court House to get marriage certificate copies.

I'm most the way through the first step, though. Once my husband finishes his lengthy self study we can send off the first pile of papers. The others will wait until our social worker actually comes to the house.

So I'm sorta sorry I've been gone. Sorry for you, but not for me. When my fingers touch the keyboard now, they are either preparing for our baby or talking about our baby. Woo Hoo!

I'll try to keep you posted on the goings on, but if I'm entrenched in paperwork again, it may be awhile. Because now I have to start finding information to create our family profile. Not only is it answering more questions, but it's going through photos and finding the best ones that represent us. How on earth do I buzz through five years of pictures? I have no idea. God will have to help me. Otherwise I'll be stuck flipping through pictures, reminiscing, until Christmas.

copyright (c) Elizabeth, Bug's Beef. All rights reserved.

Monday, October 11, 2010


Sometimes ambiguity is frustrating. Sometimes it is delightful. Here is an example of the wonderful side:

2 Timothy 1:12

That is why I am suffering as I am. Yet I am not ashamed, because I know whom I have believed, and am convinced that he is able to guard what I have entrusted to him for that day. NIV

and that is why I suffer these things. But I am not ashamed, because I know whom I have believed and am persuaded that He is able to guard what has been entrusted to me until that day. CSB

So which is it? Has it been entrusted to us by God, or have we entrusted it to God?

It's not just these two translations that are in disagreement. Check out's comparison of verses here. Apparently the original text is a bit ambiguous.

As I try to figure out which one is right, I realize the answer is both. There is nothing that I can entrust to God that He hasn't already entrusted to me. Pretty cool.

copyright (c) Elizabeth, Bug's Beef. All rights reserved.

Monday, October 4, 2010

A Baby Bump

We have a baby bump. No, my abdomen is not increasing in girth. We have hit a snag in our process to adopt.

The agency that we felt we were supposed to use has us now waiting for the waiting list. They are so backed up, with so few babies available, that we can't even get on the waiting list yet. Ugh.

It hasn't caused me to crawl into the depths of despair, though. This obstacle is making me more curious than anything. We know that there is a specific child for us to adopt, just as there was a specific child that we gave birth to. I'm really just trying to figure out how to get my hands on my child. Do we go with another agency? Do we stick with the current one? Is it both? Do we have a couple of kids, and each agency has them?

Questions, questions.

In the mean time, though, I got the nursery painted. Woo hoo! Four colors of paint later, most people would think it just looks green at first. But closer inspection reveals a subtle color wash that softens it up quite a bit. (I'll try to remember to take a picture and post it, but I'm not sure the colors will show up well)

Even though it looks likes we're eons away from having our baby, I am still confident that God has a baby for us, and that she will be arriving very soon. So I'm nesting. The nice thing about nesting for an adopted baby is I have a lot of energy. It helps keep my focus on the promises we have from God, and off the barriers that keep getting erected. Not that I'm burying my head in the sand, I just find it easier to do something with my belief, rather than sit around reminding myself that He is faithful.

If God brings me to your mind in the coming weeks, will you pray this verse? God showed it to me last week after we heard from the agency. It's perfect.

Now may our God and Father Himself and our Lord Jesus clear the way for us to come to you. 1 Thessalonians 3:11

I pray that God clears the way for us to our daughter, and quickly. Amen.

copyright (c) Elizabeth, Bug's Beef. All rights reserved.

Saturday, September 25, 2010

Last Month's Irritation

I'm finally ready to write about my original provocation. I thought this would be my first post, but Dear Biker crashed and I got moon cakes.

Last month I was flipping through a free parenting magazine when I saw this ad:

Where do I start? Perhaps I should begin my acknowledging this copyright-protected image does not belong to me. As my husband saw me taking a picture of the magazine he said, "I'm pretty sure that's copyrighted." I'm most certainly not trying to claim it as my own, I give Motherhood Maternity full credit. But I'm not too worried about that. I'm making no money from this. I am also confident that all four of you, my loyal readers, won't tattle on me.
So. . . ugh. This ad is almost indescribably wrong. It's precisely because I find myself speechless that I feel compelled to write. I've had time to think about it and distill my jumble of thoughts down to something manageable. Really my question is: Are we ever allowed to just be?

Why must women always be sexy? Merriam Webster defines sexy as, "sexually suggestive or stimulating: erotic, generally attractive or interesting: appealing" I find the examples listed by the dictionary fascinating, "1. She wore a sexy skirt. 2. Her legs are long and sexy." The she screams at me. Even the editors of the dictionary can't imagine the word sexy being anything other than female. When did sexy become our identity? (1925, according to the dictionary) The synonyms and antonyms are a bit telling, also, "Synonyms: bodacious, desirable, dishy, hot, luscious, toothsome. Antonyms: nonerotic, unerotic, unsexy." If we are not sexy, we become non and un.

I hope I'm not coming across as a male-bashing, world-hating, I-am-woman-hear-me-roar crazy head. I don't feel like one. I'm really just a girl who is sad. I feel weighed down when I see pictures like this. And it's not because I'm jealous. I know that the model's thighs are as big as my arms, but this isn't about body comparisons.

The exact same woman in the exact same ensemble would not be offensive if the editors had employed these changes: ditch the fan, use the buttons, close the distance between her legs. The heels are a bit ridiculous to me, but that is because I am jealous. I would love my feet to have arches that allowed some kickin' shoes now and again.

My despondency comes from imagining all the women who are pregnant looking at the ad and feeling condemned. I am troubled that others will flip by and think nothing of it, because they've seen it so much. Different girl, different company, same message. I am really horrified, though, that little girls will grow up to believe that their value is measured not only by their appearance, but also by their ability to satisfy others.

So I repeat my question (with a few extra): Will we ever be allowed to just be? Must we always be sexy? And what does being look like?

copyright (c) Elizabeth, Bug's Beef. All rights reserved.

Thursday, September 23, 2010

It's the Little Things

Here is something that has made me rather happy for the last few weeks: moon cakes. They're just so pretty. Here is what the box and matching bag look like:

There's a small typo in the corner, but that adds to the charm.

When you open the box, this is what you see:

That's a knife with miniature forks for everyone to share. And believe me, you want to share. One of these babies has 840 calories.

Here's a close-up:

Not only are they pretty, they're tasty too. Here's my son. He got a little tired of waiting to eat while I took a picture:

Thanks, GninGnin!

If you ever get a chance to try a Chinese Moon Cake, try it! (But I'm not sharing mine)

copyright (c) Elizabeth, Bug's Beef. All rights reserved.

Friday, September 17, 2010

I'm back!

I know, you had no idea that I was gone.

Our computer was consumed with a horrific virus early this week. We couldn't stop it despite our many layers of protection installed on the computer. As we were calling various computer repair shops, though, it became obvious that the thing was particularly nasty. It was going to cost almost as much as a new computer to save the current one. And a number of people said this virus was so bad that they would probably have to wipe the computer clean and start over.

So we mulled it over for a for a few days, trying to decide what to do. Meanwhile the computer sat in the office, massively infected, dying rapidly. We turned it back on to run another safety measure when it started erasing itself. Doh! We backed up as many files as were still left. Later I ran a system restore and wiped it clean.

We have spent the last several days trying to reinstall our programs. We saved most of our documents, but not all. A lot of my pictures are saved at shutterfly. Thank you Shutterfly! We did lose some pictures, but we have hard copies of the ones that were lost. Oh! The extra bonus to all this: our external hard-drive, which we bought for moments such as this, is fried. Completely useless. We backed up all our important electronic information, just to have it be cooked off when the lights went out during a recent storm.

But it has been interesting. Even though it sounds a bit silly and dramatic, I walked around a bit lost for a few days.  I can check email from my phone, but can't open any attachments. And replying to emails is a significant chore since my phone doesn't have a keyboard. I felt a wee bit empty, not knowing what to do with myself. How insane is that? The absence of internet access (and spider solitaire) created a hole in my life.

My son flourished, though. I try so hard to focus on him while he's awake, but sometimes he does find me in the office, looking at/for something "real quick." We were able to have such fun together this week. Life felt more rich.

The day I restored the computer, it took me hours to re-install our virus shield and spyware. At the end I was exhausted. I should have felt some satisfaction at my accomplishment. I rather felt like I had wasted a part of my existence, though.

Nobody else noticed that I was missing. Though I felt a big disconnect, nobody else did. I didn't get any panicked emails or calls wondering why I hadn't replied to an email or posted again on this blog. The world really did keep revolving without me wired into it.

So I'm in a time of re-evaluation. How much freedom is this thing really affording me? How much more connected am I, truly? Is it possible (highly likely) that it may actually have stolen some of my freedom, and even caused some disconnect in my relationships? Do I need to start severely restricting my computer time? I do know I'm not going to toss these questions about while sitting in front of this glowing screen. I'm going to jump back into a book that takes place in 1871. Ah, the pleasure of turning a page. Scrolling can never compete.

copyright (c) Elizabeth, Bug's Beef. All rights reserved.

Saturday, September 11, 2010

A Daughter's a Daughter

My stepmom shared a rhyming phrase of conventional wisdom with me over the weekend. It is now stuck in my head:

A daughter's a daughter for life. A son's a son 'til he takes a wife.

It keeps swirling about in my brain. I don't really have any thoughts on it, though. So why blog your thoughtlessness you may ask. I'm hoping that getting it out through my fingertips will help free up space in my mind. I'll use that space to either figure out precisely how I feel about it, or maybe even put in new information.

I do think, though, that the statement is true of our American culture.

What do you think? Is it true, or not? Is it right, wrong, or is it just the way it is? Is it because boys don't truly respect their moms? Is it supposed to be that way?

copyright (c) Elizabeth, Bug's Beef. All rights reserved.

Thursday, September 9, 2010

A lovely, cloudy Thursday

My lovely husband took me on a date this afternoon. First he took me to a vegetarian restaurant, Eden Alley. It was great! It was so much fun to have a variety of foods to chose from. Following a gluten-free, dairy-free, egg-free diet can be a wee bit difficult here in Middle America.

I've been on a vegetarian kick again. I recently cut up a big piece of ham. Which is the polite way to say I butchered a dead pig's leg. Blech. It was so nasty. There isn't a gross enough word or phrase in our language to explain how icky it was. Perhaps if I didn't know my anatomy it wouldn't be so disturbing. But as I was hacking away at it I was able to identify veins that could hold an 18 gauge IV catheter, leg bones and skin padded with gobs of fat. Ugh. And it had already been smoked! I can not fathom how nauseating it would have been had it been raw. But I digress down a disgusting path.

We went on a date (woo!) And we had fun (double woo!) I had my delightful vegan avocado salad while my Love ate a spinach and mushroom loaf. It was the first time I had a cashew-based cheese substitute. We finished up with dessert. Chocolate + strawberry cake and coconut cake - both vegan. We then wandered through neighborhoods we've never visited on our journey to IHOP (prayer, not pancakes.)

IHOP was great, though the only available seats were up front. I don't like sitting up front because then we're on camera. To see what I mean, click here, then click on the play button for the live stream. It was wonderful to spend time worshipping together. Usually we are tag teaming tethering in our son, so the shared solitude was a treat.

We went to 2 book stores: DANGER! But walked out with one video for me, one book for him, and one book for our son. Now, had there been $500 sitting in our pockets, we would have left with full arms and empty pockets. But since our pockets were pretty much vacant heading in the shops, our arms were relatively free when we left.

A quiet drive under graying, dripping skies lead us home to our bubbling baby boy. It was wonderful. I pray you had a good day, too. . .

copyright (c) Elizabeth, Bug's Beef. All rights reserved.

Monday, September 6, 2010

The spirit is willing

Our TV quit working a few months ago.

Well, the TV works, but the converter box died. It was fried in a fabulous Midwest storm. And since our television is archaic, we require a digital converter box to watch our local channels. So, we haven't watched TV for awhile. And we really haven't missed it. (We being my husband and myself. My toddler really doesn't care because he can still watch his videos)

But. . .

We are visiting family for our Labor Day Weekend.
Family with a big TV.
With Cable.
That works.

I have spent untold hours of my weekend sitting on my booty, soaking my brain with useless images and stories. I should be sleeping or exercising or trimming my toenails. Anything! Yet I sit, sucked into another movie. (Though 3:10 to Yuma really is good)

Though this is a bit light hearted, it is also rather serious. None of the movies have encouraged my heart or edified my soul. They haven't strengthened my communication skills or broadened my knowledge base. I am absolutely no better for having watched TV. And the super-stinky part is that I didn't just waste time this weekend.  I will keep eating away at my life-allowance by replaying scenes in my mind and thinking about the story lines. I can't shake picture shows from my brain. Once they come in, they stick tight. Ugh.

I'm pretty sure our TV is broken because God knows I don't want to be sucked into hours in front of a television, but I'm too weak to resist it.

Watch and pray so that you will not fall into temptation. The spirit is willing, but the body is weak. -Matthew 26:41 NIV-

copyright (c) Elizabeth, Bug's Beef. All rights reserved.

Thursday, September 2, 2010

Silly before Sunrise

Because my allergies are continuing to to flare throughout my head, I flushed my sinuses this morning. This is the stuff I use. It's a rather nasty process, but oh so therapeutic. I was pretty grossed out by the quality and quantity of junk that came sloshing out of my head. When I was done I decided to weigh myself, just to see if I had lost any weight.

I had weighed myself about 45 minutes earlier. I weigh on Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays. If I do it more frequently, I become neurotic. Less frequently, I become delusional. This is the picture I keep on my scale:

So I stepped on and started giggling. I stepped back off to re-weigh. (my scale is horribly inconsistent) It was the same. I had lost 2 pounds! Hee Hee! Nothing else had changed with my body. I flushed my sinuses and lost 2 pounds. It still cracks me up.

Of course, my dear husband wanted to know what could possibly have me giggling so after cleaning out my upper airway. He just shook his head at me and marvelled at my silliness.

I'm so glad I did it, though. What a fun way to start the day. And I can breathe!

copyright (c) Elizabeth, Bug's Beef. All rights reserved.

Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Ah Choo!

Here is America's Allergens Today:

Notice that the whole middle of our fabulous land is red. I guess that's the price we pay for decreased traffic, friendly neighbors and sunshine.

Because misery loves company, I passed my genes onto my son. We are spending our days inside (so sad), staring at each other through glassy eyes, tag teaming trips to the tissue box.

I broke down and took some diphenhydramine last night. I knew it would cause a coma, but my sinuses weighed 83 pounds; I had little choice. I slept like a rock last night. Today I have the intelligence of a rock. I'm certainly not congested anymore. It feels like I flossed my nose and sinuses with a thick gym sock.


Life could be so much worse. I would much rather have a hyperactive immune system than no immune system at all. A few weeks trapped indoors is much better than a life trapped in a bubble. Our immune systems are gorgeous, complex things that we mainly take for granted. Here is a picture of just one sliver of the immune system at work:

Go God! I love how beautifully choreographed we are. Though sometimes the dance inside seems a bit frantic, I am still blown away by how much wisdom God poured into us. I am still astounded that two little bitty cells differentiate into the trillions that make up a baby. Seriouly. How can two reproductive cells become heart and liver and hazel eyes and lymph and insulin and curly hair?!? But I digress.

If you're as miserable today as I am, remember it could always be worse:

The bubble boy.

 copyright (c) Elizabeth, Bug's Beef. All rights reserved.

Sunday, August 29, 2010

The Catalyst

I was contemplating starting a blog earlier this week when staring in horror at a magazine ad. But this afternoon's adventure wins the the prize for Catalyst that Got Lizzie Blogging. Never fear, I will share the appalling details of the magazine in a later post. Onto today:

My dear boys and I were travelling along a winding road on our way to a fourth birthday party. It is a gorgeous day to be a Kansan and everyone with a motorcycle knows it. While driving along our well-worn path many a bike passes us; one yahoo from behind, the rest on the other side of the road. A group of roaring Harleys came zooming so quickly that they shook our SUV when they passed us. My husband remarked on their speed being dangerous. I agreed. He then made a little comment about me being surprisingly agreeable. (I had only been awake 20 minutes)

We came over a slight hill in the road. I saw a piece of wood in the middle of our lane. Then my husband said, "Did he just go down?" Before my eyes could fully focus on the biker on the side of the road I was declaring a strong, "Yes!" Yes, as in: Stop right now, yes, this is bad, yes, we need to help him. My husband pulled over and I jumped from the car.

The air was warm, and very quiet. It was so still. The dear biker's Harley didn't make a purr. All I could hear was my pink trimmed flip flops hitting the ground as I ran to him. How many times do they have to hit before I reach him?

Dear Biker was standing on his own, leaning on a fence post. Ugh. A barbed-wire fence. I can't remember exactly what I said to Dear Biker first: either it was "Hold on" or "Are you okay?" or "Did you just go down?" Though the fence separating us and the bleeding injuries and dazed countenance told me the answers were: "Ok. Where am I going?" and "No." and "Yes."

My next words (not to Dear Biker) were, "Jesus, why a barbed wire fence?" I flipped off the top line of wire and placed it on the ground. My husband asked if he should call 911. YES!!! Then I set about dismantling the rest of the fence. Dear Biker couldn't get across it, so I had to drop it down for him. "Jesus, please help me get this fence down so I can get this man supine" Turns out Jesus knows a thing or two about fences. I pulled apart the wires that were holding the other lines up then jumped on the wires. I jumped a number of times until the lines slid down the pole enough for Dear Biker to get over them. Yes, still in my pink flip flops.

The next twenty minutes merge together: I discovered Dear Biker's name. Assess his injuries: BAD. I quoted my Daddy. (There are two types of bikers - those who have gone down and those who will go down) Other motorists began pulling over. Take his sunglasses off to assess his pupils: ok. One motorist  insisted on finding his cell phone and calling someone Dear Biker knew. He said there was no one to call. Other bikers pulled over to help Dear Biker and give brotherly support. The first motorist managed to call someone. Dear Biker said the sun was killing his eyes, especially his right eye. I looked at pupils again before giving back his sunglasses: not dilated. Bikers and I helped Dear Biker cross the road to mowed grass to lie down. I held his neck in a neutral position. The fire fighters, paramedics and police all arrived. I told Dear Biker good-bye. A paramedic took over the neck-stabilizing position. The police officer said she didn't need me. I asked for alcohol pads to clean Dear Biker's blood off my hands and arms. Using my beloved alcohol pads, (nurses grow fond of certain equipment) I cleaned up. I walked toward my car. My husband was holding my son on the side of the road. We got in our SUV and continued on to celebrate a little boy turning four.

Four hours later, my jeans sit in a sink upstairs. Water is trying to loosen another person's blood from my denim. I am trying to loosen these memories from my mind. That is the main point of this post: a little Lizzie therapy. Here are my doubts, my rage, the haunting questions:

-The dudes he was riding with never came back. They left their buddy bleeding, gravely injured, his motorcycle crushed unto death. Daddy said, "Those aren't bikers. Those are a**holes with motorcycles." Twenty minutes later, they still hadn't come back. It make me so sad for Dear Biker. Were those his only friends? Does he have anyone who will stand by him? He had no one to call. Did he drive faster than he knew he could just to keep up with a bunch of idiots who won't even watch his back?  IT makes my heart ache for him.

-Should I have prayed more? Once Jesus helped me dismantle a barbed wire fence with my bare hands in under two minutes, I quit talking to Him. Should I have prayed with Dear Biker? In hind site I wish I would have prayed that God would give him caring nurses after me who would talk to him. I've been in enough traumas and codes to know that most people talk over the patient, not to the patient.

-Did I miss my chance to tell Dear Biker he does have someone to call? He thanked me for being so nice to him. It made me choke because it was so sadly genuine. Is anyone ever nice to him? Does he know that Jesus is nice? That he can always call Jesus?

I don't want anyone to fix or comfort me. (you know, the three of you that I'm going to tell I started a blog) I can't fix the past. I trust God to help Dear Biker through the rough days ahead. I will continue to pray for him.

I just wonder. . .

copyright (c) Elizabeth, Bug's Beef. All rights reserved.