Saturday, May 31, 2008

We Are Phamaly!

My very good friend Troy is almost famous. Actually, in some circles, he's more than famous. He's a star.

He is an actor in the Physically Handicapped Actors & Musical Artists League (Y? Because they ROCK!) Phamaly puts out these amazing theatrical shows. Handsome and I went to go see Troy and company in their latest show, Urinetown: The Musical.

Picture this: Theater in the round. A group of actors singing and dancing. Some of them blind. Others in wheelchairs. All are in perfect unison, perfect choreography. Enough to humble any actor and every audience member. It was great!

We saw Urinetown on "Industry Night", which is the night when all the other local theaters are dark. Which means, all the other famous actor stars come to see that show. It was like being in high school again, gasping and whispering and pointing at all the celebrities.

At that particular time, Denver was hosting the Pre-Broadway world opening of Disney's The Little Mermaid. I shook hands with King Triton and almost fainted. Yep, he is that good looking in person.

Phamaly is performing another show this summer: Sideshow. I am interested in how the play will be portrayed, but I've never seen Sideshow before. Just thinking about what the name conjures in my mind makes me a little uneasy, however. I would never want to support a group which places people who are different on exhibit. The actors in this league are totally amazing individuals who have dealt with a heckuva lot more obstacles in their daily lives than I ever will (God willing).

Ultimately, I am very excited to see the talent this group has to offer again and will definitely post a gushing completely non-biased review of the show afterward.

Friday, May 30, 2008

Playing hooky

Wanna know what I'm doing today?

Well, the title of this post is only a half-truth. I am going to work in the morning. Then my handsome husband is picking me up at 12:30 to take me out to lunch. Or maybe I'll take him out, since it's my payday. And I have a coupon.

THEN we have two tickets to the Denver Museum of Nature and Science to go see this:

It is the LARGEST collection of Gold ever. In one place. At one time. EVER.

The collection includes the Tom's Baby, which is the largest single mass of crystalline gold ever found in Colorado. It is 13.5 pounds. Tee hee!!

“In this exhibit, you’ll have the rare opportunity to see in one glance the gold that led to the birth of the American West, that inspired the myth of El Dorado, that defined Africa’s Gold Coast, and that made Tiffany & Co. the embodiment of elegance,” said Dr. Chip Colwell-Chanthaphonh, curator of anthropology at the Denver Museum of Nature & Science. “Gold uniquely crosses the boundaries of time to reveal the essence of the human experience and the depth of human nature. It caused the rise and fall of empires. It is the adornment for ancient kings and modern hip-hop stars. It is a holy offering, and it is everyday jewelry.”
The exhibit also includes 400 coins and gold bars. And if that weren't enough, there is a 300 square foot room with its walls and ceiling completely covered in just three ounces of gold, flattened to exquisite thinness.

“Throughout human history, gold has been synonymous with wealth, beauty, and status,” said Colwell-Chanthaphonh. “Through its natural essences of malleability and brightness, gold has been worked to the heights of artistic achievement. Through its perceived power and economic value, gold has brought on wars and environmental degradation. Gold lays bare the consequences of human desire in all its aspects.”

There's even a scale to tell you what your weight in gold really is. Well, let's just say I am prolly worth A LOT in GOLD! And I am proud of it!

Thursday, May 29, 2008

This Woman's Work

Remember this song? It was on the movie She's Having A Baby. It played during an intense emotional time when Kevin Bacon's character didn't know whether his wife (Elizabeth McGovern, could she be any cuter?) and unborn baby would make it. I have been in love with this song ever since.

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Super Easy Man-Pleaser

I have discovered that my husband is very easy to please.

Stop laughing!

Besides the obvious man-pleasers, I stumbled upon a very easy one. And I don't even have to be around!

That's right! He can enjoy this one all. by. himself!

OK, so on a Saturday morning, I will whip us up some pancakes. I like to make mine with the Jiffy mix (if you're a Bisquick user, don't judge, Jiffy is just MUCH less expensive. Like by half!) and milk. Then, I throw in a can of creamed corn.

Because what else are you going to do with creamed corn?

Since it is just Handsome and I, this makes a LOT of pancakes for the two of us. I flip the flapjacks until all the batter is gone and he can eat a pancake a day for the rest of the week at lunch.

Now, I'm not usually that forward thinking, nor am I that much of a Menu-Planner, but this definitely works for me!

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Another reason why I won't shop at the Wal Marts

A little girl was at the store with her pop and went to pick up a watermelon.

She got stung by a scorpion. Full story here.

Ick. Ewww. Owie.

On another note, we are trying to grow our own watermelons this year. I'll keep you updated on how that goes as the season progresses. I do NOT have a very green thumb, but seeds were 10 packets for a buck at Rite Aid, which probably does not have scorpions in its stores.


Monday, May 26, 2008

When in doubt, post a recipe

I love how the easy foods are what my husband ooohs and ahhhs over.

We grilled chicken breasts this weekend (in the garage, because it was pouring outside. Why does it insist on pouring when we've got plans to bbq?) but I was relatively un-motivated to "do" anything with them.

I remembered we had about 500 7 bags of ramen noodles from the 10/$1 sale last week. I boiled some peas, threw in the ramen noodles and let it cook a minute. I drained most of the water and mixed in half the seasoning. Then, I took a few chunks (read 1/4 cup) of cream cheese and put that in the pot with the noodles and peas.

I diced up the chicken breast and dished it all up. It was pretty darn yummy!

Saturday, May 24, 2008

What I Know

I know some things. I also know I don't know some things.

Here's a list of what I don't know.

I don't know if Handsome and I will ever get out of debt.

I don't know if Handsome and I will ever have children.

I don't know if I would be a good mom.

I don't know how to properly relate to Handsome's dad.

I don't know how to sew (yet).

I don't know if the cat will Ever. Stop. Peeing. Outside. The. Box.

I don't know if Handsome will ever come to peace in case she doesn't.

I don't know what I would say to Stephen King if I ever met him that would convey the utter admiration I have for that man.

I don't know if I will ever fully learn to Let Go and Let God, all the time.

Here's a list of what I know.

I know I am a loved child of God.

I know I have a wonderful, adoring husband.

I know I'm good at my job.

I know I could stay at my job until retirement.

I know how to scrapbook.

I know I don't want to sell scrapbook supplies, even as a side job.

I know I love taking pictures.

I know I could learn to love Photoshop, if anyone wanted to donate it to me.

I know if I got trapped at the library during the end of days, I would be content.

I know I'm excited to keep learning.

Friday, May 23, 2008

Celebrity lookalike

OK, this is weird, but I ran across a website where you can upload your photo and it will show you who your celebrity look-alikes are. This is me:

Um, yay for all the cutie hot ladies... but Owen Wilson? And the guy from Supernatural after he was Rory's boyfriend in Gilmore Girls?? What is THAT all about?

Thursday, May 22, 2008

A Little Broncos love 'Fro Me to You

Before I began my life as a gypsy and moved eleventy times, I lived in California.

I tried to play peanut league baseball (where I can remember losing every game, some with scores such as 19-2). I wasn't good at sports. But I wanted to be.

My dad was a baseball fan. He took me to a San Francisco Giants game and an Oakland A's game.

On television I watched Joe Montana and then Steve Young become idols for the San Francisco 49ers.

My grandma and aunt both lived in Colorado. Sometimes they would give me presents that reflected where they lived, who they rooted for. The likes of another idol, John Elway.

Not being married to one regional sports team, I proudly wore my Broncos attire lovingly given to my by my Colorado family.

The thing I want people to understand is that I was a Broncos fan before being a fan was cool.

I wore the attire of the Orange Crush before Elway led the Broncos to back to back SuperBowls.

I'm the one on the left.

Love the stance, don't you?

It says, I am too cool for my own good.

Third graders RULE!

And the rolled up cuffs on the jeans? Klassy!

I wonder what happened to the neighbor girl on the right?

For other hysterical 'Fro' moments, please check out We are THAT family!


I am so saddened to say that the youngest daughter of Steven Curtis Chapman was tragically killed last night. 5 year old Maria was one of the family's six children, one of their three blessed adopted girls. Please keep the Chapman family in your prayers.

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Donating to charity without even trying!

It is actually very easy to donate to your favorite charity and it won't cost you a cent! How?

If you do any amount of shopping online, you can donate up to 26% of the money you spend to your favorite charity. The amount donated is already set, some stores donate more than others.

Check out which is the wonderful organization which shepherds all of the shopping and donation giving amongst 680 retailers and over 41,000 charities. You can take a tax deduction, or not, for your shopping/donation experience. It's totally up to you.

C'mon, you know you're going to shop online anyway! Why not shop for a good cause?

It works for me! Check out lots of other great tips that work for others at Shannon's.

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

The verse of my birth

The idea is that there is a birth verse associated with each of the 366 days of the (leap) year. Several different companies capitalize on this idea by selling bracelets, posters and the like which relate somehow to your birth verse.

Basically, the month and day you were born translate into a specific verse in the bible.

Using the link above, I got this verse from Deuteronomy:
Teach them to your children. Talk about them wherever you are, sitting at home or walking in the street; talk about them from the time you get up in the morning until you fall into bed at night.
This is referring to the commandments received by Moses. We have, in our house, a cute little wooden display called "Country Commandments". It fits very well with my husband and me because we are laid back like that. It says:

There is only one GOD. No hankerin' for others stuff.
No cuss'n. Gather on Sunday. No Kill'n.
Mind your Ma and Pa. Cheatin' is forbidd'n.
Ya'll don't steal. No white lies or gossip'n. No false Gods.

Cute, huh?

Another idea I heard about is to look up your birth verse in each of the four gospels.

Here is my birth verse from Matthew (where Jesus speaks about John the Baptist):

The Son of Man came eating and drinking, and they say, 'Here is a glutton and a drunkard, a friend of tax collectors and "sinners."' But wisdom is proved right by her actions.

I didn't like that verse because of all the gluttony and drunkenness. Sometimes it hits a little too close, you know? But they were talking about JESUS so if they thought HE was a lush, well maybe there's hope for me yet!

My birth verse from Mark:
At evening, Jesus and his disciples left the city.
Hoo wee! Good stuff there. What can I glean about my personality from this verse? OK, let me look at it in context. Jesus had arrived in Jerusalem. He went into the Temple and raised heck with all the merchants, throwing them and their wares out of the Temple. The priests and scholars were freaked out because he was a GOOD teacher, thus, they plotted against him. So, Jesus and the twelve got out of Dodge. I guess I should learn when to fold them, too. When to not be so bull-headed and stubborn. Even though Jesus knew he was Son of God, he didn't need to make his last stand be that day. Pick your battles?

Luke has my birth verse as this:
You accuse me of ganging up with the Devil, the prince of demons, to cast out demons, but if you're slinging devil mud at me, calling me a devil who kicks out devils, doesn't the same mud stick to your own exorcists?
This verse shows me that every time I get all worked up about something, I need to take a look and see if I am exhibiting the same behaviors which I find so loathsome in others. Most often, I am. I know it. It's one of the hard things that I have to work on.

My verse in John says:
and many of the Jews had come to visit Mary and Martha, to sympathize and console them, over the death of their brother (Lazarus).

I am not sure what this verse is supposed to mean to me. I feel like I need to act more hospitable toward people. Like if a friend is in pain, and I don't know what to say or how to act, that's okay. I can tell her I don't know what to say to her, or how to act without feeling like a doofus. I can ask what she needs most. I find it hard to intuit what people in pain need most. I think I can work on that.

So that's kind of an interesting exercise, huh? Fun to do in hotel rooms!

Monday, May 19, 2008

Bashing my head makes me smile

Dr. Cameron: Men should grow up.

Dr. Gregory House: Yeah. And dogs should stop licking themselves. It’s not gonna happen. (from House)

I have three bosses at the office. One of my bosses continually asks me to do ridiculous things of a more personal nature. Nothing harassing but still completely inappropriate nonetheless.

Once I was asked to please research various cruise lines around the country, where they traveled and their cost because his family wanted to take a cruise vacation in late May, early June. I picked my jaw up off the floor and proceeded to forward the email to several of my secretarial friends and asked them to weigh in. Is this normal? Do your attorneys ask you to do things like this? I was surprised when I received a very mixed bag of responses. Several of my co-workers do things very similar to what my boss was requesting of me. This seemed like an enormous undertaking, can you imagine? I thought of all the headache I would endure while talking to a travel agent, talking to the boss, talking to his wife... Wait a minute? Why didn't he ask his wife to plan their family vacation? She is a SAHM and would know their family's preferences much better than I. In the end, I was very diplomatic about my response, where I replied to his email and attached the business card of our firm travel agent, saying she knew much more about cruising than I ever would (as it is her job). Then I just shook my head.

Another time I received a request from same boss to please call several windshield repair places because he has two vehicles who need windshield replacements. He would leave one vehicle at the Park & Ride and the replacements would have to be on two different days (as he could only drive one vehicle at a time, see?) and blah blah blah. My eyes crossed halfway through the email. I looked up four or five windshield replacement places and replied to his email with their names and phone numbers. Again, it would've been more of a headache than I was willing to endure.

I get asked to research camping spots for his family, hunting areas (including full terrain and topography reports), scoutmaster training opportunities, and the like. Bizarre, no?

Then, this past week, I received another head-shaking opportunity. Mother's Day was a busy one for their family and the boss overbooked his schedule. He blew it, basically, and he knew it. So who does he ask to save his sorry self? That's right! He asked me to please look into various Mother's Day poems or quotes that he could use to try and express his devotion and love for his wife on Mother's Day. Now, the do-gooder in me did what I was told, but the sarcastic little brat in me is DYING to nose my way around and have the wife find out that not only is any poem she received lifted straight off the internet, but that her husband didn't even do the lifting!

I'm bad. I know. But seriously, this man should grow up!

See what makes other people smile at What About Mom?

Saturday, May 17, 2008

Lava lamps

Here is a neat-o recipe that you can make anytime and combines some of the most fun drinky related ingredients.

Who doesn't like champagne? Who doesn't like jello shots?

Who ever thought of putting them together?

That's right! Here's the lowdown. First you make your jello shots. Combine one package of jello (I think cherry is my favorite but blue raspberry might be kind of fun for this project), one cup of boiling water and mix well. When the jello is dissolved, pour in a cup of vodka. (shhhhh)

Find your itty bitty Dixie cups and pour out itty bitty shots of jello into the cups and put them in the fridge to cool and gel-i-fy.

Once they are jiggly, get out your champagne flutes and make sure they aren't dusty like mine! You can use a plain ole' $3.00 a bottle Korbel (my kind of price) but they also have cool sparklies now like cranberry or peach. Pour the sparkly of choice into the glass, about 2/3 full. Then add your jello shot.

I like to mush it up a bit before I add the jello to the champagne, to make it more like a lava lamp and less like a bobbing blob but it's totally your choice.

Now, enjoy! Groovy man.

Friday, May 16, 2008

Some days you're the bug...

And some days you're the windshield. Yesterday I felt like the bug.

A good friend, confidante, and coworker of mine, told me recently "Your hair is really DARK. Do you like it that dark? I'm not fond of it."

I really admire her honesty and frankness. However, you just don't dis a girlfriend's 'do! In fact, I got my hair colored recently because there were a few too many of the grey variety poking all over and thought that a reddish wash would look simply stunning. My hair is dark brown, and stayed dark (obviously) with a red tint in the right light while squinting one eye.

I loved it! It was different enough for me to adore it and the cut was cute, but it was not SO different that my husband didn't recognize me when I came home from the hairdresser. It suited me just fine thankyouverymuch.

So I dodged the unrequested critique and let the comment lie.

A couple hours later, she strolls by my desk where I have a calendar which shows pictures of my son, wonderfully created by his parents. This month, the boy has his face painted like a falcon. My coworker, who had already gushed about my hair, walked by and said "I don't really like that photo; it's not my favorite."

OH! It is one thing to insult a woman's beauty, it is quite another to disrespect a kid who just wants to have some falcon fun!

I said "My, you sure are full of compliments today!"

And she stood there, looking at the calendar, realizing that she had a case of foot-in-mouth. Then she apologized and I forgave her but I had to come and blog about it so now I can really forgive her.

Thursday, May 15, 2008

I love the library

Let me count the ways. Well, the city library is just over a mile walk, round trip, from my office. It's an easy excuse to get healthy for free. Getting outside during lunch on a beautiful day is the best cure for office-induced ills.

I get emails from Barnes & Noble and Amazon touting the latest summer books I should read, or movies I should watch, and I open a new tab on my browser to the library's website and see if they have the book (or movie). I can borrow an entire season of Gilmore Girls in one shot, where Netflix only gives me a disc at a time. And the library is FREE.

Sometimes I can get my friend Jesse to walk there and back with me. Those days are so awesome because we will talk and talk and before we know it, we are at the library. Jesse always has to pee when we get there, and we have discovered that the second and third floor restrooms are so much nicer than the first floor restroom. We attribute this to the fact that most of the homeless people who like to hang out in the library, or just stop in to pee, use the first floor restroom. I walked in there once and thought I'd get a contact high from all the dope smoke from a patron who must have just left. Whew!

If I run across an idea, say learning to knit, I check out the website and either reserve my book to pick up later, or note where the book is on the shelf and swing by on my way to the bus stop. Another reason I love the library - it's right next to the bus stop to go home! How convenient!

I just want to give a shout out to all the libraries out there. If you are a book-buyer, and your shelves at home are full to overflowing, may I suggest you get to know your local library? It is such a blessing that we have them, they are FREE, and we will never be able to read all the books within them.

But I'm gonna try!

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Getting healthy, for free!

Let me tell you about some very cool FREE ideas to utilize while you may be sitting on your bum reading blogs.

1. Online pedometer. Google has made it easy to figure out how far you are hoofin' it. You just enter the starting address and click on each place you stop, or turn, and it can even figure out your return route in one click!

2. Online health tracker. Fitday has lots of foods already in its database, and you can easily add a food that it may not have. You can add your activities and see how many calories you're burning. It also has an online journal so you can keep track of how you're feeling, any obstacles and anything else you can think of!

3. Online recipes. Allrecipes, where would I be without you? I love the "Advanced Search" feature of this. I can input the ingredients I have, and a cooking method (i.e., slow cooker) and it will spit out all the recipes related to my search. Tons of low-fat, low-carb and other generally healthy recipes out there to discover!

These three websites definitely work for me! Visit Shannon for other awesome ideas!

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

I love Colorado

We woke up today to SNOW! I can't believe it. What a strange spring this has been. I keep thinking I want to plant some flowers or vegetables or something (not that I have any seeds or starters or anything like that) but I keep procrastinating obtaining said seeds or starters. Apparently, God is playing along because it snowed today, which might've just ruined my newly planted flowers.

We have this lilac tree bush in our front side yard which is totally OUT OF CONTROL. I pruned it over the weekend. That is a tough thing to do, because I'm constantly amazed that anything grows in our yard, I hate to start hacking away at things! So I climbed inside this beast and snipped away at the dead branches. Lilacs, I've found, can grow and grow without much assistance from their humans. But though this bush is enormous (literally, at least 11 feet tall and growing wider by the year), it only holds flowers at the very tips of its branches. So there is a whole lot of just bare wood on the inside of the bush. All the flowers are fighting for the light so it just keeps growing bigger and bigger each year. And it's slow to bloom. All over the city there are big, full, droopy with flower lilac bushes. Ours have started to bud, but no real flowers yet.

Anyhoo, with the snow today, it made me want to curl up in bed this morning and I fully resisted leaving said warm haven this morning. But then Handsome went and made coffee, and refused to bring me a cup, thus forcing encouraging me to greet the new day. Sloppy ride on the bus this morning, but I was grateful to not have to drive!

Our firm has hired two yoga instructors to come teach classes on Tuesdays and Thursdays. We had a substitute instructor today and I thought she was great! So at lunchtime, I did an hour of yoga, which is just such an awesome break in the middle of the day. And it really allows me to let whatever work stuff "go" and be present in the moment. Then, I had leftover lasagna (lasagne? Which way is it spelled?) for lunch. Now THAT is a great meal during a cold snowy day in CO.

Oh, and the weekend looks to be in the 70s! Maybe I can get some flowers in containers? Actually, I would rather plant some herbs, because I use them so often and they are so expensive to buy at the store. This coming weekend is one of those lovelies that I have nothing planned. Don't you LOVE those? And with weather like that, I'm willing to bet Handsome won't be able to resist coming on a bike ride!

Sunday, May 11, 2008

Honoring our mothers

Laura at Heavenly Homemakers has a really neat carnival type thing going on in observance of Mother's Day. This is a time of year where we get to honor all the mothers in our lives.

I am awed by all the amazing women out there who are mommin' it and still loving God and their husband and maybe they work or maybe they hang at home with the youngun's. Handsome and I are not yet in the position of being "parental units" to our own little ones but I hope to be a good mom when the time comes.

So, here is my diatribe gushing about some of the super moms in my life.

My mom. She raised me solo and was my best friend throughout the years and across the country. She taught me what it was to fight for what I believed in (even if that school didn't organize a girls wrestling team). She worked hard to support my dreams. She wasn't afraid to let me know that she didn't have all the answers, and that was okay. I always thought she did, though! She always lets me know how proud she is of me. I love you mom.

My grandma. I wish she had a website. She taught me the power of God and that reading the bible once doesn't qualify as "study". Grandma let me know that you can perservere through tragedy multiple times and still come out of the thick of it intact. A small town girl, she showed me that even though I had moved 11 times by my senior year, I could find roots anywhere. Surprisingly, she picked up and moved hundreds of miles away shortly thereafter, showing me you're never too old to start a new life. Thanks grandma, for sharing your life with me.

My son's mom. The woman who agreed to be the mom to the kid I birthed when I knew I wouldn't be able to be the best mom he needed. Here we are, almost TEN YEARS LATER, and I have never regretted my decision. Ever. You're a great mom to him and have taught us all SO MUCH about what it means to love unconditionally. Thank you hardly seems adequate.

My mother-in-law. Really! She rocks. She, too, has gone through enormous life changes and has shown resiliency beyond belief. One tough cookie, she came from a strange land, learned the ropes and built her own empire in the process. She nurtured, loved and raised my husband to be a kind and loving man. For that, I will always be grateful.

My girlfriend Echo. She and her husband decided to adopt because Echo did not want to pass along a genetic illness to a baby. Well, they were blessed with preemie twins who are the most beautiful, smart and courteous girls I just adore. It's tough work, being a mom when you're just a puppy your own self, but Echo has done an incredible job!

My girlfriend Celia. She's still pregnant, but after a long time trying to conceive, I just know she'll make a great mom. She is such a naturalist and I'm totally looking forward to seeing how she deals with mom-ness. I'll update after baby is born!

And me, as a birthmom. I am so blessed to be able to continue my role in my son's life. I strive to be a good example and am continually amazed at the creation I helped to bring to this Earth. Wow!

Saturday, May 10, 2008

Happy Birthmother's Day

Birth Mother's Day is a day to honor and remember the motherhood experience of birth mothers, the women who lost/placed their children in adoption. It is held on the day before Mother's Day and observed with a public ceremony.

Birth Mother's Day was created in 1990 by a group of Seattle Washington birth mothers who met each other at a birth parent support group. It grew out of the shared recognition that Mother's Day is one of the most painful days of the year- second only to the birthday of our missing children. Yet birth mothers have been shut out of the traditional celebration and remembrances of the holiday. Most birth mothers are neither named nor recognized among the mothers in our midst. For most birth mothers there are no cards or flowers. Society treats the motherhood of the birth mother as a momentary event that fades quickly from the collective memory. It often seems we are even forgotten by those who received the gift and the privilege of parenthood through the birth mother's loss. This invisibility and silence gives adopted children and adults the message they are forgotten by their birth mothers and that, they too, have no place for expressing their feelings, thoughts or questions about the woman who gave the gift of life. Most people are simply unaware that for the rest of their lives, many birth mothers feel sorrow, and love, for the children they have lost through adoption. This is partly because there has never been place or a way for birth mothers to tell their stories. Our pain has been made invisible by a society that tells us we can forget. Without permission to grieve by those around us, we have lived in isolation and silence with a great wound upon our hearts and souls. We have lived with the unspeakable sorrow of a mother's loss, a mother who lives separated from her child.

Despite this invisibility, and denial, birth mothers are mothers. We are not egg donors, or baby making machines. We have names and faces, hearts and stories. The process of pregnancy and the act of birth are profound life-changing experiences. The birth experience impacts a woman for the rest of her life. Connections of heart, spirit, and biology are forged. Eternal connections are made that cannot be dissolved by ink and paper. When birth is followed by the abrupt loss/separation from one's child, a mother is plunged into the most difficult of human experiences- grief, loss, despair, shame, and failure. This is the traumatic aftermath of an adoption decision for a birth mother. It is with her the rest of her life. Some birth mothers ultimately find peace with the adoption decision, but even more live with it as an open wound. It is a wound for which little understanding or help has come from those who advocate, facilitate and profit from adoption Mother's Day brings a birth mother's feelings and memories rushing forward like the tide. Most of us have endured this annual event in isolation, invisibility, silence and secret grief, acknowledging our motherhood and our absent child only to ourselves. Birth Mother's Day was created to help birth mothers move through this torrent of memory and feeling. It is a way to take back our rightful name of Mother and to celebrate ourselves as birth givers- the ones who give life. It is a way to expand the celebration of Mother's Day to make it inclusive of all the mothers in our communities. It is a day to remember and to celebrate the birth of our children- an experience many of us were denied. In doing this we affirm our connection and feeling for our children. We create a space to tell our stories and become fully human again- with names, faces, voices and compassion for ourselves and our experiences.

Birth Mother's Day is held on the day before Mother's Day. There are several reasons for this. The first of these recognizes our motherhood is one of loss and abrupt separation, as well as love and connection. Many of us were denied as mothers, treated like criminals, abandoned by our families, our communities and our children's fathers. These are not the traditional experiences or sentiments associated with the Mother's Day observances, yet these remembrances are summoned forth each year at this time. A separate day allows all of the feelings to be acknowledged, especially those that are painful and rooted in grief.

Birth mothers who have had other children expressed feeling torn between the Mother's Day celebrations of the children they are raising and the memory of the child who is absent. A separate day allows for observance and expression of both circumstances. Secondly our motherhood comes first and makes possible the motherhood of another woman- the adoptive mother. If we had not given birth, there would be no child for the adoptive mother (and father) to parent. Observing Birth Mother's Day on the Saturday prior to Mother's day symbolically represents this reality. Adopted children have two mothers. Our shared child links us one to one another. The intention is not to detract from those who are parenting our children, but to make this annual observance inclusive of all the mothers in the lives of our children and our communities.

Observing Birth Mother's Day could also create a time for families of adopted children to talk openly about birth families and the ways we are all connected to one another through our children. Mother's Day was originally founded by Julia Ward Howe, as a day for peace, in which the mothers of the world would commit themselves to peace by not allowing their children to kill another mother's child in war. This commitment was based on the shared understanding of a mother's love and the terrible grief of losing a child. In recognizing the love and the sorrow of birthmothers, Birth Mother's Day can be seen as an act of peace- making and healing. It stands in contrast to an adoption system that has been built upon the destruction of the birth family relationship, a destruction with consequences for the adoptive family as well.

Truth cannot be whole without all its parts. People cannot be whole without all the people who love them. In our events in Seattle, birth mothers have attended with the adoptive mothers of their shared children, and adoptive mothers and fathers have attended on behalf of their adopted children as well. By honoring the humanity of the birth mother and acknowledging the relationships between all of us, Birth Mother's day is a radical affirmation of the meaning of family and the way of peace making for our communities.

This excerpt is from A Birth Mother's Day Planner by Mary Jean Wolch Marsh. It can be purchased for $15.00 plus $3 shipping through R - Squared Press 721 Hawthorne Ave., Royal Oak, MI 48067-3621 USA Phone/Fax: 248-543-0997

Thursday, May 8, 2008

I love me some good food

I was looking forward to this since the moment I heard about it.

There is a restaurant we visited in Las Vegas called Capriottis. It is a sandwich shop where the small sandwich is 8 inches. Hoo whee!

They have a signature sandwich called the Bobbie. It starts with bread, add stuffing (or dressing, depending on where y'all live, right?), add turkey, top with cranberry sauce and a bit of mayo.


Now, remember this next time you find yourself with a bit of turkey and stuffing and such because you can totally make this at home and not pay $9.00 for one sandwich.

But it's totally worth it if you are vacationing in Vegas!

Tuesday, May 6, 2008

Vegas ROCKS!

We had such an amazing time in Las Vegas. I tell ya, girls need to get together at least monthly to gripe, discuss, unload and drink mimosas! What a blast!

We were so blessed to have a girlfriend who lives out there, so we all had a bed to crash in without paying the Vegas price! We ate, and gabbed, and drank (well, some of us more than others) and laughed and laughed and cried, and laughed some more.

Truly, friendships are gifts from God. I am so thankful for mine!

Thursday, May 1, 2008

Viva Las Vegas!

Several of the girls from work and I are headed to a weekend in Vegas. I CAN'T WAIT! One of our girls used to work in the Denver office but is now situated in our Vegas office. So we are all going to crash at her house for the weekend. The flight cost me $150 and the room is free, so it's turning out to be a relatively inexpensive getaway. Woo hoo!

Saturday morning is Southern Nevada's Race for the Cure. Most of us girls are planning on running the race. Well, more like walking. Or, depending on how Friday night goes, sleeping in and showing up for the firm-sponsored brunch following the race. That, my friends, is some dedication! Oh, speaking of racing for the cure, you must check out the offer Garth Brooks has set up with the Susan G. Komen foundation.

He has a new Pink Edition of his Ultimate Hits which, for every CD sold, $10 goes to SGK! Awesome. I love Garth. He can sing to me about rodeos and thunder rolling and more than memories all the live long day.

What have planned this weekend is getting all girly with my buds and relaxing, maybe get a massage, relax, maybe sing some karaoke, have a cocktail, or three, hang by a pool oh, and relax. Doesn't that sound fun?
My girlfriend who now lives in Vegas has a pool in her neighborhood which she supposedly has right to use except she hasn't gotten her neighborhood ID. She says the HOA has normal business hours and, well, she doesn't. So, not to let everyone down, but we might not get to use her pool. BUT, she says, there is a solution! We might just have to break into the Nugget casino and use THEIR pool!
Ummm... Well, okay, we will see how this one plays out. And of course I played the office Powerball this week so I may wake up, in Vegas, Sunday morning, a millionaire. Bring it on!