Monday, March 29, 2010


It's been 12 years since I started dating my husband and seven years since I married him. And if I mightsaysomyself, I think I made a pretty good choice to hang on to this guy. What an amazing, patient, hard-working, loving, fun, adventurous, blessing-of-a-husband he has been.

I am thankful. So. So. Thankful.
First-ish date - Valentine's Banquet - 1998
(Oh the bangs! Make it stop! Make it stop!)
Wedding Day - March 29, 2003
Seventh Anniversary - March 29, 2010

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Ethiopian Food

I'm having a lovely time spending part of spring break in Fort Collins with my sister.
Tonight, we went to a little Ethiopian restaurant that a friend of hers recommended.
The main dish was delicious and between the three of us, we tried almost everything.
And then, dessert. Chocolate cake and coconut sauce and bananas and strawberries.
Oh. Make is stop. Make it stop. (Okay, don't. I'm enjoying it very much.)

And - oh my- the coffee. I just could not get enough. Won.der.ful. I practically tried to drown myself in it. Even my (please-don't-ever-let-me-even-so-much-as-smell-your-coffee) sister drank the coffee. And liked it. Alot.

Hannah, the precious Ethiopian woman who owns this tiny Fort Collins treasure-of-a-restaurant, spent 20 minutes giving me travel tips for our trip to Ethiopia, gave me her cell phone number, and asked that I please bring my baby back so that she can be his "Auntie."

I'm pretty sure that I'll be back. Next time with Mark.
And then again, and again, and again...

Spring Break?

Seriously. Is this necessary?
On March 23rd?

Saturday, March 20, 2010


"Which is more messed up -- that we [Americans] have so much compared to everyone else,
or that we don't think we're rich?
That on any given day we might flippantly call ourselves "broke" or "poor"?
We are neither of those things.
We are rich. Filthy rich."
(Francis Chan)

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Caught in the Act

I was honored to be invited to photograph a wedding on Tuesday evening and I asked my friend Celina to accompany me. We had a wonderful time and got some great shots, but I had to laugh when I opened all of our files today to begin editing.

As it turns out,
while the bride and groom were sharing an intimate "first moment" together,
Celina and I were busy photographing each other.


Don't worry.
The rest of the evening went much more smoothly.


"Both worry and stress reek of arrogance.
They declare our tendency to forget that we've been forgiven,
that our lives here are brief,
that we are headed to a place where we won't be lonely, afraid, or hurt ever again,
and that in the context of God's strength, our problems are small, indeed.

Stress says that the things we are involved in are important enough
to merit our impatience,
our lack of grace toward others,
or our tight grip of control."
(Francis Chan)

Monday, March 15, 2010

Impact 2010

Between the ages of 5 and 17 I was blessed to attend a Christian school here in Colorado Springs. I truly believe that my Christian education made all the difference in my life.

Today, I am blessed to still be involved with this school and its precious students.

Usually, I'm at the school coaching volleyball, but today I had a different opportunity.
I got to be a part of Impact 2010.

On this Monday, the entire school took a break from academics and spent the day serving our community. The entire student body - all 200+ of them - spread out to 20 different locations to paint, clean, love, serve, sort, give, shovel, work, and bless.

I accompanied some of my volleyballers to a retirement home.

The day started with sweet, sweet hymn singing.
One woman requested that we sing "How Great thou Art" - twice.
She wept while we sang.
Later, she shared with me that this hymn was sung at her daughter's funeral and has brought her much hope and comfort.
After the singing, we moved on to game-playing and lunch.

This is Elsie.
Elsie couldn't hear a thing.
Not a single thing.
But when she rolled a Yahtzee, there was much celebration.
We ended the afternoon with a trip to the green house down the street.
It was a beautiful day for a visit and every girl - young and old - left with a rose.
It was a fabulous day, but my favorite part was listening to the girls talk on the way home about their desires to go back and volunteer again. They were blessed in their service.
I love that.

I think I've posted this before...

...but, seriously, it just gets me every time.

"It is not scientific doubt, not atheism,
not pantheism, not agnosticism,
that in our day and in this land
is likely to quench
the light of the gospel.

It is a

(Frederic D. Huntington)

Thursday, March 11, 2010

What's this?

This, my friends, is our last (we hope) piece of dossier paperwork.
It was signed, notarized, and entrusted to the care of FedEx last night.
Now, our complete dossier will be reviewed and reviewed and reviewed again, and if we've got it right, it will be sent off to Ethiopia.
And then? And then?
Then, my friends, we will officially be on the waiting list.

Monday, March 8, 2010

Hey Guys...

...if you happen to see a lady,
on the side of the road,
all by herself,
with the trunk open,
and a flat tire,
please feel free to assume that she doesn't know whattheheck she is doing and then proceed to stop and help. It's okay. Really. Go ahead and be a hero.

I understand that there might be a few ladies out there who know what to do when their tire blows out on the highway, so let me rephrase.

If you happen to see me, by myself, on the side of the road, you are more than welcome to make the assumption that I don't have the foggiest clue as to what to do.

As was the case earlier today.

I tried to be a tough girl. I really did.
I got the spare tire out. Got the lug-nut "key" out.
I had myself all set up to change my little tire.
Then I got the jack out and stood there on the side of the highway holding that thing in my hand thinking, "How in the world is this shiny metal thing with the twisty knob and the springy piece supposed to hold my car up."


So I called my sweet husband and he left work to rescue me.

Thank goodnessgracious.

And for the record, a nice man in a big truck did stop to help.

He couldn't figure out the jack either, thankyouverymuch.

Sunday, March 7, 2010

Old Mother Hubbard

Poor Arlee had the misfortune of spending the night with us during the awkward period that comes just before we go grocery shopping.

You know, that dreadful time when all the good food in the house has been eaten and all that remains in the cupboards is a half-eaten carton of raisins and a box of Bisquick.

After offering her three meager breakfast options, and being turned down three times, she had this advice to offer,

"Um, Becky, when you have your kid here, you are going to have to do some grocery shopping because he is going to want a snack."

Oh my. Looks like I have a lot to learn about parenting.

Saturday, March 6, 2010

Slumber Party

Lessons Learned [part two of many]

Unfortunately, finances are a huge part of adoption. Huge.

I hate that money has to be a part of it. Money is a sensitive subject. It's hard to earn. Hard to ask for. Hard to talk about.

And we Americans, well we just don't like to part with it.
We love our money.
We love our security.

And if we have money and security, we rarely recognize our need for anything else.

When Mark and I sent in our first $50 adoption fee, I thought that raising money for the adoption would be the biggest financial hardship we would face in the coming years.

Boy was I wrong.

Over the past ten months, we've seen our personal finances go from just above modest and comfortable to just below extremely tight.

For the first time in our marriage, we've faced a long period of financial stress. We've become those people who go around with bald tires and ripped clothes because, after the bills are paid and the groceries purchased, there just isn't anything left.

And still, we are among the richest in the world.

Our financial difficulty has not come about as a result of the adoption. Like many Americans, we are experiencing the sting of an economic recession. And like many couples, we are becoming comfortable with working harder to earn less and adjusting our lifestyle to match our budget.

However, I do think that the fact that we are pursing adoption has changed the way I view our finances. It has made me critically evaluate the difference between a want and a need - a contrast that I am still trying to figure out in many areas of my life. This uncomfortable struggle has helped me understand what it feels like to come to the end of your financial rope.

And while I learn how to do more with less, I am constantly reminded that

I am STILL among the very richest in the world.

With this knowledge comes a huge responsibility - a responsibility that I believe God is forcing me to wrestle with. That He is asking me to decide what I will do, who I will bless, how I will minister with what I have. However much or however little that may be.

Mark and I are finding it ironic that the financial challenge we were prepared to face (maintaining an adoption fund) has not been the biggest difficulty. You see, while we have scrimped, saved, sacrificed and to pay each adoption bill, there has always been enough.

For me, this is confirmation once again that God's heart is for the orphan. He continues to reveal to me that His heart beats for the broken, the poor, the helpless, and the meek.

Somehow, I think that he is making me broken, poor, helpless, and meek in the process.

And perhaps that's not such a bad place to be.

Friday, March 5, 2010

Good for the Heart

An outdoor run at the first sign of spring
is good for the heart...
...and for the lungs,
and the legs,
and the arms,
and the back...

Thursday, March 4, 2010

Lessons Learned [part one of many]

Never in my life have I had an experience teach me, push more, or break me more than the things I've experienced since we began the adoption process. During these past 10 months I've learned so much about my Savior, myself, and about my friends and family.

I wouldn't be being honest if I didn't tell you that this process has been challenging. That it has been downright hard at times.

Mark and I took the proverbial leap of faith by sending in our first adoption application last May. We had many expectations, but truly did not know what was coming to us.

And frankly, we still don't.

We lept off the edge and are currently in free fall.

We're in that place where we are absolutely certain that we will meet the ground. But will we meet the ground with our parachute open or will we meet a horrific, unsightly end?

I don't mean to overdramatize it. Of course we will not physically become a mangled mess if things don't go right. But our finances, our emotions, our relationships, our faith - these things could be seriously destroyed.

And let me tell you, my friends, this is a alarmingly long free-fall. It's been ten months now, and at least that much more. It's a long time to live in-limbo. A long time to feel so uncertain about what will come next.

We've put it all on the line, and now we are trusting the one who has promised to always finish the good work that He begins.

And I know without a shadow of a doubt that my God cares for the orphan. That this work, this good, emotional, frustrating, hard, hard, hard work is His.

I know that this whole crazy idea was His. Not mine.

Somedays, I just want to meet the ground - parachute or not - and get it over with. (splat) But God has promised me so much more. So. Much. More. If I will continue to trust and move forward and let the one who has it all under control decide when it's time to open that parachute and glide to safety.

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Sunset Boulevard

Stephanie just told me that she was studying for midterms when she got the good news that she was the big winner.

She said that she stood up in the middle of the library and cheered.

Love that girl.

I get to send her bags to a street called "Sunset Boulevard."

Wondering if perhaps I can just ship myself there as well.

Monday, March 1, 2010

Drumroll Please...

I am happy to announce that the winner of the first-ever-link-posting-adoption-fundraising-reusable-shopping-bag-winning-contest is...

I met Stephanie seven years ago when she was an eighth-grader playing on the very first volleyball team that I coached. She was adorable. :)

Stephanie was the first person to buy a bag in October and it has meant so much to me to have her following along and supporting us.

Thank you, Stephanie. Thank you. Thank you.

And thank you to ALL of you who did a post for us. We appreciate each of you so very much.

Volleyball, Volleyball, Volleyball

We had a fabulous weekend of volleyball.
We won 4 and lost 3 and the girls played the best I have seen all year.
They moved faster, swung harder, dug deeper, and played smarter than they have at any other tournament this season. Regardless of wins or losses, the best feeling as a coach is to see your players improve and to watch them accomplish new things.

Seriously, there's nothing like it.

While in Denver, Mark and I also enjoyed some of our favorite big-city pastimes like
riding public transportation,
and sipping Peet's Coffee.
And the weekend would not have been complete without my sweet friend (and assistant coach) Shannon, who tried to sneak a volleyball out of the gym under her shirt.
No, that's not true. That's Shannon's baby girl who will make her appearance into this world in just 11 weeks. I have to give Shannon props for spending three days on her feet, whatseemedlike miles from the nearest restroom, giving wonderful advice and care to our nine girls as they played their hearts out.

Gosh, I love this job.