Thursday, September 29, 2011

it is well

I miss my daughter.


When peace, like a river, attendeth my way, 
When sorrows like sea billows roll; 
Whatever my lot, thou hast taught me to say, 
"It is well, it is well with my soul."

It is well It is well 
With my soul With my soul 
It is well, it is well, with my soul.

Though Satan should buffet, though trials should come,
Let this blest assurance control,
That Christ has regarded my helpless estate,
And hath shed his own blood for my soul

My sin, o, the bliss of this glorious thought!
My sin, not in part but the whole
Is nailed to the cross, and I bear it no more,
Praise the Lord, praise the Lord, O my soul!

And, Lord, haste the day when my faith shall be sight,
The clouds be rolled back as a scroll;
The trump shall resound, and the Lord shall descend,
Even so, it is well with my soul.

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

our guy

Just a quick post about someone I adore.

Matt has been an amazing dad since day one.  You know those awful first dirty diapers in the hospital? That tar-like poop? Both times I would be changing those first diapers of the girls' and he would come over and cringe and say, "she's okay right?" then shudder and walk away.  Then a minute later he'd repeat this whole process.  I have no idea why that has stuck with me, it's just one of those snapshots that you have in your head.

Matt was fabulous when she was a baby, but you should see him now.  My hope for all children is that they would have dads like Matt.  Last night he worked super late. When he got home he was so disappointed he hadn't gotten to spend time with Harper that evening.  He kept going in her room to look at her and smile and pat her.  Then he'd come in our room and say, "I really want to wake her up so I can hold her and talk to her for a minute."

Matt and Harper have all kinds of things that they love to do together.  They make up funny little games in the car.  They go special places together.  They have special inside jokes.  Sometimes he leaves her little cards on her pillow.  She thinks these are wonderful.  She loves the surprise of it.  I read them to her as I put her to bed.  The night before last he left her one.  He told her he loves her, and that he is so so proud of her for starting to learn how to read and for being good at riding her scooter.

Be still my heart.  This man.

Sunday, September 25, 2011

A Pep Talk (for myself)

Life is full of choices.  Life is also about more than just my own happiness.  Lately I have felt so down.  Just really in the pits.  "Down in the dunks" as Harper would say.  I didn't really feel like doing much this weekend.  I haven't really felt like doing much this whole month actually.  It used to be that I would have a few days where I felt pretty okay and then a few days where I felt like I was moving underwater.  Just feeling sad and pitiful.  Now the stretches are longer.  Which is great when I am doing okay, but feels awful when I'm in the down swing.  

Whether I feel like a million bucks or not, certain facts remain.  I am a mom.  I am a wife.  I am employed.  I own a home.  I have friends.  I value being dressed in public places.  So  I have some choices to make each day.  I can choose to wallow.  And I do choose that sometimes.  I can also choose to do things even when I don't feel like it.  Wherever you are and whatever is going on, you can still put one foot in front of the other and just take the day as it comes.  I will now commence to celebrate today's mundane victories.  Quite frankly, I could use the reminder that even though I feel like I am a worthless contribution to my family and society at large when I am in these deep funks, I am hanging in there.

Exhibit A.  Today  I did laundry.  "So what?" one might ask.  So, today when Harper was getting out of the tub and said she needed a towel, the choice was for me to have her dry off with a wash cloth or use the towel Matt and I had been sharing for a couple of days.  No clean linens at all, people.  Now, although  laundry is all over my living room leaving no one a place to sit, we will all have on underwear tomorrow. VICTORY.

Exhibit B.  Today I put away the dishes.  Why is this worth mention?  Because I did it before I had an entire load of more dirty dishes in the sink waiting to be cycled in.  Haha!  It tastes so sweet (the VICTORY).

Exhibit C.  My family and I went on a walk.  We took a scooter.  And a dog.  My dog at one point laid on her back in the middle of the street when she was running from us and a dog that had gotten out of the yard.  And yet!  It was nice out, and we went outside.  It didn't go particularly well.  That's okay.  It still counts.  VICTORY.

Exhibit D.  My sheets were grossing me out.  What did I do about it?  Washed them.  That's just the kind of lady I am today.  There might not be new ones on yet.  Matt and I might are currently waiting for the other one to cave first and call it a night so that the weak one will be forced into putting clean sheets on.  (Did you wonder why this post was going on and on?)  I say to you, "VICTORY."

Exhibit E.  I felt melancholy and miserable this morning.  I usually forget things in this state.  Nope.  Not THIS morning.  I let my friends' dog out and gave him some breakfast.  Just like my neighbors asked me to.  Not need to feel guilty for leaving The Dude in his house hungry and with a full bladder... VICTORY.

Exhibit F. I wanted to lay around all day.  I sure did do that some.  But I also colored with Harper in the book she is making.  It was my job to make the plants, bananas, and bedding on the three little pigs beds.  And I totally nailed it.  I do want to be a fun mom even though I'm sad a lot.  The following pictures documenting the times I am fun will conclude this list.  Oh also, I just made this list.  

 Sweet Lady at the park.
 I love to do Harper's hair.  She doesn't always love the process, but she  is pleased when it is over and she feels cute.  It's our thing.  We watch Wild Kratts and have snacks.
This is not a tent.  It's a princess/ninja fort that includes a garden. 
 This is the princess/ninja in a hand-me-down recital outfit that she is obsessed with.  She is standing on the edge of the lake near the fort.  Ready to dance and defend.

It isn't always pretty.  Fine.  It never is.  I don't do these stupid little things full of glee and kicking my heels together.  I mutter under my breath.  I might reward myself with a million episodes of Modern Family (Phil is too funny, right?!) for every one load of laundry I do.  I sigh a whole, whole lot.  I cry to Matt as I'm putting the damn dishes away.  I hardly ever wash my face or do a single thing that I don't absolutely need to.  I just do the stuff I have to do.  It is what it is.

So here is the thing.  Sometimes I just need to give myself a pep talk.  Today, I happened to feel the need to do it on the internet.  I am heartsick and miss my baby.  I can't breathe sometimes I am so overwhelmed with the freshness and rawness of my sadness.  A lot of the time though, that happens when I'm laying in bed snuggling with the two other people in my family that ARE STILL HERE.  Today when laying around watching football together, Harper said, "I wish Wavy was here."  It's in the middle of the happy times that we miss her the most poignantly.  For the sake of those two people I'm with that I love with all my heart, I have to say, "me too, Harps."  Then I snuggle some more, and change out the laundry.

Thursday, September 22, 2011

"Daddy, where do ribs come from?"

So Harper is very inquisitive these days. I feel like I always need to be on my toes ready to answer any question, because I never know exactly what she's going to ask. It runs the gamut, really. Everything from "What are those stick things that people keep putting in their mouths that have the mist" (That would be cigarettes) to "Why can't I see God?" They're great questions, but they tend to lead to many, many, many more questions. Harper is a detail girl and she wants to know all the details about everything. 

So…I should have known what was coming the other night when she started asking questions at dinner. My brother and sister-in-law and niece have been in town for a couple weeks and so on their last night here we had a big dinner - salad, ribs, spanakopita. Delicious. Well, about 5 minutes into dinner Harper looks at the plate on the table holding a few rib bones.

Harper: Daddy, is that a rib from a person? How do they take that rib from a person?
Me: No sweetie, that's not a person's rib. We don't get ribs from people, they come from animals.
Harper: Well Daddy, how do they take that out of the animal while it's still alive?
Me: Well, they don't take ribs out of animals that are still alive. The animal has to be dead first.
Harper: How does the animal die?
Me: Well, there are farmers that have farms and they raise the animals and then at the right time the farmer will kill the animal, but it doesn't hurt the animal.
Harper: Well how does the farmer kill it?
Me: Well, I'm not sure, sweetie, but it doesn't' hurt the animal. When, God created things he made some of the animals like chickens and cows that we could get meat from so we could have a healthy diet. You know how God made fruits and vegetables so that we have those to eat?
Harper: Yes
Me: Well it's like that. God created some of the animals that we can use for meat, just like he made fruits and vegetables for us to eat.
Harper: Well Daddy, it's not just like fruits and vegetables. With those you plant the seed and then the tree grows and gets leaves and grows fruit and then we pick the fruit…but you don't cut down the tree.

Boom. Owned by a 5 year old.

Thankfully, my Mom who has been sitting watching this all unfold (and trying not to fall out of her chair laughing) asks Harper - "Hey Harper, what is your memory verse from this week" - completely bailing me out and drastically changing the subject.  From the "origins of meat" to bible memory.  Just like that.  It was a beautiful thing though. Just like that Harper starts rattling off Bible verses. Then, just as I was shocked at her inquisitiveness and reasoning through the whole rib deal I found myself shocked as she perfectly rattled of 6 verses from the Bible that she didn't know 6 weeks ago. It's a beautiful thing, as parents,to hear God's Word pouring out the mouth of your child knowing that she will always have those words hidden in her heart for when she needs them most.  My favorite one is actually one that Molly taught her a couple years ago:

"Be strong and courageous. Do not be terrified. Do not be discouraged. For the Lord your God is with you wherever you go."
Joshua 1:9

Later that night when I put Harper to bed I asked her to say Joshua 1:9 for me one more time. Then we talked about it. (I'll spare you the details, but it went MUCH smoother than the rib conversation). We talked about what the words mean and about why it's important to our lives and why it's comforting in times when we are scared or discouraged and in times when need to know that God is with us. Times like now.

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

That's Right. I'm Going There.

A Word on Pregnancy vs Adopting -- Alternately Subtitled, Why Adoption is 100% Amazing.

After a few heavy posts I wanted to write about something that to me feels a bit lighter.  Please know going into it (because it's tricky isn't it?  Knowing the tone of someone's words when they're all bald and matter of fact in front of you.  Uhm, I meant the words were bald and not the writer.) that the tone of this is VERY light.  And while I'm talking about something that is a very tender subject to some, please notice that this is not about infertility.  It's not me saying: get over it.  This is me specifically saying there are some parts of pregnancy that I feel pretty great about missing out on.

I am sure it is a beautiful thing to grow a baby inside of you.  I am also sure you do not have to be the one growing it to appreciate the miracle of babies.  I realize I am in the minority of women that haven't gotten pregnant that did not grieve over it.  I have spent a lot of time thinking about what it is like to not experience pregnancy.  I just want to say a few words to those who cannot or choose not to experience pregnancy themselves.

I don't think that beloved childrens' fathers, siblings, or grandparents feel like they have a diminished love for a child because it did not grow inside of them.  Yes, I agree that a mother loves a child differently than these other people do.  (Not better, just differently.)  However, a biological connection is not necessary to experience that exact kind of love.

I am going to list, in my own opinion, some of the benefits that you receive as an adoptive parent.  I am not saying that I made a decision to adopt based on these benefits.  Nor am I suggesting that you do.  I am simply saying, you might as well embrace some of the perks.  Am I right?  Caution: some words I am about to use are not for the faint of heart, some men, or young girls.  I know I have a huge following of grade school aged girls.  Me and Justin Bieber.

Things you can happily skip when you lovingly adopt a child:
*ALL OF THE UNPLEASANT PARTS OF PREGNANCY!  And to be sure, there are MANY.  I know there are a million pictures of people lovingly looking at the pregnant bellies.  What no one's snapping up pictures of are nausea, constipation, heart burn, fatigue, swollen and crazy looking ankles, stretch marks, sleeplessness, the weird waddle, general discomfort, and weight gain in less desirable places than that cute tummy.  Sure, a lot of people want a chance to get some of those cute Liz Lange maternity clothes, but let's face it.  It's not all eating ice cream at midnight and warm smiles from the elderly.
*LABOR AND DELIVERY!  I mean come on!  I don't even need to say more.  But I always do.  So let's list: paper gowns pulled up to your midsection while a group of people are heavily involved in your business, epidurals (that's a shot in the spine, guys!) or the pain of natural child birth, epidurals gone wrong, guilt over taking pain meds, waiting too long and then not getting pain meds, episiotomies (!!!!!!!!!!), stitches in horrible places, c-sections, hearing everyone who has ever given birth's horror-laced delivery stories, lactation specialists, whew I will stop there.
*THE AFTERMATH.  People who just went through the above are tired and sore when settling into life with a new baby.  Not to mention losing baby weight.  What if you could just settle in with that new baby feeling fresh and fit?  Hey, you can.  That's my point.

Things you can rejoice in when you lovingly adopt a child:
*A FRESH START!  If Matt and I had biological children they would be horrible at math and alarmingly hairy.  My body has a lot of ailments that confuse medical professionals and make me feel like an old lady, and Matt is grumpy for hours after he gets out of bed.  Yeah, we've got a lot of bad stuff between us.  People sometimes say, "Oh I just want someone who looks just like us running around." Or, "I just want to see what a child that my husband and I create together would look like..."  In my heart I say, "What's so great about you?"  This sounds really harsh.  I'm simply saying, you are just two people.  In the grand scheme of my life I don't know many people that have such model-quality good looks that the world would miss out on their biological creation.  I do know that Matt and I were startled when Harper showed an aptitude towards math.  Matt and I are dangerous when we're alone with numbers.  Not our girl; she's amazing.  In fact, she's good at a lot of things that we aren't.  And she's good at a lot of things that we ARE.  Because we taught her.  Maximize the best of nature and nurture?  Count me in!
*WE HAVE A GOD THAT SETS ALL THINGS RIGHT.  I don't think I'm entitled to see it in all times and circumstances in my life.  But that is a true statement.  I'm saying it again.  We have a God that will set all things right.  I am a mom who needs a child.  Matt is a dad who needs a child.  Harper is a precious girl that needs a sibling.  We are going to get together with a child that needs a family.  How beautiful is that going to be?  Please stay tuned and watch it happen.  Man, I love my family.  And man, I love that it is formed through adoption.  This is the good stuff.


**I would just like to add one more note stating that I think a child in a family that loves her is a gorgeous thing no matter how it happens.  The purpose of this post is NOT to negate the beauty of a family formed biologically.  The purpose IS to promote the mindset that adoption is an awesome plan A and an incredible way to unite people as a family.  Peace.**

Sunday, September 11, 2011

Sweet and Sour

(that's how my heart feels)

This is a long post, but stick with it!

Tonight I just read the sweetest, tenderest story.  It was a letter from an adoptive dad to his son.  The letter was the story of the little boy's adoption.  What I didn't know before I started reading it was -- there was basically a failed adoption situation, but in the end, the little boy comes home to his adoptive family.  It was so beautiful.  You can find the story on one of the very coolest adoption blogs you'll find.  It's right here if you want to check it out.  The point of me bringing it up  is that it kind of killed me.  I don't hope for that.  I can't bear to think about it.  The hope of that is too poisonous to the rest of my life.  But for one tiny little second I thought about it just now.  What it would be like.  Because you know, I would really do anything in the world if I could make that happen.  (If you wish that for me will you please not tell me?  I can't really go there on a normal basis.  Thanks.)  

I wouldn't have brought any of this up except that I read something earlier that has really touched me and made my grief seem more bearable.  I wanted to share it with you because a) it's awesome b) it feels important to me, and c) you might be going through something awful too.  Maybe it would resonate with you like it did with me.  

"The experience of the loss itself does not have to be the defining moment of our lives.  Instead, the defining moment can be our response to the loss."  Yes! This is what I have been thinking and hoping would prove true for me.

and then this next quote

"Tragedy can increase the soul's capacity for darkness and light, for pleasure as well as for pain, for hope as well as for dejection.  The soul contains a capacity to know and love God, to become virtuous, to learn truth, and to live by moral conviction.  The soul is elastic, like a balloon.  It can grow larger through suffering.  Loss can enlarge its capacity for anger, depression, despair, and anguish, all natural and legitimate emotions whenever we experience loss.  Once enlarged, the soul is also capable of experiencing greater joy, strength, peace, and love.  What we consider opposites -- east and west, night and light, sorrow and joy, weakness and strength, anger and love, despair and hope, death and life -- are no more mutually exclusive than winter and sunlight.  The soul has the capacity to experience these opposites, even at the same time."
              -- Jerry Sittser, A Grace Disguised, How the Soul Grows Through Loss
                  (or as I like to call it, Read This Book if You're Both Sad and Smart)

COME ON, PEOPLE!  Isn't that so fantastic?!  This is what I hope becomes of me.  That my soul stretches like a balloon and becomes something joyful and peaceful in addition to raw, tender, and bruised.  I can live with the gunk if I get some of that lovely stuff too.

(This part might read like a tangent, but hang in there; it'll come out on the other side.)  My big deal is "and."  It stems from one of my favorite songs by one of my favorite bands.  It's called (aptly) And by Waterdeep.  I will crudely sum it up by saying they call Jesus "And."  So instead of hanging crosses in my house I hang ampersands.  To me, they are a beautiful representation of who He is.  Also, all of the best things in my life are connected to me by that beautiful word: Matt and Molly, the two of us and our girl(s).  My sisters and I are Molly, Ashley, and Corinn.  You get it.  When my brilliant psychologist sister was in school she was talking about the situation of things going mostly well for a person but them always being fixated on the problems in their life, whether they be big issues or not.  The professor she was talking to told her that these people can reframe the problem into an "and" instead of a "but."  For example, "I'm doing pretty well, but I haven't been sleeping well."  Well, you don't have to negate the whole lot of good you have in your life.  Instead, that person could say, "Things are going well.  And, I am having a hard time sleeping."  Okay, that was a stupid example but I'm tired and want to finish this business up!  The point is, you can have both.  The thing that is the problem doesn't have to trump or undermine all of the good in your life.  SO!!!  The concept of and is all around, a huge one in my life.  

When I read the above quote  I thought, "AHA!!!" It's the and in my heart.  The and in my soul.  I can be miserable and joyful all at the same time.  It's the Holy Spirit.  It's me surviving.  It's AND.  When I started this post I was crying and worn out, but just writing this all out and re-reading that quote has helped me so much.  I really do feel so much lighter.  In fact, I am doing a little shimmy.  I can cry AND I can shimmy!  And that's today's good news.

Friday, September 9, 2011

How My Harper is Doing

This is just a quick note about one of the two most amazing girls on the planet.  Our daughter Harper.  She is one of the coolest little people you will ever meet.  I can't believe she is my daughter.  It makes me feel like God thinks I am really someone special if I get to be the mom to this girl.  

She is pretty much the only way I have gotten through the past year.  She is hilarious. She says things like "it's as hot as leather pants" when  the weather is hot.  One day she told me that angels can swoop out of Heaven like pteradactyls when they need to come to earth.  She is smart.  She is compassionate and kind hearted.  She wants to do things the right way.  She calls litter "glitter."  That means she has a fancy state of mind.  She sighs dramatically too often when asked to do things (just keeping it real) which I'm positive she picked up from me (damn.).  She loves make believe, and "writing books," and having important jobs (like stirring macaroni).  

Lately Harper has been pretty sad.  She misses her sister fiercely.  She has been talking about her sister non-stop lately.  She wants her to be in the bedroom next door ready to play with those little rubber princesses together.  She wants to hear her laughing at the dinner table.  She wants to sing in the car together.  She misses her and cannot be comforted.  "Nothing helps."  That's what she told me.  She also told me the other day that she hates adoption.  We were in the car and there was a lot going on.  Matt followed up with her an hour or two later.  She quietly cried and told him she hates adoption because it took her sister away because the judge wouldn't let us adopt her.  She doesn't just want to have a quick visit with Waverley.  She wants to have her sister back forever.  This is obviously not going to happen.  And it kills me.  It hurts me for all of us but oh how it destroys me to see Harps like that.   

If you are a person who prays for my family, will you please pray for Harper?  I don't know what exactly. Just knowing the situation and praying for God's healing for our girl would be great.  There is nothing I can do to help her.  I'm sad with her, and I cry with her, and we talk about Wavy, and I try to distract her from thinking on it for a wretchedly long time.  That's all I've got.  Not enough.  

And while I'm writing all of my sad thoughts I'll just share a couple more.  I know that Wavy's birth father and grandmother love her.  Correction.  He is Wavy's dad now.  It's hard to adjust my thinking.  Anyway, I know they love her.  They fought long and hard for her.  When it seemed impossible that they would win, they persevered anyway.  They put a lot of time and thought and energy into making a sweet room for her.  They care for her deeply and wanted her desperately to be their little girl.  I still can't stop worrying about her.  Big, huge, overwhelming fears, and silly, ridiculous concerns.  Sometimes I feel completely paralyzed by these fears, and I'm hardly able to get through the day thinking of anything else.  Lately that is the way I feel.  So will you please pray for her too?  That she and her family would be safe and happy together?  That she would feel loved and adored?  That she would have healthy meals and a peaceful heart and good nights of sleep?  That she wouldn't think of us too much or be sad?  That she would be so content and secure right where she is?  That she would know God and His Goodness?

I just realized Harper's post got hijacked by all my words about the state of my family's grief and my concern for my girls, past and present.  I think I just needed to get all of that out.  I have a therapist but this is free and feels cathartic so there you go. Well... okay.  Thanks for being someone who reads this stuff.  Thank you for any prayers you offer on our behalf.  Hoping this weekend holds lots of peace and relaxation.  For me and for you.  


Tuesday, September 6, 2011

The Help

Like everyone else, I recently saw The Help.

Wasn't it amazing?  Did you read the book? I did.  I thought both were incredible.  

It's the year 2011 and I live in Kansas City.  Race relations are healthy and positive.  Well, a few of these statements are accurate.  I think if you are like I used to be, you have a pretty naive mindset about race.  It is 2011, not fifty years ago, and we don't live in the South.  However, you would probably be surprised to know that Kansas City is one of the most segregated cities in the nation.  That means something to me as the mother of a black daughter.  In fact, all of this does.  It means a lot.  

You might not ever have watched your child cringe while another child points out that their skin is different from everyone else they know.  I have.  And really, I'm not interested in being the one who brings a little color into your life.  I'm super interested in people doing that on their own initiative.  I take the position that it is not healthy for any child to think that everyone is just like them.  I don't think it is good for any child to be surrounded by people of only the same race, socioeconomic class, and lifestyle.  I think when children are used to a constant exposure to people who are not the same as they are everyone becomes a whole lot more comfortable.  It is clear that we haven't come as far as we think we have when I am nervous that people will be offended by this post.  I am worried that people will feel called out.  That isn't my intention.  I would love for you to just objectively read this and see if anything grabs you.

Here are a few super, super easy things that you can do to bring some positive change to the table:

1.  Talk about it.  Have you told your children that some people look different from one another?  Have you told them that some families look different from yours?  And that these are good things?  I think you should!

2.  Have more than one color of skin represented in your house.  How about some dolls, books, barbies, Little People toys, etc. that are not just White?  How about including African American, Asian, and Latino toys in your mix?  What if the books in your house represented lots of races of people?  Wouldn't it be so lovely?  I am convinced that it would be.  What if someone came to your house and they couldn't tell by looking at your stuff what color your skin was?  Oh man, think about what good that would do for the mindset of the people living there.

3.  Take a stand! Are you looking at a book to buy for your child and there are only peachy faces? Pick something else!  Are you shopping at stores where there is zero diversity?  Go somewhere else!  Deliberately hang out in parts of town where you will see people that reflect different backgrounds, ethnicities, and that have different amounts of money than you have.

I'm just going to say it like it is here, if your child reacts to it when they see a person of a different race, and I am talking about any race other than their own, it is a huge problem.  One that something needs to be done about it.  And I'm going to say this too, it needs to be done quickly and appropriately.  No one of color thinks it is cute when your child comments on their appearance.  Eyes, hair, skin, whatever.  A compliment is fine.  Anything else really isn't.  An appropriate response might be, "Kid's Name, isn't it so great how everyone looks different?" Then redirect and talk about it later when you are alone with your child.  Then continue to expose them to people unlike them until they aren't surprised by it anymore.  

And if the tension between races makes you want to do more than just make some minor changes at home, do something about it! Do something big.  Change your life.  Move into a diverse area, get involved with eradicating the poverty in OUR OWN city so that poorer populations of people aren't isolated from the help they need of a functioning community, come alongside of all different people, there are lots of things you can do. We still have a long way to go.

Thanks for reading.  I appreciate it.

Get Some of This Good Stuff

My brother in law is coming to town.  This is good news for me because:
1.  I love him.
2.  He is bringing his wife who is dear to me, and his daughter who is the coolest niece *ev-uh.*

My brother in law is coming to town.  This is good news for YOU because:
1. He is the best photographer you will ever find.
2.  He is doing photo shoots while he is here.
3.  It is an incredible deal.  $300 for an amazing package that includes the shoot, the pictures, and lots more.

He is available Sep 8-20.  Hurry and sign up so you can get the spot you want.

If someone in your family was this awesome you would shamelessly promote it on your blog too.


Thursday, September 1, 2011

The End of an (Employment) Era

Today was my last day at Starbucks.  

I started there 25 months ago.  Matt had recently changed jobs, I had not been working at all for a year and a half to be home with our babies.  We were starting to get buried under the first stack of legal bills.  I was desperate to not have to arrange formal childcare.  I was looking for something that I could do early or late to minimize my time away from the girls.  Starbucks seemed the perfect fit.  I started most of my shifts at 5 AM, and I tried to work only mornings and weekends.  As of late I have been working evenings and Sundays. 

While this was as ideal a situation as I could ask for in a work schedule, it left a few things to be desired.  Namely: time with Matt (that guy works a lot of Saturdays), the ability to go to church, being able to spend time as a family and not just parents switching shifts at home, and the fact that getting up at four something in the morning is not awesome.

This summer a part time position doing administrative things at the same organization Matt works for became available.  I applied and got the position.  I will now be spending a mere ten hours a week working in a place I love, with people I love, doing things I love.  

I loved my friends at Starbucks.  I have spent a lot of shifts laughing until my sides hurt.  I was able to go to work there and totally check out of my real life.  However, I am looking forward to moving on and pursuing work that I am passionate about.  Additionaly, my new schedule will let me see so much more of Harper and Matt.  Finally, I hold that khaki pants and polo shirts are no woman's friends.  I am goodwill-ing them with relish.  Win win win.

As a courtesy to any members of the general public that happen upon this blog and as a courtesy to my amazing work friends, I would like to share a list of behavior Starbucks employees frown upon:

* pantslessness -- even if you park in the garage at home and are going through the drive through, I can see into your car.  Don't come through in your underwear.  Put pants on.  This applies to men and women.

* rudeness -- if you're on your cell phone you can at least give a genuine smile and say thank you.  Also, if you are put out by the chipperness of the employees, drink your coffee at home.  We get paid an hourly wage to make your drinks.  Part of our job is to be nice to you.  If you are too crabby for that, please enjoy some Folgers in your kitchen.  Where pants and manners are optional.

*bizarre behavior -- yesterday someone was cutting their toe nails while waiting for us to hand out their drink after they paid.  No one wants to see that.  We also don't want to feed your dog whipped cream (I have been asked to do just that), listen to your three year old order a long list of drinks at the speaker box because you think it's cute, make three separate cups of whipped creams for dogs in your car only to be told they are not right and have to re-do them, break $100 bills for an order that is $1.63, or try to guess what the modifiers are on your drink that you order once every 2 weeks but assume we know because it is your "usual."

*licking -- please don't lick whipped cream out of your cup in front of us or eat a cake pop before you pay.  It's gross.  Enough said.

A final word: it is not the brightest move to be unkind to people making your coffee.  They might just give you decaf drinks instead.  It's never happened at my store.  I'm just saying it could potentially happen.  Wink.

Thanks for reading.  I don't label my posts, but if I did this one would go under 
jobs, random, soap box, and I'm really lucky you're reading anything I write if this is what you find when you come to this blog.