December 14, 2015

What Do I Want Out of Life?

While cleaning out my desk I came across a piece of my writing from 2009. I thought I would share it here. :)

What Do I Want Out of Life?

In the long run?
A home
A family
A Friday night date

Someone who loves me more
Than I have ever loved

A goodnight kiss
Hot chocolate at midnight

A miracle

Early morning breezes
And bike rides
Pumpkin cake and cream cheese frosting

Little wiggly toes to tickle.
Laughter at bedtime
A tiny someone who has my eyes.

Peace.

June 29, 2015

Littles

Today, June 29, is the year mark from the day I became a mom.

My entire life has been a series of tender mercies. I am still convinced that I was given my scholarship to Westminster simply because Heavenly Father knew that as a teenager, my tendency was to give up if things were too hard, and He knew I needed to be a teacher.

When I moved to Nephi, I was given a great job simply because the Lord knew that I needed to be HOME in order to sort out the mess I was making of my life. It worked.

Shortly after falling in love with Blaine, I became his Mrs. without hesitation. Our relationship is now and always has been EASY. We knew that we could build a happy life, that we could build a beautiful forever and so we did. We are.

We found an incredible home with room to grow. Purchased at auction, we marveled at the home and tried to think of how we could possibly fill five bedrooms. A tender mercy.

In February of last year, my sister called and talked to me about a possible adoption. There were four siblings, three boys and a girl, who needed a place to land. They were young: 3, 4, 6, 7 and living with an aunt in Wyoming. Originally, their aunt (who is a saint in her own right) hoped to keep at least two children together. At the same time, LDS Family Services began to pull back from adoption. We found out that services would end in January 2015.

We began the process of becoming foster certified. Our foster care licenser is the very same woman who completed our LDS Family Services intake three years ago. She was able to streamline our foster care licensing, making it a quick task instead of an arduous one. A tender mercy.

One signed paper allowed Montana to access our Utah files. This streamlined a two-state adoption and the littles were able to move directly into our home from their aunt's without having to wait in a group home for paperwork to go through. A tender mercy. 

On June 29, Blaine and  I drove to Wyoming to load up 2 bunk beds, 8 boxes, and 4 little people. They ran out of their aunt's house and one of them shouted: "We're moving to Utah!" And so it began.

As we drove home, Blaine and I were in different cars. I was in our car with my little brother, two little boys, and my mother in law. Blaine was in another car with my parents, and the other two littles. Jace (my little brother) drove the entire way from there to home and I sat in the back seat. As soon as the sun went down I started sobbing and couldn't stop. I was so overwhelmed at the gravity of what we had done. I felt in some way that we were kidnapping the kids, that there was no real way that we should be able to take them out of state to our home. I was terrified, and all I wanted in the world was to hold Blaine's hand and tell him so.

We've spent the last year figuring out how to survive as new parents. Blaine is and always will be a champ. He is better at discipline and routine and teaching. He is our stay at home parent and has committed his full energies to these little souls. It is so incredible to watch him become a dad. It's a chance I wasn't sure I would ever get, and I value it beyond words.

Last week, we received an email asking for our lawyer's name. And would we be keeping the littles' names? This is the most official correspondence I have received since the little people moved in, and it feels more real somehow than anything we have done so far. They are soon-to-be Bassetts. They will be the first grandchildren on Blaine's side of the family to carry that name.

Wait. Watch. Beautiful things will happen. God is in the mix. I think He finds joy in watching his children sort through this life. All good decisions and tender mercies and a whole lot of love.

May 10, 2014

Happy Mother's Day 2014

It doesn't happen often, but sometimes I have dreams about babies. A few weeks ago, I was having a dream so lovely that when the alarm sounded, I asked Blaine to let me keep sleeping so I could see it all the way through. What was so great about the dream? I was holding a crying baby.

This little bite-size was SCREAMING up a storm. I was rocking her and holding her and trying to calm her down. With no luck.

My mom came into the room and stood behind me. She put her arm on my arm and reminded me that the baby was used to a heart beat. She told me that I just needed to hold her a little closer to help her calm down, that if baby could hear and feel my heart she would relax.

I held the little girl close to my body and it worked like a charm. It was such a tender assurance, to have my mom next to me, showing me how to be a mother. And even though this little tiny one was crying, it was a dream and not a nightmare because there was something so comforting, standing there, rocking a baby. And while the dream was about this baby in my arms, it was also about the woman beside me. We were three generations together in a space, making sense of each other.

I'm not yet a mother, but I do have an amazing mother of my own.

Happy Mother's Day, my lovely mama. You have prepared me in every way to take on the daunting task of motherhood when I am given the chance. I am grateful to have you nearby, to share a hometown with you. I am glad for Bunco and book club and Sunday dinners. I am glad for drink runs and shopping trips and hand me down clothes.

You are a wonderful mom. You have taught all my sisters how to be the same. I am not scared of motherhood because I have seen you tackle it with gusto and grace.

Love you.
My cute nephew in his grandma's arms. Such a beautiful picture of a beautiful lady.

April 8, 2014

Gift From the Sea: Santa Monica Edition



When I was in college, I read Gift from the Sea. I was too young to understand it, and I realize that I should take another look now that I am an adult and also a wife. In the book, the author comments on different items found along the seashore. She finds the item, describes it, and then considers lessons that can be learned from the item.

For the past few days, Blaine and I have been in Santa Monica. We travelled here with our two younger brothers, having rented a little studio apartment on the beach. We can look out the window and see the ocean.

This morning I went hunting for sea glass. There is something graceful and lovely about a piece of glass, a piece of garbage, really, that has turned into a treasure because of the tide.

Blaine was looking for bleached white shells and rocks when I joined in his search. Right near his feet I found the most fantastic piece of blue glass. It is my favorite shade. I felt like it was fate, to find such a piece of glass right near him. 

A few moments later, I found another larger piece. It was the same shade of blue but twice the size. I was feeling quite pleased with myself, a handful of glass, next to my sweetheart. I was a bit proud.

Then a wave came. I was not facing the ocean, but facing the shore, and I never even saw it coming. I lost my balance and dropped my handful of glass. The glass was quickly swept away.

After a moment of pure happiness, I was literally knocked over. Quite quickly, all my efforts were in vain. 

There are a myriad of lessons to be learned from this moment, most of them about being happy with what is given to me. There is also something to the idea of not mourning that which is lost. And things are just things. And that there will always be waves, and some of them will catch me off guard, or knock me down flat.

But there are other lessons of joy. And peace. And happiness. I'll leave you to consider those.

Finally, a few quotes from the text, just so you can have a feel for how great the book is:

“One cannot collect all the beautiful shells on the beach. One can only collect a few. One moon shell is more impressive than three. There is only one moon in the sky.” 

“Perhaps this is the most important thing for me to take back from beach-living: simply the memory that each cycle of the tide is valid; each cycle of the wave is valid; each cycle of a relationship is valid.” 
― Anne Morrow LindberghGift from the Sea

“Don't wish me happiness. 
I don't expect to be happy all the time...
It's gotten beyond that somehow.
Wish me courage and strength and a sense of humor. I will need them all.” ― Anne Morrow LindberghGift from the Sea

March 26, 2014

Yep. It's been a year.

Today we had our second home study. That means that we have been on this adoption journey for one year. I scrambled like a mad woman, cleaning our already clean home. I hassled Blaine, talked him into loading the dishwasher, clearing his stuff off the desk in the office and helping me make our house smell less like teenage boy (We've had a lot of brother-visitors lately). :)

Our lovely caseworker walked into our front room and no where else, so all the cleaning was in vain.

Last year, when I was prepping for my home study, I was convinced that I absolutely needed to have a table runner. You know those strips of fabric that run down the middle of a table for no apparent reason? I needed one.

I tried to make a mockup using fabric scraps and wood glue. It was not pretty. It looked as sad as it sounds.

My mom, sensing my urgency, came over to my house, threaded my machine, and gently and patiently helped me sew. I think it's beautiful. I think she's amazing.

This year, I did not need a table runner. I did not need anything, really. I did purchase a clock to go in the lounge, but I've been wanting it for a while.

Maybe each year we get a home study, I'll add one little bit of decor to my home, to commemorate the event.

Maybe within the next year, we will have an addition far more exciting and priceless than a silly home accessory. That would be awesome.

It's been a year.