"When a soul recognises the will of God and shows a readiness to submit to it entirely, then God gives Himself to such a soul and renders it most powerful succour under all circumstances." - Rev. Jean-Pierre de Caussade

Sunday, January 30, 2011

A little of this, a little of that

There's a lot going on right now for us, so this is going to be a random post with a little of everything.

~Next week, a home development worker is coming to our house for a home study. So, we're one step closer to being certified as foster/adoptive parents. It's pretty crazy to think about! I'm starting to get more nervous and excited all at the same time. Yikes.

~Logan just sent off all the paperwork to create his videography business (better late than never). Yay! 12-29 Productions, LLC will soon be official. :)

~After a very much-needed 2 month-break from coaching, my soccer team started practicing this past week. Our first games are next weekend already! Whoa. I'm looking forward to it, though. I coach some pretty awesome 12-year olds.

~Since our guest bathroom was the source of the flood, we've - or should I say Logan, with some help from his dad - have been working on re-doing the floor and installing a new vanity. Pictures will come as soon as it's done! We weren't planning on doing anything to that bathroom except maybe paint, but I'm starting to be very thankful that we were forced to update it. I'm loving it so far.

~After 2 cycles of Clomid, I'm still not pregnant. And since this last month was pretty intense and emotionally draining (sorry, I don't feel like explaining), I think we're going to take a break from it for a bit. Please pray for us, though - we definitely need it.

~Marley is still the cutest thing ever. In case you were wondering.. ;)

"Consult not your fears but your hopes and your dreams. Think not about your frustrations but about your unfulfilled potential. Concern yourself not with what you tried and failed in, but with what it is still possible for you to do." – Pope John XXIII

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

House Pictures - the Dining Room

Now that our flooded floor is finally replaced (YAYYYYYYY), we've been able to focus on our never-ending list of things to do in other rooms of the house. We've actually been having our kitchen painted for a few months now, but we recently got rods and valances to put above the windows. I like 'em!
First thing we did was take up that floor and put down laminate

We painted the trim white (it was brown before)

And we painted the walls

We've gotten some new furniture for the living room to replace some damaged things, so as soon as everything is set up we'll post some pictures. I have to say, it looks better than before! God has a funny way of working things out sometimes... :)

Sunday, January 16, 2011

Story behind the name

Logan and I have been trying to think of a new blog name for awhile,  but we could never agree on anything. We finally settled on this one - the first one we agreed on that wasn't already taken.

Matthew West is my favorite Christian musician - has been for years (and if you bring me to one of his concerts, I'll love you forever). One of his songs, "Out of My Hands," used to be my all-time favorite, and I used to say if I had to pick a song to describe my life, it'd be the one. The words "into your will" is part of the chorus.

We decided on the new blog yesterday. This morning before mass, I was looking at the readings and noticed the responsorial psalm was "Here am I, Lord, I come to do your will." Then I noticed one of the opening prayers included the words "Help us to embrace your will." I'm pretty sure we picked the right blog name. :)

There you go changing my plans again 
There you go shifting my sands again 
For reasons I don't understand again 
Lately I don't have a clue 

Just when I start liking what I see 
There you go changing my scenery 
I never know where you're taking me 
But I'm trying just to follow you 

It's out of my hands 
It's out of my reach 
It's over my head 
And it's out of my league 
There's too many things 
That I don't understand 
So it's into your will 
And it's out of my hands 
              - part of Matthew West's song "Out of My Hands" 

Saturday, January 15, 2011

Are you freaking out? Yes!

Our last foster care class was Thursday night. It's been fun, but it'll also be nice to have back 3 hours every week. :)

Last week, we were on our way home from class, and our conversation went like this:
Jen: "So, are you totally freaking out about this?"
Logan: "Yes!"
Jen: "Ok, good. Me too."

This week, our class had a panel of speakers, who took turns telling us about different aspects of the foster care process (foster care, CASA, attorneys, adoption, etc.). One lady was talking about how the goal of foster care is reunification of the child with their biological family, and how sometimes it's hard for the foster families to see the child go back home. She even said how one foster mom said, "I had a miscarriage at 6 months, and that's what this feels like!" (Uh, yeah...I don't know what to say about that comment.) Another speaker was a foster mom who told us about her experiences. She's been fostering for 4 years and recently adopted a little boy, so she had some interesting things to say - that these kids are not grateful for what you do, since they just want to go home to their family, no matter how bad of a situation it is. She also said she's been intentionally peed on, and 2 foster children she had spit all over her house. The lady did have some good things to say, but she definitely emphasized that fostering was hard. So, when she finished, I turn to Logan...
Jen: "Are you even more freaked out?"
Logan: (looks at me like I'm crazy) "Uh, ten times."
Really, we're like thoroughly freaked out. You never know what situation you're going to come across, and you can't exactly quit and throw the kid out. As freaked out as we are, though, Logan and I are still going to go ahead with the process (we're waiting on a home development worker to contact us). We just have to keep reminding ourselves that these kids need all the love and support they can get. Hopefully we can give that to them.

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Maybe I'm biased, but...

...we have the cutest puppy ever. For real. She's not 100% house-trained yet (almost!) and she'd chew pretty much everything in our house if we didn't keep a close eye on her, but she's smart, listens (usually), and is sooo stinkin' cute. Plus, Marley has a very good balance between being very playful and being the cutest cuddler ever.

(Yes, she took it upon herself to jump in the clean sheets and fall asleep.)
How could you not love that face? And did I mention she's cute? ;)

Saturday, January 8, 2011

Bring it on, 2011!

I thought starting a new year would be a good thing, because 2010 pretty much sucked, for lack of a better word. I feel stupid for even saying that, since I'm fully aware of all of my blessings in life and know that there were some good things that happened in 2010. But I guess it's human nature to focus on the bad things and think about what you don't have instead of what you do have. And although I'm getting better at not being a complete pessimist, I still have a looong way to go. So bear with me.

In the span of 2 days, I found out about 4 people I know who are pregnant, 2 of which who were also pregnant when I was just over a year ago. Hearing news of pregnancy is always bittersweet, because while new life is always a huge blessing (and I'm learning to be thankful for all babies, whether they're mine or not), it's still a reminder of what I've been longing for and don't yet have. It certainly doesn't help to be working with some of the most reproductive people on the face of the earth. I really am happy for them, since I fully understand the desire to be a mother...but it's still hard to see pregnant bellies everywhere I go.

Just when I think the pain of losing Levi is getting easier, I feel like I'm thrown into another phase of grief. It's not a gradual thing, either - I'd say a good analogy is running into a brick wall. One minute I'm enjoying life and the next I'm crying over the fact that I never got to tell my son, "I love you." On New Year's Eve, I was having fun with friends, and a few minutes later I was thinking about how I'd much rather be at home taking care of a baby. Those thoughts come and go 24-7 it seems, and I know that's a poor excuse for being a jerk (sorry to all those who had to deal with my grumpiness), so I'm working on how to overcome those not-so-good thoughts with more positive ones. I think it'll be a lifelong process.

God is still good.

Psalm 63:4 - For your love is better than life; my lips offer you worship!

Friday, January 7, 2011

Picture Perfect

I have the cutest godson ever. So, I just had to share some adorable pictures of Max from our Christmas vacation...
His Aunt Jess was cutting his hair
Haircut is finished!
What a ladies' man....

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Foster care cont'd

When Logan and I first started taking the foster care classes, we weren't sure what to expect. But it turns out that it's pretty interesting, and we actually don't mind going for 3 hours every week. :) 2 more to go!

I know I mentioned before how we'll be certified after we finish the classes, but I need to make a correction to that - we aren't certified until we go through a home study and everything. That will start whenever we finally finish the really long application that has been looming over my head for a few weeks. Eh.

There are several things that I really like about taking the classes. First off, you get to really get to know the other people in the group, and it's cool how everyone is there for the same reasons - wanting to make a positive impact in a child's life. The first night, everyone said a little about themselves, including why they wanted to foster/adopt. It was really interesting to hear what exactly brought everyone together - many couples were there because they haven't been able to conceive themselves. There are even a couple single women who aren't married and don't have kids, but they have a love for children and want to help. 

Another thing I like is how the trainers don't sugar-coat anything. Foster care has several challenges (although it is rewarding), and they make sure you know what you're getting yourselves into. I think everyone there appreciates that. Social workers really have the best interest of the children in mind, and they want foster families who are willing to go the extra mile.

To be honest, sometimes I get worried and start to wonder if Logan and I can handle foster children. We were both blessed to grow up in loving homes, and being that foster children have either been abused or neglected, it'd be pretty hard to relate to them. But then I think about how I really feel called to this, no matter how crazy it seems, and that God will give us the grace we need in whatever situations we're put in. And well, I guess I need to remember that when it comes to pretty much every other aspect of life.
Proverbs 16:3 - Entrust your works to the Lord, and your plans will succeed.


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