Friday, December 23, 2011

an unexpected gift...

this little package here

is the best little package
one could only begin to
hope for.

we are continuously reminded
of a God who never lets go.

we waited almost two years
for a child.  
the three of us waited.
and 2 years felt like a long
time for ben and i to wait...
but for a 5 year old- o r e v e r.
and then the call came.
just a day after
mother's day.
what other day would
hold more significance
than that?
{God's timing is impeccable.}

we had no idea that will
would be born just 
6 days later.
the lifetime of 2 years
just drifted by in 6 short days.
his first 6 days were spent in the nicu.
6 very long days.
days that taught 
us more about what
really mattered in life.
more about our amazing
birth mom.
her courage.
her strength.
her core.
and we learned so much about will...
his determination.
his tender heart.
his every breakthrough...we counted in amazement.

we knew more.
we bonded more.
we loved more in 6 days
than we knew what to do with.
and 7 months later,
i still cannot get through
a post without choking back tears...
especially with this news.

last month, we were getting ready
to pay our final payment for our adoption.

the statement was incorrect.
it stated that what was owed was $2500.
when, in fact, it should have read $5000.
ben called our agency to let them know
of this error.
janice, in accounting, quickly corrected ben.
there wasn't an error in the amount.

someone had gifted $2500 anonymously
on will's behalf.
i don't think ben was able to hold it together
before hanging up the phone. 
he came home to tell me that night.
i went and got will out of his crib.
we just had to hold him.
we wanted him to be experience this moment
and the love that was given to him.
we did not know what to do with so much.
so we just cried.
then..we started guessing.
who? who would do such an amazing thing?
with each name...we just cried more.
we could imagine that
it could be any one of our family members
or friends doing such a thing.

shortly after ingesting all of this...
we were given more news that
someone else was taking on our
final payment of $2500.

than we could take in.

how does one appropriately thank
someone else-or a group of people
for loving us and for loving our son so much
that they would pay a debt that
was not theirs to pay?

i'm not sure either.
and, we have a story.
an amazing love story to share
with him someday. 

we picked out 2 stones. 
and wrote $2500 on each one with a big, fat sharpie.
they sit on top of our pile of ebenezer stones.
each stone represents a time in our lives 
that we experienced God's faithfulness...
and there are many.
counting each blessing........

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

christmas wishes

my tears started when i saw #13.
it was the 13th item on olivia's christmas wish list.

13. jack-for him to come back

those 6 little words have so much meaning.
they carry the weight of the world
for a little girl who never
got to meet her big brother.

yesterday i was loading will into his 
carseat and called out, 1 and 2 let's get in the car.
olivia immediately asked me who 1 and 2 were.
i said, you and your brother silly girl. (:
but, mommy, you have 3 kids, not just 2.

you are so right liv...there are 3 of you.
beaming smiles all around.

she never lets go-not for a second that her big
brother existed.

today, she asked me again how jack died.
it is painful explaining death . . especially
to a child who is so curious about the hows and the whys.
  no matter how simple you try and make it...
you can never make it nice.
you cannot paint a picture that makes 
them feel great afterward.
it hurts and the pain does not escape us.

olivia did end our conversation on a good, solid note.

i can't wait to be with jack in heaven!
**neither can i, olivia. neither can i.

7 years ago today.
 jack's anniversary.

about 2 months after we lost jack...right before we were pregnant with olivia..
i was at a friend's house and we were talking
about what life looked like in our house.
 i explained how bleak and quiet a finished nursery in our new
home felt like.  it was terrifying going to sleep
down the hall from a room that
was supposed to be filled with a hungry baby
that needed to be fed in the middle of
the night, or rocked back to sleep.
sprouts of giggles should be cascading down the hall.
but, instead, it was hollow and empty and held only our brokenness.
after spilling my grief a little, i stopped and looked at her.
and just said what i had been thinking.

i want to adopt. 
and i want to adopt a baby boy.

there was no judgement.  no i was anticipating.
i knew how crazy i sounded.
and maybe she did too...but, she didn't say anything.  she just listened.

{i learned so much in that moment about the importance of listening}

i wanted to adopt and i wanted a baby boy in the worst way.

i believe that Will, was born in my heart that day.
what a gift.

 6 1/2 years later...will benjamin miguel nash came into our world.

when i think about this story and look at him...
 i am brought to tears every time.
i mean, i am a complete mess.

i see redemption in our story.
i used to think redemption would come
because we lost a child,
redemption would
give us a chance to save another.

after adopting our son.
i see it differently.
i see redemption as
 Christ himself coming after me.
pursuing me.
changing me.

He redeemed me from myself.
He met me and carried me.
He walked my desert with me...when no one else could.

i see a life full of potential to impact many.
a life that is going to change for the better,
that life is mine.

jack benjamin nash
*for the heart never forgets...
we love you jack.

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

grocery store christmas trees -holla!

i have so many thoughts tumbling around in my head.
i so need to get organized.
i am my mind.
and then, i come back to reality and i run in a thousand
different directions...starting up mini-projects here and there,
envisioning sugar plum fairies decorating my un-decorated tree,
{can they do that?  because if they can...}
writing thank you notes to some dear dear family & friends that
thought of the perfect gifts for my olivia as we celebrated her 6th birthday.
picking up laundry, dishes...the list goes onNn..

the reality list.

an unlit tree, 
dirty laundry,
cluttered kitchen,
opened birthday gifts scattered...EVERYWHERE. 
unwritten thank you's
**i'm interupting this downer for a shout
out to my fairy godmother..if i have one...
could you please send a magic wand for christmas? 
 no, seriously, pleeeEase...**

okay, enough with the whinefest.  
our christmas tree is what got me thinking
and i have a tiny confession...
we bought our tree at kingmas.
ouch!  it hurts to even type it.
yep, first time/long time that we haven't hauled our bodies 
down to hart's tree farm to select the best of the best.
there is nothing like cutting down a fresh tree, one nash at a time.
yes, ben let's us join in on smelling the earth and the inside of the stump of the tree
 as we saw our hearts out. 
 **we let him have the last cut because no one yells timberrrrr like he does!

anyway-letting go of this tradition (for this year) was super duper hard for this girl.
i really get into it.  besides my sawing-bit...
i document the entire process and use the photos as part of our ornaments
each year so that our tree tells a story.

i'm also realizing that we have no place in our beautiful rental to hang stockings.
so, i need to get creative.  i really wanted to whine some more here...

until i came across this sparrow.
i got this in memory of sweet little bailey hope.  
she taught me over a year and a half ago about slowing down.
pacing myself.  
that perfection isn't all that pretty.
so, i am settling in to these thoughts again of sitting still enough
to have an 'unperfect' or is it imperfect (: christmas.
to have images of last year's tromp for the tree instead of this year's.
to have stockings hung on our windows instead of a beautiful fireplace mantle.
to have my desk be a little more cluttered with christmas cheer 
than i normally would like for it to be.
to listen and to hear the sounds that i would miss if i didn't slow down
and maybe settle for this little christmas tree and the lesson it has for me.

the sounds i love the most this season come from my children...
it's will's uncontrollable laugh
and mini-speeches that he makes when he is quite hungry.
and hearing olivia's imagination come to life.

today, she is playing with her manger scene-
asking Jesus not to grow up and die
on the cross for our sins.  
asking Him if there is another way.  
it is so precious to me that her heart loves Him that much.

do i?  
do i stop and take time to truly thank him for his sacrifice?
yes. i do.
do my actions and my words drip gratitude.
nope.  they don't.
again, not striving for perfection...but for a place where gratitude comes 
from an unlikely christmas tree and a sparrow that has taught me
more than she will ever know.

Monday, November 14, 2011

1 8 4 days

it feels like it was yesterday
that we were in the hospital with will.
i remember meeting deborah, will's birth mom.
we were so nervous and anxious.  
the first thought i had when i saw her was
 how beautiful she was.
long,  blonde hair.  
she reminded me of taylor swift.
after some hugs and tears...
she asked us if we wanted to see him.
she went with us into the nicu and there we were...
the three of us looking at this little bebe.
he was
under a heat lamp,
hooked up to machines...with nurses 
 poking him..

it was that moment that my heart completely grew.

a moment that i will always remember.
i felt everything.
every emotion one can feel.
i felt them all.

so, our teeny, tiny baby is 6 months old now!
6 months.
what is he doing-you ask?
{probably what every other 6 month old is doing}
but, not really,
 because we think he is exceptional...sorry other 6 month olds..
we think he is above average in every catagory!

sitting up: check
rolling over: check
raspberries:  double check
belly laughing: check
screeching-then laughing: check
jumping in the e.s.: check
loving his FOOD:  triple check
outgrowing his clothes: check.check.check

looking like the cutest baby boy i have
ever laid eyes on:  QUAD CHECK IT!

oh, and just for the record...
i really can't help it if these are his favorite tees.
i tried talking him into a few others that were just as cute,
and he simply stopped smiling.  
we can't have that, can we?
so, i gave in...again to the mommy rocks shirts.
what was that sugar?  your mommy what?
oh yeah, your mommy does rock!!

happy 6 months, love!

Sunday, November 6, 2011

if you
then you may want to

followgram gives you a unique space to view
 your instagram photos online.
there are so many things i love about this site already!
the best part can share your photos with someone 
who may not have an iphone or facebook account.

another great feature...
you can drag and drop your photos from followgram
directly to you blog-or desktop-or wherever!!

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

animal prints

lately, i've had my eye on dogs.

olivia has been begging for a puppy party
for her 6th birthday.
so, i went searching for the hippest, 
most coolest party decor.
i have almost found everything i was looking for, 
and, i also
 ran across a few other
animally fun things i thought i would share... 

1.moddog prints
i adore these modern dog prints.
we are dog lovahs!  our entire family
are lovahs too.  how cool would it be
to have a grouping of the 8 dogs that
are/were  in our family.

{ r.i.p. monster and webster }

2.animals font
countless fun with this new font!

3.animal templates
you could do so many fabulous things
with these templates...shadow puppets..
matting and framing them in wild colors..  
there are so many to choose from on this site!

giraffe template 115x150 Printable Animal Templateskangaroo template 115x150 Printable Animal Templatesdog template 115x150 Printable Animal Templatesbunny template 115x150 Printable Animal Templates
i love elephants!  
i can't wait to do this with liv...and will..someday.
vintage fabric is the key.


i am enamored with everything about these alphabeasties...everything!

Saturday, September 24, 2011

little Mm Aa Nn

that's right.
lock up your daughters!
he just keeps getting cuter and more snuggly...
i just had to share some sugar.

we took little man and songbird
to artprize today.

will wanted to eat the entire time...
olivia, wanted to place a vote-for each
piece of art that we saw...the entire time. (:
thank goodness for snacks.
that took her mind off of voting...for a while.

these were just a few of our favs-we had lots more.
good thing we have 2 more weeks!

ben and i went out friday night and 
saw these very cool pieces...

Loose Fit
by Monica Ponce de Leon

this piece was made completely of plastic...
it is actually quite large and has several other
tunnels like this.  
{we may or may not have crawled through the smallest one.}

Mother Earth
by Jessica Horst

this was by far my most favorite!  
she had 3 or 4 others 
in her collection.

her medium was felt and
i couldn't love a material
more than i LoVe-oV FELT!!

if you haven't been out to must-you must!
and here is the app that makes voting a snap.
seriously, if my 5 year old can do it-anyone can. 

hope to see you out there!

Thursday, September 1, 2011

random thoughts from my songbird

i have so many random thoughts-most of them
stem from my conversations with my songbird, olivia.

she may be small...but she has mighty inside of her.
the thoughts and questions she thinks of...
here are this week's conversations in a nutshell.

about her brother jack...mommy, i miss jack.
hmmm. what made you think about jack?
mommy, i think about him all the time.

wow.  this one stopped me in my tracks.
if you don't know our story, we lost jack when he was full term.
there was a tear in his umbilical chord.
olivia misses having a big brother...
**we will always miss him too olivia.

she is very excited about her new baby brother..
which brings up a whole new realm of ponderings.

thoughts about will...mommy, it's too bad will didn't come out of your belly.
really liv?  why is that?  
well, it means he isn't a part of our family.  
he is a part of deborah's family.  but not really ours. 
{deborah is our amazing birth mom}
 what makes you think he isn't a part of ours?  
well, in our family, everyone has blue eyes.  will has brown eyes.
{this topic came up a few weeks ago, and i thought it was resolved...but, apparently it wasn't.} (:
okay, so what makes a family?  
a family is when everyone has the same of something.
so, i brought up one of her friends and said, i am so glad to know that.  
i guess your friend is really my other daughter because she has blue eyes like us!!  
no mommy, wait...she has a mommy.  she isn't your daughter.
well, i thought that you said...
and our conversation kept going.

where we ended was a very different place then where we started.
i'm grateful that she is open with me about her big thoughts, her doubts, her concerns.
i'm equally grateful that God reminds me to slow down and listen to her...really listen.  and to ask her questions-questions that help me understand where she is coming from and where she may be going...

we landed in the place that our family may look different than other families...but, it doesn't change the fact that we are family.  that will is our son and he is olivia's brother.  
that that little boy has forever changed our lives for the better.
and, that we collectively couldn't imagine our lives without our little man.
he has definitely won our hearts OVER. 

lastly, thoughts about a friend that lied to her.
mommy, i just wish she would have told me
that she was a friend that would lie to me right 
when we decided to become friends.
then i would be ready to feel this way.
oh, olivia...what a great thought.
i wish we all came with tags saying how broken we are...
mine would say,
i may not be able to call you back when you would like me to
i'm someone who thinks about your acts of kindness all the time, but i just get hung up on how to put my gratitude into words on paper for a thank you note...
how about this, i will, more than likely forget about a coffee date,
disappoint by not following through on something...i'm just another broken friend.
but, i'm a good friend.  one that is loyal and loves to see you succeed as a woman in this great big hodgepodge world of ours. (:  

releasing others from our high expectations is such a gift of grace.

i long to be a woman of offer it freely.
my prayer is for my little ones to see this in my life and 
to experience the power of grace so that they may offer to others as well.

i guess to sum up my thoughts on her thoughts...her thoughts slow me down.
they create a pause button-they make me take the time to really think through my everyday and 
understand what my purpose truly is.

it is to love God and to love people.
double-love command

Sunday, August 14, 2011

homemade happy meal

tonight i wasn't going to do it...
to go through one more drive thru!

now, i'm not boycotting forever-i'm just tired of forking
over $4.25 or whatever the price is-to pay for
fried up- pieced together chicken,
apples that taste like they have been dipped in chlorine,
carmel dip that has been drizzeled across the door handle and back...
and a toy that gets lost or broken in less than 3 hours flat.

as we were driving home from fort wayne tonight, it occurred to me...
we should just make our own happy meals.  
olivia could decorate the bag while
 we unpack the truck!

she was so excited!  
i know i'm not re-inventing any wheels here.
i'm sure this has been done by many of you-but, it was our first time.
and wow...did we enjoy every minute of it! (:
the best part was finding a toy that olivia hasn't played with in so long-
she didn't even remember having it.  
i love recyling toys.

Thursday, August 4, 2011

The Sexy 7-10

a little background perhaps, may be necessary with this hot title!
it all started *ahem 10 years ago- 
or somewhere around there, 
that i met up with these crazy girls that became roommates, 
apartment groupies, and connoisseurs of all good and outstanding men...
{which, by the way, we are all equally blessed to have found and married one.} 
*a shout out to one in particular-ben nash- ;)

 now, for the real reason for this post.
 it's to introduce 
this precious group of  rumble
 17 children (4 were out of town) the last time we got together. 
21 kiddos total. 
 it really isn't that insane-it's completely manageable.
and so much fun!

 the number that really blows me away 

6 of the rumble are adopted.

 4 of the 6 were adopted within the last 3 months into 3 separate homes!

it is mindblowing to think it all began as college besties, 
figuring out so much about life.
and, during that time...God knew the plans He had for each of us.
while we were just trying to make life work for us...He was seeing the bigger picture,  
of what real life was going to look like when college life was over.  

our priorities, at that time, were all over the board.
like, making sure we had a lower level dorm room. 
who knew that it would have such great advantages! 
i mean, had a fantastic view of the campus bell.
that was rung every time a couple got engaged. 

priceless *and somewhat humurous at times*
to see so many happy people 
climbing that pole striving to ring that bell in blissful glee 
of pronouncing their undying love to one another. 

it also gave us great 24 hour access-
which, we were very cautious to use this access 
only in emergent situations.  

*ahem, anyhow...

we were planners.

we stratagized every aspect of life possible:

we made sure we wore the trendiest styles, 
got jobs at the same restaurant so we could
carpool to work together,
 ensured a few of us were chapel checkers-
so that none of us missed chapel. (:  
experimented with hair dying kits,
megan's nickname still remains sunshine to this day.
we witnessed each other's nail biting break-ups
and celebrated some of them too! ha!

we had the full college experience. 

and now, we share this life. 
our grown-up, beautiful, colorful lives.
i love that when i get together with the sexy 7-10 and their children, 
that Will, will have other playmates -that are a constant in his life. 
that share more than a similar skin color-
they will share the beautiful story of adoption.

and one of the most beautiful pieces of our story 
is that we have this rich history of friendship
 that started way back when.  
 and, our story, in my book, is just beginning to unfold. 

 God started something amazing
when He brought these girls into my life.  

Wednesday, July 27, 2011


i'm finding myself working toward this thinking-
 of spending regular amounts of time as a family.
if you ask anyone whose children are in their twenties, 
or older, they will advise the same.

"spend as much time as you can with them...before you know it, they
will have gone and grown up on you."

i don't know about you,
 but i used to smile and nod my head at advice like this...
now, i'm starting to see the wisdom in it..and heed it for our family.
we are allowing our children one activity, per season, to participate in.
i love that they learn discipline, committment, teamwork and participation.
those are all such good things.  
and, the great news is, 
they can learn all of these qualities by participating in one single activity!!

i worry the only downtime our kids have  
is when we go on vacation. 
it seems with so many activities, we are raising mini-adults.
why are we over-committing our mini-me's?
life is to be care-free for them-full of playtime, 
free time and maybe some chores around the house...
oh yeah, and they do have school too, don't they?  (:

in all liklihood, our children's children will have triple 
the opportunities that our children have. 
triple the activities as well.  
and, i don't know about you...
but, i would like to spend time with my grandchildren. 

we are stepping away from filling up our calendar 
with so many playdates and activities.
we are heading in the direction of spending more time with grandparents,
 aunties & uncles and their much-loved cousins. 
 and of course continuing our friendships with our precious friends...
just working at putting family first.

now, if you are my age, or younger, raising children...
you may or may not agree with me.
i'm okay with that.  
you have to do what is right for your family.  

i guess i have overscheduled myself for years, 
and the stress that comes from that can have huge effects.  
i long to break the habit of busyness for my children.
i am in a place of listening to those who have been there, done that....
the ones with experience..
the ones that regret the times that have come and gone
 and that they can't get back those precious years.  
and when they use that phrase-verbatem-i see the regret in their eyes...
and i can feel their warning...without trying to intrude. 

but with so much at stake...i invite one of my dear friends into this area of my life.  
because she has adult children now-
so, i consider her an expert! 
 i give her full permission that if she sees something
 that might be a little off-balance,
or a lot off-balance-
that she can say something.
she did make regular time for her family...and the fantastic part about that, is that her adult children, by their own choice, still make it a point to spend their time with family.

let's give our precious children their childhood, 
and let's fill it with good old fashioned time with family!