Wow! I am always humbled by the stories of others and the beautiful words they use to tell them. I realize that mine are often inadequate. Katy, who honors her sweet little girl Hannah here at In Hannah's Honor, nominated me for a Beautiful Blogger Award. Thank you, Katy, for not just this, but for the encouraging things you do and say to more than you know! I obviously realize how much of your heart (and hurt) you share, and know how hard that often is. I am inspired by your courage.
The instructions that go along with this award are as follows:
:: Thank the person who nominated you for this award.
:: Copy the award and place it in your blog.
:: Link the person who nominated you for this award.
:: Tell us 7 interesting things about you.
:: Nominate 7 bloggers.
:: Post the links to the 7 bloggers you nominate.
So..7 interesting things about me? My guess is that in the two years I've been doing this blog, I've probably shared many, MANY things that I *may* not have, had I known that more than 4 people were reading (still can't believe that!) along!!! So, if I am redundant, forgive me...
*1. My wedding took place in the Baptist equivalent of a gym/auditorium/sanctuary. Known to many a Baptist the world over as the FLC (Family Life Center) or some similar acronym, I walked down the aisle (half-court line) a week later than originally planned (and printed, and reprinted on invitations) because our sanctuary was being remodeled and wasn't ready. Don't think I was not considering tossing the bouquet in either of the conveniently placed basketball hoops.
*2. I am a cleaning supply queen. If it has been advertised on tv and claims to do something miraculous in the way of cleaning your house, I probably own it. Maybe I own two of them.
*3. I love to laugh. Laughing has always, always, ALWAYS been one of my favorite things in life to do. I have missed that so much in these last 12 weeks and 2 days. Even as they were prepping me for the c-section, I was laughing because Dr. Finkleston guessed my weight at 160. I obviously was not aware of how emergent the situation was, but even if I was, I think that still would have made me laugh. I was 97 pounds when I got pregnant. I gained 47! I WAS big, but still, for me...160 made me giggle.
*4. I am a voracious reader and always have been. I was reading when I was 3. As a teacher, I have no doubt that *some* of my reading was probably memorized, but I also vaguely remember reading for purpose (the TV guide, for example!). At any given time, there are at least 25 books on my nightstand, and I read through them all eagerly and quickly.
*5. Yellow and orange do NOT look good on me. I look jaundiced. Really. They are NOT good colors for me.
*6. I always, always knew Matthew's name was going to be Matthew. In fact, I always knew I was destined to be mom to Matthew. Even when we were trying to adopt from Kyrgyzstan, I wondered if I made the right choice in requesting a girl because I have had the same dream about 5 times in my life...I don't remember much, but all the times I dreamt the dream, I was feeding a little boy spaghetti. He was about 18 months-2 years, in a high chair, messy as all-get-out and his name was Matthew. Over the course of 11 years, I had the same dream. That's how I was SO sure I was having a boy. That's why I was SO sure God had ordained Matthew and NOTHING was happening to him. A few weeks before Matthew was born, I even worried to John because I never had any other dreams and never saw that little Matthew older than about 2. I worried something was going to happen around Matthew's 2nd birthday.
*7. I HATE being "That Woman"...I know this isn't interesting, but it's certainly something I didn't think I'd ever be. "That Woman" whose baby died. "That Woman" who has been through so much. "That Woman" others are glad is me and not them (I DON'T BLAME THEM!!!!). "That Woman" people pity. I am grateful for the full and compassionate hearts that reach out to me and love me and take care of me, but I hate, hate, hate being the object of it. It's hard, it hurts, and it's very, very humbling. One of the best things I heard in the hospital was from a dear nurse, and I will forever be grateful to her. I told her and a couple of other nurses with her that I was hoping I'd be remembered as "That Woman" who brought chocolates and goodies for the nurses, NOT "That Woman" whose baby died. That dear nurse responded: We don't think of you as "That Woman,"...we think of you as "Matthew's Mommy." That woman is an angel.
Whew. Tired of reading? Again, I don't blame you.
I have no, no, NO idea of how to pick 7 blogs for this because as I said, I am amazed at the stories I've come across and the hearts of people who have shared their lives--whether it was through the journey of adoption, or grief, or just life in general. I think that says a lot about the resiliency of the human spirit and how even when we feel alone, we obviously are not. I wrote today that it is OBVIOUS to me that I am not, because if I was alone, I'd never be able to breathe, much less survive. I thank God for that, because I know that it is through His grace alone that I do. The people with whom I share and identify for whatever reason are those placed in my life by Him specifically and I am grateful for them.
So, I'll make 7 *suggestions*, but hope that anyone who reads this and feels inclined takes the banner and basks in being a beautiful blogger as well. Opening your life and sharing it is really a risky thing, sometimes, and therefore I believe anyone who is willing to do so should be awarded!
My 7 *suggestions* are:
Jenny at Confessions of a Mother, Lawyer, Crazy
Heather at Prayer and Hope
Franchesca at Handprints From Heaven
Heather at In This Storm
Cindy at LaJoy Family
Lauren at Jonathan's Journey
Mala at Mixed Nuts (Thank you friend, for helping me remember laughter!--Jenny too!!!)
As I said...merely suggestions because you can look over at my blog list and see more special hearts shared...I am thankful for each one! Seven is just not enough.
In fact, since 7 is just NOT enough, and is causing me great stress in choosing, I am adding an addendum: If your blog is on my bloglist, you're a Beautiful Blogger too! Take the banner and run with it! (If you haven't already been nominated, which you probably have, because you rock!)