Monday, January 31, 2011

Don't Judge Me!

Today I decided that I needed to know how many more days until Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2 is released.

164! 164 is the number of days until Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2 comes out.

Don't judge me, you knew you were wondering that too!

And then I have 143 days - the number of days until I begin reading these for the last time before a midnight movie premier

Hmm... maybe after I finish our parenting education (last thing to do before homestudy... it's interesting and a bit tedious all at the same time) I'll sneak in an extra reading of my favorite books!

Until Harry Potter, The Chronicles of Narnia was my favorite series. I'm re-reading that right now. I'm on Voyage of the Dawn Treader right now and it's taking me back to late nights of reading in my bed under the covers with a flashlight. Yes, I was (and am!) quite the book nerd :) Lord of the Rings, Chronicles of Narnia.... what's your favorite book series?

Saturday, January 29, 2011

Sweet (stinky) Relief

Gabe is super excited to share that he is now cast free and after a warm, soapy bath; he is stink free as well! While Gabe loved having righty back (and I loved that lunch didn't take over an hour), he knows that using lefty will still be a priority and has a pretty blue removable splint to show for it!

Tubby time was once again a delightful adventure for Gabe as he was able to splash to his hearts content!

Friday, January 28, 2011

Our Adoption Story

Kelly at Kelly's Korner blog hosts a Show Us Your Life blog every Friday where readers can link up and share a little about their life. I've never participated before but this week the SUYL topic is adoption, and since that is an area of passion for me, I figured I'd give it a try.

Like many couples our adoption journey started with infertility. But not the typical road of infertility; before we were married we had talked about having a few babies and then adopting a few more, God heard our plans and laughed a little I'm sure.
After getting married we knew we wanted to start a family right away. "For I know the plans I have for you," says the Lord. "They are plans for good and not for disaster, go give you a future and a hope." This verse became our personal mantra that I repeated daily and sometimes hourly when we wanted our family to grow from 2 to 3 and nothing was happening.
Not being able to conceive naturally and knowing that infertility doctors and treatments were not an avenue we felt led to pursue the door to adoption was opened wide.
We explored a few different avenues before finding our adoption attorney MCB. After birth mother meetings led to no where we decided to adopt internationally while keeping our file open with MCB. We pre-applied to All God's Children International and were in the process of applying to adopt from Ethiopia when MCB called with a potential birth mother.
Miss B and Mr. C were the birth parents and after being turned from an adoption agency because their unborn child had a few unfavorable inutero diagnosis's, they found our attorney, reviewed our file and wanted to meet with us.
Matt and I anxiously met with Miss B, Mr C and Miss B's mother. And loved them! The best part was they loved us too! An adoption plan was made and Gabriel was born a little over 3 weeks later.
The first time we saw Gabriel

Our 1st family photograph

Our adoption story is not done yet though. Like our blog name says, this is a journey and our journey has now taken us back to Ethiopia in pursuit of our next child. We are almost through all our paperwork and ready to start homestudy meetings, then we'll file our dossier paperwork and get on the waiting list. It seems like just a few more steps but it's truly not that simple. While we don't know if our next baby will be a boy or a girl and when they will join our family, just like with Gabe, we know that God is in control and will add to our family in His time, not ours.

Thanks for reading our story... and feel free to come on back because our adventure is just beginning!

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Covered in Hope

I have a slight addiction; it's neither bad, harmful to my health or hurtful to others. On the contrary, it's good for the environment, good for our checkbook, good for Gabe and super cute! Yes, my friends, I'm talking about cloth diapers.

I always imagined I'd use cloth but I never imagined I'd be so passionate about it. On my other blog I did a few posts about cloth diapers. Read it here, here and here. And I'm working on update #4 where I talk about love of pocket diapers and Rockin' Green detergent! (And don't worry if you didn't know I had another blog; it's a compilation from myself and 3 other friends on trying to live more green. It's been dormant for a while but we're working on rectifying that fact!)

Anyways, the reasons I love cloth are numerous but the cuteness, re usability (not just daily for Gabe but for his brother or sister) and the savings in my checkbook are my top three.

And while I realize the numerous benefits of cloth diapering and have even converted some of my friends, I never gave a thought to the idea that our next baby would be already using cloth diapers before coming home. In came Kristi and Covered in Hope. Her son Wes' adoption agency put out an email requesting cloth diapers for the orphanages and transition homes. Kristi posted on her blog and started Covered in Hope.

For obvious reasons, Pampers, Huggies and 7th Generation disposable diapers aren't readily available in Ethiopia and children there use cloth diapers. But even cloth diapers wear out and recently, on her December trip to Ethiopia Kristi blogged about seeing little ones with bare bottoms, with bodily fluids running down their legs or onto their clothes. And like many things, that just broke my heart to think of these little ones going without diapers.
Then I looked at our current diaper stash and knew we could help out too.

By sending some of Gabe's cloth diapers (and not even ones we use; but ones that we never used that I bought off of ebay and are too feminine or ones that are too tight for his chunky legs) we can help cover the bottoms of little ones half a world away. And ensure that they'll stay a little bit healthy by not being covered in urine or fecal matter.
While we don't have any of the orphanages favorites (Indian or Chinese prefolds) we can still donate what we can and help make a difference. Want to help too? Click here to get more information.
And a little bit of Gabe-cuteness in one of his FuzzyBunz! Yes, many cloth diapers do have super cute names (fuzzybunz, bumgenius, thirstie's, Happy Heinies).

Monday, January 24, 2011

That Darn Humanity

For awhile now I have wanted to go on a missions trip. Go to a far-off country and work all in the name of Christ's love. To share with others the endless love of God and the limitless possibilities of a life walking with Him. It would be a dream come true. My dream come true that is.


In the past couple of years our church has exploded in the realm of global missions and it has been fantastic to watch. But I want to join in on the action. Planting a church, building and sponsoring a nutrition center, ministering in the streets; these are all things I ache to be a part of. Last year I was this close to committing to go to El Salvador before I felt a little 'nudge' that the timing wasn't right. Let's be honest, last summer we couldn't leave Gabe anywhere for any period of time because he didn't want to be without his daddy or mama.

But this year our church has 4 (I think) mission trips planned (El Salvador, Dominican Republic, Vietnam) and I was determined to find a way to go. Since every extra penny we have is going to bring our baby home financing was of course an issue. Matt having 2 1/2 weeks of vacation that he needs to save for our adoption also came into play. But I thought I had that part figured out and began to pray about going.

I'll be honest, I prayed about finding the funds, Gabe's security (and Matt's sanity) while I was gone but I never prayed about actually going to these places. I was just certain I was supposed to go.
Matthew 28:19-20 "Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age. "
The Bible tells you to go, so why would I question that aspect of the decision making process.

But as I prayed, again I felt a 'nudge.' It was one of those remarkable times where the spirit of God whispers so clearly into your heart that there is no mistaking. But I wanted to be mistaking!!!

I heard a "no!" And not a quiet, gentle not now kind of no... but a flat out, firm NO. I was astounded!! The Bible tells you to go and all that I was hearing was a no. I couldn't believe it. I had to be wrong, I must have misunderstood.

I heard right, I didn't misunderstand but my humanity stood in the way. My desire to do my own thing, even when it's "biblical" is not necessarily His desire for me. Do you know how much that stinks? I wasn't praying to God asking about a trip to Hawaii for a week by myself (whoa, just think about the wonderful sleep I would get), I wanted to go on a missions trip to a 3rd world country and work.

So I continued to pray. But rather than praying about going, I prayed about staying. As I've prayed, read my Bible and reflected on staying here, I've come to a much better place. I know my time to serve abroad will come, it just might not be where the church is serving now. But for right now, my place to serve is right here. At home with Gabriel, at my church, in my neighborhood and in my community. This kind of goes along with an 'adventure' God has placed in my heart. One I will begin working on (and sharing) once we're done with the majority of the paperchase called adoption paperwork [smile].

"And this gospel of the kingdom shall be preached in the whole world for a witness to all the nations, and then the end shall come." Mathew 24:14

Sharing the love of Jesus is important no matter where you do it.

Sunday, January 23, 2011

Today

Today is National Sanctity of Human Life Day.

Today I've felt funky as I remembered today being National Sanctity of Human Life Day and of the insanely large number of people I know that have had miscarriages lately and know through their pain how precious every life, no matter how short, truly is.

Today are pastor said 54 million children in the United States have been murdered since Roe v. Wade. On any given day 3,700 lives are lost.

1237 lives were taken since 1976 when the death penalty was reinstated. How many of these lives were ended before they had the opportunity for redemption, to ask for forgiveness, to seek out there Savior.

If every life is holy, how can we decide who should live? And who shouldn't? Who decides someones worth; should they find it in themselves, who 'owns' them or who decides their fate? Just because someone does something wrong, regardless of how heinous it is, how can we decide that that person is beyond redemption?

God tells us to choose life.

Deuteronomy 30:15-20, "See, I set before you today life and prosperity, death and destruction. For I command you today to love the Lord your God, to walk in his ways, and to keep his commands, decrees and laws; then you will live and increase , and the Lord your God will bless you in the land your are entering to possess. . . .This day I call heaven and earth as witnesses against you that I have set before you life and death, blessings and curses. Now choose life, so that you and your children may live and that you may love the Lord your God, listen to his voice and hold fast to him. For the Lord is your life, and he will give you many years in the land he swore to give to your fathers, Abraham, Isaac and Jacob."

Saturday, January 22, 2011

Did You Know?

Tomorrow is Sanctity of Human Life Sunday.




Ronald Regan, while president, issued a proclamation declaring Sunday, January 22 1984 as the first Sanctity of Human Life Sunday. He continued to issue this proclamation annually for the rest of his presidency



Did you know that George H. W. Bush continued this recognition during his presidency?



Did you know that Bill Clinton discontinued this?



Did you know George W. Bush reinstituted this proclamation throughout his entire presidency?



Did you know that President Obama failed to recognize Sanctity of Human Life Sunday last year?



What I want to know is what President Obama will do tomorrow?

If life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness is a right here in the United States

you know what I think he should do.

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Week 2 (and an upside)

Today we said goodbye to the blue cast and hello to a red one! Gabe's OT wanted to check his skin under the cast so we endured the cast saw, swapped out the blue cast, Ms Danielle gave Gabe's arm a good cleaning and then on went the red cast. Here's to a bright red cast, a fresh clean arm and another week of progress for lefty!
After an early lunch at home, Gabe and I headed downtown for his 6 week follow-up from his eye surgery. After a short wait and a few quick checks by two interns, Dr. R came in and was incredibly happy by the way his eye looks. Although there is still a little swelling, he's not concerned. With Gabriel's young age his blood vessels are super close in his tiny face, so the residual swelling is not a big deal and will resolve itself in time. And just like after his 1 week follow-up Dr. R took Gabriel around to his associates to show off how successful his eye surgery was. It does seem that Gabe's doctors are just as enamored with him as us!

Gabe and his smug look!

Happy Gabe (his sticker says I had my eyes checked!)

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

And the Cast Saga continues

Gabe is such a trooper!! While sleeping seems no easier for him, he's doing much better during the day. He's figured out how to roll, scoot and wiggle his way around. And just last night, Gabe managed to do an actual crawl like sequence using both his right cast and left hand!

We're making progress people!

After a conversation with Gabe's therapists where I voiced my concerns about Gabe and our expectations. Expectations that Matt and I wondered were too high; ones that we were using to work Gabe towards being normal instead of to what he's capable of being. After assurances from both Ms KC and Ms Danielle that Gabe is capable and they wouldn't be working him this hard/like this, if they weren't 100% sure he was able to do what we are asking of him.

Yesterday and today Gabe has continued to make little bits of progress. Pushing buttons on his Vtech school bus caused Matt and I to act like fools, but Gabe enjoyed it and continued trying to push it. Playing the indian game with his Nonnie today, using his left hand was another one of those small bits of progress. Knocking down blocks when we were visiting with friends for dinner tonight, with his left hand was a little bit of icing on the proverbial cake.

How did we start making progress? By using Gabe's sitter chair to keep Gabe still and spending 1 - 2 hours working just with lefty. Although he would prefer to knock things around the room using his cast, Gabe has tried so hard to use his left hand. When he can't grasp something or is unable to manipulate his hand the way I'm trying to show him, he gets frustrated. Thankfully, Gabe's resilliance is astonishing and he's ready to try again.

We are so proud of you, Gabe! You're strength, persevearance and willingness to try is amazing!

Gabe sitting in his chair ready to work!





Taking a tubby in his duckie :) With a blue bag covering his cast!

Now the only question that remains is will Gabe get his cast off tomorrow or will we, in light of the recent strides, leave it on a short time longer hoping to achieve just a little bit more success.

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Sanctity of Life

There are few things in life that just bother me; that get under my skin and just annoy the heck out of me. And the fact that we have a Sanctity of Life week is one of those things. If you know me, you know I'm fiercely pro-life and if you've read this blog for any length of time you know that Gabriel is a miracle in more ways than one.

That being said, you'd think I'd love celebrating Sanctity of Life week and Sanctity of Life Sunday at my church. But I don't. Why you ask? (Even if you didn't, I'm going to tell you!) I hate (yes, I know hate is a strong word) the idea that it needs to be brought to peoples attention. I despise the fact that people don't know that all life is holy and sacred. And I loathe the fact that people are polluting the minds of the young (and old) with reasons why abortions are okay, even necessary and that the fetus (ugh - I hate that word) isn't a baby yet.

"Human beings are endowed by their Creator with certain inalienable rights.." "among these are Life." So our Declaration of Independence tells us that humans have an irrefutable right to life but abortions stop life in its tracks. Did you know that an embryo (ugh - another word I hate when talking about people) in it's earliest stages of becoming a person, can only turn into a person? Later on in development other cells are formed that can differentiate and turn be turned into something else, but not a human baby.

Instead of standing by rights given in the Declaration of Independence, we buy into the lies doctors (the people that are supposed to save lives, not end them), social workers and abortion clinics are telling us:

-That life doesn't begin at conception but we know that is a lie.

-It's not a baby so it can't feel pain. Oh really...

-It's a quick procedure and then it's over with. Over with? Are you serious?

And while people are continued told these lies and more 3,000 babies are murdered everyday. I went to youtube to look for a video I saw once but was bombarded by videos about abortion. Happily I only saw one that was pro-choice but there was a lot that I didn't even browse through.

So while I'll remember and in small ways, honor, Sanctity of Life Week (and Sunday) I can't find the capabilities to celebrate something that to me shouldn't be celebrated because it shouldn't be a choice or decision.

Life is sacred. That's my bottom line.
And how can I not when I know Gabriel went from an unborn baby who's doctors recommended abortion to this:

a sweet sleeping babe (we had this picture printed on a canvas and hung in our room - love it!), to this:

a happy, silly, sweet little 17 month old boy! (picture taken before casting)

"I call heaven and earth to record this day against you,
that I have set before you life and death, blessing and cursing:
therefore choose life, that both thou and thy seed may live."
Deuteronomy 30:19

All of the links and information comes from Abort 73. An anti-abortion organization that is attempting to get the truth out about abortion.

Sunday, January 16, 2011

A little bit more...

Just a little update to say that today Gabriel knocked over blocks with his left hand. While it may not seem like much, for me it's a bit of a miracle. Yes, I said a miracle.

Today, amongst my angst that the progress Gabe is making is negligible, Matt reminded me that according to medical definition Gabe should be paralyzed on his left side. That he shouldn't be able to pick up his breakfast with his fingers, he shouldn't be able to hold his cup in his left arm or push his arm through his shirt. And while he can't do any of that on his own, yet, he's working on it, and even though the progress isn't as much as I'd prefer, it's progress nonetheless.

And that is miraculous.

This week is "Sanctity of Life" week, and while I'm sure I'll have more to say about that [smile] today, and everyday I am grateful for the miracle that is Gabe and that Miss B believed in the sanctity of life to give us our miracle.

Saturday, January 15, 2011

Friday, January 14, 2011

1 Day Down

Our cast saga continued on Tuesday when Gabriel went to get his cast changed. The pretty purple was replaced by a very clean white cast. To promote a different stretch Gabe's thumb was put in a different position. Albeit from tears when getting the first cast off (the cast saw is a little intimidating to a 16 month old) everything went well.

We hung out in the waiting room for awhile waiting for physical therapy to start. And as we waited, Gabe's little thumb wiggled it's way back in the cast. Because of Gabe's torticollus, his lack of use of his left hand/arm, and the fact that we're unsure exactly how much sensation Gabe has in his left arm the cast had to come immediately off. Poor Ms Danielle, and the first cast looked so nice.

We missed most of PT but Ms KC (Gabe's PT) helped Ms Danielle with the casting, so Gabe was able to spend time with her [smile]. But wouldn't you know it, we get home and are playing and Gabe wiggled his little thumb out again. Because Ms Danielle used a soft cast over the plaster I was able to unwrap the outer cast and soak the plaster off his arm myself. No quick trips out to CCCR West for us!

Thursday Ms Danielle put a 4th cast on Gabe, this time on his right arm. This 'restricter' cast is really pretty blue color (Matt likes it much more than the purple, hehe) and will be on for 1 week. During this week Gabe can't use his right hand; the hand he uses to eat, drink, move, play.

And while I anticipated it to be difficult, I didn't think the first 24 hours would be as insane as they have been. Gabe looks at his right hand and cries. He hits himself in his sleep with his right arm and wakes up crying. Gabe is completely miserable and it breaks my heart.

Gabriel refuses to do anything deliberate with his left hand, although we have made some progress during meals. He lets me put the spoon or fork in his left hand and guide it to his mouth. Not a lot of progress but we'll take it!

Ms Danielle said she could cut off his cast and make it into a removable one to help with bath time but that I'd have to make sure it stayed on all the rest of the time. After giving it a few seconds of thought, I decided we'd stick with it not being able to come off all week. Good thing too because with his gut wrentching and heart breaking sobs yesterday I would have cracked for sure.

Knowing this will only help him, and hopefully keep him away from a 3 week intensive therapy session when he turns 2, we'll keep working on it; moving lefty, using lefty and showing Gabe that lefty can work too!

I just hope the 'look at my cast and cry' sobs stop soon.

Gabe and his blue cast.

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Randomness

Wow!! There has been no time to blog! And boy have I missed it. The millions of thoughts in my head get extraordinarily convoluted when I don't put them on paper (err... computer).

Alas, time is still not my friend so I'll give you a shortened version of our life:
  • Flu - Matt had the flu about 3 weeks ago, then Gabe caught it and then I caught it. And now I have it again. I'm fine as long as I don't eat or drink [smile] anything but water, Gatorade and 7up. Chocolate milk and mashed potatoes were the poor choices I made today.
  • Casts - Cast #2 (and #3) didn't work very well thanks to Gabe's wiggly fingers so we've moved to the right arm restricter cast. More about Gabe and his casts tomorrow.
  • Bible Reading - I am on Day 14 of Bossing my Heart to read my Bible daily... and I've only missed 2 days, one of which was a catch up day. So, technically I've only missed one, and while I failed early in the 'every day' aspect, I'm still impressed that I haven't stopped.
  • Adoption - Why does it take so long to fill out the profiles. They're about us, it shouldn't be so hard to answer questions. Alas, it is but they're going out in the mail tomorrow so we have another thing checked off our tremendously long list.
  • Feelings - Another reason I've stayed away from blogging is because I've been disappointed and had my feelings hurt by some friends that I had assumed would be for me no matter what happened. Evidently I was wrong and I'm working on processing my feelings. I didn't really want to blog about it but as it's still out there (or in there) bothering me and keeping me from blogging about other stuff I figured I'd throw it out there.
  • Kitchen - during the summer our sewer line broke resulting in a wall being removed in both our kitchen and bathroom. This of course happened the week Matt started going to summer school 4 nights a week and with our crazy, busy (albeit beautiful) life it is now done! The wall looks perfect and I love the new green I picked out. I tried to get a good picture of my kitchen but it's a bit on the tiny side and I couldn't get a good picture to show off the lovely green color.
  • Kindle - I recieved a Kindle for Christmas and it is fantastic! I love it!!! The Kindle fits perfectly in my diaper bag, is easy to read and best of all, Amazon has a ton of free books. I love just about anything that is free!! However, I've started reading(rereading) the Chronicles of Narnia and do love the feel of a book in my hands!

Well, that's a quick catch up on life!! Hoping the new year has left you blessed, refreshed and thankful!

Saturday, January 8, 2011

I remembered!!!!

I finally remembered (read remembered and had the time) to change the music at the bottom of my blog. So feel free to not mute your speakers the second you hear Shirley Temple singing "I want a hippopotmous for Christmas." Although for Megan I almost left that song playing since I know how much she loves it!!

Some of these songs are old favorites while others are new songs that seem to speak to my heart when I hear them. And one of them, just makes me smile! Because who doesn't love themselves some Jack Johnson!

Friday, January 7, 2011

Happy Ganna!

Did you know.....


  • Today is Christmas Day in Ethiopia?
  • Ethopia uses the Julian calender so they celebrate Christmas on January 7 every year instead of December 25?
  • Ethiopian Christmas is called Ganna? Ganna means birth of Christ.

Just thought you'd like to know!

Here's to hoping (and praying) that we'll be celebrating Ganna next year with a little Ethiopian prince (or princess) of our own!

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

3 weeks

Meet Gabe!

Meet Gabe's Cast!

(And yes, I know it's purple... purples Gabe's favorite color!)***

For the next 3 weeks Gabriel will be wearing 3 different casts on his 2 little arms. Each Tuesday, yesterday being the first, Gabe will get a new cast on one of his arms. The first 2 weeks the casts will be 'stretching and strengthening' cast on his left arm. This cast made of plaster and fiberglass will stretch his muscles and strengthen his shoulder.

The 'stretching and strengthening' cast is all in preperation of Gabe's 3rd cast; the restriction cast. This cast will go on his RIGHT arm and even encompass his cute little fingers. The goal of the restriction cast will be to force Gabe to use his left arm during that week.

In case you haven't picked up on the fact before; Gabe is pretty stubborn and strong-willed (a lot like his dad) and although he's worn a removable restricter cast on his right arm for a few hours everyday for the past 5(?) months, he's now learned to wait it out. Gabe knows that eventually it will come off so he just waits to do what he wants until it comes off, then he uses his handy-dandy right arm to do whatever he needs to do.

We need Gabe to learn that both arms work! That lefty can be just as handy-dandy as righty. Here's to hoping this will work!!! And it better work, because I'm not sure what the next step to get Gabe to recognize and use his left hand and arm would be.

Does Gabe like his cast, you ask? Not a bit. His whining has increased a bit, he tries to pull it off (which is pretty funny if you ask me) and since it inhibits his rolling a bit, I've found him yelling a bit more. While he doesn't like it, it isn't hurting him. So we'll just roll with it and hope we get a little bit more sleep tonight than last night!

***Purple really isn't Gabe's favorite color, it was just the only option. I've been told his next cast will be something more manly like blue, green or red. But if anyone can pull off a purple cast, Gabe can [smile]! But I do look forward to running into someone who asks why purple, because I will most certainly tell them it's Gabe's favorite color!

Monday, January 3, 2011

Heart Smiles

I'd be lying if I didn't say the past few days have been rough. I've been run through the proverbial gauntlet of emotions and feel like today would be a good day to just stay curled up in bed with a good book. But duty, named Gabe [smile] calls, and with the chorus of ob-la-di ob-la-da in my head, life continues to go on.


And as I think, admist the sadness of the past few days there have been good moments as well.
The moments that make my heart smile, in no particular order:

Warm, silent hugs that conveyed heartfelt sympathies and love. We are so grateful to the friends and family and friends that are more like family that traveled near, far and even farther to hug our necks and say goodbye with us.


Homemade Chili, chips and cookies on the doorstep from dear friends.

Experiencing first experiences with friends! (And yes pastey white is the new tan for me! Go ahead, be jealous!)




And Hotdog Bazooka's. Yes, Cleveland sports may not always come out on top... but we have hot dog bazooka's... beat that!

Saturday, January 1, 2011

Resolutions

I usually don't make New Years Resolutions... I always get flustered and discouraged when I'm not exercising enough, losing weight or turning into this fabulous person, etc. So a few years ago I just gave up on them. Said no more! I wasn't going to set myself up to fail.

But this year I'm going to jump on the bandwagon and set up some resolutions, or goals per se, for the coming year.

My first goal is to read my Bible daily and read the entire thing in a year. Seems easy enough considering I love to read and have downloaded 2 different Bibles on my Kindle. To keep on track I'm joining the Patterson's Boss Your Heart Bible Challenge in order of their daughter Chrissie. I'm doing the OwnIt 365 plan. You can find lots of different Bible reading plans here.

Goal number 2 is to get more organized while being less compulsive about order. As Gabe becomes more and more mobile and can get into just about everything, I'm learning that my type-A, obsessive-compulsive personality is turning into a complication. Learning to maintain organization while letting Gabe explore the way a 16 month old is expected to all while not going crazy to keep perfect order will probably be the most difficult challenge.

Being content is my 3rd goal. Finding myself easily stressed or overwhelmed about the little things always seems so foolish in retrospect so I'm going to try to find contentment in the chaos. Content with what we have, where we're going and what we're doing. Again it feels like a lofty challenge, but I think by reflecting on my many blessings will be the best place to start.

I pray this year brings you good health, happiness and a way to find peace and contenment admist the chaos of everyday life.

Be always at war with your vices, at peace with your neighbors,
and let each new year find you a better man.
~Benjamin Franklin