Saturday, December 30, 2006

Wednesday, December 27, 2006

Emilie Hope - the best Christmas present ever!

The phone rang at some ungodly hour early on December 22. John, who was preparing to head to the office after being off for two blizzardy days answered the phone. I rolled over, sliding closer to the dog,wonderi ng what kind of sicko was calling.

Minutes later, John is shaking me awake, "Emilie's coming! Get up, get dressed, and get the booger. We're going to Longmont!"

Usually I'm very slow in the morning. Not even able to speak in complete words, but that morning, I shot out of bed and was ready to go in under 30 minutes.

The drive was scary. It was the first day the roads were "passable" since the blizzard ended the day before. Slip-sliding for an hour and a half, we finally arrived at the same hospital where Kyle was born.

Perry (father-to-be) was in the waiting area briefing Sylvia (g-ma-to-be) when we blew in.

Kyle provided entertainment as we all waited for the news. A few minutes past 1 PM, a red-faced, teary-eyed, breathless Perry bounded into the room yelling, "She's born! She's born and we got to see the whole thing!"

Brithmom allowed both Heidi and Perry into the birthing room to watch their daughter enter the world. After she was out, the nurse placed Emilie on Birthmom's chest. The baby rested there for a moment. Birthmom carefully picked up the baby, turned her around and asked Heidi to approach the bed, "Merry Christmas, Mom!" She said, passing the baby to Heidi.

God sure knows what He's doing. His timing is always perfect. The baby was due Dec. 30, but came early. We recieved 2 feet of snow over the course of two days prior to the birth. The baby came when the roads were "passable" (I say that very sarcastically b/c you needed either a high-clearance or 4 WD vehicle to "pass".) She was born three days before Christmas allowing Heidi, Perry, Sylvia and Mary-Ann (g-ma #2) to celebrate Christmas as a bigger family.

Another cool thing is that Heidi's brother got engaged Christmas morning! We were at Sylvia's house when the call came in.

In all my 34 years of life, this was the best Christmas ever! It snowed on Christmas eve, we had a white Christmas, I became an Aunt as Heidi and Perry became parents, and Kyle celebrated his first Christmas ever with a new cousin.
Now go ahead, try and tell me God don't exist...

Tuesday, December 26, 2006

Snowy, snowy, Joy! Joy! PICTURES

Let it snow, let it snow! And snow it did. John and I measured 2 feet out back where the drifting was minimal. Esau got "tossed" into the deeps and Kyle was pleased to find how easy it is to stand on his own in snow.

Just try and have a picnic out here!
I'm trying to get one more pic on here, but Blogger is not cooperating...

Looks like we may be hit again come Thursday if the jet stream cooperates. I LOVE this stuff!!!

Wednesday, December 20, 2006

Snowy, Snowy, Joy! Joy!

We are ON for a white Christmas here in Denver. It's blizzarding outside right now. Snow is piling up at more than one inch per hour (we have 12 since 8 AM) and won't stop until late afternoon tomorrow!

Stay tuned for some snow diving cats, buried houses, and a game of "find the car".

Temps are gonna stay cold, so the snow will stick around. Can't wait to strap on the snowshoes tonight to take an etherial stroll around the neighborhood. Christmas lights through the snow...

(I know, Mom, you told me to "shut up". I won't call you hourly anymore with the snow totals, nor will I break into a strain of "White Christmas"... I'll wait three hours!)

Friday, December 15, 2006

Best Christams so far!

The National Geographic channel is going to air a series of documentaries to strip Jesus of his deity. More than ever it seems like people are questioning if a baby was even born nearly 2000 years ago in Bethlehem. Others are writing him off as a smart man with some good ideas.

Jesus was not only born 2000 years ago (no one really knows the real date), but he died, was buried and rose again after three days. He's alive! Keep reading...

John hunched over the battery in the little red car willing the bolts into place when the phone rang. I ran into the house to answer it. It was Perr-ball (aka Perry).

"We need to talk to both you and John," Perry said, his voice with a slight quiver. My heart began to thump wildly. Was Heidi okay? Was something seriously wrong?

I heard a crackling noise as Heidi grabbed the phone out of Perry's hands, "We got a call from the agency! Can John hear me?" I ran into the garage to hold the phone against John's ear.

"Stink, say that again, will ya?"

"We got a call from the agency! We're going to meet the birthmom with Pam (the social worker) for lunch on Tuesday." John dropped the wrench from his greasy hand as we both begin to do the snoopy dance around the junk in the garage. "That's not all..." Perry continued, "the baby is a girl and will be born at the same hospital as Kyle!"

John and I were not prepared for the next slice of news.

"The baby's due December 30th," Stinky shouted into my ear.
"December 30th as in two and a half weeks from now???" I asked, tripping over a box of diapers.

Emily Hope will be born anyday. Stink and Perr-ball got the call on Wednesday. Such is the world of the adoptive parent. We don't get 9 months warning that our lives are going to turn upside down! Heidi is giving her two week notice at work letting them know that they may not even get a full two weeks out of her. She and Perry are headed to the Springs to celebrate their 5th wedding anniversary, but are on call.

Twelve years ago, January, I met Stinky. I had just moved to Colorado and knew nary a soul. Her mom, the Children's pastor at Bear Valley Church called the camp I worked for back then, to plan a snow camp. She told me her daughter had finished a 9th semester at college and just moved back home. She gave me the phone number and told me to give Heidi a call. It was an instant comraderie. Heidi and I became bestest friends. Actually we now consider one another sisters. We are just as close, if not closer than sisters. For years we lived together, navigating the wacky world of the single life. We would take long walks, planning out our elder days. She and I are going to buy a huge home on a mountainside, own 87 cats and rock on our front porch remeniscing our youth. We plan to live into our 90's.

Along came John. Stink was my maid of honor. Three years later, I was her matron of honor. Since then, Perry and John have grown as close as Heidi and I.

In the midst of all those dreams, Heidi wanted nothing more than to be a mom and raise a swarm of kids. She worked temp jobs here and there for years, waiting for a man to helf fulfill her dream of motherhood.

Over the course of the past two years, Heidi and Perry have lost at least 7 babies. They tried a variety of fertility treatments and procedures including IVF (invitro fertilization). This past summer, Heidi had one, then another fallopian tube removed, making conception very difficult. After much prayer and tears, they decided to apply to the same adoption agency we were with.

What's so amazing about all this is that God knew what both Heidi and I would face in terms of infertility and the heartache of not being able to bear our own children. We had no clue 12 years ago, fresh out of college.

When they got the call Wednesday, they asked Pam if the birthmom had any names picked out. Pam told them that the birthmom wanted the parents to name the baby, but had a preference for the name Hope.

Heidi and Perry had girl names picked out for almost two years...

The girl name?

Emily Hope!

Several of us, including Heidi's mother have been praying that God would give Stink & Perr-ball a baby for Christams and HE IS! And the name? A mere coincidence? I think not! The details are falling into place too smoothly for mere chance, and the fact this baby is from Longmont (as was Kyle) is such a God thing.

Still doubting Jesus is alive today? Think God doesn't care?

There are two very best friends - one with a 9 month old gift from God, and another who may be wiping puke from her shirt in the next day to two weeks!

Friday, December 08, 2006

It's Musical Time!

I will probably never figure out how to get pictures and text in an agreeable order until the technical side of blogging is simplified... a LOT!

Anyway, it's that time of year - time for a musical! Bear Valley Church puts on a full-length musical production every other year, and this year's selection is the best yet. "Gifts of the Magi" is the musical rendition of the familliar O'Henry story of Jim and Della Dillingham, a young married couple determined to give the other a gift to remember. As the story goes, Della sells her hair to buy a watch fob for Jim's heriloom watch, and Jim sells his watch to buy Della an exquisite set of hair combs. The choir adds texture and oomph to several of the songs. Jim and Della's tale is superimposed over the story of Soapy Smith, a New York City bum looking for the guaranteed warmth and food of a jail cell.

All of you in Colorado, you need to come and see it! We have three more performances: Tonight at 7 PM, tomorrow, 7PM and Sunday at 3 PM. If anything, you'll get to see John in a kilt! He gets in touch with his Scottish side. I'll leave it up to your imagination as to wether or not he's "authentic" under that there kilt...
The set - 1906 NYC, designed and painted by some of our church members. It looks better in real life. The gels on the lights are warm, and at that point, I didn't know how to adjust the white balance on my camera.

Stinky, Mary Louise and Norma sport their Edwardian attire. We spent an entire afternoon making the hats for this thing. NOT a fun project for those of us who are "craft imparied".

Work on this musical began in late June. Hundreds of individual hours have gone into this thing. I can't even begin to calculate how many total man hours are involved. My brain would melt, and I'd break out in mathmatically induced hives!
Several people have said to me, "I would love to do something like that if it weren't so demanding of my time. I wish I could just put on the costume and walk on stage. Why do you put yourself through that? Especially when you have a little baby and your husband is also involved?"
Why do both John and I do this again and again, knowing we are up from early morning to very late at night with no rest time between the demands of the day (job & Kyle) and rehearsals. Why do we morph into human vacum cleaners, inhaling dinners w/o tasting the food to be at rehersal on time - especially at Christmas time???
Because we LOVE to do this. God gifted John and I with musical talent. It's what we do best. Our worship pastor, Ryan Durfee, uses the parable of the talents to encourage us when the crunch feels like more than we can handle, or when we question what we do. When God gives us talent, he expects us to use it for him. When we do so, it grows. Remember the guy who burried the money his boss gave him to invest? He was called wicked! His boss nearly ripped him a new ear canal for his "safe" stashing.
Some people can teach Sunday School, or arrange for meals to be made for Gertrude who had her liver removed last week. Oftentimes the demands of such jobs are not as time consuming as the demands of an artist, but their talents are not worth more or less. when things do get crazy, regardless of your area of service, if it truly is your gift/talent, you push through and rest up for the next go around. If it's not your thing, you wipe your hands and say, "Never again!"
Yes the hours are long, yes the demands are hard on Kyle, but we believe we are setting an example for him as he grows older. John and I are doing what God created us to do - that is make music. Boy and I tired, and I think I need a nap NOW, but walking onto that stage knowing I'm in God's will is more satisfying than a gazillion naps!

Monday, December 04, 2006

Parade of Lights

On a frosty Denver night, the 2A Colorado State Champion Sheridan High School Marching Band made their debut in the 9 News parade of lights. The parade is an annual event bringing Coloradans out in some bone-chilling temps to see lighted floats, balloons (think Macy's T-giving parade) and most importantly, marching bands decked in lights and costumes.
The Sheridan band parents painstakingly attached lights, garland to band uniforms and crafted a few unique costumes and props.

Originally, my guard girls were going to wear Dorothy from the wizard of OZ costumes, but they never showed up. Again, band parents to the rescue! Less than two hours before the parade on Friday, a parent huffed it to Big Lots and bought 10 flannel pajama sets! The costumes were a hit! All along the parade route, adoring fans shouted, "Love them PJ's!" It was great.

Unfortunately, I had to watch them on TV Friday night b/c I was suddenly struck with an evil stomache virus. Amidst the violent shivers, tears of joy and pride rolled down my cheeks as the news anchors said nice things about the band as they marched past the grand stand. I did make it Saturday, and boy it was hard to keep up after being so sick!