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What Does a Fox Say?

A few weeks ago Jaden surprised me when he said he wanted to participate in the school talent show. When I asked him what he was going to do he said, “Break dance, like Uncle Jake.” Ok … to what song? “What does a fox say?” Well, well, well … this has the possibility of¬†at least being entertaining. I do have to admit that I was nervous his friends and classmates wouldn’t find it as entertaining as I did … I am his mother after all ūüôā I worry about my sweet Jaden – he’s kind of out there, like his mama and kids can be cruel.

The next day, he stayed after school to try out (everyone gets in the show, it’s more of a practice). He had trouble with his music, but handled it like a pro. My mom showed me a video of his dance since I had to work. I’ll be honest, I was still nervous about his classmates making fun of him. My mom said everyone was really supportive of him and gave him high fives and “nice jobs” after.

I made him run through his dance each night – it was part of the deal of signing up. Each night his dance was a little different. He was really getting excited.

Then, I asked him what he was going to wear. We came up with a cool hooded sweatshirt with little fox ears on the hood. I engineered the perfect orange pointed ears a few nights before his performance.

The big day came. He said he was a little nervous, but he’d be fine. Just when did my baby grow up? The entire family came – YaYa, Pa, TeeTee, Uncle Jake, Doug, Logan and Weston. We got there early to make sure we got a good seat.

My baby stole the show! I’m not entirely sure where his courage came from? He’s never been on stage before … but he did it. And his friends were so supporting of him. Cheering him on and giving him high fives. He still likes to wear the sweatshirt to school – reliving the magic I suppose.

Watching our babies grow up is something incredible, isn’t it?

Love, Mel

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April 13, 2014 · 10:15 pm

The Princess and the Suitcase

Once upon a time, there was a little girl who dreamed about what it would be like to travel to a far away land, and to live happily princess luggageever after with her prince. She spent her days discovering new things – special things – secret things and packed them away in her suitcase.

She collected scraps of fabric that would one day weave together a blanket for their first baby. She found the perfect pillows that would act as compassion for her husband. She made valentine cards with lopsided hearts and rhyming poems that she would one day use to show her prince just how special he was. She took pictures of all her favorite memories, to give to him as special gifts … memories that would tell him more about who she was and why she believed the things she did. She found the perfect black dress for those special date nights. She saved all her favorite recipes and put them in a little box. She took her tenderness and made slippers. The princess watched her parents and learned what it meant to be a woman and a wife.

She carefully packed all these things into her suitcase. The delicate things were wrapped with care. The hard-to-break items were placed at the bottom of the bag, to act as a foundation for the rest. The princess would bring her suitcase with her when she met her prince charming.

One day, her dream came true. The day had finally came when she would become a wife! She gathered all of her special belongings, and began to make a home for herself and her groom. She slowly began to unpack her bag. First, the hard, sturdy items came out. Her independence, her willingness to try new things, her eagerness to please. She soon found a place for each of these in their new home.

Then, she began to unpack the softer things. She laid the woven blanket on their new baby’s bed. She covered their baby with love, peace, tenderness and softness. She was so busy making a home for herself, that she missed the disapproving look on her prince charming’s face.

Then, she began to unpack some of her favorite memories. Each one shared long after the children were asleep, when only the two of them could hear. She shared her hopes, her dreams, her favorite love stories. She began to teach him more and more about herself … carefully unwrapping each gift to lay at his feet.

She all too soon learned that these delicate stories had no place in their home. Her cherished moments were being cracked and chipped away. They were forgotten about, misplaced and stepped on. Quick, before anymore of her porcelain memories could be broken, she started to put them back in her suitcase. But she still had so much left to unpack – she hadn’t even really settled into their new home. The fabric she had chosen for her blankets were criticized for not being the right color or softness. She packed those away, soaked in tears. The pillows she had carefully placed on the couch and on the beds were thrown across the room and tossed aside. Since they weren’t important to her husband, she put those away too. Her perfect black dress, hung in the closet, never been worn. That too went back into the suitcase.

She began to believe that all these things she had been saving for years were foolish. They were “girl dreams.” They had no place in real life. How foolish she was to think her childish suitcase would have a place in her new “grown up” home.

This didn’t look anything like the fairy tale she had so carefully planned and prepared for. She hadn’t packed her suitcase with armor and protection to reflect the criticism. She didn’t anticipate that someone else wouldn’t see the value in her treasures. She had saved all the fragile parts of herself for her marriage – as a once in a lifetime gift to her prince charming. She was so unprepared.

After a while, the princess looked around her new home, in the far away land, and realized she had put everything she had been saving for these years, back into her suitcase. There was nothing left unpacked. She didn’t belong here. Her life treasures weren’t treasured at all. She was all packed, neatly tucked away in a small little suitcase. She had no other choice but to leave her fairy tale behind. She was ready for life’s new adventure.

With each step, she gained strength. Her arms grew muscle as she carried her life suitcase down the road. Her skin tanned under the sun. Her legs grew strength with each stride. She was strong. What the princess didn’t realize was how tightly she had locked up her suitcase and how much of a mess it would make when the next prince came along …

to be continued …

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March 17, 2014 · 9:24 pm

Valentine’s Day

It’s Valentine’s Day ‚Ķ single awareness day. A day where everyone is either bragging about how wonderful their husband or boyfriend is or the day when people feel painfully alone. It’s my first Valentine’s Day as a divorced, single mom. I’ve been too busy getting the boys ready with their valentine’s to really worry about being alone this year. Jaden is my date for the night. We’ve had fun all week making valentine’s for their friends – picking out the perfect sticker for each friend and stuffing little ziplock bags with candy. Boys loved it and I loved sitting on the floors watching my boys be kind to others.

Image from encourage.me

The other day I clicked on a link to an online article “5 Ways To Survive Love Season.” Seems a little stilly to think about love being something you need to survive. But all the same, I remembered the longing I would feel as a young girl, hoping that a boy would think of ME on Valentine’s Day. Fingers crossed that someone would find me desirable and worthy of a box of chocolates or maybe even roses.

Then I got to #3 on the list ‚Ķ Who Can I Bless? That’s right ‚Ķ who do I find worthy of chocolates? Who is it that I love? Why do girls find in necessary to sit around waiting for a boy to love them? Why isn’t it enough to just love yourself? I’m not saying to forget about your crush ‚Ķ honestly who can get them out of your head sometimes, but rather, don’t forget them, remember them .. just don’t wait around for them. As my mom likes to remind me, “If it’s meant to be, it will be.” I’m trying on my mom’s advise for size ‚Ķ you should join me.

The action of love rarely has anything to do with what it is you want ‚Ķ it’s about the other person. Sitting around waiting for someone else to love you is not the purpose of today. I’ll tell you what ‚Ķ Prince Charming isn’t going to show up and say, “Wow, look at that girl having a giant pity party for herself ‚Ķ that’s who I want to be my princess!” Nope, just not gonna happen. It’s when you are being the best YOU that you can be that people notice you. They say things like, “Look at her go! She’s strong and independent. She’s loving. She’s got faith and strength to fight all on her own.” You don’t even realize what others are saying because you are focused on being the best you that you can be. You can walk boldly through life, knowing that God is your companion and that the rest will fall into place. Those are the kinds of girls that Prince Charming notices. Relationships are the healthiest when two whole people come together ‚Ķ not when one person is looking to complete themselves with someone else.

So pick yourself up. Dust yourself off and get out there and bless someone. We spend a month or two focused on this during the Christmas season. That season is all about loving and serving others. We ring a bell for Salvation Army, donate an extra toy to Toys for Tots. We adopt a family for Christmas. In turn, we feel good about ourselves. Giving our love is what really feels good …

Of course what girl wouldn’t want to be showered with flowers, poems, teddy bears and all that pink fluffy crap along with the rest of the dating/married population?!? I can’t help that I’m a hopeless romantic ‚Ķ Just don’t let that be what this day is really about. The world’s supply on loving one another is running low ‚Ķ So if you have a valentine, love them up. Hug them and kiss them and cherish the snot out of them. If you don’t have a valentine ‚Ķ don’t sit around waiting for one ‚Ķ get out there and love someone or some cause or something! If nothing else, it’ll keep you out of the cookie dough (at least for one day).

Love, Mel

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February 14, 2014 · 1:01 pm

A Day Dream …

Last week, I’d been floating on OWENGE clouds. ¬†ImageLittle Warriors literally makes my heart beat differently. ¬†It gives me an electric kind of energy. ¬†Seeing all the children together because of Owen’s story. ¬†Ugh just typing it makes me smile.

Along with all of the Little Warrior preparations, I’ve had a lot of heavy “stuff” on my heart. ¬†Decisions I made years ago were causing me trouble now. ¬†I was doubting everything that I had been confident in. ¬†I was feeling like I went down the wrong path. ¬†I was frustrated with the pain because I had thought I was right – how did it turn out so wrong?

In the midst of all my errand running, in preparation for Saturday, I had a day-dream.  Driving down Hwy 74, in my minivan with Despicable Me in the background, I had a vivid image appear.

I was standing before God, my heavenly Father … he looked a lot like my dad actually. ¬†He placed his hand on the top of my head. ¬†I was looking up at him going on and on …

“God – I thought I was doing what you wanted me to. ¬†I had my doubts. ¬†I didn’t want to do it. ¬†But I prayed – just like you told me I should. ¬†I prayed sooooo hard. ¬†I thought your answer was to follow through. ¬†I thought you wanted me to do this. ¬†But it’s so awful. ¬†And now I’m faced with the decision of un-doing it. ¬†Did I get it wrong back then? ¬†Were you trying to tell me something that I missed? Blessed are those who follow the Lord. ¬†I don’t feel blessed in this decision – what did I miss? ¬†I don’t want to miss your¬†guidance¬†again. Show me what I need to learn so that I will always be on your path …”

He stopped me mid sentence. ¬†Moved his hand from the top of my head to my cheek. ¬†“Child of mine, I have heard your prayers. ¬†You did exactly what you were supposed to do at that time. ¬†I know just how much you love me. ¬†You are a faithful servant and I love you so much. ¬†You did exactly what you were supposed to do. ¬†It will all work out – it’s part of my plan. ¬†Now go and know that you are loved.”

The weight was lifted … ok honestly? ¬†Not totally, but it did lift just enough to breathe. ¬†The first sense of relief in a long time … I felt relief that God didn’t blame me. ¬†I felt confident in my prayers and how I came to my decision years ago. ¬†God wasn’t disappointed in me. ¬†It wasn’t that I missed something … it’s that this hardship is apart of my path. ¬†I have to go through it. ¬†It wasn’t something that I could have avoided. ¬†This is not a¬†consequence¬†for my disobedience.

It doesn’t make the hardships any less – but I can carry them with a lighter heart. ¬†I am confident that God has not left me and that He will be with me as a travel the next couple of months.

Now I’m wondering what my dad is going to think when he finds out God looked like him in my daydream … haha

Love, Mel

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March 27, 2013 · 8:45 am

The Next Little Warrior Event – Easter Bags of Hope

It’s with great¬†excitement¬†that I announce our next Little Warrior event – the 2nd Annual Easter Bags of Hope benefitting the Hope Center of Waukesha. ¬†We are currently collecting donations of hygiene products, small toys/books and non-perishable snacks (click here for a complete list). ¬†We will be using the items to fill Easter Bags for those serviced by the Hope Center of Waukesha. ¬†Then on¬†Saturday¬† March 23rd (9am-12pm) we invite children of all ages to join us and help assemble the bags.

The Hope Center is a non-profit organization that has been providing hope to those in need in Waukesha County for more than twenty years.  Hope Center is continually working to provide new and better solutions to prevent homelessness and handle the growing needs of the community.  To read more about the Hope Center click here.

If you are out of town and would still like to participate, please do! ¬†I know that there are many, many Little Warriors all over the US! ¬†If I may, here is what I would suggest: ¬†Take your child to the dollar store or Wal-Mart or Target and talk to them about people who don‚Äôt have homes. ¬†Have them try to come up with a list of what kinds of items they would need if they¬†didn’t¬†have a house to live in. ¬†Keep your language simple. ¬†The basics. ¬†You know your child best. ¬†Praise them for thinking of others and tell them how important it is. ¬†It‚Äôs the teaching part that really gets me motivated about this project!

I really do hope to see you on the morning of March 23rd.  We will have coffee ready for you and promises of a memorable morning with your little ones.  It gets me every single time as I watch so many little ones working to help others.  I always feel like Owen is so very proud of what we are doing.  Come for the whole three hours or for just a while.  Come right away at 9am or show up late.  We just want to see you there!   It’s going to be a great opportunity to show children that they can make a difference.

I’ve got all the details up on www.owenslittlewarriors.com (a link is in the black header of the blog too).   Pre-registration for the event on the 23rd is appreciated so we have an estimated head count of how many will be joining us.  But walk-ins are always welcome!!!

We made 238 Easter Bags last year  … do you think we make more this time around??  It’s really all up to you!

Please feel free to email me or we.care.warriors@gmail.com if you have any questions.

Love, Mel

P.S. Don’t forget to print off a flyer (or a few) and invite all of your friends! ¬†Click here to download a copy of the flyer.

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March 4, 2013 · 5:09 pm

A Play Date for Jaden!

Jaden had his first play date with a school friend today. ¬†We called his friend, Isaac, to see if he wanted to go to a gymnastic¬†academy’s¬†open gym. ¬†Jaden did a happy dance through the house when he said yes!

We played a short game of “I Spy” and talked about Christmas. ¬†Then I heard Jaden lean over to Isaac and say this:

I miss my brother Owen today. ¬†Would you like to pray with me? ¬†Dear God, today is a thankful day. ¬†A different day wasn’t so good. ¬†I miss my brother Owen. ¬†Everyday when you see him, will you make sure he is ok and let him know I love him? ¬†If he is ok, will you give me a sign? ¬†Thank you very much. ¬†Amen.

Where did this come from? ¬†What on earth did my son find the courage to ask his friend to pray with him? ¬†I was so so so proud of him and knew I must have done or shown him something right. ¬†I¬†choked¬†by the tears as I tried to find something else we could all talk about – I didn’t want my silence and awe to make Jaden feel like he had done something wrong – when what he did was so right.

Walking into the gymnastic’s academy, I thought I had everything under control. ¬†I had taken the triplets to open gym twice before so I had the whole thing scoped out … I knew what to do. ¬†When we got to the gym, I sort of¬†panicked¬†a little — it wasn’t like the open house’s I’ve taken the babies to during the week. ¬†Mind you, I expected the kids to be bigger, I didn’t expect there to be 10 times more of them and it to be MASS CHAOS! ¬†I watched from the parent’s room as the boys ran in two different directions and almost got trampled. ¬†They didn’t understand that kids were forming lines to take turns jumping and using the equipment. ¬†So off went my shoes and I headed to the sea of kids to help the two boys out.

We jumped on the trampolines. ¬†We jumped into the giant pit of foam blocks. ¬†At one point the boys were getting stuck in the foam blocks (I swear it’s like quick sand trying to get out of this thing) and Jaden leans over the edge and reaches out his hand. ¬†He yells, “Isaac, quick! Grab my hand! ¬†I’ll save you! ¬†You’re my bestest friend ever!” ¬†Super cute, right?

As the night went on, I could tell when the boys kicked into overtired mode. ¬†They started giggling and getting really silly. ¬†At one point Isaac just plopped over and laid flat on his back in the middle of the floor. ¬†I looked down over him and asked him if he was tired. ¬†He nodded … then jumped to his feet and ran off to the next thing. ¬†Pretty sure he just kept moving so he didn’t fall asleep standing up.

We finished up the night with getting a treat out of the vending machine. ¬†I handed each boy a dollar bill and helped them push the buttons. ¬†Of course both boys picked out candy – noooo they couldn’t have picked¬†something¬†like goldfish crackers or pretzels, could they? ¬†Ha!

Our first school friend play date was wonderful! ¬†The boys played well together and they both had a lot of fun! ¬†I really hope we can continue having these kinds of play dates ūüôā ¬†And to think I was so nervous about having the first play date!!

Love, Mel

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December 14, 2012 · 11:26 pm

A gift.

A gift.  A simple act. A four letter word.  What does it all mean?

Webster defines a gift as:

1: a notable capacity, talent, or endowment
2: something voluntarily transferred by one person to another without compensation
3: the act, right, or power of giving

The power of giving. ¬†Maybe that’s what I felt when I first pursued the question if Owen could be an organ donor. ¬†Power. ¬†It gave me power when everything else was being ripped from me. ¬†I didn’t have a choice in anything else that was going on … but organ donation gave me power to decide. ¬†We CHOSE to donate. ¬†In fact, at the end we fought for it. ¬†The hope that someone else’s dream would come true gave us the power to fight on. ¬†We could have just given up and taken him off life support … let him go peacefully. Yet the power of the gift was stronger than our fatigue.

Is it that same power that gives me strength today? ¬†Strength to rejoice in someone else’s life when such a precious life was ripped from me? ¬†I don’t think twice about feeling happy for Josie and her family. ¬†It comes naturally … effortlessly. ¬†There is no jealousy or question of why Josie and not my Owen? ¬†Just pure energy. ¬†Good energy.

With no compensation.  I never wanted anything in return.  I knew that it was possible to never know who received his heart or liver.  They might not want to meet us.  Doug and I signed up for this never expecting anything in return.

That’s not to say I hoped from the depth of my soul that I would one day know the family. ¬†I would meet the child face to face. ¬†I hoped and prayed that this would come true. ¬†But never expected or thought I deserved it.

Yet here I am … I have more than I could have ever expected to have.

Now that I’ve been given the blessing of knowing who carries Owen’s heart … I need to remember that I gave this gift without ever asking for anything in return from anyone. ¬†So as hard as it is … I need patience. ¬†I pray for calmness and to feel at ease. ¬†Deep down I hope to continue to help the family. ¬†Perhaps it’s helping to spread knowledge of congenital heart defects in children. ¬†Perhaps it’s friendship or a benefit to help with medical bills. ¬†I just feel invested. ¬†I feel attached. ¬†I want to help more. ¬†I feel like there is more I can do.

So I pray for guidance. I pray for willingness to go where I am called or needed next. ¬†I pray for the wisdom in how to act, what to say, how to help. ¬†I feel a little lost in what happens next … a little¬†uncertain¬†of what happens now. ¬†I need to stay strong in the fact that a gift comes with no compensation. ¬†The giving also gives me power. ¬†How is it that I feel more¬†uncertain¬†now than before?

Love, Mel

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January 22, 2012 · 7:44 pm

I’m going cRaZy!!!!

What happened to my cute, nice babies? ¬†While they are still cute, they have gone nuts! ¬†Climbing on tables, pulling pictures off of the wall above the couch and leaping from the couch to the recliner chair. That’s right, I have babies who think they can fly. ¬†Jealous?

Weston thinks the coffee table is a stage … I had to snap a few photos before getting him down. ¬†I’m that mom.

Jaden was sick Monday and Tuesday. ¬†While I loved all the extra cuddle/movie time I had¬†with him, I’m glad he is back at school for the day. ¬†I feel like a rat trying to claw her way out of the house. ¬†Yet I really don’t have motivation to go anywhere as I’m so tired from chasing all my kids around for two days.

I have a Supermom’s meeting tonight that is SOOOO needed! ¬†I’m really looking forward to a lovely sweet treat and a fancy coffee while chatting it up with some wonderful christian women. ¬†Couldn’t have come at a better time.

Hoping to meet some friends for lunch today … OUTING! ¬†Then, making a trip to Wal-Mart. ¬†I need the showering essentials and am hoping to treat myself to a few new skeins of yarn. ¬†I’m a geek! ¬†But I’ve been addicted to crocheting and my krafty knitter these days. ¬†Made my first ‘elf’ hat last night while watching my tv shows.

The rest of the week should get a little better. ¬†Supermoms tonight, 4K Parent Group Meeting tomorrow, doc appointment for me on Friday morning. ¬†The babies will have a sitter … that means I’ll have 15 mins alone in the car both ways. ¬†That’s THIRTY minutes for just me, my thoughts and some good music.

Man, the life of a stay at home mom …

Love, Mel

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January 11, 2012 · 9:52 am