Friday, June 30, 2017

Dusting things off......

Hello? (echo echo)

It's been nearly 6 months since I last updated this space, and even as I try to type, I have a very obstinate four year old encroaching on my time. Such is life as a mom!

So I guess here is the run down...

January: Asbestos abatement, surprise electrical break down and 2 new sub panels, Nolan turned four
February: Celebrated eight years of marriage
March: Nolan started full day public prek 3 and rides a school bus
April: Spent our last holiday with both Mom and Dad as a family during Easter, roof damaged by ice
May: Watched Dad go on to the next life and celebrated his life with dear friends and family
June: Alden turned 2, drove to OH with mom Eva for Aunt Linda's funeral, Eliza completed Kindergarten

Speaking of our two year old,...

Weight: 29 lbs. (62nd %)
Height: (97th %)
Head: (97th %)

Alden loves everything boy, from climbing/wrestling, time spent in the sand box or water table, exerting his new found exploration, roaring with dinosaurs and lots of cars/planes/transformer play.

Language continues to grow with using two word sentences and a few learned phrases.

The boys have been in bunkbeds since late winter, with no real problems with sleep. Before not too long, I am sure the kitchen table highchair will be retired.

Food with this boy is very fickle. I can look at a kids menu and scratch my head as to what I can possibly feed him. I pray that hot dogs and other general meats and fruits will be accepted as suitable food, or I foresee a lot of meal time fights and a hungry tummy at bed time. This momma is not a short order chef!

Sunday, January 1, 2017

2016 Prayersolutions Throwback Answers

Chug....chug-a-lug'n along. Time to look back at just how God showed himself to our family this year.

Dear Gracious Heavenly Father...

Very much is uncertain for our extended family. Matt's father has been diagnosed with stage four cancer. Its been all rather sudden for us all. Please give the doctors the wisdom as to how to best attack it. Give our father the strength as he goes through chemo. Also give peace and endurance for our mother as she cares for him. I am so thankful for my children getting to grow up with a grandfather in their lives. It was something I never got to experience, and I praise you for breaking the cycle in our family.

This has been a hard year for Matt's dad. The chemo has not worked how we were all hoping for. It has continued to come up in scans as spreading to his liver and lungs. He is now trying an oral chemo treatment as opposed to being hooked up to a travel pump for 3 days. After a few cycles, another scan will be scheduled to see how the cancer is reacting to it. Mom has been given, by the only I am, added super powers to help care for her husband and added responsibilities in their ministry roles.

Please bring fourth a moving crew to help us make this move in yet another winter. I look at all we've amassed in 6 years of our last cross country move and can't help but feel overwhelmed at all which has to get packed and moved. You also know of the work we still will need to put into the house before and after we move in. May your timing be perfect and help us realize it when we get worried or frustrated with the work being done.

Such a life changing event! God not only brought forth a crew of folks to help with the move.....He also provided us with a moving truck and 4 guys for 4 hours to get all the big/major stuff AND move it into the house. Through our wonderful neighbors at the old place, sacrificed their family time and know how in getting two bedroom floors laid down right before the furniture was to get moved in. I knew we didn't have the space to shuffle furniture around between the rooms and hallway; and all the very old red and brown/green/orange shade shag carpet had to get pulled out and subfloor prepped. An added bonus was the snowfall holding off until after we had moved in!

I pray for the wisdom and discernment as to how best to serve our community. There are many hurting and broken people who just need to be loved. Please help our family better reach out to these people and any resources we might need to do so.

In this season of life, ministry takes on a different look/feel. With three littles to raise, a house to run and a marriage to can not simply run out the door with a cape on to save the world. But in small ways, the light can still shine. My lamp has just taken on a different look.

Please help bring photography clients my way. I really do enjoy doing what I do when the opportunities present themselves. I would love to seek out any other working from home possibilities...whether it be doing side work of face painting or even being able to bless a family with affordable childcare like we have experienced in the past. I know how frustrating that process is when you want a reliable care provider in a loving home. With the blessing of having a bigger house, I ask for your will on that way to help provide for our family needs.

God did come through with a blessing of some extra income by the way of doing childcare! And The Geddes Touch being developed this fall was a nice surprise. It has allowed me to invest in some decent tools to continue in my artistic home decor business, while also applying them to the various future home repair/remodel projects on the docket. Even just the spare money from collecting deposit cans while out in the community have helped fund some of the up front costs of producing my work.

Saturday, November 12, 2016

An open letter: To the Craft Show Participant

I see you walking down the halls or aisles....

You may or may not have already purchased something....

But I see you glancing with a focused eye at all the goodies stacked at eye level.

We, the vendor/crafter sit with anticipation, studying your body movements, hoping you'll pause to take a longer look at our wares.

The mobile young children in tow tell us you won't get much time to stop and shop. They will have already pulled your arm out of its socket, hollering at you to keep moving. I did the same thing as a kid, but stood outside the booth, pacing just past, wondering as to how much more time could my mother spend in this one spot!

I see the old women, who glance at my skill and craft. Your heart wants to buy, but the brain and its logic win when reminding you how you don't have anyplace to plop another knick knack. But you enjoy seeing it nonetheless.

A group comments on an item and how it would be perfect for so and so. Everyone agrees, but continues walking by.

I lower my prices, in hopes it was the reason why you were holding the purse strings tightly.

There are the well meaning folks who see your work. Many compliments about how great your work/products are....talent etc. You hear it a lot as the clock is being watched, but find they are only hollow shells when nothing results in a sale following it. Like a perpetual honorable mention ribbon in your life. You get acknowledged, but fall short from placing with any real substance.

I wonder if I'd be any happier if folks just kept quiet while browsing until moving on.

I've been working very hard in the months leading up to this show....sacrificing time with my family, house responsibilities and sleep to be ready. Our money has been used to get needed supplies and to rent a booth for this show. Yet we end up feeling used as an art museum for the day. Your eyes have been excited at all the pretty things, or your mind is racing with inspiration as to how you could recreate it on your own.

As vendors, we can't help but question why you felt purchasing items x y and z were of more value over ours, even when it wasn't anything related to what we sold. Then of course, we remind ourselves of how we want everyone to do well. But I still can't help but scratch my head over just a few...

I think the folks who make decent money at these shows are the ones who put them on and sell spaces. This particular show and my last experience were at least put on as a fundraising events. I am happy for being able to help support a school's PTG, while also minimizing entry fee costs. But unless people who attend these fundraising fairs are purchasing items other than food.....vendors won't return.....groups don't raise funds....and both parties lose.

I've talked with a lot of crafters, and one theme keeps coming up. We aren't looking to get rich from these sales. Most of us just want to get something back from all the time/money spent creating, so we can continue doing what we love. My goal was/is to be able to purchase a workshop tool to allow me to be able to produce some different art while also producing the current items in a safer manner.

I'm pretty sure a few techniques I use to create are not recommended by the manufacture.....

On a side note....for those of you I know personally....I don't hold any grudges or ill feelings towards anyone if they didn't buy anything. Friendship is always going to trump over little things like this, and I value yours much much more.

Tuesday, October 18, 2016

A Life After Babies

As I stated in a blog post prior about how life is chugging along, I sit here typing in the wee hours of the night after failed attempts of getting back to sleep. I'm pretty sure I know this is a side affect of my ADHD medication, but hoping its not going to be a regular occurrence.

So blog post it is!

At the same age give or take, Alden has been weaned. The same behavior issues were resulting as like his brother....and this momma was now over this bonding experience.

........And I have to say.....I am not really missing it. Yes, I just said that. Three and a half years of my life were given to trying to ensure they could get the most health benefit from the liquid gold.

So now what?

Why, a whole new lifestyle that is!

I can now shop for tops/sweaters and not have to test it for how easy I could whip a boob out while not flashing whatever bystander was near. The girls get to 'move up' to a new position post with the help of underwire! No more having to re click the nursing bra back after wrestling a baby and toddler on my lap.


Nolan frequently refers to my boobs as 'mommies milk', and has been obsessed with them since day one. After having weaned him for 15 months, one day after being incredibly tired of fighting him off while nursing his brother, said, "Fine....go ahead!"

He latched and nursed as if those last 15 months were only but a skipped day.

But the latch of a near three year old is not the same as the one of a six month old.

Yep.....this ain't going to continue.

I'm not stuck holding a baby to feed or rock to sleep and can go and reinvest in my previous hobbies/passions which had to sit off to the side most of the time except for a few brief moments I was able to indulge myself with a personal project.

In the last few days, I've looked on at the family as my three are sitting on the couch with Gram while she reads a few more stories before her soon to be here flight home.....

This life stage is actually pretty enjoyable. Yes, my last baby is no longer a baby and pushing his independence and curiosity for life further each day.....but so much about everyday life is very much exciting to him. I've noticed how he'll roll a train car over my curves, jumping it from fat mound to leg and back to fat mound like Evil Knievel ramps. *sigh*

Nolan will be overheard playing with one of the boys I watch during the day and reenacting with his Rescue Bots along with Optimus Prime trying to save each other. Just his own fantasy role playing that Eliza didn't get very big into

....And my big five year old, bus riding kindergartener. Her new abilities she's developing from improving her speech, learning to read and even following step by step visual directions to put together a Lego Friends set pieces.

My kids love each other....most of the time....and love their parents.....most of the time.....

I really am blessed.

We may have a giant hole in the ceiling, a kitchen that can't be kept clean, one car we have to share between a career/kids/appointments/life, bitten off more than we might possibly be able to chew....

But blessed :)

Monday, October 3, 2016

Spin Cycle

Life has been everything thrown into the washer and humming like clock work around these parts. This kinda explains the lack of blogging as of late. But trust me....the desire has been there....but, soooo many projects have been buzzing in this head of mine.

It constantly plays tug-o-war with my adult responsibilities.

My mother has made her annual trip out east to stay with us for a month or so. Accompanied by this, has been my uncle and aunt from the Gallagher side, followed with my soon to be in laws for Columbus day weekend. A long overdue family portrait is scheduled this time around to include Alden on the wall.

As much as I've enjoyed having this extra family visiting, not to mention two....yes TWO date nights Matt and I've been blessed to go brings on a different kind of work/stress when entertaining. Not the bad sorts, but just more activity than we are accustomed to.

Eliza is in school during the day (unless we have the pleasure of discovering lice), two extra boys come off the bus to my house for childcare, MOPS has started up again and Alden is becoming more and more a toddler. Speaking of that, He had a recent doctor's appointment. His stats for 15 months are as follows:

Height: 33 in (92nd %)
Weight: 23 lbs 11 oz (36th %)
Head: (96th %)

He loves to be outside playing, climbing and eating sand from the sandbox. Anything with wheels are always enjoyed. And language is emerging more. Something I am not use to from prior experience with the older two and speech delays. Mama, dada, dueweek (drink) ut oh, bye bye....

We are still waiting on getting a bid back on the upstairs bathroom from Nolan flooding it. One of the hold ups is finding asbestos on the underside of the bathroom flooring. If we can try and remove it ourselves as to totally legal in NY state and use the insurance money to cover the remodel...this would be the best situation....especially if you've ever had to experience a shower or function in it.

The ceiling still has to be torn out and instal drywall.

The livingroom floors have original red oak flooring! Now its a matter of getting it repaired in a few places and then refinished. The hardest part with this is having to be out of the house for 3 days! No easy feat!

Weather here has been mild. Just today I went outside in a short and shorts while the boys played and I worked on deconstructing pallets. I wonder how long I'll be able to work out in the shed for cutting scrap lumber until it requires snow boots and a parka, ha!

I installed some leftbehind gutters over our side door entrance and along the carport last week, but will eventually need something more efficient and covering more around the outside roof sides. Yet, it was free and I just barely managed with a painter's stool getting the brackets screwed in.

New curtains in the living room to replace the previous owners love affair with puke green everything!

Still need to sew the boy's window curtains....and having to force myself to just do it when the bolt of fabric sits in the basement. It seems no matter how....even if you make them still will cost you an arm/leg and first born!

Who needs the gym when you have a house to work on?!

Friday, August 12, 2016

The Unforgettable Trip of My Life


This phrase can bring ecstasy and horror all at once depending on the individual. As a family of five, going on any sort of vacation can be tricky equation and includes several choice four letter words at any given time.

 For us, the usual no brainer is to make a trek to the grandparents house for an easy and affordable get away.

...Especially when your husband is going to be gone for a week in Nashville for a barbershop conference!

Ain't nobody got time for that single parent thing.... (props to military families or those with a spouse who is required to travel for work)

This trip of exploring parts of Connecticut while staying at the grandparents B&B was in the books for quite awhile.

Then throw in the whole mind blowing discovery of my unknown couldn't be any better!

*Cue mind blowing bomb #2*

One morning before church, I was informed that it was of the utmost importance for me to come to the 2nd annual Sisterpalooza in Utah. Because not only would I get to meet a handful of DAD would also be making an appearance. And if I could find childcare for my older two, my siblings wanted to chip in for a plane ticket.

Flabbergasted by their kindness and generosity, God opened the doors and a VERY kind friend agreed to help with childcare while Matt was at work.

So after a long retreat in Connecticut, I had a little over a day to recover and pack for another trip and take Alden along with me for the free lap space on the plane.

During my time in Utah, I was hosted by my sister Cy and her hubby Keith. Two other sisters came with kids of theirs and also enjoyed the wonderful hospitality provided. My brother Jed even pulled away from his busy life as a dentist and father of 5 to meet and visit. Sister peer pressure does work from time to time ;)

The Natur Store
Fast food taco shops (ain't gonna find them in Rome)
Olympic Park Center- Ski jump tubing
SLC Farmers Market
Temple Square sightseeing
Staying up late and bonding
Comparing all sorts of different body parts of each other

.....And the most special part of all, spending time with my dad and meeting my only living grandmother Delpha. Alden is the only family member I know who has been able to meet a 'great'.

The overall experience and observation was to be able to just fit in with these family members and not feel like you had to be someone else to fit in. It was almost effortlessly, despite many of us growing up in different backgrounds and spiritual journeys.

I was told by many of the natural siblings that I reminded them so very much of our brother Zach who passed back in 2010 unexpectedly. Even looking through a memory book of his pictures growing up and comparing them to mine....Zach was really my twin. I feel honored to be given many likenesses and personality of him and wished I could have met him in person.

For those of us who are the donor siblings of the is almost like we were blessed to skip the crudy growing up years of fighting and competing for attention and go right to the adult relationships.

This trip is only the beginning, and I can't help myself but smile all the time when these special people come to mind. My Heart has grown by numerous sisters, brother/inlaw, grandma, dad, nieces & nephews...and even a few fur babies.

I guess Matt did get his wish of marrying into a big family......God really does have a sense of humor! 

Saturday, July 9, 2016

Who is Your Daddy: Part 2

To read part 1, click here

Darn red money for a family law attorney....and well I guess maybe in Heaven I'd finally be told my missing story while standing at the pearly gates.

On my mothers side, we've been able to trace the family history back to coming over on the Mayflower from Ireland. So I did have that side at least to cling to. But otherwise, nothing to jump up and down about.

One afternoon during my favorite time of the day, aka nap time...I switched on TLC. They were airing a recent series called Long Lost Family. Most of the people they casted were those who came from adoptions.

You know....ones that had a better paper trail to track down. You hear about these cases all time. My entrance in life is either a rarity or not something which is talked or brought up about. Although with advancing fertility technology and same sex couples who seek a donor for one piece of the reproductive equation....I wonder if cases like this will be brought to light more often and laws put in place to give rights to the offspring from said donors.

In this show, they were using quite a bit. You may have seen their commercials running before, with another company called They were pushing their DNA test to see what your ethnic background was comprised of. It sounded neat....but not $100 neat. So I disregarded like a lot of pushes for products.

As I continued to watch, they were bringing up a DNA database to find any leads for someone searching.

Wait....DNA database?

.....then I became very still and became overwhelmed with emotion when it dawned on me that the door to my bio dad may not have been permanently shut.

I begged Matt to please get me the test as a Mother's day gift (yes, I ask for weird things as gifts from him). At that time we was game for it, but was uncertain as to where the money would come from to swing it. Then he found a couple weeks later, they were running a sale and knocking $20 off the price.

I guess that was the tipping point.

The box came with instructions to spit into a vial and send it back in a little white box. Done and done the same day I received it. My main goal of this test was to find at least one half sibling. In no way was I holding any hope it would result in any more or that the donor was registered with the site. Then I waited.

And waited.....

.......and waited some more.

I had no clue how fast this whole process of testing would take. Matt finally gets an email from them and....

.....I didn't give them enough spit and they were sending another test out.


No expedited shipping or processing the second time around. Weeks continued to come and go, with only a few little updates that they'd received it, but hadn't undergone any testing yet.

Fast Forward to the night of July 8th....

We had been out late doing some shopping and the kids went to bed late. I decided to wind down with a little adult coloring before knocking out. I had just got settled when I hear Matt holler to come down stairs to see something. can wait. Show me that funny FB meme/comment/comic etc later. I was not in the mood to move. Then he shouts that my RESULTS ARE IN!

Well then....I think I can be inconvenienced for THAT!

My ethnicity results were not showing up, but except a swirling progress circle.

Man...what a buzzkill!

But what we were able to find there were a few folks registered on Ancestry who were in the "close family to 1st cousin" category. Now the measured units they use for the test has to have at least 30 of them to register as being related in some way. THe folks listed were in the 1400 and up category with 100% certainty.

I sent a few of them a general message about the two mystery paternal sides to see if either one had an relation to them.

Next thing I know, one of them responds quickly with news I couldn't believe....

I was speaking to one of my sisters....and I have 12 other siblings! Some from a marriage(s) and the other half from being a donor that they know of thus far.

Oh.....and the one I spoke to said they've found the donor!

Holy COW!

The last 24 hours have included many many facebook chats, exchanging of pictures as kids and our kids....

LOADS of questions about each other....

And the best part....

In just 24 hours, I've spoken to my bio dad twice today!

Here he is!

He is an OBGYN in California.

Use to live in Poway just down the street where I was born

Says I look just like one of his sons from his first marriage...but with a wig on lol.

Here is a testimony to answered prayer...

I have been praying for almost 34 years for this day. 

From feeling left out for years before being accepted by my father in law.....

Finding old school papers talking about my wishes to meet my real dad...

Teased for who I was and my background.... (turns out I'm 64% west european, 9% trace and the rest Irish)

All has been revealed in a swoosh from no where. I can say very much so with confidence that I feel more more "whole" on this earth...and maybe slightly normal...but some may say the jury is out on this one ;)

The other siblings have all met each other last year....and I hope to make the trip at some point to meet everyone at a reunion and hopefully hug this man I've longed for more than I wanted to wait.

God is so very good....even 34 years later :)

On a side note from the Kindergarten Cop movie......I guess I can really say that "My dad is a gynecologist"


Who is Your Daddy and What Does He Do? Part 1

Ah....a memorable line from a classic Arnold Schwarzenegger movie.

Growing up, I wasn't able to ever answer that question. Father's day was nothing more than a day where I knew none of my friends would be available to play around the neighborhood. There certainly wasn't much point in participating in the yearly Father's day card craft where you make the front look like a shirt collar with a tie.

I knew very early in my life of the fatherly void.

And my mother was not shy in keeping any secrets about how my existence became to be. I was conceived by methods of artificial insemination through an anonymous sperm donor.

For years and years I would dream of finding out who this mystery side of me was. Just even a picture was all I wanted. I borrowed friends fathers where ever I could to relish and savor in any sort of way what it might be like to have one of my own.

Families came and went from the neighborhood, and so did the future activities I could live vicariously through.

When I turned 18, I sought out whatever information I could on the donor through the fertility clinic which was and still is in business. What they were able to release to me was not much. Nothing really identifying or tangible which I could cling to was found in that cold white single letter.

In college I struggled with my faith and what having a Heavenly Father really went and felt like. I still was clenching some sort of hope of someone who I'd never met or seen but made up 50% of my genetic material. My mother would be the one to give her blessing to Matt to ask for my hand in marriage. It would be my uncle to walk me down the aisle.

It came down to the point where I had to lay this hunger to know who my biological father down at the cross. If I didn't pick up the notation of any chance of finding out....I wouldn't have to fight to let it go.

Our wonderful kids came later....

And I was giddy of the fact of knowing these close family members were the newest and most directly related to me and my past.

Where does this come from?

Matt doesn't have these features....

Who do they take after on my side that I can't even compare to?

There would be a silent cry inside when members from Matt's family would comment on physical features and the family lines they most resembled. You know....the usual things proud family members do when a baby is born.

I'd have to fight the defensiveness in me to defend my unknown genetic material. "Well how do you not know it came from my fathers side!?" 

But due to legal restrictions....I was at a dead end of knowing anything more.