Thursday, December 23, 2010

All I Really Want For Christmas Music Video

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

It is my wonderful life...

That's right! Just how great is my life? I just love my life and all that is happening in it. I am not going to say there are not times of frustration and sadness but... I am just so fortunate and have so much to be thankful for! I am blessed with three beautiful children. I am fortunate to have a hard-working, loving, supportive husband who truly does care for our family and shows us on a daily basis through actions and word. I have a job that I enjoy and am excited to be doing even though there are stressful moments. Roy and I  joined our church on Sunday becoming official members and I just love being a part of it. We are celebrating Christmas in just a few days. There will be presents under the tree and we will be together. I can pick up the phone and call my best friends anytime and know they will be there to listen and laugh and cry. I miss my family but they are still on this earth for me to talk to and to reach out and hug when I see them. We can pay our bills, afford groceries, and still do special things now and then. We are able to adopt! How could I not be thankful for all these things? How could I not love my life? How could I ignore all the things I have been blessed by and with this year?

As an update on our adoption... I have requested a necessary document for my proof of employment and should be picking it up on Monday. Roy and I completed all the steps necessary to finish up our required physical exams and should be able to pick up that completed paperwork tomorrow. Two more steps forward!

Tonight, I got to go Christmas caroling with my kids with our church. Yay!! Our church!! The kids had so much fun and I had the chance to get to know and connect with some more people in the church! 

How could I not be thankful for this wonderful life I am living? 

Friday, December 17, 2010

Back to life, back to reality...

Roy and I are back to work today after a great vacation at home. In our week off we were able to get so much done! The kids got their physicals done and helped us out in completing that bit of paperwork. Roy and I got our physicals done and are just waiting for our blood work results before that bit of paperwork is completed. We got our local police clearance letter completed. We were able to get a lot of the contractual paperwork done and the rest started. Hopefully, in the next couple of weeks, we will be able to begin our home study meetings. Roy and I each need to complete an autobiography-- not sure how to approach that one but, we will get it done. We have started on our required readings. We did not get our hague training done which was one of our objectives but we will get that completed as soon as we are able to. I am so excited about how this is all starting to take shape. Oh, the ups and downs in the roller coaster ride of adoption is in full swing.

I am so sad to be going back to work today. I love vacations at home. Pretending that I don't work for a week is so much fun. Then, the dreaded first day back. I suspect it won't be as bad as I am anticipating-- it usually never is. The worst part is just getting ready to go. Roy has been fortunate enough to ease back into work. He went in yesterday for an hour training and then today he gets to leave early for a work related holiday party.

Otherwise, in this house-- we are on Christmas Break. Josiah will still be doing his home school and his Learning Rx. But, the kids are having a blast playing together in spite of Jenna and Kallista both not feeling well. I will be glad when they are back to normal. The cold weather, that they are not used to, along with all the extra things we have been doing for the holiday season has really worn them down. We are also getting a new dryer. We have had our dryer for close to ten years-- if not longer and it has finally given up working for us. Roy and I hunted around on the internet and believe that we have found a good deal for a dryer that can be delivered to us tomorrow. I truly did take a vacation at home and laundry has been piling up. I don't want to talk about exactly how much dirty laundry is sitting around this house but we definitely needed the delivery tomorrow option.

Going to post this, hide some more laundry, and get this house vacuumed.

PS. We had the most fantastic dinner last night!! Roy and I prepared Doro Wat and Injera-- an Ethiopian dish in celebration for our nephew Jamesy's first birthday! Give it a try-- it is fantastic!! You can find recipees online with step by step directions. Even the pickiest of eaters in this house loved it-- which if you know Kallista-- says a lot!

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Silly young girl faces serious grown up ramifications

Taking a trip back in time today to the year 1994. December 15, 1994. I do not recall the time... maybe 6pm, maybe 7pm. My intentions were to mend a broken relationship by chasing after a boy as young girls do when their hearts are being broken and they think they can fix it all if only they had one more chance to talk to him face to face. Ha! Girls, don't waste your time! I never would have never taken the advice either but my story of that night taught me a tough lesson.

I remember begging my father for the use of the car that night, telling him I needed to go see Randy. I, unknowingly bargained my brother's life that night to get my way, telling my father Jim could go with me. There would be no lack of supervision with Jim there with me. My whole plan-- To talk to an old boyfriend. I was so hurt. We had "gone out" for two years. Totally exclusive. I was "dumped" the month before. I felt I would never, ever get over my heart break. If I was able to talk to him just one more time, I would be able to show him the mistakes he was making by "dumping" me.

To give a little background to the story-- it was what one would think... young love, scorned, etc... not going to get into all the details of how that relationship formed my life-- we can save that for another day. But, I do want to write that I had begged and pleaded with God at points during that relationship to get me out of it. I was in the wrong place and I knew it. I did not belong in such a grown up relationship at such a young time in my life. I recall at one point praying-- "Whatever it takes God-- do it. I do not belong here."

I was "dumped." God did it. He took care of it for me. Randy let me go and that was all I was asking for. But, I was young, I let my emotion take over. I was not coping. I chased and God "did whatever it took" to get my attention and focus back.

So, Jim and I got in the Buick Le Sabre Limited. What a great car that was-- still convinced it saved our lives that night. I saw Randy driving the opposite direction in his Pontiac whatever it was (girls really don't keep up with that stuff). I made my u-turn perfectly. The chase was on. It was dark, it was wet and misty and it was deer season. None of that played any roll in my opinion. I was traveling at a speed of 80mph or better. I remember Jim giving me some kind of warning-- slow down, something-- I cannot remember exactly. I would catch up and I did. I started reaching over Jim to knock on the passenger window as I pulled in the other lane next to Randy and he looked over shocked... that is all I remember until I uttered the words, "Jim, we have to get out of here!"

I reached over and unbuckled Jim's seat belt after I unbuckled mine. "Jim, we have to get out of here!" and I recall Jim saying something like, "Jill, your face is bleeding." Then, I faded out. I remember an old friend's eyes. It was Erin VanHart. We had lost touch for a couple of years but there she was before me--- she had no idea who I was and I don't recall what I said to her but I do remember recognizing her. I faded again until I heard the words, "We need to cut the doors off." Oh no!! I yelled for the rescuers to stop-- they first needed to ask my Dad-- this was his car after all. The response to me was a haughty, "I don't think he is going to care." I had absolutely NO idea how bad this situation was. I faded a lot here and I only remember hearing a helicopter, being so cold, and being loaded into it. The flight crew asked if I was using drugs or alcohol. Or was I pregnant? For me, only the most shocking of moments brought me back and that was one of them--- how could they possibly think I was drinking or on drugs?? I was trying to get an old boyfriend to hear me out and love me again. See? God did what it took-- I did not get that chance to talk to Randy.

The next thing I remember is the Emergency Room. I was getting stitches and my shoulder was aching and being put back in place and I was getting a rectal exam to determine internal bleeding-- I am pretty sure not-- but it seemed to me at the time that it was all happening at the same time. My Dad was at my bedside with his father, my Grandpa. At one point-- my Dad was crying and apologizing to my grandfather. I remember him saying, "Dad, I am so sorry. I had no idea until now what I had put you through."  I remember my grandfather looking into my father's teary eyes and say, "George, I love you son. It's okay."

Randy did show up in the ER and held my hand for a minute and gave me hope. I asked him if we were getting back together. I know my grandfather said something to him and Randy told me honestly that no, we were not. I was devastated again. God was doing whatever it took and I was not giving up!

I then remember waking up in a hospital room with a nurse standing over me asking me how I was feeling. I remember my back aching. It hurt so badly. I just wanted to wake up from this bad dream but I could not shake out if it. Where was Joelle to wake me up? (We always had this deal growing up-- we shared a room and if one of us sensed the other was having a bad dream-- we would wake one another up. It had worked time and time again but I was not finding her now to wake me up.) I asked the nurse if there was something I could have for my back and I recall the shocking reply of, "No, we are afraid you may go into a coma." My Dad was on the other bed in the room and I remember asking him if I was going to be okay? Where was Mom? Where was Jim and was he okay? I faded again.

I was awake again and in some serious pain. I was being rolled over by several people for some reason that escapes me and probably knowing what I know now--- I should be thankful it escapes me. I asked why so many people were helping and got a different shocking reply of, "We are afraid you may be a quadriplegic. We are taking all the precautions we can to protect you." In my mind, I thought-- oh no, I will not-- let me die now. I cannot do a wheelchair the rest of my life. The next day, I was down graded to paraplegic which I also did not want to deal with.

I know this is such a sketchy re-telling. I do only remember the most shocking of moments. The moments that hurt the most-- emotionally and physically.

The next scene I will tell is exactly the moment I decided I would become a nurse and care for people. I had broken my jaw and had to go for a panoramic x-ray. There was a clinic attached to the hospital and in the clinic was an orthodontist's office. At this office, there was the equipment necessary for me to have the x-ray required. I was wheeled in a waiting room of "normal people" garbed in their winter sweaters and boots. I was wheeled in a wheelchair with an open back and in a hospital gown with no lap blanket. My indwelling urinary catheter bag dragging alongside the chair with my bruised up, unrecognizable face. My right wrist was in a soft cast and my left ankle was splinted. My hair was sticking up all over the place matted with vomit from the very first night. I stunk. All eyes on me-- staring, as the nurse put my brakes on after pushing me next to a "normal person" in a chair and turning on her heel and leaving. Tears just rolled down my face... my mangled ugliness as people just stared and though it felt like hours-- my mother, my rescuer from these ugly starers wheeled me into the back where I was freed from the open gawking. Ouch, that hurt so badly. I cry now thinking about it. In that moment, that very moment, I knew I would be a nurse. I would never be able to do anything like that to someone. I would never treat someone like that. I knew I could do better as a nurse than that.

All of this and there is so much more to write...I will edit a lot and just give some excerpts of some of the following that happened in days to come.

I was visited by friends from all over. I remember so many people leaving the room and coming back in because they did not even know it was me. I remember one person getting sick at the site of me. I remember Joelle telling me I stunk and advocating for my hair to get washed and the scrubbing of a lifetime to happen. I remember my Aunt Judy being there. She encouraged me to become a nurse. I remember Granddad dropping off my favorite CD and a CD player for me to listen to-- The Phantom of the Opera. I remember his friend Marty coming with him. I remember my parents sitting for countless hours at my bedside. My mother looking so tired and worn out. I remember a police officer coming-- oh, that is a terrible memory. Randy's friend Todd told the police I was trying to kill Randy. I had all but one point on my license and I got a ticket for reckless endangerment of another's life. That really hurt. I remember Mr. and Mrs. Campbell coming and Mr. Campbell giving me that knowing look and telling me that I am free from it. I remember Mrs. Campbell looking at me and telling me I need to be very careful what I ask for.

Mostly, I remember asking about Jim, time after time... was he okay? I needed to lay eyes on him. I was so thankful for the day that I did see him. I was so sorry then and I am so sorry now. Jim, I am sorry for your broken bones, I am sorry you missed playing basketball that season. Mom, I am so sorry. I don't know how to begin. Dad, I am so sorry-- I don't ever want to truly know what I put you through. Joelle and Jessica had to stay home and were left with worry and I am so sorry for that. Everyone, I am sorry but I am also thankful. Those days were rough but I have come a long way. That incident, that accident shaped me into the person I am today.

I am sure my memory of what happened is not completely accurate. I am sure changes could be made to my story. I tried to share what I remember honestly and without exaggeration. There are parts that I left out intentionally and there are parts that I left out unintentionally. Jim and I have always checked on each other this day to make sure each other is safe and sound. We never bake Candy Cane cookies this day-- that is what Mom was baking when she received the phone call to tell her about the accident. My favorite kind of cookie incidentally.

So, a broken jaw plated with screws, a dislocated left shoulder, a broken right wrist, three compressed lumbar vertebrae, screw placement in a broken ankle, lots of bumps and bruises, and cuts and scrapes--- God did whatever it took and got me away from a bad situation. It certainly was not all roses from there on but my life certainly changed for the better because of it in so many different ways.

Monday, December 13, 2010


is a constant struggle and frustration for me. I am a nurse and I work the night shift-- 7p-7a three days a week. I do consider it a blessing in many ways to be able to maintain a full time job that only takes me from my family for those three days a week. However, as a result of my shift-- there are nights I am not able to sleep. I am naturally a night owl as well which definitely does not play into my favor when I am having difficulty getting to sleep.

As a result, I have an overwhelming amount of quiet time to do a lot of thinking. I find at night, in these quiet moments, in the dark, when I am trying to be still and not wake anyone I am filled with negative, nagging thoughts that rarely plague me during the light of day. My present inadequacies haunt me. My past mistakes torment me and my future seems daunting. In the light of day, I feel confident and sure that where I am and what I am doing in right.

Tonight, I ask, I beg, I plead... let me rest in peace. Let me rest assured that I show love and I am loved. Let me rest in the truth that I have the biggest and the best on my side. Let me rest setting aside all of my negative energy. Tonight, let me rest knowing that I am making choices that are right and honorable and that I am acting with integrity and honesty.

Now, I will post this blog and rest knowing that I certainly do have all that I need.

 Psalm 23  
A psalm of David.

The Lord is my shepherd;
I have all that I need.

He lets me rest in green meadows;
he leads me beside peaceful streams.

He renews my strength.
He guides me along right paths,
bringing honor to his name.

Even when I walk
through the darkest valley,
I will not be afraid,
for you are close beside me.
Your rod and your staff
protect and comfort me.

You prepare a feast for me
in the presence of my enemies.
You honor me by anointing my head with oil.
My cup overflows with blessings.

Surely your goodness and unfailing love will pursue me
all the days of my life,
and I will live in the house of the Lord

Saturday, December 11, 2010

End of this week and beginning of next...

At times I struggle writing in this blog... What would people want to actually read that I have to share?? I am going to go ahead and step out of my comfort zone and just write so that I can log what is happening for us, in our lives, and with our adoption and all of it's processes.

We canceled our cruise. In April we had booked a cruise for the five of us for December 12-16th. Many times I questioned canceling the booked cruise. I could never pinpoint why I should cancel it, so we kept it booked. Less than two weeks ago Roy and I came to the realization and understanding that our time will be better spent at home. We have many exciting things planned for the time that we were going to be on our cruise. We are going to be working on the paper end of our adoption and getting some of the leg work done as well. We are joining the church we have been attending. We are going to be seeing Jenna's Christmas play at her school. We are getting our Christmas photos done. We are hopefully getting them printed and mailed out. We are finishing all that we need to do to be ready for Christmas-- wrapping, etc... AND... Roy and I are going to be off work together for four whole days!! We have no regrets and no second thoughts about canceling our cruise. I am thankful that we are going to have the chance to get so much done!!

This week Jenna and Josiah had their yearly check-ups and with those visits completed some of our paperwork to complete our homestudy. Yay Josiah and Jenna!! Thanks for your help! They were able to bring us one step closer to bringing our babies home. Both were so brave getting their shots done and PPD's placed. I was not at the appointment but was told that words were spoken by them that acknowledged that they were getting the shots and doing it bravely to help get our babies home. I love that they know we are all working together to get this done.

I have been facing my own struggle with the projected timeline of our adoption. I am disappointed that things are "taking so long." In my reality, our babies would have the chance to lay eyes on their parents for the first time in April. Our social worker is optimistic that we could receive our first referral by June. To say I was disappointed was an understatement. Anyway, in the upcoming week we are going to "baby stepping" our way to getting our ducks in a row. Kallista has her physical on Monday. Roy and I have our physicals on Tuesday. Check, check. We are hoping to get some of the police clearance stuff done-- just need clarification for the process for the state of Florida.

For now, I am taking the kids to a Christmas music celebration tonight. I am so excited to have them with me, to hear all the music, and have one more opportunity to learn about the real meaning of Christmas. In Christmases past I always told my children about Santa and played that game. Let's face it and be honest-- I have outright lied to my children for many years about Christmas and how it works. I am working hard this year to make sure they understand that Santa is a fun game to play at Christmas but not the true reason for the holiday. Kallista and Jenna are starting to come around and understand but Josiah is set that Santa is the end all.  At some point, I may be looking my son in the eye and telling him that I lied to make Christmas fun and Santa does not exist. It may sound harsh but waiting for him to realize that Santa is not real is only perpetuating my lie.

Friday, December 3, 2010

Pajama party fun at the Narunsky's with an added twist of my imagination!

Having a pajama party with my kiddos tonight! I love these nights!! Josiah, Kallista, and Jenna get all giggly and silly. It is so fun for me when we do things like this. We all pajama up, sit around, talk, hang out, tell jokes, watch movies, goof off, and then to top off the fun-- we make a breakfast themed supper together. I love making memories like this! In my mind's eye, I cannot help but see two more babes joining in the fun of our pajama party tonight. Two little sweet things toddling around with diapers puffing out their pajama bottoms. As I see it, they would be running around us hooting and hollering while we laugh at our silly made up knock-knock jokes. Maybe at times, those cute babes would be weaving in and out of our legs while we are setting the table, keeping us on our toes. How about two beautiful children smeared with syrup head to toe while they join in the party and eat their pancakes with their little hands? Orange juice dripping from their chins? Sounds crazy doesn't it? To be this excited about what some would think a disaster? I just cannot wait to make memories with my new babes!

Would like to say a special thanks to Jim for our new blog header!! Love it!! Thanks Jim!!