Saturday, December 28, 2013

One Year Later: What I Have Learned Through Adopting Our Son

This December marks three years since we began the international adoption process.  One year ago today, we met our son, Tyson, for the very first time. 

My thoughts about adoption have evolved in these three years. When we made the decision to start the journey, I was fired up with emotion and fervor.  EVERYONE should adopt! RAH! RAH! RAH! I would get a little frustrated with those that told me, "Oh, I could never do what you're doing."  I couldn't understand why anyone would hesitate to bring a child without a family into their home. 

And then we actually started the adoption process. 

For two years, it was as if we were on a roller-coaster ride. A really old, unstable roller coaster where the track is falling apart, the seat belts don't buckle, and the brakes have stopped working.   

It was hard; emotionally tolling on our family, our resources, and our relationships.  

Over the course of the two years it took to complete our adoption from the DRC, I learned a lot in general about adoption.  

Don't assume everyone you work with has integrity. I learned the hard way that there are not as many adoption agencies truly advocating for the best interest of the child as I had imagined.  If you are considering adoption but not sure where to start, head over here.  

The international adoption process isn't for everyone. Not every family has the emotional resources or time to invest in a child that comes from trauma and brokenness. Some parents are fighting to keep their current home situation functioning and healthy. Adding another piece to the already volatile dynamic could cause the family to implode. 

The entire family needs to be on the same page. When the process gets hard and frustrating (and it will), both the husband and wife need to be able to look at one another and know that they made the decision to commit to adoption together.  It is crucial that married couples both be invested fully in the decision to adopt.  

Adoption is an option for the orphan, but it is not the only answer.  Providing in-country hope, resources, and families for orphans who will never be able to be adopted must become a priority for American Churches.  

It is vital to have a group of people surrounding you who get it and completely understand what it means to love a child you have never met. I'm so grateful for the other families that were walking through the process at the same time. We encouraged each other, calmed one another down, and just offered any bit of support we could. We celebrated like we had won the lottery when someone received a new picture of their child. I haven't even met most of them in person, but I feel like I lived a lifetime with them. 

One year ago today, we held our son Tyson Henry Word for the very first time.  In just that one day, I learned a few things about adoption. 


Adoption is birthed from loss. It is possible to experience pure joy and deep heartache at the very same moment.  Holding our baby boy for the first time was one of the sweetest moments of my life. It was also one of the most emotional. As I cuddled Tyson and he clung to my shirt, I was reminded of how this baby had come to end up in our arms at all.  We had traveled across the world because this little one had already faced broken relationships and loss. The gravity of that knowledge laid heavy on our hearts. 



I learned what it feels like to take a child from the arms of a foster mama who loved him deeply. Actually, I purposely did not take Tyson from her arms. As a foster mom myself, I knew I couldn't. Brian held him first and I just hugged her tight. There were not enough words to share my gratitude with her. 



Spending our first few weeks together in Tyson's birth country was invaluable. Our hearts are forever connected the DRC, a country with a bruised past and a volatile present.  Though at times it struggles with instability, it is also a country of beautiful people who hope for a better future. We love our son's heritage and hope to return one day to the DRC with him. 




In the past year since bringing Tyson home, I've learned even more about adoption. 

The bonding time is critical.  Only Brian or I held Tyson for the first few months.  Those in our community were so gracious and understanding with this request.  This time was precious to us and so valuable to our family as he adjusted to his new surroundings. 

I have learned not to take my days for granted with him.  There were months of his life that I missed, so I refuse to waste a minute wishing for what comes next.  I have lost too much of his past already. 

Every single piece of paperwork, every roadblock, every single piece of red tape that was on the path to our son was worth it. Every single one.  And I would do it all over again in a heartbeat. 

I've learned that through these past three years, international or domestic adoption is not for everyone. But, without question, it is for our family.  Through sharing our story, I hope that it speaks to others out there who are considering the journey. 

Adoption has turned my life upside down and wrung me inside out. It has stretched and refined my thinking, challenged my worldview, and convicted me of what is truly important in this life.  

It is the hardest and the best thing I have ever done. Adoption has changed my life for the better.   

Happy One Year Gotcha Day, Tyson Henry Word.  You have brightened our world with your infectious smile and dimples for days. We love you dearly and cannot imagine our world without you in it. 













Thursday, December 26, 2013

A Merry Laid-Back Christmas

We made the decision a few years ago that we would wake up Christmas morning in our own home. The following week may be spent traveling to see our extended families along the East Coast, but that morning would be a time preserved for our little tribe. 

Last year, Christmas ended up being a flurry of packing and planning, as we prepared to fly to the Congo the following morning.  So, we were very content to have no plans and no agenda yesterday, other than to spend time together. 

We kept it simple, just a few gifts each and monkey bread, which is a must-have for every holiday.  The rest of the day consisted of playing with new toys, napping, and eating. Everyone stayed in their pajamas.  It was glorious! 

Toddlers in footed pajamas equals adorableness. 

Buttery, sugary, cinnamony perfection.


Knox and Bandit getting their Christmas presents- which Bandit promptly went 
and buried in one of his 7,000 holes in the backyard. 

Christmas morning smooches. 
 (FYI- Contrary to what this pic is showing, I do not have bright red hair.) 


J-man's third Christmas with us!!!  

Nothing makes a teenager happier than a gift card that involves music. 

So much for a white Christmas. Oh well- let's run! 

Looking super cute while trying out his new toy.

Did I mention he is super cute? 


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Our favorite Christmas tradition- looking through our Family Photo Album from the past year. Blessed beyond measure. 


Hope you had a wonderful Christmas, full of your cherished traditions and favorite people!  





Tuesday, December 3, 2013

A Social Media Christmas: Burdens, Comparisons, and Exhaustion


Remember when the only Christmas decorations you saw were in magazines, department stores, and friends houses who invited you over for parties?

Remember when traditions were passed down through generations rather than over Pinterest and Instagram?

Remember the years before Elf on the Shelf?

Remember when Christmas cards were just that, actual cards? 

I do.

I have to admit, I miss those years. 

Becoming a parent has opened my eyes to all the, ahem, “opportunities” that can be a part of our Christmas celebrations.

Social media has let me know that Santa should be visited, the Polar Express must not be missed, a Christmas parade should be attended, Elf on the Shelf is a ridiculous amount of fun, and Advent is to be creatively celebrated with your children. 

It’s exhausting and overwhelming when I consider all of them.

I’ve seen about 3,253 Elf on the Shelf pictures, each more clever than the first.

There are “Kindness Elves,” doing good deeds daily for their postman, teachers,  third cousins, and the neighborhood cat.

The Polar Express was sold out before I knew tickets were on sale. 

There are many, many ways to do an Advent Calendar.  Each one is the best one, or so I’ve read. 

Christmas cards have already started arriving at my house. The smiling, adorable family photo cards are a mystery to me. How does one get every child to look at the camera and grin at the same time? My boys do a fabulous job of crying, looking confused, or just not looking during every photo op.  Oh, and I still haven’t sent my cards from last year.

Pinterest keeps showing me handmade Christmas wreaths, reindeer cookies, and twig tree ornaments that I should be making.   

I haven’t read a book or my bible in front of roaring fire and my Christmas tree while covered in a blanket.  Instagram has informed me that everyone else is doing that regularly.

According to facebook, 95% friends have finished their Christmas shopping.  All of it was done on Amazon.  I have not yet started.

To be completely honest, I struggle with all of this. It’s a personal problem, I realize, but I share it in case maybe someone out there feels the same way. 

I’ve considered getting off of social media, quarantining my family and emerging on January 2nd back into society.

That option is probably extreme and has the potential to also drive me to insanity.

I'm not at all against decorating or celebrating creatively. Christmas fun has begun in our house. We have hung the stockings and trimmed the tree. (Real Talk: I'm not against instagram. Tonight I posted a picture of my mantle on Instagram, asking for decorating opinions.) We are in the midst of establishing sweet traditions with our boys.  

For me and way my mind works, I just have to view every holiday decision in light of my motives. 

Am I decorating to make our home cozy and welcoming for our family or to be aesthetically pleasing in the pictures I post? 

Do I bake/make/create because that's what every "good mom" does or because it's what I believe is best for my boys? 

Do the Christmas traditions we are planning for the boys bring on stress and exhaustion or joy and life? 

These are the questions that I have to ask in order to refocus and realign myself.

The fact of the matter is that I don’t want to miss this month. I don’t want to lose sight of the hope in this holiday. 

We have two Nativity Sets in our home.  Brian brought this set home from Kenya a few years ago.  


A fellow adoptive friend sent us this Congolese nativity set as we were waiting on Tyson last year. 


They are sweet reminders of God’s promise of a Savior and His faithfulness in every piece of our lives.  While they are simply made and plain in appearance, I think they are the perfect antidote to the holiday madness that I can allow to overwhelm me. 

Christmas isn’t meant to be a burden.  It isn’t meant to choke us with consumerism and comparison.

I don’t want to be blinded by the lights and the glitter and miss the joy and hope.  I don't want to miss the Savior, the redemption, and the ultimate restoration because of His birth. 

Maybe some of you feel this way too. 

Let’s help hold each other accountable, not to doing or spending more, but to truly finding joy this December in the simple things that matter long after this month ends. 








Thursday, November 28, 2013

Full

Two years ago, we spent Thanksgiving in Tennessee with Brian's family.  The week prior had been a mad scramble to put together a nursery room, gather baby items, and mentally prepare ourselves for our first foster placement. 

Though we spent a wonderful Thanksgiving week with family, our minds were on a two-week old baby boy that would be placed in our arms the very next day.  He had lived two weeks without us, and we didn't want to lose another day.  

The four hour drive home was spent talking about schedules, feedings, future possibilities, and the unknowns that go along with a foster placement. 

Our lives were about to change forever.  And we couldn't wait. 

Last Thanksgiving, that baby boy, now a one-year old, flew with us to visit my family in New Jersey.  TD joined us as well for his first ever airplane flight.  

We had become a family of five, but one member had not yet been placed in our arms.  Tyson had legally been our son for a month, but we were still waiting on a few more pieces of paperwork before we could travel. 

Though we spent a wonderful Thanksgiving week with family, our minds were on a Congolese baby boy a thousand miles away. He had lived four months without us, and we didn't want to lose another day. 

This Thanksgiving, we are back in Tennessee, as a family a five.  No more waiting, no more wondering when we will hold a little one in our arms. 

It has been loud, chaotic, and utterly exhausting.  This week has also been amazing. There are giggles and sounds of little feet running through the house.  There are snuggles, and kisses, and little ones calling "mama" from another room.

This Thanksgiving, our arms and our hearts are full.  We are thankful. 








Wednesday, November 20, 2013

The Details

On Sunday, I wrote about needing a miracle.  

People got to praying very quickly. 

And they asked their friends, co-workers, and families to pray. 

Pretty soon, we were hearing from people all over the country who were praying. 

We needed some big mountains moved. 

Those involved in J-man's case were doubtful it could happen today. 

We were hopeful. 

And people prayed. 

This afternoon, those mountains were moved. 

We witnessed our miracle. 

All of the social workers and lawyers involved in J-man's case did too. 

As we walked out of the court room, tears abounded in quite a few of those eyes.

They were flowing freely from mine. 

I know, I know, I know. . . 

You want the details.

I still have to be annoyingly vague.  

BUT. . . hopefully not for long.  


Keep praying, dear friends, as you are such a vital part of J-man's story.  

Your encouraging emails, texts, and messages have supported and surrounded us through this journey. 

We are grateful for each one of you.  

And we are so humbled and blessed to be a part of J-man's life. 








Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Meet Cody and Willie

I'm thrilled to be able to share two brothers with you today who are waiting on their forever family.  Loyal brothers, shuffled from too many homes over the past few years, yearning for a stable and permanent mom and dad. 

Meet Cody, the older brother - He's the protector, always looking out for his younger brother, Willie.  On the edge of becoming a teen in foster care, he's ready to have a place to call his own. His home. 


From Cody's Heart Gallery of Alabama profile ~

Cody, born February 2001 is very sweet and well-mannered. He enjoys landscaping, building things, playing outside, and riding his bicycle. He is involved in special education classes and attends additional private classes. He struggles with reading and writing, but is making steady progress. He tends to be his brother’s caregiver and protector. He would love to live on a farm or rural area and deeply desires a dog of his own.



Meet Willie, the younger brother. He is ripe for someone to invest in his life and help him reach the possibilities and opportunities he hasn't yet imagined for his life.  


From Willie's Heart Gallery of Alabama profile ~

Willie, born February 2002 is very sweet and quiet. He enjoys playing video games, riding his bicycle, and playing outside. He is involved in special education classes & attends additional private classes. He is steadily making progress in his academics. His interests are undeveloped and he needs to experience what life can offer him. 


Additionally, from their Heart Gallery Page: 

The boys share a close bond, have been in and out of foster care for a number of years and greatly desire a permanent home with a loving and active family. They need a family who will provide a structured, nurturing home environment. They need assistance developing hobbies/interests. The boys need lots of assurance and attention; therefore, it would be preferable if they were the only children in the home. 

Could you be their family? 

Does another family come to mind when you see their precious faces? If so, would you forward this on to them? 

Let's pray, advocate, and share their story until they are home.  

Permanently. 



http://www.heartgalleryalabama.com/children/children_details.php?id=688

Sunday, November 17, 2013

A Miracle

"Everyone wants to experience a miracle but no one wants to encounter an impossible situation in order to see one."  D. Bellar

This is a big week in the life of our family.  We have been anticipating this Wednesday afternoon for months, filled with a mixture of hope, uncertainty, and excitement.  

We will stand before a judge who will hear J-man's story for the first time.  We are asking for you to join us in praying for this meeting. 

  • Please pray the judge would hear his case with an objective and open mind.  
  • Please pray she would make her decision on his case THAT day.  (She is not required to make a ruling for thirty days.)
  • Please pray that she would make her decision based on the facts and in the best interest of J-man's future. 

We have been told that it will be a miracle to achieve the outcome we hope for at the hearing Wednesday. Not because of the facts of his story, but simply because the way this court system works.  

Not one person, out of all of the people involved in his case, have indicated Wednesday will go as we hope.  They've pretty much indicated that it's impossible.

BUT, we believe in miracles.  More importantly, we believe in the Miracle-Maker and Mountain-Mover. 

In just the past few months, miracles have already happened.  Mountains have moved in ways we NEVER anticipated. Prayers have been answered and our hopes renewed. 

One day, I hope to be able to share more with you about the events that God has orchestrated in the last few months in ways that only He could do.  

For now, I will share these pictures.  We celebrated J-man's birthday yesterday. This is his GREAT-GREAT grandmama.  She is 92.  He met her for the very first time yesterday.


He has a GREAT-GREAT grandmama.  That is a miracle in itself. But the fact the he was able to meet her, (and introduce her to his Elmo), and that she joined us for his birthday in our home was such a miraculous blessing.  

This is J-man's Great-Aunt, her boyfriend, and Brian's parents. His Great-Aunt has become one of his biggest advocates and a part of our lives.  She's an answer to our prayers and she loves that sweet boy so very much. 



There are so many more amazing stories I wish I could share with you now.  Maybe one day.   

For now, would you join us in prayer for this Wednesday? 

Thank you, friends. 

Saturday, November 2, 2013

Thankful it is O to the VER.

I will end my goal of writing about 31 Days of Thankfulness by stating that I am thankful October is O to the VER. 

November, nice to meet you. Your neighbor, October, officially kicked my rear end. We are no longer friends. 

I have taken my candy corn and gone home. 

October was a huge lesson in finding a spirit of thankfulness despite hard circumstances.

Apparently, working on being more consciously thankful every single day is an open invitation for chaos, mayhem, and gross diseases to enter your home. 

Dang it, someone should have warned me. 

Dealing with a horrendous Hand, Foot, and Mouth for Tyson and myself, an ant invasion, and a husband who ended up in the ER this week for weird esophageal issues that still haven't been resolved left me weary, irritable, and downright unpleasant some days. 

It was a hard month that left me convicted about my focus and the things I way too often take for granted.  I've found there is no joy without a spirit a thankfulness, and it's not a place I want to sit in for very long.  A good reminder for every single day, not just one month out of the year. 

As I finish out the month and look back on the past week, I can say I'm thankful we were able to get quick medical attention for Brian.  We have a diagnosis and are still waiting to hear back on some tests that were run. 


I'm thankful for hand-me-down Halloween costumes, because who in the world wants to pay $30 for a costume when there is a 98.5% chance your toddler will refuse to wear it that night? 

In our case, we put the boys in their costumes and went outside for pictures. Miraculously, they loved wearing them, despite the 80 degree fall weather. 


Mr. Giraffe made it his goal to try and gain entry in all of our neighbor's homes. Without knocking.  He hit up four homes by way of two front doors, a back door, and a side door. Successfully entered one home and came running right back out with their dog on his tail. (Literally) Good times.  



This puppy dog loved being upside down.  Our actual dogs don't feel the same way.  


While brother attempted to enter homes around the neighborhood, Mr. Puppy Dog enjoyed crawling up and down sidewalk.  

Our Halloween fun last about twenty minutes, just long enough for mama and daddy to work up a sweat chasing their puppy and giraffe, who were headed in different directions at all times.  



Welcome November! So thankful you are here! 









Wednesday, October 23, 2013

31 Little Lives Lost: Why Clean Water Matters

Two weeks ago, I wrote a post blathering on and on about my really rough week. I was dealing with a husband out of town and a sick baby.  Blah, blah, blah. . . First-world problems.  Blah, Blah, Blah. . . ants in my bathroom.  Blah, Blah, Blah. 

I got it together enough at the end of the post to gain some perspective on my situation in light of the rest of the world.  

There were a few things I mentioned that I was thankful for, one of which was clean water. 

Around the same time that week, tucked in the middle of the DRC and accessible only by small plane, was an orphanage in crisis. 

Dysentery had struck, killing over HALF of the children in just a few days. 

31 out of 52 children.  Many under the age of five.  

All because of the lack of clean water. 

That week, I held my sick, Congolese baby boy and had the privilege of nursing him back to health.  He was given clean water and juice to help him from dehydrating. He was changed frequently when his diapers were runny and full.  He was enveloped in my arms when he was fussy.  He was reminded of my  love over and over as I kissed his feverish cheeks.  

Those 31 little ones and the others who were sick did not have that privilege.  The weight of that wears heavily on me. 

Those 31 little ones did not have access to clean drinking water and because of that, they died. 

Clean drinking water. That is all. 

What I so flippantly take for granted on a daily basis made the difference between life and death for them. 

Please take a minute to head here to read their story, see the precious faces of lives that were lost, and to learn what you can do to help make sure this does not happen again.  

Then read here for an update on the situation and more ways to help. 

This is not just a sad story to read, this is an opportunity to see a need and meet it in a very tangible way.  

My heart is heavy for the lives lost and for those who remain, still living in a precarious situation.  There are adoptive parents grieving, because they received an unexpected phone call that their son or daughter had passed away.  There are orphanage caretakers in mourning over dozens of children who they could not save, though they tried with every resource they had. 

I'm embarrassed by my whiny first world problems, my friends, they PALE in comparison to the burdens so many face around our world.  Forgive me, and join me in praying for these children and those in place to care for them. 


Tuesday, October 22, 2013

I Blame it on Naps and HGTV

It's official. I stink at blogging every day.  I tried, really I did.  And I'm thankful, really I am.  But my "31 days of Thankfulness" blog series made it to about day 13 and then broke down.  Dang it.

To those that have multiple children, cook actual meals, have clean floors and are able to find the time to write everyday, I salute you and stand amazed.

It appears my love of the occasional nap, HGTV, and my part-time job may be getting in the way of actually being a consistent blogger.  Oh well.  

If napping is wrong, I don't want to be right. 

I'm going to do a quick Thankfulness catch-up because I know some of you were really devastated when I stopped posting everyday. (At least that's what my mom told me.)

Over the past week, I've been Thankful for: 

  • Beautiful days outside to release some little boy energy.

  • A two year-old with an adorable hat obsession. 


  • Text message conversations with far away girlfriends that have me laughing out loud. #youknowwhoyouare
  • Grandparents who provided us with a new swingset.  
  • Chilly mornings, cozy blankets, and fall boot weather. 
  • My little mischief makers. 
  • Generous gifts of fall and winter clothing for the boys
  • Starbucks gift cards
  • Knowing that in two weeks, updated pictures of Tyson and a big hug from me will be delivered to Mama Isabelle by another DRC adoptive mom.
Some days I can't even handle how cute this kid is...

That's all for nowIt's nap time!  

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Meet Aaliyah

She's seven.  Craves one-on-one adult attention.  Really, what little one doesn't love the adoration and affection of their family?  

Except, this is different, because this treasured little girl doesn't have a forever family to give her the attention she needs.  This sweet girl is LONGING and absolutely craving for someone to care for her.  

Could it be you? 

Meet Aaliyah. 


Aaliyah, born July 2006 is an active little girl that is full of energy. She plays well alone and prefers not to be in a large group setting. Aaliyah likes one-on-one attention from adults. She loves to watch cartoons and play with dolls. Aaliyah also loves to swim and play outside. 

Aaliyah is curious, so she likes to explore. Aaliyah must be monitored closely, as she will wander off when things catch her attention. She has no boundaries and will leave with a stranger if not monitored closely. 

Aaliyah is a very sweet young lady who loves to be praised. She responds well to a behavior chart and regular praise. She longs for a family who will provide her the support and attention she needs to grow into an adulthood.




Friends, YOU ARE MAKING A DIFFERENCE.  Families are inquiring about these Heart Gallery children because you are sharing their story!! 

I ask that you would please share Aaliyah's story.  Let's help this little one find a forever family so the draw of just anyone's attention is no longer needed. Pray for her to be connected with a family that will love, nurture, and care for her in ways that she will never have to question where she belongs or whether she is wanted. 

To learn more about Aaliyah, please head to her Heart Gallery page

Pray.  Advocate.  Share.  

Monday, October 14, 2013

Day 14: Long Distance Connections

I'm woefully behind on all parts of my life.  My hopes of actually posting everyday this month are long over, but I'm going to continue my 31 Days of Thankfulness with a few gaps.

Thanks to my government-funded job, I get off on state holidays, which has allowed me to be home all days with my boys.  AND. . . they decided to both sleep in until 7:30 this morning!  

That is tangible proof it's a new week, people! Woohoooooooooo! 

Before kids, being off of work meant spending the day catching up on tv shows, enjoying my coffee, running errands, and maybe meeting a friend for lunch. These days, having the day off means exactly none of that. But it did give us some time to catch up with family today.  

I'm almost a thousand miles away from my sister and her family and my parents.  I see my sister at most, three times a year, which is unacceptable, but a current reality.  My parents are able to visit us a little more, which I am so grateful for, but I still always wish for more time.

Today, (and many days), I'm thankful for Skype.  It's made being so far from the ones I love a little bit easier.


When the little ones change and grow on almost a weekly basis, being able to see one another at least allows us to feel as though we are "there" for some of milestones. 

A typical conversation consists Tyson is usually trying to reach the computer to push any and all buttons and J-man is trying to give hugs and fist bumps through the computer screen. It's chaotic and loud and crazy, but it's a tiny piece of family connection that I miss so dearly.  

Thankful for technology and the day off today!  

Saturday, October 12, 2013

Day 12: Over

On Thursday, I put up this post, joyfully awaiting my husband's arrival home that night after a really hard week.  

And then he missed his flight.  Which really stunk.  

He wouldn't be able to get in until lunchtime on Friday. 

I may have cried. 

On Thursday night, I became the lucky recipient of Tyson's virus which provided me with a fever, aches, and chills.  

Did I mention it was a hard week? 

Friday morning was spent trying not to get too close to J-man and infect him as well.  Which is obviously super easy to do with a two year-old.  

Brian walked through the door late morning and hugged me.  I may have cried.  A lot. 

Then my aching, feverish self went into our room and didn't come out until today.  

Today, I'm thankful that my husband is home, that J-man didn't get this dreaded virus yet (and hopefully won't), and that my fever is gone.  

And I am thankful this week is OVER.  

Thursday, October 10, 2013

Day 10: Reinforcements

Brian is on his way home. 



Here is how I feel about it. 




Reinforcements are coming. 

That is what I'm thankful for today. 



Wednesday, October 9, 2013

Day 9: Ants in My Pants. Literally.

Day three of solo parenting.  I'm losing, people. 

Tyson is pitifully not feeling well and has needed almost constant snuggles or attention. 

J-man is a little confused.  He doesn't understand this whole, "please don't hug your brother," mantra that his mama has used this week. Any other time, she's begging for him to hug it out with his brother.   Poor guy does not get this sudden turn of events. 

One of the dogs keeps peeing in the house.  I can't figure out who. But I have my suspicions (and it rhymes with Randit. )

I put Tyson down for a nap today and headed to take a shower for the first time this week.  Made it a foot into the bathroom when I noticed a lot of movement on the floor.  

Ants.  Ants everywhere.  

Ants in my pants.

Literally.  I had a few pairs lying on the floor. 

Ran to get the only thing I knew would help.  Windex.  Thought I killed them all.  

Then saw some in my closet.  For some reason, that was what drove me over the edge.  It's one thing to enter my bathroom, but don't you dare enter my closet. 

Full on sobs. 

Called Brian.  He calmed me down slightly and went to call our pest control guy.  

Found ants in our bed.  Another breakdown. 

(Had this incident occurred separately from the rest of my week I may have responded with much less dramatics.  Or not.  Hard to tell.)

Pest Control guy showed up 45 minutes later.  Squirted and sprayed some death potion and left. 

Threw my ant-infested clothes and sheets in the washing machine and set the water temperature to 4,000 degrees.  Die, suckers, die. 

I can't stop itching.  

Did I mention my propensity for dramatics today?

Today really stunk. But seriously, when put into perspective and compared to the most of the earth's population, I have NOTHING to complain about. 

We were able to have someone come fix our ant problem within an hour.  

I have a washer and dryer available inside my house.  

I have hot water.  I have CLEAN water.

I have a bed.  

These are first world gifts that I do not deserve but yet have been given. I take them for granted FAR too often.  

Today, I'm thankful for first-world conveniences.  I'm reminded that I have been blessed with much and therefore I have much to give others.  May my life, my resources, and my earthly possessions be used for more than my personal gain and comfort.  

(P.S. The above statement does not apply to the ants.  They are not welcome to any of my possessions or my home.)