Wednesday, May 30, 2012


Today, my big boy turned 5...

Thursday, May 24, 2012

My Mother's Day Blessing

Becoming a mother is one of the best things that ever been blessed with.  And I am so very blessed to have a wonderful Mother and Grandmother in my life. 

Even with those blessings, Mother's Day can be kind of hard with two babies in Heaven, just months from an almost adoption and still aching for that addition to our family.

And I'm not going to sugar coat it...this year has been rough.

But when Mother's Day rolls around, I was excited for a couple different reasons.  One of them was that my brother and his family were coming to visit for the first time since their 2nd child's birth.  Yay! 

(Don't you just love little baby hands?)

It was a beautiful day and I enjoyed the time with the family more than anything.  My Grandma will be 82 this summer and I feel really blessed to still have her in my life.  My brother and his family from Oklahoma was there.  My brother who lives about an hour and a half away drove in and, of course, I'm so thankful for my Momma as well. 

But, the thing that surprised me the most.  That caught me off guard and embarrassed me a little at the same time was what my church did.  We go to a very large church for our area.  Every Mother's Day the Pastor's wife will ask for the mom with the most children to stand and they give her a gift.  Then the mom with the youngest baby, then the oldest mom.  And every year they choose a lady to honor as Mother of the Year. 

This year they called my name.  They asked me to come to the front and they prayed over my family and I.  They prayed over our future children.  Over our adoption.  I had to bite my lip to keep from crying as they shared parts of our story.  A little about our babies in Heaven.  About Samuel, our son for six days, and about our hopes for adding to our family.  They shared about my work with our local crisis pregnancy center and I couldn't help but blush.  I could think of many ways I am NOT mother of the year.  So many awesome mama's in that crowd.  I didn't feel worthy, but I will totally and completely accept those prayers!  

Later that night, Ethan helped my open my gifts and I felt so blessed to be a part of such an awesome, loving church and family!

I hope all the women I know had a blessed day.  Mother's come in all types.  The mentor, the mother-to-be, the mother of 10, the mother of 1, mother without a mother...whatever kind of mother you are, I hope you had a very blessed day.

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Her Name was Marsha

I just wrote about what prompted us to put together blessings bags.  When we were putting them together (scroll to the bottom for a list of what we put in ours), I tried to imagine what it would be like handing them out.  I had done things like this before.  I volunteered in a small homeless shelter some in college.  I've been on mission trips.  Witnessed to people at the crisis pregnancy center I work at.  But handing these out would be different for some reason.  Maybe it was because I would be alone.  Or maybe it was because my 4 year old might be with me.  I don't know what it was, but it felt different.

The Friday before Mother's Day I did some observation for a new job (I absolutely CANNOT wait to tell you all about!) and had to run a few errands when I got back into town.  My brother and sis-in-law had just gotten here from Oklahoma the night before and I was in a hurry to get to my mom's house to see them.  But I just had to go to the store before I did.  As I pulled into the parking lot, I saw a women holding a cardboard sign saying she needed prayer.  

I felt a conviction and knew I needed to talk with her.  I went in the store first and prayed while I shopped.  I made my purchases and as I left the store, I looked to see if she was still there and she was.  

I usually wouldn't offer cash to a stranger.  I hate to admit it, but I am always a little concerned of what they may do with it, but I couldn't shake the feeling that I was supposed to give this women some money.  While I was praying I finally accepted the fact that this was what I was supposed to do and told God he wins, I would give her whatever I had in my wallet (normally I don't carry ANY cash).  But guess what, there was a $20 in my wallet that day.  I honestly have no idea where it came from.

I drove over to her, parked the car and approached the stop sign where this lady was standing.  I handed her the grocery bag with the blessings bag in it and a couple bottles of water.  I told her I really felt like I was supposed to give her this and handed her the twenty.  She took the bag and the cash and looked a little teary eyed.  

Her name was Marsha.

She said she had a car, but the tank was on E.  She said she slept in that car lastnight.  I told her there wasn't much in the bag, but she said she was just trying to figure out how she was going to eat dinner and that anything would help.  I asked if she had any family here, if she was from around here.  She broke eye contact and told me it was just her and her son, they moved here from the Northern part of the state a few years ago.  And that she lost her son about 2 years ago now.  She has family back in Northern Kentucky and would like to get there.

I asked if anyone had stopped and talked with her. She said not really.  But a few people had handed her a couple of ones and some change out their window.  I asked if I could pray with her.  She said she knows that is what she reallly needs.  So we stood there at the stop sign in front of wal*art and we prayed.  I noticed a women circling us before we prayed and I heard a car pull up and stop while we were praying.  

When I finished, she was crying.  The woman in the car waved a $5 at her and I just hugged her and walked away.  

 Will you join me in praying for Marsha?

* * *

Here is a list of what we included in our blessings bags...
*travel size tissues
*peanut butter crackers
*fruit cup
*travel size hand lotion
*travel size sunscreen
*travel pack that included a toothbrush and toothpaste
*travel deodorant
*new pair of socks
*granola bar
* acetaminophen
*wet wipes
*chewing gum
*flavored water packets (capr.i sun)
*tracks about salvation and "why bad things happen"

We squeezed all these things in a gallon size ziplock bag and prayed over them and we keep a couple in the car.

Saturday, May 19, 2012

Our Anniversary Gift

Our anniversary was almost 5 months ago, but I had just not had the opportunity to use this awesome gift.  No, it wasn't anything fancy, but I would agree that it meant a lot to another woman.

We  celebrated our 5th anniversary on New Year's Eve and decided instead of buying each other gifts, we would go shopping together for blessings bags.    (Julie over at Joy's Hope posted about these a while ago.)

For us, our anniversary is almost an afterthought at times.  It is exactly one week after Christmas and exactly one week before my husbands birthday.  Between family festivities, cleaning up the Christmas decor and eating all that Christmas candy indulging in the season, we usually don't go all out for our anniversary anyway, but we will get each other something and usually go out to eat.  This year, we stayed in our own town and ate dinner together and made our shopping list...

I will be the first to admit that these seemed great in theory to me, but I was a little intimidated by the actual application.  Some one please tell me I am not the only momma that may reach for the auto lock if a stranger approaches our vehicle and the kiddo is with me.  

With my husband being in law enforcement and my background in social work, we do often see the worst of people and are protective, but I really don't want to withhold good from some one who needs it just because I am tainted.

So these blessings bags were going to stretch myself and hopefully bless some one who needs it at the same time.  

Let's flashback to just before Christmas.  Ethan and I were headed to the local superstore to get some groceries.  It was frigid out.  There was a man with a long beard sitting on the curb with a cardboard sign.  Ethan asked what he was doing.  I tried to explain  the man had no home, no place to sleep.  "We should do something."  He said.  We did our shopping and I had full intentions of purchasing the man a giftcard to the restaurant next door, but as things often go, I forgot by the time I checked out.  I felt my stomach knot up as we were driving away and I saw the man still sitting there.  Ethan saw him too.  He said again, "We should DO something!"  I did a u-turn and headed to the restaurant.  I thought I could at least get the man a hot cup of coffee.  As we arrived to the parking lot, another man got out of a little car with a bag of groceries and a hot cup of coffee.  He leaned down and handed it to the man and talked with him.  Ethan saw this too.  He said, "OK mom, that nice man brought him something.  We can go home.  But we need to pray for him.  How about this, I pray for all the sick people and you pray for all the lonely people."  Tears. OK, kiddo.  So we prayed.

I didn't want to miss this opportunity to show my child God's love.  Well, now that I think about it, God used my child to show me His love.  

I just gave one of these out and I can't tell you what a blessing it was...for me.

Friday, May 18, 2012


I'm linking up with a couple of blogs today.  Be sure to join in!


 1. I like to avoid _complaining_ if possible

2. _Patience_ is a virtue I do not have...(but I am working on it!)

3. Sometimes the _ordinary days_ are the _most memorable._

4. I think that _baby grins_ are the best _medicine. (And I got LOTS of medicine with the visit of my new-ish nephew and neice last week!  Take a look at my instagram photos below!)

Fill In The Blank Friday

1.  Something that is very near and dear to my heart is,  adoption and orphan care  .

2.      Summer   is good cause to celebrate .

3.  The most fun I ever had was    (hard question, way too many to choose from!) probably was spending time with my husband and Ethan.

4.  True friends are   the kind that you can talk about anything with, no matter how painful.  You can go a long time without talking to and picking up right back where you left off.

5. Something that makes me terribly happy is       finding little signs of Ethan everywhere.

6. A good way to spend a sunny day is    on the lake with my boys.

7.  My favorite celebratory food is   chocolate of almost any kind.

life rearranged

(They are all! out of order...but you still get a somewhat small glimpse into the past couple weeks!  You can find me on IG and follow me if you want...I'm mattiejw.)

I absolutley HATE driving behind these things!
My precious nephew Lincoln and I on Mother's Day.
Happy early birthday to Gracie and Ethan!
My boys and I on Mother's Day.
Playing mini-golf.
the awesome pattern on my Mother's Day dress.
More smiles!
My Momma, Grandma and me on Mother's Day.
Finding things like this make my heart smile. 
Isn't he just the cutest?  And his Momma is a beauty too!
LOVE my little car-loving boy!
He loves me and he's gonna change the world.

Have a great weekend!!!

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Thursday, May 10, 2012

10 on 10

It seems like all I'm posting around here lately is insta.gram pictures, but I wanted to participate in the 10 on 10 project over at A Little Bit of Sunshine and the 10th just happened to fall on a Thursday and Thursdays I am at our local crisis pregnancy used the wonderful i.Pod touch and instagramed my day one hour at a time.  I really love this challenge and the inspiration behind it.  I want to get back to using my actual camera more and hopefully next month will be able to for this challenge.  Let's see...the 10th falls on next month.  Well, I guess we will just have to see how that goes! 

The 10 on 10 is a challenge to take one photo on the hour every hour for 10 hours on the 10th of the month.  Here is a little peek into my Thursday!

Ethan and I made donuts for dad and put them in a PLASTIC tupper.ware container.  NOT a GLASS an.chor container.  We learned this lesson a couple of months ago after 'someone' accidentally set the glass container on the hood of the vehicle and drove off to deliver said donuts to someone for his birthday then subsequently shattered it all over the highway.  I mean shattered people.  Like little shards of glass and donuts everywhere. 

Moving on....

Opening up at the Pregnancy Center.  It still makes my heart smile to see my daughter's name on the things we donated after her death.  There are many little girly things in the Center's Baby Boutique that have this beautiful name attached to it.

Working on some emails and such at the Center. This is what is on our wall in the office/counseling room. 

My sweet aunt brought me a sweet tea from Micky D's. 


Between Mother's Day and Father's Day we do what is called the "Baby Bottle Boomerange".  At 1 I was working on bottles to go out to area churches.


Making copies of client note forms.


Uh oh.  Sad face.  We just changed the oil a couple of weeks ago.  This light should not be on.  Double Uh-Oh.  I have to go to the gas station.  Gulp.  I don't know about you, but I just really dislike seeing those numbers run up at the pump.


Seeing this sweet little face.  He was a bit anxious this afternoon.  We were waiting on my older brother and his family to get here from Oklahoma and Ethan could just not wait to see them.  He was bouncing off the walls.  At least I think that is what it was.  Maybe it was the donuts...


Checking on the strawberries in our strawberry patch. 


Still waiting on my brother and his family to get here.  Playing my newest addiction game and waiting.  I was not blessed with the artistic gene that runs in my family.  Crafty, yes.  Artistic, not so much.  But sometimes drawing a stick figure Johnny Depp and some one else actually being able to tell what it is makes me feel like Picaso.  Any one else?

Ok, so there is a summary of my day!  One little disclaimer though, some of the pics were taken a few mintues after the hour instead of on the hour because I did see clients at the Center and confidentiality is of huge importance so obvioulsy I wasn't going to snap their photos and place them on my blog for all three of my readers to see!  Oh-the brother and family did arrive a little after 8.  The kiddos played, I got to hold a baby, we had pizza. It was fun.  Just sad they can only stay until Sunday. 

This was fun.  I can't wait to do it with my actual camera!

You should too!  Go on over and bookmark this page and set your alarm to remind you on the 10th of next month and snap away!

Wednesday, May 9, 2012