From the BlogSubscribe Now

Show Me Your Moves

20+ years with this guy! (Photo: Jessica Quadra, Barcelona, Spain)

20+ years with this guy! (Photo: Jessica Quadra, Barcelona, Spain)

As we were driving home from Denver this evening, after a fun day where Jason and Em went climbing at REI and Ryan and I watched monster trucks in all their volume do their thing at the Pepsi Center, we were flipping through the channels looking for some good tunes to pass the time.

Em told me to stop it at a certain song. It had a pretty good dance beat. And it’s like it’s automatic, or something…but the ribcage just started going.

I turned to Jason, my ribs all over the place, and said, “Show me your moves, Graves.”

Jason has one move, and well, it looks like this: Stand up straight, bend your arms to a 90 degree angle, elbows at the waist, hands held in loose fists. K. Now, barely move your hips from side to side.

That’s it. That’s what he’s got. Though, if you must know, he did once have a mean moonwalk, but that was before I ever knew him, you know, way back when he and his best friends wore parachute pants.

I said, “Dude, we would have never hooked up if we had met at a club…”

He smiled and said, “I would have learned to dance to get you.”

And that’s the end of the story, folks.

Jason Graves is my lobster.

More "Lessons from Spain"

I tell you what…if finding out I was pregnant after a trip to Spain was a way to learn things such as, the sky is the limit, throw caution to the wind, live life to the fullest, OR, say, the opposite, like, be careful, look both ways when crossing the street, always bring an umbrella, well, then the last week has been good for me, in a hellish sort of way.
The age I would be at time of delivery. (Graffiti in Barcelona)

And by “good for me” I mean, “Holy Ship My Pants, Batman!”  Please know, I don’t mean this disrespectfully.  I know, KNOW, know many women who have longed to be mama’s in their life time’s…some never experiencing it, others having only gotten to treasure it for a short time, some never getting to hear their sweet babies cry, or meeting their child face to face.  I, too, have had 2 miscarriages and lost a yummy sweet boy sooner than I ever imagined possible.  I am not discounting these longings, whatsoever.
Translation:  Do not let your dog ship its pants here in this public space.
But I won’t lie when I tell you that for the last few days I have had irregular breathing patterns thinking about the “what if’s” if I were, indeed, pregnant.  And I won’t lie.  Those days were dark in my head and heart. 

Last night as I fell into bed I told my husband I didn’t even need to lower myself down, I simply collapsed under my own body weight.  Still not having shed all my “Viva Espana” weight, then getting PMS like nobody’s business (I NEVER have it, NEVER, no cramps, no tenderness, nada), I was sure we were in for a surprise, and not like, “Ooooh, awesome!”, but more like, “Holy Ship My Pants-ness, Ryan’s going to be a big brother?! #$%^&*.”

I named off two friends I’d consider giving our baby to, since they are looking to adopt.  My heart was heaving and not thrilled at the thought…at all. 

What can I say?  Yes, I celebrate and love children, but these are the real thoughts that went through my head and heart.  I’m sure you’ve never thought this.  Clearly, I suck more than you.

Before I drifted off, however, I told Jason, “If it’s a girl, I’m naming her Georgie.”
This morning I looked at my calendar, counted days, tried to remember what I was thinking or if I had been thinking and, HOLY SHIP MY PANTS, were we even thinking?  I rolled out of bed, pulled up my bootstraps, and actually smiled at the new found peace that had settled into my heart over night. 
“Georgie…totally.  We’ll name her Georgie, and maybe her middle name will be Madrid or Barcelona.” 

I headed into what is usually one of my favorite days of the week:  LAAAAAAA!  Thursday.  My day.  A day where Ryan hangs with our fabulous babysitter and I head to the library, word-nerd heaven, where I sit amongst books and thoughts and dreams to read and write and enjoy the quiet.
First stop, the coffee shop for something with almond milk, “to-go”.  Second stop before setting up my portable office at the library:  the ladies room.
(The following is a text conversation)
A:  “You’re lucky…”
J:  “That made me laugh.”
A:  “I’m glad my bleeding uterus is funny to you. I almost shipped my pants with worry!”
A:  “But, the name Georgie for a little girl IS fabulous!”
A:  “Maybe it’ll be my pen name…hmmm, yes!”
J:  “Your pen name should be Georgie or Bleeding Uterus?”
A:  “Probably Bleeding Uterus.  It’s raw, catchy, authentic…”
I’m not sure I’ll use “Georgie” or “Bleeding Uterus” or something else entirely as a pen name, but I do know this:  I will always write vulnerably and with authenticity, because this particular lesson from Spain is:  life doesn’t always turn out as we plan, but I already know from experience, it can be more beautiful than we ever imagined.

*And, a couple bonus “Lessons from Spain:” menses symptoms are greatly affected by how clean one eats.  It was a reminder, and a heck of a way to re-learn this, but my body tells me things and I need to listen.  Moderation.  And, make that appointment…

Foods that contribute to monthly bloating, mood swings, and cramps: amazing churros from Barcelona

A picture my husband said I’d never post since it’s not flattering…I don’t know what’s not flattering about eating an entire crab by yourself, soaked in butter, but arrrrrr, I love crab!  Living it up, eating without regrets/symptoms in Espana.

Laguardia, Espana, aka, Wine Country, being kissed by my prince on top of a castle…*alcohol, another contributor to monthly swings.

More on the food tour: constipation and bloating,  I mean ice cream and molten chocolate cake with some sort of awesomeness on the side… 

Reminder, Adrienne:  you feel healthy when you eat healthily
So, no.  There is no Georgie Madrid Graves on the way.  The only baby we brought home from Spain is this Spanish Mater.  #vivaespana

Knee-Jerk Reaction

I’m nauseous. 

Sick to my stomach.

There’s a pit deep in my guts that hurts and aches.

Part of it aches and mourns for the families of the sweet Kindies and staff in Connecticut who were brutally shot down by a guy who was really just another kid, only taller.  

20 years old.  What were you doing when you were 20?  I was studying Spanish III, Humanities, and Major World Religions.  I was laughing with friends, in the dorms, at the cafeteria, over at the gym.  Every Thursday night I was leading a small group of girls in Bible study and prayer, just trying to figure out how to navigate college and life.  I was heading out on date nights with my then boyfriend, now husband, and having girls’ night out with my 30 closest “BFF’s”.  I was “being” 20.

Another part of my heart aches for all the “leftovers.”  I hate that fear and despair and nightmares and only memories and empty places at kitchen tables are now reality for some families on the East Coast.  I hate that kids just lost their playground playmates.  

Planning a funeral for your kid is a heart wrenching thing.  

I also know what it’s like to be in 3rd and 4th grade and lose friends.  It sucks.

Our Country needs a priority check.

Last month people left and right were warring with words and signs and sentiments about how our Country needs change.  I was physically sick some days in my guts, deep in the pit of my stomach, at how much hope and hopelessness was being placed, or not placed, in political figures and laws and policies, in humans.  Really?  

As if ONE MAN or WOMAN has that much power or influence…

Our World needs a priority check.

Tragedies happen like tsunamis and earthquakes and fires and floods and hurricanes, and shootings, and people join together to help for a time.  Hug a little tighter, share possessions, wipe tears.  And, from my observation and personal experience, fear then sets in.  For some it is crippling to the point of isolation, for others it produces paranoia, still others violence as a protective measure.  I’ve literally stared at my son for 2 years.  I get it.

But the only knee-jerk reaction that we as a Country and as individuals need to take is the kind that bends our knees and bows our heads and hearts.

Because ONE MAN or WOMAN does have that much power and influence…to literally change the world.  But it has to happen in our hearts first.  It must happen with our knees physically bent, heads bowed, hearts laid bare before God, the ONLY ONE WHO CAN BRING HEALING IN THIS BROKEN WORLD.

We need a priority check that places God back as the number One priority.
I’m sick of the political “correctness” and spiritual “correctness” in our attempts to “build” bridges.  

So far, the attempts have done nothing but bring out our ugliness.  People are fighting for their right for this or that, freedom to do what they want, say what they will.  The choice to do whatever, whenever, wherever, with whomever.

Me, me, me, me, me, me, me.  But that’s fine for you, you, you, you, you.

YES!  ONE MAN or WOMAN does have that much power and influence, and we’ve seen it can be for either good or evil. 

I think the words were, “Your kingdom come, Your will be done, on Earth as it is in Heaven.”

None of this is God’s will.  None of it is His wrath.  Stop being pissed at Him.  He has never stopped being good.

The shit hits the fan because we think we want to be in charge.

I know in my own life, it’s not working for me…the part of me being in charge.

Our Country needs a knee-jerk reaction, that’s for sure.  But it’s not for or against guns and it’s not in a mass exodus towards homeschooling.

Every.  Single.  Knee.  All of them.  Both of mine.  

Bending.  Bowing.  One man, one woman changing the world, two knees at a time.

We need revival.

My Little Lover

Two exciting things happening in this picture:  One, Ryan is sitting at his big boy table, and two, he’s practicing blowing his own nose.  (Em’s old Jenny Lind table and chairs.)
Ryan and I have been heading out on bike rides in the mornings.  He thinks his sister’s hand-me-down helmet is pretty cool (hula dancer on the back and all…).  He yells, “Neigh, Neigh!” the whole time as we head over to a meadow near or home filled with horses.
Sometimes he wants to wear his hand-me-down froggy boots, rain or shine.
The shirt is wide open because so you can see his hairless chest…no, but really, we had to re-dress after lunch today.  Notice the little black eye!  I’m so sad!  Ry got his first little shiner while climbing up the steps on the playground last evening.  
This is the face I stare at every day.  He knows my name.  He hugs my thighs.  He kisses me and snuggles on my shoulder.  My heart is so very, very full…

And by "Busy" I mean…

This guy keeps me on my toes. He’s napping now which has allowed me this brief moment to post a few pics and random thoughts.

This is his cupboard.
See.  He actually sleeps in there.  Kidding, kidding!  But it is his cupboard where, if he’s not reading a book, throwing the dog her ball, trying to climb the stairs and walking around things, he’s pulling out the unbreakable contents of this designated cupboard.
This drawer, the napkin drawer, and by “napkin” I mean 500, was not a designated drawer…except we hadn’t put the latch on it yet, so Ryan found it and designated it napkin party central!
These are actually Jason’s shooting ear pluggy cover thingamaboppers, but Emily likes to put them on once in a while to drown out “background noise” aka, her little brother…Ryan just likes to put them on to look like a recording artist…or Bob the Builder…
When my little lover is contained in his booster chair, I’m able to breathe deep for the brief amount of time it takes for him to snarf down his food before he’s onto the next adventure.
I can’t imagine life without him!  I am so grateful God has allowed us the life we have lived thus far, the good, bad and ugly, in order to have met the kids we have, the one we don’t anymore, and to gain the perspective that even in the day to day mundane, there is beauty, laughter, and meaning.
Okay, except that wasn’t what I was going to post 🙂  But I’ll leave it at that.  Grateful.  Thankful.  Busy but with good stuff.  Finding joy in the day to day.  Asking God to lead me by His Spirit so I’m not just doing things to do them or to please others, but to glorify God and walk in obedience to Him.   
Yeah, that…

Making Out

So, I used this as my title post here.

But, it has a different meaning to me when it comes to these cheeks.

Both sets of cheeks above are ones I don’t think I could get sick of smooching on…

When I fell in love with Jason, I never imagined I could ever be in love with another man. Then I met Noah. Then I met Ryan. Of course my love for my sons is different than my love for Jason, but I have to say that meeting these two baby boys, and getting to hang out longer with the one pictured above, well, it’s melted my heart and stirred up lovely dovey feelings that I am so happy are there.

I love, love, love Emily! Having a daughter is a huge joy to my heart. But I’m a messed up woman and I hope and pray I don’t mess her up too much as a young girl. I’m using discretion of how much of my messed up journey I share with her and how much I shelter her from. Being a mom to a daughter is hard work. Maybe I only know this because it’s been more long term and I’m still in the honeymoon stage with Ryan, but either way, I wouldn’t trade being their mom for the world…I do know that.

Having a son, I probably could mess him up, too, but for now, I’m just busy making out with those chubby cheeks and super duper yummy pudgy wrists. Em wants me to think of a permanent nickname for Ryan, something that won’t embarrass him when he’s in junior high and high school.

Right now, nothing qualifies:

  • Little Lover
  • Love Bug
  • Sweet Baby
  • Cutie Pie, pronounced “Kew pie”
  • Yumminess

Yeah, Em’s like, “Mom, you can’t be all, ‘Hey, Little Lover, come here!’ in the grocery store when he’s 13!”

She’s right, but in the meantime, as long as my Peanut Butter will let me call her that, I’ll call Ry all the lovey names in the book.

My prayer is that Ry will be as in love with me as Em is with her sweet daddy…at least for a little while, a mom can dream 🙂

Country Western

So, I know I’m near 40ish, one because of the “freckles” on my arms, two because there are 20-somethings in my life who ask me what I want at my big “40th” celebration, three because Jason just turned 39 and he’s 6 months older than I am, and four because I can do math. It was one of my best subjects until I went to college…40 minus 38.5 equals one and a half years.

I’m cool with that.

Age has always been just a number to me. Yes, it marks the passage of time, but time isn’t all bad…not the passing of it, anyway. So much happens within the measurement of time, whether it be good or bad. Since Noah came into my life, I’ve treasured and respected time much more than I had in the past. Time is important to me. I’ve learned that time is a love language I speak. I’m not saying I speak it well, I’m just saying I am aware that it’s a big deal to me.

When time is a big deal to a person, especially for moms, it can be easy to become frustrated when it’s wasted or passes too quickly. Or, if it gets “interrupted”.

I wonder how often “our time” is interrupted, when in reality, it’s God’s way of redirecting us…redirecting our hearts, our passions, our agendas. We think that what we have going on is the most important task in the world, when truly, what needs to be accomplished is sitting on the hammock for 6 minutes with our kids while they tell us about their days or stopping to snuggle our sweet kid who has a fever and just wants his or her mommy.

Mom’s are masters at multi-tasking…for the most part, at least. But I have seen over the last 8 years of being a mom, both to Em and while Noah was hospitalized, that even though I could multi-task didn’t mean, at that moment in time, I was supposed to be doing more than one thing at once. Sometimes I needed to be solely focused on whatever the two of us were doing, even if that meant playing with play dough or reading books or snuggling at bedtime rather than cleaning a toilet or even having dinner ready before 8:00!

Kids obviously need to learn that the world does not revolve around them. If we stopped everything, all the time, everyday to “watch this”, our homes would be disasters, our children would look like waifish little rug rats, and we’d never even have the chance to brush our teeth.

But, kids need time. They need eye contact. They need two ears on them once in a while. Because, before you know it, time will have passed…it won’t be like this for long.

I sit here 5 weeks out from my due date. (Whatever the heck that means, right? As my doctor said, “He’ll come when it’s his birthday.” I tell ya, that doc of mine sure is one smart fella!) 8 years have passed since Em was a teeny tiny baby. I remember walking in the daily moments with her as they came, but I can’t remember details of being a mommy to a baby. It’s surreal that, at some point, this kid will be in need of potty training. (Thankfully, this time around Jason will be called into play for instructions, since, of course, I don’t have that kind of plumbing…) But while that is happening, I’ll probably be buying Em a “training bra”…which brings me to “Country Western” and the referral to my age…

At least when I was younger (and everyone I asked from AZ), we referred to that unique music from the South as “Country Western”. Maybe it was an Arizona thing since we were from the West but not really living in the country. We were city-folk, so to us, the music style was “Country Western”. I’ve been informed by a couple 20-somethings that it’s just “Country”. Either way, it’s never been the music of my choice. My friends Ashley and Angie in college exposed me to it on a road trip to Florida once. It wasn’t bad. I couldn’t tell you much about it now except that we listened to Garth Brooks back in that day. It was Angie’s car…I didn’t have much of a choice!

I don’t have any Country Western albums or music on my Zune, but recently Gina, a certain 20-something former radio co-host made me what she titled “Adrienne’s Tractor Tunes”. If you ever heard our radio show, “The Well” you’ll know I regularly mocked the song about the green tractor. I mean, really…singing about your tractor? Anyway, I popped this CD into my computer…

…and it reminded me of why I don’t listen to Country Western music. (Gina, I love you, just not how sad Country Western music is…)

“It won’t be like this for long” is about the stages of life of a sweet baby girl who grows up too freaking fast…

“I loved her first” is about a dad singing to his daughter and her guy about how, not long ago, he was all she needed and that there’s a place in his heart that will always belong to him…

“Never wanted nothing more” is about a guy who has been drinking, down by the river in his car, wanting nothing more than that girl he’s with…

Now, “Cleaning this gun” I can totally see! It’s a dad singing to the guy who has intentions to take his daughter out for the evening. The dad says that’s fine…I’ll just be here at home cleaning my gun. I like this guy’s style…

The way I look at it, most of the songs reminded me of why time is important…why I’m being so sappy about Em going off to a 3 day overnight camp…why, when she does her own hair and pulls her bangs off to the side she looks like a young lady…why I stare at her just a little longer after her eyes have closed and she’s sleeping quietly on my night to tuck her into bed…why I am really looking forward to homeschooling her next year for a few more treasured moments with her in the day to day…why, whether I am supposed to or not, at 8+ months pregnant I still scoop her up into my arms at 55 lbs and hold her on my hip and tell her how much I love her!

I’m “Shameless”, I know, but “I Loved Her First” and she’s “My Little Girl”…”She’s Everything” and I know “It Won’t Be Like This For Long” so I’m going to “Love (her) Like Crazy”…because “My Next 30 Years” aren’t even promised.

The other day she tried to tell me that she loved me more than I could possibly love her. I know she was just trying to express how very much she loves me, but that girl has no clue as to how much I love her. I love her to the moon and back, bigger than the universe, more than I’ll truly ever be able to express…I want her to know she is loved…and the way she will know is through my time spent loving her.