Weekend in Ca

The girlies and I went for a long weekend in CA this weekend with my mom, dad, and sisters and their families.

It was awesome.  We had amazingly fun times with everyone.  And everyone fell in love with sweet Lauren.  And giggled with Katie Mei.  

And did I take photos?

Nary a one.

So, here are my thoughts about CA and OK.

  • CA wins for weather, hands down.  Even with the rain, it was lovely.
  • the freeways.  How did I survive the freeways?
  • cannot deal with traffic
  • the houses are SO close together.
  • I miss my old backyard.
  • it is so beautiful.
  • But nothing can compare to the hay meadow.
  • well, except for the beach.
  • but they really can't be compared
  • and I don't like sand.
  • especially the dry feeling.
  • yuck.
  • hay meadow wins.
  • Trader Joes.
  • Sonic.  
  • In-N-Out
  • do you sense a food theme in my mind wanderings?
  • yeah.
  • people are rushed and kinda crabby in LA
  • people are kind and chatty in OK
  • and you see someone you know wherever you go
  • case in point, waiting at the airport, we saw a family from school
  • they were on the same flight home
  • Super Target.  OK wins that one.
  • the mountains were amazingly beautiful covered with snow.
  • our street was covered with snow not that long ago.
  • and the kids got to sled
  • and I got to make hot chocolate
  • a gazillion times a day
  • I don't like hot drinks
  • of any kind
  • nope, coffee, no tea, no hot chocolate
  • nothin
  • give me a ton of ice and a straw and I am one happy woman
  • I love soup, though
  • guess you don't really drink soup
  • sheesh.
  • I am so weird.
  • driving in CA scared me this time
  • I totally understand people being freaked out about driving on the LA freeways.
  • I was FREAKED.
  • and I had to remember not to hold my phone up while talking
  • lest the Po-po see
  • public restrooms are not so nice in LA
  • not that they are pristine in OK, but a bunch cleaner
  • this is very important in my world
  • both my girls are proficient pee-ers and poopers
  • just sayin
  • Lauren didn't like In-N-Out burgers.
  • she loved their fries though.
  • So Katie and I ate her burger too.
  • and now, 
  • I am thankful to be home.
  • and feel as though this is where I was always meant to be.

Why is weight such an issue?


I have talked about this before.  And yet, here I am again.  In a spot where I am totally frustrated by my weight.  I am so tired of this struggle.  I am about 10 pounds above where I feel healthy,  and where I don't mind how I look.  Isn't that insane?  I think about that and I just get a little crabby.  Ever since I was little, and had to shop in the husky department of sears, I have battled my weight.  Not that it has ever been a severe issue, but it was enough to make kids make comments.  It also was enough for someone in my family to offer me a dollar a pound to lose weight.  

Yes, a dollar a pound.  And I didn't do it.  Then I also got the gift of Nutri-System one Christmas morning.  That was a low point.  So, I decided this past year to really just concentrate on healthy eating, clearing out the crap.  And I did great.  Not only did I lose weight, but I felt amazing.  So what happened?  Well.  To be honest, China happened.  The stress of the trip and getting used to our new family dynamic has driven me to my favorite comfort source, food.  I am SUCH and emotional eater.  And I have eaten.  

So now, I am feeling that.  I am down about everything and I know that it stems from my emotional eating, and the fact that I feel out of control.  UGH.  Why is this such a struggle for me?  I wish I could be one of those women who could just eat one cookie and be ok with it.  For me, I need to not eat any cookies at all.  I just can't handle the temptaion.

I also know that my eating affects my health.  I know I suffer with gluten intolerance, yet what I have been craving is all those bad carbs.  And I have stomach issues and headaches again.  Not to mention itchy skin.  I know, TMI, but I have to write all this out so I can have people hold me accountable.  

I also see how my eating affects my moods.  I am a CRAB.  I am a jerk.  I am short tempered and just basically a poop.  And I can see that in my short temper with my kids, and I detest that.  I feel it in my relationship with Michael because I don't feel attractive.

So.  Back into the swing of healthy eating.  And exercising.  

Hold me to it friends.  Anyone want to jump on the bandwagon with me?

And just for future reference, Nutri-System as a gift?  Not a great idea.

It sticks with you.


a little this and a little

randomness….. complete with photos!  DE- lux edition.  Just for you.


  • we got a new playground.
  • it has swings.
  • I used to love the swings.
  • now, if I swing for more than a minute, I feel as though I will vomit.
  • Same with spinny rides.
  • If Michael merely LOOKS at a spinny ride, he may vomit.
  • so I am the official spinny ride parent.
  • pin a star on me.


  • but this little toot is the reason I keep swinging.
  • she loves to push me.
  • and watch me turn all shades of green.


  • did I tell you there's a rock wall on our new playground?
  • and that all my family loves climbing on it?
  • but that merely LOOKING at the rock wall may cause me to vomit.
  • _MG_0108 


  • She made it to the top
  • she always does
  • but look at that mom in the background.
  • turning 3 shades of pale.
  • and for Pete's sake
  • does anyone have the name of a great concealer for under eye circles?


  • aw schmoopies
  • they weren't fighting for a minute.
  • how did I get four kids?
  • and when did they get so big?  
  • seriously
  • And now I am crying.
  • seriously.


  • snow day
  • why do my kids always smile like this when they are having their photos taken?
  • don't they know their face might stick like that?


  • YIKERS.  
  • please say it ain't so….


  • that's more like it.


  • this one takes after his father.
  • in many ways.
  • his good looks for one.
  • his ability to make goofy faces.
  • his overacting
  • wait
  • that might be from someone else.


  • uh oh
  • that face freezing virus 
  • this little girl loves chocolate
  • she gets that from her daddy
  • I don't like chocolate.
  • doesn't quite explain why I ate 4 brownies yesterday.
  • just sayin.


  • remember all that talk about chocolate cake?
  • yeah, she ate one bite
  • and then said "blech"
  • and then she ate 25 oranges.


  • this one doesn't like to have his picture taken
  • well, at least not with a bird.
  • you know, he is getting close to 13.
  • and just ordered flowers to send to a certain someone for Valentine's Day.
  • help me.
  • help me PLEASE.


  • he also adores his little sister
  • and he scares her.
  • and she laughs
  • and makes these faces.
  • and she makes me laugh
  • and sometimes spit out my drink.


  • Very proud of her snowman
  • kinda looks like a triangle.
  • my sister Meg used to call diarrhea triangles.
  • because it looked like….
  • never mind.
  • I think I just lost some readers.
  • sorry.


  • so for now, I will bid your farewell.


  • and apologize profusely about the triangle comment.

Did you know??

"Um, Lauren's mom?"  she said with a little wrinkle on her nose and her head tilted to the right. "Yes?" I answered.  "Did you know that she only has one finger on her hand?"  I paused so that I wouldn't giggle just a bit… "Why yes I noticed that!"  I said back.  She nodded and went on dancing.  

"Hey, Lauren's Mom?"  She was back.  With her golden little curls framing her face.  This time she brought a friend with her.  "Yes" I smiled.  "AND did you see that on her other hand, she has two fingers but they are stuck together???"  I looked into her eyes and smiled "Yep- I did know that!  Pretty cool huh?"  She smiled at me "Can she COLOR?"  I smiled back, "You bet she can".  She skipped off to dance in circles with Lauren.

I wondered before we brought Lauren home what looks or comments we might get.  This reaction made my heart just leap.  The innocent little one, with nothing other then interest asking me if I had actually noticed her hands.  And then making sure her new friend could color made my heart smile.  I love that innocence.  I love that reaction to a child who may be slightly different then the rest of her friends.  I love that she came and talked to me about it.  

The thing that surprises me sometimes are just the stares.  Maybe I am reading a whole bunch into the staring.  The people who stare may just be amazed at how crazy my kids are.  Or just how loud we tend to get in public.  Or the oddity of having two white boys and two asian girls.  Or maybe I have spinach in my teeth.

But I can tell.  Sometimes she is getting stared at.  Her hands.  The big momma part of me wants to scoop her up and give those people the what for.  (Not sure what exactly that means, but I know it can't be good) What good would that do?  Will their minds be changed about people who have differences?  Probably not.  

I guess I just never understood that mind set.  Never.  I can see how as a child some differences may "look" a little scary- because they might never have seen anything like that before.  But the adults?  That stare?  And walk the other direction?  Really?  I don't get it.

I am thankful for this sweet little girl who happened to be born with hand and feet differences.  I am blessed to watch her do anything and everything she sets her mind to.  I am grateful for the sweet little ones who accept her without judgement, just honest questions.  And worry about if she can color.  I am in awe of a God who has given us the opportunity to love on this wonder.

I want to encourage you that adopting a special needs child is a special journey.  Just as any other birth or adoption.  You may have some extra challenges, some different issues…. but amazing.  To encourage those who may be considering opening their home to a child with special needs.  Not only will your heart be totally changed and softened, but your world will never be the same.  It will be richer, more boldly colored, and mostly more full of love then you could ever imagine.

That is not to say you will not have challenging days.  Or that there won't be days you don't hide in your shower to weep.  What I am saying is that if you let this slip past you, you may miss out on one of the biggest blessings that the Lord can give you.

So, yes, I know she only has one finger.  Yes, I know she only has two on the other hand.  But, she is PERFECT.  And we wouldn't have her any other way.




Tired of snow



Things I am really tired of:

  • the arguing.
  • the whining.
  • the hitting
  • the tattling
  • the constant "what are we going to do today?  we never do anything fun"
  • angst over snow boots
  • and socks
  • and the never being able to find socks
  • the way my car slips on my driveway
  • and scares me every time
  • the yellow snow
  • from my dogs
  • the poop in my house that I had to clean up from dogs who wouldn't go in the snow
  • the vomit that ensued from the clean up of said poop
  • really
  • the things that get "broken"
  • but it's "NOT MY FAULT" 
  • the fact that there is "NO FOOD IN THIS HOUSE THAT IS GOOD"
  • the laundry 
  • but I hate that every day.
  • but somehow I hate it more now
  • sheesh
  • the cries of wanting to go outside, then playing, then coming inside and crying from the cold
  • and wanting hot chocolate
  • every time they come back in.
  • which is about every 5 minutes
  • I AM NOT A STARBUCKS people.
  • do you think it is odd then you get called "people"?
  • makes me think of 6th grade.
  • I didn't do well in 6th grade.
  • I was chubby and lame
  • and I loved Princess Diana
  • I had scrapbooks that I filled with photos of her
  • I know
  • Weird
  • So now,
  • I will go have no personal space on a couch stuffed with 4 cooped up, crabby kids
  • and kiss their heads
  • and be thankful for the time I have with them
  • well
  • I will kiss their heads for sure.
  • and then pray that school will be open on Monday.
  • Keeping it real.  

Five! Chocolate!


Is what this little girl answers about her special day today!

Happy Birthday Lauren Grace Jingyan Markmiller!!!!

We are so excited to have you home to share this day with you.  

We are blessed to call you daughter and sister.

We love you to the moon and back.

Happy Birthday.

And indeed, you are 5, and we will have lots of chocolate!!!!