Thursday, December 30, 2010

Finding God in the Crazy

I have been preparing for a women's devotional coming up and the title above is the title of my topic. Kind of catchy right? If you are local, come listen, if not then maybe I can post my slides afterwards.

I know we all face craziness in our lives, although I am pretty sure my testimony includes a different kind of crazy! I was thinking last night of which stories to share that will highlight some of the things I have faced. The more I thought, the more memories came flooding back.

Thankfully, I am in a place where the memories don't affect me. They are now catalogued away in my mind as a resource, something I can reference when making a point, share when emphasizing a truth, or draw upon when comforting a friend. Sometimes I surprise myself with details I had forgotten, but come rushing back when I least expect them.

Soon- I promise I will have a book. Then you won't be getting tidbits and nibbles on my blog, or a fleeting devotional. You can get the majority of the story and be blessed.

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

What started it all

Here is a visit to my very first blog post- in case you are just tuning in and wondering why the name.

Monday, September 29, 2008
Why the name?
My first question if a friend of mine started blogging would be "Why the Name".... well I am glad you asked!

One of my main goals in life is to write a book and speak at Women's conferences. I have such a passion for Christian Women. We need mentoring, leadership skills, help with our relationships and careers. Sometimes I feel so stagnant as a woman I could scream. Typical women's ministry consists of tea parties, bake sales, book clubs and social dinners... (this is a generalization but I think you know it to be true).

I was reading today about the 50 most powerful women by Fortune magazine. I would love to meet some of them and ask how they made it so far. Are they Christians? Did they have to sacrifice their morality for that power? I am young and hopeful enough to hope and pray that not all of them did. I am strong enough to believe that you can keep your dignity and be a women leader...

But I slightly digress. Back to the point of my blog title....

Growing up there was one name that was like poison cast upon my young girlish heart...Eve. Her name brought fear and shame upon me. That wicked woman with the apple- responsible for all our sin and pain. She was the cause of it all. Women can't be trusted, women have evil ingrained in their very being. Her husband couldn't rely on her. God couldn't rely on her.

How my heart broke with Eve's burden. How she messed it up for us all! But I could never hate her, no I pitied her. Knowing how emotional God created us, how sensitive we are- she must have felt and grieved for what she had done like none of us have ever suffered. She went from perfect union with her husband. She had a perfect relationship with God. She knew what it was supposed to be like and then- when it wasn't. That was seriously lower than your worst PMS day ladies....

Especially as a young girl I was burdened with how God viewed Eve. Was I cloaked with an extra coat of shame because I was born a woman? I felt like my life was dictated by the fact that somehow I was more evil, less intelligent and destined for failure because of my sex.

Many things have brought me from this mindset...but one important light bulb, God moment stands out. You may have heard sermons preached on this point...but personally I never have. That moment is when Jesus arose. Now not in the Easter version "Up from the Grave He Arose" type of viewpoint. But after he arose.....the first person to see him....a woman.

Somehow it seems like a restoration. Eve brought sin first into the world, but Mary was first to see salvation from it. Eve experienced the first seperation from God, Mary experienced the first restoration of our relationship with God.

And so the name of my Blog. Being a woman is a beautiful thing. God created me. He knows me. He forgives me. He restored me. I can be proud that Eve was the mother of us all... and I am her daughter.

Tuesday, December 28, 2010


I have never been so excited for a New Year. For some reason the passing of 2010 signifies to me the exit of a whole year's worth of struggle and suffering! 2011 is fresh, new, and unscathed. Or maybe I am fresh, new and unscathed?

Either way I have some very specific prayers and goals. I have asked God to make 2011 our year of recovery and joy.

I was looking around the web this week for some encouraging words. Something I could sink my mind into and really meditate on. I came across this article and it blessed me so much,that it will now be my reflection point for the New Year. I have printed it out and expect to keep it visible as the months progress. It is such a good reminder to look inward at the health of our soul. Maybe it will bless you also if I share it.

Monday, December 27, 2010

After Christmas

I know sometimes there is a little blue feeling after Christmas....the nagging sensation that maybe this year just didn't quite go as planned, or you could have done better.

This year, I had tears of joy. For so many things that my heart desired came true. I was able to take my husband to dinner for his birthday and enjoy a night out with him. I was able to watch my little girl open so many nice presents and enjoy the wonder of our new tree. I was able to make a nice meal for Christmas dinner after many months of not so nice meals. I received a nice warm winter coat that I really needed.

I keep saying I...but my heart knows and rejoices in the One who provided for us this year. We also were so blessed by friends and family who saw our little family and showered us with many blessings. This year has taught me how to humbly accept love from others, even if I have to creatively reciprocate.

Christmas may be over, but I have no sadness. This Christmas will always be one of my favorites.

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Golden Retriever

So in our community group this week we are taking a personality test and learning how the strengths/weaknesses best coincide with those of our mates. There are 4 categories that you can fall under (for this specific short test)

Otter, Beaver, Golden Retriever or ***can't remember the 4th one**

I tested at a Golden Retriever.

The funny thing is that at my work Holiday party this Monday we had a gift exchange. It was a $20 limit. I ended up opening a bag of doggie treats/toys and of course no one wanted to steal it!

So all those things combined, I have doggie on the brain.

But really what I want is a kitten.

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Mommy vs Playmate

Being a full time working wife and mother comes with a whole new set of challenges. We are working through them as they come. Separation anxiety, cheerios for dinner, exhaustion.

Our next one ( that I am sure will continue for the next 17 years) is what I have termed Mommy vs Playmate.

My first born came to me with a personality befitting an Agbovi woman. Strong and sweet. They battle each other on a moment by moment basis. Her opinions and strength will carry her far, and I vow to not let the sweetness slip away.

During the week I have roughly 90 minutes in the evening with my daughter and this week has been the toughest. In her little 12 mth old brain she has decided to test and see if me being gone during the day has reduced my role to a meer playmate. It is a logical question. I rush home to play with her, feed her dinner and get in bath/storytime before bed.

Does that mean I don't have to listen to you anymore? Will you still hold to your no, or scold me when I pitch my fits.

Although I hate when our play times are interrupted with these unspoken questions, the answer has to be yes. I am still Mommy. No is still No and fits are still not OK. :)

To quote the "Working Mom 411", There is no such thing as a part time mother, only full time moms with jobs.

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

All I want for Christmas

Last night I was on the living room floor playing with my daughter. She went to get her ball which was close to our Christmas tree. The Christmas tree currently stands next to our fireplace, just a small little plugged in tree with currently no presents under it.

She ran to me with her pink ball in her arms, then ran to show it to her Daddy.

I looked back at the tree. I have all I want for Christmas. After almost a year of unemployment, filled with uncertainty of what was going to happen, I have learned what truly my heart desires.

I looked up at my ceiling and said a thank you prayer to God that I still have my home. I have a healthy husband and daughter.

The Christmas tree may be empty come December 25th, it may be full of gifts, but I am just thankful that there is electricity to make it shine.

I have all I want for Christmas already.

Friday, December 3, 2010

Use your words....

I was having a wonderful visit with two of my good friends last night and we were discussing my recent blog about facebook. How it can be used as a passive aggressive way of communicating with someone your mift at, without actually confronting them.

I was sharing that recently I have had the courage to do several things that I used to be too scared to do. Things like, leaving my mother a voicemail message, having an honest conversation with a friend about how I was feeling about our relationship, dealing with new personalities at work that may be vastly different than my own.

Recently I have found a new confidence budding in my spirit. In a good way. In a healthy way. My observation has been that having a little toddler running around whose character development lies squarely in the hands of her father and I, has led me to a strong place I have never been before.

My dear friends pointed out that this strength was much needed, that being a mother has probably encouraged my budding confidence. That I am less tolerant of bad attitudes, less afraid of confrontation. But if I start telling those around me to "use their words" they will know I have gone to far.

So I will continue on this journey and make sure my toe does not touch that line. Although really, sometimes I do want to say it!

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Virtual reality

To quote my darling husband:

"It is called virtual reality because it isn't real."

Having Olivia has made me stop and realize how valuable it is to experience things. Internet, Tv, Movies are all ways to enjoy something without actually participating in the activity. Isn't it so much better to be the one having the adventure? To be the one living the dream, feeling the sensations, enjoying our world?

Plus- watching her enjoy her swim lessons, her walk around the block, gymnastics class brings so much more joy!

Don't get me wrong, I will always enjoy a good movie, a great book and snuggles on the couch with Sesame Street.

But as much as I am able, I want to enjoy the life God has given me and my family.

Friday, November 19, 2010

Serving Others

It is my daughter's second Holiday season and I want her to grow up with the same love and passion for service that her Daddy and I have. This weekend she will attend a dinner hosted for over 250 International students, then she will go shopping with me to help fill a Thanksgiving dinner basket for a needy family in our community.

I am not sure what Christmas holds for us but am excited that at this early age we can take her right along and teach her that being a Christian is about loving those around us.

Friday, November 5, 2010

Facing a Fear

First week on my new job is complete!! I was surprised at how quickly the week flew by and how I could feel the prayers of all my friends and family. I worried that having been out for a while would leave my brain sluggish and confused but just the opposite occured this week. My mind was engaged and sharp and the week went great!

Yesterday I had a little epiphony. I realized that being laid off has left me a little scarred. My boss has a very agressive personality in the organization and is not afraid to speak his mind, to anyone, with me standing right there. I felt myself cringing quite a few times. On reflection I realized that I really just didn't want him to rock the boat! If he ends up not a citizen of this community, where does that leave me!

Horrible way to go to work every day right? So after some good discussion with my husband and some prayer time with my Father I have reached this conclusion and belief. God has given me this job. Just like everything else we have, it is His to take away or continue to give. No boss or economy can change that.

Saturday, October 30, 2010


My view on facebook is that currently I am sick of it. Maybe because I have way too much free time (that will end on Monday). Maybe it is because some of the people I am friends with....but it seems that more and more people are using it to hurt others. Vague status updates, blatant status updates, defriending others...when did facebook become a passive aggressive place to say things you aren't brave enough to tell someone to their face?

Monday's start date of a new job will take care of me worrying about this I am sure. But I plan on taking a little FB break. A message to those who read my blog- lets use FB to encourage each other. If you are mad at someone else- tell them to their face. Don't make them guess if you are talking about them or to them on your status.

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Final Week

Although I call it the "final week", there is no sense of pending doom at the prospect of starting my new job a week from tomorrow. I am filled with excitment, peace and joy! How perfect is God's timing???

Friday, October 22, 2010

Pillow Talk

My husband is so passionate about putting into practice new things he learns. You might remember here when he attempted to put speed reading into practice after my little lesson on it.

We are currently in a marriage study with our community group and it is going fabulously. I have to admit it has brought out both good things, and things we need to work on.

After the communication chapter though, a shout out to my husband for this sly move.

Laying in bed together sharing about our day:

Me = Talking about something that happened
Eman= Getting closer and closer to my side of the bed
Me= Still talking about my day
Eman= "Can this turn into a non-verbal communication?"

Hmmm....I don't remember that in the chapter.

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

A Year

I remember saying that my "ideal" situation after having a baby would be to take a year off of work. Apparently God heard fact I know that He did.

After 11.5 months home with my precious princess I will be returning back to work. God is amazing. It was not quite as "ideal" as I would have liked...there were a few too many tears and a little more stress, but each day has been a treasure.

I am the new Sr. Regulatory Compliance Project Specialist for GOJO- the inventors of Purell hand sanitizer.

Thank you God for answered prayer...both ways.

Sunday, September 26, 2010

US Citizen

My loving, darling husband deserves a post all of his own! In the midst of all the traveling, weddings and craziness he has finished the process and was sworn in as an American citizen.

I am so proud of him and we are truly blessed by God. Here are some pictures from the day.

Monday, September 20, 2010

Spruce Goose

It was New Years Day and I agreed to go to the movies with a certain African man. After dinner at Cracker Barrel (my favorite Mexican placed was too packed) we went to see a movie. That movie was Aviator and it ended up being the first date to a wonderful marriage.

Fast forward over 5.5 years. We agree to visit an aviation museum with my Grandma Vaage in McMinnville, Oregon. Lo and behold there is the very same plane on display from the Aviator. Howard Hughes Spruce Goose! We got to tour the inside and even get a picture in the pilots seat.

Pretty cool!!!

Monday, August 16, 2010


We just got back from 10 days in Wisconsin. My friend Amber got married and my friend Jess celebrated her bachelorette party! We had lots of fun. :)

Saturday, July 31, 2010

The Nicest Compliment

" You are a great friend. If I hadn't married you, I would still want to be your friend."

Friday, July 30, 2010

Emmanuel- God is With Us

Today my Mawuli Kodjo became officially Emmanuel Kodjo. :) That may come as a shock to some of my readers who never even knew his legal name was Mawuli.

This morning after taking his US Citizen exam, his name was officially changed to the name he was born with "Emmanuel". Through political decree it had been changed as a child to Mawuli and has since been on all his paperwork, drivers licsense, marriage certificate etc... So the confusion is now over. He is back to Emmanuel.

This handsome hunk of mine is not quite yet officially a Togocan as I like to call him. An American from Togo. In approximately a month he will be sworn in officially as a citizen and we will have a little celebration. Or should I say another celebration!

Friday, July 23, 2010

Another day with my daughter

I know probably in the near future I will cry for days such as this. Days where I can snuggle on the couch in my pj's with my daughter as we read a book or watch a movie. Days where I see every smile, every tear, every grunt and whimper.

Although I fought and struggled, I have come to enjoy the time home with her. She is my joy.

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Thought for the Day

Only as high as I reach can I grow,
Only as far as I seek can I go,
Only as deep as I look can I see,
Only as much as I dream can I be.
~Karen Ravn

Sunday, July 4, 2010

Surprise Party 2010

Last weekend we surprised Emmanuel with a special party just for him. Being a Christmas Eve baby, it is just impossible to accomplish that over the Holidays. So what better occasion than his US Citizenship...and what better weekend to celebrate than 4th of July!!!

Here are some pics of the day. It was alot of fun and I am thankful to all the people who helped me pull it off and all the people who traveled from far away to be here.

Sunday, June 27, 2010

No one wears shoes

I own a business. I have been telling myself this over and over. Currently I am studying finance/accounting and also reading the "Women's Small Business Start Up Kit".

Two marketing scouts from a shoe factory traveled to Africa to explore business opportunities. The first scout sends a telegram back to the factory, "Situation one wears shoes." But the second sends the message, "Glorious business one wears shoes."

Which attitude am I going to have?

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

She can laugh

Like the thirst of a man in the desert...I wanted to read my Bible this morning. I knew I could find a gem of truth to cling to, hold in my heart and keep circulating in my mind.

This is what I found for today...

"She is clothed with STRENGTH and DIGNITY; she can laugh at the days to come." Prov 31:25

Both sections of this verse really blessed me. I have always wanted to be one of those classy, strong, well intentioned women. To clothe myself both inwardly and outwardly with a dignity. To have an air of royalty with a gentle breeze of humility.

I think of my attitude the last several months and it has been an evolutionary process. I have gone from anger, to frustration, to grief and am just on the outer edges of laughter. To laugh at the days to come means my heart is filled with such peace, such anticipation that not even my imagination can falter it.

Today I look forward. Today I look inward. Today I clothe myself with dignity and laughter.

Thursday, June 17, 2010

I can hardly move

Starting P90X and a Sculpt/Tone class in the same week is beyond stupid. I can barely move. My legs hurt so bad that I am bound to kill myself on the stairs.

Thinking to gain some comfort for my pain...I asked Emmanuel...

"Is my butt getting tighter?"

No, he said

"Well you could lie a little!"

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Goals for the rest of 2010

It is halfway through the year...I have been home since January 6th and besides raising a beautiful baby girl...I haven't got alot accomplished.

So, I figured the best way to accomplish anything, is to first identify what I want to achieve!

1- Practice French
2- Start my book
3- Finish my finance class
4- Work on getting CTG more contracts
5- Continue to work on getting pre-baby body back

Hopefully this list will help motivate me! It may even be going on the honorable fridgerator door.

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

31 today!!

I am blessed today by the love of my parents, my husband and my friends. I am typing this blog on my very own personal laptop! What a surprise!

FYI- I wasn't expecting a party last Friday night so as you can hair is a mess!

Sunday, May 23, 2010

Fortune Cookie

This was my fortune cookie today...

" The Axe soon forgets, but the Tree always remembers"

Tuesday, May 18, 2010


I feel like I have tested a personal theory of mine. Three years ago I went to a dentist close to my house who informed me that I had (6) cavities. Really just (3) but they were all located between teeth so they count them twice.

I had him put a filling in one and then never went back for the other two. Here I am three years later.

Last night the filling fell out of the tooth he "fixed", the other ones have never bothered me and I feel have not gotten any worse.

So I ask myself...was it worth putting a bigger hole in my tooth to fix a seemingly small hole?

Sunday, May 16, 2010

First Wedding of the Season

I was reminded this week of something our pastor in San Diego once said in a marriage class he taught. "Go to as many weddings as you possibly can and while sitting there, remember and reflect on why you married the person next to you".

After attending the first of many weddings for us this year, I am remembering the man I married, and he is the same man, but even better today.

Saturday, May 8, 2010

Just like the picture

Don't you just love the satisfaction of creating or experiencing something that is just like the picture? Whether it be a physical picture or a mental image, there is some kind of accomplishment and normalcy with the replication.

On a physical level I had personal satisfaction last night after making one of my favorite recipes. I looked down at the simmering pot of Chipotle cheese soup and realized it looked exactly like the image in the recipe book. That must mean success to some degree!

I remember this time last year getting ready for my birthday cruise. I had an expectation of what I would experience based on the pictures I had seen of the boat, the water, the beach, the islands. Anything different than those images would have probably resulted in disappointment.

In my life, I have mental images to coincide with my expectations and goals. A series of graphics strung together that result in my life's journey. But what happens if one of the images is suddenly removed or distorted? What happens if the job image doesn't look just like I see it in my mind's eye? What if someone in my family gets sick or even dies?

What I had foreseen for 2010 is not what 2010 is shaping up to be. It does feel like a loss or a failure. But what if I approach it as a child? What if i cling to Jeremiah 29:11
"For I know the plans I have for you," declares the LORD, "plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future."

Our Father has a plan, a picture in His mind. 2010 is exactly what He thought it would be.

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Around the Bend

In our Sunday School we have an older, married, more experienced couple come and share their testimony with our class once a month. I always look forward to hear what God has done in other people's lives, how they have overcome those things that just life and time seem to throw at us. I never leave without something to think about.

As many of you know, we are both still looking for full time work and have just been doing side jobs to get by. The last 6 months have been tough and lean. Last week Emmanuel pointed out that we are accumulating great stories for when we are the older, wiser, more experienced couple.

Puts the hard times into perspective. So catch up with us in a few years and we should have a plethora to share. But I am hoping not too many!

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Not really angry

So the truth is.... I am not "really" angry about anything. Deep down what I needed was just a really good long cry. I was fighting it. I have been fighting it. Thanks to Emmanuel who finally sat me down and made me spill everything out, I have now had that cry.

Trouble is, now I can't stop crying.

Sucks to be a girl sometimes. Men are such rocks. Oh to be a rock.

Sunday, April 18, 2010

Your least weakness

I made a recent comment to several people that I seriously regret. It has come around to now be a character issue to deal with.

My statement was something to the effect....

"I have alot of issues and coping mechanisms, but anger has never really been one I have to worry about."

So, just this week I really had to admit that I am now struggling with anger. On my 6 mile hike last weekend I was really praying about it, asking God to help me.

Right now I feel alot of it. I used to respond to friends, family situations in a pretty even-keeled manner. But now I get a hot head, say things I would never have said before, and of course regret that the wisdom and love that usually flows from my mind to my mouth is currently absent.

I don't like the angry feeling in my heart. It leaves a bitter taste in my soul. So my prayer is that I can recognize when the anger swells inside me, rationally quiet myself and ask God for His wisdom in dealing with some real crappy situations I am in right now.

Friday, April 9, 2010

Our Business

Today Emmanuel and I had the awesome opportunity to have a business meeting at a local company we are hoping to partner with. Some of you may not know that we have started a consulting company called Chercheurs Technology Group.

It was really cool this morning to work together for an hour. Me, marketing my skill set, Emmanuel marketing his. Our main concern with this venture is that we may not have skills that could compliment each other and we have worked hard to blend our education and experience into a cohesive package.

Today we were rewarded with an awesome compliment. The business men we met with today were excited about what we can do, and upon realizing (after 45 minutes) that we are actually a married couple, complimented us on the fact that our skill set is nicely combined. They actually were kind of excited that we were married. That had been another concern of ours.

So all in all- it was a really great day. It was like going on a job interview with your best friend there. I can't speak for my business partner, but my confidence level was even higher than if I had been in the same meeting alone.

Friday, March 12, 2010

Whirlwind or Tumbleweed?

I stopped to consider today which my life is more like...the whirlwind or the tumbleweed. Let me ponder.

"A whirlwind is a weather phenomenon in which a vortex of wind (a vertically oriented rotating column of air) forms due to instabilities and turbulence created by heating and flow (current) gradients." Wikepedia

"A tumbleweed is the above-ground part of a plant that, once mature and dry, disengages from the root and tumbles away in the wind." Wikepedia

Yesterday I got a call from my former employer, the one who laid me off almost exactly 2 months ago. Today I was sitting in the exact same cube I started in, reporting to the exact same person over two years ago. I will be consulting for a couple of weeks.

Although it feels a little like a whirlwind, and my heart feels like a dry tumbleweed, unsure of where it is being blown to next, I decided I am neither a whirlwind or a tumbleweed. God knows the direction and plan He has for me.

Thursday, March 4, 2010

She Loves Me

If I had a daisy in my hand...picking off the petals, I would be chanting "she loves me, she loves me, she loves me" With my new little daughter, there is no "she loves me not" petal.

Her adoration for me is breathtaking. I have people in my life who are pretty thrilled when I enter the room, who love me alot, but nobody compares to Olivia. I am her ENTIRE world. Her face beams when her eyes connect with mine. It is kind of a cool, yet shocking thing. Just wanted to say.

Saturday, February 27, 2010

From Behind

Getting ones body back after carrying a baby in it for nine months is NO laughing matter. I am glad no one told me how difficult, discouraging and frustrating it would be. Mentally I am motivated, physically I am daunted with backaches, muscle spasms, too much milk, a baby who needs to eat every two to three hours....etc...

This week I was standing face forward to the mirror...and I thought to myself, I am looking relatively good. Turned to the side...yep, also looking pretty good. (compared to being 9 months pregnant how could the side view not look good?)

Then I turned completely around and was seriously not happy with what I saw. From behind....still LOTS of work to do.

Leave it to me to have a spiritual thought at that specific moment in time....but I did. How often do we only look at one portion of our life, one aspect of our character, one act of service or one random moment of generosity and think that we are ok? We cling to that false sense of security in ourselves.

Sometimes it is hard to turn around in the mirror. It is hard to face those areas where we aren't succeeding, we aren't choosing the correct behaviour or action.

My challenge to my blog readers is the challenge I gave to myself. Be willing to do a 360 degree analysis. Ask God to show you what you have chosen to ignore. It will make us healthier, happier people.

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Banana Bread

To satisfy my carb cravings yesterday plus ease my boredom I baked chocolate chip cookies and a loaf of banana bread. After someone had it for breakfast this morning, the following conversation took place...

Me: Why did you cut the bread that way?
Eman: Because I didn't want a large piece.
Me: (Giggle over that logic)

Friday, February 12, 2010

Stay At Home- this is my Post

Last night in our small group we talked about being a "warrior chick" from our Holly Wagner book. One thing that she stresses in this chapter is the concept of staying at the posts God has put us at. Being faithful with and for what He has given us.

I think this really spoke to how I have been struggling this week. On Monday I got all dressed up for an appointment in Clevelend. It felt good to go into an office, talk with a professional and have my mind stimulated.

The rest of the week I was really cranky and I think it is because I was fighting with God over the post He has me at right now. I am pretty confident that due to my human nature I would want to be home if I was working...but I was complaining about being home all week with O. I sounds horrible. But I have to be honest.

After being honest with myself, I realized that I MUST seize this opportunity, this post that I am at right now and not only faithfully fulfill this role but enjoy every minute I have with my little daughter. I will probably have the rest of my life to work...but only this week to enjoy a three month old named Olivia.

Saturday, February 6, 2010

Snowed In

This morning we woke up to alot of is hard to measure with the drifts but my guess is between 8-10 inches. Perfect Saturday morning for french toast, pot of coffee, warm PJ's and movies...which is exactly what we are doing.

Here is the view out our breakfast nook.

Sunday, January 31, 2010

Being Pretty

Although this may come off as being very very prideful, I have a beautiful baby. People stop me in the store, at church, everywhere just to look at her. She is captivating with her perky face, deep chocolate eyes and passes out smiles with very little effort.

I have been talking with Emmanuel however about how I want her to be as pretty on the inside as she is on the outside. When people comment at her beauty, my response usually is "She is as good as she is pretty". Emmanuel thought that was the oddest response, but in my mind, it is preparing all of us for character development. My goal is to get her to focus on things like kindness, goodness, her relationship with God. I would have this in my heart anyway, but if outward beauty is going to come naturally for her...unlike her Mommy...then I have more time for emphasis on the internal and eternal.

We just studied the Princess Chick chapter in our God Chicks book....I think that chapter is just the epitome of what I want for my daughter. I want her to feel valued, to know she is a daughter of the King and to conduct herself like the princess that she is.

I plan on doing everything I can to give her the best possible example.

Thursday, January 28, 2010

Practice makes Perfect

So I decided after my 15 minute testimony this morning that if I really want a career speaking to women in the future...I will definitely need to practice! So I think my cam-corder and I will be making some dates! Maybe I will even start posting short blurbs on here so you can help critique me.

My PPT looked great, my outline was tight...but I didn't factor in the following obstacles.

Olivia had a rough night which made me have a rough night, although I currently am battling an infection thanks to her being the worst baby at nursing ever!! So we get to church, I am not feeling well, trip as I go up to the podium, PPT won't come up, lose my voice halfway due to lack of sleep. Needless to say I don't have that confident, "Thank you God for that going well" feeling. I have more the "Please, let someone be blessed by that comedy of errors because of who YOU are God." feeling.

He probably wanted it that way.

Monday, January 25, 2010


There are two things I am passionate about. "Friendship Evangelism" especially in cross cultural situations and women's ministry.

This week I get to speak at our church for 15 minutes to the women's group. How thrilled I was to not only for the opportunity to speak to the women, but get to speak about my experiences in cross cultural relationships!

I will let you know how it goes. :)

Friday, January 22, 2010


It is time for a positive post... so here goes.

Last week was the first trip we took with Olivia. We went to DC for sad circumstances...but this is my positive post so I will only share positive things.

We spent time in the Togolese community and with Togolese friends and family while we were there. It is the first time I have made observations about Emmanuel's culture since having my own daughter and I LOVED what I saw.

Not to make generalizations...but here were some of my observations.

1) Children are SO treasured by everyone including the men.
2) There seems to be like a handbook for raising children that everyone is following. Everyone looks out for the children as if they belong to everyone, not just the individual parent.
3) Barring any bad behaviour, the children are given alot more freedom than in American culture. For instance while the memorial service was going on, during the pastor's preaching, children were wandering around the room from person to person. They weren't being bad, just walking around. (never would have happened in US culture)
4) Children are kept with the adults and engaged in conversation with the adults- their responses are encouraged and enjoyed.
5) Olivia was treated like royalty! Everyone wanted to talk with her, and she was passed between her Uncles alot.

I took away and have pondered several key things that I am really excited to bring into our home. Having been in the community for the weekend just gave me such a sense of safety. I am excited for Olivia to be with her Togolese family as much as possible.

Olivia and our Tassi

Olivia with our friend Joseph's family

Monday, January 18, 2010

Stressful Life Events

One of the Pastor's Emmanuel and I work with at our church made the following statement to me.

They say life has 5 traumatic events.

1. Getting Married
2. Buying your first house
3. Birth of your first child
4. Losing a job
5. Death of a family member

Glad I got them out of the way so quick!

Monday, January 11, 2010

Still struggling

It is amazing how I can be so happy and yet so sad at the same time. I lost my job this week. In an embarrassing and humiliating way. I, along with 13 other people were laid off from the headquarters of Step2. But they treated me like a criminal. I was escorted to the room where they told me what was going on, escorted to my desk to collect only mt coat, walked past all my co-workers to the front door where a security guard was stationed. (we never had security guards).

I think how I was let go was so hard. I put in three years for this company, was told my performance had nothing to do with my lay-off, but then was paraded out the door.

The happy part was my little seven week old daughter who was thrilled to snuggle on the couch with me over the next 48 hours of crying. If it weren't for her, I think I would still be in bed, fighting with depression. But she needs me every 3 hours, so wallowing is not really an option.

For now, I will enjoy her smile and look for a job soon enough.

Saturday, January 2, 2010

Addition to the list

I failed to mention the passing of my Uncle Loren in my previous post. That probably was the first bad news we got- but it also was good news becuase I know I will see him again in Heaven. I did not know him well, but he had a peaceful and loving attitude when I was around him.

I am thankful to God that some news is softened with the knowledge of an eternal future.