My Stained Glass Life is a glimpse into the crazy, never-ending to-do list that is my life! I love to write, about anything and everything, from crafts, food, party planning, autism spectrum issues, bullying, children, pageants, decorating, and much more! All of the things that I’m passionate about, that’s what you will find here!
I quit my job as a church administrator last year to become a stay-at-home mom to my 3 children. It was the best decision I’ve made in a long time. I am also a birthmom, wife, sister, friend, autism advocate, writer, and volunteer. Oh, don’t forget to throw in cook, maid, crafter, seamstress, gardener, and kisser of boo-boos. It seems that the roles in my life when I was working were always in conflict – work needed me for this, the kids needed me for that, and where did my husband even begin to fit into the picture? I had random pieces of colored glass strewn all about, without any idea of the picture that I was supposed to be creating. Since taking time to refocus on my family, I have also been able to take time to refocus on ME, to begin to put all of the pieces of glass in their place. The picture is becoming more clear, and it’s beautiful!
Some random tidbits about me:I just turned 40. I actually love to say it! I walked in my first 5K this year. I’m hooked! I was waylaid on my goal towards a half marathon by plantar fasciitis and costochondritis (all part of a wonderful autoimmune disorder). Working with a great physical therapist has me headed back in the right direction! I have struggled with my weight my entire adult life. In the past year, I have recreated my family’s nutritional lives and made exercise a part of our daily routine. The physical changes are too slow for me, but I know that the end result will be amazing! I will no longer allow being overweight to define who I am (or am not)! I LOVE thrifting and antiques. I surround myself with things that have a history. I’m scared of the dentist and thunderstorms. When I’m driving, I like to make up stories about the other drivers around me. My kids think I’m weird! I am evolving and changing every day. I am becoming the person I always I knew I could be. I love bubble baths, when I can get the bathroom to myself for 30 minutes. We’re a one bathroom household – so you can imagine how often that happens! My bed has a name – “The Cloud.” My kids know that when they are upset, worried, or just need to talk, a cuddle on “The Cloud” is a good place to start. I grew up in a large family, 3 sisters and 2 brothers. We are all very different and very much alike. Have you seen Parenthood? That’s us on a larger scale. My sister, Beccee, died of lung cancer 1,050 days ago at the age of 42. Not a day goes by that I don’t want to pick up the phone and call her.
About My Family
My husband, Jon, is the solder that holds all the pieces of My Stained Glass Life together. We were childhood sweethearts and have been together since we were 13. We’ve been married now for 18 years, and I am so blessed every day that I get to wake up next to my hero, my love, my soulmate, and my best friend. We have grown up together. We are finally learning how to navigate each other’s quirks, balance our love with real life, and surrender our pride in order to be the best ‘us.’
My three children are the primary colors in My Stained Glass Life. They are the pieces of me that are so necessary that my picture would be mostly black and white without them.
“Queenie” is our 16 year old pageant princess, singer, dancer, and model, with huge dreams and incredible potential. She has participated in the Miss Wisconsin Teen USA pageant the past hree years. Last year she placed as 3rd runner up. The year before she placed 5th runner up and won the Spokesmodel Competition. I watch her every day and am amazed that she is a part of me.
“Bass” is our 14 year old son, with incredible musical gifts he is just beginning to tap into. He is a truly intelligent, kind, and compassionate young man. He mentors at our local grade school 10 hours each week, helping first and second graders with their reading and just being a buddy. He is our ‘gentle giant,’ at 6 feet tall and 225 pounds. He was diagnosed with Asperger’s and a mood disorder at the age of 11. It’s been a hectic and emotional rollercoaster the past few years as we attempt to learn all that we can to help him on his life’s journey. After a rough few years of bullying, he transferred to the local high-school a few months early. He was going to school part-time. This year he is a freshman, working with a marvelous teacher. He is attending all of his classes and is working towards the goal of being able to remain in his classes for the entire period. He’s made huge progress, and we are so proud of how far he has come.
Our youngest, “Little Lulu Grace” is 7 years old and in first grade. Lulu Grace is also diagnosed on the autism spectrum, and she works hard to keep us entertained! Her goals are to be a songwriter and go to Hollywood. She will also own a horse ranch. Queenie will be required to quit her job and live on Lulu Grace’s ranch, taking care of her horses for her. She lightens our lives, reminds us to laugh, and is always a good source for facebook updates with her quirky and dry sense of humor.
I’m also a birthmom to 25 year old “April.” Jon and I placed her for adoption when we were teens, in a semi-closed adoption where we exchanged letters every few years with her parents. When April was 13, we asked her adoptive parents if they would be interested in opening the adoption, allowing her to meet her siblings. After writing letters, talking on the phone, and getting to know each other, we opened the adoption.
Adoption has plunged us all into the sea without a life raft, at times allowing us to float along warm and soothed, at times plunging us to the coldest and darkest depths. There are unfulfilled expectations on everyone’s part. We have until recently continued contact. Six months ago April decided that she no longer wished to have contact, and cut herself off from us and our extended families. While Jon and I can somewhat understand the process that has led to that decision, it isn’t so easy for her siblings. We are navigating uncharted territory, helping them heal without closure, which is difficult on many days. The rejection and feeling of abandonment is a feeling that all of us feel, including April. Adoption is so complicated.
And Now, a Bit About YOU…
All of the people and events in my life have their own shape, color, feel, and purpose. I know that your part in my life is going to add warmth and depth to those colors as you become a part of the bigger picture that is My Stained Glass Life. So leave a bit of yourself behind! I would love to read your comments and learn more about you. Welcome!