Wednesday, March 14, 2012

The Faith of March

Hey Peeps—

The other day I sent Billy to run some errands, in order to give me an hour or two of peace and quiet.  You know that means he had to take the children, don’t you?  When they got home, the boys came bounding in to tell me, “Mom, we had to make a special stop at Lowe’s so dad could buy ear plugs!”   They were so proud.  This is our reality—go ahead and laugh all you want. 

My daughter Faith came inside after the boys, sweetly and quietly, and once again I was reminded how grateful I am to have a girl in this house full of loud boys.  The month of March is a perfect month for wrapping up our children’s birthday sequence.  Jack has January, Will owns February, and March always ends with a gentle remembrance of one of the best gifts I’ve ever been given.  Nine years ago, this March 30th, will mark the day that Faith became our own.

The day I became a mom was seriously the best day of my life.  When I had my first baby, I KNEW I was meant to be a mom.  It just fit me.  I wasn’t scared or hormonal, or freaked out by all the things new moms freak out about—being a mom was the thing that made me feel like I was the person I was supposed to finally be.  So when having a second child proved difficult, we knew we had a choice to make…we could go the medical route, or we could adopt.  We tried a few medical interventions, the first line of infertility treatments, and about the time my hormones were turning me into a psychotic loon, we decided adoption would be a better choice. 

Our adoption story is simple.  We did exactly what the adoption agency told us to do, and less than one year later, we were holding our Faith.  And from the very first day she lived in our home, she was 100% Repenning.  Not only did we have a little girl, Jack had the little sister he’d prayed for.  She is truly the best gift another human being could ever give to me.  I am forever indebted, and will forever be grateful to God for orchestrating such a magnificent plan. 

The last several nights when I’ve gone in to say prayers with Faith, she’s included in her prayer, “And thanks God that March is my birthday month and help it to be fun and special for me”.  At first I was a little annoyed, thinking she was being a little self-centered to think that one month a year was all about her.  And then as I thought it over, I realized I’m raising a confident little girl who is thankful!  What more could I ask for? 

Faith is funny, beautiful, tender, and sweet.  She is a free spirit and more than just a tad bit competitive.  She has her own sense of style but is willing to take advice when she’s been a bit too liberal with her color combinations.  She’s sensitive and smart, and understands that sometimes it’s best to let her brothers win, rather than taking another victory herself.  She sings and dances like a natural, and even though I’m not a natural, she still loves to pull me into her room and we go to town!  The boys beg us to turn the music down, and when we don’t comply, they slam their door shut, offended by our girlish good time.  Every February when we go to our school’s annual sock hop, I just watch Faith dance, and do what she does.  I fear I still mostly look like an idiot, but somehow her moves work for me, and I find I don’t care what anyone else thinks. 

Her name is no mistake, in case you were wondering.  Faith Nicole—“Faith” because I knew God was going to work out a plan, and heal our sadness, even though I didn’t know how.  And “Nicole” for her birth mom—the person who sacrificed everything in order to give a little girl a mom and a dad.  She’s one of three gifts we never deserved, but somehow were blessed in spite of that.  Thank You God for March 30th.    And thank You for my Faith. 

Thursday, March 1, 2012

A night on the town!

Hey Peeps—
I made two recent purchases that have changed my life.  Dying to know aren’t you?  Well, think big.  But not like a new house, or plane tickets to Hawaii.  I was having some Nursing School blues, and decided it was time to get some new boots.  Who knew February was the perfect time to get adorable brown boots on clearance? I may be in love.   And out of necessity, I bought a new flat iron.  Trust me, if you have frizzy, fine, naturally curly hair, this is an item you don’t go more than one day without.  Normally I buy the cheap one at Target, the kind that breaks every other year (this time minutes before a final) so I decided it was time to go big or go home.  And it has been worth every penny!  It literally pains me that I didn’t have my two new items a couple weeks ago when my sister and her family were in town and invited us to join them for some fun!

You would think my children have never left Westminster CO, ever in their lives.  The second we were downtown amidst the skyscrapers, all we heard were from the backseat were “ohhhs and ahhhhs” and “how many floors is that one mom?”   When we parked our car in the Hyatt parking garage we took the elevator up to the lobby to meet the family.  As soon as the elevator doors opened, there was a beautiful fountain to greet us.  Four out of five Repennings screamed in delight, while one that rhymes with Milly, acted cool.  A woman was standing by the fountain and literally rolled her eyes at us, as if we were the Clampetts.  I told the kids we had to get it together and start acting a little more cosmopolitan.  Faith immediately understood, however, the boys were too busy getting trapped in the revolving door to hear anything I said. 

My sister and her family greeted us in the lobby, and we headed up to their room to check out the view.   We had to ride the special express elevator that shoots past the first 20 floors in under 5 seconds.  Jack and I held each on to other for dear life, while the others enjoyed the ride.  And once in the room, the children squealed by the window as Jack kept saying, “Oh yeah, I could totally do parkour on that roof, and that one and that one”.   
When it was time to head out to dinner my sister told us we’d walk.  She’s the more travelled one of the two of us, so I generally follow along.  We told Will to not let go of our hands for any reason since he’s our “flight risk” and reminded Jack and Faith to stay close by.  We held back on the “you might get kidnapped” talk, and I tried not to recall all the stories I’ve heard on the news about things that happen in Downtown Denver every night.  We walked over to the 16th street mall, and got on the Free Mall bus in order to see some options for dinner.  Right away the children shouted out, “McDonalds!  Subway!  Or how about we go to Chilis?”  We shushed them up and told them we were going to eat somewhere different and cultural, and to quit making us look like all we did was feed them junk food. 

Now I realize The Cheesecake Factory is far from cultural, but everywhere else fancy didn’t look very inviting to five children.  Once inside, Tanner, who is 13, took it upon himself to remind Will to say “thank you” when the waitress brought him refills on root beer.  Will was not appreciative of his older cousin’s advice, and said thank you with a chip on his shoulder.  Jack ate about four loaves of warm bread before his meal was served and Faith ordered none other than mac and cheese.  Laura inspired me to get the lettuce wraps, and I was glad I did.  We talked, laughed, and caught up on life, enjoying every minute of it. 

We decided to hit the Frozen Yogurt place on the way back to the Hyatt, rather than get cheesecake, a decision I came to regret.  The girl in the “fro yo” store told us, in her most perky voice ever, “all our yogurt is less than 8 calories per ounce”.  That’s when I knew I had made a grave error in judgment.  I think we all made up for the lost calories with the toppings though, and thankfully, it wasn’t a complete loss. 

Jack and Faith stayed the night at the Hyatt, with their cousins, while Will came home to party with us.  He was about as happy as I was with the yogurt. These are the kind of nights that remind me life isn’t just about Nursing school and new boots.  We spent the night doing something other than playing Uno and watching Survivor.  Instead we spent some quality time with those we love.  Life is good.  And Denver is a pretty cool city.