Chippin' Away

Moving one day, one minute, one step at a time.

what will my kids remember? June 14, 2013

Filed under: Uncategorized — chippinaway @ 7:30 pm

Do you remember what your mom served you for breakfast when you were little?  Do you remember if she hand-made all the decorations for your 1st birthday or just went to McDonalds because it was easier?  Do you remember how many times a week she cooked a home-made meal and how many times she heated up something in the microwave?

Some of us probably remember some of the details, but I think most us probably remember the time we spent with our mom.  That’s what I remember most.  I remember that my mom worked the night shift and would still somehow stay awake long enough to drive me to school sometimes.  I remember that my mom made it to every band concert and football game (which was really a marching band show….seriously).  I remember that she let me have sleep overs and help her bake cookies at Christmas time.  I remember trips to Sonic, which for some reason were the magical trips that made my teenage self actually start talking to my mom about what was going on in my life.  I remember her dancing and laughing (and snorting) with my friends, who thought she was the coolest, even though I was mortified.  I remember worshipping Jesus next to mom on Sunday mornings.  I remember hearing her sing praises all day long as she worked so tirelessly to provide for our family and keep the home a safe, loving environment.

I don’t remember how often the house was clean.  I don’t remember my first birthday party.  I don’t remember the lunches she packed for me for school (because we bought our lunch at that was ok!).  I don’t remember my mom trying to be someone she wasn’t.

See, I have this problem with comparing myself to other moms.  I find myself believing that if I am not the crafty mom, the homeschooling mom, the mom that wears make-up and high heels every day, then I’m not a good mom.  I read a blog recently talking about this exact same thing.  We moms somehow believe that if we aren’t like the other moms then we aren’t doing it right.

I am not doing my kids any favors by trying to be someone that I’m not.  What I want to do is have my kids remember me as a mom who followed Jesus, taught them to follow Jesus, and had as much fun as I could along the way.  There will be days of success and days of failure.  None of us are the perfect mom.  But, I hope that when my kids are 30 (ack! I’m almost 30!) they will remember me being a mom who loved her kids and did the chores when there was time.


4 months March 28, 2013

Filed under: Uncategorized — chippinaway @ 1:20 am

My little boy is 4 months old.  How in the world did that happen?  I haven’t even written posts for the first 3 months.  I blame the other 3 kiddos.  ha!

Anyway, check this out month by month:

Davis, you have been a sweet addition to our growing (probably done growing!) family.  I love you sweet guy.  You’ve grown so much and are so strong.  It’s so fun to see your little personality come out each day.  But, it would be nice if you could start taking naps.  =)


I Never Got to Hold Her February 25, 2013

Filed under: Uncategorized — chippinaway @ 3:42 pm

One of the most common words you’ll hear when researching or talking to people about adoption is “bonding.”  Children bonding with their new families, parents bonding with their new children, siblings bonding with new brothers and sisters.  This is much harder than you’d think.  It’s easy to assume that you’ll swoop in, “save” these children from their horrible situations, and they’ll just instantly love you and you’ll instantly love them and everything is flowers and rainbows from adoption day forward.  Nothing is further than the truth.

The reality that I’ve experienced is that our girls came to us having experienced trauma.  They were scared.  And we were part of the reason they were no longer with their biological mother.  I experienced becoming an instant mother to 3 girls I didn’t know, didn’t carry in my womb, who didn’t instantly love me in return.  All of those factors, plus some, affect bonding.  But, I’ve realized something since giving birth to our son.  I never got to hold Marisol.

Davis is almost constantly attached to me.  Bella and Addie need me to carry them, change their diapers, give them baths, get them dressed.  They are most certainly dependent on me.  Marisol, however, came to me able to dress herself, bath herself, potty by herself.  She came to me older and bigger than I can handle to lift up over my head, too big for me to carry her on my hip.  Too big for me to swing around and too big for me to put in the moby wrap.  I never got to hold her.  And I’ll never get to hold her in the same way as I have all the others.  Sure, I can put her on my lap and rock her in the rocking chair.  I can give her hugs and cuddle with her.  But I never got to hold her.

Having Davis has helped me realize that this has effected and is effecting me and Mari’s bonding.  Now I realize that it’s extremely important for me to find creative ways to touch her, hold her, and be close to her.  We missed out on that early in her life, but we are together now and can make up for it now.  But that doesn’t mean I don’t grief that experience.  I’m sad that I never will know what she looked like as a baby.  I’ll never know what she or Bella sounded like when they cried.  I will never know what it was like to watch those two learn and grow, find their voices, learn to crawl and then walk.  I missed all of that.  But at least I can grieve knowing that I have the rest of my life to get to know them, teach them, and watch them grow.


Brave January 24, 2013

Filed under: Uncategorized — chippinaway @ 4:23 pm

spoiler alert: I talk about what happens in the movie Brave!!


My sweet 7 year old, Marisol, got the movie Brave for Christmas.  I had taken her to see it with a friend in the theater and it was super scary for her in 3D with the whole mother-turning-into-a-bear situation going on there.  But, she got it for Christmas and she really likes it.

We’ve watched it twice now, and both times she’s started to cry when the main character is crying because she misses her mom.  “What’s wrong?” I asked.  “I’m sad because she misses her mom.”

Ya’ll, it’s easy for me to forget that my daughter is grieving.  She’s a part of our family every day.  We treat her like she’s been here forever.  But the hard truth is, she hasn’t.  She’s still new around here and she’s still experiencing very new grief.  I hate that for her.  I wish I could take it away.  But here’s what this teaches me:

1. My daughter misses her mom.  I need to always remember that.

2. Grief comes in many forms.  Tantrums over homework, anger and getting in trouble, and even in movies.  It’s there.

3. My daughter is comfortable enough to tell me, her new mom, that she misses her old mom.  This is progress.  I’m so thankful.

4. My daughter is brave.  So, so brave.

I love this sweet girl.



Mother of 4 December 13, 2012

Filed under: Uncategorized — chippinaway @ 8:55 pm

When the heck did I become a mother to 4 children? Seriously. In some ways it feels like this is how it’s always been. In other ways, it definitely feels like we went from zero kids to 4 kids in 13 months. Either way, it feels complete. I am in love with all 4 of kiddos!!

Here are a few pictures of our family of 6! if y’all need pics, let me know. Travis Townsend is a great photographer and friend.

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Foster Care Initiative October 28, 2012

Filed under: Uncategorized — chippinaway @ 8:45 pm

Our pastors and elders have been praying for years about how the Church could serve the orphan.  Last week, we started a 3 week series called “Adoption” that is meant to teach us about our Father’s love for us and what it has called us to do.

I encourage you to check it out here:

Also, our church, which founded The For The City Center here in Austin, has launched a Foster Care Initiative.  With about 244 orphans who are adoptable in Austin and over 500 churches, there should not be waiting children!!!  There should be waiting parents.  This morning, this statistic was shared: if 1 in 50 proclaiming Christians adopted an orphan, the Church would  take care of the orphan crisis.  The crisis of over 147 million orphans world wide.  Dear Austinites and friends across the state, let’s start in our cities!

Check out the initiative here:




They are weak. He is strong. October 12, 2012

Filed under: Uncategorized — chippinaway @ 12:05 am

I realize it’s been ages since I’ve posted anything. But, let’s just be honest. There is a ton of stuff going on around here. We have newly adopted kids, a 34 week pregnant mommy, a super busy husband trying to get work stuff done before baby arrives, and did I mention a 34 week pregnant mommy? I’m tired. I’d even say exhausted. So tired, in fact, that I cry a lot. Like a lot. It’s probably partly hormones, partly exhaustion, partly stress, and partly I’m like my mom and we cry over everything. But this latest cry was seriously from Jesus.

Jeff took Marisol to gymnastics tonight and so I was left with Bella (Miss 2) and Addie (baby girl who is now 16 months old). We were playing a little and then getting ready for bed. I put the baby down first and then I got Bella in her pajamas and into bed. Now, if you haven’t met sweet Bella, you need to know something. She’s funny. Like, laugh out loud, totally hilarious. I got to laughing so hard at her that I cried. And if you know me, you know that’s bad. Because the tears don’t stop. For a long time. I lost it. I cried and cried and Bella kept saying “I sowwy mommy” and that made me laugh and then cry some more. I got myself under control long enough to sing bedtime songs with my sweet Bella girl. She loves to sing Jesus Loves Me. So we did. And I lost it again. I lost it on the line that says “They are weak, but He is strong.”

Y’all. I need to hear that more than any 2 year old. Things have been rough around here. I have a 7 year old that is grieving the loss of her family. She says hurtful things, throws fits, and says more hurtful things. I have an almost 3 year old old that gives me a run for my money every day and I have a 16 month old super needy youngest child. And I’m super pregnant with number 4. I have been pulling my hair out trying to keep it all together. Act like I know what I’m doing. Put on this “everything is great” front that is just not true. Don’t get me wrong. Things are great most of the time. But also extremely hard. The last month has been the hardest we’ve had and I’m tired. As I sang those words tonight, Jesus spoke to me. He told me I don’t have it together. (duh). He told me I won’t ever have it all together. (dangit). He told me I’m not perfect, will never be perfect, and will surely mess up. He told me I’m weak. He is strong. He told me that all the mistakes I’ve made in the last month (and months) are covered by Him. My kids are weak. But He is strong. He is strong for them always. Especially when I can’t be. And won’t be. And refuse to be.

Adoption is hard. Parenting is hard. Hearing your kid say mean things to you is hard. But God is strong. I’m weak more than I’m strong. He’s strong always. My kids are weak. He is strong. My flesh is weak. He is strong. My attempts at doing this thing are weak at best. But He is strong.

Thank you Jesus. You are strong.