Friday, October 30, 2009

Last Day

I'm out of the hospital.
Somehow I feel a lot less like a dork now.
I have spent the last 5 days of my life in bed thinking
I can't believe running 4 miles did this.
How lame.
Well today I was redeemed.
I have pericarditis
caused by a viral infection.
I'm sure running while being sick didn't help,
but it didn't cause it:)
After spending most of the day on oxygen, ekg's, ultrasounds, morphine and lab work I got to leave.
They are still unsure which direction my pericarditis is going.
I guess it can either resolve without any complications or it can not go so well.
But today on my last day of In Everything Give Thanks Trial
I am thankful to be home with my family tonight.

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Why oh Why Steffany?

Why Steffany?

oh why.
Do you do what you do?
Because you only live this life once.
That is why I do what I do.
However stupid it may be.

Wed night of last week I developed a weird chest pain with wheezing. Never had anything like this before. Thursday I was so weak I couldn't get out of bed. I prayed all day to be well enough to drive to Iowa the next morning to run for Charity Water and meet some blog friends. Fri. morning I was able to get out of bed. Praise God. I packed up the twins and McKayley and drove 4.5 hours to Iowa. I got to finally meet Amy and Cassie and see Jody again. I woke up the next morning at 4am then started running the race at 8am in the the cold wet morning.
I did it!!!! I ran the whole thing. Came in 36th out of 140 people. Later in the day Jody's wonder twins and my super twins met. It was awesome. So cool to see them together. Then around 5:45 we went to church to hear Jody's husband lead worship. About that time my chest pain was intense. So intense, I leaned over to Amy and told her I needed to go to the hospital. Those of you who "know" me realize I never go to the hospital. By this time I'm extremely embarrassed and a little freaked out. We left the kids at church and headed to the hospital.
The hospital was overrun. After 2.5 hours I was released and told I had inflammation of my heart sac and lungs. Great. Now I feel like a bigger dork. They chastised me for running while sick. The nurse kept telling me "running the marathon" was a bad idea. I was too embarrased to remind her it was just 4 miles. Somehow the word marathon brought me great comfort.
So I woke up the next morning drove 4.5 hours home. By Mon morning I was back at the Dr. again. I have now been pretty much in bed for two days and will most likely head back to the Dr. again.
So what did I learn from all of this?
I would probably do it all over again the exact same way.
I followed through on a commitment I had made and that feels great.
I got to spend time with some of the most incredible women I have ever met.
I got to be inspired by the heart of a small town in the midwest.
I renewed my sense of purpose with "Because Every Mother Matters".
I got to buy some really cool Water4Christmas stuff:)

Friday, October 23, 2009

Running Out the Door

I got the twins and Mckayley loaded up in the van.
We are headed to Iowa.
Traveling in total over 500 miles
to support
Water 4 Christmas
meet some good friends face to face.

BTW- Yes. I'm really going to run in Gadese's official Olympic running suit.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

It's Worth it

I tried a new recipe a few nights ago.
When I grocery shop I'm known for buying food because it looks fun but yet I have no idea how to cook it.
I bought a big butternut squash.
I know there's a lot you can do with them.
I got it because it looked cool.
It sat on the counter for over a week.
Finally I made something with it.
It was a pain to make though.
The recipe said 15 min prep time.
It took me over a hour.
No joke.
It looked pretty.
It's worth the time to make it at least once.
It tasted great too.


  • 1 small butternut squash, cubed
  • 2 red bell peppers, seeded and diced
  • 1 sweet potato, peeled and cubed
  • 3 Yukon Gold potatoes, cubed
  • 1 red onion, quartered
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh thyme
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh rosemary
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
  • salt and freshly ground black pepper


  1. Preheat oven to 475 degrees F (245 degrees C).
  2. In a large bowl, combine the squash, red bell peppers, sweet potato, and Yukon Gold potatoes. Separate the red onion quarters into pieces, and add them to the mixture.
  3. In a small bowl, stir together thyme, rosemary, olive oil, vinegar, salt, and pepper. Toss with vegetables until they are coated. Spread evenly on a large roasting pan.
  4. Roast for 35 to 40 minutes in the preheated oven, stirring every 10 minutes, or until vegetables are cooked through and browned.


Let's see

The symptoms of the Swine flu.

  • fever, which is usually high, but unlike seasonal flu, is sometimes absent-Check. Lukas's fever 102.5 3 days
  • cough-Check.
  • runny nose or stuffy nose-Check Lukas has constant sniffles.
  • sore throat-Check. Lukas say's his neck hurts
  • body ache-Check. "Mommy my legs hurt so bad." He wants to be carried from room to room
  • headache-Check
  • chills-No
  • fatigue or tiredness, which can be extreme-Check
  • diarrhea and vomiting, sometimes, but more commonly seen than with seasonal flu-Check he had diarrhea all week last week.
Oh yeah,
Lukas's pre- school he attends a few mornings a week has confirmed cases in his class.
This might be a long week.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Coming Soon

Day 21 of In Every Thing Give Thanks Trial

I finally had our video from when we traveled to Ethiopia to meet Diezel and Xia transferred to a digital format. I can't wait to spend some time editing it together. I sat down and watched it today for the first time. To look back and see the changes in all of us was an emotionally draining experience that was filled with thankfulness.
To see them again as they were was a huge wake up call to hug them more, to linger in the rocking chair longer, to breathe them in, appreciate all the the Lord has done.
I was holding back my tears remembering how small they were. How sick they were. How non trusting they were.
I wanted to scream out as I watched Xia's mom cradling her with a grief stricken look on her face as their dad held Diezel and was thanking us. She was scared they would die before they came to America. She kept apologizing for how sick they were. My heart was breaking in a way that words cannot begin to express. I sat there in the video trying to come to terms with a reality that only God could have ordained. Two couples both loving the same children. So much that they both couples would live a life of sacrifice.
To much for words.
I can't wait to share the video with you.
So coming soon...

The video.

Diezel's ABC Food

Sorry couldn't help myself.
I had to share.

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Serious Stuff in the Boster House

No Boster is aloud to miss it
and not to participate is not an option.

You will dress in costume

You eat disgusting vendor food

You will become another person

You will reenact Monty Python movies on a castle tower that you built

You will go on a quest for pirate gold

You will wear 50 pound armour

You will walk many times around the town square

You will wear a sword

And then you will sleep hard....
After a day at the Ren Faire.

A Day in My Life

What is this?

Besides being an absurd amount of plastic toys
it is also the box that Xia threw up in last night.

And what about this?

Besides being a ridiculously over loaded and dirty washing machine,
it is also Diezel's bedding that he peed all over last night.

Good morning!
I am so grateful today.
Really I am.
Xia used to throw up almost every night at bedtime. It has been quite awhile since she has. Last night was a huge reminder of how far she has come. Wahooo! Thank you Lord for all you have done in her life.
And why am I grateful for the full washer?
Because it could be empty and Diezel could have never joined our family.
I welcome the never ending laundry.
That's the way it should be for a family of 8.

Now off to hand wash every single small plastic toy.
*Maybe I'll send some your way Donna C.*

Saturday, October 17, 2009

500 Miles

500 miles.
The distance I will be driving and running next weekend.
Diezel, Xia and myself are going to Iowa.

I decided at the last moment to join the Water 4 Christmas 4 mile run/walk to raise money for water!
496 miles of driving-
to run only 4 miles.
Which is big,
because I hate running!
I love water.
Actually I love Africa and what clean water can do.
Bottom line.
Clean water saves lives.

The entrance fee to run is only $20.
(which can bring 1 person clean water for 20 years)
But you know me.
I am not content with $20 and 1 person.
And if I'm traveling 500 miles....
Why then
should I not bring $500 dollars with me?
$1.00 for every mile.
25 people would have clean water for 20 years!
12.5 people clean water for 40 years
(which happens to be about the average life span)

I have raised $120.
I have less than a week until I leave.
Will you sponsor a mile or two?

You can donate
I will take the donation with me to Iowa.
And I will have Diezel and Xia give it for you with big smiles on their faces.
Even at 3 years of age they know what water means.
Every day Diezel asks me, "Wawa momma? Wawa? I get wawa today?"
Just let me know if you need my address or if you're donating online so I can track how close we are to $500 for 500 miles.

Oh yeah-
It's not too late to sign up and run.
I would love to meet you there!

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Beautiful Girl (Day 16)

McKayley spent a huge part of the first few years screaming a lot. Screaming that her socks hurt. Screaming if her clothes fit different. Screaming at her car seat straps. Then she spent the next few years crying a lot. Crying at noises. Crying if she was touched. She would just run into a dark corner and cry. When we would ask her what's wrong, she would just cry out, "I don't know". We felt helpless a lot. Adam and I spent many nights staying up all night trying to brain storm about what to do. We would often just fall on our knees at night praying over her while she slept.
We would pray for peace in her heart. We would pray for her to be able to communicate with us.
We would pray for wisdom on how to love her like she needed.
We prayed a lot.
In the last two years she has grown into an incredibly loving, caring, peaceful and beautiful 10 year old girl. She brings joy to our hearts. Watching her change before our eyes has been one of the most amazing experiences. To see the power of prayer work in your child's life in such a real and tangible way is something that is hard to put into words.
I am so grateful to be her mother.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Stolen Words(Day 15)

I didn't ask my sister in law if I could steal this,
But I couldn't resist waiting to hear if it was okay to post.

She wrote a beautifully humble and insightful post.
I am continually encouraged by her.

Here is just a small part of what she wrote-

That's what the Christian faith is all about. The world looks at us and sees a lack of perfection & therefore a bunch of hypocrites. The believer looks in the mirror and sees a filthy rag who desperately needs a Savior day after day.

Today on day 15-I am grateful for truth. His truth that was shared through Leah.

Monday, October 12, 2009

"Real Friends" Day 13

Here I am on day 13 of my In Every Thing Give Thanks Trial

I was having a hard time trying to blog tonight. As I was trying to gather my thoughts together for day 13, I jumped on to facebook. I was met by one of my best friends-Amy. I met her through Jody who found me through Hollyann who ran Addy's Hope when I was trying to adopt Marion and Emmanuel in Liberia, after reading a post on a yahoo group from Emily.


hey there


whats up foxy lady?


Trying to blog. no fun when things are stuck upstairs




you know when your written word doesn't come out.


ah.. upstairs, like your head.. not like, upstairs.

7:30pmSteffany I keep all my words up a flight of stairs locked in an attic


me too.. that is why i was confused.



guest blog for me.


uh, no


write a day 13 grateful post!

come on!



"i am grateful that i have amazing blog friends, who, by the way, are REAL friends... you know, the kind of people who love you for what is inside your messed up world.. not the kind who pretend to care about you when they say hi in the grocery store parking lot."


you know i'm going to blog this!

Then we moved our conversation to skype.

I'm grateful for all my "real" friends out there. Out of the list above- I have now met Hollyann. I met her after I drove to Texas to help at a booth we created materials for to support Addy's Hope. While I was there I briefly met Emily on Hollyann's doorstep. About a year later I met Jody at the Orpan Summit. She got stuck with me as a roommate-She brought it upon herself though after inviting me- She might still be recovering:) And as for Amy?! She still continues to be one of my best friends that I have yet to meet.

Sunday, October 11, 2009

Pumpkins, New Friends, and Daddy/DaughterTime

Giant Pumpkins

Late night cuddling.

New Friends

Best Buddies

Friday, October 9, 2009

Day 10

I hate it when I allow anger to cloud my mind. It's like a thick smog that hovers over a city. You are breathing it and it affects you, but you don't see it. Only when you are above it can you see how disgusting it is.

Yet in my anger I'm keenly aware of how much I desperately need God. And i am eternally grateful that He takes me where I am.

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Day 9

I am grateful for this man.
He is my best friend.

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Big Messes (Day 8)

If you cook dinner then you know the shear mess that follows preparing a meal night after night for your family.
I'll be honest-
I'm either sitting back and savoring this family ritual
I'm stressed and thinking about clean up as I'm eating.
With 6 kids (three of them toddlers) our dinner is best described as one big, chaotic, loud mess.
We never lack things to talk about, spills to clean, or dinner drama, but it's family.
My family.
My big messy family.
One day the mess will be gone.
It will be quiet.
The dinner drama a memory.
I know I will miss it.
So today on Day 8 of my In Every Thing Give Thanks 30 Day Trial
I am grateful for the 2+ hours of my life that was spent
cleaning up
the mess that we call call dinner.

Monday, October 5, 2009

Unexpected Struggle (Day 7)

I wasn't expecting to feel so discouraged during the 30 day In Every Thing Give Thanks Trial. Especially after my day 3 epiphany. I don't know if I'm struggling because I've been on antibiotics for 2 weeks, having the worst menstrual period of my life, running daily fevers while trying to run a home, parent 6 kids, be a loving wife or I'm struggling simply because that's what we do as women. We struggle. I think where my innateness fails me is assuming struggle is bad. Our nature is to make "things just right". I often have running dialogues in my head and visions of the way my day is suppose to play out. Rarely does anything EVER go the way my mind pictures things. So here's the problem- when reality and my "reality" don't match up then comes the disappointment. I often wrap my happiness or my gratefulness in how I feel. Then on top of that I allow guilt to take root. Guilt because I know my circumstances or how I feel should NOT dictate my heart. I know this. I believe this, but yet I still do it.Where does this leave me? Right back at the beginning of realizing the innate struggle we or I have as a woman is to think that struggle is bad and then have the faith to know that it is not only essential but beautiful.
So tonight
I am thankful for my pain.
I am grateful for my struggle.
I know it is good.

BTW- It is not too late to join in on the experiment.
The stories that I have read from the women that are participating have blessed my days.
I have links to their blogs on the upper left corner. Check them out!

Day 6 -Oct 4th - Adventure Dreamgirl's Birthday!! - My Blessing

Hi guys. I'm Adam, Steffany's hubby. I just wanna say, it's hard work being the perfect husband for my amazing bride of 15 years.

There has to be a lot of grace,
(...oh did I say those already?)

...and that doesn't even start to consider all the traits I have to have!

Yes it's true. She is awesome! And if it wasn't for her having all those traits that I just listed, I wouldn't have a shot! Thank you Steff for using every one of those traits everyday to make me into the man I am today.

Hey since she completes me, I can count those traits towards myself, .... right????

I am grateful for my Perfect Bride.
-Adam ("Perfect Husband"... in the making)

Saturday, October 3, 2009

Day 5 or 20 Minutes Before Day 6 of 30 Day Grateful Trial

What a day.

I started my day way too early with a soccer game.
Started my period at half time.
Froze for hours.
Then headed home for play dates and birthday parties.
I know you are already jealous:)

By 11:30am I was in bed cold, miserable, in pain and convinced there was no way I could get on a bicycle to ride for 20 miles.
By 12:30 I realized if I am freezing under 5 blankets in bed with 2 Midol, and I was still feeling awful that a bike ride in 45 degree weather with a lot of wind wouldn't make a difference..I got up.
I mounted my bike with my husband and peddled.
I Won't lie.
I was cold.
I was miserable.
But I did it.
So here I am at 11:46pm grateful that I did.
I am still cold.
Shivering actually.
Still on my period.
Tired and sore.
But you know what?
and God was there sustaining me...
every breath
every mile
every second.
In 9 minutes I will be 37!

Friday, October 2, 2009

Cheese and Birthdays (Day 4)

Today my Jaceman turned 14!
He got quite the present from his Aunt Leah and Uncle Lex.
He got......

Wait for it.......

While your held in suspense of what his Aunt and Uncle sent him. I thought I would share a few pics from our date night with him tonight.

Yep. It was the cheesiest gift ever given.
A whole box of different types of macaroni and cheese!
Jace loves Mac and Leah loves Jace.
So much that each box was labeled with a quality that God has given Jace.
As we pulled out each box and read what it said I couldn't help but to think of Aunt Leah and Uncle Lex praying over each word and each message written on the boxes. I know truly in my heart that those are precious seeds that God planted in Jace while He knit him in my womb. Seeds that have grown into fruit that is evident in his life.
I am eternally grateful for the gift that aunt Leah has given my son not just today, but for the last 14 years...
The gift of praying for my son.
For encouraging him to remember always who he really belongs to and for reminding me through such cheesy gifts that Jace belongs to God.

We took pictures of him trying to represent each box.

This is suppose to show boldness-
I think it looks like constipation...ssshhh don't tell him I said that:)

And tomorrow we celebrate my birthday. Every year Adam and I ride our bikes 20 miles to a beautiful winery that serves incredible food on a blufftop overlooking the river!
This will make 3 years in a row.

Thursday, October 1, 2009

A Side Effect and An Observation

I'm on day 3 of my In Everything Give Thanks 30 day Trial.

An interesting an overwhelming side effect occurred today.
I cried.
It wasn't my typical cry of feeling over my head and stressed.
I started to reflect on the day Adam met Diezel and Xia for the first time in Ethiopia. I had already been there for a few days alone and afraid. Afraid they would die before he could meet them. Afraid that if they lived the lasting effects of such severe malnourishment and sickness would be more than I could handle. Even though my journal during that time was labeled "My Journey to Gratefulness". I don't think I ever fully understood that praise and thankfulness in every situation is absolutely necessary to be fully at peace with God's will in your life.
So today in the car, it hit me.
I finally got it.
As I was searching for things to be grateful for and to add to my "list"-
(Which coincidentally is a whole either side effect of this trial, to constantly be thinking of things your grateful for:)
God exposed areas of my heart that I allowed fear, ungratefulness and dare I say, "blame" to take hold. Fear of not being enough. Ungrateful for anything that didn't go my way. Filled with blame for my daily struggle.
I cried from the depths of my soul in the car today.
A cry of surrender.
A cry of a heart overflowing with gratitude.
Then God gave me an amazing gift.
I remembered clearly.
Every single detail crisp as if it just happened.
The video tape rolling as Adam met our Diezel and Xia.
Xia grunting for air and Diezel wreaking of bodily fluids.
He scooped them up as I cried in fear of what was and what was to come.
And for this I'm grateful.
For all My God has done.
For the journey we have been on though incredibly hard.
All of it.

And on to my observation from day 3 of this trial.
I am much better at being grateful during the first half of the day. My thankful heart is singing of the leaves falling from the trees, the music in the car, my amazing family and even the crazy driver in front of me.....
Then by 4:30 it's like I'm reborn into pissed off momma who is out to set everyone straight.
But hey...
It's only day 3,

Not to late to join in on this amazing 30 day experiment!