Posts tagged ‘mae’

Sugar Fast, Mayo Clinic and Growing up Way Too Fast

One of the best blessings of life is weeks when I can report that the life of this semicolon is… “normal.” I’ve been home for a full week, which after the past few travel-filled months feels very nice. Being home has put me into “nesting” mode. Which is weird… don’t start the rumors… I’m not making room for more kids. But I think a combination of the fall weather and my schedule slowing down has me wanting to clean, organize and decorate with fake fall leaves. Oh – and make pumpkin bars. Maybe on Monday…


I figured I better celebrate Halloween in costume if I wasn’t eating sugar – while Mae & niece Shiloh still think this is cool!

This girl just wanna… bake cookies

As of this Monday, it will be four weeks since I ate anything consisting mostly of sugar. I challenged myself to a 4-week “sugar fast” where I cut out the candy, cookies, pies, cakes – everything I really love that brings me immense joy. Part of it was strategic – get through Halloween. The other part was experimental – could I really take myself off sugar? Am I addicted? Watching the new documentary “Fed Up” had me curious about just how much sugar I consumed and if I indeed was addicted.

The verdict? I ate a lot more sugar than I realized but I surprisingly was not as addicted as I thought… if you excuse the fact I daydream about peanut m&ms once a day.

So, I’ve not had one piece of candy corn or even a cookie crumb for a few weeks. On Monday, the challenge ends and I have plans to bake and steal some of Mae’s Halloween candy. But, then the sugarfest ends.

I’m going to keep up this very reduced sugar intake. As much as I hate it – I do feel less inflammation in my tummy which is often a problem for this semicolon. I’ve found there’s other things than chocolate to turn to when I’m stressed. I’m learning how to celebrate… and not cope… with sugar.


Me and the two other patients chosen to attend Social Media Week at Mayo Clinic


Visiting Mayo And Keeping My Clothes On

I recapped my trip to Mayo Clinic for the Fight CRC blog a few weeks ago but wowza – what an opportunity. I was one of three patients chosen to attend a Social Media Summit. The fact I work for a colon cancer nonprofit and do social media as my job was a total bonus.

I sat amongst many professionals working for hospital systems and healthcare groups, learning the best tips for websites, blogging, Facebook and more.

Part of the gig also involved getting up after lunch and sharing my story. (I was really glad to go last since I discussed colorectal cancer.) I broke out my scrapbooks and began sharing the past 14 years of my life with strangers, admitting that I pooped and even dropping in a funny colon pun every now and then.

All in all, it was a great week. A long week. But a great week. I saw the true opportunity we have as patients. I had a very “pay it forward” moment as I felt fortunate to be alive and sharing my story. Hopefully it will help someone else in the same spot. Our stories as patients create more impact than any of us ever think – in places we’d never dream.

So that’s why I was at Mayo Clinic for a week. And let me tell you – not being admitted & getting to keep all of my clothes on was in and of itself a victory.


Future Mule?

Life is Good

Those are the highlights as of late. Life is good (outside of my dad falling off a ladder and breaking his elbow in five places!) While Mikey played a worship retreat over the weekend, Mae and I took a trip to my alma mater, University of Central Missouri, to celebrate with the PR department on a national certification they just received (CERP.) Although she’s small now, I couldn’t help but think just how fast time will go before we take her to college.

For a second I got happy…. (Don’t judge me. Did you see this devotional?) But then, I got sad and kind of gooey inside. It’s not that I don’t want her to grow up… I do. But I’m trying to really enjoy what we have now. She won’t carry Mulan under her arm forever.

So that’s the update!

Be watching my Twitter for updates on Monday as I break this sugar fast!

And tell me – what’s the first thing YOU would eat or drink if you avoided sugar for 4 weeks?

November 7, 2014 at 11:46 am Leave a comment


I always thought I’d have a boy. Rough housing and baseball – I was certain that was what my future entailed. So when we got a call about adopting a little girl, I wasn’t so sure. I’m not really the girly-girl type (outside of my fascination with huge earrings.) I wouldn’t even wear dresses as a child. But as our adoption went through and we’ve spent the last three years raising a little princess, I couldn’t be more thankful The Lord had other plans for me.

The pink and purple palooza has taken some adjusting, but I’ve learned a lot from having a little girl. The Barbies and larger-than-life headbands show me that feeling beautiful is an innate female desire, at least in some way. The careful way she stuffs a fake baby bottle into a cloth doll’s face shows me women are built to nurture. To mother. Her interest in ballet moves and love of a frilly tutu shows me ladies want to offer grace. And the obsession with everything princess reminds me daily that Christian women are truly a royal priesthood and daughters of the King – regardless of if tiaras are “our thing.”

I still don’t consider myself someone who’s super girly. And I do plan to get a ball into her hands at some point. But for now I’ll gladly wear the pink hair or dress up in pearls for my girl. Because she is showing me the purest form of the princesses we were born to be.






November 16, 2013 at 3:53 pm Leave a comment

Is She Mixed?

We took a short trip to a nearby park tonight for a little jogging. Mike and I switched off watching Mae while the other one ran laps around the playground, trying not to inhale the fumes coming from the teens smoking pot in their car just a few feet away. Got to love city parks in the suburbs.

Anyway, I took my turn (yes, I’m back to jogging!) and then traded off with Mike. As I was watching Mae, there were four other kids on the playground, all siblings, and all mixed-race, playing alongside her. Their ages ranged from probably 9 to 4, and they were like any other kids:  extremely friendly. After I busted out the bubbles, I suddenly wasn’t a complete stranger and began fielding questions like where I lived and what I ordered at Golden Corral. We were buddies.

As familiarly set in over a few minutes, the oldest sister, 8, point-blank asked me, “Why is she mixed?” I wrinkled my face for a second, amazed at such a blunt question. She then stared up and down at me, then looked across the field at Mike, and then narrowed her eyes back on me to show the origin of her question. “Why is she mixed?

I suddenly realized she had 1) noticed Mae is biracial and 2) noticed Mike nor I are black. I casually explained we had adopted her, and after she needed more explanation, I told her that her birth mother was my color and that her birth father was dark… so that’s why she was mixed. That answer seemed to appease her.

She walked away as if it was nothing, but the conversation stuck with me. For over a year, we’ve been waiting for the questions and funny looks while we go out in public, but we’ve not received even one awkward glance. I don’t know if it’s because summer is coming and she’s getting darker or because her beautiful curly locks are staring to really fill in (or as I like to say, “fro out”) – but it’s becoming obvious that we are a family of two white parents and a mixed little girl. And I love it that the kids, so innocent and curious, are the ones bringing it up.

I couldn’t have ever imagined that the short trip to the park for a little jogging tonight would have become such a big day in our adoption story for me,  but I cherish the questions I was asked by fellow mixed kids who noticed my daughter was “one of them.” I’m thankful for the strides that have been made to where we’ve not received rudeness at any level, but only openness and acceptance of our differences. And what I love the most is that I’m fielding the questions not from rude adults turning their noses up, but from an innocent, beautiful mixed little girl who sees someone else like her and speaks openly about it. Progress I’d say, progress indeed.

April 17, 2012 at 9:47 pm 2 comments

Surgery recovery

Now it hasn’t been all that bad… I’ve had lots to keep me busy.











March 22, 2012 at 9:33 pm Leave a comment

5 Random Things for Tonight

Wow, I blog nearly every day for a month and then nothing for two weeks. Sorry gang. And because it’s late and I’ve been at war with my intestines all night (I think they almost won… almost) – this is short and sweet. But for those who crave some Semicolon updates – here you go:

1. I did a Jillian Michaels workout DVD last week and couldn’t walk for about 2 days. So, I’ve not yet tried again. But I really need to get in shape again. Maybe I will in May.

2. Why May you ask? Well because my next surgery is planned and will be coming up here shortly. I’ll blog more about it later – I’m still going through the “processing… AKA crying in my car … phase.” For those out where who pray – it’s on Feb. 28th. I’d appreciate all that I can get right now. No worries though – it’s preventative because of Lynch Syndrome. No, cancer’s not back.

3. I let my daughter and my niece play with pinto beans today (not from a can- gross.) And I’m secretly hoping wondering if I’m going to see a little bean in her diaper tomorrow. Gross, I know, probably worse than if I would have let her play with canned pinto beans. But at least I’m honest.

4. I’ve had the busiest month or two lately and work’s been crazy. However, I still managed to read all 3 books of the Hunger Games trilogy. I cannot wait for the movies to come out. And I am on Team Gale.

5. I am now a member of the iPhone community and I cannot … absolutely cannot … stand Words with Friends. I DO NOT get it. Isn’t Scrabble long enough as-is? Why drag it out for days upon days? Hasn’t anyone ever played with a cheater as a kid? Why open yourself up to that nonsense? Just get the game over with for pete’s sake.

At least there’s still Angry Birds…

(I warned you that was random…)

– danielle out.

Got Beans? Well, I guess we'll see tomorrow... (Gross again I know. Sorry - it's a poop blog.)

February 11, 2012 at 11:05 pm Leave a comment

January 8 – The Text | Mae’s Adoption Journey

After a year, I think it has “sunk in” that Mike & I are now parents to the beautiful Miss Mae. Please join me this month as we travel down memory lane. I’ve not yet told our full adoption story in the blog. Join me as I reminisce. Get caught up if you’re still confused about how on earth we became parents. Be encouraged if you too are on the adoption path. And through each day, may God be glorified.

January 8th – Holy Cow – This Will Be Us Soon….

That’s exactly what we were thinking at this time, on this date, last year. Our friends Scott & Amy had just had baby Ayla the previous day and we made a trip to Blue Springs to visit them in the hospital. We pulled up and giggled when we parked in the “ministerial parking” spot. I figured my church job had to pay off somehow.

We entered the maternity ward and located their room. Of course, perfect timing for us, we arrived right during Ayla’s dinner. While we waited for Amy to finish feeding her, we went and waited in a nice waiting room outside of the birthing room suites. We sat there, looking around at the kid toys, posters about breast feeding and pregnant woman fliers and became overwhelmed with the thought that we could soon be in a waiting room just like this one … except instead of waiting to see our friends’ kid – we could be waiting to see our kid.

A Little Background on the Adoption Journey

Leading up to Jan. 9, we had kicked off the adoption process earlier in Fall 2010. We knew we had both heard from the Lord that it was time to begin the process, and so away our application papers went in September 2010. Through the months of Oct-Dec., we worked on our home study. We announced to the world we were adopting through our blog. We had baby room furniture. I’d been shopping for gender-neutral fabrics and the nursery bedding was underway. (All while we tried to wrap our minds around the fact that we’d begun our path to parenthood.) With a completed home study, we planned to go “active” with our adoption agency in a few weeks – which meant that soon pregnant moms could begin “shopping” for us. So sitting in that waiting room was a stark reality of what was to come… and suddenly we realized how awkward it was going to be.

Visiting New Baby, Ignoring the Phone

Once the awkwardness hit us, the room got silent. We were the only ones in there, just staring at the flier about car seat safety. Something about it felt so weird and unnatural. I’d been having feelings creep up that I wasn’t really up for a brand new baby. Brushing it off as fear, I figured this was all part of the adoption process. Parts of it just felt so unnatural. Fear was a natural response.

Luckily, Scott came to get us and led us back to the room in just a few seconds. We were soon caught up with the excitement of a new baby, so small and tiny, so beautiful. We were excited for our friends and took in their beaming faces. It was a great moment. In the midst of meeting Ayla, holding her and getting the “we stopped by the hospital to see the new baby” photo, I began hearing my phone alerts. It was the text message alert so I figured it wasn’t urgent and I’d check my messages once we left the hospital.

New Message: You Want a Kid?

Okay, so the message wasn’t exactly that blunt. However, once we returned to the car, I realized I had a text from our friend Scott. He was asking if he and his wife Patti could talk to Mike and I the next morning before church. I quickly fired back, “Not if you’re leaving the church.” I wasn’t sure what else could be so serious that they’d need to make sure we’d be available to chat the next morning.

A few follow-up texts began to give some context to why Scott & Patti wanted to meet. I knew about Scott’s friend Nick and had just learned days before that he was taking care of his baby niece while also juggling being a single dad. The possibility of adoption for the little girl had come up. She was 3 months old, biracial and in Lee’s Summit. Not knowing if that’s what we were up for, they decided to go for it and text to see if we wanted to even talk about it.

When we realized why Scott & Patti wanted to get together with us, we shrugged it off and thought, “Why not, it won’t hurt anything.” We’d been the “go-to” couple over the past few years for situations that had risen up where a child needed an adoptive family. And after two or three of those situations had fallen through, we’d learned not to get our hopes up. We figured the pregnant-birth-mom-finding-us-through-our-adoption-agency was the right path for us. But, we were always open to what God had in store. Plus, there were some things about this that strangely matched our desires, even if she was already three months old.

After briefly discussing it in the car on the way to get dinner, we decided to respond back, “Sure, we can talk tomorrow…”

And that was that. Never did we expect for it to really go anywhere. But entertaining one last random opportunity like this wouldn’t hurt anything, right?

January 8, 2012 at 4:54 pm 12 comments

Miracle of Adoption | National Adoption Day

Last year on National Adoption Day I carefully crafted an announcement that our process had begun, and adoption plans were in our near future. I had no clue that a short two-and-a-half months later, we would be leaving a courtroom with precious Baby Mae in our arms. The Lord is good.

As I reflect back on our past 10 months as parents, on National Adoption Day, I am thankful for the miracle that’s termed “adoption.” And while I’ve heard that term a lot, not until I experienced it did I understand how adoption was a miracle.

Any baby is a miracle – the process of creating life is not chump change. And while I understood how giving birth and making life was a miracle, I searched to understand how adoption fell under that same category. In a world that functions heavily on bloodlines, keeping things “in the family” and passing on family names – adoption can be counter-cultural and unnatural. Especially when there’s multiple races involved. However, over the past many months, I’ve experienced the miracle of loving a child as if she were my own blood. I have the opportunity to be a parent; an opportunity that I would not have gotten otherwise. And maybe more than anything, I’ve received a spirit of adoption that comes only from the Lord. I love her with a supernatural love that’s been gifted to me; the same love God has for each of us. And that, I feel, is the absolute miracle and blessing of adoption.

In a season full of thankfulness, I am so thankful that God’s plans are not my plans, and His ways look radically different from mine. Last year at this time I thought we might have a baby in our house right now, but one that was itty bitty and from a different state. Never in my wildest dreams did I think we’d have a 14-month old daughter who was born in our zip code, and a very blessed open adoption situation. We are indeed blessed, and so grateful for the Miracle of Adoption. Oh the Lord is good to me…. I mean our party of three.

November 19, 2011 at 7:36 am 3 comments

Oh Yeah… My Blog!

Wait – I have a blog? Oh yeah…

Sorry guys, in the midst of working for the church, growing my small business and um, getting the hang of this mom thing – good ole’ Semicolon Stories has gotten the shaft. But don’t worry, you’re not alone. Our dogs feel the same way too.

But, I’m just checking in to say hello to the blog world, and that life here is good, busy, changing, yet good. Let’s see here… for a few updates…

  • My hubby is about ready to change careers and bring his teaching gig to an end in about a week. He’ll be joining me in the website arena and working on CSS for a website company.
  • Mae’s doing great. She’s doing this awesome rock-n-roll, I’m about to crawl thing now. She’s really great at getting on all fours and then lunging. I love it – it’s not pretty but she doesn’t care. She can get anywhere she wants these days – except out of her bed and onto my plate.
  • I’m doing well! Health-wise, I got the “all clear” again this week after another CT scan. Docs wanted to make sure that the pelvic activity showing up on the scans is still just scar tissue. The CT last week didn’t show any concerns. Hallelujah.
  • I’m working like a beast – that is my imagination of how a beast would work. I’m also in the midst of approaching a healthy balance between my full-time job and side business, so in the meantime I’m keeping rather… active. But don’t worry – it will be changing soon. Promise.
  • And my last bit of WAY exciting news for now-
    (no we don’t have another kid stashed away or anything like that…)
    But – I am headed to NEW YORK again in a few weeks for the 2012 COLONDAR SHOOT!
    Oh my friends, I am so excited, honored and in awe that I get to return to the magical place of all-things Colondar. I’ve been asked to write the bios for the new 12 calendar models. I can’t wait to meet them, to write their heroic stories, to make more friends who’ve also experienced colon cancer at a young age, and to return to see good friends at the shoot.

So, that’s a short and quick update! I’ll make it a goal to post more soon but in the meantime, we’ll just be chilling in a laundry basket.

May 20, 2011 at 11:47 pm Leave a comment

Mae Day

If you would have told me three weeks ago that I’d be putting our daughter to bed in her own room tonight, I’m not sure I would have believed you.

But that’s exactly what has just happened.

The phrase “God works in mysterious ways” just touches on the miracle that’s taken place in our lives over the past few weeks. We thought we had an idea of what our adoption journey would entail. God obviously had other plans. And we couldn’t be more delighted, excited and absolutely blessed.

Word of a precious, 4-month-old baby girl came to us three weeks ago. She needed some parents and a stable home. We were thrown for a bit; we had not signed activation papers with our agency yet and thought we’d be matched with a pregnant birth mom in another US state. We thought it would take a few months. Yet something about this baby girl intrigued us. She was older than a newborn. She was biracial. She was absolutely gorgeous. She was local. And something about this just felt so meant to be.

So a few weeks ago we started down a road that led to confirmation after confirmation that this indeed was the child that God had prepared for us. Everything worked out so smoothly, all of the what could-be complicated details were smoothed out. Doors and windows just seemed to fly open. And we agree with the many who have said, “it’s just a God thing,” as this adoption process has been very fast and nearly seamless.

So it was with great joy today that we were given temporary custody and got to bring home our little gal. Her adoption should be finalized in six months, via Missouri law. As her adoptive parents, we’ve chosen to give her the name of Mae Brooke. While the idea for her name originally stemmed from our love of music by one of “our bands,” the name has come to symbolize so much more. Mae because it’s the month we married, and it means new beginnings and family for us. Brooke because we dearly love both of our siblings, and we wanted to carry on their names with our kid(s). I pray that she can always look up to her aunt, Laura Brooke, and love and know God through the example she sets.

We are still in awe and pinching ourselves just a little bit. But we’re over the moon excited for this new chapter in our lives, and the plans God has in store. We couldn’t be more thankful to the big, loving God we serve. We’re so honored He gave us our Mae Day today.

Enjoy some pics…

January 31, 2011 at 11:50 pm 19 comments

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