It Occurred to Me…

I’ve loved this blog for so many years but I rarely make it here. I don’t know if anyone still checks it! Most months I send an email to my readers and it occurred to me I can share it here too. This is what I sent last week – October 2022.

Hello friend,

October is one of my favorite months. I always dreamed of having an October wedding like my parents. One of my favorite photos was taken of them running outside the church as the crowd lovingly pelted them with rice. Russ and I got married in June, which was what you did when you were undergrads and wanted as much time together as possible before another semester began. No regrets – but I love an October day.

As I write today, I’m sitting outside in the front yard soaking up the warmth of this early fall day, a black shawl wrapped over my shoulders. When we were in the accident, a helpful person pulled this from her car to wrap around us. At first, this shawl, and everything related to that tragic day, made me anxious and I didn’t want it near me. But as the years have passed, a sad sweetness has taken its place. We’ll never know who generously offered this to us. She probably had no idea she’d never get it back, but in the chaos of that day, many things were lost on the side of the highway. I think of this kindness every time I use it. 

A Few Highlights

September held the start of the school year for my teens. My guys love football and are playing their hearts out despite their team not winning a single game yet. It’s been painful and character-building. 

After a summer packed with travel, I was very happy to be home for nearly the entire month of September. The one exception was four days at Mt. Angel Abbey in Oregon for my spiritual direction program.

I’ve had the joy of babysitting my sweet granddaughter a few times lately and her cuteness is unbelievable.

The last two months have been absolutely packed with the people I love and my heart is overflowing. 

As we move through October, I invite you to join me in reflecting on just one question.


A question for October: What’s saving your life right now?

One of my favorite authors, Emily P. Freeman, asked this on her podcast recently and it got me thinking. What is saving your life? What is making your days just a little easier or adding joy?

I’ll go first.

1. Jade green

My favorite color has always been blue, I like a little pink too, but most often I gravitate toward blue. Not just any blue, more of a toned-down robin egg blue. I also love the peaceful green of vintage Jadite dishes, although I don’t own a single piece. Not for lack of trying; I always look when I’m thrifting. 

Not long ago I looked up from my computer and noticed a collection of green on the corner of my desk. A beautiful green glassbaby candle given to me by my son last Christmas held a flickering tealight. A small green dish cradled a wooden rosary I brought home from Germany which I often hold in my hands when meeting with coaching clients online. Rolling the beads between my fingers is very calming. Lastly, a small green plant offered evidence of growth and life. 

I’ve also always loved jade. Russ bought me a simple jade necklace when we were on vacation last June. This inspired me to take the vintage jade earrings I inherited thirty years ago and have the screw-on backs replaced with dangly hooks for my pierced ears. These sit in a tray on my bathroom counter. Next to them are two little white dishes with small green shamrocks, one a gift from my Mom and one from Goodwill.

I feel surrounded by this beautiful green and somehow it’s life-giving to me. I’m still surprised by how much I love it.

2. EZ-DUZ-IT Can opener

I’ve had a succession of bad can openers, the type that leaves at least two places still connected and I risk cutting myself trying to dump out the black beans. I ordered a new one a few weeks ago and even spent a bit more than usual because I was done with this challenge. The fancy can opener let me down the very first time I used it. Leave it to one of my big kids to find the Wirecutter review of the best can opener. My EZ-DUZ-IT can opener arrived yesterday and flawlessly opened a can of diced tomatoes. My life is better now. 
For the small price of $13.33, you too, can own an EZ-DUZ-IT can opener! Check out this link in my Amazon shop.

3. Libby app
I absolutely love the Libby app for borrowing audiobooks from the library. It’s easy. It’s free.I put lots of books on hold and eventually I get to borrow them. Try it.

4. Extra pairs of eyes

Not literally, of course. I recently finished a draft of a book I’m writing with Melissa Corkum, who cofounded The Adoption Connection with me. Before I send it to our editor, a few folks are reading the manuscript and offering suggestions to make it a bit better. At this point in the book project, I’m so tired of looking at it that I feel like I never want to read it again. Extra eyes are just what I need.

5. A Breakfast Burrito bar
We had the most fun birthday celebration last Sunday for our teen son. I created a breakfast burrito bar that included tortillas, cilantro lime rice, eggs, sausage, bacon, cheese and lots of other yummy things. Hashbrown patties baked to crisp perfection in the convection oven were a hit. It may have been brunch but we still had cake. It was a fun way to celebrate and a nice change from doing dinner.

How about you? Hit reply to this email to share your thoughts with me. What’s saving your life this fall? I wish I could reply to every email, but know I read each one and I’m so delighted to hear from you.

Remember, you’re a good parent doing good work, and I think the world of you.

With love and hope,


P.S. If you’d like to connect with me more frequently, I invite you to join The Hope Circle, where I spend time with the most incredible group of adoptive moms I know. The Hope Circle is now part of The Village which offers even more resources. If you have questions, hit reply and let me know.

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Let me introduce myself. Russ and I are the parents of twelve children by birth and adoption, and sometimes more through foster care. I'm the creator of One Thankful Mom which has been as much of a gift to me as to my readers. In 2011 I became a TBRI® Pracitioner* and have lived and breathed connected parenting ever since. I'm deeply honored to be the co-author, together with the late Dr. Karyn Purvis, of The Connected Parent; it is her final written work. I love speaking at events for adoptive and foster parents. I'm also the co-founder of The Adoption Connection, a podcast and resource site for adoptive moms. I mentor and encourage adoptive moms so you can find courage and hope in your journeys of loving your children well.

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