Friday, July 20, 2012

You know, we've gotten a lot of heat over the years.

Hubs and I have gotten some heat over the years since we decided to stay with the 1 1/2 child count.  (Bailey, bless her, was a half baked baby.)  There are folks who just don't go there because they know the details of what happened with Bailey.  There are folks who frankly, just don't consider that. 

K- came to us as an incredible blessing.  My friend, Holly (the reason for K-'s existence in our family) sent me a link to a blog today.  She said that she knew that we were a more than one child family, but thought the posting to be appropriate. 

How right she was.

Days before Aunt Donna's death, she told me that, "You could have had more kids, you know."  :tip of the head:  "I talked with someone about it and they said that you could have had more, you just chose not to have more."  :deep breath to contain anger at someone who didn't know me or the circumstances:  "Well, we chose to stick with what the doctors and specialists in charge of my care told us to do.  When asking the OB in charge of my care at that point what we would do if, God forbid, I would become pregnant again, she said, 'We'd do the best we could and pray.'"  Really, there was someone out there telling my aunt that I could have more kids?  I understand that my aunt wanted us to adopt more, but it didn't happen.  We kept our foster parenting/adoptive license open for 4 years.  At the 4 year point, we opted not to renew.  That was a choice that took many months and piles of tears to make.  It was a choice that we made for us-- for our family.  We considered ourselves so blessed.  We still do. 

So there you have it.  In regard to the number of children you have, you need to pray about it and do what is best for you. 

To that I say, Amen.

Smiles in my day:
-  Being involved in VBS.  Though we are at a new church and have decided to go forward for membership, I felt my summer lacking without the hustle and bustle of being deeply entrenched in VBS.  I helped to decorate today and have been put in charge of the missions project.  My sister will be bringing her kids a few days this week and staying since she lives a ways out, and I am excited for her to check out a new church that may be a good fit for her and her family.  We'll be working together as a team (as we normally do) and gathering/counting missions donations together.  :)
-  Rachael went to the doctor today and found out that her ankle required quite a bit of hardware.  She'll be unstapled and casted next week.  By my understanding, her healing seems to be on target, though her leg is a bit unsightly at this moment.  (By what she says.)  That goodness for good insurance and for folks talented enough to fix that stuff. 

Have a great weekend!

Thursday, July 19, 2012

A Fancy Nancy Day for Hannah.

Over the years, I've gotten to know a lot about a little girl that I will never be able to meet.  I've learned much about Hannah, her love for all things sparkly, fruit salads from Bath and Body Works, the Crocs, the picture with the fanny panties hanging out, tangling with Othello the cat and losing, the squeaky voice, the dancing and her love to have some drawings in places that were not intended to be drawn on.  Today is the 5 year mark that Hannah passed away.  Not only is it the 5 year day, but it is also on THE day of the week and that, my friends, kind of makes Rachael sad.  The whole thing does and I don't blame her.  So as we throw up some prayers for her family, for this day, to celebrate a sparkly little girl, let's throw up some healing prayers for Rachael-- both physically (for her ankle having been bolted back together), but for her mentally.  Not the condition she signed up for.  (But thankful under the circumstances that this was a bum ankle that she goofed up when she was 16.) They normally like to hike to the Cascades somewhere around HHD.  Never fear!  She'll be fancy.  She'll be having tea parties and she will be dancing around in her chair.  (Don't get up, please.) 

Let's lift up this family and wear something sparkly just for Hannah.

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

The unsolicited review follow-up: Don't wash your Merrell Wonder Gloves in the laundry.

Do you recall the post of love for my Merrell Wonder Gloves?  Well, I still love the comfort, but I was sad when this happened:

If you look at my right hand shoe, you'll see that the leather is all discolored.  There was nothing in English in the shoe that stated that I couldn't wash these shoes in the laundry.  I put them in with a few sheets to keep them from beating against the side of the washer.

I love these shoes.

I paid $100.00 for these shoes.

I pulled them out of the washer, noticed the discoloration and hoped for good things that it would fade.

It didn't.

I went ahead and pulled my trusty shoe box back out.  I bought them from and I knew that they advertised a 365 day guarantee.  That's why I purchased them through them, because I was stupid and didn't read their guarantee.  Yes, they do have a 365 day guarantee for NEW shoes.  Really?

When I pulled out said box and looked at the little booklet that came with the shoes-- the same booklet that shows people jumping, running and playing-- on the very back page it states about washing instructions and that involves not laundering the leather shoes.

Gee, I wished that there was something printed in my shoes about that.

I e-mailed Merrell.  Here was my bit:

I purchased a pair of Wonder Gloves in Aluminum 2 months ago.  I dearly love these shoes.  I noticed that they had gotten some surface dirt on them and laundered them in cold water, light soap and with a few sheets to buffer the washer.  The one shoe looks like something has started to work out of the leather somehow.  Frankly, they look ruined and I am beyond broken hearted.  Other than suede, I've always laundered shoes lightly because, as my husband asked, who doesn't launder shoes?  Shoes get wet and while these didn't get tremendously wet during my wear of them for the last few months, I was shocked and mortified that they did this.  I paid $100. for the shoes and purchased them to wear because I had broken my foot in early fall and found that traditional shoes were making my foot ache.  These did not at all.  I have the box, order slip and packing materials.  I even blogged about my love for these shoes (  What can you do to help me? 

This email has been delivered to the
service staff of MERRELL.COM

Their response was:

Hello Amy,

Because the Wonder Glove is a full grain leather, we would not recommend putting them in the washing machine. The ONLY styles we would suggest putting in the washing machine are the Barefoot styles that do not have leather in the construction.  All of our other shoes are not to be put in the washing machine, but only hand washed. 

I am sorry to hear that the washing machine ruined your shoes, and we would like to offer you a special accommodation so you can replace those.  I do have a promotional code that is good for a 20% discount plus free shipping.  This code would be valid on your next purchase at  Please let me know if you would like this special offer.

Thanks for your inquiry,

Consumer Relations Account Specialist

Because I was more than delighted (sarcasm) with his response, I sent this:

There was nothing on the inside of the shoe that gave me any clear indication that they shouldn't be laundered gently in the washer. This is so frustrating. I take impeccable care of things that I own and had I have known (there is nothing that I have encountered that says hand wash only) and I appear to have burned $100.00 on a pair of shoes that look like complete crap. I paid (willingly) full price as they seemed to be the answer to all of my questions. Lovely. They are shoes I bought to wear to work and now can now longer wear them there.

Fantastic. I'll be sure to follow my glowing review up with a caution not to laundering the barefoot shoes. I'll make sure to post a photo so that they know what they'll be left to wear. A shoe company selling shoes for exercise might want to consider using materials that will withstand an occasional laundering since the general reason people buy them is to wear for outdoor sports. Unlaundered gym shoes? Yuck. Hand washing? I'm thinking that they would need a bit deeper clean, but that's what got me into this problem to begin with.



Gee, and can you believe that he didn't comment back?  I'll give my amended review:

1.  The shoes truly do fit wonderfully and are very comfortable.  They don't slip or slide, rub weird or give me any issues with my previously broken foot.
2.  My feet do get hot in them.  My feet can actually sweat in them.  I do not normally have this issue and it was brought up in the comments when I read them before buying.  I would suggest giving a few breather holes.   After all, sweaty feet in shoes (though the treatment that they give them does keep them from smelling) still makes you want to launder them.  Sweaty feet and glove-like fit of shoes = the want to launder all that was locked in.  Call me crazy.
3.  Stamp on the shoe on the inside IN ENGLISH "hand wash only."  There are tiny symbols in there but for the love of Pete, those who only know what those mean are probably people in the industry.
4.  The sole, even after wearing them nearly exclusively for two months, shows very little wear.  Vibram is a good thing.

I have chosen not to replace my newish shoes with another pair.  It's not that I wouldn't love them, but when people ask, "What happened to your shoes?"  I can tell them.  I laundered them gently in the washer.  I mean, it was lovely for Merrell to offer a discount and all, but it was hard enough for me to part with the $100.00.  A discounted pair would be $80.00.  Thanks, but, I'll just have to embarrassingly wear my discolored ones.

Who knew? 

Smiles in my day:

-  This is Dash, the baby bunny who lives in the backyard.  He gave out an all call to other rabbits.  I now find large bunnies lounging in the very same way.  As far as Dash is concerned, he knows us and as I was cruising around yesterday, realized he was about 2 feet away.  I pulled out my camera and took some photos.  How could I resist?  The dash of white on his noggin?  That's why he's called Dash.  ;)
-  Rachael came through surgery well and J, K-'s sister, does not need surgery to reattach the sliver of bone to her hip.  Hooray!
-  We hit a lovely sale at Old Navy the other day and got K- some clothes for next summer.

Obviously, I was not paid for my review of these shoes.  Other than the offer of a 20% discount and free shipping (which I did not take), I received nothing for my honest opinion.