6 TBSP cocoa, 1/4 C butter, 1 C sugar, 1/2 tsp vanilla, 1/3 C flour, 2 eggs, Cook 350 - 25 mins.


Love is....


A new year has arrived! We are anticipating an exciting year in the Brian M. Household. The list of blessings we are awaiting is long. The adoption of our boys will be finalized, Brian will turn 35, we will celebrate our 16th wedding anniversary, my brother will marry a WONDERFUL, Sweet woman in May, and we are in the beginning stages of planning a Vacation, with extended family members, to celebrate the Adoption! Good grief. How much can we stand? LOL

Brian brought it to my attention that he and I will be together longer than we lived in our birth homes pretty soon. That's amazing to say. We just gave a crooked little smile at each other when that revelation was know...We made it! :-)

Our Christmas was so exciting this year. We opened presents on the Wednesday evening before Christmas. We've never, in our lives, celebrated Christmas before Christmas. However, being that Dec. 25th isn't actually Christ's birthday, we didn't see the harm, so we came home from church and dug in! Brian and I were amazed at how fast 5 boys could plow through presents. Laughter and hugs filled the room. I got my XM radio. It's so sweet! Music is my refuge at times when I need a break from being "mom". :-)

Our vacation in Kentucky was so funny. What a whirl-wind of a trip. We traveled on Christmas Eve and upon arriving, promptly celebrated Christmas in my parents one bedroom home with 17 family members! Nine of them children...Whoo hooo what a party! LOL Chocolate Fudge and Aunt Alvia's Mississippi Mud Cake were the major attractions. :-)

We were there for one week. It was funny because my parents live one mile off of the main road...and by main road I mean a one-lane-barely-pass-an-oncoming-car road. :-) The rain did it's thing and their one mile driveway became a mudders paradise. Mud was everywhere, to the point where we decided to embrace the mud. LOL The boys played outside with the horses, and came in with shoes twice the size of when they walked out the door! The vehicles took the brunt of the punishment but, hey, that's what car-washes are for.

Brian and I went to the county/state jail to take pictures of the men living there. They hadn't had a picture day in over 2 years. My dad asked us if we would like to do that. We said, "Sure." I didn't realize the emotions I would feel.

Man, I'll tell you what..If you get the chance to visit some men or women in prison, you won't regret having done so. Many men there have poor families. Some haven't seen their families in years, due to money issues. Standing in the room, taking pictures of the smiling men, I could feel the sadness. It engulfed me. I could see it in their eyes through the lense. The smile was on their lips but the pressure shone on their faces. As I shot each photo my heart broke. I had to keep chatting to keep from crying. That was a humbling experience.

That experience reinforced my belief that everyone needs someone "on their side." It's one thing to "love" someone, however it's a totally different kind of love to support the one you love. Not that they need someone to support their crime, but someone to support their life, their ability to change, to support THEM as a person. I believe it would make all the difference in the world to many of these men to hear "I'm on your side." Heck, I know people in my life who would break down in tears to hear it from their own family. I suppose even on "the outside" it is hard to find true love. The kind you can fall back on for support and comfort. Imagine being locked up in a cage, day in and day out, without one person backing your existence? I kept thinking, as I snapped pictures, that they all need someone, "on their side." It's overwhelmingly sad.

and with that I'm done...

To recap...Love comes in many chose those you surround yourself with wisely, because life is too precious and short to waste with the fake stuff.

We are blessed with an abundance of true love in our family.
I wish the same for you in 2006 and beyond. :-)

I just can't believe my life!

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