May 28, 2013

Memorial Day

Since May 27 was both Seth's birthday and Memorial Day, I packed the three of us a lunch and we headed out to Mount Olive Cemetery to to visit Gramps, Hannah's paternal great-grandfather, who passed away four years ago. It was the first time any of us had visited since Gramps' passing. 

Here are some pics from our day.

May 14, 2013

Broken In

Picking up Hannah from daycare is routine. When I arrive to the facility, I scan for a spot between the other cars temporarily parked, park, or drive past and turn around if this quick exit option is available. I then jump out, lock the car, open the outer gate of the facility, walk to the entrance, key in the unlock code, grab her from the infant room, exit, unlock the car door, put Hannah in her car seat, and hop in the front seat happy to be proceeding home.

On Wednesday, May 1, pickup ended (and not until later did I realize it actually also began) differently. After I strapped Hannah into her car seat and hopped into the front seat I realized that the front passenger-side window was busted in.

My first and naive inclination was that my window spontaneously broke. Regardless, I scanned for my purse (then phone and pump; they remained rested were they were left). No purse. I jumped out, grabbed Hannah out of her car seat, and began scanning the parking lot and questioning other parents that were pulled up in front of me if they saw anything. Nothing.

KinderCare called the police. The KinderCare director also offered to take Hannah off my hands, but I clung to her and she sat on my hip as I reported what I knew to the cop when he arrived.

Did I see or hear anything: nope. I did remember noting that this was a rare day to see no other cars pulled up to the curb when I arrived. I had swung my car around before I parked (easy exit, remember) and now realized I made the passenger side nicely assailable for a drive-by window bust. The kids and teachers outside just behind the adjacent fence didn't deter the theif(s), and they correctly presumed the fence was high enough and kids loud enough for them to neither be seen nor heard.

Sometime between providing the information I could and describing the contents of my purse, the cop asked if I want the good news or bad news first. I asked for the bad first. "No cameras and no witnesses doesn't make for a good possibility of catching the perpetrator(s)." And the good news? "Everything is replaceable."

Although the latter comment was somewhat annoying, it reinforced what I was already thinking: thankfully nothing happened to Hannah.

I didn't expect to hear anything from the detective on my case. I figured they wanted the money inside, and I cancelled all my credit cards so those would be denied. No later than the next day did I receive a call that someone tried to cash a $3,600 check of mine under another victims name to retrieve the cash, plus $1,000. This wasn't just a one-time drive by. They're professionals, and known as the Felony Lane Gang. "Lane" because they drive up to the farthest lane at the bank and make a split check "deposit".

Even after notifying my bank and putting alerts on my account, the thieves were able to "deposit" four checks belonging to another victim into my account and withdraw another $1,000 in the same transaction. While they took $4,000 out of my account, they walked away with over $7,000 since they were cashing fraudulent checks at the same time.

Our bank covered the expenses since we put the proper alerts on our account, but it just makes me wonder what not, one, two, or three, but FOUR tellers were thinking when they cashed thousand dollar checks and gave an additional $1,000 cash when I clearly had "purse stolen" on my account.

So, for the time being, no one can withdraw money in my name.

This whole experience really got me thinking about my craving for justice/fairness. Something that I have exhibited since I was a child, and my response to losing what is "mine".

What actually pains me more than losing my possessions is that someone else took them, unfairly, and successfully used my own name to scheme their way into more. And they did this all so purposefully. So selfishly. As if they believed they were somehow entitled. That they believed they should have wealth if other people have wealth, or, they think they're stealing from people who wouldn't notice a "few" missing bucks an this justifies their action. But that might be giving them the benefit of the doubt. Their scheming is likely deliberate, deliberate and perpetual sin. It grieves me. It grieves the Lord.

To close, this is a reminder to hold strongly to my desire to be a steward. To recognize that all I have belongs to the Lord, to use my resources and possessions for His glory, and to hold nothing too tightly or feel secure in anything but Him.

"The LORD gave and the LORD has taken away; may the name of the LORD be praised." - Job 1:21

May 3, 2013

Scootin' at Eight Months

We have a scooter on our hands! Hannah's hasn't quite graduated into crawling, but she finds ways to get where she needs to go.

This past month I had my first business trip since returning from maternity leave. 

Destination: Marbella, Spain
Duration: Four days

While not a long trip, Spain gave me the opportunity to test the waters for more extended future travels, and it ended up being a nice getaway. My meetings happened to take place at a beach side resort and I had my arrival afternoon and rest day to lay by the pool in sunshine and perfect temps. I was able to Skype with Seth and Hannah everyday, and before I knew it I was back on a plane to come home.

I also made it out to a futbol game!
I arrived at the condo at 7:00 PM (a.k.a Hannah's Witching Hour). Seth warned me that she was tired. But as soon as she saw me she grew happy, excited, and awake! It was a good homecoming. 

Although this particular trip was not typical, I am more confident about being away. Next up: Hamburg, Germany. But this time, it will be for 11 days!

I'll close by leaving you with this gem!