Wednesday, April 26, 2017

Jumping back in...

A few weeks ago I got to sneak away from everyday life and have a girl's night in Austin.  Me and my best girlfriend got to attend Jamie Ivey's Happy Hour Live! It was so fun and so needed. Once we arrived at our hotel my girlfriend asked if I ever missed being a part of Noonday. We had not spoken of Noonday probably in over a year. It was so random because just a few days prior I had actually got the idea in my head to join back in. I wasn't sure I wanted to because so much of it is reliant on other people hosting shows and finding those hostess is hard to do. I had even told Ryan a few nights before the trip that I was thinking about joining again. So I felt like maybe her randomly bringing it up was a sign from the Lord! Who knows? Then that night at the event filled with tons of ladies, Jamie asked if anyone was a Noonday Ambassador. Yall there wasnt ONE hand raised! I couldn't believe in a group of women with so much in common, no one was representing Noonday. I felt right then and there that I never wanted to not be able to raise my hand again. I wanted to be able to say I'm a part of bringing dignity to men and women in vulnerable communities. I wanted to be able to say YES I am helping make a difference in the women. I wanted to be able to tell my friends that they CAN make a different with their purchase power and I wanted to provide them with that avenue. So right when I got home, I jumped back in! I'm back at being a Noonday Ambassador.

If you have NO idea what Noonday is, here is the real definition... Noonday Collection a socially responsible business that uses fashion to create meaningful opportunities around the world. When you purchase jewelry from noonday you are providing reliable income for men and women in hard places. They depend on the consistent orders placed by noonday costumers to provide a respectable job for themselves. Noonday doesn't give a handout they provide opportunity. They bridge the gap between US and THEM.
My other answer would be they are a fair trade company that sells jewelry that looks like it is made from Anthropologie. That is what drew me to Noonday over 5 years ago. Cute stuff that makes a difference. Its a no brainer for me!

So if any of this strikes a cord with you I'd love to chat with you. I love to talk to people about stuff that fires me up and fair trade definitely does that! I would share that you can get involved by becoming a customer. You can shop for yourself or gift for family members. Noonday is great for all ages. (My daughters LOVE my Noonday samples!).

 You can host a show and help ME spread the message of Noonday Collection to your people.

Or if you love it SO SO much you can join as an Ambassador and you can share Noonday with your people yourself and get the behind the scenes perks!

 So thats my spill. Noonday Collection rocks and makes a difference.

Grades don't matter.

I have pretty much just been thrown into this elemantary age parenting gig. Well I was 2 years ago, but it still feels total foreign. School, friends, extra curricular activities, and even sibling dynamic are all so overwhelming. Ive been thinking  a lot lately about the latest parenting idea that grades don't matter as much as raising kind kids matter. Well this is a great IDEA but in reality makes parenting very stressful. I care what grades my kids make. I care if they make a lower grade than they usually do, and I care when they aren't really trying on their schoolwork. I care so much about them being kind, too. BUT I can't measure my kids kindness like I can their grades. I can't get a tutor or make them study extra to be kind. I can try to model good behavior, teach it to them during teachable moments, and punish (or redirect 😉) them for bad behavior, but I can't make them be kind to others. and what pressure!

Man, I would LOVE my kids to be getting character counts and all the other outstanding citizen awards and recognition, but guess what? They aren't. And that is hard on this momma. So whats the point of this. My point is that if you're a mom that doesn't get the good principal/teacher phone calls, you aren't alone. If you are the parent that doesn't get to post character counts awards pictures, you aren't alone. If you cringe when you think about checking their behavior notes for the day- you aren't alone. If you desperately just want your kids to make it through the day without getting in reprimanded- you aren't alone. I am here. I am a mom that makes lots of bad parenting mistakes and sometimes isn't very kind. I am a mom that doesn't always use respect when fussing at her kids. I am a mom that shouldn't even get mad when she hears her kids being sassy to each other because I know they have heard me talk the same way. BUT I am also a mom that feels bad about this. I am a mom that wants their kids to do as she says, not always as she does. I am a mom that just wants her kids to be kind to their classmates,  make their teachers lives easier, and have a good day. (Oh, and I wouldn't mind all A's on that report card either 😉)

Wednesday, January 4, 2017

Ringing in the NEW year!

**I drafted this blog on the new year of 2016. I just read it a year later and thought it was pretty good, so I decided to share it!

Hey everyone! I had a strong urge last night to go back and re-read some of my old blog posts. I am so glad I kept this up for so long because I really enjoy seeing the older posts. Its crazy how much time has passed and how much my life has changed. The main reason I created this blog was to share my life with others! It quickly became a blog about our adoption journey!! I was so happy to be on the path of adoption a precious baby and couldn't wait to see how the story would unfold. Then came baby! Adelyn joined our family in 2013 and life was never the same. The blog slowed down and I ran out of things to update because the adoption process also slowed down. However, when she was close to a year we began the foster care process. I sure wish I would have blogged better about that journey because it was really special. Difficult, but special. we are. Starting 2016 and I have major updates! The first thing I wanted to address is our foster care story!!
A few days before Christmas we became a legal family with our two big kids! Our family had an amazing adoption party and we kissed goodbye the unknown we had the whole year of 2015. We are a forever family and we are so happy to be together!
Backing up a few weeks, we had an big Ethiopian adoption change. We got another email from our agency explaining that new updates would be needed and more money was needed to help cover new costs due to STILL increasing wait times. Ryan and I had pretty much been checked out of the Ethiopian process for awhile, but we still just kept an eye on how things were going. We knew it seemed like a long shot for it to ever actually pan out for the last few years, but we didn't official do anything about it. After this last email, I decided I had a clear and sure answer that we would withdraw our family from the Ethiopian program. We felt confident of this decision and although, we don't know the reason behind starting this process, we do know that we followed a calling and now it was time to let it go.
We felt very strongly that our family was now complete. We have Adelyn, we have our big kids, Anna and Ezra, and we also have another blessing on the way! Our fourth baby to bless our family is due this summer! We are so excited to have our fourth baby and to have this baby bond our family together in a way that only new babies can!

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Month Three..

Soooooo.... Remember how sweet and happy my two month post was? Well month three proved to be a little more challenging. Things are getting real in our house and life has started getting messy. There are still good times, but there are lots of difficult times too. God has lead me to read several passages when I have really been struggling. Each time the verses remind me of our purpose for walking down this path.

I randomly opened the bible one night when I was having a very difficult day. I opened to Luke 6. Wow. What a gentle reminder of how I should treat my kiddos. 

Luke: 32 “If you love those who love you, what credit is that to you? Even sinners love those who love them. 33 And if you do good to those who are good to you, what credit is that to you? Even sinners do that. 34 And if you lend to those from whom you expect repayment, what credit is that to you? Even sinners lend to sinners, expecting to be repaid in full. 35 But love your enemies, do good to them, and lend to them without expecting to get anything back. Then your reward will be great, and you will be children of the Most High, because he is kind to the ungrateful and wicked. 36 Be merciful, just as your Father is merciful.

 Just last night I felt like I needed to read Colossians. Wow God. Thanks. Another amazing reminder that we were all once hostile, evil, and alienated, yet the GOSPEL has reconciled us. We have HOPE in the gospel. We have HOPE in the hard times we are facing.

Colossians 21 And you, who once were alienated and hostile in mind, doing evil deeds, 22 he has now reconciled in his body of flesh by his death, in order to present you holy and blameless and above reproach before him, 23 if indeed you continue in the faith, stable and steadfast, not shifting from the hope of the gospel that you heard, which has been proclaimed in all creation[g] under heaven, and of which I, Paul, became a minister.

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Two months!

I had a friend recently ask me what advice I could give her about foster care now that I am a foster mom. Her question got me thinking and these are the 4 main things I could come up with!

1.Foster care isn't as scary as I thought.
I had lots of fears going into the foster care world. I had heard a lot of horror stories. I was scared, but thankfully God gave me the desire to give this a shot. Our story has not been anything like the horror stories I had heard, or dreamed up in my head. It really could not be any better. Our big kids have adjusted great, Adelyn loves having older siblings,our families are a great help, and our big kids do great in social settings!

2. They are NOT their files.
A few minutes before we met our kiddos for the first time we had the brief chance to read their files. It was scary. I was panicked. I didn't know what we had gotten ourselves into. Fast forward a few weeks. I was re-reading their files and was laughing at how different they are in real life. They are just kids. Their past happened, but it doesn't define them. I had always heard that, but now I understand.

3. Older kids are AWESOME.
Plain and simple! I love that my kids can talk and are somewhat independent. It comes with challenges, but the advantages way out weigh the disadvantages.

4. Our marriage has NOT been ruined.
This was a biggggy. I had heard that foster care puts a huge strain on your marriage. Honestly, having Adelyn was way harder on our marriage than adding our two big kids. We work together and we laugh at the craziness going  on around us. We are a team have had a blast going through this together. I think we might even fight less now!

I prayed and prayed for us to have a positive experience with foster care. I can honestly say, this has been a great experience. I love our kids and I love this crazy, beautiful story I have been blessed to get to be a part of. We definitely have hard days and days when I think this wasn't such a good idea, but those quickly pass. God is making beauty out of ashes and I get to have a front row seat.

Thursday, February 6, 2014

Adoption Update!

Hi there!! I just wanted to pop in and give an update on our Ethiopian adoption!! YES we are still adopting. We had a scare last month with the possibility of Ethiopia shutting down international adoption, but after much prayer and fasting our God gave us favor and the country is STILL OPEN! YAY! So here we are almost 2 years on the DTE list and still very far from getting our referral. I have no idea when we will get our phone call, but I do know the wait time is continually increasing. If you remember when we started this process back in 2011 (yes, you read that right ELEVEN), the referral  wait time was 10-15 months. We are closing in on waiting 24 months in March. The "official" wait time I heard was increasing to 36-42 months. The last family that received a referral for an infant boy waited for 34 months. SOOOO where does that leave us? Well, we are just buckling in and waiting it out! I don't know what God has in store for our family, but I do know that he blessed me with a beautiful baby girl and I am just enjoying her to the fullest while we wait to see what is next!!!

We were #47 on the list in August, then we went the wrong way to 49, now we are back to 47. Whew. This crazy adoption. 

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Proverbs 31

*pic from pinterest

My small group bible study broke up into girls and guys tonight to discuss biblical woman(man)hood. We read Gensis 2 and focused on God creating a suitable helper in Eve. Yes women should submit but we are also co-heirs in Christ! We as much a princess in Heaven as men are princes!

Then we jumped to Proverbs 31. Just being honest here, I sometimes dread reading this. It seems like the perfect women doing impossibly perfect things. How in the world can I do all these things? Then we shifted into something I have never done before. We started talking about how we could actually do some of the tasks that a noble woman does according to Proverbs. We definitely put our own spin on it, but I'm really excited and impressed with our challenges! Maybe you might want to join???

 VS 15 She gets up while it is still night;
she provides food for her family
and portions for her female servants.

Challenge: Cook dinner 3 nights a week

VS 22: She makes coverings for her bed;
she is clothed in fine linen and purple.

Challenge: Make your bed every morning for the week.

VS 24 She makes linen garments and sells them,
and supplies the merchants with sashes.

Challenge: Clean out our closests for a garage sale.

We aren't each doing all three challenges, but we each picked at least one challenge to complete during the week! I'm doing the bed making and possibly the closet! (It NEEDS to happen lol!)

We talked about how all these traits and qualities are great, but the real underlying quality that is above the rest is verse 30. If we grow at our relationship with the Lord then we will learn to respectfully fear the Lord and all the other qualities will fall into place!

VS 30: Charm is deceptive, and beauty is fleeting;
but a woman who fears the Lord is to be praised.