Monday, September 30, 2013

sisterly love.

This girl.

My sister.  Aka... confidant... fashion consultant... super hero... my best friend.  

It's her birthday today...  I remember the day she was born... I was in kindergarden and got to leave school because "my baby sister" was finally here.  I remember going to the hospital and sitting in a big vinyl chair and getting to hold my little sister for the first time.  Who knew that twenty-seven years ago I'd meet my best friend:)

Happy birthday Jenna-benna!!  I love you!!

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

thankful thursday {link up}

{Link up your own Thankful Thursday post below...}

This Thursday I am thankful for...

1) Awesome weather.  The weather this week has pretty much been amazing.  It has been in the 70's almost every day... clear, gorgeous and sunny.  You can smell fall just around the corner.  Windows are down, AC is off.  It's pretty much perfect.

2) Quality time with the girls.  Between working late and traveling, I haven't seen the chickens much lately.  But this weekend I made sure to spend a little QT with them.  They are so funny... incredibly entertaining actually.  They have been keeping our fridge fully stocked with eggs too... and for that, I'm super grateful.

3) Nursery inspiration.  I probably daydream about what this room will look like far more than I should.  But I think it's going to be beautiful.  Still have A LOT of work to do... but that's okay.  It will all come together.  I'm dreaming of a fun little fabric banner in navy and pinks:)

What are you thankful for this week? Grab the Thankful Thursday button from the right sidebar and link up your own post below. Be sure to visit the other Thankful Thursday participants and share the love!!

I may be linking up with any of these fellow Thankful ladies:

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

top 10 :: favorite office supplies

I'm kind of obsessed with office supplies.  I still dork out over the school supply aisle at Target.  It's a bit of a problem actually.  New ink pens and spiral notebooks make me happier than they should.  I don't think I'm the only one either... any other office supply junkies out there?  We should start a support group... for real.

Regardless... here are my top ten favorite office supplies right now...

1) binder clips wrapped in washi tape {source}

2) cheeky business cards {source}

3) thumb tacs covered in glitter {source}

 4) a progressive DIY calendar {source}

5) chalk pencils {source}

6) gold scissors {source}

7) a clever mail bin {source}

 8) state-shaped return address stamps {source}

 9) pretty photo/document boxes {source}

 10) neon sharpies and washi tape {source}

There you have it.  Office supplies that are sure to make your heart go pitter-patter.  What about you?  Do you have any can't-live-without office supplies?  Do you get all mushy in the school supply aisle?  Tell the truth...

Linking up this week with Angie at Many Little Blessings.

Monday, September 23, 2013

dear baby girl {letters from the heart}

Dear Baby Girl,

We're getting closer!  Rumor is we could be making our first trip to Uganda as early as October!!!  That's so close!  We are still waiting to receive our confirmed court date, but we are desperately praying that the October timeframe is true.  The waiting is definitely getting harder and harder.  We are so ready to see your sweet face.

Your tiny little self has undergone quite a few transitions over the past several months.  You've changed caregivers 3 times now... Knowing this absolutely kills me.  It's not that I don't believe you are being cared for well... From what I can tell, you are very loved by everyone that meets you.  It's just that I desperately want to be on a plane with you on my lap bringing you home.  I want to be your caregiver.  Me.  Your mama.

Then I'm reminded that you've already had the best Caregiver imaginable.  The One that never leaves you.  The One that never leaves me.  And that is a good reminder baby girl.

Your daddy and I will be there soon... promise.



Wednesday, September 18, 2013

thankful thursday {link up}

{Link up your own Thankful Thursday post below...}

This Thursday I am thankful for...

1) Beach day.  There's just something about the sand between your toes and the sound of the ocean waves that does my soul good.  This past Sunday I was able to visit Virginia Beach for the first time and it was amazing.

2) Pink denim.  I love colored denim... and hotel selfies... obviously.  I'm pretty pumped about my new pink jeans... I'm not, however, pumped about the fact that I now have pink underwear too.  Guess I should pay more attention to that whole "wash before wearing" tag... whoopsies.

3) Home sweet home.  After 5 days of travel, I'm beyond excited to be home.  I'm thankful to be sleeping in my own bed and back to some kind of routine.  And I'm super thankful to be back home with my hubby:)

What are you thankful for this week? Grab the Thankful Thursday button from the right sidebar and link up your own post below. Be sure to visit the other Thankful Thursday participants and share the love!!

I may be linking up with any of these fellow Thankful ladies:

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

top ten :: things i've learned through the adoption process

Top ten things we're learning from the adoption process...

1) Paperwork ain't for sissies.   For real.  No one can fully prepare you for the ridiculous amount of paperwork that is involved for the adoption process.  It's insane.  When I think "paperwork" I think, you know... just sit down and write out your full name and address a handful of times... But nooooo... it's more like get 7 notarized copies of this... and 7 notarized copies of that... and a local background check... a state background check... a federal background check... get your birth certificates... get your marriage license... answer a billion personal questions... get a reference letter... then another one... seriously... this is some serious paperwork.

2) Fingerprinting should be a sport.  There is an art to getting your fingerprints taken.  No, really... it's not as easy as it sounds.  If fingerprinting were a sport, Lance would be on the varsity team and I'm pretty sure I would have been cut altogether.  Basically, for every one time that Lance got his fingerprints done, I had to do mine twice.

3) Memorize your adoption agency's address.  This will be extremely helpful when you're rushing to the UPS store (again) to mail another pile of paperwork off and you forgot the little sticky note with your agency's mailing address.  Don't worry, by the 4th time, you'll probably have it memorized anyways.

4) Make friends at the post office.  ...or the UPS store, or FedEx, or whatever.  Learn their names... they will become some of your best friends during this process.  We have received some very kind discounts because of this.  Typically after we've notarized the 30th document or had our fingerprints done the 3rd time, they start to feel sorry for us:)  But more than that... they care.  They are excited about our adoption... they want to meet our baby girl... the one they've helped bring home in a small way.

5) Don't get attached to timelines.  This has been hard.  I desperately want to know exactly when our baby girl will be home.  I want to believe our agency when they tell us our first trip will be soon.  I want to believe the Ugandan court system almost has our court date ready.  But the truth is, I don't know.  And the waiting is already hard enough.  We have learned to hold these dates and timelines with a very loose grip.

6) Do get attached to your baby.  While we've been trying our best to not get too attached to timelines, we have done quite the opposite with our baby girl.  We were pretty much done for the moment we saw her little face back in June.  Her sweet picture instantly captured our hearts.  We tried our best to guard ourselves early on... but it became practically impossible as time went on.  And I think that's okay.  She's our girl... and we love her.  We're attached.  Done for.

7) Listen.  There were several times during this process that Lance and I had to step back and re-evaluate.  We were/are constantly seeking guidance from the Holy Spirit... listening to God's quiet promptings.  Plans changed... we went from Haiti to Uganda... from multiple children to one... all decisions that at one point we felt very confident about, but God had different plans... and I'm so glad we listened.

8) Let others be a part of it all.  We have been so amazed at the outpouring of love and support that we have received over the past several months.  We have received letters and encouragement from friends and family both near and far... some that we talk to everyday and others that we haven't spoken to in years... and some that we've never even met before.  It's been an incredibly humbling experience.  We have been brought to tears on more than one occasion and are in awe at how our little girl has already managed to capture the hearts of so many.

9) Pray together.  I would be lying if I said this process hasn't been hard.  Our emotions have been all over the place and we've been frustrated more than once.  This has been a physically, emotionally and spiritually draining process.  But man, am I so thankful for Lance.  I cannot think of anyone I would rather make this journey with.  Throughout this adoption process we have been constantly reminded of our great need for Jesus, which I'm sure will only magnify as we step into parenthood.

10) Persevere. We continue to push ahead.  Hopefully we're done with fingerprinting and notarizing... but I expect we are really just at the beginning of a whole other journey.  And we can't wait.

Monday, September 16, 2013

weekend festivities

This weekend was a blur.  But a good blur.  It was filled with new friends... new cities... new drinks... new books... and new co-workers...  I spent most of my weekend (and will spend most of my week) in Virginia for work... but I was able to sneak off to Virginia Beach on Sunday... which made working all day Saturday almost worth it:)  Overall... a great weekend...

...beers with the girls on Thursday night...

...planes, trains, and automobiles all day Friday... 

...unpacked and settled in Friday night... 

 ...spent Sunday seaside at Virginia Beach (so, so fabulous)...

...closed out a perfect beach day with a Waterman's orange crush...

Really, I couldn't have asked for better.  I may have spent all day Saturday working and counting inventory... but I'll work a thousand Saturdays if they are all followed up with Sunday beach days:)

What about you?  What did you do this weekend?

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

thankful thursday {link up}

{Link up your own Thankful Thursday post below...}

This Thursday I am thankful for...

1) Tomatoes.  The tomatoes have been coming in steadily the past few weeks.  We have a counter full of them right now.  There's just something about homegrown tomatoes.  I've been loving them in my salads... by themselves... with mozzarella... and with bacon.  Mmmm.  We've been eating bacon and tomato sandwiches like it's our job around here.

2) Work trip.  I'm heading to Chesapeake, VA for a work trip the next several days.  I'll be honest, my initial response wasn't gratitude.  I didn't want to be gone from my husband on the weekend, and there's so much I want to work on in the nursery... But you know what?  I'm thankful I get to travel this week.  I get to visit a city that I've never been to... maybe even make a pit stop at Virginia Beach... I'll get to meet some new co-workers... and I secretly love hotel stays.  Besides, I'm starting to realize that my quiet alone time is very, very limited in the coming days:)

3) A bowl full of love.  Over the past couple of months, we have received so much love, support, and encouragement from so many friends and family in regards to our adoption.  Seriously.  So much.  I've been saving all of the cards and notes and letters... I've been tucking them away in a bowl in baby girl's room.  That bowl is practically overflowing.  I can't even tell you how happy this makes me.  I love that one day, our daughter will be able to see this giant pile of cards and letters and she will know.  She will know how incredibly loved and adored she is... always.

What are you thankful for this week? Grab the Thankful Thursday button from the right sidebar and link up your own post below. Be sure to visit the other Thankful Thursday participants and share the love!!

I may be linking up with any of these fellow Thankful ladies:

he & she {adoption edition}

he is putting together the crib and dresser for baby girl's room.

she is picking out paint colors and fabric swatches for baby girl's room.

they are anxious to actually have baby girl in baby girl's room:)

he is preparing to be out-numbered in his own house.

she is buying shoes in 2 different sizes now:)

he is updating and managing the coffee fundraising.

she is creating and posting jewelry for the Etsy fundraising.

they continue to be amazed by the generous love and support that has come in from family and friends.

he knows the notarizing guy by name.

she knows the fingerprinting girl by name.

they are no stranger to documentation and paperwork.

he is following up with our agency regarding our court date.

she is following up with our loan applications regarding loans and grants.

they are desperately awaiting their travel dates.

he shows his daughter's picture to everyone he meets.

she can't wait to kiss her baby girl's cheeks.

they are ready.

Monday, September 9, 2013

book problems

I have a problem.

You see... I love to read.  Like, really... I do.  But for whatever reason I can't seem to commit to my books.  If one is too serious, I go out in search of a funny one... if one is too light-hearted, I start looking for something deeper.  It's a problem really.

I'm in a book-love-affair.  It's gotten a bit out of hand actually.  Here's what I'm currently reading...
-Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me? (by Mindy Kaling) 
I'm probably the most committed to Mindy right now.  She stays in my car and I read a chapter or two pretty much everyday during lunch.  She seriously cracks me up.  I honestly think we are friends right now.  I talk about her to my husband... me: "Lance, did I tell you what Mindy says about 'hooking up'?!?'s hilarious."  Lance: "You don't know her, by the way."  

-Kisses from Katie (by Katie Davis)
This is a great book about a young girl living in Uganda, learning to love and care for the widows and the orphans.  This chic is like 23 years old and her life both convicts and inspires me in so many ways.  This book sits on my bedside table and on the nights that I manage to crawl under the covers before midnight I will read a chapter or two.

-A Voice in the Wind (by Francine Rivers)
Okay... I have tried to start this book three different times now... and every single time I seem to get stuck around the end of chapter 2.  This is the first book in a trilogy series called "Mark of the Lion" and I have heard so many wonderful recommendations on this series.  This is also the same author that wrote my all-time favorite book, "Redeeming Love" so, there's really no reason why I shouldn't be able to push through on this book... just can't seem to make it happen.

-The Great Gatsby (by F. Scott Fitzgerald)
I attempted this classic shortly after the recent Leonardo Dicaprio movie came out.  It's been on my classic book list for quite some time now... and it actually seems to be a pretty easy read.  I kept this book in my car and was reading it periodically on my lunch break... that is, until I lost it somewhere in the depths of my car.  I just now found it so I could write this blog post.

And if that wasn't enough... I'm also listening to an audio book called The Next Best Thing (by Jennifer Weiner).  Yep.  I have problems.

Because just in case I didn't have enough reading to do.... here are the books I'm currently hoarding by my nightstand... 
Dying to start these...

-The Little Prince (by Antoine de Saint-Exupery)

-The Sweetest Hallelujah (by Elaine Hussey)

-The Atonement Child (by Francine Rivers)

-A Dream So Big (by Steve Peifer)

Sooooo.... yeah.  I'd say I have commitment issues.  What about you?  Are you a committed reader?  Have you read any of the above books?  Any recommendations?  Because I'm sure I'll be adding another handful of novels to the bedside table soon:)  Problems, I tell ya... problems. 

Friday, September 6, 2013

real food for the real homemaker {giveaway!!!}

My friend Jaimie over at Living in the Light, along with Elsie at Richly Rooted and Jami at Homemaking from Scratch, have recently put together one heck of a cookbook... Real Food for the Real Homemaker.  This cookbook is jam-packed with 79 recipes... tons of basic cooking tips... helpful ideas for frugal grocery shopping... and simply how to eat healthy REAL food with your family.

And all this... coming from someone who doesn't like to cook!!

This simple cookbook has made cooking manageable for me... it's realistic.  And I love that.  As Lance and I get closer and closer to bringing home our baby girl, I've been thinking more and more about how I'm going to feed my family.  Real Food for the Real Homemaker has all of the basic recipes I need to build confidence in the kitchen... and that is awesome.

But let's be honest... the REAL clencher for me on this cookbook was the Butterscotch Pudding recipe.  

The best part of it all??  Jaimie, Elsie and Jami are giving away one eBook copy of Real Food for the Real Homemaker!! 

This giveaway includes 1 complete PDF copy AND 1 Kindle copy.  You will also have access to printable recipe cards (my favorite part!) and awesome spreadsheets to help with your meal planning and grocery shopping... brilliant:)

To win your very own copy of Real Food for the Real Homemaker, simply use the link below to enter!!  For one entry, leave a comment sharing your go-to recipe for Fall (mandatory to enter)... for an additional entry "like" the Real Food Facebook page!

And don't fret... even if you're not the lucky winner... you can still purchase your own copy here!  Good Luck! a Rafflecopter giveaway

Congratulations Rebecca Jo!!!  You won this giveaway!!  I'll be emailing you soon!

Wednesday, September 4, 2013

thankful thursday {link up}

{Link up your own Thankful Thursday post below...}

This Thursday I am thankful for...

1) My Pop.  He's awesome.  This past Tuesday was his birthday... 83rd to be exact.  Looks pretty sharp, doesn't he?  He's the whole reason this Thankful Thursday bit even started on my blog.  Yep.  True story.  He's the best.  Happy, happy birthday Pop.  I love you!

2) Blue shoes.  Meet my new favorite shoes.  They are some German brand that I can't pronounce and are seriously the most comfortable shoes ever.  I'm only sad we didn't meet sooner.

3) Adoption updates... and new pictures!!!!  Yep.  I can hardly handle it.  Last Friday we received some updates on our baby girl and even 2 new pictures.  She's standing.  It's crazy how different she already looks.  The photos only make me yearn to bring her home that much faster.  Nevertheless... so, so thankful for updates on our sweet baby girl.

What are you thankful for this week? Grab the Thankful Thursday button from the right sidebar and link up your own post below. Be sure to visit the other Thankful Thursday participants and share the love!!

I may be linking up with any of these fellow Thankful ladies:

embracing september {monthly goals}

I can't believe it's September already.  It's so strange being in this whole transitional period of adoption... of waiting... the time seems to simultaneously move incredibly fast and ridiculously slow... all at the same time.  Weird, I know... but it's true.

I love September.  It's that awesome month of seasonal transition... the nights get cooler and you can literally smell fall in the air.  Football season is in full swing, which makes for a very happy home here:)  Here is how I plan to embrace September...

protect // my time.
This goal is actually two-fold... protect my time... then actually do something useful with it.  This could mean reading a book, updating the blog, creating some jewelry, or even taking a nap:)  I feel like so often when I "protect my time" I forget what in the world I did with that time... you know, kind of like when I watched 3 hours of Keeping up with the Kardashians.  You know... like that. 

provide // for others.
I have recently been convicted of how quick I am to complain about "not having enough time" or "being so busy" blah, blah, blah... but I mean really?  When did we become so busy that we simply have no time for others?  I agree that there is definitely a happy-medium here... but this month I want to be more intentional in providing for others. Whether it's sharing eggs with neighbors or providing kind words of encouragement to my husband... I want to be intentional in this.

prepare // the nursery.
Woop!  Woop!  This month I'm hoping Lance and I can make time to turn paint chips and fabric swatches into a true nursery for our baby girl.  We have colors picked out (pink & navy!!) and tons of brilliant ideas... now we just need to figure out which brilliant ideas are actually realistic and attainable for us as renters:)  Hoping to make some major nursery progress this month! 

pray // for patience.
Every morning I pray for the same exact thing... "Lord, please let us go meet our baby soon... please." I often wonder if my definition of "soon" and His definition of "soon" are different?  Maybe I need to be more specific?  Then I remember (once again)... that His timing is better than mine... that He knows best.  And I trust that.  Sometimes I just need help remembering.  I will continue to pray that we would get to meet our sweet girl soon... but I will also be praying for patience... for peace in the waiting.

What about you?  What are you focusing on this month?
In case you're interested... or super bored at work... here are my previous monthly goals: JanuaryFebruaryMarchAprilMay, JuneJuly and August.

Tuesday, September 3, 2013

weekend festivities

Sigh... oh, how I love 3-day weekends.  They make me so happy.  I think we need more of them. Who do I need to talk to about that??  

My weekend festivities started a little early with a fun lunch visit from some of my favorites.  My office is in Southern Indiana (about 30 miles from Louisville) so any friends of mine that are willing to make the drive for a lunch date are pretty spectacular in my book.

Always love lunch dates with this little guy... his mom's pretty awesome too:)

Friday night Lance and I went to a concert where a couple of local bands were performing.  House Ghost and then No More Kings... pretty amazing.

Saturday we got all decked out for the most beautiful wedding ever.  Seriously.  I felt like I was right in the magazine pages of a Country Living farm wedding.  It was picturesque.

Then the bottom fell out and a ridiculous torrential downpour ensued.  It.was.insane.  There's just nothing quite like being corralled under a giant tent with 300 of your favorite people while you try to decide what stable object you should hold on to when the 65 mph winds come through.  No, really... this happened.

But it didn't faze the bride and groom one bit!!  This adorable couple just rolled with the punches... soaked to the bone, the smiles never left their faces.  They are such a joy and we are so thrilled for them as they start this journey together!!  Congrats Jason & Morgan!! 

I spent the late hours of Saturday evening with Little Cat in the sweatshop making new jewelry for our Etsy shop.  I'm telling you... he's really not much help.  I should find a new assistant.

Sunday was pretty low-key, which was exactly what we were needing.  It involved an afternoon nap for Lance and some more creative time in the sweatshop for me.  Sunday night I hosted a girls night with some of my favorite girls and favorite snacks:)  It was fabulous.

Early Monday afternoon I met up with a girlfriend (Lance had to work) to catch the matinee showing of The Butler.  Excellent movie.  It was a pretty heavy storyline, but totally worth it.

The rest of Monday was spent cleaning house and tending to our tomatoes and chickens.  The tomatoes are plentiful and the girls are swell:)  Let's just say we've been eating lots of tomato sandwiches and scrambled eggs.

What about you?  How was your 3-day weekend?