Friday, December 7, 2012

{frugal} friday

trying to raise funds for something?
have a natural talent?
put the two together.

use your talent to raise funds. i forgot that i had a camera for a while. and when i remembered, i foolishly thought it would be a good idea to sell it for adoption funds. that was a bad idea. and god told me so, when no one would purchase it, even when i lowered the price. so instead, i remembered that i can use my camera to make money. imagine that! i've done it in the past, but that was a while ago. this time, i had some friends ask if i could take seasonal photos for them-- and we really lucked out this year here in dallas. we have had a gradual change in temperatures, instead of going from hot, to hot, to cold, we actually had a fall.

here's the photos to prove it:






thanks to this lovely couple (and their dog, jude), we're closer to our goal to bring our baby home. so thankful for people like this.

*if you live in the dallas area and are interested in setting up a session, i'm cheap. and fast turnaround for photos. let's chat.*

Monday, November 19, 2012

random thoughts

so thankful for the ormershers. this weekend's adoption garage sale was fun, profitable, and showed that a baby is not the only blessing that comes from the adoption journey.

i'm still trying to get used to the fact that it's november, and it's over halfway through the month. almost time to get out the christmas decorations, and not cold enough for a coat consistently. hello, dallas.

CAN'T WAIT to see my bff in a couple of weeks. it's been way too long.

yes, i'm excited for the last twilight movie. and i'm almost 30. sue me.

can you believe that ikea doesn't have anything in yellow throughout the whole store? looking for nursery decorations, and all we found was a (really neat, retro) metal trash can with lid. it reminds me of those big old silver ones that we grew up with before they changed everyone in to the plastic recycle bins. but it's small like a bedroom trashcan. perfect.

three-day work week!!

why isn't pandora pulling up on IE? also, it is working spotty on firefox. disappointment. AKA first world problems. time to hook up the cell phone on speakers.

sorry i've been out lately. been busy. can't wait to show you progress on the nursery, and post a few more "adopting without debt" posts. because man, we've been incredibly blessed in that department. so thankful for god's gifts and the generosity of others through this process. also thankful that this season (semester) is slowing down. we've overdone it and had to neglect a few things around the house, selves included. we're noticing the trickling out of responsibilities in the near future though, and excited to be able to focus our energies on the home front. i also hope to spend more time blogging. because i like it. it's a little like journaling, because sometimes i feel like no one reads it. so i write for me, and for god. trying to get out of my head that i have anyone to impress around here (here = interwebs, life in general). if you could continue to pray for us, our request is for a peaceful home full of love, and for both of us to continue to focus on our relationship with god. simply put, that's all we need-- everything else falls well from that.

Monday, November 12, 2012

Monday, October 15, 2012

small updates

i believe i was put on earth for several reasons:
1. to sing terribly enthusiastically
2. to finish art projects halfway
3. to organize my closet by color
4. to call food "fun"
5. to forget about blogging for a season
6. to plan

i'm good at these things. i'm good at dealing with life because i'm a planner. i'm good at cooking because food is fun. i'm good at art projects-- at least at first. i'm good at singing like i mean it. i'm also good at not blogging.

with good reason.

we've been so busy on our adoption front lately. we both have hardly had time to recover from each busy week before the next one begins. we literally have to schedule (there goes the planner in me) our alone time because of everything going on. but it's good. our time is very intentional-- from cutting veggies together on sunday evenings so they're ready for the week's salads to spending quality time with friends in the church-- and so it's very encouraging. there's very little that goes on unintentionally between us.

so that's where i've been.

i've been planning.
i've been exhausted.
i've been happy.

Thursday, September 6, 2012

thankful thursday

365. being able to provide guidance to 9 other women
366. making new friends
367. new nail polish
368. days that are busy because we have a great community
369. generosity of strangers
370. scentsy sales for adoption money
371. junk food television
372. shopping sales
373. new soaps
374. hot tea
375. taking photographs
376. making friends that last more than a church service
377. my dog
378. having friends over for a sunday evening gathering
379. weight loss
380. progress on our adoption
381. free magazine subscriptions
382. holiday monday cuddles
383. self-sealing envelopes
384. goodwill shirts that are just the style you've been looking for
385. neighbors who make off-limits foods and doesn't tempt you with them
386. bookstore sales
387. bookstores that buy back books

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

this happened about a week ago. on a thursday. but we weren't celebrating the champagne. we were celebrating a promotion in our house! super excited to say that chris was offered a promotion. he starts his position in a new clinic near the end of the month.

Monday, September 3, 2012

frame jewelry holder

i've seen a lot of these online, so i can't give credit to just one site.

i've been wanting a way to have some of my jewelry out on display; it's a neat way to have art in the bathroom / dressing area while showing me what jewelry i have so that i use different necklaces than just my one or two favorites-- without bringing out my big, nice jewelry box to dig through.

i took a frame that i bought at the thrift store and touched up the paint on it a little. it just needed a fresh black, even though it came black, to make it look nicer. then i bought some screen from lowe's, cut it larger than the opening of the frame, and stapled it-- using my regular desk stapler, because it's a pretty thin frame.



then use a utility knife to cut the scrap screen outside of the staples.



i wanted something a little different to hang it with, so i got some small black chain from lowe's, and wove some turquoise ribbon through it.



then i used some furniture tacks that i had lying around to attach the ribbon/chain to the frame.



i decided where i wanted my jewelry, and added the small S-hooks (from lowe's) right through the screen.



then i hung my jewelry on it, and...
taaa daaaa!!!



and it's cheap!
frame: thrift store, $3
screen: lowe's, $5 (used a fraction of it though, so lots leftover!)
chain: lowe's, $1.06 for two feet
ribbon: already had at home
tacks: already had at home
s-hooks: lowe's, $0.80 for 10 hooks

Friday, August 31, 2012

{frugal} friday

fundraise, fundraise, fundraise. if you're my friend in real life or on facebook, you're starting to see it.

because adoption is so expensive, we're continuing to find ways to raise money. i contacted a very gracious woman who offered to donate 25% of all scentsy sales to our adoption fund-- amazing blessing! it's a way for friends to help us and get something wonderful in return. i got a scentsy as a wedding gift, and i can't wait to get another one for our living room. as soon as you turn it on, it makes your home smell amazing. it's neat, though, because i haven't had one scent be overpowering, too flowery, or sugary-sweet.



so, think about going to this site and purchasing something (the top will say "Slay Adoption Fundraiser"). even if you normally have a scentsy rep, consider buying something from this generous gal, just this once. you're helping a great cause! it's a way you can help me from across the US and Canada. oh, and in purchasing from her, you're also helping her fund HER second adoption! she just finished adopting a 3 year old from uganda and hopes to bring home a 5 year old soon.

the link will be active (and purchases can be made) through august 29, 2012.

thank you again for all your help! and as always, the donate button on the right side is available if you'd like to make a cash donation to our adoption.

you can find more of this series here:
part 1: one-car family
part 2: brown bag lunches 

Monday, August 27, 2012

{little} letters

dear brother,
i think you're a great person. keep on being a good brother, son, and husband.

dear husband,
thanks for doing a load of laundry this weekend while i read a magazine. you make me happy to be your wife.

dear sabbath,
thanks for existing. i needed you this weekend.

dear jr vassar,
thanks for leaving your family and church to come speak at our leadership weekend. it was a true blessing to hear your words.

dear manhattan,
i'd love to have a date with you sometime soon. unfortunately, i'm busy saving for a baby. can you bring your northeastern yankee qualities to the metroplex?

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

original food update

... or, why we went vegan / no sugar / no bread and never looked back.

i haven't updated this blog about our little original foods journey because, well, i've been busy trying to raise money to adopt a baby. sorry. but i figured since our 44-day journey is "over", it was time to tell you about it.

1st of all, we love this so much-- we're not as hungry as we were before. B, we eat amazingly delicious food. third, we discovered we have a mild gluten intolerance (gasp!).

how we feel:
great. end of story. pretty much. one of the biggest things we notice is that we don't get very hungry. well, i say WE and i mean I. because husband still gets hungry sometimes (he'll be the first to tell you that)-- but overall, we eat what our body needs and have learned a lot about using food for fuel instead of to fulfill a want or because of a certain emotion. it is so awesome what happens when you do that.

what we eat:
you can see my board here for the things we eat. i've made almost everything on it by now, and we have had VERY few failures. here's some of our favorites:
sweet potato curry
various lettuce wraps
soups and chilis
roasted veggies
roasted cauliflower (so amazing, it gets listed separate from regular veggies)
stuffed bell peppers
snacks-- nuts, fruit, nuts, fruit, nuts, fruit.
salad with homemade balsamic vinaigrette
and we also eat out. with our new voluntary limitations, we do not have meat, bread, or any animal product. we stay away from sugar as much as possible, but are very aware that there may be some sugar in many restaurant sauces. and you know what? we eat it anyway. because one thing we won't do is become legalistic about it. so we often eat out at asian or indian restaurants, but one of our new favorites is the veggie plate at a local ethiopian hole-in-the-wall joint. ah-mazing.

why we don't eat bread:
besides the fact that there's usually sugar in bread, there's not really much benefit to eating it. if it's not doing our bodies any good, we don't eat it. now, a new reason we don't eat bread? we've discovered a slight gluten intolerance for me, and a (not so) slight gluten intolerance for husband. makes sense, after all. look how good we felt after losing all of those foods! part of it has to be because of the bread. woah. i'm not going to go into why we determined we have a bit of a gluten intolerance. you can google that yourself. i suggest you not, though.

so, what now?
nothing new. the only thing that changed is that we had bread once (NOT happening again), and we'll occasionally add responsibly-caught fish in our diet. rarely. like, twice a month. maybe. because many times, "responsibly-caught" translates directly to "expensive". oh, and husband is eating eggs. we made these hard boiled BAKED eggs and he raved about them. it's an easy way for him to get more protein in... and before you ask, yes, the eggs come from responsible sources as well. call us hippies, it's okay. it's important to me that the animals we DO eat be treated well. and since we eat them so infrequently, we can afford to do so.

a beautiful side effect of this new diet is our weight loss. people have really started commenting on it for both of us-- i'm down 20 pounds and husband is down 25 pounds. we both feel better, feel like we look better, and couldn't be happier. this is for sure a new way of life for us!

Monday, August 20, 2012

book page wreath

i found this great tutorial for how to make a wreath from a book. i won't reinvent the wheel, so you can go here to see it. it's a great step-by-step, with video even!

now, all my fellow bibliophiles out there, don't worry. i used a free trashy novel that i got from the fair last year. it was so bad, they had to hand it out for free. and i didn't need to get past the cover to know just how bad it was.

the only thing i did differently, which made it so much easier, is that i made my paper curls, then stapled the end together. so i got a lot of little paper curls ready and then hot glued them to the wreath. this made it much easier to get it all together, because the cones and squiggles were already prepped. also, compared to things like this book page dahlia, mine is much more haphazard. i was not nearly as concerned about getting the points in the right spot, or about having every book page processed in the same manner. actually, i think next time i do it, i won't do any cones, i'll just do the squiggly-folded pages. it was easy, and gives it a much rounder look.

picnikfile_8Ca-fU

after looking at my photo, i see that i need to fill in some texture on the left side. but i'm still pretty darn happy with how it turned out, and i can fill it in later. oh, and you notice the few pages that are a different color? it's important to make sure you have enough pages in the book you're using. i didn't, so i had to fill in with a different book. but the good news is you can't tell so much about the color difference in person as you can in the photo.

i hope you like it! i know my best friend did, since it was a gift for her-- now it's time to make my own! after all, i've got all the supplies since i bought an extra styrofoam wreath when i made this one.

Friday, August 17, 2012

{frugal} friday

how to afford an adoption, part 2

source, and no, mine aren't usually so cute.


something that is very easy for husband and i to do to save money is to bring our lunches to work. this works great for us for two reasons:

1) buying lunch is expensive, and
2) we have strict dietary requirements.

let's do the math. say you want to be healthy, so you go to subway every day. you get either a $5 foot-long, or one of those $5 meals with a 6-inch. either way, you're spending at least $5 a day (that doesn't even begin to count coffee at starbucks, or the afternoon snack you just HAVE to buy). if you, like most people, work a five-day week, you're spending $25 a week on lunches alone. bump that up a (conservative) $5-10 to cover some coffees on certain days and a snack a week, you're spending upwards of $35, easily. but wait! that's just one person! we're a couple, so we'd be spending $70 a week, which is at least $280 a month. wow!

now, the lunches that we typically pack:
1 cup quinoa (about $0.30)
1 cup black beans with onion, zucchini, and peppers (about $0.70)
an orange ($0.80)
and the snacks:
1/4 cup of roasted almonds (0.50)
oatmeal ($0.34)
banana ($0.27)
larabar for husband ($0.80- sam's club)
apple ($0.40)

doing the math for that, for the two of us, it costs about $37.10 a week, which is $148.40 a month.

that's a savings of $131.60 every month, just for lunches. for us, that money goes into saving for our adoption, but you could use it to save for a down payment on a house, or to pay cash for that dream vacation you've been wanting to take!

you can find more of this series here:
part 1: one-car family

Thursday, August 2, 2012

thankful thursday

345. redeeming sundays
346. no flies!
347. puppy kisses
348. clean bed linens
349. healthy friends
350. running into friends on a saturday morning
351. spending the morning at the thrift store
352. flaked sea salt with lavender
353. extra income for baby
354. visiting friends for game night
355. budget overhaul
356. fish
357. delicious home cooked meals
358. naps
359. the london olympics!
360. friends who enjoy GIVING pedicures
361. tv-free nights
362. learning new skills
363. impressing my MIL
364. handmade christmas gifts in july

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

fun fact: my love for tea started in undergrad, and was sparked by my friend hannah.
if you were wondering. 

Tuesday, July 31, 2012

grab a coffee and study with me

P31:26-27 She opens her mouth with wisdom, and the teaching of kindness is on her tongue. She looks well to the ways of her household and does not eat the bread of idleness.

i'm back to reviewing with the study bible this time.

although proverbs has often used men as concrete examples of wisdom, the proverbs apply equally well to women, and the wisdom that god teaches in proverbs can be well understood by both men and women. she looks well to the ways of her household focuses on this woman's diligence in caring for her home and her children and servants. her rejection of idleness embodies one of the chief virtues of proverbs.

this is a passage that comes at just the right time (but don't they all seem to?). i had just been thinking recently about speaking kindly-- and whether i do or do not. i think, more often than i'd like to admit, i don't speak kindly. not that i'm necessarily mean, but being unkind can be worse than being outright mean sometimes. and same with the wisdom! am i speaking off the cuff and not thinking about what i'm saying, or am i being wise in considering the effect my words will have on others?

again with the household statements. i am a homebody. i love to stay home, i love to host people over, i love to cook, and i love to clean (gasp!). but i do. i feel worthless when i sit and don't do anything-- which speaks to me finding my worth in doing. one thing i need to make sure i'm taking time for is intentional rest. not lazy days, but intentional rest. time for sleeping well. time for meditating. time for relaxing with husband. there's a delicate balance to be found, and i hope to someday be balanced.

Monday, July 30, 2012

my biggest blog redesign

and no, it's not mine. i recently updated my MIL's to help her aim the look of her blog towards her long-term goals for the blog. if you're a scrapbooker, or just like to get great deals on craft supplies, you're definitely going to want to follow her blog. she's always posting sales at online stores, a great deal Michael's is hosting, or ways to get craft supplies for FREE. you'll learn this and a lot more by visiting her blog. enjoy!

here's the before:


and the after:



this was a fun one, because i got to play around with my adobe photoshop and fireworks to figure out all of the little buttons. i enjoy this because, since i'm done with school, it's my new little project. i hope to work on many more in the future, because i'm also doing this to raise money for our adoption.

Friday, July 27, 2012

Now what?

I finished my master's program on Saturday. Well, I finished it as long as I pass the final I just took. So, when school has been such a big part of my life lately, what do I do now?
Plenty. For one, I blog more often. I like to blog. I like to write about my life even if no one reads it. I'll also take more pictures. I love taking photos, and I'm fairly good at it. I want to do that more and learn more about my camera. I will study the bible more. I will be able to be more consistent in my quiet time because I won't be tired from staying up late studying.
I can read for fun! I can get back to meal planning! I can take care of our home! I can find ways to raise money to help bring a baby into our world! There's plenty to do. And I'm looking forward to doing it.

Thursday, July 26, 2012

coaster tutorial

so you all are well aware now that we're adopting. and that we're trying to raise money to bring our baby home. well, this could be a great way to help do that! these coasters make a wonderful gift, but they'd also be a creative way to raise money! think of it: sets of four in pretty colors-- using wrapping paper or scrapbook paper... oh, yes. i can see it now.

so, here's how you can do it!

get tiles. they're like, 10 cents for the cheap-o ones at Lowe's. it's pretty standard to have 4 per set.

coasters2

find cork, and cut barely smaller than the coasters. my coasters were 4.25" squares, so i cut 4" squares for the cork. oh, and the cork came from target. i'm sure you could get it at a michael's or hobby lobby, but it was a fraction of the cost for 12" squares that i cut into many squares for coasters.

coasters3

hot glue the coaster to the back of the tile.

coasters1

cut your photos or fabric to match the tile. again, i did a little smaller, like a 4" square, so there was a slight edge where the tile starts to angle differently.

put a thin layer of mod podge (or similar decoupaging substance) on the tile, place your photo (or fabric) where you want it to go, and press it so there aren't many bubbles. for the photos, it's important to press them or else you'll get a giant bubble right in the middle. layer with mod podge. i use a foam brush and try to not have many streaks in it.

coasters4

let them dry. when they're mostly dry, do another layer of mod podge, going in the other direction from your first application.

coasters5

after they've dried the whole way (usually i wait until the next morning to do this step), spray them with a clear matte spray. this helps them to be waterproof-- you don't want all that hard work wearing off with the first glass set on it, do you??-- and it also makes them look professional and really finished.

coasters6

congrats! you've just made a beautiful set of coasters for a birthday or christmas present! it's neat to do something personal. my friend used her own photos and gave it to family members. i used (probably copyrighted) photos from a Las Vegas book to match my daddy's LV bar. you can use anything! be creative.

Monday, July 23, 2012

Monday, July 16, 2012

Friday, July 13, 2012

{frugal} friday


as i mentioned before, adoption is expensive.
but that doesn't mean you can't do it just because you don't have a lot of money.

with a few changes to our spending, and putting a lot of money in a special savings account, husband and i hope to have enough money saved up to adopt our child when a mother chooses us. we are doing this with your help, too (see donate button on right side).

but it's not just donations that help us get where we need to be...
i'll be covering a few different ways that we are saving money around the house (and putting that savings towards the adoption) so that you might be helped by this-- whether you're saving for adoption, or to buy a house, or want to pay cash for your next vehicle!


how to afford an adoption, part 1

one of the biggest blessings we've had is two vehicles. husband and i work at the same location, and we would often ride separately to work just for convenience. he goes in at 6:30 to work out before his 8-5 shift, and i have a 7-3:30 shift. 


the paid-off escape
so we decided to go a little outside our comfort zone and become a one-car family. since the escape above was paid off, we were able to sell it and put all of the money in what we're calling our "babings account". heh. get it? baby savings account. babings account.

our shared jetta!

so now, the slight inconvenience of having one car is totally worth it when we see how much closer we are to our goal. we alter our schedules and both go in early, then i come home before him and pick him up at the train station when he's home. on that note, stay tuned next time when i talk about how we take the train into work (instead of driving) to save money!


Thursday, July 12, 2012

thankful thursday

325. camping weekends
326. farm fresh tomatoes
327. homemade salsa
328. the time to make quality food
329. less than 3 weeks left of school!
330. a husband who helps around the house.
331. new pillows
332. friends with children
333. new phones
334. a god who listens
335. a quiet lake
336. walking with husband and dog
337. oklahoma city
338. the village as a commonality
339. god-provided options
340. fresh air
341. citronella
342. burn relief
343. anonymous donors
344. baseball games

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

it's starting

i haven't been too emotional about adoption yet, because it always seemed so far off.

three months away, then
nine months away, then
a year away, then
three years away.

but no.
it's closer than that.
at least, the start is.
and so here come the emotions.

we have teamed up with an adoption agency and have begun the process. we only sent in the application, but we are so hopeful that this is the agency that is right for us.

there's still so much.
home study
interviews
waiting
raising moneys

and speaking of moneys, you might notice a new button on my blog
-->
over there.
it's a donate button.
so you can help us bring a child into our arms.
it costs approximately $20,000 to adopt an infant from the United States.

more options coming soon, but for now, will you prayerfully consider donating? every small amount will help us get closer to our goal.

Monday, July 9, 2012

{old} music monday

downloading some tunes from amazon, thanks to some free credits i'd acquired. at the recommendation of my bestie, i picked up some death cab for cutie, circa 2005:



also damien rice from 2009:


Thursday, June 21, 2012

thankful thursday

297. sunny skies
298. hot days
299. cool showers
300. maya lily
301. waking up to a foot rub
302. steak
303. waterfront photos
304. having the ability to walk until my feet hurt
305. sunblock
306. unexpected gifts for others
307. honeymoons
308. paying cash instead of credit cards
309. clean sheets
310. an extra day off
311. patience
312. hope
313. love
314. fresh zucchini
315. mardi gras masks
316. sleeping in our own bed again
317.a CSA
318. fresh basil when mine's dying
319. music
320. clean dishes before 6am
321. quiet time
322. a purpose
323. heart homework
324. fresh starts

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

romans 1513

how strange.
to pray for someone you've never even met.
it's different when praying for a people group.
the lost in china.
or india.
or africa.
or my backyard.
although faceless, they have an image to me.

but this one is faceless.
with no image.
no name.
no race.
no identity.

and still.
we pray.

for salvation and for a rescue and for curiosity and for love and for two stories to somehow, in god's perfect way, be melding into one. one story that is so braided together you can't tell where each separate one began, only that they were supposed to be one story the whole time.

praying romans 15:13 today
may the god of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the holy spirit.

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

the original food diet

let me start by saying i'm not the one who coined that ( ^ ) phrase.
and b) this isn't a food blog. recipes pertaining to this series will be found at my other blog.
now that we're all on the same page, let's talk.

i've been following mandy for some time now. she recently started participating in what she terms as the original food diet. you can go to her blog for a lot more information than i can share in this short space. it basically comes down to this:
if it comes from the ground you can eat it.
no meat
no dairy
no animal products
no processed foods

so i've liked this idea for some time, but knew that throwing out the possibility to husband would be met with a hearty laughter as he asks me if i'm kidding. so i did what any reasonable woman would do. i threw out all the unhealthy food and just made him participate anyway.

i'm kidding.

i prayed about it. i prayed that if this is something we should do as a family, that god would put it on his heart and he would initiate it.
and he did.
he sat me down one evening and explained that, for health reasons, he really felt that he should do this. and he listed out the foods he'd be eating and what he wouldn't let himself have. and he ended with:
"and i can't ask for you to do this too, but i do ask for your support."

lemme tell you. i bout jumped out of my skin. i was so happy to hear this! so we talked and made the guidelines (really, it's him making the guidelines. it's a little stricter. for example, no almond milk unless i make it myself), and we set a date. we decided that since we had plans on father's day, we would start the day after. so we spend the two weeks before it eating responsibly but cleaning out the things we couldn't eat on this new... thing.
i still hate to call it a DIET.
then, the saturday before, we did the big clean. we cleared the cabinets of food that we won't be eating, and donated it to a friend. i went shopping and bought things like red lentils, brown basmati rice, quinoa, carrots, peppers, acorn squash.

sunday was spent with a friend making quinoa for lunches, homemade hummus, and spaghetti squash. i love the idea of preparing sunday for the week's lunches. i even have a board just for ideas for this. and if you scoot over there, you'll see that the title is "the 40 days"-- meaning that, yes, there's an end in sight. i'm okay with this being a lifestyle change, and maybe it will be, but for now, we needed to see that this won't last forever. we'll be going through the end of july... and hopefully resetting our bodies in the process so that we don't crave things that are "bad" for us.

a neat little side effect is the lack of trash in just a few days. i buy things in bulk mostly, and then store them in mason jars. all fruit and vegetable waste goes in the freezer to return to our CSA so they can use it for compost. and if i can just give a quick report, one day in? i have already lost so much bloat. yay for water weight loss!! but really. even husband commented on how much better he felt as he was waking up this morning-- that is, until he took his multivitamin on an empty stomach... but that's another story.

Monday, June 4, 2012

adoption is {not} plan b

the process of even get to the point of knowing we'll be adopting has been exhausting. it was a road filled with tears, hormonal mood swings, and disappointments. i had known for a long time that having my own children was unlikely, so i've been open to adopt for quite some time-- knowing that was probably the only way that i would ever have my own children. chris had not. once he met me (and fell head over heels for my beautiful self), he was also on board with adoption.

then we had a meeting with one of my doctors who told me, of course i could get pregnant! of course i could have a baby! other patients of his had TWO babies!

so, we tried.
we tried.
we.
tried.

we know all things are possible through god, but we are also aware that his plan for our life may have been adoption all along. that he had put it in my heart that i was to adopt from a very early age to remove that control from me, to make it easy for me to accept when the time came for me to face this truth.

and the TRUTH? it was easy to face that truth. it was open and honest and freeing.

we.
are.
adopting.

god's plan-- the very best plan, if you ask me-- is for adoption. from before he formed the earth, he spoke of adoption.
...even as he chose us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and blameless before him. in love, he predestined us for adoption as sons through jesus christ, according to the purpose of his will...
ephesians 1:4-5

adoption may be our sequentially second choice, but it is not our second option. it is not our plan b. after all, how could it be my plan b, if it's so perfect in god's eyes?

Friday, May 25, 2012

grab a coffee and study with me

wow. talk about a few weeks months off from this study! so i'm back.

P31:24-25 She makes linen garments and sells them; she delivers sashes to the merchant. Strength and dignity are her clothing, and she laughs at the time to come.

i'm back to reviewing with the study bible this time.

making linen garments and sashes, which she sells to the merchant, indicates skill in creating clothing of beauty and value. such activity exemplifies a high degree of entrepreneurial skill and responsibility in making financial decisions and undertaking commercial activity. // strength and dignity are so much a part of her character and conduct that they seem to be almost like her clothing. she laughs at the future, in contrast with being worried or fearful about it.

so there goes my theory. i was going to say that she is not idle with her time. that making linen garments and selling them is not just a means of making money to support her family, it's about her being active in her community and finding something to do with her time. but i'm wrong. or am i...? anyways.

one of my favorite lines of all i've studied so far, though, is verse 25. strength and dignity are her clothing... what a wonderful way to put it. we all care about what we wear. we wear things to impress our friends, our husbands. we try to appear athletic, or professional, or casual. you can tell a lot about a person by the way she dresses. today, for example, i wore yoga capris, a tank top, and a zip-up hoodie. casual. almost sporty. also known as "i didn't want to spend the time getting ready today because i change into scrubs as soon as i get to work". what else am i wearing? cynicism? fear? people can see those things just as much as they can see your clothes. my hope is that people see me wearing traits like strength, dignity, honor, submission, love, loyalty.

Monday, May 21, 2012

it's a long story...

...and this is just the beginning.



do not expect this blog to change into an adoption blog. or an infertility blog. and don't be surprised if it does for a while. after all, this is my space. and this is how i'm going to get through some of this. it's going to be a long journey, and it's going to be hard. one thing you CAN expect from this blog is a little more scripture, as i'm trying to immerse myself in it and remember some basic truths found there.

i hope you'll stick around through this. i promise to explain more as i feel led to. i'll give just enough of the back story, and i hope you'll walk through the rest of it with us. feel free to contact me off of this blog if you want more detailed answers than i'm providing on here.

love you all and appreciate your support. thanks for being patient with us.

Monday, May 7, 2012

milestones

i'm picturing a big crowd in front of me*.
cheering as i step on the stage.
i grab my trophy and step up to the microphone...

i'd like to thank my readers
all six of you
for supporting me through this new blog.
without you,
well,
i'd be doing everything just like i'm doing now. 
just being honest.

thank you for listening to my rants
celebrating with me
laughing with me

for a whole 100 posts.

*this post is a joke. in case you don't get it. i just thought it would be fun to post a goof for my 100th-- yes, that's right-- post.

Friday, May 4, 2012

shift-free since '83

i have a new addition-->

and it explains why i write like i do.
check it out!

Thursday, May 3, 2012

thankful thursday

270. homemade laundry detergent
271. iphone face time
272. fresh tulips
273. aldi's grocery store
274. one texas team to root for
275. internet
276. clean water
277. frozen reese's cups
278. sushi 
279. girlfriends' weekend away
280. my husband's health
281. reusable shopping bags
282. guys' weekend (because it makes me miss him)
283. clean doggy teeth
284. fresh basil
285. selfless husband
286. new home office
287. opportunities
288. music
289. "silly" fortunes in fortune cookies
290. febreeze
291. menu planning
292. journaling
293. chartreuse
294. god's word
295. amazing friends
296. green chile

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

something beautiful




so excited!! i saw that my dear friend's mother (whom i also consider a friend) was stuck in a sewing rut. so i sent her a link to some mug rugs, because i'd been dreaming about owning one FOREVER. she was sweet enough to make me not one, but two (!) mug rugs! you can't  tell by these photos, but the even did some free motion quilting for my name and the squiggles and other cute little additions. i love the smaller one the best, because it is the perfect size to stick a bag of tea in the pocket, fold up, and take with me in my purse!

i even used it last night while i watched some late-night tv. just some devils-food cookies and a cup of herbal tea and me.






Monday, April 30, 2012

the outsiders

sometimes, i look out my back window and i see this:


and i have mixed feelings. if i were having a quiet night, the music and the sounds of kids' laughter and the smell of the barbecue would make me so upset. i would scoff at their fun and wish for their quiet.


but when i have friends over, and i can show them this fun addition, and the noise from their party just adds to the ambiance of ours, then i feel happy. and i'm glad there's other happy people out there having fun on a saturday evening.

Friday, April 27, 2012

Moment by moment

this has been in my draft folder for a few days. i figured there's no time like "grab a coffee and study with me" friday to post it.



last night i slept for 12 hours.

i fell asleep at 5:30, before husband even made it home from work, and slept solidly through the night. i evidently needed the rest, because i woke up feeling like a new woman. feeling strong, funny, confident. then the sink broke... and i acted like a jerk towards my husband. thus ended my fabulous morning, only 30 minutes in.

i cherish my good days, even my good mornings, because they just don't seem as frequent as i'm used to them being. i'm not depressed, i'm not sad, but i am in a season of life that is very challenging. i'm growing in my faith and in my role as woman and wife. thing is, it doesn't come easily. sure, it's comforting to stay where you are-- to choose the same things over and over, and hope the results don't change. but it isn't helpful in the long-term.

jesus calls us to carry our crosses to follow him. this doesn't mean just to struggle well. it means to leave our old lives and to live with and for him.

And he said to all, "if anyone would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross daily and follow me. For whoever would save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for my sake will save it. For what does it profit a man if he gains the whole world and loses or forfeits himself?"
Luke 9: 23-25

and so, i take up my cross. i work every day, even every moment, to deny my thoughts of control and selfishness in order to be more christ-like.

my current cross is a difficult one. someone else said it best on their blog (that i can't find right now so please please tell me if it was you so I can properly credit you):

...{insert problem here} is a cross that takes one to the depth of what it means to be a creature and not the creator.

my biggest issue, control, comes from my desire to be even with, or even above, my creator. this is a strong reminder that i have control over nothing. that i'm just another one of god's magnificent creations in his awe-inspiring world.

not that it makes it any easier to struggle, but it does give me hope in my struggle.



Thursday, April 26, 2012

thankful thursday

taking a cue from bff and doing a photo-edition thankful thursday and taking some time off from my 1000 list.

april005
coffee

april007
new growth

april008
a fun brother

april009
bright easter top

april010
this good lookin' man by my side

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

i'm trying to be brighter

april001

mom would be proud.
i'm wearing more colors.
(she doesn't like that i usually wear jeans or khakis and a white or off-white top)

recently purchased:
coral handkerchief maxi dress, kohl's
green capris, old navy
pink capris, old navy
blue tank, old navy
purple tank, old navy

Monday, April 23, 2012

homemade laundry detergent

i recently tried my hand at homemade laundry detergent for the first time. i'd been hesitant to do it because i have some requirements when i clean my clothes:
1) they're clean
2) they smell clean


this does both. as an added bonus, you can leave some of it in a shallow dish on the counter and it absorbs odors while leaving a slight fresh scent. besides how well it works and how good it smells, another plus is that it only cost about $31 to make-- and it will last me for about a year and a half. that's right, a whopping 18 months.


recipe taken from howdoesshe. edited to read as i made it, without her commentary.


1 (4 lb 12 oz) Box of Borax- Found in the detergent aisle
1 (3 lb 7 oz) Box of Arm & Hammer Super Washing Soda- Found in the detergent aisle
1 (3 lb) Container of OxyClean- Found in the detergent aisle.
2 (14.1 oz) Bars of Zote Soap, use the pink kind- Found in the detergent aisl
2 (2 lb) Boxes of Arm & Hammer Baking Soda- Found in the cooking aisle
1-2 (55 oz) Bottle of Purex Crystals Fabric Softener- Found in the detergent aisle 

if you have a hard time finding things, go to walmart. i avoided it and tried to shop at two other stores (tom thumb and target), but walmart was the only store that had all of these items.

so simple to make! shred the zote soap either using a cheese grater or the food processor. i used the food processor. then i added about 1/4 of each ingredient, layering them, and stirring after each grouping. it makes it easier than adding all of everything and stirring it all. i've got it stored in a rubbermaid container in our closet, but what i'm using is in the purex bottle. it's a perfect size to keep some near the washing machine, and i'll just refill it with the bulk of it as it runs out.

when using this, you only need TWO TABLESPOONS to do a whole load. that's the middle line inside the lid of the purex bottle (see? another reason i'm using that to keep small amounts available).





april031

Thursday, April 19, 2012

thankful thursday

247. worship music
248. beautiful april days
249. target that's close enough to walk to
250. holding husband's hand
251. planning vacations with friends
252. totino's pizza rolls
253. that i have a job
254. public transportation
255. new life
256. the truth
257. harry potter
258. the color green
259. productive days
260. reusable shopping bags
261. tv-free nights
262. tweezers
263. pre-marinated salmon
264. an early spring
265. reese's eggs
266. jello as a healthy dessert
267. sushi
268. cloth napkins
269. bleach 

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

saturday love

it's great to start my day off lazy, before getting productive. coffee in a to-go mug (because all the normal ones were in the dishwasher) and reading blogs. 

after this, it was a bunch of errands, laundry, and making homemade laundry detergent-- more on that in a post later this week!


sneaking in sunday love here, too: lunch at zoe's after church.


then a walk near our house- on a trail shared by horses.



Monday, April 16, 2012

{little} letters

dear husband, thank you for praying the hard prayers, in the hard times.

dear best friend, thank you for being the best, especially when i'm not.

dear doctor, i know you're trying to help, but did you have to put me on a medicine that makes me an emotional wreck?

dear brother, you can't play draw something by writing words. it's a drawing game.

dear twitter, i'm sorry i left, but you became too facebook-happy for me.

dear coworker, thank you for also running a bakery. you saved me time on easter.

dear god, thank you for inventing rain. and chocolate. and hot tea. and 75 degree days. and fajitas. and naps. and worship music. and friends.

Friday, April 13, 2012

thankful thursday {on friday}

227. fresh baked wheat rolls
228. family for easter
229. dinner with friends
230. celebrating jesus rising from the grave
231. a clean home in 20 minutes
232. time to relax (and blog!)
234. hope
235. new makeup
236. hugs before bed
237. being a preparer
238.  a doggie all caught up on her shots
239... and scheduled for a dental!
240. bright spring clothes
241. my husband
242. chapstick 
243. hockey games and a husband who roots for pittsburgh
244. heartburn medicine
245. air conditioning
246. low electric bills thanks to landlord's energy saving tweaks 

Monday, April 9, 2012

things i don't like about pinterest

remember in the beginning, when i told you i wouldn't be snarky? only upbeat? here's my cheat day. i'm frustrated at the misuse of pinterest lately. it's not a photojournal. it's not instagram. it's not twitter. it's a place to organize links that are useful, like keeping all of your bookmarked sites available on one page, with pictures! so here's a little pinterest snark. sorry.

pinterest is not a place to post your "april photo a day" pics.


pinterest is not facebook. post photos of your dorm room somewhere else.



it's not a place for you to put your cake without a recipe. what if someone wanted to make it? i mean, i sure don't, but some poor sap might.



it's not random. your ozzy albums don't go in the food and drink section.

Source: ozzy.com via Brenda on Pinterest



pinterest IS a place to post recipes you've made



ideas for making homemade laundry detergent that actually smells good


Source: howdoesshe.com via Erin on Pinterest


and motivation