Monday, October 27, 2014

Shake it off.




Oh, I love this girl.
Look at her-- she just radiates fun and adventure and creativity. 



She has such a fun style, and her independence is growing a little more each and every day. 


Fourth grade and ten-- they've been whole new worlds for us. 
For you see, my girl is growing up. 


We've seeing in all avenues of her life-- 
her abilities, her thinking, her friends--
everything is changing. 



And change can be hard sometimes. 

But, I've said it 100 times before, and I'll say it again:
this girl was made for something special. 

There is only one Libby. 
And I'm so glad she's mine. 

Friday, October 24, 2014

There are no words for that.




We all know that an average pregnancy lasts for nine months. 
We also know that in a total of eighteen months, 
a woman can carry and give birth to two full-term babies. 

Well, today is the eighteen month anniversary of the day we began our adoption process. 
That means that I could have given birth to not one but two babies by today. 

And yet our daughter is nowhere near close to being home. 

When I wake up tomorrow,
 I will officially have been waiting longer for Emily to come home
 than I did for both Hollyn and Libby combined. 

Oh, how I long for her. 

It's funny the words we say
 and how we never ever think about how they will affect the people around us. 
I remember countless times when I was pregnant that I verbally wished for my pregnancies to end, for my daughter to just be here already, because nine whole months of waiting was such a long time. 
And it did feel like a long time, especially with Hollyn, 
whose pregnancy was discovered within days. 

I've heard several women say these words in the past few weeks, 
completely unaware of the wait I am currently facing. 
Don't get me wrong-- those women have every reason to be ready for life outside of the womb to begin with their children. 
They long to see their little faces and snuggle them and watch them sleep and begin to uncover their little personalities. 
I so get that. 
Their words were not meant to hurt; they were meant to imply that they are excited. 
Their are words out there that so clearly express what they are feeling-- 
anxious, anticipation, nervous, joyful-- just to name a few. 


But eighteen months of waiting for my daughter?
There are no words for that. 

And the worst part? 
There are so many mamas out there who have been waiting so much longer than I have. 

Adoption is hard. 
Waiting is hard. 
Watching my daughter grow up in pictures without a family is hard. 


Would I do it again? 
Absolutely. 
Am I willing to wait as long as I have to to bring our Emily home? 
With bells on. 
Am I good at waiting? 
Nope. 
Is it fun? 
Negative, Ghost Rider. 

Here's to a Friday night spent catching up on good TV, drowning my sorrows in Trader Joe's pumpkin flavored awesomeness, and attempting to stare a hole through the picture of my daughter on my phone. 

And here's to praying there is no 'thirty-six months waiting' in our future. 



Thursday, October 23, 2014

Stitch Fix October: My Seventh Fix and What Happened to Fix #6



Oh. My. Stars. 

Things have been crazy lately. 
Crazy in a good way for the most part, but crazy nonetheless. 
I'm loving Hollyn being in pre-school until noon every day. 
She has so much fun and is learning all kinds of new things (girl can write her name like a champ), and I'm able to work on Noonday and adoption without feeling the guilt of not engaging her every minute. It's a wonderful win-win for us, especially with the Holiday shopping season and our homestudy renewal both in full-on go mode. 

But, let's pause from all that for a minute to chat about Stitch Fix

First things first, have you heard about Stitch Fix
Stitch Fix is a site that pairs you with  your own personal stylist. 
You schedule a box to come to your door, insert your style likes and dislikes, and wait patiently (or not so patiently if you're like me) for your first five items to arrive at your door. 
There is a $20 styling fee, but if you keep even one item, that $20 is applied to your total.
Don't like anything? No problem. Just send all five items back in the prepaid envelope. 
Love it all? Keep it and take 25% off of your total. 
They do NOT pay me to write these posts; I just do that because it's fun and sometimes brings referral credit my way, which I think we can all agree is wonderful.


So, if you do recall, Fix 4 was not my favorite. 
Fix 5 was redeeming and won me over with that super cute top. 
And then came Fix 6-- it was awful. 
Totally not my style, so much to the point that I  didn't even take pics and possible said things like 'Please do better next time or peace out' in my review. 

That brings us to Fix 7: 






I was happy to have Jinnah as my stylist again. 
I think we're really starting to get somewhere. 
That has to be hard, you know-- picking out clothes for someone you've never met or even seen in real life. 
But, Jinnah did really well this fix, and EVERYTHING has fit like a dream-- how they manage that is beyond me, but I'm certainly not complaining. 




Item #1: MYSTREE BRAND Finna Quilted Jacket  {$78}

I have to admit that when I saw the words 'quilted jacket' on my account, I was a little skeptical. 
Not usually a fan of the quilting, but I think this piece is so cute! 
It fit really well, looked super cute left open, and was very comfortable and well-made. 
Unfortunately, I have a solid jacket that is very similar to this and couldn't justify keeping it. 
I may or may not still be somewhat sad about this. 



Item #2: SKIES ARE BLUE BRAND Praxton Detail Split Neck Blouse {$48}

I think this top is really classy. 
It fits great and will be perfect with jeans or dressy black pants or a skirt for church. 
I also have nothing like this in my closet and think this piece is great for three of the four seasons because of the color. 
Status: Kept and planning to wear it to church this coming Sunday. 



Item #3: MAVI BRAND Freida Ankle Length Skinny Jeans {$118}

I actually suggested that Stitch Fix send me some ankle length jeans because ankle length for the rest of the world is just about perfect on my five feet even self. 
This fit perfectly, were really soft, and were the perfect length. 
However, I just kept a pair of black pants in Fix 5, so these went back. 





Item #4: LEVEL 99 BRAND Rik Cropped Ankle Zip Skinny Jean {$128}

These were hands down the most comfortable, soft jeans I have ever put on my body. 
However, I recently bought a pair on crazy big sale at the Gap and can't get past the zipper. 
I think that's a really cute look on tall, skinny people. 
I, however, am neither of those things. 
So back these went. 





Item #5: SWEET RAIN Toma Floral Print Short-Sleeve Blouse {$44}

I think this blouse is adorable. 
Love how feminine it is and don't own anything floral, so this one was a keeper. 


A FEW THOUGHTS: 

Stitch Fix is fun. 
I love getting mail and trying on new clothes in my own home with my own shoes, jeans, and accessories. 
I look forward to getting the boxes-- it kind makes it feel like Christmas once or twice a month. 
If I keep an item or find a new style I'd like to try, that's great too. 
I would HIGHLY recommend you try it. 
It's great for the busy mom who don't want the drama that is a toddler in a dressing room or for the woman who is trying to find some new, fun pieces that stretch her current style, or for the girl like me who lives over an hour away from the nearest mall. 
Welcome to life in small town Mississippi. 

Can I also say that a Stitch Fix gift card is at the top of my Christmas list? 
Because it is. 









Thursday, October 2, 2014

And then she was ten.



Oh, my Libby. 
I just can't believe it. 
I know they say that the days drag on and the years fly by, but seriously? 
Ten? 

It's gonna take some time for me to wrap my mind around 
the  idea of a decade. 

You, my precious girl, are the epitome of special.

You are 
the most creative, 
daring, 
bold, 
brave, 
strong 
girl that I know. 

And even though you sometimes make three kinds of crazy, 
I wouldn't trade YOU,  my Libby, for anything in the whole wide world. 

You, my girl, were made for something very, very special, 
and I simply can't wait to see what all God has in store for you. 
If He could just keep you little a little longer, 
I'd be all kinds of happy. 


Here's to hoping year ten is the best year yet. 

Monday, September 29, 2014

They showed that goal who's boss.



They did it. 
Oh, I'm so proud of them. 
My two girls read a grand total of 100 books 
during the month of September 
to help bring their sister home. 

And you know what? 
It really wasn't that hard. 
We are readers. 
We read several books a day during a regular month. 
Libby literally reads at least one book a day
and keeps the school librarian on her toes. 

And Hollyn? 
She's learning to love reading too. 

I'm go glad my girls share my love for books. 
I'm even MORE glad that their share my love for their sister. 

Did you pledge to donate for every book they read? 
Would like to pledge? 
It's not too late. 
You can pledge or simply make a donation-- 
whatever amount will be so greatly appreciated. 

With things taking longer than anticipated, 
we've had several unexpected fees come our way lately. 
And we're already working to raise what we'll need to time to 
travel so that we'll be sitting on go when that moment arrives.

Every penny matters. 
Every dollar counts. 

And each donation brings us one step closer to being fully funded. 
Oh, what a glorious day that will be. 

If you'd like to participate in this fundraiser, 
just head on over to www.gofundme.com/turningpagesforemily

Thank you, thank you, thank you. 
Hugs and high fives for everyone!

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

A whole year.



A year ago today, I saw my daughter's face for the very first time. 
She was about fifteen months old then. 
I remember worrying about the day I'd see her face. 
Maybe worrying isn't quite the right word, 
but there was the tiniest drop of fear in my head 
when I thought about how I'd feel when I first saw her. 
Would I know she was mine? 
Would there be an instant connection? 
Would seeing her face only confirm that we were right where God wants us? 
Yes. 
Yes. 
And yes. 

All of those. 
I saw her little face and looked into her big brown eyes, and I knew. 
I knew every day for three months before we were actually able to legally accept her referral 
that she was mine. 
I didn't need a piece of paper or a ruling from a judge. 
I just knew. 

It's been a long year. 
My family won't be complete until our girl is home. 
There will always be something missing until she's here, in her bed, in her room, with her family. 

I've cried for her. 
I longed for her. 
My arms have physically ached for her. 
And I feel like I've been pregnant....for seventeen and a half months. 

We still have several steps to complete before Emily is home with us. 
And it just breaks my heart-- all the time that she is spending without her family.
I'm sad for me, I'm sad for us, but most of all, I'm sad for her. 

It's not that we are anything special. 
We'd loud....really, really loud. 
We're messy. 
Sometimes we eat corndogs for dinner. 
But we ARE a family, and my girl, she needs one of those. 

I knew adoption would be hard. 
I wasn't blinded by gotcha day videos or unrealistic in terms of our unknown timeline. 
But I never had a clue just what this waiting would do to my heart. 

But God is good. 
He knows when I'm at my breaking point, and He chooses these exact moments to send good news and updates and new pictures of the most precious little chocolate face our way. 

The picture we got last week? 
She's so big. 
She looks so good. 
And she's smiling. 
That's the first smile we've seen. 
She's so beautiful. 
And she looks so much like mine....because she is. 

My prayer today? 
Where do I even begin? 
I pray that God will protect her. 
That she'll know just how much we love her and how we can't wait to have her home with us. 
I pray for her foster parents, the ones filling in for us. 
I pray for days to seem like minutes until we're together. 
And I pray again and again for not another year to pass before she's here. 

It's been a whole year, and my heart has felt every minute of every hour without my Emily. 

Monday, September 22, 2014

Joy Comes in the Morning


I know, I know. 
Where have I been, right? 
Well, it's been a long month, both in terms of being busy and have a lot of my mind and heart. 
Fourth grade math homework is about the be the death of us all, 
and some things I'm still processing before sharing them with the world. 

But for today, I have some happy news. 




Friends, meet Amanda. 
She is my kind of people. 
She's a Noonday ambassador as well, and we t-totally bonded this Summer in Rwanda. 
She loves big, dreams big, and wants to serve big. 
And she's recently started a series on her blog to offer weekly encouragement. 
Women encouraging other women. 
And today, she featuring me and my happy happy news that I received this weekend. 

Head on over to her blog, read today's post, and stay a while. 
She's amazing in so many ways, 
and I can't wait to share her with you.