Thursday, June 28, 2012


OK, so I know I promised a funny, albeit embarrassing post before we left. Will you still love me if I promise to post it when we get back? I'm just not feeling it tonight. 

Instead, tonight I'm feeling only one thing: OVERWHELMED. 

That sounds bad; that word often carries such negative connotations. In this instance, however, it's a good thing. 
My heart is so, so full. I have blessed beyond measure with the out pour of love and support from my friends and family. People I haven't spoken to in years have come out of the woodwork to support and encourage us. And every time that I've felt the edges of doubt starting to creep in, someone has called, or texted, or facebooked, or e-mailed, or left a blog comment, or shown up at my door. And with each new message and word of encouragement, God is confirming that this is the right thing. This is His plan for us right now. And while I completely realize that in the big scheme of things the work I do and the difference I make in Uganda will be extremely minimal, I still know that this is the only option I have; I have been called to go and to do whatever it is that I can to make a difference with what I have. 

My biggest source of concern and nervousness? 

My girls, of course. 

Oh, how I love these babies. And while I know they'll be well taken care of, it's just hard. I've been away from them before, but five days has been my limit. This will be more than double that. And it's scary. I could be consumed with a long series of 'what if' questions. But I'm choosing to trust God. If He has called us to go, then He has also called our girls to be prepared to have parents who will go. 'They will be fine' is playing on repeat in my head. 

Instead of focusing on how much I will miss them and the chaotic life we often lead here, I am focusing on this: 

There's that verse again.....the one that calls to me in my sleep and never really leaves the forefront of my thoughts. I am ready to give and to use until I simply can't give or use any more. I've been asked a LOT of questions lately in regards to our trip, but the one that has stood out the most is WHY? Why would we go to Africa to serve this children and these people a world away? 

Simple. If those were my babies, I'd want someone to come. I'd want them to drop everything, and sacrifice, and sell a ton of t-shirts, and paint canvases until they can't paint canvases any more, and rearrange everything, and leave their own children and the comfort of their cushy beds and comfy, air-conditioned homes, get a ton of shots, fly across the ocean, and come. 

Although we won't know for sure what we'll be doing until we get there, we're hoping the following will be on the agenda: 
-a visit to more than one of the children's prisons and time to serve there
-attending church  (I am so stinkin' excited about this. Church in Africa? Sign me up yesterday.)
-a day trip to Jinja, where we'll get to see the Nile River
-serving in a children's school. This one is especially exciting to me seeing as how summer school ended today, meaning that I may have taught for the very last time today. How could will it be if instead my last time to teach is in AFRICA? 
-loving on as many precious babies as is physically possible

Oh, and did you know that next Tuesday, the day we will arrive in Uganda, Lee and I will celebrate our anniversary? Yes, I'm serious. What a better way to celebrate our time together than in serving. 

This verse is on our fridge. And although I look at it every day, it stood out to me tonight. 

I am so ready to see what I do not know. 

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Five. More. Days.

I can't believe it's almost here. 
I honestly can't believe it. 
I've been dreaming about going to Africa for so long that it's hard to accept the fact that it's staring me in the face. 
I'm packing, I'm preparing, I'm praying, but it still hasn't quite hit me that I'll be using these shiny new babies in five days: 

What has hit me, however, is how much I'm going to miss my babies. 

If you know me in real life, you know I'm not a homebody in any sense of the word. I am always on the go and can only recall being homesick twice in my whole life. But, that was before I had babies. 
I know they'll be completely fine and very well taken care of (by this I mean one step shy of spoiled rotten), but there's just something about knowing that we won't be together as a family for TWO WEEKS that makes me have a big ole knot in my chest. I can't stop kissing them. I can't stop videoing them. I can't stop obsessing over packing their bags just right so that they will be as happy as possible while we are gone. And, I know this will sound funny, but I'm praying not to miss them. By this I mean I am asking God to let me miss them but not to let me miss them to the extent that I can't focus on the work I am trying to do in Uganda. 

I've read and researched until I simply can't read or research any more. I feel as though I'm as prepared as I can be. But can we ever really be prepared to witness the kinds of hurt and poverty that exist around the world? 

I've had several people ask me if I'm scared to go. Scared? No. I am completely confident that God will take care of us and that our needs will be met. However, my biggest fear is in regards to my heart. I am confident that I won't be the same after seeing first-hand the lifestyle, the joys, and the sorrows of those in Uganda. How could I be? No part of me expects this to be easy, and the long term effects of this experience have me a little on edge. Change is never easy, especially when our hearts are concerned. 

People have also asked me for specific prayer requests. 

Here are a few in case you're interested: 

- Safe travel. This may sound simple enough, but we'll be traveling for four days during our trip (two days there and two days back). This will include about eight flight changes and two very long layovers. Please pray that all goes smoothly. 
- The weather. Today there was a very deadly mudslide in north-eastern Uganda. Please pray for the families who were hurt and for those who are missing. Please pray that the weather won't interfere with us serving others. 
-Service opportunities. Please pray that we will have many opportunities to serve. We are aching to be used and are ready to give of ourselves to help others in whatever ways are needed. 

With that being said, I took a big ole package to the post office today, so if you've ordered a t-shirt or a canvas, be watching your mailbox. 

AND, once your shirt comes in, how about you take a picture of yourself in your new shirt and send it my way? Nothing would make me happier than to come home to an inbox flooded with photos. E-mail your pic. to me at or tag me on facebook, and I'll share your pic. on the blog. Sounds like a plan to me. 

My hopes are to post once more before we leave...I have a post in the works. One that has nothing to do with Africa but is full of embarrassing pics of yours truly. I will do my best to get it up and going before we ship out. As for blogging while we're gone, that is to be determined.
 I promise to try my best. Fingers crossed.

 It feels like the best Christmas ever is just around the corner, and I'm the six-year-old who's waiting for her very own pink pony. Not sure I've ever been this excited about anything in my whole thirty-two years........

Monday, June 18, 2012

AWE- to the -SOME

Today was terrible. I dropped everything, forgot everything, and messed everything up. I was literally in tears by nine o'clock this morning. And then I remembered what today was.....
Today is the day we celebrate going to Africa and being supported by some awesome people and one awesome toy company. It also happens to be the day that this little blog of mine reached 400, 000 views. How is that even possible? Wow. 

You may have noticed my new sponsor button from North American Bear Company. 
Let me just tell you about how wonderful they are. 

And then I got an e-mail from them last week saying they wanted to send my kiddos some more super cute goodies and do something to help us raise funds for our upcoming trip to Uganda. 

Take a look at the goodies that arrived on our doorstep today. 

This adorable kitty is supposed to be for Hollyn....good luck with that, right? 

And can I just TELL you how excited Libby is about having a friend over to make these tutus? Oh my stars, she is BEGGING already. 

Here are a few of my personal favorite things on their site: 

They have the best selection, and I LOVE how wholesome all of their products are. Their catalog reminds me of the kinds of toys I played with when I was a little girl. And while they did bless my kiddos TWICE with goodies, these opinions are 100% mine. I honestly cannot sing their praises enough. 

Okay, so here's the skinny: 


Do you even know what you could do towards Christmas at your house with $75 credit from their adorable company? Or the baby gifts you could stock up on? Or the summer fun you could bring to your homestead? 
I'm kinda jealous that I can't enter this one.....

Here's how you can enter: 

( You can choose ANY or ALL of these ways...pick whichever one or ones that catch your eye. Just please leave a SEPARATE comment for each thing you do; one comment equals one entry.)

- Check out North American Bear Company's website and tell me how you'd spend your dinero if you win.

-Make a donation of $1 or more towards our Africa trip. Seriously, EVERY $1 makes a difference. And are still several hundred dollars shy of our fundraising goal. I will be THRILLED with ever $1 that is donated. You can use the paypal button on my sidebar, it's as simple as that. 

- If you've ALREADY donated or bought a shirt or a canvas or some hair ties (which I just got another batch of, by the way), then leave a comment telling me what you did. 

-Follow my blog or remind me that you already do. 

-Like my blog on facebook or remind me that you already do. 

- SHARE about this giveaway any way you so choose (Twitter, facebook, pinterest, instagram, whatever your heart desires). Just leave a comment for EACH way you share. 

That's a LOT of ways you can enter to win. Libby will choose a winner on Friday afternoon. 

So get those entries in, good luck to all of you, THANK YOU in advance, and NORTH AMERICAN BEAR COMPANY--- thanks for turning my frown upside down today. 

Thursday, June 14, 2012

Bittersweetness At Its Best

Today I did something I never thought I'd do; 
I packed up all my teaching goodies to give to a friend. 

There's no telling how many hours I've spent compiling all this material on everything from Of Mice and Men to Hamlet. I feel like I'm handing over the past nine or so years of my life in four milk crates and two boxes. 

The funny part? 

I'm so happy to do it even though part of me just wants to cry. 
Moving on and letting go is never easy, but I can say with confidence that I'm not supposed to teach any more. 
With that in mind, holding on this stuff when someone else could use would be nothing more than selfish, right? 

And for those of you who are wondering what exactly is up next for me.....great question. If you know for sure, please share. I know what I'd LIKE to do, but I'm waiting on a 'for sure' and a 'you're hired'. When I know, you'll know. Promise. 

Until then, I'll just focus on the smile that my friend is sure to have when I hand over my teaching treasures on Saturday. 

Here's hoping your Thursday is the best one yet. And if you've ordered a t-shirt, my order has been placed, and they should be in soon. Get excited. 

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Tying It All Up

Today Libby and I would like to introduce you to our newest (and almost last) fundraising endeavor for our upcoming trip to Uganda to serve with Sixty Feet

We are selling these little numbers: 

They are super soft, super stretchy, and super in style, if that's your thing. 

The best part? If you have hair like mine that creases if I even look at it funny, these hairbands are NO CREASE!

I've also been told they help you not get headaches like some hairbands are known to cause. 

And Libby wants me to add that they make cute bracelets as well. 

If you're not up and up on these, they are all the rage among high school and college girls here in Mississippi.
And might I add that they sell for $3 EACH in Oxford? 

We can surely beat that offer. 

We would like to propose a bag of FIVE bands for $7.00. 

Each bag has a random assortment of colors, but if there's a certain color you're looking for, let me know, and I'll see what I can do. 

You can pay via paypal or stick some dinero in the mail. If you need my address, just email me at Once you've paid, I'll stick a bag in the mail to you. 

Thanks again for your OVERWHELMING support as we try to help others!

A Great Night's Sleep...NOT

Once upon a time there was a super cute baby. 

Only this baby wasn't such a baby any more. 
So, this baby turned big girl got a brand new bed. 

She was so excited that the moment she'd be waiting for had finally come!

"My big dirl bed is here, Mama!" she said with glee. 

Her mom....and her sister....and her daddy all tucked her in for a good night's sleep. 

But sleep she did not. 
Instead she played Barbies until after 10:30. 

The End

Here's hoping for a better night's sleep for the wee one tonight. 

And don't forget: 

TODAY is the LAST day to place an order for one of our Africa shirts! 

See my sidebar for details, 
and THANK YOU in advance! 

Monday, June 11, 2012

Things I'm Loving Lately and a WINNER

Believe it or not, I am thinking about things other than our upcoming trip to Uganda. Really, I am. I promise. Maybe not very often or for very long, but there are some others things on my mind these days. 
And here lately, I've discovered five new things that I cannot get enough of lately. 

In no particular order: 

1. Teva's
I sported a pair of these in the eighth grade and recently just ordered a new pair with plans to wear them in Uganda. Well, I've basically been wearing them every day since. AND, I found a brand new pair on Ebay for $20. Ask me if I was excited. 

2. Macadamia Hair Oil

My hair and I rarely see eye-to-eye. However, this good stuff is acting as the mediator we've been needing to help work through the rough spots in our relationship. I love because it doesn't just help my hair from one wash to the next; it actually changes the texture of my hair. It's LESS frizzy and neurotic than it was a few months ago before I discovered this little peace keeper. I say LESS because my hair is frizzy. Period. But, I'm seeing more improvements with this than anything else I've ever used. And it's not overly expensive. Win win if you ask me. 

3. Granola Squares

Love, love, love these. Can't get enough. May or may not be stuffing my face as I type this. 

4. Aguafresh Isoactive

I'm not usually loyal to one toothpaste. I literally go to the store and choose whatever catches my eye or is on sale...until now. LOVE this toothpaste. It's very foamy and leaves my mouth feeling sparkly clean. And this is a good thing for all involved. 

5. Barney Butter

I started this when I was doing the Whole 30, and now I crave this stuff. Although it's almond butter, I promise you it tastes like the most amazing peanut butter ever. I may or may not have bought an entire box the last time I went to Fresh Market and may or may not have packed half of said box in my backpack for Uganda. LOVE IT. 

And before I go tonight, I want to send a big congrats to JANELLE KEITH who won my summer reading giveaway! CONGRATS to you, sweet friend of mine!

And, this is my final reminder: 

Our Africa t-shirt sale ENDS TOMORROW! If you've been meaning to place and order and just haven't yet for whatever reason, this is your last chance. And THANK YOU times a million to everyone who has already placed an order. I literally cannot find the words to express how blessed I have been through each order. You guys are the best. Ever. For real. 

Happy Monday to you and you and you!

Sunday, June 10, 2012

Questions People Ask

We leave for Uganda in twenty-one days. That sounds so far away and yet so close all at the same time. 
And while I have been completely amazed at the ways God keeps affirming that this is HIS plan for us right now, I am totally overwhelmed (in a good way) about the ways my life will change in less than a month. I am confident that I will not be the same person when I come home; my heart will be changed permanently. How could it not be? You can't experience something like that and NOT be changed. 

And as we continue to prepare to leave, we continue to get asked questions. 
Let's talk about some of these, shall we? 

1. Where is Uganda? 

It's in Africa. Just kidding. But it IS in Africa. It's also on the Equator line. In fact, the Equator runs through the capital of Uganda, Kampala, which is where we will be staying. Yes, that does in fact mean that it will be very, very hot. It will likely also be rainy, as the rainy season starts shortly before we are scheduled to arrive. This means there will also be lots of mosquitoes. Joy. 

2. I hear there are lots of safaris in Uganda. 
Will you be going on one? 

We are in no way anti-safari. However, we are going on this trip to serve. Pure and simple. 
No safari for us this time. 

3. Where are you staying in Uganda? 

We will be staying with my 'friend' Flo, her husband, and their two daughters in a house. I say 'friend' because we haven't officially met yet, but she seems wonderful, and I could not be more excited about getting to know her. Her family just recently arrived in Kampala. You can learn more about their story at Flo's blog

4. You and Lee must be really special people. I could never go to Africa and work in a children's prison. 

Ok, so this one's not a question, but it is something I want to address. Lee and I are not 'special' (although my mom would disagree. Hi, Mom.). We are normal people who make mistakes and get grumpy and can be selfish and sin just like everyone else. We are not going because it will be fun or easy. It won't be easy, and we're not planning on having much 'fun', at least not in the traditional sense. But, God wants us to go. He calls us to serve those who are less fortunate. We are going for one reason and one reason only: we are being obedient. If we DIDN'T go, we would be being disobedient. Period. It's as simple as that. 

God has given me such a heart for His people in Africa, and when I say I'm excited to go, I kind of feel like I'm lying because excited just doesn't seem big enough to express how I feel. But with this excitement comes the understanding that there are a lot of struggles in Africa. Those struggles are there now and will be there after I leave. But that doesn't mean I can't go and do what I can while I'm there. 

On that note, THANK YOU to everyone who has bought shirts or canvases or made donations or prayed for us. We are eternally grateful for the generosity we have been shown. And if you haven't yet ordered a shirt and are planning on doing so, 


The deadline will be this Tuesday, June 12th. I will place my final order with the t-shirt company first thing on Wednesday morning. AND, don't forget to enter my summer reading giveaway, which ends tonight. 

Here's hoping your weekend was filled to the tip top with the kind of goodness only summer can offer. 

Friday, June 8, 2012

Sometimes I'm Crafty

So, the other day a little idea came to me. 
And that little idea grew into these: 

I'm currently selling these on facebook to help raise funds for our upcoming Africa trip. If you like what to see and want more, head on over to my facebook page by clicking here or on the facebook icon in my sidebar. 

I'm hoping to have more completed and posted by tomorrow. 

AND, don't forget to enter my summer reading giveaway! You can find that post here. 

Happy Friday to you and you and you!
Ours will be filled with a little thrifting and movie watching. You? 

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Playing Catch-Up and a GIVE-A-WAY

Well hello there, lovelies! 
Sorry if it appears I've been MIA. I was not missing. However, I was in fact out of town and oober busy. I try not to post in advance when I know we're headed out of town because I feel like that is not the safest thing I can do for my family. 
But, I'm back now after a wonderful weekend working a retreat for high school girls, and I have much to share. 

First, Libby spent the better part of last week at summer camp. 

She had a great time, got very little sleep, and lost a tooth. Bless her sweet counselor. 

I came home to one excited little girl and a plethora of t-shirt orders to fill. 
Seriously, you guy are blessing my socks off. I received three large donations last week from people I have either never met in real life or don't know well. And I cried over each of them. God is so good, and He is confirming every day that I am supposed to be right here right now preparing to go to Uganda in TWENTY-FIVE DAYS! 

Also, my friend JILL began a new phase in her adoption journey!

(Jill is the super cute one in the middle with the cream and green shirt. Cute, right? Yup. I thought so.)

Jill and her precious family are in the midst of adopting and are selling t-shirts to help raise their next set of funds.  The shirts are super cute, and THEY ARE GIVING ONE AWAY! The giveaway ends on Friday. Check out her blog here, and tell her I said hello! :) 

Speaking of t-shirts......

Our shirts now have homes in TEN states, and I could not be more excited. 

They will only be on sale THROUGH NEXT TUESDAY, 
June 12th. 

So if you're planning on ordering one, you can simply use the paypal button to the right, or you can e-mail me for my mailing address. Just be sure to include your mailing address and the size shirt you'll be needing. 

And, in my final attempt to meet our goal,  how about a little giveaway? 

You all know I LOVE to read, so today I want to offer two great reads for summer to one of you. 

First, Radical Together by David Platt. 

I bought two copies of this one; one for me, and one for one of you. Radical, the prequel to this one, is one of the best books I've ever read in terms of recognizing God's plans for me. I love, love, loved it. And I'm saving this one to read on the plane on the way to Uganda. 

And Life, in Spite of Me by Kristen Jane Anderson. 

Kristen came and spoke to our school recently, and her story is amazing, heart-breaking, and truly inspiring. She suffered from severe depression at a young age and attempted suicide, which resulted in her losing both of her legs. I am so looking forward to sharing her story with one of you. 

Here's how you can enter to win: 

1. Share about our shirts. You can do this via facebook, your blog, twitter, or instagram. Leave one comment for each way you share and please include that our sale ends on June 12th. 

2. Follow my blog or remind me that you already do. 

3. Like my blog on facebook

The end. Easy peasy. I will be so grateful for every entry, because I view each entry as you helping us to help others. THANK YOU in ADVANCE!

Libby will choose a winner Sunday night. 

Thank you, thank you, thank you, and happy Wednesday to YOU and YOU and YOU!