Thursday, August 29, 2013

A Birthday Alternative

 Next week, my little Libby will be nine. 
No, I don't want to talk about it...or think about.
I want her to be little.
But, nine it is.

And this year, we are having an alternative birthday. 

Usually, we go all out-- big party, lots of people, lots of fun. 

Well, we're still planning on having lots of fun....just with no party and way fewer people.

Instead of a party this year, Libby and I are headed out of town this weekend for a girl weekend with our best friends. 

Libby cannot WAIT to see Lily. 

And I cannot tell you how good some Kara time sounds right now. 

Alternative birthday sounds all kinds of awesome. 

There will be late night giggling. 
There will be Sonic. 
There will be a kitchen dance party. 

And I am so stinkin' excited. 

Signing off 'til Monday. 
See you then, friends. 

A few weekend reminders: 

-The Noonday blog train is in full swing. Don't miss out on a chance to win some Noonday!

- Sunday is the LAST DAY to request a little house for Emily! If you'd still like to request one, it's not too late! Just e-mail me at, and I'll send one your way. 

-This week's Sevenly cause is going strong! I'm so hoping they break a record! And remember: when you enter their site through my link and place an order, a portion of your order goes to our adoption fund! LOVE the idea of helping others while funding our adoption! 

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Playing Favorites

Oh, how I love Noonday
I cannot imagine a more fulfilling, rewarding job. 
Noonday is truly changing the lives of our artisans by providing lasting employment in places of extreme poverty. 
And today we are launching the new fall line!
It's dreamy and delicious and downright amazing. 

Have YOU checked out all the new Noonday goodness? 
You can find it all here:

And for today, here are just a FEW of my favorites from this new season: 



 A statement necklace in every sense of the word. Layers of hand cut, dyed, and polished tagua seed are nestled together to form a striking go-to piece.



Strong and resilient with an understated grace--you and these earrings were made for each other! Pair with our new Metallic Pearls Necklace and Metallic Pearls Bracelet for a complete upcycled look. 



Glossy jade colored horn carved in intricate patterns gives off an air of sophistication and glamour. 



Prepare to get noticed, because this bag refuses to blend in! With festive tassels dangling from high quality woven cotton and leather, this roomy tote is truly one of a kind. 

It's an all-out tie between the COZY ZIP WRAP and the BLANCO Y NEGRO.
{Trying to pick a favorite was like trying to pick my favorite child.}

Versatile and romantic, this piece can be worn as an infinity with a jacket or tee or worn lower on your arms for a snug wrap around. 

Stunning black and white patterns are woven together to create this show-stopping, 100% Alpaca knit. Wear it with anything for an accent piece that will lend some sophistication to any outfit. 

Oh, how I love it. 
I can not WAIT to partner with people throughout Mississippi to help create pathways out of poverty for our artisans around the world. 
If YOU would like to host a show this season or want more information on becoming an ambassador, 
just e-mail me I'll be so happy to help you!

And this month, thirty-three of my fellow ambassadors and I are teaming up to bring you thirty-four days of Noonday stories and giveaways! The first day of the Noonday blog train is up and running. Check out my precious friend Krista's post here

And don't forget! Only four more days to request a little house for Emily! Just send us an e-mail at, and we'll send you a little house to fill with change during the month of September! Every penny raised is one penny closer to our Emily being HOME! 

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

So this one time, when I was 33, I had chicken pox.....

So, the chicken pox. 

First, let me publicly confess that before having them, I totally underestimated the pox. 
I thought, 'Hey, if little kids can do it, I can too."

Let's just say that after eight days of fever, more itching than I can wrap my head around, and a big ole' box of banana popsicles, I am finally starting to slowly rejoin the land of the living.
Chickenpox don't play. Lesson learned.
And no, I have zero pictures of me with the pox, so you won't be seeing one here...ever.

So, since I unexpectedly took a little blogging break, let's play a quick game of catch up, shall we?


- We ARE still selling shirts. If you haven't ordered one and would like to, you can place your order here:

-Little Houses for Emily is going strong, and you still have five days to request a little house to fill for our girl! Just send an e-mail to, and we'll send your little house right over!


This truly deserves a post all its own, but today marks my first anniversary with Noonday Collection. I wish I could tell you all the ways I've grown this past year and all the ways Noonday has challenged me to step out of my comfort zone for those in need around this world. We had the most amazing ambassador conference call last night, where we were able to hear from several ambassadors who have recently visited with our different artisan groups. I was in tears listening to all the ways that Noonday is working to making a difference in the lives of those in need around this great world. I can honestly say that this time last year, I had no idea what I was getting into when I signed up to be a Noonday ambassador. I have loved it more than I ever thought possible and have been more blessed through Noonday than I can even put into words.

The new fall line launches tomorrow, and I simply cannot wait to share it with you!

You can check out my webpage here. 


This week Sevenly is partnering with Invisible Children to provide counseling for children who have been forced to serve as soldiers. I am so passionate about this cause. No child should ever be forced to do such a thing; I can't even imagine the long-term effects of such horrible acts, the toll that can take on a child. I would love to see this week's fundraiser break a record. You can shop this week's selection here. 

Ok, folks. That's about all the sitting at the computer this chicken pox recover can take for one day. 
I'll be back tomorrow with some sweet news about Emily and some new Noonday goodness! 

Thursday, August 15, 2013

Little Houses for Emily

Home is important, and we believe every kid should have one of those.
And while we can't change the world for every kiddo in need of a home,
we can change the world for ONE.

Will you help bring our little girl home by filling a little house with change in the month of September? 
Just e-mail at,
 and we'll send you a little house to print, assemble, and fill. 

Your change will help make one less orphan in this world. 
Your extra pennies, nickels, dimes, and quarters will help one little girl be united with her forever family. 
And we could not possibly be more excited. 

She has a home. 
Now let's get here already, shall we? 

At the end of the month of the September, simply go to 
and donate the amount you collected in your little house to help bring our daughter home to us.

Little houses aren't your thing, but you'd still like to contribute? 
You can donate any time during the month of September. 

We are hoping to raise the $5000 we will need to cover our referral expenses. 
'Referral' means we'll see her face and know her story. 
It's a huge step towards her being home. 
And my mama heart is counting down the minutes.

$5000 feels like a lot of money. 
Heck, it is a lot of money. 
And it's a lot of pressure to put on such little houses. 

But God is bigger than $5000. 
And He loves Emily. 
And we are trusting that He will give us what we need to get her home. 

And if you've been looking for a way to talk to your kids about adoption and orphan care 
or hoping to find a way to teach them about serving others, 
a little house for Emily can do just that. 

September 1- September 30. 

Let's give a little girl a home. 

Who's with me? 

Note: I LOVE when people leave comments on my blog. Seriously. It makes my day to know that someone took time to leave a little thought here for me. However, please only make requests for houses via the e-mail address provided. I want to make sure I keep everything in one place and don't want anyone to get lost in the shuffle. :) 

And a BIG THANK YOU to Claudine Hellmuth for designing the adorable little house you see in our video and that we will send to everyone who participates.You can visit her Etsy shop here.  Thank you, Claudine, for allowing us to use your design in such a special way! 

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

It's My Job

My girl is growing up. 
There's simply no stopping it. 

The milestones these days are getting bigger and bigger. 
I swear that just yesterday she was saying her first word (it was 'hey', by the way. So very fitting for those of you who know my little social butterfly.), and now she's riding a bike...alone...down the street....with no training wheels. 

My heart can hardly take it. 

And as she's stating a new year of  school, I worry.
Worrying is my job, you know. 
It's in the Motherhood Handbook. 
I checked. 

Will she make friends? 
Will she understand multiplication? 
Will I ever understand multiplication?
Will she like her teachers?
Will she grow her love for learning this year?
Will she have fun? 

What if this is the year she decides she doesn't like school? 
What if she starts to dread going? 
What if she gets bullied? 

I think this is something that keeps every mother up at night.
The truth is, kids can be mean. 
And with all the cell phones and social communication, bullying has only gotten worse.
And I'm sure that the little we've experienced so far in elementary school is nothing compared to what awaits in middle school and high school. 

And words hurt. 
They stick to you and stay with you. 
I can still remember the mean things kids said to me growing up. 
There is a high possibility that this is one of the reasons that I hate my hair to this very day.

Bullying is real. 
It's also a real problem that affects kids in every school in our country.  

And this week, I'm partnering with Sevenly to do something about it. 

After raising $15,000 last week to help provide clean water to the people of Ethiopia, this week, Sevenly is teaming up with Stand for the Silent to help protect children being bullied in school. 
Through educating students about the real dangers associated with bullying, they hope to help students develop an empathetic awareness through education and understanding. 

And as a mom, I could not more fully support this campaign
(I also can not possibly love this shirt any more than I already do.)

Head on over to Sevenly to read more about what they're doing to combat bullying. 

And if you need me, I'll be here....trying to stop time and buying a brick to put on Libby's head. 
No more growing at our least not for a mama heart can't handle it.

Monday, August 12, 2013

Be The Change: An Update

Wanted to start the week off with a little t-shirt update. 

Our shirts will soon have homes in TWENTY-NINE states! 
I can't believe that people from all across our country are working to bring our girl home to us. 

To date, we have sold 331 shirts. Our goal is 500. 
We have ordered two batches so far. The second batch, in fact,
 is being printed today and will start going out later this week. 

And we are already working on orders towards batch #3.

I'm working on a post that breaks down all of the adoption costs so you can see just where this money is going, but with 500 shirts sold, we will have raised enough to cover the next step in the process. I couldn't possibly more excited about this or grateful for your help. 

My favorite part about selling t-shirts though? 
That's easy.
It's seeing them on all of YOU!

Have you ordered a shirt to help bring Emily home?
If so, I'd LOVE to see!
You can tag me in it on facebook or e-mail it to me. 
And if you have ordered already, 
will you help me spread the word by sharing this post or our shirt site or our video? 
I cannot tell you how much I appreciate this. 

And if HAVEN'T ordered a shirt yet but would like to, here's the link to our site: 

Happy Monday to you and you and you...and Emily. 

Thursday, August 8, 2013

We aren't the kind of people who adopt.

*I initially wrote this post as one of my monthly submissions to the Mercy Found Blog, but this message is so near and dear to my heart that I wanted to share it on my blog as well. I apologize if it's a repeat read for you. *

Adoption is only for perfect families. 
Except that it's not. 
But I used to believe the lies that only exceptional, perfect parents were fit for adoption. 
And we aren't that kind of family.

We are messy.
We are loud....really, really loud.
Sometimes we eat fish sticks for dinner.
I don't dust every other day.
We believe in the thirty second rule when you drop your snack on the floor.
I don't have a baby proof tab on every drawer and cabinet in our home.
We watch TV...sometimes way too much TV.
Sometimes we stay up late and forget about bedtimes.
I don't mop my floors nearly as often as I should.
Sometimes I get really frustrated with my kiddos and question if I can do this whole mom thing.
My kids don't always enjoy every single minute they spend together.
I am absolutely nothing like June Cleaver.
Sometimes I listen to Pink! or Justin Timberlake on the radio while my kids are in the car.
On occasion my kiddos whine...and so do I.
We don't know of anyone in our area who has adopted.
We have never taken our kiddos to Disney World.
I don't own stock in Germ-X.
Hollyn still doesn't always sleep through the night.
We don't go to the park every weekend.
I like my music loud.
I would totally get a tattoo if my hubby wasn't a member of the anti-tattoo club.
Every once in a while, we eat fast food.
We can't pay cash up front for our adoption.
We don't go the zoo nearly enough.
My kids wear hand-me-downs.
Sometimes I wonder if we eat enough veggies at our house.
I wasn't that girl who longed to be a mother when she grew up.
Sometimes I get really tired of sharing my food.
I wish I had more time to myself.
My husband wishes he did too.
Not all of our friends are oober excited that we are adopting.
We love Harry Potter.
I have no desire whatsoever to ever be a pre-school teacher.
Sometimes other people's kiddos get on my nerves.
My kids don't always keep their rooms clean.
Sometimes I just want to sleep.
There are days where I feel like all I do is say 'no'.
Some days I feel really overwhelmed.
Sometimes all I want to do is sit on the myself....quietly. And that never happens around here.

There are so many reasons that we could use as excuses to not adopt. 
It would be so easy to just say no and be content with what we have. 
But God calls us to do more.

And He gives us a choice. 
We can choose to leave things just the way they are, 
or we can choose to follow Him and trust that His ways are always better than our ways.

And we are choosing to obey...even if it does mean it'll be a few more years before I can stop sharing my food and watch Friday Night Lights re-runs on the couch in the middle of the afternoon. 
Because while we may not be the PERFECT family, we are a FAMILY, and we do believe that every kiddo should have one of those, perfect or not so perfect.

Tuesday, August 6, 2013

Sevenly: Generosity Water

I am so excited about my latest venture. 
Have you heard about all the great things happening at SEVENLY

Well, I am officially partnering with them in their mission to do good via one of my all-time favorite things: 
Seriously, there are few things I love more than a shirt that gives back, and Sevenly shirts do just that. 

Know what else they are doing?
They are helping to bring Emily home!
That's right, for every shirt purchased via my blog (whether it's from a link within a post or the button on my sidebar),  a portion of the proceeds will go directly towards our adoption. 

And I could not be more honored to partner with them. 
They are doing so much good for others. 

Last week, they raisers over $16,5000 for End 7, which means that they were able to give medicine to over 33,000 people to protect them from those seven life-threatening, yet often neglected, tropical diseases. 

And this week, they are taking it a step further and working with something is very near to my heart. 
If you may recall, in October of last year, I went to Malawi to do clean water work. 

And my heart was forever changed by seeing people value and treasure water in a way I never had. 

So, this week I am so excited to team up with Sevenly to help promote Generosity Water, as they work to build clean water wells in Ethiopia.  Generosity Water is dedicated to ending the clean water crisis in developing countries, one community at a time by embracing creativity, forming strategic partnerships, and providing in depth accountability. In 2011, Ethiopia suffered from the worst drought in over half a century. As a result, an estimated 100,000 people died from the effects of drought and famine. To this day, 56% of their population still lives without access to clean water, making it the #1 killer of people worldwide. 

This week your support helps to build a well that provides clean drinking water to an entire community! We are not just providing a well but providing the tools for healthy upkeep of sanitation and hygiene. We are helping to sustain a whole community and keep many children alive and healthy for years to come! 
  I am so excited to play a teeny tiny part. 
I'm also excited to show you the AWESOME shirts this week: 

Oh, that last one. Be still my heart. I am seriously crushing on this t-shirt. 
The fact that it does something good for another? 
Well, you just can't beat that. 

Head on over to Sevenly, do a little shopping, and help bring Emily home....all at the same time. 
That sounds like a great way to start off your week, yes? 

Monday, August 5, 2013

Actually, I'm not all that awesome, but thanks for suggesting it

Today it happened. 
The moment I was half dreading/half expecting/half hoping would never happen....wait, that's three halves. Clearly I was an English major. 

By this I mean, today was the first time someone said something directly to me in a negative way about our white family adopting a black baby. 

Long story short: 

I was out running errands, and a lady I didn't know asked me how many children I have.
 I told her I have two girls and am adopting another girl. 
She replied with a big smile on her face (she's a clearly a fan of adoption, that one). 
She then asked the question that always follows the adoption announcement: where from?
I said Congo....she had a kind of blank look on her face at this point...
pretty sure she wasn't 100% sure that Congo is in Africa, so I clarified and said, "That's in Africa."

It was all downhill from there. 
Her eyes got big. 
Her forehead crinkled up. 
She looked like she had just tasted something sour. 
And she said, "Ohhhhhhhhhhhhh, you must be a really awesome person."


And why is that exactly? 

I think it was pretty awesome when I passed both Shakespeare I and II in college (both with A's, I might add), without ever having fully read one of his plays. (Confession: I have since read LOTS of his plays, and LOVE them dearly. But I was taking way too many English questions and reading way too many things in college, so Willy Shake had to wait. Don't judge). 

I think it's pretty awesome that I can remember everything....when we met, what you were wearing, what we talked about, and the name of your dog. Seriously, I have  crazy scary memory. I have to reel it in from time to time to keep from looking like a total stalker. I ALWAYS remember more about a person than he or she remembers about me. 
Maybe I'm just not all that memorable;
 I prefer to think that my memory is just extra-ordinary. 

I think it's awesome that I've been hit by a car....twice...with no broken bones or major injuries....
and lived to tell about it. 

I even think it's awesome that I can juggle....a lot.... and I'm not talking about the clown kind of juggling.
 I'm talking about my time management skills.
 They border on awesome sometimes....until my plate gets so full that I get totally overwhelmed 
and all the balls coming falling down around me. 
But, for brief periods of time, they are pretty awesome.

However, I don't think that me following God's call to take care of His daughter makes me awesome.
 I DO think it makes me obedient.
 But awesome? 
Not so much. 

We are all called to do different things.
 We all have different gifts. 
And just because what God has called me to do makes some people a little uncomfortable, 
this doesn't make me any awesome-er than anyone else. 

And it's a scary, dangerous thing believing that people have to be AWESOME to adopt any child, 
black white or otherwise. 
If we all sitting around waiting until we feel awesome to take action, 
absolutely nothing will ever get done. 

I can't help but wonder how many couples are sitting in their dens right now,
 talking about adoption, feeling the call, and convincing themselves that they are inadequate. 
More importantly, I can't help but think about those children sitting in orphanages waiting for families...
who are sitting at home not feeling awesome enough to adopt them. 

Want to know what I do think is awesome? 
The fact that out of all the women in the whole wide world, God picked little ole' me to be Emily's mom. 
Now that, my friends, is so awesome that I can't stop smiling and haven't slept well since we announced our adoption. It has nothing to do with being overwhelmed or stressed, and everything to do with being so stinkin' excited to be right where God wants me to be. 
It doesn't get much more awesome than that.