Saturday, April 28, 2018

April Favorites

It's time again to share my monthly favorites!
I can barely believe it!
Where has April slipped off to?

What I'm making...

Lists! I've shared here already how busy I foresee this summer being (all good things, all good things) so I've been ramping up for the season by planning out as much as I can. I feel good when I have taken some time to list everything that's expected of me for an event, all the things I need to buy/pack for a trip, or everything I want to accomplish in a finite amount of time.

It's my way of getting out ahead of the chaos so I have to make as few split second decisions as possible.

I do my list making in a regular old notebook. I tear old, used up lists out and toss them when they're done. I actually have notebooks requirements: It has to have a hard cover so it's easy to write in when in sitting in the car or pushing a cart. It has to be spiral bound so I can fold it back on itself. I have to love the cover because it's going to be a constant part of my days until it's used up. It needs to be a medium size (big enough for a full grocery list, small enough to fit easily in my bag). Here is my last one and my current one...

What I'm doing...

While we are still working on our foster care license renewal (shout out to our family and friends who have helped with all our childcare needs!) I am also working on.... I'll call it calorie budgeting. Hahaa! I don't want to say I'm dieting because I'm not trying to loose a ton of weight or anything. A slight slim down would be welcome but I was struck with a need to control and re-calibrate my eating habits.

I was going down some pretty self absorbed mental tracks thinking too much about the way I looked and at the same time overeating sweets and junk food. I felt like I had no control over what I put in my body. I was convicted that I was not taking care of the amazing tool that God gave me to do life through.

I've been using the My Fitness Pal app and a Garmin watch Adam got me a couple years ago, I've stuck to being meticulous about calorie counting for the month of April. I set a reasonable calorie limit and some gentle exercise goals like walking every other day. It's like budgeting honestly. I know how many calories I want to spend on food and I make choices that help me feel satisfied through the whole day. Sometimes I make a little meal plan for the next day and sometimes I just log it as I go. I plan to keep it up through June. I know I won't always live this meticulously, but to retrain my brain on what to expect from my food and exercise has been SO GOOD and I expect some good fruits on the other side.

One more thing that's helped a lot is that site, Eat This Not That. It's amazing what you can eat without feeling deprived but still keeping nutrition and calorie counts in check. I've still eaten fast food and treats when my family does. I can keep it in control without isolating myself from what they are enjoying together. That is really important to me as I work this thing out.

What I'm reading...

I've been reading Sacred Privilege by Kay Warren. She has shared some amazing insight and wisdom on being a pastor's wife in this book. It has come at a really good time for me and I'm soaking it in.

What I'm wearing...
We are still wearing too many layers around here for my liking. I told my SIL (who lives in South Carolina) that we're pretty much wearing shorts and winter coats. I just want to not wear socks and coats and layers ok? Is that too much to ask of the month of April? I don't think so! I jumped on the overall trend and bought a pair of overall shorts.... shorts overalls? I'm not sure which term is right. I bought a pair I can easily cut the bib part off of and just wear as shorts if it doesn't work out. I'm non-committal like that. Ha!

I follow a happy lady named Sena Nelson (@senaenelson) on Insta. I vibe with her style and look. The shorts looked good on her so who knows? Maybe they'll work out for me too.

What I'm using...

I wear contacts and the day before Easter my eyes were so dry and irritated I just plucked my contacts out and tossed them mid-sentence talking to Adam. The next  morning (Easter morning) I was getting ready for church and realized those chucked contacts were my last pair. It was time to get an eye exam and some new lenses. I finally made it to the office (with all three kids in tow) and got an updated prescription. The doctor gave me a stronger prescription and upped me to Acuvue Oasis. Oh my word!!! So much better!. My eyes have been so irritated for so long. It was such a relief to put the new ones in. Now I'm starting to think about Lasik eye surgery. I've had glasses since third grade and glasses since sixth. My eyes seem to be getting worse and it would just be so nice to just get rid off all the eye paraphernalia.

That's it for me this month.
What are you loving?
What makes life a little sweeter for you? 

Wednesday, April 25, 2018

Worth the Wait

April is starting to slip away.
I was surprised with the need to update the white board calendar we keep on the fridge door.

Then later this morning I was putting away clean laundry and I came across a onesie I bought Malachi a few months ago.

It was crumpled up in the back of the drawer, unworn.
Between the two realizations of calendar updating and laundry putting away, I was just struck with some strong emotions.

I thought he would be ours by now.
I thought we'd be celebrating by now.
I thought when I talked to all of his doctors and medical people I could stop listing myself as "foster mom" by now and just finally be "mom".

We waited six years for this boy to be in our arms.
We've cared for and traveled to doctors with and sat through exams with and brought to bioparent visits and court dates and therapies and taught and loved this boy who legally isn't ours for nearly three years more.

And from where I sit and write, there's no true end date in sight.
Sure, adoption might finally happen in June.
I thought it would happen more than a month ago though.
Last year I was thinking it might happen last year.

In this moment the waiting *feels* endless.


He's just totally worth it.
God has created this little kid and He DID put him in our arms and He DID set us on a path to love him as our own even if he wouldn't be ours for quite some time.
God has used the tool of waiting so beautifully in our hearts.
And at the end of this beautiful waiting seems to be a beautiful, tiny boy who is going to need a lot more love, patience, and care.

I just CANNOT wait to call him by my own name and begin waiting on the Lord to see what He does in this boy's heart.

Tuesday, April 10, 2018

Girl Date

A few weeks ago I promised our girls I would take them out on a girls-only date to pick out new bathing suits for the summer and buy a little friend of theirs a birthday present.

Friday was the day and we were all really excited for it.
In the days leading up to it I had to field a bunch of their ideas of what else we could also do on our date: buy a dog, see a movie, is Maddie coming with us?, eat at taco bell, eat at Chick-fil-a, eat at Olive Garden,....

The list goes on :)

The three of us decided that Kenna and I would pick Larissa up from school, then we would eat lunch and play at Chick-fil-a, shop for bathing suits and a few summer clothes at Once Upon a Child, then end it with a needed stop at Walmart (in my mind I also added buy them a treat at Walmart and visit the local humane shelter).

I might be the only person in America who isn't crazy about Chick-fil-a.
It is ALWAYS crazy busy, packed, and chaotic with kids and I'm not a huge fan of chicken honestly. 
But this visit we got there a bit after 11 beating the lunch rush (yay!) and I ordered the grilled chicken sandwich which I never had before and loved. 
So it was a win-win for me this time and the girls just always love it.

88 cent pineapple?!
I grabbed several and I wish I had grabbed more. 

After Walmart, the girls thought we were headed home but I surprised them with a long awaited trip to our humane shelter. 
I've been wanting to bring them there for a long time but I knew as soon as we saw some of those babies we'd want to take one home. 
Willing to take that risk, I pulled into the parking lot to see what we could see.

This was one of the dog areas and it was LOUD LOUD LOUD!
Between the smells, sounds, close quarters, and imposing number 
of pitbull breeds it was a pretty overwhelming area. 
Larissa pretty much walked with her hands over her ears the entire time. 

We did come across this adorable little long haired dachshund 
though who I wanted to run out with immediately.  
So timid and lovey. 

I may actually go back and get this baby though.
Like for real. 
I love her.
She was so sweet and affectionate.
Plus a cat for a pet has been on our mind for a bit now. 

Wanted attention....

....wanted nothing to do with us. 

I love my girls. 
They say and do the funniest/weirdest/sweetest/oddest things and it was good for me to take a minute with just them and see that afresh. 
They're at an age where the questions (good ones and also many many many unnecessary ones) are pretty much endless. 
That wears me out. 
I get impatient and snappy and just plain sour. 
During our date, I made a huge effort to engage with them fully. 
I wanted to stay patient with the flood of questions and comments that pour out of their young, hungry brains. 

I don't know if I was 100% successful but we had fun, made a memory or two, and found some pretty adorable bathing suits to wear all summer. 

Tuesday, April 3, 2018

Spring is for watercolors

There's no medium that says spring like watercolor.
The lightness and transparency is what the season is made of.

I treated myself to a big piece of expensive paper the other day to stretch my dormant skills and do some experimental dabbling.

Give me all the neutrals.

A hair dryer speeds up the process...

This was a smaller, side experiment.
Once in college, our design professor had us create a grid of shapes
and each one had to be different. 
This was a good little exercise to loosen up with. 
I think these look like the tops of cappuccinos from a fancy shop. 

While pulling out my paints, I came across what was left of a tablet of water color paper.
I knew the girls would love to make something of their own.

I've always really loved watercolors. 
They can be complicated but if you just keep it simple, you can end up with something really beautiful. 

One more perk of water color: it's a snap to set up and clean up.

Monday, April 2, 2018

It was spring....and then it wasn't

Easter weekend was fullfullfull!
So full we decided to let the kids have their Easter baskets on Saturday afternoon because having a pastor daddy makes Sunday a work day, Good Friday a work day, and Easter Sunday a *packed* workday. 

Giving the kids Easter baskets the day before might actually be what we do from now on.
It was such a calm and relaxed time together. 

It gave us plenty of time to enjoy each other and the kids, their surprises.
We didn't feel rushed to make the meaning of the weekend clear to them and share again what Jesus did for us. 

Blurry pictures because kids = constant movement

Easter morning, I had every intention of hopping up out bed and baking some cinnamon rolls for the kids and myself. 
I didn't. 
I overslept.
We rushed to get dressed and make it in time to our church's first service. 

I did have the mental capacity though to station the kids together for a quick pic before the bows fell out and the boy was covered in cheerio crumbs from the nursery.

1st try...

2nd try...

3rd try....good enough!

After church, we hightailed it to Meemaw's house for 
ham, cake, and an Easter egg hunt with cousins!

So yea, you would think after a lovely spring-y Easter like that it would just stay spring, right?
Not so fast.

This morning we woke up to a freshly frosted neighborhood. 
Lots of people have crossed over to full on rage. 

Kenna asked me if we could go get a Christmas tree.
I said no. 
But I did plug in some Christmas lights. 
We might as well make the most of it and set up another indoor Easter egg hunt.

Saturday, March 31, 2018

Good Friday

Good Friday was all kinds of good yesterday. 
Before we had to be at church for the Good Friday church service, the kids and I took advantage of the sunny day to tromp around in the mud. 

Malachi's not too sure about this situation

A hollow tree just begging for some little girls to come along and "make soup".

And nourishing to mine soul.


Pretty baby.

Making more.
This time it was coffee I believe. 

I hope he let's me carry him even when he's a tiny teenager.
That would be all kinds of weird?
You're probably right. 

It's amazing what blue skies and chilled sunshine do for the heart, soul, and mom-kid bond.