Thursday, December 29, 2011

2011 Countdown

The presents are organzied, the tree is packed away, and the ball is ready to drop.  You know what that means, right?  New Year's Reflection Time!! I'll be back before the end of the year to do an actual year in review kind of reflection.

In the meantime, my stats tell me that these are the top 10 posts written in 2011 that were the most visited.  I guess scientifically it's unfair to the posts that were written later in the year, but oh well.

Part 5 in the saga of Herb and Michelle; it was this time of year 8 years ago that we made it official. 
{If there were a soundtrack to the story, this song would be on it.}

The day my son almost didn't get named on the stand because I was crying too hard.

My secret weapon?  Amazon Mom!

The closer we become, the more real it is.

6. Birthday Pennant Banner
The first project in my Necessarily Creative gifts line - a birthday banner for Levi.

Cue the "Romeo and Juliet" theme, Chapter 1 of our story was about love at first sight.

Cupcakes, pool baths, and naked baby dancing...

Levi's birthmom, Jen, shares her side of the story.

In all fairness, the only reason this wreath got so many hits is because I linked up to Nester's wreath link party.  It has also been pinned by four people I don't know in real life.  This is the big time folks.  Ha ha!

I'm glad this is the number one read post this year.  If I learned anything this year, it is about how amazing open adoption can be, but how we really both have to work at the relationship.  When I wrote this post, Jen and I hadn't actually spent any time together yet, and had merely exchanged letters.  Looking back on the 2011, Jen's friendship is one of the things for which I am most thankful.

And if that doesn't accurately sum up my year of blogging, maybe this will...

Sunday, December 25, 2011

Merry Christmas!!

We are celebrating Griswold style and are having several days of relaxing, family loving, food munching, movie watching, nothingness.

It is awesome.

Saturday, December 24, 2011

Christmas Cards, Vol 2: The Outtakes

My friends Joan and Jon are notorious for having amazingly awesome and hilarious Christmas cards.  Do yourself a favor and check them out...

After I blogged about my free Christmas cards from Tinyprints, Joan emailed me to volunteer her hubby/photographer extraordinaire to take our Christmas pictures.  Armed with a great photographer, magnificent assistant, and a camera that pretty much would cost a year's salary, where do you think we took the pictures?  Here of all places (I can't even bring myself to actually write the word.)

Joan, the brains behind the plan, suggested that Levi could eat a cookie (in focus), while Herb (dressed in a Santa hat) and I kissed by a tree (out of focus).  To set it up, Levi was standing in a cart, we kissed by the tree.  We couldn't stop gigglin (I guess PDA isn't our thing), and it was almost impossible to capture Levi eating a cookie while Herb and I were kissing, no customers were trying to get by, and all the stars were aligned.  

This was as close as we got.

In the meantime, Jon and Joan managed to capture several other adorable pictures of my kiddo!

Check back tomorrow to see the final product...

Thursday, December 15, 2011

The Necessarily Creative Christmas: The Fishy Purse

Last week, I began sharing my homemade Christmas gifts with you.  I'm calling it the Necessarily Creative Christmas line because my creativity comes out of financial necessity.  Well, and the fact that I just looooove a good craft.

One of my absolutely favorite new websites is called Make It Love It.  She does all kinds of amazing sewing projects which are usually way out of my league (I can hardly sew a straight line).  But when she posted a tutorial for a fabric fishy purse, somehow I mustered up the courage to give it a go.  And I'm so glad I did.  This project was incredibly fun, rewarding, and actually pretty cheap, too!

My nieces, Ellie and Cora, love animals, especially fish.  Some of my favorite memories with the girls have happened at the Baltimore Aquarium and Pittsburgh Zoo, not to mention all the beach trips we've taken together!  Their daddy (Herb's brother) is somewhat of a fish aficionado, too, and they have a 6 foot tank in their house.  And since they are little girls, I'm hoping they will appreciate having a cute purse.  I wanted their purses to be similar, but a little unique to each girl, too.  Cora LOVES anything yellow, and Ellie is more inclined to pink.

I'm not going to reinvent the wheel and write down the directions, because they are all right here.  All you need is a variety of fabrics (less than a yard, total, and you can probably use up a lot of scraps), 1/2 yard of fusible interfacing, 2 buttons, thread, a needle, a scissors, and a sewing machine.  Oh, and a lot of free time.  I am guessing I spent about 10 hours to make two purses.  But again, I have a toddler who sleeps a lot and a husband who works three jobs.

Oh, and did I mention how amazingly detailed the tutorial is?

Here's what the purses look like all stretched out.

And here they are ready to swim in the ocean.

Now, please excuse me, I need to go find all kinds of fish accessories (crackers, stickers, candy) to put in their purses so they are ready to go to the aquarium!!

Still Getting Chills

Today I had lunch with a friend from college, who unlike everyone else on the face of the plant, is not a facebook user.  We haven't seen each other in several years, but randomly ran into each other a few weeks ago at the farm show.  Now both stay at home moms and living in the same community, a play date was in order!

Other than missing out on hours of wasted time, Becca had also missed the entire fertility-adoption saga.  She knew we adopted Levi because for whatever reason, it was the FIRST thing I told her when we saw each other at the farm show.

"You have a baby!"
"Yeah, he's ADOPTED!"

Herb claims I actually shouted it.

Anyway, she wanted to hear the whole story, and believe me, I gave her the long version.  It was crazy awesome to get to tell the complete story to someone who had no idea what was going to come next.  And you know how much I love a captive audience!  From no nut-sack needle to incredibly specific answered prayers.  From finding out about Levi's birth on facebook to our awesome relationship with Levi's first family.  She was literally sitting on the edge of her seat the entire time.

Dang, I guess it is a pretty good story.

My son is 16 months old, and the story still gives me chills.  Just last month we spoke at a fundraiser for Bethany Christian Services, and I ugly cried through my speech during rehearsal (thankfully, I got it out then and held it together during the banquet).  And then last night when we were at a Christmas party for our adoption agency and I kept getting choked up just thinking about how important those people were to me.  Then they called up all the kids who had finalized adoptions in the past year to place an ornament on the Christmas tree.  Afterward, Herb thought I was taking Levi outside to run around after he hung his ornament, but I actually went out in the hall and cried.

God is so good.  I hope our story keeps me in awe for the rest of my life.

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Awkward Hugger

A little secret, if you don't know me in real life, is that I am an incredibly awkward hugger.  I usually love hugs from people, but you will almost NEVER find me initiating a hug.  It is way out of my comfort zone.
The reason I say I usually love hugs, is because of what happened in college.  It was the first time I realized I wasn't a "hugger."  Lauren  always greeted me with an 8:00am hug.  I tolerated the hugs for a while, but soon I found myself annoyed, Lauren got the drift, and I found the courage to say I didn't really want a hug first thing in the morning.  We compromised by creating "free hug" time after 11:00 am. 

About five years later, my hugging aversion surfaced again, but this time, the tables had kind of turned.  I found myself missing a hug.   Jess's husband, Isaac, passed away, and although we spent the whole evening together, never once did I hug her.  Maybe it was the fact that if we hugged we knew we would have both lost it, but I think it had more to do with the fact that neither one of us are inclined to hugging, so it just didn't happen.

Not hugging Jess on the day her husband died has stuck with me.  I know she's not holding it against me or anything, but I feel like it was a pretty pathetic move on my part.

But I'm turning over a new leaf.  I decided I want to be quicker with an embrace, but it's so out of my comfort zone! Since we changed churches and moved counties, I feel like I have a "fresh start" and I'm trying to reinvent myself as a hugger.  

It is definitely stretching me.  I'm doing pretty good with hello and goodbye hugs, especially when it comes to people I don't get to see as often anymore (like Jess, ironically).

But two weeks ago, I did something really really awkward.  More awkward than a non-hugger trying to initiate the embraces.

I met my friend D for coffee.  I knew she was pregnant, but when she arrived and I saw how round and adorable her belly was, I instinctively patted it (because all pregant women LOVE that, right?).  Unfortunately for D, next came a hug and somehow in the hug process, I forgot to move my hand away from her belly, and as we embraced, suddenly I realized my hand had gone from belly to lower back, and was in between her shirt and coat.

 And suddenly, instead of a "hey, good to see you" kind of hug, she got a "hey, this is way more inimate and personal than I meant it to be" kind of hug.

The worst part is, the next week, I ran into ANOTHER pregnant friend and did the exact.same.thing.

{{Hanging my head in embarrassment.}}

The moral of the story is, if you're pregant, don't let me hug you.  Lauren, you should be grateful there is an ocean separating your pregnant self from my awkward self.

Monday, December 5, 2011

The Necessarily Creative Christmas: Framed Quote

This Christmas has definitely been a lesson in necessity inspiring creativity (how does that quote go?).  Money we have not, but time and abilities are a-plenty this year.  I have been crafting up a storm, but I can't reveal everything just yet, I wouldn't want to ruin any surprises!

Today I'll show you my first installment of The Necessarily Creative Christmas Line. (Nice title, huh?)

The quote comes from Proverbs 23:7, but it was also sentimental to the gift recipient.  Christina is a wonderful lady I met during college who just turned 30. In college, this verse was inscribed in the lobby of the building where music majors spent every second of every day for four years.

To make it, I used one of the black 6x8 floating frames I got for a song on Black Friday.  I cut the letters out using Sure Cuts a Lot and black vinyl (like I did for this wall quote).  I love the simplicity of the black on the see-through frame, and the way the letter cast a shadow on the wall.

(Sorry the pictures are awful - can't find my camera, so cell phone will do!)

In the comments, would you share with me your favorite gift ever received that was hand made?

Saturday, December 3, 2011

Two Truths and a Lie

Did you ever play this game in high school as an ice breaker at peer mediation club?  No?  Just me?

Anyway, here's how it works.  I am going to tell you three statements about my evening - which ended up being pretty rough.  Two of them are completely true, one of them is only kind of true, therefore making it a lie.

In no particular order, here they are... can you find the lie?

When I was cleaning up Levi's explosive diaper and putting him in the bath, I accidently wet my own pants.

I bought tickets to see Dashboard Confessional, one of my favorite bands.  I bought the tickets two months ago and totally forgot about it until the show was already over tonight.

I ironically cut my big toe on my cricut (of all things).  It was so bad I had to go to the ER and get 10 stitches.

See, no matter which one the lie is, it was a bad night.

And no, I will never admit what the truths are.

Friday, December 2, 2011

I Know The Awesomest People

I love that the right people always seem to find themselves into my life at the right time.  When we were (miserably) waiting to adopt, I met so many other adoptive families who showered me with support.  When I decided to quit my job, cash out my retirement, and throw caution to the no-career-for-now-wind, I suddenly found several other women who did the same thing, making the transition not so scary.

This week, I have been having warm fuzzies about the other moms God has been sprinkling in my life.  They are a wealth of knowledge.  They are my real life version of Googling a baby question.  Several of them now live in the same county, so suddenly Levi has a play date social life that rivals my college years.  One of them lives on the freakin' other side of the world, but what she lacks for in physical distance, she makes up for in heart distance (sorry, so cheesy, but so true).  Another one is a superhero who I get to call friend and sister.  And then there are two or three whose babies somehow grew up to be my age, but can easily remember when they did "back then" and are so willing to share and encourage.

In case you aren't as blessed as I am to have really incredible friends and family, you're in luck.  Two of them BLOG!!

My friend Lauren touched me this week when she blogged about how we are the ones who often hold our children back.  She's only been a mom for 2 months longer than I have, but her wisdom rocks my world.
...I understand that the lesson is more important than the completion of the task at hand. I want to have patience and understand that teaching as we live life side-by-side is the most effective way of instruction...
Then there's my friend Melody, who is such a "new" friend that we don't even have any pictures of us together (let's change that, okay?).  Melody is actually the friend-who-lives-the-closest now at our new place, and she's been a mom for 4 1/2 years. Melody blogged this week about the ministry we have in motherhood.
...When my first impulse would be to scold or nag or even yell at my children, I want to worship instead. Worship by responding kindly, by speaking gently. Worship by dying to myself (and my carpet) and allowing them to enjoy being children. Worship by getting off of Facebook and playing with them...
If you have time today, check out Melody and Lauren's blogs.  Also, thanks, Melody and Lauren for being really good mommy friends, and writing about it so I can shamelessly quote you.

Thursday, December 1, 2011


Last year, I was excited to buy Levi a new bib that said "My First Thanksgiving."

This year, I was excited to see Levi actually eat the once-a-year food, and he did not disappoint!

We spend the holiday with my mom's side of the family.  Almost everyone was there, and if you count all my cousins, their spouses, and their children, this crowd ads up to around 50!  (Would you be suprised if I told you that is my smaller family?  My dad's side numbers upwards of 80.)

My Aunt Janice hosts us all every year.  She's got an open finished basement with plenty of room for 5 tables which each seat 10 people.  It's an unspoken rule that going to this side of the family is a requirement - it's the only time we're all together.  Well, actually, I guess it's not so unspoken.  My grandma gave me a pretty good guilt trip about it a few years ago when we tried to visit Herb's family for a change.  But I don't mind - there are other holidays to visit other parts of the family.

After my aunts house, we headed to my dad's house.   We couldn't stay too long because Mary had to go to bed at the same time as Levi.  She is a manager at Sears and had to be at work by 2am for Black Friday! She read Levi a bed time story, and then we headed home.

A little while after we got home, my dad showed up (oh the joys of only living thirty minutes apart now), and slept on our couch while Herb and I braved the crowds.

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Black Friday

Oh Black Friday, how I love you.

I can't believe I spent so many years NOT shopping on Black Friday.  Mom, you taught me so many awesome things about finding a bargain - how did you miss this oh-so-important step?

Anyway, I don't know what I love more - the amazing deals, the fact that my husband actually ENJOYS shopping on this day, or all the fun quality time and silly inside jokes that come as a result of it.

Last year, we learned the hard way that when you do the midnight shopping thing, you should really get a baby sitter for overnight and the next day.  Otherwise, just as you get home from shopping at 8 am, your three month old baby will be waking iup and you will not sleep.  So, this year, my dad watched Levi overnight, and my mom took the daytime duty.  It was perfection.  Josh and Jocelyn had her parents watch Joelle for the same period, which left all four of us FREE!

We were pretty excited at 3 am, sitting at Jennie's Diner, when we realized it was the first time the four of us were together without kids in a year.  It was  Not to mention I drank three of the world's best cups of coffee.

And score, we got the much-desired corner booth at Jennie's.

{Picture source here}

Oh right, the deals.  Well, first of all, I should say I didn't need to many things.  But, again, I have other reasons for enjoying Black Friday, anyway!  So here's the run-down...

My bargain equation is this:

store sale + early morning bonus sale + store coupon + shop on the clearance racks = 
really cheap stuff

Top left:  Carter's 2 piece outfit, originally $32.99, scored for $7
Top middle: Gymboree dress shirt, orinally $18, scored for $5
Top right: Gymboree long sleeve t-shirt, originally $15, scored for $2
Bottom left: Kohl's children's apron, originally $20, scored for $8.10
Bottom middle: Joann Fabrics 6x8 floating frame, originally $7, scored for $2 (bought 3)
Bottom right: Bon-Ton china dish, originally $30, scored for $0.15 (yeah, that says 15 cents)

Grand total spent on black Friday: $28.25

Unfortunately, only the apron and frames are gifts.  The middle shirt is for Levi's Christmas outfit, and the rest is just stuff I wanted.  

Monday, November 28, 2011

Levi Learns to Play

For the first time, yesterday Levi played with another kid.  I don't just mean played beside another kid, but rather, legit chasing-each-other-around-interacting-screaming-together kind of playing.

Maybe it was coincidence, or maybe it was just the perfect age difference, but I'm going with it was just the perfect someone.

Who was it?

It was Vana, Levi's big sister.

Last night, Jen, Savannah (Vana), and Candy came over for dinner.  My son, who tends to normally be a shoulder hugger around people who aren't named "mom" or "dad," got really hyper as soon as this trio walked in the door.  Levi and Vana ran from the kitchen to the living room, climbed up the steps, shared toys, had races in the hallway, crawled all over Herb, and I'm pretty convinced she taught him how to open a door knob.

I love that my precious little 15 month old senses that there is something incredibly special about this little girl, that they share a bond that runs deep.  I love that open adoption gives him the opportunity to know her and play with her.  I love that she brought out the "play" in him!  Seriously, you should have seen them together!!

When Jen saw this picture she said, "Well, that pretty much sums up our {extended} family!"

Birthday Party Centerpieces: Under $5.15

There was a period of my life where I was going to tons of bridal showers and weddings.  Now it's baby showers, and more recently, 30th birthday parties.  Just like how we were one of the first of our friends to get married, Herb was  one of the first to turn 30.

As more and more friends got married, I got ideas of things I wish I would have done at our wedding.  This weekend we went to a 30th birthday party for our friend Ricky, and it was just like the wedding conundrum.  If I had gone to his birthday party before I threw one for Herb 10 months ago, I would have done things so differently! Let's just say my buddy, Sammy, knows how to throw a party!  She rented a room at the Works, which  is an all ages arcade attached to a restaurant.  Beer + burgers + skee ball = awesomeness.

Sam didn't have any centerpieces planned, so I grabbed the bull by the horns and whipped these up last week.  She came over to help me using the decoy, "Michelle and Herb have a meeting at church so I need to go babysit Levi."

Materials needed:
8 plastic (hard) straws - $1 @ Dollar Tree
4 rectangular floral foam cubes - $1/each @ Dollar Tree
Black vinyl 
Wrapping paper 
Card stock
Tape runner
Hot glue

1.  Cover the straws in black vinyl.  If you don't have black vinyl, use spray paint or wrap in yarn.

2.  Cut foam cubes in half, wrap in wrapping paper.

3.  Poke holes in foam with pencil, put hot glue in the hole, insert black straws.

4.  Mount pictures on colored and black card stock using tape runner.

5.  Mount card stock backed pictures on back straws using hot glue.

6.  Add ribbon for decoration.  Pose for a cute picture.

7.  Add four pennies to the bottom of each cube using foam cubes using hot glue for stability and weight.

8.  Admire the fact that you just made eight centerpieces for the price of a fancy coffee drink.

Ricky was definitely surprised by the party and we all had a lot of fun!  Sammy hit this one out of the ballpark!!


Friday, November 18, 2011


Subtitle: God doesn't do open adoptions.

Leave it to the Holy Spirit to use a piece of mail as a teachable moment.

But in all fairness, it wasn't just any piece of mail...It was Levi's birth certificate.

Levi's official birth certificate arrived this week.   My first thoughts ranged from thinking about how neat our names all looked together on an official document to being so relieved that the entire process is really really over [as if this day wasn't enough].

My second thought went to Levi's first family.  I was kind of sad when I realized that as far as the government is concerned, there is no record of Levi ever not being Levi.  There is no official document stating that one woman cared for him for 9 months and safely brought him into this world and into my arms.  I almost wish there was some reminder or amendment that noted that the first 7 weeks of his life did indeed happen, and that at one point in his life he had a different name.

Honestly, as weird as it sounds, Levi's birth certificate made me a little sad.  It felt sort of fake.  There in block text is my name, Herb's name, Levi's name and birth date, the location...but I know I wasn't there.

As I shared these feelings with my pal across the ocean, an analogy dawned on me so fast that I interuppted my own story.

"Wait, I guess that's kind of like how it is with us and God," I spoke with excitement.

[I'm pretty sure Lauren had to intentionally keep herself from saying, "Duh."]

When I decided to follow Jesus, I became a new creation - the old is gone [2 Corinthians 5:17].  My old name, my old life, my old past.  Poof. They are separated from me like the east is separated from the west.  I am God's adopted daughter; it's as if my life before Him never happened.

As far as Levi's first family goes - I'm so grateful that even though God doesn't do open adoptions with us and our past lives, we can have such an arrangement with Levi's birth family.  Even if they're not listed on his birth certificate, we can have a wonderfully open relationship and he will know them and love them for the rest of his life.

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Bring Hope Home (Interview Project)

To celebrate National Adoption Month, Heather from Production, Not Reproduction is hosting an interview project.  Adoption bloggers, like myself, signed up, and then Heather matched us up (randomly) with interview partners.

Meet Mattie!  She writes about international adoption (among other things) over at Bring Hope Home.

Besides adoption, Mattie and I share a love for Pinterest, crafting, and Jesus. Mattie has had some great joys and tragic losses in the last few years.  Currently, she and her husband are in the process of adopting from Korea.  You can read her story {here}.  

My questions for Mattie are in gray, her answers are in purple.  You can read the other half of this interview on Mattie's blog, here.

What led you to blogging?

In 2009, shortly after the stillbirth of our daughter, Shyla Joy, I was desperate to connect to others who have been in my shoes.  I found a wonderfully supportive group of ladies through blogging and jumped in October 2009.  It has been extremely therapeutic in my grieving process, and then as we started the adoption journey I see it as a way to chronicle this journey.  

Do you ever struggle with what is too personal to share on your blog?

I do struggle with how much to share, but in the end, I usually share what I feel like I need to get off my chest or anything I think may help others who are going through the same struggles I am.

How did you and your husband come to the decision of adoption internationally, and even more specifically, Korea?

When we first discussed adoption, we looked at pros and cons for several different kinds of adoption.  One of the books we read on domestic infant adoption said that for every one child born in the US whose parents choose an adoption plan, there are 4 families pursuing domestic infant adoption.  We were feeling pulled toward international adoption and that kind of comforted us.  We know that babies whose birth parents choose adoption in the US will find families...that isn't true for many other nations.  [Mattie wrote a post called "Why Korea?"]

When Herb and I decided to adopt, the cost of international adoption pretty much scared us away.  I think a lot of people are concerned about the cost associated with international adoption.  Any thoughts on this?
The cost was daunting at first.  But we also looked at both the federal and state tax credits and coming back after the adoption is finalized would be about half the cost.  And for us (with my medical issues) any way we add to our family will, frankly, cost a lot.  In the end, we know it will all be worth it.  We hate debt and try to stay debt free, but in the beginning, we agreed that IF we had to go into debt for anything, adoption would be the thing we are ok with as a family.  [Check out Mattie's Adoption Fundraisers.]

Do you have any "adoption saving" strategies?
The lengthy time lines give lots of time for fundraising, picking up a few extra projects (my husband mows for lots of people in the summer and does "handy man" type projects as well as officiates high school soccer and basketball games).  I also can't emphasis enough that we also trust that God has called us to this journey and he will help us along the way!

Sometimes families and friends of adopters can say some hurtful or strange things out of ignorance.  Have you been able to educate those near and dear to you about the adoption process and correct terminology?

As far as hurtful things, we have (so far) not been exposed to too much of it.  When my husband and I talk about adoption, we use the correct terminology and hope that it rubs off. We also choose to see comments that are made out of just ignorance not as hurtful, but as a chance to educate others about how amazing adoption can be!

I can't imagine the grief and loss you have suffered over the still births of Shyla and Jakin.  How did you know when the time was right to begin the adoption process?

Before my husband and I ever started trying to conceive on our own, we talked about adoption as a possibility.  Having a degree in social work and being the child of a social service worker, I was very aware of the need of foster/adoptive families and hoped someday that would be something we felt led to do.  

We had our first child in 2007 and it was an easy and complication free pregnancy.  I loved every minute of it.  God blessed us with our daughter in 2009 for just a short while.  When Shyla Joy was stillborn at 28 weeks, I didn't know if I would ever consider having another biological child.  The adoption conversation began again with my husband and I researched a few agencies and learned more about the process.  

Our doctors encouraged us to that if we were ever going to try to have another biological child, we needed to do it soon (clotting factors increase with age) so we prayed a lot and felt like we should try again.  After Jakin passed away due to a non-related heart condition November 24th of 2010, we started talking about adoption again by Christmas.  

We were still grieving, but being aware of how long of a process adoption could be, we wanted to get the ball rolling (and I am SO glad we did).  My husband bought three adoption books for me for Christmas last year and let me know he was ready and by mid-January we had met with our home study agency and started the process.  

We are just a week away from Jakin's first birthday in Heaven and our file hasn't left the country yet.  We are probably at least another year away from actually traveling to meet our child.

When we were adopting Levi, we had a disruption which made us believe that it was a failed placement for about two months.  By the time Levi came home to us, I was overwhelmed with the feeling of never wanting to have another child because I didn't want to go through all the heartache again.  A year later, I still struggle with those feelings.  Do you have any advice?

While our situations are different,  I kind of understand what you are saying.  After we lost Shyla [in 2009], I said for several months that I would "never again" be pregnant.  That I would NEVER open myself up to be so heartbroken again.  I thought that if I was never pregnant again, I would never have to endure the heartbreak of burying my child.  People kept telling me that "time would heal me" and other platitudes like that.  But I think that is just not true.  I believe that God is the only one who can heal those wounds.  

And sure enough, the longing for another child did eventually (although not completely unguardedly) enter my mind.  

We know that there are no guarantees in life.  I'm not trying to be a pessimist, I just know that we live in a broken world and until we are at home in Heaven, no person or situation is completely perfect.  Bad things are going to happen, but with God, we can not only endure these bad things, but we can use them to reach out to the others in this broken world and be a light to them.  We can show them that just because this life hurts, it doesn't mean you are alone.  

I have to give all the credit to God for bringing us through the things we have walked through and through the wait time we are walking through now.  It's not all butterflies and rainbows though.  I still have days when I question and when I doubt, but I know that in the end of all this, we will have a beautiful ending and that God has never and will never leave our sides.  How ever we add to our family, it will be a little dramatic...and a miracle in my I have to come to terms with it being in God's hands and trusting not only his will but his timing.

To check out the other interviews, visit Production, Not Reproduction.

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Levi's Room

Welcome to the five cent tour of Levi's bedroom.  

I kept the red-black-white thing going on (a.k.a. free), and added his beloved birthday pennant banner.

I would love to pick up some Ikea Spice racks and add them to the wall behind the rocking chair for book storage {as seen here}.

The big craft to-do project is to hang something behind Levi's crib.  I didn't want to do the same vinyl wall quote {as seen here in our last house}, and I don't really want to hang his name above his bed, either.  I have a large bulletin board which I am thinking of painting or covering with fabric or writing a verse on.... so many ideas.

I did, however, create one piece of art for Levi's room.  I painted the edges of a scrap piece of wood, affixed a 5x7 picture of Levi and Herb, and put a coat of modge podge on the top.  I stapled some ribbon to it and called it a day.  The quote says, "The journey of a thousand miles begins with just a single step."