Tuesday, August 26, 2014

We're Under Construction...


If you keep up with us on Facebook you know we are remodelling. And oh has it been adventurous.

Some of you may remember when we moved into this house that it needed a lot of work. It was a true fixer upper. I married a man who LOVES (understatement of the year) to do projects. He is freakishly good in the DIY department. And so when we decided to move 5 years ago, he didn't want to move into a home that was already perfect, he wanted to find a home that we could renovate and make uniquely our own. I kicked and screamed a bit, but ultimately he got his way and it turned out to be a blessing in disguise.

Hallelujah and Amen.

And do you remember that we moved into a house that was previously occupied by a man with a bit of a hoarding habit? Yeah. Ok. Please don't make me talk about the beginning of it all. I never told you this, but when we made an offer on this house there were no working toilets in the home. Yet he had been living here. Just let that sink in for a moment….

Soooo, yeah. Don't make me go back. It's too soon. Still just too soon.

It was a huge job, but they accepted our offer and we found ourselves tearing up floors and ripping out drywall and making it the home we always wanted. It was the greatest decision we ever made in our house hunting journey. Not to mention it came with some pretty rad neighbors. And there was also some very cool vintage decor which gave me something to have fun with while the hubby did his demolish-everything-in-sight thing…

that carpet…

and this dishwasher…

It was a good time.

But the years have passed and we've added kids and we decided that we were going to do what we've always wanted to do - demolish the entire main floor.

We wanted to tear down the walls that separated the kitchen and the living area and make one big open space. With a bar to eat at and more room to move. I wanted a sink with a window and an area that actually fit the 10 of us comfortably for dinner. So about a year ago we started making plans. We decided that this was totally something we could do on our own, no need to pay professionals. - why hire help when we can just figure it out as we go??

Bless it. Bless us. Bless it all.

This was before, a living room and a kitchen to the right divided by walls...

(The above kitchen pic is from after renovation had already started, please excuse the mess. Or understand the mess, because, you know, 8 kids.)

(Also, imagine all 10 of us in that kitchen.)

And then this was that same area last night, with the ceiling giving out after we tore the walls out, and our amazing neighbors coming to the rescue...

Never mind my new make-shift kitchen in the background. It's all I got, people. A sink with leaky pipes and an oven that doubles as my counter top.

It's fine. It's perfect. I love it. I'm lying.

So after the ceiling came down, and I realized the roof wasn't actually going to collapse, we boarded things up and went to bed. And then I dreamt all night about it. Glorious.

But we are so on track now. We are ready to rebuild. The walls are out, and the rest of our floor and the new cabinets are due here in the next week or two. Then we will move on to forming that open kitchen and living area that we've been planning for. Where I can cook freely and use all the counter space I could ever want to use for my growing family.

Not that we're growing. Right now at least. Or ever. I don't know. Maybe one more. Or two. We can't ever be trusted in this area. I'll let ya know.

So that is what we are up to lately. Never a dull moment which is what keeps things exciting in these parts :). More pics to come!

Friday, June 20, 2014

Life As Of Lately


I have all these thoughts and pictures and things I want to share, and so I sit down with my laptop with the best of intentions and then all sudden 5 minutes later I'm like, "I wonder if we have any popcorn. Or Hot Tamales. I think it's time to start a new series on Netflix. Yes, it's time, let's do that."

So here is a list. Because they are fun. And easy. And my brain can handle fun & easy.

- Lincoln turned 3, Reese & Charlotte turned 8, and Ella turned 10 in these last 2 months. Remember when I used to do birthday posts? Yeah, I don't either. How do they all grow SO fast?!


- Our situation with M hasn't changed. Except for the fact that I can't really talk about it right now without getting upset. It's the same old stuff, he has family that loves him but can't seem to care for him, the court makes stupid decisions, yada yada yada. It's all very hard and very strange. The system is such a mess. I feel that he is our forever son, and I still am counting on always being his mama. My heart can't go to the thought of losing him. I just can't do it. We are trusting the Lord and believing that this boy will remain safe right where he is :).

Just know one thing, which is the most important thing. We LOVE him. Like really, really, deeply love him. Forever. Always. 

Sigh, those curls :).


- Have I mentioned we are remodeling? With 8 kids right smack in the middle of it all? It's like a party. Except not as much fun.

But seriously, I love to change things up and redecorate! We are re-doing our kitchen, and when I say "re-doing" I mean we are moving the kitchen from one side of our main floor to the other side. I'm so excited, I have wanted a kitchen like this to cook in for a LONG time. We are blowing out walls to open up the floor plan so we have more space to move in. I will be posting pictures of all this madness as we get it underway.

I've been picking up stuff along the way as we've been planning all this, and I have to share one thing that I can't wait to get on my wall…

Except you know what this means, right? I'll get that on my wall and surround it with pictures of my loves and I'll be like, "8! How fun! That's our number! We're complete!", and then the Lord will laugh hysterically and I'll need that number to be a 9…or a 12...or something. It's like I'm jinxing myself.

Lord help me.


- Speaking of adding children. Brooks is the sweetest, happiest, most squishy baby there ever was in all the land. His chubbiness knows no boundaries. He is 5 months old and I adore him. I want to hold him all day long, and I do.

I know. Don't even get me started on how much I love this chubby boy or you will never hear the end of it. I snuggle into that sweet face, I squeeze his little belly, I smell his sweet breath...is this getting weird? Sorry, I just loooove him. He is my last biological child, so I will soak up every single ounce of him. You already know this if you hang out with me on Facebook


- Summer is officially here. My brain gave up on all things related to school around the beginning of May, so it's a good thing they are out. We are hitting the pool and playing out back like it's our job. And right now, it kind of is our job

Today it rained and we stayed in pajamas all day long. Hallelujah and Amen.

Summer is glorious, isn't it?


So that's life lately. Busy, crazy, rough, but good :). Never a dull moment around these parts!

Back soon, friends!

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

A 7 Month Miracle

Putting my heart out there and sharing about our foster journey. It's hard to talk about how much we love when we know the reality of how much we can lose. Faith over fear, friends. It's our new motto :).

Little M turned 7 months yesterday. Can't believe how fast the time goes.

Feels like just a short time ago I went to the NICU to get him. We have lots of appointments for him at our Childrens Hospital, and every time I walk through the doors all the memories of the nights in the hospital with him come rushing back. Still can't believe my pregnant body slept on that little couch for 2 weeks. God sure gets you through the tough times, doesn't He?

He is so, so insanely sweet. I wish so badly I could share him with you completely.

We have struggled off and on through the last 7 months wondering what was going on with M. He was always sick, and his immune system couldn't fight anything off. His breathing was crazy (talk about making a mama nervous), and his eating was poor. The Dr's finally realized when he was about 2 months old that he was aspirating everything into his lungs because he wasn't swallowing correctly, and he had a feeding tube put in.

I remember crying that night next to his crib when they put it in. I hated that he needed it but I knew that it was our last option before things took a really bad turn. I was already so in love with him and he had only been with us for a month. I knew that night that he was the child we had prayed for when we started this journey. And no matter how it all turns out, he will always be the one God prepared us for. He will always be part of us. God knew we needed him just as much as he needed us. We are forever changed because of this little boy.

He's been slowly growing ever since. And can I just tell you that he is the happiest little guy? So smiley and sweet. He is always giggling at the kids and stays pretty content. We were told last week that all his struggles point to one diagnosis, Cerebral Palsy. We kind of saw this coming, but still felt blindsided by how it felt when they confirmed it.

That moment was hard on my heart.

But you know what? No diagnosis will ever trump the fact that God saved his life in the very beginning. No diagnosis will ever be bigger than the story of how God picked him up out of a dark place and put him where he needed to be. He will never be "a kid with issues", he will always be our little miracle.

He has biological famliy that loves him but can absolutely not care for him or provide services as this journey for him unfolds. So we are asking everyone to literally beg for this boys life. Pray for his safety and his health, pray for the biological parents and their health, and pray for us as we continue to try and love them all like Jesus wants us to.

Our hearts are completely attached. I feel that he belongs here, but I know the system often makes crazy decisions. I am asking the Lord to let me be the one to send him off on his first day of Kindergarten. The one with him in his therapy appointments. And the one to hold his hand through it all. I just want to watch him thrive, and I believe that he will!

So thats where we are. We have appointments today and will have lots to come, many weekly. But we're ready for it. God called us here and I know He will walk with us through it.

Thanks for hanging around, thanks for listening, thanks for praying :).

Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Always Their Mama

They've been gone almost 7 months. That doesn't seem possible. So much has changed in that short time.

But the thing that never changes is how much you love them. You think that time heals it but it doesn't, it just dulls it. God gives you peace and new mercies. That is all grace amidst the calling to foster care.

As a lot of you know from Facebook (which has become my mini blog), we got a call from our old caseworker asking us to pick up C&A this past weekend. It all happened kind of quickly, so I didn't have a ton of time to process or think about it. But can I just tell you that when the door opened and they came around the corner it nearly took my breath away. There they stood in the same coats and shoes I bought them a year and a half ago. There they were. My girls.

Although they aren't really mine, they just feel like mine. At the moment, they are still hers. Everything came flooding back when I saw them. The good times, the bad times, even seeing their little faces staring in my door the night they came to us.

My heart grieves the fact that they are back in a bad spot. I absolutely hate it. It keeps me up at night. (Well that, and you know, Brooks.)

I have gone over the whole situation in my head a million times. I have sat on the phone in tears with sisters who have walked through it with me. But at the end of the day, the reality is that we are dealing with broken families, and broken stories, in a broken world. We all need Jesus so badly.

People always say, "I don't know how you give them back", and the truth is, I don't know how we do either. It is divine intervention that gets you through giving back kids that you love. There will always be a spot reserved in my heart for them. I will always come for them if called. They will always have a home waiting here if needed. And there is a part of me that will always feel like their mother.

It's hard, friends. But goodness, somehow it is all so worth it.

He didn't call us here with a promise of keeping any child. He called us here with a promise that it was going to change our lives. And it has.

We are praying for them, praying for the struggling parents, and asking the Lord to keep them safe while the county works things out. I am worried about them, but I have to trust that He's got this. I don't know how often we will have them while things are in limbo, but I think they will be back soon :).

A tad tired, but thankful for this life changing journey.

Back soon, friends!

Monday, January 27, 2014

And Then There Were 7

As many of you have seen, we had our little guy.

Meet the new man in my life, Brooks Abraham...

I'm so in love. And SO obsessed with kissing those chubby cheeks :).

Brooks was born (via csection) a little after 12pm on January 12th. He weighed 8 pounds 15 ounces, and was 21 inches long.

And he is just the sweetest little thing.

He. Smells. So. Good.

And his feet are pretty yummy too.

We are so thankful for this little guy. He is such a gift and we could not be more in love!

I'll be back soon with more pictures and some chatter about all the craziness of everyday life. Because as you know, the fun never stops around this place :). But for now I'm off to feed him and get some more snuggles.

Sigh. Love, love, love him!

Friday, January 10, 2014

Rounding The (Delivery) Corner... And Other Happenings...

We are SO close to our new little man! Oh my word, just think of how great his sweet little self is going to smell. Thinking of that just gave me a nice solid contraction.

No it didn't.

We are waiting things out over here. 4 days till my due date. My Dr has given us the green light to try for a vbac, and so that is what we are doing. Just for the record, in case anyone is curious, I've only had one natural delivery (with Ella), and then 3 consecutive c-sections because of carrying multiples.

And I mean "natural" in that it wasn't a csection, not in a non-medicated kind of way. I'm an Epidural kind of gal.

I know a vbac after 3 csections isn't real popular, but our Dr feels good about it thus far and so do we.  If anything starts to concern us or we get to my due date with no sign of labor, then we will do a repeat csection. That is the deal my Dr made with us. I was induced with Ella, so I've never been able to actually go into labor on my own. And honestly? I'd just love to have that experience. But if I don't, that is TOTALLY fine :). I just want the babe and I to be safe and sound post delivery.

But you know, pray that I can go into labor on my own in the next few days, ok?? Pray for some painful contractions to set in. But not too painful - remember, I like the meds that numb all the things.

I know some of you may have seen this pic on Facebook, but I want to save it here as well so I remember these days :). And I know, it's such a professional maternity picture, isn't it?? I'm trying to cherish these last days of pregnancy. It is the plan for this to be our last biological child - I know, I know, I've said that before. But we really mean it this time. I think.

I popped my worn out jeans on this morning, and strapped my belly band on with my favorite maternity shirt...well, it's not really that it's my favorite one as much as it's the only one that still fits. I had to smile at this baby bump that God has grown. It's a shape only He can give. It's truly like I'm carrying around His grace in my belly. I don't deserve it, yet He still gives in abundance.

God has been so gracious and patient with me this year as I've tried to figure out what the heck He was doing in our growing family. He gives us what He KNOWS we need, not what we THINK we need. And then He equips us for the journey. I've learned this past year that that is one of our greatest blessings. He is faithful through it all, even in the confusing times.

Grace upon grace upon grace.


We are still loving on our little foster babe too, Baby M. Yes, on Facebook I often called him Baby K, but that was just a nickname. He will be M from now on.

I know I keep a tad quiet about him, it's not intentional, I would love to share more but sometimes I don't even know where to start. His case in general is kind of messy. He has some special needs - a feeding tube and some other concerns. We feel however that he will completely come out of all that with time and with some great doctors...and of course a lot of love from us :).

And also? It's just hard to put my heart out there sometimes because I know the possible outcome of this situation all too well. This is foster care, after all. He completely has my heart just like the rest of my kiddos, and we are very attached to say the least. Right now we are trusting that the Lord will keep him safe right where he is. And also learning that He is faithful no matter what the outcome, He will and is preparing us for the story He has written for M. It is a gift to get to love him.

He is pretty sweet, isn't he?

He's also a tad spoiled. I had nothing to do with that. Or maybe I had everything to do with it :).


So that's the round up. It's a busy season!

I am so, so ready to meet our new little man. I feel like I stay up half the night thinking of that moment when I get to finally hold him. Oh my, I can't wait! I just want that babe safe and sound in my arms.

I will update as soon as he arrives. It will probably hit Facebook first, and then the blog. I'll be sure to get a good picture of his fresh little chubby cheeks to share with you :).

Be back SOON!