Friday, June 19, 2015

My Sweet M

Its been 4 weeks today.

The worst moments are the ones when all is quiet, you're washing dishes, and you stare out the window and think, "he can not really be gone."

So many of you have been part of our journey with M. He came to us almost 2 years ago when I was 6 months pregnant with Brooks. I remember where I was sitting when the call came in, I remember texting my best friend and jokingly saying, "its another boy!". Call this crazy, but I actually took a screen shot of the county calling that day because for some reason I knew inside that this was the call we had been waiting for since we hopped on this roller coaster. I KNEW it, you guys. 

I remember the placement guy not being able to pronounce his name and me asking when I could go see him in the NICU. I remember wearing a big shirt to hide the fact that I was crazy enough to do this as I entered my 3rd trimester. But most of all I remember walking down that dark aisle behind the NICU nurse with all the machines and lit up bassinets and struggling babies and looking into his crib for the first time. 

I cried when the caseworker was finally able to bring him home. HOME. I still don't get it.

We went through a lot. He fell sick. Which turned into hospital stays and near death illnesses and me being away from home. It also turned into me being completely, desperately, and unconditionally in love with this boy.

We got a fast track education in caring for a medically fragile child. He got better, then sick, then better again and so on. He was eventually diagnosed with Cerebral Palsy, he had a feeding tube put in, and we started several appointments and therapies weekly. They said he'd never walk unassisted and would always struggle physically and would always be behind. And I didn't care as long as I could be there to face it with him. He grew, and I grew, and Brooks grew inside me...

Over a year passed and he became more and more ours. It was clear and I felt the Lord confirm time and time again that he was our son. The county said he would stay and that his needs were too high to move him. We kept moving and believing and my sweet Malakhi made strides and leaps that we never expected. Brooks was born and they grew together. Once Brooks crawled, M did. When Brooks walked, M watched. And on Christmas Eve he took off across our living room floor with his brother. A little miracle inside our home. Something I will never ever forget...


Things got ugly in the new year. Right after that a distant relative was identified by one of the bio parents and things started to take a turn. We fought it day and night. The county said they would be recommending he stay here, his doctors and specialists were called to testify in court, and we prepared to win this battle for our son. There were attorneys, emails, county workers, and phone calls day and night. But on April 28th, against medical recommendation and children services asking he remain with us, the judge granted the relative custody. 

I can't even tell you.

For the next month of extended visits with this distant family member I begged for this not to happen. Please don't take our son. Please don't allow him to be taken from our family. Please let him and his "twin" be brothers forever.

But on May 22nd I stood in the driveway and sobbed as they literally had to peel his little fingers from the grip he had on our shirts. That moment in time will be something I will always remember. I'll remember the weather, the look on his face, the feeling of desperation. I will remember thinking that this was some kind of hell on earth. A deep, dark, pain in the core of my being that I have never felt before in my life.

We limped through the following weeks. I had a hard time doing the day to day and there were times friends had to literally force me from my bed and out of the house.

But we are still standing. Although now I look back and see that He carried us as He for some reason forced us to face this road. He allowed it but He didn't leave us. 

It's been almost a month. It feels like its been so much longer. I suppose the days drag on and the weeks seem longer when your heart is hurting. We have had some contact with the relative, only them asking us to provide things for them which kills me because I know he is not getting what he had here. I know in my core that this child was taken from his mother, the only mother he has ever known. And as his mother, the only thing I want to do is take the pain he's feeling away from him. But I can't. 

I can't.

That is new for me, friends. I am a fixer and I can't fix this for any of us. Not for me, not for Eric, not for the kids. Brooks would stand at his crib and highchair so we had to take them down. We have had to just put one foot in front of the other, because in a lot of ways, this has felt like a death.

But you know what? I still obvioulsy love that boy with a divine love. I would take all the pain all over again if it meant I could walk up the stairs right now and lean over his crib and put my nose against his little cheeks just one more time. I'd do it again in a second because I have never known a love like I had for Malakhi. That boy is still my boy and I will never say differently. 

He taught me so much. He pushed me out of my comfort zone and forced me to be a voice. He taught me about fearless love and about excruciating loss. He taught me that you can do WAY more than you think you are capable of.

This journey with M taught me to be fearless in the pursuit of what you're passionate about. Keep going, keep your eyes up, stay focused, and keep on truckin'.

We have a lot to be thankful for. We have been blessed beyond what I could have ever asked for, and for that reason I have to trust His plan. His perfect, unpredictable, baffling, loving, grace filled, and sometimes painful plan.

We are healing. We have our moments. I have times when my mommy heart just loses it. But I hear that will get better with time.

Do I have an answer to why this stuff happens? I wish. Do I understand why this kind of loss is allowed or how we make peace with it? I don't. Will we do it again? We aren't even thinking about that right now. For now I think I will just love those in front of me and forever wait on him to come home. Our bio babes need their mama just as much as M did.

For those of you in the fire - whether it is foster care, or adoption, or a tough bio child, or whatever it may be. Keep going. Don't let one word or conversation go unsaid. Don't let one action go undone. Fight for what you know to be true in your heart so at the end of the day when you lay your head down at night you can say you did everything you could. Fight. Let Him fight for you. Go to battle. Don't give up.

I can't thank you enough for the love, messages, texts, and sweet encouragement through this journey.  I know I haven't updated a ton, our Facebook page has kind of turned into my mini blog :). Just know that you all carried me many times!

He was worth it. Still is worth it. And still has a mama waiting for him.

Thursday, February 12, 2015

Put This In Your Crockpot Immediately - Chicken Fajita Soup

You guys. I have found my new favorite crockpot recipe of the year.


And its only Febuary.

Have I ever told you about my love for Chicken Enchilada Soup? Or Chicken Tortilla Soup? Or anything that remotely resembles it? Well, I love it. Take me to a restaurant that serves it and I will love you for life.

I'm always nervous to make my favorite foods because I don't want to mess it up. But I went searching for healthy recipes last week and stumbled upon this gem.

It's a home run. Everyone loves it. Make it and rejoice.


  • 1 pound boneless, skinless chicken breasts
  • 2 (10.75 ounce) cans condensed cream of chicken soup (Want a more natural substitute for canned soup? Click here!)
  • 1 cup salsa
  • 2 cups frozen corn
  • 1 (15 ounce) can black beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1½ cups water
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • ½ teaspoon dried cilantro
  • 1 cup shredded cheddar cheese

  • Optional Toppings:

  • sour cream
  • diced tomatoes
  • green onions
  • cilantro
  • lettuce
  • diced avocado
  • tortilla strips
  • (pic and recipe from here)

Best. Soup. Ever.

Just make it as soon as you can.

I have made a lot of new recipes lately that I'm going to start posting. I'm looking for healthier options for my family and myself, and the crockpot is the best option for our busy family.

I went through a little bit of a standstill on my fitness journey when our foster care situation got crazy...and then we got M's sister...and then I was up all night...and I watched a lot of Netflix.

And then I ate my feelings.


Back on track, back in the gym, back on my AdvoCare regimen, and back to a healthier and more energetic me! It's time. Summer is coming. And it's not that I want to channel my 20yr old body, but I'd like to not hyperventilate when I pass the swimsuit department at Target. Amen? Awesome. 

So anyway, try this recipe! It's a crowd pleaser, I promise!

Saturday, January 17, 2015

Worth It

I had planned on posting an update after court on Wednesday, especially after some of your sweet encouragement on Facebook... which by the way, can we all just move to one neighborhood and live life together, drink coffee, laugh the cares away, and live happily ever after?

No? It was worth a try. (But I still think we should.)

But I was so tired and emotionally drained that it was just better for everyone involved for me to take my tired self off the internet and to my bed. I guess it went exactly like I thought and nothing like I had planned. It was an annual review for M and Z, we were told that the recommendation was for them to remain where they were, here. But what we got was the complete opposite and they granted custody of just her to a random relative who has only seen her maybe 5 times.

She was moved on Thursday. They take them as quickly as they drop them off.

Her eyes. She looks just like M.

This distant relative has decided to come forward a year and a half into our case. I'm trying to make peace with it, I know this is foster care, I have loved on the bio parents like crazy, we've seen it all. But it can often feel unfair and like there is no justice for these kids.

This is foster care. This is the system. The county knows and has said this isn't what's best but they do it anyway. This is why we need more of Him right in the middle of it all. Broken, hard, and draining. But all that really matters? The children. They are the victims. They need us. They need you.

Sometimes you just have to remember that defeat can lead to victory. It doesn't feel that way at the time, but He always restores. We only see the very small picture, He sees the big picture with all the details that have to come together to get you exactly where you need to be. We often feel blindsided by things like this, but the Lord never wastes a moment of what He has ordained. He works all things together for the good of those that love Him.

We are obviously sad. The last few days have not been my best. She was very loved here and it feels like they have taken a piece of M - which I think has made it hurt more than I imagined it would. Being his full sibling, this makes my mind worry over possibility of him leaving. He is remaining with us "for now" (and we believe always will) due to his medical needs, and just because we fully believe that He placed him here almost 18 months ago for forever. Plain and simple. No questions. Just trusting.

Foster care continues to teach us about loving regardless of the outcome, and giving away my heart even though we always know that the end could sting. It is a constant reminder to me that Jesus didn't say to love only when it's easy or when you won't get your heart broken, He just told us to love.

Do I hate this part? Yes. Would we and will we do it all over again? In a second.

Painful, but she was worth it. They all are.

Thank you, thank you, thank you for hanging around for my ramblings. I so appreciate the support and encouragement that you've shown us!

Monday, January 12, 2015

He Is One

How on earth is this child a year old?? 

I can't even.

Time flies when you're having fun. It also flies when your life is a tad crazy :).
(And yes, I backdated this post to his actual birthday date. Because I'm insane like that. You knew this.)

We threw a party similar to the one we had for Lincoln when he turned one. The "One Fish, Two Fish" Dr Suess theme still stands as my absolute favorite. It is so colorful, and fun, and the kids always love it!

Brooks is my sweet, huggable, squeezable, giggly little guy. He is always reaching for me or right on my hip. He is our earliest walker and our earliest riser. He has been a breath of fresh air from his very first moment. He was and is without a doubt, my favorite surprise.

His little teeth. And the manly polo. And his squishy cheeks. Child, I will give you anything. Always.

I may have gone a tad overboard with the party as I've been known to do in the past. I can't help it, I LOVE birthdays! One of my best friends made those amazing cupcakes above, and we filled the place with candy and as much Dr. Suess as we could handle.

And we may have given away pets for party favors. Don't even get me started on how much I loved these blue mason jars and the 12 cent goldfish that lived in them. You guys, I couldn't even act apologetic to the parents that had to take them home because they were SO FUN...

Thank you Target for coming through for me with those jars. And the fish bowls. And the gumballs. And the new sweater that had nothing to do with the party but I NEEDED.

It was just a good day all the way around. Friends, family, celebrating. What tops that!?

Happy Birthday, my sweet Brooks Boy. I still can't believe you are 1! You are a gift that I never knew I'd need. Snuggly peace amidst the chaos, grace on the hard days, and a constant joy in our home and in my heart.

Love you, baby!

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 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!

Wednesday, December 25, 2013

From Us...

Just wanted to pop in and say Merry Christmas!

We had a relaxing day at home with the kids, just what I wanted to do. I even got some stuff together for our little guy that is on the way very soon! Less than 3 weeks till I can kiss his sweet face :).

So from our crew to yours...

So much grace in that picture.

Hope you all had a great day celebrating with your friends and family!

Hugs and love to you all!

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

The Mommy Quiz

Because I was ripped from my sleep at 4am this morning by a little voice saying "my tummy hurts", followed by a lot of throwing up.
And because my 2yr old is chasing my 5yr old yelling "I not butt-head! I not butt-head!".
And because my bladder has completely turned it's back on my pregnant body.
And because I am determined to find joy and laughter amidst this insane, crazy, and unpredictable journey of motherhood.

We are going to laugh.

And take an updated Mommy Quiz. Again. You may remember some of it from back in the day.

These are the questions of our lives. Or maybe just my life. You can decide.

1.) You go out for a morning run (that now has become a waddle, and you feel that the neighbors have started getting up early to watch this kind of entertainment out their windows), and upon arrival home you have 4 minutes before you need to wake the children. Do you...
A. Brush your teeth
B. Take the worlds quickest shower
C. Wait 5 minutes till the baby starts screaming then shower with him on your hip.
D. Wait till all the children are up and available to stand in the bathroom to confirm you have no privacy.

2.) Breakfast is over for the kids and now you have 90 seconds to eat something before the first fight of the day breaks out over who holds the remote. Do you...
A. Eat the leftover scraps from the table.
B. Eat the half eaten granola bar that's in your pocket from yesterday (Yes, you have the same pants on. And yes, they are sweat pants).
C. Pray that Starbucks has started delivering breakfast to moms across the nation at 8am every morning.
D. Eat Cheerios out of the no spill bowl that you poured for your toddler while another child hangs on your leg.

3.) There are 47 loads of laundry to do and only 24 hours in the day. Do you...
A. Pack the washer way beyond capacity and pray that the water reaches every piece.
B. Drag it all to goodwill and start over.
C. Eat a donut.
D. Ignore it and wait for your imaginary cleaning lady to show up. (Just FYI, she ain't ever coming.)

4.) 3 of your kids have basketball. The oldest has practice at 5:30 and the middle 2 have practice at 6pm. They all need to eat 1 hour before and will want to eat again within 1 hour of being home. Then all 7 kids need baths before the 1st bedtime at 7:15 and the 2nd bedtime at 7:45 which is basically impossible. And speaking of impossible, you're huge because you're a million weeks pregnant, so bending over the bath to bathe the children isn't an option. How do you go about all this without losing your mind?

Explain your answer & show your work.

5.)  "Me time" is now defined as...
A. Sitting in the car by yourself during basketball practice.
B. A root canal on a sunny afternoon.
C. Walking to the mailbox.
D. All of the above.

6.) Your foster care worker shows up unexpectedly and rings the doorbell during naptime and WAKES THE BABY AND TODDLER. Do you...
A.) Punch him in the face.
B.) Kick him in the shins.
C.) Make him trade jobs for a day now that he's made yours harder.
D.) Take deep breaths similar to those while in labor to cool down before opening the door.

7.) You were just ripped from your sleep by (please note that the offender is subject to a don't-wake-mama outburst followed by a heartfelt & half-asleep apology)...
A. A child who has peed in their bed
B. A child who has peed in your bed
C. A child who has thrown up in their bed
D. A child who has thrown up in your bed

8.) When driving alone in the car Dora the Explorer comes on your Ipod and it takes you how long to change it...
A. 5 seconds
B. 10 seconds
C. 15 seconds
D. Before you know it, you realize you are at a stop light with the window rolled down and you have sang along to the whole song. (You know you don't know any adult songs anymore.)

9.) You tell the children to sit at the table quietly, but it translates into kid language as...
A. Run around the table till someone falls and cries.
B. Act like your sippy cups are bowling balls.
C. Say you aren't eating what is cooking before you've even seen it.
D. Start making fake crying noises because mom hasn't heard enough actual crying and whining today.

10.) 67 is...
A. The amount of times someone yelled "mom!" in the past 10 minutes.
B. How many diapers you changed this week.
C. The amount you spent at Target after going in for only 1 thing that cost $3.99.
D. The amount of times you've said this week that your van should have one of those dividers that can go up and down like in a limo.

11.) You can't get anywhere on time. For this you blame...
A. Shoes that won't tie themselves.
B. Someone inevitably always having to go potty the moment you're ready to walk out the door and after all their winter gear is on.
C. Pregnancy hormones.
D. Not being able to find your car keys that have been clipped to YOUR OWN belt loop for the past 20 minutes.

12.) While on the phone, one of the children is saying, "". Their important question is...
A. How tall are you?
B. Can turtles jump?
C. Is Ohio a country?
D. Can you flush a barbie doll?

(Insert me banging my head against the nearest wall after that last one.)

13.) You still have 45 minutes till the husband gets home. 3 children are fighting, 3 are crying, 1 has the TV volume turned up to 84, and the 1 inside of you has a foot in your ribs. (HOW ARE THERE SO MANY OF THEM. Don't answer that.) Do you...
A. Consider scheduling a tubal.
B. Consider scheduling a vasectomy.
C. Eat another donut.
D. Call your mom and apologize for anything you ever did as a child.
*Bonus option!*
E. All of the above.

14.) While changing clothes, with all the kids in your room of course, you hear...
A. Total silence. Just stares, wide eyes and looks of confusion and wonder on their face. You might get an occasional self esteem boosting, "you're really big" or "what is that???".

Please note that the test administrator decided there was only one answer for the above question.

(Its shocking that mothers get out of bed in the morning sometimes, isn't it?)

15.) You're life is...
A. Busy, but so blessed.
B. Completely exhausting, but fulfilling.
C. Chaotic, but packed full of sweetness.
D. All of the above.

Sigh, what would I do with all my extra time if I didn't have to answer these pressing questions all day long :)?

Tired, but thankful.

Saturday, November 16, 2013

My Baby Girls

Kinley and Raya have turned 5!

(And yes, I back dated this post so it would be on their actual birthday. Because I'm crazy.)

These sweet girls bless our family more than I can even put into words. They are twins, yet they are so different. Love how they are unique in their own ways. These girls changed our family forever 5 years ago. This second set of twins changed our perspective on our family, we started to realize that our plans were not His plans, and that our family would grow beyond what we had ever planned or imagined :).

Kinley is a free spirit. She is outgoing, vibrant, funny, and always having a good time. She keeps us laughing and she is probably one of our most compassionate kiddos. Her wild curly hair matches her personality, but for her pictures this year she wanted me to straighten it, and she was IN LOVE.

Sigh, she is a treasure.

Raya is my serious girl. She is detailed, smart, and loves to play games. She asks tons of questions, she is by far our most inquisitive child. She is giving, and sweet, and loves to cuddle. She has always loved to be by my side. I carried her in a carrier well into my pregnancy with Lincoln, and she still to this day is a mama's girl.

Oh my heart. How did these baby girls grow so fast??

Love them, and am so excited to see what God has in store for them with each coming year!

Happy Birthday, my little ladies! Your mama loves you more than you could ever imagine :).

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Crazy Beautiful

Well, time flies when things get reeeaaallly busy!

As some of you might have seen on Facebook, we have grown...and obviously, we are about to grow again. A few days after my last post we took in a little boy. We got a call about this sweet baby who was in our local NICU, and things have not been the same since.

That night I drove my pregnant self down there and scooped up this teeny, sweet, little babe. And oh my heart...

Look at those feet! He's been with us for almost 2 months now. And as you can imagine, he's getting a lot of love over here :).

He's such a sweetie. Innocent, and super snuggly. You should come to the store with me and see the confusion that he and my very pregnant belly causes. It's priceless. I've had some interesting conversations.

There is a lot going on. There are things that we didn't expect at all, which is why I've been off the radar for a while. We have been in and out of the hospital a ton - learning about all kinds of medical stuff, and how to care for him. Life has been and still is somewhat of a whirlwind while we figure things out. It's been a whole new world to us, but it's been worth it. So, so worth it. 

I feel that the Lord has drawn us SO close to Himself these last 2 months, and that has been one of the sweetest parts of this whole season.

It doesn't make a lot of sense, and it is a season I never imagined we'd be in, but it is beautiful. Crazy, unexpected, hard, but beautiful. He has been faithful through every step. I'm so thankful that He is letting us love him, he is such a little gift to our growing family. 

So at the moment, I am full of new life, and I am full of emotions over this little boy. Taking it all one day at a time, because thats all the Lord asks us to do.

Thankful for the journey. Grateful for His grace. And looking forward to what He has planned.

We are all doing great, and the kiddos are vibrant as usual. I did some family pictures last week, all that is missing from this pic is the new babe. I like to call this our "waiting on you" picture :)...

Only 7-8 more weeks till delivery, how is that even possible?! I can't wait to have us all together, I want this new baby in my arms safe and sound. And look, I straightened Kinley's hair, isn't it SO long??? She loves it like that, says she feels like Rapunzel. 

So thats all for now, just wanted to pop in and give an update now that things have "slowed" down a tad. Thanks for hanging around our craziness, friends :).

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

The Round Up

Ok, this is officially the longest I've ever gone in between blog posts. But I think we are finally starting to surface after a busy couple months and a handful of curve balls :).

You know those seasons when you start to forget the last time you had a full conversation with anyone over the age of 9? Well we are there. Anyone else there too? Awesome. Let me just give you a hug and remind us all that someday far, far away the children will grow up, we will surface from underneath the laundry pile, and we will frolic in our new found freedom.

(No we won't.) (Yes we will.)

Ok maybe we'll "miss this stage" just a little :).

I know. Her hair. It's magical. Advice on products for insanely curly hair is welcome.


I have been loving time with Lincoln in the mornings during preschool. Like, really loving it. Soaking him in and playing one on one, it's been fun and a much needed season for us. Kinley and Raya love preschool, they are at the same place A was at last year - which has been hard on some mornings when my pregnancy hormones are in complete overdrive.

Life after a long term placement has proved to be interesting. Which I think is why I seem to be flying below the radar lately. I'd like to answer this foster care question that I've gotten a lot recently, "How do you give them back and how do you let go after so long???"

The answer? You don't.

You never let go of how you loved someone. My heart will always have a place for those 2 girls, the ones that literally rocked my world for almost a year with good times and reeeeaaallly hard times. There is a part of me that will always feel like their mother, and there are times when I want to see them really bad so I can just make sure they are ok. I've had days when I wanted to stay in bed all day because the situation they went back to haunted my heart so deeply - thankfully, I had sisters walking me through it who spoke truth and reminded me of His faithfulness. We really feel at peace with what happened, and even though I worry about them and I have my moments of "what if's, and should have's, and could have's", I feel that everything happened just the way He intended. The Lord helps you let go of your plan and reminds you that His plan is best. But the love and the story will always be in my heart...there is no letting go of that part :).

So. That was a little heavy. Sorry about that, folks.

Moving on.


We have started throwing some names around for babe #7. And while we have a few we like, we can't come to a conclusion. Not that we need to immediately. Eric doesn't like picking names early because he says I tend to change my mind after fully committing to a name. After all, you do remember the great name debate we had in 2004, right? You don't? Well let me fill you in.

Eric thinks that I waited till he left the hospital to name Ella. He says that the other name we had in mind was the one we were definitely going to use, but then he says I put "Ella" on the birth certificate instead when he went home to take a shower.

Not true, friends. Not. True.

He does still hold me to that though, and he is still wrong. We had come to a conclusion to name her Ella, he just forgot that at some point during MY 24 hours of labor. That's my side of the story people, and I'm sticking to it.

So clearly we could always use some help in the name department. I'd love a name as strong and manly as Lincoln. Any ideas??


So that's about it. Nothing insanely exciting or new, just normal life in these parts. We are sitting outside and enjoying this crisp, beautiful weather today - I truly could not love Fall more than I do.

Back soon! And I mean it this time :).