Dryer Balls and Hair bows!

*disclaimer* This post is originally from 5/18/12  I am just getting around to publishing it a little late! :)

This week has been all about crafting! Tuesday I got together with my wonderful friend Cassi, and we made some hair bows for our little girls! Then today we tackled the project of dryer balls! We got all our materials and I started the project to see how difficult it was going to be and if we would need more materials. What are dryer balls, you ask? They are balls of felted wool yarn that go (wait for it…) in your dryer! They are supposed to suck up a lot of moisture, get rid of static, and soften your clothes so that you do not need to spend money on fabric softener anymore! Supposedly, people have had their laundry drying time cut up to 50% and their bills have been reduced as well. With all those benefits and a relatively uncomplicated fabrication process, why not try it?! I will keep you all posted on how things are going with it as this project continues, but I am pretty excited to see if they live up to their reputation!



Lazy Days

It’s a lazy sunday. Aren’t those the best?! My dishes aren’t done, the laundry isn’t folded, my living room is cluttered, and don’t even look at the mess I call a bathroom; but sitting here reflecting on the sermon from the morning, I am at peace. Holding my sleeping daughter in my arms, I am complete. Listening to my son coo in his crib waking up from a nap, I am overcome with joy. There is a poem I once heard, author unknown; here are some of my favorite pieces of it:

Mother, oh Mother,

come shake out your cloth,

 empty the dustpan,

poison the moth,

hang out the washing

and butter the bread,

sew on a button and make up a bed.

Where is the mother whose house

is so shocking?

She’s up in the nursery,

blissfully rocking.

Oh, I’ve grown tired while reading Little Boy Blue, 

Dishes are waiting and bills are past due

The shopping’s not done

and there’s nothing for stew

But Look! Aren’t her eyes the most wonderful hue?

The cleaning and scrubbing

will wait till tomorrow,

for Children grow up,

as I’ve learned to my sorrow.

So quiet down, cobwebs.

Dust go to sleep.

I’m rocking my baby and babies don’t keep……

So whatever you are doing today, in the busy-ness of life, just stop. Spend time with your kids or your spouse; catch up with an old friend. Spend some time just BEING, rather than DOING. It’s ok to give yourself permission, I promise the mess and obligations will still be there waiting for you when you return, but for now; relax. Hope your lazy sunday is as beautiful as mine!

Week 1, done.

This was my first week home with both kids. Tyler has been home helping me these last two weeks, thanks to a wonderful and understanding church family,  and it has been amazing to have him here while we figure out how our daily lives look with two babies. Unfortunately, it had to end and he had to go back to work :) I was nervous about having both of the kids all day. I didn’t know how I would get anything done; I learned that you don’t. but that’s ok! I also learned that sometimes, no matter how well you can multi-task, one of them is just going to have to sit and cry while you tend to the other; then they can switch off, and for the grand finale they cry in surround sound! :) 

I have been so overwhelmed with emotions this week. Sometimes I look down at this sweet baby and my eyes just fill with tears at the wonder of it all. Who am I and what have I done to deserve a God who can take time out of being the Alpha and Omega, the Great I AM, to come alongside this silly, sinful girl; who never seems to talk to Him enough, and who doesn’t always  make her daily devotions happen, to reach into her life and give her the desires of her heart? Who am I that he would even hear my prayers? With all the junk going on in the world, all the hurting, the hunger, the natural disasters, the slavery, God takes the time to listen to our little requests and grant us the desires of our heart. Just because He loves us. 

My heart swells with thanksgiving and tears of gratitude are always springing to my eyes. What an amazing God we serve. We can do nothing, we deserve nothing, we should receive nothing; but He gave everything; everything He had down to his last breath. Doesn’t that just blow your mind a bit? 

Hope you all have a wonderful weekend! We are heading out of town today, to buy some more cloth diapers. Wish they would get them in a store here! I may have to stop by a craft store as well. Poor Tyler. We are sure to be there forever. Hope this weekend finds you with loved ones making beautiful memories as we head into summer! 

The business of Fear

Fear is a powerful thing. It has a way of squeezing our chest and restricting our throat until we are sure the only way to breathe again is to run far away from it’s icy grip. Think about what people do out of fear; or maybe just to prove that their biggest fears about themselves aren’t true: Lie. Steal. Cheat. Nothing. (I’ll come back to that one, it’s the most dangerous)

     People lie all the time because they are scared; scared to be wrong, scared to be caught doing something wrong, scared to hurt someone’s feelings. People who cheat on tests are scared they will be inadequate. People who cheat during sports are scared they will be “the loser”. People sometimes even cheat on their spouses because their biggest fears are feeling unwanted, not needed, or undesirable; and they have to prove that this fear has no foundation because they are so scared that it’s true.

     Fear can drive us to some ugly choices, but the worst thing fear can cause us to do is nothing. It can cripple us. Make us stagnant. Render us ineffective in every area. Fear really can paralyze you; your fight, flight, or freeze response is triggered and that’s what leads most people to run. Every once in a while however, the fear is so overwhelming it freezes you in your tracks. This can do the most damage to a person’s life, but it’s sneaky, because they may never even know it happened. They will never know what could have been , what life could have held for them, had they just pushed through the fear.

   People often ask me, when referring to our decision to do foster care, “aren’t you scared?”. Yes. Yes I am. I am scared today, I was scared when we decided to do it, and I will probably be scared every minute  of every day until there is a definitive direction that this case is headed. I want to share pieces of a conversation I had with a wonderful friend about this very thing: 



hey! yeah, it’s crazy, it all happened so fast! we are very scared in this waiting process, but it’s in God’s hands.  When we first got the phone call about him, tyler and I were scared. he had obviously been put into foster care for a reason, he was not up for adoption yet, and he has visits with his family often. We considered waiting; seeing what else God brought along;   waiting for an easier road. but then we realized: this is everything we have been praying for for the last 3 years. what is it that would    hold us back and make us pass up this opportunity? fear. that’s the only thing we could come up with; it was fear that would hold us  back. fear of the unknown, fear that we would grow to love him and then have to give him back, fear that we would not be equipped to  handle the challenges we might face with his unique circumstances. it all came back to fear. Fear doesn’t come from God. Fear is  nothing but faith in the enemy. and if we had let that fear win, we would have missed out on this sweet little blessing that I cannot  imagine life without! 

so we jumped. and we will love this little guy for every second we are with him, whether it’s 6 weeks, or 6 years! Thank you for your prayers, I feel like we have never needed them more. it’s hard; some days I’m just so scared that he will disappear and we will get “that phone call”. God knows what He is doing though, and I pray that He would not let that happen.

[ she replied, expounding on the role of fear in her life]

I know, you wouldn’t think it could be so powerful, but fear is one of the greatest tools of the enemy, in my opinion. At least on me anyway! 

I understand what you mean; I fear having to see this baby leave our home. I fear raising a child with a difficult background, I fear telling him he is adopted one day, if we get that chance, and having him wish he could have stayed with his biological family. I fear what it would do to me to love him with all my heart and then lose him. I’m scared! but I’m taking it one day at a time, with God. I knew this is what He was asking me to do, and doing it doesn’t mean the fear is not there, it just means the fear is not winning. 

If he gets to stay with us forever, I will praise God, because He is on the throne!

If he has a difficult life because of the circumstances he was born into, I will pray to God to equip us to handle that, because He is on the throne. 

If he has to leave our home, it will likely break my heart, and just maybe my spirit, but I will fall into the arms of God, because He is still on the throne. 

Whatever happens; whichever path God has us walk down, we will walk down it hand in hand with our savior, and somehow; I know that it will be ok. There may be parts of it that are terrible, or it could be the most abundant blessing we’ve ever experienced, but either way, at the end of the day He is on the throne and that is the only detail I need to know.  


Fear could have made us do nothing; it could have crippled us. It could have tightened its grip on us to the point that we just did nothing, because nothing was safe. Nothing was familiar. Nothing didn’t have the potential to be awful. But nothing didn’t have the potential to be great either. 

God tells us in His word that perfect love casts out all fear. If you rest in the creator, if you run TO Him instead of away from your fears, He will give you the strength you need to face anything, because He will face it with you. 

So dear reader, what is fear holding YOU back from today? Tyler and I decided that very day that fear would not be a factor in our decisions from that moment on. We have not regretted that choice for a second! Fear has no place on a pro/cons list. You can’t stop fear from coming; but you can stop it from winning. 

The girl who almost wasn’t.

Friday, March 16, 2012:

I am in the kitchen washing some bottles while Tyler plays with Ashton before his last bottle and bedtime. The phone rings, and I think about letting it go to voicemail since I am elbow deep in a soapy sink, but considering it is 7:30 in the evening I figured it was probably family. Tyler picked up the phone to answer it and I went back to my dishes. A couple minutes passed and Tyler was standing in the kitchen, talking in his “formal voice” :) 

 I turned the water off and waited for him to speak. “There’s an attorney on the phone and she says she has a birth mom coming in tonight to look through their profiles. she wants to know if we want ours added to the stack.” My brain did a quick monolog: “oh geez, can you imagine, another baby?! I’m exhausted already and I only have one. I don’t remember the last time I slept through the night and I can barely keep up with the laundry as it is. HA! another baby. can you IMAGINE?! pfffft.” After that mental huff of defiance I looked at Tyler and just shook my head no. “I’m busy enough with Ashton” I said. He politely conveyed our decision to the woman on the phone. I turned and went back to my dishes. Still talking away in my head; “I don’t think I even want to think about another baby…the one I have keeps me busy enough.” 

“What about what I want? Did you even think to ask me?”

Does Jesus ever come in and intrude on all the thoughts you are trying to think in private? He butted right in there, and wielding his rolled up newspaper of conviction he swatted me right on the nose. We hadn’t asked Him. We hadn’t thought about what He might want. We hadn’t prayed about that answer before giving it to the lady. 

Conflicted as I was, and scared to pray because of the answer I might get, I did what any girl would do: I stalled God and called my mommy. :)  She confirmed everything I already knew and gave me the encouragement to actually do it. After I hung up with her I talked to tyler for a long time and we prayed together about the decision. 

We felt like the Lord was telling us to at least put our profile in the mix and give Him the opportunity to work. I figured that was not too scary of a step; she was probably only a few months along, just starting this process, and what were the odds that she would even be interested in our profile in the midst of the stack of what I was sure were more qualified parents, with much fancier lives :) We called the lawyer back and asked if it was too late for her to add us to the pile. She said not at all, and that they would be contacting the couples chosen early next week for a phone interview. 

After a long weekend wondering what decisions were made, Monday came and went. Then tuesday, followed by Wednesday. At this point I realized that we were probably not chosen, and could put it out of my head. I was not sad, I actually felt a little relief. We had told a few people closest to us, and they were worried I would be taking it hard, but I kept saying “it’s really ok with me, honest!” ( and I meant it. The idea of two babies under a year kinda freaked me out!) 

Friday, March 23, 2012: 

8pm the phone rings. Tyler is out of town for a spring break work trip with the youth group so I am expecting it to be him. When I pick up the attorney is on the other end. “Well, I have some good news for you! Our birth parents have narrowed it down to 2 couples, and you guys are one of the two! Congratulations! We want to get this moving as quickly as possible so we will need you and your husband for a phone interview on monday afternoon, does that work? By the way, this mommy is due next month.” 

Total.Panic.Mode. Next MONTH?!! what?! I somehow let her know  that Tyler is out of town but I would be available for the interview on monday. We set up a time and she says some more words that I don’t hear over the roar in my ears and we hang up. 

Due in a month? Forget two kids under a year, that’s two kids under 3 months. “Really Jesus? Do you know what you are doing here Lord, because this just went from funny to crazy… I will trust you…but you better have my back in this, ok? This isn’t cute anymore.” 

The following monday I had the phone interview and the lawyer told us that she would be getting back to both couples at the end of the week to let us know what decision had been made. 

THE NEXT DAY: they chose us. aaaaaand my mind is blown. 

That Friday, March 30: 

We met with the birth parents, and the maternal grandparents as well. They were all very nice and polite, well dressed, as were we; but that didn’t stop it from being the world’s most awkward meeting. What do you say to someone who is going to give you the person in their belly? “thanks” just doesn’t seem to cover it. They asked a few questions and we had a few of our own. Everyone left feeling comfortable and at peace with the decision. From there it was only 20 more days until our sweet girl was born, and the rest is history. 

It was such a whirlwind experience, but God knew what He was doing all along. And I could’ve messed it all up that night, exhausted and covered in suds. Praise the Lord that He is gracious enough to thump us on the head and ask us if we’d like a minute to re-think that answer. 

I can’t imaging missing out on this special girl: 

IMG 0496 IMG 0504Gorgeous eyes Love this girl