Saturday, April 30, 2016


It's hard to believe that the Walk for the Waiting just completed its 4th year!  It's been a big part of our life these past four years, and it is such a privilege to see it grow and gain momentum as time goes by.  I am so hopeful that God will continue to use the Walk to draw people into this issue and that there will come a time when there are no more waiting kids in Arkansas.  (I wrote about why we walk earlier this month here.)


Yesterday got a bit turned on its head.  On Thursday, I got an email asking us to do an interview about Walk for the Waiting and adoption for the news on Friday.  I wanted to help, so I tried to work it out.  This involved having the news crew meet us at Lily's field trip and a babysitter and John and grabbing the twins early from therapy.  Lily's field trip ended up being canceled in stages (because of torrential rain), but the other wheels were already turning, so we ended up doing an interview at the Arkansas Arts Center and not needing the sweet babysitter who got dragged along in half the fun.  😁😁😁  Life is certainly never dull.


Rain was predicted to continue today, so the entire walk was set up indoors.


We walked around the concourse and tried to keep up with our children who tried to keep up with our friends.

(the free ice cream was a huge hit with this crowd.)

It was such a great day to see so many friends who are passionate about waiting children and finding families for those who need them.


I do feel strongly about this - the fact that children are languishing in foster care without forever families is a devastating thought.  When you read their stories or start to grasp what their lives lack in regards to permanency, security and love, it is and should be heartbreaking.  The system is broken, because people are broken, and children are the ones who often suffer.

So - if God is stirring your heart for any reason - listen!  You will never regret it.  It will have many hard moments, but it will always be worth it.  Every day of the week and then some.


Past Walk for the Waiting Blog Posts
{2015} {2014} {2013}

Friday, April 29, 2016


John and I have been spoiled rotten this month by getting to attend two concerts within three weeks.  Last night, we met up with friends (i.e. crashed their double date, which they graciously allowed us to turn into a triple!) to see Carrie Underwood.  She was incredible live - truly.  I got the tickets from a college friend last week, and they ended up being floor tickets - I've never been that close at a concert before.  Because the stage was 360 degrees, it was never too crowded, and we got to see Carrie up close!


Earlier this month, we saw Mumford & Sons who also put on a really great show.  I love beauty and truth, and my heart responds to both through deep emotion that often catches me off-guard, though I am more prepared for it as I get older.  I had an experience that reminded me again of the power that lays within truth, no matter where you hear it.  Mumford and Sons are certainly not a Christian band, but much of their music is laced with truth.  And since I spent a lot of time in college growing to understand that "All truth is God's truth," their concert turned into a worshipful experience for me.


During both concerts, the lights came up, and we were treated to a display of talent that is truly God given.  Because my musical abilities stack up to nil and none, I am always blown away watching people create music so eloquently and seemingly easily.


Here's to April and great artists coming through Little Rock - we've been so spoiled!

Wednesday, April 27, 2016


It's been a long time since I've complied some of the things that have entertained me recently.  Jimmy Fallon had Melissa McCarthy on a few weeks back with this hilarious lip sync battle as a result.

I know this zombie apocalypse prank video was shared about a million times online, but it is SO worth the watch.  I laugh with tears when I watch it.  😂😂😂

If you want to see the follow up on Ellen where they discuss the prank - here it is.

In the vein of pranks - check out this prank where people use what looks to be a real raptor to scare their co-workers in a parking garage.  😳😳😳

I have also been reading a TON this year.  I read mostly fiction, though I have been trying to warm myself to more non-fiction and memoirs.  (I give other book recs and a little background of my reading tastes here, if you're curious.)  Here are a few books that I've loved this year.

The Lake House by Kate Morton

This might have taken the place of The Secret Keeper as my new favorite Kate Morton - though I certainly have enjoyed most of her books.  It flashes back and forth from the past to the present to tell the story of a family mystery, and it is just a beautiful journey.

Eleanor and Park by Rainbow Rowell

After reading this book, I read almost everything else that Rainbow Rowell has written, because I enjoyed the style so much.  It would be considered a young adult book as a love story between two high schoolers, but the themes are a little grittier, and the characters are so endearing.  My other favorites by Rainbow Rowell were Fangirl and Attachments.  (There is some bad language - be warned.)

Little Beach Street Bakery by Jenny Colgan

This book would be considered classic chick lit, but it is so adorable and set in a charming English city by the sea, and I fell in love with everything.  It also made me want to bake more bread and includes recipes for things she makes in the book.  (another language warning)

The Chief Inspector Gamache Mystery Series by Louise Penny

I'm only three books in, but I am really enjoying this series.  Gamache is such a likable character with hero qualities, and you find yourself cheering for him.  These books (so far), are set in a small village in Canada with an assortment of interesting people and references to great food and art.  I definitely want to visit Three Pines - though I hope I don't get killed there.  (language warning)

Also - did you know that you can check out audio books through your local library on your phone?  Check it out!  My library system has SO many of the books that I want to read available on audio (or at least an e-book), and this helps feed my reading craze without breaking the bank.  I'm a huge fan!

Sunday, April 24, 2016


Throwing birthday parties is one of my favorite things to do as a mother.  And one of the reasons I always wanted twins is that I thought it would be great bang for our party buck to do a two for one!  For now, it works wonderfully.  In the vein of making life a little bit simpler for our family, we chose to host this party somewhere that wasn't our house.  It really did cut down on prep work, and it was still a great party- win, win.  Here's how it all went down.

We love Eric Carle books in our home, and The Very Hungry Caterpillar is one of the favorites.  I thought it would work for a boy/girl party nicely.


The only downside to having the party someplace else is that there is limited set-up time.  Thankfully, I had my party helpers of Mom and Wes (why didn't I take a picture of them???) to help me ahead of time, and John brought the children right at party time.  It turned out to be fine, and in the end, it didn't allow me to continue to "improve" (read: obsess) over details that aren't that big of a deal.


At one point when I was planning this party, I fully intended to have every food that the caterpillar ate on Saturday.  However, in trying not to be a party psycho, I pulled back and just did the fruit from Monday-Friday.


Everyone played and had a grand ole time.  The Wonder Place is really fantastic for younger children.


We headed back to the party room to eat and sing Happy Birthday to William and Violet who quietly sang along with the crowd.  They also blew out their candles like little champs!


We sent everyone on their way with caterpillar cookies.


William and Violet loved their party, even if they didn't love taking a picture after it.


Happy Birthday, Violet and William - we love you SO very much!

Twins' Past Parties
{Berenstain Bear Party}
{VW Party}

Friday, April 22, 2016


Today marks three years old for William and Violet.  Thinking about the miracles that God worked to place them into our family never gets old to me, and I look forward to sharing those stories with them when they are old enough to understand.  (You can read more of our adoption story here!)

Violet is sassy and spunky in the extreme.  She never stops moving.  She LOVES to help clean and take out the trash.  She has very specific ideas about what she wants to have happen at almost any given moment.  However, all of this is balanced by the overwhelming love and compassion and tenderness that she shows towards people.  She is the first to rush to any other child that may be crying, and she is incredibly affectionate.  I look forward to seeing the ways that God grows all of these into strengths that he can use.


William is my most chill child to date, and even he usually knows what he wants.  He is playful and likes to make us all laugh.  He is incredibly sensitive to disapproval or to being hurt in any way.  He loves to play with cars and trucks and Magna-tiles, and he really enjoys watching "toons" with his big sisters whenever the opportunity arises.  It is amazing to watch him grow and develop and start to understand the world.


Both twins have come so far in their therapy this year and have cut back on what they need.  Speech is the area where they have the most room for improvement, but it is amazing to see how far they've come and how much they are gaining all the time.  Being able to communicate with them is so very helpful, so I appreciate any and all progress is this area.

As with all of our children, I hope and pray about what their futures will hold.  I'm so thankful that God knows what he has for each of them already and is making the way for those things to come to fruition.  Being a "twin mom" has been much harder than I thought it would be and also much better. I'm so thankful for the opportunity to parent William and Violet and to have them as part of our family.

Here's to hoping that having two threenagers at the same time won't be too painful!

{Twins Turn One!}
{Twins Turn Two!}

Thursday, April 21, 2016


I absolutely cannot believe that there is only one more week in April.  How did that happen?  😳😳😳  Here are a few of the highs and lows from the past month.

High:  We had an actually good family walk one evening.  One of our children in particular has not been exactly great to take on these sorts of outings, but she seems to be improving, even if ever so slightly.  We'll take it!


High:  My sister welcomed my sweet niece into the world one Sunday morning in April, and she is beyond precious.  I am dying to get my hands on her and kiss her full cheeks.


Low:  Grocery shopping with these three.  They can be okay for about 20 minutes, but after that, it sort of devolves into a spectacle that draws a bit of attention.  I basically try to do it any time they are taken care of by someone else, but there are grocery emergencies, as every mother knows, and sometimes it cannot be avoided.  🙈


Low:  Realizing that I may need to take a teeny bit of a break from my relationship with sugar.  One day after making two pies for our D-Group, I ate three pieces of them.  In one day.  And I didn't feel very good - shocker.  So, I'm trying to cut back on my sugar intake in general, and since I'm aiming at anything less than three pieces of pie in a day, things are going better!  🙌


High:  Getting to celebrate a great year with these lovely women.  I already miss my Bloom group!


High:  The big girls and I enjoyed the beautiful wedding of one of our babysitters, and since she's moving away - we're really going to miss her!  The wedding really glorified the Lord, and I was thankful for Lily and Bella to witness something so moving, even if they can't yet understand everything.


Low:  We took all four kiddos to the dentist, which was a bit overdue.  The twins were not really game for having their teeth cleaned, and after she had screamed through a very minor teeth check, Violet then stuck out her tongue and spit it at the dentist.  She did it again when he smiled as he left the room.  Parenting has really delightful moments chock full of humility for us.  😝  Lily ended up having 3 (three!) cavities, and we found out that enamel failed to show up on one of Bella's permanent teeth, so we have more dentist visits in our immediate future.


High:  This past weekend, our church partnered with a predominantly African American church to do service projects all over the city.  We served at our school, and it really was a privilege to work alongside so many.  (I really chased William and Violet around all morning and made repeated trips to the potty, so I'm confident that I was not much more than moral support.)


We then had a joint service downtown in the amphitheater, and worshipping together with so many gave me a glorious picture of what eternity might look like.  We did get to spend a lot of time wheeling the antsy twins around, but otherwise, it was a great experience!


Low:  I backed into someone with our van.  When we got out to exchange info, she couldn't find any of hers and said her phone was dead.  I ended up texting all of my insurance info to what turned out to be a fake number that she gave me.  Fortunately - or rather unfortunately - none of this matters, since I was probably at fault.  Just another thing on our list of things that need to be fixed. 😁

High:  We enjoyed hosting our friend, Brian, all weekend for all kinds of family fun - including the service project.  I figured it helped if I could bring another capable adult to cancel out bringing the twins.  We 💙 Brian - though we missed Steph and the kiddos!


High:  We are nearing the twins' birthday, and they do actually seem older each day.  They graduated from Developmental Therapy which stops at three - we will miss Miss Sarah!


Low:  Anytime I try to take a picture of William, he says, "I no WANT to take a picture!" and hides his face.  Hopefully I can break him of that habit.  If I can wear him down with repetition, I certainly will.  😉

High:  John got to go to an NBA playoff game in San Antonio this week with several other CFA operators that he was traveling with for a conference.


This week I've been immersed in party projects to celebrate our sweet twinsies!