About hartsindurham

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Black Friday Favorites

Happy Thanksgiving and happy Black Friday!! I’m linking some of my favorites from the last two weeks, as well as some things I’m shopping for this Christmas. Can you all believe we’re coming up on another Christmas? I really can’t–this year just flew by, but I’m so excited that the most wonderful time of the year is upon us again!

Our adoption

This post from earlier last week. I am thrilled to start sharing our journey with you all! In the next couple of weeks, Corey and I are going to make some YouTube videos talking about our adoptions and answering questions. Feel free to leave a comment below with any questions you have about adoption in general or our story in particular. We’ll do our best to answer them!

Christmas gifts

I know some of you are super on the ball and probably finished your shopping for the year already, but I love shopping this time of year for my friends and family. I love the atmosphere of the stores, I love walking around with a salted caramel mocha in hand and browsing stores while Christmas music plays, and I love being out and about in the chilly air and coming home to a warm fire (and more coffee ;)).

We try to keep Christmas relatively simple in our house, and this year is no different. We’re focusing on experiences rather than things this year, so the girls are going to get year-long passes to some museums and things they love in the RDU area. In addition, we’re getting them just a couple things we’ve been eyeing for awhile, including some books. The Jesus Storybook Bible is a staple in just about every Christian household, and ours is no different. We read it nightly to our girls and we all love it. in our hourand read it almost every night but….we read it almost every night. We need something to mix it up a bit and this one has a story with three questions for more discussion at the end, which I’m super excited about! Both girls are getting to the place where they really understand and want to talk about the things we’re reading in the Bible and I think this format will be really helpful.

I’ve heard over and over again how amazing this book by Trillia Newbell is, and I can’t tell you how thankful I am to have a story of God’s redemption with all His people prominently featured. It is so important to us to show our girls that the Gospel is not just for one particular type of person. Jesus was sent to earth to redeem people from every tribe, tongue and nation. I just cannot wait to dig into this book with my kids!

And our big secret that we haven’t even hinted at with the girls–we’re getting them a Kindle this year! I love that these kid Kindles have access to apps for games AND the capability to read books. And the parental controls that allows parents to set a timer that causes the device to shut down when time is up. This is a HUGE bonus for us and really what swayed us in the direction of getting this particular model for the girls. We have lots of arguments over screen time and a lot of attempted negotiations when it’s time to transition to something else. I think the timer feature will eliminate a lot of that for us, which really just makes everyone’s life easier and more pleasant ;).

Christmas outfits

The other thing I’ve been on the hunt for this week is a Christmas outfit for each of the girls. Corey’s sister is getting married at the beginning of December, so their dresses this year will do double duty for the rehearsal dinner and Christmas Eve. I really love clothes for little girls and picking out Christmas outfits is so FUN! Right now I’ve got my eye on these with these overtop. I think they’re casual enough for the rehearsal, but festive enough for a Christmas Eve service. Old Navy is having some great sales, so check out their website for some really cute clothes at good prices.

I’m planning to wear this dress in navy. It’s super soft and the elastic waist just makes it extra comfortable. I actually had it altered (if you follow me on Instagram, I had a whole saga in my stories on this. Ha!) to make it closer to knee length instead of mid-calf. Now I just need a great pair of shoes to wear with it ;).

Beach time!

We headed to the beach for Thanksgiving this week and it has been such a relaxing holiday. Instead of cooking this year, we headed out to enjoy a seafood dinner. No pressure, no fuss–just lots of quality family time. I really cannot think of anything better! And of course later on we enjoyed one of our favorite Thanksgiving traditions: watching America’s team play! I loved spending Thanksgiving this way…maybe we’ll make it a tradition??

I hope you all had a great Thanksgiving and that you get to sped the weekend surrounded by people you love.


I Will Come to You: Our Adoption Story

It was almost exactly two years ago that I sat with my best friend in my dining room folding little girls’ clothes. Timidly, I spoke her name out loud. The name I had uttered so many times before. Silently in prayers pleading with God to give her a family, quietly when asking my hurting friend if she’d heard anything more about her. But I had never said her name in a conversation so heavy with meaning for me personally.

Right now, I can’t believe that this same little girl is lying asleep on my bedroom floor next to her little sister. Curled up in a sleeping bag that her daddy bought for her because hardly stops talking about “when we all go camping.” In the moments when I pause to think about her and her sister all I can come up with is–how can it be??

On that day two years ago after a long discussion about the whys and the why nots, I had pretty much talked myself out of the very idea. She would not be my daughter—could not. There were too many impossible hurdles to overcome. I wasn’t sure why I felt so burdened for her. Certainly, it wasn’t the first time I had prayed for a family for this precious child.

But still….something was different. God seemed to be calling us to action.

This story has been a long time in the works. Maybe even longer than any of us realize. I have been hesitant to share the details of our adoption story. For so long everything just felt so raw. Like opening a not-yet-healed wound. Although, that’s a poor analogy because there has been so much joy. But the heartache that is so entwined with every adoption has hung like a shadow over me at times. As we near the anniversary of our time in Uganda once again, I’m filled with nostalgia. Everywhere I look I remember this time two years ago. How we were so prepared for our daughter. And then God knocked us off our feet again. This year I’m able to look beyond the pain to see how God brought us all together at just the right time. And in a way only He could.

Here is our story…


Your Friday Favorites

This week I wanted to do something different with my Friday Favorites and ask you all for your favorites! Give me all your best advice about these things.


I’ve come to the end of my planner and I need a new one at the beginning of the year. Here’s my issue–I really like my planner to run July-July rather than January-January. I just think it’s more convenient with the girls’ school schedules if I can sit down and write in all their days off and field trips at the beginning of the year in one planner. So I need a planner from January through the end of June right now, and then a July to July one. Do they make those? Should I just go super cheap now and then get a nice one in June? Are there cheap planners that are actually nice? I know there are planner people out there that are totally particular about their planners, so give me your favorites! Which planner do you love and why??


I’ve been wearing CoverGirl Smoothers for years now, but it just feels kind of heavy and disappears too soon for my looooong days. What recommendations do you have for a really great under eye concealer that lasts all day. I also have pretty dark circles under my eyes (thanks nursing career and kiddos!), so I definitely need something to counteract that.

Fall Foods

I’m really in need of some recipes to add to my repertoire. I love cooking in the fall when warm comforting food just tastes so good, but I feel like I’ve had the same recipes on repeat for the last several years. What are some of your favorite dinner recipes for fall? Links to blogs or online magazines would be super helpful!

Comedy TV Series

My goal for this year was to really clean it and organize the house. But I need a good light-hearted show I can stream while I’m doing it. It just helps so much with the motivation, ya know?? 😉 Here are my musts: it has to be comedy–I’m just not in a place in life that I can handle anything too heavy (especially while I’m cleaning), it has to be funny but also clever and witty, and it has to be on either Amazon or Netflix. Is there anything out there that fits the bill?? I should probably mention I’ve watched (and rewatched) every season of 30 Rock, How I Met Your Mother, Friends (watched to DEATH), Parks and Rec, and The Office.

And last but not least…<<< e finally started writing about our adoption--how we started, what happened in the middle, and how we saw God show up in a BIG way in the end. I’ll post once or twice a week sharing our story and here’s what I want to know--if I did some of this on my blog in written form and some of it on YouTube videos would you be interested in following along both places? Sometimes I think it’s just a little hard to convey emotions and all the things we thought and felt here on the blog. And I thought it would be a fun way to sort of “interact.” Let me know what you think!