family

2018 (And the Last Day of 2017)

I love a new year in kind of the same way I love Mondays. A fresh start, new goals, a chance to reset and make the best of life. I’ve always kind of loved that my birthday falls at the beginning of a new year. A new year on the calendar, a new year in my life.

At the beginning of a new year I usually get really excited about goal setting. Overly excited about goal setting may be a more apt description of things :). I have a tendency to become too abmitious, bite off more than I can chew, and ultimately end up crashing and burning because I can’t live up to my own (pretty unrealistic) expectations. So this year I decided to do something different. Don’t get too excited–I’m by no means breaking new ground here. Instead of coming up with 10,000 I want to do better/differently, I chose a theme. I’m not even sure I did this the right way, but who’s making the rules here? (I AM! I’m making the rules!) It’s my new year, and I’m determined to do it my way. So the theme I’ve committed to his year is cultivate creativity. If the last couple years have taught me anything, it’s that buckling down and forcing myself to become more regimented often leaves me spinning my wheels rather than becoming more productive. Choosing a overarching theme allows me to loosely structure my life around that idea and to gradually get to where I want to be.

This year I want to infuse creativity into more areas of  my life  For example, creativity in my parenting might look like saying yes to my kids more often, even when it feels inconvenient to me. Creativity in my marriage may mean finding a way to have a date night after the girls are in bed if we don’t have the time or the money to go out that week. And cultivating creativity means spending more time doing/watching/listening to things that spark my imagination instead of mindlessly getting sucked into things. And again, this is something I just want to be mindful of. Like asking myself during the day, “what could I be doing right now that would inspire creativity?” and not, I need to do [blank number] of creative activities today.”

So, what do you do to get ready for a new year? Are you a goal-setter that sets out to achieve all sorts of things? Or do you choose a word or idea and try to let that affect every area of your life? Please share in the comments, I’d love to know!!

I also wanted to share a little bit of NYE 2017 with you as well. We had a pretty low-key day and were just really happy to spend it together after the hustle and bustle of Christmas.

We started out with coffee on the couch in the morning. If you know me even a little bit you know that one of my favorite things is a slow morning with my family and a full pot of coffee.

Later on we took the girls to the museum to put their Museum of Life and Science membership to use for the first time! It was such a good time for all of us. Corey and I got to sit and talk (and drink more coffee) while the girls ran around and played with all.the.things. I think this is going to end up being one of our very favorite gifts this year–and I’m not just talking about for the girls!

When we exhausted just about everything inside (because the high was in the 20s or some such nonsense and mama doesn’t play outside in cold weather!), we headed to NanaTaco for–what else–tacos! Much to our surprise it was nearly empty, which really never happens. We enjoyed taking our time with our meal and these two entertained us with their antics.

 

We came home and Corey and I broke out the champagne toast (early ;)), we all put on our jammies and slippers and snuggled up on the couch for a movie.

 

The girls were asleep by 10. Corey carried them up to bed and we crashed hard shortly after. It’s certainly not the NYE I desired or could have imagined in my 20s, but right now I wouldn’t have it any other way. These are my people and I couldn’t be more thankful.

I hope you’re having a great start to a fresh new year. I’m really looking forward to using this space a little more to create more of an authentic connection with you this year. I just can’t wait to see what all is in store!

 

Share

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…

Share

First Day of School: Round 2

Well, after I blogged about our first ever day of school with Teddy, we turned around and had another first day with JJ about 2 weeks later. The girls are in two separate schools this year, which sounds like way more of a headache than it actually is ;). We’re able to manage pick up and drop off times easily on my days off, and we have childcare lined up for both on the days I work. One of our huge saving graces here is that Teddy’s school is right across the street from Corey’s workplace. He can drop Jovia at her school on the early side, swing through the drop off line with Teddy, and then head to work. I’m so thankful that even though this has been a big transition all the logistical details sort of fell into place.

It’s been a huge change, but both of our kids love school, and we’re really grateful for the schools they’re in. I’ve actually struggled a lot with the adjustment of not knowing what goes on every day and what and how they’re learning and still trying to help them at home. I really did enjoy seeing how their little minds worked and getting creative with how we did school. I also loved that I knew exactly what they were learning and how.

There are still some times that I miss the home school days, and I’m still struggling with a lot of guilt over making the decision to put the girls in school. I don’t tell you this to garner any sort of sympathy or praise. When I’m able to think this through logically, I still know that sending my kids to school does not make me a bad mom. It’s just that I’m slowly coming to this realization that there is often a difference in our parenthood ideal and our parenting reality. And even more slowly, I’m coming to terms with the fact that what I imagine to be best for my kids sometimes in reality just will not work for our family. And you know what? I think I’m finding some peace and rest in that. God has given me the life I have and the kids I have. If home schooling really was the better choice for our family, I have no doubt that He would change our circumstances to allow that. So for right now we find ourselves in the pulic school system and we’re just really really thankful for access to good education for our kids.

So, JJ. She was more excited for school than just about any kid I’ve ever known. There was not a day that went by in the weeks leading up to the beginning of the year that we didn’t hear about school and how thrilled she was to be going. And the questions. She had aout 50 million questions about what would happen and how. Most of them I could not aswer adequately (sorry, JJ) because this girl thrives on details and wanted every.little.one. Several days before her first full day she and Corey attended the school open house and were able to meet her teacher. That night she was over the moon with excitement over a teacher who has “brown skin just like me” and a little girl she already knew from our friends’ old neighborhood in her class. I think from that moment on she was literally counting the hours until she got to start school. Her excitement was contagious and relieved a lot of my anxiety about sending a kid who had never seen the inside of a classroom into second grade.

Does she look so sweet or what? Jjajja sent us first day of school dresses and this one had tiny elephants all over it and a crisscross back. Her sense of style is on point. 😉

I got to walk her into her classroom on the first day and meet her teacher quickly before saying goodbye. She skipped down the hallway, holding my hand and chattering about how great her classroom was and how much fun she was going to have.

<<<<
e second day, she was ready to tackle the walk by herself. She stopped me about 30 yards from the front doors, said “I can go by myself now,” walked a little way, turned around and waved at me, then skipped the rest of the way to the doors.

And that’s that. She’s been just as enthusiastic about school every morning since. She’s put in a lot of hard work so far this year—she’s still really behind in a lot of areas—but she is loving the social aspect of attending school and her desire to learn has not waned. For now, this seems like a good fit and I’m so thankful for God’s provision and grace for my kiddos. ❤️

Share