Wednesday, February 15, 2017

God is good

I know God is good but sometimes it takes seeing Him in my own life to remember just how good.  I am a person who struggles with anxiety.  I'm a worrier.  I can't count the number of times I've prayed for the peace of God in my life.  I'm constantly struggling with handing over my concerns to God and then not worrying about them anymore.  And right now we have one of the first big worrisome steps to our adoption coming up and I have a real peace about it.

This Friday we have our home visit for our home study.  For those of you who don't know a social worker will come to our house and do a couple of things.  First of all they have to tour the home to make sure it adheres to safety standards and there is ample room for a child.  Secondly they have to interview us together and separately and ask us a bunch of personal, invasive questions.

According to my track record I should be worried about cleaning the house enough.  I expected my thoughts to go like this: Should I steam clean the carpet?  When did I last clean the washing machine?  Is she going to check under our bed?  Is she going to think us unfit for the bottle of wine in the fridge?  Will I say something that makes me sound like an unfit mother?  Will my past struggle with depression keep me from being able to adopt?

But that's not how I feel.  And honestly I really feel like Satan is trying to rattle me good this week.  And I'm not taking the bait.  On Tuesday we picked up my car from the shop, I had a minor fender bender in Dec (not my fault) and it had to have a door replaced.  After all the paperwork and inspection was done, I got into the care and it wouldn't start....dead battery.  We got it started, I drove it home I loaded up my little Vibe with bags of Goodwill donations (this is what nesting looks like to an adoptive mother) and then the car wouldn't start.  Ok, Adam said he could fix it when he got home, that's fine.  So I decided to get a jump on tidying up for Friday, I turn on my vacuum and it lets out a terrifying high pitched scream,  It's no longer working. Alrighty then.

Can't go anywhere, can only do some of the cleaning.  As it turns out Adam ordered a new part for the vacuum and it should be here Thursday, but if it's not I don't think I care.  I vacuum once a week so the house isn't a huge mess.  I will dust it and clean it, and if God allows I'll vacuum it.

There is one thing keeping me at peace and it can only be God.  I believe God has given us a heart for adoption.  There is nothing I can do that will keep God's plan for our life from coming to fruition.  If something goes wrong with this home study or it takes us longer than I'd like to be matched with a child, or if the first mother who chooses us ends up changes her mind God will be with us.  I've never had more clarity that we're on the right path, then I do right now.  I don't know how this is going to all look, or where this path bends, but God does and all we keep praying is that he'll just show us the next step.  And he has been so faithful.

I hope wherever you are in life you learn to trust God.  And that's coming from someone who has wasted so much time trying to trust my own abilities over God's.

God Bless  (and if you should think about us on Friday, say a prayer, we'd really appreciate it)

Sunday, January 1, 2017

2017: our most exciting year yet

As of today Adam and I have been married for over 9 years.  In all those years we lived 3 different places (well different buildings, same city), been to countless plays, weddings and funerals, and have had our puppy for over 6 years.  We've bought cars, appliances (furnaces are expensive), motorcycles and one house.  We've had a lot of exciting times in 9 years with a lot of dull quiet times in between.  So what could we possibly be doing this year that's more exciting, more terrifying, and more awesome than all those other things?

We are starting our adoption journey.  

Ok let's back up a little bit, and give some history.  I have always wanted to adopt.  I have just thought it was a neat idea to give a child a home.  I chalk it up to growing up in a great family.  I guess I just wanted to share that.  And as I grew older I learned that not everyone thinks like that, so I've since realized it's God giving me a heart for orphans.  And if God puts something on your heart you should probably listen.  

Believe me most of the women I know (meaning all but one) have a desire to birth children.  I've never had that ever.  When I think kids, I just think adoption.  It's how my brain is wired.  And before we got married, we talked about it and decided if/when we did the whole kids thing we would do it through adoption.

So why did it take us 9 years to decide to start?  In all honestly, it's because we're big chickens.  Well that's part of the reason.  As I may have mentioned in the past we had a rough couple of years in the beginning of our marriage.  So we spent much needed time working on that.  We met some great friends at church who taught us how to be married.  It was definitely a good choice.  And then we fell into what is admittedly a selfish routine.  We're young, we have good income, and we have very little responsibilities.  So it was hard to choose to move out of that lifestyle into what is the most challenging and terrifying thing you can a parent.

But then my best friend had a kid, and for the first time in my life I was a little jealous.  Or maybe I was just sad that we weren't going through this phase of life together.  But during that time (her kid is 1 and 1/2 now) I prayed a lot.  See she had been trying to have a baby for more than a year and I saw the desire she had for kids and I realized I didn't have it.

So my prayer went like this. "God, I feel like we are supposed to adopt kids,I feel like you've placed adoption on my heart.  But I don't have that burning all consuming desire for kids, and we need that to start adopting.  So please if this is what we're supposed to do, please change my heart."

I prayed that a lot.  And at the end of 2015 something changed.  Adam and I were talking a lot about stepping up to the plate and having kids. And we decided 2016 was going to be our year, we were going to start the process by the end of the year.  The instant we said that, my heart changed.  I realized every time I saw a baby that I wished it was mine, and my arms started to ache to hold my own baby.  I started to feel an emptiness in my heart.  Every holiday I wondered if next year I would have a kid, mother's day was particularly sad.

I was ready for kids, but we had one more hurdle...well we have lots of hurdles, but the last hurdle to the start line was....Adam,  If you're wondering why it took us all of 2016 to fill out our home study application it's because we were waiting for Adam to be ready.  As the sole earner of the family (my writing career hasn't made any moola...yet) the thought of kids made Adam instantly worry about money.  We got a lot of advice from friends and family encouraging us that everyone has that worry, and we shouldn't let it stop us from starting our family.

At this point we're ready.  Well as ready as a first time parent can be.  In complete honesty, we're trusting God, while being completely truly terrified.  We've never been parents before.  The thought is completely overwhelming at times.  But being afraid of change, isn't anyway to live.  So we're stepping out in faith.

And I have loved reading other people's adoption stories because they are all so different, and it's encouraging to not be alone.  So I hope our story can encourage you.  

I'll update as things change.  But on days I'm not posting here, you can be sure we're prepping for baby, and praying that God will keep us sane in the process.  Let's do this together :)

God Bless-

Wednesday, December 28, 2016

My Christmas gifts

I got super spoiled this year at Christmas.  I am gift person.  It's the quickest way to my heart.  I know that might sound superficial, but it really isn't.  When someone gives me something, it says to me that they went out of their way to think about me, and that's what touches me.  So I don't need diamonds, just a little something.  Case in point, one time in a workplace gift exchange my secret Santa got me a really cute note pad with matching pen, and it almost made me cry, cause it was so perfect for me.  I'm a sucker for office supplies.

So what was I given this year?  Well first up my homemade gift from my darling husband.  I love homemade gifts, I really do, they're my favorite.  The two weeks before Christmas Adam kept disappearing into the garage (aka his wood shop) and wouldn't tell me what he as making.  On Christmas morning I opened this:
And I did almost cry.  It hit all my crying buttons.  It was homemade by my one true love, it was a surprise, and it was super thoughtful.  I've spent the last year writing a book, I've let no one read and at the end of the year my husband is still supportive.  That is amazing to me.  How did I get so lucky?

My only problem is that I simultaneously want to write in it, and also want to display it and never use it.  But Adam assures me that the paper is replaceable, so I will be using it.

Ok so that wasn't my only fantastic gift.  I don't mean to discount all the other things people got me.  I have been very blessed.  But when a gift actually makes you front of people, it is in it's own category.

My mom got me a bunch of mugs, because I have a mug problem. I freakin love them. So I'm opening up the mugs and they have cute little Christmas sayings on them like Believe and Joy, and there was one that said Create and then there was this one...

I cried.  No that's not a sufficient description.  I bawled, in front of my whole family.  I couldn't stop.  I've never sobbed like that in front of people.  A little backstory we are currently starting the process of adoption and this was her way of supporting us.  And it was the first time anyone has referred to me as a mom, and it was so touching.   It was possibly the best gift she's ever given me, and she gives great gifts.

So thank you to my amazing family.  This was truly one of the best Christmases.  And I look forward to using that mug, maybe even next Christmas.

God Bless-

Sunday, October 2, 2016

The BIG project: Entertainment Center

**So I haven't posted anything in a while, and I realized today I owe you this post.**

Let's start at the beginning...

So my husband....light of my a project starter.  He loves to start projects around the house but that doesn't mean he likes finishing them. For example we've lived in this house for 6 years and he hasn't completed putting up all the trim.  **Insert unhappy wife face here**  But I've come to love him anyway :)  One of his biggest projects lately has been the entertainment center.  On Thanksgiving 2014 he tried to convince me he could start and finish it before we had the family over for Christmas Day.  Luckily I saw through his good intentions and stopped that from happening.  So he started it in January 2015...And finished this in February 2016.   Sheesh.   It's hard to complain because it looks so freaking good.  (prepare yourself for a photo dump)

 Can you believe we didn't think to take a before picture?  I could only find this one.
  Here's what the room looked like before we moved in furniture or put down a rug.

We didn't have an entertainment center, we just used an old sofa table.  Talk about wires everywhere.  So we searched around (meaning we went to Ikea and searched Pintrest) and just couldn't find an entertainment center we liked which is why when Adam found the following picture in The Family Handyman magazine we both fell in love.

Ah the source of our inspiration and also the source of all the fights in our house in 2015.

Throughout the process of building this Adam liked to remind me that I'm the one who told him we should build this.  Which is true, but if he hadn't also liked it he never would have agreed to it.  First things first, he removed one of the only pieces of trim that was actually up to make room for the giant structure, cue crying wife.  Then he created the giant structure.  It then sat in the living room for months before anymore work was done on it.  Then it took forever to decide on the lights we wanted to use, and finally Adam wired them up to make sure we liked the look of them.

Here are some of the "in process" photos.
The beginning of the gigantic frame. (you can see our little sofa table next to the couch)
(oh darling, the time stamp on this pic was 1/17/2015)

As you can see the lights are in and some temporary pieces of drywall are up to give us the first look at what the finished project might look like.  Oh and this is the view from the front door...needless to say we didn't have many people over in 2015. (poor Pepper's wondering when the chaos will end)

A closer look at those first few pieces of drywall.

Adam bought this T.V. bracket online and he keeps raving about it.  It was particularly useful during the build.  It comes out from the wall 22 inches and also swivels.  Also at this time Adam anchored the wooden structure to the wall.

During his vacation week in September Adam got all the drywall up.  His habit of turning on the lights every time he comes into this room, started this week.  (I'll let you know if he ever stops)  This picture is so misleading, because believe me at this point I thought we were almost done.
Little did I know how long it would take to mud and sand all of these corners.
Next came little metal thingys on the corners.  I'm told are called Metal Beads.  Then the mudding began starting with all the screw holes.
And then the tarp went up.
Then came the sanding...oh the sanding!  Drywall dust is the worst!  It felt like it would never end.
For months the tarp was up...I had to re-visit this post to even remember what it looked like behind there.
Finally the tarp came down and all the sanding, and mudding, and re-sanding was finished.
Thank you Lord, the light at the end of the tunnel.
(Thought I'd show at least one photo of Adam working, so you didn't get the idea elves came in and did all the work).
And then all the cleaning began.  This is the point where I spent a forever cleaning the entire house of copious amounts of drywall dust.  Believe me it's a nightmare.

Then it was painting time!
The first layer of paint--primer.
To be honest as hard as Adam has worked on this I was glad to be able to help at this point.

We chose to paint the shelves the same color as the surrounding room (Behr: Light Beige).  Then we taped off each little cube and painted the back wall the accent color that took us forever to pick out.  I'm pretty sure we have at least 10 paint samples that didn't make the cut, before we picked this. (Valspar: Navy Blue).

The middle row of cubbies was tall enough that we had glass shelves custom cut to break up the space.  We're constantly rearranging nick nacks and mementos but here's the final project to date.
I'll do another post someday talking about all the little things we have in the cubbies.  For now the piece de resistance is the antique card catalog (featured Top Center) we found at an auction.  Adam is planning on making crates for toys (for nieces and nephews), to fill the bottom row.  Also we're working on putting shelves behind the t.v. to hide our movies and Wii games.

Well there it is, we survived another home renovation.  We're both still living and our marriage is's a miracle! :)  There are a million reasons I love this entertainment center but the one that comes to mind right now is that we've made our cookie cutter house look a little more custom built.

To my darling husband.  Thank you.  It might have taken long, but it was worth the wait.  I am glad to be able to share your handy work with the world.  I'm proud of you and this masterpiece you've created.  I'm so blessed to have you in my life.  

God Bless-

p.s. Adam's thoughts on ever doing this again...he wouldn't drywall it.  He said he would just build the whole thing out of wood and paint it, and it would take a fraction of the time.  Keep that in mind if it's something you might want to do.

Tuesday, February 16, 2016

Jewelry Box

I just realized it's half way through February and I haven't shared a single post about something Adam has made.  My hubby is super creative very talented when it comes to wood working.  Today I'm going to show you the Jewelry Box he made me.

The very first thing Adam ever made me was this little box.

He often tells me he's going to take it back to the garage and refinish the wood, but I like it just the way it is.

But not long after he made me this I realized I had a lot more jewelry.  So I started looking online to see what other options were out there.  And the one I liked the most was a jewelry box that was hidden behind a full length mirror.  I actually figured we'd get use out of it.  I really didn't want another piece of furniture cluttering up our bedroom, so a mirror that you can hang on the wall was perfect.

So here's a picture of our walk in closet with the Jewelry box at the back.  You can see it doubles as a scarf holder.  Oh and you're looking at Adam's half, I chose this point of view so you wouldn't have to see a reflection of the toilet that's right behind me.  You're welcome. :)  And yes this closet is one of the reasons we bought the house, I'll never be able to go back to tiny closets again.

Now it's time to open 'er up.  We decided on gray fabric to cover the back.

On the left side is foam behind the fabric so you can poke earrings into it.  Then below that some hooks for bracelets.

The right side is for necklaces.  And the bottom is for all those little pieces that don't fit anywhere else.  And yes looking at this, makes me realize I need to clean it out and get rid of pieces I never wear.

It's the perfect piece and having the mirror in the closet is perfect.

Isn't my man so talented? I think so :)