this is it

So- I took the whole summer off of blogging.  Unintentional.. but I had a sense that might be coming.  Whoops.  I’m okay with that. Blogging has never and will never be about stats or followers.  It’s been a place to put my voice.  It’s where I write thoughts that I’ve been tossing around for weeks.  It’s where I document our family and how we’re growing/changing. And if it’s a place where others can come to hopefully be encouraged, or inspired, or just not feel alone.. major bonus!  And so- I’m back.. with a lot of words needing to be written. First of which-  This is it –

My mother-in-law sent me a photo copy from a devotional I had sent her this summer.  (I love how it came back to me!)  The devotional went like this:

This is what I’m finding, in glimpses and flashes- this is it.  This is it, in the best possible way.  That thing I’m waiting for, that adventure, that movie score worthy experience unfolding gracefully.  This is it.  Normal, daily life ticking by on our streets and sidewalks, in our houses and apartments, in our beds and at our dinner tables, in our dreams and prayers and fights and our secrets. I believe that this way of living, this focus on the present, the daily, the tangible, this intense concentration not on the news headlines but on the flowers growing in the garden, the children growing in your own home, this way of living has the potential to open up the heavens, to yield a glittering handful of diamonds where a second ago there was only coal.  This way of living and noticing and building can crack through the movie sets and soundtracks that keep us waiting for our own life stories to begin, and set us free to observe the lives we have been creating all along without even realizing it.  

June first we were licensed with foster care and have spent the majority of our summer with at least one extra kiddo here.  So this break from blogging for me has been largely consumed by parenting.  Summer break + foster kids… Just imagine how excited I am for school to start in SIX days!!  It’s always interesting to me how people will choose to respond to major life changes you are making.  With foster care I’ve heard a few reactions. But mostly the question “why do that NOW?”  My response “why not?”

The foster care system is heart breaking.  I have to be really careful in not posting identifying pictures on social media, or giving too many of the details about the four kids we’ve now had in our home- but it is summed up well by saying it has broken my heart. I’ve allowed myself to see the faces and stories of “foster care”.  I’ve allowed myself to fall in love with kids that are not my own and won’t permanently be a part of my life.  But the heart break again teaches me that there is beauty in pain.  Real beauty.  By opening ourselves up to this we’ve seen our three kids respond amazingly to loving and caring for complete strangers to them. We’ve had people in our church family join the foster care team by lending us baby gear, bringing us meals, babysitting, and just listening.  We’ve had my sister Debbi stop in more with coffee and cuddle time (for the kids) and show up instantly to help treat our two-year-old foster girl who had lice.  Like major lice.  That is love!

When we started the paperwork for foster care I had so many questions and doubts about how this would work for our family.  Three months in and I am so so thankful that we didn’t wait.  That we didn’t put off this feeling that we were to be involved thinking that a better time was coming.  Foster care is changing me.  I am able to look at our three kids with new eyes.  I’m able to see motherhood (with all the ups and downs) as a much bigger gift- because I have them here.  Day in and day out I have my family.  Through our dreams, prayers, fights, and victories.

This is it!


It’s been a blur of spring.  We’ve celebrated FOUR birthdays since I last wrote here.  We now have a 7, 5, and 3 year old ( husband is another year older).  The kids are getting so big which makes sense.. I’ve been feeling older.

In May we took a “real” family vacation to Florida with the Underwoods (all nine of us!)  It was beautiful, warm, and so relaxing.  We were sad to leave knowing it will be a good while till we’re together again. Family is a gift to have around and helping.  Period.

Last week I took the girls and watched as Jameson “graduated” from kindergarten.  So amazing to watch this guy grow over the past year.  The charter school has been a great fit for him.  He soared academically, met new friends, found a passion for playing soccer during recess, and loved his teacher.  At the close of the school year he came up with what he wanted to get her as a gift and on his own wrote her a thank you card that closed with “you’re the best teacher a kid could ever have“.  And then I cried. :)

Kindergarten year was a success.. for that I am SO thankful.

My husband (Ryan) has been training for his first marathon.. which is 26.2 miles of running. I cannot even imagine doing this to my body.  Watching him train makes me more tired and more motivated at the same time.  It’s a weird combination.  I 100% support this guy! When he puts his mind to something.. he does it.  And he does it well.  I think it’s the combination of being stubborn and gifted.  I have loved watching the things he has accomplished.  Excited to cheer him on in new adventures for his 32nd year!

The spring has come fast and furious which leaves me in this perfectly happy state at home.  I’m excited to mow the grass and plant more flowers.  I’m excited to walk and run and stay outside as much as possible.  Because I know what happens next- I’ll be sending TWO kids off on the school bus! And then I’ll cry.  And smile.

I also DON’T know what happens next.  As of June 1st we’re active and waiting for a placement with foster care.  AH!  I’ve shared a bit here about our journey thinking about foster care.  It’s been a six month process since we made that first call to the county.  In all honesty, I’ve felt quite uncomfortable the whole six months.  But when I stop thinking about me and the reservations and questions I have..  and I’m able to think of kids with broken stories.  Then I’m okay.  I’m okay with reservations and not having answers.  I’m okay with being uncomfortable.  Because I was being pretty pitiful thinking only of myself in the first place.

So the months ahead here on the blog may be quiet like the months before.. but visit once in awhile.  This space will still be updated-  at least with pictures!

Happy summer to you friends!

switching things up

Given the lack of response on my last blog post- I take it you guys don’t do spring cleaning.  Strange.  Well- it’s a thing.

I’ve tried something a little different this year with spring cleaning and have been cleaning one room at a time. Like a serious deep clean.  I’m dumping out closets and washing curtains.  How far am I?  Two rooms down.  Which means spring cleaning will be done somewhere in the fall months.  We’ll just call it the epic clean of 2015.

I like order.  I like clean.  I like minimal.  That’s how I’d describe how I want my home to feel.  But then I have three cuties (four) and a puppy and I know REAL life means there will be little order and clean is oh so so temporary!  I don’t maintain things daily/weekly.  Piles form, potty training happens, the calendar goes crazy, and things get rotated from one space to a messier space. All this to say- extra focus on ONE space is refreshing.

This is also my first spring cleaning since reading this book mentioned here, but I find myself thinking Myquillyn (the authors) tips about how to “shop your house” and make it work for you. I’ve moved shelving, donated, and then in the middle of cleaning room #1 it dawned on me that it really would make more sense if Ry and I switched bedrooms with our girls. Their room looks more like the master bedroom as the main wall is actually big enough to have an end table on both sides of the bed.  Imagine!  In our current room setup my side of the bed is in the corner which means I get a crack to get out of in the mornings.  It’s dangerous.  Especially since I don’t have my glasses on (because I can’t store them on an end table beside me), there is absolutely NO coffee in my system, and my sleep medication is still wearing off.

Myquillyn would do it!  She’d tell me to switch the bedrooms!

I thought the idea was inspired and couldn’t wait to tell Ry!  Ry didn’t call it inspired.  He called it WORK.  Twelve years later and we still haven’t changed each another.. and I should have known Ry’s first reaction wouldn’t be to praise my inspiration/creativity.

I often approach change with “why wouldn’t we?” my husband with “why would we?” During one of our discussions on the bedroom swap idea I said something to the extent of people switching bedrooms and repainting bedrooms ALL THE TIME.  To which I felt the need to add: “how many times did you switch bedrooms at your house in Hendersonville growing up?” (I just knew that would add another point on my side).  His response: “NEVER”.  And I just stared at him.  Never?

We’re okay.  I like to think deep down Ry married me (partially) because I ask why wouldn’t we?  He calls me nuts, he usually gets on board with my ideas, and in the end we have another story to tell.  Like the time we switched bedrooms…

spring calendar

Happy March!  Spring is only eighteen days away now.. which means there is hope. Spring is certain to happen.

I found this vintage calendar at Goodwill last week.  The art for each month is amazing.  I haven’t decided yet if I’ll use it just like this or if I’ll cut it up to frame as art.  Either way- treasures like this cannot be left abandoned.  What would you do with it?  


Today the sun is shining bright through dirty windows.  I have my new favorite candle burning, and laundry is moving from a mountain in the basement to stacks on the couch. (I built a fort in the living room which will hopefully entertain the girls for a good long while so the stacks make it upstairs!)

I’m also making a list of small projects to finish up and spring cleaning to accomplish this month before starting a super small part-time job working at a coffee shop a block from our house. If you know me this is where I should be.  Coffee and I have a serious relationship.  Plus- working there also ties into one of my goals for this year.

I’m curious – what do you put on your spring cleaning/shopping list?  Inspire me!