Monday, October 23, 2017

Life Lately

So...I've posted once in the past year.

The past 21 months have been the hardest of my life. Full of joy, but also frustration. I've felt happiness and hurt, contentment and frustration, excitement and pain.

We have fostered 5 kids between ages 10 and 18, adopted one 17 year old, helped one 18 year old transition out of the foster care system into adulthood and currently have 2 (ages 11 and 17) living with us.

I have hesitated about posting on here about it, because I have so many fears - fears of sharing too much, fears of sharing too little, fears of certain people reading my words and somehow using them again me, fears of our kids reading them and being hurt or feeling exposed, but I believe that God has us on this path not only to care for the 5 kids he's brought to us, but to share about this crazy world of foster care/adoption that is not talked about enough, that is not shared enough while there are hurting kids out there that just need at least one caring adult to change their entire lives. Programs, the government, money cannot be what helps them - they need love. And if they don't get it from loving parents, they will seek it elsewhere, no matter what "assistance" is given to them.

So I can't share details, but I CAN share what God is teaching me and generally what it looks like. And y'all, I need blogging back in my life. I miss it. I miss y'all though I've kept up with many of you in other ways. I can't do this to make money or be stressed about sticking to a posting schedule or beat myself up when I don't post for a while.

I have a full-time job, a very stressful one at that, but I don't feel that God is telling me to leave it. I feel like I'm where I am supposed to be for now.

I sit here drinking my pumpkin spice coffee (yay for all things fall!) in my Best Mom mug (thank you Tiffany!!!), the weather is getting cooler here and I just had sweet time with Jesus. My life normally is the opposite of this. But my parents took the kids for the weekend and allowed my husband and I to relax and just spend time together. I didn't even realize how much I needed this!


It takes me over a year to finish a Bible study (still working on Caroline's study though it's amazing!), I rarely get alone time and all I focus on is how stressed I am. But this morning, God reminded me that I need to just BE STILL (Psalm 46:10, Exodus 14:14). Be still, Kelli! Focus on Me, don't worry about all those things that stress you out.

I'm ready to take my life back from stress and worry and give it to God. Let Him be in control instead of trying to control it myself. Psalm 37 has been on repeat for me lately. I'm going to read it every day for a while.

"Commit everything you do to the Lord. Trust Him and He will help you. He will make your innocence radiate like the dawn, and the justice of your cause will shine like the noonday sun. Be still in the presence of the Lord and wait patiently for Him to act." - Psalm 37:5-7

On Friday, we just stayed home, cooked dinner and caught up on This Is Us episodes. I was exhausted from crying because that darn show makes me cry every single time! I love love love that they're showing foster care now! The adoption story also hit home, though it was a bit unrealistic. Unfortunately, when kiddos meet their bio parents later in life, it's normally not such a pretty story. But I hope it is for some! However, this foster care story with the young girl coming into Randall's home is on the money. Welcome to our life!

On Saturday, we slept in, I finished Big Little Lies (the show, since I had read the book a while back) and then we went to Wimberley to shop, visit wineries and eat at the original Salt Lick BBQ. Oh my goodness it was delicious. We used to get more trips like this before kids so it was really fun!






I hope to blog more often so come back! There is so much to catch up on!

Friday, January 20, 2017

10 Random Facts About Myself

I saw Jenny's post linking up to Erin and even though the link up is over, I thought it'd be fun to join in anyway!


{1}

I CANNOT stand nail files. I do not use them and I hate when people around me use them. Even the sound makes me cringe! I will spend forever shaping my nails with clippers until they are perfect so that I don't have to use one of those.

{2}

If I could re-do college and my career choice, I would have studied mechanical engineering and become an astronaut. It was a childhood dream and it just hasn't gone away. But I'm not going back to school at this point! My accounting degree is just fine!

{3}

I often feel like Kevin and I are crazy. We don't know a single family that started foster/adopt like we did (young, no kids, BAM! older kids overnight). We do have friends that have older adopted kids, but they were younger when they came to them or they had biological kids before fostering/adopting. I wonder if we're the crazy ones for doing it the way we have.

{4}

I have a lot of anxiety - especially since starting foster care. I've gotten to where I drink decaf coffee because the caffeine in regular coffee just puts me over the edge.

{5}

I cannot sleep in PJ pants! I hate it. I love wearing them around the house but I HAVE to sleep in shorts, no matter how cold it is. PJ pants get all bunched up and drive me bonkers!

{6}

I'm often mistaken as my kids' sister. While I take it as a compliment that I look young, it makes me feel like they think I'm too young to have kids (or older kids). Had I gotten pregnant at age 16, I could absolutely have children the age of ours.

{7}

I'm in a weird place right now. I feel overwhelmed with life (hence, not posting in this blog) yet I can't figure out what to change. We go to support groups, go to counseling, have date nights, started working part time (though I'm working full-time during busy season right now), spend time with Jesus, yet, I still don't feel calm. We're praying about what to do because we know that something still need to change. Foster care is harder than anything you could possibly imagine (unless you've done it) because not only is it physically exhausting, it is one emotional roller coaster ride EVERY SINGLE DAY. Hard topics such as rape, drugs, abuse, mental illness and abandonment are on my mind every day.

{8}

Lularoe leggings are the most comfortable pieces of clothing I've ever worn. Though I wish retail was a little cheaper than it is, I keep buying Lularoe items because of the darn comfort!

{9}

I'm LOVING my new Spiralizer! I've made noodles with zucchini and the whole family loves it! Does anyone have any good Spiralizer recipes they want to share with me?

{10}

The hubs and I are going to Seattle in a couple months for a conference/getaway and I get to see Tiffany!! I'm super pumped about it! 


Have a fabulous weekend!!!! XOXO

Wednesday, October 26, 2016

What's Up Wednesday | Playing a little catch up

And I'm back! Today is What's Up Wednesday and I thought it'd be a fun way to kind of catch up since I haven't had much time to blog about life.

Linking up with Shay, Shaeffer and Mel.



What we're eating this week...

I have THREE crockpot meals on the rotation this week! 



What I'm reminiscing about...


Breakfast with L at The Egg and I bright and early on a Saturday morning! It was good foster mom/foster son bonding time. He was a super excited about the menu!

What I'm loving...

My hubby and his sweet heart. Our third anniversary was last week and I came home to flowers, wine and a card. Perfection.



What we've been up to...

Hiking at Enchanted Rock!


What I'm dreading...

All of the political talk. I'm so ready for it to be over.


What I'm working on...


Perfecting my cauliflower crust pizza. I made Tiffany's recipe and it was delicious, but I haven't quite gotten the crust to be perfectly crisp quite yet!

What I'm excited about...

Christmas shopping for the kids! I've never had so many people to purchase Christmas presents for, but I'm excited about it! I totally feel like my mom.


What I'm watching/reading...

We've started three new shows and I'm loving them! All very different, but equally entertaining.




What I'm listening to...

I'm listening to the audiobook of the 5th book in The Selection series.


What I'm wearing...


My new booties I bought during the Nordstrom Anniversary Sale, especially with this outfit (ugh...sorry the photo is blurry)!

And Kevin's stylin' his new JORD watch...



What I'm doing this weekend...

I'm taking L to a concert this weekend so that should be fun! Then we'll pick up the hubs from the airport and get the kids' Halloween costumes finalized.

What I'm looking forward to next month...

Thanksgiving!!! I'm pumped to celebrate it with the kids'. I know it'll be a hard time for them since they're not with their families, but I'm glad they have a family to celebrate it with this year, rather than in a shelter.

Bonus question:

What is your favorite Halloween memory/tradition?

When I was a cheerleader and my sister was a clown (creeeeeepy)! Haha!


I hope everyone has a WONDERFUL Halloween! This will be my first one to take kids trick-or-treating and I'm excited! We've already made a deal to trade candy for a fun toy so they don't sugar it up! Wish me luck!





Friday, October 21, 2016

Kevin's 30th | Wood watch + Giveaway

My amazing husband turned the big 3-0 not too long ago. Yes, my husband is younger than me and he constantly makes fun of me for it, but I'm pretty sure that I'm the one that won that deal. #winning

Kevin has been talking about wanting a wood watch for quite some time. Seriously, I think it's been a few years. I looked and looked for the perfect one to get and couldn't find one that I was satisfied with. I wanted to get him something special for his birthday so I was on the search for a quality wood watch.

Enter JORD.

I saw 3 of my favorite bloggers (Nina, Suzanne and Emily) post about their JORD wood watches and fell in love. In love.

JORD so graciously sent me the exact one that I had been eyeing.



I literally squealed when it arrived at my front doorstep. I knew Kevin was going to love it.

We decided to go to Chama Gaucha - the best Brazilian steakhouse in San Antonio to celebrate (while my mom watched the kiddos - thank you Mom!)

He opened the gift there and I took some pictures, but please excuse the quality. I felt silly bringing my nice camera into the restaurant so snapped some with my iPhone.







It's now his favorite watch and it truly is the perfect fall accessory for men (yes, they have women's watches too). It truly is a unique watch that he constantly gets compliments on. It's very stylish!







*Disclosure: I received the Frankie Dark Sandalwood & Smoke watch in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own (and Kevin's)!

And here's the treat for you! You can win a $75 e-voucher for JORD Wood Watches through the giveaway that JORD is so graciously hosting. Even if you don't win, you'll receive a $20 e-giftcard just for entering (excluding the winner). YES! They have women's watches too! Honestly, I really want one now. The contest will end October 30, 2016.

Enter the giveaway HERE.

Good luck! If you win, please share with me the watch that you got! I'm all about wood watches now!

Luxury Wood Watch
Friday, September 9, 2016

If Social Media Weren't Around...

Do you remember the days when social media didn't exist and we actually picked up the phone and called each other?  Perhaps it was your old puke green rotary phone?  You actually didn't know (or care about) what your husband's sister's cousin's best friend had for dinner and you only got to see your friend's Spring Break photos in an actual photo album that held 250 photos?  If you didn't know who the guy was standing next to her, you may never know because it wasn't tagged with a little blue link that allowed you to stalk him, find out where he went to college, when his birthday was and how many mutual friends you had with him?

I thoroughly enjoyed Jen Hatmaker's "If Social Media Weren't Around" chapter in For the Love so I'm writing my version of it.

Let's pretend that I got a Twitter account at age 13.  This is what it might look like:

@KelliSkywalker 12/16/1995 I turn 13 today! Woo hoo! My obsession with Luke Skywalker has gone on too long. I hope they make more Star Wars movie in the future #firsttweet  #hessohot #starwarsforlife

@KelliSkywalker 3/10/1996 I have a new boyfriend.  But I'm too embarrassed to hold his hand.  He did smile at me the other day. #7thgrade #mycrush

@KelliSkywalker 3/24/1996 And we broke up.  #2weeks

@KelliSkywalker 4/2/1996 I just got new scrunchy socks and scrunchies for my hair!  Awesome!



@JTTforLife 5/26/1996 School is almost out!  I'm almost an 8th graders so I updated my Twitter handle.  Jonathan Taylor Thomas is so hot.  If I write him a letter, do you think he'll write me back? #JTTisdreamy #homeimprovement #voiceofSimba



@JTTforLife 7/16/1996 Just got back from Alto Frio Church Camp.  God is awesome! We are all Jesus Freaks! And Tracy met a guy named Chris Johnson.  He's cute. #altofrio #shegavehimarock #GodRocks #DCTalk #JesusFreak #InTheLight



@IngramJesusFreak 2/15/1997 Ugh.  Braces hurt.  I hope they fix my vampire teeth. #ifeelsonerdy #changingtherubberbandcolorsiscool





@IngramJesusFreak 6/2/1997 Cheer Camp today!  Go Warriors! Carroll, Heather, Lauren, Ashley, Arin, Stacy and I are going to have so much fun! #SWTX #UCA #juniorvarsitycheerleaders



@IngramJesusFreak 8/7/1997 Just got back from Disney World!  My siblings drive me crazy, but it was fun! It was the 25th anniversary.


@IngramJesusFreak 12/4/1997 Freshman year. First "real" boyfriend, Dustin. I think we'll be together FOREVER. First kiss. Heather, Daniel, Dustin and I are going to grow old together. #firstlove #freddiekrueger #fiestatexas



@RunningIsLife 2/1/1998 Coach Jackson works us really hard in track.  I'm running the 400m, 800m Relay, 1600m Relay and doing the long jump.  I love Amanda, Mandy and Jennifer! All the way to State!


@RunningIsLife 4/2/1998 This new band, N Sync is so amazing!  Like, I'm in love. #nsync #boyband #superhot


@RunningIsLife 5/21/1998 Woohoo!  We made it to State!  I'm so nervous that I'm going to throw up! #allthway #milerelay #Austinroadtrip



@RunningIsLife 6/10/1998 First real job at River Inn is awesome!  Thanks for the job, Jenna! #gallopsontheriver #summerfun #deliciousburgers

@RunningIsLife 7/2/1999 Totally forgot about Twitter because I've been too obsessed with boys, track and cheerleading. AND a new Stars Wars movie came out!  I'm back, Twitter world! #youmissedme #sophomoreyearwaseh #Episode1ThePhantomMenace

@RunningIsLife 12/31/1999 People say the world might end tonight.  Or computers are going to freak out.  I don't even know how to type well yet so I don't really care.  Dustin and I are together for a third time so I don't have time for petty issues. #getreal #Y2K

@RunningIsLife 1/1/2000 I'm alive and computers are just fine. #whydopeoplefreakout?

@RunningIsLife 3/21/2000 N Sync's No Strings Attached album was released today and I GOT IT!!!  Mrs. Lange let me skip first period so I could go buy it!  I'm, like, the happiest girl on Earth right now!


@RunningIsLife 8/25/2001 Class of 2001!!!  Seniors Rock!!! Let's do this, Warriors! #classof2001 #ITMseniors @TracyDiane @Jeni4Pink @Carrollcheer @RunningHeather @UTLauren @JennaH @Stacybasketball


@RunningIsLife 4/20/2001 Must. Make. 100's. On. Everything. Need a good rank and scholarships! #obsessedwithgrades

@RunningIsLife 5/1/2001 Announcement!  I'm going to be Baylor Bear!!!!!!!! Next year is going to rock!  #BaylorUniversity #Classof2005 #SicEmBears



@RunningIsLife 6/2/2001 We did it!  We graduated!!!  I love you Class of 2001!  Pursue your dreams!  Shoot for the stars!  We better stay in touch!  P.S. I hope you forget that speech I gave!  #ITMclassof2001 #goodbyehighschool #hellocollege

@KelliBaylorBear 9/11/2001 In complete shock.  Just watched the second plane crash into the World Trade Center in NYC on TV before Psychology 101.  Is this real? #tragedy #terrorism #inshock

@KelliBaylorBear 11/3/2001 Baylor football sucks.  I hope we're good someday! #baylorfootball


@KelliBaylorBear 2/20/2002 Watermark concert with @LeahG and @ShawnaBear!! #watermarkinconcert #dallasroadtrip


@KelliBaylorBear 4/23/2002 Is it bad to ride behind a moving Ford Explorer in a grass field sitting on a flattened cardboard box while holding onto jumper cables that your friend is holding while inside of said Ford Explorer for entertainment? #freshmanfun


@KelliBaylorBear 5/21/2002 Family group trip to Stonehenge!  JK - it's a replica #hunttexas #stonehenge


@KelliBaylorBear 3/13/2003 That time I went snow skiing with the FBC Mart Youth Group in Durango and they left me on the mountain with a broken ski #notfunny #igottorideasnowmobileforfree #fbcmart


@KelliBaylorBear 6/19/2003 It's fun being the interim youth minister! Woo hoo Camp Alto Frio! #churchcamp #fbcmart


@KelliBaylorBear 3/16/2004 Mission trip to Brazil! I love USP! #internationalworldchangers #saopaulo #USP



@KelliBaylorBear 7/11/2004 Beach trip with the bestie! #PortA #USSLexington


@KelliBaylorBear 10/30/2004 Happy Halloween from Marge Simpson! #halloweenintyler


@KelliBaylorBear 4/1/2005 Too much fun with these peeps Senior year!


@KelliBaylorBear 6/9/2005 I went sky diving today!!! #skydivedallas



@KelliBaylorBear 8/12/2005 Graduated from Baylor today!  Here I come real world! #baylorgrad #accounting

@KelliBaylorBear 10/15/2005 Bought a condo today!  I feel like adult! #dallas #momgotadog #parker


@KelliBaylorBear 11/5/2005 Got a puppy today!  I think I'll name her Luci! #rescuepup


@KelliBaylorBear 8/21/2006 First trip to NYC with @Jeni4Pink


@KelliBaylor Bear 3/12/2007 At a coffee plantation in Brazil!  Love this place!


@KelliBaylorBear 10/7/2007 Met my new best friend on my Colorado/Wyoming roadtrip! @LIZzardMiles #rockymountains #jacksonhole #grandtetons #yellowstone


@KelliBaylorBear 11/30/2008 Ummm...most amazing vacation ever!  Touring New Zealand south island with @MelR @MarK #franzjosefglacier #winetourbybike #milfordsound #canyoning #skydiving #wanaka


@KelliBaylorBear 6/16/2009 10 days. Colorado. Wilderness. 3 people. Hiking. Camping. Intense.



@KelliBaylorBear 11/4/2010 Met a cute guy tonight at church.  Wonder where that will go. #justfriends

@KelliBaylorBear 1/1/2011 Spent New Years with "cute guy" and friends! #BigDNYE


@KelliBaylorBear 5/29/2011 Just got back from the most amazing mission trip to China and Thailand. #fightagainsthumantrafficking




@KelliBaylorBear 7/12/2011 Took that cute guy to my friends' wedding today! #stilljustfriends


@KelliBaylorBear 5/24/2012 Well...it's official...I like this "cute boy" and we're dating! #finally #hewaitedforme


@adeeperjoy 3/8/2013 I started a blog! Check out my first post HERE! #adeeperjoy

@adeeperjoy 3/22/2013 I said YES!! #engaged #soexcited #loveofmylife


@adeeperjoy 10/13/2013 And we're married!!!!



And because I had started my blog around this time, I'll stop.  You can follow my real Twitter account @adeeperjoy HERE!