Monday, February 1, 2016

The Many Emotions that Come in Anticipation of Foster Parenting



Have you ever had so many emotions running through your mind that you really don't know how to answer someone when they ask you "how are you feeling?"

Lately, I truly don't know how to answer that question, because I'm feeling excited, scared, happy, sad, nervous, frustrated, blessed and overwhelmed.  Did you notice how all-over-the-place those emotions are?

So....we're supposed to get our first placement today!  It may or may not happen depending on a judge's signature and we've already had our introduction to the frustrating "system" so who know what'll happen today?!  I'll be able to give you a better answer tonight so if you have my number, please feel free to shoot me a text!  I love to know that people are praying for us and thinking of us.

I'VE BEEN EXCITED.  I'm thrilled to be getting a child in our home!  This is what we've been anticipating and we're really really excited to finally have children here.  We have 7 open beds that are ready for warm bodies!  We're excited to learn more about the kids, love on them and show them the love of Jesus.  We're excited to take them hiking, play board games with them, watch movies with them and even cry with them when times are tough (which will be SO often!).

I'VE BEEN SAD.  Now while we're excited to get a child or children in our home, so much sadness comes along with it.  This is NOT an exciting time for the children.  They were let down by their own parents/family and entered into a broken system.  I don't want to jump for joy when they get here and I also don't want to break into tears (which I'm totally afraid that I'll do).  It's such a weird feeling to be excited to meet them, but hurt for them in this really sucky time in their lives.  People tell us "congrats" and while it's kind of is a "yay" time for us, it's not AT ALL for them.  There is usually no joy in being torn from your own family, even if it was an abusive situation.

I'VE BEEN SCARED.  There is always that fear of failure.  Have you mamas felt like that right before you had a baby?  "What if I mess up?" "What if I'm a bad mom?" "What if the child hates me?" The truth is, I will mess up.  All parents do.  But with the help of the Lord, I'll get back up and learn from my mistakes.  Only He can give me the strength to parent in the way that He wants.  I know parenting is hard, but parenting through the foster system has it's own complications added to it.  There will be some things that some moms just don't understand and there will be some where they can help me.
 
I'VE BEEN HOPEFUL.  Since God called us to this mission, He will get us through it.  I have to rely on His strength and not my own, especially when it really sucks.  Let me say this - we know that we don't know how hard it's going to be, but that doesn't stop us from being hopeful.  God hasn't called us to live a comfortable life.  Sometimes, living to glorify Him is uncomfortable - it's hard, but worth it.

I'VE BEEN FRUSTRATED.  I don't want to offend anyone here.  So please bear with me.  It's hard when you don't feel understood.  We're different.  Most people aren't going to understand why we're fostering so we don't have their support - even family members.  We've been surprised, because there are some people that we thought would support us, that haven't.  If I were having a baby, they'd be all about the baby showers and asking questions about gender and nursery and names.  But because I'm not, some didn't come to our "new parent shower" and when we've updated them, they just say "congrats" or "it'll be interesting" or nothing.  We can tell who genuinely cares by the questions that people ask us.  On another note, the system is frustrating.  It's just so broken and sometimes you wonder who really has the best interest of the children in mind.

I'VE FELT BLESSED.  I know that God is calling us to a big thing.  I feel so humbled that He's chosen to use us.  I will probably look back and think "oh my goodness I had NO clue as to what was in store for us," but I do know one thing - we're following what God has told us and that's all that matters.  We'll get through it no matter what the journey ends up looking like.  I just pray that He was glorified through it all.
Wednesday, January 27, 2016

What's Up Wednesday

Happy Hump Day, my friends! My week is going pretty well and I hope that yours is too!  Foster Update: we're still waiting to receive kiddos.  I jump every time my phone rings!  The anticipation is killing me!

But just because these kinds of posts are fun...



What we're eating this week...

So far I've made Jambalaya and I'm planning on making this chicken enchilada casserole tomorrow!  Looks delicious!


What I'm reminiscing about...

That time I was little and caught a big, nasty fish.


What I'm loving...

The beautiful weather we've had lately in the Texas Hill Country!  I've been hiking two weekends in a row!




What we've been up to...

Hiking (see above), getting the house totally ready for children, working and playing with our cute pups.


What I'm dreading...

I really can't think of anything that I'm dreading right now.  Does stepping on the scale next, count?!

What I'm working on...

A necklace holder to go above my vanity!  I started with an old cork board, painted the edges white and am looking for fabric to cover it with.  Then I'm going to paint my little pushpins a better color and hang my necklaces on them!

Similar-ish to this...


What I'm excited about...

My new vanity!!  Things are going to change a little once I make my necklace holder, but here it is for now.


What I'm watching/reading...

I'm reading The Connected Child by Karen Purvis which is probably the most highly recommended book for foster/adopt parents.   I'm loving it!




What I'm listening to...

OBSESSED with I Am They!  It really pumps me up in the morning on my way to work!  I might be driving with my hands in the air at times while listening to it.  Love praising Jesus through this music!


What I'm wearing...

My new magenta Kendra Scott Alex earrings...A LOT.


What I'm doing this weekend...

I haven't been making plans lately in hopes of us getting kiddos any day!  BUT, if we don't (or maybe even if we do), we may go hiking at Enchanted Rock this Saturday.


What I'm looking forward to next month..

Getting some foster kids!  I hope that when I'm typing this time next month, we have kids in the house!

What else is new...

God is good!  Ok, that's not new because He is good all the time...but just sayin'.


BONUS QUESTION!

What's your favorite Valentine's Day treat?

Well, I don't know about what I've had in the past, but this year, I want some little heart cookies with this super cute frosting using Lisa's Valentine's Day frosting tutorial!  Aren't they cute?!



Linking up with Shay, Mel and Sheaffer!




Monday, January 25, 2016

Irresistible Me Hair Extensions

**I received free product from Irresistible Me in return for an honest review.  All opinions are my own.

I have always wanted full, beautiful hair.  You see, my hair is very thin.  I don't dye it so it's pretty silky and smooth, BUT it won't hold curl and looks frumpy and flat quickly.  Don't get me wrong, I'm grateful for what the Lord gave me, in fact, I love the natural color of my hair, I just wish it was a little thicker.

Enter Irresistible Me hair extensions.

When Irresistible Me approached me about doing a review about their hair extensions, I was super excited.  I've always wanted to try them, but just wasn't sure what to order and from whom.  They were pleasant to work with when ordering them.  My consultant helped me choose the right color for my hair after looking at some photos of me.

When they arrived at my house, I was giddy!  The color was great for the top of my hair.  Underneath is a dark blonde so it didn't match well there.  My only complaint about the color is that there were some random dark strands - I mean, black strands.

Then I tried putting them in my hair and honestly, I became pretty frustrated.  I could see the clips through my hair, even when attached correctly.  I think that these extensions do well on people with thick hair, not thin, but isn't that the point? To give thin hair some volume?  I also think that the length suggested just doesn't look good with my length.  You can see which is my hair and which are the extensions.  I'd only buy these extensions if I had long, thick hair that is all one color.  But if I had that, would I need extensions?!

First attempt:

Before/After

Doesn't look horrible, right?  The problem is...you can't see the back.  You could really see the clips, because my hair is just too thin. 

I experimented with the extensions, watched all the how-to videos, tried with all of the wefts, some of the wefts, and just couldn't get it to look right.  Here was my 5th attempt:





eek!


I asked the company if I was doing something wrong and they became very rude.  They did not treat me respectfully and did not act with integrity.  I truly believe that the extensions could look great on some people (I've even seen other bloggers who gave positive reviews), but the customer service really turned me off, more than the quality of the extensions.  I promise to always be honest with my readers, so here is an honest review.  I was really hoping they were great, but unfortunately, they didn't meet my expectations.

I hope you've had a better experience with hair extensions than I did!




Wednesday, January 20, 2016

I'll Be Participating in Lent...huh?!

Have you ever participated in Lent?  Or is it something you've just heard of because your co-worker is giving up soda for 40 days and drives you nuts with her cranky attitude for that time?

Psst...guess what?  You don't have to be Catholic to participate in Lent.

My previous church taught me about Lent and it's a Bible church.  I learned that it's a time of self-discipline, not to lose weight, not to try and make yourself look good to others and not because you feel it's a duty.  And no, the Bible doesn't require us to participate in it.  You aren't any "better" or "worse" of a Christian for doing it.

It's a time of drawing closer to God through the discipline of self-examination and repentance.  It's a time that we imitate Jesus' withdrawal into the wilderness for 40 days.  It's a time for us to examine our hearts and re-focus it on what matters - Jesus.

The point is to give up something or take something on that will lead you closer to Christ.  One year I read Isaiah 58 every morning during Lent.  One year, I gave up listening to music and talking on my phone in the car. I spent every minute in the car praying.  It really shifted my focus on Him and made me yearn for that time with Him.  I continued it even after Easter, because it deepened my relationship with God.

You cater it to your spiritual walk.  Maybe giving up your morning Starbucks to give that money to the homeless fits you.  Maybe giving up lunch every day so you can spend time in the Word fits you. Maybe you add a 30 minute walk to your after-work routine to calm your mind and spend it in prayer.  Maybe giving up sugar (and not announcing it to everyone) helps you to get closer to Him, because when you're craving it, you stop and pray for His strength in that moment.

So this Lenten Season, I'm going to do a Bible study to go along with it!  I did Sacred Holidays' Advent study and LOVED it.  My walk with God really grew as a result of it.

Now Sacred Holidays has a Lent study and I'm super excited to do it!





I thought that the Advent study was VERY relevant to my walk with God and each day's devotional can be done in a reasonable amount of time.  It's not one of those studies that you work on for 2 hours a day.  I usually did mine in 30-45 minutes, but you can make it your own.  It's also super cute and has plenty of space for journaling along the way. 

Would you join me in doing this study??  I would LOVE to have other women to talk to about it and to be held accountable.  If you decide to, please let me know and we'll connect!

We'll start it on February 10!  The beginning of Lent!  And it ends on Easter!

You can order a PRINTED COPY or a DIGITAL COPY.

Side note: They've written a men's AND a teen's devotional as well so check those out!

*As a part of the Sacred Holidays Lent Launch Team, I did receive a copy of the study for free, but I was totally going to pay for it regardless, because I'm super pumped to do it!

Facebook: Sacred Holidays
Instagram: @sacredholidays
Twitter: @sacredholidays
Monday, January 11, 2016

Recent fun purchases!

Happy Monday, friends!  I hope you had a great weekend!

I had to work on Saturday, because this is our busy season, but Sunday was great!  I slept in, got up and made chocolate chip pancakes and bacon, got ready at my NEW VANITY (I'm sure I'll post about it in the future, I'm typing there at the moment....I'm ridiculously excited about it), went to church where we talked about the importance of local and global missions, had lunch with my friends, chilled with the hubs and watched Parenthood (we're watching the last season!), got a massage (much needed!) and then watched Fixed Upper.  Delightful Sunday, right?!

So over the past 3 months or so, I've purchased some fun items!  Some are in prep for the house and upcoming children and some are just for fun.

Beauty/Fashion


Anastasia Travel Brow Kit (life changer!)
Francesca's Navy Studs (mine are similar, but a teardrop shape)


Decor




Books




Random



I'm super pumped about my new planner!  I had a Plum Planner last year, which I thought was super cute and had great pages for planning but it was so big and so heavy.  It really weighed down my purse.  I heard that the Erin Condren is similar.  So with absolutely no personal referrals, I went out on a limb (based on reviews and specs) and got the Ninjandninj one.  I love it so far!  It's small and light so it doesn't weigh my purse down.  It came with cute little stickers too!

I hope you have a fantastic week, friends! XOXO

Linking up with Biana today!
Monday, January 4, 2016

2016 Goals (and an assessment of my 2015 goals)

Happy New Year!!!


Hey friends!  I hope you had a fabulous time celebrating the new year!  We had a blast!

So, I wanted to take a look back at my 2015 goals and assess how I did.  Eek!

ONE \\ Spend time with the Lord daily.  This is the most important one which is why I'm putting it first.  I feel like it's something I have to re-commit myself to often because I fall off the wagon constantly.  I haven't been good at this and have found myself down quite often. I know that this is the answer to it, yet it seems hard to do lately.  Lately, I choose Netflix over time with my Best Friend and Father. Will you please pray for me?  Please pray for that passion and desire to do it every day.

PARTIAL CHECK! Honestly, I do think that I did better in this area!  I wasn't perfect, but the Lord doesn't expect perfection so I need to just keep on pressing into Him!  This will continue to be a goal for me because it's the most important one.

TWO \\ I know this is so cliche, but....establish a workout schedule.  Here's the truth - I've gained 10 lbs in the last year and though I'm not going to obsess over weight, I'd like to fit back into some of my jeans. :)  AND, when I'm exercising regularly, I just feel better overall.

NOT SO MUCH. I would do really well for a few weeks and then I'd get out of the groove. Then I'd do well again and then not so well.  So I didn't totally fail - I just wasn't as consistent as I wish I was.  The end of the year was tough with hurting my ankle and then moving.

THREE \\ Along with #2, make it to my gym's spin class at 5:45am MWF.  Getting up that early is tough for me, but I know that if I get into the routine, it's not tough anymore.

EH.  I did do this....for a while, then skipped 3 months, and then started doing it again.  Haha!

FOUR \\ Get involved in a church here in San Antonio.  We think we've found one we like which is exciting!  We're joining a small group starting next week so we'll start getting to know people that way.

CHECK! Woo hoo!  We totally did this!  See my 2015 - A Year in Review post and you'll see it at the top of my list!  We love our church - Kevin even works there now!  And we LOVE our lifegroup!  I can't even believe we joined just a year ago.  I'm so close to the gals already.

FIVE \\ Spend more time with my sisters.  Now that I'm close to my sisters, it's so much easier to see them than when I was in Dallas.  With the hustle and bustle of life, I sometimes go weeks without seeing them so I want to make an effort to see them more often.

CHECK! I definitely saw my sister that lives in the same city a lot more.  I also got to hang out with the other two as often as we could on weekends!

SIX \\ Work on letting only positive things come out of my mouth.  Sometimes I find myself complaining instead of using my words to encourage others and glorify God.  I want to live by this verse...

PARTIAL CHECK! I'd say I made improvement in this area!  Still working on it too!


Onto my 2016 goals!!  I'm keeping it simple, but oh-so important!



I also am going to post this somewhere that I see it all the time - probably my bathroom mirror!  Ann Voskamp has a cute printable with fill-in-the-blanks that can help you with your purpose for 2016.  I LOVE it!  I used some of her words (because they were so good!) and changed some to fit me as well.




What are some of your goals/dreams/purposes for 2016?
Thursday, December 31, 2015

2015 - A Year in Review

2015 started out well and really ended well too!  There are so many things to praise God for so here's a little recap.

1 // The first thing we did was join a church and a lifegroup!  Y'all, our lifegroup has truly made our move totally worth it.  The girls have become my best friends - they've cried with me, loved me, have supported us, celebrated with us and are huge prayer warriors!  I feel so blessed to have them in my life - the guys too! :)



2 // Valentine's Day in DFW


3 // Fiesta in San Antonio!


4 // San Antonio Missions games throughout baseball season


5 // Wine Tours in Fredericksburg





7 // Pool time all summer!





8 // Cassie from Sage the Blog came to visit!




9 // Honduras Mission Trip to an orphanage


10 // Young Living Convention in Dallas with Tiffany




12 // Lisa moved to San Antonio!





14 // 2 Year Anniversary vacation in Mexico




16 // Christmas!


17 // And we end it with a bang! We got licensed to be foster parents and moved into a larger home!



What a great year!  Here's to 2016 being even better!