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!

Tuesday, December 29, 2015

Big Announcement!

I've been a bit cryptic around social media these days, because HUGE things have been stirring in our lives lately.  We wanted to wait until it was official to let everyone know and that time has come!



Kevin and I are becoming foster parents!

God has been at work BIG TIME in both of our hearts (honestly for years).  Even when we were dating, we talked about adopting in the future, but we didn't quite know what he'd teach us in the coming years.  God has taught us about the foster care system - the brokenness and the victories. Kevin's job has given him the insight on what it looks like to age out of the foster care system and how hard it is for those kids.  We've met with multiple families both in our church and outside of it who have fostered and adopted.  We've soaked in as much as our brains could handle and laid it all out for God to mold and shape!

There were multiple nights that we floated around our pool and talked about what it would look like to foster/adopt.  I even had visions of us taking in pregnant teenage girls.  I often ended up in tears thinking about how hurt most of these children are - from feeling unloved or unwanted.  Kevin knows, first hand, what that feels like so I constantly pictured 13 year old Kevin so afraid and in need of love.

Because mine and Kevin's journeys have been unique, I want you to hear from both of us today! They're separate yet they come together and make one huge story about how God led us to this point.


Kelli

I've always known that I was called to do something huge - something uncomfortable, something for God's Kingdom, something that would require sacrifice.  I tried to go be a missionary in Thailand and God said 'no.'  I tried to find a non-profit to work for and God said 'no.'  I tried to move to Brazil and God said 'no.'  I also knew I'd be married to a missionary.

But then nothing seemed to be falling in line with that.  The lyrics to Casting Crowns recent song "Just Be Held" come to mind.

Your world's not falling apart
It's falling into place

Fast forward to 2015 - I'm married to a missionary and my world is about to be rocked.  As a Believer, I think we're all missionaries - called to show the love of Christ to all who are around us - yes, even your coworkers in a Corporate America job.  But heck - my Corporate America hubby now works for a church!  And I am a missionary too.

Will I ever be 100% ready to be a mother (foster/bio)?  No.  I can't do it on my own.  I can only do it through God's strength.  He will equip me, because I will fail and I will fall short, but He will pick me up!

I'll be honest.  I'm scared.  I'm nervous.  I'm afraid.  I know that what we're doing is not easy and that I will cry A LOT.  But God has given me certain gifts and a compassion for these children and has given Kevin the ability to relate to these kids because he's been there, so I know that we'll be okay.  Please don't assume that we think it's going to be a piece of cake!  Please be a shoulder for me to cry on when it's hard!

Our end goal is not adoption.  We are not doing this to try and fill a void in our little family or because we don't have biological kids yet.  We are doing it because God is calling us to it, He commands us to take care of the orphans and to just be a safe, loving home for the kids.  Even if we never "attach" to the kids or them to us, we will still know we're doing what He wants.  I hope that we do!  I hope we bond with the kids, but if we don't, it's okay.  If the opportunity to adopt presents itself and we feel confirmation from God, we will absolutely do it!  We're just taking it one step at a time as He leads.


Kevin

When I tell people that we are becoming foster parents, I always hear “Wow, that’s really cool, but…” Those sentences end with something like “do you know how hard that will be” or “some of those are really bad kids” or “why not just try to have your own kids?” Simply put, it’s hard for most people to understand why we would move from our comfortable lives into the uncomfortable uncertainty of foster care. And when I really think about why I’m choosing to do it, I always feel like there is one answer: I must do it.

I must do it because these kids need to be loved. I must do it because these kids need to hear the gospel. These kids need to see the gospel and understand that they are His chosen ones. I must because God has asked me to care for the orphans. Because God rescued me from being an orphan myself. God wants me to point them to Him as their loving father. I must.

The truth is this: everyone needs to be rescued. The reality is that I am not the rescuer. Jesus Christ is. I was rescued by Jesus, because a family took me in and led me to him. I am simply put, becoming a foster parent, not for me or my family, but for God’s Kingdom. I recognize that every child is God’s first and ours second. I want so much for these kids to understand that they have a daddy and it will never be me, it is the Lord. He is perfect, he has a purpose and plan for their lives. He loves them more than I ever could, but he is asking me to bring them to Him.

When my parents abandoned me at age 13, I was bitter and angry. I blamed God and swore against his name. How could he do this to me? Why was I locked up in mental hospitals and juvenile detention as a middle schooler? Why was I sleeping in a park instead of a bed in a home? Why did nobody love me enough to want me?

God wanted me to come home and He provided a family to bring me to Him. Like the single mom with 3 kids that was stretched to her limits but who I know, found herself on her knees, begging God to provide so she could show me love, that’s the kind of love and faithfulness I want to be known for.

We are not fostering to complete our family. We are fostering to show love. To be obedient. To provide a safe outlet for wounded children with lots of hurts and questions, ones that are bitter and angry, like I was. What changed my life was not just a family that loved the Lord and loved me and who has never stopped loving me since, it was my heart being changed by the same God that softened their hearts toward me. By believing in Jesus Christ and his death on the cross, I had value. I was given purpose and suddenly found my life to be one worth living.

That is the life I want to provide for our foster kids, for God’s children. One worth living. One filled with enough love to overcome the heartache. With enough value to trudge on in the messiness of sin. One filled with purpose that they are a son and daughter of the most high God and the knowledge that beyond all else, they matter.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

We truly thought that this was way into our future.  We thought we'd have older kids and already have parenting experience.  In July 2015, we went on a short-term mission trip to an orphanage in Honduras where God started nudging us.  He said "just check it out. Go to an info meeting. Check out the training classes." So we did! 

In August 2015, we started our classes and through a crazy chain of events, we've decided to move into a larger home that will allow us to take in sibling groups.  We're licensed for ages 6-18, as we feel that there is such a need for this age group.  It breaks our hearts to think of siblings being split up so we want to do what we can to keep them together!

We'll be getting our first placement in January so please please please pray for us!  Though we won't be able to post photos of the kids on social media, we'll keep you posted on how things are going.

If you're interested in helping, please read THIS!
Wednesday, December 16, 2015

IT'S MY BIRTHDAY!!!

Woo hoo!  I'm 33 years young today!

Since we're going to dinner with friends tonight, Kevin and I celebrated my birthday last night with dinner at Whiskey Cake and a little shopping at The Shops at La Cantera.


We totally didn't mean to be matchy-matchy.


Pork Belly Ramen and the OMG Burger

The Whiskey Cake... A-MAZ-ING!



red nose :)

Monday, December 14, 2015

Weekending/Thanksgiving/Catch Up!

Hey there, friends!  I have some catching up to do!

I missed work last Thursday and Friday because I was sick, but I have good news...I kicked it with all of my natural remedies by Saturday so I didn't have to go to the doc!  Woo hoo!

I never shared about our Thanksgiving so here are a few, fun photos!

With Kevin's family...


super musical family...beautiful voices! 


Bianca from Being You Everyday

With my family...


oh you know...being silly

And here are some random happenings from the past couple weeks...

visiting our friends in Houston last weekend

my second screen in my cubicle at work - I hope I win the decorating contest!


I won The Sequin Notebook's Skinnygirl giveaway!  Woo hoo! 

Luci and Riley LOOOOVE the Nutro Moist-n-Chewy Bites (Hickory Smoked BBQ Flavor) from Chewy that we got this month.  They start drooling when they see the bag!

I received this product in exchange for my honest review and no compensation other than the product was given.  Opinions are my own.

This Wednesday is my birthday!  This weekend I celebrated with my girlfriends with Apple Cider Mimosas and a DIY Candle Project!



Lisa and I cutting glass for our DIY candles using champagne bottles!  Isn't Lisa's tutorial awesome?!

We've got a big week ahead of us!  Big news coming soon! 

How was your weekend?!

Linking up with Biana!



Tuesday, December 8, 2015

Blood Orange Sangria

Hey friends!  I totally meant to do a recap of Thanksgiving, but 1) I've been busy and 2) I've been feeling a little sickly since last Wednesday.  I am trying my hardest to fight it off with natural remedies in hopes that I don't have to get medicine.   {Thieves essential oil, apple cider vinegar, Emergen-C, vitamins, neti pot, sleeping propped up, Throat Coat tea, honey, Raven essential oil, repeat}

I hope that you all had an amazing Thanksgiving and are pumped about this Christmas season!  I know I am!

Today I'm linking up with the fabulous ladies at The Sequin Notebook for their Monthly Cocktail Link-up as well as Emily and Kate's Recipe Swap and Katie, Pinky and Sara's Countdown to Christmas.

A friend taught me about this sangria recipe last year and I've LOVED it ever since.  I do love a good genuine sangria that soaks in the fruit for hours, but when I'm in a hurry and need to make one quickly, this is my go-to recipe!  Did I mention that it's delicious?!

It's great in the summer AND great in the winter.  I've made it for bridal showers, bachelorette parties and even Thanksgiving.  Oranges are winter fruits, right?!



Ingredients:

1 bottle of Moscato
About 20oz Blood Orange San Pellegrino
Club Soda
Frozen Fruit

Pour half of the bottle of Moscato in first (if you're making a larger batch, pour the entire bottle and double the rest of the ingredients).  Then add about 20oz of Blood Orange San Pellegrino.  If you can't find it at your store, use any brand of blood orange Italian soda - I had to do that once and it was still great!  Next, add some club soda - honestly, I don't know how much I used - probably about 2-4 cups.  Then put your frozen fruit in so that the liquid reaches the top of your pitcher.  I use the peach/strawberry/pineapple mix.

And that's it!  See...easy!  Enjoy!!!



Monday, November 23, 2015

My Make-Up Must-Haves

I love experimenting with different make-up!  Ever since becoming a blogger, I've learned a lot about make-up and tried many new products.

I don't know why I've never done a post like this before.  I have some make-up must-haves and I'm serious, I use these pretty much every day.  Sometimes I venture out with the eyeshadow, but these are my staples!


Aveeno Clear Complexion BB Cream // If I have to leave the house in a hurry, using this BB cream is the ONE thing that I don't forget!  It's like a tinted moisturizer and primer combined in one bottle. It's easy to spread all over the face and it feels light and natural.  I love how it evens out the colors in my face.  As I get older, the coloring in my face has changed - I actually break out more than I did as a teenager and I have a bunch of freckles.  I use the 'fair to light' color and it has SPF 30 in it for protection from the sun.

Sonia Kashuk All Covered Up Concealer // This is a must-have for under my eyes!  They've gotten a little darker lately and this concealer lightens them right back up!  It feels light and doesn't look cakey - hallelujah!

Jesse's Girl Liquid Eyeliner pen in LEL Black // This is my FAVORITE find from my Ipsy subscription!  I actually got it in my very first bag in June 2014.  It goes on smoothly, doesn't run and is the perfect color.  It also creates a thin, definitive line - I'm not a thick eyeliner kind of gal.  I have tried the NYX Super Skinny Eye Marker (hated it), the Loreal Felt Tip Liquid Eyeliner (eh) and a ton of pencils and this Jesse's Girl one is seriously the best.  I just stocked up on them so that I don't run out.

Pacifica Natural Beauty Eyeshadow in Ethereal // Another Ipsy find.  This eyeshadow is a really light, natural color which is perfect for me.  It's not for making a huge statement, just for the everyday natural look.

Maybelline Mega Plush Volum' Express Mascara in Blackest Black // I've used this one for years!  I've tried others to see if I like them better and I always go back to this one.  The price is good and it makes my eyelashes look full and long!

NYX Butter Gloss in Creme Brûlée // I know I've talked about this one on the blog!  I first received the butter gloss in Apple Strudel in an Ipsy bag, but didn't love the color.  I bought Creme Brûlée after reading great reviews and guess what?  I LOVED it! 

Sally Hansen Hard As Nails Xtreme Wear Nail Polish in Gray Area // Is nail polish considered make-up?!  I don't think so, but regardless, this is my favorite go-to fall color.  I have it on my nails right now!

What are some of your make-up must-haves?  I'm always looking for new stuff to try!
Friday, November 13, 2015

Happy Fri-YAY!

Happy FRI-YAY!!!!

Gosh, I'm glad that the weekend is here.  It's hard getting back into the groove at work after a relaxing vacation....I mean, it's been 2 weeks but STILL! :)

Life has been good lately.  We've been busy busy, but it's all good!  Today is my work "end of busy season" party and I'm really looking forward to it!  Here's a snapshot of the party last year...


This year should be fun!

 {ONE}

This week, I ordered two things I've really been wanting - the Hue Ultrawide Waistband Leggings in Graphite Heather (25% off right now!) and a cute plaid infinity scarf!  These are perfect for the fall!


{TWO}

I made this Turkey Pumpkin Chili recipe last weekend and it was a hit with the hubs and my friends that were visiting!  It's healthy and delicious.  Thank you Tiffany and Jennifer for helping me find this recipe through the Shine Blog Hop last week.



{THREE}

Over my vacation, I read my first Elin Hilderbrand book, The Matchmaker. (Ok, well I finish it in my backyard when we got back)  It was a cute, little beach read.  I wouldn't say that it blew me away, but I hear that her other books are better so I look forward to reading them.

If you've read any Elin Hilderbrand, which book is your favorite?



{FOUR}

I made a quick stop by Target on Wednesday night and, of course, left super happy!  Seriously though, that place just makes me giddy!


cute binder for organization
3 different packages for notecards ($1 each!)
Cab/Shiraz Box Wine (you can make fun, but it's the best cheap wine out there)


{FIVE}

Lately, I've changed my breakfast routine and I'm digging it.  It's simple and healthy!  I just throw the dry ingredients in a tupperware, milk in another one, fruit in another and take it to work when I'm in a hurry.  Then I mix the milk with the dry ingredients, microwave it, put the fruit on top and eat!


oatmeal
chia seeds
coconut palm sugar
cinnamon
almond milk
strawberries
blackberries


Have a great weekend, folks!

Linking up with KarliErikaAmanda and April!





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