Sunday, March 3, 2013


{progress in the kitchen - woop woop!} 

I've been gone so long and y'all are so precious! My goodness...thank you for all the sweet comments and emails and phone calls and texts. Y'all really know how to celebrate and cheer on a family! Thank you so much! We are beyond overwhelmed and excited about these little ones!!! 

Let's backtrack for a sec to Valentine's Day. I had all three children in Target. It was one of those trips where no one seems happy about anything and we had to pick out a birthday gift and I felt so, so nauseated - I was leaning on the buggy, burping silently, trying to get through without losing it. We passed the Valentine section and I decided to let the kids go ahead and pick their valentines. (Now, we used to make Valentines and it was so economical and so cute and fun and so "look what we made-squeel!" But the truth is, my kids (except Sister - who made hers, independently, I might add!) enjoy boxed valentines and that simplifies my life!) So we head down that aisle. Little Bit quickly chooses hers. Sister decided to craft her own. And Little Man - oh my! The kid COULD. NOT. DECIDE. 

He picked a different box for every child in his class. I kept telling him that he could get one box, not one box for each child. We were on that aisle forever trying to decide. Finally, because "George loves wrestling!" Little Man held up a box of valentines with wrestlers on the front. And y'all, I did not feel good. I was desperate. I gave the front of the box one glance. We are not a wrestling family. That would never be my choice. But again, I was desperate to leave and to be finished. So I said, "yes." 

On Valentine's eave he broke out the valentines and began trying to match each child in his class with the wrestler they "most look like." And when I saw the cards - I DIED!!! WHERE are their shirts!? And why are they all oily? I mean, seriously! I contemplated telling him not to put his name on them - to save face. If you bought these valentines I really hope I'm not offending you! This just isn't how we typically roll. The Engineer walked in and was like, "What is this?" I still laugh when I think about it.

{carefully warming hands} 

Both girls came down with fever last Sunday. By that night, Little Bit was throwing up. I was certain it was a stomach bug. Tuesday morning both complained of sore throats and Sister had an awful red rash...back to the pediatrician. One look and he confirmed what my gut had already told me...Scarlet Fever...again! Sister bounced back quickly this time. However, Little Bit was puny and weak and tired and not herself until Friday night...she's almost back to "normal." Whew. 

So let me tell you about our last home study! It was in early January. We'd already had our first interview, which was over the phone jointly with our agency and social worker. The Engineer and I both concluded that interview with the understanding that all interviews could be conducted over the we set up interview number two, aka our first "Home Study Interview" for eight pm on a weeknight thinking it would be by phone. 

{Sister created a "fairy house"}  

Little Man had Karate that night, which put dinner a bit later. We scrambled to have the two youngest in bed by 7:59. Sister had promised to read quietly in our bedroom. I had both phones charged. I'd worked on cleaning the house that day - but oh the nausea! And so for the first time in a very long time, I didn't make our bed. I'd stripped all three children's beds, but hadn't gotten the freshly washed sheets (which I'd draped on the banister) back on their beds, so Little Bit was in a sleeping bag on the floor and Little Man was sleeping with his comforter only. The vacuum cleaner was out, cord plugged in. The sink was filled with dirty dinner dishes. Dirty clothes littered the floor in front of our washer and dryer. I hadn't made the children pick up at all that day, so toys were strewn everywhere. The house...was a wreck! I was just slipping into my pajamas when the phone rang. 

It was our social worker. Right on time! She began the conversation by asking if our house was brick? Confused, I told her it was...and slowly an awful, horrible, terrible realization began cementing itself in my conscious. "Are"

"Yes. I am walking up your driveway now." 

And I freaked! I told her we thought this was a phone interview and that I had just put on my pajamas, "give me a second to put my clothes back on and I"ll be at the front door." 

Y'all, I had NO time to do anything but put my clothes on.

And I opened the door. And there she was. And there we were. And there our house was. In all it's lived in, "mama's been sick with baby nausea" glory! Maybe I imagined it, but I'm pretty sure her eyes got wide as she took in her surroundings. She offered to reschedule. But I mean, the damage was done.

Now, not only would we get to talk about all our "dirty laundry" with her, she would SEE our actual dirty laundry! I assured her we were okay with proceeding with the meeting. After all, she had driven all that way and we had agreed to the date and time. And we could sit in the living room. That way she wouldn't see the wreck the rest of the house was.

And then she tells me that that night was also supposed to be the "home tour." ACK!!! Y'all, that is where they walk through your house to make sure it's suitable and safe and roomy enough for another child...I mean, I kept the children of a friend of mine for HOURS the day before their home study so she could clean the house and be ready...and here we were - in a worse than "normal messy" kind of way. She assured me the home tour isn't about how tidy a house is and that the mess would have no bearing on the results of our home study. Again, she offered to reschedule. 

And in my mind I'm weighing this we walk her through and show her all our glorious mess? Or do I say "no" and we reschedule for a time when I know I can have the house sparkling? But will that make me look like I'm inflexible? I mean, which is the lesser of two evils? 

And so we walked through the house. I flushed toilets as we entered bathrooms. I kicked dirty undies into closets. She saw Little Bit in a sleeping bag on the floor. For whatever reason (hours of electrical searching and we are still clueless) the lights in Little Man's bathroom ceased working right then - with her in the bathroom, so we stumbled over lego men in the was totally HUMBLING. Oh y'all. It was awful! AWFUL!!

{100 Days Project...we used broken crayons and a heat gun - forget the hair dryer! (wink)}  

And then we had our meeting, during which we had a grand total of FIVE interruptions by children who were in defiant disobedience - including two episodes fraught with tears over parting with Warrior (which happened months earlier) - tears that hadn't been cried before, nor have been cried since. I was freezing cold, but sweating profusely the entire time from nerves. 

We've had a good laugh over that! We'll see if we still get to adopt. (wink, wink)

And then this morning - Sunday morning - was like playing "wack-a-mole" with our child fussing because she doesn't like her outfit and doesn't want her hair fixed. Another child screaming and throwing a punch at a sibling because said sibling looked at her when I told her we didn't have time to do "pink tails." A man child insisting he was not cold, but rather hot in his shorts and short sleeved shirt, despite temps in the forties...The Engineer prayed for us all on the way to church. We get there and more ugly emotions spewed out over drawing during the service and about  what to draw on and what to draw with and "why does she get a pink crayon and I don't?" There were attitudes about participating and well - it was one of those Sundays where I just felt defeated. Like - why are we here, It's not worth the effort. Snot was running out of Little Man's nose - I leaned over and said, "Just wipe it on the inside of your jacket." Because I was desperate and we'd already dropped crayons and whined and been a distraction to everyone around us...sigh. Point being - it is worth it and this, training our children, that is part of how we honor and obey the Lord. In this season, this is part of our spiritual act of worship. It's just hard to remember that in the thick of it.

And then at the very end of a great sermon it hits me - we TOTALLY forgot about somewhere we were supposed to be yesterday. And a sick, sick feeling sunk in. It was the combined feeling of utter frustration, feeling sick to my stomach, a desire to kick myself, and wanting to burst into tears...wanting to turn back the clock...we missed Sister's last sculpture class. The one where they were going to glaze each piece! I was fighting tears. 

She has LOVED that class and is so proud of the pieces she made. And I forgot yesterday. The Engineer forgot yesterday. How in the world did we forget? It was on our calendar. She was excited about it. We were excited about it. But we did. We forgot. 

{a sneak peek...I am so excited!!!}  

As soon as church was over I took Sister's hands in my own and told her and apologized. She was quick to forgive. I assured her I would call to see if there was any chance she could make it up...but ugh! The disappointment. I am so sad.

And part of me thought, "why are we adopting? I can't even keep three kids' schedules am I going to do FIVE?" 

These things happen. Sigh. I just wish I hadn't dropped the ball. And there is forgiveness. And grace. And I am thankful for that. 'Cause I just don't have my stuff together.

 {my precious, poor, darling little girl! soooo sick!} 

Today baby is fifteen weeks! We had an ultrasound Wednesday and things were looking super! After a rough start emotionally, I've been surprisingly at peace with this pregnancy. Instead of doing what comes naturally, which is to close my heart off to the hope of this baby, I've actively tried to choose to rejoice over this life God has given and to hold it with an open hand - all while the knowledge of what happened last time is a constant reminder of how fleeting life is. And so as I pulled up to the hospital for that ultrasound, I was caught a little off guard when a choking sob broke out. I was more anxious than I'd realized. And I was reminded of God's faithfulness and that I wouldn't be entering those hospital doors alone. 

A smile spread across my face when I saw our little one breakin' it down on the sonogram! I came home with baby's picture in hand and the children were jumping up and down nearly tearing it in two fighting to take a look. They frequently kiss my tummy. Little Bit informs me quite often of what the baby is doing or needs. 

{14.5 weeks}  

They...we...are becoming attached. And sometimes they ask, "what if it happens again?" And I think, "we're only at 15 weeks...2.5 more weeks...that's when we found out we'd lost our last baby." And I remember why it was so hard to let go. To pick up the pieces. To move forward. That's a long time to love a baby and think they'll be coming home to you. We have to preach the Gospel to ourselves frequently - and it is good. "Hard-good," as a dear friend calls such situations.

So is flying by. I remember the scene in Lady and the Tramp when the calendar pages fly off the wall - that's what the days feel like as of late. It seems I blink and we are at the end of another week.

We have decided to keep all three children home next year. I am so excited! While the little school down the road has been a wonderful blessing to our family, I cannot wait to all be home all day each day, rather than jumping into the rat race that is carpool and school parties and school programs - Little man stayed home Monday-Wednesday of last week simply because we thought his becoming sick was inevitable (we were wrong!) and so we did school at home - and it was 8:15 and we were all together and working and it was so good and sweet. I know we'll have days when I want to yank out my hair, but we'll have good days, too. 

I was reading about a home that had just been remodeled and at the conclusion of the article, the designer said something to the effect of, "I mean, when else do you get to be in your forties (thirties for us) and be healthy and have young children? This isn't a dress rehearsal." And it's not. So I want to soak it in and breathe deeply of these sweet (and sometimes INSANE) days. Today, this is what He is calling us to. And He has shown that His grace is sufficient.

Do you know about Palmetto Cheese Spread? Prior to our move, I'd never heard of it. A friend brought us a container of it along with a loaf of bread shortly after we arrived. And it was really, really good. I'm picky about my pimento cheese. I used to only eat Mama's and my dear friend, Lucinda's. But Palmetto Cheese has rocked my culinary world. Toast some "good" bread and spread it on thick. So. Good. It has what I call a "kick." They call it "soul." Y'all, this stuff is good. (Find it at Costco) Go get some! 

Happy Monday, y'all!


  1. LOVE your updates!! And I CAN'T wait to see more of your kitchen!!

  2. We LOVE the palmetto cheese. We get all the time!! :) ;)

  3. Hilarious v-day cards! I always struggle with which ones I think my kids "should" choose. So glad you let little man express himself! :)

    So happy for you babies! I'm praying for y'all and for both of them. God is good, all the time, in joy and in pain, and I am thankful that you are in a season of joy.

    Love your remodels! Can't wait to see this house come along like your other one.

    I haven't forgotten to send you my e-mail--life, life, life is so busy! I know you understand--but I wanted you to know that I haven't forgotten. :)

  4. So excited for y'all! Wonderful news! On Friday, Alyssa Fisher and I talked about your good news. Tonight, we are having dinner together, and I will convince her to read this wonderful post! I love having a new friend that knows and old friend of mine! Wish we could see y'all in person and rejoice together over these two covenant children that God has placed into your family.

  5. I chuckled so hard over those valentines!

    The selection at Target was pitiful this year. And we were pretty much the only people in the class without something handmade.

    Glad to hear an update and will be praying for you and baby (and baby).

  6. Oh wow! You guys have been busy! I love how real you keep it.
    I've really felt God humbling me lately and forcing me to just slow down and embrace the mundane. It's hard because society tells us to keep busy. I often feel really down that we spend day after day playing legos and Barbies...which is so stupid of me to feel bad about. I should be glad my children have so much time to just play, right?
    And your church morning rang true for us recently as well. So true that I literally this past Sunday and looked at my husband and said "I just can't do it today. I just can't deal with the chaos to get there."
    And it's good...being home. You are right, there are no do overs. This is it.
    You are such a breath of fresh air my friend!

  7. My ultrasound with Mallory...same thing, although I broke down after the appointment. It was just HARD. I was cautiously optimistic and then I went all kinds of baby prep crazy :)

    Hard-good...Love that.

  8. I gotta be honest, I'm sad I didn't get a WWF Valentine. Holy Cow I could barely stop laughing! I bet your kitchen is beautiful and I'm thankful to be in the sweet trenches with folks such as yourself!

  9. Love your blog...found it through a friend's. Absolutely love the honesty and the beautiful photos and home decor and love story :)

    Had to comment on the Palmetto Cheese. I thought I hated pimiento cheese until I got up here to Charleston and was forced to try some at a pot luck. Oh my goodness is it delicious! My favorite way to eat it is with celery! So good! We have it in our Piggly Wiggly's here and our Publix's. God Bless.

  10. Love this, and love you! Reading your posts always feels just like a sweet conversation with you. So grateful to share life with you, crazy chaotic moments and all. ;)

  11. The story about your home study is hilarious, though I know it was nerve wracking. Love reading your story and so excited for you about everything!

  12. Oh, I have laughed and laughed about those oily wrestlers! In fact, one night as I was falling asleep, I just burst into laughter, and had to tell the story to the Mister. Too, too funny!

  13. I love reading your blog and how you include the sweet, the messy and everything in between. Thanks for keeping it real!

  14. We were recently introduced to toasted pim. cheese. Yes, it's as good as it sounds. Hope we can catch up soon. Love y'all.

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  18. I keep checking in for an update! hoping and praying all is well!

  19. I pray all is going well :) can't wait to see your kitchen pics too because the sneak peek looks great :)

  20. I too am praying all is well...I keep checking in for an update :)