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Friday, June 30, 2017

14 Months Waiting

This is a summary of our 14th month in the waiting process of adoption. It covers May 29th - June 28th. To read all about our entire adoption journey you can visit this page! 

Things Learned and Accomplished This Month:

Our trip to Mexico was a big shift in the adoption process for us. Everything has been waiting until "after Mexico." We knew we couldn't get any refunds on the trip and that we didn't want a baby in our arms until "after Mexico." For me...this is when the REAL waiting starts. Mexico was wonderful and fantastic. But now it's over. And we're ready for a baby in our arms. And we're just waiting for that to happen!

While on the trip I read The Last Anniversary. It's a great read and one of the characters dealt with some PPD (you find this out early on in the book so this isn't a spoiler). It was such a reminder to me of what that haze feels like and was confirmation for me that I'm OKAY not breastfeeding this baby. I want to ENJOY this baby. This phase of life. And I don't want to risk all those hormonal issues that would likely happen if I were to try to lactate in order to nurse. 

The day we got back from Mexico we had an appointment with a local adoption lawyer. EVERYONE has been telling me to go meet with her. Her name was put on my heart YEARS ago. I remember vividly walking around a store with Crissy just talking about babies and adoption someday and she mentioned Mrs Patti's name back then. I even wrote it down to remember! 

Our plan from the beginning was to not adopt in Georgia as it's not an adoption friendly state (meaning the birth parents have 10 days to change their minds). But SO many times this lawyer's name has been given to us. A neighbor stopped me in my yard one afternoon. People have sent me messages on Facebook. Multiple families mentioned her to me at the garage sale. 

I believe firmly that all of this is about God. We are trying to follow the path He is setting for us. I've done my best to listen to Him every step of the way. Maybe He is guiding us here? Maybe our baby isn't in Florida or another state. Maybe our baby is in our own backyard. I'm not about to limit the Lord, so we set up a meeting! 

I felt like I was meeting a local legend when I got to meet her and we had a great talk! We now officially have a lawyer in Valdosta! She mostly deals with situations where individuals meet a birth mother on their own. So y'all. PLEASE keep us in mind! If you hear of someone considering adoption we'd be honored to be considered :) She is keeping a book of ours on file too as she often sees situations come through the hospital here locally. We can adopt from ANY state and aren't just limited to Georgia!

Now that we are ready for a baby, I want to get this nursery FINISHED! Britt and I worked on unpacking some baby boy items from the attic :) 

Hoping owning a Mickey onesie might mean a trip to Disney with an infant ;) 

Slowly but surely! 

Can I just say I was SHOCKED at how little clothing Kye had as a baby?!?! I think I've gone overboard with the girls. ;) 

I had a sweet blog friend reach out to me who has adopted and she gave me some GREAT resources to contact! I called around to a few and her message got me thinking to start searching. You just never know! I happened across an agency out of Tallahassee and called them and they now have our book and info on file. The more we are out there the more likely we are to find a match. I appreciate friends reaching out to me with contact info! I have called lawyers and agencies and it's been a great experience so far!!! Keep 'em coming!!!

We had our longest break in receiving any birth mom situations during this month. It got discouraging and when we did have a situation sent to us on June 19th I got my hopes up SO HIGH. I realized I can't really trust my emotions on deciding whether or not to present to these situations. I get too pumped right away. I need to breathe and give the situation some space and talk each one through fully with Zach before getting any decision in my head ;) 

We passed on presenting due to multiple reasons and really I just had this gut feeling that another situation would come our way if we didn't present. When you present to a birth mom you can only be presenting to ONE at a time. So if we present to one she could take a couple weeks to let us know an answer and during that time we could be missing out on another opportunity. I felt like that was what would happen in this situation so when we passed, I felt good about the decision.

Sure enough, a couple days later (June 22nd) we got another birth mom! Unfortunately I didn't even get to read over the email when I received it. It was a CRAZY stressful day with a lot of personal stuff going on. To be honest here? That's been an issue since becoming active in our wait. Outside drama will happen at the same time as we receive a birth mom and neither Zach or I are able to fully focus or think clearly. It's frustrating and I'm hopeful that maybe now we can move forward and focus on our little family and put the outside drama aside! 

I was able to read through it the next day and it was a situation where alcohol use was a legit concern. It's crazy but drugs are actually typically less dangerous for an unborn baby than alcohol! Zach had a bad gut feeling on it and I went with that because I still wasn't in the best head space. We passed on presenting. 

So this is the first month since becoming active where we didn't present! I went through a TON of emotions but now feel good about it all and at peace and more content in this phase of the process. 

It can feel discouraging to wait for a birth mom situation and then receive ones that just don't feel "right." I feel guilty over NOT presenting. Which may sound silly, but I do. I just remind myself that when we first opened up to being matched the FIRST situation we saw was PERFECT for US. I have to remind myself over and over again of that. We have to be patient. And trust that another perfect for us situation is out there and that it will happen. 

I feel like future posts for awhile may be similar to this one. Not a lot of new info learned. Just continuing to spread the word about our family and waiting!


Totally unrelated to adoption but Zach got offered a promotion this month with Aflac! He decided to take the job and as of July 1st will be a district coordinator. It's scary and stressful but I know he'll do great in this role! It's not a promotion where we know for sure it'll be more's more likely less income for awhile (but a lot more work!) and then, hopefully, more income down the road. Our decision for him to take the job wasn't based on financial but hey we won't complain if extra money does roll in and it would for sure relieve stress off of additional adoption costs down the road...especially as we look to having to renew our home study!


I'm so blessed with so many sweet and thoughtful friends and always love getting words of encouragement from them! Themes of "waiting" kept coming up over and over this month in various ways which was such a reminder to me that the Lord is with us in the wait. He's here and He's got this!

I had a couple personal experiences too this month that were a reminder to me that we're on the right path! I threw on one of my adoption shirts to go to church on a Wednesday night and it was one of those times where I really, really didn't feel like going but I went anyway. 

I am SO glad I went!!! The guest preacher that night was ADOPTED and he talked a TON about adoption in his lesson which was such an encouragement to me!!!

The following Wednesday I went out to Georgia Bible Camp to visit with Kye and the lesson that night ALSO spoke to me in a huge way. It was all about David and stepping out in faith! How much more perfect could that be???

And look what shirt Colt happened to be wearing!!! So awesome!

So many friends have been so helpful to me in this phase of waiting. I had a bit of a breakdown moment when we decided not to present to the first birth mom we saw this month. It's easy when waiting to question. Is this our path? Is this the right thing? Are we following God's will? 

I'm blessed in this time of waiting because I KNOW WHY it may take longer. I can see God's reasons for maybe now not being time for a baby in our arms. Casey is having her baby within the next month so Mrs Charlotte will be needed to help her a good bit and if we get our baby we will also be needing help (especially if out of state). Zach is starting a NEW job. Which means added stress and a time of figuring out a new balance. Adding in a new baby may not be the best timing until he is situated and adjusted. Zach is also starting his new medication. Maybe we need to have that behind us and know there are no side effects or issues before adding a new baby. 

It is a very precious gift to be able to understand the possible WHY behind the WAIT. It doesn't mean it makes the wait a piece of cake or anything, but it helps. I love love love this quote. And it speaks to something Robyn said to me that has really stuck with me too. She said that if it was all easy and quick and smooth sailing...then why would we need any faith? The faith is in the WAIT. 

I realized back in May that Disney is my happy place. And while that's AMAZING. I'm realizing I need to find a way to de-stress at home too. I can't always jump in the car and drive to Disney. I want this phase of waiting to be a phase where I do personal growth. Learn more about myself while digging deeper with God. Part of that growth needs to be figuring out ways to unwind, destress, and feel joy as EMILY (outside of Mommy). I realized recently that for many years my "me time" has been fulfilled in spending time with a certain person and I need to now figure out how to get that same joy that those times gave me in another way. Easier said than done right?

My breakthrough moment on all of this was a couple nights ago and JUST realizing and recognizing the need I have for some Emily Time was so huge. I'm bad about not making that time for myself often enough. I go too long and hit a wall and feel down and frustrated and annoyed then I finally do something about it. I need to schedule it regularly and make it a top priority. And I need to figure out what that Emily Time can be since Disney isn't always available ;) 

I'm not a huge bath fan but some bubbles and a good book def helped! 

This month was a lot of emotions more than knowledge. Right now though I feel like I'm at a good mental place. I'm going ahead and making plans. Scheduling things (I've legit had NOTHING on my calendar "just in case we get a baby"). Enjoying the moment. Not letting the wait define me. I gotta have that faith and just trust that when it's the right time and the right situation it'll all fall into place and it'll all be worth it!

  • Follow up with all agencies/lawyers people have sent my way 



Thursday, June 29, 2017

Summer Recap: Week 4

This was a CRAZY busy week of summer for us! Our current week has been super, super chill so I feel less guilt over the chill week when I look back on this week haha. Week 4 covers Sat June 3rd through Friday the 9th!

Saturday morning Lakeland finished out their VBS that had started the night prior. I opted not to attend. After getting back from Mexico and having been SO crazy busy, I just needed to get my house in order and my stuff fully unpacked and just de-stress. It was SUCH a perfect morning to do that and Zach took the kids to VBS and they all had a great time!

I'm in LOVE with our robot vacuum! It's seriously amazing!!!

They made super cute necklaces at VBS and were proud to show 'em off when they got home. 

Brad is known as "Boss" so Colt is "Boss 2" and Kye is "Boss 3" ;)

Yes, Daddy made a necklace too ;)

Nametag hahaha

Katie's birthday was the day before we left for Mexico so we hadn't gotten to celebrate with her. We were all so excited to have a family meal together that we kinda went all out for her celebration! Aunt Katie was spoiled by us this year ;) 

First time making blondies!

Kye made the menu

And such cute cards

I tried a new green bean recipe and it was just okay. Probably won't make it again!

This though. Is a HUGE crowd pleaser! YUM!

Blondies were ammmmmazing! Britt chose this recipe herself from Pinterest and it was great!

Kye did the menu and then was inspired to make more signs ;)

The seat for the birthday girl

Britt's first time drawing crowns! 

Happy Birthday Auntie Katie : We LOVE you!

Kye and Britt provided after dinner entertainment and Tess was so funny pulling her seat in to watch!

It was a pretty epic performance with a lot of singing and dancing and cartwheels and even a skit ;) 

We ended the night with an intense game of Headbandz! 

So thankful to have Katie in our lives. She's the best best friend a girl could ask for!

Zach and I have both always just naturally coordinated. Even before marriage. Before social media. Before kids. We just are going to be that little old couple holding hands wearing matching outfits. It's our destiny ;) As we've had kids it's now become a pretty natural thing I do when picking out their clothes too. We don't always coordinate...but we do it pretty often. So often that I will joke that Zach picked out his clothes to match mine and he'll joke that I must have mentally known what he was planning to wear and matched him. Love us for it or hate us for's just us ;) 

Decked out in purple for church!

We do eggs a lot for lunch on Sundays and on this Sunday we had a treat and did Nutella toast too!

Monday was Tess's first visit to the dentist. I didn't talk it up a lot ahead of time. I've learned to kinda wait it out a bit and feel my kids out. Kye likes preparation. Britt does better just tossed in at the moment without knowing about it in advance. I haven't been sure which way works best for Tess so I waited until Sunday night and pulled out our Visit The Dentist book! We read through it and talked it up a lot and made her excited. It's so easy with a third kid because my older two LOVE the dentist so their excitement rubbed off on her ;) 

Zach had to go out of town that night for a work meeting Monday so the big kids and I decided to knock an item off our Summer Bucket List and have our Mommy Sleepover! Honestly, it SHOCKED me that they even remembered doing this last summer and I was glad it worked out on a time when I was super mega tired (we'd stayed up with Katie till midnight!) so I could go to bed early ;) 

We celebrated with our "midnight snacks" of left over blondies!

We got a new tv in our bedroom quite awhile ago but I guess Z has yet to hook up DVD player so we found a show on tv to watch! 

Zach bought me this bear YEARS ago to snuggle with when he travels so I sent him a pic ;) 

I took this video the next morning after our experience of all sleeping together. I learned that Britt radiates heat EXACTLY the way Zach does while she sleeps. She also moves around like crazy and moans and talks (which is a "mama thing"). Kye lays perfectly still but snores! It was a long night for sure and I'm thinking we may not be able to to do this again next year as the kids are just getting too big to fit in the bed! I may do a sleep over in their rooms with their bunkbeds or something ;) 

We headed to the dentist first thing in the morning and the kids, as usual, did phenomenal!

The big kids both went first to help ease Tess into it all and to show her what it was all about. She watched a good bit and was eager for her turn!

The kids are like zombies because there are tv screens in the ceiling. Britt's check up was great. No concerns and he's hopeful she'll have more spacing for her adult teeth than Kye has had. He said he didn't seen any alignment issues regarding her jaw (and after this appointment I canceled the chiropractor b/c if the dentist says her jaw is now aligned, we probably don't need to go anymore!). He said she can expect to begin losing teeth in another year. Probably earlier than Kye did being that she's a girl and that she got teeth in younger and that she is more of an advanced bone age than delayed like he was. 

x-ray of her teeth!

Kye was my main concern for this visit. His front and bottom adult teeth are in and he's very insecure about them. He says he doesn't like his smile and would change it if he could. The darker color of the adult teeth bothers him which is NORMAL. I've googled it and showed it to him. The adult teeth just look darker next to the baby ones. He also doesn't like his smile due to the crowdedness of his top two teeth. The great thing about the kids watching tv during the visit is that I'm able to talk to the dentist without them hearing ;) I discussed Kye's concerns with him and he really was awesome about building Kye up regarding his teeth, their color, and his overall smile. Benefit of having a dentist who also has a ton of kids ;) He did say that Kye will probably lose more teeth in the next 8 months or so and that at that time we will discuss braces. The plus side of Kye not loving his teeth is that it should make the braces transition a little easier on him. They do braces so differently now and do it more in phases so phase 1 will be in roughly 8-12 months from now for Kye. I guess we better start saving b/c they ain't cheap!

Tess loved getting to watch the TV on her turn and it was great timing because a Mickey show was on! She did great for her cleaning and has no issues or concerns and we were given the ok to move up to the regular toothpaste the big kids use!

No cavities! So proud of all the kids for taking care of their teeth and now I feel like we officially have another BIG KID on our hands!!!

I had a dentist appointment at 10:45 that was a quick run in and look at my tooth thing and decide if I needed a root canal. I knew I needed it. So I knew the appointment was really just going to be scheduling it. The dentist had told me to drop by whenever.

So I went straight from the kids' dentist to their office and figured we'd be in and out real quick. It was a classic case of the dentist not communicating with the front desk staff. Y'all we waited for over an HOUR to literally walk back and have him say "yup schedule it" and leave. So. Frustrating. 

I hadn't brought ANYTHING for the kids b/c I didn't anticipate the wait like that so we made the best of it!

Looking at magazines 

I will take it ;)

Shopping Oriental Trading

Waiting. And Waiting. 

Whew. We got home and ALL needed a pool dip!!!

I have been STRUGGLING to find a good pair of white shorts. I have some from Old Navy but they get so wrinkled and are so see through. I also don't love the length for Old Navy. It's either 3 1/2 inches or 5 inches. I really wanted to find a solid 4 inch short as I feel like that's a perfect length. Not LONG like 5 inches but not too short where I feel inappropriate either. I ended up getting some from NY&Co which is super mega random but y'all they are AMAZING! Here's a link to the ones I bought (true to size, I'm wearing a 4)

We had a bit of a crazy Tuesday planned too (every day this week was just slammed!). I took the kids first thing to Target to get some must-have items. I made the mistake of letting them choose Father's Day cards. I spent $35 on CARDS. But I felt bad saying no to things they chose and they were so serious about it and so thoughtful! The downside of having kids that can read I guess haha!

Is anyone pushing the cart? ;)

We have had THE most rain this summer. I'm SO OVER IT. We also realized Kye needs a larger umbrella ;) 

We finished up at Target and went back by the house to pick up William (you can read more about his sweet mama and why they need prayers here) then headed to the library for Story Time!

I laughed when I walked in because in Mexico a guy at our Hibachi dinner kept talking about how Zach needs to buy me a brick at Disney. Maybe he can get me one at the new library instead? haha

Story time was on construction vehicles which William LOVED!

William and Tessie wanted to stay close to me :) 

Our sweet friends were there too and Britt and Maggie Grace were so cute together coloring

Getting to do our own construction!

The kids picking out books to check out was a tad chaotic for me. We did a LOT of library books last summer but I'm just not feeling it this summer. It's a struggle to keep an eye on them all when their reading levels are spread out and it's a struggle to help them choose proper books. Britt got stuff that was WAY beyond her skill set, Tess just grabbed randomly, and Kye was the only one who truly enjoyed reading the books he got. We may try out another library in town that may allow me to feel safer letting the kids look around a bit. We'll see!

William was over it haha

They have an area of used books for purchase so I did a little shopping!

Got all these for a few bucks!

I've always heard once you have three kids it doesn't matter how many more you add to the group. While I haven't had our 4th baby yet, I have had times where I've had extra kids over for various reasons and I will doesn't add much extra work at ALL. Especially thanks to our playroom!

Game time fun!

Robyn and I have a tradition of taking each other out for dinner for our birthdays and we FINALLY got to celebrate hers! And it worked out that Zach was home early enough so we could hit up Chicken Salad Chick! Whoop Whoop!

Trying out some new dinners and stuff that freezes well too!

I like to only eat half my sandwich at CSC so I can enjoy the rest for lunch the next day ;)

I typically shop once a month but I went to Publix three times in a WEEK!!!

I had a dr appointment and the kids tagged along and it was hilarious because Kye wanted to wear his spy googles to the appointment. He said he wanted to spy on the drs in case they are evil bahahaha!

All the rain is driving me nuts but I still wanted to host a pool party to officially kick off summer! Our friends still came and even though it was chilly, the kids all had a BLAST!

Sweet Ellie pushing Tess!

Lunch with friends!

Kye had SUCH a blast with Mary Allen and Aubrey! He kept saying "We are JUST FRIENDS" and I mentally thought "yeah, for a few more years" haha!

All the kids had fun swimming, playing and eating!

And the mamas had a great time too :)

I've been buying ready-to-roast chicken and cook it for dinner then use it for lunch meat for Kye and Zach. Publix was out of them when I went and I happened to run into Robyn while there and she suggested just getting a regular chicken to roast. This was my first time ever handling a raw whole chicken. BARF BARF BARF. I'm also so newbie with it that I totally went in through the NECK to remove the innards. The bag busted and I was pulling out all these chunks of the inside of a chicken. So, so gross. Thankfully though the chicken did turn out to be really tasty! 

Sweet note from the dentist office for Tess :) 

The Mix had a deal going on for BOGO so I couldn't pass that up! Zach took Kye to get a (much needed) hair cut and I surprised the girls with ice cream before bed! 

$2 for 4 things of froyo! Such a deal!

The boys crashed our party ;)

Tess was in an ice cream coma and was passed out when we got home!

The boys were going to Walmart after The Mix to get supplies for Bible Camp for Kye so Britt and I had a little extra solo time together painting her nails. Britt is such a quality time person. She just LOVES time together!!! She was so excited to choose her colors and we had so much fun in just a simple, 15 min activity. 

When Zach and I went to New Orleans we brought home some beignet mix (and you can buy the same stuff on Amazon for cheaper than we actually paid haha!) and were waiting to make it with the kids until we had the time to do a themed night and watch The Princess and The Frog. Zach happened to have a later morning for work on Friday and would be home early that evening so we decided to make it a day-long kinda event! Start with a themed breakfast and end with dinner :) 

Y'all. These were AMAZING!!!

After breakfast I loaded up the crew for our first Wild Adventures visit of the SUMMER. This rain has really stalled our WA game and I was so glad to FINALLY get to go!!!

And I got to wear my new hat! Target find (in the mens section...sidenote but I'm so over guys fashion stealing our feminine looks!)

The kids LOVE seeing the characters when we arrive.

Britt's main man!

He opened my stroller and picked Tess up. It cracks me up so, so much that they do this!

And this is the reason my kids see a snake in the back yard and want to touch it!

This was super funny too. So they have this fancy bird and tell KIDS that they can HOLD the bird but that the bird is mean when touched. So hold him but DO NOT touch him. Really?!?! 

Kye didn't get bit! Yay!

Britt wasn't as confident...

So she went with a photo over a holding attempt ;)

The water park doesn't open until 11 so we like to get there when the park opens at 10 and have some time to ride a few things first!

Our two must do items: horsey for Tess, dragons for big kids. 

While we were in line for the dragons Robyn and her crew and Kori and her crew arrived so all the big kids got to ride together which was SO adorable!

Ready for LOTS of FUN!

Stop. It. I mean isn't this adorable?!?! 

Had to stop and see the meerkats!

Kori had this for her kids and Robyn has bought it since then and loves it too! Anyone else love it? I haven't made the leap yet!

You know you're a mom squad when you're all wearing black suits haha

Wild Adventures opened a new area of the Splash Park this summer and it was our first time visiting. And it's FABULOUS! It is great for our age range of kids because the big kids can slide on the larger slides and I can keep an eye on them while Tess is able to play in the little splash area and on those slides. I loved it!

Big kids all had SO MUCH fun together and since they were able to go up the stairs to the slides without adults it was very "kid time" for them which they enjoyed!

Tess and Cooper really hit it off! They were so sweet together and I think a little crush is forming ;) 

Britt is in a stage where she cries when it's time to leave places (Kye went through it too) and Tess was really sweet consoling her!

Yay for a fun morning!!!

We got home a little late for nap time but still plenty of time for MAMA time!

After naps we kicked off our Princess and the Frog night!

We made frog hats just using some green construction paper :)

Then each kid got to make two frog treats

Aren't these cute? SO SIMPLE! Just use a dab of frosting for the "glue"

Free printable color pages are always a win too 

I love how he drew an alligator and the frogs! 

I bought some crepes to give the menu French flair ;)

Easy crock pot dinner 

I cut up apple slices and put peanut butter in the middle. Then used strawberry slices for the tongue and raisins for the eyes. Cute frog side dish!

Beads are a must with a NOLA Night!

After dinner we watched the movie as a family. Zach and I hadn't watched the whole thing since we saw it for the first time in 2010 when it was raining in St Augustine! I have such vivid memories of watching it with Kye (who was an only child at the time) but have very little memories of the actual movie. Watching it again was great because we both really enjoyed it! Disney does such a great job of making things authentic and New Orleans was dead on!

Great way to end a super busy week!


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