That pretty much sums up my relationship with my blog lately. Please, forgive me. We have had a LOT going on in our little casa. (Don't get adoption-excited, it's not that unfortunately.) I have learned a little on that front though. A friend of mine who has a sweet little baby girl that just turned one through the DSS foster/adopt system let me in on a few things. After they turned in their paperwork they waited SIX months for their homestudy.

Yup. You heard that right.

Which puts us at about 4 more months of waiting. Seriously??? I really thought we could get it done before Christmas but that chances of that are looking highly unlikely. Throw into the mix the fact that I have called and emailed our social worker twice now with no response and you have one unhappy lady.

One unhappy, very busy (I can't elaborate on how, but believe me it's going to be crazy here until about February.), slightly scatter-brained paper pregnant waiting mom.

Our God is greater.


"Enter his gates with thanksgiving and his courts with praise; give thanks to him and praise his name."
 - Psalm 100:4

my church
my husband
my family
my dogs
my house
 my friends
my bible
good books
costa rica
quality time
the past
the present
the future
all of you

flash mob phenomenon

There is a new phenomenon called the flash mob taking place all over the world. I think it is quite possibly one of the greatest things to ever hit our planet! They are like musical sneak attacks, which speaks to my inner ninja self.  You should really take the time to watch these two videos...they will make your heart smile.

Sound of Music flash mob in Belgium:

Hallelujah Chorus flash mob in food court:

isaiah's story

This is the story of Josh and Debbs and how their family adopted a nearly dead homeless newborn. This story breaks my heart because of the state that this precious baby was in. My mind can't help but wander to the what if's about our own children who are not yet in our home.

Isaiah's Story from 31Films on Vimeo.

ready for rice and beans

You guys are good! Good job Thelma for correctly ending my little song AND guessing both countries!

It's true, Eric is going to Costa Rica and I am heading off to Honduras! We are WAY excited to be serving the Lord in this capacity.

Eric will be going with a group of men and the same missionary that we have gone to help for the past 2 years to help him build a new translation station in the lower region of Costa Rica. For those of you who don't know, the missionary family's main goal is to translate the entire bible in Cabecar. The Cabecar's are an indigenous people who have never been taught about Jesus. You can read more about that here and here.

I am going to Honduras with a very good friend of mine who started a ministry called Shoes for Oscar. We will be visiting orphanages, giving out food and shoes to those who live in the dumps/slums/river, and generally serving the Lord in any way possible. I am super stoked about this trip. I will probably come home with 3 Honduran babies...

I'll update more on our mission trips as soon as we learn more on our end! In the meantime, please be in prayer for us and our teams and the people we will encounter while we are there.

We are so ready for rice and beans again!

where in the world is...

(Quick! 20 points to the first one to give me the end of that phrase!)

If you have been reading this blog for any length of time, you know my husband and I have a heart for missions. I have been going on local/national/international mission trips for years now. I love everything about them: the team, the bonding, the people we meet, the work we do, the way I grow closer to Christ, the way He works on my heart, what we accomplish for the Lord, the love...the list goes on.

The funny thing about all this waiting we have been doing concerning the adoption is that God has given us some pretty incredible opportunities. We tried to ignore our call, citing facts like "what if our kids come during that time" or "won't that push us back even further?" In the end, only God could reignite in our hearts our passion for missions despite what our minds were telling us. I just wrote about how we need to be content in the season that we are in. We not only need to be content, but active! We need to be serving the Lord in the best way possible during our season of childlessness. So we are taking some leaps of faith! In fact, come February Eric is going here:

And come March I am going here:

I know, I have been holding out on you. Sorry! So can you put those Geography skills to the test? Or at least do some good Google detective work? Here is your hint: we need to be brushing up on our espaƱol!

I'll be back soon with the answers...stay tuned!

what love really means

He cries in the corner where nobody sees 
He’s the kid with the story no one would believe
He prays every night, “Dear God won’t you please... 
Could you send someone here who will love me?”
- JJ Heller

story book

I was driving down the road today listening to one of my favorite bands right now when I really started to listen to the words...

Tell me
Tell me can you tell me
That the page will turn itself
And take us somewhere else?
- Deas Vail

It got me thinking about our life as a story book. You know the ones you read when you were little and now you help little ones read yourself? I love reading, and I love reading to my precious nephews and niece. Do you know what it's like to read to a 2 year old though?

Well here is a reminder.

They run up to you so excited, favorite book in hand. "Please read to me!" they cry. You oblige because what could be better than having that little warm body climb on top of you to sit and listen to a tale or two. You get all snuggled in on the couch and read the title. You open the book to page one and start (in your most animated voice) to relay whatever story about frogs or shoes or bad days they picked out. Page two is pretty smooth, although they do seem to be a little squirmier...By page three you have barely gotten the words out of your mouth before they are turning to the next page. Page four you get about five words in and - boom - page turn. By page six you have stopped reading altogether because you have figured out that to them "story time" means flying through a book so fast you can barely see pictures, let alone read words.

I feel like I do this in My Life: The Story Book. God is the author, of course. I want so badly to know what comes next in my story that I start flipping the pages trying to get to page twenty five, not really focusing on what is happening on page twenty. I am so concerned with what my "happy ending" will be that I lose what God is trying to teach me in the middle. You can't have an end to a book without a middle. If you skip the middle, the end doesn't even make sense.

I need to start letting the pages turn themselves. I need to live in the here and now and not in some future that I am not even promised. I am not promised tomorrow, only today.

"The life of mortals is like grass, they flourish like a flower of the field; the wind blows over it and it is gone, and its place remembers it no more." - Psalm 103:15-16

Today I will start reading my story one page at a time.

expectant mother

"There are those who say to us, "You're didn't have morning sickness, stretch marks, and cravings," or "At least you only had to wait three months to get your baby, rather than nine months." If you are like me and are planning to or have adopted a baby, you know how comments like this can hurt.

I want to tell them, "I have had morning sickness and afternoon sickness and evening sickness. Every time I thought of the fact that my body cannot conceive or sustain a pregnancy, I am heartsick." And stretch marks? My hope and faith bear the marks of being stretched to places that can only be seen with the divine eye of God. I have been pulled, prodded, poked, and stretched far beyond what any human eye can see. My heart has felt each of those stretches or exercises of my faith while waiting for God to answer our prayers.

Then there are the cravings. We throw the word "craving" around a lot in our everyday conversations, but have you ever looked up the word? Merriam-Webster defines craving as: "an intense, urgent, or abnormal desire or longing." I may not crave watermelon, ice cream, and pickles, but I have been struck by a craving - an intense, urgent desire - for a child for many years. It has been a longing so great that, at times, it is suffocating, leaving me teary, breathless, and in terrible emotional pain. People are correct: We haven't been waiting for nine months. It has been almost five years. I would take a nine-month waiting period over a five-year one anytime.

I am an expectant mother. I am not pregnant."

- Becky Saunders
taken from Stepping Stones newsletter

happiness is...

...warm cookie dough, cold milk, laughter, and friends.

cleaning party at my house!

Since I don't have a real update for you, because we haven't heard from our social worker still, I figured I would update on our progress with the house. We only have a few things left! I am excited about that, and not-so-excited all at the same time. Confused? Yeah me too.

Excited because that was a heck of a list we got through! Not-so-excited because what if we get done with our list and still no homestudy? That leaves me sitting. Waiting. Wondering. Anxious. With nothing to do. Have I mentioned lately that I'm not so good with the whole waiting thing? Mmmmk just makin' sure.

Here's the list:

Fire Inspection
- smoke alarms installed:
          - on the ceiling or wall outside of each separate sleeping area in the immediate vicinity of bedrooms
          - in each room used for sleeping purposes
          - in each story within a dwelling unit
- fire extinguisher shall be located in the cooking area mounted on a wall in an accessible location and not obscured from view
- each facility housing foster children shall have two independent means of escape
- a fire plan describing what actions are to be taken by the family in the even of a fire must be developed, posted, and copies made available to the local fire department noting the location of all crib infants
          - notation of two ways out, meeting place, locations of fire extinguishers, and smoke alarms to be noted on plan (I've started but I can't finish until we get the smoke detectors.)
- fire drill conducted every 3 months, save records
- resident bedrooms shall have emergency egress openings with:
          - window/door with minimum net clear opening of 5 square feet for ground level with dimensions 24"x20", bottom of opening is not to be greater than 44" measure from floor
- exit hallways/access/doors are not blocked
- no gasoline or gasoline appliances stored in or under home
- dryer vents not clogged or crushed
- electrical blanks kept in receptacles at all times
- keep 3 foot clearance from all electrical/mechanical equipment
- windows operational

*There are many, many specifics that I am leaving out, but you get the general idea.

DHEC Inspection (SC Department of Health and Environmental Control)
- all pets must have vaccinations up to date with a copy of shot record available (vaccinations 11/16/10)
- refridgerator must have thermometer to ensure that temperature is 42 degrees or cooler
- hot water heater is set no higher than 120 degrees
- well water will be check for contamination (We don't have a well!)
- all chemicals, toxic substances, or medicines must be in a locked cabinet or out of reach of small children 
- refuse storage and disposal will be check (city trash pick up, taking trash to county disposal center, burning, etc. ) (We have city!)
- disposal of waste water will be checked (city sewer or septic tank) (We have city!)
- microwaves will be checked for leakage (how is this even possible?)
- lead paint testing (getting the kit from Lowes)

So I have decided, since I love lists so much (insert sarcastic tone here) that I'd just create another one. This one is slightly embarrassing however, because it pertains to the condition of my house. It's just me and Eric and a couple dogs but man, 1400+ square feet gets dirty quick in 2.5 years of house owning! So here is my IneedtocleanthisnastyplaceupbeforesomeonecomesbytodecideifIcanparent list:

Operation Clean House
- dust ceiling fans
- dust baseboards/vents
- dust blinds
- move e-v-e-r-y-t-h-i-n-g to vacuum
- gets spots out of carpet
- shampoo carpet
- move e-v-e-r-y-t-h-i-n-g to sweep and mop
- scrub both bathrooms until my hands are raw
- paint front porch with nonslip concrete paint
- install front porch railing 
- sweep garage/tidy it up
- stain/water-seal back deck

Anything else you guys can add that I am forgetting? Little or big, things you wouldn't normally clean? How about that cleaning party? Who's game? I'll even throw in a pizza or two...

the wonder

I hope I never lose the impact that the cross has had on my life. I hope I never forget that Jesus DIED for my filthy rotten sinful self.


Today I am choosing to be thankful. I believe thankfulness is a choice we must make on a daily basis. Like choosing to get out of bed or choosing to eat that brownie or choosing to love the unlovable.

Today I am thankful for:

  •  My all-powerful, all-knowing, omnipotent, omnipresent, compasionate, loving, forgiving and grace-giving God. 
  •  My amazingly wonderful, loves me in spite of my *insert slew of negative characteristics here* Godly husband. 
  •  My ever supportive friends and family. 
  •  My amazing Bible-based church that just celebrated it's 10 year anniversary!
  •  A roof over my head, food in my refrigerator, a car that runs. 
  •  A job that I love and look forward to daily. 
  • An opportunity to go on a mission trip to Honduras (I'll update on this soon!)
  •  A chance to be a mom some day. 
"Giving thanks always and for everything to God the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ" - Ephesians 5:20 

"Give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you." - 1 Thessalonians 5:18

"Oh give thanks to the Lord, for he is good, for his steadfast love endures forever!"- Psalm 107:1


"And you also were included in Christ when you heard the message of truth, the gospel of your salvation. When you believed, you were marked in him with a seal" - Ephesians 1:13

empty arms

I may have posted this before, but God laid it on my heart to post it again. Please take the time to watch this video. I have said before that unless you have walked the infertility road, you do not truly know what it is like. This video does a good job of giving you a glimpse of that pain. It says at one point "we will resolve our infertility, we just don't know how." You guys all know that we are adopting, and though that is seen as a "resolution," the stamp of infertility on our hearts will never truly go away.

november - national adoption month

"November is National Adoption Month, a month set aside each year to raise awareness about the adoption of children and youth from foster care. This year's National Adoption Month initiative targets adoption professionals by focusing on ways to recruit and retain parents for the 115,000 children and youth in foster care waiting for adoptive families." - U.S. Department of Health and Human Services has come up with a really cool calendar of ideas for National Adoption Month. Even if you have never adopted and never plan too, you can support the adoption community. Click here to learn some cool ways to show your support!

ode to cherry chapstick

I have a slight obsession. It's bad. I use it no less than 10 times a day (yes, I've counted). It's...

And it can't be any other lip product. Not vanilla ChapStick, not lip gloss, not lipstick. Classic Cherry ChapStick is the only thing I want.

You know those commericials where people get paid in gum? And they are excited about it? Yeah. Well I can honestly say I have been paid in Cherry ChapStick for babysitting...and I was ecstatic. Yup, it's better than moolah.

I mean I am so obsessed that I didn't even have to buy Cherry ChapStick this year for myself. That's right. My family and friends know me so well that last year for Christmas I got not 7, not 8, but 9 tubes of Cherry ChapStick in my stockings and wrapped into gifts.(I am down to the last one,I am hoping that trend not only continues, but grows this year.)

I keep one in my pocket book, one beside my bed, and during the winter (so it doesn't melt) one in my car. I need them like peanutbutter needs jelly. It's serious.

My friends often tell me that I no longer have a "natural protective coating" on my lips.

Bah humbug.

Me + Cherry ChapStick = True Love.

Do you have any weird obsessions?

memorial box monday - gaby

It's time to link up with Linny for another...

Click here to learn more about mbm

I have been posting a lot more than usual about our battle with infertility, but I have neglected to share with you guys one of the biggest ways God has shown up in my life.

Her name is Gaby.

I met Gaby 2 years ago, my first year teaching. It was her first year at the high school we both taught at. She taught Spanish and I taught Math. We were both high school teachers with dark skin and hair and that, to me, seemed to be the end of our similarities. Then one day Gaby and I were paired together on field trip for the seniors and we sat next to each other for the 10 minute bus ride it took for us to get to the college we were visiting.

I should mention that only a month before that I was diagnosed with PCOS and basically told that our year of trying to conceive without success made us an infertile couple.The only person I had confided in up to that point had been my husband. He hadn't started the grieving process like I had yet, so I basically felt like I was walking this road alone. (I do want to say he is very supportive now, men just take a little longer for things to hit home ;) )

So Gaby and I started to get to know each other on that bus. The usual things like where we were from (she is from Ecuador by the way, how cool is that?) and what our husbands did (her's is a pastor; so I immediately knew she was a Christian). We talked about our faith and I thought "God how great you are to have placed an awesome Christian woman and fellow teacher into my life."

Oh how little did I know of his awesomeness.

Slowly the conversation turned to more serious things. I learned that Gaby had two gorgeous and adopted children! Now, picture me, no longer naive about the ease of growing a family the old fashioned way learning that this new friend had no biological children. I needed to know more, and she was ready and willing to share. I spilled my guts about all that I was afraid of, and she listened like what I was saying mattered.

"Rejoice with those who rejoice, and weep with those who weep" - Romans 12:15

Over the next few months Gaby unfolded her and her husband's 10+ years of marriage, infertility, failed IUIs, and adoption. She has taught me more than I can communicate about what the definition of a Christian, a woman, and mom are. She has seen me at my lowest while in the midst of fertility treatments and rejoiced with me over our decision to adopt! I can honestly say I don't know what I would have done without her.

God put my friend Gaby in my life at the time I needed her most, and I didn't even know it. I look back now at all the heartache we were experiencing and saw how Gaby hurt for us, because she had hurt the same way with her husband years before. I look back and see a woman of God who knew how to talk to and pray with a friend who was walking a similar path.

Most importantly, Gaby has shown me that an adoptive parent is no less a parent than those who have biological children. I have always had a heart for the orphan, but Gaby continually confirmed God's will for our lives concerning adoption. I can truly attest to the fact that there is a bond between her and her children that would rival most biological moms.

Oh how big and mighty and wonderful our God is. How he loves us! I am forever thankful to him for my dear friend Gaby. I love to look back on times where I couldn't see his plan, only to view the big picture months or years later with the most thankful heart.

So, in my virtual memorial box will go a cup from Starbucks (where we have a fair amount of our conversations) and a little school bus.

"Two are better than one, because they have a good return for their labor: If either of them falls down, one can help the other up. But pity anyone who falls and has no one to help them up. Also, if two lie down together, they will keep warm. But how can one keep warm alone? Though one may be overpowered, two can defend themselves. A cord of three strands is not quickly broken." - Ecclesiastes 4:9-12