Wednesday, July 22, 2015

Like a flood, His mercy rains...

And we are covered in His grace!

Y'all, that God, He's a funny one! Don't let anyone ever tell you He doesn't have a sense of humor, and loves to use it to humble us! 

Let me take you back just a few short weeks ago...

It was a Tuesday...just your average summer day, the kids were on day 2 of their swim lessons, which were going amazingly well btw, and Jason was taking advantage of the dry weather and finally getting to hit the trail on his mountain bike during his lunch break. 

My phone rang. I didn't recognized the number, but answered it anyway. It was Michelle from Generations (the gal that did our homestudy). Not thinking anything of it, I very casually said "Hey, what's up". She asked if it was a good time to talk and if Jason was around, still not thinking anything of it (our agency had recently had some people shifting positions, so I just assumed she was needing to update something or discuss our recent foster involvement. Then bam, she says the words we have waited so long to hear...

A birthmom has chosen you guys...

"Shut up, are you kidding me right now? Are you serious" - I vaguely remember those being the first words out of my mouth. Tears immediately well in my eyes and my heart pretty much explodes. I feel like I am having an out of body experience. Like really? Is this really happening on THE DAY we finished everything for Foster?! shaking my head She goes on to tell me how amazing this young woman is and how beautiful and smart she is, and y'all we're talking full blown tears now! Then I ask, "Does she know if it's a boy or a girl?" - and let me just tell you that honestly we didn't/don't care either way, but for some reason, I have always had this vision that it would be a girl, and even the kids when they talk about a future sibling, have always said it would be a girl...

It's a little girl... due in September...

heart explodes again. Still cannot believe this happening. Sidetone, while on the phone, Jason drives by on his way to the trail, sees me on the phone and has NO IDEA! So we hang up and tentatively plan to meet her and the mom for dinner THE NEXT NIGHT - eek! 

Now, I have to tell someone or I'm going to explode, so luckily my sweet friend Liz was there b/c her daughter had just finished her swim lessons and she gets to be the lucky first person to see my ugly cry and hear the amazing news! Sorry Jason. And my other friend Lindsay happened to walk up just as I'm telling her, so wham, 3 grown women hugging and crying at the pool! Now... it occurs to me that I get to think of a fun way to tell Jason, you know like a normal wife would get to do! 

After swim lessons, I tell the kids and Emma is OVER THE MOON excited! Max is too, but Emma was just beside herself to have a little sister. So we hop in the car and head to Carter's to get some big brother and big sister shirts to surprise daddy :)

Here's the video of the big reveal, I don't know why I thought I could keep it together, so please excuse my squeaky, shaky cry voice!

Sorry it got cut off, my finger accidentally pushed the end button

So yeah, we honestly didn't think it was ever going to happen and that maybe God was leading us to foster this whole time, but maybe He just wanted to humble us, tests our faith, and be certain that we were completely surrendered to Him? I don't know, and who knows, maybe our job is to come along side this beautiful mom and pour God's love into her, all I know is... that's what I plan to do, and whatever happens, I will continue to love on her, because I feel very strongly that that is what we are being called to do. In the meantime, we are anticipating that... we are going to have a baby girl in SEPTEMBER!! EEEKKK!!!

Please, please, please be in prayer for this sweet mom and that she would seek after Him and that He would be near her during this time and that He would give her peace and confidence in her decision, and that she would be willing to let us come along side her and love on her :) 

Monday, June 8, 2015

I'm with you...

I was sure by now

God you would have reached down
And wiped our tears away
Stepped in and saved the day
But once again, I say “Amen”, and it’s still raining

As the thunder rolls

I barely hear Your whisper through the rain
“I’m with you”
And as You mercy falls
I raise my hands and praise the God who gives
And takes away

I’ll praise You in this storm

And I will lift my hands
For You are who You are
No matter where I am
Every tear I’ve cried
You hold in Your hand
You never left my side
And though my heart is torn
I will praise You in this storm

I remember when

I stumbled in the wind
You heard my cry
You raised me up again
My strength is almost gone
How can I carry on
If I can’t find You

As the thunder rolls

I barely hear You whisper through the rain
“I’m with you”
And as Your mercy falls
I raise my hands and praise the God who gives
And takes away

I lift my eyes unto the hills

Where does my help come from?
My help comes from the Lord
The Maker of Heaven and Earth

- Casting Crowns

It's funny, I've probably heard this song and sang the lyrics a million times, but it really hit me in the car on the way to gymnastics on Friday, and as my eyes welled with tears pulling into the parking lot, I was so overwhelmed with this truth and took so much comfort in that moment, that my God really does hold every tear in His hands, and loves me, and has never left me or forsaken me. In the meantime, I/we will continue to praise Him in this storm, because not only does my help come from the Lord, so does my hope

Hand lettered Psalm 62:5 - Printable

Wednesday, June 3, 2015

0 for 5

Well, we are now 0 for 5 (that we know of), well I guess technically 0-4 since one birthmom who is having her baby today has decided to parent for now, but I guess that's still NOT choosing us, so yeah 0-5. This sucks.

In other news, we go in for our first training on Saturday to be licensed for foster to adopt/respite care/adoption through Angelheart Ministries here in Austin. So there's that. Some sweet friends of ours just got placed with a baby girl straight from the hospital yesterday, and they had only been waiting like 2 months, so that's promising, I guess. Just feeling a little jaded and defeated today.

The cruel irony of this whole situation has been weighing heavily on me lately.We have 4 perfect embryos which obviously make magnificent beautiful babies,
PROOF - exhibit A

and no uterus to put them in b/c God didn't think I needed that uterus anymore, and no takers to carry our baby for us, so we must turn to adoption to grow our family, and we pay, and we wait, and we are rejected, repeatedly, all the while we must make a plan for our baby embryos, that we want SO badly, but must eventually give to someone else. I just can't. Every time I think I have moved on from it, wham-o it slaps me in the face and I am forced to deal with these demons of my heart. I hate being angry with God. It's just not fair - and now I sound like a whining toddler, of course life isn't fair, it never has been and never will be.

This journey is hard, and it sucks... alot, that is all.

Monday, May 11, 2015

Always a bridesmaid, never a bride...

That's how I am feeling today :( We got the email today that, yet again, we were not chosen by the birthmother. It's frustrating and disappointing even though I KNOW that God has a plan for our family. It's frustrating that I'm letting Satan whisper lies in my ear that God is punishing me because he doesn't think I am a good mother. I just kinda feel like it's never going to happen, you know.

I had to hit the gym and bust out a good sweat sesh to try and get my mind off it and NOT eat all the chocolates and sit around feeling sorry for myself and letting Satan get the better of me.

So, what now? I don't know. I guess we sit and we pray and we wait for God to let us know. I will let this brokenness that I am feeling today make me stronger not weaker, and although it is not easy, I will try and rejoice in this disappointment. Somewhere, some sweet family's dreams just came true and the child the Lord has chosen for them will be in their loving arms in a few short weeks. Praise God for that. Isaish 41:10 keeps ringing in my head, so I will hold tight to these truths.

Friday, May 8, 2015

Friday Favorites

Nope. I know you are all wondering and no, we have not heard anything yet. As far as we know, the birthmother is still reviewing profiles and has not chosen a family yet. We just continue to pray that if it His will, that we could be the forever family for this sweet baby boy! 

I was thinking I would do a blast from the past Friday Favorites post since it's been a hot minute since I have done one, and I have a ton of things I am crushing on lately :)

1.) So, when we moved into the new house, we realized that we needed some way to keep our beautiful hand scraped wood floors clean down stairs. So, I began searching around and found what I hoped would be the answer, cause sweeping every day, multiple times a day was definitely NOT the answer! Here's what we found...

And... I LOVE it!!!! It is soooo light and so easy to use! And best part... it's cordless!!! It's so light even my kids can use it, which is right up my alley :) We've had it for about 6 weeks and it has been working like a champ! Best $130 I've spent in a while!

2 & 3.) I have recently been on the hunt for a good, natural, effective, and inexpensive face regimine. Apparently that's what women of a certain age should be doing, and well, I just haven't. I don't think my occasional use of the St. Ives Apricot scrub counts. Hi, my name's Candice and I'm 17. Everyone and their brother was trying to sell me on their MLM, and I just did NOT want to go that route. So after gathering tips and advice from family, friends and the good 'ol webbernet, I landed on this...

and I am seriously loving it!!! I'm not sure if it's from it or my other new favorite...

but the combo has my skin feeling so fresh and so clean clean! This is the only product that I have ever used where I honestly can tell a difference in the way my skin looks! It just looks healthier, smoother and just fresher! I'm loving it! I do the vit c serum in the morning and at night and follow it up with this awesome homemade moisturizer made with the rosehip oil, almond oil, jojoba oil and apricot oil. 

4.) Our new rug from Rugs USA

I lurve it!

5.) Lastly, I've been back on the workout train, and while I know this is no longer new, I'm still tot totally diggin' it and every song is my jam, and when you're werkin on your fitness, it's all about what keeps you motivated, and for me it's good jamz! I heart TS!

Happy Mother's Day weekend y'all!


Monday, April 6, 2015

3rd time's a charm???

So last week, we got an email from our agency about another situation with a birthmom that they needed our permission to show our profile (b/c of special circumstances). This is the 3rd time (that we know of) that our profile is being shown. Maybe this will be lucky number 3?? Who knows, but please be in prayer for this sweet mom who is making the most gut wrenching and difficult decision of her life, my heart breaks for her. They will be showing her profiles on Thursday. I have no idea how many profiles will be shown, but I don't think it will be any more than 18, hopefully less, and her baby boy is due in June. We don't know what the future holds, but we know that He has plans for us, plans to prosper us and not harm us, plans to give us hope and a future. We rely so faithfully on this truth and are so grateful for such a loving Father.

In other news, I ended up getting 2 little stitches in my finger, which hurt like an SOB - but the day after and since it hasn't hurt at all, so I guess that's good.

Although it kinda puts a damper on my weight lifting program that I just started last week. I will try to work around around it and not fall off track... again.

Oh, so exciting!!! I got to go with Delissa to try on wedding gowns on Saturday - so fun! I had only booked sessions with 2 places; David's Bridal and Belle Saison (a local place that had great reviews), praying that she would a) feel like a beautiful princess and b) find THE dress! David's was first and she tried on several gowns and found one that she really liked, funny enough, nothing like what she thought she would like. Doesn't it always work out that way?! Luckily, they would be able to order the dress and address any alterations if needed (what I was hoping would happen since David's is your big box bridal store and homegirl is getting married in, oh you know 2 months!) We went and had lunch and then headed over to Belle Saison (a little late) and all the girls were given special ribbon tags to put on all the dresses they wanted her to try on. They ran out of tags, but my mom spotted just ONE MORE to add to the pile, so the consulted threw it in there. She tried on dress after dress and they were all kind of meh. Especially after seeing her in the other gown at David's that we thought might be the ONE. Finally, she comes around the corner, and I was the first to see her and my jaw hit the ground and tears started welling in my eyes, holy smokes, I just KNEW this had to be the one! She stepped onto the platform and everyone gasped and Delissa started to cry. Y'all she did not cry when she had on any other dress. She looked stunning! The dress was just perfect and oh so flattering! I just knew it was going to be like $2000 or something way out of budget and I was nervous. I told my mom about my fear and she leaned in and said, "that's the one I picked after we were out of tags! It's only $900!". Holy sweet Jesus, are serious?! Most dresses in this place were all over $1500 - so this was a flippin' miracle! Now my second fear.. would they be able to order her a dress in time?! No :( Buuuuuut.... they had 2 sample dresses in the store, one of which WAS IN HER SIZE, that they would sell her at 10% off! WHAT?! This is amazing! AND they also just happen to be running a tax free promotion - SERIOUSLY?! Thank you God, I know without a doubt that this was ALL you! Thank you so, so much for allowing Delissa to have the dress of her dreams! #healwaysprovides Wish I could show you all a pic, but you'll just have to wait until June 20th!

She said yes to the dress!!!

Pumping is going...ok, I guess. I don't know what the norm is for how much I should be producing at this point with only a pump, but twice this past week I made half and ounce in a day - which is double what I was making, so I'm pretty pumped about that! Hopefully my supply will double again next week?? We shall see. I might have gotten half an ounce yesterday too, but I ran off and left my pump at home and spend the whole day in Wimbo at my parents house for Easter :( So, I gave hand expression a whirl, and it actually went better than expected, but my boobs were pretty sore today. One cool thing that happened though, while hand expressing in the car on the way home, I had "sprays" for the first time (that I am aware of) - which was pretty exciting.
only ALL the time! Haha! #boobtoot

Speaking of Easter, here are some pics from Easter week/Sunday, and a few pics from our Bluebonnet mini session with the ever so talented Ms. Becky!

STOP growing already!

Aren't they amazing?! Just love her! If you are looking for an amazing photographer, you MUST check her out:Rebecca Dyan Photography.

I guess I will let you guys know how things shake out next week with the newest baby situation - prayers are always appreciated! Have a good one!


Friday, April 3, 2015

Life Lately...

So sorry for the lack of updates lately! We have had a very busy month! Gosh, where to start??

Well... we bought a house! The whole thing was such a whirlwind, a beautiful, amazing, proof of God's provision, whirlwind! So 2 houses went on the market on the same day, in the same neighborhood (one we had looked at before and really liked), so we went and looked at both a few hours after they went on the market, and were prepared to make offers on both that evening. They were both AWESOME homes! One was about $30K more than the other, but both within our budget (sort of). With the exception of needing to close off the formal dining into Jason's office at some point (when we need the extra room for a nursery), it had EVERYTHING on our list: master down (if a 2 story) - check, 3 secondary bedrooms - check, open concept kitchen, dining, living - check, trees in the backyard, check, hardwoods downstairs - check, half bath - check, flat driveway - check, walking distance to school, check, walking distance to pool, check. AND even extras that weren't on our list like completely renovated kitchen that included the fridge - check, huge covered patio with built in grill - check, walking distance to a neighborhood park - check, amazing neighbors with kids - double check! So we put in an offer for over asking, because for reals, this house was priced too low and we really wanted it!, their realtor talked to our realtor and asked for our best and final and told us that we were one of 5 offers, so we went a little higher to what we felt comfortable with ($15K over asking), and BOOM, they picked us! Total God thing! A day or 2 later someone came in with a cash offer for more that what we were paying - whoa! Speaking of cash offers, we didn't end up making an offer on the other house b/c the same day it went active someone offered cash for it - where are all these ppl getting this cash?! Anyhoo, we went and looked at the house on like Feb 12th, put in our final offer on the 13th, and were approved later that day (I think). Yay! From there things went super fast! We closed on the 6th of March and moved in on the 20th! Crazy! So yeah, we've been busy packing, moving, and *still* unpacking!

Our lender gave us these cute little cards to mail out - how cool is that?!

We literally pinch ourselves everyday b/c we cannot believe we got this house! And the previous owners... so cool - nicest people ever! They were the original owners and now they have become friends! Praise God! He always provides! We are just so lucky that it was His will to provide us with this home! We love it so much!

Let's see, what else... oh, we were presented with another birthmom situation (also on February 13th), we thought it would be pretty cool to get a baby and a house on the same day, but we learned our lesson and did not get our hopes up AT ALL. Y'all, so much better this time around! I was not crushed, disappointed yes, but I did not spend the rest of the day crying and being sad when we got the email that the mom chose a different family. It was for a baby boy due... get this... March 20th. I could have gotten caught up in everything again feeling like it was fate, but I didn't do that, instead I gave it all to God and told Him to let it be His will. And it was. It just wasn't us. And that's ok.

Max is playing soccer again, he had his first practice this past Tuesday! And of course... there was no coach...again, so Jason kind of got nominated to coach...again! Luckily he's a good sport and I think actually really enjoys it ;) I think Max is pretty excited to have daddy coaching again too!

Apparently the girls on the team overulled the Sharks for the team name #godolphins

Emma started gymnastics today (Friday), and can we just take a minute to talk about the obscene amount of money gymnastics is?! I mean really?! They are 4 (and under) and they run on a trampoline and do front rolls on the ground, do we REALLY need to charge $70 a month for that?! Luckily, a friend told me about a hidden gem/gym (you like that play on words? hehe) that was only the bargain price of $40 a month (which I still think is ludicrous but whatevs), so today was her first day. She totally loved it and the coach was fantastic with the kids! Bad thing is, Max loved it too :/ Sorry little buddy, you picked soccer and there is NO WAY I am paying $80 a month for front rolls and trampoline jumping. Maybe next season.

Oh yeah, and lest not forget... this happened last night...

awesome. I was cutting some floral wire (finishing up a wreath for a sweet friend) and I guess my poor little knuckle was just in the wrong place at the wrong time :/ I knew right away that it wasn't good, I immediately applied pressure with my other hand and *really* didn't want to look again. Seriously thought about how long I could logistically hold my finger before needing to use my hand. It didn't bleed a whole lot and honestly didn't even hurt all that much (except the peroxide, that hurt like an SOB). Jason went and got me some steristrips and we bandaged it up as we discussed if it needed stitches or not. Naturally, I posted it to FB to gather medical advice from all of my friends (none of whom are doctors, or even nurses for that matter - #winning). The consensus was a) lather some snake oil on it (not really but I swear EOs just don't seem to work for my family, but don't worry I still buy them and attempt to keep in trend with everyone) and b) go to the doctor, that S needs stitches. Awesome. So Jason just detailed for me what will happen in the event I need stitches, and I just threw up in my mouth. Please God don't let them stick a needle in my open wound! I'm apparently a giant wuss. And yes, I did have a massive surgery 4 and half years ago, wherein they opened my abdomen, took out 2 humans, alot of blood, a uterus (with placenta attached) and who knows what else, and stapled me all back up, but this... I want no part of this! Remember scissor safety friends! That's my PSA for the day! My appointment is in a hour, we'll see how this all shakes out. Wish me luck!

I'll try to update more later, b/c there are other updates to be told! Happy Good Friday Y'all - Remember the one who gave it ALL for YOU!

Tuesday, January 13, 2015

Sometimes you're the windshield...

And sometimes you're the bug...

Friends, my heart is sad this morning and I have an overwhelming feeling of disappointment. THIS is exactly why our agency does not typically let you know when your profile has been shown. Despite my best efforts, I (we) got our hopes up, talk to our kids about it, prayed with them about it, told our friends and family and asked for their prayers, even talked about baby girl names... heck I even updated our registry/wish list with a few baby girl clothes. I shouldn't have done that. I know that.

My head knows and keeps trying to tell my heart that...

"all things work together for the good of those who love him." Romans 8:28
And to "not be anxious about anything, but in everything through prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, to present my requests to God, and the peace of God will guard my heart and my mind" Phil 4:6-7
AND that "God knows the plans he has for me, plans for good and not for evil, to give me a future and a hope"

But today I am feeling a little hopeless and defeated :( My head and my heart just can't seem to sync up. I know that God has never let me down and I am completely blessed beyond what I deserve - and it's not that I feel like he messed this one up or anything like that - I'm just sad that it wasn't our turn.

I know there is something we are supposed to learn from this, which I guess just feeds right on in to my Word of the Year... TRUST.

Our baby is out there, and all I can do is try to shake this disappointment off and focus on praying for the precious mother that is carrying our baby.