I want to say thank you… to each of you that has sent a note of encouragement or made a purchase since the new shop launch. It has helped curb my fear of putting myself and my work out there for all to see. These past few months have taught me a lot about not boxing myself in and being open to new ideas. I’ve learned that trying something new is (almost) always a good idea. I didn’t know I could draw/illustrate until this summer. I literally thought I couldn’t do it, and so I have simply never tried! I always skipped drawing classes out of intimidation. But, oh how I’ve missed out on so much by not trying. It was like breathing new air creating all the little illustrations for my shop – including my personal favorites, our Market Friends. I’ve felt something missing in my work for some time, and I’m slowing discovering it as I embrace new territory. Illustrating and designing offer an avenue to create color palettes, to add a cohesive interest to my entire body of work and to push past comfort zones. I believe this is only the beginning so long as I don’t grow lazy or fearful to keep pursuing new boundaries. If you’re thinking of trying something new, I encourage you to go do it! There will be plenty of mishaps along the way, that I can assure you of. But it will be worth it, if only for the process. Here’s to pushing past boundaries and trying something new. Enjoy the weekend! xo
Happy Saturday, friends! I know I haven’t posted in a little while. I’ve intentionally stepped away from my computer during ‘work hours’ as much as possible to focus on designing and creating. I’m hoping to have an updated website with new pieces and products to share with all of you soon! In other news, I celebrated my 30th birthday this past week. Hello new decade! To be honest, it doesn’t feel all that different. Maybe its because I was in bed by 10pm that night;) But truly, I welcome this new decade with hope and anticipation. My 20s offered so much. They made me a wife, a mother, and a friend to many I love so dearly. I got married when I was a baby-bird at 23! I wouldn’t change that for anything. We have been through a lot of changes, but we’ve weathered them together and have finally found our groove to carry us on for years to come. We’ve moved from Nashville to New Orleans to Baton Rouge to Jordan to Tel Aviv and now to Houston. I’ve had to kiss my hoarding tendencies goodbye! Throw in other lessons along the way: mostly learning how to release expectations, be less selfish, take myself less seriously and find reasons to give thanks every single day. And now here I sit, a few days into this new decade, with a hopeful heart as we settle into a home in a new city (where we think we’ll actually be for several years;). I look forward to all this is to come. 30s…I welcome you with open arms! “Happy Birthday, Ma!” Remy always calls me Ma:) He picked out the chocolate cake!
I also wanted to share an adoption update for those who have been wondering. It is going…slowly but surely. We had a few setbacks in August, but it was made very obvious that we needed to wait before moving forward at that time. Looking back, I’m thankful things had to be put on hold. I didnt want to get to the point where we could potentially be matched with a birth mother only to say we aren’t financially ready to move forward. My heart felt conflicted because I know there are birth mothers out there who need families to say ‘yes’ to their babies. I recently found out that some African American birth mothers are turned away from agencies simply because they don’t have families open to transracial adoption. Crazy, right? There is a huge need for families open to babies of ethnic minority, and in such cases, the entire process typically moves much faster than normal. That can be exciting and overwhelming. It’s exciting to think that you could be matched sooner than later. Let’s be honest, I’ve been ready for another baby for a couple of years now! But, regardless of how ready you are and how open your family is, it still comes with a cost. The cost of a local adoption is quite expensive, around $30,000. You have to be prepared to pay that price in full by the time your baby is placed in your home. That’s where it gets overwhelming, very quickly. Honestly, it seems like the system is somewhat broken and that costs shouldn’t be so high, especially when there is a need for families wanting a baby regardless of race or specifications. But the reality is, everyone that goes through the adoption process carries the burden of that price tag along with it. Part of the reason I haven’t updated recently is because it feels awkward to talk about the financial side of adoption; however, it is a huge part of the process and not really something that should be left out of the conversation. I also think it helps to shed light on the reality of domestic adoption costs. I don’t know about you, but before we got into this, I had no idea it was so expensive. I’ll admit, there are times I say to myself, “This is crazy. There’s no way we can save this much money.” But I know without a doubt we are called to adopt so we are slowly and steadily moving forward. We have rescheduled our home study for mid-October. This means we could potentially be matched with a birth mother before the new year, but of course, it does not guarantee anything. We still have a long way to go in being fully funded for our adoption. That is where we are focusing our efforts right now! If you or anyone you know may be interested in helping us bring home little baby Everett, you can visit my shop by clicking the link at the top of this page. Every single purchase goes directly toward our adoption fund. We were also sweetly surprised by some very dear friends that created a YouCaring page to help support us in this journey. You can find out more about that here. Above all, thank you for listening (well, reading, really;) and being a part of this journey with us. We couldn’t do it without you.
Happy Friday, friends. We decided to extend our stay in Nashville one more week. No complaints here – because we are in the final stretch. By this time next week, Greg will be finished taking the TX Bar and law school will officially be OVER. Done and done! It feels like ages ago that we made it to the halfway mark. The last 3 years of life have been full for our little family: full and chaotic and adventurous and exhausting….but always beautiful. I am feeling gratitude for all of it. I’ve been rereading my original Friday Favorites posts like this one and this one that I started when Greg was in his first year of law school and Remy was a bitty babe. They mean more to me now than I realized they would. In one of them I wrote, “when our day-to-days seem monotonous and routine, this project pushes me to think bigger…” To think bigger about the work I’m creating, the life I’m living, the love I’m giving to those around me. Sometimes routine and monotony is exactly what I need to do those things best. So here’s to another week of taking each day as it comes, and celebrating the victories however big or small. Squeeze your loved ones and enjoy the weekend. xo
Food for Thought to Explore over the Weekend: Katrin Korfmann is the genius behind those photographs above.
And lastly, my good friend is the genius behind ANKR. I’ve had the opportunity to work from their office this week and witness the hard work+energy that surrounds the day-to-day of a start up. I can’t wait to see what happens with this company. Just remember, you heard about it here first!
It’s been awhile, I know! Nearly two months have passed since we boarded our flight home from Tel Aviv. There’s been so much going on that I haven’t had time to sit and write. But now that we are more settled, I have some really exciting news I’ve been wanting to share with you… And we couldn’t be more excited about it! Greg and I used to talk about adoption when we were dating and always knew it would be part of our story – just not this soon. After experiencing two losses over the last year, we individually started to consider adoption as a way to grow our family. Short conversations turned into longer ones, and before we knew it we were both on the same page with all of it. It’s truly been incredible to see the way the Lord has prepared our hearts both individually and as a family. While we remain hopeful that I will birth more babies one day, we agree that if adoption is going to be part of our story, there is no reason to wait until we are finished having biological children. And so our adoption journey begins!
We are in the beginning phases right now, which mainly consists of talking with adoption consultants and starting to work on our profile book. It will be a long journey over the next several months…in some ways, I imagine, similar to pregnancy! I know it will be emotional and trying, and we don’t enter it lightly. We trust in the Lord’s goodness and His plans. I’ve been really encouraged by other blogs where adoptive mamas have shared their stories, so I will try to do the same. Thank you to everyone who has already shared their excitement with us – we appreciate the prayers and support more than you know!
Valentine’s Day is this week, and I’ve been trying to find a fun project for Remy and me. The forecast looks pretty grim over the next few days so making valentines for each other & daddy will be a great way to keep us busy. I came across the cutest ideas on my search! I wanted options that weren’t sugar-related because there’s usually plenty of that to go around on Valentines Day – and we’ll probably be eating a treat while we craft anyway;) Whether you are still looking for valentines to send with your kids to school or for a fun craft to do with your toddler, here are my favorites that I found: bugs | mask | bubbles | noodles