the daily

In July, on a challenge from my friend Lisa, I dusted off my Instagram account. And it’s been true love ever since. I was a bit wobbly starting out, not quite sure how to pick and choose what to post. But I’ve since decided to pursue pictures that very much represent *real-life* to me… the things that intrigue me, inspire me, and the things I want to remember.

Maybe my kids being silly. Maybe a mushroom (yes, I have a thing for colorful mushrooms). Maybe my dogs.

Whatever it is, though, the pressure is off and I can just be me. The pictures might not be great, or mean anything to anyone else, but they mean something to me and mine. (Especially mine. In fact, I think my kids are more fascinated by my IG feed than anyone… wait ’til they see the books I get made.)

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And these last few months have changed the way I see things a bit. I’ve found myself looking more for the beauty in the ordinary – the daily – than in the pre-meditated or the planned.

Because beauty surrounds us.

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So when I looked out the window the other day and saw Isabelle pushing Tallula in the little orange car, both still in their jammies, hair messy from the night before, I figured I’d push this *real-life* thing a bit further. And I grabbed my big-girl camera.

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Because this is what we really look like. Messy hair. Still in jammies. Playing away the day.

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True, some days we are still in our jammies, with messy hair, but I’m grouchy or the kids are fussy. Or both.

Those days, I’m not so determined to remember.

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But these days?

Sun shining.

Leaves turning.

Big sister pushing little sister in the cozy coupe.

Seamus on guard duty. (There are deer in these woods, you know.)

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This day, I don’t want to forget.

We found out a few weeks ago that Seamus has an advanced oral sarcoma. Our vet has given him another 2 – 3 months to live. Thankfully, for now, the pain medicine is allowing him a good quality of life and we are able to continue to enjoy life with our beloved boy for just a bit longer. But we would be grateful for any prayers on behalf of Seamus. He will leave an awfully big hole in a whole lot of hearts when he is gone.

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found – news and more news

Please take a minute and read this one to the end, friends.

One week ago, my sweet husband delivered 1300 Found shirts to my door.

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Since then I’ve done everything in my power to get these on their way. Stat. Honestly, there’s nothing like 24 t-shirt filled bins, lining your bedroom walls, to get you up and at ‘em in the morning.

And, I am happy to say, this afternoon I folded my last t-shirt. Taped my last tissue paper. And mailed my last package.

Then went out for doughnuts.

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Okay, it wasn’t really the last package. Just the last package I could ship right now.

Because it just couldn’t be that easy.

Turns out that there was a significant number of shirts that were mis-printed and, until Monday when I began running out of a few sizes prematurely, I had no idea. Thankfully, our printer is a great guy and he was able to get in touch with production and get to the bottom of it all quickly. So, while we are out of some shirts and there are still about 50 orders pending, there will be new shirts printed and packaged and shipped.

It will just be a few more weeks.

The upside of this (the optimist in me is always looking for the upside) is that our printer has allowed us to add any additional heart Found shirts that we’d like. And I know that lots of y’all had emailed and messaged me that you’d wanted to get a Found tee for yourself or your kiddo, but had missed the deadline. Well, consider this your chance.

Through tomorrow night at midnight, you can order a Found tee for anyone your little heart desires.


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Yay!

So if you would like to get another, it’s basically the same as before.

1. Complete the short form to let me know who you are and what shirts you would like.

2. Then go to our You Caring page to donate. We are requesting a minimum donation of $20 per child’s shirt and $25 per women’s shirt – shipping is free.

A few please-take-a-second-to-read notes:

While we did meet our fundraising goal – hallelujah! – we are still not home from China with our girl, yet. And $36,000 on a thermometer does not equal $36,000 in our adoption fund. $11,000 was spent on t-shirts. $1500 was spent on shipping. And our projected expenses from this point on are $24,500. (I will share more of the specifics of our fundraising efforts in a future “t-shirt fundraiser” post. I have had so many inquiries – sorry if I haven’t gotten back to you yet, but know that I am planning on posting all about it in the near future.) I just want y’all to know that any and all funds that are raised from this entire effort will be used for the sole purpose of bringing home our Clementine. But recently a sweet friend reminded me that with a child as fragile as Clementine, there could be a number of unforeseen expenses between now and home. A hospitalization in China, or additional medical needs that need immediate attention. So for now we are continuing to offer the Found shirts to anyone who would like to participate. And any funds that we raise as an overage to our adoption costs will be gifted to another adopting family.

I have emailed everyone with either a Yay-Your-shirt-is-on-the-way! email or a So-sorry-your-shirt-is-not-on-the-way! email. So if you participated and are waiting on a Found shirt, but have not heard from me, please let me know. Okay, no… first check your spam folder and then let me know via email, comment or FB message. I really, really want to be sure everyone’s shirts arrive – safe and sound.

Thanks, y’all. For everything.

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downtown

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It’s been too long since I’ve taken my biggest girl out for a photo shoot. Like almost a year, y’all. Thankfully, she’s not too old to bribe, and the offer of a free lunch was enough to get her to commit to being my muse for the afternoon. Of course I could have just asked […]

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how do I love thee…

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Seriously, I love this dog. Okay, confession time. I love all my dogs like a crazy-dog-hoarder-person. Thankfully (I suppose?) I married someone who had only a mild affinity for dogs… comparatively speaking. Because it’s kept my wild love for dogs in check. But then came Noah. I know, I know. I wax poetic all the […]

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found shirts – counting down

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After hitting a teeny tiny snag in production, the Found shirts will be ready for pick up this afternoon. My sweet husband is taking the day off work tomorrow so he can drive to A-town to pick them up, to avoid the shipping time and cost. I was planning to go, but my wise printer […]

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Poppy = 5

One week ago Poppy turned five. (Is it just me or does it seem like I was posting about her last birthday just a month or two ago?) And it was, whether or not I was happy about her turning a whole year older, a lot of fun. Additionally – trying to look on the […]

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beautiful.

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Did y’all see? No Hands But Ours has been completely transformed. *cue angels singing* Because a whole-lotta hard work went into this overhaul. It’s been over a year in the making. Countless hours put in by a group of big-hearted adoptive mamas, as well as some incredibly generous web-design people that were able to envision, […]

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a quarter of a century.

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Yes, her big day was over a month ago. But when you’re already a quarter of a century, a few weeks shouldn’t matter… amiright? We celebrated in our usual fashion. The birthday girl had her choice of dinner… and dessert. This is the dessert that happens when it’s the baker’s birthday and mama has to […]

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because He loved us

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Wow. Just wow. It’s been four days since our fundraiser ended and I’m still basically speechless. Over 700 people gave. Over $36,000 was raised. And over 1500 Found shirts will be printed and worn – God’s people carrying His Word on their back on behalf of one little girl, halfway around the world. Speechless. So […]

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going all out.

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Y’all ready? Because here we go… (Trying to summarize it all right here in one post. If it seems like a repeat, it’s not. Lots of good stuff – please read to the end.) We are in the process of bringing home a precious baby from China. Her name is Clementine, she has Down syndrome, […]

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