Friday, May 16, 2014

Friday Links and Loves

Inspired by my friend Courtney, here are my Friday links and loves for this week:


I am that Mom. I'm not a military mom, but this post is real mommyhood and it cracks me up every time I read it.  But my favorite is the line at the end..."And above all I believe that moms should stop judging other moms. It's exhausting."  Word.

This adoption video.  Watch it once, watch it twice, cry every time.  Magic.

The Collect app.  This one is a link and a love.  I have been using this app since early February to record a caption for one photo each day.  You simply decide on the style of the card that you want, set up your albums, and then create!  It even reminds you each day around 6pm to "collect" a photo for the day.  At the end of the month, you export your cards to your photo album, upload, and order.  Super simple!  At the end of March, I uploaded my photos to Persnickety Prints, placed my order, and a few days later my 3x4 photo cards arrived.  Yesterday, my Handbook album from Studio Calico finally arrived, along with my page protectors, and I took about 10 minutes to put it all together.

I am IN. LOVE.  This scrapbooker doesn't have time for much scrapbooking these days, and although I miss sitting down with lots of fun stuff and creating, this works for ME...where I am...right now.  It is definitely something I can see myself keeping up with, and I love knowing that this album is ready right now for my kiddos to look through.  Win.


Noonday Collection.  I love their mission, I love their heart, I love their blog, I love their sense of style.  And I specifically love these earrings (perfect for tshirts and comfy clothes in the summer!):
And doggone it, even this necklace:

Seven by Jen Hatmaker.  Because God has been messing me up about this topic for a while (yes, even after I just posted over $200 worth of jewelry loves!  I posted, not purchased!  He has His work cut out for Him with this child, I'm afraid!).

Sevenly.  Because who couldn't use a cute t-shirt that just so happens to help out a different cause each week?  

Starbucks K-cups.  There are only two weeks of school left, and these babies are going to get me through. I'm not sure I did this right, because I'm thinking that the lines between my links and loves are very blurry, but I hope you have fun with it anyway!

Kiddo Update

Life is busy this month.  Crazy, fun, busy.  So here is a quick kiddo update, just to share some pictures of what my favorite little people have been up to.


If you read this post, you saw that she is wearing a lovely fashion accessory these days.  She did participate in the Little Miss Rebel Pageant, and was first runner-up, boot and all!

She and her gymnast girlies cleaned up the chalk and glammed up--it was sweet to see them together.  

My favorite moments of the night were the high five she and Ellie shared after being called up on stage a second time and the little "good job" that I saw her whisper to the winner as she stepped back into the lineup after being crowned.  Before we left for the school, I kept telling her that it's what's on the inside that counts--and she proved that she understood.

She is winding down her year in third grade, getting ready to turn 9, and making plans for a fun summer.  I love hanging out with her right now!


At two and a half, this little boy has reached a silly point where everything he says is funny!  His favorite things are to tell us the story of the Three Little Pigs, say "Wet me see..." while pretend scratching his chin, and excitedly exclaim, "I ha a good idea!"  Sunday morning when I was getting dressed, I saw this little face peek over the drawer:

He also loves showing off his muscles!
As always, he loves playing with tractors.  He found this helmet on the day of our yard sale and now thinks he has to wear it to drive his "dat-doo trac."  
He found a dirt patch that is perfect for digging in the front yard, and if we even leave the front door cracked just a little, he and his brother will find it and escape to their favorite place:  outside.
I always wanted a little boy to dig in the dirt. :)


This little boy is going to be the one who keeps us on our toes.  He is starting to talk and loves the /b/ sound.  He has started running and I love his little squatty running steps.  He loves going outside as much as his big brother, and can escape in a blink.  As a matter of fact, last week he escaped while we were playing in the front yard and this is where I found him:

He's a climber!  He has always loved to play in the cabinet where my mixer is, and Sunday night THIS happened:

Y'all--while I was in the kitchen putting up groceries this happened.  I thought he was just playing in the cabinet.  He started whimpering, then crying, and when his cry changed tone, I looked down and saw that his head was STUCK in the cabinet between the braces that hold the mixer shelf in place and the wall.  His poor little ear was bright red from trying to get himself out!  I yelled for Zeke, whose first question was whether I had taken a picture!  Luckily, we just had to move the shelf over and make his head go down and out instead of up and out like he was trying to do.  In the past month, we've swallowed a battery, called poison control, and gotten a head stuck.  He's going to be a challenge, this one.

And, I couldn't resist sharing this photo:
That is cousin love at its finest.  These two are inseparable when they are in the same house.  Audrey will crawl, wiggle, push you, whatever it takes to get close to her Kinley--and once she latches on, she doesn't let go.  We really can't say no to her if she wants K, she gets K, even in the middle of dessert.  We are love, love, loving having our sweet A close by--and from that sweet grin on her face, it looks like she might be loving it too.

These babies are my sweet chaos...even in the midst of a packed month, STILL the most fun I've ever had!

Thursday, May 15, 2014

A Big Boo-Boo

Last Monday, I was giving the boys a bath and waiting on Kinley to come home from the gym.  I heard Zeke say, "Mama?  Ankle!" and looked around to see him carrying Kinley like a baby into the bathroom.  She had folded her foot under when she tried to land her vault, and then it popped to the side.  Of course, in true gymnast fashion, they gave her a cold pack for it and she continued her workout on one leg.  (Grr.)  She was in pain, we called Papa to come check it out, and we all assumed that it was just a bad sprain.  It really started to hurt (and swell!) at bedtime, but we gave her Tylenol and she went to sleep.

When she woke up Tuesday, she was really hurting.  I didn't want her to hop all over school, I couldn't take off work, and people at my parents' house were sick, so I gave her such sweet motherly advice: "You are going to have to limp on it today, and I'll call the doctor."  I am sure my Mom of the Year medal is arriving any day now (sarcastic font).  Little did I know that her third grade day consisted of not one, not two, but THREE trips out to the playground!  By the time I saw her around 12, her face was pale and drawn and she was in mega pain.  

We left for the pediatrician's office right after school.  She hobbled in and Dr. Parmer took one look at it and sent us to the orthopedic doctors for x-rays because of a growth plate close to the place where most of her swelling (and, at this point, pretty colors!) was.  After an x-ray, Dr. Ellis informed us that her growth plate was, in fact, fractured.  He said that she would be in an air cast/boot for around 4 weeks and asked if we had any questions.  Kinley (in her most grown-up 8 year old voice) spoke up. "Um, actually, yes I do.  I have a pageant Friday night, and I was wondering if I would be able to take this off for that?"  He was amazing with her, and very seriously answered her very serious question by telling her that she had to be careful because even a slight twist of the weakened bone could cause it to break, and because of the location, she would have to have surgery.  She was satisfied with his answer, they fitted her with a boot, and we left.

It was almost 5:00 (time for gym!), but no fractured growth plate could keep this girl down!  We called to let them know that she would be late, picked up her brothers, changed her clothes, and off she went to the gym.  These girls are tough as nails, I tell ya.  

I'm proud of how she has handled her injury so far.  She has been super brave and hasn't let it get her down--or slow her down!  She is still going to the gym and following doctor's orders so that she can heal soon and return to her regularly scheduled program.  She's a tough cookie!

Wednesday, May 14, 2014

The Backyard

When we built and moved into our house three years ago, we knew that we had a long list of things to do.  Isn't that the beauty of home ownership?  There is ALWAYS a to-do list!  Three years of being pregnant and taking care of newborns will do nothing to cross items off the list, either!  So this year, we created an outdoor to-do list and finally decided to do something about our backyard, other than sinking into the ground when we sit on the patio furniture.  Now, that will help your self-esteem!

Here is the before:

We didn't take a picture of the true before (oops!) but this is as close as it gets.  We have made progress in the past three years (no more gravel and dirt!) but we really wanted an outdoor living/coffee-drinking/entertaining space.

My handyman jack-of-all-trades-and-good-at-it-all hubby built a deck, which my girly and I stained.  We bought new outdoor cushions to match the back door and a fire pit for cool spring and fall evenings.  We added in some plants, including a red geranium for my Granny (they always make me think of her!).  And finally, Zeke strung some lights to create an instant party!

Here is the after:

And an iPhone shot at night:

Our house backs up to the hill, which we love, but there is always the threat of dirt moving, which we don't want!  My Granny and Poppy had put rocks on the hill to serve as a retaining wall when they lived here years ago.  This had always been one of those areas that we considered redoing, but the budget didn't really allow for expensive retainer walls to match the foundation of the house.  A landscaper-friend looked at it and mentioned planting things at the top of the rocks, and IN the rocks--and we were sold!  

Here is a before of the rocks keeping the dirt out of our back door (sorry for the dark iPhone photo!):

Add in a few plants, some good old-fashioned elbow grease to dig and plant, and some pine straw for mulch, and voila!

We are loving our new outdoor space!  We built our house with all of the living areas on the back and lots and lots of windows because we loved this view, and now, we love it even more!  We have enjoyed eating dinners outside, coffee on the deck on cool mornings, and even our wildlife has put a stamp of approval on our project--something with little muddy paws loves walking on it while we sleep.  

Up next?  See that trampoline and swing (on the ground!) in the photo above?  A playground for the kiddos and a raised garden are coming in the next two weekends.  Stay tuned!

Friday, May 9, 2014

Forget the Frock--Warning: WORDY!

So, this Easter I was introduced to an amazing movement called Forget the Frock.  If you're already my follower on social media, you have probably seen my photos of our shirts arriving, my incessant shares of Forget the Frock posts, and our Easter pictures. 

In a nutshell, Forget the Frock is a movement based on one woman's conviction about spending mega-bucks on matchy Easter clothes for her family when others in the world were starving.  When I saw a link to it on Facebook, and read her story, and watched this video, I was immediately taken.  Her question, "Is this really what celebrating Jesus looks like?" cut me like a knife, and within minutes of watching, the Terrys had ordered tshirts.  What seems like such a small thing helped to raise almost $184,000 in support of orphans, widows, the needy and oppressed.  Pretty cool, huh?

I want to document and share our story--why my heart was so quickly and easily stirred when I heard about this, and what God is doing in the heart of this little family where orphans are concerned.  Be warned:  I'm wordy.  So...rewind.  Way, way, way rewind.

High school was the first time I remember seeing adoption.  A boyfriend's aunt adopted two little girls from China, and I was smitten.  I have always loved little ones, and these two precious girls were no exception.  I watched people in our church adopt, got excited for them, and moved on.  I was a teenager.  Enough said.

Fast forward a few years, and I've met my match in this Terry boy.  We are ready to start a family, only that isn't happening as quickly as we would like (read: on our schedule.  Boy, does God have a sense of humor...but that's another post for another day!).  I am shopping for shoes, alone, in Huntsville one beautiful Saturday morning (what?!  I didn't know what a privilege that was!)  (ok, I'll stop commenting on my own story.  These parentheses are getting on my nerves.  Hang with me.).  Anyway, I am shopping and this little almond-eyed girl pops up behind a stack of shoe boxes in the aisle and whispers, "Hi.  How old are you?" and giggles.  I'm a giggler, and I connected with this little girl immediately.  We had a lovely conversation, although I can't really remember much other than her stellar opener.  Within minutes, her mom came around the corner with an exasperated smile and apologized and collected her daughter, and I left.  As I walked out, I heard their sweet, giggly conversation about how you don't ask women their age.  Ha.  I called Zeke on my Zach Morris cell phone (before the iPhone days!) and told him that I'd take one of those.  He was either totally open to my nuttiness or distracted on the phone, and he said ok.  We discussed the option and agreed that it was something we both were open to, but we didn't act on our openness at that point.

We watched some friends prepare to adopt and then cancel their plans as we all found out within months of each other that we were expecting.  Finally!  The baby that we had dreamed of was on her way, and our days as a little family began. 

Life happened, I changed careers, and although we wanted and tried to have another baby, again things did not happen on our schedule.  In October 2010, we were a little family of three with a 5 year old daughter, fielding questions about when we were going to have another baby.  One Sunday morning we watched the Operation Christmas Child video in church, and God moved me--I didn't want to make a shoebox for these babies, I wanted to go GET one of these sweet babies.  I began praying and printing adoption paperwork.  We were both praying and felt led to adoption, but didn't fill out the paperwork immediately.  Then, in February, we found out that we were expecting again!  We were beyond excited and shocked--we had so prepared Kinley for the possibility of adoption that she asked me one morning on the way to school, "Mama, will this baby have our same color skin and talk like us?"  She prayed for a sister, and we waited and prepared for a new addition.  When we found out that Case was a boy, Kinley was more than a little disappointed.  Her way to fix it?  After Case is born, we can just adopt a sister! 

After Case's birth, we felt like our little family was pretty complete.  We wondered what God was doing with all of that adoption love that we had always felt, because looking at us, we had the perfect little American family--one boy, one girl, a dog, and the house that we loved.  We shelved the adoption thoughts and immersed ourselves in our little people. 

When Case was about eleven months old and school started back, I realized that my coffee tasted weird.  Huh.  I couldn't drink it.  I'll spare you the other details and just say that suddenly, amazingly, we realized that we were expecting again.  This one is all God, y'all.  And proof that He has a sense of timing (and humor!) that is beyond us.  Enter Camp--the little boy that we didn't even dare to dream about but that has kept us on our toes and laughing since he got here...and who has taught us the more, the merrier!

I think this was about the time that we really questioned what God was doing in our hearts with adoption.  We both love adoption.  We have even felt called to adopt.  So how does that fit into our current crazy?  We have discussed this--at length!--and have decided that God has opened our eyes and our hearts for a reason.  I love Proverbs 24:12, which basically says that once you know, you are compelled to act.  God knows that I know about the orphan crisis now.  He knows that I went to the 147 Million Orphans event when I was only days pregnant with Case.  He knows that I read the article about the orphans in Russia rocking themselves in their cribs because no one comes when they cry, and that the thought of it kept me up late at night and made me run in a sleepy stupor down the hallway to my own.  He knows that my mommy heart hurts for the woman trying to decide which baby to feed because she doesn't have enough for all of her children to eat.  He knows that when it is rainy and cold here, I see a brown face with bare feet standing in a hut somewhere, and I can see those big eyes looking into me.  He knows that I have compassion for that mother who is sick and wonders who will care for her child.  He knows.  And I know.  So...for now...we continue to pray.  We pray that He would show His purpose to us.  We are praying for those who adopt.  We are buying adoption shirts and bracelets and necklaces in hopes of being a tiny bit of help to those who are called to act.  We are working hard to get out of debt so that we can give more and help others adopt.  We feel right about what we have decided for now, knowing that God has placed a passion in our lives, even in this season, for His reason.  And someday?  Is this family photo complete?  Do I need to change the title of this blog again?  Stay tuned...pray for us...and we will all see together!

Thursday, May 8, 2014

April Goal Check-in and May Goals

So, a few weeks ago I wrote a blog post about setting goals and being intentional with this life that I've been given.  I have had this thought since, oh, Decemberish, but in typical crazy Terry life fashion, I didn't actually start with making goals until the month of April.  So, here is the recap for last month along with how I did:

April Goals
1.  Update blog.  DONE!  I am loving my new blog design and the fact that I started blogging again (even if it isn't quite every day!).
2.  Prayerfully design a schedule for one-on-one time with my kiddos.  Oops.  Not quite there on this one.
3.  Date night with my hubby.  Sort of accomplished?  We went to a Chamber of Commerce dinner for ULA without the kiddos...does that count?!
4.  Make dentist appointments.  I. HATE. THE. DENTIST.  This is probably one that will roll on down the to-do lists for the next couple of months...I'll procrastinate as long as possible, I'm afraid!
5.  Read 1 F/1 NF book.  Sort of accomplished!  I read TWO fiction books and started THREE nonfiction books...but the best part?  I read!  Yay me...and I'm figuring out how to do it a little at a time, instead of being consumed by the book I'm reading and hiding in the bathroom to finish it.
6.  Make project lists for each room in our house.  DONE!
7.  Playroom.  Started!
8.  Yard Sale--Get ready for May 3.  DONE--and successful!
9.  Analyze and create budget.  DONE!
10.  Discuss budget and envelope system with Zeke.  DONE!

One thing that I learned in April was that I set a few too many goals...I got a LOT accomplished last month, but I always felt like I was running out of time.  May is such a busy month for us that I pared the list down quite a bit!  Here are my May goals:

May Goals
1.  Create a summer bucket list with my family.  We did this last year and loved it!  I have seen some cute ideas online too--the one I'm especially loving is a bulletin board with index cards listing the bucket list items.  They took pictures and used them to replace the index card as they completed each item, so at the end of the summer, they had an awesome bulletin board with pictures of their super fun summer!  And if you need ideas or are interested in joining a Summer Bucket List challenge, click here!
2.  Date night with my hubby.  Goal for this month:  just us!
3.  Read 1 F/1 NF book.  Disclaimer:  I am going to claim the second half of the three NF books that I am reading as one NF book. 
4.  Make dentist appointments.  Told you so!
5.  Playroom.
6.  Stick to budget.  Yikes!
7.  Paint outside doors.  This will be a fun project--watch for updates!  I am ready to add some personality to our little home!

There it is!  I'm excited and hopeful that having this list each month will keep me moving forward.  And I'm looking forward to tackling this list in May...which is good since we are 8 days in! 
What about you?  What are you up to this month?

Thursday, May 1, 2014

My Girl.

My girl will be nine years old this month.  It is so hard to believe.  She is my firstborn--the little person that made me a mommy.  She is my guinea pig and for that reason I will probably always feel somewhat like I owe her an apology.  She is like her Mama when she squishes her food before she takes a bite, like her Daddy when she puts together our IKEA bookshelves by herself (true story!), and like her Aunt Lori when she argues you into the ground.  She loves the color pink, reading, pop music, summertime and flip flops, and picking on her little brothers.  

When she watches TV, she splits her time between the Disney Channel, How It's Made, The Pioneer Woman, and Cupcake Wars.  After watching cooking shows with me, she has turned into quite the foodie herself.  She loves to help in the kitchen, and is old enough to start making her own goodies--and she is really good at it!  We don't mind too much when she asks to make brownies :)


She is always up for trying something crazy on in the stores, and has the most beautiful blue eyes behind that mask. I prayed for a little blue-eyed Terry girl, and that is EXACTLY what I got!

She LOVES her brothers and has even admitted that she can't imagine life without them.  She is an amazing big sister and helper.  She has even taught Case to count to ten.  I heard her in the playroom last week beating on the table..."Now Case, listen and tell me how many loud noises you hear!"

She is silly and funny and isn't afraid to laugh at herself.  She has a wicked sense of humor--probably from 6 1/2 years of being our only baby and being treated as the third adult in the house.  Her April Fool's joke this year?  A note on her teacher's desk that simply said, "You're fired."  It was signed, ahem, by the principal, in perfect, third grade cursive.  And when she put it on the desk and giggled with her two friends, her statement was, "If she asks who did it, we ALL have to raise our hands!"  At least she values honesty, right?
She is fiercely competitive--even to the point of knocking her little brother out so that he won't win the race to slap Mama's hands.  She is an amazing gymnast and in all of her competitions, at multiple levels, has only finished outside of First Place on floor ONCE.

She loves art and I love displaying her art, so we work well together.


Being a girl mommy is a challenge.  I look at her sometimes and see me, which means we sometimes butt heads because we are, in fact, much the same.  I want so much for her that sometimes my heart hurts.  But mostly, I just want to know her, and be there for her, and love her, because my spunky, sweet, silly girly is growing up, and I don't want to miss a thing.