Sunday, January 19, 2014

Dramatic {Sunday Snapshot}

{Please check out our 500 Good Wishes Puzzle and help us get a little closer to Jack!  Only 496 pieces left!}

For my new photography class, each week I am given a theme to interpret as I see fit.  This week's theme was dramatic.  I sat thinking of dramatic for a while and then decided to flip to it in the dictionary.  

And one definition in particular really caught my attention:

Highly effective or striking.

And immediately, my little sister came to mind.  

You see, she is highly effective in everything she does.  She keeps her home in Pottery-Barn-Magazine worthy-order, cooks to the 9s, exercises routinely, and still manages to make time for her dog, family and friends, all while earning her Doctor of Pharmacy degree. When she graduates {with honors, I'm sure} this May, she will have the ability to work directly with other medical doctors to help prescribe life-saving medications.  She does all this while traveling on different mission trips all around the globe telling others of the Eternal Life-Saving powers of Jesus Christ. 
And striking is her middle name.  Have you ever met someone this strikingly smart, kind, and beautiful?  And, I don't know that I've ever met someone who invests so much of themselves in their friends.  Melissa is genuinely compassionate and cares for others and goes out of her way to make them feel strikingly special about themselves.  
She may all the time most the time sometimes drive me crazy, but there's no one else I'd rather call my little sister.

Love you Skrimpie!

{thankful for}
my little Skrimpie
a growing sistership
a sister who will brave the Alabama Winter to let me complete a photo assignment
laughs while trying to give me a serious face

Ni Hao Yall

Friday, January 17, 2014

Hey Batter, Batter, Batter {Favorite Photo Friday}

So, I have to brag on Justin for a moment because he was one of the very best baseball players I've ever  seen.  And he has been waiting for this day for approximately four-and-a-half years.  

And now it is here!  

{YAY for Justin, tears for a Momma who's baby cakes is getting SO BIG!} 
Tee Ball registration is this week, so this past weekend we broke out Perry's new bat and set up the tee for a little batting practice.  
And lemme just be completely honest for .2 seconds.  Perry totally takes after his Daddy.  If you are playing tee ball this year, you want this little buddy on your team.  I'm just sayin'.  I bet I burnt off a good 700 calories chasing balls down the street!
And dude can throw as good as he bats.  Better than me.  I wish I was joking.
Is this a good time to mention I broke my ankle tripping over a volley ball?  Yep.  Kid gets his skills from his Daddy-O!  

We can't wait to watch you knock it out of the park little monkey!!

{thankful for}
gorgeous weekend weather
a new baseball bat
a patient Daddy
fun exercise
giggles as we chased Huck up and down the street for fifteen minutes trying to get our ball back
another 30 calories burnt ;)

the long road


Thursday, January 16, 2014

500 Good Wishes Puzzle

First of all, I want to thank you all for everyone's kind wishes, prayers, words of encouragement, Bible verses, and love that are sent our way almost daily.  Adoption is not for the faint of heart, but sometimes we do get weary.  It may sound cliche' but there is absolutely no. way. possible. we could do this without the love and support of our friends and family.

With that, I am SO excited to say that we are FINALLY on the home stretch.


It is overwhelmingly exciting and emotional for me to even type that.  We are steps.  Literally THREE steps away from our sweet baby.  Our agency told us yesterday that mid year travel (I'm praying more April-Juneish) is very probable!!!


We absolutely cannot wait to snuggle up our little bitty!

But, before we are allowed to travel, we have just a few more fees we need to cover.

I've wanted to do a puzzle fundraiser from the very beginning simply because I feel they make such a beautiful piece of art for the home after the fact.  A sweet photo representing this journey to our son, and the back filled with names of the precious friends and family who helped bring him home.  The beauty of that thought warms my heart.

I've also always wanted to do a '100 Good Wishes Quilt' for Jack, but my Aunt Becky already makes all the babies of the family a gorgeous prayer quilt and since the two are so similar, I had decided against the 100 Good Wishes Quilt.

But last night, as I was praying about funds, God gave me an idea that I'm seriously ecstatic about!

We would love to combine the two, and give Jack a 500 Good Wishes PUZZLE!!!

The way this will work is that we are going to have this photo printed onto a custom puzzle with 500 pieces!

{obviously cutie patootie will not be blurred out in the print}

Friends can then sponsor a puzzle piece for $10 each.  When you send your sponsorship through Paypal (or if you'd rather just mail a check, you can email me at to get our home mailing address), you can designate how many puzzle pieces you would like to sponsor, and then in the "Notes to Seller" portion, we would love for you to write the person's name you would like to appear on the back of the puzzle piece (it can be your name, in honor of someone, or in memory of someone) and then the best part, we would like for you to leave a special prayer or wish for sweet Jack.

I'm going to be writing the names on the back of the puzzle pieces, and then I'm also going to be compiling a list of the 500 beautiful wishes and prayers to put in Jack's Life Book!!! When all is said and done, I'm going to double frame the puzzle so that it can be displayed on either side and then we're going to hang it in our children's playroom.  I absolutely cannot wait for this project to be complete!  I know it will be out of this world meaningful to all of us for so many different reasons!

I will be running the puzzle sponsorship until we can get all 500 pieces sponsored!  It's a BIG goal, but I'm praying that God will help us knock it out of the water!

To sponsor, please log into your Paypal account and send a gift/donation (so that Paypal won't cut out any fees) to !  THANK YOU!!!!

(You can also just click the donate button at the top of our blog, but if you do please be sure to email me your prayer/wish separately so that I will have it for Jack! :)


{thankful for}
visions from God
friends and family
new photos
steps closer
friends meeting their babies this week

Tuesday, January 7, 2014

Gray Days and Garbage Trucks

After our Lego Land trip, we came back to the hotel room for a little R&R and it was so enjoyable.  We played and napped (well, Justin) for a while before going out for a late dinner.  Sometimes a little down time is so good for the soul.  
{thankful for}
rainy days
a Daddy that quickly puts together legos
tiny toes
my sweet boy

Monday, January 6, 2014


Every year, Justin and I make it a point to take at least one small "family-of-three" vacation.  We are SO big-family oriented that it's also really important to us to make a few memories each year with just Mommy, Daddy, and Mr. P {and hopefully soon Jack too!}.

This year, Perry's elf surprised him with tickets to Stone Mountain's Snow Mountain Tubing excursion and then to see Jake and Sophia Live the next day.  There was only one little road block.  Saturday morning we woke up to P-O-U-R-I-N-G rain.  And even though it said 'no refunds' on their website, I called and begged and scored us a refund!!  {Thanks again SM!!!}

So, we took our refund and decided that instead of snow tubing, we'd go to Lego Land that afternoon!  It was really fun!  It took us about two hours to hang out and really feel like we got to do and enjoy everything.

To start off, there was a little room where they tell you all about how legos are made and have a few nifty "educational" things to do tucked into every corner, including a scale that converted your weight into lego cubes.  Much to Justin's dismay I did not dare step near that thing!

Inside the main area, there was a little Lego Land ride that reminded me of the Toy Story ride at Disney World where you shoot the targets with lazer guns, while riding in an electric car in the dark.  Then, there was a little 'flying wizard' bike ride that was kind of like something you'd ride at a fair.  There was also a "sandbox" full of legos area, a jungle gym area, a build-your-own-lego-car-and-race-it-area, and a few other little things.  Perry's favorite part was racing his car!

And, of course, as you exit there is a gift shop full of tons of legos!!  And to neither mine nor Justin's surprise, Perry chose another garbage truck to take back to our hotel room.    Our little guy thinks garbage trucks are the bomb.

{thankful for}
famliy-of-three memories
a time of nothing but legos and playing 
a snuggly evening in the hotel

Friday, January 3, 2014

Project {365} Favorite Photo{s} Friday

Day 1- Sweet Baby Ingram on his first full day home.  

Day 2- Studying Korean and looking up Bulgogi recipes during some down time at the store.
(In case anyone is wondering, that sticky note says "Do not waiver in unbelief, but grow strong in faith, giving glory to God, being fully assured that what God has promised, He is able also to perform." Romans 4:20-21)

{thankful for}
smelly good babies
Korean language apps
the Word of God

the long road

Thursday, January 2, 2014


For the last few years, I've chosen a word that I've tried to focus on for the upcoming 365 days.  Each year, I begin praying about that word toward the beginning of December.  I'm always hoping that God's going to put on my tongue some uber elegant word like eucharisteo or discombobulate, but that just doesn't ever seem to be the case.  2013 was all about being thankful.  Thankful for what God has already given me.  Thankful that He alone holds my future.  Thankful that we have our health and happiness.  And 2013?  It was a good year.  There were heartaches in the beginning.  Days of unknown.  A day in particular (just a mere few days before seeing Jack's face) that we took a picture of our shoes and literally begged God to lead our steps in the adoption process.  And then, there were massive amounts of days of celebration and thankfulness as we taught Perry what it was going to mean to be a big brother and packed up numerous boxes of love disguised as care packages.  We were thankful.  In the hard and the happy.  

But this year has a whole new agenda.  My sister will graduate from Pharmacy School, Sweet P will graduate from Preschool (sob), Justin and I will celebrate seven years of marriage, God-willing we will make two long trips to Korea and add two precious feet to our family, baby Ingram will be a big part of our lives (He was born 12/27!!!), we will be doing musical rooms in our home to accommodate a baby brother and a playroom, Perry will start big school (sob).  Lots of change.  Good change, but change nonetheless.

I have fought off the word JOY.  I mean, fought hard. It just kept knocking on my door over and over and over again. I know its a powerful word, and I've heard so many sermons recently on having inner joy and I know that's super important.  But I didn't want it to be my word.  So I kept praying and the word ENjoy hit me like a ton of bricks.  And I knew instantly *that* was my word.  And then about .2 seconds later I realized that that silly little word JOY was still hiding there at the end.

Photo Credit Susan Black

And my prayer is that we will enjoy it all.  That we will find the joy in it all.  Every season that 2014 brings.  That we will truly embrace that He has made everything beautiful in its time (Ecc 3:11) and that these times are fleeting.  My prayer is that we will cherish these moments and not miss them amongst the change, the adjusting, the new.  

I mentioned on my Facebook page recently that I'm so thankful for Instagram, and as cliche as its sounds, its very true.  I'm so grateful for a silly little app on my Iphone that let's me capture all the tiny moments.  Because as the old saying goes, "Enjoy the little things in life, for one day you'll look back and realize they were the big things."  Y'all- I can't scroll stroll down IG Memory Lane and not tear up.  All the tiny moments, captured.  The moments that make a family and document those little 'happies.'  I want to enjoy every single second.  

I will continue using IG, but I've also decided to do another 365 Project.  I did one in 2011 and loved it and enjoy being able to look back onto our daily details and fun.  Not only do I feel this will help grow my photography (as it always does), but will be an additional way to help me focus on and enjoy the everyday.  

I'm so excited to see all that 2014 is going to bring.  I pray it blesses you and your family BIG and that you have a wonderful New Year!  Blessings and Love.

{thankful for}
a new year, a new slate
baby Ingram
sweet time with sweet P
a sweet hubby who does sweet things for me
taco salad
scripture that reminds me to en{JOY} life
a savior in whom I find my JOY

Our Adoption Timeline

  • June 19, 2011- We are officially "Paper Pregnant!" We have submitted our Waiting Child Application to Holt!
  • July 5, 2011- Submitted our formal Home Study Application to Villa Hope
  • September 6, 2011- Submitted all of our paperwork for our Home Study
  • October 8, 2011- Completed our First Home Visit
  • October 17, 2011- Completed our Second Home Visit
  • November 14, 2011- Home Study Approved
  • December 1, 2011- Filed our I600a
  • February 1, 2012- I600a Approval Letter
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