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ellabellababy:

My thoughts two and a half years ago and still today as we get ready to welcome J home this week!

Originally posted on One More Thing:

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Or, Jess has left Afghanistan! He is waiting in the transit center at Manas for his flight home, but next week’s blog post should be the best yet!

This week will seem to CRAWL by, but I am excited. No, I am GIDDY.

I have spent a lot of years accepting thoughtful comments from friends and (many) complete strangers. Comments like, “I don’t know how you do it,” “You are amazing,” “I could never do what you do,” etc. Thank you. It makes me realize that you don’t take what my family does lightly. You recognize that it’s difficult for me to send my spouse into a dangerous country while I try to be mom and dad at home. It is trying, and this blog doesn’t really begin to illustrate the half of it.

However, I believe we ALL have our HARD stuff. I could say, “I don’t know how…

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Just adding some of our fun events this week for the scrapbook.

Frying Pan Park Piglets

Frying Pan Park Piglets

CC Field Trip!

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Getting the Canoeing rules

Getting the Canoeing rules

Adeline and her buddies tipped their canoe and went for a swim!

Adeline and her buddies tipped their canoe and went for a swim!

The bamboo forest

The bamboo forest

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Josiah is in the red hat on the hay ride.

Josiah is in the red hat on the hay ride.

Addy and her class are proud of their shelter.

Addy and her class are proud of their shelter.

Sam--showing off on the zipline (yes, he's upside down).

Sam–showing off on the zipline (yes, he’s upside down).

Ella conquered her fears and zip lined!

Ella conquered her fears and zip lined!

Mom's turn!

Mom’s turn!

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My spot is squeezed right between my youngest girls.

My spot is squeezed right between my youngest girls.

Today was Field Day!  My kids didn’t have a clue what that meant, but I told them it was the favorite day of public school students and they would run hard, get hot, and have a blast.  They did. I didn’t get a single picture of the big kids, but they participated, too!  Especially proud of AddyLou!  She joined her yellow team, cheered them on, ran her hardest, made friends, when she came not knowing anyone!  If you know Addy, you know what a big deal that is!

Adeline runs the obstacle course.

Adeline runs the obstacle course.

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Josiah and his buddy AnnaLou in the 3 legged race!

Josiah and his buddy AnnaLou in the 3 legged race!

going down!

going down!

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Adeline in the sack race.

Adeline in the sack race.

The water balloon toss.

The water balloon toss.

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This girl was D.O.N.E.

This girl was D.O.N.E.

Happy Mother’s Day, to my Memaw, who enjoys life to the fullest with her kids, grandkids, and great grandkids, whether it’s playing Just Dance on Wii or taking silly selfies, Memaw’s always up for some fun!  I love you.

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To my mother-in-law, who raised a pretty amazing son (and four other pretty amazing people), feeds me pie for breakfast, AND makes me feel less guilty for the pie since she eats it with me.  I love you.

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And to my mom, who just left here after a week of non-stop laundry and cleaning.  My mom doesn’t know how to stop serving and helping, and even when I don’t like admitting I need help, I need her.  I love you.

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And to my kids, who truly are my joy, and are about to head outside to pick up poop and sticks and mow the lawn. . . I’m sure with NO complaining.  :)  I love y’all.

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And to the dear sweet friends who have been mommas to me or to my children as we move around the country, I love you. And to all the single moms out there who still have to clean up the dishes and fix meals on this special day–you are amazing!

My dishwasher is still in Afghanistan.

My dishwasher is still in Afghanistan.

And to the woman on the opposite side of the world who carried my daughter for nine months, gave her life, and left her, protected, at a Shanghai hospital–I love your precious girl and am honored to be her mother…thank you.  

To the ayis who fed and changed and held her, whom she called “mama” for 28 months, thank you.  

And to my husband, who is beginning his journey home–thank’s for the best mother’s day gift ever, and I love you!

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I had a blast hosting my first Noonday Collection party with this sweet friend! I loved the opportunity to share about the mission of this company!IMG_6746

Maggie loves Math :)  I wish she would rub off on the other kids.

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Pretty flowers, girls in their silks.

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A joyful heart is good medicine. –Proverbs 17:22

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This kiddo had a great day on the diamond! He had a 7 RBI game, including his first home run: A GRAND SLAM.

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This picture was taken right before RBI #7.  Because I MISSED the first 30 minutes of the game, and his home run!!!  I am so disappointed and so proud. I missed his dad’s college baseball home run, too, 18 years ago.  It seems my men perform better when I’m not watching.

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Thanking God for another week.

Week 34

What does it mean when you get a bad cold and your toddler stops sleeping through the night and you decide to have a giant garage sale and your washing machine blows up and you start running every single day because-whoa! where did that 10 pounds come from (ahem, belgium chocolate). . . . ?  It means your husband is coming home soon!

I don’t really have many pictures this week, because things have been a little crazy and really do feel like crud.

We met our favorite Savannah middle schoolers downtown during their class trip.

We met our favorite Savannah middle schoolers downtown during their class trip.

Unfortunately, I spent most of the time taking this toddler to the bathroom and then LOOKING all over the Museum of Natural History for my kids and friends--big mistake leaving my purse and phone with them!

Unfortunately, I spent most of the time taking this toddler to the bathroom and then LOOKING all over the Museum of Natural History for my kids and friends–big mistake leaving my phone with them!

This is me, getting sick, sitting in the rain at a baseball game, that we lost. wah-wah-wahhhh.

This is me, getting sick, sitting in the rain at a baseball game, that we lost. wah-wah-wahhhh.

Don't want to end on a sad note:  Here's M trying to get the last drops of her frozen yogurt.

Don’t want to end on a sad note: Here’s M trying to get the last drops of her frozen yogurt.

Gosh, this is so whiny! It’s just because I have a headache.  So, let me end with this: My husband is coming home soon!!!!

“When you satisfy the needs of the oppressed, your NIGHT will become like the NOONDAY.” Isaiah 58:10

While we were completing our pre-adoption training, I published a blog about The List.  Jess and I were asked to make a list of the most important parts of our life, and then, one by one, give them up. It was a moving exercise to help us grasp the loss–of family, friends, food, language, country, and more–that mixes with the beauty and joy of adoption.  Because I know that an estimated 4 out of 5 of the 153,000,000 orphans in the world are not orphaned by the death of their parents, but by poverty, I have been on the lookout for ways to be involved in family preservation.  My soul sister/deployment wife, Sarah, introduced me to Noonday Collection, and I was wowed by the company and their mission, and I wanted to wear every item in the catalog, but, I stewed for 8 months–I’m just not one to jump in quickly.  I came back to the website again and again, and finally, became an Independent Ambassador!

Noonday uses fashion to create meaningful opportunities for people around the world.  I think we are all becoming more and more aware of the power our purchase can have– for empowering or enslaving.  We all want to use our consumer dollars for good, but sometimes it’s difficult to discern what that should be.  As an Ambassador, I get to help connect Artisan businesses in the developing world, who struggle to gain access to a global market, with customers at Trunk Shows, having full confidence that these beautiful handmade pieces are made by people who are working in dignified jobs, receiving fair wages, and committed to making a difference in their community.  I am excited to share their stories.

But Olivia’s story from Uganda stands out as the reason I joined Noonday Collection.

Two years ago, Olivia was desperately trying to care for her daughter, Rachel, and had decided that her only option was to leave Rachel at an orphanage.  Then, she met the leaders of Noonday’s artisan partner group in Uganda and was given a job making paper bead jewelry.  Now, she has been able to keep her family together and send her daughter to school!

This necklace is called the Rachel, named for Olivia’s precious daughter.

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You can find this necklace right here. It’s one of my favorites, but I can honestly tell you that every Noonday Collection piece I have is a favorite. I’d love for you to see for yourself on my website! Browse the stories and the beautiful accessories, and see how you can be a part of this story, too!

And guess what, a whole lot of stuff went on sale today, just for you!  (Ok, it’s just a coincidence, but a happy one!)

PS. If you are local, I am having a launch party on Friday, May 1st!  Yummy treats, fun friends, and, of course, style made with love! Contact me if you would like to come by!

We had a full and fun week!

Bike rides are one of our favorite springtime activities!

Bike rides are one of our favorite springtime activities!

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Maggie LOVES holding babies.

Adeline turned 7 on Wednesday.  7 years ago our doctor sent us to the hospital to start in induction on April 14th, so we started celebrating on the 14th, too!

The night before Addy's birthday we went to 3 different theaters! The 1st was showing the movie in 3D, which Addy hates, the second was way overcrowded because of some Tuesday deal, back to the first. . . which was just the wrong theater, and finally, at 8:20, we sat down in a completely empty theater with big lounge chairs and enjoyed our movie, "Home." It was a night to remember!

The night before Addy’s birthday we went to 3 different theaters! The 1st was showing the movie in 3D, which Addy hates, the second was way overcrowded because of some Tuesday deal, back to the first. . . which was just the wrong theater, and finally, at 8:20, we sat down in a completely empty theater with big lounge chairs and enjoyed our movie, “Home.” It was a night to remember!

Ella and Siah decorated the house, and taped Addy in her room overnight.

Ella and Siah decorated the house, and taped Addy in her room overnight.

Cinderella

Cinderella

We spent the morning at the crowded zoo, and then headed to the Shake Shack for delicious cheeseburgers and shakes.

We spent the morning at the crowded zoo, and then headed to the Shake Shack for delicious cheeseburgers and shakes.

Pedicures!

Pedicures!

We finished off the night with some FaceTime with family and a Strawberry Ice Cream Cake.

We finished off the night with some FaceTime with family and a Strawberry Ice Cream Cake.

Sweet Adeline, you have been so very brave this year!  You bring a smile to my face every day!

Date Night!  Dinner and a play with my 5 favorite.

Date Night! Dinner and a play with my 5 favorite.

A beautiful day for baseball!

A beautiful day for baseball!

Harry Potter was more interesting than the game to this girl.

Harry Potter was more interesting than the game to this girl.

This guy had a great day on the diamond!

This guy had a great day on the diamond!

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