June 30, 2009

Sip & See Photos!

As I mentioned yesterday, the Sip & See went great! It was so much fun and Baby Jasper received many adorable gifts. Below are some pictures from the event. I also included information about where I got most of it, as some have already asked, and I know I always like to know where to get everything, too! :)

Invites - (inspiration from the TomKat Studio) These were completely designed using digital scrapbooking kits from DigiScrap Addicts and Just Digi Layouts. I found the wording for the front on Google: Lemonade pop sweets and treats, someone new for you to meet! You are invited to a Sip & See... The back was just the party information.



Entryway - bubble wands $1 (from Dollar Tree) in pots from Dollar General ($2.50 each)

Food Table - drink jars are from Wal-Mart ($5.96 each). These are great because they're so versatile that you can use them for a variety of things!




Cupcakes - (again, inspiration from TomKat Studio...she's amazing!!) Cupcake stand is from Michael's, normally $19.99 but I bought it with a 50% off coupon. I also bought wrapping paper from Michael's, and cut circles to cover the cupcake stand. The toppers are all designs from the invitations, but I also added Jasper's birthdate for one of the toppers. That date stamp is from a digital scrapbooking kit by WM[squared]Designs. We made chocolate fudge cupcakes as well as strawberry cupcakes with blueberries in them (thanks for the idea, mom!) and they were a HUGE hit! Would love one right now. :)

Candy Bar - For guest favors, I set up a candy bar along with sippy cups for guests to take some candy home with them. (sippy cups were purchased 5/$1 at Dollar Tree - what a steal!) I bought all the candy at Wal-Mart, including the precious little swirl lollipops...only 33 cents each!


And finally, my gift to Jasper! I put together a basket, because who doesn't love gift baskets?! I bought the orange basket at Hobby Lobby and embellished it with some wood designs from Michael's and a vinyl "J" from Uppercase Living. I filled it with diapers, some clothes, a bib, and some pacifiers that I found at Target thanks to Katie at It's in the Details - that girl could be a personal shopper - she always posts about the neatest finds!

Also in the basket was a PRECIOUS dress and headband from Jaime at BusyBizzyB. Her blog & etsy shop always have such cute things, and she's GREAT to work with! This wasn't actually in her etsy shop but I requested it, and she had it to me in no time flat. Go check her out!

Oh, I also had a picture frame in the basket, and I put Jasper's first picture along with her birth info. in it...but forgot to take a picture of it actually in the frame! Here is the digital design of it:

Well, I think that's it! It was a lot of work but a TON of fun. :) Thanks to everyone who helped & shared ideas!! I'll leave you with a picture of the proud mommy, and sweet Jasper gazing up at her favorite "aunt" - me!! :)




June 29, 2009

We survived.

Well, the Home Study was NOTHING like I expected, but it went very well! I am so relieved to have that first part under our belts. Our case worker is great and really made the whole interview go as quickly and easily as possible. I will say that we were NOT ready for some of the questions that were asked, but I think we came out okay in the end...we just weren't prepared for all of the detail she'd be going into that day. Luckily Patrick & I were both on the same page, so it worked out.

The part that was probably hardest for us was saying what kind of baby we wanted, and what kind of baby we'd accept. Nobody wants to answer those questions...you just want a baby! So it really made us stop and think, which we already had on our agency application, but to voice some of it out loud made it seem so real. We're getting a baby. And soon. Maybe sooner than we think even?! Our case worker throughout the interview would stop and say, "You're going to be picked so fast. You really need to go ahead and get a car seat." And we were just taken aback! While we would love to get picked, we don't quite have enough money saved yet. We started the application process when we did because we figured it'd take awhile to get everything in order, and it still is...because we still have other things to go through. But she said she's seen babies placed before everything was complete, so we need to be prepared for that possiblity. It is SO surreal. We are just believing that we will be chosen at the right time, when our finances line up, etc., so we don't have to say no to someone. We do trust that God already knows where our baby is, so I know He'll bring him/her to us when we're ready.

It's so much about depending on Him throughout this process...and I know that's what He's teaching me. Nothing in life is in my control, other than the 7 bags of Twizzlers I chose to eat for lunch. He has blessed us with so much, and now I can't wait for Him to bless us with our baby! A wonderful thought I heard in a message last year is so appropriate for us: It is always time for God to work in our lives, but he has a set time to work in our circumstances. Each day that passes, each step we take; it becomes more of a reality. And all of the sudden you realize that He is doing all of this to prepare you for the set time. It reminds me of the lyrics from the Sanctus Real song "Whatever You're Doing": (go listen if you have time!)

Whatever You're doing inside of me
It feels like chaos but I believe
You're up to something bigger than me
Larger than life something Heavenly


Our case worker will come to inspect our house on July 24th, so now I'm working on that part of it. I also hope to make some progress on the nursery this & next week....stay tuned for pictures of that!

Oh and the Sip & See was WONDERFUL...will post on it sometime this week!

Thanks to everyone for your prayers for the home study...we so appreciate each of you and couldn't do this without your love and support! :)

June 25, 2009

Free Paint!

Thanks to Sarah at Thrifty Decor Chick for this information!!! :) I'm sure we can all find something to paint! Let me know what color you choose...I can't decide!

If you go to:
https://www.glidden.com/promotions/free-paint-giveaway.do

Pick a color online or at Home Depot and they will send you a free quart. That's it. The offer is good through July 2 or while supplies last. Get to it!!

Creative Odds & Ends

As part of the lovely Mama Kat's Writer's Workshop, let me show you some things I've recently made. Apologies again for the poor pictures. Have I mentioned I need to take a photography class? Cause I do. STAT.

Frames I painted for my niece Olivia's room:




A pot I painted and "bedazzled" thanks to the idea from Kate aka Centsational Girl! Her blog is to-DIE-for!! I've never seen so much creativity bottled up in one person...AND she does it on a dime! Love. It. Go see her. You'll be addicted, too!



A nightlight I made for a friend's baby - pic with the lights off and on:


Now for a few digital designs. I love digital scrapbooking stuff, though I haven't actually "scrapped" anything other than invitations and announcements. I plan to do digital scrapbooking for our Life Book though....which I'll be starting on any day now! :)

Birth annoucement for my sister's daughter: (using Tahiti Treat kit from Carrie Stephens and Date Stamper from Britt-ish Designs)

Invitation for my high school reunion: (using NSD Grab Bag kit from Britt-ish Designs & date stamper from WM[squared] Designs])




A hybrid project - a lapboard for my niece using HayNay's Sugar Pea kit...love her designs!!



That's enough for today...I'll post more stuff another time. If you have questions about how I did any of it just let me know! :)

June 24, 2009

Pinch Me

Is that a crib I see on my front porch? Giddy-up!

P.S. Thanks mom and dad...you're the best!!! :)
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Let the games begin!

We're headed to Tulsa Friday morning to meet with our case worker for our initial home study appointment. Not sure what all it will entail, but we're also going to the sheriff's office to get our fingerprints done and then take them back to the case worker so she can start that process. All I know is I've never filled out so much paperwork in my life. Makes me think of this funny shirt YaYa posted on her blog:

So yeah, it's been a whirwind trying to get all this paperwork done and info. gathered after being on vacation all last week. This appointment really snuck up on me. I have been super overwhelmed this week trying to gather stuff, and Patrick has been as helpful as possible, but he's just really busy after being out all last week. I am so very blessed to have him though as he is so stinkin' supportive and encouraging that I just love him to pieces! :) This whole process is already making our marriage stronger as God is growing us and stretching us in ways we never imagined. Please pray everything goes well Friday! :)

June 22, 2009

Sip & See Invitations

As I mentioned last week, I am SUPER excited for the Sip & See we're having for my best friend. Not only is she event planner extraordanaire, but we have been best friends since 3rd grade, so I really want every part of this to be extra special!

I decided to do the theme/colors based on two things:

First, check out this amazing banner Candice's mom made to welcome sweet little Baby J home from the hospital:


Next, check out the incredible giraffe Candice painted in Baby J's nursery. She will probably kill me for posting this, but I love it and know everyone else will, too! :) It's a work in progress in this picture, but isn't it amazing?! She is SO creative...would love to see her start blogging and sharing all her events & projects...AHEM. :)

So basically I combined both concepts, then found some cute wording (thanks, Google!), and decided I would go with the oh-so-popular lollipop invitation design that is invading nearly every creative blog I read. However, I do believe the original idea came from The TomKat Studio....she is amazing and I adore her blog!!!

Here is the final product (hindsight: should not have taken these pics on my kitchen counter. Oh well. Also, as I'm sure you can tell, I covered up some of the info...hopefully you can still visualize the "big picture".)






I have had so much fun gathering ideas for this and will share more pictures after it! Can't wait! :)

June 20, 2009

Writer's Workshop: Current Read

So I'm participating in Mama Kat's Writer's Workshop for the first time. Here is the prompt:

Grab your current read. Let the book fall open to a random page and share two “teaser” sentences from that page, somewhere between lines 7 and 12.

The book I'm reading is "Children of Open Adoption" by Kathleen Silber and Patricia Martinez Dorner. Per the directions, I let the book fall open and here is what it says:

(Speaking of children in open adoption) "They have concrete information about themselves, as well as access to ongoing information over the years and they do not have to be confused by, or obsessed with, unanswered questions or fantasies. They accept the relationship with their birthparents as extended family members as natural and normal."

This is one of the books that our agency requires us to read, and I can see why. I will say that this book has totally opened my eyes to open adoption and the benefits of it. Traditional adoption (or closed adoption) has, in the past, been more common, but as I've recently discovered, the majority of the agencies are trending towards open or semi-open adoptions as a result of many studies that have been conducted exploring the effects on children through both practices.

Will it be easier for Pat and I? Probably not. But will it be best for our child? Absolutely. The bottom line is it will be a huge ministry to our child and our child's birthmom/family. Of course there are tons of variables in how the relationship will actually be, the biggest one being the birthmom, so we will just do our best to have faith and roll with the punches as we go through this. One thing this book reiterates is that adoption is not a "hospital experience" only; but a lifelong commitment. I am still processing what all of this means, and am actually not done reading the book yet, but I will say that I never thought I'd be able to feel the way I do about open adoption. Don't get me wrong...it is still very scary at times but I believe this is an area God is stretching me in. We are just absolutely believing that God is creating our family this way, so we're just trusting that He will develop the appropriate relationship for us and our child.

One last thing...some of you have asked for an update on the situation with the family friend. I haven't heard anything, so I emailed her last night. She has had a really busy week so hadn't had the chance to get them our information, but said she would do so this week. So we'll see! I promise as soon as I know something, I'll post it here. Thanks for your prayers and checking in on it! :)

P.S. Happy Father's Day to my dear sweet Daddy! He is so amazing and I am so thankful for all he's done in my life. It's never a dull moment with him around and I certainly wouldn't be where I am without all he's done for me. I love you, Daddio! :)

June 17, 2009

BumpIts

Have you ever seen these? I have been having a love affair with them since watching the infomercial late one rainy night last December. I knew immediately upon seeing these that I had to have one so I could look like Miss America herself. And if you order through the infomercial, you get the Hollywood Bumpit for FREE - for a limited time only, of course. For anyone who knows me, they know I have a special place in my heart for kiosks and infomercials. It's nothing short of a miracle that I haven't bought 4 of these puppies by now, but I have practiced self-control. Aside from the fact that I called ULTA, Walgreen's, the As-Seen-On-TV store, and Sally Beauty Supply to make sure they didn't sell these. I really wanted to see it in person before making the commitment.

I had just about decided that perhaps we weren't meant to be when a little something I like to call fate stepped in. It was a day like any other really. Patrick and I were doing some shopping at Wal-Mart and were headed to the check-out line. I like to do the self check-out for some reason (maybe control issues?) But much to Patrick's delight, the line was backed up to the greeting cards. So off we go to find a line, and suddenly I spotted something that made me stop dead in my tracks. There on the end cap sat a display for Bumpits. Not only were they there in the flesh, but it was their price that made my heart flutter. They sell for $29.95 (plus S&H of course) on the infomercial, but oh no, not here. Not today. There it was for the everyday low price of...wait for it...$9.98!!! I was tempted to buy 7 of them at a steal like that.

Granted, I didn't get the Hollywood BumpIt for free as I would've had I ordered it on TV. But I'm just a small town girl, and really not ready for all the fame and fortune that wearing such a glamorous piece would bring. So for now, I'll just stick with my regular Bumpit.

Side note: It remains to be seen if I'll actually ever wear this monstrosity. I'm sure that will be a blog post itself.
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June 15, 2009

Procrastinators Unite Tomorrow

I've decided this is the official tagline for my blog. I've had so many things I wanted to blog about this week, but kept thinking I'd save it and post altogether when I had time to sit down and write an award-winning post. That being said, research shows you need to blog at least 3 times a week to develop a loyal following. (Yes, I'm a marketing nerd guru.) And I'm all about my followers. So, I think I will throw up random posts more often so then my posts aren't as long and I don't keep putting them off. Because I know you guys just keep refreshing your inboxes hoping for a new post from me so you can mark it as spam print it off and read it over and over again. {sigh}. I love my loyal readers. Both of you.

This week has been insanely busy, but great! Big news first!!! I got a call from a family friend who met a couple who has a pregnant teenage girl living with them, and the girl is considering getting an abortion because she knows she's not able to care for the baby. I know very little at this point, but it sounds like she doesn't necessarily want an abortion; but that she 's overwhelmed and not sure where to turn. So this couple asked for our phone number from our family friend, and they are supposed to call us to explore the possibility of us adopting her baby!!! I know it's too early to get excited, but I just.can't.help.it! Who knows if this will even be a good fit??? (Actually, I DO know someone who knows if this would be a good fit since He is the author of our lives :). ) Bottom line: Patrick and I have been praying for us to be connected with the right birth mom, and we trust God will orchestrate that. But if you don't mind, we would love your prayers for this as well. Specifically that the birth mother would have peace about this process and be receptive to God's plans for the child she's carrying, whatever that plan may be. Please also pray that we would not get our hopes up too high but that we would cling to His promise that it will all happen in His time. I debated about posting this here, as it really isn't anything at this point since we haven't heard from them. That being said, I decided to go ahead and share because that's what blogging is all about...putting it all out there and sharing what's really going on. Because that's why you guys come here, right? Well that, and my clever wit. Anyway, I will keep you posted on this semi-development.

In other news, I basically spent the week getting ready to go on vacay and working on the invitations for my BFF's sip and see. She had her sweet little girl May 12, but they live a couple states away so I haven't got to meet her yet. :( She is coming in next week though, so I'm really excited to meet the little princess, see my BFF, and have the sip and see!! I've had so much fun looking for ideas for it (aren't blogs the best?!), and am so pleased with how the invites turned out. I will post some pictures of them soon.

Well I hear the crashing waves outside my window, so I must go enjoy some time on the beach. I will blog again very soon...promise! :)

P.S. Does anyone else read blogs from Google Reader on their BlackBerry? I love to do this, especially when I'm traveling, but it won't let me comment from my BlackBerry. Anyone know a way around it?

June 4, 2009

Check, Check: It's in the Mail!

Well, I finally got the application finished and mailed...so exciting!! It has been a prohhh-cess. And I know it's only just beginning...but I'm just taking it step by step here so I don't get overwhelmed. Which doesn't mean I'm NOT overwhelmed...but just that the instances of me being so are less. Just ask my husband...ha! :) I am just so disorganized at times! And for me, that is certainly NOT the norm. One of my friends said maybe it's the 'mommy brain' kicking in that pregnant people normally get. I would certainly hope that being 'paper pregnant' wouldn't do that to me, but maybe that's what's going on!

Case in point: I have been taking our adoption folder with me everywhere so I can work on stuff as time permits. On Tuesday, I left my office and of course took the folder. When I got home, I went to grab my purse and the folder. Wait...no folder?! I immediately started to panic as I tear up my car looking for it. And it's not... there. My sister Jenny was there and helping me try to remain calm. (Thanks, Jen, btw.) So, I go over everything in my head, and decide I must have left it in the downstairs bathroom at work as I had stopped in there on my way out of work. A public bathroom, I might add, in the college of business, which means lots of traffic. This application has a LOT of personal information, financials, etc., and I would hate for it to get in the wrong hands!

So back in the car we go. Fortunately Jen and Hayd were with me so they kept me distracted during the 40 minute drive. We get there, and it was all I could do not to sprint in. (Side note: I was in my sweaty workout clothes since I had stopped at the gym on the way home from work. Nice touch. Luckily I didn't see anyone I knew.) We go into the downstairs bathroom: not there. So I go upstairs and say a prayer to myself before walking in my office and turning on the lights. Lights on: whaddya know? There it is, in all it's glory, perched on my desk. Stupid as I felt (I was CERTAIN I was carrying it when I left my office earlier), I was so relieved that it was there and I wouldn't have to start from scratch and worry about identity theft in the meantime. :).

But as my title declares, the application is now in the mail! Today is Pat's day off, and I worked from home today, so we finished up the essays we needed to write together and tied up a few other loose ends and called it done after obsessively looking over it 27 times taking one last quick glance at it. It feels SO good to check this off the list! Next stop: home study and getting started on the nursery. Decorating a gender neutral nursery will be a challenge for me...more on that later!

It's a Paint Party!

I was so excited when I recently found Melissa's blog - 320 Sycamore. She is so creative and resourceful that I am always inspired to finally get in gear and start decorating my house after reading her posts! Anyway, she is hosting a paint party today, so I decided to participate as I've been wanting to share the paint job in our dining room here as some of you have asked about it, and it is my favorite paint color in our house.

While we were building our house, I was constantly searching for the perfect paint for each room. And then one day, that magical moment occurred when I found what I KNEW I had to have in my dining room. It was, without a doubt, love at first sight. There it was...Ralph Lauren Regent Metallics. In stripes, nonetheless. Hold me.
I immediately called my mom, painter extraordanaire, and of course she was on board once she saw the picture. We decided to do all of the walls in the lighter green, Torch, and just stripe one wall with Torch and Candelabra, the darker green.

Here is the work in progress...just after measuring and taping, which took 2 years no time at all to complete.


At Christmas when I had just started to put some decorations out:

And yes, I still haven't hung anything on the walls 6 months after we've moved in...but I'm just not ready to commit! I just haven't found the perfect piece(s) for this room yet. And I'm still trying to get into my decorating mojo. But hey, if anyone has any brilliant ideas, please chime in below!

Anyway, I absolutely love the way it turned out and can't thank my mom enough for leading the way on this. I will say that metallic is not the easiest paint to work with, but once you know the technique, you're good to go. I will also add that obviously metallics are not ideal for every room in your house, but we also did our powder room in Parlor Gold and I love the way it turned out, too. (Sorry this is such a crummy picture...I really need photography lessons! I can never take pictures of anything that has a mirror in it.)

Thanks again Melissa for hosting the paint party...can't wait to check out everyone else's posts!
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