Saturday, November 7, 2009


Just wanted to share some pictures from Halloween. The kids had a great time. This year I ventured out and made Ellison's costume. It was so much fun for me and the fact that she loved it made it that much better. I used the pottery barn costume here as my inspiration.

Hope you had a good Halloween too!

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Saying Good-bye

Just as quickly as he came Malik left our home today. We had a feeling that it could happen this week but after a mix up of court dates, and a positive meeting with his advocate, we weren't sure that he would leave. In some ways we were thinking the courts would change the course of action and somehow choose to keep him with us. DFACS called me at around 11AM this morning and said that the judge had granted guardianship to Ms. Jackson (a friend of Malik's family). I was told to have all of his things packed by 1:30. That was it.

My immediate reaction was one of deep sadness. On a number of levels really. Although it's been a difficult 3 months saying good-bye to Malik closed a chapter, (at least for now), in our lives. I feel sad because our hearts had hoped that he would become our son. He had already begun to bond with our kids and with us. He learned how to eat, crawl, cruise and stand while he lived in our home. He started talking and using da-da and ma-ma when we were around. Although we would pass on his scream :-) his squeels of delight were a joy to us all. I will really miss seeing him and having him as a part of the Chadwicks.

As I type my eyes and heart are so very full right now. Maybe I'm hoping that this will help to heal this sore spot that his absence has left. We prayed for Malik as a family before he left. We prayed that God would not forget him and that some day he would be a son of God. Honestly we have no regrets. We had a dream and went for it. It didn't work out the way we planned but we have to trust that we obeyed God and we pray that He was honored by the past 3 months of our lives.

Please pray for our family and mostly for Malik. His mother is currently not complying with her requirements to obtain custody of him. As always kids are resilliant, but Ian and I are sad. I know the sadness will go away and time will ease the ache, but today we just miss him and we are putting to rest the idea that he would be a part of us forever. At some point in our lives we do hope to be on this journey again, but for now it seems wisest for us all to wait.

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

First Trimester- A challenge

Although I love being pregnant, the first trimester of pregnancy is always a little tricky. I'm always eager for those signs that show the world that something is really going on in there. Also, my personality is one where It's really easy for me to hold back emotion and I feel like I've been doing that this time around more than normal. Honestly I think I've heard story after story of pregnancy loss or newborn deaths and the reality of the fact that things don't always turn out the way that you want them to is staring me in the face. So I admit, I've been holding back a bit. That combined with a busy lifestyle and the unknowns of Malik have just left me feeling.....weird. I just keep moving and hoping that another week passes quickly. Another week to check off and get me on to the next. I know, however, that that's not how it's meant to be.

Even as I type this I am reminded of the scripture that says, "This is the day that the Lord has made, we should rejoice and be glad in it." It's probably one of the first verses that I memorized as a child because I can remember my dad saying it all the time. (Thanks Dad!) My challenge right now is to stay in each day, to be thankful for the nausea and other pregnancy unmentionables that are going on. They serve as reminders to me that today I am carrying a little miracle inside of me and what a gift that is.

Please pray along with me that I can celebrate each day and put the rest in God's hands.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Good News

So we have been blessed with some great news in our home. First we found out that we are expecting our next child in May! We are so excited we can hardly stand it. We actually found out before our vacation, but went to the doctor last week and confirmed that there is a little bean in there. I thought I'd answer some questions that we've been getting in this post.

Lots of people have asked us if we "planned" our pregnancy. Honestly after the difficulty of getting pregnant with Jude we earned a whole new insight on the idea of "trying" to get pregnant. The miracle of conception and birth are overwhelming. Because of that we decided that we wouldn't try to "plan" this one. We have just left the timing up to God and we're grateful for each day that I get to carry this child and we are praying for the day that we will bring him/her home.

What about Malik? In case you've missed other posts, we do already have 3 children in our home :-). Malik is still with us. There are lots of emotions that roll around concerning that little guy. As of right now we are still his foster parents and it appears that he will leave our home at some point. (The other day Ellison heard me say that "it looks like he will leave our home" to someone and she said to me later "he doesn't look like he's going to leave our home to me." It's really cute how literal she is.) Our hearts are torn and we are not looking forward to the day, should it come, that he leaves. He really fits in with us so well and we'll have to wait and see what the Lord has in store. The next court date is in mid October. Until then, Malik is our son and we will love him as such.

About the gender? We waited to find out the gender of our first 2 kids. Ian told me that the choice is mine about finding out the gender this time. At first I thought it would be fun but after some thought, I think I want to wait again. We already have one of each and I love the excitement towards the end of the pregnancy and on the day of birth. This child will be delivered through c-section, so we will know the birthdate long before it comes. Keeping the gender a surprise is something special for us so I think I'm going to wait until his/her birthday. As for the nursery, the funny this is, we've been in transition when each of our kids arrived so I've never really done anything super fancy. This time will be no different....

Which leads me to my second bit of good news. Over the past 5 years we have pursued going back overseas. It has indeed been a pursuit. Multiple applications, a trip to Austria, numerous conversations with our missions staff at church, prayer, tears, and more prayer. On our last day of vacation, we finally completed our application to a sending agency that we've had a relationship with over the past 4 years, and last Friday we found out that we are officially candidates! The final step is to become an appointee but that happens a few months or weeks before going to the field. Right now there are lots of details up in the air and we, along with our church, are prayerfully considering where we would fit in. Our hearts have always thought that it would be Austria, but we are not sure that's going to be where God is leading us.

So, there you have it! 2 big bits of news in our home. Please be praying that God will keep this little one safe in my womb and for our family as we earnestly seek God's direction in his will for our lives overseas. We are so excited to see what he's up to!

Thursday, September 10, 2009


First of all, hello! It's been a while. I feel like I should introduce all of my posts by saying "This week on I & B +3." (Like John and Kate plus 8) Life is going so fast these days and it feels like the laundry is never done and there is always work to be done. Tonight I have a few free moments (well I'm taking a few free moments) to update so here we go....

For those of you who know our little girl Ellison, this post should come as no surprise at all. Tonight we had our first soccer practice. Ian and I have been so excited. I think Ian has been especially excited since he's really taken an interest in soccer over the past couple years. For about a month now, I've been on the lookout for some soccer cleats and we finally got some shin guards and soccer socks yesterday for the big introduction.

Let's start our story by saying that things were not well on the home front. Ellison had a complete meltdown 5 minutes before we were set to leave (I took away her blanky as punishment for the way she was treating Jude). On top of that, I had to put a "sportsy" outfit together for her which she did not approve of and that led to a further outburst of tears. I mean, I liked the blue on blue ensemble with the orange socks (her team color) but she obviously did not. Through her tears she told me that none of the other kids would be dressed like that. Oh really...and how old are you again??! At just the right time, Ian came home from work and brought some calm to the storm. We may not have made it to soccer had I been doing it alone.

We finally load everyone into the van and within 2 minutes our little soccer player is knocked out cold! Mind you the church where she is playing is only 7 minutes away with traffic. So we wake her up and she and Ian run onto the field. Thanks to the little meltdown, we were unable to leave home in time to be there early. Me and the boys arrive on the field to see Ian holding Ellison running from coach to coach looking for her team. He is finally able to find her team and they are already doing drills. NOT GOOD! She immediately clammed up and would not leave Ian's side. All of the kids practiced their dribbling and shooting ...but not our girl. She watched and observed. She sat very close to daddy the entire time. Nearly an hour passed without a bit of action out of Ellison. That is until the snacks were pulled out. This was the only time she actually sat near the team without Ian around.

I can see so much of me in that little girl. I am the same way. Although it's not approaching a soccer field in an outfit I don't like with kids I don't know and a coach who I'm not sure about, I have to feel a situation out before I'll dive in and try something. It's amazing what they pick up! I am so blessed to be complimented by my husband because he is nothing like that. He goes after life 100%. He really wanted her to be a part of organized sports to help her overcome some of her fears. I'm so thankful for his insight and love for his 2 hesitant girls.

Oh and BTW... I cannot conclude this post without a note about the Juder. He had to be pulled off of the field by yours truly, with Malik in the Baby Bjorn, multiple times. He even lined up with another team as there were practicing their drills. If I could have I would have gotten a picture. He was so ready to kick one into the net!

I hope you are all well. Thanks to those of you who keep up with our lives. The fun just keeps on coming. I hope to update tomorrow about our vacation.

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

2 weeks in pictures

We've had 2 weeks of changes in our house. We now have a 2 year old. A first hair cut for Jude. 3 baby teeth gone. A little girl in pre-k. Here are some pictures to tell it all.

Jude Celebrating his second b-day at school.

Friday, August 7, 2009

Love List

My mom periodically gives me a magazine called Above Rubies. This edition featured an article on a Love List. The idea comes from Mother Theresa's quote "It's not how much you do, but how much love you put in the doing." Basically instead of focusing on a To Do List filled with tasks (that I never get done) it forces you to look over your day and think of all the unseen acts of love. To quote the article it says " I believe this list would be more telling as to how productive the day actually was."

I've been thinking about this A LOT!! I am such a doer and I love nothing more than a clean house with laundry done, and meals planned. I am actually a doer to a fault...BIG TIME. It's hard for me to be still and easier to keep things in order than it is to stop and read a book when the dishes are pilled high, or hold a little one after a nap instead of rushing off to cook dinner.

So today I added something to my love list. I decided to pull out the inflatable pool, blow it up and fill it (we don't have a hose mind you) and let the kids go crazy. It was worth all the sweat to hear the giggles and laughs. This created more to my to do list but I hope it was a fun day for them!

What about you..what's on your love list??

PS- The kids must have started their own list, because they all took a nap this afternoon. What a way to love mama!

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

From 4 to 5- Malik

Nearly 3 weeks ago we got a call from DFACS telling us that they had 2 little boys who were about to come into foster care. They were both in need of placement. Of the 2 we chose Malik who had come into the system for "abandonment." Since welcoming him in we have learned a lot more about his story. A number of you have asked where we stand with things so I wanted to use this as a chance to update you.

It turns out that at 2 months old Malik's mother gave him to a friend who in turn gave him to her grandmother. This lady took care of him up until a month or so ago when Malik's mom came to get him (Malik is 7 months old). She then left him with another person which is when the grandmother who had been raising him called DFACS to get them involved. So when they called us, he had indeed been abandoned but we just didn't know all of the details surrounding it. A week ago I would have said that it looks like we are not going to have the chance to adopt him, but only God really knows that. We at first thought he was leaving last week Thursday and after a tearful goodbye I got a phone call saying there was a mix up and he would be returning. I was then told that he would be with us through the 18th of August. Last night, however, Malik's caseworker came over and told us that we should expect that he will be here longer than the 18th. (On a side note she told us a story of a 12 month old that she had just visited and the foster parents are about to adopt. So encouraging to hear that!!) are we adjusting. Well I have to be honest and say that this transition has been really hard. It's difficult because our family has grown and with that comes growth of laundry and our overall responsibilities. I just looked at my post about grocery shopping and laughed. I have not been to the grocery store for a big trip since he came. At the same time, he could be leaving and we'd be back down to a family of 4 again which is why I think we just keep rolling along like "ahh no big deal". When you birth a baby everyone knows that life has to stop. When you're a foster parent it's a little bit different.

Since Malik has come we've had so many cool moments in the midst of the busy. We've watched our extended family become excited and on board with what we're doing, we've had countless conversations about foster care and adoption, and we've loved on this little guy along with our kids. One of the best moments is watching Malik respond to seeing Jude and Ellison after he wakes up! His eyes literally light up. They make him laugh so hard and they love to help take care of him. He has started scooting all around and eating food from a spoon, 2 things he didn't do when he came. Ellison commented that we should call his mommy and tell her.

We feel really blessed to be a part of his life and his story for however long God would have that to be. A friend of mine from small group commented that kids are only ours for a season. That is so very true and something that I've taken for granted with my own children. We are also sad for Malik to think about what his life will be like should he go back to a situation where his mom could randomly be in and out of his life. From what we found out last night, she is homeless and is expecting another baby. Malik had also been termed "failure to thrive" and was without any vaccinations or doctor visits upon his arrival. So sad to think that that is the reality for not just him but so many babies in our country and all over the world!

So we are continuing to press forward each day trying to figure things out and trusting God when we just don't know the answers. Thanks for all of your kind words, prayers and support. What a blessing it is to be surrounded by a community of people so involved in this guy's life.

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Change is Good

There are a number of things that I can tie to the book Captivating lately. My post tonight is no exception :-).

Over the past month or so I've gotten an itch to start changing things around our apartment. Since we've been married we've always lived in apartments, duplexes or flats. With each change (6 so far) a big bubble of excitement rises up in me about decorating! At the beginning of our marriage I was a little bit frustrated that God would wire me to do this stuff so much but t yet we never owned a home. I've now come to see that because I love this stuff so much I've had a part in making each of our places feel more like home. How fun! And the best part is if I don't like it, we'll be moving at some point anyway.

We've lived in our current apartment for well over a year now, so why the sudden changes now you might ask?? At the start of the summer I was invited to take part in a Bible study with a wonderful group of women. On the first week, I got a chance to go in Kristin's home, which happens to be an apartment as well. It was beautiful. Each and every room was painted. It felt so calming and peaceful. My brain immediately started churning as to what I could do to bring some cozy to our place as well. One Friday Kristin came over to my house and she was so encouraging with her words. She commented on how she really liked my style. Together we walked through each room and both of us were bursting with ideas. We were speaking the same language. After she left that day I was ready to take the plunge.

In the book Captivating, I read that women were meant to display God's beauty. Not all of us are wired to do things like this, but in each of us there is a way that we can display beauty. That is our gift to the world and my world begins with my family. Thinking about this and feeling the motivation from Kristin really spurred me on. Add on a husband who loves doing this kind of thing too and you've got yourself a paint party till 2AM. My next stop is just off of Windward Parkway to have fun in my friend Joy's place.

Here are some pictures of some of the things we did. It was so much fun bringing a little of His beauty to our home!

Here is the piano that I repainted. We also painted the dining area the color behind the piano. It's antiqued but you can't really see it in the picture.

These are pictures of our years in Europe. We changed the location of the pics and added the words. The words really sum it up well!

We painted the bottom half of the wall and added a shelf. We also spray painted some of the frames. Oh...and there is a pillow I made for the couch too.

Tuesday, June 30, 2009

We did it!

For well over a year I have vowed never to grocery shop with my kids. The last time scarred me for some reason that I'm sure was related to Wal-Mart(it's gigantic and I always need something that's on the other side of the store when I'm on the opposite side), nursing and going potty. Just too much for a mother to handle sometimes. Now that hasn't meant that I don't ever run in quick and get stuff with them but the BIG grocery trip has been done in the late evenings when the little ones are in bed and on a rare occasion or two before they wake up. I decided, that I needed to try it again because for one reason or another I wasn't able to go in the evenings anymore and then we end up feasting on cheap fast food or throwing together a meal of randomness made of whatever we could find in the fridge and pantry.

Now you may be thinking "what's so hard about grocery shopping with kids?" For me, I don't just grocery shop. It's a process. First I spend time evaluating the sales and planning meals (through the help of some great websites,, cutting my coupons and then I'm off. Today I was armed with nearly 20 coupons going to the store. So when I get there I have to spend time comparing the deal I'm getting with my coupons on national brands versus just buying the generic. Children do not understand why I'm closing my eyes and doing the math while they are begging for Apple Jacks or the Orange Juice in the pretty container. I mean I can't blame them there. However, I've heard time and time again that kids will do what they are trained to do so let the training begin...again!

So today was pretty successful day. Other than Jude saying "owwt, owwt (out) every 3 aisles followed by him pulling Ellison's hair just to get a reaction, we all survived. Here are some things that made it work today. If you have any other tips to add, please feel free to post them. This will be a weekly adventure and the more prepared I am the better it'll be...I hope.

Winning Tips of the Day:
1. I tried to be organized. I organized the list according to the locations in the store to make it as quick as possible. I also tried to make notes on my list about the value of the coupon so that I didn't have to search through my envelope to figure out what is the best deal.
2. I hyped up our trip to Ellison big time. I told her we were going on an adventure and equipped her with her camera to take pictures.
3. I shopped at Publix which is right across the street from our complex. This makes for a very quick commute which seems to be a winner. Also, I LOVE PUBLIX. I know they are more expensive but for our basic needs (excluding meat) I go there. They unload my cart, bag my stuff and load it in the car. All I have to do is swipe the card and hand over the coupons. At the end of our trip today a very nice old man gave Ellison and Jude a dollar each. He also told us that he'd be singing on Friday at 12 if we'd like to come and hear him. They also know our family and are always so nice to our kids. I really love the neighborhood feel in a huge suburb where you can feel one of the numbers.
4. I gave the kids a snack and drink right before we left the house and they seemed to be content in the food department.
5. I prayed. Yep! I am a firm believer in prayer and although there were some tantrums, hitting and hair pulling I found that I was able to handle them better.

So there you have it. A grocery trip without too many tears AND I saved 70 dollars my favorite.

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

You are Captivating

It is with great pleasure that I announce that I have finished the book Captivating!! Can I just say that I LOVED IT! I have owned this book for a few years and had never gotten around to reading it. In fact, I gave it to a friend of mine to read because I just couldn't seem to carve out the time to make it happen. As I've thought about it, however, our God is not a God of chance but he is a divine God who appointed this as the time to read the book. Let me explain a little bit...

At the end of last year one of my friends told me about a young mother's group that she had been a part of. She often told stories and it seemed to be a real encouragement to her. Back in January I got the chance to be a part of the group. I signed up hoping to gain some more wisdom on parenting only to find that the focus of the spring study was on the Hope curriculum. I was a little bit like "man I really needed some advice about parenting, but ok Lord you brought me here for a reason." As soon as I left the first meeting the reason became clear. As the leader told us (forgive the paraphrase), we cannot be all that God wants us to be as mothers until we are all that we are all that He wants us to be in Him. Hope is a program at our church that helps people deal with times of crisis. The curriculum leads you through a course of digging out what's in your past, identifying those things and replacing them with truth. I can sum it up by saying that it teaches you to have freedom in Christ through abiding in His spirit daily. It has transformed the way I look at things. Anytime I find an emotion rising up in me I start asking and digging as to why it's there and the Lord has been so faithful to reveal it.

So our time together came to a close and the mom's group is taking a break for the summer. I found myself in a conversation back at the beginning of May. In fact it was May 3rd. I was talking about keeping the idea of boys (chasing them, boyfriends etc.) away from my daughter as long as possible (yes I know she's only 4). I wondered though how far was too far. No princess movies included?? A single friend at church heard me talking and asked if I'd read Captivating and I told her that I owned it but never read it. She encouraged me to blow off the dust and read it :-) in light of what she'd just heard me talking about. She had just returned from a Captivating retreat and felt that it would be a great read for me. She, in fact, reads it every year and now I know why!

Off I go to my house to start the book and I can't find it anywhere! Well I remembered that I had given it to a friend which left me without a book. As you've read, I love a bargain and I was struggling to pay 16 bucks for the book again. The next morning I remembered that a volunteer had given me a gift card to Borders for 5 dollars. The funny part is that she gave it to me 2 Christmases ago and I hadn't used it because there isn't a Borders close to my house. So I pulled out the card and on the back I see that I can use it at Waldenbooks which is in the mall only 5 minutes away from me! I called them and guess what!!?? The clerk told me we have 2 soft copies for 16 dollars but we also have 2 hard copies of the book for 4.95 in the bargain bin. Our God is so personal isn't he! So off I went to get my book for FREE.

I couldn't wait to dive into this book! Reading through that book was a spiritual peak for me. It hit me right where I needed. I don't want to give much more detail than this: You, as a woman, are captivating. God thinks you are captivating and He designed you to show His beauty to the world. What an awesome responsibility we have!! To show his beauty to our husbands, friends, children, ministry, work etc. The cool thing is the book nearly parallels the Hope curriculum that I went through. My last point about the book is this: When I read the final pages I cried, nearly sobbed. I was filled with so much hope and purpose. My husband looked over at me and asked if everything was ok. I just smiled and's the book again (I practically read it to him).

Please please please read this book. It has the power to transform your life if you are willing to do the work. I pray that it will cross your path at just the appointed time. Our sweet, personal and loving Heavenly Father has a way of doing just that.

Friday, June 12, 2009


A week ago today my hubby and I were on our way to a weekend without our children. That is HUGE because we've never spent more than 1 night together away from them. We have been richly blessed with a wonderful set of friends who have become like family to us. They were up to the challenge of keeping the kids which allowed us a chance to get away. we went to Nashville. Why Nashville, well my husband planned all of it over a month ago. He just randomly asked me if I'd like to go to Nashville the first weekend in June. Since we celebrated our 7 year anniversary on the 25th of May it was great timing. The week before the trip I felt myself getting giddy as I shopped around for a cute date night dress and other accessories to dress up for Ian.

We arrived on Friday to a very nice hotel in downtown Nashville. Ian had arranged for us to get the room for nearly 50% off of the price. As we pulled up all of the luxury cars were parking for vallet. We politely pulled in in our 12 year old Accord and asked where we could park ourselves :-). After checking in to our room I started getting ready for our big date night. Ian had arranged reservations for us at a local restaurant. When we arrived we were greeted by name and congratulated on our 7 year anniversary. After seating us we even had personlized menus. They took our picture and put it in a frame before the night was done. It wa such a special way to celebrate.

On Saturday we slept in, relaxed by the pool and met a friend for an afternoon coffee. During that meeting the real reason for our trip to Nashville was unvieled and confirmed! COLDPLAY WAS IN TOWN!!! So later on that evening we got to go see Coldplay one of my favorite bands. I was going crazy it was so fun and really felt like we were just two twenty year olds living it up.

We woke up on Sunday morning feeling refreshed and ready to resume the role of parents.

It truly was such a wonderful weekend. I'm so grateful for all that Ian did to make it all happen. Lots of sneaking around, planning and organization. Thanks Ian for making it possible. It was a great celebration of 7 years!

Monday, June 8, 2009

Celebrating Sean

Today Ian and I attended a memorial service for Sean Strickland. Sean was my bosses boss during my first job at the church. When he first came to work I remember that he brought an excitement and futuristic look at things. He was a great leader! We heard that over and over again today.

Ian was in a small group with him 2 years ago. Sadly this is the second death among that group of young men! There were only 8 of them in the group and now 6 remain. It's been tough for the men in that group to go through this 2 years in a row.

Today at the service we also heard over and over about how much fun Sean had with his family. Their family values spelled out FIESTA!! So today we decided to have a random pool party with our kids. We wore party hats and Ellison picked the menu. We enjoyed hotdogs, chips, baked beans and frosted oranges (the homemade version). It was spontaneous and so much fun. When I told Ellison that we could wear the party hats to the pool she screamed "This is so much fun!!!"

Today felt like a day filled with purpose. In some small way our family wanted to give honor to the life that Sean led.

Sean, thank you for the example of never taking yourself too seriously, loving and pursing God with all you had and loving your family with passion. You will be missed.

Here is his obituary if you'd like to read it.

Jude enjoying a frosted orange.

Thursday, June 4, 2009

You Hold Me Now

A friend of our died yesterday in a head on collision. He leaves behind a 7 year old daughter and a wife. I am listening to this song and thinking of him and the promise that we have.

So sad for this loss but glad that he is truly dancing with our King for eternity this morning. I'm wondering what that is like and in a sense longing for that as well. A day with no more sadness, no hurt no pain. An eternity bringing glory to our King!

Monday, June 1, 2009

Ballet Camp

Today Ellison started Ballet Camp!! She woke up at 6:30 in the morning very excited to go. We went out on Saturday for some one on one time and got her some new ballet shoes and tights as well.

She is taking ballet at Perimeter Church's Academy of the Arts. Their tag line is "Dancing with a Pointe."

We've waited for a while to get Ellison involved with extra curricular activities for a number of reasons but her love of ballet has been so consistent that we wanted to give her a try at it. I fell in love with this program 2 springs ago when her cousin went through it. I love the empasis that they put on godly values in addition to teaching the girls the fundamentals of ballet. She hasn't been old enough to do it, but this fall she will be enrolled in their full time program.

Thursday, May 28, 2009

Losing Weight

I'm on the journey to lose weight again. UGH!!!! I realized that I had never shared the blog address of a new blog that I started with my friend. Take a look here.

I wanted to share because honestly I don't think I've been doing a good job at staying committed. About a year ago I was so close to a personal best with my weight and almost as soon as I reached my ideal weight the pounds slowly began to creep back on. My dear friend Joy and I share this struggle of discontentment in this area and decided we wanted to make some changes. I've teetered back and forth wondering if I could just live with a 155lbs on my frame and I've decided that NO I cannot. It seems like it's ok when I'm enjoying a hamburger or some fries but then I feel yuck and defeated and realize that I've let my love for food win again.

So this is definitely a journey that I'm pursing slowly. I've chosen not to "diet" but I am weighing and measuring myself each week. At this point I've done some research on healthier choices, met with women who seem to do this well and am back in the gym trying to make some changes. Above all of this, I'm also choosing to believe that my worth and value are not associated to a number (in my pants or on a scale). I do, however, believe that God wants what's best for us and for me that is a healthier lifestyle and way of living in general.

If you have any ideas to share or want to express your thoughts on weight loss and living well I'd love to hear them. If you are on this path as well I know how hard it is and I'm right there with you.

Monday, May 25, 2009

It's our Anniversary....How we met

Today is the day that I became Ian's wife 7 years ago! The time has really flown by. I found this blog and decided to join in since it's our anniversary too!!

Here's the story of how we first met.

Well honestly I first met Ian during his freshman year (my junior year) at Wofford. I saw him and said "You have got to be Seth Chadwick's younger brother." (Seth had just graduated from Wofford.) That was a stupid thing to say and I'm sure that he was like oh great another person who thinks I'm Seth. Thankfully he didn't remember it. Later on in that same year, he broke his nose playing basketball and a friend of mine wanted to take him a goody bag so I tagged along. He seemed nice but no sparks flying or anything like that.

Fast forward to that fall during his sophomore year, he and my same friend were having breakfast where Ian ranked me as one of the 3 most attractive girls at Wofford and my friend was very surprised. Beth she tell me more. That led to our very first date together on November 6, 1998. When he called to ask me out, I was really excited about it. Honestly I knew his brother Seth had strong convictions about his faith and I was very eager to have the chance to get to know Ian and possibly start a relationship with him. He was a breath of fresh air to the relationship rut that I had been in during my college years. He told me that we could do whatever I liked as we discussed what we'd do. That response along was so sweet to me. It was more of the way that he said it which I cannot describe in words. My choice was to go to dinner and a movie (still one of our favorite things to do).

Our first date was a home run for sure! I can remember being nervous about my first date with him. After that first night we spent nearly all of our spare time together. When we were together it was truly magical!

Since that first date and our first meeting we have continued to have those magical moments. Life is never dull with him...NEVER. He is anything but an ordinary man and I'm so blessed to be his wife and to have him as the father of my children.

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Dry Run

This weekend we get the opportunity to keep a little girl who is in the foster care system. She is 6 months old and just entered her second foster home a month ago. We got a chance to meet her and her brother on Tuesday night. She gave me a big smile when I held her she didn't cry.

Her current foster mom needs to go out of state to New York and she only obtained court permission to take her brother (2 years old on Monday). DFACS called us and asked if we would be willing to take her for the weekend and we said yes.

So we have pulled out the toys for an infant and a friend just dropped off an infant carrier and an exersaucer. I'm excited and a little nervous to see how we handle having 3 kids this weekend.

Please pray for this sweet girl and her brother. I'm not sure what the story is on their mom but I do know that their foster mom is a practicing Buddhist and is a single woman just trying to learn the ropes on being a parent herself.

We're grateful to be able to be a part of her little life for this weekend. I'll keep you posted on how things turn out.

Sunday, May 10, 2009

Mother's Day

I feel really blessed and celebrated today. Honestly the celebration started this week so I'll give you a rundown of the highlights. They aren't in any order just random events :-).

1. Ellison and I were talking this week about Mother's Day and she told me some things that she thought I'd like. On her list were pink nail polish, a movie to watch with Daddy, some exercise clothes and popcorn! It's amazing how much they notice things and pick up on!

2. My sweet husband gave me some money that he's saved from training to spend in any way I like...THAT was such a great gift and it was timed perfectly. Other than the occasional 10 dollar shirt at Target or Old Navy shopping for myself it is just not on the agenda these days.

3. Going to get my hair done on Saturday (ended up taking 5.5 hours) and coming home to Ian who had fed and bathed the kids! He then went out to grab us some dinner.

4. I had a yummy breakfast with the family this morning (prepared by Ian) and we got to ride to church together (I work on Sundays and normally I ride separately from the family).

5. I got some pictures of my mom and I in the mail from my dad this week. It was such a timely blessing to see images of us together when I wasn't quite 3! They've made me hug my girl tighter this week even through some difficult moments (more on that in another post).

I hope you had a great Mother's Day and that you felt celebrated too!

Saturday, May 2, 2009

John Denver

Here is a book I found today for Ellison. Can you tell why I feel in love with it at first sight? If you know anybody with a child of mixed race please buy this book for them (actually all children would love it i think). As soon as she saw it and we read it together she said "it looks like me." My heart melted! It's not often that you find a book like this. In fact this is our first one and I've primarily bought books with animals to take the focus off of skin color.

In the back of the book John Denver is pictured holding his son, a bi-racial little boy! (Didn't know that). And... I got it at a used Children's store for 3 dollars! (I love a bargain). I'm thinking of buying another used copy to use the pics as wall art. They are so beautiful!

Thursday, April 30, 2009

I love this song!

Not sure if this link will work or not, I've never tried this before but I haven't written in a while and the words of this song seem to sum things up so well. This morning I was getting the kids in to school and this song came on. I've heard it before but today it really struck home. Sometimes I feel a little like I'm walking and stumbling. As wonderful as parenting and marriage are, there are days that you grow weary and tired. I love the line "when the world has fallen out from under me I'll be found in you." I hope you can listen to it and you enjoy. I want to get her whole cd. Her voice is beautiful.

Here are the lyrics.

Walking,stumbling on these shadowfeet
toward home,a land that i've never seen
I am changing: less and less asleep
made of different stuff than when i began
and i have sensed it all along
fast approaching is the day

when the world has fallen out from under me
I'll be found in you, still standing
when the sky rolls up and mountains fall on their knees
when time and space are through
I'll be found in you

Theres distraction buzzing in my head
saying in the shadows it's easier to stay
but I've heard rumours of true reality
whispers of a well-lit way


You make all things new


When the world has fallen out from under me
I'll be found in you, still standing
Every fear and accusation under my feet
when time and space are through
I'll be found in you

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

This Day

Oh my goodness! I had to write about the day I've been having. I just can't seem to get it together. I hope you get a laugh out of this one.

1. Jude was up for about an hour in the night (felt like 5 hours) yelling mama, mama, mama. I went in and rocked him said night night and then he was quiet for a sec. He then started calling mama, mama, mama again and then....dada, dada, dada to which i went YES!!

2. Woke up late..never a good thing. This means no focused quiet time and no shower before the kids. I was not the mama to be around this morning. The morning after my mom's group (usualy means I'm an on it mom the next day, kinda like flying high)..... GOODNESS GRACIOUS!!!

3. Finally got it together and left the house at 10:30 to go to Costco. Got off the exit and discovered that I didn't have my wallet. ( I did the same thing on Monday which is why I had to go today!!!). Headed back home to get the wallet.

4. Get to Costco and decide to get some gas. Pumped the wrong grade of gas into my car which defeats the whole purpose of going to Cotsco for cheap gas.

5. Ellison is screaming she has to use the potty...really bad mind you while I'm pumping gas.

6. We rush into the store to use the potty and I discover that I left my coupons in the car!

7. Back to the car and into Cotsco again.

8. Finally leaving Costco after not using the coupon. Wasn't that great of a deal.

9. Hubbie calls "we're playing soccer nearby why don't you come over with the kids." Oh great I think. Beautiful day I wanted to do something fun with them the park it is.

10. To the bank to deposit checks...yep left them at home too.

11. Wait in the drive through at Chic-fil-a. Can't find my purse. In the line I jump out of the car to look in the trunk. It's not there. I'm panicking. Did I leave it in the buggy at Costco?? I ask Ellison to unbuckle her seat belt and help me look so that I can move up in line. I mean it's 12 peak time for CFA!! "Nope Mommy I don't see it."

11. Find my purse behind my seat just as it's my turn to order. After I place my order a random man runs up to me with a little boy's shoe. Yep Jude's shoe that he had kicked off fell out as I was franticly searching for my purse.....are you laughing yet!!!

12. Head over to Kohl's to get new deck chairs quick...HA...quick. Decide against that since the kids are starving and I can't pull them away from their lunch in the back seat.

13. Go to the soccer field. Jude cries because he can't be on the field with daddy. Try to engage the kids in a little game on the side lines but not as interested as the bleachers that Jude could potentially fall through onto hard cement!

14. Ok enough of that. We head back to Kohl's. Thankfully no drama there. They had the chairs (50% off!) Get the chairs and now we are at home....

I'm thinking I better get that quiet time that I missed. This afternoon has got to get a little less hectic.

Friday, April 3, 2009

Update on Ellison

We went back to the doctor this morning and found out that she has a sinus infection. I've given her antibiotics and some tylenol to help with the fever. I'm hoping that by the time tomorrow rolls around she will be back to herself.

Poor girl has worn a mark in this spot this week.

Thursday, April 2, 2009

One Tough Week...still going

Stick with me this is a long one.....

On Sunday afternoon my friend Joy and I attempted to make it to Target for a toaster oven while our guys enjoyed a game together. Soon into our trip Ellison started to look really bad. So Joy and I packed the kids back into the car after 10 full minutes of shopping and headed home.

That night Ellison was up in the night feeling terrible. On Monday I stayed home from work to care for her. She was pretty much lethargic but I figured it was a virus. Monday night, no sleep again! Poor Ian had to get up at like 5:30 to leave for a trip so I know he was exhausted. Since he was going out of town, I had to strap on my boots and "get her done." So I kept Ellison at home on Tuesday. Soon into the morning she seemed that she was ok and I was just complying with the 24 hour rule of preschool. She went in to work with me for a little bit and then we had lunch together. Mexican our favorite! After lunch she went downhill once again. My young moms group meets every other Tuesday and I thought I'm really going to have to miss now. After laying down for a nap she woke up with a high temp and vomiting again and I decided to take her to the doctor. This meant me and 2 kids in the rain going to the doctor. I was not so happy! They tested her for strep and the flu and concluded that "it's just a virus. If she is still sick on Thursday bring her back in and we'll do some more testing" they say. I should have said "can you just do it now becasue I don't have 60 dollars to give to you guys in one week." I mean didn't they know I'd had to miss work!!

So on Wednesday she seemed pretty much normal. We even had a friend over to play. She had some moments in the afternoon but I just figured she was sleepy. Last night was small group and I was so pumped to go and have some adult interaction. Mind you the last adult that I talked to was on Monday evening so by Wednesday evening I was ready!! I get a call from the sitter about an hour into our group that she had thrown up and I rushed home. It seemed though that her coughing had caused it more than anything else. She was not running a fever and was smiling when I walked in the door. So I was determined that I was going to work and the kids to school today! was another eventful night with not a lot of sleep. She coughed for like 2.5 hours straight and then Jude woke up from a storm so I rocked him and helped him get back to sleep. When I was done with that I set up the humidifier for Ellison who was in our room and I slept on the couch. So I had about 4 hours of very interrupted sleep last night. Can you say TIRED!!

Ok now for the confession. Moms out there, have you had one of those moments when you wake up and get everything all ready for something you're looking forward to only to see a symptom in your child that may mean they are sick? You keep moving along trying to convince yourself and your child that they aren't sick but in the back of your mind you know they are? This morning was that way for me. She had no appetite and was very whinny. I was determined, however, to go to work and have 4 hours of time for something that I enjoy. I even had a lunch date planned with a friend...BONUS. There was no way we were staying home. I felt her was warm. I thought maybe it's because she was under a blanket. Finally I got out the thermometer and sure enough she had a temp. I wish I could say that I didn't think of myself at all when I realized that Ellison was not feeling well again which meant another day at home. I wanted to scream NO!!! In fact I went in the bathroom and said "God... really. I'm tired. I need to go to work. I want to go to work. Why is this happening." So I texted hubbie and Joy and asked them to pray that I not be overwhelmed with feelings of selfishness. I wanted God to give me empathy and mercy for this little one. I HATE that sin and struggle with it all the time.

After about an hour I started to feel a lot better and regained some perspective. I so wish that the reaction time and the correct response could come closer together. Not just in this situation but in every situation. Although this has been an incredibly hard week (and I mean the kind of hard where when Ian gets home tonight I wish I could say see ya for a day or so and head to the Hilton) God has been right here with me. Don't get me wrong, I have been upset (did you see the last paragraph) and I've even cried..a few times... but in spite of that He encouraged me in a number of ways. First through a wonderful letter that the leader of my young moms group sent out that basically mirrored my week, He encouraged me by letting me have an hour with my small group making Easter baskets, He encouraged me through the prayers of those who love me. I've also been preparing my answers to some theological questions this week which has required me to be in the Bible at any moment I could get. Last night I answered the question about the Holy Spirit and doing the research for that question was such an encouragement. We are not alone!! The Comforter is with us and He is ever present when we need Him!! WOW!!

All in all I've survived and the bonus is that I got lots of time in with my girl. I never get to have her one on one and although most of the time has been spent waiting on her and serving her needs there have been moments of joy in the midst of it too. Now I need to go take care of a little boy who is splashing in my cup of water that he stole off the table :-).

If you've made it this far, you really love me :-). I just needed to talk thanks for listening.

Sunday, March 29, 2009

Ellison's loosing teeth!

In the month of March Ellison lost 2 teeth. Here are some pictures.

She is OVERJOYED at losing her teeth. Her mom....not so much.

Thursday, March 26, 2009


We finalized our foster care process today and we are officially approved!! Today at lunch we received our welcome packet and were told that our names would be put on a list of eligible parents. WOW! When I look at the big picture I am so excited about this. A tangible way to help the widows and orphans (James 1:27 Religion that God our Father accepts as pure and faultless is this: to look after orphans and widows in their distress...)

I am a planner, however, so I need to go and organize my thoughts a little and develop some systems. I have to be really honest. Am I nervousYES..Do I have a lot of questions...YES. Many of you are probably saying "why would they want to do this" and I sometimes find myself asking the same question. We have 2 children who are healthy and we are blessed. We have always wanted more children, however, and our ultimate hope in fostering is to adopt our third child.

So now that we are approved we need a toddler bed &/ crib (if anyone has one that they would like to get rid of let me know) and we could use another infant car seat as well. Once we have a child in our home there are resources that we can use, but we have to prepare ahead of time just in case we get the call...soon :-).

As our family and friends we would love if if you would be praying for us through this time. Pray for God's wisdom and discernment as we begin to get phone calls about potential children. We know it will be so hard to say "no we can't help that child" but at the same time we have to be wise for our families sake. Pray as we look for childcare for this child (I work 2 1/2 days per week and would like to continue to do that at this point) that we would pick the right place and that everything would work out. Most importantly pray for the chid who will come to our home. This child is already out there in who knows what kind of a situation. Pray that God would protect him/her either in the womb or in the home. And please pray for all of the children in foster care. We will only be able to help one of these kids but there are over 20K in the US alone in foster care right now!!!

Thanks for your prayers and support. We are so excited about taking this step and having a new little one in our home soon.

Saturday, March 14, 2009

Jude gets a baby

Jude has had quite the week. He had a stomach bug, lice (maybe still not sure about that..i know i know..) and a perforated ear drum! While we were out shopping I gave in to his request for a baby on the shelf. This is a picture of him. 

Thursday, March 5, 2009

Bread of Life

I discovered a new blog which is GREAT. If you are a mom of preschoolers you know what it's like to try and think of things to keep your little one busy. Well, this site is fantastic. I have a link to it posted to the right. Check it out if you get a chance...I promise you will love it.  

This month the site is helping mothers teach their kids about the I Am statements about Jesus. For the first week of March the statement is " I am the bread of life." So yesterday Ellison and I put together our poster and we baked some homemade bread. I have a bread maker but we chose to do it all by hand to drive home the point and to make it more hands on. While we were making it we talked about the yeast and what it does and how that relates to what Jesus can do in our lives. I must admit that I was more excited than she was but I hope that some of what we did sinks in. 

Here are some pictures of our fun times!

Also if you're interested in a good recipe just let me know and I can email it to you. 

PS- I really need to learn how to put these pictures on in order and to add captions. If you know would you mind telling me ;-). 


Sunday, March 1, 2009

Update on the Kids

Hi Everyone!

I have missed updating. It's been a very busy couple of weeks but a lot has happened. I'm beginning to wonder if there is ever a dull moment with kids and I have concluded....not so much! 

I have recently had a chance to be a part of a young mother's group which has been incredible. It has really helped to challenge my thinking on a lot of things and it has given me a renewed hunger to discovering my identity in Christ. The focus of the group is on mothering and I've found over the past few weeks a soft spot when I just look at my kids. The blessing of having them and watching them grow just overwhelms me. Now I don't want to give you the impression that every moment is filled with love and laughter because that is just not the truth :-). I have found that it's easier to see the joy in the midst of the difficult times. So, with that n mind I would like to share some updates on the kiddos. 

Ok. So Ellison went to the dentist and has 4 loose teeth. She is only 4 and won't be 5 until November. The dentist thinks that they will fall out within the next 3 months. She is very excited, and it's funny to see her shaking those teeth all the time.  In other Ellison news she moved out of a car seat and is now only in a booster. This is her first really "girlee" seat and she loves it. She is having trouble getting buckled in so we have to work on that with her. She is really growing up so much and is really growing into a sweet big sister. When Jude gets disciplined he goes and lays his head on her lap and she just rubs his back. She loves being with him and they really get along well (ok, not all the time). 

Jude is really growing up too. He is 18 months old now and is definitely a toddler. His favorite things include: throwing a ball, catching a ball, playing basketball...notice a trend here. Really he just loves to throw anything and that is our biggest challenge right now. He throws food off his tray, throws blocks, basically anything in his hands. He has a very high pain tolerance (I'm not just saying that either. The boy barely cries at vaccinations) which makes it even harder because if you pop his hand he just looks at you like "what?". He really is our little cuddle bug which is so sweet. 

So here are some pics of our last few weeks.