Monday, February 22, 2016

Monday Musings: An Adoption Update

Moment of silence,'s Monday. AGAIN. Why does this keep happening?!! 

Kidding. Kinda. ;) 

Okay, SO, I have a few things to share today regarding our adoption and possible timeline. There are still LOTS of question marks and variables, but we had a long talk with the Matching Coordinator on Friday, so I wanted to share a little bit about what I learned. 

First, we are officially LOGGED IN to the CCCWA! Translation: our dossier made it to China, and as of last Friday, it is in the hands of the Chinese government and has been added to their international adoption database. That means we are OFFICIALLY in the system and the US side of our dossier is complete! Now, the Chinese government will translate our dossier into Mandarin and can eventually approve us to adopt a child. This is GREAT news! 

Second, we talked with our agency on Friday for about 30 minutes regarding our medical checklist and general profile, and our agency didn't seem to think it would take more than 3 months for us to receive a match. (It could definitely be shorter, but they didn't seem to think it would be any longer than that.) From the time we accept a match, depending on a few variables, we will travel 3-6 months later. SOOOOO, all of that means we could POSSIBLY be traveling in the late summer, but it'll probably be early fall. It's really happening, y'all...this is crazy. 

For those of you unfamiliar with how matching works, each family creates a "profile" of the type of child they'd like to adopt including gender, age, and acceptable medical conditions. We are basically looking to adopt a boy, 0-18 months (at time of match), and we are open to about six categories of minor special needs. We created this profile based on our desire to stay in birth order, so Kate needed to be at least 1 year older than her younger brother, and we narrowed down the medical conditions after MANY, MANY conversations with various pediatricians. The profile part of adoption is HARD. 

Thank you all for continuing to journey this out with us...we are so excited to be at this point!

OH! And one last thing...several people have asked whether or not we plan to do any more adoption fundraising. The short answer is no...we do not plan to organize any more fundraisers...BUT, if you'd like to contribute to our family's adoption financially, there are two ways you can do that:

1) PayPal donations - there is a button on the right navigation bar labeled DONATE that will accept a monetary donation and will go directly into our adoption account. No need to have a PayPal account, and it will send you a receipt.

2) So, this one is way more fun...SHOP MY NOONDAY COLLECTION LINE! I fell in love with Noonday several months ago, and when the opportunity to become the first Ambassador in my area fell into my lap, I had to jump on it! This company was born as an adoption fundraiser, seeks to empower men and women struggling to get out of poverty worldwide, and the style is just SO me! The spring line debuted last Thursday, and it is STUNNING. All of my commissions will go into our adoption account as well, so your purchases are truly making a HUGE impact. Here are a few of my favorites from the new line. (Click on each picture for the link to the featured item! And if you want the name of an item pictured that I didn't link to the picture, shoot me a comment below! I'd love to help you find it.)

There are SO MANY MORE beautiful things on the full website, including a SALE section with some beauties! (Um, hello beautiful $14 earrings!)
Leave me a comment or shoot me a message for more info or if you have questions! Make it a great week, friends! XOXO!

Monday, February 15, 2016

The Changing Face of Friendships and The Impact of Direct Sales

I'm going to go ahead and share something today that, quite frankly, might get me into a little bit of trouble. I'm gonna go there because it's 2016, and it's happening everywhere. Take one scroll down your Facebook feed and everybody's selling something, am I right? Somehow, overnight, your best friend who had no idea what collagen is yesterday became a skin care expert. Or your friend who wears nothing but yoga pants and t-shirts started selling designer handbags. Or your co-worker whose lunch is typically a hot dog, Coke, and Doritos is all of a sudden recruiting you to join her "108 Day Solution" group and "take back your health." 

I KNOW. Annoying, isn't it?

If you're anything like me, you usually think to yourself while scrolling, "Ugh. What a bunch of sellouts." After the eighth post of the day showing before and afters of the miracle cream or cellulite-reducing wrap, you end up blocking all these salespeople from your news feed, and calling all social media worthless because it's "just advertising."  

 I know. Me, too.

Then, things start getting even worse because you met a new friend at a play date who seems legitimately interested in getting to know you and asks you to go have coffee with her. About 30 minutes into the coffee date, she lowers the boom: it's all a sales pitch. She wants you to find "financial freedom" by joining her "fast-growing team" before it's too late.

A little piece of you dies inside. You thought she genuinely liked you!?!

Here's the thing...I was in that boat, but...

A small piece of me wondered if it might just work, but the thought of "selling" to my friends was, honestly, pretty icky to me. 

A few weeks ago, I learned that there was only one person in my city selling some of my absolute favorite accessories, so after lots of prayer and an encouraging phone call, I took a leap of faith and signed on to be an Ambassador with The Noonday Collection. SO MANY of my friends were absolutely shocked because, quite frankly, I've vented countless times to them about my absolute DISDAIN for direct sales and the constant pressuring of friends and family to join your team and buy your products. 


Sell out.

They got to you.

I can't believe you gave in.

You're one of them.

If you are one of the ones who hates direct sales, you might be thinking, "Now I have to block you, too. You're just going to try to recruit me to sell stuff, too." (Let me first just assure you...I won't! That is SO not in my nature...)

But I wonder, what if we changed our thinking...what if instead of constantly being in competition with each other, what if we rallied around each other and supported each other? How would all of this be different if we stopped playing all the artificial friendship games and just legitimately loved our people, whether they joined our team, bought our products, or NOT?  

I know that sounds pretty radical...but I really think it could be done. Maybe if we truly understood the people posting the constant before and afters or selfies in their new "must-have" scarves, we wouldn't be quite so resistant to supporting them.

Here's what I know about people who usually join direct sales companies:

1) Most do it because they want to support their families. 

Most direct sales reps are stay-at-home moms, which is why we are also the biggest targets. We generally speaking have no hey, perfect person to sell something from home. We look at direct sales as a way to make a little income to ease the financial burden on our husbands, and for the most part, there's little investment lost if it doesn't work out. 

For me, I saw joining Noonday as a potential way to make a little money to help our adoption by connecting with friends over unique and beautiful products that really hadn't been seen yet in Frisco.  The bonus for me was that Noonday products help create jobs and provide stable incomes for people all around the world in poverty, and that is SO cool. The company also has a huge love for and it's roots in adoption. That's MY why...but everyone has their own WHY. 

What if we actually took the time to ask our friends who are selling various products what is THEIR why? You might be surprised...

2) Most are stepping out of their comfort zones.

Usually, direct sales companies require an initial start-up investment. That's kind of scary when you typically have no income other than your husband's. Some of us (like yours truly!) are seriously scared to death to ask friends and family to support a start-up business. Failure is scary...and many, MANY direct sales reps fail. It's just a reality of the time we live in. Let's pick each other back up!

3) Most do LEGITIMATELY want your friendship first.

So, it was super annoying that the new play group friend seemed like she only wanted you to join her team. But, does that mean that your friendship has to be over? NO! If you legitimately clicked with someone but don't want her products or to join her team, why not just politely say no and MOVE ON WITH BUILDING THE FRIENDSHIP? 

Why are we so quick to immediately toss a friendship aside when it turned slightly business-like for 5 whole seconds? You guys...we're making this way more awkward than it needs to be. Remember lemonade stands, 80s kids? What if someone politely said no to buying your lemonade one day and you saw them at school the next day? Would you give them the stink eye and never talk to them again? NO! You would get. the. heck. over. it. 

Let's be like the 80s kids! Grab your Umbros and Tiger Beat and Get. the. heck. over. it.

To wrap up, hear my heart. This post was absolutely NOT written from a place where I just wanted you to buy my stuff. I love Noonday, and yes, I'd love you to support me in my Noonday business...but that had absolutely ZERO to do with this post. This post came from a conversation I had last week with a friend regarding just how artificial and uncomfortable friendships have become in 2016 due to direct sales. Literally, friendships that had been in place for years are being strained because someone wouldn't join a team or (gasp!) didn't love another friend's products. This HAS TO STOP. We have to change the dialogue. Let's GET. THE. HECK. OVER. IT. and get back to genuine partners or not, team members or not, customers OR NOT.

Friends, direct sales are a BIG THING in 2016...but we DON'T have to let them dictate our friendships. 
Friday, February 12, 2016

We are DTC!!!! (The Ultimate Friday Favorite)

You guys...there is only one Friday favorite today because it's just that good.

We are SO excited to share today that, after exactly six months and two days of paperwork, our dossier is on its way to China! EEEK!

Ahhh, I'm still squealing...DTC! Seriously, the prettiest little letters I've seen in quite some time.

For those of you unfamiliar with dossiers, it's basically a big giant packet of information sent to the country you are adopting from that verifies your health, finances, citizenship, etc etc etc. (Yes, three etc were required. It's that huge.) It is usually about six inches thick and sent over to China in a binder where it is translated and logged into the CCCWA which oversees all China adoptions.  It's basically the USA's way of saying, "These people are healthy, financially stable, legal citizens and not crazy. (Debatable.) They will take good care of a child from your country, so please approve them to adopt."

One of my favorite adoption bloggers, Kristin, likened this step to hearing the heartbeat for the first time in a pregnancy. It really just makes it so much more real to know that all the months of hard work are behind us and that we are just mere days or weeks from seeing the face of our sweet son. We are THRILLED! (Can you tell!?!)

So, what does this mean now?

Basically, this means that the China authorities will receive our dossier early next week, and we will be "logged in." They will give us a log-in date (LID), and that makes us eligible to get a referral call for ANY child that fits our profile from here on out. Prior to this step, we could get calls for special focus children (kids with moderate to major special needs or kids who are older), but our profile is really only open to non-special focus kids who are very young with minor or corrected special needs. We have no idea whether this will take five days or five months, but we are ready.

My GOODNESS are we ready!

What does the timeline look like from here?

That all really depends on how quickly we match. If we accept our first referral and his file is sent to us this month or next, we could potentially be traveling this summer. If it takes later into the spring or early summer for us to be matched, we will travel in the fall. There are really just a lot of factors still at play. But, we trust that this will all time out exactly as God intends, and we continue to believe that He has already worked out all of these details for us. We just need to keep taking each day as it comes and doing the next thing.

I will share one prayer request though before I close today...the matching stage of this process has given me a lot of anxiety for quite some time now. I have been praying for months that when we receive a child's file, we will feel certainty about accepting or declining fairly quickly. No waffling. Whether his birthday is a significant date in our adoption timeline or he has a name that means something special to us or whether we just see his face and instantly know he's ours...I'm just praying for some kind of confirmation. Some kind of nudge. I can't imagine how it's going to feel to open up a file of a child living halfway around the world who looks nothing like me and who has already been living for several months and ask myself, "Is he my son?"

My prayer is that I won't have to ask. My desperate plea is that I won't ask anything...that somewhere deep down inside, I will just KNOW. My hope is that Blake and I will look at that precious face, not be scared by any medical labels, and just KNOW he's ours.

Far-fetched dream? Maybe. But I serve a God who hears prayers, so I ask. And, I wait.

Thanks for continuing to journey with us, and happy Friday to all!

Wednesday, February 10, 2016

10 on the 10th

So, this is totally not creative because I stole it from another blogger, but I loved the idea of sharing ten happy things on the 10th of the month. So let's do it! :) 


You guys...these little questionnaires are seriously my favorite thing ever. I love seeing what sticks with kiddos when they are asked about their parents. Apparently, I do a lot of playing with this kid...:) And can we also talk about the fact that he already appreciates my fierce love of necklaces and coffee? It's true...give me a statement necklace and a latte, and I'm really just a happy girl.


I wrote out 14 little post-it notes with reasons why I love my husband, folded them up, put them in a cute little container, and called it a gift. (It cost me exactly 99 cents. Okay, so 1.07 with tax.) I made this for my hubby on Monday, and he has LOVED opening two little reasons why I love him every day this week leading up to Valentine's Day. I know...cue the sap. But it is SO CUTE to watch him get all embarrassed and red-faced when he opens up a praise! Words of affirmation are NOT his love language...but they're mine, so we're working on it.


My Noonday is coming! My Noonday is coming! I put together these little collages for you of some of my favorite pieces from previous lines. I can't show the spring stuff just yet (8 more days!), but these are some staple pieces I ordered as samples that I cannot WAIT to get on me! If you're local, be sure to RSVP to my business launch show on Facebook! Message me or comment for an invite if you didn't get one!


I spent yesterday morning wearing my "mom" hat at school, and we had a fun little Mommy & Me craft day. 

It was short and sweet, but I loved just loved seeing my kiddos in their classrooms. We painted together and just had fun getting a little extra time together in the chaos of the morning. 


We love a reason to celebrate around here, and yesterday my little lady turned 2 1/2! :) We didn't do gifts or anything, but we did pick out some pretty cute owl cupcakes after school and had fun getting a special snack. She insisted we sing to her...of course...and she clearly hated the attention. ;) 


Hubby came home from work yesterday with the most hilarious little smirk on his face. He said he "waited too long" to get his "Valentine's Week" flowers because all the roses were already $40 or more. Soooo, I got yellow tulips instead. He told me I could go shopping with the difference in, okay!


No words. This girl cracks me up. She wanted to be Santa in the bath. I mean...


I am an AUNT again!!! This precious bundle is my new niece, Annabelle! How lucky am I?!! Kate is so excited to have another girl in the family!!


This. This is my life. Every. single. day.


I know, I know. This kind of goes along with #3...but I'm so excited about it! If your purchase totals at least $60 during my February trunk show, you can get one (or both!) of these Monaco pieces for half off! These pieces are just classic, staple, go-with-anything pieces that you will absolutely adore! I am so excited for this bonus Noonday is offering this month! :) My live trunk show will be the 28th, but I will post the trunk show link here next week. Stay tuned!

OH! And, I hope to have an adoption update Friday...I'm hearing we may have some progress to share! Eeek!

Make it a great Hump Day friends! 

Sunday, February 7, 2016

Weekend Wrap-Up: Noonday Style Edition

Fair warning: There are entirely too many pictures of ME on this post. I seriously don't think I've been in this many blog post pictures in, well, ever. 

This is a little out of my comfort zone, but since I literally spent my entire weekend in Noonday, I thought it would be fun to give you all a little peek at a few pieces from my sample collection that arrived last week. EEK! First of all, can we just talk about how BEAUTIFULLY packaged these little beauties all are?!! I die.

(Side note - this is only my first shipment of three. Two more boxes of beautiful things coming soon! So many more goodies to come!)

Thursday night, I had a little moms' night out at a painting studio with some of my precious MOPS friends, so I took my Rachel necklace, Sofiya wrap bracelet, and Minaret earrings along with me. ;) I loved how the bone color of the necklace and earrings added a little fun to a simple sweater! 

Friday morning, I went to work in my Angelica scarf, Festival bracelets (see below), and Column guys, I could've sold this little beauty right off my neck about ten times over. The quality of the material is just second to none, and it adds a fun color pop to truly ANYTHING. My mother-in-law already owns this cute scarf (because she has great taste!), and she said she gets oodles of compliments on it, too. Love! 

Here's a little Friday afternoon fun pic with my boy where you can see the bracelets. I wore both the Fuschia and Navy and just love the bright colors! At only $18 a piece, these are super affordable and so fun for spring! Throw in a few gold pieces you already own and it's an arm party!

Saturday morning, I attended a baby shower for a former co-worker from my middle school days. (Shout out to the middle school have to be just the right amount of crazy for that gig!) It was SO MUCH FUN to catch up with all my old teacher friends since we have all parted ways since we taught together in 2012. I decided to try out the Water Drop Prism earrings for this occasion and loved the look! A little drama and fun added to a simple wine tunic and black leggings. 

And on Superbowl Sunday, it was 70 degrees so we lived outside in our sunnies. ;) My princess and I are cheesin' in the Sofiya wrap bracelet again (it's seriously goes with anything) and the Golden Rivers necklace. (My Column earrings are hiding behind my hair, but I promise they are there!) This necklace is SO FUN because of the leather extender. It is really two necklaces in one because the extender can be removed and give you a totally different look. The extender can really be added to just about any other rope necklace and create lots of versatility with just the one piece. I'll share a demo on that one soon!

Sunday afternoon, I took my boy on a little park date while his sister napped. He climbed, swung, and slid his little heart out. 

We played tag and ran races in the field, and I just about died at his "I'm going to beat you" face!

These kids are so much of my "why" when I decided to join Noonday. If I can model for them what it looks like to love God and love people...ALL people...well, then I'd call that success. I so desperately want them to understand that the best thing we can do in our lives is help others, regardless if they live halfway down the block or halfway around the world. Jesus instructs us to go make disciples of ALL nations, not just ours. Not just the one next door. ALL. If we don't take care of our brothers and sisters near and far, well, who will?

With that said, I am SO excited to get my spring pieces in (fingers crossed it's this week!) and cannot wait for you all to get your hands on it at my local launch on the 28th! Be sure to like my Facebook page for more details on that! Remember that your purchases are not only helping artisans around the world, but all of my commissions will go directly to our family's adoption fund.

Want to partner with me and help make a difference in the world by styling your friends? It's so easy! Shop HERE anytime or book a trunk show with me to get yourself some free and discounted pieces while bringing the story of Noonday to your friends and family! Win-win!

Hope you all had a good weekend, friends!! XO! 
Friday, February 5, 2016

Finding Joy in the Waiting...A Letter to Myself

I've written about waiting and trusting in God's timing before, but when I did, it was more directed at my readers and encouraging others.

Today, this post is for me.

I've been an absolute wreck the last few weeks, literally causing myself physical pain through my anxiety over our first delay in our adoption process. That one last document we need to finish authenticating at the Consulate...well, it's still there. What should be a four day turn around has been there for two weeks. It has made me literally crazy, and today, I'm done holding tightly to this stronghold of control. I'm giving it up. I'm letting go. 

(Cue Elsa on the snowy mountain.)

Here's the the end of the day, control is a facade. And that's hard for control freaks like me to understand. I walk around 95% of the time with a FALSE sense of control. At times, it becomes an idol for me. It is easier for me to white knuckle through life full of anxiety and tension and stress than it is to let go and trust that a bigger and much more qualified God is in control. 

And that is just plain silly, y'all.

What FREEDOM there is in letting go! The reality is that I am merely a steward of what He's given me. Time, health, money, family...these are all gifts that HE controls. My job is use these blessings to spread His kingdom. He never asks us to be in control...He asks us to trust.

My best friend Erica loves to remind me of my planner in college. Back when I thought life was so stressful (oh, how I'd love to go back and slap that college girl have no idea how good you have it right now, sorority girl!), I felt a need to control everything my literally scheduling every 15 minutes of my day. No lie. I scheduled "travel time" between classes, snack breaks, workouts, everything. I was the least spontaneous person you'd ever met, and I needed Lexapro just to cope with it all. 

Friends, this is not living.

So today, I'm going to find JOY in the season God is walking me through right now. Is it frustrating to know that the Consulate is basically holding our dossier hostage with that one paper? YES. Is it hard to wrestle with the fact that our dossier will go out two or three weeks later than anticipated due to this delay and the Chinese New Year? YES. But, God didn't ask me to understand why. He asks me to let go, to trust, and to live in the moment. And today, I'm choosing joy. I may not have a dossier in China today, but I have a wonderful workplace with incredible women where I get to spend my morning, and afternoon to spend with a dear friend, and a weekend of family fun ahead. And I am going to find JOY in the exact moment God has placed me.

And when that day comes that our dossier is done, we meet our son, and all of this is behind us? I have a feeling I will look back and realize that God is truly in the details of all this. He has a perfect plan for our family...delays and all. 

Happy Friday, friends! 
Tuesday, February 2, 2016

Show & Tell Tuesday: How to Win Your Heart

Hey hey! 

It's another "Show & Tell Tuesday" link-up today, and today's prompt is: "What Wins Your Heart?"

Okay, so this question sort of stumped me when I first read it last week because I think this has changed over the years. When my husband and I were engaged, we each took the quiz that reveals your "love language." If you haven't taken this quiz before, do it! It reveals SO MUCH about you and your spouse! The five love languages are physical touch, quality time, words of affirmation, acts of service, and gifts. So, seven years ago, my love language was physical touch first and words of affirmation second. 

And then we had a son.

And then a daughter.

And there was SO. MUCH. TOUCHING.

I held babies, I held hands, I gave piggy back rides, I wiped snotty noses, and I just got completely OVER the touching. When I finally give the last bedtime kiss to my kiddos, the LAST thing I want is to be touched anymore. I just feel liked I'm touched by small hands ALL. DAY. LONG. so yeah, that love language has kind of died for me.

Sorry, hubby. ;) 

We still cuddle and stuff, but yeah, I usually just want my space. Bless him.

I WILL say, though, that I am ABSOLUTELY still one who responds to words of affirmation. One of my all-time favorite things is when my husband leaves me little notes. If he leaves town early in the morning or we switch cars for the day or something like that, he'll often leave me a little sticky note saying "I love you" or something silly, and it just seriously makes my day. A simple "I like that shirt" or "your hair looks good today" or "thanks for all you do for our family" goes a LOOOOOOONG way with me. 

I have noticed being married for almost six years now that my husband tends to express his love through acts of service, so I am trying (TRYING!) to get better at appreciating that. I haven't washed my car or filled up my own gas tank once in the last four years. (Side story - I actually tried to fill it up myself coming back from a bachelorette party recently, and it was SO weird. Like, I almost didn't know how to do it.) My hubby does the dishes most nights, helps me with the laundry, takes care of the trash cans, and brings me a cup of coffee in bed every morning. I am SO spoiled, you guys. It's not my love language at all, but I'm learning to appreciate it because he's seriously just the most generous and helpful guy ever.

So, that's my heart! I'd love to hear how to win yours!

Also, if you missed my Noonday announcement yesterday, check it out HERE! I'd love you to join me on my journey to help create a better world through style! If you are interested in hosting a trunk show, be sure to let me know! The new line launches in just 16 days...and it is FABULOUS! All proceeds from my Noonday sales will benefit our family's adoption.

Have a great day, friends!  
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