Friday, May 27, 2016

The Playhouse

You know that old saying, "The Lord works in mysterious ways?" Sometimes, he even uses dirty plastic playhouses...because He can.  

It was a typical Thursday evening. We had just returned home from the gym, and I was making dinner. Tacos, obviously, since I had just worked out for an hour. ;) I was feeling pretty rotten and down because the kids had been fighting all week, the weather was icky for May, and our family has been stuck in a season of disappointment and heartache for the last two months. 

Over the last eight weeks, we have declined our first referral from China due to some inaccurate information in the file, we put our beloved Boston Terrier to sleep due to a neurological issue, and we have adopted...and returned...another puppy to her rescue group due to safety concerns with our yard and her ability to create an escape route. Disappointment after disappointment after disappointment. It was one of those days where I had just been praying for something, ANYTHING, to go right.

My daughter is two and a half. (Moment of silence, please.) She is at that age where the slightest little thing sets her off, so as I had neared the end of cooking, I went to poke my head outside where my sweet hubby was playing with the kids to ask if she wanted a crunchy shell or a tortilla for her taco, and I ended up standing there staring for a solid ten minutes completely unnoticed.

As I looked outside, I found my husband, all 6 feet and 200+ pounds of him, scrunched into our tiny Little Tykes plastic playhouse with both kids. He was asking about their day, tickling them, giggling with them, just enjoying their company. And they were EATING IT UP.

I stood in the doorway for several minutes, just savoring the sight of those three laughing and happy. And it dawned on me. I immediately felt the Holy Spirit saying to me, "When was the last time YOU enjoyed their company? When was the last time YOU were thankful for the people you still have? Don't you see what all I've already given you!"

There's a line in a song by Casting Crowns I'm loving right now that says, "If your eyes are on the storm, you'll wonder if I love you still. But if your eyes are on the cross, you know I always have and I always will." At that moment, that line made sense. I realized I had been approaching this hard season in completely the wrong way.

Because of a plastic playhouse. 

Rather than approaching this season with my eyes on the cross and the blessings and the good, my eyes have been on the storm and the waiting and the hard. My eyes have been so focused on the heartache and the disappointment and the jealousy of what we DON'T HAVE right now, that I've completely missed out on enjoying what we DO HAVE. 

And because God works in that mysterious way, it took a plastic playhouse to remind me of all He's already done for me.

"Great is the Lord and most worthy of praise; His greatness no one can fathom. One generation commends your works to another; they tell of your mighty acts." -Psalm 145:3-4

Monday, May 23, 2016

May Recap: Life Lately

Well, hey there end of May!

In the words of my Carter, "What the what?!!"

This month has been an absolute WHIRLWIND. I repeat. WHIRL. WIND. Here's a little peek at what we've been up completely random, not chronological order...

We celebrated this beautiful lady, my mom, on Mother's Day with an amazing meal at her country club! 
Three generations of Wade girls...

These two LOVE their Gammy! 

We've spent CRAZY amounts of time in the our sunnies...:)  

And we watched this amazing boy "GRADUATE" from Pre-K! 
**Okay, so he's doing TK since he's a summer birthday, so we aren't going to get all technical about the graduation thing...we just had a blast celebrating his growth this year!** 

He was SO EXCITED to receive the "Happy Helper" award! (except not...) 

Please read his career aspirations...a multi-tasker like his mom! ;) I am SO PROUD.

We were headed off to our last day of preschool for the year! WE MADE IT!!!!

This cutie started playing T-Ball and is in MAJOR LOVE! This sport has been such a confidence booster for my sweet boy. Soccer was entirely too aggressive for him, and this is SO his speed! 

Kate fell in love with the splash pad...(and this cute boy!) 

Blake and I spent an INCREDIBLE weekend away in Austin for a little "mental health break" from our crazy. If you and your significant other have never done this, I HIGHLY recommend it. We came back refreshed, reconnected, and totally recharged after an insanely draining spring for us both. 

While I was there, I read both of these incredible books. Get your hands on these NOW, people. Looking for Lovely is great for someone going through a hard time or struggling with insecurity, and Wild and Free, y'all, this book. I mean, where do I start? This is inspirational, freeing, confidence-boosting, faith-building, challenging...everything you'd want in a faith-based non-fiction read. Just trust me when I say you NEED it.  


On the way back from Austin (except it wasn't on the way at all...), we met up with a rescue group to adopt this precious thing! We've had her a little over a week now, and I wish I could tell you that things are great...but it's hard. And we have some major concerns.

Since we live on a golf course, we have a high-net fence in our backyard. Well, this sweet baby is a fairly constant chewer, and she has decided it's a fun game to chew holes in the net and get out onto the golf course to play. :( We are currently evaluating whether or not our home is a safe environment for her or not, so prayers appreciated that we will have some clarity to her situation soon. She is as sweet as can be and SO STINKIN' SMART...we just aren't sure we can keep her safe in our home.  

On a more positive note, we joined an incredible gym in our neighborhood for the summer and broke in the pool last week! Little fishies! They were SO EXCITED for it!

 And I was THRILLED to host three trunk shows this month, one of which was my first Noonday Collection adoption fundraiser! One of the main reasons I became an Ambassador was to pay it forward to other adopting families and help them raise funds, so I was pumped for this show. We had a fun night talking all about the sweet family, playing dress-up with the beautiful pieces, and just enjoying each other's company. I pray the best for the family as they pursue the adoption of their daughter in the Philippines! 

And on the adoption note, I wish I had great news to share here about our progress...but it's just not our turn yet. Three weeks ago, I chatted with our matching coordinator who assured us we were at the very top of the list for boys, so our call could be coming just any day. For whatever reason, they just haven't seen a profile yet that matches our family's preferences. So, we wait. More.

I've been asked so many times lately how I deal with all the waiting and disappointment that our initial "3-months-to-match" time frame wasn't met. I wish I had a good answer for how I deal with it, but I just do. I get up in the morning, hug my kids, and take care of the day at hand. I put one foot in front of the other and just keep on trusting that God's got this. I can't see what He does, and that's okay. His view of time and mine is not the same, and He knows my needs way better than I do. I'll admit, I often find myself wondering if today is going to be "the day" or not, but I don't linger on it. I can't. I could easily get frustrated and throw in the towel, but this whole process has been one giant act of surrender. From the moment we said yes to adoption, we said yes to God's timing.

His PERFECT timing.

So, we're here. We're ready. And we hope to have big news to share with everyone SOON.

Monday, May 2, 2016

Goals for May

Well, hey there new month! I am SO ready for you. Y'all, April was hard, and I am SO excited to have it behind me so we can move on to better, less sad things.

Let's look back first...
March 30th, we got our first referral call.
March 31st, we learned this little boy's file had errors in it resulting in us not being qualified to adopt him, so the file was moved to another family.
April 1st, our precious dog, Emma, jumped up on to my bed in the morning and let out a huge squeal in pain. This injury would ultimately lead to her loss.
April 13th, We had to let Emma go. She was just in too much pain, so she peacefully left this world late that afternoon. 

The remainder of the month, I was just not really fun to be around. The kids were difficult, I was missing Emma and mad about our lost referral, work was hard, and I got really out of the habit of taking care of myself. Everyone suffered, so I am THRILLED to have a fresh start in May, and I am determined to do better.

So, here are my goals for May: 
1) Get back into the habit of waking up BEFORE the kids.
This was one of my New Year's Resolutions, and I was SO GOOD about it until about March. We went through a rough patch, and I just didn't make my morning quiet time a priority. This will be difficult in May because Carter is now getting up with the early sunrise between 6 and 6:30 (thanks daylight savings time...except NOT...). We are going to get him blackout curtains to see if it helps, but he's coming downstairs by 6:30 which means I need to back myself up to about 6am. Ouch. 

2) Run twice a week.
I've been running every weekend for the last month or so, but I really want to find at least one week night to do it, too. I walk and do some yoga throughout the week, but I need that one good cardio session mid-week to clear my head. It just makes me a better mom and wife to get a good 30-minute run in when I can. 

3) Turn my phone off at 9:15pm.
A couple of months ago, I set an alarm on my phone for 9:15 to remind me to give Blake some of my attention at night because I was finding myself totally absorbed in work/social media/the DVR/anything BUT HIM in the evenings. This alarm has helped tremendously, even if just means we sit together on the couch. He feels like a priority, and I know that's important to him. BUT, I am SO guilty of getting back on my phone after an hour or so and staying up until 10:30/11 on it. I can't get to sleep or sleep soundly when I finally turn it, if goal #1 is going to happen, this needs to happen, too. 

4) FINISH one book. 
Who else is in the I-start-all-the-books-but-never-finish-one camp? I have about eight on my bedside table that I've started and not finished. I WILL finish one this month!

5) Change my outlook.
This is the biggest one that (I hope!) makes all the others fall back into place. I think the second half of April was rough at our house because of ME, not our circumstances. Was it really hard to lose both a referral AND my precious sidekick in two weeks time? Of course. But should I have let those circumstances totally dictate my attitude toward everything else? NO! That was totally on me. I am in control of how I look at my days, so I can't blame our circumstances for that one.

I'll recap at the end of the month and let you know how I did. 

And check back big boy is turning FIVE, so I'll be taking a trip down memory lane. (Hold me.)
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