Happy New Year friends! If you are like me your head is spinning with all of the things you want to do in 2019! So today I wanted to share 31 day challenge of things we can check off together!
In 2017, holy smokes! I thought I wrote this last year. In 2017, I published a post called “Random Acts of Kindness“. I totally want to do that again this year but this months 31 day challenge is a little more focused on you. Taking better care of yourself, strengthening those relationships that are sometimes hard to make time for, challenging yourself and trying new things! So let’s do this shall we?!
Hi friends! This mommy and me t-shirt set has been one of the top selling items from my Instagram this past week so I wanted to share here and also give you a quick adoption update!
Our full outfit details can be found here and I also found a ton of other cute mommy and me sets that I will link below. Ummm, we need all of them! 🙂
So many of you have been so sweet and continuously checking in on us so I wanted to be sure to give you all an update on our expected adoption day as I know we are all excited for it! So long story short, 2 months ago we had the court hearing where they terminated rights of baby Weaver’s birth parents. Although, I hate the way that statement sounds it is actually the outcome we were all praying for. For the 12 months prior to that date we had some scares and there was always a possibility that a blood relative was going to be able to gain custody of our sweet boy. Of course, if we felt that was the safest, most loving environment for him than that’s what we would have wanted but unfortunately that wasn’t the case. From day one we knew he was our son and had faith that God (and the state of Texas 🙂 ) would make it final in no time. So you can imagine our overwhelming tears of joy when the judge said “rights of xxx, xxx, and xxx are terminated. I order that the child not be removed from his current placement.” I was crying, Brandon was squeezing my hand so tight I knew he was crying inside. I started saying thank you and hugging everyone that was standing in front of the judge with us. I’m pretty sure I even hugged the bailiff and an attorney who wasn’t even a part of our case LOL.
Aside from the official adoption day, that was the day we had been looking forward to for 12 months. We had hoped it would come sooner but we are just so thankful it came.
So what happens now? The next step is paperwork and once all of the paperwork is processed the judge will give us a court date which will be our official adoption day. OMG, I tear up just thinking about it. Although, we had hoped it would before the end of the year, our current judge did not get re-elected so our case is getting pushed to 2019. So with that and some other circumstances we are looking at an official adoption day at the end of March or beginning of April. So bummed you won’t be able to see our sweet boys face until then but I promise I am going to spam you all with all of his life’s pictures once that time comes! 🙂
Thank you all for your sweet prayers and messages. If you are new around here I have part of our adoption story here and here but you can always feel free to email me with any questions, firstname.lastname@example.org.
Hi beauties! The title of this post may have thrown you off today but I promise this post is so good! If you follow along on my stories, you got a sneak preview last week!
About two years ago Brandon and I were going through all the foster to adopt training classes, crazy busy with work and trying to deal with some other family/personal life situations that a few months in, we realized we needed to get our goals and priorities on the same page. Even as husband and wife, you have to take a moment in your busy lives to reconnect because let’s face it, life will grab a hold of you sometimes and you get so caught up in everyday tasks and trying to be there for everyone that you almost lose sight of things you are not doing.
Baby Weaver: Button Up: Old Navy (I had my friend’s sister put the graphic on the back for me) | Joggers: Old Navy | Shoes: DSW (these exact ones are sold out but linking similar ones here and here)
So I can’t take credit for this brilliant idea. Actually Brandon came up with it all on his own. One evening I came home from work and he was like I need you to fill this out. I was like “uh oh” LOL.
Okay so filling out the rate card is a 3 step process:
There are 13 “categories”: God, Family, Work, Church, Travel, Relaxing, Marriage, Dogs, Community, Health/Workout, Friends, Date/Activities and Kids.
1- On a piece of paper number them in order of how you currently would rate yourself
2- Rate your spouse/significant other on how you currently see them prioritizing these certain categories
3- Rate these 13 categories in how you think they should be prioritized. Let’s take “community” for example. Volunteering was such an important thing to me but when life got busy I quit putting aside time from doing anything for our community. When I rated myself this fell down to the bottom 3 of my rate card however when I rated how I thought it should be it ended you in one of my top categories. I hope that makes sense.
4 Things We Learned From This:
1- Man, when life got busy our priorities were all out of wack!
2- How we viewed ourselves is sometimes different from how our significant other may view us. For example, I thought I was putting so much effort into quality time with my husband but to be totally honest he rated me at 8 out of 13 which meant he felt that I was prioritizing us closer to the bottom of the list. Yikes!!
3- On the surface some of these categories seem like they are one in the same but they actually should be prioritize separately. For example, you may look at this list and think shouldn’t marriage, kids and family all be put into one category? Well, essentially yes, but you still have to make time and put effort into them as there own categories. Making time for your kids is different than quality time with your spouse which is also different than making time for your brothers, sisters, mom, dad, etc. They are all important. How do we prioritize all of them? That brings me to my next learning moment.
4- Once reality hit (LOL) we were able to put a list together of these 13 categories and how we would both prioritize them together as a unit. From here, we were on the exact same page, with the same priorities. Also, after putting that list together we brainstormed on how to actually execute them. Like, we both wanted to be more active and workout even with our busy schedules so we decided that we would both have the same workout schedule. Not that we would work out together but that if one was going to get up early in the morning to work out the other person would too. If one was going to the gym at lunch the next day, the other would plan to as well. It helped hold us accountable even if we weren’t doing it together. Also, we both wanted to do bible study but our schedules would not permit actually attending a bible study group session so we agreed we would do it at home together. Agreeing to make more time for our family meant, we would make a better effort to schedule a dinner or something of that sort with Brandon’s side of the family more often and also agreed that we would go to California more often to see my family. Just little planning things like that help because now we were on the same page and could help keep each others priorities in line now that they are the exact same.
Obviously, you can add in different categories or delete ones that you do not think are important for your own rate card but I went ahead and attached a PDF version in case you wanted to print it out and complete it with your spouse.
Happy Monday loves! I am so sorry I have been slacking on my blog posts lately. Life has been extremely busy. I’m like screaming inside but keeping all smiles on the outside 🙂 which is exactly what inspired me to get this post up today!
As a blogger I post things on social media daily, it’s part of my job. And as part of my brand, I like to keep things positive. That is why when you go to my social media pages you will see 99% of the things I post are all the “happy” things in life. I love sharing positive quotes, pictures and captions to make you smile and most days I am smiling on the outside and inside. But what you don’t always see are life’s not so happy and sometimes even terrifying moments.
From the outside looking in, I know it may look like a blogger is “living the life” but in reality most of us are just living our lives. And that means all the good, bad and the ugly that comes with it. Instagram is just a highlight reel of someone’s life. Instagram is a platform to help us share joy, outfits, recipes, etc. with each other. It doesn’t always show the whole truth.
I’ve seen a few of the bloggers I follow share Instagram vs. Reality posts where they show the hard work and struggle that actually goes into making that one photo perfect. One of my personal favorite Instagram vs. Reality posts are when bloggers share bloopers from their shoots LOL. But today, I’ve decided to share something a little different because personally, my family and I have gone through some scary moments in the past year and although I share bits and pieces about that every now and then I just wanted to give you all a good example of what social media can portray vs. what may really be going on behind the scenes.
Instagram vs. Reality Example One
What do you see? Probably this pretty pink Free People sweater that was trending like crazy last Fall!
What you don’t see: We got a phone call that morning for a Foster to Adopt placement. It was for a baby boy who was 2 months old and had been left at a fire station. They called me right before I walked into a meeting. I immediately said yes, called Brandon and sat down in my meeting. It was only like 5 minutes and I was already so invested in this baby. 10 minutes into my meeting Brandon called and I answered because I thought we was going to tell me details on pick up but he was actually calling me to tell me that the baby had been placed with another family.
Our agency told us that situations like this could happen but nothing prepares you for it. It took EVERYTHING in me not to breakdown crying in that meeting.
Instagram vs. Reality Example Two- literally only one week later
What do you see? Maybe a super fun travel pic and a happy care bears tee? You possibly read the first sentence of my caption talking about how it was my birthday.
What you don’t see: We got a second phone call for an adoption placement this day. This time they called Brandon. We were in Colorado for my birthday, I was relaxing at the hotel because Brandon went to go visit a customer that afternoon. He called me and said “the agency called. There are 2 little girls, sisters, under 2 that needed to be placed”. We told the agency we could hop on the next flight home and they said as long as we could get there by 6pm then we were good to go. I never packed up a hotel room so fast in my life! Brandon met me in the lobby and we didn’t even check out we were rushing out of there so fast! Brandon was flying to the airport as I was looking up flights back to Houston. There was literally one leaving in 30 minutes so we decided that I would rush to get on that one and Brandon would take the next one so he could check in our bags. We pulled up to the airport and Brandon’s phone rings…another family from a different agency was available to pick the girls up asap so…yup you guessed it. We didn’t get placed that day. It was definitely another sad moment but maybe the week prior had prepared me a little bit because I didn’t cry that time. And then when we turned back around to go back to the hotel Brandon and I laughed because we realized we never checked out and said to eachother “well I guess that worked out” lol
Instagram vs. Reality Example Three
Ahhhh!!! We were finally placed with our sweet baby boy. He had been in daycare for one whole week when I took this photo. And with daycare came a full on stomach virus. He got it. I got. I actually had blog campaign due the very next week so I couldn’t cancel this photoshoot with Yash.
So what you don’t see? I had to pull over twice on the way to this photoshoot so I could throw up. So gross I know. But again, Instagram vs. Reality my friends.
Instagram vs Reality Example Four
What do you see? A sweet photo of us on our anniversary trip with our sweet baby Weaver. Maybe you think “yay, they finally got placed with their son!”
What you don’t see: 4 days prior during one of our casual, routine CPS visits they notify us that a blood relative wanted custody and verbatim she said “once she passes the background check it could happen quickly”. Just like that. So matter of fact. “Once she passes”, basically our whole lives would have been turned upside down.
I looked back to my Instagram to see if one picture that week showed an emotion of sadness that would have even given the hint that we had a rough week that week. Nope, not one photo. That’s the “beauty” of social media.
Instagram vs Reality Example Five
What do you see? A smiling gal at a popular Houston restaurant? I was actually having lunch with my team that day.
What you don’t see: Actually I myself didn’t even see it coming. Right after lunch that day Brandon called me on my way back to the office. He had gone to court for the both of us that day. Since the court hearings were basically a day long event we took turns on who would attend.
Anyway, Brandon called to tell me that another relative showed up to court that day. He wanted to put forth a “family friend” to take custody of baby Weaver. This family member had never met baby Weaver nor had the “family friend” but according to CPS a family member will always take precedence over a non relative adoption.
Excuse my language here but honestly that was the first word that came to mind. I can’t really describe it any other way.
Without getting into the details, that person clearly did not check out nor did the other family member I mentioned earlier but in all scenarios we went hours, days, weeks, honestly it wasn’t until last week (almost 10 months later you guys!!) that all of my fears were diminished of losing our son. If you have talked to me in the past ten months I probably told you “everything was good and that we weren’t worried”. Well, I’m sorry that I partially lied to you. Yes, everything was good. It is good. But with all of these surprises and unknown we were still really scared on what could have happened. As you may know, we received some really good news last week.
We (thank the good Lord) are in a position that we have been praying about. Thank you Jesus. But before I steer this blog post into another direction my point today is that life isn’t always as it seems on social media.
Some might ask “why would I even choose to post that day if I was really having a bad day?”. Well, because in most cases I signed a contract with a company agreeing that I would post my review that day. Clearly not knowing what life could throw at us that day.
Life is…truly like a box of chocolates 🙂
The comparison game is so real and I’ve heard people say that they stop following bloggers that they originally loved following because it started to make them feel bad about themselves. That breaks my heart but I totally get it. If you ever start to feel like that just try and remember that Instagram is just a highlight reel and that everyone has their own struggles even if it doesn’t seem like it because of a perfectly staged photo.
I know I’m struggling like everyday over here, haha. These are just 5 examples but trust me I could share like 100 more.
If you ever need a laugh or just want to vent I’m here girl, email@example.com.
Love you all so, so much!
“Everyday may not be perfect but a perfect moment can be found in everyday.”
We all know this gal loves a good cocktail night with her best friends but sometimes it’s fun to change it up! I’m so happy our friend Alice got us together a few weeks ago for a 70’s themed skating rink party! We all had such a blast and it inspired to share some unique ideas for your next girls day or night out!
I keep saying this but I cannot believe this year is flying by so fast! Tomorrow is officially the first day of summer so in honor of that I am sharing our summer 2018 bucket list.
I did a bucket list last year but this year is just so much more fun because we have a little one to enjoy all of it with!
Go To The Zoo
Staycation at A Hotel
Visit A Splash Pad (or two!)
Fly A Kite
Enroll baby Weaver into a gym for littles. OMG, why do I think this is the cutest thing ever?! Because it is 🙂
Take a family vacation with friends
Draw Outside With Chalk (Brandon is going to flip lol) We may have to do this when he is out of town.
Visit A New Park
Watch A Baseball Game
Get Snow Cones (and let him make a mess with it)
Spend A Day At The Beach
Visit A Waterpark
Visit A Local Farmer’s Market
Go To A Museum
I will be printing this out and putting it up at the house so we make sure we cross everything off the list in the upcoming months! Below I am sharing a printable version in case you want to print and stick on your fridge for some summer fun inspiration! Please let me know what is on your bucket list!
For the past week something has been really heavy on my heart and I was going to post this yesterday because it truly has to deal with this time of year but this year was a little different for me.
Yesterday I was so overwhelmed by the love from my husband, my family, my friends and YOU GUYS for sending me “Happy First Mother’s Day” messages. Seriously, I cannot thank you enough for always being so uplifting and kind to me!! Mother’s Day is always such a special day for us to celebrate our Mom’s and all the mother figures in our lives but this year I felt extremely blessed to be able to be celebrated by my sweet little family.
As I have been anticipating this special Mother’s Day all week I couldn’t help but reflect on what I felt like last year. I want to share this with you because not until I opened up about our story did I find out how many of you guys went through or are going the same thing.
The last two Mother’s Day celebrations were probably the hardest. I felt so guilty for being sad because I was fortunate enough to have a wonderful mother myself and also two amazing sisters to celebrate that day! But the other 364 days of the year I was able to “hold it together” pretty well staying busy in my everyday activities. It seemed as though every around us was getting pregnant. Even friends that didn’t want kids were having kids and 2 friend’s of ours even made their baby announcement on Mother’s Day. Even though I was genuinely happy for them I couldn’t help but feel sad about our situation. I didn’t really talk about it in depth with anyone outside of Brandon because honestly I didn’t want anyone else to “feel bad” for us and I also didn’t want to take any happiness away from anyone else.
2016 was probably the hardest Mother’s Day of them all because we already knew our chances to conceive were going to be tough if at all possible. 2017, last year, was actually a lot better because we had already gone through the adoption process but we hadn’t gotten a call and my hopes of that becoming a reality started to wither away as well.
Fast forward to 2018 you guys. I got to celebrate in my first Mother’s Day. This post is on the more not-so-happy side than most of my blog posts, but what I want you to know is that
GOOD THINGS WILL COME
I feel your pain for you, my friends, who are suffering infertility. I know the sadness of you longing to be a mother because you deserve it more than anything. I know some of you who have lost a child. I know Mother’s Day is a celebratory day for the world but it’s okay for you to be sad because only you know what you are going through.
I want you to know, from someone who has experienced some of that sadness, that you are not alone. It may seem like people are just having children without any of the struggles you are going through but I’m telling you right now that the amount of people that have reached out to me about their infertility struggles is overwhelming. You are not alone.
I was praying on my way to work this morning (that’s when I pray, haha) and I remember that before we got baby Weaver I’d always pray this “God, I pray that Brandon and I are able to conceive a child if that’s what is meant to be, if not please help us be patient and strong through this adoption process”. This morning I caught myself praying that He help me be the best mother for baby Weaver. Within two years I was praying for our sweet baby and it not until this morning I realized my prayers had switched to me praying that I would be the best mother to our son that God has blessed us with.
You won’t ever forget the sadness that you went through waiting for your sweet baby but I promise you you’ll forget how sad you were and how long you waited because when you are finally blessed with that sweet soul, it will be hard to remember anything else. I know that if you are going through the struggle right now that you hear that from people all the time and it gets annoying but again, I was there girl and I promise you Good Things Will Come…
We don’t always understand God’s timing but I know it’s always the right time.
Good Things Will Come
P.S. Adoption was always in our plan. It just happened sooner than we had planned. If you guys have been thinking about it yourselves or are curious and have questions, please always feel free to reach out to me. You can email me at firstname.lastname@example.org. You can also read more about our story here.
Happy Sunday you guys! Today I get to celebrate my first Mother’s Day as a mother and I couldn’t be more thankful. I’ve learned so much in the past 6 months and I wanted to share some things with you today.
But before I get all teary eyed and sappy I have to share another Brandon Weaver story. I was dying to get this Boy Mom shirt as soon as my girlfriend sent me a screenshot of it. As soon as I got it in I showed the hubby.
1. I’ve learned a brand new type of love for my husband. Obviously, I love my husband so much and honestly I adore and admire him like no other it almost seemed impossible to love him even more but then…I got the opportunity to watch him become a father. Whoa. Watching him play with baby Weaver may be my new favorite thing ever.
2. Mom guilt, wife guilt, work guilt is all so real and can’t be avoided. I remember the first day we had to take baby to daycare. I cried the whole way to work because I felt so guilty that I had to leave him with “strangers”. Then I cried the whole way home because I felt like I wasn’t giving my projects at work 100% that day because all I was thinking about was my baby. That same weekend I cried after everyone went to bed because I felt like I wasn’t giving my husband much attention that week. OMG, thinking back on it I’m like what is wrong with me?! LOL but seriously I still get caught up in those moments of guilt. I try to remind myself I am doing the best I can but honestly having mama friends to talk to and who can relate really helps too.
3. Take people’s advice with a grain of salt. People’s intentions are good but everyone and every child is different. The first month I was taking everything I read and everything people told me so literal that I think Brandon was ready to take our son and walk out on me. LOL, totally kidding but one day I would say someone told me that I needed to do xxx and then the very next day I would come home and tell him I read an article and we can’t do xxx anymore. I’m crazy I know. Listen to your pediatrician and then do what works for you and your baby.
4. I can actually get ready under 10 minutes if I really want to! 🙂
5. I never knew fatigue until now. It would be normal for you to receive a text from me at 2:00am and then see me at the gym at 5am full of energy. These days I have found myself taking advantage of sleep! I even indulge in a nap every once in a while and it’s glorious!
6. Having a sense of humor is a saving grace. So our sweet, perfect little guy has started throwing little “fits”. I mean it’s the most fake, dramatic cry I have ever seen in my life. While some parents, might be embarrassed, Brandon and I can’t help but laugh because baby Weaver still looks so dang cute when he makes this face. It happens when you aren’t handing him his snacks fast enough so it usually takes place at a restaurant or if we are out and about. He does this fake cry with his eyes shut tight and his mouth wide open. Like, SO dramatic you guys! I wish I could show you a picture. Sometimes Brandon will imitate him and baby Weaver will start laughing so hard. I’m like “daddy is making fun of you buddy!” lol
Obviously, I’ve learned so much more about being a mom than just these 6 things I shared today. I’ve even learned so much about myself in the past 6 months but honestly today I’m just so overwhelmed with emotion about the fact I even have been blessed with the opportunity to be a mother. When Brandon and I got married, not once did it cross my mind that it would be a challenge to start a family. We even waited to “start trying” because we wanted to enjoy being a married couple for a while. Then we found out it was going to be difficult for us to conceive, we prayed and prayed and prayed for our sweet family then God brought us the most perfect baby boy that we could have ever asked for. Honestly, not to be dramatic but if I was guaranteed more exactly like him, I’d take at least 4 more 🙂 I’m so thankful to be celebrating my first mother’s day as a mommy (eekkk!!).
Happy Mother’s day to all you mama’s out there. I have so much love and respect for each and every one of you. Thank you for always letting me share life with you.
Usually I am up super early Monday, Wednesday and Friday writing my blog posts before baby wakes up and before I head to work but I am actually writing this on Sunday night this week! Drinking a big glass of wine 🙂 Nonetheless getting my blog post done!
I would also like to share that I meal prepped 4 new recipes PLUS 2 snack options today after we celebrated a birthday party at Chuck E Cheese (baby Weaver’s first CEC experience I must add) so I def deserve this glass of wine 🙂
Happy Monday Friends! I hope you all had a great weekend!
I had a fun filled weekend enjoying a mini birthday staycation with my best friend and then yesterday baby Weaver and I went to celebrate Simplicity and Coffee’s precious little girl’s 1st birthday! So basically birthday celebrations all around! 🙂
So….last week I got a spray tan and when I woke up the next morning looking like a bronze goddess :), I thought to myself, “being tan makes me so happy”. LOL. I started to think about all the little things that make me happy and I wanted to share them with you along with this vibrant dress that I can’t help but smile when I wear it!