totes for water

Meet my dear friend Jennifer. I remember talking with her a couple years ago about what she was passionate about. God, her family and Giving. She knew she wanted to do something with her sewing talents, but she didn't know where to begin. When Jennifer discovered she could make cute totes out of coffee sacks and sell them for Charity:Water She got even more excited and passionate about giving.

Each tote is sewn to perfection and is lined with a beautiful pattern. Her creativity is seen in each bag and every tote is unique. All proceeds are given to Charity:Water after she subtracts the cost of materials. How amazing, awesome and giving is that? She gives everything she earns away peeps!

Totes for Water is a beautiful name for Jennifer's giving business and fits perfectly with her mission. Her totes are a wonderful gift for friends, teachers, family or simply to say you are loved.

Look at these beauties! One, two or three could be yours! Head on over to her website here or give her a shout out on instagram.

"I have pledged to use my time and talents to raise money for clean water. 663 million people live without access to clean water. People give up their birthdays, jump in cold water, ride bikes, climb mountains and I am sewing totes. Nothing is crazy!" Jennifer in her own beautiful words with her beautiful self inside and out.

Join her and the movement. It doesn't take much.

Have a wonderful day darlings!

xo jennifer

a good gallery wall...

I adore art, especially when it comes to a good gallery wall. A darling wall can demonstrate character, texture and an overwhelming sense of prettiness. I recently gave a Love it styling gallery wall consult away on instagram. It has been fun finding the perfect images for this lovely new client and you can follow along the gallery board here on Pinterest.

Here are some of my favorite gallery walls thus far. Look at how they are styled, grouped and have an overall sense of meaning.

A little love wall in our home....

I have two gallery walls in my little bungalow and the one in our bedroom is my favorite. It has touches of stages of our life together, travel and meaning. 

When doing a gallery wall it is up to you how you go about putting up your items. You can choose to display all your items on the floor ahead of time if there is space and then transfer the look up to your wall. You can measure or not, which I do the latter and it actually gives me more of the eclectic look I like. However, you might want a more precise look and cutting out paper of your images and putting it directly to your wall first to get the vision might be more your taste.

A gallery wall should be a fun experience, and a place that you will enjoy for years to come. If you have any questions are need help starting one, visit my Love it Styling section and shoot me an email.

Have a beautiful day darlings!

xo jennifer

expectations...watch out you might just twirl

Happy evening darlings! Tonight I write from a place that I have been pondering about lately. Expectations. In my 20 and 30's I look back and see similarities in my behavior to things that happened to me or to situations I was in. I remember expecting a lot from my husband when in reality he was doing everything perfect, even going beyond what typical husbands do. If I was in a situation I did not think I deserved, or asked the question, "why me?"...... the situation tended to became more of the issue than it really was.

Expectations. We have them everyday. We expect things from others, from our spouses, our children, our co-workers, from ourselves....even the social internet world. As women and mothers I believe we are incredibly hard on ourselves and are expected to do things that just make us TIRED! I remember when I didn't get into occupational therapy school the first time. I expected to get in as I had good grades, supportive parents and a willingness to learn. The school had other news for me. It took me another year to learn more, have a little more free time and the second time around was an in for me. It made me a better person for learning in my early 20's that expectations can come in all different sizes.

My little mountain town I am living in has hit the news a time or two lately and word is getting out how lovely it is. EEEEKKKKKK!!! When I see traffic I get in a mood that used to never be there. Should I expect that our town should not have growth? Should I be negative because it might take me a little longer to get my kiddos to school? No!!!

Turning 40 this year has turned a corner for me that I must say is lovely. Is it maturity? Maybe. Is it hope, forgiveness and grace? I do think so. Yes, my life is a result of mostly choices, hard work and the good Lord. However, I do think if we expect too much and do not learn from our situations, there is no opportunity for growth, healing and twirling.

I posted on instagram yesterday about how twirling is for all ages. I believe we all have moments of happiness where twirling feels magical and abundant. I am learning to rejoice in these moments and to realize that when expectations are too high, my twirling might dwindle.

Do you twirl?

 

Have a lovely evening darlings.

xo jennifer

justice jars...making a difference and looking good in your kitchen

Justice Jars. A simple and darling idea my dear friend created to raise money for Charity:Water. Charity:Water is an amazing non-profit company that brings clean and safe drinking water to people in developing nations. These cute jars come with a variety of different chalkboard stickers, beautiful color lids and straws for easy drinking. I have used them as gifts, parties and of course they are displayed in my kitchen and look adorable!

Justice Jars are a fantastic glass option to take to get your kombucha, iced coffee, smoothie or green juice. You can find this darling girl on instagram and she will be opening an etsy store next week!

My favorite part of this darling's mission is her recent trip to Kenya with her daughter. She fell in love with the country and is going back already in August! Can I get an Amen? The Africa Justice jars are a unique opportunity to purchase as they will go towards girls education in Kenya. In January this darling was able to meet some of these precious girls in Kenya and she knew she wanted to help and make a difference. You can find her here on Instagram (message her to order) and I will shout her out again when her etsy store opens!

I love making smoothies for my family and myself. I enjoy making up recipes and I just purchased the book Crazy Sexy Juice by Kris Carr. I highly recommend the book! The cover is hot pink....so that goes a far distance in my book :) I would like to share a few of my favorite smoothie recipes... And of course Justice Jars is the perfect match for your green goodness. 

This is my favorite simple go to green smoothie:

•frozen banana •handful of spinach•your choice of milk• I love vanilla hemp or almond milk•Enjoy!! Yes! It's that simple... 

Date shake: 

2 dates• ice•your choice of milk•flax seeds•scoop of peanut butter•banana• Enjoy!

Chocolate shake: 

handful of cashews•2-3 dates•cacao powder or handful of cacao nibs•choice of milk•ice•hemp or flax seeds• Enjoy!

My current favorite recipe from Crazy Sexy Juice called the Granny Smith Apple Pie:

1 frozen banana•1 Granny Smith Apple•handful of kale, leaves only• milk of choice•splash of cinnamon•1 date

I hope you try these and let me know what you think darlings! 

Have a wonderful day! 

xo jennifer

 

a little spring party

A little spring birthday party was had at my bungalow awhile back and I thought it would be fun to share a bit how I enjoy throwing simple parties. Of course, it is always a party around here with my active boy, even though he was not present,  his baseball bat made the photo!

I love to cook, but when it comes to simplifying I enjoy sourcing out to a local bakery when needed. I had a few friends that were gluten free, myself vegan and of course the lady of the day did not have any restrictions so I was able to get some extra yummy things for her. I had different types of tea and baked goodies and that is all we needed for a good time.

I adore my new sign by letter folk. It has come in handy so many times and I know a lot of parties are going to be seeing it! I also adore this little mouse and hedge hog from the first photo. These creatures from Target are seriously the cutest and such a simple touch to any party!

My happy birthday sign I found on etsy years ago, but if you look for handmade felt birthday signs you will find something similar. Another favorite party shop I love is Shop Sweet Lulu. They have such unique party finds and you will love browsing their sweet party selections.

On a total side note, I love colors and silly me likes to match my clothing with my home decor. I don't do it on purpose, but I did notice in the photo above some similarities in my dress and home. Do you tend to stir that way too? Or go totally opposite? My skirt was bought at one of my favorite store's is my town, Vanilla. It is a hip place with all different types of clothing and accessories and is online as well. When you have a party, even a simple small one, it is fun to wear something pretty!

Even lucy loo enjoyed the party and had a nibble at a baked good.

Enjoy your day darlings!

xo jennifer

darlings do you love to travel? part 2!

Traveling can be rewarding, exhausting, frustrating, relaxing and exciting all at the same time. Our family tends to do well on vacations, especially recently. Our boy has grown and matured a little which has made a big difference in the frustrating and exhausting part to travel. Now don't get me wrong, there were some moments of craziness like when our little one thought he would jump off the trolley when know one else was getting off.....eeeekkkkk! Our Little boy in the Big city had its ups and downs, but the ups out weighed the downs any day of traveling.

 

We stayed in a little town called Tiburon on the water over looking San Francisco.  The Lodge at Tiburon was a block from the water and had an outdoor heated pool for the kids and a yummy restaurant on site. We stayed there for 3 nights and took the ferry into San Francisco two of those days. The kiddos loved the ferry and the adventure of the city that awaited them.

The highlights of San Francisco per my children were the ferry, China town, riding the trolley and finding a store filled with hello kitty items. The highlights for my husband and I were walking 8 miles the first day, getting to see diversity and culture, eating yummy things and watching our children's excitement. We did a lot of tourist things, but one of our favorites was walking up to the Coit Tower and looking over the beautiful city. It looked a little like this....

The views in San Francisco are incredible and there are so many opportunities for fun photography. I especially enjoyed Chestnut street. It is a must see with beautifully colored buildings, yummy eateries and quaint shops. I found this bright yellow alley filled with happiness. Of course behind this photo you don't hear my kids whining, me saying right here? Stand here? And an instagram hubby being incredibly patient.

Exploring the city by foot and by trolley is the best way. My kids loved the pier and waterfront and there was a lot of adventures wrapped up in just two days.

Now on to next adventures like doing laundry, helping with homework and styling a few homes. Until then, here is my favorite photo of our trip.

Enjoy your day darlings!

xo jennifer

darlings do you love to travel?

Traveling is like an adventure out of a story book. For our family, it is a way to re-connect, spend time giggling, getting lost, problem solving and loving on each other 24/7. Travel has always been a passion of mine and when I met my husband and we had the same love affair with travel I was smitten. We lived all over California our first four years of marriage and had both lived there before getting hitched. Our first year of marriage was in Mill Valley, just outside San Francisco over the Golden Gate Bridge. Our second year was in the lovely San Luis Obispo and so many beautiful memories remain there for us. We have visited a few times over the past 11 years after moving to Oregon, but this trip was extra special and here is why.

Last year was a big change moving from a much larger home to our bungalow. We did that for many reasons, one of them having more freedom to travel over the next couple of years. Our family has had a season of challenges and now to be able to venture out more has been incredible. Our son is now at an age where traveling is easier and our daughter is the perfect age to get some wonderful education through travel.

Our travel board for 2016 looks a little like this...

We have some travel goals! Of course, not all will be met, but why not dream big? We plan to travel as a family, as a couple and as individuals for the hubs and I. What!? Travel alone and not be a wife and mama!!?? Hold on...that sounds kind of nice.

Here is a little recap of the beginning of our recent road trip to California...

We started our road trip journey to Monterey and stayed at the Hyatt Regency Monterey Hotel and Spa. I would highly recommend it as it had an outdoor heated pool, fun outdoor games and yummy food options. It was a perfect retreat with kiddos and I was able to get a deal that was comparable to much cheaper hotels in the area. The kids especially loved the ping pong area.

The Monterey Bay Aquarium is filled with beauty and sea wonder. We especially enjoyed the tank with the 200 pound tuna and a variety of big sea life and sharks. If you get a chance, go when they are feeding them. Fantastic! The jellyfish never disappoint...

The Monterey Pier has amazing views of the ocean filled with eateries and shops. We spent the day at the aquarium and strolled around the pier for lunch and photo taking and great discussions with our kids.

Santa Cruz was a fun day stop and the Santa Cruz boardwalk was a highlight for the kids. It was the first time my daughter had ridden a roller coaster in her little life.  It was fun seeing through her eyes and hearing her screaming for joy as we went up and down, around and around.

We ventured around the boardwalk and then found the best acai bowls I have ever tasted at a cafe called Samba Rock. They currently do not have a website, but if you go to Santa Cruz, this place is a must! The downtown of Santa Cruz is quaint with shops and food and an all around pleasant feel.

After Santa Cruz we headed up north where we stayed in a town outside of San Francisco called Tiburon.  We had such a lovely time and it was a great experience for our kids. Stay tuned as I will share more about that part of our trip and the big city of San Francisco tomorrow!

Have a lovely day darlings!

xo jennifer
 

you are ok

Hello darlings.

Today I write from the heart. This blog has a lot of different aspects to it. I don't get paid to advertise which allows me to have a little more freedom to be me. Today I thought it would be relevant to talk about being ok.

I posted on instagram a video of me bopping around dancing. Do you feel like you are luke warm and just bopping through life at times? It happens, and sometimes it can take years to feel ok with whatever situation you were given.  I do believe challenges are what make us unique human beings. Experiences give us more gratitude and awareness of what we have and what we have been given. There are so many different stories I could share on here, however my health as been a huge part of my 30's and now that I turned 40 I feel the need to express it and be there for others if they face similar challenges.

I am going to be ok. I had a wonderful pregnancy and it was easy. I had a horrible delivery that lasted 32 hours with a c-section and lots of fear. I was in the hospital for a week after with a baby who didn't sleep and a hubby who thought what in the world just happened?!! Our daughter was born independent and really felt sleeping was for babies...not her. The first year consisted of a sleepless whirlwind and gratitude that my body was ok. Fast forward to a couple years later as we decided it was time to shoot for another one, and life became a series of endless bopping around for years.

I had three surgeries and too many exams to count after we decided for baby number two. The hardest surgery was my abdominal hysterecomy at the age of 34. I have a scar from my c-section and a scar right above it from the hysterectomy. Both scars remind me of my adorable kids. I believe God works in so many incredible ways. For me, I had to have the traumatic c-section to give birth to my daughter or she would not be here. For my son, I know the hysterectomy gave me the faith to choose adoption and he would not be with me today without that challenge. It breaks my heart to think of him not in our lives and the lack of faith I would have had if it were not for certain challenges.

I am ok. You are ok. It might be your relationship, your child, your health, a death, a job and so on. I believe we are here on this earth for such a short time that I must make the best of it, even if it isn't what I want. People experience trauma that is beyond what our brains can even comprehend. I am filled with joy when I hear of humans who take their experience and use it for good. We all can learn from others and we are all going to be ok.

Happy Spring Darlings,

xo jennifer

 

oh anthropolgie....

This store gets me.every.single.time. Can we say butterflies? I think so! When a store gives you a feeling like you could live there...ummm....they did an amazing job. If you frequent Portland, Oregon often or plan to visit soon the Anthropologie in the Pearl District is an absolute must. I had the privilege of going to the opening night via They Call Her Smith. She is adorable and a hoot!

The store consists of furniture galleries that will make your mouth drop. My favorite was this one with a pink sofa, an amazing modern light fixture and some hip art. Take a look...

I love how they mixed their clothes and shoes....(yes shoes!!!!EEEKKK!) with furniture that made you happy just staring at it. They also had a beauty section, work out apparel and the entire store looked like my dream home.

I think this wallpaper would look fab in anyone's space.....what do you think?

The selection of chairs and fabric were unbelievable. It felt as though you were in a unique boutique store on a larger scale without the feeling of a big department store. Say what!? Amazing, just amazing.

Coffee anyone? Wouldn't this be a fab idea in a kitchen?

And a few more of my favorites....

The colors, smells and overall look of the new Anthropologie is the ultimate experience in Portland. I had such a lovely time as it was also my sweet mama's birthday and lots of giggles and sore feet were had!

Thanks for the love reading today's post!

Enjoy your day darlings.

xo jennifer



indie bungalow

I have a heart for small business and for pillows.....well maybe a slight addiction to pillows. They can seriously make a space look fab in an instant. A favorite girl of mine is Jody of Indie bungalow. Her style is fresh, on point and beautiful. The textile patterns she uses are just yummy and hip and I would take her whole store and put it in my bungalow if I could! I love how Indigo is being used in so many patterns and styles. So.much.fun.

Take a look....

Isn't her place fab too? A perfect spot to read, relax and soak it all in. Now go visit her here and have a wonderful day darlings!

xo jennifer


be yourself.....even as an adult, why is it so hard?

Why oh why are we consumed with what others think? Our society teaches us how we should be, what we should have. You see it all the time in children as they grow and experience more independence and learn to develop decision making skills. As adults we still can carry this child like behavior. Have you ever been in a room being your true self and then thinking....wait a second I feel incredibly strange and uncomfortable, I think I will retreat to a different me. A less confident, a more weary and unintentional person. This feeling can drag us down and can make us feel empty and insecure. Being yourself can be scary and challenging....why is that?

I love people. I can be outgoing and shy at the same time. I have struggled with social anxiety a better part of my adult life. Challenges arose that led me to feel less confident and more insecure. Adopting my beautiful son left me feeling more aware of the world and tireless for many years. Navigating this new family of mine had me question what society felt a family should "look like."

How are you yourself around others? Is it easy or difficult? Strange or just right? I have learned as I have matured that being me sometimes can be challenging or can be an insecure feeling. It is OK to feel this way. It is a process and a process I now cherish. I thank the good Lord that He has given me different qualities than my neighbor, my friend, my dear family member.

I was fearfully and wonderfully made. So were YOU. Own it friends. Own it.

My dear Lucy up above sure is.

Be blessed.

Have a lovely day darlings.

xo jennifer

joy....thinking outside the box

What brings you joy? God, family, friends, freedom all come to my mind quickly. I believe my joy is up to me and my daily choices. I wanted to think outside the box of joy and ponder what really makes me tick daily outside of my given God, family, friends and freedom.

Thinking outside of the box. Colors. I am able to control most of what I see and take in. Colors are so beautiful. They mix and intertwine and make up such a beautiful landscape. I love to have that landscape in my home as it brings me complete joy.

Infertility. I never in my wildest dreams thought infertility would bring me joy. We had considered adoption when we were madly in love dating and it brought us both joy to dream about. I look back and think, would we really have adopted without infertility? I don't think so. Infertility was a dark hole for four years. However, at the end of the dark tunnel came a joy that I had never experienced before. A joy that brought me my son, FAITH, a different culture and love.

Flowers. It seems simple, but flowers literally bring a smile to my face wider than I can express. I get complete joy from these fresh things and my home looks lovely adorned with them.

Africa. In particular Ethiopia. Everyday I think of this beautiful country and it brings me so much JOY! The people, the beauty, the landscape. We were blessed to be able to travel twice to Ethiopia and we hope and pray within the next few years we can bring our kiddos there and show them where part of our family is from. Joy.

Health. It gives me complete joy.

Speaking of health. Veggies and greens. We are so blessed to live in a country where we can go pick out any fresh veggies and come home wash them and prepare anything we like. Wow folks. That is joy.

Sea salt cardamom hemp lattes. What? I can get them at one place in my little town. I sit there and sip them so slowly and smile away. Joy peeps.

Hubby. In conclusion I must give a shout out to this guy. To watch him be a Godly leader in our family, an amazing father to our kiddos, a husband who works on our marriage....that my friends is Joy. Marriage isn't easy. It takes a lot of work, faith and communication. It is up to us to make it the best we can in this little life we have and bring joy to it.

Joy my lovelies, what is yours? Please share.

Enjoy your day lovelies.

xo jennifer


open floor plan....what's your style?

Our bungalow is an open floor plan and it is all new to me.  If you are considering an open floor plan in your home here are a few of my thoughts.

  • I love having a place for everything that I see when I walk through the door. All the beauty that I have accumulated throughout the years right there!
  • I enjoy seeing my family and knowing what my kiddos are up to. It helps this mama out and the kids have no idea I am on mama watch when they are on their ipads.
  • When I am cooking I get to look out past the living room into the outdoors with our big windows. Even though our space is small, it feels bigger with all the natural light we get.
  • If you want privacy with an open floor plan, you must go to your bedroom to get that convenience. Depending on how you look at it, it can be a positive or negative.....I choose positive folks!
  • Sometimes it can look like clutter if everything is out, the kids are playing and I am cooking. I have to remember that this is LIVING! So, I think it is more neat-o than not.
  • I love color and seeing it in one big space makes me happy.
  • I get to see my kiddos a lot, and as a mama who has struggled with infertility what a blessing it is!

My thoughts on bungalow living and an open floor plan. It has been such a fun challenge and I am grateful everyday we get to live like this for now!

Enjoy your day lovelies.

xo jennifer

what the kale?

I never thought kale would be my thing, or green juice...especially hot green juice! I tell you, never say never right?

 I have been a vegan for 3 years now. It all started when I was having a terrible rash on my face for a year and could not figure out what was going on with me. Prior to that year, I was cooking eggs for my kiddos and within seconds my face literally swelled up and I could not understand what the kale was going on!

Well, what was going on was STRESS. Within one year I had had a hysterectomy, traveled to Ethiopia twice, brought a precious baby home through adoption and decided to home school my daughter. WHAT? My body could not handle the stress and between getting the yellow fever vaccine that contains egg protein and having hormonal changes, my body was up to know good. I did allergy testing and an elimination diet. The elimination diet was what helped me notice a difference the most and before you know it, no rash and happy kale going on for me. I decided to take dairy out of my diet because of inflammation. It was a challenge at first, because I used to be the DAIRY QUEEN! I have been a vegetarian most of my adult life, so that part was easy cheesy. Ha...oh the cheese!

I plan on sharing my favorite vegan recipes once in awhile on this little blog. For now, this green juice is easy, yummy and a great way to keep the sickness at bay. Juice apples, celery, ginger, honey, lemon and cinnamon. Served hot or cold....but hot is my fav!

Have a lovely day darlings!

xo jennifer

happy

Pillows make me happy. They are a quick way to add texture, color, and an instant happy feeling. A sofa that is lacking in color can change in an instant with a pillow or two. One of my favorite pillow girls is the talented Shes Happy Design. I love her pillows so much that I literally have to refrain when I see them in our local store or on instagram. Isn't her company name lovely?? Go check out her instagram and etsy loveliness and you will be HAPPY! In the meantime, check out these beauties....

Now go do a little shopping and you and your sofa will be happy!

xo jennifer

lucy

The saying goes...a dog is a man's best friend. I was in denial about this until we were blessed with this little pup. I now understand unconditional love from a furry animal. As some of you know, this little lucy lou is quite dependent on me and it is funny to watch. As you can't see in photos, real life shows her on my hip at all times of the day and snuggled by my side at night. God knew I needed a needy pup as it had been 3 years of trying to get pregnant with no success when we welcomed her into our home. This little creature helped my emptiness feeling and continued to be a strength as my health started to become an issue.

I had an abdominal hysterectomy at 34. My life was crashing down, yet my life was building up as 6 weeks to the date of my surgery we were flying to meet our baby boy for the first time in Ethiopia. My body was in so much pain and my mind was confused. This little pup brought me joy and never left my side as my recovery took almost 6 weeks.

When I look back I really don't understand how I was even allowed to fly and meet my son. God worked a miracle and I believe Lucy helped me heal and keep going. I was depressed and in pain and this little fluff ball kept me sane. God knew what I needed and He provided. He does that you know? Sometimes we can't see it at the moment, but when we look back and see His works it can blow your mind. God is good. All the time.

To you lucy loo, I kind of like you.

xo jennifer

keeping it minimal

Keeping it minimal.....have you ever had those thoughts running through your head? I must keep that, I must give that to someone in need...I need to throw that item out!!! I tend to lean on the side of cleaning out my closet on a regular basis, maybe too regular...

We moved from a 3500 sq foot home last July into a 1485 sq foot home. Keeping it minimal folks. I thought my husband was going to have a panic attack the first night in our new bungalow. I was beaming, smiling ear to ear and he was seriously thinking, this is unbelievable. We live in a town that has become popular, and in case more expensive to live. It was a blessing selling our larger home and we decided to live small and save, travel and be close to one another.....literally.

It has been such a fun challenge for me to keep things at a minimal. When I shop now I have to stop and think, do I really need that? Will it function in our home? Will it look cute, but drive anyone else in the family nuts? My husband is incredibly tolerable and has allowed me to be creative in our bungalow with everything and it has been such blessing for me.

Living small has its challenges.....but I am loving them. Whether you live in a large home, a cottage or an apartment take on the challenge! Look around and ask yourself, does this make me happy? Do I need this? What would make this space more functional? More unique? Start making things happen. Keeping it minimal is the goal and the ultimate goal is happiness.

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5 years ago....

In Ethiopia, bonding and loving....love has no boundaries.

My son is a blessing to us that I strongly feel was God's plan all along. Our journey began 7 years ago, even before his sweet little self was born. We waited in anticipation for almost 2 years before we got the photo of our precious son. He was so beautiful, and we fell in love at first sight. 

Adoption has a magical component to it and there is a love struck feeling like nothing I have ever experienced. You pray and wonder who your child will be, what they will look like, how old they will be when they are placed in your arms forever....

Our forever was on February 7, 2011. A moment that changed me. A moment that made me more patient, more forgiving, a better mama and wife.  I have asked God many times, how was I so blessed to be a part of a journey like this? How did I get chosen to be his mama? Why me? God is good.

Our journey has been one of incredible lengths of love. Love like this has no boundaries, no structure, and no self help book. It is a journey that has given me the opportunity to see life differently, and to be more accepting of life with less judgement and more love.

A few days after bringing him home....oh my heart.

A few days after bringing him home....oh my heart.

We traveled to Ethiopia twice to meet our baby boy. The first time was over Thanksgiving in 2010. What a thankful and most memorable time. The feeling I had when the doors to the orphanage opened as I stood there with 40 children embracing me and not letting go was unbelievable. In one second, life changing.  He had one tear running down his cheek, and so did I. Our lives had just changed for the better. We were in love.

Leaving our baby after being in Ethiopia for a week was like taking my baby from me after birth. As much as it hurt, it gave me a better understanding of how it felt for our baby's birth mama. Adoption has two sides. I am forever humbled and grateful to his birth mama for allowing me to raise him and be his mama. I think of her so often and realize how strong of a woman she was to be able to let her son go to another mama. That my friends, is love.

5 years ago this Sunday we celebrate our boy and our forever family. A day that we are so blessed to have in our lives. A day a special boy became our forever son.

If you have any questions about adoption, please send me an email in the "hello section." I would love to chat.

xo jennifer

 

Change up your walls without spending more

A piece of artwork given to me by my lovely husband....and of course lucy usually makes it into my photos!

A piece of art is an amazing way to change up a space. It can add a different look, texture and feel to the space without having to spend more and use your budget wisely. I have started switching out my art in my entryway to give it a fresh new look every month or so. Of course my wallpaper from Hygge and West makes this space look unique and inviting. I adore this company and if you are on the hunt for some fantastic wallpaper choices, go visit their site.

A piece of art can tell a thousand words. This painting was done by my grandpa when he was 11 years old. Yep, it is so remarkable as he became a world known scientist from the University of Washington. I love this piece and it has become a staple in our home.

I love how art can add a personal and meaningful touch to any home. If you don't have many pieces, be on the look out. Stores like etsy and minted are great places to start your art shopping. I love finding art from ones you know as well. I will be showing art from my precious daughter soon!

Have a lovely day darlings!

xo jennifer

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YOU are so enough!

YOU ARE SO ENOUGH!!

I look back to 8 years ago and honestly can say I don't know how it all happened. With grace and maturity I now know this is life. Life happens. It can feel as though you are in a storm that doesn't stop and it continues for years and years. You wonder, "why me?" Am I good enough? Strong enough? Christian enough? Talented enough? Healthy enough? So on and so on. You struggle with the reality of all the prayers and living life to the best you know how and in the end it seems to not matter, at least that is what you think. IT does matter. You are good enough. You are strong enough. You are Christian enough. You are talented enough. You are healthy enough. The mind can tell you ugly things and can convince you of the worst possible outcomes. It is up to you to not compare, to not judge, or overwhelm yourself with negativity. It is hard, so hard....especially when things are not going as planned.

I believe this life was given to us to struggle. When I seem to be at my lowest I am closer to God and I lean on others for support. It is such a mixed up feeling. Feeling so low, but feeling so comforted at the same time. Have you been there? Are you there now? Please know you are good enough and you have a choice. Choices are an incredible gift we are given. We can choose our behavior. Let me say that one more time, we can choose our behavior. We are given that gift and what a blessing that is.

8 years ago I struggled with my body....it wasn't doing what it was suppose to do. The story began and the story still continues. I look forward to sharing this story with you as my blog goes along. This outlet for me is going to be so good. I hope it is for you too. Some stories you might like, some you might ignore. In the end I hope you can say to yourself. I AM GOOD ENOUGH. You can find this darling shirt here.

xo jennifer