Thursday, September 30, 2010


Brian with our niece, Amari, at our rehearsal dinner.
Just a glimpse of what a great dad he's going to be.

We have been so overwhelmed with support in just a few days since we "officially" announced our intent to adopt out of the foster care system.

I mentioned to Brian last night that this decision was, in some ways, like a birth for us. It seemed a long time in coming and painful in the process. But, here, on the other side of it, we are filled with joy and anticipation for the future.

Now it is hard to believe that I was so hesitant to announce. I was so fearful of criticism. It will probably come, but not from the people who's opinions I truly care about.

I'm going to do my best to share the goings on of this adoption process here. Many women share their pregnancies on a blog. Here I will share our journey to parenthood.

The first step we made was to contact our local Department of Children's Services. Since I'm an internet type, I just Googled it. I already knew that there would be some training classes involved, so I looked up the schedule of classes. In Tennessee, the classes are called PATH (Parents As Tender Healers). We registered for a class that meets twice a week for about a month. There are other classes that only meet once a week for I'm guessing about twice as long. I also went ahead and asked for an application packet to be sent to us. However, I know that this info will be given to us in the classes as well - I'm just eager.

In an effort to mentally shift toward parenthood, we've begun to make some changes in our house set-up. We (Brian) moved the office stuff to the bonus room so we can use that room as the nursery. I have a list of things I want to do. Move stuff, paint, steam clean the carpets, get furniture, etc.

That's where we are for now - excited, delighted with the support we're receiving, and making some changes!

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

A New Direction

I wrote the following e-mail to my family this past week. Since it pretty much sums up where Brian and I are right now, I thought I would just re-post it here.

Hey family,

It seems like a bigger deal than it is with me e-mailing this, but really I wanted to tell you guys our decision all at once and wanted to be able to let you know what we've been thinking lately.

So...Brian and I have decided to not move forward with fertility treatments. We are choosing to pursue adoption through the foster care system. Our training classes begin October 26 (just after the 3Day) and will be complete November 30. It is entirely possible that we become parents before the end of the year. Then again, God is in charge, so we know we'll have to trust His timing on this.

I'm going to do my best to share the process that has led us to this decision. Bear with me, you're about to enter my brain...
---Brian and I have talked about adopting out of foster care and had intent to do it. Up until recently we had said "not now"
---I have had what I can only describe as a stirring in my heart towards fostering and adoption.
---(this one may sound weird) Recently, I read a book called "A Million Miles in a Thousand Years" which is an excellent book. The author talks about our lives as stories. He challenges himself and the reader to live a better story. One day in particular while I was reading that book, I was asking God what my story would be. I remember I was praying as I was driving back from Maryville (I'd been on a Mobile Crisis call) and God spoke so clearly to me that our story would be about fostering and adoption. He was so clear that there would be joy and pain and "nitty gritty" involved, but that would be our story. That was mid-August and I struck it up to a "later" thing.
---We've had a growing sense of discontent with fertility treatments. We were incredibly disappointed in May after the second IUI did not result in a pregnancy. We decided to take time off and re-evaluate. A friend of our said that she wouldn't discount having biological children until we saw Dr. Keenan. And at first we were hopeful with Dr. Keenan. But we had agreed that we didn't really want to do more "procedures." As this past month has gone on, my heart just hasn't been in it. After one test result, Dr. Keenan recommended that we do IUI this next cycle. Since he said that, I've known that I don't really want to do another IUI, but have been somewhat resigned to it. Then this past Tuesday (9.21.10) I began to search myself to find out why I was intending to go through with this procedure that I did not want. I came up with a lot of what ifs: What if this is the only way we'll get pregnant? What if we only have to do it one more time? What if other people think we're quitters for not following through on treatments? These reasons were all fear based. Basically, I was going to do it because I was afraid of not getting pregnant. I realized that being afraid is not reason enough to do something I'm not comfortable with. And God doesn't lead with fear.
Then (still Tuesday), I was driving from the church to small group and I thought to myself "I want to be able to tell our child that he/she was a choice. That he/she wasn't a last resort, but that we consciously stopped and chose to pursue adoption." That night, Brian and I sat down together and I told him all the things that were going on in my head. This was not the first conversation we'd had on the topic by any means. One statement that Brian made stands out to me. He said, "I believe God has called us to be parents. It doesn't matter how He brings children to us." With that, we decided to close the door on fertility treatments and open the one that leads to adoption.
--That night I finished up my BSF. We are studying Isaiah. This verse jumped out to me: learn to do right!
Seek justice,
encourage the oppressed.
Defend the cause of the fatherless,
plead the case of the widow.
-Isaiah 1:17
I took it as confirmation.

Okay, so that's my long-winded thought process. We welcome your input, encouragement, questions, and support. (although if you do have questions or criticisms, please address us personally and not on the blog)

love you guys!

Sunday, August 22, 2010

3 Day for the Cure - a letter to my readers :)

That's right. 60 miles. Over the course of 3 days. Why on earth would I do this? To be honest, I originally signed up because I thought it would challenge me physically. But it has grown - and is growing- to mean so much more to me that just a fitness goal.

This walk is about health. It's about my health and the health of my mother, grandmother, sisters, and children. It's about your nieces and grandkids. The Susan G. Komen 3-Day for the Cure is a walk to end breast cancer. The organization does this through funding breast cancer research and community education on early detection and screenings.

Did you know that 1 in 8 women is diagnosed with breast cancer? That means that you likely know someone affected by this disease. When I sat down to write this, I thought to myself, what story do I have to tell? And then I began to remember a friend whose mother was taken too soon and a girl in my Bible study diagnosed with breast cancer just after having her first child. These women deserve to live their whole lives. And I can make a difference. YOU can make a difference.

My fundraising goal for this walk is $2,300. Your donation will go to the Susan G. Komen foundation to fund more research and education. Women in your lifetime will be affected by your contribution. Would you consider giving big?

Unfortunately, the donate button on the picture above is not functional. But if you click here
you'll be taken to my personal 3-Day page. If you are giving in honor of, or in memory of someone you love, please let me know. I will make bracelets with their names on them to wear during the event.



Thursday, June 24, 2010

Why I Love My Dad

It's not the only reason, but it's a good one :)

River Rats

Lovely name, I know. River Rat is the name of the place Jen, Christi, and I went to rent tubes and float down the river.

Brian was out of town last week. He went with the youth group to Myrtle Beach, SC for camp. On my day off, I wanted a little "vacation" myself. So, I got my girls and headed to Townsend. It was so fun! We floated, we got stuck, we paddled with our hands, and we laughed a lot. Here are some pics:

Jen doesn't look convinced of the fun we're about to have.

In the tube :)

Me and Christi post float.
(I was trying to do a real self-portrait, but that's hard to do with my phone)
Wish I could've taken some pics on the water, but I wanted my phone to keep working.

Thursday, May 27, 2010

I heart Karns

When you walk near where I live, you get to see hayfields and horses. Yeehaw!

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

get out the door!

It would happen after I wrote yesterday's post that I wake up stiff and lacking motivation. But here are my feet in their walkin' shoes headed out the door. I made myself do it - and was rewarded with "It Takes Two" by Rob Base as the first song on my workout mix. After a few lines of that, I was glad to be out walking.

So, note to self - get up, get out! It'll will lead to a preferred destination (thanks Andy Stanley :)

Monday, May 24, 2010


I am finding that something is changing in my mind (and maybe my heart?) lately. For most of my life exercise has been linked in my mind to being embarrassed in gym class. I distinctly remember my elementary gym teacher calling me "myrtle the turtle" during some run we were doing. That coupled with never really doing organized sports = a girl who avoids exercise. That is until the past few years of my life.

I think it started with my friend, Michelle. I met Michelle when I was living in New Orleans and working at a church in Mississippi. She is an athlete. She's beautiful and fit and has FIVE children. Anyway, she made me start walking with her about twice a week while I was in Mississippi. 4 mile walks - the girl doesn't start slow. I guess I should be glad she didn't make me run. There was never any judgement from Michelle - just good long walks and great conversation. This, I believe, was the beginning of the Pavlovian training - associating exercise with something I love - talking.

Then, while I was living in Atlanta, there was a trail that ran along the Chattahoochie River and up into the woods connected to my apartment complex. Because I had a hyper dog, I began walking there quite often. Here is where I began to notice the benefits of walking/exercise on my mental health.

And now I live in Tennessee...and it's warm again. So, I'm walking again. And I feel great. I noticed something this morning when I was getting ready for my walk. While putting on my sneakers and strapping on my little walking belt, I felt eager - excited even. I can't help but thinking me? excited about exercise? But it's true! I love the automatic mood boost. I love how it makes me feel better than food ever could (food has long been my drug of choice) when I'm disappointed or stressed.

Of the approximately two people who read this blog, 2 of them are people I consider fit. So, I'm not there yet. I'll probably not ever call myself an athlete. But this is a win in my book. I LIKE exercise! Who knew? I'm even trying to figure out how to continue when the weather turns colder. Either warmer clothing or a treadmill...we'll see.

Monday, April 26, 2010


One of my goals this year is to hike more (6 times to be exact). Last week was a disappointing week for me. And I've generally been feeling taxed by our hectic schedule. Sooo, Brian and I planned a very inexpensive two day getaway.

Day One was spent hiking at Obed Wild and Scenic River - don't you just love that name? We hiked to the top of -something- and it was beautiful. Otis and Colt came with us and got some much needed exercise. We saw hawks circling at the top and felt like we were living the Discovery series Life.

My boys. Love the tongues.

I am so very strong!

Otis and Me.

Obligatory self-portrait.
The night of Day One and the day of Day Two were spent at my parent's lakehouse. We have enjoyed many family get togethers and holidays at the lakehouse. But this past week, the lake house was uninhabited. We didn't do much other than just be - and not worry about work or house stuff.
It was a refreshing couple of days. Writing about it makes me want more :)

at it again

One of my friends in small group got on to me last week because I haven't blogged this year. So, here I am - blogging. And asking myself how long it will last this time.

Blogging is not some huge goal or priority for me - but I would like to be more consistent. Part of my thinks I'll be a more consistent blogger when I have something to write about -- namely children. Another part of me thinks I may never be consistent here.

But here I go again. The children thing doesn't seem to be happening on my time schedule, so maybe I'll take this time as blog-training.