I went through this time where life was so busy and so crazy that I didn’t even have one second to think about blogging.  I forgot I even had a blog.  But then I remembered that I used to love to blog, and I remembered this little space and I missed it.  Now life is so busy and so crazy, but I do have time to think about my blog.  Not think about it as in devote time and make it awesome — but think about it as in maybe I could actually write a little again.

So it’s Saturday night, and I’m laying on the couch watching the Olympics while Tommy finishes getting the big kids to bed.  I put the baby to bed, and I have the easy job for sure.  I haven’t felt well today and laid around a lot.  I was relieved to find out I had a fever because otherwise I would have just been plain lazy.  So now I’m giving myself permission to lay around and “rest” instead of the rest of the day when I was all like “lazy, lazy, lazy”.

I have so much to share and catch everyone up on.  So let’s see, where do I start?  Well I used to blog and then 2 years ago we became a foster family, and I stopped blogging because I lost any spare time I had.  In that time we have had 11 children in our home — some just for a night or 2 and some longer.  We have adopted our 2 precious daughters!!!  Jack has grown TONS.  Tommy has changed jobs, and we have moved to a new home.  The bulk of those things happened in just the last few months.  There are obviously many details and much I want to share, and I hope to break it down as I’m able.  I can’t wait to share more about the girls and their adoption stories.  They are the best additions to our family, and we couldn’t have 2 girls who fit perfectly with us more.


As for what is going on right now —  school starts in 11 days, and we’re all very excited.  VERY.  The kids are ready to go back, and I’m very ready for them to.  This summer started with some structure, but it just flew out the window pretty quickly with the move.  I learned that moving with 3 kids means just holding on and hoping everyone gets to the new house in one piece.  We still have lots of unpacking and settling in to do, but my expectations to unpack were low going in to this — just trying to be realistic.  I think I’ll accomplish more once school starts back.

We spend a lot of our week in therapies.  Sometimes when I mention that we do therapy, people think we sit on a couch and talk for hours a week.  I kind of wish – haha!  Our goal is to help our girls catch up and develop as best as they can in order to be the best they can possibly be.  Right now we are working on that by doing a whole lot of therapy.  We do occupational therapy, physical therapy, speech therapy, feeding therapy, play therapy, behavioral therapy, and have a developmental therapist.  It’s a lot.  And it gets overwhelming often.  We typically have 16 different therapy sessions a week.  It’s pretty crazy.  But I remind myself that it’s worth it and this season of intense therapy won’t last for too long.  Before I know it all of my babies will be in school, and we’ll be so thankful they had everything they could early in life to help them.

When we aren’t in therapy, we try to unpack.  Before we moved when we weren’t in therapy we were working on selling our house.  It’s been a crazy year.  But a good year.  We’re looking forward to some stability ahead and less chaos.  Although, I’m pretty sure I’ve been saying that for the last 4 or maybe 5 years, so….    Here are some recent pictures of our precious kiddos!  I hope you are all well!  xoxo!

Jack at 5 years old.  So handsome!  This summer he got a buzz cut for the first time!


Izzy 3
Izzy after her 3 year old check up last week.  She turns 3.5 next week, so we’re a little behind on that.  She was so proud of her finger prick that she had to show it off.


Cooper June and her sweet self.  This was a big moment because she used to be terrified of swinging.  She doesn’t like to swing for very long, but she’s made huge progress!


A Reminder

I had a little Christmas reminder this morning.  I woke up in the middle of the night to feed the baby.  During the day, I use pre-made bottles that I put in the bottle warmer, but at night, she’s hungry and we don’t have 5 minutes to wait.  So I just make a bottle fresh at that time.  When I turned on the sink no water came out.  My first thought was “oh no, they think we didn’t pay our bill!” But we did 🙂  My next thought was something was wrong with our house, and we were going to be out of water for awhile and have to pay big bucks to have someone come fix it.  I waited until a reasonable time in the morning to text my neighbor to ask if they had water.  They didn’t either!  Whew.  Turns out there was a water main break and a lot of people were out of water.  And thankfully it wasn’t out for too long either.  It came back on later in the morning.  I was texting my neighbor telling her how I had trouble making a bottle and had to use cold water and then the bottle warmer.  And that I should have run my dishwasher last night.  And I wanted to take a shower first thing this morning but now couldn’t.  And I was going to start my washing machine first thing this am, so now my plans to be productive were ruined.  She was super gracious and super kind and replied.  And then she said she was thinking about how blessed we are and all of those who don’t have running water.  Wow.  It hit me so hard.  I was sitting here thinking about how I wasn’t going to be able to sanitize my baby’s 12 (expensive brand) bottles in my sanitizing cycle in my sweet dishwasher.  And that my hair might just have to go another day without washing.  And our piles of laundry (because we have that many clothes) would go unwashed for awhile.  And I’m so thankful that she reminded me of what’s important.  I forget.  And I forget really quickly, too.  What makes it even worse is that my daughter used to not have water.  My own daughter lived the first part of her life without running water.  Every day.  She never knew what water was until she came to us.  And it scared her pretty badly for awhile. 

I have debated so much how much to share of our sweet Firecracker’s story.  On the one hand, her story is one of redemption and God’s love.  If you can’t see God’s hand and love and redemption all over her story, then you aren’t going to be able to see it anywhere.  He has cared for her and loved her when no one else has.  Part of me feels that it’s this amazing testimony that needs to be shared.  Because it’s amazing.  And so many people don’t even know this happens in our own city.  I didn’t.  But then part of me wants to fiercely protect our girl.  I don’t want people to know that she was disadvantaged.  I don’t want anyone to look down on her because she has had a hard life.  I don’t want people to judge her or see her as dirty because of her story and her first family.  I struggle with this.  I never want to write words that she will grow up to read and be embarrassed of.  I never want to write words that anyone could use to harm her.  But I want her story to be told.  And to be known.  And I never want her for one second of one day to doubt how much God loves her and how much we love her.  I never want her to think that because of her hard life, she is loved any less.  I want to use her life to teach her and others how beautiful God is.  And how he can take ashes and turn them into beauty.  That’s what He has done and continues to do for our Firecracker. 

So today I choose to share this precious part of her story with you.  Not because it’s dramatic and I want to up the drama on how bad she’s had it.  Trust me — there is nothing I could add to her story to add drama.  It’s all there.  And there are a lot of parts that I will never ever write here.  There are a lot of parts that are so sacred and for her to know when she’s ready.  But for right now, I share with you that to say that I am thankful God gives me reminders.  How quickly I forget of what life is like for so many, including what life was like for my own daughter. 

Today I pray you are safe and learning lessons of your own that make your heart grateful. 

favorites friday.

I don’t know if it’s because of the stage of life I’m in with 3 kids, or if it’s having a newborn, or if it’s summer, or what — but I have a lot of favorite things!  I want to share them with you!  So many of my favorite things have come from other people’s suggestions, so I want to start regularly sharing my favorites around here.  And I want to know your favorites, too!


We spend a lot of time on the go, and there is nothing that beats my Bob double stroller.  It is the mac daddy of all strollers.  It is the king of all strollers, and it makes my life so much easier.  We can do any combination of children in there.  It’s delightful.

To go with it, I have a few accessories ::

–  the handlebar console for water, iPhone, keys, and the millions of kid accessories
–  the Duallie snack tray — crucial for kids snacks and drinks and peace 🙂
–  the infant car seat adapter that makes popping the baby’s carseat in and out so easy!
–  the Mommy Hook — my favorite way to keep track of all my bags while we’re moving around.

This bird feeder!!  We are obsessed with it at our house.  It is so fun to watch birds come right up to the window!  And it works great as a distractor.  If someone starts to get upset, I can say “hey, look at the bird feeder” and immediately they are on to something better and productive.  Seriously the best 8 bucks I’ve spent.  Seriously!  Get this.

In case you’re wondering how I get all of these things, two words — Amazon Prime.  Have you heard of it?  Do you use it?  It’s amazing!  We’ve been using it since Jack was born, and it’s awesome.  I get my diapers delivered.  Any time I need something, I go on Amazon and it’s there and usually with free 2 day shipping.  I don’t even have to leave my house, which is especially important since taking 3 kids shopping is a challenge.  Try it if you are at all curious.  You won’t regret it!


Like I mentioned the other day, my favorite show right now.  So good.  And free if you’re on Amazon Prime.



And to watch that show on my TV, that isn’t smart, we have the Amazon Fire stick.  We can watch all of the Amazon Prime videos plus our Amazon library on our TV!  It’s fantastic.  We have a constant repeat of Frozen, Despicable Me, Monsters Inc., Disney movies, and when I’m able to sit at watch TV alone, the Good Wife.


So I want to know, what are your favorite things right now?  



{I am part of the Amazon affiliate program and links listed to Amazon products are associated with it.}


Part of the fun newborn phase means more tv watching.  At least it does for me.  I remember watching several new series when Jack was a teeny babe, and wouldn’t you know I have plenty of tv time now with our baby.  When I’m up late, early, or during the night, I turn on the tv.  It might not be the best thing, but it helps keep me awake.  So I’m on a roll with a steady stream of my current favorite shows.

My very favorite show right now is the Good Wife.  I keep trying to get my friends to watch it, so we can talk about it.  I also always watch reruns of some of my old favorites — Seinfeld, Gilmore Girls.  I enjoy the Middle more and more as I have more children.  I watched some rerun from Mother’s Day a few years ago, and it was spot on.  Because I just can’t stop, I’m still watching the Bachelorette.  It’s disgusting.  Yet I watch.

I like turning off my mind to watch tv.  I also like multitasking, so I will often have the tv on but will have no clue what I’m watching.  This drives Tommy crazy.  He will frequently talk about a commercial we saw, but I never saw it because I was multitasking 🙂

A few things I’m going to try to do this summer include reading more!  Less tv, more reading.  That’s better for you right?

What are some of your favorite shows?  Any I NEED to start watching??

i’m baaaaaaaacccccckkkkkkk.

In my most excited voice, I say “I’m bbbbaaaaaaaaaccckkkk.”

After 8ish months away from blogging, I’m ready to come back to it.  I never intended to stop blogging.  If I had planned to, I would have posted a farewell.  And I’ve wanted to write and start back for quite awhile.  But the reason for this big time gap is life.  Man, we’ve been busy.  Lots and lots of life happening around here.  And it’s wonderful.  It’s so nice to have a full house — one that’s full of life — after having had an empty house, a sad house.  I’m assuming that most of you know what I’m talking about, although that assumption may not be correct. 

This time last year Tommy and I started the process of becoming a foster family.  We started attended training classes in July, through August.  Then we began our home study.  After several weeks of visits and interviews, we finally received our home study write up.  Then we were approved as a foster family in November.  It’s been non-stop since then.  We started getting calls for placements the very next day after finding out we were approved.  About 2 weeks later we took in our first placement — a teenage girl.  She was only here for a short while until they found another home better suited for her needs.  Then right after she left we got our little girl (still with us!).  A month after that we got a newborn.  We brought him home from the NICU when he was still weighing 4 pounds!!  He was tiny and precious.  He stayed with us for 4 months and then he went to family.  We have another baby in our home now who is so sweet!  We are really thrilled to have 2 girls here with Jack! 

Things are going well.  Right now we are tired.  Tommy has been working a lot, and I’ve not been sleeping a lot.  But everyone is doing great.  Considering all that baby girl has been through, she is doing remarkably well!  I could write a hundred blog posts on foster care.  And I just might one day.  I’m limited right now by confidentiality agreements, but additionally, I want to protect the hearts, the stories, and the people behind them.  My kids have been through a lot.  All of my kids have.  Jack has lost a brother and adjusted to being a big brother to kids who have high needs.  He’s also done amazing at saying hello and goodbye to new brothers and sisters.  He’s the best.  It goes without saying that our 2 foster daughters have been through a lot in their lifetimes.  I’m not equipped to help our children, but I pray every day God will help me.  The responsibility of parenting this tribe is not lost on me. 

That’s a quick little catch up on our life.  I have missed you all.  I’ve missed this community, and communicating with friends here.  I’m looking forward to being back and writing again — as often as I can. 

Happy Monday and I hope your week gets off to a good start! 

day 29// a different view.

I pretty much always get stuck in my own viewpoint.  It’s not often that I stop to think about what something looks like from another angle.  Jack took this picture on my phone the other day, and it caught my attention.  This is the same view that I look at so many times every single day, but I never see it like this.  When I looked at this picture I felt like I was looking more level out at the dogs and the yard, as opposed to my usual view of looking down on things.  It was refreshing to see a different angle, and a good reminder to look at things differently some times.


a different angle

day 28// transparency tuesday.

Because transparency is important and honesty is beautiful, I bring you the first of many Transparency Tuesdays.  I’ve had multiple people say to me that it seems like I have it all together.  Like I’m really organized, plan things well, and have it all together.  My initial reaction to that is to laugh because it is so not true.  So Transparency Tuesday is to show that is not the case.  While I am an organized person, I hardly have it all together.  And for as much as I organize and clean our house, car, and life — with each passing day, it comes a little more unorganized.  Life just has a way of doing that.  I tend to show the best things on my blog, but I also want you to know that isn’t the every day or everything.  Take my laundry room, for instance.  The shelves weren’t as organized and cute as I would have liked, but I had to snap the picture and move on with it.  However, I still had to pick it up just to get the picture that clean.  Things are certainly not perfect, smooth, or all-together over here at all, and I don’t ever want to give the impression that they are.  Transparency Tuesday is to show all of the messiness in our every day life.


transparency tuesday hole in floor

A leak and crack in our toilet led to our powder room looking like this.  Not pretty.  But it is looking much better now.




transparent tuesday meatloaf

I made meatloaf last week, and it looked like this.  It tasted good, but it looked like a pile of something nasty.



transparency tuesday ripped jeans

And the most transparent of all transparency — I ripped my jeans putting them on recently.  Big ol’ fat ripped ’em.  If that doesn’t make a person look at their exercise habits and what they’re eating, I don’t know what will.  Yikes!



Transparency Tuesday — because messiness is beautiful.

day 27// a beautiful home.

Tommy and I love working on our house.  I’m sure you know that if you read here often.  It started out of necessity with our first house.  Serious necessity.  We loved that house, but no one else seemed to love it like we did.  I miss that house a lot.  But more than the house I miss our neighbors and our friends in Maryland.  It was a great place.  When we moved back to Tennessee we were pretty tired — we had a 5 month old and had done countless hours of projects on our house.  So we decided to look for something newer.  Our house now is new.  We still call it new even though it is 10 years old now.  Our first house was built in the 1940s, so a house built in 2004 seemed entirely new to us.  It didn’t need a lot of work — or any work really.  It was basically as bland as the way it was built.  Seriously.  The kids bedrooms upstairs were painted, but other than that not one thing had been done to the house outside of the way the builders left it in 2004.  It took a little while but we got over our “we’re tired and just want a new house” attitude, and we have been working on turning this house from a completely builder grade house to something that more reflects us.


My very favorite thing that we have done so far is the laundry room.  I spend a lot of time there, and because of it’s location, it’s a room we see all the time.  It’s on our main level, so we walk past it many times a day.  I love that it’s a pretty room now!  I cannot get over it.  We negotiated the washer and dryer in the purchase of the house, so these were here when we moved in.  The previous owners had them stacked and had a tall metal shelving unit beside them.  They used it as storage, and while I can definitely understand the need for storage space, I also really need laundry space.  So as soon as we moved in, we moved that unit out to the garage.  To kick off this project, my brother and sister came over to help Tommy move the dryer down.  I wanted the machines side by side and not stacked.  Apparently I didn’t take a picture of what it looked like stacked, so here are some in progress pictures.






I showed Tommy a picture of what I wanted for shelving, and he made it happen.  This is a Restoration Hardware knockoff project.  And this project was cheap!  I decided I wanted to go dark for the paint color, and I’m so happy I did!  I absolutely love it, and now I want to paint all of our rooms dark!




Here is my updated laundry room!


laundryroomreno laundryroomrenoinprogresss laundryroomrenoironingboard


Beautiful rooms in my home make me smile.

day 26 // celebrating, remembering, + the wave of light.

Wednesday, October 15th, is Pregnancy and Infant Loss Remembrance Day, but you know that already because you read my blog.  And so many of you supported us by remembering our sweet baby G, along with many other babies who are no longer here.  I want to thank you for your support — for us always and for so many others who come here for this great community.  Thank you for loving on mamas and families like us.


Here was our Morgan family candle ::


On this Pregnancy and Infant Loss Remembrance Day, I’m lighting a candle on remembrance of our son, Gabriel, and all the other precious babies who are not here. I hope tonight that all mamas who have lost a baby know they are loved and their baby is remembered.

Candles from you all ::

WaveofLightAmyRoss WaveofLightBeccaE WaveofLightCarolinaBeth WaveofLightCaseyA WaveofLightFrancesca WaveoflightJennyColvin WaveofLightLauraJ WaveofLightmomanddad  WaveofLightShellyM WaveofLightSheriMae WaveofLightSueS



Thanks for sharing love and hope!



day 25 // what day is it and the month is almost over.

Well, clearly in this 31 day challenge I have failed.  Where have the past 10 days gone? Wow.  So much stuff has been going on, that I’ve just not had time to sit and write a post.  But I think more than that, I haven’t had the energy to write.  Family life has been hard the past 10 days.  My Grandfather is going through a hard time and hasn’t talked to me in over a week.  If you’re a regular reader here, you know that I love him so much and spend a lot of time with him.  That’s been hard and has really knocked me off my game.  Please pray for him.  He’s had a hard time with the 1 year mark since my Granny died.  I’m hoping we can get back to our great relationship soon.

In better news…  Jack is amazing.  This is such a fun age!  He thinks things through so much.  He says things out of his own mind and doesn’t just repeat things, and it is amazing.  I love having conversations with him and just listening to him talk.  Such a fun age!  He is really looking forward to next week and getting to dress up for Halloween.  Last weekend we went to the pumpkin patch and had so much fun!




It’s going to be a great weekend!  Tommy worked very long days all week, so he and Jack are going to spend some time together.  Tonight Tennessee is playing Alabama — big game for us!  So we will be cheering hard for the Vols!  I hope you have a happy Saturday!  Tomorrow I will be sharing some pictures from Pregnancy and Infant Loss Remembrance Day on the 15th.