Thursday, February 2, 2017

Birthdays, birthdays, and more birthdays!

January for our family might be as crazy or even crazier than December.  Somehow we happen to have lots of birthdays in January.   This year, my dad turned 60 years old.  For his 60th, my sister organized a surprise birthday party for him, and boy was he surprised.  It was a sweet time to get together and celebrate him.  I was able to get some cute pictures of him and my mom and their grandkids pictured below.  I think my favorite one is of my dad, Nolen, and Julia blowing out the candles on his cake.

The biggest celebration of birthdays in January was Julia's 4th birthday on the 20th!  It is so hard to believe that she is already 4 years old.  Next year, we will be looking towards her starting kindergarten, which I truly can't fathom at this point.  Julia has grown so much during this past year...  I dare say that this past year has so far been the year that brought some of our tougher parenting moments, but also the year that brought some of our proudest parenting moments.  This past fall, we started doing preschool at home, so we have truly gotten to watch Julia's mind at work on a daily basis, which has been a true blessing.  Julia is so smart and asks some crazy thought provoking questions.  She is also one of the most stubborn, strong-willed little girls (I totally claim this personality trait).  Julia loves fiercely and to witness this is so very cool.  I love the way she loves her baby brother already and the way she loves others.  We can't wait to see the plans that God has laid out for her life.  She is destined for great things.

To celebrate this not so little little girl's birthday we had a couple of fun-filled days.  On her actual birthday, Jordan took off work and we went to Pin Stack and went bowling.  Julia loved it.  We also at lunch there and for dessert, Julia had a cake pop!  On our way home, Julia thanked us without prompting for such a fun day, so we know she must have liked it.  The day after her birthday, we had a Daniel Tiger themed birthday party.  It turned out very cute.  Julia enjoyed spending time with friends and of course getting to eat way more sweets than she usually gets to.  Below are some pictures from her birthday and birthday party.

So, for now, we are going to embrace every day that Julia is 4 and not think too much about the fact that shortly, in a blink of an eye she will be 5 years old.

Sunday, January 8, 2017

Rocking and Praying

Our family has had a busy start to the new year.  Last weekend, we actually welcomed in the New Year from Louisiana.  We went to Columbia, Louisiana to visit my grandma and her husband.  It was a very special time.  It was the first time for Joshua to meet his great grandma.  There were many snuggles and kisses had by all.  Below are some precious photos that we were able to get.  It was rainy for most of the weekend, so we enjoyed staying indoors and visiting in the warmth.  Saturday evening we were treated to some amazing fried catfish!  On Sunday, we went to church with my grandma and Alton and then we headed back home to Wylie.

Now, on to the title of this post.  Of late, I have had such a heavy heart.  I have dear friends that are going through so much pain.  I have started writing down prayer requests so that I keep up with who I need to be praying for.  Honestly, sometimes it feels like the list keeps growing and nothing is getting answered.  I know in my heart that this isn't true, but it really feels that way at times.  I have a friend, who is as close as a sister that is battling some really tough and ugly stuff in her life, and it seems at least so far that nothing that she is doing is working in this situation.  It hurts so bad to watch her go though these deep, dark waters.  This friend is a strong Christian, and I can tell that this is wearing on her.  I have another friend who is now watching her husband battle health issues, and not small issues.  These are just two of the numerous situations that are going on with people that I know personally.  We are talking hard, scary stuff.  My prayer list just gets longer and longer.  I believe that God is good.  I believe that that everything works for good for those that love the Lord.  Man, sometimes, it is impossible to see this though.  Honestly, it isn't promised that we will ever see it at least not here in this life, which really, really stinks. In the past weeks, I have found myself, crying over these dear friends that are in so much pain over things that are COMPLETELY out of their control.  

Joshua is 7 months old.  He wakes every night between 2-3 am.  I am blessed with a husband that takes turns with me on who gets up with Joshua when he wakes.  On my turns, I get up with Joshua and I make him a bottle and I feed him and wrap him and rock him back to sleep.  This process takes about 45 minutes, and while I am doing this, I silently pray over each person on my prayer list.  I shed a few tears and pray hard.  I don't exactly enjoy waking up to feed a little one in the middle of the night, but I feel such peace as we rock and pray.

Wednesday, December 28, 2016

Blogging again...

It has been a little over a year since my last blog post.  I am hoping that I am more frequent with my posts this go around.  I would like for this blog to be a small window into mine and my family's daily life, whether exciting or mundane.

A whole lot has happened since my last blog post.  The most noteworthy change has been the addition of Joshua, making our family of three a family of four.  Joshua was born on Saturday, May 28th, 2016 at 12:49 pm.  He is super sweet and his smiles truly do light up a room.


Julia has an innate talent of being the best big sister to Joshua.  She loves being "mommy's little helper," and she often thinks of Joshua as her own baby.  You can tell by the way Joshua looks at Julia that, at least for now, she is one of his very favorite people.  I pray that over time that I am able to cultivate this very special bond that they have with each other right now and that it only continues to grow.

Monday, April 13, 2015

Stitch Fix

It has been quite awhile since I have done a blog post.  I thought I would do a blog post with all of my thoughts regarding my recent Stitch Fix experience.  I have been seeing so many Facebook posts about Stitch Fix, and I wanted to see what all of the hype was about.

For those of you who have never heard of Stitch Fix, here is my definition of it in a nutshell:  Stitch Fix is a service in which you have a personal stylist.  You fill out a very, very detailed style profile about yourself, and based upon your likes and dislikes, body shape, and if you choose Pinterest board, your personal stylist sends you a box with five items in it.  You can keep and pay for any items in the box or you can send them back.  There is a $20 styling fee, which can go towards an item in the box, however if you decide not to keep any of the items, it is non-refundable.
If you want to see what it is all about, copy and post the below link...

Sometimes I feel like my dressing/style gets in a funk, and I thought this would be a fun way to mix it up a bit.  It is important that you keep in mind that the goal is to get some great pieces to add to your wardrobe - it is seldom that you receive your first box and absolutely love every piece.  Some things that I love about the Stitch Fix process:

1.  You can decide if you want this to be a reoccurring subscription (you get a "fix" every month, every two months, or every three months) OR you can decide that you do not want this to be a reoccurring subscription (you can just go in and pick an available date that you want your first "fix" to arrive and then decide in the future if you want to do it again).
2.  The very detailed style profile that you fill out.  It might seem a little daunting, but it is worth it.  There are even questions about how much shoulder, cleavage, etc... you like to flaunt.  While that might be an odd question, I would rather it be asked and be happy with the items that I receive than be unpleasantly surprised.
3.  The ability to link a Pinterest board to Stitch Fix.  This was huge.  I was able to go and pin outfits I liked and then in the comments for each pin, I could be very specific about what it was that I liked.  I even pinned three pictures of myself.  I pinned a picture of me dressed up for Easter Sunday last year, a picture of me going out for my husband's work's Christmas dinner, and a picture of me out at a park.  I wanted my stylist to have a good sense of me. In case you are curious what to put on your Pinterest Board, here is mine...
4.  The ability to leave a note to your stylist.  I was able to leave a note about my style to my stylist.  I let her know that I am a full time stay at home mom, who is chasing a 2-year old around.  The clothing that I wear needs to be practical and something that I can get up and down in over and over again throughout the day.  I also made a request.  I requested that there might be a Maxi Skirt and/or cropped pair of pants in the box.  I have read quite a few reviews where the customer requested an outfit for a specific occasion.  How convenient is that ?!?
5.  You get three days.  You get three days to try on every item that you receive in your box.  You can pair the items with things you already own and decide which items you really want to keep.  Whatever you don't want to keep you return in the included prepaid mailing bag.  If you decide to keep all five items, you will get 25% off your total purchase.
6.  Feedback.  You can give specific feedback about each of the items you receive - why you like it or specifically why you do not.  This feedback will help your stylist with your future "fixes" if you decide to have any.
7.  You receive a handy dandy little card with clothing combinations for each item you receive with great ideas of how to best wear the item. Here is one of mine.

Here are some pictures of the items that I have received...

This gray shirt was super soft, but it wasn't in the budget for the month, so I sent it back.  I did make sure to leave feedback that I did love the shirt, but it wasn't in the budget so that my stylist would know that she got the style part right.

The cropped jeans were everything that I wanted in a pair of cropped jeans.  I mentioned to my stylist in the note that I left before I received my Stitch Fix that I didn't want any jeans with holes in them.  I know for some that seems silly, but in this household we are good about naturally getting holes in our jeans.  I was thrilled with these, and I kept them.

The dark jean jacket was cute, but I already have something similar, which fits me better, so I sent it back.

So, the orange shirt was a much brighter shade of orange than what I would normally wear or want to wear.  I wasn't a big fan of the tie front bottom.  I would also have to wear a tank underneath this one to really feel comfortable in it.  Needless to say, it too went back.

The navy and gray maxi skirt will get much use.  I love it.  I wore it on Easter, which worked out great because what I originally was planning on wearing wasn't going to work with the rainy weather. The maxi skirt really fit the bill.  I think there will be more maxi skirts in my future.

Overall, I really enjoyed my Stitch Fix experience, and I plan on having more "fixes" in the future.  If you haven't checked them out, feel free to copy and paste the below link and see what all of the hype is about.

Monday, January 20, 2014

The "Due Date" vs the "Birth Date"

So, I haven't posted in a very long time -sorry.  Before I forget all of the details leading up to the birth of Julia, I thought that I would do a blog post.  If you aren't into reading about another person's birth story, please feel free to stop reading right now.  So, why am I writing this today?  Well, today is Miss Julia's 1st birthday.  Time has truly flown by, and it amazes me that she at one time fit and grew over the course of nine months (give or take) in my belly.  In the midst of cleaning up from her Classic Winnie the Pooh 1st Birthday, I am going down memory lane and remembering all that led up to her birth.  By the way, I will try to do a post on her 1st Birthday Party shortly...

Let's start at the beginning of the end of my pregnancy.  On January 10th, 2013 Jordan and I enjoyed a fabulous dinner at one of my favorite (now non - existent) restaurants; Restaurant AVA.  The waiter couldn't believe that my due date was the very next day and that we were actually out eating.  Jordan and I knew that the chances of Miss Julia arriving on her due date were slim to nothing, especially since our goal was to have this birth all natural, which mean no inducing.  Needless to say, January 11th, 12th, 13th, 14th, and 15th rolled around, with no action.  I was feeling quite comfortable for being that far along.  I wasn't too concerned about being past my due date.  I had taken some fabulous Bradley classes and learned that the average 1st time mom is pregnant 8 days past her due date, and that the average 1st time mom was in labor for 17 hours.  To be honest, I was not wanting to speed up the whole 17 hours of labor.  While I was excited about eventually meeting Julia, I wasn't so up on the whole birth part.

Let me stop right here for a sec and answer a question that I have gotten in the past.  If I am not up on the whole pain of labor for 17 hours, why not use a hospital with pain meds?  That is a great question.  I will be the first to tell you that I don't like pain, and I will also be the first to tell you that I don't like the idea of staying at a hospital with sick people.  I also know that sometimes when you add in pain meds, you can actually slow the birth process down.  It can also be harder push and to know when to push if you are on pain meds.  While this isn't the case with all births involving pain meds, I know it is with some.  Jordan and I talked about it, and we both decided that it would be nice to be able to be home sooner than later.  I knew that I would be more comfortable recovering from the birth in my own home, my own bed, etc...  For these reasons we decided to have a baby at the Allen Birthing Center and to trust my body to know when it was time to have a baby.

Back to the story...  The evening of Wednesday, January 16th rolled around, and I had 6 hours of back labor.  It started around 8:30pm.  We truly thought "this" could be "it."  Because my contractions were not at consistent intervals, we stayed put for the evening.  We knew that the next day I would have an appointment at the birthing center.  At the appointment we were told that I was at a 4 and 80% effaced.  We were given the option to take measures to speed the process along and actually have Miss Julia that day.  Jordan and I were both exhausted and I felt as though I had no energy to labor.  We decided to go home that evening and let my body decide when Julia was to be born.

Jordan stayed home from work that Thursday and Friday, and I caught up on some sleep knowing that I wouldn't have many more days of a full nights rest once Miss Julia made her grand entrance.  Saturday rolled around, and I went and had a manicure, and then Jordan and I met up with his parents for an early celebration lunch for Jordan's birthday on the 22nd.  We had a relaxing evening at home.

7:30am on Sunday, January 20th my labor really started. There wasn't a buildup because the labor that I had the previous Wednesday night was the buildup.  I went from nothing to my contractions lasting a minute and being five minutes apart.  Jordan called my doula and let her know and she encouraged us to call the midwife to see what she suggested.  My doula was pretty sure that the midwife was going to want us to head to the birthing center and not wait around.  Sure enough, the midwife jumped in the the shower changed into her scrubs and called Jordan as she was leaving and had him load me in the car.  I know that at this point my brain wasn't working.  I was actually very frustrated and was nervous about going to the birthing center because I was afraid that I wasn't far enough along and that they would send me home.  It was like I had forgotten that I had already progressed on the previous Wednesday.  Needless to say, I wasn't the easiest person to convince to get into the car... Jordan had a time of it.

We pulled up to the birthing center, and my doula met us at the car and helped me get inside.  I was checked upon arriving - I was a 7 1/2, so I was staying put.  We went upstairs to the birthing suite.  Candles were lit, lights were dimmed, and relaxing music was played.  I labored on a birthing ball for a bit.  Jordan and Shannon (my doula) applied lots of pressure on my lower back, and Jordan made sure that I was getting plenty of apple juice, yogurt, apple sauce, etc... (Yes, at a birthing center or home birth, you eat food as you labor because you need energy to birth a baby.)  After awhile, I moved into a birthing pool/tub.  I wanted to relax if at all possible in the water.  As soon as I hit the water, I entered transition.  If you know anything about birth, this is the part for many that can be very hard and painful.  It was definitely very painful for me. Jordan would say that transition was when he would have gladly taken me to the hospital;  for him it was very scary.  Luckily we had a great doula, midwife, and birthing assistants.  Their calm demeanor really encouraged him.

When the birthing assistant suggested I could push whenever I felt ready, I thought she was crazy.  I knew that statistically I should be in labor for at least 17 hours.  It was no where near 17 hours at that point.  She checked me in order to reassure me that I could push when I felt ready.  I was a 9 or 9 1/2. When transition ended, I got up out of the tub and moved to the bed.  Twenty minutes later give or take a few, and Julia made  her grand entrance at 12:26pm.

So today, I celebrate not only Julia's birthday, but also my "birth date," which was not on my due date.  In a matter of seconds, I went from being a wife to being a wife and a mother.  We went from two to three.  Our lives are very richly blessed.

Friday, August 23, 2013

There is a light at the end of the tunnel...

This blog post is not intended to make you think that I dislike being a mom, but rather to support those that have or are going through the questioning as to whether or not there is a light at the end of the tunnel when is comes to raising little ones.

My sweet Julia just turned 7 months (as of August 20th), and to tell you the truth up until two weeks ago I would be lying to you if I said "I love motherhood."  This doesn't mean that there weren't moments during her first six month of life that I didn't love, I mean who can resist her smile and giggles :)  But truly, up till about two weeks ago, her temperament was soooo unpredictable.  For the most part, she was semi-happy or screaming (no, I don't think that she had colic, I think that she is/was a baby...).  Those of you who know me and her, are probably sitting there aghast - "How can Kimberlee say such things?!?!"  I remember speaking to a dear friend in years past, and her describing this same thing.  She mentioned that she wouldn't mind skipping the first few to six months and moving right into the fun times.  I think what happened (at least with Jordan and me) is Julia was very busy growing and it wore her out and the only way she could express herself was to scream.  I mean, she started army crawling two-three months ago and then all she focused on was how to crawl.  She started crawling a few weeks ago and is now pulling up on anything that she thinks is stable.  Not to mention, right now she is cutting two teeth.  That is A LOT for one little body to take.  So, why am I writing this?  It isn't to complain, I promise.  Instead for two reasons:

1.  For those of you with little ones.  It will get better.  I know that you hear this all the time from people and you also here that time flies and you are sick of hearing these things and probably want to step on the toes of those that tell you this stuff.  But, they are not lying... Time does fly, I was looking at Julia sitting up and playing with a teether and I pulled open a video on my iPad of her just maybe three days old.  In this video, she was as stable as a rag doll and needed me for everything.  She still needs me for almost everything but what a difference today is compared to January 20th, 2013 (when she was born).  It will get better... when you are in the midst of the screaming call someone... find someone that will just listen.  I remember expressing frustration to someone during this time, and they didn't realize that I was just venting and they actually somewhat chided me for the way I was feeling.  If you are the person that someone is speaking to, don't chide them unless you think that they would harm their little one.

2.  I am writing this because one day IF Jordan and I decide to add to our family through birthing a baby, I have a feeling my brain (what is left of it that is) will not remember any of this, at least not to the extent that I do today.  I will need to read back on some of these thoughts and remind myself that it will eventually get better.

So, there is a light at the end of the tunnel so to speak.  I am getting to see rays of it daily with Miss Julia. She is very smart.  She smiles so much and loves getting kisses.  She is even trying to kiss others.  We have fun playing a rendition of "peek-a-boo." She sits at the dinner table with us every evening and is trying new foods (whatever we are eating).  Some of the things she has tried includes: buttered dill carrots, pasta, pizza crust, green beans, artichokes, etc...  I have a horrible feeling that she will be walking before I am ready. My favorite time of the day is first thing in the morning with her.  I am blessed with an amazing husband that does her evening and morning feedings and gives me a break.  After her morning feedings, Jordan comes downstairs with her and sits with her on the couch, while I load or unload a dishwasher and get my coffee ready (MUST HAVE TWO CUPS to get through the day!!).  What I love about this time, is watching her with her daddy.  She snuggles up to him - she puts her head on his chest and has her little arms wrapped around him, and she just lays there contently for 15+ minutes.  I need to get a picture sometime (Jordan would kill me - he is in boxers and a T-Shirt).  

I will end with some fun photos of Miss Julia.

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Adoption Funds Needed!!

I am sure that the title of this post really grabbed your attention.  I am sure that you are sitting there thinking, "Didn't they just have a little one... are they now adopting??"  Well, to answer your question, at this moment in time, Jordan and I are not adopting.  Instead, I am advocating (which is a nice way to put "begging") for you to help out a friend of mine that is more like an extra sister to me.  This post will not begin to do justice to how amazing this family is - I hope that you read on and truly consider helping them.

Meet the Adams' Family

Rebecca and her husband, Luke are in the process of adopting two beautiful girls.  To tell you the journey that the two of them have been through in the past, would bring many of you to tears (both joy and sadness). They have been married for a little over eight years.  After three miscarriages, they were blessed in 2008 with the birth of one of the smartest little boys I have ever met - Micah.  When Micah was almost four months old, Rebecca was diagnosed with stage 3 breast cancer.  She underwent chemo, surgery, radiation, and Herceptin (a breast cancer drug).  She went through all of these things with the amazing, never-ending support of her husband.  Because of the treatments that she underwent, the chances of her being about to be pregnant again were slim to nothing.  After much prayer and time to absorb this new information, they decided to adopt.  On August 18th, 2011 they brought home a sweet, very energetic little boy named Levi.  Levi's story and and how he became part of the Adams' family truly has God's handwriting all over it.  So, skip a few years, and you are here.  Rebecca and Luke are now in the process of adopting two more children... that are 11 and 16 years old.

Meet Stella

Meet Lily

I know that many people are probably wondering why they aren't looking at adopting younger children.  They are adopting older children because when children in the country that they are adopting from hit 16 years of age, they are "aged out" of the system.  So, what does that mean?  It means that if you are 16 years old and you aren't adopted, you really don't have much to celebrate on your birthday because you are "sent packing" with the clothes on your back.  That is it - no financial aide for these kiddos.  The saddest thing is that about 60% of the girls turn to prostitution to make money when they are thrown out.  Rebecca and Luke feel called by God to adopt Stella and Lily.

This adoption is a blessing and a curse.  They are adopting from a country that is pretty speedy with the process.  The blessing is that they will have their girls pretty quickly - we are talking 5-7 months.  The curse is that there is less time to raise funds for this.  So, I am asking you to consider helping them out.  There are sooo many ways that you can help the.

The first way and one of the most important things that you can do for them is to pray for them and this journey that they are going on.  Pray that God blesses them with the funds needed.  Pray that the transition the two girls will be making when they move to this country are seamless.  Pray for patience for Luke and Rebecca as they quickly add two more people to their home in the near future. Pray that these two girls see the love that God has for them through Rebecca and Luke.

Secondly, you can give your money to them.  I am going to be very blunt about this.  They have a bunch of fundraisers below which I will highlight, in which companies are giving them part of the funds from your purchases.  Yes, it all adds up, and I will tell you right now that Luke and Rebecca are two of the most gracious people and appreciate every single penny.  BUT, if you have the funds and can actually just write a check - that money will go 100% towards their adoption.  You can mail them a check directly (email me and I will send you their address) or you can contribute through Reese's Rainbow (the link is on the upper left of their blog page  If you go through Reese's Rainbow, you will get a receipt for your taxes next year.  It is costing them over $26,000.00 for the two girls, so every little bit helps.  Think about it, if you cut a weekly Starbucks run, you could donate $18.40 (if you get the grande caramel macchiato with extra caramel like me).

The other options are the actual fundraisers they have going on.
If you shop with Amazon, use the below link to do your shopping and they will receive 4-6% of your purchase.

They are also selling bracelets made in Haiti here.

All commissions from her Usborne Books business is supporting this process as well.  If you need any great children's books for your kids or a gift for a birthday party, they have great stuff.

This month she is also doing a Thirty-One Online show.

So, that is my super long post about some amazing people.  My next post will be more light-hearted :)