Tuesday, November 30, 2010

a celebration…

You’ve heard me talk about our old community group several times. We are all still really good friends and occasionally like to meet at Moes for dinner on Monday nights! We were able to meet last Monday night to catch up, and celebrate thanksgiving and the holidays coming up. After leaving, I think mostly every couple mentioned how much we miss getting together so we are now going to be meeting once a month on Monday nights at Moes! Kaz and I love this group of people! They have been so supportive and walked with us along our journey of infertility and adoption! The group has definitely grown the last few years with new little ones and is continuing to grow! We have always said that we HOPE it works out one day when we get our phone call about our little one that we could meet at Moes to celebrate. Maybe it will work out like that one day;)

Here are a few pictures…We were missing one couple who couldn’t make it
that night:(

Kaz, Caleb, Jude, Chad, Kelly, and Hunter
 Carson, Beth, Carissa, Sage, Julie, Darby, and me

We missed Blythe and RyanL

Monday, November 29, 2010

Caring for orphans….

Religion that is pure and undefiled before God, the Father, is this: to visit orphans and widows in their affliction, and to keep oneself unstained from the world. James 1:27

Adoption was never my first option in starting a family. If I’m honest, it never crossed my mind. I really believe the Lord has allowed Kaz and I to go through the struggles we have to bring us to the place we are at today: a place where our heart is to continue adopting and helping children all across this world. Over the last few months, we have felt really strongly about adoption and it’s been a blessing to see the Lord put together little pieces of our puzzle. We were involved in a great church for many years [along with an amazing community group]. Back in May, our community group split due to people moving, etc and that has been really hard for us. This group has been our support system and we all became really good friends. Starting over is hard. We have loved our church but its 45 minutes away and really hard to get involved being that far away. So throughout the year we’ve talked about finding a church closer to our home. We’ve only been to one, kind of piddled our feet for awhile, but a few weeks ago we both really wanted to try out one church in particular about a mile from our house. After Kaz and I talked about it, he looked up the times for Sunday morning service. While looking at the website, he saw this church was just starting an adoption ministry! We were blown away! This is something we had really been praying for.

The adoption ministry was just starting up and had a meeting 2 weeks ago. We went in not really knowing what to expect, and walked away so encouraged! We met couples who are in the process currently, couples who have previously adopted, and even individuals who have been adopted. It was amazing to hear stories and testimonies of the Lord’s faithfulness in all of these individuals’ lives. It was also so encouraging for us to see that the Lord allowed us to visit this church on that particular Sunday for a reason. We are so excited to get involved and be a part of this amazing ministry.

Not everyone is called to adopt BUT I believe everyone can help orphans. One thing Kaz and I have started doing is buying 1 grocery item a week for an orphanage [children’s home] here in Summerville. They provided us a list of items that they go through in 1 week. We have bought 1 item a week with our groceries over the last 2 months and will give them a whole week’s worth of food, toiletries, etc in Dec. It’s really not sacrificing a lot. We could do so much more but this is one way we have felt called to help!

Adoption is from the heart of God. Is it easy? No, but I have yet to hear a story of a couple who felt called to adopt where the Lord hasn’t provided every single penny. Kaz and I often talk about our next adoption! The first one hasn’t happened yet, but it doesn’t matter. We feel this calling of adoption on our life. AND we feel so blessed to be a part of this journey.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

the last few days...

SO are you wondering what I did, that I’ve never done before? WELL, I stayed by myself! Not just 1 night BUT 2. That’s a BIG step for me. Anytime Kaz has been gone overnight a friend has stayed over or I’ve packed my bags and gone home! I just didn’t want to tell you last week and then some crazy read my blog and come to my house! Ha-Ha! There goes my worst case syndrome again!
BUT anyway, the last few days have been great! I’ve been able to spend time with so many family and friends the last couple days. It’s been very refreshing!
All of Kaz’s family is coming into town tomorrow so that we can spend Thanksgiving in Charleston! I’m excited to see everyone!
SO I’ll be back next week:) 
Have a Happy Thanksgiving!

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Random Wednesday…..

~WELL, the dentist wasn’t SO bad! I ONLY had 1 cavity! It’s actually quite funny! About 4 months ago, I started having a lot of sensitivity in my lower teeth when I brushed. MY FIRST THOUGHT: CAVITIY:( So I started brushing A LOT more! I actually became quiet crazy about it! BECAUSE that’s the right thing to do after the fact? Ha-Ha!

TURNS OUT, the sensitivity was because I was brushing my teeth too hard and the roots are a little exposed! SO NO CAVITY! So my dentist told me to use a sensitivity tooth paste, a softer tooth brush, and showed me how to correctly brush my teeth! Ha!
SO I NOW LOVE THE DENTIST! Well, at least yesterday I did because he gave me GREAT news! ONLY 1 CAVITITY! WHOOOOOHOOOOOO. I even ENJOYED getting my new goodies and brushing my teeth last night:)
~This past weekend I went home to my parent’s house and got to see a few of my favorite people!
Mr. Billy again, his sweet wife, and his good buddy, Buddy!

I also got to see these 2 sweet girls: Bridgette and Courtney. I can’t believe how fast these girls have grown up! I’m good friends with their mom, Cindy. She was my volleyball coach, mentor, good friend, and matron of honor! I have known these girls since they were 4 & 5 years old. Man, the time has flown by. They have grown into beautiful girls and so mature!

This was them a few years ago….Seems like yesterday!

~I’m getting ready to DO SOMETHING that I’ve NEVER done before. SOMETHING I said I WOULD NEVER do. I’m NOT going to tell until after it happens because….Well, you’ll see why later! I’ll tell you Sunday! JUST BE PRAYING FOR ME! IT’S BIG….at LEAST for ME.

~I’m happy to say that it’s been a WHOLE WEEK since I’ve had ANY SODA WHATSOEVER! I’m going COLD TURKEY! NO SODA! Instead, I drink un-sweet tea with sweet & low, or crystal light lemonade! SO far, I’m doing pretty good! The first 2 days without it my headaches were AWFUL! BUT I’m hanging in there!

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

I would rather....

I would rather throw up ALL day and ALL night than…..
I would rather go without food for 5 days than…..
I would rather be stuck in a room full of bugs than….
I would rather stay in a very cheap, stinky hotel than….
I would rather walk on rocks all day with no shoes than….

DO YOU GET THE POINT? Today’s the dreaded day….I HAVE to go to the DENTIST. The word makes me cringe:( I have never been to the dentist without having a cavity. I had my first root canal in high school. I HAVE VERY BAD, AWFUL, TEETH:(
It’s no wonder that when I got married I stopped going to the dentist. WHY WOULD I? I HATE IT! YES, IT’S been 4 years since my last visit. 4 YEARS!

My dad says I deserve every bit of what the dentist tells me. I have no doubt he will say I have 7 cavities, and need 4 root canals. OH BOY! HERE WE GO:(

I can just hear the JAWS music playing in my head!

Monday, November 15, 2010

a lot of crying…

This past weekend was very hard for me…Well really just Saturday night and Sunday. On Saturday, I had a marathon day of pictures for families in Hartsville. At the end of the day, I got to have dinner with my sweet friends Liz and Todd, my parents, and little Charlie.

Little Charlie always gets me! He’s the most adorable little boy AND one that has been prayed for so many times. Kaz and I met Liz and Todd at the last meeting we had with Bethany. They sat by us and after the meeting we started talking, and became good friends. It was clear from the beginning the Lord had big things in store for both of us. I can’t explain the way he knit our hearts together. They are like family to us. Kaz and I prayed that Todd and Liz would get a baby before us. We truly wanted that for them. While it was hard when I got the phone call from Liz that they indeed had a baby, I was still so happy for them AND had been praying for that.

Going back to Saturday night…We all had dinner at one of my FAVORITE restaraunts…Rancho Grande! The BEST mexican food in SC[or at least in my opinion]! Little Charlie was the star of the show! I loved playing with him, holding him, AND even more than that seeing my parents light up when they held him. As I started driving back to Charleston that night, I couldn’t help but cry out to the Lord. Tears rolled down my face for a good hour of the trip. There was nothing that I could do but pray. I’m at a point where I’m not mad. I’m not angry. Occasiaonally sad. BUT I’m HOPEFUL. I know without a doubt the Lord has a perfect plan. While I try and guess that plan everyday, when He is ready we will have a sweet baby. There is absolutely nothing that I can do right now but pray. I talked to Kaz about how I was feeling when I got home and He’s in the same place which is really neat for me to see. He wants to be a dad just as much as I want to be a mom. As I was telling him about the drive back, he began telling me about his time praying lately. He goes running every morning for about 30 min-1 hour. He doesn’t listen to any music while running[which just blows my mind]! Instead he prays. He has a list: Me, our baby, His dad, brother and wife, baby Matias, and my parents. Every morning he prays. He crys out to the Lord. That is so humbling to me.

Often times it feels like our prayers go unanswered BUT for me RIGHT NOW, it’s the ONLY WAY to get through. I KNOW my prayers are being heard. I KNOW they will be answered ONE DAY. AND I KNOW I’m NOT the only one praying for this baby to come.

Even though it was hard for me Saturday night, Little Charlie is a miracle. He’s a blessing. He’s an encouragmenet and a testimony. He is AN ANSWERED PRAYER.

James 5:17-18
17 Elijah was a human being, even as we are. He prayed earnestly that it would not rain, and it did not rain on the land for three and a half years. 18 Again he prayed, and the heavens gave rain, and the earth produced its crops.

Friday, November 12, 2010

an early christmas!!!!!

This past weekend Kaz and I did a little Christmas shopping:) Well, if I’m honest, we actually bought our Christmas presents from each other!!! You see, Kaz and I are not very good at giving presents. I hope this will change once we have children because we will actually have to wait until Christmas or a birthday to give the gift. We’ve done this every year! We buy the presents and then have nothing to open Christmas morning from each other [although we do have presents from our parents still:)]. I actually like the way we do things because I get the presents early BUT I also know it’s would neat to actually be surprised and open gifts on Christmas morning:) That’s another thing…Even if I buy Kaz a gift and he doesn’t know what it is, I CAN’T keep a secret. I LOVE giving gifts. I can’t wait! I’ve already given 2 friends their gifts this year back in Sept! Ha-Ha! I think I have a long way to go:(

BUT ANYWAY, I’m very excited about our Christmas gifts! The only thing I wanted was some new running gear AND an entry for the Charleston Half Marathon in January. I’m super pumped about my FIRST Half Marathon although I need to get to my running schedule….I’ve got less than 11 weeks! Oh boy! Anyway….I got a new pair of running shoes! I LOVE them! They are Nike’s LunarGlide’s for women. Here’s a picture I took with my iPhone [it’s not very good].

These shoes are SO light weight! AND I love the old school look of them!
I also got 2 Nike Element Half-Zip Women’s Running Shirts.
photo credit: Nike.com
Can you tell I’m a Nike Fan? I got bright orange and black! They are SO soft, light weight, and excellent to run in during the winter months!SO I’m one happy girl! I’ve got everything I need to run a successful race:) Have I mentioned I also LOVE running?
Going back to Nike, I HAVE to just tell you about my favorite running shorts. I WON’T buy any other kind. I literally have almost every color in these shorts! I wear them to lounge in and run! Nike Womens TM 3IN Race Shorts-THEY ARE FABULOUS! Ok, off my Nike kick:)

I also got a The North Face Apex Elixir Softshell Jacket in a Kelly green!
photo credit: thenorthface.com
It’s so pretty! I don’t have any light weight jackets so this one is perfect!

Kaz also got his Christmas presents! His absolute, favorite store is REI. He could spend hours in there if I would let him! Kaz has been wanting a new coat!
He has a red North Face Apex Bionic Jacket that he’s had for a couple years now. It’s a great jacket but he’s just been wanting something new. So he got a Marmot Hamilton Jacket. It’s black and looks really good on him!
photo credit: rei.com
Now all we need is the weather to get cold enough so he can wear it:) He also got some North Face Running Pants and a few shirts!


Thursday, November 11, 2010

A mountain trip….

This past weekend we went to Piegon Forge, TN with our friends Liz and Todd! We had a blast! So many fun times! Below are a few pictures from our trip!

It snowed on the wayJ

We stopped by the Bush’s Baked Bean Café & Museum. I have to say, I was very skeptical stopping. It didn’t interest me at all, besides I don’t like baked beans BUT I must say it was a blast and the food was YUMMY! We had fun taking silly pictures in the museum and then ate lunch in the café. I had a BLT with the BEST sweet potato fries I’ve ever had. YUM, I wish I could go back right now! Our waitress wouldn’t let us leave without trying a piece of pinto bean pie. It was DELIOUS! AND I don’t like pinto beans! Oh man, You should definitely stop by if you are ever in the area!

This is how much Kaz weighs in beans! Ha!

On Saturday, we did a TON of shopping at some nearby outlets.
On Sunday, we did a little site seeing. The mountains are so beautiful! We hiked 1.5 to see a waterfall that was very pretty! We did a lot pranks on that hike because there were signs everywhere about bears! Let’s just say NONE of us will ever forget that hikeJ

It was a blast! The bad part is now just getting back to reality….I wish vacation could have lasted a little longerJ

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Choosing to fight….

We had such a good weekend away! It was so nice to get away, relax, and spend time with great friends…BUT there was also a lot of time to think.

One of the best things about our trip was the hot tub right outside of our room that overlooked the most beautiful countryside I’ve ever seen. The view was gorgeous [minus the power lines:)]

We got in the hot tub at least 4 times each day, but my favorite time was early in the morning. Kaz and I would get up and go out there and just talk. Sunday morning was very hard for me….Kaz decided to go on a run while I got in the hot tub. As I looked out, I saw a picture that was all too familiar.

I didn’t actually take a picture of this but try to imagine it with me….

There’s a big field, red barn, and mountains in the distance. In that field there were 3 sets of feeding stations. Around each station there were cows, horses and calf’s. Each station had at least 3 animals feeding. But off in the distance maybe 10-15 feet away was this donkey who stood by the whole time while the other animals ate. I literally watched these animals for about an hour and during that whole time the donkey stood by himself. When the other animals were through feeding and had made their way to another part of the field, the donkey finally made his way over to one of the feeding stations to eat.

As I watched that, I got sad. Sad not only for the donkey, but for myself because that’s the way I’ve felt lately. I’ve felt like that donkey standing off to the distance watching all of my friends lives change and move forward while I’m waiting….

People ask all the time, how’s the adoption going? Our reply is, we’re just waiting. But what no one really ever ask is, “How are you doing with the adoption?” If I’m honest, I’m fighting and holding back tears. I’m tired of waiting. I think every day that this could be the day we get the phone call. I know that something so big is in store for us, but satan is trying so hard to do everything he can to tear us apart.

When I told Kaz about the donkey, he made the comment, “that’s not a true picture, because I’m the other donkey right there beside you.” Boy, He knows how to melt my heart. Regardless of how I feel, how much longer we have to wait, and where our friends lives go, the Lord cares about me and that 1 donkey just as much as the others. SO today, I’m choosing to fight for truth…I’m hoping that today will be the day….BUT if it isn’t, then there’s tomorrow. BUT I’m choosing to fight. I’m choosing truth. I’m choosing Hope. I’m choosing Joy.

Romans 5:5 - And hope does not disappoint us, because God has poured out his love into our hearts by the Holy Spirit, whom he has given us.

Christmas Cards....

It’s no secret that I love pictures! I LOVE making books, framing and printing them, AND my favorite CHRISTMAS CARDS!!! A lot of thought and planning goes into our Christmas cards. I LOVE photo Christmas cards! Actually, for most of the photo Christmas cards that we receive, I cut the picture out and hang it on our refrigerator all year long! My friend Carissa had the brilliant idea of praying over the families they received Christmas cards from each night during December. I think that’s a wonderful idea!

This year, I’m thinking of using Shutterfly for our Christmas cards! They have the cutest products and such a wide range of possibilities!

These are my top 3 choices!
The religious Christmas cards! I LOVE the simple, elegant design of this card[not to mention the color:)]. I also really like the fact that the message of Christ is on the front. After all, that’s what Christmas is all about! I also like the fact that I can pick 4 pictures….I don’t know if that would be a good thing for me or not because I have so many pictures to pick between!
I also really like Shutterfly’s stationary cards. These cards are not printed on photo paper, which in my opinion makes the cards look simple and clean. I love the finish on these cards! It’s a fun, simple, elegant card!

My 3rd option and favorite is the holiday story cards I've never done a
letter that goesalong with the Christmas card, but I think this is a great idea because you
can tell all your friends and family everything that has been going on throughout the year! I’m already thinking to next year when we have a baby. You can show pictures of the baby growing throughout the year!
I have a lot of friends who do the holiday story cards and I love reading about their year! I think it’s a really neat idea! Plus, you can add several pictures!
It’s going to be a tough decision deciding which card I want to use, BUT I know whichever card I pick, it will be fabulous because Shutterfly’s products are amazing!

Wednesday, November 03, 2010

See ya later, alligator!

I’ll be back next week! I’m officially on vacation! This will be my view for the next several days!

CSN Review...

I can’t stop looking at all the CSN stores. I could seriously buy everything! They have such a wide range of products from baby items, bar furniture, lighting, dishes, etc. I have so many things on my wish list:)

I recently purchased an Elite Products Single Round Bean Bag.

This bean bag is exactly what I needed, for 2 reasons really! One, the bean bag is used as a prop when I take newborn pictures! It’s basically what is underneath the blanket or backdrop! The bean bag is very soft, yet firm enough to where I can create dents or drops to place the baby in!
Secondly, I wanted this bean bag for our house! Kaz has already used it several times for watching football! It has been a great addition to our household:)

CSN was great throughout the entire purchase/delivery process. I ordered the product and within just a few days received an email with tracking information stating the product was on it’s way! Upon receiving the product, it was adequately packaged!

I’m in love with this bean bag and CSN Stores! You should definitely go check out all the amazing products they have!

Monday, November 01, 2010

Thank you, November!!!!

I'm so glad November is here! October was a busy, busy, busy month for me. I had 8 weddings, 25+ sessions, traveled almost every weekend, etc. BUT October was a fun month also:) I’m just relieved November is here. I intentionally didn’t schedule a lot for the rest of the year. I’m in need of a break....and I honestly have been hoping and praying we have a little one soon:)
A few really good things happened in October..I’ve been kind of slack on blogging so I’ll try and fill you in!

1. I got to visit this sweet man. Mr. Billy Brown. He is a very special person to me. I’ve known him since high school and love him so much! I was able to visit with him 2 weeks ago. He’s the sweetest! 

2. I got an iPad:) I haven’t got it working yet...I got it this past week but I’m already in love with it! My plan is to read a lot[about photography] in the next few months before weddings pick back up and with the iPad, I can do that anywhere:)
Speaking of reading, I really want to read Cirque Du Salahi. It’s about the white house party crashers. I absolutely think they are ridiculous, especially after watching the first season of The Real Housewives of DC, but for some reason I want to read the book! The book is more on their side, but I personally think they crashed the party!

3. Our anniversary was on Friday. We went out to eat at Outback to celebrate:) It was  such a fun night, but high in calories!!! 
Hope you have a great first day of November:)