Wednesday, September 28, 2011


I've written this post about 5 times now, and every time I save it with the intentions of adding pictures, but I just haven't gotten around to it! So here's the pictureless post. I'll do a photo post later!

Has it really been 5 years since we got married? It can't be! Where has the time gone? I remember my wedding day like it were yesterday. And it truly was the best day of my life.

We enjoyed a wonderful 4 days in Gatlinburg to celebrate. Pictures to follow. We drove up early Friday morning and eventually found our cabin, but not before detouring ALL THE WAY up the mountain and turning around in some dude's driveway. Thanks, Dude. It was a cute little cabin, completely secluded and right in the middle of the woods. So relaxing! We went down to the strip and walked for a while Friday afternoon, stopped for lunch at a little Pizzeria, and then went to the grocery store before heading back to the cabin to relax in the hot tub on the deck.

Saturday, we got up and had a cup of coffee on the porch, fixed some bacon and biscuits for breakfast, and headed out. We drove up to Cade's Cove and spent a good part of the day touring it. On our way back, we had lunch and then did some more shopping in Gatlinburg. That evening, we went into Pigeon Forge and had dinner at Bennett's yummy! Then we went to the Titanic museum. That was so awesome! Definitely worth the money!

Sunday, Brandon was coming down with a cold, so we spent the day at the cabin. The weather was amazingly perfect- low 70's. He drove down the mountain and picked up some sandwiches from Subway for lunch and brought them back. We set up a table on the deck and had a cute little lunch and then played a pathetic game of Scrabble. (I swear...we are NOT 80!) Later that evening, we got all gussied up and went to dinner at The Alamo Steakhouse, which was really good, but not worth the price. I'd recommend the Chop House over it any day. Then we, yet again, walked around downtown. I was on a hunt for Pixie Stix for one of my best friends, which I did not find. All those candy shops and not one Pixie Stick! BUT, we did find Candy Cigarettes...and bought 10 boxes.

That night we sat out on the deck til after midnight. It was perfectly clear, and I think you could see every star God created! We had some really good conversation, as well. I definitely cherish those :)

Overall, with the exception of Brandon getting sick and sharing it with me, it was an excellent weekend. I cannot believe it's been 5 years! I can't wait to see what the next 5 years hold!

Sunday, September 18, 2011

Homemade Glitter Christmas Ornaments

I know most of us don't want to admit it, but Christmas is only a few months away! Wow! So, I'm getting started on some Christmas projects, and I just thought I'd share some of them with you. This one is a SUPER easy way to make handmade ornaments.

What you need:
Plastic or paper towels to protect your work surface
A plastic cup with a mouth narrow enough so the ornament can sit on top
Glass or clear plastic Christmas ornaments
Glitter It! glue
Extra fine glitter (don't go for the cheap stuff here...extra fine or polyester glitter is the way to go)
Water/vinegar mix
Piece of paper to catch extra glitter
1. Remove the cap of the ornament and wash out the inside with the vinegar/water mix. Rinse well and allow it to dry.

2. Pour a decent amount of Glitter It! glue into the ornament (don't worry- you are going to reuse the extra, so don't fret about wasting it).

3. Rotate the ornament in circles, coating the entire inside with glue, tilting it more with each rotation, working your way to the neck of the ball. Be sure to coat the neck. Pour the excess into a cup (I didn't have a plastic cup, but I suggest one). 4. Set the ornament upside-down on the top of the cup and allow all of the excess glue to drain. I drained mine for about a minute. This glue is not fast drying, so don't worry about that.

5. Pour a generous amount of glitter into the ornament. Again, you're going to capture the excess on a piece of paper so don't worry about wasting.

6. Rotate the ornament just like you did with the glue, being sure to coat the entire inside with glitter. Add more glitter if needed. Let the excess glitter fall out onto the paper.

You now have a pretty, homemade Christmas ornament! I was really pleased with how these turned out, and they were so easy. There is so much more you can do with them, and I plan on playing around with some ideas. I'll post what I come up with. I definitely want to try cutting out letters with vinyl on my Cricut and personalizing them. This would make a perfect gift for my coworkers. It's cheap, easy, and fast.

Glitter It is supposed to be used with glass ornaments, but I also tried plastic and it worked just as well.

Happy Crafting!

Friday, September 16, 2011

Safe Haven

With all of the news stories that make my blood boil about mothers who abandon or murder their unwanted newborns, I'm sure we've all asked the question "WHY?" I know I have. The most recent story is that of 25-year old Lindsey Lowe, who hid her pregnancy, gave birth to twin boys on the toilet, held their mouths and noses until they were dead, and then threw them in a laundry basket and covered them with a towel.

I don't think we will ever understand what was going through her mind when she committed the horrific act. But I do think women need to be better educated on their options. Not only the option of giving them up for adoption, but even the option of Tennessee's Safe Haven law.

Every state has a Safe Haven law. If you haven't heard about it, it's a law that makes hospitals, police, and fire stations a safe place to leave your newborn baby that is up to 72 hours old. You can literally walk in, hand over the infant, and walk out. No paperwork. No signatures. No questions asked.

It's not the ideal situation, because then the baby literally becomes a "John Doe" and no one will ever know his or her medical history. But, it is a MUCH better option than the alternate.

I looked up a few web pages on the Safe Haven law, and I thought I'd share them with you. Feel free to share them on your blogs or wherever. Women need to know about this. Maybe more children will have a chance at life.

The mothers may not want these babies. But someone out there does.

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Another Year

Well, we have officially been on the waiting list for one year today, and our update is complete for another year. I'm so glad it's over with! I never expected the update to be so mentally and emotionally draining. It was almost as stressful as the initial process. But, next year we'll have a better idea of what the update itself entails (IF they don't change the process again like they did this time!). Our agency has had several staff changes, including our social worker. I am really happy with that change. Our first social worker was nice, but she never had much time for us, we always felt rushed, and we always felt like she was judging us, or like we were inferior. Our new social worker didn't make us feel that way at all! Today was our first time meeting her, and she was super nice.

She took a very brief tour of the house (much less detailed than last time) and then we talked for about an hour. We went over our service plan and made sure nothing had changed, which it hasn't. We even had an opportunity to voice some things we were unhappy with about the agency. She assured us that she would try to keep in contact with us (last year, once we were approved, we didn't hear one word from our agency unless we contacted them). She said they are actually supposed to contact the families once every three months and check in. I told her that we just wanted to know from time to time whether anyone has seen our profiles or not. I certainly don't want her to call me every time someone is looking at us, because that would be disheartening, but our biggest question over the last year was, "has anyone even seen our profile?" So, she is going to try and make that contact with us this year.

Over the last year, we also often questioned where we sat in the stack of profiles. Meaning, were we one of thousands of waiting families? How many families were there? We learned that our agency currently has 46 profiles, including those in Kentucky. That makes me feel better. It's good to know that we're not in a library of profiles just collecting dust. It helps to know the statistics, because now we have a better understanding of what our odds are.

In some ways, I can't believe it's already been a year. In others, it seems like this next year will never pass. I'm dreading Christmas because, once again, we will (more than likely) be without a baby. That's been the hardest part of the holidays for me for the last 4 years. But, we are hoping and praying that this will be the year.