Beijing

We just spent two days seeing many of the sights around Bejing and it’s been spectacular! Our adoption agency recommends spending a few days at the beginning of our trip getting acclimated to the time change and spending time learning more about the country and culture before we meet our little guy. While it’s hard waiting to meet him, it’s been really worthwhile taking the time to get adjusted. We have a wonderful guide named Tom who has shown us and the others from our group the sights.

First up, the Great Wall. I mean. You just can’t top that.china3 china4

Avery was so adventurous and wanted to keep climbing and climbing! Meanwhile, her old parents got pretty worn out! All those steep steps are no joke.china5 china6 china7 china9 china10 china11We found out that Avery apparently is a rock star in China. SO MANY PEOPLE asked to take pictures with her. It was pretty funny, and she took it really well.
china12 china13 Her aunt Andrea gave her a sketch book to take along on the trip, and she has been drawing everything that she’s seen. china14 On day two we visited Tiananmen Square, which is enormous and was full of people.China20china2 china8Lots of people asked to get pictures with Avery here. The Chinese people we’ve been with have been really friendly and welcoming.
china21Someone even wanted a picture with hubs! Ha!china22 We saw the site of the 2008 Bejing summer Olympics. Like everything in China, it was a massive and spectacular setting.china16 china15 China17 We’ve eaten some really good food in China! Avery has mastered the chopsticks and I’m so proud of how adventurous she has been. The only thing she is afraid to eat is chicken feet. Her mom tends to agree with her on this.

china18Today we take a train to the Henan Province, then TOMORROW we meet our little boy! So many adventures await us!!

We are here!

After about 30 hours of traveling, we have safely arrived in Beijing! I’m thankful that part is behind us, but it also makes me nervous about the trip home! I’m determined, though, to focus on one day at a time and to enjoy each moment.

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We are still in shock that we are actually HERE. At this place. And so close to meeting our little boy. I can’t even explain the feeling.

The next two days will be spent sightseeing Beijing with other families who are in our group from our adoption agency. There are twelve families who are traveling together to bring home our kids. It was so special to meet a few of them today and exchange stories and photos of our kids!

After Beijing, we will take a train to the Henan Province, which is where our little guy is from. And on Monday he will be in our arms!  For the rest of the trip he will be staying with us as we fly to the US consulate in southern China to process his visa. The total length of our trip is 15 days.

I’ll share more about our trip in the upcoming days! It’s time for a good night’s rest and trying to fight jet lag!

His Grace is enough

Five more days until we board a plane for China and return with one more passenger. People ask me how I’m doing, and I honestly don’t know. It’s SO CLOSE now and feels something like an out-of-body experience. I keep working. I slowly pack our bags. Run to the store to get one more thing that I forgot last time. Make lists. Cross things off the lists. Read to my kids. Watch mindless TV. Gather the important documents we need to take. Do another load of laundry.

But my heart isn’t here.

IMG_0777I have moments of fear, anxiety about the future, excitement, wondering how our lives will change. We have a very realistic view of adoption. It will be HARD. There will be trauma. We will be taking our little boy away from everything that he knows and is familiar with, so it’s not going to be an easy transition. We know this and are trying to be as prepared as possible.

We also feel like he is already part of our family, and we love him with all of our hearts. Whatever the transition looks like, we will be there for him. The kids are so excited to have a new brother that they have been hearing about for two years. They are getting impatient, and I’m not sure that they believe it’s actually going to happen.

I am tightly holding on to God’s promises. This verse was on my mind first thing this morning:

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We know that God led on us this adoption path, and he goes before us, urging us not to fear and to TRUST in Him. His Grace will be enough.

Handmade Pillows

At the beginning of this week, I was feeling overwhelmed and inadequate and like there weren’t enough hours in the day to get done what I needed to get done. So what did I do? I sewed some meaningless pillows. Because creating and crafting are my outlets and are vitally important to me. Even if it seems frivolous, it is necessary in my world.

I’m sure there are a few people out there who understand my weirdness. Hopefully.

Pillows are so easy and a fun way to spice up a space with very little effort. I created this simple polka dot pillow for our bed out of plain white fabric, then added the dots with a paint brush and gold fabric paint. No measuring, no fuss. You could add dots to a pre-made pillow sham as well to cut out the sewing process.
pillow5 pillow7 pillow6 I also made a few throw pillows for the family room out of this fun, bright fabric. I needed some Spring in the space. I bought the fabric at a local fabric outlet for super cheap.pillow1 pillow2And here are a few other handmade pillows I’ve made…pillow3pillow4Go make yourself some new pillows to celebrate the arrival of Spring!

An Adoption Update {and some really pretty necklaces}

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We found out over the weekend that we will be leaving for China in TWO WEEKS!!! We weren’t expecting to leave until at least April and were prepared for an even longer wait, so we were very surprised!

Now we are in the middle of last-minute preparations, lots of to-do lists being checked off, and trying to make the most of our time before we leave.

Our itinerary when we arrive in China will include three days of sightseeing in Beijing, then we’ll fly to the Henan Province where our little boy is from and we’ll finally get to meet him! We need to stay in his province for several days as the adoption is finalized, then we fly to southern China where the US consulate is located to go through his visa process. Our little guy will stay with us the entire time. The trip will take about two weeks, and Avery will be going along with us while the younger two will stay home with family and friends.

There are so many emotions I’m feeling right now. Honestly, it feels so surreal and like I’m just going through the motions at this point. The process has taken about two years, and I can’t believe that we are actually at the point where we’ll bring out little boy home. Unreal.

We have been blessed with SO MANY people who have supported us along the way, and one of those people is my friend Wanda. You’ve seen her work on my blog before, but she has an Etsy shop where she sells jewelry, and we’ve collaborated on a few pieces.

Her latest watercolor world necklaces are my absolute favorite, and she is generously blessing us with 50% of the proceeds to go toward our adoption expenses! If you can believe it, these necklaces are even more beautiful in person!

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Watercolor African Globe Necklace

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Watercolor North & South America Globe Necklace

necklace asia 1Watercolor Asia & Australia Globe Necklace

The necklaces are available in silver or antique bronze and you can find them in her shop here.

I’ll keep you updated as we prepare to leave! I’m planning on keeping the blog updated as we travel, so you’ll know how things are going!

Catching Up

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We are in the midst of a deep freeze and I am dreaming (DREAMING, I tell you) of warmer days and bare feet and green grass. It’s been so long that it almost seems impossible. I saw a picture of someone in Maui on Instagram and I’m all, how it is possible that somewhere in the world it is WARM, and they are wearing swimsuits. I mean. Meanwhile, I am bundled up with layers + blankets + children and I’m STILL cold.

Ok, rant over.

IMG_0522 I went fabric shopping last week and remembered how much I love it. It is seriously inspiring. All the colors and patterns. LOVE. I bought some boring white fabric to make some pillows for the bedroom that I’m planning on embellishing with gold metallic fabric paint. It sounds cool. Hopefully it will turn out the way I’m picturing it in my head.

IMG_0477 This weekend I baked a pretty awesome cake. I am a chocolate girl all the way, and this was perfection. Find the recipe here. Want to see more recipes that I’ve tried and loved?  Follow my Pinterest board.IMG_0492 I baked the cake for a wine and cheese party thrown by some friends. The spread was heavenly and tasted amazing.

IMG_0502I’ve been nesting like crazy, which means the house is getting ORGANIZED. I tore the studio apart last week and put it back together (my favorite thing to do), and got rid of a bunch of things in the attic. It doesn’t look quite as scary up there anymore.

We are still likely going to be traveling to China in April to bring our little boy home, but we won’t find out exact dates for a few more weeks when we get our travel invitation from China. This mama is getting antsy. It will be so nice when we know the dates and have a more definite timeline! Until then, we are getting prepared and praying hard for our sweet little guy!

World Market Map

Are you one of those people who puts something on your walls and keeps it up for ten years? If you are, then I am the opposite of you.

I wrote about the oversized diary artwork a few weeks ago and have already changed up the wall in my family room. What is my problem? It’s like I don’t have anything else to do.
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But really, when someone gives you a map of France as a gift, you are going to find a place to hang it in the most prominent spot in your house BECAUSE YOU LOVE IT SO MUCH. Or is it just me?

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I’m not sure what it is about maps that gets me all excited. I just love them. It reminds me of travel, adventure, memories and possibilities.

map5My sister-in-law Heather gave me this map for Christmas, and it’s from World Market. I tried to find it online, but it wasn’t available. Maybe it’s still available in their stores though?

It’s the weekend! I hope wherever you are is warmer than where I am. It’s currently a balmy 5 degrees. For the love.