2016 Conklin Beach Week

We're finishing up our beach week with Jordan's family and I finished our video!  We've had a great week of playing on the beach, laughing with one another, chasing kiddos, watching the Olympics and staying up too late.  It's been one of our best weeks yet!  Here's the video to document our week!  (I try to make these videos after any trip we take because I know I'll want my kids to look back on home videos one day!  I wrote a post about how I do them here if you are curious about them!).  I'll be back with beach pictures soon!

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Let's do this! (the beginning of our adoption story)

Yesterday we mailed off our initial application for our adoption!  I could squeal with excitement!  This is something I've longed for.  I've always felt called to adopt, like since before I was married I knew it was something I wanted.  When Jordan and I got married we had a few conversations about adoption but for a few years he didn't feel that same burning desire.  I never wanted to force it on him because I knew that it had to be something we both felt called to instead of a decision he was forced into or even one he "let me win".  So I prayed.  I prayed earnestly that God would place a desire in him for our family to one day bring a baby home.  We didn't spend much, if any, time talking about it for years.  Then we had Crews and Tate.  They were born at 32 weeks so we spent 5 weeks in the NICU.  While we were there a child was in the bed beside Crews who never had a single visitor.  No parent showed up to rock him and feed him.  He would cry and if a nurse was able she would come and comfort him (they did a wonderful job!) but his parents weren't there.  One of the nights we left the NICU Jordan said to me, "We're going to adopt one day.  If we could take him home with Crews and Tate, I'd do it."  I had chills.  I fell in love with the man even more.  His heart is beautiful, y'all.  He is compassionate and emotional and willing to move where the Spirit leads.  I am so grateful.

So, here we are.  Beginning our adoption process.  We've gotten the question from multiple people who love us dearly, "why are you adopting?".  I think the question stems from multiple places.  Yes, the Lord has been gracious to give us biological children.  Yes, it's expensive.  Yes, it's possibly (read: probably) going to be a hard, frustrating road to bringing a baby home.  Yes, there may be new things that we learn to handle that we never would otherwise.  But y'all.  If we are in Christ, we are all adopted.  We have been called sons and daughters of the one, true God.  We have the sweet, precious opportunity to live that out.  To bring a child into our home and love them and raise them and call them one of our own.  It is putting flesh on the Gospel.  Don't hear me say we have it all figured out.  We definitely don't.  It's that God has called us to something and we desperately desire to follow.  

"For in Christ Jesus you are all sons of God, through faith"  - Galatians 3:26

We are excited and hopeful and truly beside ourselves as we start this journey. We'd love to share our experience with you and we'd love for you to pray alongside us.  As we walk through this I'd love to share specific ways you can pray.  So for tonight here are a few:

1.  Please pray for wisdom as we make decisions.  It seems that at every turn there is another big decision to make (country, adoption agency, home study agency, gender, what type of special needs, etc).  We'd love for the Holy Spirit to speak clearly and loudly into each decision.  

"But when he, the Spirit of truth, comes, he will guide you into all the truth. He will not speak on his own; he will speak only what he hears, and he will tell you what is yet to come." - John 16:13

2.  Please pray for smooth paperwork.  After being accepted with our agency we received lots of paperwork, essentially a handbook for the entire process.  One of the initial pages said, welcome to your "paperwork pregnancy".  Please pray that as we work through loads of paperwork that things would go smoothly!

3.  Our last request gives me chills to write.  The reality is that our baby is possibly alive right now.  That in a crib across the world there is a baby that is ours.  Would you join us in praying for protection over him or her?  That they would be cared for well during this time and that God would place a hedge around them.  Hemming him/her in behind and before, and laying His hand upon them (Ps. 139:5).  

"You hem me in behind and before, and you lay your hand upon me" - Psalm 139:5

What a sweet, sweet way for me to end my birthday!  In anticipation of a new babe coming into our family.  If I could choose any way to spend my 30th year it would be like this.  I will keep you posted of our progress as we continue.  We covet your prayers!

(Note:  this post was started last week.  We've since been accepted by our agency and are moving forward with our home study!)


Hi Friends!

How about a random favorite things post for tonight?  I always love hearing other people's favorite things so I thought I'd share some of mine!  These are super random but thought you might enjoy hear about them!

  1. Sleep (Lavender Chamomile) body wash from Bath and Body Works --- Y'ALL.  This stuff is divine.  It.smells.so.good.  They make two Sleep scents but the Lavender Chamomile is definitely my favorite.  Jordan is even obsessed with it!  It's typically $13 but it goes on sale every so often for $5.  I try to stock up then!
  2. Wild and Free by Jess Connolly and Haley Morgan --- I've really enjoyed this book this summer.  It's been a sweet reminder of who we are in Christ and how we can live wild and free because of that.  I'm about to turn 30 in two days (what?!) and I'm declaring this year as my wild and free year.  I want to live not based on other's expectations of me, or out of fear of being not enough, or out of holding back from being wild.  I want to live fully as one created by a Divine Maker, covered by the blood of Jesus, for a purpose. 
  3. Noonday Feather Fringe Earrings --- Speaking of wild and free, I love these giant earrings, even with a t-shirt!  I get a compliment every time I wear them!  And I often also get "whoa, those are some big earrings" but I'm all "you're darn right they are! don't you love them?".  The best part is that the products are providing jobs to artisans in vulnerable communities.  Sustainable gifts are my absolute favorites - typically at a Noonday party I buy a gift or two for someone's upcoming birthday or Christmas and a thing or two for myself.  I've never regretted a single purchase!
  4. Farmers Market Fresh Flowers --- A hidden gem within the Farmers Market?  Fresh flowers!  They have the most unique, beautiful, inexpensive bouquets.  Anytime we drive through Greensboro I insist that we stop by to grab a gorgeous bouquet for $10!  It brings so much joy to our house that it's worth every penny.  Full disclosure:  After six years I realized that Jordan wasn't going to buy me flowers often.  So, I built that into my grocery budget.  Each week I buy myself some flowers for my kitchen table.  Sometimes they're cheap and from Walmart but other weeks they're from Trader Joe's or the Farmers Market.  It's wonderful!
  5. The Happy Hour with Jamie Ivey podcast --- I started listening to podcasts back when Serial became popular.  I wanted to find something else to listen to and started listening to Jamie's podcast and I love it!  I typically skim through the feed and listen to the women or topics that seem interesting to me.  It's the perfect thing to listen to while I'm driving without the kiddos (because when they're in the car we're all jamming to a VeggieTales CD or a VBS CD), folding laundry or taking a shower (I have a fun bluetooth shower speaker!).
  6. Decaf Iced Americano with cream and white mocha --- This is my regular drink when I go to Starbucks!  It's such a fun pick-me-up on a sweltering afternoon!  I think I've mentioned it on my blog before but it's worth mentioning again!  (I typically get it with a little less mocha than normal.  They put 6 pumps in a venti but I only get 4.)
  7. Madam Secretary --- My current Netflix show!  It's playing as I type this.  I love the show (think updated West Wing-ish) and really adore the main family!  Their marriage, their parenting, their house, and definitely her style!  She's turned me into a robe gal.  I feel very Elizabeth McCord anytime I drink my coffee in my robe!


How about y'all?  Any new or old favorite things I should try?