Phone Photo Friday


Pardon me if this is crass, but yes, this is real. Jason and I drove past it a few weeks ago (on Charlotte Pk. in Nashville) and busted out laughing. We had to go back for a photo.

IKEA 2012


Have you looked through the IKEA 2012 catalog yet? I’ve skimmed but I haven’t had a chance to give it a thorough inspection yet. (I do that when I get the paper copy.) If you have, are you excited about any of the new products? I was intrigued and challenged by the Small Spaces video series.

I noticed that our SOMNAT crib went down $20 in price.

I’d love to have this poster…

Other than that nothing jumped out at me but I really enjoy browsing through the catalog every year. In several places IKEA succeeded in making these spaces look real and lived in. I love this. It’s a nice change from staged, perfect catalog images.

Flying, Party Time, Laundry



I hate reading the “I’m too busy to write a blog post” posts. If you do too, please come back later.

Last weekend Ladybug and I took a big trip up to Philadelphia for my sister’s baby shower. It was a big family cookout style baby shower so we got to visit with a bunch of family and friends. Ladybug did really well with all of the new environments and people. Even flying went pretty smoothly, all except for 1 hour out of the 7-ish we were on planes over the weekend. Our return flight on Sunday night got cancelled so we returned late Monday night. It was so good to see Jason after 4 days away.

After missing more work than I had planned and not having any weekend to get work done at home, I opted to do 3 loads of laundry, clean out the fridge, do dishes, etc. instead of blog yesterday. I’ll be back in the groove soon.

You say tomato, I say t’mater.


Did you know tomatoes are the state fruit of Tennessee? They grow wonderfully here. Our peach tree was a big disappointment (again) this year. They all rotted. Our black raspberries and (tiny) strawberries earlier this summer were delicious but this time of the year, it’s all about the tomato. Our area of town even has an annual Tomato Art Festival, which we missed because we were out of town. (Post from 2009.) Bummer.

Between Jason’s tour schedule and our new foster parenting adventure, we kept our garden small this year. We had originally planned on adding two more 4’x8′ beds. I’m very glad we decided to wait until next year for that! We have two tomato plants on one end and strawberry plants on the other. We also had romaine lettuce and arugula before it got too hot.

Incidentally, Tennessee’s state bird, the mockingbird, loves to eat the state fruit. Darn birds. There are still plenty of cherry tomatoes to go around though. And very soon (we started them late) we’ll have ripe beef steak tomatoes. Yum!

Phone Photo Friday


Splashing in puddles on the patio chairs.

Please pray for us today… it’s an important day. Thanks!

Gifts for New Foster Parents


Let me make it clear: THIS IS NOT A PLEA FOR GIFTS!

(The baby doll and stroller was a gift from my parents.)

Today marks 2 weeks that Jason and I have been foster parents. I mean, technically I guess it’s been longer since we’ve been certified, but it’s been 2 weeks since we welcomed our first placement into our home, our precious little Ladybug. That means we’ve survived our first 2 weeks of parenthood. Yay! A lot of people asked us right away what we needed and how they could help. We were in a whirlwind of exhaustion…physical from carrying around a big toddler, but more so mental and emotional exhaustion. All we really wanted was a nap and people were offering us play dates and toys and clothes. We initially turned down offers for clothing (and toys and play dates) because we weren’t sure if L would be with us longer than a week. What we really wished someone would have offered was to bring us a meal or to come and sit with Ladybug for an hour so we could clean the house or run to the grocery store—things that we would have done before her arrival had we known when it would be. Thankfully, a few people said “Let me know if you need anything!” And I sheepishly responded, “Could you bring us a meal?” We were so drained at first, all I could muster the strength to make was pasta for several days in a row. Thankfully, two friends brought us 2 meals each, which really turned out to be enough food to get us through a week. Praise the Lord! After we found out we’d have L at least several weeks, I started accepting offers for clothing and toys since she really didn’t come with much of anything. So with my limited experience, here is my list of suggested gifts for new foster parents, should you happen upon some in your circle of friends:

• meals! Have I made this point clear already? Gift certificates for take out or pizza would be nice ideas too

• a date night. My parents offered to babysit one night after we put little Ladybug to bed, around 8pm. My mama said, “The best thing you can do for your child is love your spouse.” We went out for dinner and then went clothes shopping for her.

• toys. Ask the parents what they need or want though, because some kids might come with a lot of things or the parents might already have a big collection. Kids music, DVDs, book, games, Target and gift cards, are all great ideas.

• clothing. This is a sticky one. Some kids come with a lot of clothing. Ours came with a random hodge podge of items with hardly any matching outfits, some of it 2 sizes too small, some of it a size too big, no pajamas, no socks, no long pants. If it had only been for a week, we would have been fine. However, once we knew we had more time with her, we definitely needed some more items. (With toys and clothing keep in mind that anything you buy for the child, belongs to the child.)

• gift certificates for photography or getting prints made (Snapfish, Kodak, etc.) to capture and keep memories for the parents and for the kids to take with them

• offer to babysit, even if it’s just for an hour or two while the kid is napping. Figuring out when to clean the house, mow the lawn, etc. can be challenging for new parents.

• space. Visits with close friends and family were great but bonding, building attachments and trust with new parents take a lot of time. Meeting tons of new people can be really overwhelming for a child. For children who haven’t learned healthy attachment with adults, meeting a new adult that is instantly kissing you and telling you he or she loves you is not teaching the child healthy, normal relationship boundaries.

After writing this post, I realized I actually wrote about this before… from the other side of the fence. No contradictions but there is are also some ideas for gifts before the first child arrives.

Thank you, Ohdeedoh!


I failed to mention it here last week (crazy week, you know?) but last Monday—4 days after Ladybug arrived—Ohdeedoh ran a very kind interview with me and a tour of our kids’ room. I’m honored that they would choose to share our story with their readers. Also thank you and welcome to all of you who have been stopping by here after reading about us on Ohdeedoh! I hope you’ll stick around and share in this exciting new journey with us.