Family

An Answered Prayer

Brothers

I literally have chills on my arms and tears in my eyes as I write this blog post. A family is finally united. What a blessing. What a journey. What an answer to prayer! Our friends who have so patiently waited for a year and a half for their boy finally have him in their arms right here in the U.S.A. (For the background on this situation, please read my original post here.)

At times on the journey, especially in the past nine months, doubt seemed to be stronger than hope.  Darkness seemed to be hiding the light.  Pessimism reared its ugly head and threatened to snuff out trust.  (Really, isn’t every good work of literature set up that way?)  Deep down in my heart, I know that the Lord is in control and that He can be trusted, but my momma’s heart just broke for a friend who couldn’t hold her baby boy and have her family all together at home.   (more…)

For Jephte

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Friends, I need your help.  My friends in San Francisco (pictured above) adopted a beautiful boy from the Congo, Miles Jephte (pictured above with them.) They have been awaiting his homecoming to live with them for a long time.  Miles’ mother is a genuine, loving and fun woman and his father is an anesthesiologist who exudes humility and capability at the same time, which is not terribly common.  Their adoption was finalized in December of 2012. The US government granted Miles a visa in September 2013.  Soon after, his parents flew to the Congo to pick up their son.  After two weeks of waiting and bureaucracy, Miles’ dad returned home to his job and their ten month old son at home.  In an act of bravery and displaying the selfless tenacity that is unique to parents in desperate situations, his mother stayed in the Congo, hoping that the daily promises of the Congolese government that the paperwork would be completed “tomorrow” and “this week” would ring true.

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Our Rodeo Adventure

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Yesterday, we finally fulfilled our promise to our boys to take them to the Houston Livestock Show & Rodeo.  Bean has been dying to go since Go Texan Day and since a “real cowboy” visited his preschool. Both of the boys looked absolutely precious in their jeans and boots and Bean looked extra cute in his hat.

First, we stopped by the Mutton Bustin’ tent.  I seriously love this “sport.”  It’s so cute.  Little kids (around five years old) come out riding a sheep and try and hold on for eight seconds, like the bull riders do.  It is absolutely adorable.  One kid we saw absolutely would not let go.  That sweet boy held on to the side of that sheep as it ran for so long – it was really impressive.  What a little rock star!   (more…)

It’s (Almost) Rodeo Time!

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Well, it’s almost here.  Rodeo is just about everyone’s favorite time in Houston.  For nearly a month each year, Houston takes on the persona that the rest of the country assumes about Texas most of the time.  Having grown up here, I assure you that I’ve been asked more than once when traveling whether or not I own an oil derrick or rode a horse to school.  Thank you, Dallas.  (The TV show, not the city.) Once, while traveling in Indonesia, someone even asked me if I knew J.R. Ewing.  (I didn’t.)  But, once a year, the fourth largest city in the U.S. goes back to its Texas roots – and its a LOT of fun! (more…)

Valentine’s Day Cards

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On Monday, I received an email from my son’s preschool.  They are having a Valentine exchange on Friday and we’re supposed to send cards for each of the kids in his class if we want to participate.  (Of course we do!)  It is our first year of school, so although most parents might have seen this coming, I didn’t.  Luckily, I’ve been on Pinterest a lot lately and had seen a few cute things pop up on there that caught my eye.  I honestly love little projects like this because it reminds me to be creative with my sons.  Its all too easy to get caught up in the mundane parts of life and when we can throw in a little art and creativity and a fun project together, it reminds me to stop and savor these sweet moments together – and to be a more fun mama! (more…)

Valentine’s Day Art Project

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Over the weekend, the boys and I decided to take on a little Valentine’s Day project for their grandmothers.  I thought that it would be fun to give them a little piece of original artwork this year.  My little bug is all about the art these days, thanks to his wonderful preschool and was really excited to paint something.  I hit the craft store earlier this week and bought a few canvases and some inexpensive acrylic paint and brushes.  For the project, I put a sticker down on the canvas, to keep that portion white and then let the boys go to town with their paint brushes all over the canvas.  After letting them dry, I carefully peeled off the sticker and, voila – heart art!

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My Favorite Things of 2013: Kenya Edition!

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The following is a guest blog post written by a friend of mine (and fellow English major) from college, Manya Andrews Dotson.  Manya now lives in Africa with her husband and daughters, who are pictured above.  She has an interesting life and an even more interesting perspective.  And today, she is sharing with us her very favorite things of 2013 – the Kenya edition!  I’ve already tried several of the things in her post (the Clinique primer, the Dior mascara and serum and the Urban Decay eye shadow palette) and I have to say, I’m hooked.  Can’t wait to try the rest of these… (more…)

Hot Chocolate at the Houstonian

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Tonight, the fam packed up and headed to The Houstonian hotel for some hot chocolate by their giant fireplace.  They have huge gingerbread houses surrounding the top of it with a train that drives around them, so we knew that would be a huge hit with the boys.  (We weren’t mistaken on that one.)   It was so much fun to sit by a roaring fire, sipping on hot chocolate, while the boys ran around and marveled at the train.  The Houstonian’s decorations are absolutely stunning and put us all in the holiday spirit, for sure. (more…)

Muir Woods

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California is famous for its redwood trees.  Until you’ve experienced them in person, however, you cannot fully appreciate how incredible they really are.  This Summer, as part of our Summer of Fun adventure, hubs and I had a date day and went hiking in Muir Woods.  Muir Woods is located near Mt. Tam in Marin County, just on the other side of the Golden Gate Bridge from the city.  The national park offers absolutely stunning views and is a gorgeous hike.  The Main Trail in the park is pretty easy and is generally pretty packed with tourists and cameras.  It is a really amazing place where you can soak up nature’s peacefulness and beauty. (more…)

Houston Zoo Lights

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On Friday night, we packed up the fam in warm clothes and a little rain gear and met some dear friends at the Houston Zoo for their holiday Zoo Lights event.  Each evening through January 4th (except December 24th and 25th) from 6pm to 10pm, the Zoo opens up to show off the 1 million holiday lights they’ve put up all over the grounds.  You can grab a cup of hot chocolate and wander through the old oak trees in the zoo, listening to holiday music and checking out the beautiful light displays.  There’s even a cool map to guide you through, with descriptions and photos on the Houston Zoo app, which I downloaded on iTunes for free before we went.  Tickets are $10 in advance or $12 at the door and kids under two are free.  There are food and snacks throughout the zoo as well. (more…)