Monday, April 29, 2013

Since you're pregnant with a boy...

Since Lee and I found out that I am pregnant with another boy, we have been getting lots of questions. If you have asked any of these questions, please do not think they offend me :) I think they are completely appropriate and I understand the reasoning behind them.
But for those of you who have not seen me face-to-face, I decided to answer some of these common questions in a blog post.

1) Since you already have one son and are pregnant with another, why don't you just adopt a girl? Can you switch your gender request in adoption? 
           Yes, you can switch your gender request. However, Lee and I feel strongly that when God first called us to adopt, He was specific about the gender being a boy. That was in 2010. Now 3 years later, God has blessed us with 2 biological sons. God knew in 2010 what our future looked like - including a house full of boy. Yet, He still called us to adopt a boy. So for us - we will continue along that path until He changes it.
I must insert here that this isn't the case for all families. I know plenty of people who switch their gender request for various reasons, and I think it is completely appropriate for each individual situation.

2) Will you have more children? I love this question. My answer is always the same. TODAY, Lee and I both agree that we will have more children. HOWEVER, we only have ONE child at home right now. So ask me again when I have THREE little boys running around and you might get a more accurate answer :)

3) Are you going to name your next child with a name that begins with "M?" 
    Highly unlikely. The whole "M" thing was a complete coincidence. I did not intend for all my kids names to start with the same letter, so this little man's name will probably not start with "M."

4) What are you going to name your son? We actually DO have a name in mind, but are kind of waiting until we are 100% certain before we announce. YES, we are going to tell the name before he is born :)

We are busy doing final preparations for our garage sale THIS SATURDAY!
Please, please keep us in your prayers. Pray specifically that above all else, God's name will be glorified. It's easy to lose focus in all the busyness.

Happy Monday!

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Around the house

Random blog tonight.

Just some different things we've been doing around the house today.
I am constantly working hard to try and figure out ways to save money or make our household function more efficiently.
There are TONS of amazing blogs by moms who are much wiser than me when it comes to running a household and saving money. So I do what any rookie wife/mom would do - I copy them :)) is where I got the following PB & J idea.

So around our house today we focused on lunches for the next 2 weeks. Work lunches that is.
Now, I can't tell you penny for penny how much we will save because that wasn't technically the goal.
The goal is to make lunches easier to fix in the mornings (during crunch time) because if we don't feel like dealing with the hassle, we usually just say "oh well, I will just buy something at work."

So. We made PB&J sandwiches, placed them in freezer bags, and popped them into the freezer. I did this last week and it worked beautifully. You just pull them out of the freezer in the morning, put them in your lunch box and they are easily thawed out by lunch.
Hassle of making sandwiches = eliminated.

We also went ahead and placed chips, fruit, and things such as trail mix into snack size ziplock bags.
Hassle of side items = eliminated.

The next thing I did today was make homemade sugar cookies for the first time!
Why? Because I need to learn how! I'm going to have 3 hungry boys in my home who will want to make cookies and I gotta head up the project :))

Thanks cousin Jill for teaching me the family recipe!

Homemade icing! Miller and I liked it. Lee says it could use some tweaking :))

Fish and dinosaurs were the cutouts of choice today!

"slapping" on the icing :))
We kept it white today.
Sorry if the sloppiness makes you OCD people cringe.

Cookies = success.

Thanks for joining my randomness.

Oh and feel free to share blogs you love that focus on saving money and home management. Im a fan.

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Baby Blackburn Is A....

I went to the doctor for my monthly check-up yesterday.
The baby looked great! I even got an unexpected sonogram secondary to my doc checking my fluid levels (which were good!)
I am 17 weeks pregnant so she knew she would be able to tell me the gender.
Lee wasn't with me so I asked her to please not show me the gender, but to instead write it down and place it in a "sealed" envelope. She did a great job.
We had around 10 minutes to just look at the baby while we waited on my doctor.
So Fun! Here's a pic.

That sweet little child is growing!!

We had planned to do a "reveal party" but since this sono wasn't scheduled, our plans were altered.
Seriously. Once she handed me that envelope... I was completely anxious. I couldn't have waited another day! But I did wait until Lee got off work!!
So we called our family that lives in town and invited them over.
We had an impromtu gender reveal last night.

I ran by Wal-Mart to grab something sweet and was blessed by the bakery ladies saying "oh hunny, we will make you some cupcakes right now!"
P.S. They informed me that Wal-Mart gives free sugar cookies daily to kids.
Miller L.O.V.E.D his cookie.
Check with your wal-mart! They may give cookies too!
Oh and these cupcakes were economical and delicious!!

My sweet friend, Alicia, took the envelope and filled some boxes with balloons for us!
We had to have 2 boxes because our boxes were sort of small :)

Pink or Blue Balloons?!?

Family pic before we opened the boxes!
Lee wore pink because he thought "girl."
I wore blue for "boy."
Miller was just big brother :)
P.S. I was like the ONLY person guessing boy.
We were so anxious!! The suspense was c.r.a.z.y.

Opening the Boxes!
This picture captures mine and Lee's reaction to seeing what color the balloons were.
Both boxes were open and we could see down in the box, but the balloons hadn't flown up yet :)
Miller is like "what in the world??"

A son! 
Feeling very blessed :) and maybe a tiny bit overwhelmed at the thought of 3 BOYS!!! 

The impromptu party was a success and a lot of fun! 
We spent the rest of the night eating cupcakes, watching Miller run wild, and texting/emailing the video to our family/friends (fighting cellphone technical issues!)

Big Brother enjoying a BLUE cupcake!

Baby Boy's first gifts! Thanks Alicia and Kelli!

Thankful to have a growing family!! 

I am officially a "boy mom." 

Sunday, April 7, 2013

Church Flashback

I'm not real sure what sparked the memory. I have had this memory time and time again during worship at church. It's a memory that almost makes me weep every time. It's simple, but looking back it was such a powerful moment. 
Maybe it was a declaration made in one of the songs. 
Maybe it was Chip referring to Galations 1:10 which reads:
"Am I now trying to win the approval of human beings, or of God? Or am I trying to please people? If I were still trying to please people, I would not be a servant of Christ." 
Whatever it was that sparked the memory, I am thankful for! 
Worship flowed more freely and my heart declared "Thank You!" 

I share so much on this blog. However, you must know that I only share about 25% of what is going on and what has happened in our lives since we committed to adopt. So many things are held dear to us and treasured by us, and ultimately kept secret by us. 

But this morning I felt the desire to release a small, sweet moment that happened over 2 years ago. 
My memory in church this morning. 

Our church had finished up a sermon series called "Outlive." At the end of the series they asked everyone to pray about 3 different things. Growing (studying), Giving, and Going (Missions). They asked people that if God led them would they commit to those 3 things over the course of the next 2 yrs:
To study the Word like never before
To give more than you had ever given
To go on some sort of mission trip
(notice "adoption" was not listed) 

So Lee and I had entered into covenant with God in each of the above areas. We listed our "specifications" in the blanks and we were filling out 2 different cards. We had talked before we came about missions and tithes so I knew what to put. Studying was an individual thing for us. 
But on the card, there was no where for "adoption." 
Since Lee and I had been called to adopt MONTHS before this day, I felt convicted that morning to officially enter covenant with the Lord on this. 
So at the top of my page I just jotted down "I commit to adopt." I didn't mention it to Lee at that moment. I knew we were on the same page in the adoption area. 

When we got in the car after church, we were navigating through traffic and not talking much. Then Lee looked at me and said, "I didn't tell you this during church, but I wrote on my card that I commit to adopt even though there wasn't a place for that." 

My heart leaped. I sat silent for a moment. 

"I put it on my card too."

Lee smiled. God made SURE that we were on the same page and we didn't even have to discuss "putting it on the card." 

I must insert here that a covenant is a binding agreement. Irreversible. And must not be broken. It is serious people.

VERY few people knew about our decision to adopt. Like a hand full of prayer warriors. We had kept this decision TOP SECRET for several reasons!

The next week I attended church alone because Lee was working. I was VERY pregnant with Miller and didn't have my wedding ring on because I was so swollen :)
I was late.
I signaled to the usher that I only needed a seat for 1. He took me down to the SECOND row in the VERY CENTER of the sanctuary. If you've ever been to Pinelake Rez, it's pretty big :) 9:30 service.
Chip was preaching, preaching, preaching.
Then all of a sudden he brought up the week before.
He said that to the church's surprise, tons of families had written on their card "we commit to adopt" even though that wasn't an option. He thanked the Lord for the brand new movement in our church.
And then.
He said, "You know what? If you happen to be one of these families that wrote this on your card, would you mind just standing up right where you are right now because we want to pray for you as a church?"
(insert me pregnant and panicking)
"Chip you cannot be serious. Oh my gosh what do I do? No one knows about this. People are sure to see me! I am on the front dang row!!!! I'm pregnant, no ring, and ALONE today. I promise I have a husband. I'm not a weird pregnant girl wanting to adopt. Who will see me? What will they think? Will I be the ONLY person standing in the whole place?"

My legs began shaking. Heart pounding.

I pressed my hands onto the arm rests and lifted my body to standing.

I clasped my hands together and tears began to uncontrollably roll down my cheeks.

It was as if I was standing before the Lord saying, "Here I am. Yes. We will do this."

The church prayed and I was allowed to sit back down :)
I think I cried the remainder of the sermon.
But something washed over me in that moment!
I know.... that in that moment... my Daddy looked down from heaven and said "that's my girl."

And today. The flashback was so sweet. I was once so afraid and didn't know if I could fully trust God in such a big call. A call to please Him instead of people.
A call to go against the social norm.
A call to enter deeper into relationship with Jesus.

Praise God He helped me stand that day! My life has never been the same!

Tuesday, April 2, 2013

"Phone Session"

I wanted to write a quick update on my "phone session" with my Social Worker today. First of all, thank you so much to all of you who checked on and prayed for me today regarding the phone session! It went great! Our Social Worker is so sweet and easy to talk to. The session literally lasted 10 minutes. She basically asked logistical questions such as:
"Has yours or your husband's job changed?"
"Do y'all still live in the same house? Remind me how many rooms it has."
"What are your plans for childcare?"
"Do y'all want to change your age request of a child?"
Etc. Etc.

She was so kind and said,  "I remember you guys and am not concerned that this will impact your adoption, which is why I chose to just do a phone session."
WHEW! Deep breath  by me :))

So what now? She is planning to submit our letter of approval this week and Lee and I have a few forms to complete independently. All of this can be done while we continue to wait. This doesn't impact our "place in line." I will let y'all know when we are officially a concurrent family!

One of the greatest blessings of this entire adoption process has been meeting people I would have never met otherwise. I absolutely love getting encouraging Facebook messages or emails from people who follow my blog. This morning I received an encouraging message from a new fellow adoptive mom! And guess what... she lives in the Reservoir area!! A.N.D. I think she and her husband are Mississippi State fans :))
Can't wait to meet my new friend in person!
Anyway. I shared that to say that I love her T-Shirt fundraiser! I wanted to share with you guys because these T-shirts are so, so cute!

Click HERE to see these precious tshirts!

Happy Tuesday guys!

Monday, April 1, 2013

March Recap and New Number!

Here is our collage for MARCH 2013

We really had a fun-filled month! Starting at the top left corner and going right. 
-- We are #70 for an infant (0-18 months)!! Up 2 spots from last month. 
-- Airport Homecoming for our friends Lee and Jenni Smith with their new son, Moses, from Ethiopia. It was so much fun seeing them get of the plane for the first time holding their new son! 
-- 12 week sonogram picture! Baby Blackburn is getting big!! I will be 15 weeks tomorrow! 
-- We attended a wedding of some sweet friends! 
-- Miller's first trip to the zoo
-- We are #35 for a toddler (18-24 months)! 
-- Miller loved Easter and egg hunting! He rocked it hunting eggs :)) 
-- Miller L.O.V.E.S his little red 4-Wheeler! I purchased it at a consignment shop here in flowood. If it was yours- please know that it has blessed my little boy! Best 15$ ever spent!
-- SHINE 2013 - our small group had the privilege of going and serving with some
Missionaries in downtown Jackson! Too much to write about in this small space :)  
-- And last but not least, our family Easter photo! 

Look at how much my little man has grown since last Easter :(( Time Flies! Yes. I know. Lee and I need a new pose! But the good thing is, we haven't aged too much in a year :)

Two quick adoption updates:

1) Please remember our garage sale when you are spring cleaning! We are accepting donations now!! And please pray for the Lord's hand of blessing over our fundraising attempts.

2) Our social worker emailed me today and said that she has chosen to complete a "phone session" with me instead of doing an "in home visit" for our concurrent adoption. Concurrent adoption is the process of continuing with adoption while growing your family via pregnancy or another adoption. Anyway. Our social worker has to submit a letter of approval to our agency, basically saying that she feels it is okay for us to proceed with adoption despite the fact that I have become pregnant. So please pray that my "phone session" with her goes well tomorrow and that she can quickly submit a letter of approval for our adoption process.