Friday, November 17, 2017

Friday Favorites

Happy FRIDAY, Friends!

The kiddos and I are packing the car this morning and heading north for a ROAD TRIP!  Yes, the kiddos and me.  Tab is headed to a football game and I'll be doing my best to answer the world's most popular road trip question, "ARE WE THERE YET?".  :)

Andrea, Narci, and I are hosting Friday Favorites.  We invite you to join us each Friday by sharing your faves and adding your blog to the link-up.

My faves are gonna be short and sweet this week because yesterday I was doing all the laundry and all the packing.

If you have an extra hour ANYTIME over the next week I strongly encourage you to listen to this testimony.  Missy is a sweet wife and mom who goes to our church.  She has three boys...two here on earth and one in heaven.  Her and her husband lost their first son when he was just eighteen months.  Missy and her husband, Chad, are amazing examples of trusting God in everything.  I promise you-you will be encouraged by her story.  I'm also gonna promise that you'll cry-grab the tissues-but you'll see the hope Missy and her family has.  The hope that can only come from Jesus.


 Saturday night, Shay and I were both solo with kiddos so I invited her crew over to join us for pizza in our pajamas.  I bought this turkey tablecloth at Big Lots back in the summer and pulled it out for the littles to color.

This girl went to town coloring up a storm!


While we were eating pizza in our pajamas, the boys were doing this...OU versus TCU in Oklahoma.

Tab had the game and he invited the Shull guys to join them.

My parents joined in the fun too!

It looks like they're enjoying themselves.  Doesn't it?

I was in my warm bed by 10:00 p.m.  I'm thinking the moms were winning.  ;)  haha!


Remember I mentioned the Play by Sephora box?  It ships monthly and has a variety of samples inside.  My first box arrived and this was inside...I was pumped about EVERY SINGLE SAMPLE!


This week was back to normal for us...Bowen went to preschool and we headed back to the gym.  When you take a two week break it is a STRUGGLE when you're back in class.  My class on Wednesday was so tough!  I went to grab Britt from child care and Madeley said, "Ya-Ya, I go."  {She calls me "Ya-Ya".}  HOW could I refuse that??!!  Right?!  So I took these two cuties to the cafe, got them chocolate milk, got myself a protein shake, and we vegged out until Shay arrived.  


I hope you guys have a great weekend!  

Thanks for stopping by today!


Thursday, November 16, 2017

Adoption Month

Friends, we're talking about something super near and dear to my heart...adoption

November is a big month in the adoption's Adoption Awareness Month.  And Orphan Sunday is in there as well-this year it was November 12th.

Shay and I decided we wanted to be apart of bringing awareness to the adoption world as well.  And therefore these blog posts were born.  :)  Be sure to check out Shay's post where she's answering some of her most asked questions about adoption.

It's no secret.  I've shared before {and share ALL THE TIME} about how emotional post-adoption Erika is.  Adoption has changed me.  A pastor in our church adopted a couple years ago and spoke last year on Orphan Sunday.  It was amazing {you can watch it here}.  He kept saying that adoption had wrecked him.  I didn't understand then what he meant, but now I get it.  I'm so crazy emotional about this.  The thought of all those babies {babies just like Britt, Madeley, Ashby, Willow, Quinn, Collins, and Nella} spending countless days in an orphanage with no one to hug them in the morning, no one to snuggle them when they're not feeling well, and no one to sing them, "Jesus Loves Me" at the end of the night-just wrecks me.  I'm heartbroken for those children.

I just shared recently how shocked I was at the way the love of a family can change a child.  I had no idea.  When we came home with Britt, she was not making many sounds and she was sitting {scooting a little}.  She was very delayed compared to our American born into a family children.  We began therapy in August and it's been amazing for her.  But to be honest, I think she would have been fine without the therapy.  {I wanted to do everything we could to get her caught up as soon as possible so we'll continue it until she doesn't need it anymore.}  The love of a family has changed that girl in so many ways.  For one, she tries her hardest to keep up with the other kiddos.  She doesn't see anyone else scooting around so she doesn't want to be scooting either.  Now she does something as simple as put a block back in the basket and throws her hands up like TA-DA!  And you know why she does that now?  Because we all cheer and we praise her for cleaning up.  Do you think anyone was cheering for her in that orphanage?  I sure hope they were, but odds are-NO.  She has her people now.  In the middle of the night, if she wakes up she doesn't need milk or a snack, she needs her mama to hold her. She needs to be comforted by me.  The love of a family can work wonders in these kids' lives.  We're experiencing it first hand.  It's simply amazing.

This child pictured above is a completely different child than this one...

All because the love of a family {and on this particular night a bit of Halloween candy}.

This year on Orphan Sunday we had a guest speaker who was very well-versed in fostering.  He and his wife have fostered to adopt many children.  {you can watch it here.} Maybe God isn't calling you to go across the world to adopt, but maybe you have an extra bedroom and an extra seat in your car?  Maybe God's calling you to open your home to a child in your area that needs the love of a family.

You must listen to this song.  Maybe grab some tissues first and then listen. ;)

I realize God calls us all to different things.  Maybe God isn't calling you to adopt or foster, but maybe the way you're meant to help is by giving?  There are tons of places out there for you to donate to help these precious kiddos.  First of all, do you know anyone who's in the midst of adoption?  If so, I'd recommend praying about donating money to a particular family.  I just talked to a lady last week who told me when they started the process they had no clue where all the money would come from, but they were trusting God.  She told me that every time money was due, God bonuses from work, by friends randomly donating money, etc.  God will provide, but he might be using YOU to make that happen.  Or...have you heard of  the Morning Star Foundation?  Morning Star's mission is to help needy and abandoned children with severe heart disease in China and Uganda.  I've been following Meredith via Instagram for a couple years now and this past summer Shay and I got to meet up with her for coffee.  {She's just as amazing in real life as she is on social media.}  Meredith manages the Morning Star foster home in China for kiddos with complex heart disease.  When we chatted with her, her love for Jesus AND those kiddos shone right through.  Morning Star accepts donations and all the money goes directly to help the children in their care.

What is God calling YOU to do?  Maybe he's calling YOUR family to adopt?  Maybe he's calling YOU to open your home to a foster child?  Or maybe he's calling YOU to give?  My hope today is that you'll begin praying about what God is calling you to do.  Please know I'm praying for you today.

If you've adopted, are in the process of adopting, or are fostering, I'd love for you to comment with your child's name.  We'd love to be praying for these precious kiddos today {and you as well}.

And if you want to learn more about adoption, you can read through our story...

Adoption Questions Answered...

Post Adoption Updates...

Thank you so much for reading today!

Wednesday, November 15, 2017

What I Wore Wednesday

Hey, Hey Friends!  Happy Hump Day!

We're back to our regularly scheduled things this week...gym, school, etc. and this mama is so very thankful!  We all need to get out of the house for a bit.  I learned that last week. :)

It's been a while since I've shared a, "What I Wore Wednesday" post so I'm doing it today.  These are random outfits that have happened lately over here...

This outfit was super simple, comfy, and a little extra fun.  I mean I was wearing an alpaca on my sweater!  Ebby Lee started calling me, "Llama Mama", the day I wore this and it stuck.  ha!  The alpaca sweater, plaid top, and jeans...made the perfect fall outfit.

I've shared this before but am still loving this coat!  I sized down one.

I'm loving the oversize sweater look this season.  Especially when you pair it with skinny jeans-it balances perfectly!  This sweater is a GREAT price from Target.  I sized up to a large.  I'd normally wear a small but I wanted this to be extra cozy.  I love the way it fits.  And these are my slippers.

I got this top last year from Free People and I just noticed it's back in stock.  I didn't size down but I highly recommend doing that.  Because of the colors, this top can be worn all year long.

I just stumbled upon this top at H and M.  {For some reason if I use the ampershand symbol it does not appear correctly when I post so I'm using the word AND.}  I feel like H and M has been all over my social media so I gave them a good look last week.  I ordered a medium in this top to ensure it was a little bigger.  I prefer a bigger sweatshirt.  It's just a screen printed leopard pattern but it was cute.  And oh my goodness!  I didn't realize until I went to link this for you that it's a MEN'S SWEATSHIRT!?  That would make sense.  I thought it fit a little bigger than a medium.  Keep that in mind if you're interested.
Remember this coat I mentioned getting for Britt?  I told you I'd keep you posted's going back.  You know how faux fur looks after you wash it?  It's kind of matted looking and just never the same?  I thought that's how this coat looked when it arrived.  Not my favorite.  :(

I ordered this ruffle top back during the Anniversary Sale so it's all sold out.  This is a similar option by the same brand.  My jeans are a bit higher waisted (and 33% off!!) and then my house shoes because REAL LIFE!  ;)

Another look because the lighting was all wrong when I took these pictures.  :)

That's it for today!  Hope you guys have a great Wednesday!  XO