Monday, March 30, 2015

March Madness In More Ways Than One!

March has been so busy, but it has ended so exciting and with answered prayer!!!

To find out more of what I mean, I invite you to hop over to my other blog, The Cozy Little Kitchen, (just click on the link) where I'll let you in on the new stuff going on in our ever changing lives. 

Thanks for following our journey!


Thursday, March 5, 2015

Come Over to "My Kitchen"

It's another snow day here as we got a ton of snow last night for Kentucky, and it is gorgeous!  I thought I was over the snow for this year, but once it starting to coming down the beauty of it all reminded me how much I love a good snowfall!!  Right now I'm enjoying a cozy mug of white hot chocolate with cute snowmen marshmallows while the kids nap after playing in the snow.  As you know, I so enjoy a hot drink!

I wanted to invite you to come to my other blog, The Cozy Little Kitchen, to read last night's post.  Not only is it an update of what has been going on this year, but I share some things God has been laying on my heart as I open up a little about some recent daily struggles I'm overcoming with the Lord's help.  I hope to see you over there!



Friday, December 12, 2014

Tis the Season!

There is nothing quite like the joy at Christmas on any given year, but especially when you have wee ones scurrying around!  As you know, God has given us two!!! 

Wow.  That reminds me that it's been one year since our family became official!  What a Christmas miracle it was!  

I usually begin my day silently staring at the fireplace and twinkling lights around our livingroom with coffee in hand. --I love seeing the silhouette of winter's trees and the shimmer of frost on the roofs as the sun comes up.-- I also end days the same way but with my husband at my side.  

The middle of my day is filled with busy feet playing warrior, princess, ballerina, cowboy, Peter Pan, pirate, and super hero around the house!  There is always somebody either twirling, jumping, or flying by me in a passionate pursuit!  Children really give playing their all, you know?

I don't want to paint only a perfect Norman Rockwell scene constantly in our home.  It's been a real challenge to keep the kids quiet enough while "daddy" sleeps during the day while working nights.  Our house is old and every step can be heard, but the running and jumping rattles through the entire house, which is not conducive to deep sleep. Of course there are still fights and arguments to break up, fits to be thrown, and messes to clean but God has answered this Mommy's prayer and I've tapped into His grace and patience as a parent more now than ever before.  I dove into this position head first (as if birthing two toddlers!) with on the job training, Ha!   While the first year I felt like I failed more days than not, He's giving me more wisdom and insight into their hearts every single day!  God parents me as He teaches me how to do the same.

Despite those moments, at Christmas there is just a spark of excitement that seems to always be lit.  I've been keeping out a little table in the livingroom, and we all color together or play puzzles with the Christmas music humming around!  It's so much fun now that the kids are picking up all the songs and can sing with me!  We have a new book of classic Christmas stories that we read and every day we talk about Jesus birth to really help it sink in deep.  Santa isn't the reason for Christmas but Jesus is!

Heath has been working a bit of a crazy schedule this month in the ER leaving him home a few days in a row and gone a few nights in a row.  I was sort of dreading it, but it hadn't been so bad actually. We spend family time when he's off and so far have had some really good times together.  One of the best memories this year is when we went to a festive Dicken's Christmas festival in Paducah with Heath's parents.  It was wonderful!!! The kids sat in Santa's lap, we toasted marshmallows, there were stands of hot cocoa and wassail, story tellers and shops to browse around. What a precious family memory with the grandparents!

Last weekend we went to two fun (casual) Christmas parties where I made some yummy treats and ate even more! I'm really trying to temper what I eat, while still enjoying the goodies... Lord, help me!

One of my favorite times over the weekend was going to church as a family. Heath works so many Sundays so it doesn't always happen, but worshipping together is one of my favorite things to do!  I had to capture this moment that was too precious.  

We were praying over the water baptism of a child who accepted Jesus as Savior!  (It was all three siblings who were baptized, and their dad is the one who did it.  What a proud daddy moment, and how amazing is that?!!)

This weekend my sister is graduating from college with the highest of honors!  This woman is fabulous in so many ways... I am SO thankful to God she is my sister!!!  We're going to see her walk, and I'm helping mom give her a nice Christmas-y graduation party at my parent's home!  Eeek... I cannot wait!  

As we speak, I'm in the midst of making decorated sugar cookies for it.  I was a very busy bee in the kitchen after the kids were in bed cutting them out in all shapes and baking them. (Sorry for the grainy picture.)  I had a Hallmark Christmas movie going and it was a great time!  I made larger sized cookies, but I think there are about 5 dozen here.  

I have so much to say with such little time this morning.  Hmmm... Seems to be a theme in my life these days.  

Anyways, I praise my Father for sending us our children(!!!), our friends, and my entire family to celebrate His birth with!  I want every single thing I do to reflect His love for me, because He is the reason for all of this.  He is the reason I have even one good thing to say on any blog, because every good gift comes from Him!

The sun is up and so are my kids so we'll have to chat again soon!  What's going on in your home these days?


Saturday, November 1, 2014

Orphan Sunday

Tomorrow is Orphan Sunday, and Heath and I have been asked to give a brief testimony in front of our church!  While I am so thrilled to share how God has used adoption to start our family, I'm a big ball of nerves when it comes to speaking!  (Gah!!) When our pastor asked us, we both knew we had to do this because we told specifically told the Lord we would declare His goodness and glory through our story.  I told him years ago that we would share our journey of infertility to parenthood whatever the path may be.  Well, of course that path led us through the adoption, so now we'll be talking about that at church tomorrow on Orphan Sunday!  Maybe I can just be arm candy to my husband who is far more versed in speaking than I! Hahaha... No, I want to speak too, but it won't be very elegant. (I tend to get lost in my own bunny trails and the excitement of my story!) I do better talking to others in the comfort of a living room with a warm beverage in hand! But as my nerves grow God reminds me as He has before...

My beloved Leslie, 
I don't just call the equipped.
I equip the called.

Wow!  What would I do without Him?? That takes the nerves off.  He wants us (me!) to lean on Him...His Word...His ways...
His guidance in the opportunities we've been given to do His kingdom work.  It is faith in the most practical form!

This is something I learned in the process of deciding to adopt.  In the beginning I had an idea that said those who adopt are wealthy, wise, and have it all together.   They probably are perfect Christians with a Mother Teresa kind of heart, and probably missionaries in the 3rd world or something.  Certainly not an average Joe or Jane who just wants a child to love and a family to have!

Yep.  I thought there were so few called to adopt, and I wasn't sure I would ever fit that perfect description that I conjured up. 


If God leads, then all you need is a willing heart. 

Let me tell you from experience!  When I wholeheartedly surrendered my fears to Jesus, my heart began to supernaturally grow!  Heath and I both wanted to parent whoever it was God had for our family.  Whether I would grow them in my own womb or my heart only, I was ready to love a precious child as my very own!  God was actually filling our cup to overflowing capacity so we could love in this way!

We adopted not being "wealthy" or in the most ideal situation, as we live away from family and Heath is a busy medical resident.  But God knew the timing was right, so our hearts were anxious to get started on the exciting journey to our children and we then started the home study.

It was definitely a process for me to get to the place God needed me to be to parent our children.  It began when I surrendered my own plan, and walked in obedience to His, for that's when the heart change really happened.  It actually happened quickly now looking back.  From our loss of Bailey in '09 to the failed IVF in winter of 2011 (dark days of depression immediately afterward), but our mourning turned to joy just the next year when I laid all my fears at His feet!!!  We then knew we were supposed to adopt and were thrilled to have clarity!

So tomorrow if I get on the platform with sweaty palms I'll remember the day I truly surrendered all to Him and took one of the biggest leaps of faith.  The day my plans died, He planted a seed of a greater plan that would redeem not only our lives, but a baby boy and girl who would need agape love.

Remember He doesn't call the equipped, but He equips the called!  Step out in faith wherever it is God is leading you.  There is no regrets in following Jesus Christ!!!

Friday, October 31, 2014

Fall Mornings

Cozy fall mornings at home with family are some of the very best!  It's chilly outside but the candles are lit, fire in the fireplace, most comfy slippers warming my feet, and pumpkin muffins just out of the oven!

There is nothing like slowly waking up with vanilla coffee in the darkness of my home by a warm fire, and talking to my Lord because He is here with me.  I usually have my most intimate times with God in the morning when I'm alone with Him. 

Awww, the house smells so great with pumpkin and cinnamon spice, I can almost here Christmas music playing now!!   It's less than 8 weeks away now! Speaking of Christmas, I hear my sweet little ones are awake so I'm going to get them up.

Have a beautiful day.



Thursday, October 30, 2014

October Beauty

These things I have spoken to you, that my joy may be in you, and that your joy may be full.  John 15:11

I stand amazed at God's creative hand every October when the trees turn crimson red, firey orange, golden yellow, and deep plum!

This picture below is the street we live on.  Our neighborhood in Louisville is stunning every year in the fall.  The sugar, red, and Japanese maples along with dogwoods and other varieties glow along streets!  Their colors surround the houses with a canopy and provide a blanket of crunchy leaves on the ground perfect for jumping in.  I decided to take a walk yesterday while Heath was home with the kids, but I did it more for capturing the beauty of it all than excersize!

This was the prettiest leaf, so I picked it up along with a few other favorites to show the kids.  We get excited to put beautiful leaves and acorns around our pumpkins outside on the porch steps.  It's becoming a simple little tradition that we enjoy doing.

I even have fall colors adorning the inside of our home now that Heath lovingly bough me this bouquet of gorgeous flowers this week!  I love fresh flowers!  I think they look perfect in this colbalt blue pitcher my parents bought us for our anniversary.  I'm like my mom and enjoy using pitchers to hold flowers most of the time.  I think it looks so cozy!

Here is another beauty in our home that is one of God's finest!!!  Our baby girl dressed as Tinkerbell for a fall party!  (She is calmly watching Mickey Mouse on the television with I'm getting ready.  You can see Peter Pan in beside her!) :)

As you can tell I love autumn, and I love the colors it brings!  The anticipation of Thanksgiving is here as I'm gathering recipes for delicious pies and dishes to make for one of my favorite holidays to cook for and spend time with our family!

How is your Autumn going?  What is some of the beauty God has placed In your own life?  Take the time to look for it today, because He gives it for us to enjoy!


Monday, September 29, 2014

Early Fall Adventures

It's been awhile since I've shared at my little blog here, but of course that doesn't mean there hasn't been things to share.   Life has been busy and full as the new season --one of the best!-- Autumn has arrived!  

(This will be another blurry post full of pictures and few poignant words, but I wanted to catch y'all up on our life's highlights.)

There was the trip to the apple orchard!
We picked a few apples, enjoyed a huge caramel apple with nuts, and later a country dinner at the farm's restaurant.  

Distracted by dandelions...

Had to get pumpkins.  Jayden was strong like his daddy to carry one...  So proud! :D

There was the "campfire" evening when we toasted marshmallows and made gooey s'mores!  Daddy played and we all sang songs together.  We love worship songs, especially.  It was a sweet, sweet night!!

Sticky faces are the happiest ones!

Then there was the amazing getaway weekend Heath and I shared in Nashville together! Sigh. It was simply perfect!!! He and I alone for almost 3 days and away in a hotel with delicious food!!  

I'm so glad I said, "YES!".
The restaurant Josephine was outstanding.  If you're ever in the 12 South area of Nashville, pleeease have dinner at this elegant yet casual farm to table restaurant!  I could go on and on about this place, because from the atmosphere to the delicious food, to the music and service.  Perfection!

I loved my view.  Xo

We also attended a good friend's wedding.  It was a beautiful outside event in the country.  We saw friends we haven't seen in far too long.  It was wonderful!

The most recent day of family fun was Saturday, and it was packed with surprises for the kids!  We told them just before we went to each place what was about to happen.  First we went to the pumpkin patch and road in the wagon to hand pick two pumpkins and left with a frost apple cider drink for the road!

From there we took a road trip to French Lick, Indiana to see and ride Thomas the tank engine!!!! They were so surprised and Jayden was beside himself cute and happy!  It couldn't have been a more precious time.  I'm so glad they're still innocent and enjoy these things.

Jayden got to wear the train conductor's hat!

Kylie wasn't so sure about it.  (Haha... This is such a typical reaction from her!)

(As I reflect on these pictures, I noticed we ran out of time for me to really fix baby girl's hair.  Add the hot weather and a car ride nap, and you have her fantabulously fluffy hair! Haha)

Heath and I were proud of the kids and so happy we could treat them with this surprise!  

It was a gorgeous day for a road trip, and we enjoyed being together!  With Heath in residency his schedule is busy and inconsistent, so when he does have free time we try to intentionally make it quality time.  Balancing family life with a resident's schedule is very challenging, but God has helped us do it so far.  We have less than a year before that crazy schedule is over for good, though.  Next summer Heath will finish!  Honest y'all, I don't think we could make it through this season of little children, living away from family and residency without the Lord's strength!  He is my helper everyday! Whew..  That's for yet another post.  :)

So that's a very brief summary of some of the past month's adventures. There were other wonderful times such as visits from family, which is always a delight, and the everyday precious moments.  The past few weeks was one of the best stretches of the year so far!