Round Here

Are any of you singing Counting Crows now…just me?!?!  It immediately popped into my head and now is spinning the tune.  But I digress.

So everyone is still alive in the Kelley house and that is a giant plus 🙂  The end of school plus Everett’s health plus this need to be around people we love right now is filling our time plus I got strep for the 2nd time in two weeks.  At the end of 2016 we knew this season would be a wild one so we decided to limit the kid’s activities.  Hudson and Solomon are the only ones in something right now and it’s karate…down our street…that Josh takes them to.  In hind sight this was the best decision for us.  I cannot imagine running kids here and there and there and here right now.  I would likely perish…especially with the current state of our van…ahhhhh!!!  So while this season feels especially hard it also feels especially sweet getting to spend so much time together with the people we love.

Everett’s health is at the forefront right now.  We’re at the doctor every week and are in close communication with our cardiologist.  We also have two possibilities brewing with hospitals in Boston and Ann Arbor.  We are of course anxiously waiting to hear the final decision.  Shuai is doing so well adjusting and with bonding and attachment, but that dang heart is giving us all a run for our money.  If I talk too long about him…his special heart & body…his sweet little self…I will burst into tears.  This kid owns every single one of us.  He has made us mush once again and we all feel like the luckiest.

Harper wraps up elementary school this week and will venture off to middle school in the fall.  I love this girl.  I love who she is and who she is becoming.  I love her personality and her heart.  I love her sense of humor and easy goingness.  I just love her…period.  She preformed in her end-of-the-year program last week…it was sooooo cute!  Field day was today and tomorrow is awards day and picnic day.  4th graders live it up.  She just makes me smile and is almost as tall as me.  Seriously, I predict she’s going to pass me by next year.

And she’s getting contacts next week…per her request for summer.  WHY WILL TIME NOT STOP?!?!?!

Amon graduated pre-school last week too and will be headed off the kindergarten in the fall.  He’s nervous/soooooooooooo excited.  He cannot wait to eat lunch at school and walk in with his big brothers and make new friends, but he’s nervous about homework and his colors.  I could literally eat this kid alive.  Too weird!?!?!  I think not.  He just melts me.  He’s such a ball of wild joy and his excitement and love for life is enthralling.  His pre-K teacher gave his the Friend Award and just gushed over his kind heart.  I in turn sobbed in the crowd.  Josh Kelley and myself all the time question how on earth we got to be these kiddos’ parents.  It makes no sense, but we’re not ratting ourselves out yet.

We’re still sitting on counters like its our job.  Every single morning you will find Everett perched here.  Some mornings he is joined by other siblings.  Mornings are his hardest and this is his comfort spot.  He just needs this spot, some extra hugs, a yogurt cup and then he’s good to face the day.

Josh Kelley and I got in one last lunch date before summer commences.  Everett joined us of course and we we’re a-okay with that.  We’re soaking him in…every little second.

Amon also found a turtle and now stalks him.  He has since re-loacted the turtle two other times.  Apparently he lives in our backyard near our shed.  You would have seriously thought Amon won the lottery or something.  He is obsessed!!!!

In other news, I’ve never seen a turtle move so quickly while Amon, Everett and our littlest surrounded him.  He was all, “Get me the heck out of here.”  Seriously.  He turtle ran.  Quickly.  It was amazing to watch.

And today was field day.  I don’t know about you, but field day was my most favorite day of all in elementary school.  I would be so nervous excited the night before I wouldn’t sleep.  And my goal was to always win the 50/100 yard dash.  I love our kid’s school so much and they always have the best time.  This year Amon, Everett and our littlest all joined in and it was a blast!!!!!

I was reminded of how fragile Everett’s little heart was with how winded he got when he exerted himself too much.  He also had some chest pain so we sat out the rest of the day.  He knows his little body so well and was perfectly fine with riding around in our stroller the rest of the time.  Oh my heart…this kid!!!!!

I’m really going to try and touch base more this week.  I always miss this space and you guys when I’m away.  Thank you for reading and following along.  Thank you for the encouragement and kindness.  Thank you for praying for Everett and our littlest and our whole little tribe.  You guys are always the kindest…always!!!

Hope your week is off to a great start.  Here’s to a grand week.

Happy Monday!

Mother’s Day

First off, two reading recommendations.

Can anyone speak truth into a day like Mother’s Day more honestly than a woman?!?!  I just don’t know.  Ha.  This day is a mixed bag of emotions for so many, many people.  THIS article by Shannan is crazy good.  Big hard lovely truths surrounding such a day.

I read this on Julie’s IG and just nodded my head in agreeance.  This day is not just for women who have carried and birthed children.  It reaches far, far beyond that.

“To those who gave birth this year to their first child—we celebrate with you
To those who lost a child this year – we mourn with you
To those who are in the trenches with little ones every day and wear the badge of food stains – we appreciate you
To those who experienced loss this year through miscarriage, failed adoptions, or running away—we mourn with you
To those who walk the hard path of infertility, fraught with pokes, prods, tears, and disappointment – we walk with you. Forgive us when we say foolish things. We don’t mean to make this harder than it is.
To those who are foster moms, mentor moms, and spiritual moms – we need you
To those who have warm and close relationships with your children – we celebrate with you
To those who have disappointment, heart ache, and distance with your children – we sit with you
To those who lost their mothers this year – we grieve with you
To those who experienced abuse at the hands of your own mother – we acknowledge your experience
To those who lived through driving tests, medical tests, and the overall testing of motherhood – we are better for having you in our midst
To those who have aborted children, we remember them and you on this day
To those who are single and long to be married and mothering your own children, we mourn that life has not turned out the way you longed for it to be
To those who step-parent, we walk with you on these complex paths
To those who envisioned lavishing love on grandchildren, yet that dream is not to be, we grieve with you
To those who will have emptier nests in the upcoming year – we grieve and rejoice with you
And to those who are pregnant with new life, both expected and surprising –we anticipate with you
This Mother’s Day, we walk with you. Mothering is not for the faint of heart and we have real warriors in our midst. We remember you.”

Yes, yes, yes!

 We pretty much Mother’s Day-ed all weekend long.  Saturday morning I kicked things off with a solo workout and then Kroger for the purchasing of flowers only.  Not one grocery item.  Give me all the flowers.

That afternoon we partied at the cemetery…it’s just what we do.  I know she’s not there, but it’s a sweet tradition for me and our family to honor what an amazing mom and Grammy she was.  There were Funfetti cupcakes, flowers in a maraschino cherry jar and a rousing game of hide-and-seek around and behind headstones by the Kelley kids.  I always cringe thinking about someone falling.  Eeeh.  While there Everett snagged a cute little flag from someone’s grave and proceeded to take it for his own.  We did make him leave it, but unsure we were accurate in it’s placement.  Alas.

We also stopped and bought flowers in honor of our birth mamas to plant in our backyard.  Lots of people do different things…release balloons, write letters, give in their honor, etc etc  We let each of our kids pick out the flower of their choice for their birth mom and then we plant them in our yard.  Days like these can bring up all kinds of feelings for children with hard stories.  I always want to make sure we acknowledge not only their incredibly, invaluable birth families, but also their own little feelings and emotions.

That night we celebrated with the Carman’s.  Mother’s Day always felt extra wonky for me when we were waiting on kiddos to come home.  Throw in a heart kiddo and obviously there’s this feeling of, “We cannot get there quick enough”.  The kids ran wild and there we’re sodas and hot dogs and cookies and tater tots and a tasty rose wine.  We also “taught” Josh and Brooke how to play mahjong.  And by “taught” I mean we only accidentally made up one fake rule, but Andy and Becky told us the next day they thought that was pretty impressive.  Win.

At the end of the night there were a slew of empty soda and Capri Suns in our yard, an upside down hot dog by our front door and a bunch of happy hearts.  We decided next year we’ll celebrate again…no matter what.

Sunday we celebrated with Josh’s mom and family.  I did crack up that before I even got out of bed Shuai accidentally hit me in the eye with a 32oz water bottle.  Forget breakfast in bed, more like icepack in bed.

  At the Kelley’s there we’re BBQ nachos and smoked chicken legs and cornbread muffins and homemade Oreo ice-cream.  We talked Kelley clan vacation plans and a pretty intense game of 4 Square broke out.

It was great to be together.  That night random dinner items were consumed just prior to bedtime.  And before sending everyone off to bed I did make sure to beat them all in 4 Square lest they forget their Mom dominates.  One day they’ll start to beat me, but until then…I shall rule our 4 Square games with an iron kickball.  Muhuhahahaha.  We read one book and off everyone went.  At the end of the day I knew what I always know, I’m the luckiest mama in the world.

Hope everyone had a decent weekend and no matter what it was full of things like love and encouragement and grace.

Oh, almost forgot the most exciting part of the weekend…in honor of Mother’s Day…and my one and only request…Josh Kelley got Instagram.  It was a Mother’s Day miracle.

Happy Monday!

Darkness Will Not Consume Us

Mother’s Day feels very all over the place this year.  It will be 6 years this November since my Mom died and I miss her still, but God has done so much work in my heart, mind and body when it comes to losing her.  He has allowed me to shed so much heartache and anger and bitterness over the years and truthfully, I miss her all the time and Mother’s Day doesn’t really amplify that for me anymore.  Of course it is still a giant reminder of “Hey, your Mom is dead” 🙂 but so many things in life do the same thing.  As the years pass God teaches me more and more how to deal with those moments.

I find it so interesting all the different ways a random holiday can heighten ones senses to others.  Every year I notice more and more about this holiday and others alike.  I see how different the day can spin for each individual.  I know the death of my own Mom made this so for me.  With Mother’s Day you have women who are longing to become moms, you have new moms and waiting moms and moms of biological, adopted and foster children. There are mamas who long to be celebrated, but there’s no one there to celebrate them.  There are single moms and newly divorced moms and moms who are now widows.  There are moms who grieve the loss of their children, moms who are sick and people who are taking care of their own sick mothers.  There are people who’s mothers have died or who have never experienced what it’s like to have a healthy relationship with their mom.  There are mamas who no longer have relationships with their own children and people who have no idea who their mom is or was.  There are birth mamas near and far who either rejoice or cringe or a mixture of both on this day.  And still so many others.  One day can amplify so many many different feelings…such a wide range of emotions and feelings on display.

This Mother’s Day has found my heart, mind and body in such a funk.  I lay awake at night researching Everett’s health issues and his heart failure medications and more than I’d like to admit, I’ve gone to google to try and figure out his life expectancy.  It has crossed my mind 5,000 times, “Will this be my one and only Mother’s Day with Everett?”.  Questions and what ifs and the unknown and shitty realities reel in our heads and hearts most of the days.

 Grief is so heavy in our home from what feels like 1000 different angles.  Everett is a sweet roller coaster of emotions from one minute fine and well adjusted to the next minute falling apart at the hinges, right on top of me and crying his eye balls out.  He asks to see his best friend almost every day and will sit and watch the video of him on repeat.  He has already adjusted his “Mama help you” to “Mama help me” because GEEZ this kid is smart, but those English words are still forming and his blank little stare slays me dead.

Our littlest is very similar, but throw in massive tantrums.  There are so many unknowns right now with her and she is dealing with confusion and questioning her place and where she belongs coupled with sadness.  We’ve regressed in lots of areas and when people give us the side eye or make THAT comment, I want to A) Throat punch them #healthy and B) Tell them how strong and amazing and resilient and brave this girl is and they have no idea about her little life and all the unfair thoughts that swirl in her little mind.  I want them to know what I know because if they did they’d give us a smile and keep that judgey comment to themselves, but we move along because I owe them nothing and I will protect her story fiercely.

Amon is grieving as well for his birth family.  It came out of no where or so we thought, but then we realized an important event in his past had taken place at this same time and although his little mind doesn’t remember his body does.  He cries and draws pictures for them and I help him write notes.  He picks flowers every day for his birth mom and puts them in a little glass bottle and when one bottle fills up we add a new one.  He is so excited about picking out flowers to plant in our back yard in honor of her…a Mother’s Day tradition to honor our birth mamas.

Throw in every day life like trying to keep the laughter alive, maintaining somewhat normal relationships within our own home and the outside world, Harper starting middle school, our van breaking, medical bills, making big medical decisions for Everett, loving each other well and and and.  This is life though.  Everyone has their struggles…their ups and downs.  Everyone has these seasons.  Some seasons are just longer and harder than others.  I have trouble with knowing how to pray for our family…outside of the “God just heal his heart” or “God just be what they need” and I have been terrible at reading my Bible.

Today I told myself no matter what that I would read my Bible…no matter what.  I talked very candidly with God before I started reading the short little 9 verses which sat before me.  I told Him, “I don’t really know what to say to You right now and I’m not sure this book has what I need today, but I’m going to give it a shot.”  And then I read about darkness, the ninth plague I originally started reading about in late February.  And I cried when I read a description of the darkness, “a darkness to be felt” or “a darkness so dark you could touch it”.  That is how I feel right now.  I can literally feel the darkness and it weighs heavy on us.  And as I read on I was reminded yet again, He is here.  He knows.  He will never leave.  He sees us.  He hears our cries even when we continue to cry the same simple thing over and over again and can’t muster up anything else.

Exodus goes on to say that while the people of Egypt were in the darkness they did not see one another and no one could rise.  I don’t want that to be me.  I don’t want to be so consumed by my darkness that I can’t see others around me and I cannot rise to where God has called me to go.  I cried more.  Please God, don’t let that be me.  Please.  I read further and there sat my hope, “…but the people of Israel had light” or “…except for the Israelites: they had the light”.  I have the Light.  God literally lives in me so I have His light, His hope, His peace.  I cannot be consumed by this darkness because God drives out darkness.  He is the light of the world.  He breaks through the darkness.  He is light in the midst of darkness.  Darkness will not consume us because He has overcome.  These are things I know, but when the darkness feels so thick you can touch it, it’s easy to forget.  I needed this reminder more than I ever.

So here’s what I know…life is messy and hard…He never promised us easy.  He calls us into loving and caring for each other well.  And He knows how damn hard living in this fallen world is.  He sees each one of us right where we are and knows our hearts, hears our cries and loves us the same every single day.  His plans are always better and wildly good and we can never fathom all He has planned for us.  He is always good even when the darkness is so thick we can touch it.  And the darkness will not remain…it can’t when the Light lives in us.  He is light and He has come to cut through the darkness and to shine bright.

Praying for all your hearts this weekend wherever they may land and in whatever state they may sit.  God is still good…He always is…and He loves us like no other.

We’re Making It

Today our van door broke…again…and I sat down in our driveway and sobbed into my hands while Everett and our littlest patted my head, hugged my neck and she said things like, “She’s just sad right now” or “She just needs a hug” to the other kiddos mulling around me.  Hudson sat across from me on his bike and cried too while Solomon tried his hand at fixing the door.  Alas.  This should speak to my emotional well being…hahahahaha.

When people ask how we’re doing instead of saying “Good” or “Fine” I say “We’re making it” because that’s how we are…we’re making it…and that’s okay…making it means everyone’s alive and neither Josh Kelley or myself have officially lost it yet 🙂

In other news, I thought I’d hit on some randomness from our life lately.  We helped my BIL and SIL move last weekend.  We basically stormed their house, dropped food crumbs everywhere and broke a plastic moving tub, but we did pack up some boxes and move some furniture as well.  These three we’re completely worthless 🙂

This always means one thing…we made Becky’s pot stickers.  There are never leftovers.  And that was our second batch of rice.  Everett just eats and eats and eats and I love seeing him enjoy his food.  Plus when he’s really eating it’s the cutest because he basically looks and sounds like a koala bear.

We are almost out of the woods in the medicine department.  We had a strep out break in our house and all but 2 people did not get sick.  We are officially down to only one child on an antibiotic…and then there’s Everett…and his personal medicine cabinet.  Sweet sweet boy.

These three.  They we’re my first babies.  Gah!!!!!!!!!

Harper starts middle school next year and we attended orientation last week.  I do not even understand how we are to this point.  Middle school!  This seems HUGE.  I love this girl.  She is lovely and funny and kind and level headed and she gives me hugs and is almost as tall as me.  I am the luckiest.

Josh Kelley loaded up all the kids two evenings this week so I could have a little solo time to create.  My head spins most days and I just do not feel like myself.  I haven’t created in months upon months, so this was huge for my heart and brain.  Music blared and I simply painted.  Made me feel a little more sane.

These two and these two…well, just shut the front door.  I cannot handle it.  They will surely all three kill me with their cuteness.  Like, I’m already dead.  Seriously.  It’s too much.

And then Shuai went and became president.  His first order of business was to order a life time supply of hummus and Chinese rice crackers…his faves.  Then he made sure he would never be made to remove his favorite shoes which are approximately 2 sizes too big and worn on the wrong feet at all times.  Lastly, he made it legal to drink as many drinks as one desires despite the fact that said drinks do not mesh well like hot water, milk and apple juice all at the same time.  He’s killing’ it.

It’s good to sit in this space again and just type.  I like the randomness of it.  I like to peck away at this keyboard even when nothing I’m writing feels monumental.  I like to document these days no matter how big or small or easy or hard or mundane or fun.  These are my people and man are they good big and little humans.  Like I said, I’m the luckiest.

Happy Wednesday.

Messy

This week has been pretty prickly for our family so I was going to just take a week off from blogging, but last night while I was trying to fall asleep I started writing a blog post in my head and this morning as I was waking up I did the same thing, so I decided I should stop in a say hey.  This post will probably come off pretty random, but I have lots of big, hairy feelings right now…I don’t want to come off as controversial or preachy at all, but my heart is in some heavy places currently.

A little update on Everett.  We’re hitting up our pediatrician’s office every other week for blood work and on our off week for blood work we’re seeing our cardiologist.  He’s started another new medication and increased the dosage on another one.  He’s also grieving pretty hard these days.  He cries a lot during the day and wants to be with me or Josh almost all the time at home.  He actually does pretty well when we’re out and about, but at home he really struggles.  It’s really sad watching him grieve especially coupled with a language barrier.  He is crazy smart and understands so much, but just still doesn’t have all the English words he needs which is absolutely understandable.  I mean, he’s been with us not even 2 1/2 months.  So he says almost all day long, “Mama help you” which means “Mama help me” but when I say “Yes shuai, how can I help” I get his sweet little blank stare because he just doesn’t have the words yet.

Our littlest is struggling really hard too.  While working through sadness and grief and loss and attachment and bonding with our kiddos is an absolute privilege it’s simultaneously hard as hell and sometimes I feel like I’m losing my ever loving mind.  I’m the luckiest mama in the world, but also want to hide in my closet most days currently.  Things are all awry with our littlest and honestly I have so many feelings from deep sadness and compassion to anger and disappointment to a feeling of failure within myself to massive love to massive grief and then back to all those feelings 1000 times over in a days time.  It’s a freakin’ roller coaster.

May is Foster Care Awareness month and I’ve thought a lot about what I might say about it.  I really don’t say much because I feel a tad inexperienced although we’ve been foster parents for closing in on three years.  We’ve only had one placement the entire time and I feel like I learn something new every single day.  I could sit and listen to two internet friends talk about their experience all day long because they are wise and honest and it makes me feel normal when I spend most of my days feeling so out of place.

What I do know is that I really wish all people had a deeper understanding of foster care…not that it’s only about supporting vulnerable children, but often it’s about supporting vulnerable families.  The kiddos always must be first priority, but it’s vital to know we have to come along side these families as well.

Mamas and daddy’s who have had their children removed deserve someone who will cheer them on, love on them and come along side them too.  They deserve to see and feel and know the love of Jesus just as much as that sweet child.  Obviously there are some parents who for whatever reason will not get their children back, but the system is also full of parents working their asses off to get their kids back.  The last thing those parents need is a foster family who has built a pre-existing wall and have already decided they are not worthy enough to parent their child again.  We’ve got to be in it with them.  We’ve got to break down walls and rebuild relationships.  We’ve got to realize there is so much more at stake and some times these parents have been dealt an unimaginably shitty hand in life that most of us could never even fathom.

The Department of Children’s Services here in Tennessee and I’m sure in other states, gets a pretty bad wrap sometimes, but I see the good in this system.  I know the faces of case workers and attorneys and guardian ad litmus and supervisors who care and love and work tireless hours with an overloaded amount of case work.  I hear about social workers who are up at all hours of the night trying to comfort littles until they can find a safe place for them to land.  I know they run out of blue ink pens far too easily.  I know the services made available by our state for these parents…bus passes and mental health suppliers and help with finding housing and assistance with any other struggles they are facing and mentor programs and parenting classes.  I know our state is fighting for the reunification of families first and foremost when it is healthy and right.  I know they care about these children and their families.

By stepping into the role of a foster family God has continued to shine a light on all the ugliness in my own heart.  He just keeps refining me again and again and again.  What about that plank in your eye, Laura.  I am always telling myself, “What if you made that mistake and your children were with someone else…how would you want to be treated?”  I realize now that we needed this family just as much as they needed us.  The love is mutual and deep.  It is also messy and hard and unpredictable and pulls me out of comfort zone over and over and over again.  It is so hard, but it is even more beautiful.

So if you’re thinking about becoming a foster family take that jump, but know you will be refined and that God probably will do a lot of work on and in your own heart and hopefully He will not let you walk away unchanged.  He is always using this journey to change us and mold us and show us how much we need Him and how much more we needed this little girl and her family than they needed us.

I wanted to share one other thing…the news this week has been heart shattering with the death of sweet Jordan Edwards…another young black boy.  I cannot see these stories and not immediately put Solomon and Amon’s faces in his place.  It feels suffocating at times and the empathy for these black boys and men and their families seems to run dry so quickly or non existent from the beginning.  Oh Jesus, be so near.

And I cannot look too long at what is happening with our health care this week.  As a mom with two heart boys with pre-existing conditions and one currently on heart failure medications, it feels quite daunting, overwhelming and just sad.  I did see THIS post by Kristen Howerton and wanted to share it here:

“Whenever I ask Christians about how they can support legislative that strips hurting people of care when we’ve been mandated by Christ to care for others, I’m told “it’s not the government’s job.” So, where are all of the meetings to organize and figure out how to get insurance and health care for people who just got cut out? Can I expect all Christian churches to be addressing a plan this Sunday for taking this over from the government?”

All I can do is keep going back to the Bible and lining things up right next to Jesus.  If they do not match up, I know I have work to do.  If they do match up, I know I am moving in the direction of truth.  Let’s love each so well and let’s extend grace and mercy and empathy and compassion like Jesus Himself did.

Thank You + Faves

Thank you guys so much to everyone who came out to party with us for the Carman’s Noonday adoption fundraiser and for those who ordered online.  So so grateful for all the love and support for this family and their sweet little heart guy.

If you couldn’t make it out, you can still place your order online until April 30th.  Just head over HERE and order away.  Just make sure Rebecca Daniels is your ambassador and Laura Kelley is your hostess at checkout.  We are closing in on a big goal for the Carman’s adoption fund so feel free to shop and share.

I always LOVE LOVE LOVE an in-person party and I’m always so surprised with what I walk away loving the most.  These we’re my favorite items from the evening I got to see and try on.  I ordered a few gifts and even snagged the Mystique Earrings for myself.  I mean, they called to me 🙂  So many items I’ve added to my wishlist now.

Oh and I must report back about all the whoopie pies.  I ended up having to nix the Oatmeal Cream Pie ones because my two 3-year-olds we’re extra needy and cried for the majority of the day yesterday and Amon wasn’t feeling his best.  The red velvet ones we’re Josh Kelley’s favorite and I heard several people say the lemon ones we’re delish too.  If I had to pick an absolute overall party favorite I would shockingly choose the Funfetti ones.  I did not see that coming.  I personally loved them all.  Not one was a “never make again” one.  You can get all the recipes HERE.

That’s it for today.  Thank you again so much.  You guys are always the best and the kindest and most encouraging and supportive.

Happy Friday!

Luring You In ;)

You guys, it is a gorgeous day here in Tennessee.  It rained for what felt like approximately a month solid but, finally the sun is shining again and everyone in the Kelley household is beside themselves.  We do not do well being cooped up inside for too long.  The kids are pretty much living outside at this point in the year and I love it.

I have been food prepping like a crazy person for tomorrow night’s Noonday Collection party…6-8 at our house.  Be there or be square.  I would so so so love for you to come.  Even if we’ve never met, come on!!!!  I know that is weird, but honestly, I tend to be more introverted…I have a hard time just going up to someone and making a new friend…but if new people come to our house it’s so much easier to make friends that way.  Ha.  Plus I promise you will walk away with a full stomach, happy heart and more laugh lines.  It’s a given.

I even scoured around this morning looking for fun door prizes for the evening.  If you’ve ever been to any of our parties you know things can get a little weird…in a funny, good way.  I love to give stuff away.  I told Brooke this morning I had brought out some of my “dead mom earrings” because I felt it was a worthy enough occasion.  Mom LOVED her some earrings and I kept some of her earrings to give to others…kind of therapeutic for me…any how…I feel this party is the perfect time to bust out some of my “dead mom earrings”.  Laugh with me now.

I also have plenty of non “dead mom earring” items to giveaway as well.  Actually some awesome stuff from Noonday Collection, Solohope and Trades of Hope.

All my non-dessert food is done with prepping and today I started in on my mini whoopie pie extravaganza.  This is insanely fun for me because A.  I love to bake  B.  I love whoopie pies and C.  I love to feed people said baked goods and whoopie pies.

Today I knocked out mini chocolate chip cookie dough whoopie pies…I halved THIS recipe for the cookie part (to make them mini I just used a 1/2 TB scoop instead of the full 1 TB scoop) and used THIS full filling recipe for the inside.  Freakin yummy.

Next up were mini Funfetti whoopie pies.  I used THIS recipe except subbed a Funfetti cake mix instead of white and I filled them with Betty Crocker Rainbow Chip icing and dipped sides in sprinkles.  My kids will most definitely flip over these.

And last for today were the traditional mini chocolate cream cheese whoopie pies.  I used THIS recipe, but halved the entire thing including the filling recipe.  Again, 1/2 TB scoop for the dough…just like the others.

Oh and for all the icing…I fill a quart plastic baggie, snip the tip and then fill the cookies.  I have tasted tested to make sure nothing is poisonous…can’t have someone dying a party.  So delish. Tomorrow…party day…I’m tackling Red Velvet Whoopie Pies, Lemon Whoopie Pies and Oatmeal Cream Whoopie Pies.

If you cannot make the party in person, no worries, I will mail you a whoopie pie.  I’m kidding.  I won’t, but you can order amazing Noonday items online HERE. Just double check when your checking out that “Rebecca Daniels” is your ambassador and “Laura Kelley” is your host.  Right now Noonday has an added incentive for guests who spend $75 or more – they can get the Afloat Earringsand Matovou Bracelet for half-off.  If you’re interested in this offer just contact Rebecca at noonday.rebecca at gmail dot com and she’ll hook you up with the special.

And don’t forget Mother’s Day is just around the corner.  I also started flipping though my calendar to look ahead at birthdays & celebrations that are headed my way.  20% of all sales…in person, email and online…will go directly towards the Carman’s adoption fund.  This is like a win/win/win/win.  Quadruple win…support women around the world, support women here in the states, support the Carman family and Everett gets his best friend back!

Please shoot me an email (pitterpatterart at gmail dot com) if you need more details about the party.  You can read about them HERE too.  I would love to see your face, hug your neck and feed your mouth.  I promise we will have fun!!!!

Happy Wednesday.

Urgent & Breaking News

Name that movie?!?!?!?  “I’m Ron Burgundy???”  Such a funny movie.

Anyways, now for the big news.  There are actually a few things.

First off, for the Carman’s Noonday Collection show this Thursday night I have decided I will be making all different kinds of whoopie pies for the dessert portion of the food.  WHOOPIE PIES…in multiple flavor combinations.  Let’s all take a moment.  I told Ashley and Alissa about my plan this morning after our workout and Ashley gave me the amazing idea to make them mini so people could taste test all the flavors.  Ashley is a genius.  We’ll see how it goes…wish me luck.

PS:  Shoot me an email (pitterpatterart at gmail dot com) if you need more details about the Par-tay!  The more the merrier.

And don’t forget if you cannot make the party you can always order online HERE.  20% of all sales will go towards the Carman’s adoption fund.  I mean, you guys, forget that the Carman’s are getting a freakin’ amazing son 🙂 but Shuai needs his bestie back ASAP!!!!!  Let’s rally.

Isaiah 62 made me throw up all my praise hands and cry tears on my pages.  Dang these emotions and good promises from Jesus.  What am I to do with myself?!?!?!  Just thankful for His word.  Thankful for His promises.  Thankful we have hope in Him.

My mother-in-laws flowers are killing it.  I walk through her yard and want to cut every single flower and make myself a snazzy arrangement in a pickle jar.  I cannot help myself.  She’s a master gardener…literally…she has a pin that says so.  Personally I just want her to get some hydrangea bushes, but plant and tend to them in my yard 🙂

Everett is absolutely the cutest thing ever getting his hair cut.  Those hands.  He is literally killing me.    I will not survive this child and his cuteness.

I feel fairly confident they have started a gang.  It’s a pretty damn cute gang, but still a gang.  Do not cross them in a dark alley…they will cut you.

Every single morning they take off like this.  The other morning I wanted to document so I could remember their routine.  Next year Harper ventures off to middle school and Amon will be headed to kindergarten.  I like their routine and I know Josh Kelley loves his morning ride with his big kids.  Oh my goodness do I love these people.

And today I created!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!  I don’t even know what all to say about this, but it’s big news to me.  It’s been MONTHS since I’ve made or created anything.  My mind and heart and body have just been every where else and I miss it.  I actually completely forgot about teacher appreciation week at our little MDO and so key fobs and Sonic gift cards were in order.  Everett just sat and watched mandarin Elmo and it was such a good 30 minutes for my creative heart.

So that’s it for today.  Only the things of utmost importance 🙂  And I’ve used far too many smiley faces in the post, but alas.

Happy Monday!