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!

Sunday Vibes

I’m not typically a weekend poster, but here I am.  We are Sunday-ing hard at the Kelley house.  It’s rainy and cold.  We all went out to eat for the first time since bringing Shuai home.  He was the cutest thing ever eating chips and salsa.  Right now 2 littles are napping.  Amon, Harper and I are watching Home Alone and eating rice krispy treats.  Josh Kelley, Hudson and Solomon are at Climb Nashville.  Everyone who is home has changed back into pajamas.  I’m trying to get some prep done for the week…meal planning, party planning, list making, blogging, etc etc.  It’s going to be such a great week…I can feel it.

We’ve got the Carman’s Noonday party this Thursday night and I’ve been scouring Pinterest for yummy recipes.  So far I’m contemplating Peanut Butter Cookie Smores Pizza, Sprinkle Chocolate Chip Cookies…I’m always on the lookout for a delicious chocolate chip cookies recipe…and Funfetti Whoopie Pies.

 Don’t forget to join us and bring all your friends.  Remember I will

A. Feed your face.

B.  Promise you a fun time + laughter.

C. Rebecca will show you all the amazing Noonday goodness.

And D.  Hug your neck.

You can also place an order online HERE.  20% of all sales will go towards the Carman’s adoption fund.  So you get amazing products while supporting women and families around the world and here in the US and we get to help the Carman’s with some of their adoption fees.

I was looking on Noonday’s site trying to figure out what all I was going to be purchasing.  I love Noonday for gifts so I always try thinking ahead.  I wanted to share some of my personal favorites that I own and wear ALL THE TIME.  I’m for realz.  All of these are in heavy heavy rotation.

Fringed Crescent Necklace (on sale now)

 Crescent Moon Earrings

Cubed Stubs, Silver (comes in gold too)

Feathered Fringe Earrings, Cobalt

Funky Paper Bead Bracelet

Metric Cuff

Safari Stack Bracelet, Salmon (comes in aqua & teal too)

This whole weekend has been pretty dreamy.  Just hanging out doing our thing.  No real plans except the random funness here and there plus our niece’s birthday party and karate class.  Josh Kelley gave all the boys haircuts and touched up my undercut.  We watched The Founder and it made me loathe McDonalds which was a real let down because at the beginning of the movie it made me soooo love McDonalds.  Alas.  If you’re looking for a good weekend read The Hate U Give is incredible.  I devoured the entire book in 2 days…an absolute must read for everyone.

Now I’m trying to find some killer appetizer/finger/party food recipes.  You guys have any recommendations???  I’d love for you to share them with me.  If you need me I’ll be here on our couch lounging this rainy day away.

Happy Sunday!!!!!!

9 Things

1. You guys are seriously totally the kindest.  I hope when you read that you know how sincere I am.  Thank you for the sweet words and prayers for Everett while we’re waiting to see how things roll out.  He had his cardiologist appointment yesterday…we’re just going to be regulars there so I’m trying to make peace with that 🙂 and it was good to talk with our beloved cardiologist.  We trust her so much and she really is so wise.  He’s already on a new medication and now we’ll watch and wait.  Everett has his own little bowl on our kitchen counter full of meds now.  Dude takes everyone one of them like a champ and you would actually think they all taste like cake.  If I haven’t said it enough already, this kid is a dream.

 

(these two…YOU GUYS…they are too much together)

2.  Amon and Everett are kind of the best things ever together.  They are just so similar.  The main thing that stands out like no other is both of their abilities to fall asleep ANYWHERE.  It is amazing.  I don’t even understand it, but it keeps us cracking up all the time.

3.  Harper got an Instax mini camera for her birthday.  She LOVES LOVES LOVES it so we made sure all the little kids knew it was not to be played with or touched when Harper was not around.  Amon came running up to me furiously the other day just beside himself because our littlest had been messing with Harper’s camera.  I went to investigate and interrogate.  She denied, denied, denied…she absolutely was not touching Harper’s camera…and then acted so hurt that I would even accuse her of such a thing.  Then I found this on the floor.  Bahahahahaha.

4.  All 4 boys are in 1 room with no closet and 1 dresser.  I finally came to terms with the fact that I do not think I can fit 4 boy’s sets of clothes in 1 dresser.  I pulled Everett’s clothes and now all of his reside in a basket on our bedroom floor.  Anyone have any small house tips for this?!?!  I think a bigger dresser might do the trick, but until a bigger dresser is purchased the basket is working.

5.  We had the Carman’s over not long ago for a full on Chinese meal.  We are insanely blessed to have family who are Chinese and speak Chinese and share with us all their knowledge.  When my SIL Becky taught me how to make Chinese dishes I actually thought about how nice it would be to show other mama’s who might want to learn a few dishes.  I was so so excited to cook for the Carmans and teach them what Becky had taught me.  My absolute favorite part was everyone gathered around our kitchen table making dumplings together.  It was just the sweetest time and I can’t get over how lucky we are.

6.  He is a total trip.  Every.Single.Day.  I cannot quit him.  Even better was when he was looking through binoculars wearing the swim goggles.

7.  Easter looked a lot like this.

Easter was good and messy feeling this year.  Solomon found the golden egg and Shuai gasped or said “Oh my goodness” every time he opened an egg and saw it contained something.  We don’t do Easter clothes so everyone wore what they wanted.  There was plenty of good food and even better family to eat it with.  I needed Josh Kelley’s man handkerchief during our church service due to excessive tears.  We invited people to join us for the day even when we truthfully didn’t want to.  At the end of the day I found myself so shocked by the ugliness in my own heart yet again.  Jesus laid out his life and gifted us with grace and love and mercy and then I turn right around and act as if I can’t possible do what He asks of me.  I wonder and doubt if I can even really trust Him lately.

At the end of Easter night I knew only a handful of things:

I’m messed up and He is not.

He is good and I am not.

He saves and I need saving.

He gave up His life and defied death just for me and despite my disastrous, sinful self I am so thankful he thought I was worth it.

And I am crazy grateful He still drives out darkness…even when the darkness is in me.

8.  Summer is almost here and we can feel it in our bones and in our wave pool lovin’ hearts.  For Amon’s birthday he asked to go to the wave pool.  Despite the real struggle of “Whoa, kids are out of school for how long?” and “I love summer and want to live at the wave pool forever!!!!!” everyone is anxiously awaiting summer and soaking in these spring days along the way.

And 9.  We had our first ever Buntinis from Nothing Bundt Cake last week.  When we received the disheartening news about Everett’s heart I called my friend Ashley in Florida to tell her the news.  She is always facetiming and calling to check in on how Everett and the rest of us are doing.  A few hours later there was a knock at our door and another great friend named Ashley too was there to deliver the yummiest set of cupcakes my bestie Ashley in Florida had ordered for us.  Did you follow all that with the multiple Ashleys?!??!  Anyways, I got to sit and have a good long chat with my friend Ashley in person and it just refreshed my heart.  Then when she left I got to enjoy the cupcakes my Ashley in Florida ordered for us.  I know it might seem small, but that sweet combo of treats and a much needed long conversation about life was just what I needed.  I love how God spurred one Ashley to order cupcakes for us and the other Ashley to deliver them.  He really is too too good.

Hope your week is going good.  We’re officially at the half way mark.

Happy Wednesday!

Holding On

I blogged a grand total of once last week and honestly didn’t know if I’d get around to it today either.  When I’m just not sure what to say, it’s hard to make myself think through the words and then figure out what to type, so this will probably be short for today.

Everett did amazingly well during his heart cath on Wednesday.  Thank you so so much for all the prayers and kind & encouraging words and for all of you who have been checking in on him too.  You guys are insanely nice.  You really are.

The team was able to get all the information they needed.  His cath went great and they also did an additional echo while he was sedated.  While at the hospital he also had a thorough ultrasound done of all his internal organs as well.  Everett’s just got wild little insides that are wired quite complexly and differently than most.

We stayed the night and he did awesome.  He actually only cried once the entire time.  All the nurses loved him…of course.  He ate all the foods and drank all the drinks and walked around his hospital room like he owned the place.  He fell asleep in my bed and then I moved him to his.  He even slept the whole night even while nurses came in and out to check on him every 30 minutes  to an hour.  He is just a little dream boat.

Bright and early Thursday morning a big team of surgeons and cardiologists met and went over all of Everett’s information. We ended up speaking with our cardiologist and the cardiologist on Everett’s team who preformed his cath and after reviewing all the information they informed us the team decided Everett’s heart could not handle the surgeries he needs right now.  This is obviously not the news we had hoped for.  His heart function has diminished over time from working so hard and his special little heart and anatomy make the surgeries very complex.  Right now the plan is for Everett to begin some new medications this week in hopes of increasing his heart function.  After a few months they will reassess and present his case to the team again.  So now we’re praying like mad these medications will work and that Everett’s heart function will increase and become strong enough for his first surgery.

We’ve been trying to process everything.  Today I ate approximately 52 pieces of chocolate and burst into tears in the van in our driveway 🙂  We are not hopeless and we fully believe in a God who heals, redeems, renews and restores.  We’re asking Him everyday to heal Everett’s heart and absolutely believe He can.  We’re also just sad right now.  That’s the best way to describe it.  Just sad.

So tomorrow we’ll head to our cardiologist’s office for another appointment and she’ll start Shuai on some new medicine and we’ll just hold on.  And we’ll keep soaking his sweet little self up every single day and continue to petition God to heal his sweet little heart.  In the mean time we’re trying our best to focus our attention on the matters at hand…the places and people we can love.  An easy place to land is our friends the Carmans.  If you missed how our friends are adopting Everett’s best friend you can catch up HERE.

So two ways we can help the Carman’s with their fundraising goal:

1. You can make a 100% tax deductible donation on their AdoptTogether account HERE.  So easy and so helpful and tax deductible.

OR

2.  You can come shop Noonday Collection’s new spring line at our house Thursday, April 27th from 6-8 pm.  I promise to have good food, good drinks, lots of laughter and I will absolutely hug you.  I promise.  Unless the hug creeps you out and in that case I will not hug you.  Tell every last person you know and let’s party together for the Carman family.  Bring a friend or two or ten.  Carpool or just park all over our yard and street.  Last time our neighbors came over to check to make sure no one had died.  Let’s make them think something is really really wrong this time.  🙂

If you cannot make the party in person, no worries!!!  You can shop online HERE and your goodies will be mailed directly to you.  When you check out just make sure Rebecca Daniels is your ambassador and Laura Kelley is your hostess.  20% of all purchases…in person, email or online…will go towards the Carman’s adoption fund.  And let’s not forget Mother’s Day is just around the corner people.  Your mother most definitely deserves some Noonday!

Added bonus:  Noonday has an extra incentive for guests who spend $75 or more – they can get the Afloat Earrings and 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.

 Thank you again so much for praying with us over Everett and his best buddy.  Thank you for supporting the Carman family and for always cheering us on.  I keep reminding myself these boys and their amazing hearts we’re created by God.  He designed them just so and His work is good.  He created them both in His image…jacked up hearts and all 🙂

Big Day

1. Let’s start with the really really good stuff.  If you didn’t read my post about Everett’s best friend being adopted by some of our dear friends who literally live 10 minutes from us then grab a tissue and hurry on over HERE to catch up.

(Let’s talk about that little arm hold…gah!!!!  I love these two.)

Josh and Brooke are working like mad to bring their son home…Everett’s bestie.  These boys have such similar special hearts and a deep rooted brotherly connection.  Today is a big day for Shuai.  Brooke and I were texting and she said, “I just wish he was already here for Shuai as he starts this process.  I feel like they need each other just like we do!”  I absolutely ugly faced sobbed.  As a parent of adopted kiddos you long for these connections and now Shuai will have such a special connection.

The Carman’s have a 100% tax deductible account set up with Adopt Together to help knock out the last of their funds and quickly HERE.  Please join us in supporting them and their crazy amazing little boy.  We’re seriously holding our breath for him to get here and reunite with Shuai.  Let’s share with everyone we know and let’s rally together in support.  Everything is so much sweeter together.

2.  Shuai is having a really important heart cath today…well, actually right now.  I turned my alarm off at 4:45 this morning and hit the floor.  I’m typing this all out in the waiting room at our children’s hospital with a nervous stomach and Josh Kelley keeps rubbing his neck.  Now he’s standing nervously holding the back of a chair.  Ha.  He’s going to love this.

 We’ve already been thanking God for being His mighty good self.  We are praying for miraculous news today.  This boy…actually…both of these boys we’ve shared with you guys are just unreal…larger than life…crazy special…heart warriors in every sense of the word.  Today feels big because it is big.

God is in the business of the super natural…the wondrous…the miraculous and we are choosing to believe in Him and in His power.  Thank you for praying with us.  Here I go again, but it means the freakin world to us.  Thank you, thank you, thank you for joining with us and for all your love, support, kindness, generosity and goodness.  We are forever grateful.

Happy Wednesday.

Dinner & Dessert

Just wanted to drop a quick note to you guys about two awesome recipes.  I know I’ve shared the dessert one before, but I can’t remember if I’ve shared the dinner one.

Slow Cooker Pork CarnitasHold the freakin’ phone people.  This week was my second time to make this for dinner…and when I say make I mean throw in my crock pot and then eat.  This pork is so so good and what I love is that there are always leftovers so we can eat it several times again for lunch.  As a family of 8 we rarely, rarely, rarely have leftovers so it’s exciting when it happens 🙂  We bought small street taco tortillas and layered them with guacamole,pork, homemade pico, romaine and black olives.  So so good!!!!!  A few times I just had all of that on a giant bed of romaine and didn’t miss the tortilla at all.

And today I made Easy Whoopie Pies.  I know I’ve shared this recipe before, but it’s been a while since I made them and I was reminded of how delicious they are.  Amon assisted and by assisted I mean turned on the mixer and licked the paddle and all the spoons and spatulas.  These are always a giant crowd pleaser.

So here are your instructions for the weekend…make pork tacos and whoopie pies…eat your heart out and share!

Happy Friday.