Monday, February 24, 2014

Your Royal Majesty

She is a little princess, this girl of mine. 

I have cherished my time at home with her. 

And I make a constant effort to treasure her at this age. 

It seems like just yesterday when Libby was little. 
And I know one day, Hollyn will be too big for princess dress up. 

And when that day comes, I will cry and long for these days.....

...even if the floors need vacuuming, the dishes are piling up, and the laundry is calling my name. 

Thursday, February 20, 2014

They are Mamas Just Like Me {NOONDAY BLOG TRAIN}

This is my friend Jalia. 
Some of you may know her as one of our lead Noonday Collection artisans in Uganda. 
She and her husband, Daniel, manage our office there where all of our paper bead pieces are made. 

But to me, she is a friend. 
She is a sister in Christ. 
And she is a mama. 

Jalia wants to provide the best she can for her children. 
She wants them to grow to know and love Jesus. 
She wants to help those in need have a better life. 
She wants to teach her babies to care for others. 

She lives in Africa, and I clearly do not. 
But at the end of the day, we are just two mamas who want to do the best we can for our children.

This summer I will get the chance to meet some more of our artisans (more to come on this soon), but for now, Jalia's is the face of our artisans that I see when I talk about them each day. 
Hers is the voice I hear when I think about why I do what I do-- why I stretch my comfort zone and ask people to host shows, why I put over 10,000 miles on my car in 2013 all in the name of sharing our artisans' stories, and why I am on my knees praying for our artisans each and everyday. 

We aren't all called to move to another country. 
We aren't all called to adopt. 
But we ARE all called to do SOMETHING. 
And Noonday is one of the most beautiful 'somethings' I have ever seen. 

And you know what? 
Mamas in over fourteen countries around the world are able to do the best they can for THEIR children because of their employment with Noonday. 

Noonday is one of my SOMETHINGS, and I couldn't be more honored to serve these mamas. 

And to celebrate the launch of the new line, I'm partnering up with some of my favorite ambassadors and participating in the third annual blog train. Over a month of giveaways are headed your way-- one each day hosted by a different Noonday ambassador. 

Yesterday's giveaway was hosted by my dear friend, Wynne, who also happens to be the girl who first introduced me to Noonday. This girl is so amazing, so fun, so full of a desire to serve and connect others. When I'm around her, I just want to soak in as much of her awesomeness as I can. 

And tomorrow's giveaway is hosted by one of the coolest people I've ever met. This girl is so genuine and real-- I am so honored to call her my friend. Head on over to Krista's blog tomorrow. 

And now for the good stuff-- 

one of you is going to win one of these-- 

Can I just say that I so love this piece? 
It's soft and breezy, perfect for spring and summer. 
And did I mention that it has horses on it? 
Because it does. 
I love it, and I'm pretty certain you will too. 

Happy Noonday-ing to you and you and you. 

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Spring Has Sprung

The new Noonday Collection spring line has officially launched. 

I literally have no words to describe the talent, love, and personal touches that go into each piece. 
All handmade, all life-changing, all beautiful.

If you want to see me tear up, all you have to do is get me to start talking about our artisans. 

These are real people with real stories. 

And this is how they are using their gifts to provide a better life for themselves and their families: 

If you need me today, I'll be playing dress-up in my samples. 

You can go HERE to see the new line in all its glory. 

And if you'd like to learn more about Noonday, partner with me to combat poverty and host a party, or get the inside scoop on becoming an ambassador, just email me at 

I could literally talk Noonday all day, every day. 
And today I think I just might. 

And be sure to come back tomorrow-- I'll be giving away one of these items to one of YOU!

Monday, February 10, 2014

I'd Rather Be in Africa

Can we just be honest for a few minutes? 
Can we talk about hard things? 

I miss Africa. 
But probably not for the reasons you are thinking. 

It's been almost a year and a half since I left Africa, and I miss it every single day. 

Africa and the way God used it to open my eyes to those in need-- it changed me. 
I don't worry about the things I used to. 
I still worry plenty, just not so much about myself. 
In fact, I think that's one thing that made getting over the chicken pox so hard for me-- for the first time in a year I've really been concerned with my appearance. 
I don't say that to mean that I don't get dressed up or don't take care of myself; it's just that I realize there are so many other things about myself that I'd rather focus on making 'beautiful' than my appearance. 

I live in a tiny town where I didn't grow up. 
We've lived here for two years. 
And while I have been blessed to find a handful of true friends here, I so often feel like I don't belong. 
My priorities are different. 
My heart beats for different things than most of the women in my town. 
I'm not better or worse-- just different. 

I think about social injustice and the needs of others in the world the way most people in the South think about football (and as a football coach's wife, I can totally say that). 
I worry about my daughter who is growing up on the other side of the world. 
And most people I know in real life have never been out of the country. 
They've never really thought about orphan care or injustice. 
Their daughter isn't sleeping in the dirt, and they don't have to worry about whether or not she'll eat today. 
I don't say that to talk badly about these people-- it's not that they wouldn't care about these things, they just aren't at the forefront of their minds. 

So, while most of the women in town are thinking about whether or not it will snow tonight, I'm thinking of how I can work to help bring my daughter home. What can I do to help increase awareness where I live? How can I help them see? 

At the end of the day, I know it's Jesus who opens our eyes to the things He cares about. 
But I still feel called to do whatever I can. 

Everyone has a cause. 
Some are fighting for better education systems.
Some are fighting to stop puppy mills. 
Some are fighting to find a cure for childhood cancer. 
Some are simply trying to keep their heads above water.

God gives us hearts for different things.
And I am so glad He does. 
If we were all just worried about solving one problem, very little would get done.

But it's hard. 
It's hard when I post something on facebook about social injustice and only ten people like it, but then I post something my daughter said and my facebook wall all but blows up with likes. 
It leaves me feel very alone and very isolated. 
It's hard to not feel like my cause is the most important cause. 
It's hard to not be bitter or angry when I talk about what's on my heart and am met with a sea of blank stares and vacant expressions. 

It's hard when I can honestly say that I felt more at home in Africa than I ever have here. 

But even on the hardest of days, I wouldn't change it. 
I spent almost thirty years as the girl whose eyes were closed. 
I was the girl who, for the most part, was worried about me far more than I worried about others. 
I was the girl who was totally clueless in terms of what was going on around the world. 
And even though at times I just want to cry in an attempt to fight the urge to 'fit it', 
I still wouldn't take it back. 

I would so much rather feel totally alone on a daily basis knowing that I'm right where God wants me for now than to live a life that is anything less than that.....even on the loneliest of days. 

Friday, February 7, 2014

Today's Show is Brought to You by the Number TWO.

It happened. 
My girl turned Africa. 

She turned two in an orphanage. 
And I cried. 

Several people asked me what it felt like to have my girl celebrate her birthday half way around the world without me.

Well, it felt just like it would if I was going to miss Libby or Hollyn's birthday...except worse....
because I can't just make up her birthday or celebrate it early like I could if I were going to have to miss one my girls' birthdays. 

It was hard. 
But it was also good. 

We celebrated her life with cookies and happy thoughts of when she's home. 

And we're getting ready to send our first package to her next month. 
This package will include her first pictures of our family. 
I'm nervous and anxious and excited all rolled into one. 

And in case you missed the big news, 
She sold over 150 bracelets in five days and raised over $1000 to help bring her sister HOME!
Thank you again to everyone who supported her. 
To say you made her day is truly an understatement. 

And just a reminder, MONDAY is the LAST DAY EVER to order one of our adoption shirts. 
They'd make great Easter happies! 
Go here to place  your order. 

Here's hoping your weekend is filled with snow flurries, hot chocolate, warm jammers, and good books. 

Tuesday, February 4, 2014

Happy Birthday, Day 4

Tomorrow my baby will girl will turn two in an orphanage in Africa. 
And today Libby wants to talk to her about THE most important thing. 

Only one day left to help Libby meet her goal of raising $1000 to bring her sister home. 
If you'd like to help her reach her goal, 

Or if you'd like to pass on a bracelet and just donate a dollar or two,
there is a paypal button on my blog sidebar. 
Every dollar donated is one dollar closer to her goal. 

As of right now, she's at $533 raised with about thirty hours left to go. 

Thank you to everyone who has already purchased a bracelet. 
YOU are helping to change the world for our little girl, and we are forever grateful. 

And thanks again to my precious friend Tobi for this precious print.
 It brings joy to my heart every time I see it. 

And don't forget-- just SIX days left to place a t-shirt order!

Monday, February 3, 2014

Happy Birthday, Emily (Day 3)

Red, grey, brown, blue, pink....which one are you loving? 
Libby loves them all and is over the moon excited about her sister's second birthday. 

Have YOU ordered one of Libby's bracelets yet? 
She's on a mission to raise $1000 by February 5th to help bring her little sister home from Africa. 

And she's jumping for joy over each sale...literally. 

And today's letter? 
I cried filming it. 
I cried previewing it. 
I cried watching it. 
And I'm crying now. 

Adoption is hard. 
It comes with loads of hurt and heartache. 

But God? 
God is good. 
And He makes all things new, even families. 

So thankful that adoption is teaching our kiddos to be thankful for the blessing of family and to realize that not everyone has one of those....and that's never ever going to be okay. 


Only seven more days to order one of our super soft adoption shirts. 
You can place your order here

Two more days. 
Two more letters. 
One step closer to our girl. 

Thank you thank you thank you.
High fives and bear hugs for everyone. 

Sunday, February 2, 2014

Happy Birthday, Emily (Day 2)

Oh, my Libby. 
The girl is on a mission. 
She's literally checking the computer or my phone every five minutes to see if someone new has ordered a bracelet for her sister. 


And the bracelets? 
They're selling. 
In fact, the grey and white chevron sold out on the first day, so at Libby's request, we just ordered more. 

A mission, I tell you.

Emily, you are so so so loved, baby girl. 

And without further adieu, here's Libby's second letter to her sister: 

If you'd like to support Libby and our adoption by purchasing one of Libby's bracelets, you can find them at  .

They come in several colors: 

And I'm pretty sure Libby has never been more proud of anything in her whole life. 

She seriously wants her sister yesterday. 

And just a reminder: 

WE ARE ONLY ORDERING ONE MORE BATCH OF T-SHIRTS, so if you'd like to order one, act quickly! The last day to order will be February 10th. 
You can also find them at  .

Thank you again to everyone who has ordered so far. 
You are bringing the BIGGEST smile to our faces and joy to our hearts. 

Saturday, February 1, 2014

Happy Birthday Emily, Day 1

Our newest addition, Emily, turns two this Africa. 
There are so many things that run through my head when I think about this. 
It would be so easy to be sad and let this wreck me. 
BUT, I'm choosing joy....and Libby is helping me. 

First, let me say that this was her idea. 
She's a creative one, that girl of mine. 

She had a huge part in every piece of this project. 
And she wants to help bring her sister home. 

Her goal?
She wants to sell 100 bracelets in the five days that lead up to her sister's birthday. 

With the help of her cousins, she made each and every one of these. 

And she is so proud of them. 

And she hopes to sell them all.....this week. 

That's a lot of selling, folks. 

The girl is dedicated. 

Each day for the next five days, Libby will read a letter she has written to her sister, Emily. 
Melt my heart and pass the Kleenex. 

Letter one: 

If you'd like to help Libby reach her goal, head on over to 
You can select your color or choose to be surprised. 
Each bracelet is a minimum donation of $10.00 and comes with free shipping. 
Each bracelet is one step closer to bringing our girl HOME. 
Or, if you'd prefer, you can make a donation in any amount through the paypal link on my sidebar. 

And while you're there, feel free to place a t-shirt order!
We'll only be ordering one more batch of shirts.

$1000 in five days. 
One less orphan. 
Three forever sisters. 

Thank you, thank you, thank you, and come back tomorrow to hear letter #2!