Tuesday, December 24, 2013

Our Christmas came super early this year :-)

I haven't been around for awhile and in all honesty, I'm not sure how often I'll get here in the next few months. That is because a Christmas wish we've had for the five years we've been married was granted early this year: WE ADOPTED A BABY GIRL!!!

I know I posted on here not too long ago that we would be trying. To be honest it doesn't seem like we have tried for that long but the process of finding an agency or route for adoption began long ago so even if the placement didn't take long, the process seemed to go on forever.

Our sweet girl was born just before Thanksgiving and we plan to have an open adoption with her birth family. While the whole wanting a baby, figuring out we couldn't have one naturally, pursuing one agency after another before finally deciding to pursue private adoption, meeting a birth family, having them pick us and waiting for Annabelle to be born took forever; I now see that God had a special plan for us. He wanted her in our lives, not any other baby.

Throughout the process of infertility, grieving missing out on things like pregnancy and breastfeeding, normal excitement like baby showers, I always said that I knew God was the architect but I just wanted to see His plans. That may have been easier, but in a way all the hard times have made having Annabelle home with us even sweeter and easier.

I know there are many of you out there struggling. It is hard. Sometimes downright awful! Sometimes you don't want to get out of bed in the morning and then you do get out of bed only to drag yourself into work to find out via facebook that someone that hadn't been trying is pregnant. Those days still make me tear up. That hurt is real and you are allowed to feel it. You are allowed to grieve pregnancy. You are allowed to cry to your significant other that it isn't fair that you can't allow yourself to feel happy when your birth mom is 8 months along and your friends want to throw you a shower but you are fearful she could still change her mind and why can't any part of this process just be normal?

I promise you all those struggles will be worth it one day. That one day will provide you with the baby you were meant to love. The baby that needed you! But in the meantime, feel those emotions. Deal with them. Just like your prego friends are allowed to be hormonal you are allowed to be emotional too!

At the end of all of it, you will hold a precious angel in your arms and you will want to do nothing but be overjoyed with emotion and allowing yourself to have felt all that you felt, you will have nothing left to do but be overjoyed and it will ALL be worth it. I promise.

Merry Christmas to all of you but especially to those adoptive mommies-to-be! My heart goes out to you and my prayers are filled with hope for you!


For I know the plans I have for you,” says the Lord. “They are plans for good and not for disaster, to give you a future and a hope.-Jeremiah 29:11

Tuesday, July 30, 2013

A bit of travel and oh we're trying for adoption

Beau and I have been lucky enough to get a couple of really great vacations in this summer. Boy do I feel like I've needed them both. We've decided to adopt (possibly though foster care if that is God's plan) and that means we have no idea when a vacation, a dinner out, a hike will be our last as a family of 2. It makes every one of these moments precious.

It also has made the last couple of months hard. I'm so happy to be moving forward with adoption but there is some small part of me that always thought I would get to be pregnant. I have found myself unexpectedly grieving things I will never be able to give my future child/children: the attachment and bonding that comes in the womb, breastfeeding, etc. I can't wait to be a mom to a child that is adopted into our lives but there are feelings coming up that I didn't know would surface and that have had me going though a strange sort of grieving process that I never expected.

The cool thing is that since we made our plans to adopt known (through a FB announcement) we have gotten an overwhelming amount of support from friends far and wide. The attorney we're speaking to says that the best thing to do when trying to adopt is to let anyone and everyone know your plans because you never know who is going to be the person to introduce you to the birthmother. I am so grateful to our friends who have helped us with this journey so far. I can't wait to be looking back a year or two from now at where we started and to be so grateful to finally be a mom.

In any case, we've been lucky enough to go to both St. Simon's, GA and Michigan for vacation this year so here are some photos from those trips.

 We decided to use St. Simon's as our early 5 year anniversary celebration.

 The SSI lighthouse
SSI SUP-so much fun!
We traveled up to Michigan for a family reunion and I got to see family I hadn't seen since before Beau and I got married. This was his first time meeting the bulk of my Michigan relatives.

 Exploring the lake

 The family farm house. They are tearing it down next week. Had our family reunion not been when it was we would have missed seeing it one last time.

Michigan has so much beauty and history, it is just unreal!

Friday, May 10, 2013

A few pics from the new house

So we've moved and things have been crazy! We have been super busy with projects all over the place from painting to gardening to who knows what. Here are a couple pictures from a room that is almost complete. In this last move I realized we had too much red and brown and not enough blue and green so I am trying to add some touches of color here and there. Not only in my house but in my wardrobe. I actually got the shirt in the first picture for free from Old Navy (lucky me)!

Sunday, January 6, 2013

Ringing in the new year

Well this first week of the new year wasn't everything I wanted and more as I was sick most of the week but the weekend did top it off well. I started the week sick and I was so happy that I had just received another sample from Old Navy (this time activewear-so comfy lounge clothes) from Crowdtap. I spent all day New Year's day in my Old Navy Active Compression pants. They are so comfy for lounging or running errands. I was able to stay comfortable while hanging out with with some good friends.

Wednesday it was back to work for me and I really enjoyed my first days back at full-time (even though I haven't completely transitioned into my new role yet. I am just so grateful to work at a place that I love with people that are just incredible!

Thursday Beau left to go on a roadtrip to help a friend bring two cars from Portland, Maine back to NC and I practically fell apart. I haven't spent that long away from Beau when not with family and so I had to make immediate plans to visit someone. Beau's parents were kind enough to take me in. It is nice to live only a few hours from family for these types of situations. This is where the week really picked up.

I headed down to Griffin after work and got there fairly late in the evening. Beau's mom and I made plans to hit up a bunch of craft and fabric stores and to top the night off with a evening at Stache Studio to create a painting. Saturday we spent all day busy but it was so much fun and we had a great painting to show at the end of the day. I had never been to one of those painting classes before but it was so much fun and I can't wait to go back.

Despite the slow, sickly start to the week it ended on a great note and now Beau is back and life is back to normal. I am so glad to have him home safe!

Tuesday, January 1, 2013


Happy 2013! Time to get productive...

So I got some great quilting supplies from my MIL for Christmas and it has put me in the mood to get a bit crafty. I have been thinking for awhile about making another quilt (I made one or two about 5 years ago). I keep seeing all this great designs online for more modern and less calico quilts and I decided to go in that direction.

I am going to make a simple rectangle quilt (thought briefly about triangles but this will be a bit easier I think). The design was inspired and will slightly mimic quilts found on Red Pepper Quilts and Elise Blaha-Enjoy It.

I love how Elise uses plain fabric and makes it into something beautiful. I decided to go with that idea and here are my swatches for the front of the quilt.
Side note: Finally caught the Downton Abbey bug (while simultaneously catching this cold bug) and was able to catch up on both seasons. I cannot wait for this show to start back up...hooray for Downton Abbey Season 3 and everything else it has in store :-)

Monday, December 31, 2012

One Word

2013 is just a few hours away and I cannot wait to see what it has in store. Life will be getting back to normal in a way for me in 2013 as I am going to begin working full-time again. Last February I switched from one full-time job (that I didn't much care for) to two part-time jobs. In October the opportunity presented itself to go full-time at one of my jobs in the new year and I decided to go for it!

I have realized that when I do not have the 40 hour work life that I am less productive in my personal life. I accomplished a few house projects but more or less let the time pass and don't have much to show for it. 2013 will return me to my 40 hours of work and I am determined to make the remaing 128 hours as productive as I can.

I have been setting goals for a healthy lifestyle, for family, for budget, for professional growth and I also plan to add more creativity back into my life as well. One thing I did manage during the Christmas season was to document our 2012 Christmas in a mini scrapbook.  Scrapbooking has changed since 8th grade when I was initially introduced to it and believe it or not is a lot easier. Taking on the Christmas minibook made me anxious for more and I've decided to document 2013 with Project Life. For me this will look like a scrapbook page for ever week of 2013. Beau and I are determined 2013 will be a big year for us so I am excited I will have it well-documented.

One other project I'll be taking on is a type of journaling through scrapbook. I will be taking a monthly class called One Little Word. I am excited to use this project as a benchmark for my 2013 goals. I am not 100% sure about my word yet. I want it to be an active verb. 2013 will be a time for forward movement and will not be passive. Words I considered were "hope" and "strength" but I believe I have settled on the word "grow". I want to grow in faith, grown in family, grow in health, etc.

Hopefully our biggest growth in 2013 will be the growth of our family. This is something Beau and I have been wanting and trying for a long time on and I hope and pray that 2013 will lead us there. Please keep us in your prayers that our family will grow in 2013 and feel free to share with me your goals for 2013!

Friday, December 28, 2012

An Amazing Christmas season!

It has been an all-around wonderful Christmas season. Here are just a few (dozen) pics from our wonderful holiday with family and friends!
Bell Ringing for Salvation Army
I love that we live in the "Bible Belt"...nativity scenes are everywhere at Christmas around here!

Time well spent with cousins in Athens
These next few are from our wonderful family Christmas in Griffin with Beau's fam!



Christmas Eve service at Grace Blue Ridge. This gets better and better every year. This year was even more special because my parents and little bro were with us.
I helped with cafe this year.

Beau working tech.
Our incredible worship team!
Christmas Eve dinner at Seasons at Highland Lake...delish! This was our first time there and it completely exceeded our expectations. I cannot wait to go back again. I think we'll continue this tradition of Christmas Eve dinner there.  Too bad the pictures from here didn't turn out so well.
Christmas morning in front of the fire. Beau really did great this year! He loved his hiking boots so much from The Clymb that he went out for a Christmas morning hike while I got stated on Christmas dinner.
Beau also got several albums on CD that he had worn completely through...lots of Phish, Grateful Dead and Allman shows that he still cannot get enough of.

Our dinner set-up.
Christmas morning in my new comfy pjs.

My first ever turkey and it turned out amazing! I used Martha's recipe and also her stuffing listed in that link (which my mom loved). In addition to the turkey and stuffing we had squash casserole (GF), mac & cheese (GF), green beans, fruit, mashed potatoes, gravy and some super yummy ham.

Steve carving the bird (Beau didn't want to) while Sean supervises.

All in all this Christmas was incredible. I got great gifts, we ate great food, but most important was the time well spent with family and friends. I love our lives and this year was full of so many blessings. I can't wait to see what 2013 has in store!

Miss Shadow Dozier