Mar. 16, 2017

Our Adoption Life Book

Today we completed the last step in our home study by attending our approval meeting. There are a few small things I need to send in (the paperwork never, ever ends) but our books are with our agency and ready to be shown to prospective birth parents. Even though we have been preparing for this for almost a year now, its pretty surreal to know that the waiting portion is here, and there is no control we can have over the future. God has really worked on our hearts though this process and strengthened our faith, without which this would be a very frustrating time I’m sure.

We have gotten so many questions about what exactly a “life book” is and how our agency will use it in the adoption process. These family profile books are used to help birth parents get to know potential adoptive families before any personal relationship is built. The books can be done several ways, but we chose to create a 50 page hard cover book which we had printed through Blurb. When birth moms come into the agency, they look through all the available family books that fit within their adoptive family wishes and eventually decide to move forward with one family. That family then gets a copy of the birth parents social medical history, and either agrees to continue with meeting the birth family, or declines for whatever reason.

The task of creating a book to share the personality, beliefs, and heart of our family was a daunting one, and proved to be harder than I imagined. Even as a designer by trade, finding the right words and images to convey an accurate picture of the fun and joy of our family, extended family and friends was not easy. This book is something we will treasure for the rest of our lives, as it plays a huge role in bringing home our baby, and we know it will be a part of their story and the legacy we hope to leave.

book-1 book-2-2 Adoption Family Profile Book book-3-2    book-4 book-4-2 book-6    book-7 book-6-2     book-9 book-8 Domestic Adoption Life Book Our Family Adoption Profile    Adoption Family Profile Book 2


Jun. 4, 2014

Intentional Prayer

Intention and Grace for my prayer life. Prayer Journals by Val Marie Paper and other ways to stay on track with prayer. Don't let busyness win. |

It has always been amazing to me how God weaves himself seamlessly in and out of all seasons of my life. Recently I have been struggling with my prayer life. It’s not that I don’t pray, or forget to do so, it’s that I have noticed my prayers have become much more insincere these past few months. My achilles heel—busyness—has caused me not only to put worldly things before my purpose but also distracted me from my intentions to do good.

Being a new mom has thrown me for a bit of a loop. There were always more items on the to-do list than time in the day, but now that is exponentially true. I’ve found myself saying quick prayers between dinner and bathtime, while I run the diapers out to the trash, or as I fall asleep at night, barely keeping my eyes open, but this is not how God calls our prayer lives to be. I’ll catch myself saying, “Yes! Of course I’ll pray for you” only to fall in to the busyness of life and either forget to do so all together, or only give it a moment of my time, far below what it truly requires. If I call myself a believer and a friend, what greater gift or purpose is there in my life than to pray and love on those who need it? I want my prayers to be fuller and deeper and more thoughtful than they currently are.  These feelings have been heavy on my heart for the past few months, and I’ve decided it’s time to make a change. So these next few months I am vowing to make some changes to my daily routine in the hopes to progress my prayer time and be the friend and prayer partner I hope others to be for me.

I came across these amazing prayer journals by Val Marie Paper by chance on Instagram a few weeks ago and instantly knew they were an answer to prayer. I can’t wait to dig into them this month, making time to go over all that there is in my life to pray for and about. These journals are a daily promise for me to keep each commitment for prayer that I make and do it with joy and love rather than half-hearted impatience. Just 30 minutes a day going over these well-thought-out pages helps me to keep my prayer life organized, while still giving me the freedom to let the spirit lead me where it may. I am so excited to dive into this and feel so grateful to have friends joining me on this journey.

Intention and Grace for my prayer life. Prayer Journals by Val Marie Paper and other ways to stay on track with prayer. Don't let busyness win. |

I have also started to make small adjustments to my daily routine to help me with this season. My drive to and from work is rather long, and I am usually listening to KLOVE (it’s my fave) or BPM radio (cause it makes me happy dance), but I’ve decided to take one or two of these 30 minute drives to just be silent. To enjoy the scenery God has blessed me with and spend that time in prayer and communication with God alone. I have only done this 3 times, but I can’t even explain to you how much a blessing those morning drives have already been for me.

I am trying to keep an open mind, choosing to find more ways to take out the busy and replace it with the important things in life. How are you intentionally choosing to take out the busy in your life? Help me out! I would love to take this journey with more of you and pray that this transformation in my life can be an inspiration for yours as well.



May. 14, 2014

Swimming into Summer

Well, its back. It’s swimsuit season again…

Suit shopping has never been my favorite idea of shopping, but after scouring the internet for the perfect suit, I found several that I can’t take my eyes off of. It is so challenging to find modest, yet stylish suits on a budget, but I think designers are finally taking the hint that many of us are after just that! Though many stores are still full of the tiny bikini tops and skimpy bottoms, the options below give me some hope that modesty is still alive and I can look cute in a one piece after all! No matter what I weigh or how I feel about my body, I think it is important to keep modesty in check, and hope this is something I am able to teach my children in the future.

One of these became a lucky winner for me this summer, see if you can guess which one. From a very budget friendly $30 to a splurge of $200, here are several adorable swimsuit options to get you in the mood for the beach. Swim-12014 Swimsuit trends for summe. Going for a One Piece, Tankini or Bikini, here are some great options.  |  Intentionandgrace.com2014 Swimsuit trends for summe. Going for a One Piece, Tankini or Bikini, here are some great options.  |  Intentionandgrace.com2014 Swimsuit trends for summe. Going for a One Piece, Tankini or Bikini, here are some great options.  |  Intentionandgrace.com2014 Swimsuit trends for summe. Going for a One Piece, Tankini or Bikini, here are some great options.  |

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Mar. 3, 2014

Intentional Tuesday


Yesterday was a snow day for many of us in Tulsa, and something sparked in me when I woke up. I actually was able to sleep in a bit, so perhaps it was that extra few hours of sleep, but I sprang into Spring Cleaning mode. By 5:30 that evening I had all the laundry and dishes done and put away. Like all, not a dirty glass or stinky sock in the place! The kitchen and living room were cleaned up, dusted and vacuumed, furniture in the bedroom was rearranged, two closets and one guest room (aka: storage/craft room) were totally cleaned out, and I even had a little free time to have some milk and cookies in between of course. :) So once all that was done and I sat down to check my phone after running around like a crazy woman all day, I saw that I had over 85 emails in my inbox. Now, these had accumulated over the three day weekend, but almost none of them had anything to do with life, work or relationship. They were all from places like amazon, gap, groupon, etc. and they take over my inbox each morning. On a day to day basis they are the first thing I see when my alarm goes off in the morning, and that is just what they are hoping for.

So to continue this massive spring cleaning binge in my life today and this week I am decluttering my inbox. Not only will it help me to see those emails I am getting that really matter, but it will help me to resist temptation and spur of the moment purchases simply for the “Deal of the Day.” Note to self: Just because it’s 65% off does NOT mean that I need it! Yet, I always think that’s exactly what it means.

There are so many daily deal sites and fun places to shop that I find myself needing to do this inbox cleanse every few months in order to spend less and want less. We are all so blessed and fortunate, so this is one small step to rid yourself of overspending temptation, or needless buying.

Let me know if you’ll do it with me! Happy unsubscribing!



Jan. 4, 2014

Declutter in an Hour or less

Declutter In a Hour or Less -

Okay guys, its officially a few days into 2014 and time for me to be intentional about organization and cleanup. Most people like to hold off until spring and have an annual Spring Cleaning, but I find it so refreshing to start the year off in a positive place. This year has flown by for us and had its share of both ups and downs, but Christmas break is over, we are back at work, and most of us are probably still dreading taking down the tree, lights, ornaments, etc. around the house.

I sucked it up and took down most of our inside decor before the New Year, even though I much preferred to be lazy and continue my holiday relaxing…But I still have a lot of organizing, and straitening up to do around the house to get my “problem areas” in check. Mainly because we moved into our new home this year and have been so busy that I have neglected organizing a couple areas. So when I stumbled across this amazing article on Better Homes and Gardens a few weeks ago, I knew I had to store it away for after the new year, because it’s pretty genius. I love how something that normally seems intimidating is made so simple by putting a 5-15 minute time limit on it. I know that not all of these tasks can be accomplished in that time frame, some will take less and some more, but it gives me a goal to visualize and some very practical ways to “start conquering clutter.”

Here are my favorites from the post that I’m sure to focus on this weekend:

Declutter the bathroom:
If you have 5 minutes: put away anything on the counter tops, and pull the shower curtain closed to conceal any bathtub clutter.

Declutter the pantry:
If you have 15 minutes: regroup food by item type. Toss anything that is expired. Wipe away any spills or dirt on shelves.

Declutter the closet:
If you have 5 minutes: Hang up clothes that are draped over your designated drop spot, such as on a chair. (This may take me 10 minutes… oops.)

Declutter the Refrigerator or Freezer:
If you have 15 minutes: Take a few minutes to assign spots using your fridge’s current contents to establish specific spots for foods you typically stock.

Declutter under the sink:
If you have 15 minutes: Keep the area neat by storing only one paper towel roll and tidy up each time you replace it. Old media caddies are the perfect size for movable kits filled with cleaners and scrubbing tools. Stash one beneath your sink so you’re ready for a quick clean. –I will need to completely take everything out of this area and restock with purpose. Right now things are sort of thrown about with no rhyme or reason making it very difficult to find the supply when needed.

A few of the items I have already knocked off my to-do list include taking down all of this years Christmas cards and filing them away in a 2013 folder. I love looking back at them each year, and this keeps them easily organized by year. We also packed away the Christmas decor in bins for weather proofing and easy storage. I got some at Target for $6 this year, they are red and green so I can easily spot them next year when its time to haul them out again. I hate having to play the holiday guessing game each year by opening and closing boxes to see what’s inside, so it was important for me to have them clearly labeled. We did the same thing with the halloween/fall decor also by putting them in black and orange bins.

So, I hope you join me in a little home cleanup, because it is more obtainable than you think. Happy New Year!