tour through blogland!

hi guys! if you are on the ‘tour through blogland’– welcome! i’m glad it led you here :) if you are a returning reader–thanks for coming back. it’s nice to feel like someone other than my mom is reading (love you mom!). either way, let me introduce myself to you a little better! hopefully you will like what you read, and you can introduce yourself to me! i love new friends…..and old friends… :)

what is a blog tour?

this tour through blogland is an awesome way for readers and writers to get to know each other! it’s a way for me to introduce myself to you, fill you  in on the happenings in my life, and give you suggestions on other amazing blogs i know you will love! i was nominated by my wonderful “insta-friend” tamara (you will find out more about her below!), and i am thrilled and honored to take part!

what am i working on?

currently i am working on motherhood. oh, you know, just trying to tackle that little thing called BEING A FREAKING MOM…for the first time! no big deal…i should have this figured out by next week sometime..

paul and i just adopted our first little girl, vivi, and we are blindly groping our way through the dark (quite literally during night feedings) trying to figure out our new roles as ‘mom’ and ‘dad’. i am working on letting go of trivial things that take my focus off of viv….like laundry….or personal hygiene…. and savoring every second we have with our little babe.

i am also working on finishing up her nursery….. i’ve got a long way to go….. (wait.what?! i need a crib AND a crib mattress? shouldn’t this all come in the same box??!)

in addition to all things baby, i am finding my love again for healthy food and cooking, and i am nursing my newest addiction to the tv show ‘the blacklist.’ and you should too, it’s so good!

how does my work differ from others in it’s genre?

well…..i think my blog is different because i am not an, “(insert blog description here)” blog. it’s one part ‘mom blog’, one part ‘health and wellness’ blog, NO PARTS fashion blog, unless unwashed yoga pants are considered hip, and day old spit up is considered an accessory…..it’s an eclectic read here at T&H. i love to talk about healthy, holistic medicine (the kind that has helped me heal my ulcerative colitis), sharing yummy and healthy recipes, building our first home, decorating (or rather, wandering overwhelmed through ikea and homegoods trying to figure out “my style”…), and other various “here’s what happening in our life” posts……….however lately it has been all things adoption on the blog!

i have fallen. in. LOVE. with adoption. and i LOVE to talk about it. so, in addition to being one part “mom blog” i also blog about what it’s like to be one of TWO moms that love our girl (ie: viv’s birthmom), how to support our birth family, what our open adoption looks like, and what it means to embrace the transracial aspect of our newly formed family of 3. (again….groping blindly through life on these topics…..). i hope that no matter what you are looking for in a blog, you can find a little bit of it here. “all things to all people”, am i right? :)

…….i guess maybe this blog doesn’t differ too much from others…i just hope you like my spin on things and want to keep reading! :)

why do i write/create what i do:

this blog started because i wanted to start documenting my life in such a way that made me stop and realize all the amazing treasures i have. i wanted this to be a reminder to be thankful, a way to look back and see the faithfulness of God in our life, and now with our daughter, i want to have our adoption journey documented for her to read someday.

as a result, through my blog i have been able to connect with other people who are wanting to get healthy and heal their bodies naturally, prospective adoptive couples, amazing adoption-grown families, people building homes of their own, and so many many amazing bloggers who encourage me, motivate me, and inspire me in all the different facets of life.

so, i guess in short, i write to count my blessings, be blessed by others, and try to bless others myself. (hashtag: blessed.)

how does my writing/creating process work?

mmmmmm…….that’s a good question….as of right now, i blog “as the spirit moves” you might say. no rhyme or reason…some weeks i blog a few times….sometimes i take a month off…i am trying to be more consistent though… i have tons of post ideas rolling around in my head, and as soon as i feel like i have enough in there to write, i do. this is usually why my posts are unedited, raw, and sometimes rambling…. i just barf it all out there and hit “publish” !! i really do love to write, and i hope to get better at it someday :)

so, there’s a little bit about me! i hope you enjoyed it! thanks for reading, and i hope you come back again!

BUT WAIT! there’s more!

to continue your tour through blogland, check out these three amazing blogs! i love the honesty, creativity, humor, and insight these  blogs have to offer….plus the women have become some of my greatest ‘blogland’ friends! i KNOW you will enjoy these! (these bloggers will have their “tour through blogland” posts up next week, along with their recommendations!)

 

Kelly Bee! 

My name is Kelly and a write at a blog called Kelly Bee, named after what my mom has called me my entire life. I write about my life, the things and people I love, and the things I am passionate about. My husband and I just adopted our first child after struggling 10 years of infertility.  I love adoption and how it has changed my life. I have a loving Heavenly Father who has made it all possible.   I share openly and sometimes I can be a bit silly. I love the friends that blogging has brought to my door. 

 

My So Called Glamorous Life!  

*Lisa Owen is a writer and blogger at My So Called Glamorous Life: The Adventures of a Domestic Engineer (www.mysocalledglamlife.com) and she has been a featured blogger on Blogher.com, Project Underblog, and in the supplemental materials for The Princess Problem (available at Rebecca Hains.com). She is a mother/step-mother in a blended family with five children ages 6 to 23.  Lisa has a B.S. in Journalism from Southern Illinois University and spent 15 years working as a corporate/transactional paralegal for law firms and corporations before becoming a SAHM and pursuing her passion for writing.

 

 

Adoption Mama Blog! 

Tamara writes at Adoption Mama Blog as well as Hosts Adoption Swap Box. She shares stories and thoughts on Adoption, her Faith in Jesus Christ, Parenthood, Home Decor & whatever else comes to her heart. Tamara just celebrated her 10th year of marriage with her husband Mark, they are parents of two beautiful boys who entered their family through adoption. Tamara & Mark are once again waiting to adopt their third child & share this most recent adoption journey on the blog as well. Adoption Mama Blog is full of Faith, Honesty, Encouragement, Love & Laughter. Come check it out!

5 things i want you to know about our birth mom

since we’ve been home it has been a WHIRLWIND! lots of visitors, trips to see family, lots of snuggles and hugs, and oh-so-many-diapers. listen: SO. MANY. DIAPERS.  but we are thrilled to be home with our girl!

so, a lot of people have asked me about our relationship with our birthmom. i thought i would take a few minutes to talk about her before posting about viv’s birth story. i think it will help you better understand her birth story, her birth mom, and our adoption process in general.  there are things that i will share with you about her, her son, and our relationship, and there are things i won’t. the biggest lesson we have learned through this process is that her story is not our story to tell. the intimate details of her life are not ours to share, and because we are family with this woman, we will protect her as such. so, please feel free to ask questions, or email me about this process and our relationship, but just know that some things are not our story to share. also, going forward i will refer to her as “M” because typing ‘birthmom’ every time is annoying :) and hyphenating ‘birthmom’ to ‘BM’ just seems….wrong.. :) so here are 5 things i want you to know about our M:

1. she is confident: the first time we talked to M was on the phone, about a week after we learned she had chosen us. we were nervous and excited and i think i paced the house the entire morning waiting for the phone to ring. our consultant, courtney, had coached us a bit before hand on what to expect, questions to ask, and what not to ask on this call. this was going to be her opportunity to get to know us better, not our chance to grill her about her life. when we got on the phone and heard her voice, tears filled my eyes. her voice was beautiful. she was so kind, and you could hear the joy and love in her voice. i think i opened by saying something like, “ah! we are so nervous! are you?” ..hoping she would say yes and put me at ease….but instead she said “i’m not nervous! i know you guys will be good parents!” BAM. that knocked the wind out of me! she was so confident in us ALREADY. she was so strong, and brave and loving. it put me at ease 100 times more than if she had been nervous too. that she could be confident not only in her decision, but in OUR decision, showed a level of faith and security i only hope to attain someday.

she is strong: because of various adoption laws, M did not give birth in her home state. instead, at 36 weeks pregnant, with a 4 year old son in tow, she hopped on a plane for the very first time in her life, and flew to a new state where she knew no one. she packed up her life for the next 3 weeks, navigated one of the nations largest airports all by herself, and went to give birth, essentially alone (or at least away from friends and family) for the good of her child. that is more strength than i could ever muster.

she is selfless: for most people in life, coming upon a decision and then realizing “hmmmm…making this choice would be hardest thing i will ever have to do..” is the end of the discussion. at least for me, when my choices are doing the hardest, most selfless thing ever, or NOT, i always seem to choose NOT. but not for M. she faced the hardest, most selfless fork in the road of all time, and she chose the hard way. not for her, but for her baby. this was unspeakably humbling to watch.

she is a loving mother: placing vivian with us was not an easy choice for M. even though we have built a loving, trusting, family bond with her, this was the hardest thing she will ever have to do. i can tell you without hesitation that M loves vivi with her whole heart. it is because of this love that she was able to place her with us, and it is that loving spirit that i know resides deep in vivian too. seeing this love first hand during her pregnancy, and after viv was born, softened our hearts to M even more. we loved her beforehand, for sure, but seeing how well she loved her son and viv melted us. the kisses and hugs she showered both vivi and her son with was beautiful. her selfless choice for adoption displays her clear, deep, and forever love for vivian and us. we are so honored to be loved by her.

but more than anything, what i really want you to know about our M, is that she has shown us how to be parents. not just parents: good parents. she has shown us what unconditional, selfless love looks like. she has shown us what it means to sacrifice for your child. and she has given us the confidence to know that we can do this parenting thing.

before we started the adoption process i was so nervous at the thought of the birthmom being involved in our life. it seemed foreign and scary to have another person’s feelings and life to consider in all of it, and it wasn’t something we were sure we wanted, to be honest. after meeting M though, all that changed. when we realized that this is not just “some woman” that we were meeting, but the MOTHER of our CHILD, it changed everything.  M is our forever family. and we are forever grateful.

ps. i realize that not everyone’s adoption story goes as our has. not every birthmom is willing or able to be as open as M is with us. but i would like to encourage you to be open to your birthmom in your hearts, if nothing else. choose to see how confident she is, or selfless, or strong, or loving. love your birthmom for who she is, not just for who she is giving you. it goes such a long way, i promise. and if all you can see is her brokenness, then i encourage you to remember that despite our incredible brokenness we are infinitely loved by our Creator. choose to see her brokenness as an awesome opportunity to love her regardless, and pray for her always.

home sweet home

we are back! it feels so weird to be writing again! i think i have taken the easy way out lately and “blogged” via instagram instead of actually sitting down and writing…but i want to get back into this because i want to remember and have these stories written out for viv someday. and let’s be honest, “too lazy to blog” really translates into “what the F just happened over the last 14 days/ i haven’t slept in DAYS!!!!!! so, giving myself some “mom grace”. baby steps.

i have gotten so many amazing emails from women from all over talking about their adoption journeys, congratulating us on Viv, and asking questions about our process! it’s amazing and so beautiful. disclaimer: if you have emailed me i am working hard to respond as fast as possible! i will respond though! pinky swear! :)

well, this one is just going to be short and sweet. letting you all know that this was the trip of our lifetime, and that we are so so SO SO SO (i’m shouting now) SOOOOO thankful for all of the sweet texts, messages, emails, phone calls, visits, and gifts we have been blessed with during our time in AZ as well as now that we are home. this village, i’ve said it once and i’ll say it again, it’s better than all the rest.

ill be blogging as much as i can too now that i’m home! i have a ton of entries i’m working on such as:

-Vivian’s birth story

-how to love your birth mom well

how to pack for your adoption

-what the H did we just do?!

-gah! i JUST changed you!

-does she feel warm to you?

-how to bathe your child and simultaneously rip their belly button off

-mom guilt

and much much more! so stay tuned!

okay gotta run– my baby is crying… gosh. it feels so amazing to type that. :)

Here’s some vivi love for your….what day is it…….

 

PS. she’s not ALWAYS in this bow…just MOST of the time. :)