Monday, March 16, 2015

Spring is Here!

These kiddos could play outside all day long.  We are so thankful that warmer weather is coming soon so I can send the wiggles & screams out the back door to play!! Now if I could just keep their shoes & clothes on :)

 


 John Ryman kept saying "Take a picture of this goofball- I'm so silly!"

Tuesday, March 3, 2015

March "Give": The Renner Family

 I'm so excited to share with you all the Renner Family & their adoption journey...
Chris and I have been married since October, 1998. We have a 13 year old daughter and an 11 year old son. Chris is adopted and has always wanted to adopt, to give back in the same way he was blessed through adoption.  However, life sets in and years roll by.
 
Even though we had always discussed adoption, we never took action.  Then one Easter, service at Southeast Christian in Louisville, we were all given white cards with 4 windows in which to write certain things.  One of those things was one dream you have.  Chris and I both wrote “Adopt a child”.  Yet, still no action.  
Then at church Kyle Idleman told a story about being at an orphanage in Haiti and being called to action.  “Do something” he said.  I think we were mostly hesitant because of the cost.  We didn’t see how we could afford the expense of adoption.  I hated the idea of asking others for financial support.  Then Kyle preached a message about how some people “Go” and others “Send”.  I realized that not everyone feels called to adopt, yet they may have a heart for orphans and want to give so that a child could be brought into a family.
 
Chris and I were finally called to action because we realized our lack of action was…in one word…disobedient.  We were still scared of the cost, and because we wanted older children (not babies…been there, done that, don’t wanna go back!) we decided that we would foster to adopt with the state.  After 16 weeks of training, we purchased a larger home to make room for the children God would send, then… nothing. We never received a call for a placement.   In January 2013, Chris said with confidence and authority, “We are going to adopt internationally.  God will provide the funds we need.”  From that moment on, I was all in.
We completed our home study, prayed, chose a country, prayed, chose an agency, prayed, paid more money than I ever have at once for anything, prayed, and waited.  Our country of choice was Ethiopia.  We have several friends who have adopted from Ethiopia and all of the children are so loving and affectionate and have adjusted well.  We also liked the idea of our child having friends from his own country of origin and culture.  In the meantime, Ethiopia has gone through some changes which have slowed the adoption process way down.  We were originally told we would be matched with a child in about 6 months.  Then in the fall of 2014 we were being encouraged to switch countries because the wait would be years.
 
However, we stayed to course and we received a surprise call on New Year’s Eve that we have a son!  He is 8 years old and his name is Natnael, which means “Gift from God.”  He shares a birthday with our son, Mason.  There are 365 days that could have been Nat’s birthday, and it is the same day as his brother!  We expect to travel to Ethiopia to adopt Natnael in June and should have him home with us in September. God is so good! We ask for prayers that everything moves swiftly and there are no issues with the process or paperwork.  Thank you all so much!
 
https://www.etsy.com/listing/204378483/march-give-scarf-womens-tribal
This colorful Women's Infinity Scarf is the featured Give Scarf for the month.  (while supplies last)
All profit from the sales of this scarf style goes directly to help fund the Renner's adoption process.  We hope you love your scarves & share how you style them by tagging us on Instagram @everydaypitpat
 

Stitch Fix- My Personal Review


Last year, I ordered two shipments from Stitch Fix near my birthday.  I was amazed by the ease of the process.  I kept jeans, a top and shorts last year- although I loved almost every piece!  I still think about a coral leather bag that was in one of the fixes, but keeping every piece was totally out of the budget :) The jeans in my first box fit perfectly!  I thought it was a total fluke- because it usually takes store after store and tons of returns before I find jeans that work (especially in the post-baby awkwardness) but after 3 successful fixes and hearing from tons of other women...  the incredible pants fit & selection seems to be the favorite part of everyone's experience.

This time around I was looking specifically for a new spring dress and a pair of jeans.  I needed another pair since I wear my first Stitch Fix pair several times a week!  Each order is $20 up front, but that money goes towards any item you purchase.  I suppose you would be out $20 if you didn't pick any items, but I highly doubt that will be the case if you fill out your style profile accurately.

The Key to Stitch Fix is to be extremely honest in your style profile about size, fit and style AND be very detailed in your message to your stylist! 
(Areas you want to conceal or accentuate... your typical frustrations you have when shopping or fitting clothes that you want to avoid... an event you have coming up where you need an outfit...)
In my box this month, I received two dresses (left blue maxi and right knee length) a simple thin sweater top, Kensie jeans, and one necklace.  Each piece fit perfectly!  The jeans were long enough, tops were the perfect neckline for me & the necklace was a great accessory for it all!  Obviously my budget did not allow for me to keep all the items, but if it had- you always receive 25% off the entire 5 items! So if you're on the edge about one last item it is probably cheaper to go ahead and buy all 5.  I kept the top right dress and the jeans (which was the most expensive item $88 but the one I needed the most).  I didn't really need a necklace, the deep red sweater fit great but for $34 didn't seem like anything too special and the maxi dress was super comfy but maybe in a different color. 

So after I clicked on the "checkout" option in my email- I left feedback on each item for my stylist.  (More unique piece for a top next time... not any cobalt blue... perfect fit for jeans... love the neckline on the blue lace dress...etc)  Then I just packaged up what I didn't want in the envelope they provide in the box & placed it in my mailbox. 

And all of this happened while I was snowed in at the house :)  Dreamy! 

Now the inner TJMaxxer & Clearance shopper in me wishes I could just peruse aisle after aisle and wait patiently for my favorites to go on sale... and Yes, that worked 3.5 years ago!  But honestly I've put my own style and sale hunting time at the bottom of my to-do list because its not nearly as enjoyable with two toddlers.  I've decided that I need to spend a bit more on fewer key pieces in my wardrobe.  There are sections where you can list your desired price range for different items, but it will never be as low as a Target dress or sale rack find.  So this is not for my sister who can walk into goodwill and find $5 designer shoes that fit perfectly and it's not always budget friendly or a monthly membership for every person.  Although $88 for a perfect jeans mailed to your snowy doorstep may sound worth the $ to some of you.  I have only received three boxes in the last year.  Two for my birthdays & one specifically to find jeans I had been saving for :) and I had a little credit in my account as well!

What I love about Stitch Fix...
- I can schedule a fix as often or little as needed (my account was on hold for over 6 months!)
- Stylist help! I can leave a message and request something even more specific than shown in my style profile.  
- Try-on at home! No kids in dressing rooms, no hassle of going store to store :)
- If your friends order a box with your referral code you get $25 off coupon!
- I can throw my returns in the bag & place in the mailbox- so easy!
- Each item comes with a little card showing two different styling ideas- so helpful!


https://www.stitchfix.com/referral/3384702
 and how gorgeous is this skirt for spring:





 



Monday, February 16, 2015

Snow Day Adventures Begin!

The snow is beautiful!  We haven't had a good snow since early November.  I feel like if it's going to be so cold, we might as well have snow to cover up the gray and dead ground... so we were all excited to hear of a potential snow storm!  Little Missy has been asking for snow & outside ("moee" and "outsigh") all morning... but it didn't take long for her to ask for "insigh" when she felt the snow & wind still coming down.  Hope y'all are staying warm & cozy today!



Monday, February 9, 2015

It's Monday Already!


I've been preparing for our spring photoshoot and styling some gorgeous accessories with the scarves.  I kept my camera out today after I took a few photos of Vera & I was reminded that I need to take more "real" photos!  These kiddos are changing so much... and sweet Vali sure is turning gray in the face.



How precious is this headband from Plum Polka Dot!? and those curls too :)
I hope all of you have a great start to your week! Here's to extra coffee & a productive Monday! xoxo



Monday, February 2, 2015

February "Give": The Hudson Family

Happy February- a new month & a new give scarf family!   I'm always so thankful for these sweet families who offer to share their hearts & adoption journey with us and for all of YOU who rally around them with your prayers and support.  Here is a little bit about the Hudson Family...
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Darin grew up in Solsberry, Indiana, and I grew up in Ross, Ohio.  Darin moved to Cincinnati to attend Cincinnati Christian University, and later became the worship and programming minister at Bridgetown Church of Christ.  We were introduced there one Sunday, but Darin does not really remember meeting me.  My sister and her husband invited me to dinner one night, and later told me that Darin would be there, as well.  I was hesitant to join them for dinner that evening, but decided to go anyway.  Long story short, their plan to set us up worked and we fell in love!
While we were dating we shared about our dream of having a family that didn’t quite look like the “average” American family.  We dreamt of having biological children, as well as adopting children from another country.  And while our original picture of adoption has changed over the last 10 years, our desire has only grown. 
Darin is now the Worship and Outreach Minister at White Oak Christian Church’s Ross Township Campus.  I am in my eighth year as a middle school special education teacher.  We have been married for nine years and have two biological sons, Jonathan (5 years), and Owen (22 months).  We moved to Ross a little over a year ago after God called Darin to his new position with White Oak.


We had planned on beginning our adoption journey in 2012.  Then our church began a building campaign, and we delayed our dreams of adopting to follow God’s leading to give sacrificially for His kingdom here on earth.  In order to give the way in which God was calling us to, Darin and I both knew that we had to delay our adoption.  This was not an easy, pain-free decision, but then again, sacrifice isn’t supposed to be easy.  In order to truly feel the sacrifice, it is supposed to hurt.  Many tears were shed, and I remember even questioning God, and being humbled by His response when asking, “Why?”  His response was simply that He might be glorified.  (You can read more about what led us to this sacrifice on my blog by following the link http://amakajoys.blogspot.com/2012/05/stork-part-ii.html.)
During the early months of the building campaign we conceived our second son, which we truly believe was God’s way of showing us that He honored our sacrifice.  Even though God called us away from our former church to our current church in the midst of the campaign, we felt God calling us to fulfill our commitment to Him by completing the campaign along with the rest of the congregation.
Throughout our journey so far, we have learned much about what it means to give sacrificially and to trust in God’s ultimate plan for our lives.  Although our original time-frame for adopting was not fulfilled, our adoption is happening in God’s timing, and we are overjoyed.  We have chosen to adopt our child (or children, if we get matched to a sibling pair) from Uganda, “the pearl of Africa”, because God put this country on our hearts a long time ago.  Our application has been approved and we have completed the orientation phase.  We have chosen our home study agency, which will begin soon.  The current time-frame for our adoption is 1 ½ - 2 years. 
Please keep our family in your prayers as we continue this amazing journey of sacrifice and love without borders.  You are welcome to follow our blog at www.amakajoys.blogspot.com to stay up to date on our adoption journey and our daily lives.  Thank you for being a part of this journey with us!
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All of the profit from the February Give Scarves will go directly to the Hudson family and their adoption costs. Thank you for your generosity!  This month's Give Scarf is... 
 
If you are interested in sharing your story & being featured for the Give Scarf, email me at everydaypitpat@gmail.com :)

Tuesday, January 13, 2015

Valentine Scarves


A few limited styles are listed in the shop!  I won't have a ton- I'm working on a big Spring Collection and a few surprises :)