Random nonsense & photo dump

Happy Wednesday.  I could have sworn today was Thursday.  So far all day long I have thought that.  I did this same thing last week. It's the worst when you find out it's not actually the day you thought it was.  Oh well.  I guess I should be thankful I just earned...

Givington’s & Open Arms Christmas giveaway’s

GIVINGTON'S I recently was shown a super cool website that makes shopping for things you will already be buying even better.  Givington's is a new online retailer and their premise is simple.  They offer the products you are already going to buy, at the price you...

Krochet Kids Christmas Giveaway

I've recently become friends (online, does that count?!?!) with Sarah and there are so many things that I love about her as I've gotten to know her, and one of them is how her family packed their bags and moved to Peru to run the Krochet Kids in Peru.  So thru her...

Foster care is huge, but there’s room for you to help

Five years ago this month I attended an adoption conference in Nashville, TN and my friend Becca was there as well.  Several of us drove up from Austin and I'll never forget sitting on the floor with her in a breakout session as we listened to a woman tell her story...

Wonder Woman dress giveaway

A few months ago a dress arrived in the mail from Story and I had no idea who had sent it to me, but I knew that I LOVED it and it was the perfect dress for her this summer.  I found out that my sweet sister-in-law, Joanna, sent it to me, and I immediately found the...

Halloween Austin Floods

Tragedy is all around us, and yet we can honestly live our days and never acknowledge or remember that it's happening. The typhoon hit the Philippines and honestly I haven't thought much about it.  I don't watch the news much.  I haven't seen it.  I don't read the...

Advent calendar from Here’s the Diehl Christmas giveaway

Here's the Diehl Last year I was a tad bit too late on buying the advent wreath that I wanted, so this year I am on top of things and getting ready to go for the Christmas season!  I found this amazing site from a friends blog and immediately knew that I wanted to get...

Punjammies Christmas Giveaway

Wanna know one of my most favorite purchases that I have ever made for myself?  Yes it's PUNJAMMIES!  These pajama pants are the best I have ever owned and I actually wore mine out and just had to throw them away.  I wore them literally every night for years and...

Raven + Lily necklace Christmas giveaway

Today's giveaway is from RAVEN+LILY and they have tons of beautiful jewelry that you are going to love and would make great gifts for those on your list this year! Raven + Lily currently helps employ marginalized women in Ethiopia, India, Cambodia and the United...

I’ll always come back.

It’s been almost four years since my 8-year-old-son came home to us from Haiti. Most days his wounds from abandonment and adoption are unseen to the naked eye. He is happy, adjusted, confident and courageous. But every once in a while these wounds make themselves...

Beautiful SCARF from Connected in Hope Christmas giveaway

Once again CONNECTED IN HOPE is hooking one of you guys up with an awesome scarf this holiday season!  They are letting you pick any scarf from their online store if you win!  Don't worry if you don't win, they are offering you all FREE SHIPPING on your orders with...

Sseko sandal Christmas Giveaway

There are so many great organizations that you can buy from this holiday season and one of those is COME TOGETHER TRADING, where you can literally find something for everyone on your list from their website.  I encourage you to check out their site and see all the...

Happy 8th birthday Deacon!

Happy Happy Birthday Deacon! Eight years old today.   It seems like just yesterday you were born and we were starting one of our best adventures yet; being your parents.  You bring joy to every room you enter, and can make me smile more than any other kid I know.  I'm...

Sitting in the refuge of God

ref·uge 1. Protection or shelter, as from danger or hardship. 2. A place providing protection or shelter. 3. A source of help, relief, or comfort in times of trouble I have noticed in my life that my need for God fluctuations based on my circumstances.  Now I know...

HowdyDoo Prints Christmas Giveaway

Y'all know it's that time of year again.  The time of year where you get all your family together in matchy-match outfits and try your best to get a photo to send to your friends and family that captures your family's personality!  Good luck with that!  This year we...

Fear and motherhood

Recently the kids and I headed to Arizona with my mom to visit all of our family out there.  It was a great trip and the kids loved every single minute of it.  The weather was beautiful and we did a lot of hiking (and I use that term very loose here!!) while we were...

SLUM LOVE sweater Christmas giveaway

I love when friends do something big!  My friend, Ava, is in the  midst of doing something big and I'm so excited for her and all that is ahead of her and this new adventure with SLUM LOVE SWEATER CO.  Ava's family has done ministry in Kiberia for years and now she's...

Cozy Blue Christmas Giveaway

I first found out about COZY BLUE when I was researching for a wedding gift.  I am not one that likes to buy coffee makers for wedding gifts, but I like to buy something personal and unique.  Something that will last a lot longer than a casserole dish ever will!  ...

INK OF ME giveaway

For the month of November and December I'm showcasing places you can buy gifts that either give back, or are from small business owners.  Let's put our money in places that make a difference.  To make sure you never miss a giveaway, feel free to subscribe to blog....

2013 Christmas gift ideas

My favorite part of blogging is to be able to recommend some great places for you to buy gifts for Christmas that aren't from a department store, Target, or SkyMall.  My whole point in showcases a few companies, is to help us all spend our money better in this crazy...

Dear Jamie, I’m proud of your 31 day challenge

Dear Jamie in October 1 2013, I want to let  you know that just a mere 30 days later I'm super proud of you.  When you thought about the challenge of blogging for a whole month and decided to create letters to yourself, you knew in the back of your mind that some of...

Dear Jamie, words are better than gifts

Dear Jamie in 2001, You are getting married to the man of your dreams!  What a beautiful day that this will be for you.  God has redeemed you so much in the past 2 years and you have grown so much in your faith and your life.  I want to remind you of this note that...

Dear Jamie, boys are never worth it.

Dear Jamie in 1994, Your friends just said something to you at the "back to school" dance that really hurt your feelings.  It took you by such a surprise as well, and now you aren't sure whether to feel guilty or mad.  As soon as you showed up you ran into a few...

Dear Jamie, stop hanging out with a someone else’s boyfriend.

Dear Jamie in 1998, I want to tell you something that you might not enjoy or like, but what you are doing is wrong.  Very wrong.  You keep justifying this in your mind and heart by saying that it's not your responsibility, and he's pursuing you, but the truth is you...

Happy Friday and no “letter to Jamie”

Happy Friday! I'm taking a break from my scheduled 31day challenge of "letters to my former self" to write about just nothing. Here's why ... I'm spent. Allergies are kicking my tail and I'm on the couch with Law & Order SVU on and my brain has stopped working. I...

Dear Jamie, never forget what Aaron did for you that night.

Dear Jamie in 2001, Oh did you marry a good man.  Something happened recently that I want you to remember forever so when your husband forgets to put the lid down on the seat, or leaves his underwear on the floor for you to pick up, or doesn't start the dishwasher...

Dear Jamie, let people know you.

Dear Jamie in 1998, You are in such a weird place right now in your life.  You have moved back home and honestly who wants to have to do that.  It was the best choice for your life right now, and you know that, but you feel so awkward.  None of your other high school...

Dear Jamie, there is hope from this pit.

Dear Jamie in 1998, Well, your reckless lifestyle has caught up with you and you have found yourself in one of the biggest "bottom of the pit" times in your life.  You feel very scared about your future, and not certain of anything all of a sudden. What you thought...

Dear Jamie, your faith will increase through this trial.

Dear Jamie in 2003, You are 5 months pregnant and just got a phone call that seems to have rocked your world.  The financial secretary from your old church left a message about your insurance.  Your cobra insurance actually is out.  What you thought would cover you...

Dear Jamie, you didn’t need the free clothes.

Dear Jamie in 2002, You are so hurt and you feel so left out.  It doesn't get any easier to feel left out of something and now you are grown woman who was left out and it hurts.  You don't want it to hurt, and you really want to not care, but you can't help it.  You...

Dear Jamie, you might have found a keeper.

Dear Jamie in 1999, You are about to embark on a journey that will change the rest of your life.  That guy, Aaron, from church asked you out and you said yes!  He asked you out about the same time as now last year and you said no.  You had just started dating someone...

Dear Jamie, sex doesn’t equal love.

Dear Jamie in 1994, I want to tell you that what happened this summer doesn't define you.  You actually never thought you would do this, and honestly you aren't sure how you got here, but none-the-less it happened and you can't undo it.  You have heard every sermon in...

Dear Jamie, don’t take your boyfriend to California.

Dear Jamie in 1993, Your family is taking a trip to California this summer and your mom said that you could bring a friend.  For some reason, when you suggested that you take your boyfriend, she said yes.  You never thought she would, but she did, and so now you are...

Dear Jamie, I’m proud of you.

Dear Jamie 2003, Way to go!  You and Aaron are stepping out for the first time and making a life for yourselves in another state!  I know that you are nervous and hate the unknown, but you will be just fine. The next few years will be such a sweet time for you and...

Dear Jamie, keep the hair.

Dear Jamie in 2000, Really, this is the hair style you are choosing right now?  I know you are looking for a fresh start in life, but let's find something else to do to proclaim this fresh start you are looking for.  Your hair?  You cut it all off.  Come on now. You...

Dear Jamie, way to compromise with your man!

Dear Jamie of 2006, You can't believe that you are actually having a conversation with your husband about him getting earrings.  You HATE earrings on guys.  HATE.  And now the man you love is telling you that he's getting them. You tell him how much you hate them....

Dear Jamie, let the salad go.

Dear Jamie of 2010, You are trying so hard to parent Amos right now.  It's hard.  Really hard.  One moment he's all over you cuddling, and the next minute he's running from you with no regard for your voice, your rules, your house, your anything!  You have waited so...

Dear Jamie, you will love him.

  Dear Jamie of 2005, Your second son has just been born and you had no clue how you would feel about him.  You didn't birth him, and your biggest fear would be that you would look at him and feel nothing.  That you would feel as though it was your neighbors baby, or...

Dear Jamie, go get a job that matters.

Dear Jamie in college, Right now you are a sophomore in college at Dallas Baptist University and you are working at a day care.  Now there's nothing wrong with working at a day care, but I wish that you would expand your horizons and venture out of something that is...

Dear Jamie, Go read your books.

Dear Jamie in 1993, 1994, 1995 & 1996 English classes, Here's the deal you too-cool-for-school kid, you should read the books your teacher is assigning you.  Seriously.  One day believe it or not, you will wish you had more time to read.  One day people will talk...

Dear Jamie, Cherish your babies.

Dear Jamie in 2007, Life is hard now with two kids under the age of four, but I want to tell you to sit down and savor each moment.  These kids will grow so fast, and although that is such a cliche thing to say, it's so true. Your life seems sometimes purposeless now,...

Dear Jamie, Go love your brother.

Dear Jamie in 1987, Your brother is 5 now and he's really starting to annoy you.  I mean it's hard to be nine and have a five year old always following you around and wanting to be like you.  Tough work sister. You are starting a really bad habit and I wish that I...

Dear Jamie, you didn’t need the job anyways.

Dear Jamie in June of 2003, Congrats!  You are expecting.  This has come at such a surprise to you and Aaron, but no worries, you'll make it.  I'll write you more about that later, but today I want to talk about your job. You have been teaching at a private school...

Dear Jamie, Keep loving.

Dear Jamie in March of 2010, Right now you wonder if this is the worst time of your life, although it's supposed to be the best and because of that, you are so confused.  FINALLY after 2.5 years you have your son home.  You have waited for this day for so long, now...

Monster headphones review and giveaway

http://oascentral.blogher.org/RealMedia/ads/adstream_jx.ads/ReviewBadge/OID5634_MonsterCable_Monsterfall_Q3_ReviewBadges_084/@x13One of my goals for when all my kids were in school this year was to create a podcast. It’s a lofty goal, and one that seems so out of...

Dear Jamie, that beauty school perm rocks!

Dearest Jamie in the Fall of 1984, You are so dang cute sitting in the hallway waiting to go to your first grade classroom.  You made it through kindergarten and you are about to have the nicest teacher you will ever have, and the whole elementary school is ahead of...

Dear Jamie, stop being fake.

Dear Jamie of 1995, Oh girl how I wish I could whisper so much in your ear right now, but the number one thing I would tell you right now is to stop telling people that you love Jesus because you truly don't and you are only confusing people more and more with this so...

31 days of “Letters to my former self”

  Ever wish that you could go back and tell your former self that everything's just gonna be okay.  In the moments that you are losing your mind, if your future person could gently pull you aside and whisper in your ear "hold tight sweetie, you're going to be okay"....

Jesus is Better FREE DOWNLOAD

If you haven't heard, Austin Stone Worship has a new album releasing October 22nd and they are releasing a few free songs for you to get before the whole album comes out. Fortunately for you, the first one they are releasing is one of my FAVS for sure!  Click HERE to...

Crockpot Chicken, Pasta & Broccoli

I'm not a food blogger. I am not a great cook.  I can follow a recipe, but coming up with something on my own, not good.  Aaron can walk into the kitchen and create a masterpiece after I have just declared "there's nothing to eat in here, we should go out!".  I love...

His mercies are new each morning.

I have head the term "his mercies are new each morning" for a long time in my life as a Christian, but it wasn't until parenting that I truly understood this or needed this more in my life.  There have been so many days in my 9 years of parenting where I have laid my...

Medusa and insecurity

Story woke up crying in the middle of the night last week almost every night.  She was so scared and it was always the same thing.  Medusa.  She was seeing Medusa and was so frightened that she literally was shaking and couldn't get herself back to sleep.  We let our...

Custom Cutting board giveaway

When we moved into our home 3 years ago we met a wonderful guy named Elijah who helped us so much with everything in our new home.  He was a God sent for us.  After he helped us out so much he began his own company, Second Chance Custom, and he is making some...

Music Thoughts: Dallas, Penny and Sparrow & John Mayer

Y'all let me tell you something ... I know nothing about music. I feel I should let you in on that secret before I tell you the three bands that I can't get enough of these days. First of all you will probably figure that out by the fact that you have probably been...

I’m tired of coasting.

Lately I've been feeling this dryness in my soul that I can't explain. It's breeding insecurity in me, and self consciousness like I've never felt before. It's making me worry more than normal, and to fear things that I have once loved. I asked Aaron last night if he...

Kid President & Fred Evans = both have moved me to tears today

I watched two videos today that have made me stop in my tracks and I wanted to share with you. The first one is from Kid President, which apparently I've been living under a rock because I've never even heard of this kid, but I hear he's a big deal. He's so stinking...

Stitch Fix reviews #1 & #2

STITCH FIX #2 I got box #2 today and was so excited to open it up and see what my personal shopper picked for me.  This time it was nice Brett that chose all my clothes.  I have no idea if they are really sweet, but I like to imagine that they are! This time I was...

Brobe Giveaway

Recently I got to have coffee with a woman here in Austin that has created something big.  It was so fun to listen to her story about how she always wanted a bra inside of a robe so that when she was getting ready her boobs weren't falling out everywhere and she could...

Our date night vehicle

Have I told you that this is how Aaron and I have been getting around town on our date nights lately?!   What fun is this!!  Aaron's had this for a while and uses it to get around town when it's not 194 degrees, which basically means he rides it in December.  I've...

Kelly’s home.

I can't ever go to the Austin airport and not remember two of the best days of my life.  It wasn't returning from an awesome vacation with Aaron (although we have had some of those), or picking up Aaron from a long trip away.  Nope the days I remember are when we...

What I hope for Cayden & Wonsli

Hope: to look forward to with desire and reasonable confidence This past May we took our oldest, Cayden, to Haiti to meet his friend Wonsli. Wonsli is the child that Cayden sponsors through Compassion International. Now, let's get this straight, Aaron and I pay the...

Tools to Fight for Forgiveness in Your Marriage

{This is part two of a two part series on porn when it enters your marriage. You can read part one HERE.} {Image Courtesy of Cuba Gallery in Creative Commons on Flickr} Yesterday, I shared a 5-minute version of my first year of marriage. It was heavy. Year one was...

One wife’s story about her husband’s struggle with porn

{This photo is used courtesy of Creative Commons & Radicallccs on Flickr.}  My heart is racing as I sit down for the fifth time today to write this post. I hear lies that I have nothing valuable to share. There are whispers that say that I am no further than I was...

When porn enters your marriage.

{PHOTO courtesy of Flickr Creative Commons} The older I get the more I hear about people's lives being hurt from porn.  I hate porn.  I hate everything about it.  I remember the first time I was exposed to it, and unfortunately I'm in the midst of writing an article...

How to help families when they bring their child home.

We have brought three kids home via adoption over the years and each one was completely different.  Our first was an infant just a few days old, our second was a 23 month old who spent her first 5 days in the hospital, and our last was a 4.5 year old that had just 10...

Sunday nothings

Happy Sunday friends! Sunday's are fun day, right. Because they are right in front of Manic Monday's. You know you are singing the song now .... Anyhow ... I have a sick kid, so I am basically stuck inside all day today. Which equals me doing lots of laundry, not...

My kid is home, now what?

When we  brought our kids home from Haiti we didn't have any close friends that were in our lives that had also brought home children that were older into their families.  The friends we knew were like us and had adopted infants domestically.  One of the things that...

$50 Noonday Giveaway

**UPDATE** Contest is over (Congrats DEB), BUT you can still be in the running for $25 gift card if you purchase something between now and the 19th.  Here's the info: You could win another $25 As an added bonus, anyone that makes an order between now and September...

Books I read in July & August

Here are the books I read in June, and here's what I read in July & August! 1.  The Language of Flowers by Vanessa Diffenbaugh -  Oh I loved this book and cried big tears when it was over.  I fell in love with the characters in this book, and wanted more after it...

KING OF LOVE cd review opportunity

One of the things that I love about our church is that we have some amazing musicians that lead us in worship each week.  I know you are thinking I'm biased because I'm married to one of them, but for real they are all awesome, not just Aaron.  Austin Stone Worship is...

My Husband Needs a Cheerleader

It’s no secret that I am not a musical person.  If you ever stand next to me when I’m singing you will soon find out that I can’t sing at all.  I’m serious.  As in I’m tone deaf and don’t even know it.  Whatever is coming out of my mouth sounds awesome, but to the...

Why the March on Washington matters to me

Today I'm sitting around watching the coverage of the 50th Anniversary of the March on Washington and I'm spellbound by it.  I can't stop watching and I have shed tears a few times already in the past few hours. Fifty years ago is not that long friends.  I'm fifteen...

Family Life radio interview with Aaron Ivey & Matt Carter

Adoption is hard.  I think I could start 894 conversations with that same phrase and it would never get old or lose its meaning.  Adoption is this beautiful tragedy that has intersected our lives and lots of peoples lives around us that we love and live life with....

Alone Yet Not Alone book giveaway

I'm gonna be honest with you about reading to my kids.  Sometimes I do and sometimes I don't.  I started out as a parent claiming my goals of reading to them every single night, and honestly when I had less kids and they were smaller I did do that a lot.  We would sit...

to cut or not to cut. that was the question.

Earlier in the week I had a small moment where I lost my mind momentarily and thought I wanted to do something crazy.  I have learned my lesson over the years that if you are thinking about doing something crazy you should talk to a few friends before you jump off...

Sweet Potato Vegetable Lasagna & Butterfinger Pie

Last night we had Meghan over for dinner and so I decided to actually cook.  Aaron is our cook around here, especially if we have guests, but last night was all up to me.  You see I have this favorite lasagna recipe that I always want to cook for people, but we never...

My Husband Would Never Cheat On Me

The closer I get to Jesus the further I think I could fall.  It's the craziest thing ever, but just when I think someone could never do "that", they do just "that".  I have been hurt by infidelity before, and so it is truly one of my worst fears in life.  I have that...

I don’t remember potty training.

Recently I was talking to a mom about potty training.  She's in the midst of it, and of course like moms do I had to tell her my story of potty training, because that's what moms do.  We listen to your story and then tell you ours!  Birth stories.  Potty training...

Reason to Bleed documentary tickets {giveaway}

Even though I am not one bit musical, I still love being surrounded by such wonderful artists here in Austin.  You really can't beat all the talent that is here in this city.  A few of our favorite artists have gotten together and created some beautiful art that I'm...

Montana & London

I can't even begin to describe to you how happy I am to be HOME.  July was a month full of travels and I loved every single minute of them, but there's nothing like your own space.  The past two weeks took me to some beautiful parts of our world, but I was elated to...

Letter to married Christian people from single girl by Jessica Souza

Today is my last day in London and I'm looking forward to being back home with kids and Aaron tomorrow!  Today's guest post is from a friend of mine, Jessica Souza.  Jessica is one of our favorite babysitters and my kids love her.  I sometimes wish we traveled in the...

Packing List for International Travel by Wynne Elder

Today's guest blog is from Wynne Elder.  I met Wynne one time at ACL last year, but I feel like we have lots of mutual friends and for sure have a lot in common in life.  I love her heart for the orphan and she might have the cutest babies around!...

Whose job is it? by Cara Griswold

Here's a post from my friend Cara.  You've heard from her before and you would remember because she went from 0-4 kids in about 18 months.  CRAZY!  She's great and I think you're going to love her words today....

Thank God for the beauty of adoption by Amber-Rose Zimel

Today's post is from someone that I look up to with so much respect and admiration.  My friend Amber-Rose is one of the best women I know.  She loves her family & her husband so well.  She teaches me so much about loving God with all I have.  And it doesn't help...

When the day of grief comes back around by Mrs Gray

Today's guest post is from someone I have never met before!  I think that's so fun, and and example of how the internet can bring people together.  Enjoy today's words from Mrs. Gray! -------------------------------------------------------------------------- This time...

How do we feel about chapter books? by Grace Edsel

My last trip of the summer starts today and it's taking me to London.  I'm super excited about this trip with some women from our church.  This trip will be super fun (of course, we're in London), but it will also be full of us working with an organization there that...

30 Abes by Amy from the Bobby Bones Show

Today's my last day in Montana and tomorrow I head over the sea to London.  I'm happy to have been with Aaron this past week, and will miss him and the kids these next few days as I spend them in London.   Today's guest post is from my friend Amy.  I met her for the...

My thoughts on the Texas abortion bill by Tiffany Allen

Today's post is from my friend Tiffany.  Tiffany is one of our favorite babysitters and a friend as well.  She loves my kids so well and I feel as though I could leave them with her for a week and she' do great.  Oh yeah, that's what I did this week!  Thanks Tiff!...

Do Over by Lindsey Jost

Today's guest post is from my friend Lindsey. Lindsey and I meta few years ago through our church. She is a great woman who is oh so talented with the camera and a great momma to her 3 babies!...

Jesus Meet Me In My Mess by Holly Dennis

I'm still living the good life in CO, so my friend Holly is guest posting today.  She's a pastors wife and was also some of my kids preschool teacher.  She was so sweet with them, and helped them learn and love Jesus more!  She's posting today about something that's...

Checking out for two weeks

Tonight I dropped my boys off at a friends house and kept a brave face, but inside I was melting.  I'm leaving my kids tomorrow for two weeks.  13 night-night's.  That's a long time for all of us.  I'm getting to do some amazing things and so on one hand I'm extremely...

Meeting the teachers & a “30 minute” meal

Yesterday was a good day around the Ivey household.  Before 1pm we had conquered Target and finished our school supply list (which deserves a huge pat on the back) (well actually there was one thing I couldn't find for D&A but I was done and it can wait), visited...

9 year old’s and boobs

Recently I was able to get a free magazine subscription and if you know me, you know I love a good magazine.  My Mimi saves all her People magazines and has my mom bring them to me a few times a year.  I'm usually always behind on current Hollywood news, but it's...

Teaching our kids to use encouraging words

Amos celebrated his birthday at school a few days before it was out because his birthday fell during the summer break this year.  I loved what his teacher does for each birthday kid in her class.  She has them all sit around the room in a circle and say what they like...

All my kids will be in school – what do I do with my days?

This summer has been moment after moment of me feeling as though I'm about to walk through a door to the unknown.  I have no idea what life looks like on the other side of that door, and that scares me.  For the past nine and a half years of my life I have always had...

He wants to have sex, but I don’t

Recently I talked with a college girl who was struggling with whether or not she should break up with her boyfriend.  They both loved each other and had been dating a while.  They went to church together and seemed super compatible.  But she kept having this nagging...

Guest Post: INVISIBLE BAD by Julie Paquette

My friend Julie is sharing a great parenting lesson with us today!  Julie is one of those parents that I look up to and admire because she is very intentional with her kids.  That's one of her greatest strengths and it encourages me each time I hear her talk about...

Retarded by Meghan McCamant

While I'm away in CO, my sweet friend Meghan is sharing something that's so dear to her heart today!  Enjoy! ------------------------------------------------------------------------- Retarded. Oh my friends, how this word hurts my heart. I have many reasons for why I...

2 pieces of advice for engaged couples

I remember when Aaron and I got engaged.  It was such a wonderful night for us.  He surprised me and popped the question on a Wed night in front of our entire student ministry at our church.  He was a youth pastor and we had been dating for a little over a year. Our...

Giveaway from SIGNS FROM SCRAPS

Recently I added the cutest sign to my kids bathroom.  This is really the bathroom that anyone uses when they come over to my house.  I wish I had a kids only bathroom.  That would be dreamy, maybe in the next house.  Anyhow, in the bathroom there's this huge bare...

The Vitamix goes on vacation

Is there something that you must bring from home with you when you go on vacation?  Something you will go out of your way to pack even if it's not that convenient.  For us, it's our vitamix!  Aaron makes a smoothie for himself each morning and he loves it!  We also...

Pine Cove Family Camp 2013 = huge success!

We had the best week at Family Camp this past week.  I had never heard of family camp before a few years ago, but I'm so glad I know now.  Pine Cove Camps has lots of youth camps and they also have family camps, which is just what is says ... camp for families.  Last...

Guest Post: Praying for big faith by Fabs

Today is our last full day at Family Camp and by now we have rode horses, swam in the river, been to the pool 874 times, and eaten glorious camp food.  Actually the food out at Crier Creek is pretty good, so no complaining there. Tomorrow we will drive home, and times...

Becoming the Middle Mom by Jen McManus

I'm excited to share my friend Jen McManus with you guys today.  She's that friend of mine that I wish I lived closer to because I know we would hang out more.  She is also someone that continues to inspire me because let me tell you this girl works out and takes care...

Guest Post: Abilities by Meghan McCamant

This week our family is away at Family Camp and so I'm having some people do some guest posts for me.  Meghan is one of my favorite people in Austin.  She's a teacher, and I would be the happiest mom ever if she was my kids teacher, but she's in a different district,...

Adopting from Ethiopia

I was so excited when Jamie asked me to write the story of how we knew we were going to adopt from Ethiopia. Everyone has a different story, and I've loved reading how God has worked though each one. God put adoption on my heart in August of 2010. It was almost...

Books I’ve read in June

I've been reading a lot lately and really enjoying it. I haven't hardly read one blog all month, but I am spending more time with my head in an actual book, so this is a good thing. Also, let's be honest summer vacation gives you much more time to read without other...

Going back to Haiti and looking for healing

Aaron and I took Cayden to Haiti last month.  The last time I had been in Haiti was October 23, 2009 when I brought Story home.  It was a terrible 2 day trip.  I flew down on the 22nd and home on the 23rd.  When I landed in Miami and turned on my phone there was a...

Books I’ve read this year

I was looking back on my reading habits this year and noticed that in the school year my reading is drastically low and in the summer I read more.  I have declared this the summer of reading for me, and I'm trying to get in as many good books as possible.  I'm mainly...

I can’t seem to write a blog these days.

Usually every day I think to myself .... I should write something ... and then the moment passes and it's gone.  Then I think how I'd rather read my book or watch Scandal (thank goodness I finished on Sunday) and then I don't write. I can't seem to sit down at my...

Happy 12 years!

  Those two young ones on the left are Aaron and I when we got married 12 years ago.  I look at that picture and it seems like ages ago.  We were so young and in love.  We had no idea where life would take us.  Moving to another state.  Aaron doing music full time....

he was not, for God took him

When Enoch had lived 65 years, he fathered Methusela.  Enoch walked with God after he fathered Methuselah 300years and had other sons and daughters.  Thus all the days of Enoch were 365 years.  Enoch walked with God, and he was not, for God took him.  I used to feel...

7 days without Aaron and lots of baseball

Today is day 7 of Aaron being gone and me running the show around here. I am not complaining, but I am admitting that this gig is hard. Not only is Aaron gone, but he's across the world in a different time zone and so it's not convenient to talk to him, and honestly...

Adopting from Africa

Pray. Take a step. Listen to your desires. Trust God. My husband and I are on our first adoption journey of probably many. And I don’t say that because this specific journey has been easy, or even fun. It’s been hard. It’s been refining, yet there is a deep change...

What Michael Douglas has to do with my son, Deacon

Last week I laid in bed with my iPad and was checking out the news before I fell asleep. I don't' recommend this for many reasons. #1 They say looking at the computer screen before bed prevents you from sleeping well. #2 You might get sucked in to reading the news and...

The summer that Cayden got saved twice

Summer is here and that means that every church in America is hosting their own Vacation Bible School.  Two summers ago I was ready for the summer season and by being ready for it, what I really mean is that I had my kids enrolled in every VBS within a 20 mile radius...

Adopting from China: the Lyons story

Looking back, my journey towards adopting our daughter started long ago, when I was a little girl growing up in a small town north of Houston. I lived in a very homogenous suburb (mostly white) and would ask my mom to special order me baby dolls that were a different...

Father’s Day gift ideas and a giveaway

Today's post is dedicated to Father's Day gift ideas!  I have told you before that I'm bad at giving gifts.  I have every great intention, and then I just don't do it.  Although I wish that I was an awesome gift giver, sometimes I am just not.  BUT if I were going to...

Cayden’s awesome sex talk

At our house we have always said that Aaron will talk with the boys about sex and I would talk with Story.  Truthfully it's really because it just makes us feel more comfortable.  And while I still think it's super important for the boys to talk about boy stuff with...

Don’t waste your summer moms

One of my favorite things about the summer break from school is how much time I get with my kids. We do life different in the summer than during the school year. We sleep later, stay up later, wear only swimsuits and pajamas most days, and eat most of our meals...

crazy 10 days

The last 10 days have been CARAZY.  But crazy in a good way.  The day after school was out, Aaron, Cayden & I headed to Haiti for five days.  I was then home for 18 hours and left for a canoe/camping trip in Arkansas with some of our family.  I got home Sunday...

Domestic Adoption: the Dixon’s story

God planted the idea of adoption on both Ryan's & my heart several years ago. We always thought, "maybe one day." Never really defining what that "one day" meant. We have two beautiful daughters, Addison (6) and Kamryn (5), and adore them. They light up our life!...

But I’m having a baby too — Guest Post by Adriane Sparks

{While I'm on my canoe trip with my brother & Sister-in-law, I have asked a few friends to guest post ... Enjoy and show them some love by leaving them a comment of encouragement} Recently many of my friends and relatives have announced they are pregnant. Some...

Planting Solid Trees by Julie Paquette

{While I'm on my canoe trip with my brother & Sister-in-law, I have asked a few friends to guest post ... Enjoy and show them some love by leaving them a comment of encouragement} Our desire is that our kids would grow up to be firmly planted trees, not easily...

Road Trippin’ by Heather Clark

{While I'm in Haiti I asked a few friends to guest post ... Enjoy and show them some love by leaving them a comment of encouragement} Summer is here!  And that means it’s the perfect time to pile in the car and take a road trip with your family. I love, and I mean...

Prayers and Expectations by Angela Suh

{While I'm in Haiti I asked a few friends to guest post ... Enjoy and show them some love by leaving them a comment of encouragement} I stopped to think the other day about what it would look like for the Lord to answer the things that I am praying for my children.  I...

Adopting from foster care

For as long as I can remember, I’ve thought about adoption.  I often wondered if my future family would look a little more different, less traditional than most.  Little did I know that God was already stirring and moving in my heart in ways that I wouldn’t see played...

Helping my kids deal with the tragedies of the world.

Like most of you I'm sure you have had some deep conversations with your kids lately about why things happen and the fears that might bring up in them.  Things like the Boston bombings, earthquakes and tornados always bring up a sense of fear in my children that I...

Sleeping with the puppies

Deacon gave me this once when I was feeling sick.  It says that I can "sleep wit the dogs for 2 days".  If you have a child that has a lovey you know that this is precious.  Deacon has had these dogs since he was a baby and although he doesn't need them anymore, they...

Heading back to Haiti with a heavy heart

On Friday I will get on an airplane and head back to Haiti.  This time will be different than all the last trips I had taken there.  This time I won't be visiting any of my children there.  They will be back in Austin waiting for me to return home.  This time I'll be...

Adopting from foster care

Our adoption journey has taken so many twists and turns, it is crazy to think back to the question: “How did we know where to adopt from?” Justin and I started our adoption journey back in the spring of 2008. Our son Jaxon was 2 years old and we were ready to grow our...

Video’s with Colt McCoy & Matt Carter

Right now I'm smack in the middle of reading a new book that's for men.  I know that sounds weird, but it's written by two of my friends and so of course I'm gonna read it.  It's also been really challenging for me as a person and a wife.  It talks a lot about stuff...

Favorite burger places in Austin

Did you know that May is National Burger Month?  Yes it is, and now that I've told you I know that you are automatically craving a burger.  When I first found out about this, I knew that we needed a family night built around burgers, and we did just that this week....

Adoption talk & ALL BEARS NEED LOVE book giveaway

We talk about adoption around here a lot.  We have always been committed to being honest with our kids and not having them find out about something crazy when they are older that we should have shared with them earlier.  I've always thought that we have done a great...

Adopting from Uganda

I inhaled her sweet newborn scent and stroked the soft skin of her cheek. Her eyes were heavy with sleep, her belly full. She made soft breathing noises that let me know she was content. My heart stuttered and stopped, filled with love for this tiny monkey-space...

Happy Mother’s Day 2013

Happy Mother's day to you all.  For some of you this is a dreaded holiday.  For others it is a joyous one.  No matter how this day makes you feel, I want to let you know that this day doesn't define you.  I'm reminding myself this tonight as I was just feeling let...

Friday’s Five Favorite Things

I decided our family needed a new rule for birthday's. Of course I delegated this new rule to begin on my birthday, so it benefited me quite well, but I think on your birthday you should be able to go into a store and get a whole new outfit. You see, we are on a cash...

Teacher Appreciation week gone bad

This week is Teacher Appreciation week and while I appreciate our teachers so much I have slacked BIG time this week.  I got an email from a parent last week listing out each thing we were to do this week for our teachers and y'all I have done only one of them.  Just...

35th out of on the town.

Well, 7 days into my hopes of blogging every day for the month of May and I missed my first day. I actually made it longer than I thought, but oh well. Here's to the rest of the month! On Monday, I turned 35.  I am no longer in my early 30's, but I am well on my way...

Domestic adoption

Adoption has always seemed important to me. I always thought it was a great thing to do and that it was something Christians were specifically called to do because of this one verse from the Bible- James 1:27 Pure and faultless religion is this, to look after orphans...

My weekend ….

Happy Cinco de Mayo!  What a crazy, whirlwind, fun weekend we have had.  I do love full weekends.  I end them on Sunday's barely standing, but it's fun that way.  Fun to make memories and have fun!  Although I'm about to fall over with tiredness, I guess it's all...

Are my mommy words building up or tearing down?

Last week was a long week for me. Aaron and I were both out of town and away from the kids Monday and Tuesday and then he was gone until Friday as well. It was actually a rather slow week because we had nothing after school each day, but just doing it all alone...

Friday’s Five Favorite things Mother’s Day edition

Today's Friday's Five (or maybe six) Favorite things are all about mom's because if you don't know, or just don't remember, Mother's Day is just around the corner.  I really stink at getting my mom and mother-in-law gifts, and so I want to help you out so you don't...

Why I get out of my pajama’s each day

When Aaron and I first got married I had an older woman in the church give me some advice that I wasn’t sure about at first, but tucked it away in my brain thinking that it might be necessary later in life.  She told me that I needed to look nice for my husband, and...

Blogging all month long

Blogging is something that I truly do love. Sometimes I love telling our families stories. Sometimes I love telling you about a new thing/place/food/person that I think you will love too. Sometimes I love just writing about things I'm learning. Sometimes I love...

That guy at church.

Part one to this story is here. Honestly my memory fails me big time when I try to remember exactly what went down when I met my fiancé at my work to tell him that I no longer wanted to marry him.  If I think really hard I can imagine us sitting on two chairs across...

Adopting from Rwanda

The week after our first was born, I rocked her often in those wee hours and thought about how it required 3 adults (me, my mom, and husband) just to take care of this one little person. She stopped our world. As I held her tightly in my arms, my mind drifted back to...

Slow Carb with Kids

A lot of people have asked me how we do slow carb around here and still get carbs in our kids.  It seems harder than it really is.  Basically I just make meals as I used to, and I don't eat the carbs.  I just add lots of extra veggies to my plate and call it a day....

Friday’s Five Favorite things

Five things I'm loving this week ...... 1.  Zevia I haven't had a diet coke since October and honestly don't have much of a desire for one, except for that fizz taste in your mouth. I love that. It's why I love sparking water and champagne. This drink is so good to...

Haitian Creations purse giveaway

I have a great giveaway for you guys and it's just in time for Mother's Day!!! Yes, Mother's day is right around the corner and this might solve your problem of finding the perfect gift for your momma, wife, grandma, sister, aunt, teacher, friend .... I have given...

My birthday getaway

Last week Aaron told me had a surprise for me and that we were going away for the weekend. OH MY WORD did this make me happy! First of all, I love surprises, and second I love getting away with my man.  We are beyond blessed and are able to do this often and it truly...

Foster adoption

When we attended the Together for Adoption conference in 2010, we had no idea that the Lord would give us 4 kids over the course of 1 year.  But, here we are, a family of 6, all by the wonderful grace of God. When asked how we knew we were "meant" to do foster care, I...

Mixed emotions

Today has been a day mixed with many emotions.  I woke up happy because last night Aaron told me that he had a surprise for me and that we were heading out of town for the weekend.  He had planned it and didn't want to tell me until the night before, but we had a sick...

A conversation that changed the path of my life.

I walked into my dad's office completely out of the blue in the middle of the day.  He of course was happy to see me, but immediately knew that something was wrong.  I was so scared.  I knew that my dad could help me, because dad's always help their daughters.  I knew...

Haitian Creations purse party

Last week I hosted a girls night at my house and a purse party all in the same night and it was so much fun.  I love getting people together and I love exposing people to organizations that are doing great things in the world.  Haitian Creations is one of those...

I’m trying to like Mr Gatsby

Yesterday I started back on the slow carb challenge. I did it in January and loved it, and so why not torture myself endure it again for another 6 weeks.  This time my mom and I started a Facebook group and someone is gonna win some cash.  I do need to confess right...

21 days and I’m 35

In three weeks I'll turn 35.  I have no idea why, but this number is hard for me.  It shouldn't be.  I mean really what's the big deal between 34 and 35. For some reason 35 seems like a big deal.  Like I should have my act together or something.  I should have...

Adopting from Haiti

We had a plan that we thought best for our family regarding adoption.  We would adopt domestically an infant and then adopt international. We felt lead to adopt a son first.  We had many friends who had adopted and from what I could see, I wanted to plan out what made...

Weight loss challenge & chocolate bundt cake

You all know that in January I did the slow carb challenge and loved it. Well, I didn't always love not eating chips every day, but I did love the 13 lb loss at the end. To say I've fallen off the wagon is an understatement. I have dreams of cupcakes lately and I...

i’m in vacuum heaven

Yesterday we got a new vacuum. I'm in love with it. So in love that I have vacuumed twice today.  Oh my word, I hate vacuuming, but it's because my other one was so awful.  I felt as though when I vacuumed all it did was swirl the dirt around in the air and put it...

Risen with Christ

This morning I woke up in a funk. If this has never happened to you, you can move on, but I have a small feeling I'm not the only one that struggles with this from time to time. The smallest thing can bring this on, and usually about half way through my day I realize...

Adopting from Russia & Ethiopia

Matt and I adopted from Russia  in 2006 and 2008, and we just brought home our daughter from Ethiopia last October. We love the family God has put together from all over the world. When Matt and I decided to adopt, we were overwhelmed with the various processes.  I...

the perfect gift for the man in your life from The Pipe Parlor

If you are like me, sometimes shopping for the perfect gift for my man is not as easy as it sounds.  Aaron doesn't need another shirt or tie, another coffee mug, or the latest gadget.  I always want to find that gift that will surprise him and make him love me so much...

Foster Adoption

I'll be honest… we have no idea when/why we chose to adopt through foster care. We knew that we wanted to adopt, and had no idea where to start. We knew the number of orphans was growing in our own city, and thought to ourselves, "Why wouldn't we start here?" From...

Cayden is going to Haiti!

Since we first began adopting from Haiti Cayden has always asked to go visit the country his brother and sister are from.  During our adoption process we debated about taking him.  He wanted to go badly, and he would have been old enough, we honestly just didn't want...

Story lost her first tooth!

I cried when I walked Cayden to his kindergarten classroom.  I tried to not let him see me, so as I backed out of there about 98% confident that he would fully survive a full day without me, I held the tears until I was out of sight from him.  I couldn't believe that...

Gluten & Dairy Free Cornbread Recipe

Aaron put on twitter the other day that he just made the best gluten/dairy free cornbread ever and a few of you asked for the recipe, so he was so kind to put it on his page and now I'm sharing it over here. Enjoy! Oh and when he says that we've been dairy/gluten free...

Adopting a child with HIV from Uganda

  My husband and I began to witness people in our sphere of influence adopting children; one couple was adopting from Uganda, one family was adopting from Ethiopia, and another family had already adopted from Haiti. Witnessing these friends choosing to adopt stirred...

Considering the Raven

Tonight was a night laced with hard phone conversations.  My grandma is heading to the hospital and so cousins, aunts, moms, brothers have all been talking back and forth.  After the last conversation I looked up and saw something new in my yard. A bird nest.  I...

Spring Break + Sick Mom = no fun

Two months ago the flu struck our house and took Aaron down. He was so sick and miserable for that week. I remember at one time thinking to myself, "geez I kinda wish I had the flu so I could lay in bed for a week and do nothing".  I mean it seemed glorious.  I took...

How people found this blog.

I think it's fun to see what searches people are finding your blog from. Most of mine are something like this: slow carb diet Love Shines Aaron Ivey Dreaming Big Dreams Letter to 9 year old son I want to adopt buy my husband doesn't Obviously those are all from posts...

sick day and vacuuming with heels.

We have one more week of Spring Break. Yippee I know! We have a lot on our to-do list for this week and low and behold I'm sick. I got home this morning from time with some friends and literally in a matter of minutes I felt sick and was on the couch. It was like a...

New blog series: How did you know where to adopt from?

I meet a lot of people that are thinking about adoption.  Most of them have been moved by someone's story, or a movie, or an event in their life.  Some of them have even walked down the adoption journey with friends and God has moved their hearts towards adoption. One...

Do you know your real dad?

Today we met some of our favorite friends at the Farmer's Market and had a blast.  As my friend and I were standing in line to get breakfast tacos for all of our hungry munchkins I overheard her son ask Deacon and Amos if they knew who their real dad was.  I stopped...

Pine Cove Family Camp {discount code included}

Usually about once a week Amos asks me how much longer until Family Camp.  I kid you not.  I have thought about making a countdown chart, but for the love we're still about 3.5 months away from this epic summer event. My kids LOVED family camp, and as a momma it makes...

Blueberry Crisp from BREAD & WINE

I told you that during my trip to Mexico I fell in love with a book. Here's why I fell in love with the book. It's about food. Community. Wine. Bread. Life. Love. Happiness. Sadness. Failures. Successes. And best of all it has recipes too. Shauna Niequist new...

My dress dilemma for the wedding

**UPDATE** Kohl's wants you to shop their huge selection of cute dresses and they are offering you 10% off your dress with this code: BLOGS10 - you can also use this code with other offers as well! Now you have a great reason to go buy a new dress!  Go HERE to see all...

The first time I went to Haiti …

The first time I went to Haiti had nothing to do with the adoption of our children.  My two kids weren't even on my mind, or in our life plan.  We had two kids, and although I was hopeful there would be more, they weren't in our plans. The first time I went to Haiti I...

The BIBLE sparked great talks with my boys.

Did any of you watch THE BIBLE that was on Sunday night on The History Channel?  We did, and we loved it.  Story was already in bed and so we sat around the table with our boys and soaked it all in.  It's going to be on every Sunday until Easter and I think it goes...

CHOSEN MARATHON RACE SHIRTS … even though they are 3 years old!

I'm trying to declutter my bedroom.  It's a task that literally will be on my to-do list until I die.  Here's why ... When I clean and pick up my house do you know where everything goes that doesn't have a home?  My bedroom.  Do you know where all the "I have no idea...

Slow Carb Challenge Final Results

I did it!!!  My 6 weeks food challenge is over and I'm so happy with the results!  The slow-carb challenge was a great way for me to boost myself into 2013 with food and eating.  I cut out all carbs, all fruit, all sugar, and all dairy .... except for the one day a...

A promise I made to my son.

My dad coached me in basketball one year.  He might have continued to be my coach, except for after the one year he did coach me I insisted I would only play if dad did not coach me.  You see, I know as a parent now that sometimes we're harder on our own kids than we...

Grocery shopping with four kids

I hate to grocery shop with all four kids.  I can handle three.  Two is amazing.  One is like a pure miracle.  No kids is almost a vacation.  There are a few hours each day where all my kids are in school, and so you would think that any mom that had any sense in her...

my son’s poem to a girl

Yesterday I had a conversation with one of my boys that I'm sure is the beginning of many more to come.  He was a little timid in talking with me about it, but he had already talked to Aaron about it and I think he just wanted to get it off his chest.  He finally told...

Rowing with a friend

Today is day 3 of the writers #7in7 .... or is it day 2?  Wait, or did I miss a day and it's day 3?  All I know is that it's 12:52AM and I put off writing all day today, until now.  And when I say put off writing, what I really mean is that I left the house at 10:30,...

Tierra’s Sparkle is working for her.

I watch the Bachelor.   There I said it.  I know it's probably the worst show on tv and I hate how it makes women look, and how the women on there make themselves look, but I can't stop watching. Of course there's the drama on the show ... Tierra.  She brings drama...

Which ones are your real kids?

As I was picking up the kids from school today another kid from the back of the line piped up and said to me, "you adopted these kids?".  For me these conversations are much easier with kids than adults, and so without even skipping a beat, I looked up and told him...

Amos’ first school project about stuff we don’t know about.

Today was the day I've dreaded for a while.  Our first project about Amos when he was a baby.  I knew these days would come because we've all done those projects in school.  You talk about when you were a baby and so on. For Amos it's a bit difficult, because we don't...

Letter writing. A lost art.

Recently Cayden has been checking the mailbox every single day in hopes that someone has sent him a letter.  I haven't been sure who was going to write him, but sure enough a few days ago he received a letter from Jack.  This was a great day for him, and has inspired...

Our kids names and where they came from.

I recently was talking to a mom who was about to find out the sex of her baby.  I was of course asking all the normal questions about what she would name her kids and she asked me how we picked our kids names. I think it's funny because most of our kids names are just...

There is no condemnation.

Some days I want to run away.  Literally walk out my door, start running and never look back.  I have no idea where this comes from, but I'm guessing today it's from fear.  I'm afraid of what I'm doing wrong.  I'm afraid I can't do it right. I've said it before, and...

Slow Carb week #5 & ThermoFit

Oh my gracious I have made it to week five.  No need for you to clap for me, because I've been applauding myself all day long.  I have said this a million times, but I've never done this well at a food plan.  Never made a food goal and stuck with it.  N.E.V.E.R so...

5 things I’m loving these days.

I started a movie today that apparently I'm the last person in the world to see - Beaches.  As soon as I posted on Facebook that I'd never seen it, everyone said it was "so sad" and that they "cried their eyes out".  So ... obviously I knew someone was gonna die.  I...

I want to write a book.

The other day I was having lunch with Aaron and we ran into a friend and her mother-in-law.  After we did our introductions she grabbed my hands and smiled a huge smile of encouragement and began to tell me how much she loved listening to me on the radio.  My heart...

Slow Carb challenge week #4 ahead & MADE TO CRAVE devotional

Today marks the start to week #4 on the SLOW CARB CHALLENGE that Aaron and I are doing.  Each week marks a week of success for me, because my friends I have never made it this far with anything in my life that involves food. Each week you get one cheat day allowed,...

God hears your cries

Each and every time I read the Old Testament I comment to myself on how these people are a hot mess and can not for the life of them get themselves together.  They are so wishy-washy.  One minute they are praising God and believing him for all his promises.  The next...

Week #3 of the slow carb challenge

Bring on week #3 of the slow carb challenge.  I'd like to take a moment to pat myself on the back for just a moment.  I have NEVER made it two weeks of any kind of food challenge ever in my life.  EVER.  I usually quit a few days in because I feel as though I deserve...

Remembering Fedna

Happy Birthday sweet Fedna! Four years ago a sweet little three year old entered my world and changed me forever.  God took Aaron and I down a crazy path of hosting a sweet girl from Haiti.  From the minute she was placed in my arms in Fort Lauderdale, I was her...

Five apologies to my wife {Guest Post by Aaron Ivey}

Y'all know Aaron was sick all last week.  He was miserable sick.  Well, life goes on when your sick and here's his take on last week and what all he learned.  This is good ladies.  Real good. FIVE APOLOGIES TO MY WIFE  I totally spied on my wife.  It's like I had a...

A letter to my 9 year old son.

 Happy Birthday Cayden! Dearest Cayden, Today, you my son turn nine and I want you to know that I am oh so happy to be your mommy.  I need to say mommy, because of course these days you insist on calling me Mom.  It's your way of showing how you are growing up and...

It’s Vital

Last summer I started using a product that my cousin-in-law, Traci, told me that I would love and boy was she right.  If you follow me on Facebook you have for sure heard me talk about my "greens" because I love them so much! I became a distributor for them last year...

One month after December 14, 2012

A month ago on December 14th, some awful things happened.  #1 there was a school shooting in CT that has gone down as the worst school shooting in history.  I'm pissed that we even have a category for this.  That there is even a worst school shooting means that there...

The flu has struck our house.

The flu has entered our house this week and so far only taken one prisoner.  Sure enough as soon as I post this we will all get it.  Oh Lord I hope not! Aaron went down Sunday night and he went down hard.  He didn't leave our bedroom for three days and finally got...

Slow Carb diet week #1 meals

Day one Breakfast:  2 eggs & 1 egg white scrambled with 1/4 of an avocado - I also heated up about 1/4 cup of left over Spicy Masala Lentil Soup that we had made over the weekend. Lunch:  Salad with broccoli pieces, snap peas, a tbsp of hummus (b/c I can not eat...

Slow Carb Egg, Spinach & Avocado breakfast

Eating eggs for breakfast is nothing new to me.  I love eggs for breakfast and I've written about one of my favorite ways to eat eggs for breakfast before, and so here's another one of my favorite ways that I make eggs for myself in the mornings.  It's super easy and...

Help me pick a new bathing suit!

46 days and I'm in Cancun.  Oh I love Cancun. So I bought a tankini the Spring after Cayden was born.  I spent way too much money on it, but I convinced Aaron I needed it.  I might have cried or something.  Probably said something about needing to feel good again...

Why I am dieting.

I feel like body image is such a weird thing for me.  It's something that I struggle with, but I sometimes am not sure what to do with it.  On one hand I'm super confident in who I am, and on another hand I am very insecure in my body.  It's weird. I've never owned a...

Slow Carb Diet in 2013 … I can’t even believe I just typed that

Welcome to 2013 .... I'm gonna lose 10 lbs ... maybe even 15 lbs .....   oh i know right now you are rolling your eyes.  You're saying ..."everyone starts a diet jan 1" .... or .....  "oh you don't need to, you look great" ... well thanks so much, but I'm not fishing...

My 210 calorie smoothie

  I love smoothies!  I actually shouldn't say that I love them because I don't ever want to go to a smoothie shop and buy one, but I love making my own at home.  It gives me such great satisfaction to get so much great nutrition in one glass of drink. Maybe that's the...

Top blog posts of 2012

I thought I'd look back through the ole' blog from 2012 and highlight some of the top read posts from here.  Maybe you read them, but maybe you missed them.   These are in no particular order, but I am going to categorize them so it will help you if you are looking...

Kids first Texas Longhorn basketball game

Last night I saw the Men's basketball twitter say they had tickets up for $3 for today's game against Rice, and so I thought this would be fun!  Aaron left to go out of town this morning, and so what a better way for a mom to spend the day with her kids than at the...

Books I read in 2012

I do love reading, but I'm such a sporadic reader.  I'll go months and read one book, and then read two books in a month.  I wish I had lots more time to read.  I actually probably wish I read more books and less Facebook.  That's the answer! I try to keep a running...

The Year of Motherhood final review

2012 was labeled as THE YEAR OF MOTHERHOOD for me.  I decided at the end of last December that my months would look different this year and I would strive to challenge myself in many areas.  Each month I had a challenge to myself to do something different that month....

Christmas is about Santa and Jesus’ death … or something like that.

Recently my five year old who is in Pre-K brought home the dreaded note that all of us parents hate.  You know the one.  It goes something like this .... "Parents, we are studying holidays in our classroom and we would love it if your child would create a poster that...

Tomorrow we celebrate -the Savior has been born

As I wrapped the final present for tomorrow and Aaron seared the meat for the Kerela-Style Beef Stew that we'll devour for lunch tomorrow I kept thinking about all of you out there that aren't having the best Christmas you have ever had.  Some of you are lonely.  Some...

I like adoption.

New Film Premiere - I Like Adoption. from ILikeGiving.com on Vimeo.

Santa pics over the years

Although my family doesn't celebrate Santa, we still make the visit to see him each year at the mall.  My kids know we don't do Santa, and yet each year they go along with my desire to get the picture of them with the jolly old fella. I was looking around the house...

32 hour getaway with girls

 {This picture pretty much has nothing to do with this post except that we just took it last night, I love it, and I love my man and so here you go!}   This is an exciting Friday around the Ivey house!  You see, a few weeks ago my man called and told me to plan...

Staying in God’s word now that I have kids.

Some of my friends have little babies and are struggling with finding time to get in God's word like they did before having babies.  You wouldn't think that such a little person would make life so hard sometimes.  I mean it's just sitting down to read the bible.  That...

Giveaway: Rockin Baby

My hope this month is that I can showcase a few organizations that are giving back with each of your purchases.  These are organizations that are committed to doing more with your dollars than just pocketing them for themselves.  They care about the least of these. ...

One day he’ll wash his hair.

We were  leaving the house this morning and Cayden told me that he had a secret to tell me.  He smiled real big, got closer to my ear, and then whispered that he hadn't washed his hair in over a week.  He giggled as I gave him the you-are-a-crazy-boy look.  He ran off...

Giveaway: Promise Cards

Recently I read this:  "Here's an idea:  Let's buy Christmas presents from small local businesses and self-employed people.  For example, from your neighbor who sells online, a local craftsperson who makes jewelry, the stunning local florist shop, the local bakers...

Faith even when the house alarm is blaring.

About the worst thing that can happen to a woman while her husband's out of town is for her house alarm to go off at 2 am.  This was me last week.  FREAKING OUT.  I actually happen to be up in Story's room when it went off, so I wasn't in a dead sleep when it...

Giveaway: Noonday

My hope this month is that I can showcase a few organizations that are giving back with each of your purchases.  These are organizations that are committed to doing more with your dollars than just pocketing them for themselves.  They care about the least of these. ...

45 seconds to point my kids to Jesus

Today I had 45 seconds to point my kids to Jesus.  I'm so thankful for this conversation that went down in our car this morning on the way to school.  I truly think that God uses some of the most mundane tasks in our lives to allow us to point our kids to him. While...

3rd Annual Christmas Market – The For the City Network (Austin, TX)

One of my favorite places to buy Christmas gifts here in Austin is at the Christmas Market at the For the City Center.  I have bought gifts there each year and will be back there again this year!! The third Annual Christmas Market will be held onSaturday, December 1,...

Giveaway: Open Arms

My hope this month is that I can showcase a few organizations that are giving back with each of your purchases.  These are organizations that are committed to doing more with your dollars than just pocketing them for themselves.  They care about the least of these. ...

Giveaway: Established Signs

My hope this month is that I can showcase a few organizations that are giving back with each of your purchases.  These are organizations that are committed to doing more with your dollars than just pocketing them for themselves.  They care about the least of these. ...

Giveaway: Go Jammies

My hope this month is that I can showcase a few organizations that are giving back with each of your purchases.  These are organizations that are committed to doing more with your dollars than just pocketing them for themselves.  They care about the least of these. ...

DFW friends – Blue Sky Christmas Event

  "My name is Mabry. I am 9 and I LOVE Wednesdays.  Why Wednesdays?  That's the day I get to ride my horse.  My horse's name is Peaches.  My favorite thing to do in the whole world is ride my horse.  I've never had anything that was just mine before like so many other...

Giveaway: Tabletop Truths

Recently I read this:  "Here's an idea:  Let's buy Christmas presents from small local businesses and self-employed people.  For example, from your neighbor who sells online, a local craftsperson who makes jewelry, the stunning local florist shop, the local bakers...

Giveaway: Trades of Hope

My hope this month is that I can showcase a few organizations that are giving back with each of your purchases.  These are organizations that are committed to doing more with your dollars than just pocketing them for themselves.  They care about the least of these. ...

Giveaway: 3 CORDS

My hope this month is that I can showcase a few organizations that are giving back with each of your purchases.  These are organizations that are committed to doing more with your dollars than just pocketing them for themselves.  They care about the least of these. ...

Caramel Apple Dip

One of my best girlfriends is so crafty.  She is always throwing awesome birthday parties for her kids where she makes every decoration she uses, her house has amazing decorations in it that she creates and makes, and her teacher gifts are always amazing!  Lately she...

Haiti Beans and Rice

I get lots and lots of request for the beans and rice that Aaron makes for us all the time.  We just refer to this meal as "Haiti Beans & Rice" and as you know from all the times I tell you about it, Amos loves this meal.  I think he loves the food of course, but...

computer problems … & TONS more Christmas gift giveaways

Y'all I'm gonna be behind on posting more giveaway's because my computer is broken. BOO to broken computers! Of course that's where all my info is about all these amazing things I have in store for you. Just to let you know, here's what I have for YOU guys the rest of...

Giveaway: PITTER PATTER ART

Recently I read this:  "Here's an idea:  Let's buy Christmas presents from small local businesses and self-employed people.  For example, from your neighbor who sells online, a local craftsperson who makes jewelry, the stunning local florist shop, the local bakers...

One too many fits led to no school today.

This morning while getting ready for school Story threw a fit about not wanting to wear a jacket.  Then she threw a fit about me packing her lunch for her last night without her.  Then she threw a fit about me making her come to where I was sitting to help her with...

Giveaway: Raven + Lily

My hope this month is that I can showcase a few organizations that are giving back with each of your purchases.  These are organizations that are committed to doing more with your dollars than just pocketing them for themselves.  They care about the least of these. ...

“I want to adopt, but my husband doesn’t”

"I want to adopt, but my husband doesn't" I hear that so many times. Usually the wife is looking at me with a deep despair and urgency. Her eyes are usually filled with tears and she seems to be wanting me to give her words of wisdom that will move her husband towards...

Giveaway: Jason Poe, Jennifer James & Mighty Spirit kids CD’s

My hope this month is that I can showcase a few people/organizations that are doing big things on a smaller schedule.  These are people that are doing great things in their home, or without a big company backing them.  What I'm saying is you should spend your money on...

giveaway: Hill Country Hill Tribers

My hope this month is that I can showcase a few organizations that are giving back with each of your purchases.  These are organizations that are committed to doing more with your dollars than just pocketing them for themselves.  They care about the least of these. ...

Giveaway: Connected in Hope

My hope this month is that I can showcase a few organizations that are giving back with each of your purchases.  These are organizations that are committed to doing more with your dollars than just pocketing them for themselves.  They care about the least of these. ...

Giveaway: 31 bits

My hope this month is that I can showcase a few organizations that are giving back with each of your purchases.  These are organizations that are committed to doing more with your dollars than just pocketing them for themselves.  They care about the least of these. ...

Giveaway: Haitian Creations purse and bracelet

All month I get to showcase a few organizations that are giving back with each of your purchases.  These are organizations that are committed to doing more with your dollars than just pocketing them for themselves.  They care about the least of these.  As you prepare...

Giveaway: RADIANT COSMETICS

My hope this month is that I can showcase a few organizations that are giving back with each of your purchases.  These are organizations that are committed to doing more with your dollars than just pocketing them for themselves.  They care about the least of these. ...

Pine Cove Family Camp {discount code included}

I have an amazing opportunity for you guys!  I'm so excited to share this with you!  Have you ever wanted to go to a camp with your family?  Remember how awesome camp was as a kid, well imagine a camp set up just for families.  It is amazing.  Aaron and I went last...

3 years ago today ….

THREE YEARS AGO TODAY THIS SWEET ANGEL JOINED OUR FAMILY AND IT HAS NEVER AND WILL NEVER BE THE SAME!...

Aaron Ivey band at ACL 2012

Last weekend I was a super proud wife!  It's so fun to see someone that you love so much get to do something really cool.  Aaron and his boys played at ACL in Austin.  If you are not familiar with ACL, it's a HUGE music festival in Austin every year and they have some...

Fresh Fruit Cleanse starts tomorrow

I told y'all that I needed a cleanse and you guys gave me some great ideas.  I'm happy to say that I found one and have drug a few friends into this week as well.  Most of the ones you guys left in the comments all cost money and I wasn't willing to do that just yet,...

Cleanse/Detox – I need ideas.

Okay y'all I'm starting to feel so gross.  My eating has taken me to a place of grossness lately.  It's just convenient to eat like crap.  When life is cray you eat when you can, what you can, wherever you can.  It seems like the Ivey's life has been CRAZY for the...

Thoughts from the hospital chair

I decided yesterday morning that I wanted to go back  to see my mom.  She had called me Wed morning to tell me that she had a bad night, and I got off the phone thinking that I needed to be there for her, in case she needed me.  In case there was a mean nurse that I...

Once again, my heart is torn between two places

I remember when I would travel back and forth to Haiti to visit my kids.  When I was there I would long to be with my kids in Austin, and dream of sleeping in the same bed as Aaron.  My heart was so grateful and joyous to be with my kids in Haiti, but I missed my...

My moms heart attack

I have just had a CRAZY weekend that I don't even know how to begin in telling you all about it.  I want to tell you about our Fall Break and all the fun stuff we did.  I want to tell you about us visiting a museum in our town.  I want to tell you about ACL that was...

Dinner with the teacher

One thing that our family is trying this year is to invite the kids teachers over for dinner.  We want the teachers to know how much we love them, appreciate them, and to thank them for teaching our hoodlums each day!  Another thing that comes out of this is that our...

Otts are adding one to their tribe

I love when people adopt.  I love it even more when people I know adopt.  I love it even more when people we do life with adopt.  That's just what is happening tomorrow (Wed the 10th) when the Otts arrive home with their new son, Shimelis, and become a party of five!...

HEROES & MONSTERS giveaway

This past Spring my book club read a book that was written by an Austinite and we had the huge privilege of having him come to our book club for a little question and answer time. It was a great night for two reasons.  #1 the obvious was that we had the author of our...

Flag Football – Go Falcons!

All three of my boys are playing flag football and thank you to the angels above who set it up like they did, all three boys are on the same team!  That means one practice night and one game.  Oh can we get a HALLELUJAH right now! I love football and if I had my dream...

the BEARD

Aaron's always had facial hair.  Lately he has been letting it grow out.  Had you asked me "hey do you think you want your husband to have a narley big beard?"  I would have said No.   But no one asked me and it just happened.  I'm perfectly okay with it.  I don't...

Continuing to love

Yesterday I had lunch with a friend and she asked me some questions about adoption.  She was trying to be nice and super politically correct when she said, "So, did you have a few hard times when Amos came home?"  I kinda chuckled.  I always find these conversations a...

Getting all dressed up!

Recently Aaron and I had a party to go to and I got the urge to get dressed up.  I was told I should dress nice, and so I called my great friend Tiffany up and told her I needed her to do my eyes.  You see, my make up consists of eyeliner, some color on the cheeks and...

Dad vs Mom jobs

My kids often ask me what my job is.  I always tell them that my job is THEM.  They know that I used to work at the radio station and they think that is pretty cool, and they also know that I do a lot of laundry and wash a lot of dishes. Recently one of the kids...

Getting back into God’s word

There have been times in my life where I have not opened my bible for weeks.  Days turn to weeks and before you know it, weeks do turn to months.  It is a sad confession, but one that I feel I'm not alone in within the church.  So many of us feel as though going to...

Hapy Face breakfast

This month I'm trying to get my kids a healthy breakfast each morning before school, which is not always that hard, but I'm also trying to change it up a bit.  We eat a lot of scrambled eggs, toast, cereal & frozen waffles.  We always have fruit as well. Recently...

Leftovers for kids lunches

This month I'm trying to make sure that I pack my kids lunches every day.  It can be so easy sometimes to let them buy lunch just so that I can sleep later, or not have to go to the grocery store as often as I need to.  I will admit that there has been one day this...

Making my smoothies

Lately I've been trying to substitute a meal a day with a smoothie.  Usually this is lunch for me, but if I know I'm out around lunch I'll do breakfast like this.  For me, it's about cutting out a few calories as I try to lose a few pounds.  The best way for me to do...

Guest Post: Traci Dixon on HOW IT WORKS CHANGED MY LIFE

Back in October of last year, my best friend from Lubbock called me and told me all about this crazy wrap business she was getting involved in. Honestly, all I really heard when she called (even though I don't think these words actually came out of her mouth) was...

Praying for YOUR adoption journey

The other day I met with a mom that is at the very beginning of her adoption journey and another mom that is 2 years into her wait.  Both of them on the same journey, but just at different parts.  Both with worries and fears.  Both with hope and a light at the end of...

Top Posts from August 2012

Here are the top read posts from August and one of my favorite pictures was taken one Sunday morning when my boys insisted on dressing up and wearing ties like daddy!  I love it! Keeping Secrets from Mommy God Chose You For This Family Take Time to Notice the Little...

Healthy Lunches and Breakfast for kids

Happy September!  Last month we worked on memorizing scripture and our family devotional times being more consistent.  What a great month it was for the whole family!  I updated last month over at Inspired to Action where Kat so graciously lets me write each month. ...

Compassion Bloggers

One Sunday morning I was teaching a class to 3rd-5th grade boys and we were talking about things that are always true.  You know, things like the sun always rises.  The summer always ends, even if Texas in November can still feel like summer.  God's word is always...

Getting my Veggies & Fruits

UPDATE:  Anyone that signs up to be a loyal customer (Means you buy 1 item for three months in a row.  Can be same item or different item) between now and September 10th I will give you 5 single packets of the GREENS ON THE GO (which, did I mention are my...

Giveaway: Scripture CD & more

Three things to give away to YOU This month I've been working at memorizing scripture with my kids and I must admit that I have had help along the way!  Recently Laura asked if they could send my kids and I a cd that they had created for kids to help them memorize...

Take time to notice the little things

Last night Aaron and I were on a date and I mentioned to him that I liked how he was doing his hair these days.  He smiled, thanked me, and then told me that about 20 people have said this to him over the past two weeks and I hadn't said a word.  He wasn't mad one...

The One Who Heals

We read this the other night at the dinner table out of our Jesus Calling: 365 devotionals for kids book.  I pray this will minister to your heart today as it did mine when we read it.   I am God who heals.  I heal hurt bodies, troubled minds, aching hearts, messed-up...

God chose you for this family.

I have heard a lot of parents explain adoption to their kids in this way, "You are so special to us that we chose you.  That's how special you are."  At the core of this I truly see the purpose they are trying to convey and I see their heart behind their words.  Our...

Keeping secrets from mommy

Last year when the whole Penn State scandal came out and everyone was talking about the allegations that were falling on so many people at Penn State it obviously made me think of my own kids.  I feel as though when something like that happens and you are a parent you...

Guest Post: I HAVE TO BELIEVE IN JESUS by Emily Ward

I'm away for my last getaway of the summer, and my sweet friend Emily is guest posting for me today.  She's actually with me on my girls trip, so it's fun that she's here on the blog today too!  Enjoy! I have to believe in Jesus. I just have to. Because if I didn't I...

Happy Friday!!

Happy Friday my friends!!!  I am so excited about today for so many reasons.  Allow me to bore you with them!!!   Aaron comes home today!!!  Some of my favorite days are the days that daddy gets back in town!  Our kids are missing their daddy and they are ready for us...

Domestic or International

One of my most asked questions about adoption is how we decided on international vs. domestic.  We have done both, so I feel I can speak on both of these and how God led us each one. When Aaron and I were praying about adoption we only knew people that had adopted...

Why blog?

Over the past month I've been thinking a lot about blogging.  Why do I blog?  What do I want out of it?  You see, when this blog started way back in 2005 it was just to keep our parents up to date with their grandkids that lived thousands of miles away.  Then it...

Same ole’ same ole’ or something new?

The Peach Pit, Monk's Cafe, The Central Perk Coffee House, The Max, and Bluth's Original Frozen Banana Stand all have something in common.  Yes they are all from the TV shows that we grew up watching and loved, but they have something else in common.  They are where...

Memorizing Scripture with my kids

August Challenge Today is August first and that means a new challenge begins today for us at the Ivey household.  Last month I was dedicated to praying for my kids even more than normal and it was fabulous.  I shared about that challenge over at Inspired to Action...

Story’s off to the big girl school

We've been at the same pre-school for the last three years.  All of my kids were loved so well there and the teachers lavished love and kindness on our family. This picture is from the "muffins with mom" day this past May with my sweet Story.  I missed this the year...

Re-entry is hard

Recently Aaron and I had a little tiff after he arrived home from a trip.  He did this, I did that .... blah, blah, blah .... we were missing each other, not respecting each other and just plain fighting.  He claimed that re-entry back to life here at home was hard...

Guest Post: RAISING FOUR GIRLS by Melissa Navarro

I'm on a trip to London, and while I'm gone have asked a few friends to share with you on my blog.  These ladies are some of my favorite ladies ever and have much wisdom and love to share.  This is my friend Melissa and I met her pretty quickly after moving to Austin...

Guest Post: Jenny Agnew

I'm on a trip to London, and while I'm gone have asked a few friends to share with you on my blog.  These ladies are some of my favorite ladies ever and have much wisdom and love to share.  This is my friend Jenny and her and I have something in common that we're both...

Guest Post: Sunday’s in Haiti by Tara Livesay

I'm on a trip to London, and while I'm gone have asked a few friends to share with you on my blog.  These ladies are some of my favorite ladies ever and have much wisdom and love to share.  This is my friend Tara.  We met in May of 2008 and our families have loved...

Guest Post: GRACE by Melissa Navarro

I'm on a trip to London, and while I'm gone have asked a few friends to share with you on my blog.  These ladies are some of my favorite ladies ever and have much wisdom and love to share.  This is my friend Melissa and I met her pretty quickly after moving to Austin...

June & July catch up with pictures.

July = our busiest month ever!  So much fun stuff is awesome, but I feel like all I've done is pack and do laundry and re-pack.  I'm 100% not complaining because this month might be one of my favorite months ever, just stating the obvious. I'm gonna update our lives...

Guest Post: LITTLE FAITH by Annie Lent

I'm on vacation with my man and so some of my favorite people are sharing their hearts on my blog today.  I'm honored that they would share their heart and wisdom with you guys!  Today is my friend Annie who I am so thankful has become a friend to me over the past few...

Guest Post: CELEBRATING MY KIDS BIRTHDAY’S by Kimberly Stewart

I'm on vacation with my man and so some of my favorite people are sharing their hearts on my blog today.  I'm honored that they would share their heart and wisdom with you guys!  Today is my friend Kimberly who I am beyond grateful that God has allowed me to live down...

Packing for Camp

This past week our family was extremely blessed to be able to go to FAMILY CAMP at PINE COVE.  We were loved on as a family and had so much fun with our kids.  Aaron's gonna wrote more about it on his website soon!   Now, I get the awesome privilege of washing all my...

The Year of Motherhood – June & July

Last week I wrote about the month of June over at Inspired to Action and how our family worked on studying the Fruits of the Spirit this past month.  You can read that article HERE. The book used to help us this month was:  KIDS' TRAVEL GUIDE TO THE FRUIT OF THE...

Trying to out serve Aaron

One thing that I've tried to work hard on in our marriage is to look out for Aaron's needs.  I'm not talking sexual, but just regular needs.  I think in our society it is very easy to look out for yourself.  We live in a world that basically screams at you to take...

Happy Father’s Day!

We had a great Father's Day this year.  Aaron was actually off work and so we literally spent the whole day together.  We took Aaron to Contigo where we had the most delish eggs benedict in the world, fabulous quiche and the kids played washers (I'm still not even...

Guarding my little boys eyes from magazines.

Recently I've been bombarded with stories of people's marriages being hurt through pornography and affairs.   Some of these are stories of people I've never met, but unfortunately some of these are people I know.  Some of these are people I know well.  It makes me...

Guest Post: THE REMINDER OF LOVE by Annie Lent

I'm away at a conference in California with Aaron, so I have some friends guest posting on here today.  As usual, enjoy their words and leave them a comment telling them how much you appreciate them. I used to be so in love. Heart-pounding, unswerving, zealous,...

Rejoice in the LORD always

JOY - a permanent condition of the heart and an attitude that comes from having a relationship with Jesus.  Through the workings of the Holy Spirit, we can have joy in our lives and be happy in good times and in difficult times.  This lesson encourages children to...

Learning the Fruits of the Spirit

This month we're focusing on the fruits of the spirit and so far so good.  The first thing I did was put the words where my kids and I could see them every day all day long.  This way when we eat our meals, we can have the signs to look at and remember to talk about...

They grow so fast.

I found this picture tonight and I'm at a loss for words because for the life of me I can't remember much about my boys at this age.  Is this how it happens?  They grow and you forget.  They change and you don't remember how it was before.  They grow out of clothes...

Ivey boys are off to camp

My kids are going to CAMP and I am that super freaky excited mom!  I am already planning the care packages I'm gonna send them, and I'll ask all my close friends to also send them letters full of love and encouragement!  I grew up going to camp with my church, but...

Happy 7th Birthday Amos!

Recently Amos turned SEVEN.  Can y'all believe that my son turned SEVEN???  My son that we found out about when he was 27 months old is now seven.  Oh my time is flying by. Amos wanted money only for his birthday because he was saving up to buy his DSI because he has...

Amos is still learning that I love him, no matter what.

  The past two weeks have been fabulous around here for Amos.  He's been so happy and we've noticed something different in him.  It's as if he finally is starting to just for a split second realize that we love him a whole stinking lot.  I swear he still questions...

Guest Post: MY IDENTITY CRISIS by Annie Lent

I'm away for a few days with our band family and so I'm having a few people guest post for me.  Enjoy their words and as always, leave them a comment so they know you were here reading!   Death has a way of drawing a big black line right down the center of your life....

Encouraging words from DOODLE GRAPHICS

One of my deepest desires in life is for my kids to know that they are loved and special.  If they get to graduation night and they can declare that their mom loved them and loved them well I will be one happy momma.  I'll be crying I'm sure, because who doesn't cry ...

Group Vacations

In the past few years Aaron and I have been on a few group vacations.  Our first group vacation was to New York City with about 6 couples and that was a blast.  We would do fun stuff together as a group at night and during the day it was mostly Aaron and I doing our...

HOMELIFE magazine subscription giveaway

It's summer time and that means magazine time!  Don't you just love to sit by the pool and read a good magazine?  I love it!  Recently I had my first article published in HomeLife and they are wanting to give away two one-year subscriptions to two of my readers!  How...

Do you nap every day?

    I recently read an article about why napping every day is good for you!  It lists so many reasons why napping is good for you, and I wanted to stand up and cheer after each one!   I don't nap every day, although I see nothing wrong with it if you do, heck, I wish...

I’m throwing out my granny panties

At a girls night recently we started talking about panties.  I'm not sure how it happened or who brought it up, but none the less we were discussing each others panties and why they wore what they wore.  I was the oldest one in the group, the one married the longest,...

Deacon’s hair is gone.

We are very laid back about hair around here.  For the love I only fix mine about 2x a week, because seriously who has time to fix their hair every day?!? Deacon has beautiful hair that we've let get crazy big.  He went through a stage where he would pic it out and it...

Tucking my kids in at night is a great time for gracious words.

Building our kids up. Let no corrupting talk come out of your mouths, but only such as is good for building up, as fits the occasion, that it may give grace to those who hear. (Ephesians 4:29) Isn't this what we want to do as parents?  Build our kids up.  If you ask...

Guest Post: GRIEF IS LIKE AN OCEAN by Rachel Setliffe

I'm out of town for a few days enjoying life in Arizona with my mom, grandma and Story!  While I'm gone I've asked some friends to share with you!  I love all these ladies and am honored to have them on my blog while I'm gone.  Enjoy their words and share them with...

Guest Post: GOD CHOSE YOU FOR YOUR KIDS by Amanda Brown

I'm out of town for a few days enjoying life in Arizona with my mom, grandma and Story!  While I'm gone I've asked some friends to share with you!  I love all these ladies and am honored to have them on my blog while I'm gone.  Enjoy their words and share them with...

Guest Post: SO, YOU WANT TO FOSTER? by Becca Harris

 I'm out of town for a few days enjoying life in Arizona with my mom, grandma and Story!  While I'm gone I've asked some friends to share with you!  I love all these ladies and am honored to have them on my blog while I'm gone.  Enjoy their words and share them with...

Guest Post: OUR SON AND SENSORY PROCESSING DISORDER

I'm out of town for a few days enjoying life in Arizona with my mom, grandma and Story!  While I'm gone I've asked some friends to share with you!  I love all these ladies and am honored to have them on my blog while I'm gone.  Enjoy their words and share them with...

Breakfast of Champions

I have a new favorite breakfast and I'm actually mad when we are out of eggs, because I'm not sure what to do for breakfast.  This breakfast makes me so happy.   What we have here are two eggs perfectly fried where the yoke is still runny when you cut into it.  Then I...

Why moms need to know their bible.

Nine months ago I made a statement that I'm absolutely embarrassed to admit today.  I actually said these words that were in my heart and although I wished I had never said them out loud, I'm glad that my heart was revealed and I was held accountable to these words. I...

ANYTHING by Jennie Allen giveaway

***UPDATED with winners names below***   What do I hold on to the most in my life in complete and utter fear of giving it over to God?  What do you hold on to?  Jennie Allen recently released a book called ANYTHING and in it she shares how one simple prayer changed...

Happy 34th birthday

    HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO ME! The photo above was taken at my 30th SURPRISE BIRTHDAY PARTY that Aaron threw for me.  One of the most epic and memorable nights of my life.  He put SO MUCH work into that party and I was very loved and appreciated that night.  Maris, Rachel,...

Encouraging my kids even when they argue with me.

This month I am challenging myself to focus on being an encourager to my kids. I feel that as moms we can either be our kids biggest fans or we can squash them daily, not intentionally, but just in the mode of getting things done and running a tight ship. I want to be...

I’m in a magazine: HOMELIFE May edition

  Back in the fall I was emailed by the publisher of a magazine and asked if I would like to write an article for them.  I nearly peed on myself as I read it because I was so honored and excited!  My first time to be asked to write for something that would be in a...

This Place is Perfect for Kids! Austin, TX

http://oascentral.blogher.org/RealMedia/ads/adstream_jx.ads/ReviewBadge/OID2681_TexasTourism_Badge_006/@x13Recently Aaron and I spent a few days at a resort that is about 30 miles outside of Austin. It was truly the best of both worlds for us. We were in the "woods,"...

April recap & what’s up for May

APRIL "year of motherhood" recap ... FAMILY NIGHTS I feel like my husband, Aaron, and I spend a good amount of quality family time with our kids, but for some reason I felt as though we needed a little boost to our nights.  I wanted to put a little pep in our step and...

Guest Post: Kelly Stewart talks about FAMILY NIGHTS

Today's guest post is from my friend, Kelly Stewart, who lives in Tennessee with her husband, Jason, and their four kids.  She is a great FAMILY NIGHT planner, so I wanted you to hear from a mom that does FAMILY NIGHT'S well!  ...

Pasta Salad & Couscous Pilaf

Here are two new side dishes I whipped up this weekend, that were great the first time and even better for leftovers after they are good and cold.   Oh how I love cold couscous and cold pasta salad. Also, these have nothing bad in them, so when my kids gobble them up...

Adoption Books to read to your kids.

I have read some great books on adoption and have many more bookmarked to read that I thought I'd share some with you.  About two years ago I posted some adoption books that had been recommended by an adoption agency.  I still haven't read all of them, but they are...

My messy desk.

I find it very ironic that I'm sitting here reading a blog on organization and my desk looks like this:   Maybe I should quit reading how to organize and just do it.  There's a thought for the day!  How messy is your desk?  Worse than this?  I dare you to say...

CAMPING: family night

  The camping night snuck up on me big time.  It was one of those things where you know it's coming and you know you need to plan, but other things come up and by the time you know it, it's here and you weren't ready!  I literally was in the grocery store at 5pm still...

Interrupting my life.

The other day I had one hour to spare in my day.  I could either take a nap, or meet my friend at her pool.  As much as I love the pool, this was a hard decision.  I mean how can you pass up an hour nap!   I got my bathing suit on (ugh!) and headed to the pool and was...

WEDNESDAY’S WERE PRETTY NORMAL book review and giveaway

One of my worst fears in life is something happening to one of my kids, or my husband.  I'm working through these fears more this year than I think I ever have, and asking God to show me that HE is truly all I need.  If I have to be completely honest with you, I was a...

Making good choices is hard.

Tonight as I tucked Amos into bed I praised him over and over again for having such a good day!  The thing that we are noticing around here is that Amos knows when he gets a bad attitude, gets pouty, refuses to do stuff, and gets sad at the whole world.  He feels it,...

LUAU family night.

I did it.  A themed family night.  And I survived! We went with the luau theme because quite frankly someone had already done the work for me and honestly it was super easy!  I got the idea from the website FAMILY MUSCLE and they listed out a whole idea for the luau...

I am AMOS.

Recently I went away for about 28 hours and spent time praying, reading the bible, reading magazines, resting my body, resting my brain and doing just about nothing.  It was AH-MAZING.  So wonderful for me and seemed to come at a perfect time for me as a mom. Although...

Weekend trip to my parents!

One of the things that I love about being back in Texas is that we get to see my parents, my brother and his wife, their kids, and Aaron's parents more than we did when we lived in TN.  Now that we're in Texas, Aaron's brother, Tim, & his wife, Joanna, have moved...

Happy Easter from the Ivey’s

I hope that your Easter was super fun and filled with family and praising Jesus for defeating sin and rising from the dead.  Oh what hope we have in a Savior who defeats death for us!   We had a great Easter service at the Erwin center again this year.  Last year I...

Top 25 adoption blogs by mom – will you vote for me?

The other day I received a fun email about my blog!  Apparently someone nominated me for this contest and now I need you readers to go and vote for me! Hi Jamie, Your blog Dreaming Big Dreams has been nominated to the Top 25 Adoptive and Foster Moms - 2012 list on...

Keeping Easter about Jesus

I'm afraid I'm not the biggest holiday celebrater (yes I just made that word up!).  I think I always chalk this up to me not being crafty or artsy, and therefore holiday's don't get celebrated very well around here.  I desire more than this, but it's so hard!  This...

I got the KVET job …… One year later

One year ago today I pulled up to a radio station at 4:45 in the morning and worked my first day on the air.  Honestly that seems like forever ago that I won the contest and become an on air personality on a morning show here in Austin.  I remember the feelings of...

April Challenge: Family Night every week

My "year of motherhood" just sent me into a cold sweat since this month is about planning family nights for each week.  Pintrest here I come ..... Now, don't think I don't like spending time with my family, I love it, but planning themed nights is not my best...

Guest Post: Heather’s “first Friday’s”

Last month was all about spending one-on-one time with my kids each week.  As I got further into the challenge I started to feel as though it was an impossible challenge.  I felt as though getting alone with one kid every week was asking for a miracle.  One of my...

The Year of Motherhood March update

If someone would have walked up to me eight years ago as I held my precious 2 month old baby and told me that in eight short years you will have four kids and you will be trying to schedule one-on-one time with them each week, I would have looked at them like they had...

Trayvon Martin could be my son.

I can't imagine raising a black child in 1962.  The fears.  The stress.  The unfair treatment.  The feelings of wishing your child didn't have to experience the pain of the world that we live in.  The worry of what happens when they are older.  The judgements.  The...

Asking advice from other moms

I remember when I had a newborn and I had those friends that were just a few steps ahead of me.  You know the ones that I'm talking about.  The ones that have kids close enough in age to your new one that they actually still remember things.  I'm not that mom now. ...

Hunger Games – have you read?

I'm usually late to the game on books that sweep the nation, but in January I decided that I was going to read this HUNGER GAMES that everyone was talking about, mainly because I heard there was a movie coming out and I really love to read books before the movie comes...

Where have I been?

If you are a frequent reader you might be asking yourself .... WHERE ARE YOU JAMIE?   Or you could care less.     Either way I'm gonna give you my excuses for not blogging much lately.  You might not even care, but whatever it's my blog and I can do what I want.    ...

March challenge update

My challenge for the month of March is going just okay.  Not great.  Not bad.  Just okay.  I think I imagined more.  I imagined fun play dates each week with each kid.  I imagined ice cream cones and skipping down the street and lots of snuggles and times of doing...

Necklace Holder Project

This weekend Aaron got into a house remodel spirit and did a few things around the house.  While he was creating a mud room for us I talked him into finally hanging my jewelry hanger that I have had forever and wanted him to hang up.   We bought the rack and hooks...

Story’s Tonsil & Adenoid Removal

At the end of January we scheduled to have Story's tonsil's and adenoid's removed.  Story has had trouble sleeping since the day she arrived home, but in the beginning there are always sleep issues with a new child coming home.  We have noticed that she does a lot of...

My journey to Motherhood & how I used to think “LIFE ISN’T FAIR”

I remember when I was growing up how I would complain about how life just wasn’t that fair. I would utter those words to my mom and every single time she would say back to me, “life’s not fair”, and I hated her response to my feelings of life cheating me out of...

March challenge: One on One Time with Each Kid

Thank goodness February is over and I can be on my computer all day long now while my kids are awake. Just kidding. All 29 days of February were hard for me and I learned so much about myself.  I was constantly reminded of my selfish heart and my need for control in...

We love our trampoline.

In 2009 we bought our kids a trampoline for Christmas and I think it was the best money we have ever spent as parents!  My kids are on this thing every single day that they play outside.  What great exercise and I hear it's good for kids that have sensory processing...

Watch VERGE live today!

VERGE 2012 is not just a conference, it is an experience for church leaders, students, entrepreneurs, artists, urban innovators, business leaders, community development specialists, non-profit leaders, church planters and everyday leaders - anyone pursuing the mission...

backyard with lights

Our backyard is not fancy.  There's concrete and grass and a big trampoline, that by the way is the best money we have ever spent as parents.  We had a party for some friends of ours that got engaged and our plain ole backyard turned into a beautiful backdrop for the...

I was verbally asaulted by complete strangers.

This week I was verbally assaulted TWO times in one week and both times it was by complete strangers.  Y'all I couldn't believe it either time and both times about 5 minutes after the shock wore off I came up with something very non-Christian but super funny that I...

Whatever may pass … Let me be singing … Bless the LORD

Waiting rooms allow you to read.  Deacon watched 2 hours of the disney channel and I read my bible and a book called <a href="Wednesdays were Pretty Normal: A Boy, Cancer, And God" target="_blank">WEDNESDAYS WERE PRETTY NORMAL by Michael Kelley today as we...

Ivey boys heading to new school ….

This morning our kids are on a new journey and that journey involves a brand new school in the middle of the year.  That is so scary to me, and these boys are handling it so wonderful.  I have told you before how I changed schools in the middle (more like end) of 6th...

Most Improved Student

We are so proud of our sweet Amos for how well he has done in school this past year.  School is not coming easy to him.  Words, letters, sounds ... those have all been a struggle.  Numbers have been a struggle.  I have worried about him and stressed over him getting...

Day #1 of Empowered to Connect Conference

I spent all day today at the EMPOWERED TO CONNECT CONFERENCE that is put on by SHOW HOPE, and my brain is fried.  Literally friend, it's fried and done working.   We got to hear from Dr. Karen Purvis a lot today and I swear to you I want to kidnap this woman and hold...

What is your favorite color … blah blah blah

I have found a few new blogs that I'm loving these days.  I was first attracted to this one because there are birds in the header, and I think they look so cute!!!  I recently saw this and thought I'd try it out as well!  Enjoy this pointless post with stupid...

My need for control isn’t working.

Idols. We all have them. I hate mine. But oh how I love mine. Wait? I really do hate mine. But sometimes I act like I truly love mine. That's the problem. They are constantly pulling on me, and I'm constantly trying to lose them. Recently our pastor, Matt Carter, has...

Guest Post: The Payoff is Worth the Price

My "year of Motherhood" has been somewhat inspired by a blogger that writes for us women and moms inspiring us to be all that we were created to be.  Kat from Inspired to Action has such wisdom in her words, and I hope to meet her face to face one day and not just...

Last minute Valentine’s

If you are a mom like me, you are still trying to figure out Valentine's for all your kids. If you are like my friend Amy you have them all printed out and they will be the cutest Valentine's in the class. I have no desire to be like Amy in this area. If Amy lived...

God be glorified through RRP

John 11: 1-5 "Now a certain man was ill, Lazarus of Bethany, the village of Mary and her sister Martha.  It was Mary who anointed the Lord with ointment and wiped his feet with her hair, whose brother Lazarus was ill.  So the sisters sent to him, saying, "Lord, he...

The girl behind the blog LINK UP

I have absolutely no idea how I found this, but I came across a few new blogs that were doing this VLOG thing (a video on a blog!) and they are having a link up where you basically just tell about yourself and your blog as a way for people to see you and hear you as...

Follow me on BLOGLOVIN

A new way to follow DREAMING BIG DREAMS .... Follow my blog with Bloglovin

8 days of no computer while kids are awake …

Feb 1 @ 11:58 am and I'm sitting down to my computer b/c I just put Story down for a nap.  This morning has been so good and I have never really realized how much I sit on my computer during the day and waste time.  Seriously!  This morning I did a quick check of...

GIVEAWAY: 7 by Jen Hatmaker

This past summer we had some friends that were leaving to become missionaries somewhere around the world where no one has even heard the name of Jesus. We were so proud of them and supportive of them that when it came time to move we thought we would help them by...

no computer time while kids are awake!

Yesterday I finished month #1 and this leads me to month #2 that starts today.  I'm already scared of this one as I have committed to be off of my computer during any waking hours of my kids.  This means no checking email when my kids are playing outside, no seeing...

End of month 1 of THE YEAR TO BE A BETTER MOM

My first month in my New Year's Challenge to BE A BETTER MOM is over today, and let me tell you it was hard.   I learned a lot about myself, our family, my kids and how dang selfish this momma can be sometimes.   I would say that I did what I set out to do about 80%...

It takes JUST A MINUTE to encourage someone

Recently I got one of the nicest emails I've ever received and it was from a complete stranger.  Someone I have never met got up the courage to send an email to a complete stranger as well.  She started off telling me that she's been a blog reader for a long time and...

What movie must I see before Oscars?

Each year when the nominations for the Academy Awards come out I feel that I need to have seen all the movies to truly appreciate the award show.  I'm not like this with other award shows, so not sure where this came from or where it started, but it's just something I...

Potato salad, sweet potato & lentil soup, pasta salad

Recently I've made a few things that we have LOVED and I want to share them with you!  I love finding vegan recipes that I can add to our recipe files that we all love.  We are not vegans, and quite frankly I wouldn't call us vegetarians either!  What I would say is...

Adoption can change a grandma’s heart.

This is a picture of my Mimi with her son, her grandchildren and her great-grandchildren.  Looking at this picture brings a smile to my face because I see my grandmother surrounded by her offspring and 3 of them are black.  I'm guessing she would have never thought as...

Transformers helps Amos feel connected.

About half way through last semester Amos started wanting a new backpack and complaining about the one that he had.  I told him that he didn't need a new backpack because his wasn't even a year old and it was in perfect condition.  That's what we do here at the Ivey...

Cayden’s 8th birthday party.

Last week my big boy turned eight and we had a party in our backyard.  We had told Cayden he could have a party at home or he could invite 2 friends to go out to eat with him and daddy to celebrate his birthday.  At first he chose the meal and already had his 2...

tis the season to be giving …. MAAMA CARDS

***UPDATE*** When I originally posted this I wasn't aware that you couldn't leave a comment.  The problem has been fixed and so now I am reposting this contest!  Have fun & good luck! the 13th giveaway of the month!!! MAAMA CARDS My last giveaway for the month is...

Morning challenge update #2

Well, here I am 2 weeks into my January challenge of getting up each morning before my kids to get my mind and heart ready to wake them up.  My goal in doing this is to create an environment in our home in the morning before school and church that is not rushed or so...

SEVEN: clothes

I recently started reading Jen Hatmaker's newest book, SEVEN, and as usual she is keeping my interest greatly and causing me to think inwardly about my own life while reading about hers.  The premise of this book is that for seven months she identified seven areas of...

Interview with kids

As you saw last week I can now make videos on my phone.  Let me just say this could be dangerous.  I am absolutely certain I will turn into one of those people that thinks she needs to video everything.  Dangerous people.   Anyhow last week I decided to interview all...

Happy 8th Birthday Cayden

Today my oldest baby boy turns EIGHT and to say that I can't believe it is an understatement.  How did he turn eight?  I remember driving to the hospital to birth him and although some days that feels like ages ago, at the same time it feels like just yesterday.   Not...

Book giveaway: BITTERSWEET by Shauna Niequist

**UPDATE** Congrats to Brooksie who won and bless her heart has moved three times in three years!!  Thanks to you all for fabulous book selections.  I'll be adding them all to my list on GoodReads very soon! Here are your random numbers: 79 Timestamp: 2012-01-16...

Oh … it’s a video

I recently got a new phone.  My old phone had about a million things on it that didn't work.  I got a new phone that is clearly out of my league.  Here's my first attempt at taking pictures on my new phone   [youtube...

My morning challenge update

I'm about five days into my January goal of getting up before the kids and I still hate it.  Detest it.  Curse it.   How many days does it take to make a habit?  How many times do I have to do something before I love it?   This morning when my alarm went off, I...

I think I’m done sending Christmas cards.

I am not sure why I thought this year would be different, but it was exactly the same as last year.  My Christmas/New Year cards are sitting right next to me on my desk as I type.  They are stuffed and addressed, just haven't been sealed, stamped or taken to post...

Getting up before the kids. UGH!

I have committed to get up out of bed before my kids are up for the month of January and I have to admit that this terrifies me.  I am not a morning person and do not enjoy the whole "rise and shine" thing.  I wait until the last minute and usually it's a kid at my...

Chinese Vegetable and Tofu Soup

Last week I made a soup that was seriously one of the easiest soups I have ever made.  It was all in one pot and that makes clean up so easy!  The soup was delish and my kids devoured it!  I will need to double it next time because Aaron and I didn’t eat and I poured...

My New Year’s Resolution for 2012: Be the best MOM I can be.

One of my biggest fears in life is not that I'll get cancer, or that I'll die in a car crash, or that Aaron will leave me, but honestly one of my biggest fears in life is that I'll get to the end of my life and not have been a good mom.  It is seriously a thought that...

Top 15 posts of 2011.

2011 is now coming to an end.  Now is the time that we all look back and see how we screwed up and how we did some things right as well.  I enjoy reflection and although it's hard, it's good for us to reflect.  Each time Aaron and I get away on vacation without the...

tis the season to be giving …. DOVETAIL TATTOO giveaway

GIVEAWAY #12 - DOVETAIL TATTOO   Can you believe that it is almost the end of December? I have been so blessed to be able to give away so much fun stuff and I still have a few things left to give away!!!! So many of you have asked where Aaron & I get our tattoo's...