September 30, 2011

today's faves

the new blog design.  what do you think?  i spent about three hours on it, and i must say it's ones of my favorites.

my mom's house plans.  my mom has been busy getting the house ready to accommodate four new bodies.  

signs of fall.  today is windy and cold - a great way to start the month of October in my opinion

taking pictures of leaves.  what can i say?  they're photogenic!

a full and restful upcoming weekend.  maybe a little shopping too?  i haven't shopped for clothes since the beginning of August.

stop motion.  should i make a video about how to do it?   a few of you asked.  i'm loving stop motion at the moment.  especially kiley's lovely video.  :)

baby toes.  life without this girl wouldn't be complete.  :)

october sponsors.  want to sponsor rise & fly for the month of october?  check out the rates here.  then email me if you are interested!

friday favorite things | finding joy

September 28, 2011

the post you waited for // the adoption story

You might have heard about our adoption if you've been following my blog for a long time.  I don't write about it often, simply because there hasn't been much to tell until now.  But, now there is something.  And only a few of you know about it.  This girl and this girl were the ones who encouraged me to post this.  So, here it is.  Our adoption story.

It started in January of 2010.  My little sister announced that "Mom says we're gonna adopt".  On the spur of the moment, my mom had come across a blog - an adoption blog, from Ethiopia.  In other words - this place:

The beginning of the journey was encouraging (and maybe convincing) my dad to agree.  When he did, the real excitement began.  At first, we were going to adopt a baby, then is was two children under four.

If you don't know anything about adoption, there is a lot of paperwork to fill out and compile.  A lot.  And when it came to the adoption, time passed slowly.  Children came along that were waiting for a family, and we looked at their faces, wondering when our children would get home.  We didn't know that at the same time the next year, a huge change of plans would be made.

You also might not have known that I have six siblings.  To some people, that's a lot of kids.  I've gotten used to it now.

Well, this July, a sibling group was placed on the "list".  A sibling group of four beautiful, innocent children.  I came downstairs and their photos had been printed and were laying across the counter.  I looked.  And I sighed.  Because the first thought that came to my head was "Oh no."  Seven plus four equals a lot of children.   And that scared me.

Time went on of course, and everyone in the family warmed up to the idea.  Prayers were said, meetings held.   Until July 21, 2011.  That was the day we accepted the referral for four beautiful Ethiopian orphans.

It's crazy.
I can't show you their picture.
I can't tell you their names.
But I really want to.

Now that we know these children are waiting for us, it's difficult not to just jump on a plane and fly to see them.  They could be here soon; maybe within the year.

All we can do now is wait for more pictures and more updates.  And pray.
The question on all of our minds now is "Will it work?"  Is it possible to go from a family of nine to a family of thirteen over night?  Probably not.  But with God, it is possible.  It is an exciting journey to be on, and it is still continuing.

the adoption blog

September 25, 2011

sunday afternoon

It's rainy and cold - like a little welcoming gift from fall.  Outdoor plans were canceled, and the Sunday quiet has fully set it.  I'm spending my afternoon doing homework (unwillingly).  The rest of the family is napping, watching football, drawing, reading, or any other quiet-approved activity.  

We had a meal of pot roast and mashed potatoes.  What can I say?  The Pioneer Woman's last cooking show made us hungry!  Plus, I made this little video to document setting the table.  I wish I would have added more, but I forgot!  This is what almost every meal looks like - there's a lot of places to set!  :)

Another week of school starts tomorrow.  I neglected my Literature essay for a while to visit with my amazing and sweet grandparents who brought raw honey and home-grown apples.  Mmm...I'm pretty sure fall is in the air, and it is very sweet.

Two things to look forward to:

September 28 - My surprise post that I talked about here
October 1 - A new design

What did you do today lovelies?

September 23, 2011

the arrival.

With the arrival of fall comes so many things.  Wonderful things.

Windy days when the leaves fall like snow.  

Fires in the "big room" as my family calls it.  

Bonfires and hayrides and big games of flashlight tag.

Curling up in a chair, wrapped in a soft blanket.  The sounds of everyday life drifting from the kitchen.  Reading.  Writing.  Thinking.

School.  Yes, I know. But, the arrival of fall got me somewhat re-excited (Is that a word?) for school.  New projects, new books, new assignments.  You don't believe me, do you?  Little moments - remember?  :)

Photos of anything...and everything.  The changing leaves, the upcoming Halloween costumes, the pumpkins, the recipes.  That makes me excited!

An upcoming blog post.  This photo is a little sneak peek.  Thanks to a few friends who have really encouraged me, I have a feeling this post is going to be one of the most special things I've written.  But - you'll have to wait and see!

New blog designs, and one coming at the beginning of October!

Giving thanks.  Always.  See that owl notebook?  That's my 1000 Gifts journal where I write down the things I am so grateful for in this life.  I'm currently on one hundred , but I cannot wait to see the day when I have 1000.

What are your plans for the fall?  I'd love to know!

p.s.  See that book?  The Help?  It's basically the best book ever.  You need to read it!

September 21, 2011

you and me // me and you

even if you had a terrible cold.  even if the photos were a little grainy.  i will still cherish these pictures forever. and i will love you always.

September 19, 2011

the little moments

I love the little moments in life.  The things that are forgotten like the snap of a finger, the blink of an eye, or a box on the calendar.  

Too often, those little things go unnoticed.  I tend to spend my days focused on school and school alone.  Try to finish before dinner.  Get good grades.  Write a beautiful paper.  That's important - I know that. 

But what about those times when my baby sister is begging me to play with her?  Because, she's not going to be little for very long.  And what about that time when I just need to immerse myself in the sound of the wind blowing, birds singing, and leaves falling?  

I was reminded of these things this weekend.  On Saturday, I spent the day with a wonderful friend.  We played soccer together.  (And won, I might add.)  When I returned home, my family was gardening.  The last of the vegetables have been picked, and the sweet potatoes that have been harvested are waiting for some hungry chef to transform them into a sweet meal.  

In order to grant the birthday girl's wish, we played a game we call Chopped.  My family has an obsession with the Food Network Channel - so much so that we now hold our own Chopped competition which we modified from the show.  (If you haven't seen it, you need to.)  Four brave little souls concocted desserts from five secret ingredients that my mom and I found.  I'll let you imagine what you get when oatmeal, green tea, cinnamon chips, apple pie filling, and sweet potatoes are mixed.  

On Sunday, I arose with excitement.  My church has just built a new sanctuary to accommodate its ever growing member count.  Yesterday was the first service in that new building.  As prayers and praises were being lifted up in a place that seemed so new, yet so familiar, I experienced a renewed love and appreciation for my church.  Some people cannot understand how a church of 3500 can be so close and Christ-focused, but we are.  And it is a simply stunning thing to witness.

Today.  Another school week.  Another Monday.  Instead of dreading it, dragging my feet through it, I attempted to look for the little things, and I found them.  Conversations with friends, laughing at the most random things, even enjoying Latin class.  Those are the things I love.

And even as the rain poured this afternoon and we were told that the power had been out for five hours because of work being done, I still found joy.  The silence when no dishwasher is running or oven heating is beautiful and so very rare.  And I cherished it.

The little moments.  The things we so often forget, and so often forget to be grateful for.  What were some moments you have cherished this weekend?

September 16, 2011


My sweet sister turned ten today.


Both hands.  All ten fingers.

Where did the time go?

We start new traditions every year.  This year, it was pictures on your birthday and lunch out with dad.  Tonight, we celebrated with homemade ice cream cake and presents.

Somehow, my little girl (who was personally the cutest baby ever) has grown up.  It makes me sad - and feel really old.  But, at the same time, I'm so happy that she's growing up.  She's such a strong, sweet little girl.  And she makes me happy.

I love you!

September 14, 2011

i'm the easter bunny

I was just looking at old pictures and guess what I found?  Yep - this is me.  

I am a dork.  The end.

p.s. This photo arose out of my desire to have a pictures of myself dancing in a meadow.  I just remembered that I can't dance.  Plus, this is about the farthest thing from a meadow.  That is all.  Have a lovely day.  :)

September 12, 2011


those are the words that come to my mind when I think of 9/11.  a first grader, that's all i was.  i was an innocent child.  i didn't even know things like this could happen.  

i was hidden away in a classroom, knee deep in friends, the alphabet, and coloring pages.  at least, that's what i remember.  i wonder what it was like for the teachers?  the teachers who had to be with their students.  they knew something was wrong, they just couldn't leave, or for that matter, even turn on the t.v.  couldn't scare their first and second and third grade children.  how did they have the patience?  how did any one have the patience?

it's something i wish i could remember.  something, though so terrible, was so special for our nation.  changed so many things.  and i was just a child.  one of the thousands on that day, who is grown up.  old enough to understand.  old enough to comprehend what an impact it had on so many. 

thank you to those who rescued, fought, worked, and protected.  thank you to those who donated, cared, and loved.  

may those who lost be comforted, may they remember, and even, try to understand.  

September 09, 2011

friday favorites - summer reminiscings

September came and took the summer with it.  With the flip of the calendar page, the cool weather arrived.  There wasn't any gentle cooling or that wonderful stuff.  Nope.  It was goodbye ninety degrees, hello sixty degrees.  It's been wonderful except for the lack of sunshine.  Not exactly the best way to start the school year, but it makes the summer memories seem so wonderful.

This is a little letter to my family, my siblings.  This summer I was reminded that this was one of my last years spent with family - no job yet, no worries over schools, etc.  It was a sad, but good reminder for me.

remember blueberry picking and eating fresh fruit on the porch?

remember swimming for hours and learning to do flips, complete with back smacks and chickening out?

do you remember that apple cider slushie, little girl?  i hope you do.  you looked so cute while you enjoyed it.

remember, mom, the canning, the picking, the weeding, the sweating?  you said it would be worth it.  you were right.

remember our silly faces?  our laughing until we almost fell off the bed?  remember how you said i couldn't post this?  well, i did.

remember that one night, outside in the dark?  looking at the stars?  we thought it would last for a long time...until we scared each other and ran inside.

remember growth, in so many different ways?

remember the summer evenings with friends and good food?  that was the best weekend at the lake.

remember friends, and more laughing, and learning?  and pictures and hugs and the fair?

remember us, now?  just a few months ago?  all of us, together, in one picture.  this is how i want to remember us.  together, happy.  i don't want that to ever change.  for any of you.

friday favorite things | finding joy

September 08, 2011

the simple kind of day

Sometimes, the best meals are the simple ones.  No expensive ingredients, no more prep time than absolutely necessary.  Those are the meals I like the best - the ones that are cooked with an empty stomach, but give a family time to sit together and eat.

That includes grilled cheese sandwiches.  Just two slices of bread and some cheese.  In this case marble pepperjack cheese.  Hello delicious.