Fashion Letdown

I’ve talked a big Stitch Fix game in the past, but I have to be honest…

I had the WORST experience this week.  And that makes me so sad!

I have recommended Stitch Fix to many people.  And several have actually remembered to put my name in as having referred them, which translated to a credit for me.


That’s exactly what happened this time.  I referred a girlfriend from work (who is now addicted, btw) and a couple of months after receiving the credit, I finally schedule another Fix.

I don’t do a regular Fix at this point for the sole purpose of money management.  I have a hard time sending pieces back and have only done it a couple of times, and that was back in the very beginning.

**Side Note:  If you are new to Stitch Fix, please don’t let this sway you.  I’ve never had this experience in my probably 10+ times of using the service, and I don’t anticipate that it will happen again.

**Also, SIDE side note: Your first fix or two may not be a home run, but the stylist is getting acquainted with you, your preferences, and how things seem to fit you, so be patient… As with any relationship, it’ll take a couple of tries before you are at 100%, but even in those first fixes, I guarantee you’ll love at least one item that they send you!

Anywho, where was I? Oh right – this past week…

My Fix actually arrived a couple of days early, as it normally does (always a happy accident!), and I was quick to crack that baby open!

I always begin by opening my little envelope and only reading the stylist note.  I don’t peek at their style recommendations  and definitely don’t peek at the price sheet until after I’ve tried everything one.  This is just my personal m.o., so… do with it what you will.

So I read my note, and already was a little bummed – It starts out with a “your stylist was unavailable, so I got the chance to style your Fix instead!”  I’m cool with my current stylist.  We’ve gotten into a rhythm over the years, but people need vacations and I’m not opposed to a new pal here and there.  However, it went on… I had mentioned in my note to my stylist back when I scheduled this Fix that I was going to be in a beach wedding in September and wanted some casual beachy stuff for the trip.  But her note said that she’d picked out this maxi dress for me to “pair with a turquoise statement necklace and it’d be perfect to wear to a beach wedding.”

Wait… umm… what?!  But I said I’m in the wedding.  I don’t need a dress for the wedding.  :-|

Ah well. Perhaps it was a simple misunderstanding as those stylist note character limits can only take you so far… movingrightlong

I had also requested perhaps a kimono because I love the look and had just gotten some new leather booties.  Her note mentioned the one she sent, along with having send some boyfriend jeans to have as a nice combo.  In theory, this could be super cute, right?  I’m not a big fan of the typical boyfriend jean style for my body type, but I was willing to give it a shot.

Unfortunately, I didn’t like a single thing in my box.  NotAOne.

And this was SO incredibly disappointing because I’ve never had that happen before!  I even had  hard time trying to figure out which piece I would keep so as not to lose the $20 styling fee (which, for you noobs, is deducted from your purchase so you don’t actually pay it unless you don’t keep any of the items).

Well, thank goodness I realized that I was using my referral credit, because I didn’t want to lose the $20 and have to pay the difference for an item that I didn’t love.

So I didn’t.

I ate the lost referral credit (which I’m not thrilled about, but will take it over losing actual money, any day) and sent everything back.

I was so bummed that I didn’t even remember take a single picture. I could share my styling card, but frankly… that does not do it justice, and I don’t want to out the stylist, because for all I know she could just be new.  Plus, the items seem fine on paper, but are not at all good picks for me.  Not in the slightest.  I’m sure that others who may have gotten the same items may have loved them and that thrills me!  But… I will admit I’m a bit jealous of all of the chicks who are digging their fixes, at the moment. *le sigh

Let me just break it down for you:

Item 1 – My kimono was a sweater material, but the pattern seemed like a tapestry.  And not something cute that could seem kind’ve vintage-esque, either.  It just straight-up looked like I was wearing a thin run.  AND it had fringe.  I have nothing against fringe on other people, however I. Do. Not. Like. Fringe.  NO FRINGE!

Item 2 – A false open-back sleeveless top (false because it had a built-in white “tank” underneath).  Again – in theory, could’ve been cute.  But it was quite frumpy on me and wasn’t even slightly flattering. Plus… let’s be honest – I am almost 30.  When a shirt is near crop-length on me, there’s a problem.

Item 3 – A chevron-striped, blue and turquoise maxi dress.  I am a fan of maxi dresses in general, however this one wasn’t ideal.  It was the perfect length, and fit me just fine… however, it was a frump-top style (my very non-official term for when there’s a gathered waist and the top portion is styled to intentionally hang over said gather), and the chevron pattern was not straight.  And it wasn’t “not straight” as in intentionally asymmetrical, it just looked like someone didn’t line the fabric up correctly when it was being made.  Super obvious and really not-awesome.

Item 4 – A Splatter-paint patterned sheer tank.  This was the piece that I almost bit the bullet on before I realized that I Was using my referral credit instead of posting a styling fee.  It wasn’t awful.  It was the only item in the Stitch Fix that was completely awful, but the splatter-pattern consisted of only primary colors.  So rather than feeling slightly artsy and just pairing it with a sweater, I felt like I was wearing my art smock and trying to make it a “thing.”  But it isn’t a thing.  And I’m not wearing paint splatter to work.

Item 5 – This is the worst of them all.  I’m not even sure how to approach this, so… I’ll just come right out and say it.  They sent me mom jeans.  Mom jeans, people!  These “distressed boyfriend jeans” literally came halfway up my back (I wish I was just exaggerating) and immediately removed all traces of my rear-end as well as ensuring that I looked like I had purchased them from Kmart.  Actually, that’s not entirely fair.  I’m sure that some folks can rock some Kmart jeans, and I fully support that.  I really think it just looked like I was actually trying to wear my husband’s pants, except that they were too short.  Which is even funnier, because Studly is about 6’4″ with a 33″ waist.  So… although these weren’t remotely close to that size, I’m sure you get my point.  Oh… and they were “distressed,” too.  Which means there were holes.  And in this particular pair, there were lots of holes.  I’m cool with a few holes and a run or two dedicated placed and not overpowering, but… this was not that.

Well… that’s that.  I was super bummed, but not nearly as unhappy as I would’ve been if I’d had to spend actual cash-monies on this FIx.  And also not nearly bummed enough to not give it another shot.

So I’ve scheduled my next Fix for the end of the month.

I fully believe that one key to a good Stitch Fix experience is in providing honest and useful feedback, so I did that.  I wasn’t harsh or mean, but I was honest and provided feedback that would help to ensure that I didn’t get anything like these items again.  For example, “I do not like fringe. At all” will hopefully keep such items, regardless of how popular they may be this fall, from being a part of my pieces.  And “No more pants, please” will… well… hopefully keep them from sending me pants for now.

When I scheduled my next Fix, I mentioned in the note that I’d just had a really bad experience with my last Fix, so to please check it out before picking these next items.

And I try to be light-hearted with my responses, too.  After all… this isn’t really that big of a deal.  It’s just clothes.  And I did fortunately have this happen for a Fix in which I wasn’t paying any money, so… no harm, no foul.  I’m not looking to hurt anyone’s feelings or get anyone into trouble.  I just don’t want to waste all of the monies, ya know?

So that’s that.  My first, and hopefully last, bed experience with Stitch Fix.

If you haven’t tried it, please go read the hundreds, if not thousands, of positive reviews out there and DO NOT take this as me telling you not to do it.  In fact, I’m saying the opposite.  GO SIGN UP FOR STITCH FIX!!  I still absolutely recommend the service, and I whole-heartedly believe that this being my first bad experience after years and many Fixes that have been nothing but spot on… that’s still a total win in my book.

I’d love to hear your experiences. Any other bummed Stitch Fixers this month?  Also, has anyone tried Golden Tote, yet?  What’s the deal there?

And if you’re having a bad day or week, please… just imagine distressed mom jeans and thank the Good Sweet Lord that they aren’t coming back into style like may of the other ridiculous things that we did in the 90s.  Smh.  Mom Jeans.  What were we thinking back then?!

Much love and Happy Fixes!


Carmen San Diego

Anyone remember that show?


Because I was kind’ve banking on the fact that the song would now be stuck in your heads.

[you’re welcome!]


Well, I feel like I’ve been singing that song a bit too often, lately, because every post that I’ve written and either published or scheduled to publish the next day has apparently not actually done so.


Every.  Single.  Post.


What in the world?!  I didn’t realize.  In fact, I never even double-checked because I just assumed that when wordpress told me it was publishing that it wasn’t a big, fat, liar-pants.


So I’m sorry for disappearing after saying that I was finally back.  And frankly, I’m not sure I even remember everything that I posted on because… well… nothing is stored anywhere!


Regardless of the list of excuses (ex: “I swear it wasn’t my fault – wordpress ate my homework!”), I’m hoping to post some projects that I’ve been working on here and there for friends and family as well as my own house, and also hope to finally get some half-decent pictures of the house up for y’all so that you can see what I’m working with.  The goal is then to put out some ideas and feelers and see if any of you have some tips for decor or ideas for where I can score some great finds – the plan is for this to be a bit of a collaborative effort, rather than just another DIY page.


I’m also planning to post some half-finished or not-yet-begun projects to get some opinions on where to take them.  A kind of “reader’s choice” for some things, with some already completed projects and how-tos mixed in for giggles.


Well… that’s all.  I know it seems like another excuse, but I swear I thought I had posted at least 3 times within the past couple of weeks, so I’m sorry to seem MIA again… I actually wasn’t this time!  Now this time, I’m copying everything and verifying it has published from a difference device.

Because fool me four times…. and I’ve really just earned it at that point.




Stereogram Truths

About 3.5 months ago….

Yep, that’s right. Before this week, it’d been 3.5 friggin’ months since I last posted anything. Not exactly on track to win any blogger awards, but that’s alright. I needed to disconnect from social media while surviving some craziness, but I already listed my excuses in the last post, so I’ll try to get back to the point… Now where was I…..

Ah yes – about 3.5 months ago, i wrote a post called Getting “There” and did a craptastic job of trying to translate some emotions that I was working through at the time into words on a screen. Sometimes, emotions aren’t made for words… Especially if you’re not quite a wordsmith, like me.

Well, I haven’t really gone a day or two without still thinking about what I attempted to write back then. But this past weekend, one of our church Elders spoke on Practical Grace at Work and pieces of it struck me in a way that I hadn’t really considered before.

The message was part of a series we’ve been delving into over the past couple of weeks, but this particular focus on work really seemed to hot me where I was and have been lately. I love it when that happens! I feel so… Pursued. So diligently pursued by God (something that I need to write on, one day, but that’s not the intent of today’s post).

Anywho, we read directly from several different scriptures (and awkwardly, I can’t seem to find the paper that I had with them listed, so please excuse my lack of preparedness!) that focused on our mindsets while at work. And as we read through them and focused and broke them down to examine more closely, I started to see this pattern emerge.

Has that ever happened to you? When it does, it reminds me of those stereogram pictures we used to see everywhere back around the late 90s, where at first it seemed to be one massive repeated pattern, but the more you stared at it, the more obvious a seemingly 3-D image started to appear right in front of you. And from then on, it was near impossible to look at the image without seeing that 3-D image popping out at you… Even if you walked away and came back later – it was as if it had always been there, and had never eluded you begin with.

Back to the story – what began to appear, like a stereogram, to me was the way that the bible spoke about work. I’d always read it as though it just referred to your job, or whatever you were meant to do we your life, and feel like I’ve asked God over and over again what it is he wants me to do… Which job should I take, Lord? What is your callings my life? Where should I go next? Etc etc… And now there was this image in front of me that I can’t imagine how I’ve missed before.

Every time the bible talks about “work” or “going” in these verses, it was used more so in the context of “while you’re on your way” or “since you’re going there anyway” and that just smacked me upside the head, guys!

I really need to find these verses to share with you because I feel like I just sound crazy spouting this off without backing it up with the actual scriptures, but it started to kind’ve wake me up from what I had always thought that the Bible had said.

Studly and I had talked about this after church and it seemed to hit us both this same way. We had always wondered what it was a God wanted us to “do” with out lives, and if we were in the right jobs or careers or fields and now suddenly, our eyes are open to this idea that God has people doing ANY and ALL kinds of jobs, and although some may get this calling to go into a far mission field or to do something super specific, god has also placed in our hearts desires and giftings and talents that are special and specific to each one of us for a reason. And he’s also given us wisdom and put people around us a placed us where we are in our lives (though we often mistake our own choices for overwriting his will)… He’s just knit together this incredibly intricate tapestry of ALL THE THINGS and whatever it is that we do… Wherever we go… Regardless of what we call “work” or “job” or any other related thing, we should do it with all of our heart and we should do it in worship to the Creator and the Orchestrator of this incredibly beautiful, amazing, intricate life.

Okay. I kind’ve started preaching a bit… But this was just so eye-opening for us.

So I say all of that to say this – we are starting to reshape how we look at things like our careers and callings. We will still be praying and asking God to lead us where he’ll have us, but also praying that we will learn what it is that he wants us to learn while we are in this season of our lives.

Hopefully, through this post you can learn along with us that it doesn’t matter if your job is collecting fees on a turnpike or shoveling ravel at a landscaping company or teaching 7th graders math or scheduling meetings for and exec… You can do it in worship and as if you are doing it directly for God, because you are.

Thanks for humoring me as I worked through this. I’m not sure if this will mean big changes for myself or possibly even both of us anytime soon, but I’m just grateful whenever I feel like my eyes have been opened and truth has founds it’s way in… Which is just the thing about truth. It always has a way of finding way into the open.

I’ll keep you posted on anything that may change, but for now… Of you’re the praying type and you’ve stuck with this post this long, please pray for me… For us. I’ve felt increasingly drawn in a completely different direction with my work-life, but I’m not sure yet if it’s just my being impatient or washy-washy with where I am or even just bored with having done the same thing for so long. I don’t want to be rash and I don’t want to do anything stupid, but I’ve just felt that I’ve been leaning more and more into the direction of doing something small and on my own, working with my hands and utilizing my creativity.

Advice is also welcomed and even encouraged!!

Thanks for stopping by, friends. I’m glad to be back and hope to find a rhythm with posting, again.

Love y’all!

The Case of the Missing Blogger


How is it even possible that it’s been so long since I last posted?!

So I went MIA due to some ridiculousness at work that had me working crazy hours and not even wanting to touch electronics when I got home or on the weekend.  And then I started recovering… but was out of the habit.  And the next thing I knew… MONTHS had gone by since I last posted.  Sorry Friends!!

Where there’s plenty to fill you in on.  I finally built my first piece of furniture which I am stoked to tell you about.  And I’ve done a few other crafty builds as well.  Got another batch of projects lined up and even had some visitors come into town.

And if you can believe it, we have no been in Texas for over a year!  Whaaa?!  Where did the time go?

Anywho – Lots to fill you in on, but I am SO so sorry for being such a slacker.  I’ve so missed y’all and have been trying to catch up on your lives over the past few weeks, though I’m waaaayyy behind, so be patient with me.



Getting “There”

Lately I’ve been in one of those fogs… where you are more keenly aware of your mind and way more “inside yourself” than anything else.  And one thing that I keep coming back to – well, I figured I might as well share it with you guys.  That’s what blogs are for, right?

You know how growing up… for most people there’s a moment where we see someone (most likely a parent) doing something that they just do not love?  They seem so miserable or robot-like.  Like a zombie just going through the motions, day in and day out, because they have to.  And we swear to ourselves that we won’t be like that.  We won’t let ourselves just become a statistic… another drone that just drudges through life.

And then one day, we wake up and we’re exactly that.

How did we get there?

The bigger question I’ve been asking myself lately is… how do we change that?

There must be a way, right?  People all over the place are doing what they love.  So there’s got to be a way to make that happen.

But how do you bridge the gap?  How do you get to the point where you aren’t just mindlessly pushing through each day, constantly counting down to the next weekend and you are actually enjoying what you do?  Most people spend well over 2000 hours a year at their job, and what a waste that is when it’s a job that we don’t love.

We heard people tell us all the time that we could do anything we put our minds to.  That we could be anything we wanted to be.  So how many people actually took that to heart and really made it happen?

What about you guys – do you like what you do?

To be clear, I am SUPER grateful for the job that I have and for all that it has afforded me.  I believe that the work I do makes a difference and that is something that’s really important to me.  Maybe this is less about my actual job, currently, and more about the stage of life that I’m in.  I don’t know… But I do want to be clear that I’m not ungrateful.

I just sometimes look back and think about how I got to where I am and wonder how the slightest change in direction could’ve landed me in a completely different place.  This isn’t really the focus of this post, though, so I’ll get back to that before I veer too far off course…

I’m just not someone who sees myself sitting at a desk. I’ve been doing this kind of work for 12 years, now, and I just don’t know if it’s right for me.  I want to work with my hands.  I want to be outside more.  I want… just something different.

Do you now anyone who’s made a complete career change at some point in their lives?  How did they do this?

Doing something like this would take a lot of faith and right now it just seems like nothing more than a fantasy.

I don’t mean to sound depressing or completely unhappy because I’m not.  I have a good life.  I’m a happy person and I’m not sure if I do a good job of conveying that through this blog, but it’s true.  I’m just not one to go more than an hour without having a smile on my face.  It’s just not who I am.

But even in the midst of that, I can’t help but wonder, sometimes, if this is really what I should be doing… if it’s where I should be.  This isn’t something that I just started feeling recently, but I’ve discussed it with Studly on quite a few occasions over the years.  And it just all comes back to one major point:  how would I even begin to make such a drastic career change?
Anywho – this is really just my trying to sort through some thoughts “out loud” so I’d love to hear from you.  Anything to add?  Is anyone else dealing with similar feelings?  Have any of you or someone you know gone through this and just taken a giant leap of faith?  I’d love to hear about it!


Pinterest Pluckin’

With all of the rain we’ve had lately, I’ve been dreaming of the warm, sunny days that are more typical her in Texas.  And for some reason, when I think about beautiful sunny weather in a state as awesome as Texas, I’m typically also thinking about cute spring outfits to go along with it.

Some do spring cleaning, but I tend to do a good bit of spring shopping.

As I mentioned previous, I’m not typically much of a shopper.  But there are two times when I do tend to do the bulk of my shopping… the spring, and the fall.  Outside of these two times, it’s pretty unusual for me to shop and instead will occasionally buy a random shirt or pair of shoes (and by randomly, I mean maybe once every other month… if that).

I have done Stitch Fix a few times, which I very much enjoyed, but even that isn’t something that I like to do all that often.  Because who has the money to do that all the time?!

I would be lying if I didn’t admit to the fact that I daydream on the regular, though.  I mean… who doesn’t?!  Everyone else always seems to put together, especially in comparison to myself.  But I do try to mix it up and tear clear from wearing anything too bland and dreary.  I don’t always succeed, but I try. haha

Anywho – here are some outfits that I’ve been LURVE-ing on Pinterest, lately.  Fingers crossed that I can figure out to way to make them suddenly appear in my closet!

1.  Love the simplicity of this one.  I Honestly don’t think I’d accessorize the same way, but that’s just me.  Who doesn’t love a perfect pair of white skinnies, and this loose-fitting top and these flats?!  Totally cute.

2.  Seriously… how cute is this?  Another very simple outfit, but I adore the pop of coral with these skinnies… and a good pair of colorful skinnies can really round out a wardrobe.  Or maybe I’m just convincing myself that I’d totally find a way to wear them all the time because I love them so much.  And these sandals?  What can’t you wear them with?!  The rosettes on this white top just perfectly finish it off.

3.  This outfit is something that I could put together rather simply.  I already have a pair of bottoms almost identical to these, and I have a good red sweater, too.  The white came is a given, and my brown flats are only slightly darker than this.  I really just need to find this top because its super cute and I’d finish it off with a simple short necklace with a delicate silver chain.

4.  Everyone needs a good pair of shorts and I am SO not a fan of both shorts, so these are pretty much ideal.  The watch is a little flashy for me, but otherwise… super cute. I’d probably stick with some simple studs if I wore this necklace, but would definitely go for the earrings if I opted to go without the necklace.  DOn’t want too much going on, that’s for sure.  And the sandals are adorable and I waaaant them!

5.  Hands down my FAVORITE of this bunch… this next one is so stinking cute.  I love the kelly green sweater, and it is SO stinking CUTE when paired with this floral top.  Almost anything can work with some basic jean skinnies, but throw in these pink suede pumps and I am in loooooove!!  This is the one I’m really trying to make appear in my closet… but no matter how many “I Dream of Jeannie” head bops I do, it’s just not happening.  *le sigh And this necklace is just icing on the cake, as well as the oversized cloth bag.  So simple, yet so. stinking. perfect.


**Except for this last one, all pics were plucked straight from Pinterest and lead to random Polyvore boards that wouldn’t let me link in properly.  Sorry Polyvore Queens! I just can’t seem to figure the sourcing out for some reason (it’s pulling in strange, random images instead of the ones I’m actually looking at.  Haalp?!)

Let’s hear it – what are y’all eyeing up these days?  Any thoughts on the outfits above?  Seen any of these pieces during your e-window shopping lately?  ‘Cause you’d absolutely be my hero!


Da Funk

I’ve been a bit tightly wound lately.

Actually, I was quite literally so last week when I randomly ended up with a jacked up neck and muscle spasms after a nice solid year-plus without one.  There my winning streak, I suppose.  *le sigh

But outside of the pain in my neck (the literal one, of course), I thought I’d been doing pretty well until this week hit.

And boy did it hit hard.

I thought last week was rough with my neck issue and I even remember telling a coworker on Friday that I felt like I’d had a “week of Mondays”… boy did someone decide to make me eat those words.


So here I am feeling like i could say those words yet again, but fighting the urge to do so if for no other reason than I just don’t want to incite the powers that be to shout another “Challenge Accepted” and have to go through this yet again next week.

Point taken, man.  Point. Taken.

I think you get my drift.  I am a-strugglin.  And often when I have times like this, I’ll just call it and take a half day.  Or even just go full-throttle and take a full personal day (assuming my SIL is at work and I’ll actually get the house to myself).  But thanks to the pain in the neck that was last week, I’m pretty screwed on hours at work and need to get it together.

Translation:  no dice.

Well, I did leave about 2 hours early one day just because I could no longer talk myself out of it.  It wasn’t my proudest moment, but don’t worry… once again, the powers that be didn’t let me down.  I got home to find our bedroom smelled like urine for some horribly, ridiculously unacceptable reason and after scrubbing the entire floor clean and hopping in the shower, Studly got home and walked in to announce that the dog had just puked on the bedroom carpet.  The one that I had just scrubbed clean.  And as he finished telling me this while I dried my hair, we heard the all-too-familiar sounds of more upchuck happening in the closet.

WHY MUST YOU PROVE YOUR POINT SO LOUDLY, powers that be?!  I get it already!  As stated above… POINT. TAKEN.

So you see?  Next time I feel like I should just call it a day and go home early, I’ll remember this day.  And find some other way to busy my mind just so that I don’t have to scrub mystery-urine and fresh puppy puke from my carpet instead.


The urine does have an explanation and I swear it’s not weird.  It’s still gross, don’t get me wrong, but it’s because of a little unofficial foster pup that we’ve taken in over the past couple of weeks (she found us, and we haven’t been able to find her home, yet).  We aren’t sure if it’s her doing it, or our Pup doing it to reclaim the space as his (insert look of disdain here), but there… ya see?  We’re not grosslings (’cause that’s a thing, right?).

We now return to our regularly scheduled programming.

It’s just been a week where my to-do list is growing faster than the invite list to a rabbit family reunion (uh… yeah. exactly), my to-done list is quite literally invisible (mostly because it’s all still on my dumb rabbit list, instead), and a new project at work is making me feel like I don’t even sprechen sie englisch… as in I have no idea what’s even going on because I’m the kid that came late to the party and everyone talks a mile-a-minute about everything because they all “get it” and I’m just the one that’s hiding in the corner and hoping no one notices I’m there.  *deep breath


Why can’t everyone have summers off like we did in school?  And while we’re at it, why do they set us up for such disappointment?  Why do they ever begin giving us months off each year, along with extended breaks for Christmas if we aren’t going to always get them?  And while we’re here… Recess, people …am I right?!

There I go again.  Welcome to the funk, everyone.

Anywho, at the end of the day, there’s really no one major reason why I’ve been “grumpy” (to put it simply).  I just have.  And I think I need to do something crafty or go for a run (if it’d stop frigging raining and being so dadgum cold, already) or just find something to snap me out of it.

Maybe I can convince Studly to take me out to dinner this weekend.  There’s nothing a good carb overload can’t fix, right?

Unless your problem is eating your feelings (looks around awkwardly… then raises hand timidly).

Screw it.

Who am I kidding.



Let’s Get Serious

I mentioned last week that I had some meets to share regarding our Adoption journey, and I’m here today to spill the beans.

It isn’t really the kind of “beans” that I’d like to be spilling, but beans are beans, people.  And beaners can’t be choosers.


Nevermind.  Sometimes I get carried away with a common saying and just can’t disengage.


Studly and I took a huge first step a few weeks ago, and actually started contacting several organizations regarding adoption (organizations being an all-inclusive term to refer to facilitators, law centers, and agencies).  Now, this may not seem like a big deal to you, but for us… it absolutely IS a big deal.  It’s as though we’re finally putting our money where our mouth is.

To be clear, though… we’re not putting money anywhere just yet.  (See?  Another saying and now I’m just confusing people again. *smack! Get it together, Hope!)

We contacted several different organizations we had begun to identify by scouring website after website after website… I think you get the picture.  Basically, thanks to the internets (thank you Al Gore!), there are a lot of resources on adoption.

Honestly, (and this may sound crazy, but its true) we were able to rule out a bunch rather quickly after only briefly visiting their website.  For us, a cheaply created or poorly maintained website indicated come less-than-desirable qualities for an organization to which we’d be paying tens of thousands of dollars to help us grow our family.  So if they can’t even build or maintain what I imagine to be the primary means of getting business in this day and age, then I’m not sure we are interested in digging any further.

Although we plan to do much more research before submitting any applications, we did find about 3 good organizations as our starting point.

After contacting them, we found that 1 was not licensed in our state even though their website initially said that they did (maybe this was more recent?), 1 sent us a good-sized packet of information through e-mail, and 1 shipped us an information kit through the mail.

Out of the 2 that actually sent us information, only 1 asked us our income right off the bat.  This may not be a big deal, but it is a bit annoying.  Quite a few agencies charge fees based on your income, and I find that to be a bunch of crap.  Call me crazy, but that shouldn’t be an initial question.  Should it be part of your home study and overall assessment as to whether or not you can provide for the child? 100%. Absolutely. No question.  Should it be what you use to determine your fee schedule?  Heck no!  Mostly because you don’t know the entire situation just based off of a single number on a piece of paper.  Sorry – already jumping up onto a soap box.  *jumps down… *deep breaths…

Where was I?!

Oh right.  The 1 that asked our income information right off of the bat was more local, and also happened to be the one that sent us some information through e-mail.  I’m fine with the fact that it came through e-mail, but there’s something to be said about snail mail that just seems more personal.  Regardless, the conversation I had with the local organization was pretty short and not very helpful.  She kept making statements to indicate that all of our questions would be answered… and they’d be more than happy to talk with us… etc etc, but I was already asking questions and those weren’t actual answers.  I did try to get down to the reasoning and just asked if they needed to set up some kind of meeting with me and Studly, thinking that maybe this was why she wasn’t being as helpful, and then the truth came out – “all we needed to do” to have this conversation was to submit our application.


I’m not going to pay to apply with you before I even have information regarding your organization, what it provides, it’s process and average timeline, etc.  Who would do that?  Well, there must be some people who would do it because it seemed to be their standing policy.   Umm… no thanks.

As I’m sure you can already see from the story so far, it isn’t all that hard to weed out the non-contenders.  And though the list of what’s acceptable would absolutely change from family to family, there’s already going to be something that is identified as a non-negotiable and you’ll find that these things can really help to thin the crowd of options pretty quickly.

So that brings me to the final organization that we contacted – the one that mailed us an information kit.  One of the perks of this organization is that they are nationally licensed, meaning they can work with adoptions in any of the 50 states.  And that translates to more placements each year – averaging around 300.  I’m not sure if you’ve done any research on these numbers, but that’s a really high number of placements for one organization.  We reviewed the information kit that they sent us, which included: a DVD, additional information on their organization, an example of the packet that’s given to potential birth mothers in the selection process, an application, a wall calendar, and a personal letter from the lady that I spoke with on the phone during my initial contact with them.  It was full of helpful stuff.

During my initial phone conversation, and before we got the information packet, they also set us up with an appointment to video-chat with our adoption consultant.  They were so well organized, very informative, and they took me seriously from the first moment we spoke – which was very nice.

One would think that having taken the step to contact an adoption organization to begin would indicate to them that we were serious about getting information.  It’s pretty sad that only 1 of the many phone calls that I made left me with the impression that this was the case and I wasn’t just another blank face on the other end of the millionth phone call they’d had that day.

Anywho…. fast forward to Monday evening when we had our video-chat consultation.

It. Was. Sooo helpful.

We both felt pretty comfortable with her and she was very patient with our ridiculous amount of questions (correction: MY ridiculous amount of questions).  Studly and I both answered some of her questions and after it was over (over an hour later), we both felt as though it really helped to answer our lingering questions and put things into perspective for us.

Surprisingly, we hadn’t had to submit any forms or pay a single penny to just have a full conversation with someone.

And I was starting to think that’d be difficult to find!

Between the information that we gathered from this consultation, and the research we have conducted over the past several months (though to be honest, adoption is something we’ve been familiar with for many years, due to my work in the pregnancy clinic a few years before we moved)… it all adds up to a long list of things to think through and consider.

We’re still digesting it all, really, and have already had at least 2 lengthy conversations about everything just since Monday’s meeting.

I have a lot to share with you, but this post is already getting a little long, so I’ll leave you with this for now.

Lessons learned so far in this stage:

  • Each adoption organization is not created equally.
  • Also, there is so much to think about and consider that a lot of the time… it feels more like a business deal than it does adopting a child.  And that’s tough.  So much of our heart and emotion is in this, but we haven’t even made it to the point, yet, where that really comes into play.
  • You need money.  No question.  BUT there are a ton of resources (grants, low-interest and even interest free loans, tax credits, employer contributions, etc) to help you get all of that money together.
  • There’s still  a lot to do before we can submit an application anywhere.

That last bullet may be the hardest to swallow, but it’s really important.  We’re not doing anyone any favors by “just” submitting the application.

The biggest lesson so far is this:  You need to be honest with yourself about whether or not you’re ready.

But that’s definitely another post for another day.

I look forward to sharing more of this piece of our lives with y’all soon! And in the meantime, any other adoptive families out there with some pointers?  We’ll take all the help we can get, for sure.


All The Things!

I have a problem.

It’s not that big of a deal.  In fact, it really isn’t a problem, per say…
See?!  There I go again.  I just can’t seem to help myself!
My problem is not a unique one, but that fact alone doesn’t make it less of a problem.
So what’s this thing that I keep babbling on about?
I hoard clothes.
And not for anything other than the following excuses:
 – It’ll fit me again soon because I’m finally working on getting back into shape.
 – I don’t have the money to replace it.
 – It’s really cute, even if it doesn’t fit me or I never wear it.
 – I bought it to wear with this other specific piece that I haven’t hunted down, yet.
 – I have too much of this other color and need to balance it out.
 – I need to replace it before I can get rid of it.
 – I need a weekend of relaxation.  I’ll get to it next week.  (isn’t this one always on the list?)
The sad part is that most of this is absolutely ridiculous… especially since I end up wearing all of the same clothes over and over again and never touch this other stuff.  I do like the pieces.  I just “don’t feel like dressing up, today” or “want it to be my motivation to get back down a size” or “maybe I could alter it and make it work, again”.
Whatever.  I suck.
Maybe the problem is in letting go.  Just freaking letting go of “all the things!”
I swore I’d try the technique of turning hangers backwards and throwing out the stuff I didn’t flip back around (because you turn the hanger back to normal when you take the item off and put the hanger away), but then I always have an excuse for not actually doing that.  Even with shoes I haven’t worn in years…. Years, people!
Super lame.  I know.
Like I said.  It’s a problem.
But I’m tired of it.  SO tired.  And I’m over not pulling the trigger on some of the adorable outfits (or at least pieces that I find inspired by them) simply because I already have way too much clothing.  I feel like it’s time for a change.  Or more accurately, I’m long overdue for one.
That’s really all there is to it.  I want to purge my massive closet.  And this is where I need your help…
I want to be serious about purging my clothes and getting down to some basics so that I can “rebuild” my wardrobe with newer pieces.  I’m thinking about activating my Stitch Fix again to help with this, but what else can I do?  More specifically, are you all aware of any good techniques for consigning your clothes?  Any websites that have begun e-consigning?  Because that would be awesome.  And if e-consigning isn’t a thing, yet… WHY the heck NOT?!
I’m thinking that making money off of my plethora of old stuff will help entice me to truly get rid of stuff with the reward of having money to replace it with newer, cuter pieces.
So what about y’all?  Have you purged your closet recently?  Any pointers or recommendations?  Am I the only clothes hoarder out there in need of a closet intervention?  come on, now… don’t leave me hanging.  Please tell me there are others out there!
I’ll just be over here in my little lazy corner feeling ashamed and apprehensive…


I’ve been out of it lately…

Not just out of the blogging routine, but legitimately out of it.

After a year and a half of no issues whatsoever, Sunday morning brought my “winning” streak to a halt.

For the sake of making some kind of sense, here, “winning” = Not having another neck muscle spasm.

Alas, I woke up Sunday morning, walked into the closet to decide what to wear to church, and yawned.

That is it.

I yawned.

With the simplest of things that happen every morning (sometimes afternoon, too, can I get an “Amen”?), I felt that all-too-familiar POP and just knew it.

Groaning loudly and hating my luck, I took off in a light job to the kitchen, in the hopes that if I took something right away I’d be able to fend off the worst of it.  Unfortunately, luck is rarely ever on my side.

I made it through church and then attempted to rest for the remainder of the day.

The Monday morning included some increased awfulness and I was all “Bleeeehh!”

The second day is always the worst, after all.

I tried to push through work and then ended up leaving early to go by the Urgent Care clinic.  After sitting in their awesome (sarcasm font!) waiting room seats for over an hour and a half, I finally got to chat with a doc and was given a prescription for some off-brand flexerol.  Woot!

Went home, downed the goods, and waiting for Studly to get home.

Queue additional rest, followed by a day of sleeping as much as possible (I did have one meeting at work that I couldn’t miss, but I limited my workday to only what was necessary to make that happen).

And I woke up today feeling like I wish I’d had the entire day to rest.  Feeling a little tighter than anticipated, I have been pushing myself through a full day of work.  I do only sit at a desk so it shouldn’t be a big deal, right?

*le sigh

If only.

Well… that’s my excuse for being such a slacker this week.  Also, is it just me or does it seriously feel WAY later int he week then Wednesday? Maybe more like a Thursday-and-a-half?  Is there a word for the feeling between Thursday and Friday?  Because that’s where I reside, at the moment.

Anywho – I hope everyone else’s week is going way better than mine.  The silver lining to this awesomeness is that once I am feeling back to my ol’ self again, I’m pretty sure I’ll be unstoppable.  Nothing like a movement-limiting injury to be the kick in the pants you need to just get stuff done!

If I don’t make it back again this week, I promise to return next week with some updates on our Adoption journey.  Get excited!  :P


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