Q and A-Adoption Part 2

Hey Friends!  Happy Monday!

I opened the blog up for any and all adoption questions when we arrived home with Britt.  I answered quite a few in Part 1, am answering more today, and there will be a Part 3 in the future.  I'm still getting some random e-mails with questions.  For the most part everyone has the same questions so hopefully I'll get a chance to answer them all.  If you've e-mailed me and I haven't hit your question yet, wait for it.  :)

Again, I'm not an adoption expert by any means.  I'm just a mom sharing her adoption experience with you.

*What's been the hardest thing about adoption?
The hardest thing for me has hands down been the worrying part.  I'm not a worrier by heart.  Granted, I can definitely get caught up and worry about things but for the most part I try to let things go.  This adoption has been a different story....I've worried about her being behind, I've worried about her possibly having something that requires medical attention the orphanage just didn't know about (and therefore I'm not getting her what she needs), I've worried about attachment and the list goes on.  Worrying is definitely not something I should be doing-(How many times does the Bible say, "Do not worry" or "Do not fear"...A LOT!)  I'm doing WAY better than when we first arrived home but hands down it (so far) has been the hardest thing for me personally.

*What's been the easiest thing about adoption?
Loving her like my other kiddos.  I didn't know how this would feel, how long it might take, how the other kids would feel, etc....but this has been the EASIEST transition.  In the love department, we've got her covered.  From the second they placed her in my arms, she was MINE.

*How did you know what special need to mark on your paperwork?
This is definitely a question your family needs to decide and agree upon together.  I'd encourage you to reach out to your local pediatrician,  your home study counselor, and possibly even an international doctor.  They can all guide you and answer questions you have.  With that said, I'd take that all into consideration and spend a lot of time in prayer deciding what will work for your family.

*What books did you read in preparation for adoption?
I only read two...Forever Mom and The Connected Child (our home study counselor recommended this one the first time we met).

*What was the best/most practical piece of advice you learned in regards to attachment?
Hands down prior to getting Britt this was the thing I was worried about the most!  For the first two months, we were the only people to hold her, feed her, comfort her, or meet any of her needs.  It helped her realize these people are my people.  With that said a great piece of advice another adopted mom gave me (her adopted kids are now in high school) was she's your kiddo...yes, you have to do things a bit differently in the beginning but your mom instincts still need to be trusted.  Do what feels right.

*What questions did you want to make sure to ask Britt's orphanage/nannies when you got her?
To be honest, the day we got Britt I could think of NOTHING to ask her nannies.  It was such a whirlwind of a day, but we saw the nannies again the next day and I had questions...
-How's her sleeping?  Is there anything I can do to make her naps and night time sleeping as similar to what she's been used to?
-What's her schedule like?
-What foods does she like?  Dislike?
-What's the best way to comfort her?
-Anything we need to be aware of or do now (in China) in regards to her special need?

We made a list of questions on the way to meet the nannies on the second day.  (Along with help from the other family we traveled with-we asked questions about both girls at the same time.  I think this was everything we wanted to ask.)

*Any tips for the long flight home with a sweet little one you just met?
I wish I had some fabulous tips for this one.  I had some toys, an I-Pad, and snacks in my bag.  We bought her a seat just to have some extra room so we could spread out a little more.  Britt was amazing on the flight...she fussed a little but never cried.  (If anyone has some helpful tips for things to do, please comment!!)

*How'd you decide to take your other kids with you?  And are you glad you brought them?
Tab and I wanted us all to experience this together as a family.  We wanted our kiddos to get to be there to meet Britt for the first time when we did and when we talk about China, we wanted them to know and have fond memories of Britt's country as well.  It was a pretty easy decision for us...Bowen at the time of travel was four and a half so all my big kiddos were easy.  We're so glad we brought them....if we had to do it over again-we'd do the same thing!

*Do you follow/like any blogs that discuss adoption?
Not really...I've read some amazing adoption posts but I don't have an adoption blog that I religiously follow.  I will say within our church we got to witness about ten families step out in faith and take the adoption journey both domestically and internationally prior to us beginning our paper work.  Seeing these families and the adopted kids thrive was such a testimony to us.

*Do you think it would be hard for a mom working outside the home to adopt/form an attachment?
I think there are tons of moms working outside the home that adopt and are able to form healthy attachments.  It's just like adding any child to your family, you'd take maternity leave and have several weeks at home to work on attachment and bonding before you go back to work.  Absolutely, you can do it!

*Were the costs spread out or something you had to pay all at once?
I thought the costs felt a bit like they were split into thirds....we paid about a third up front throughout the paperwork process, another third for flights/travel, and then another third while we were in country.  There are tons of resources out there for families wanting to adopt who need some financial assistance.  If you feel led to adopt, please don't let the financial part stop you.  You'll find a ton of information online from grants to fundraisers...if God is calling you to adopt, then he'll provide a way.

*Were the majority of people in China kind and respectful?  Did you feel safe?
Yes, I even commented to Tab about how safe I felt the entire time.  I wasn't sure what to expect but I never once felt unsafe.  The majority of people were kind and very respectful.  Like I said, most people were super excited about seeing Americans.  Some got right up in our business, but we rolled with it.  :)

You can see Part 1 here and again, if you have any questions you'd like me to address please shoot me and e-mail alittlebitofeverything83@yahoo.com.  I have another Q and A scheduled for later this month and will do my best to answer them all.

Thank you girls for stopping by.  I hope you have the very best day.  XO

Friday Favorites

It's the WEEKEND!

Just like every Friday, I've teamed up with Narci and Andrea to bring you FRIDAY FAVORITES!  We'd love for you to join us.  Simply blog some favorites, grab our graphic, and add your blog to the link-up.  Easy Peasy!

First up this week is...
 These two.  Ebby Lee has been asking to go to work with Tab all summer long.  It was a last minute spur of the moment decision but on Tuesday this week she got to join him.  She packed a cardigan (because the office might be cold), wore a bun (because it looks professional), and took a coloring book (because she's 8).  She got to sit in on a meeting, make copies, and help with some filing.  She thought it was AWESOME!  This girl and her dad are my FAVORITES!


On Wednesday, I shared What's Up around our house...spending extra time with these two girls is one of my FAVORITE things to do.


I shared my favorite Nordstrom Sale picks for myself, but I got asked about the items I purchased for my kiddos.  To be honest, I didn't get my kids a lot from the sale.  My boys grow like weeds so I try to wait until it's actually pants' weather to buy them pants.  #highwaters  I did snag them some shoes though!

I can't say enough great things about Ugg boots.  I bought Ebby Lee a pair two years ago and she's worn them a ton for the last two years.  Definitely worth the price when you take into consideration how often she wears them.  And those booties above she will wear all fall/winter to church and any other dressy occasion.  She's a fan of a dress paired with a bootie.  For Bowen, I'm SO thankful for velcro.  :)  Velcro, Uggs, and booties are our FAVORITES.


Horrible picture and our kitchen was a MESS but this week we had our tv cabinet/armoire/built-in (whatever you wanna call it) painted.  I wasn't prepared for the amount of plastic the painters used.  This was the view from the kitchen.

And this was the view from the hallway!

Blurry pic, but the gang's all here.  The painters ran out of paint so the crew and I got up early this week to head to the store the moment it opened.

This was a shot right after they were finished painting.  What do you think?  It was all a dark wood stain...almost the same as the floors and I just thought it was too much of the same thing.  I love it and think it gives our living room a bit of a new look.  I still want to do a couple things in here to change it up a bit.  I'll keep you posted.  (The color is Benjamin Moore Willow Creek.)  I think once we have all it styled it'll be a FAVORITE!

When Tab and I were first married, I set out to paint a small bathroom red.  I'm pretty sure red is just a tricky color to paint, but it looked AWFUL!  So awful in fact that Tab requested I never paint again.  haha!  It worked out great for me because he begs me not to paint walls and is always on board for a painter.


And a big Happy Anniversary to this guy...we celebrate 12 years on Sunday.  We've talked about marriage before on the blog.  You can check out those posts here, here, and here.  He's my FAVORITE.

Hope you have a great weekend!  XO

What's Up Wednesday

 I'm joining MelShay, and Sheaffer for their What's Up Wednesday link-up!

What we're eating this week:

Monday:  Shay's Mexican Meatballs were on the menu for dinner.  My kiddos are big fans of meatballs and rice is everyone's favorite.

Tuesday: Ladies' Night...I'm going out for dinner with the girls so Tab and the kids had something easy.

Wednesday: Tonight for dinner we're having Cajun Shrimp Pasta.  It looks yummy!

Thursday:  Spinach Jack Tacos sound delicious and they're up tomorrow evening.

Friday:  We're going OUT!

What I'm Reminiscing About:

These two on the first day of second and first grade.  They've grown up so much this past year.  I know I say that ever year but becoming the big kids and getting a baby sister has upped their responsibility levels immensely!

What I'm Loving:

All the lazy days of summer...I love the slower pace of summer the late bedtimes, random dinners {am I the only one throwing random food at my family during dinner times?}, late wake-ups, and all the swim suits!  I love it all!

I'm loving all the smiles from this girl as well.

We've been playing lots of basketball in the evenings and this sweet thing goes crazy in her walker while we're outside.  Loving these summer nights!

What We've Been Up To:

Tab took the boys out of town for a few days last week, so it was just me and the girls.  Ebby Lee and I decided to make muffins for breakfast.  The chocolate on her nose wasn't staged.  Somehow it really happened.

 Saturday we had a little shopping to do and then we rounded out the evening with a fun dinner out.

The boys were out of town for about four days this week.  To be honest, they've never been gone that long so I missed them a ton!  It was so strange to just have the girls here.  I told Nix on the phone that I missed his face and his response was, "Mom, you're with me almost every hour of every day".  YES!  It definitely feels like that in certain moments but I think that's why I missed them so much!

We took some family photos with Narci.  I'm looking forward to sharing those with you!  Hoping we got some cute ones of this cutie smiling big.

And these two did some fort building, but it looks like it crashed during the night.  They tried to use a race car track to hold up the fort and it clearly didn't work.

What I'm Dreading:
I'm not dreading this anymore but it was number one on my list.  While Tab was out of town, I was on water duty.  The roofers who were here at the beginning of last week, they unscrewed the water hose completely and moved it.  So I drug the big pile of tangled water hose over, screwed it in, and this tiny bit of spray is all that would come out.  It barely sprayed half a foot from where I was standing.  It turned into me having to untangle the mile long water hose {at least it felt that long in the moment}.  The only reason I have this picture is because I sent it to Tab.  :)

What I'm Working On:
It's been a LONG time coming.  I'm pretty sure we began the girl room renovations back in the fall.  We finally purchased some fun things for the walls, are doing a few little room change ups, and bought a dresser {which doesn't arrive until September...boo!}.  I'm hoping to check this room off the list soon!

And I've been working on sending cute families like the one above to Disney World, a cruise, or a Mexico all-inclusive resort.  If you'd like help planning an upcoming vacation please e-mail us at mixandmatchtravelagency@yahoo.com.  We love working with families and would love to help you!  {We've recently begun planning 2018 Disney trips, so please reach out if you'd like to go in 2018!}

What I'm Excited About:
August!  August is usually SO HOT that I dread it a bit.  But...this year we have lots of fun things planned in August {quick trips, camps, and such} that I think it will be a GREAT month!

What I'm watching/reading:


I do not understand why Josh was calling Cody a meatball, but I could not stop laughing about it.  I'm actually so glad Cody got back in the house.  The drama is going up and I can't wait to watch tonight!

I just finished Hungry Heart by Jennifer Weiner.  Read the second paragraph, Smith got some print time in this book!

I'm currently reading...
I'm only about a quarter of the way through this one and it's SO good.  The Identicals has been popping up on blogs all over and I understand the hype now.  Great girly summer read!  Last night, when I finally put it down to go to sleep I noticed it was 11:00 p.m.!  That is LATE for me!  But this book was totally worth it!

What I'm Listening To:
"Mom", "Mama", "Mommy"....hahaha!  

What I'm Wearing:

I've been wearing a lot of swimsuits, cover-ups, and work out clothes.  {Ask me how often I've been to the gym...the answer is embarrassing!}

But I know when school starts in August and our lazy days are over I'll be getting dressed in real clothes much much more.  I shared my favorite NSale picks last week.  You can see them all here.  You'll be seeing these items over and over again.

And on Monday this week, I shared about my love of the Spanx leggings and showed how I style mine throughout the fall and winter.

What I'm Doing This Weekend:

I'm celebrating 12 years of marriage with this hunk and then heading out on a little work trip.

What I'm Looking Forward to Next Month:
We have a couple last minute trips scheduled before school starts and we'll be soaking up every last minute of summer!

See you on Friday for more Friday Favorites!

Dear Spanx, I Love You

When I shared my Nordstrom Anniversary Sale finds, I got asked several times (and even received few e-mails) about how I style my favorite Spanx leggings.  (I bought these last year but they're in the Anniversary Sale for a great price).  Instead of posting what I had planned today, I decided to style my Spanx leggings several different ways so you can see how I wear them.

First of all, they have a faux-leather look so they're cuter than just a regular pair of black leggings.  Plus they're SPANX, so they suck it all in and are comfortable!  Trust me, if you give them a chance you will LOVE them too.

This look was on repeat every time I traveled this winter (except the shoes are new)...cardigan (sold out-from last year), long tank, leggings, and Sperry shoes.  If you're new here I should fill you in that I'm extremely long-waisted so I wear a lot of maternity camisoles to make sure all my girl parts are covered.  These are my favorite long, maternity tanks.

I'd wear these same three pieces...tank, leggings, and shoes but change out the cardigan for a new look.  I got these shoes for China...they were perfect!  Comfy, cute, and perforated so they were a little cool as well.

You guys were very split on this cardigan...some of you loved it and others pretty much hated it. Ha!  I appreciate your honesty.  :)  I told you it was out of the box for me but I think it'll get some wear time this fall/winter.  Again...cardigan, tank, leggings, and shoes.

I got this long sleeve tee last year that's a bit longer than some other tees but I have to layer a maternity tank to make sure all the girl parts are covered.  The black tank is hard to see, but trust me...it's there.  I paired it with the leggings, shoes, and this vest (also in the sale).

To dress up the leggings, I wore this look a lot last winter.  A big oversized sweater (mine is sold out from this winter), with the tank (hard to see), and some cute booties made it perfect for Texas.

I've shared this dress a lot in the last few years on the blog.  After wearing, washing, and even dry cleaning it's shrunk up a bit in the length so now I always wear it with some leggings.  These leggings pair perfectly with the dress.

I wanted you to see the length in the back.  :)

Trust me, if you give them a try you'll be declaring your love for Spanx as well.  Happy Monday, Friends!  XO

Friday Favorites

Happy Friday, Friends!

I'm joining forces {like always} with Narci and Andrea to bring you FRIDAY FAVORITES!

I feel like my blog lately has been full of family and adoption-two of my FAVORITE things-but today we're gonna chat about another FAVORITE-the Nordstrom Anniversary Sale.  Today is the first day the sale is live and open to the public.  You don't have to be a card holder to shop anymore!  I've gotta be honest every year I approach this sale differently.  Sometimes basing it all on what I see and love.  Sometimes basing it on what's already in my closet.  Sometimes basing it on getting the biggest savings.  Seriously, I'm all over the board when it comes to this sale.  This year I tried to only invest in pieces I know I'll wear time and time again.  

I ordered a ton of things just to check them all out, try them on, and these are my absolute FAVORITES...
This Topshop cardigan is a little out of the box for me, but paired with these new AG jeans {love, love, love them and I've figured out I'll always grab the AG's over the other denim in my closet} and cute booties it's me!  I also think the cardigan will be cute with my black jeans for another look.  You might be seeing this cardigan a LOT!  :)  I thought everything pictured was true to size, but I do like cardigans on the bigger side.  If you want it to fit more snugly, I'd size down.  {The cardigan is out of stock but I'll keep checking back for you.}

A ruffle sleeve and I are pretty much like peanut butter and jelly.  We just go together.  I'm already picturing this top under a fur vest!  Won't that be cute?  Again, pictured with my new favorite denim and booties.  Let me add, if you're on the fence about the booties-these are so comfortable.  Last year I bought several different pairs of boots and booties and I always grab the comfy pair.  This is the pair I will grab.  No doubt!

Look how cute the sleeves are!  {True to size as well}

This sweater is the PERFECT fall color.  It's a bit on the shorter side and I'm a bit on the longer side but paired with a cami I love it.  It's a really pretty gold shimmery color. If the weather ever gets cool, you'll see me in this over and over again.  Scratch that, on November 1st I'm wearing this sweater whether it's cool or not!  {TTS, but on the shorter side-be aware}

The new blardigan everyone is talking about found a new home in my closet as well.  I grab a cardigan of some sort every time we get home.  After the gym, after church, even after the pool...I've been known to be working in my office in a swimsuit, cover up, and cardigan.  #truth

Last year I bought this same cardigan in maroon and was shocked at how often I reached for it in my closet.  When I saw it again in the sale, I knew I needed another color.  This light pink/blush for the win!

I wanted you to see the back is longer than the front.  :)  I stuck with my normal size.

A sweatshirt disguised as a cute top?  YES!  This top runs a little on the larger side.  I liked the bigger fit in the sweatshirt but if you don't, I'd size down.

In Texas, I really only need a big coat like this about three times every year, but last year I found myself in Denver, Vail, and Park City.  In each of those cities, I was dreaming of a warmer parka so when I saw this in the sale I pounced.  A great price for a great coat I'll have for years.

TTS and again...wanted you to see the length.

Okay, imagine this grey top all nice and ironed.  It's a really thin top with bell sleeves that will be great under vests or cardigans.  {Sold out right now too.} I paired it with the maroon AG jeans and these booties.   {All TTS and these booties are my FAVORITE!}

I added a new cardigan because I have a problem.  #whatcanisay  #iliketobecozy

This is my thought on stocking up on cardigans during the sale...when I'm browsing the mall a cardigan never catches my eye.  I love them.  Wear them all the time, but I'm not going to walk across the store to look at a cardigan I spotted.  However, I will walk across the store for a top I see that really catches my eye.

Okay, if I was about three inches shorter this dress would be a FAVORITE.  It was a little too short on me.  There's an outer layer that's see through and then the non-see through layer is about two inches above that so just too much leg on me.  If you're under 5'5" then I'd highly recommend it.  {It's sold out right now, but I'll keep you posted.}

I love this dress.  Love the floral.  Love the fit.  Love it!  And I paired it with the booties again. 

This one is going back but if you're in the market for a little black dress, this one is pretty-a little different and a great price.  I have two other black dresses in my closet and just can't justify another one at the moment.  But this one is great.

I scored this pajama set.  The shorts are a little on the shorter side (and they're in the washing machine now so I'll let you know how they wash and dry).  I'd much prefer to sleep in a longer sleeve shirt with shorts so this combo is my jam.

This Free People sweater is part of the sale and is fabulous!  I bought it last year in a dark purple and wore it a ton.  They have all new colors this year and I think you'll love it.

I know this is a hard picture to really see my leggings, but the Spanx leather leggings are my FAVORITES!  I bought them last year and wore them a ton!  Perfect for traveling.  They're part of the sale...check them out!

I'll keep you posted if I see those out of stock items get restocked.  Happy Shopping, Friends!  XO