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Holiday season is here!! My favorite holiday is just around the corner, and now is the PERFECT time for Shopbop’s big sale.

They have the perfect items to stock your closet…I mean perfect items to gift to family and friends.  But really, you might as well give yourself a gift you’ll love too.

Happy shopping!

 

You know what is stressful?  Having a web hosting service tell you that 5 years of blog posts, pictures and memories are gone.  AHHH.  Somehow, it was all figured out and I am back in action.

While I was gone, a few things happened.  I turned 36, HJ turned 8, we had Halloween, had a little one leave our house, welcomed 2 new littles, and then said goodbye.  Phew.

So for the most dramatic event…

Harrison went in for a trim.  Just a little trim.  He kept telling our hairdresser “a little shorter.  Little shorter…”  Over all, she ended up giving him about 4 hair cuts to get it the length he wanted.  YOU GUYS, he doesn’t have long hair anymore.  It has been about 3 years, and he finally has a short cut again!

beforeafterI told him he looks so much older.  He replied, “will you give me more responsibilities then?”.

Months.  This has been in the work for months.  I knew little one would be moving to his adoptive home.  Every day, I expected the case worker to tell me “this is the week”.  But days went by, months went by, with no news.  So we waited.  We would all talk about how long the process is. This past weekend, I even started going through HJ’s old fall clothes to stock up little one’s dresser for cooler weather.  Sunday, I spent time reorganizing his dresser and packing up too small clothes. I had determined we must still have through Halloween, maybe even HJ’s birthday.

And then the text came Monday morning. “They are approved.  He can move this week!”

Wait. What?!?

My response was “My heart just broke and got happy all at once”

It seemed to take forever…and then suddenly it is so fast.

I can not think of another situation in which someone would feel so happy and sad all at once.  My friend happened to share the perfect blog post she came across. Jamie wrote this for Foster the Family.

“It feels like everything all at once. Like laughter and tears, like hope and loss, like joy and sorrow.”

Part of me is grieving, while part of me is so happy for his future.  There are moments where I am overcome with tears, followed by comfort that I know he is in the perfect place.

Last night, we had a party.  We had cake and celebrated the start of his new journey.  I let him eat cake with his hands and make a mess.  I let him stay up a little late and snuggle.  We played and wrestled.

And when bedtime came, I sang him his song.  The one I sang to him every night since he has been with us.  Goodnight My Angel by Billy Joel.  Tears rolled down my face as I sang “I promised I would never leave you, then you should always know, wherever you may go, no matter where you are, I never will be far away”.  This little boy has forever claimed a piece of my heart.

This past weekend, HJ and I pulled out all our fall decorations and “fall-ified” our house.  Personally, I am a summer girl, but I still love decorating for fall…because it reminds me I almost get to decorate for Christmas…AND I LOVE CHRISTMAS.

Totally off subject…after decorating, I attacked HJ’s clothes and got all his fall gear out.  He got quite a few new things when we did back to school shopping, so he was set.  On the other hand, I always like to get a few staple items for fall.  Like a handbag, great pair of jeans and a warm and cozy top.

Which means, it is the perfect time for Shopbop’s BIG SALE.  With 20-25% off, I am able to get awesome deals on my finds, and may have even added in a Christmas present or two!

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There’s this boy who has my heart.  He calls me his mommy.  While I might be his mom for this moment, I am not his forever mom.

"Every child deserves a foster parent whose heart will break when they leave." Girl with balloons in a field. #fostercare

A few months ago I made a decision.  It was hard and heartbreaking.  After talking with HJ, I knew it was the choice that had to be made.  HJ and little one get along, they like to play, and they love each other.  But the bond isn’t what it should be.

I talked with friends who have adopted, and their kids have a different connection then my boys.  I talked with parents who made the decision not to adopt, because of the bond between the kids, and realized we fell into that category.

I love little one with all my heart.  I know I would be forever happy to be his mom, but I know God has other things in store for him.

Shortly after contemplating this, I met “them”.  His perfect forever and ever family.  The first time we all met, I cried.  I knew it was right.  They love him like I do.

For now, I am still his mom.  But I know this will end.  I can’t say I am ready for it, but I don’t think I ever will be.  He will always hold a special place in my heart, and in our home.

Little one’s room was pretty easy to get together (no painting required).  It was already painted a tan color (like at our old house), and has pretty wood floors.

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This is actually my favorite bedroom, and the one HJ was originally supposed to have.  The reason…it was so many windows!  I love how light and bright it is.  It has a really big closet, with tons of space.  The only changes I made were hanging up black out curtains (a must for little one), and a ceiling fan.

The dresser in this room is still one of my favorite DIY projects I have done.

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You may be wondering why there is a crib AND a toddler bed.  Little one really wanted to try a toddler bed, so I set it up the first night in the new house.  Needless to say, he got up to play NUMEROUS times during the night.  After one night of trying, we are all happier with little one back in the crib.  The toddler bed now serves as the perfect cuddling spot for reading bedtime stories.

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HJ started 2nd grade today.  He is at a new school, and asked me to walk him to class.  On our way to school, he told me he probably won’t talk to anyone since he doesn’t know anyone.  Then, we got to the school, and he saw a few kids he did know.  He looked at me and said “Bye, mom!”.  So much for needing me to walk in with him!

I pulled all of his “first day” pictures to see how much he has grown over the years.  Excuse me, while I go cry now.

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Recently, my household was blessed with the opportunity to have a new little baby stay with us for a few days (more on that when I stop crying over it).

When I first carried the babes into the house, HJ and his friend hammered me with questions.  I laid him on a blanket so they could get a good look.  After a few minutes, I went to change his diaper.  The boys first noticed his belly button, and questioned what was wrong with it.  I explained that it was his umbilical cord.  I told them it is connected to the mom and it is what provides baby all the nutrients he needs.  And once baby is born, they can cut and tie it off; then after a few days it will fall off and you can see his belly button.

This led to lots of “ewwww” and “weird” comments.  As they commented I realized what the next question would be.  I tried to distract the boys as I took the diaper off, but it didn’t work.  “WHAT’S WRONG WITH HIS PENIS?!?!?”

And this led to a fun and unexpected lesson on circumcision.  Needless to say, the boys were terrified and disgusted and couldn’t believe such a thing.

Oh my little one, you are about to start 2nd grade.  Second grade at a new school.  I know how excited you are, you’ve been anxiously waiting for this day to come.  I want this to be the best year yet for you.  I know we always talk about working hard, completing your assignments, and learning your spelling words.

But that isn’t all.  While education will get you far in life, it isn’t what I care most about.  I want you to be kind.  To everyone.  To the kid that is being left out, include him.  To the kid being picked on, stand up for them.  Don’t ever pick on someone you think is different.  Take the time to get to know who they really are.

I know we have talked about things that make a good friend.  I want you to always be a good friend to your classmates.  It doesn’t matter if they think, act or look differently then you.  EVERYONE is important and deserves love.

Becoming a foster family has taught you so much about compassion.  You understand that not everyone comes from loving and supportive homes.  But you know that they still deserve love and support.

If you hear someone say hateful words, let them know it’s not ok. Let an adult know.  Be the good.

I love that you deeply care about others.  Don’t ever change that.  Offer help and friendship, especially to those who need it most.

I can not wait to see what this year brings you.  I wish you lots of fun, learning, and friendship.  And don’t forget to be kind to everyone.